This week's Pretty Little Liars offered us our first look at an A-less world (for now) and what that means for the girls... spoiler: It's not that much different. For one, the girls still devote themselves to endless Nancy Drew-like activities, only without interruptions by A's mocking, and at time threatening, texts. "Surfing the Aftershock" didn't feature any major character deaths like the first two episodes of the season, but it did show the characters reflecting on this world without "A." This is especially true of Hanna, who spends most of the hour realizing that she's lost her sense of self. The fact that the episode did not end with a creepy sequence told from A's point of view is indicative that things are a-changing. On that note, let's see what the girls have been up to, shall we?
Several days have past since Pepe the dog found Mrs. D's remains in Spencer's backyard. Ali doesn't handle it well; she becomes reclusive—it seems her years on the run trained her to be alone a little too well. On the day of Mrs. D's funeral, Spencer is quick to point out the unfortunate irony of the situation: Ali is getting ready to bury the woman who buried her alive. Just when you start to think the DiLaurentis family is normal...
Because this is Rosewood, the girls don't have the luxury of waiting until after the funeral before getting back to the latest mystery: who buried Mrs. D. Emily thinks it's Jason, a possibility that Spencer rejects, and Aria thinks it might be "A," but the other liars reassure her that "A" is dead and no longer a problem. Spencer says that she's more concerned about Mona and anyone else who knows that Ali lied to the police. But before the girls can finish their conversation, Ali finally appears—always a vision—this time in the same dress her mother wore to her funeral. That's so five seasons ago Ali.
Back at school, Spencer tells the girls to act like things are normal. As is wont to happen, the girls implicitly agree that school is not a priority, but disagree about what their priorities should be. Emily thinks they should be worried about the police punching holes in Ali's story and finding out what happened to Shana, whereas Spencer is more worried about the people who know Ali lied—Mona, Noel, and Ezra—and suggests that someone, i.e. Aria, talk to Ezra to make sure he's got his story straight. Naturally, Aria refuses. (But that resolve doesn't last long). Meanwhile in another hallway, Emily runs into her ex-Paige and the two share a fairly awkward moment, which is made slightly more awkward by a new girl on the team named Sydney Driscoll (Chloe Bridges), who keeps staring at Emily. Sydney is a fan of Emily's (who isn't?) and she asks for her help with swimming. Are we finally over Paige??
NEXT: References to old Italian families, flashbacks, and Ezria!