If a mystery is defined as "anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown," then Pretty Little Liars isn't about a mystery—or 20—but rather, the show itself is a mystery.
For more than four seasons, there has been one central question: Who is "A"? That's what viewers want to know. Along the way, we've also asked smaller things like, "Is Ali alive?" "Who is board shorts?" "What does the N.A.T. Club have to do with any of it?" And yet, six episodes into season 5, we still don't know the true mastermind behind the "A" team. Sure, there was Mona, and Toby was involved at one point, and then you had Shana, but what this episode proved is that "A" still has just as much momentum as ever. Honestly, "A" might be more on top of his or her game than ever before. And thankfully, as "A" progresses, so does the show.
The bottom line is this: It's hard to make a show like Pretty Little Liars feel fast-paced when it doesn't deliver answers, and yet this episode kept things moving forward by providing intriguing clues, new pieces to the puzzle, and a rejuvenated villain.
After last week revealed that a former Radley patient named Bethany Young was identified as the girl in Ali's grave, "A" came back into town with a bang, blew up Toby's house—no one was inside, and sadly, the flames did not burn off half of Toby's hair—and sent the girls a lovely little text message: "Did you miss me, bitches?" Surprisingly, the answer for the show as a whole felt like a resounding yes.
But why did "A" choose this moment to resurface? Probably because last week's episode desperately needed a villain to pull it all together. But in the world of Rosewood, the answer seems unknown. And Ezra is on the case.
Now that Aria has "slipped up" with Ezra—twice!—she decides to help him sort through all of his book research in an attempt to find a connection between Bethany Young and Mrs. D. After all, Mrs. D was on the board at Radley, where Bethany was a patient. Odds are that Ezra's onto something, but Aria can barely focus long enough to get anything done because "A" isn't the only one who's back. Everyone, say hello to Lt. Tanner, the ultimate buzzkill. She's lurking around Rosewood asking questions about Shana to try and give the New York police some "background." And when she shows up at Ezra's apartment, the former English teacher is clearly done messing around. Ezra tells Tanner next to nothing, even despite the fact that she clearly knows there's a connection between Shana and his shooter. But as fans of Ezra know, he doesn't mess around when it comes to protecting his lady love. Too bad Aria forgot to hide her purse. Lessons from Rosewood: If you're going to hide from the cops, don't forget your fashionable (one-of-a-kind) handbag!
NEXT: The Black Widow returns