When you have a show centered around the ultimate psychopath who might or might not be under the age of 18, episodes are always best when said psychopath—or at least one of the many minions of said psychopath—makes an appearance. Add in an appearance from Radley, the home of the psychopaths, and we've got an hour full of twists, new clues, and the suspense we love.
This week, things get moving with the Liars participating in the high school choir singing "What Child Is This," a hymn most often associated with Christmastime. But no, this is not the Christmas episode. Rather, this is just a group of teenagers being forced to sing a religious song in a state institution. No big deal.
Outside of the classroom, Ali isn't singing, but only because she's being questioned by a very mean Detective Tanner, who clearly knows that the girls were in New York when Shana died. However, Ali is trying everything she can to throw Tanner off her lies, including dressing like she's 25 and going to a job interview. But no matter how many black blazers Ali wears, "A" still knows how to get to her. By the time Ali reenters the classroom, "A"—or someone— has circled all of the A musical notes with a message that reads, "Glad to hear you singing. Last time you were all choked up." That, of course, refers to the time "A" choked Ali with her own scarf. That "A" is very literal. Also, "A" has clearly turned Ali off scarves, which is probably for the best.
At Hanna's locker, Spencer and Emily are giving her a lecture about how her locker smells like Octoberbest when Aria runs to call Ezra and warn him about Tanner's investigation. Outside, Ella makes her triumphant return, just in time to ask Aria to be her maid of honor. Aria agrees, but has to run when Ezra calls. Sorry, mom. There's no time for love in a world full of high school bullies.
However, there is time for something called language lab in a world full of high school bullies. There's also time for Emily to try and convince Sydney that Hanna was just drunk the other night and didn't know what she was saying when she'd said the Liars were in New York. Spoiler: It doesn't work. But it does give Sydney the chance to tell Emily she's been made Assistant Coach of the swim teach… while she's still a high school student.
At lunch, Hanna is left by herself after Caleb rebels against the idea of waking up before 1 p.m. So what is Hanna left to rebel against? How about the idea that Ali wants to stay with her. But you don't always get what you want, and after Ali tells Ashley her sob story, the maternal instincts resist about two seconds before she invites Ali to stay with them. Hey, she even offers her bath salts, which is like, the ultimate sign of hospitality. And that's exactly why Hanna leaves to rebel against sobriety with Caleb.
But this is where things get messy because not everyone in this town needs to be bad. Why did the writers decide that Zack, Ella's perfectly adorable nice fianc, should come back this year and pull a complete 180 by trying to sleep with Hanna? They just went from zero to pedophile in .02 seconds, and it's just too far. Yes, even in a show of extreme bullies and other questionable relationships, this is too far.
And as it turns out, Toby also thinks it's too far. Well, not Zack specifically, but generally, he thinks everything in Rosewood has gotten out of hand. And that's why he's enlisted in the police academy! Spencer isn't sure if she's on board, but if it's why he cut his hair, then it has to be a good decision. #OfficerToby? Yes, please.
NEXT: Big Rhonda spills some big secrets