Pretty Little Liars recap: Pretty Little Trauma

An emotional episode shows how the Liars are dealing with Ali's return
Ep. 04 | Aired Jul 1, 2014

Adam Taylor/ABC Family

In a teen drama where high schoolers rule the world, parents are capable of the unthinkable, and cyber bullies literally try to saw people in half, it can be difficult to bring things back down to earth, to ground things in a believable way. And that's probably why it's rare that Pretty Little Liars steps away from the text message threats and the black hoodies to delve into the emotional trauma at the center of it all. But after four years of torture, these Liars really should be emotional wrecks.

In the past, we've seen them deal with their trauma in a number of ways. Spencer went crazy; Emily turned to pain pills; Aria ran away; and so on. But creatively speaking, even those were deliberate dramatic choices that fit into the more extreme side of the show. So when this episode let go of all the bells and whistles and just let the Liars reflect on what has happened to them, it resonated more heavily than some of the big, unforgettable moments this show is known for.

In the first four episodes of this season, we've seen Ezra survive a gun shot, Ali return to Rosewood, Aria accidentally kill Shana, and a dog discover Mrs. D's dead body. And because of all of those things, it's about time that the Liars stopped chasing after hooded figures and just cried. It's refreshing, and despite the show's normal pace, not at all boring.

For Hanna, it's about trying to find herself. Who is Hanna now that Alison DiLaurentis is back? Well, for one thing, she has black streaks in her hair, so that's something. And apparently she hits inquisitive people with dodge balls, shop lifts, yells at Spencer, and has an all-around pretty negative outlook on life. Oh, and she doesn't really care that Lucas is back at school. Then again, nobody really seems to—sorry, Lucas—other than maybe Mona, who needs him to help take down Ali.

But despite her own inner turmoil, Hanna is still able to be a good friend to Ali. With Spencer, Emily, and Aria all avoiding their recently undead friend, Hanna ends up being the one to go with Ali to her medical examination. It's something the police need her to do, but that she's been putting off. Why? Well it might have something to do with the new scar on her thigh. Although Ali tells a story about how she fell on a rock, the doctor all but calls her out on how the scar looks like a slice, as in from a knife. But when Hanna asks about it, Ali ominously tells her, "I wish I was blindfolded when I got that scar." Ali decides against telling Hanna how she got it because "once you know something, you can't un-know it." Okay, so there was still a bit of the old PLL flare among all the low-key drama.

NEXT: Did Peter Hastings kill Mrs. D?


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