After finding out that the van filled with all of the "A" stuff is gone, "A" tries to kill Mona but is thankfully saved by Aria and Emily, who ends up getting seriously injured in the process. Hanna deals with the possibility that her mom might have had something to do with Detective Wilden's death. Spencer tries to come to terms that a university she was hoping for has rejected her, and she finds out about what is going on with Toby and what "A" has for him. Aria is in the process of moving on with her life post-Ezra. Oh, and there's a parrot involved that could have clues on what happened to Alison. No, I am not joking.
Ashley Marin: Suspect or Innocent?
We know that the adults in Rosewood aren't always saints and they, too, get involved in shady situations, especially if it's to protect their family. Ashley Marin in particular has been known for trying to alter things to protect her daughter.
But is she inherently responsible for Detective Wilden's death?
I don't think she killed him. But remember this show has a tendency to have red-herrings. I do think there was a confrontation, possibly a physical one, and somehow Ashley knocked him unconscious and she sort of believes she was the cause of it. She probably had to get away as fast as she could before anyone could have seen her there (and promptly dropped her phone at the site.) So she probably has convinced herself that she had done it because of that, but that's not what obviously killed him in the end. I think ultimately it was "A" that killed him, and everything was done so Ashley could be framed to take the fall. And now with her muddy heels that she's so determined to hide away, bury or otherwise, it'll be even more evidence against her, even more so since Wilden was completely set on continuing harassing Ashley and Hanna on multiple occasions, as noted from his written reports, there is certainly motive behind it all. So my guess is that this will be the biggest thing for at least half of the season, if not only for several episodes, depending on how long they decide to drag this out. Maybe the mid-season finale will be them arresting Ashley on suspicion of murder.
That is my speculation and guess, anyway.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ The comedic timing in this episode was ace. I just really liked the flow of how the dialogue went, particularly in the beginning with all of the girls and especially with Spencer. Always anything with Spencer is amazing when she gets to have her hilarious moments and one-liners.
++ Mona still attempting to prove herself to the girls, along with figuring things out on her own. I know that they can't fully trust her yet, but at least we're getting more interaction between them and Mona is not playing any games with them. I like how blunt she is when she's speaking to the girls, although you're still not quite sure whether she has something else planned underneath it all or not. Either way, the dynamic between herself and the girls is quite fascinating to watch.
++ The fact that Aria is thinking about her safety. I was wondering when the girls would think about self-defense, considering the number of times they've been attacked. Of course if "A" knows that they are getting help in defending themselves it would up their game in messing with them, but that's a risk that they have to take. She is also taking out a lot of pent-up frustration of what's been happening in her own personal world lately, with all the drama that happened with Ezra and everything that led to them no longer seeing each other on top of everything with "A", getting to center herself to feel safer, more in control of her life is something that I think she needs, and what all the girls need.
++ I'm hoping that Jake is actually a decent guy and not someone part of some "A" scheme. Of course I would much rather Aria build herself up first before getting involved with someone else, but if she were to start dating other people Jake wouldn't be a bad start. ;)
++ Any scene with the parrot was hilarious, because Hanna bringing in the parrot for the girls and being exasperated and then Spencer with the parrot. lol
++ Poor Ems, though. :( Wanting to prove herself and get that competitive side, but I think she knows, esp now, that as long as she has Paige she doesn't have to go through all that trouble. They can still plan their future together.
++ ALISON FLASHBACK YAY! :D I have missed her. Also, quite an interesting one too, since it features her with her mom, which I don't think we ever had something between them before. So it was fascinating to see how their dynamic was, and as predicted it wasn't your typical loving mother-daughter relationship. Alison was a master manipulator and pusher of buttons with her mother as well. Go figure. I'm fascinated by this and I kind of want more of where the show may be headed with it.
++ Spencer and Toby talking about things. No more secrets, and I like that she calls him out on that front. No more secrets and no more lying to each other. They've gone through too much to start that up again, even if it may be "A" related and for each other's protection they need to be together in something like that. And I'm glad that he told her, and showed her, what "A" has for him and what else might be happening with it. And it makes me sad because, oh Toby. :( The possibility that his mother might have been murdered or pressured into killing herself is just horrible.
++ Spencer talking with Ezra about her not getting into the college she wanted (or rather, what was expected of her Hasting family legacy) was rather sweet. I also liked that she told him and he is willing to help her out with applying to different colleges and universities. I'm also understanding Spencer wanting to write out the truth to send into these colleges because she knows that "A" will eventually try to find a way of exposing these secrets at some point. I don't know, I think it's kind of smart? And also it's about not feeling ashamed about what has happened to her, because if she's comfortable of saying, "this is who I am, take me or leave me" then why not?
++ Shanna, what is up with you? I want to know more about what your deal is.
Overall: I liked the episode. It was a great sense of mystery along with some great moments of dialogue between characters, it was great watching those scene where everything just felt really awesome and almost natural to watch. Like when Hanna was explaining how she believes that Alison is alive and the rest of them groaned in exasperation, that was a natural moment where I can see that happening IRL. So I was entertained, and I'm intrigued by what is happening that I can't wait to see how they handle these particular mysteries.