All the girls arrive back to Rosewood and go directly to the police so Alison can tell them exactly what happened, but at the last second Alison changes the story. At first the girls aren't happy with it, especially Spencer, until they find out Alison had gotten a text revealing that someone else knows what happened, and that they're still not safe yet. Alison's mother is still missing, Jason is being suspected as being in cahoots with knowing where she is and possibly having been involved with what happened to Alison; Aria has trouble dealing with the aftermath of what happened with Shanna, and Mona approaches Alison, declaring war between them.
"Whirlie Girlie Ride" with Alison DiLaurentis
When Alison suddenly changed the story about everything that has happened to her, it's easy to assume that she's gone back to her old ways seeing as how she's been known for masterfully lying and manipulating situations from before. But things have changed, Ali has changed. After seeing that text she got scared, and understandably so. Never mind that she's had to stay underneath the radar for two years, having to be careful each step of the way. Telling the truth could set them free, but it could also bring down the house for everything and everyone. Shanna may be gone for good, but it doesn't mean they are safe, and she panicked in the moment, still in that "fight or flight" mode.
Of course, the girls have the right to be skeptical, given their history with her and everything they've gone through on her behalf. They were ready for everything to be done and over with, but with being caught off guard with Alison's quick lie they are then forced to change their stories too, going right back to where they don't want to be. Spencer seemed especially pissed and quick to judge Alison when it happened, though the two have always butted heads.
But now that we know that it was Mona who sent the message, it's going to be a turf war between them both. So it will be interesting what will happen, and how far Mona and her new recruits are going to go to get back at Alison now that she's officially back from the dead.
There's still a load of questions about the involvement of particular characters. We know Mona met Jenna at that Halloween party all those years ago before the incident happened, and we know that Mona was indeed quite obsessed with Alison before she had disappeared. We also know that "A" isn't dead, and that whoever is the ringleader still exists and has used others to do their bidding. Is it all just about Alison and her friends? Or is there something much more? There's all these missing pieces about characters and where they fit into this complicated puzzle. I'm not getting my hopes high, but I do want at least more answers this season since the game has changed significantly since Alison has returned home. Who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis? Who is taunting Aria? Why is Mona so gung ho about making Alison pay? If Shanna was acting on orders, who gave them? Jenna? What is Melissa's role in everything? Is she in cahoots with Mona? Why did she lie about where she was? Why did Jason lie about where he was? What secrets are they hiding and who are they really protecting?
I am ready for some reveals, and I am intrigued on where all this will lead us. We have already brought Alison back home, but it won't be easy. And now since Alison has changed her story, it will no doubt be used against them.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ I cannot help but adore every time Alison comes on the screen. We knew her from being nasty and manipulative from before in the flashbacks, but present day Alison DiLaurentis is very different. She's grown up. Even the argument she and Spencer were having in her bedroom was different from their previous fights. There was tension, but Alison wasn't being manipulative here. There's a level of uncertainty, of honest vulnerability of not knowing what is safe anymore even inside her own home. Of course this doesn't mean she still doesn't have her own secrets or won't lie in the future to protect herself or her friends, but this isn't the naive little girl who thought she could own a place simply by just walking in. Now she's walking on eggshells trying to assess a situation to confirm it's safe. This evolution fascinates me and I'm happy with the way Sasha is portraying her character in such a way. From the looks and the way she conveys the way she's feeling through expressions.
++ Similarly, Aria going through what seems to be post-traumatic stress after what happened with Shanna was also well-done. She is paranoid, frightened, and unable to deal with her conscience after killing someone even if that someone was wanting to kill them all first. I also loved that Emily was the one to talk to her about this and bring up her similar situation when she killed Nate, and her understanding how Aria felt.
++ Spencer and Toby reuniting. ♥ ♥ ♥
++ Alison taking in the adopted dog was super sweet.
++ I am very curious about Jason and the secrets he's hiding. Him not reacting to his sister is strange, and perhaps it's shock, perhaps it's something else. Should we be suspecting him? I'm not entirely sure. But he does know something that he isn't telling.
Things I didn't like:
++ Some of the reactions to Alison being alive and back in town weren't quite what I was expecting. It seemed almost muted? Like, the news to some seemed strange but not quite shocking. I guess I figured there would be more of a surprise for some people especially after all these years of wondering and mourning and going through all these hoops surrounding what happened to her. I don't know. I guess I expected something a bit different.
Overall: It was a good episode. I liked seeing the aftermath of things and seeing how Alison was adjusting back to things, and how she and the girls are going to deal with the new situations and threats that will be following them around now. I'm also wondering if "A" will continue to have a presence on the show. Mona has her own reasons and motives for doing what she does, but "A" has others, and I'm sure they aren't done tormenting and stalking the girls yet.