While the girls are investigating and attempting to prove that Leslie Stone is involved somehow, they discover that they were chipped by "A" while they were drugged in the dollhouse. Meanwhile, Mr. DiLaurentis gets a mysterious card which unnerves him greatly, by the end of the episode to be revealed a message from Charles.
Charles DiLaurentis: Dead Or Alive
It was kind of obvious that Leslie wasn't involved whatsoever, since anytime the girls accuse someone of being "A" so quickly just from the bare minimum of evidence it's always never the case at all.
Though we have gathered some interesting information that Mona got from her. Apparently, Leslie and Bethany weren't friends despite being roommates at Radley, and the only time she ever heard of Charles was when the orderlies talked about it the night that Bethany had escaped, since Charles had escaped as well. So according to Leslie's accounts, Charles is definitely still alive. And Mona's assessments about why the organ donations couldn't have happened given the kind of medication Charles was on just make so much logical sense it kind of makes you wonder why Spencer didn't pick up on that initially (mostly because I think she and the rest of them either are only looking for what they want to find out, hence, you know, throwing accusations left and right). It was clearly a miscalculation on the girls' part and "A" attempting to their them off their trail.
Though we don't have the exact details of why and how, the events of what happened are slowly coming together. Here is what I think happened:
01. Charles was sent to Radley at a young age after showing signs of being mentally disturbed and violent. His entire existence was erased from the DiLaurentis family, from pictures to telling Jason that he imagined Charles and that he was the only older sibling in the family.
02. Jessica couldn't accept this and wanted to still remain in contact with Charles, so they moved to Rosewood closer to Radley so she could do this discreetly.
03. I figure that Kenneth DiLaurentis didn't like his wife continually visiting Charles, and she knew that, so instead she had Charles fake his death with a suicide (either bribing with money or blackmailing the facility to keep Charles hidden) so he would believe that there was nothing to worry about anymore.
04. This is where Bethany Young comes in. Since Jessica had to keep visiting Charles at Radley she became a member of the board of trustees (probably suggesting it was guilt over Charles, something that Kenneth wouldn't question) and continued to visit him. This is where she met Bethany and, for some reason had to have an excuse to visit when she could, so she visited Bethany as well to further her cover story. This made Charles jealous and angry. His violent outburst from that caused him to push Toby's mother from the roof, which Bethany saw happen. She wanted to report this but, since Jessica was aware of this happening and didn't want Charles to be revealed to still be alive she threatened her to keep her quiet. This led to Bethany's hatred towards Jessica for faking actually liking her. Charles took advantage of this and befriended Bethany, saying that he also hated Jessica for placing him in there while his family was on the outside living the life he should be having (his intense hatred for Jessica also extends to Alison because he feels it was her fault for putting him away even though she was just a baby at the time that happened).
05. This led to them conspiring together to get revenge. Through her Charles was able to escape several times (similar to how Mona was able to escape and sneak back in unseen at Radley), leading to the events of stalking, taunting and threatening Alison starting on Halloween. When the time came when they planned on gaining their revenge on the DiLaurentis family, Charles turned on Bethany and knocked her out. Leading to the events that happened that night when she was unconscious but buried alive by Melissa, thinking she was protecting Spencer.
06. Charles then snuck up behind Alison and knocked her out, hard. Leading Jessica to think he actually killed her ("What have you done? What have you done?!"), and then burying her (not realizing she was still alive).
07. Jessica covers this up by hiding Charles away at Aunt Carol's home, which because she bought it out herself and forbids anyone to sell it he is safe there with nobody ever suspecting a thing. This gives Charles enough time to plot more of what he is planning, including kidnapping Sarah Harvey around that same time as practice. As time goes on he is able to become omnipresent while gaining some support from others who also hate Alison and the DiLaurentis family. Keeping behind the shadows of several other pawns, Charles is able to be there and nowhere at the same time, and it wasn't until most recently when everything started becoming more of his own operations, especially with kidnapping the girls and placing them in his makeshift dollhouse prison and preparing for Alison to finish the collection.
08. Now that the girls have escaped, he still is keeping tabs on them (with being chipped like lab rats still in his nightmare maze) while keeping true with his plans of revenge on his family. Since he killed Jessica, he is now coming for Kenneth, as seen in this episode with the card.
Keep in mind this is just my own speculation. There are certain discrepancies and loose ends that I'm still trying to figure out myself with the timeline and events that have happened over the course of the show. But as far as this theory goes, it's pretty damn close and makes sense given what we're told so far this season. I also know that some people are wondering if Charles is still alive why hasn't anyone recognized him, well, considering that Charles was put away when he was a child and we have no other picture of him as a teenager and what he would've looked like as an adult, it's pretty safe to say that he looks quite different and it would only take someone a few minutes to really put two-and-two together if they were really thinking hard about it.
Even though it goes against what I wrote above, I still have this nagging feeling that Sarah Harvey might be in on this somehow. The incidents that have happened to her recently seem too much to be a coincidence. I think it's because the show hasn't really been focusing on her as a character but more trying to force this connection between her and Emily, and only focusing on Emily's reactions to Sarah. It seems too suspicious for me, to be honest.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ I loved seeing Hanna's sense of humor coming back. She got some pretty hilarious lines in this episode. Plus, her and Caleb being okay again makes me super happy. I love how he was uncertain how to handle it, how he wanted to help her but not push her at the same time, and with Ashley's advice he was able to with just being with her again. No safety precautions, no talking about what happened to her, it was just them together. ♥
++ Hanna and Spencer trying on Leslie's numerous glasses, and Spencer putting one on upside down. lol
++ The scene where they're discovering they've been chipped was a hilarious moment, especially with Spencer moving Hanna's head around. That was in the preview and I was waiting to see it in the episode and it didn't disappoint.
Things I didn't like:
++ The forced romance/fling/relationship get-together with Sarah and Emily. I'm sorry, I know that (if she isn't some sort of plant) Sarah is suffering and needs support and comfort, I get that, and the person she's pretty much latched onto since the escape from the dollhouse was Emily. And I don't mind that Emily finds a romance with someone, but it needs to be organic and make sense. This? Doesn't make sense. There is no chemistry between them and it's just weird that Emily would develop feelings for her (that line felt so forced I was rolling my eyes) when they've barely known each other for a few weeks and they're both still emotionally raw from their traumatic experiences. I know, I know, perhaps that's why the writers want them to be together, but I'm just not buying it.
(Also note to the writers: just because Emily befriends or is close to another girl, doesn't mean that should automatically mean there should be a romantic connection; similar to heterosexual characters, not everyone they meet is a potential relationship. Not everything needs to be a romance.)
++ I know it's pretty much a trademark of the show by now, but I wish they would stop having the girls automatically accuse someone of being "A" being associated with Charles whenever they discover something that might be a potential clue. Especially since they started accusing Mona of being "A" again, like what the fuck? Why would she torture herself after everything she's gone through? Are you serious right now? I know that we've all been conditioned to second guess characters, but come on.
Overall: Aside from the whole chipped scene and learning more about Charles, it wasn't exactly the best episode so far this season. I'm looking forward to the upcoming episodes leading to the summer finale, though, which is I'm assuming where we unveil the identity of who Charles is and why they're doing this. I also read that it will be Alison who will be the first to discover who Charles will be, so I'm excited for that.