If there was any doubt that things were going to be different in Rosewood after the midseason break of Pretty Little Liars, the release of CeCe, aka Charlotte, aka ‘A’ proved that it is not too late for things to go south, again, in this odd little verse. In what may be the longest time ever in a seasonal break, in Rosewood the “liars” have all aged five years.
Once again, the girls decide, to an extent, to stand by Alison (Sasha Pieterse) and “lie” once more for their friend. Only Aria (Lucy Hale) breaks down and says what she really feels; ‘A’ still terrifies her and even the older version of herself is scarred to the bone by the experience. (Kudos to Hale for knocking it out of the park with her train tale.)
This “Old Home Week” episode shows that the ghosts of Rosewood, Radley and ‘A’ are not resting easy. As evidenced by the playing of Fleurie’s “There’s a Ghost” with lyrics that mention masks (more lies) and ghosts (‘A’ and all the victims of the entire incident previously) this second half is going to be full of revenants that refuse to lie still.
It comes as no real surprise that once CeCe is let out that she dies. Initially thought to be a suicide, by the end of this episode of Pretty Little Liars, it is revealed that Charlotte was dead before exiting the church bell tower. At least two suspects spring to the fore; Mona (Janel Parrish) who dramatically crumples up her pages-long prepared statement to pronounce that Charlotte should be released and Sara Harvey (Dre Davis).
Aria revealing that she is far from normal after her time in captivity and being tortured by ‘A.’
Sara Harvey showing up at the funeral looking drugged out of her mind.
Spencer’s The Wizard of Oz quote from the munchkin coroner; who pronounces the Wicked Witch of the West:
“Really, most sincerely dead.”
Hanna (Ashley Benson) moaning at the cocktail party that there are no “special drinks” and calling Radley a “Squirrel Factory.” She then starts the ball rolling with “Electroshock Margarita?”
Spencer; again, with her drunken confession at the revamped Radley “Squirrel Factory” aka, “sanitarium:”
“I thought it wouldn’t matter what we said to the judge… because I thought they would never let her out. I thought that we could just lie for Ali one more time and it wouldn’t matter. But it did. They let “A” out.”
It is fitting that at the Charlotte Cocktail Party Spencer (Troian Bellisario) brings up the lies told at the hearing. Her “testimony” which, out of all the girls’ was the most straight forward was the most impressive.
At the cocktail party, that Alison does not attend as she is welcoming Charlotte home, the only “liar,” apart from Spencer who does not get into the drink renaming drill is Emily (Shay Mitchell). Lucy does come up with “Manic Depressive Mai Tai” just before Spencer professes that she loves her friends lack of good taste.
In terms of dramatic reveals, the dead body of Charlotte, carefully covered up except for that right-hand clutching the crumpled flower, took second place to the arrival of a clearly stoned Sara at the funeral. (And haven’t we seen something similar in Rosewood before?)
Sidenote: What a great turnout for a mad-as-a-hatter kidnapper who tortured several young girls for an enormously long time. Clearly, being a DiLaurentis means that all past sins are forgotten come funeral time…
Before the end credits roll the funeral ends and Alison leaves with Dr. Rollins, Mona zooms off, Sara floats to her car and Lorenzo (who has clearly been promoted in the five years the liars have been away) stops by to tell Hanna, Emily, Aria and Spencer that a)Charlotte was murdered and b) Not to leave town.
There are a number of familiar faces that turn up although Nicole was not one of them as apparently she was abducted by revolutionaries in South America while building houses.
Patsy Cline’s Crazy plays out the episode and the song sets up the end-scene rather well. Pretty Little Liars is about to get cray-cray all over again and it is almost like five years never happened…away from Rosewood…for those who “got away.”
Since the title of the episode is a “homage” to an old Twilight Zone episode, “Of Late I Think of Cliffordville;” where the protagonist of that old segment wanted to return to “days gone by” it seems that this episode of “Liars” may be heading “back” to the way things were before ‘A’ was un-masked.
The second half of season six airs Tuesdays on ABC on their new Freeform, replacing Family. Tune in and see where this mystery will head now that CeCe is “dead.”