Episode Title: Of Late I Think of Rosewood
Aired: Tuesday 12th January 2016
The Pretty Little Liars are back! We rejoin Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily 5 years after the mid-season finale of season 6. As the episode opens we see Ali writing to her friends, asking them to come back to Rosewood to testify that they are no longer afraid of ‘A’, Charlotte DeLaurentis, in order to secure her release. All four girls return to Rosewood and the discussions of how they feel about Ali’s request begin.
We see how Rosewood and the girls have changed in the 5 years which have passed. Ali is working as a teacher in Rosewood, Aria is working in Boston arranging a book signing, Hanna is engaged and working in the fashion industry, Spencer is working in Washington and we see Emily serving cocktails at a bar and popping pills. Throughout the episode, we get the feeling that Emily is hiding a lot from the girls, not just the pills she is taking. The biggest change to Rosewood is the newly refurbished Radley Sanatorium, now home to Hanna’s mom’s new bar “The Radley”. We also see Aria, Spencer and Hanna reuniting for emotional conversations with Ezra, Toby and Caleb.
The girls are tasked with deciding Charlotte’s fate and after meeting with Ali, Spencer persuades the other girls that they should tell the judge they are no longer scared in order to ensure her release from the hospital where she is currently detained. Spencer, Hanna and Emily all follow through with their promise to Ali, saying they believe they would be safe with Charlotte released. Aria, however, cannot forget the traumatic experiences of her past and tells the judge the truth, she does not want Charlotte released. With the girls believing Mona will put the final nail in the coffin, she surprises them by agreeing that Charlotte should be allowed to live with Ali, resulting in her release and reunion with sister Ali.
As the girls take to cocktails at The Radley to end their day, Spencer reveals her true feelings, she thought the judge would not let Charlotte out, despite what they said. As each of the girls reveals their true feelings, the drinks continue to pour and we see them waking up to the resulting hangovers in Hanna’s hotel room, when Hanna receives a mysterious call from Ali asking if Charlotte has been to see them. We later learn that Charlotte’s body has been found, seemingly after she committed suicide, and we watch as Ali and the girls attend yet another funeral in Rosewood.
At the end of the episode, the girls are asked to remain in Rosewood as we learn that there is more to Charlotte’s death than meets the eye. After a long night of drinking and another murder in Rosewood, are we going to see a repeat of how this all started?
I love Pretty Little Liars; although I was slightly reluctant about the five year jump initially, I felt it really worked in the context of the episode. I loved the little moments we saw the girls share with their ex-lovers, I still have the hope in my heart that Aria and Ezra will live happily ever after. I really felt emotional when Aria relived her fears and we heard her talk of her traumatic experience on the train where she feared ‘A’ had come to get her. I did wonder where they would take the show now that we know who the infamous ‘A’ is, but with another murder in Rosewood, I hold high hopes for the rest of the season.