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‘Pretty Little Liars’ ‘A Is For Answers’ review: The mystery of Mrs. DiLaurentis

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'Pretty Little Liars' 'A is for Answers'

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For an episode full of answers, “Pretty Little Liars” “A is for Answers,” which aired on March 18, started in a pretty subdued way. After years of being on the run, Ali (Sasha Pieterse) -- and the creators -- realized it’s time to tell the truth to the girls. Ali has figured out they’re not A, and yes that even goes for Spencer (Troian Bellisario), and Ali knows she needs them if she’s ever going to stop running.

What ensues is an episode of flashbacks related to Ali trying to figure out who A is the night she “died.” She runs down her list, and it includes all sorts of people “PLL” fans suspected through the course of the ABC Family drama’s four seasons.

Jenna (Tammin Sursok) was crossed off that list first, when Ali received a text as she left the hospital where Jenna was. Then even Ezra (Ian Harding) was eliminated, after he said he didn’t ever want to see her again. Toby (Keegan Allen) too was no longer a suspect, particularly after he thanked Ali for getting him away from Jenna. Lastly, Ian may have freaked out about Ali knowing about his home videos, but it wasn’t him either.

So who was it that night? That’s what Ali so desperately needs to know. All she knows is that she went home that night, thinking she was safe, when she saw her mom gasp in the window, and then she was hit over the head with a rock. And then her mom tried to bury her alive.

Mrs. DiLaurentis (Andrea Parker) is protecting someone on “PLL,” and that seems to be the newest big mystery of the show.

While Ali is finally spilling her guts, something that needed to happen if the show was going to keep moving forward, the cops are investigating Spencer back in Rosewood. But they’re not getting the result they want when they question the entire Hastings clan. “Spencer didn’t kill that girl,” Melissa (Torrey DeVitto) says to her dad about the girl who is really in Ali’s grave. And then she whispers something in her dad’s ear. The mystery, again, deepens.

This is when the “Pretty Little Liars” season four finale takes a big dramatic turn. As the Philadelphia cops descend on the location they think the four girls are, Alison admits that she realized that, while she had disappeared to stay safe, her best friends’ lives were now in danger. She really did visit Hanna (Ashley Benson) in the hospital when Mona hit her oh so long ago. She saved Spencer when Ian tried to kill her. And she was at the lodge fire too.

But then, suddenly, all five of them are in danger, and everything really gets interesting and dramatic on “PLL” “A is for Answers.” A found them -- or at least a cloaked, masked figure did -- even though the Philly cops didn’t. The cloaked figure shoots and chases after them up to the roof. But then Ezra shows up, says the police are on their way, and declares, “I know who you are.” More shots are fired, A wrestles with Ezra, the girls grab the gun, and the girls demand the figure take off the mask.

Instead, the cloaked figure jumps to the next roof. And that’s when Ezra collapses, because he’s been shot. Is he dead though? That answer will have to wait until “Pretty Little Liars” returns June 10, just as the answer of who really was in Ali’s grave will have to wait too.

But wait, in the final moments of the show, it looks like the killer dragged Mrs. DiLaurentis’s body into the grave. That can’t be right, can it? It complicates things, for sure. Because really there’s an obvious theory in all this. If Mrs. DiLaurentis is going to protect anyone, other than her daughter, it’s her son Jason (Drew Van Acker). Not only does Jason definitely have issues of his own, but he could have easily jumped from one building to the next.

Yet, would he have killed his own mom? And if he did, then why is she walking around alive in Rosewood in the present day? “PLL” isn’t a paranormal show, so there has to be some sort of explanation, and it seems like a crazy theory that she has a twin (despite past episodes implying that Ali had one). But who knows with this ABC Family drama. Ali may be back, kind of, but the show has managed to still keep things interesting, and new, and that’s why so many people are looking forward to its return this June.

(UPDATE: Another theory has been posited... that Mrs. DiLaurentis wasn't killed in the past, as this Examiner presumed when the episode aired, but that she was killed/buried in the present day. If that's the case, it looks like fans might have multiple killers on their hands).

© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2014

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