'Pretty Little Liars' Season 4 Finale Shows That The Night Of Ali's Disappearance Is Filled With Important Secrets
A is for answers? More like A is for an episode full of what appear to be answers, but are really just small hints and breadcrumbs leading to a totally unexpected cliffhanger. Of course, I'm talking about the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 finale, "A Is For Answers," and though it seems to be filled with big reveals, looking back, you'll realize that it actually raises even more questions. The big cliffhanger I was referring to is Ezra getting shot, and that's not the only significant moment of the episode. This finale is the first episode where Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily know for certain that Ali is alive. "A Is For Answers" is actually focused on Ali explaining what happened the night she disappeared. While it might not be full of the answers we were hoping for, there are a few little signature Pretty Little Liars clues scattered throughout, many of which may become extremely important in Season 6.
To remind you of what lead up to this explosive finale, Detective Wilden was murdered, and in "A Is For Answers" we learn that Cece Drake had been picked up for his murder. She's willing to talk, but she clearly wants protection. Cece is also willing to give up information about Ali in exchange for her own safety.
Elsewhere, the Liars find Ali in hiding, thanks to Noel Kahn. It's assumed that she's been hiding out in Philadelphia — and the that's where the police think they all are — but she's actually been hiding out in NYC. She tells the Liars about what happened the night she disappeared from her point of view, and for all of her revelations, there are still a ton of missing pieces.
Ian Has Dirt On Everyone
Though Ian was already dead at the time of this episode, thanks to Ali we got a little flashback to Melissa's ex. The events surrounding his hookup with Ali, and even his claims about Melissa cheating, aren't really what's important here — that'd be his N.A.T. Club videos. They are all on his computer and while they are in Hilton Head together, Ali only takes the one featuring Jenna and Toby, leaving a ton of other files.
But that doesn't stop Ali from threatening Ian the night she disappeared, telling him that if he didn't cooperate, she'd release all of his videos. He yells back at her that they could destroy everyone, including her family.
So now it's time to look over the videos on Ian's computer for clues. The photo above shows the file names, and though I couldn't find any anagrams, I have faith in the Spencers of the world to decipher a clue out of the collection of letters and numbers.
Mrs. D & The Note
Mrs. DiLaurentis buys Ali a pretty yellow shirt, and leaves a note... Then seconds later she tells Ali she can't go out wearing that top. Very suspicious.
The note could be from Ali's mom, but I think it also could be from Bethany Young. The shirt is yellow and so is custard, which is the name of the horse that Bethany rode when she visited a ranch with Mrs. D. Coincidence?
Mrs. D & The Mystery Phone Call
Here's the reason why Mrs. DiLaurentis doesn't want Ali going out that night. She gets a phone call from someone, and they tell her something, and then she becomes very worried. The conversation is completely bare bones. She barely says 15 words into the phone, but we know that something has happened to someone she knows, and she's upset about it — upset enough to demand Ali not leave the house.
If you haven't watched "A Is For Answers" in a while, you may not remember just how short and vague this conversation was. Many fans have theorized that prior to this night, Charles was in Radley, and this phone call let Mrs. D know he escaped. However, from what we actually hear, anything could have happened.
Tender Is The Night
When Ali first meets Ezra, he's reading F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is The Night. The spark notes she quickly pulls up on her phone suggest that it's a love affair with a doomed romance, which sort of mirrors her relationship with Ezra, as well as his future relationship with Aria. It sounds like an epic love story, one that'll have us cheering along as readers.
But, that's not all Tender is the Night is about. It follows a young psychoanalyst who takes on an ailing patient, falls in love with her, marries her, and then his world crumbles. This could have been either a red herring, or a clue that a psychoanalyst or mental health professional of some kind is involved in the mystery.
There's Potential For A Scandal & PLL Crossover
This has absolutely nothing to do with the show, but I just have to point out that the private investigator Mr. Hastings hired to figure out if Spencer killed Ali is named MARC POPE. So let's go ahead and assume that he is a distance relative of Scandal's Olivia, so the big question is how and when can we make this crossover happen? If there's anyone who can handle A, it's Olivia.
Keeping Up With The Hastings
Sometimes we don't see the Hastings for episodes at a time, sometimes they're the most prominent characters in a whole string of episodes. "A Is For Answers" falls into the latter category, as Spencer's family gets a lot of attention.
First, Mrs. DiLaurentis tells Ali to watch her back when she's around the Hastings. Clearly, she holds a major grudge with her ex-lover and his family. Then later in the episode we learn that there's some sort of "agreement" between Mrs. DiLaurentis and Mr. Hastings, which seems odd considering the hatred Jessica usually reserves for Peter.
Could this agreement be about Jason, or even Charles? Did Mr. Hastings have something to do with Ali's initial disappearance? The worst part is, we may never know what this agreement was. Mrs. D probably took it to her grave.
While "A Is For Answers" didn't actually give many huge clues about the greater A mystery, it did bright up many important questions. There's still a lot we don't know about the night Ali disappeared, including who attacked her. Mrs. D saw it happen, covered it up by burying her own daughter, and then Bethany somehow ended up in the same grave. Considering how much we don't know, let's hope that Season 6 of PLL is for answers too.
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