PLL Recap, Reaction, and Theories: “Through a Glass, Darkly” Season 5, Episode 14

Quote of the Night: Mrs. Grunwald: “How can you live in such a psychically constipated environment?”

Hanna: “I eat a lot of fiber.”

After what felt like years without Pretty Little Liars, season five continued after the surprisingly spooky Christmas episode. Just in case you’ve forgotten what’s been going on in Rosewood, here’s a recap.

  • Spencer was named a suspect in Bethany Young’s murder.
  • Mona was killed in her house, but her body was taken elsewhere.
  • In the Christmas episode, Hanna found a letter in Ali’s attic that proves Ali and Bethany knew each other.
  • Also in the Christmas episode, we see Ali under the mistletoe with Detective Holbrook.

In Tuesday night’s winter premiere, PLL picks up three months after Ali’s Winter Ball, and shows the girls leaving Mona’s funeral. (Warning, spoilers ahead)

If you’re going to mourn someone, you might as well do it in style. Photo from: ABC Family

You would think that after three months, in a small town, Rosewood PD would have some inkling to where Mona’s body is. Unfortunately, they haven’t even found any evidence to help them figure out who killed Mona.

Of course you can’t even have a peaceful funeral in Rosewood. Ali shows up after the funeral even though everyone, including Mrs. Vanderwaal, knows that Ali and Mona hated each other. “Showing up to your victim’s funeral, classy,” Spencer says as Ali walks up to Mona’s mom. Too bad Mrs. Vanderwaal doesn’t want to hear anything Ali has to say. Ali pleads with Mrs. Vanderwaal saying that she had nothing to do with Mona’s murder. Mrs. Vanderwaal shuts Ali up with a slap across the face. “Where is her body?” she screamed at Ali.

One tough Mama. GIF from:

Now that’s how you start an episode.

Later, at Spencer’s house, Mr. Hastings comes home and tells Spencer that Bethany’s parents are petitioning to have her bail revoked. Apparently this is something they’ve tried to do before, but Mr. Hastings fear that they might get it this time.

Toby finds out that a witness came forward saying she saw Spencer in Ali’s backyard with a blonde girl wearing Ali’s clothes. It must be nice having a boyfriend in law enforcement, huh Spencer? That’s not all Toby finds out. Lt. Tanner tells him that this witness is none other than Mrs. DiLaurentis. How is this woman ruining Spencer’s life from the grave? Also, how is this the first time we’re finding this out? Our favorite crooked cop, Detective Wilden, had been suppressing that information so the clock is officially ticking for Spencer to exonerate herself.

Hanna meets up with Caleb to find out how he’s doing trying to decrypt Mona’s laptop. He’s gotten nowhere. Mona worked incredibly hard to keep her information a secret.

Hanna tells Caleb that she feels guilty for pressuring Mona to help the girls, even though she was clearly scared. Hanna has been spending a lot more time with Mrs. Vanderwaal since Mona’s death. She wants help and Hanna’s idea of helping is a little grim. Hanna wants to use Mrs. Grunwald’s gift of sight to find Mona’s body. “It’s not like Lo-Jack, okay?” Caleb says. “You can’t just call her up and ask ‘where’s the body?’”

I can see where Hanna is coming from. I mean, who lets pallbearers carry an empty casket? I’m sure it will mean a lot to Mona’s mom and provide her some closure if she knew where her daughter’s body was. However, any scene with Mrs. Grunwald instantly gives me the creeps.

You can’t tell me that woman isn’t creepy. Image from:

Hanna, the little rebel, doesn’t take Caleb’s advice and meets with Mrs. Grunwald anyway. They meet in the crypt where Mona’s body-less casket is. “Secrets are one thing, but secrets that carry over into death are very toxic. It makes it very hard to see clearly,” Mrs. Grunwald tells Hanna. Mrs. Grunwald reveals that Ali and Mona both hated each other because they both feared what they knew about one another.

Okay Mrs. G, that’s all great, but where’s Mona’s body?!

Mrs. Grunwald continues to speak in spooky poetry verses and basically says that Mona’s body isn’t in Rosewood anymore and that she’s “with the insects” aka, buried.

Later, Mrs. Grunwald “casually” runs into Ali. To call their conversation awkward would be an understatement. It ended with Mrs. Grunwald grabbing Ali by the wrist and staring, very intensely, at her. Mrs. G was definitely picking up a reading on Ali.

Mrs. Grunwald isn’t the only person to have a weird moment with Ali.

While Aria is sitting in the park, she opens a letter from Oberlin College which she has been waiting to hear back from. Sorry Aria. Looks like Ohio is not the place for you. Holding her rejection letter, Ali appears. Ali tries to tell Aria that she shouldn’t be afraid of her. Yes, because sneaking up on someone in a dark park doesn’t incite fear. “It’s like you went to sleep all night and forgot who I am,” Ali says. Aria doesn’t care what Ali has to say and decides to blow the whistle on her. Aria accuses Ali of not only murdering Mona but being obsessed with Bethany and killing her too. Then Aria literally blows a whistle to get people’s attention and sends Ali running.

Worried about her future, Aria seeks Caleb’s help. She asks him if it is possible for someone to fake college rejection letters. Caleb agrees to help her because she thinks A could be messing with her.

You could say Aria summoned A with that because when she goes looking for Mike and Ezra, who are renovating The Brew, she instead finds A holding Mike’s phone. A holds a nail gun to Aria’s chest, “please, don’t do this, Ali,” Aria pleads. A nails Aria to the wall, covering her with plastic, and grabs Mona’s laptop and runs off.

Like I said before, Spencer’s freedom clock was ticking, and she and the girls were getting desperate. “If Mona can find proof, so can we,” Aria says. Maybe they don’t remember that Mona’s proof got her killed. The girls decide that they only thing they can do is poke holes in Ali’s alibi.

Spencer and Emily go to Ali’s house, and boy am I glad they did because Jason is back (insert several heart eyes emojis).

Spencer calls Jason out on protecting Ali. “I know she’s your sister, but so am I. She set me up, Jason.” Jason asks Spencer and Emily to leave, but Emily is leaving with a souvenir. Emily grabs Ali’s hairbrush and plans to plant it as evidence in Mona’s house.

These girls are so confident that Ali is Mona’s murderer that they’re willing to falsify evidence. That’s dedication. Maybe they won’t have to though.

Jason confronts Ali and says that he knows she went somewhere on Thanksgiving and that she came back different. Ali says that the girls are trying to frame her. Now that conversation between Ali and Cece from the Christmas episode makes sense. Ali really thinks that her former friends are out to get her.

Later, when Spencer and Emily go to Mona’s house to leave some of Ali’s hair, they find something else. Sitting in a vent is a camera facing the front door. The girls know that if the cops can watch the footage, they’ll see exactly what happened to Mona.

Lt. Tanner calls Jason into the police station to watch the video footage. The footage shows a blonde attacking Mona. Jason tells Lt. Tanner that Ali did leave the house for a while on Thanksgiving Day and that the person in the video could be her.

The cops surround the DiLaurentis house that night as Ali tries to escape. The girls put up a united front and keep Ali from running. “Who’s going to protect you when I’m gone?” Ali says. Alison DiLaurentis is officially arrested for the murder of Mona Vanderwaal.

And she’s not quoting Taylor Swift. GIF from:

But wait, that’s not all. Spencer walks into her house to see Lt. Tanner standing with Toby and her father. She tells Spencer that the police think Ali set Spencer up for Bethany’s murder. At last, Spencer is free.

At the end of the episode, the girls think about having an actual life outside of Rosewood’s drama. At that exact moment, fireworks from a nearby fair go off and of course a red A is seen in the sky. Guess what girls? Your A troubles aren’t over just yet.

Slower Moments

  • Say goodbye to Paigily…or was it Emige? Either way Rosewood’s cutest couple is through. Paige’s parents think she’ll be safer in California than in Rosewood. They’re probably right.
  • Mike cried about Mona to Aria and whined that no one that mourned her at the funeral actually knew her. For the first time, Mike didn’t look like a total tool.


  • Ali attacked Aria. Did anyone notice how big Ali’s bag was when Mrs. Grunwald literally caught her? I think Ali was desperate to see what Mona had on her.
  • Ali didn’t kill Mona. There’s definitely another, more violent, player in this A game. In the video, it looked like Mona’s killer was in a wig or had a cheap blonde weave.
  • Aria is A. I don’t have all the proof, but something has always seemed “off” with Aria. Plus, she’s faced less of A’s wrath compared to the other girls.

Let me know what you thought of this week’s episode and some of your PLL theories.

Watch Pretty Little Liars Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family

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