After the shocking death of Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish) at the mid-season finale of Season 5 of “Pretty Little Liars,” the winter mid-season premiere, which was held on Jan. 6., began with the opening scene of Mona’s funeral. With Mona’s body still missing, the empty casket was brought to the scene.
Surprisingly, Ali DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) shows up at Mona’s funeral. Ali is now a suspect of Mona’s murder by the four pretty little liars, Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) and Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) and even Mona’s mother, Leona (Sydney Penny). The girls suspect that she is “A”–a psychopathic killer who has been after them since the first season. As soon as Leona sees Ali, she lashes out and slaps her, demanding for her daughter’s body. Ali, looking hurt, leaves the funeral.
From the lone fact that Mona’s mother suspects Ali to be the murder of Mona, it seems almost clear to me and many other avid “Pretty Little Liars” watchers who are accustomed to the whirlwind of false suspects and accusations–Ali is innocent.
Throughout the whole episode, the four girls–Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily–try to find evidence that Ali murdered Mona. Earlier in Season 5, Spencer was accused and charged for the murder of Bethany Young, a girl who allegedly died in Ali’s place when police thought Ali was dead in the first couple of seasons. The girls thought that if they found evidence that Ali killed Mona, she would also be charged for the murder of Bethany Young, and Spencer would be freed.
While this is happening, Hanna ends up calling creepy Carla Grunwald (Meg Foster), an acclaimed psychic who used to help Ali, who tells her that Mona’s soul is in a bad place. Foster definitely plays the part of the creepy psychic; her sky blue eyes seem to glare into your soul.
Emily and her girlfriend, Paige McCullers (Lindsay Shaw), end up splitting ways when Paige’s parents realize that their town, Rosewood, is dangerous. Although this break up with tragic to many “Paily” fans, Paige always seemed like a somewhat sketchy character–she almost drowned Emily back in Season 1–, so I was not too sad to see her go.
One of the most memorable scenes of this episode, though, was Aria’s encounter with her brother Mike Montgomery (Cody Christian), who was the boyfriend of the now deceased Mona. Throughout Mike’s relationship with Mona, Aria thought Mona was against her and her friends and disapproved of the relationship. After the death of Mona, though, Aria realizes that she may not have been so bad after all. “Now you’re just like the rest of them. Pretending she was a saint when you didn’t even know her,” Mike said. “Do you know what that’s like? Listening to a bunch of people memorialize someone they don’t even know? You think if people said how great she was to her face, none of this would have happened?”
This scene hit me hard. Not only have fans not seen the soft side of Mike Montgomery, but Mike also brought up some good points that I had not thought of when I knew her as ‘Crazy Mona,’ as she was sometimes known as. Christian did a nice job portraying emotions in this scene, and I hope to see his character grow in the future.
By the end of the episode, Ali was unsurprisingly arrested for the murder of Mona and Bethany after a leaked video footage, but the dreaded “A”–who the girls thought was Ali and have been fighting against since Season 1–still comes back.
I am excited to see how the new storyline develops, and eventually find out who “A” is. In an interview in Oct. 2014, though, Hale confirmed that “Pretty Little Liars” will be renewing itself for a 5th and 6th season. This means that fans shouldn’t plan on figuring out who “A” is any time soon.
It seems to me that “Pretty Little Liars” just never ends. It does not in the least surprise me that Ali is not “A”, because within the past seasons, countless of people have been suspected of being “A”, and then either sent to prison or killed because of it. Although I enjoy watching the show, I think the reveal of “A” is already overdue.