Cover Girl: Emily Fields (portrayed by Erin McQuatters)
Tag Line: Don’t believe everything you hear.
Previous Book: Perfect (#3)
Back Blurb: Four pretty little liars’ charmed lives have turned into living nightmares.
Emily’s been shipped off to Iowa to live with her überconservative cousins. Aria’s boyfriend is behind bars–-because of her. Spencer’s afraid she was involved in Ali’s murder. But Hanna’s fate is far worse: She’s clinging to life in the hospital because she knew too much.
If these girls don’t start listening to me, Hanna’s going to look like the lucky one. -A
How to Save a Life
Rosewood, PA, three years ago. The Liars head to Ali’s house with exciting news: the end-of-school sleepover is going to be in Spencer’s barn! They go to Ali’s room but she’s so busy writing in a notebook that she doesn’t notice them. They say hi and she slams the notebook shut. Ali’s mother comes in and insists on speaking with Ali alone. She tells the girls to wait on the deck. When Ali comes out, they ask her why she’s in trouble with her mother. Ali makes an excuse but they know she’s hiding something.
Melissa and Ian are out in the Hastings’ backyard, which borders the DiLaurentis house. Melissa is about to go to Prague for two weeks. Ali comments to Melissa that Ian might find another girlfriend while she’s gone, and Spencer gets angry. The others are confused; this has been happening a lot lately. Ali makes a comment, one of them freaks out, and the rest have no clue what is happening. Melissa is obviously angry too, so she stalks off into the house. Ali declares that this is going to be the best summer ever, the Summer of Ali. It will be the best summer of their lives.
1. The Zen is Mightier Than the Sword
Aria wakes up in the hospital’s waiting room surrounded by Hanna’s parents, Mona, Lucas, and Wilden. Hanna is alive, but barely. She has internal injuries, a broken arm, head trauma, and is in a coma. She’s not stable enough yet for visitors. Ms. Marin gets up to get coffee and kisses Wilden on the cheek. Aria hadn’t realized that something was going on between them. She asks Wilden if she can speak with him privately.
Aria begs Wilden not to tell her parents about Ezra. She also tells him that Ali had been seeing Ian, and that Spencer had a crush on Ian. Spencer and Ali had gotten into a fight the night she disappeared, and they both left the barn, and Spencer didn’t come back for at least ten minutes. She thinks that Spencer might have killed Ali. Wilden rationalizes that Spencer and Ali were about the same weight and there’s no way Spencer would have been able to kill her, bury her, return in less than ten minutes, and act completely normal. Aria realizes this makes sense and feels terrible for suspecting Spencer. However, it is interesting that Ali was seeing Ian. So was A just messing with Aria? Could A be the real killer?
Byron shows up and asks Aria where she’s been living. He invites her to come stay with him and Meredith. Aria can’t go home to Ella, so she agrees.
2. Abracadabra, Now We Love Each Other Again
Spencer is having a flashback/nightmare of the night Ali went missing. She and Ali were fighting because Ali admitted she was seeing Ian and accused Spencer of trying to steal Ian from her. Spencer reaches out and pushes Ali, but then Ali becomes Hanna and Hanna flies through the air, like she did when the SUV hit her. Spencer wakes up and recalls the horrible accident the night before. She arrived at the parking lot just in time to see Hanna get hit. She saw Emily and Aria. All three of their phones went off at the same time with the same message: She knew too much. -A. Spencer had been so freaked about Hanna’s accident and about pushing Melissa down the stairs that instead of staying until Hanna got help, she fled. She needed to think things through. She had finally recovered her missing memory of the night Ali went missing and was afraid that she was responsible. She had hurt Melissa. Could she have really killed Ali? Or was A just trying to convince Spencer that she did it, because A needed a scapegoat? Was A trying to hide her own secrets?
Mrs. Hastings calls Spencer downstairs. Melissa is there. She has a few cuts and bruises and a broken wrist from her fight with Spencer. There’s a copy of the newspaper on the table with the article featuring Spencer’s nomination for the Golden Orchid. Her parents tell the girls they are not to see Dr. Evans anymore because she’s done more harm than good, which confuses Spencer. Dr. Evans had genuinely helped her. They also say that although plagiarizing was wrong, they do not want anybody knowing what Spencer did. They expect her to continue to compete for the Golden Orchid and to win. Finally, they are sick of the girls’ rivalry, so they are going to make them bond. The whole family will be going to their Nana’s beach house for a weekend away. Spencer and Melissa both agree that it’s a stupid idea, but Spencer hopes that maybe they can find some common ground and Melissa can forgive her. Spencer smiles at her, but Melissa calls her a bitch and heads upstairs.
3. Emily’s Own American Gothic
Emily’s parents followed through with their threat and shipped her off to Aunt Helene’s. She arrives in Iowa to find that Aunt Helene and Uncle Allen are not exactly happy to see her. They take her to their farmhouse with her weird cousins who are super-religious and practically Amish. Emily’s cousin Abby, who is her age, is going to share her bedroom with her. Helene says that the kids are homeschooled and she will give Emily some tests in the morning to see where she’ll place her. Emily’s cell beeps with a text and Helene confiscates it, saying no cell phones are allowed in their house. She puts it in a swear jar and tells Emily that as long as she is there, she is to abide by her rules. Emily agrees because she doesn’t have any other choice.
A few hours later, after Helene and Allen go to sleep, Abby changes from her uniform Amish garb into a tube top and mini skirt. She tells Emily that she and her brothers are going out, and Emily is going with them.
4. If You Believe It, Then It’s True
Hanna regains consciousness but thinks she’s dreaming. She’s sitting with her friends on Ali’s porch. It’s the day the girls went over to Ali’s to tell her about getting the barn for their sleepover. Somehow Hanna knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. She frantically tells the girls that something horrible is going to happen, that Ali is going to die. Ali tells her to stop making a big deal out of it, she’s not going to die, she’ll be okay. Hanna blinks and suddenly she’s lying down in a white room. A blurry-looking Ali is standing over her and says, “I’m okay.” Hanna struggles to focus, but falls back into darkness.
5. This Means War
Hanna’s condition hasn’t changed, so Aria leaves the hospital to go to Ezra’s. He’s probably still in jail, but she wrote him a letter, telling him where she’d be living and how to get a hold of her. She plans on leaving it in his mailbox, but he answers the door. Ezra tells her that Sean told the school what happened and they fired him. The school wants to keep things quiet to protect its reputation, so unless Aria presses charges, it’s not going on his record. But he obviously can’t stay in Rosewood, so he’s going to move in with his cousin in Rhode Island. Aria begs him to take her with him, but he says that they both now it wouldn’t work, and to look him up in a couple of years. He gifts her one of his most favorite possessions, a Shakespeare bobblehead, and they say goodbye.
Aria goes to Meredith’s place. To her dismay, she has to sleep in a small corner of Meredith’s art studio that is sectioned off by a curtain. Meredith is acting very sweet and says that she has a surprise for Aria; she’s going to hook Aria up with a free class at Hollis. Aria normally would have been excited, but is ambivalent. She decides to enroll in Mindless Art, where students create art using senses other than vision. When Byron leaves the room, Meredith nastily tells Aria that she better get used to her, because as soon as her parents’ divorce goes through, she and Byron are getting married.
6. Emily’s Just a Sweet, Midwestern Gal
Abby and her brothers, John and Matt, drag Emily to a party held in a corn silo. Emily is surprised to see that the kids in Iowa aren’t that much different from kids in Rosewood; they just seem to have less expensive clothing. She meets a sweet, sexy girl named Trista, who seems to be flirting with her. Trista asks why Emily is there, and Emily admits that her parents kicked her out for kissing a girl. Trista seems pleased. They dance and drink all night. Emily feels guilty because she doesn’t know what’s going on with her and Maya. Are they still together now that she’s moved away? But Trista makes her feel comfortable; she doesn’t have to act poised and cool like she does around Maya. Then Emily realizes that since she’s in Iowa, she’s far, far away from A. A can’t hurt her here. Maybe Iowa isn’t so bad, after all.
7. Barbie Doll…Or Voodoo Doll?
At Nana’s beach house, Spencer’s parents go out to dinner and leave Spencer and Melissa alone together. Spencer is surprised when she gets a call from Mona, who says that Hanna is still in a coma. Mona says that since Spencer is a great event planner, she wants her to help put together a candlelight vigil so people can come to support Hanna. They agree to have it on Friday, five days away, at the country club.
Spencer hangs up and hears a scary tapping on the window. Afraid that A might have followed her, she tells Melissa. The two run upstairs to the playroom to get a better view of the yard. After they realize that it was a seagull, they start laughing and the tension breaks. They start talking about how they used to be so close but now they hate each other. Melissa pulls out a bottle of vodka she had hidden away from when she and Ian had snuck up there for a weekend. They start drinking and Spencer admits to kissing Ian. She’s surprised when Melissa says she knew about it the whole time. She tells Melissa she had blocked it out and is afraid she might have blocked out other things, like the fact that she might have killed Ali. Melissa tells her it takes a unique person to kill and that Spencer doesn’t have it in her. Melissa pops the head off a Barbie doll to demonstrate, and Spencer is horrified when she realizes the Barbie’s face looks just like Ali’s.
8. Doesn’t Everyone Talk About This Stuff in a Hospital Room?
Hanna can finally have visitors, so Aria leaves school to see her. Lucas is there and says the doctors said her brain activity readouts show she was awake last night, but nobody saw it. He leaves to get a soda and give Aria some time with Hanna. Spencer shows up and Aria demands to know whether Spencer got A’s note about Hanna knowing too much, if Hanna told her who A is, and why she left the woods after Hanna got hit. Spencer tells her Hanna had told her she knew something and to meet at the swings, but she didn’t say she knew who A was. When Spencer saw Hanna get hit, she got the text from A and was terrified. She fled out of fear. Aria realizes she’s being too hard on Spencer; how could she really think Spencer killed Ali?
Aria tells Spencer she figured out Alison and Ian were dating. Spencer says she figured it out too, and Melissa knew the whole time. Could Melissa have killed Ali out of anger? Aria suddenly sees a reflection in the window; somebody was hiding around the corner watching them. She turns to see who it is but the person is already gone.
9. It’s No Fun Being the Scapegoat
The next morning in Iowa, Helene and Allen are furious because they found out the kids went out. Abby tells her parents Emily found out about the public school party and threatened Abby into taking her. Emily is dumbfounded by the betrayal. Helene and Allen tell her this isn’t going to work out; they’re calling her parents and sending her home. Emily runs upstairs, grabs her things, and steals her cell phone from the swear jar. Before Helene and Allen can stop her, she runs out the door. Abby is outside and tells her that they’ve never gotten caught so it must have been Emily’s fault. Also, for the record, Trista Taylor is a huge slut who sleeps with guys and girls. Emily takes off.
10. About as Far From Mindless as Aria Could Get
Aria arrives at Hollis for her first Mindless Art class. The instructor, Sabrina, turns off the lights and explains that Mindless Art is about touching, feeling, and smelling things, then creating something from it. The students are to grab the hands of the person closest to them, form an image in their head about what that person must be like, then she’ll turn on the lights and the students will sketch what they think their partners look like. Aria is partnered with another girl whose hands remind her of Ali’s. She sketches Ali’s face, then turns to see her partner. She’s horrified when she realizes her partner is Jenna Cavanaugh.
11. Welcome Back…Sort Of
Hanna starts dreaming again about that same night on Ali’s porch. She begs Ali to just listen to her because she’s in danger. Ali tells her that things aren’t always what they seem. When Hanna asks her what she means, she realizes she said the words out loud, and she’s woken up. She’s lying down and Mona, Lucas, and her parents are standing around her. Hanna is confused and asks what’s going on and where Ali is. Ms. Marin tells her that Ali is dead and the doctor explains that she had an accident. Hanna tries to remember, but the last thing she recalls is getting the champagne-colored Zac Posen dress for Mona’s party. She asks Mona if she missed her party. Mona tenses up and Lucas tells her the accident happened after the party, but Hanna can’t remember anything after receiving the dress.
12. On the Lam
Later that evening, Emily is at a diner near a bus station in Ohio. She’d taken the first bus out of Iowa and is debating whether to keep going to Pennsylvania. She’s watching the news on TV when the reporter brings up the Alison DiLaurentis case. Hanna’s accident made the news because of her connection with Ali, and apparently, so has Emily. Her parents are onscreen explaining that Emily had been in Iowa and had vanished from her relatives’ property, who reported her missing. They tell the reporters they want Emily to know they love her and just want her to come home. Emily can’t believe her parents want her home after everything they said to her. She runs to the bus station and buys a ticket for Philadelphia.
13. Only Losers Get Hit by Cars
While Hanna is recovering in the hospital, she’s feeling really bad about herself. She’s trying to put her memory back together and remember the accident. Spencer and Aria show up and tell Hanna that she had figured out who A was and that was why they were meeting at the swings, but then Hanna got hit by the car. Hanna is horrified when she realizes A tried to kill her. She doesn’t remember figuring out A’s identity. Mona comes in and Spencer tells her that since Hanna’s awake, they don’t need to put on the vigil. Hanna is touched that they were going to do that for her. She suggests that since they booked the club, maybe they could just have a party instead. Hanna is embarrassed about the way she looks, especially the stitches on her face, so she wants to make it a masquerade so she can wear a mask. Then Mona can tell her all about her birthday party and what she missed.
14. Interrogation, With a Side of Spying
Spencer arrives home to find Wilden in her living room, grilling Melissa and Ian about the night Ali went missing. Wilden asks her to give them some privacy, so she picks up her mail before hiding around the corner to eavesdrop. She has an invitation for the finalists’ breakfast and interviews for the Golden Orchid in NYC on Friday. Her mother left her a note; she’s booked a suite at the W for Thursday night. Spencer stays out of sight but listens to the conversation in the living room. Wilden asks what Melissa and Ian were doing that night. Melissa explains that Spencer had thought she was leaving that night for Prague, so she and her friends walked in on Melissa and Ian in the barn. Melissa decided to let them have it for the night, so she and Ian went into the den to watch TV. They both insist that they were together the whole night. Wilden asks Ian if he was seeing Ali. Ian lies and tells him that Ali had a crush on him, so he flirted with her a little bit. Spencer puts the pieces together and realizes that maybe Ali wasn’t messing with Spencer when she threatened to tell Melissa about Spencer and Ian, she might have been messing with Melissa. Ali might have been the leader of their group, but nobody was ever able to mess with Melissa. Melissa always won. Last week, when A had texted Spencer and told her Ali’s killer was right in front of her, Melissa had been there. Could Melissa have killed her?
15. Guess Who’s BA-A-ACK?
Mrs. Fields picks Emily up at the bus station in Philly and drives her to the hospital to see Hanna. On the way, Mrs. F apologizes for the way she treated Emily. She explains that she and Mr. Fields were wrong in sending Emily to Helene’s. They might not accept the decisions Emily has made, but after thinking they might have lost Emily forever, they are going to try to make things work the best they can. Emily is happy and wonders if this means she can date Maya again.
Emily is surprised to see Spencer and Aria in Hanna’s room. Hadn’t Aria suspected Spencer? Aria gives her a look that tells her she’ll explain later, and the girls try to get Hanna to remember the night she got hit. Hanna asks if they could go back in time and save Ali, would they? After realizing that Ali was lying to them about Toby and Ian and was basically a complete bitch? Emily doesn’t know what to say, so she just look down at Hanna’s cast on her arm and notices that someone had written Kisses! but did not leave a signature. Hanna is obviously upset, so Aria, Spencer, and Emily all leave together. Spencer explains to Emily that Hanna had a dream about Ali and they have to get her to remember who A is. Then all three get a text: Miss me, bitches? Stop digging for answers, or I’ll have to erase your memories too. -A. The subject line on the text has the same message that was on Hanna’s cast: Kisses!
16. A New Victim
On Wednesday, Spencer meets Mona at the country club to discuss the party that’s happening on Friday, the same day as her Golden Orchid interview. Mona is insanely wealthy and is planning a My Super Sweet 16-esque party. She and Spencer have an unexpected heart-to-heart. Mona tells Spencer she’s been jealous since Hanna started hanging out with the other girls. She’s been acting secretive and blowing off their plans. She was stunned when Hanna even decided to be her friend back in eighth grade, because when Ali was around, the five girls were legends. Spencer realizes that’s exactly how Ali made them feel. Mona expresses her regret over the way she treated Hanna and how scared she was when she got hit by the car. She just wants things to be right between her and Hanna again. Spencer recalls how the five girls used to tease and bully Mona, and now she feels terrible. Mona thanks her for listening, and Spencer feels like she bonded with Mona after hearing her bare her soul. When the two get up to leave, Mona hesitates and tells Spencer that she has to tell her something. She doesn’t Hanna to know because she’s got a lot on her plate right now, but she has to tell someone. Mona reveals that she’s been getting anonymous text messages that say horrible things about her and she’s scared. Spencer is shocked and asks if they’re from A. Mona seems confused, and asks Spencer how she knew that. Spencer admits that it’s because she and the others have been getting them too.
17. Cats Can Fight Nice, Can’t They?
That same afternoon, Hanna gets some visitors in the hospital: Noel, Mike, a lacrosse guy named Mason Byers, and surprisingly, Sean. Lucas arrives moments later. Hanna doesn’t get why Lucas keeps visiting. They hung out before Mona’s party, but then she sent him a nasty email telling him she was out of his league. But he’s been useful, going to Sephora to buy her makeup, reading her Teen Vogue, and anything else that Hanna has told him to do. She kind of liked having him around; he’s even cuter than Sean. If he were popular, he’d make a great boyfriend.
The jock boys ask Hanna a bunch of sexual and drug-related questions. When they go too far, Lucas tries to intervene, but Hanna says it’s ok. She asks if they’re all going to her party on Friday and they say yes. Noel asks what’s going on with her and Mona because of the catfight they had at her party. Hanna is confused. Lucas doesn’t say anything. Suddenly Mona waltzes in and shuts down the conversation. Hanna asks her about what happened. Mona says it was about the skywriting incident and her befriending Naomi and Riley, but Hanna was totally right, those girls are bitches. She talks briefly about dresses for the party and leaves. The boys follow and Lucas stays behind. He tells her that Wilden questioned him about the accident, if he had seen Hanna the night it happened, and if anything weird was going on. Hanna remembers that she told Lucas about A, so she makes him promise not to say anything to Wilden. He promises, but then tells Hanna she shouldn’t trust Mona. She asks him why. Instead of answering, he kisses her, and she likes it. Lucas asks her if she remembers, but she doesn’t. He tells her he should go and leaves.
18. Now, Introducing, For the First Time Ever in Rosewood, Jessica Montgomery
Aria is debating whether to go back to Mindless Art. She knows Byron will be upset if she misses it, so she goes, but is late. The only seat left is next to Jenna, who introduces herself and asks Aria her name. Aria tells her that her name is Jessica. Aria recalls how Ali had called her Jenna Snow because Jenna looked like Snow White. During a field trip to an orchard, Ali dunked an apple in a toilet and told Aria to give it Jenna. Aria did as she was told, and Ali started teasing Jenna after she took a bite. Now, Aria is trying to forget the memory and play nice with Jenna. They have a conversation about art and Jenna asks her to be her partner for the day’s project. She pulls out a cell phone that has a foldout voice-activated keypad. They chit chat for a bit, then Aria starts to feel guilty and decides to bail on the class. On her way out, she gets a text from A: Sucks to be in the dark, huh? Imagine how the blind must feel! If you tell ANYONE what I did, I’ll put you in the dark for good. Mwah! -A. Aria turns back and looks at Jenna, who’s fiddling with her cell phone’s keyboard. Then she gets another text: P.S. Your stepmommy-to-be has a secret identity, just like you! Want an eyeful? Go to Hooters tomorrow. -A
19. Wandering Minds Want to Know
Thursday morning, Emily is in PE when Maya shows up. She hasn’t seen her since she got shipped off to Iowa. She hugs her tightly, and Maya smells like the banana gum she always chews. Emily loves the smell. She feels guilty because she came back yesterday but didn’t call Maya yet. She tells Maya her parents pulled a 180 and decided to accept her, however, they’re not exactly excited about it. Maya asks what happened in Iowa, but Emily doesn’t want to tell her about Trista, so she just says she’ll tell her later. They agree to go to Hanna’s party together tomorrow. Maya also tells her that while Emily was gone, they were nominated for Best Couple for the yearbook. Emily phone buzzes. When she sees it’s a text from Trista, she snaps it shut so Maya can’t see. She waits until Maya leaves to read it. Trista says that she misses her and hopes she can visit sometime. Emily is confused. Does she really love Maya, or does she care about Trista?
20. No Secrets Between Friends
The same afternoon, Hanna has gone home from the hospital, waiting for Mona to show up to talk about the party. The night before, she’s asked Mona what she thought of Lucas. Mona had told her he was a total loser, so that was enough for Hanna to convince herself that she doesn’t like him. When Mona shows up, Hanna is surprised to see Spencer, Emily, and Aria are there, too. Spencer tells everyone that Mona has also been getting texts from A. The others are shocked because it doesn’t really make sense; Mona wasn’t a part of The Jenna Thing. Spencer says that now, maybe everything they thought was wrong. Mona wants to go to the police, but Spencer says that because of the last note, A obviously doesn’t want Hanna to remember and will probably try to hurt one of them again. At that moment, Mona gets a text: Happy belated b-day, Mona! So when are you going to tell Hanna what you did? I say wait until AFTER she finally gives you your birthday present. You might lose the friendship, but at least you’ll get to keep the gift! -A
Hanna sees the text and demands to know what Mona did. Mona clams up and tells her that they got into a fight but she didn’t want to bring it up because she felt so terrible, especially after the accident. She thought she lost Hanna forever and just wanted to make it up to her by throwing her a party. Spencer intervenes and says they shouldn’t fight, this is what A wants. Aria asks Mona what her notes were about. Mona says it was some stuff from the past but doesn’t elaborate. Hanna considers what A could possibly have on Mona, except for her past dorkiness and desperate attempts to befriend Alison. Eager to protect Mona, Hanna tells her she doesn’t have to tell them what the texts are about.
21. How Do You Solve a Problem Like Emily?
Later that night, Emily is waiting for her parents at a restaurant at the King James Mall. She’s sitting at the bar watching the news when a report on Ali’s murder investigation comes on. The reporters are interviewing Ali’s brother Jason, who says he doesn’t speak to his family much because “they’re too messed up.” She recalls the night before Ali went missing, when they were all sitting on Ali’s patio. After Ali had come out after talking to her mother, Emily got up to use the restroom. In the hallway, she overheard Jason telling someone to “stop pissing them off” and he’s “only trying to help” her. The second voice was a girl’s and sounded a lot like Ali. But Ali was out on the patio. Now, the news report is switching to the Rosewood Stalker, who has been quiet for a few weeks. There have been a few sightings of the alleged stalker around the country club, where Hanna’s party will be held tomorrow. Emily wonders if the Rosewood Stalker and A are the same person. Should they go to the police? Her thoughts are interrupted by a text from Trista, asking what she’s doing this weekend. Emily responds that she’s going to a masquerade party on Friday, and Trista says she wishes she could come. Emily says “me too, c ya!”, wondering what Trista will be doing, and with who.
Emily’s family finally arrives with a surprise guest: Maya. They sit down to dinner and Maya wows everyone with her charm and graciousness. Emily is feeling overwhelmed and takes off to the restroom. Maya comes in to check on her, but Emily doesn’t know what to say. She knows she should be happy that her family is accepting Maya, but she is ambivalent about her feelings toward Maya and Trista. Maya asks if Emily is upset about Hanna. She says she heard someone was stalking Hanna and that was who hit her. Emily is stunned. How could Maya know about A? Emily denies it, insisting it was an accident. Maya leaves and Emily sets her purse down on the counter. She notices a folded-up note that wasn’t in her purse before. It has her name on the front in round pink letters. She opens it and it’s a membership form for PFLAG, with Emily’s information filled in. At the bottom is a note from A: Happy coming-out day, Em–-your folks must be so proud! Now that the Fields are alive with the sound of love and acceptance, it would be such a shame if something happened to their little lesbian. So you keep quiet…and they’ll get to keep you! -A. Emily is staring at the note when a familiar scent hits her. She sniffs the paper and the scent is unmistakable: it’s Maya’s banana gum. Maya must have sent the note. Maya must be A.
22. If the W’s Walls Could Talk…
Thursday night, Spencer and her family check into the W in NYC. Melissa and Ian go as well. They have a suite next to Spencer’s, and their parents are next door. Spencer is uneasy because she keeps thinking about Ian lying to the police and Melissa telling her that it takes a unique person to kill. Her parents are also pressuring her to win. Even though she stole Melissa’s paper, they seem to be implying that if she wins, they are going to do something special to reward her.
Spencer is studying when Ian comes in, wanting to talk. Spencer tells him that she knows he was seeing Alison. He says he hooked up with her once or twice, but he liked kissing Spencer more. She asks if Melissa knew he was hooking up with Ali. Ian laughs and says no because Melissa gets jealous. Spencer asks if he and Melissa were really together the whole night when Ali went missing. He sighs and laments that that’s all Melissa will talk about, and he just wants to drop it. She’s afraid the cops might know they were drinking, and they were underage so they might get in trouble. He tells Spencer to forget about it and make out with him instead. She tells him it’s not right, and then the door to his suite opens. He runs out the front door before Melissa sees him. She asks Spencer if she knows where Ian went. Before Spencer can answer, Ian walks back into their suite and tells Melissa he went to the vending machine, and Melissa shuts the door.
23. Behind Closed Doors
Hanna is dreaming that she’s driving her Prius and a blurry figure is sitting in the passenger seat. The figure says hi and Hanna is positive it is Ali. Ali leans over and whispers “I’m A.” Hanna freaks and Ali says “I said, I’m okay.” Hanna’s vision snaps into focus and she it sitting outside the Hollis Planetarium. She wakes up and it’s Friday morning, the day of her party. She hears the doorbell ring. It’s Lucas. She is excited at first but remembers that she can’t like him. He’s a dork.
Lucas comes in and Hanna trips and falls. Lucas catches her and they make out briefly. Lucas apologizes and asks if he shouldn’t have done that. Hanna tells him she doesn’t know, and tries to explain that Mona isn’t okay with it. Lucas tells her she should watch out for Mona. Hanna tells him Mona told him about the fight they had, and Lucas asks if she’s okay with what Mona did to her. Hanna recalls that Mona never actually told her what it was about, they just decided to drop it. She tells Lucas it doesn’t matter, and he says okay. She kisses him, trying to recover her missing memory, and wishing she lived in a world where she could have both Lucas and Mona.
24. Spencer Gets the Guillotine
The same morning in NYC, Spencer is checking in for her interview in the hotel’s lobby. She pulls Ian aside and asks if he told Melissa that he went into Spencer’s room. He says no and she tells him not to say anything. She gets called for her interview and after the introductions, her phone beeps. The three interviewers are not impressed. They tell her to turn off her phone. As she fumbles with it, she sees that it’s a text from A: AAAAA: Helpful hint to the not-so-wise: You’re not fooling anyone. the judges can see you’re faker than a knockoff Vuitton. P.S. She did it, you know. And she won’t think twice about doing it to you. Spencer turns off her phone and goes through with the interview, completely blowing it. Spencer knows she didn’t do well, but all she can think about is A’s text. A’s telling her that Melissa did it. Melissa killed Ali.
25. When it Rains, it Pours
After swim practice on Friday, Emily heads to the yearbook room to take photos with Maya for their Best Couple nomination.Maya wanders off and Emily gets a text: Tsk, tsk, Emily! Does your girlfriend know about your weakness for blondes? I’ll keep your secret…if you keep mine. Kisses! -A. Suddenly, Emily looks up and Trista is standing there. Maya reemerges and asks who Trista is. Emily demands to know where Maya went, thinking that she had sent the A text. Trista comes running over to hug Emily, and explains that she hopped on a plane to surprise her.
26. Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined
Meanwhile, Aria takes Mike to Hooters, which is next to the police station. She thought Mike would be excited because he’s a horny fourteen-year-old boy. Instead, he’s angry when Aria tells him she brought him there to see Meredith in all her white-trash glory. He feels that Aria is just making the situation worse by rubbing it in his face that their parents are splitting up. As Aria asks around, trying to find Meredith, she realizes she forgot her cell phone. The last time she had it was yesterday at her art class. What if she had left it there and Jenna found it? She notices there’s a bunch of cops hanging out in the bar, including Wilden. When she fails to find Meredith, Aria gets desperate and spills to Mike about A. Mike is horrified and insists she tell the police. She says it’s not safe, but he promises to keep her safe. She’s touched by his sudden change of heart and insistence on protecting his big sister, so she gives in and walks over to talk to Wilden.
27. Bizarre Love Triangle
Hanna arrives at her party, which is packed with people and has a Monte Carlo casino theme. She’s excited to see that Spencer and Mona are hanging out and getting along. Lucas comes over to greet Hanna and Mona tries to kick him out. He pulls Hanna aside and takes her to a secluded nook where they snuggle and kiss until Mona starts calling for Hanna. Before she can leave, Lucas asks her if Mona told her what really happened at Mona’s birthday party. Hanna is annoyed and says it doesn’t matter, but Lucas says he cares about her and she deserves to know the truth. She needs to ask Mona. Hanna storms off and confronts Mona. Mona tells her that Lucas is upset because Mona and Lucas dated in eighth grade and she was his first kiss. When she and Hanna became friends, she dumped him, and Lucas called her for months. She didn’t want to tell Hanna because Lucas is a loser and she didn’t want Hanna thinking she was a loser, too.
Lucas butts in and tells Hanna that Mona is lying; Mona humiliated Hanna at her birthday party. Just then, the DJ switches to a song that Hanna remembers from Mona’s party. The memory of what happened to her in her dress reemerges, and Hanna is overcome with horror and disbelief. Her memory is still scrambled from the accident; it couldn’t possibly be true. Even if it was, does it matter after Hanna almost died? Hanna tells Lucas that he’s just jealous because she and Mona are best friends and always will be. Lucas is defeated, so he walks away.
28. Poor Little Dead Girl
Mrs. Fields drops Emily and Trista off at the country club for Hanna’s party. Emily admits to Trista that Maya is her girlfriend. She told Maya that Trista was her pen pal. Trista seems to understand. At the party, Maya is nasty to Trista and possessive of Emily. Maya makes a comment about Ali and Emily inquires about where she gets the banana gum. Maya says that her father bought her a carton of it in London and heads off to the bathroom. Emily and Trista dance while she’s gone, Maya gets angry about it, and stalks off. A police officer stops Emily and asks if she’s been receiving any threatening messages, because Aria had told the police about them.
Emily decides to confront Maya first, to find out if she is A, before telling the police anything. She runs off to find her and tracks her down at the indoor pool. Maya denies knowing about any messages or spying on Emily and walks out. Emily realizes that there’s no way Maya can be A; this was all a set-up by A to ruin her relationship with Maya. Then she gets an A text: Emmykins: There’s a girl waiting for you in the hot tub. Enjoy! -A. She goes into the next room to the hot tub and finds a life-size doll floating inside. There’s a message written in marker on the doll’s head: Tell and die. -A. Emily walks back toward the pool just as Trista and Noel stumble in, making out furiously.
29. No One Can Hear You Scream
After spilling everything to Wilden, Aria is heading back to Hollis to see if she left her phone in the art room. Without it, she has no proof A has been threatening them. She tried calling the other girls from Wilden’s phone to warn them, but none of them answered. As she’s riding the elevator up to the art room, she recalls a time she saw Ali standing outside her house, staring at the Cavanaughs’ house across the street. When Aria asked what was wrong, Ali muttered, “Sometimes I just wish she was out of my life forever.” There was a flash of something inside Ali’s window, and then it disappeared. It reminded her of the night Jenna was blinded, when Aria swore she saw someone standing outside the Cavanaughs’ yard. At the time, Aria thought Ali was talking about Spencer. Could she have been talking about Jenna? Could Jenna be A? She can’t be–-there’s not way that A is blind.
Aria finds her cell phone in her cubby in the art room, along with the project she and Jenna worked on together. The project is finished and intricately painted, way too complex for someone who can’t see. She also finds a plush doll of the Wicked Queen from Snow White with a note pinned to it: Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the naughtiest of them all? You told. So you’re next. -A. She turns to run away but there’s somebody blocking the door. It’s Jenna.
30. Three Little Words Can Change Everything
Spencer is at the party and runs into Melissa in the restroom. Melissa confronts Spencer about Ian coming into her hotel room. She’s angry at Spencer for lying, and tells her she “thought after what Spencer admitted at the beach house that they had an understanding,” but not anymore. Melissa stalks off and Mona emerges from one of the stalls and asks if Spencer’s ok. Spencer says she just needs a second, so Mona says she’ll wait outside. Spencer reaches into her clutch and finds a photograph of Ali and Ian. Somebody had written You’re dead, bitch over Ali’s face. Spencer recognizes the handwriting: it’s Melissa’s. On the back, there is another note: Better watch your back…or you’ll be a dead bitch too. -A
31. Some Secrets Go Even Deeper
After having a panic attack and passing out, Aria wakes up to Jenna’s seeing-eye dog licking her. Ashamed, she admits to Jenna who she really is. Jenna tells her that she knew because she recognized her voice. Needing to get the secret off her shoulders, Aria tells Jenna there’s something she needs to know about the night of her accident. Jenna tells her that she remembers everything from that night; she and Ali planned it together. Jenna’s parents kept threatening to send Toby to boarding school if he set off another firework. Jenna wanted him gone, so she and Ali decided to get rid of him. It didn’t go off as planned, but they were successful in getting rid of Toby. Aria is dumbfounded. She asks Jenna if she and Ali were even friends, and Jenna admits that not until she told Ali what Toby was doing to her, that Ali had “sibling problems” too, but she doesn’t specify. Jenna tells Aria there was someone else there that night who saw everything, confirming Aria’s suspicions that she did see someone hiding in the shadows, watching. Ali had insisted there was nobody there, that Aria had imagined it. Aria asks Jenna who it was, but Jenna says she can’t tell, and she’s already said too much. She takes off before Aria can question her more.
32. Hell Hath No Fury…
Emily runs out of the pool room and pulls Spencer, Mona, and Hanna aside to tell them what happened in the hot tub and that Aria went to the police. Spencer shows her the photograph that was in her purse, and Emily recognizes the handwriting. It’s the same handwriting that was on A’s note on the PFLAG application. Spencer admits that the handwriting is Melissa’s and she thinks Melissa killed Ali. Spencer decides she needs to tell Wilden about Melissa. She calls him, but she doesn’t pick up, so she and Mona decide to drive to the police station so Hanna can stay at her party. Emily will stay with her.
33. The Moment of Clarity
Aria finally shows up, and Hanna and Emily are angry with her for telling the police. They tell her that Spencer and Mona are going to the police station because they know who killed Ali. Aria tells them everything that Jenna had said. They debate whether Jason could have been molesting Ali like Toby was Jenna, then Hanna suddenly remembers getting the last text from A before her accident. She remembers that A had sent it from a regular number, not a blocked number, and Hanna had recognized it. Horrified, she realizes who A is: Mona. And Spencer is alone with Mona right now. They need to find her.
34. I’ll Get You, My Pretties…
On the way to the police station, Spencer freaks and decides she can’t turn in Melissa. Mona turns the car around and pulls out a piece of banana gum. She offers Spencer some, telling her she’s obsessed with it. A girl in her history class gave her a pack and you can only get it in Europe. Spencer admits to Mona that the night Ali went missing, Spencer had pushed Ali and she smacked her head on a wall. Mona tells her that maybe A is feeding Melissa clues, too, and trying to pin the blame on Spencer. As they’re considering what to do, Spencer gets a text from Emily, telling her that Mona is A and that she needs to get out of there, NOW. Mona asks who is texting her. Spencer lies and says it’s her mom. When they stop at a red light, Spencer reaches for the door handle but Mona guns the engine and takes off. Spencer asks where they’re going, and Mona says she’ll have to wait and see.
35. The Chase is On
Hanna, Emily, and Aria take off in Aria’s car, all bewildered at the realization that Mona is A. They arrive at the police station and tell Wilden that Mona is A. Spencer and Mona never arrived at the police station, and Spencer isn’t answering their texts or calls. Then Wilden gets a call from Spencer. He answers it but tells the girls to be quiet, and puts it on speaker phone. They can hear Spencer speaking to Mona, saying that she thinks the scenery is pretty. The girls realize that Spencer knows and is trying to let Wilden know where she is without letting Mona know. Spencer asks if they’re going to the Morrell Stream before the call is dropped. He tells the other officers to get a GPS location of Spencer’s phone, then they all get in his squad car to look for Spencer.
36. An Offer Spencer Can’t Refuse
Mona clues in to what Spencer is doing. She grabs Spencer’s cell phone, tosses it out the window, and makes a U-turn. They’re headed in the opposite direction of the stream. Mona explains everything to Spencer: she was there the night they blinded Jenna; she and Jenna used to be friends and she had gone to visit her that night and saw the accident; she tried to tell people that Ali was responsible but nobody believed her; after Ali disappeared and her family got rid of some of her things, Mona found her diary; and she found out all of the girls’ secrets and decided to get them back for what they did. Mona says that it was so much fun messing with them, and sending herself messages to make the girls think she was a victim was ingenious. She tells Spencer that at first, she hated her, but realized that she liked her and wanted to be friends after planning Hanna’s party. She pulls the car over near a thicket of trees. Spencer can hear a river rushing in the background but can’t see it. Mona tells Spencer she has a proposition for her: they can be A together and pin the murder on Melissa. They can both be in charge, and Spencer can be the leader she’s meant to be. Spencer can get rid of Melissa and then have whatever she wants.
Spencer asks if Mona killed Ali. Mona says she didn’t, but she knows who did: Ian. Ali had written in her diary that she and Ian were going to have a secret meeting so she could give him an ultimatum: dump Melissa before she goes to Prague, or Ali would tell Melissa about them. That meeting was supposed to happen the night she disappeared, so Ali must have pushed Ian to his breaking point, and he killed her. Mona admits to hitting Hanna with her car, and Spencer tells her she doesn’t want to be A with her. Mona gets angry and attacks her. Spencer struggles to get out of the car and run, but Mona is wrestling her to the ground and trying to strangle her. She pushes Mona off and they both tumble to the ground. Mona is screaming as she falls away from Spencer, and Spencer hits her head on the ground and blacks out.
37. Seeing is Believing
Wilden follows the GPS on Spencer’s phone, but there’s no sign of them. Then he gets a call about a disturbance at Floating Man Quarry, which is next to a rocky river bed. They drive over and spot Mona’s yellow Hummer near the edge by the river. Spencer is lying in a heap near one of the tires. She’s covered in blood and dirt and has gashes up and down her arms. Spencer is crying and tells Hanna she’s so sorry, she thinks Mona fell. As an ambulance and more police cars show up, Wilden finds Mona. She had fallen down the rocky hill and broken her neck. Hanna breaks down and cries. She notices Mona’s purse is next to her car and picks it up. Inside is a Blackberry, presumably the one Mona used to threaten them. She tucks it away in her purse before hearing the words she was dreading: “Mona’s dead.”
38. The Final Piece
The ambulance drives away with Mona’s body. Spencer gives a recorded statement to the police, telling Wilden that Ian killed Ali. Wilden says that they will search Mona’s house for Ali’s diary. They all get in the squad car to take Spencer home, and Spencer admits that she thought she had killed Ali. The girls all hold Spencer’s hand and tell her they know she didn’t do it. It also makes sense that Ian did. Finally, Spencer’s memory comes back to her: After she pushed Ali, Ali fell against the stone wall, got back up, and rushed off. Then Spencer heard Ali giggle through the trees. Spencer looked through and saw two figures: one was Ali, but she didn’t recognize the other. It didn’t look like Melissa.
Wilden drops the girls off at Spencer’s and drives away. Spencer sees Melissa and Ian arguing with each other in the backyard. She calls Wilden and tells him he needs to come back because Ian is there.
39. The All-New Montgomerys, Disturbing as Ever
Saturday afternoon, Aria is with Meredith and Byron when the news comes on. Ian has been arrested and his arraignment will be on Tuesday. The police found Ali’s diary and arrested Ian, despite his insistence that he’s innocent. The news reports on Mona’s death: she had been stalking and threatening the girls, got into a scuffle with an unnamed minor, fell down the edge, and broke her neck. The police are still searching for the second phone that she used to send the threatening messages.
Ella calls and apologizes to Aria. She says that her relationship with Byron hadn’t been good for a long time. Iceland just stalled the inevitable; they both knew the break-up was coming. Aria is welcome back home if she’d like to go. She walks into the living room and Meredith reveals a secret she’s been keeping: She’s pregnant.
40. All That Glitters is Not a Golden Orchid
The police question Melissa and Spencer at their house. Melissa admits she lied about that night because she and Ian were drinking and she didn’t want to get in trouble. She fells asleep, woke up, and Ian wasn’t there. She went back to sleep and he was there in the morning. She went to Prague the next day and didn’t even realize that Ali was missing. She continued to lie because she never thought that Ian would have done something like that, and because she was afraid of what people would think of her if they knew she lied. Melissa cries, which is completely out of character for her, and Spencer feels horrible. She hugs Melissa while she cries. Then Mr. Edwards from the Golden Orchid committee calls. This could only mean that she won. Before picking up the phone, she decides that she has to do the right thing and confess to cheating.
41. Presenting, in Her Return to Rosewood, Hanna Marin
Tuesday morning, Hanna is getting ready to go to Ian’s arraignment. She starts thinking about how horrible she was to Lucas and decides to give him a call. He doesn’t answer so she leaves a voicemail. Ms. Marin calls her downstairs. To Hanna’s surprise, her father is there. Ms. Marin bluntly tells Hanna she is taking a job offer in Singapore and Hanna has two options: go to boarding school wherever she wants, or live with her dad. Mr. Marin says he feels guilty about walking out on Hanna and wants to be close to her again. He can transfer his job to Rosewood and move into Hanna’s house. They’ll discuss where Isabel and Kate will live later. Hanna doesn’t want Kate living with her, but she knows she’ll have an advantage over her in the popularity department. All she has to do is secure her position as Queen Bee over the next few weeks, which should be easy because Mona’s gone. Before Wilden picks her up to take her to the arraignment, she pulls out Mona’s Blackberry and deletes all the texts that Mona had sent to her. She can’t erase what Mona did to her, but she can erase her secrets. She gives Wilden Mona’s phone without saying anything.
42. Dreams–-And Nightmares–-Can Come True
Before the arraignment, all four girls meet outside the courthouse. They each brought the physical things A had sent them to put together for evidence. They go inside and Ian pleads not guilty. The judge denies bail. All of Rosewood has arrived to watch, including Ali’s parents and brother. As the girls leave, they all feel relieved, like the nightmare’s finally over. Then Emily catches a glimpse of someone who looks just like Ali. She must be imagining it as a way to cope with everything that has happened, but could it really be her?
What Happens Next…
This time we hear from a new A…did we really think that just because Mona’s gone, the nightmare for our Pretty Little Liars is over? Please. There’s a new A in town, and the fun has just begun.
Next Book: Wicked (#5)
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