This week on the All Hallow’s Eve special of Pretty Little Liars, the ‘A’ team tries to kill several of our favorite liars, someone ends up dead, and another body shows up on ice … literally.
At its spookiest, Pretty Little Liars will often find itself playing with common horror conventions. So as an element of ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween programming, Pretty Little Liars makes perfect sense. Certainly it’s scarier than Hocus Pocus, although the girls probably have worse fashion sense than those 90’s era witches. There are few shows better suited to put out a Halloween special, so its particularly fun to watch the series give in to all it’s creepiest inclinations.
Last year, the Halloween special took us back in time to see the start of Alison’s feud with Jenna and her haunting by ‘A’. This year the special takes place in the present, and the present is certainly creepy enough.
Since learning Toby was a member of the ‘A’ team, it seems like fair game that anyone else could be a member. The show understands this and uses the Halloween episode to capitalize on the audience’s paranoia. It feels like anyone and everyone could be on the ‘A’ team, from fan favorites like Ezra to common suspects like Jenna.
So Who Died?
ABC Family teased that someone on the show would find themselves getting on the Halloween train…but never getting off. In our slideshow, I predicted that Garrett seemed the most likely suspect. I’m going to gloat a bit about my prediction, since I’m so rarely right with this show.
Of all the characters, it makes sense to say goodbye to Garrett. First of all, his storyline was more or less complete now that he had escaped jail time. On the Halloween train, he grabs Spencer to explain everything he knew about the night of Alison’s murder.
Now that he had basically told the audience all the information he contained, he had more or less sealed his own fate. The only way to stay alive in Rosewood is to be as creepy and mysterious as possible.
Plus, before his murder Garrett was talking about leaving Rosewood for good. From extensive experience watching this show, it’s pretty clear the only way anyone leaves Rosewood is in a body bag. Rosewood: visit for our underage girls, leave because a burlap sack stabbed you!
Before he died, Garrett conveniently spilled the beans to Spencer about what he saw the night of Alison’s death. He and Jenna left Melissa and Ian alone to argue in Alison’s room. Outside they bumped into Alison, who threatened Jenna and pushed her. So Garrett grabbed Spencer’s field hockey stick, but instead of hitting her he just hit the tree above her head. Due to her previous blindness, Jenna thought he had actually killed her.
Later he came back and saw Alison arguing with someone surprising: Aria’s dad! Are we about to get into Veronica Mars territory? Are we going to find out Alison and Aria’s dad were having an affair? Plus how did Alison have enough time to piss off this many people before she died? She had the most active pre-death night ever. Did Alison have a time turner or something?
The girls don’t seem to believe Garrett, but obviously he would have had little reason to lie. Even less so now that the show has killed him off. Characters are only lying so they can later turn out to be red herrings or dreamy boys who take your virginity and then turn evil. They rarely lie and then end up lying next to you in a wooden coffin being tossed off a train.
The girls put together that ‘A’ might have been working this whole time to get them to clear Garrett’s name specifically so he/she/burlap-monster could kill Garrett. With Garrett and Ian dead, the rest of the NAT club might want to start looking over their shoulders.
The Calm Before the Storm
As the episode opens, the girls walk along dropping exposition while wearing what look to be pre-Halloween costumes. Aria looks like a sexy Beetlejuice while the rest look like what would happen if you crossed the witches from Hocus Pocus with some sister wives. It’s a weird fashion day for everyone.
Turns out Caleb lived, but he and Hanna are trying to keep their love under wraps. Emily and Paige are still going strong and easily win the best costume contest with their Barbarella and Marlene Dietrich costumes.
Spencer thinks Toby is protecting her, but we know the truth now. It looks like Toby has been going to the Revenge school of disingenuous hugs and evil facial expressions. He would make Victoria Grayson proud.
Meanwhile Ezra can’t make the ‘A’ train with Aria, but he too seems to be taking a page out of the suspicious facial expressions playbook. He got on the train awfully fast didn’t he? And what was that look about after telling Aria he had to be in Philly for a meeting? Is he lying about baby mama drama, or is he a member of the ‘A’ team?
Throw Aria From The Train
On the train, everyone is psyched that Adam Lambert would choose to perform at a high school party in a small Pennsylvania town. Are times really that hard for Adam Lambert?
Caleb shows up in a Phantom of the Opera mask and the two makeout on the wind-swept outside of the train, which is just not safe when a group of serial killers is trying to kill you every moment of your life. Have safer romantic moments! Look at Paige and Emily, they managed to have their romantic moment in a relatively safe train car. They were at no time hanging on the outside of a moving vehicle.
In fact, everyone does a lot of talking on the outside of the train or between train cars, and it seems like if the town was throwing a party for teenagers on a moving train they would be paying closer attention to this. Shouldn’t someone be telling them to keep their arms, legs, and makeouts inside the train car?
Lucas skulks around taking pictures of everyone and looking like less of a meth addict than he did last season. Jason shows up to follow Lucas around and be generally suspicious. Noel Kahn pretends to choke on a grape and Jenna beams with pride and they are awesome. Jenna amazingly manages to work a weird hat into her pirate Halloween costume, because she is the strangest person in a town of weirdos.
Adam Lambert comes up to chat with Aria, sensing a kindred fashion spirit. “You love glitter and weird spikes too? Let’s go shopping sometime and you can tell me more about how feathers go with everything!” Under cover of the conversation, a stranger in a Mardi Gras mask drugs Aria.
As the girls look around for Aria before the ‘A’ team can get to her, each is menaced by a costumed stranger. Another Phantom of the Opera cozies up to Hanna, which we later learn was Mona.
Does Radley just have no security whatsoever? It seems like Mona just comes and goes as she pleases and gets visitors at all hours of the night. Also no one should let Mona make paper mache craft projects as creepy as her doll head.
Aria wakes up in a giant wooden box, next to Garrett’s body. This is really taking the ‘trick’ in trick or treat to a whole new level. She manages to free her hands, but listens as a male and female voice argue over throwing her out of the moving train. They try to lift the box, but she handily stabs someone with a screw driver.
Will the blood from that screw driver ever be DNA tested to find out who tried to literally kill Aria? My guess is no, because we all know no actual police work is done in the Rosewood police department.
Outside, the Mardi Gras mask tries to throw Spencer off the train but she fights back. Paige enters the fray and Mardi Gras runs off, but not before leaving a rather large nail behind.
They find Aria just in the nick of time before the box tumbles off the train car, taking Aria to her death. Geez, the ‘A’ team is getting a lot more violent lately.
Toby gets into a fight with Noel and when he falls against the ice bucket holding drinks, we find out it was holding a lot more than that. It was also the final resting place for Alison’s body bag.
Off in a different part of the train, Adam Lambert fires his agent.
Oh The Horror
Is all this plot progression getting in the way of your thrills and chills? Would you rather be watching an episode of 90’s Nickelodeon classic Are You Afraid of the Dark? Than boy do I have a subplot for you!
Ashley and Pastor Ted are handing out candy, but a weird little girl pops into her house asking to call her mom. Before you can say “I see dead people” it turns out the girl was a ghost. But not before she dropped some tantalizing clues about the mean sister who is always saying evil things about her. Does this ghost sighting have something to do with the larger Alison mystery?
And holy SNICK, the episode ends with a hand bursting forth out of the ground and reaching for the sky. I knew this show was only about half a season away from teenaged zombies!
What did you think of the Halloween special? Did you call who was going to die? If Mona was in the Phantom mask, who was in the Mardi Gras mask? And who tried to throw Aria out of the train?
So many questions! I can’t believe we have to wait until January for answers! At least you can leave your theories in the comments to tide you over until then!
(Image courtesy of The CW)