First of all, I want to give full disclosure that I am not a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars. Actually, season 6A is the first time I’ve ever watched the show and I gotta say, I’m not overly impressed. I do acknowledge, however, the draw superfans have to the show, and how addictive it is if you started from day one and/or read the books. That’s where my counterpart Kelly comes in.
Kelly has not only watched Pretty Little Liars since the day the pilot aired, she got into the show because she was a fan of the books, so she knows a lot more about the backstory of the Liars and ‘A’ than I do.
Having said that, neither of us really remember much of last season – even though I literally binged it about a month ago.
With her command of the storyline and my confusion, we have done our best to recap the twisted first half of season 6 to help you connect the dots – or maybe confuse you even more – for tonight’s premiere of season 6B.
Episode 1: “Game On, Charles”
Sarah: Ok, the girls try to escape the dollhouse they are locked up in, but there was an electric fence or something blocking them from going very far, right?
Kelly: Yeah, I think it was just a really tall fence, so they were trapped outside for two days.
S: And, by the grace of A’s good heart, they are let back in only to be attacked or knocked out or something.
K: I think – and I may be making this up – there was a gas cloud that knocked them out so A could put them on the morgue table. Oh, and also, Mona was there wearing a blonde wig pretending to be Alison, but she knew she wasn’t Ali deep in her mind, she just would’ve gotten in trouble if she didn’t play along. Do you remember that?
S: Yeah, yeah, because she was wearing THE yellow top. I thought that was Sara they saw as the blonde girl?
K: No, it was Mona. The girls didn’t know Sara was in there until after they were rescued and they were like, “Wait. What? Where did she come from?“
S: So, Mona must’ve known right?
K: Must have.
S: I feel like things unfold and you’re like, “Wait. What?” It’s like wizard stuff. Things just happen because they happen.
K: Yeah, that happens a lot.
S: Side question: These girls are in high school, right?
S: Maybe it’s none of my business, but what are they doing dating cops and teachers?
K: I think Toby (who is Spencer’s beau) was their age but he may have graduated and went to cop school or maybe he was just older. I don’t know. Caleb (Hanna’s beau) is the same age, for sure.
S: Right, but these girls are still 17, maybe 18 – it’s still super illegal if Toby is already graduated, an established police officer, and still messing around with one of them.
K: Unless they were all 18? Ezra is definitely illegal.
S: But, the show started when they were…
K: Yep, you’re right.
S: The girls figured out a way to escape at the same magical time Ali, Ezra and Caleb show up and the fellas help them break out of the underground dollhouse.
S: Then Toby is like, “Oh, BTW Andrew = ‘A.'” Andrew is arrested and Emily charges up to Ali and asks her who Charles DiLaurentis is, who ends up being Ali’s brother but Ali doesn’t know about him.
Episode 2: "Songs of Innocence”
S: So, it’s episode two and the Liars are out and about but Aria can’t hang because Andrew has been arrested. Aria seems to be messed up because she feels like Andrew isn’t the real 'A,’ but she still lies to the police and says she saw him in the dollhouse?
K: That, I don’t know. Maybe she wants him to be ‘A’ so it’s finally over?
S: That’s a good point. We’ll go with that. The girls are at the hospital and are all prescribed medicine to help them cope, except Spencer, since she has drug issues. I guess everyone knows about Charles, so that brings a lot of attention to Ali, but then she meets this hot cop Lorenzo and another illegal relationship begins to take shape. Then, Sara runs away from her house and goes to Emily’s house. How did Sara even know where Emily lived?
K: Beats me.
S: Wizard stuff?
Episode 3: “Songs of Experience”
K: The girls decide they’re going to go back to school, but no one actually goes except Hanna.
S: Because she’s the only sane one in the bunch. Spencer confronts Ali and tells her she needs to straighten things out with her dad. Ali and Jason confront their dad and he’s like, “Ok, fine. That’s true.”
K: Oh yeah, and he said that Charles committed suicide but he didn’t. So, the mom knew he wasn’t dead, but she’s dead, so…
Episode 4: “Don’t Look Now”
S: In this episode, Ali and Jason find out Charles was their older brother and they find a file at Radley and go to their aunt’s house, which has a graveyard in the backyard?
K: Right, so then Ali and Jason check it.
S: Like, dig up their bones?
K: I think so. I wouldn’t put it past them. Also, Aria meets Clark.
S: Oh, the guy who is a photographer but not a photographer!
Episode 5: She’s No Angel
S: Sara is still hanging out with Emily at this point and Emily suggests Sara try to get emancipated from her parents, which she does in record time. I don’t think it even takes a day in the world of wizardry that is PLL. I feel like there are so many details they just breeze by and that’s my disconnect from this show.
K: I think the general audience of 12-year-olds don’t pick up on it, though.
S: Aria finds out Clark, The-Photograher-Who-Is-Not-A-Photographer, snapped a picture of ‘A’ that shows ‘A’ being a female, so she texts the rest of the Liars and informs them of this vital information immediately – unlike Sara, who saw the text while with Emily and was like, “Oh, yeah, I’ve seen the girl in the black hoodie before.” Why wouldn’t you say this right away when Andrew, an obvious male, was arrested?
K: I know.
S: I don’t remember her starting to work at Caleb’s web design company?
K: I remember that, it wasn’t really that significant. She confided in him about not being in the Liars' trust or something.
S: I feel like anybody – I’m saying IRL – would think about the fact that this girl, Sara, has been captive for a really long time and was essentially a slave to ‘A.’ Why aren’t the police or anyone considering maybe she has loyalties to ‘A?’ In the end, she ends up working for ‘A,’ right? Like a Stockholm Syndrome situation?
K: I totally forget. I’m, like, surprised right now! I don’t remember that!
S: I don’t know, maybe I made that up.
Episode 6: “No Stone Unturned”
S: Daddy DiLaurentis gets a card from Charles saying he’s coming home for his birthday, which totally freaks Daddy D out. Meanwhile, Spencer is working on her Valedictorian speech.
K: I don’t know how she’s still Valedictorian.
S: That’s what I was just thinking! If you’re caught up on drugs and literally never go to class, how are you Valedictorian? There’s no way. So, while she’s working on her speech with the sobriety coach, he hits on her.
K: I do remember that. He’s hot, of course.
S: So is Ezra but it’s still illegal. And, what kind of name is Ezra, anyway? That’s not a real person’s name.
S: The girls break into a lab where Lesli Stone works and find out that Charles put trackers in the back of their necks. Just in time, Mona saves the girls from a raccoon and campus police and casually mentions that Bethany and Charles escaped from Radley and Charles is still alive. Bitch, you’ve been sitting on that for nearly 6 episodes?!
K: I know. I don’t know why that was a thing. I know Mona hates them so she didn’t want to actually help them. Hanna is still friends with her, but she hates all the others.
S: Emily and Sara kiss, which is basically Emily marking Sara as her territory, because she becomes this weird possessive caveman over Sara. This girl literally can’t speak to anyone else but Emily without causing trouble.
Episode 7: “O Brother, Where Art Thou”
S: Daddy DiLaurentis puts Ali in a hotel far away to keep her away from Charles, but Ali ends up tricking him and escapes the hotel anyway. Mona and Mike – wait, who’s Mike?
K: Mike is Aria’s younger brother.
S: Aria has a brother?!
K: Yeah, they were dating before she was “murdered” and now he’s pissed she’s actually alive.
S: Ugh, ok. This is also the episode Spencer has edibles with her she bought to help her sleep, but Toby ends up eating her stash and loses it in the arcade shootout with ‘A’ where he and hot cop Lorenzo get hurt and ultimately fired. Which, it’s about time, because Toby is a terrible cop. Then, there’s an old video of the three siblings playing and Charles is trying to get Jason to come to the attic to watch.
K: Oh yeah!
S: And, the mom is calling to “Freddie,” who is Charles?
K: What? Why do they call him Freddie?
S: That makes, like, six names for this person. That’s the problem. They need to trim the fat in this show.
K: They really do.
Episode 8: “FrAmed”
S: Hanna got a $30,000 scholarship from some random group and her mom’s all pumped but Hanna tells her mom she doesn’t want that blood money and to send it back.
S: And, the girls find out the high school doesn’t want them at prom or graduation.
K: Oh, yeah! Aria’s art was messed up at the gallery.
S: Yeah, then they start following this Rhys Matthew guy from the group – what was the name of that group? Anyway, they’re convinced he’s Charles. After Aria’s gallery opening disaster, the other girls follow Clark to a warehouse, which naturally is an abandoned doll factory. They see him go in after that Rhys guy so they assume Clark is working with Charles. They spill the beans to Aria and she’s like, “No.”
K: I completely forget the warehouse part.
Episode 9: “Last Dance”
S: After all that, they have a barn prom since they can’t go to their real prom but sneak out anyway while their moms are in the main house getting wasted. The moms end up trapped in the DiLaurentis’ basement after breaking into their house.
K: They think Rhys locked the moms in there?
S: Yeah, I don’t remember that, really.
S: So, at the prom, Clark tells Aria he’s not a photographer but a cop. He looks about 17, though. He’s the only one that I believe is actually under 18 in this show, but he’s not.
S: Ali is kidnapped by ‘A’ again. Maybe kidnap is a strong word – she was following him.
K: Is this at the prom?
S: Yeah, at the prom. ‘A’ takes off the mask, because remember, their prom was in this dark dungeon thing with everyone wearing these gold masks? Turns out ‘A’ is a girl.
K: Oh yeah, yeah.
S: Aria has seen a confirmation message on Ezra’s phone for a flight to L.A. and she kind of freaks out, thinking he’s going to follow her there. She like, “Eh, I don’t want you in L.A.” and he’s like, “Ew, no, I’m actually going to Thailand. Kbye.” Meanwhile, Caleb tells Hanna he’s moving to NYC and wants her to go with him. Obviously, they’re setting up the flash-forward here.
Episode 10: “Game Over, Charles”
K: I do remember them being in that room with Radley and ‘A,’ and Sara sneaks out and ditches them and they’re all like, “Whaaaaaat.” And the dad and Jason are knocked out on the ground outside the room.
S: Yes, I remember now.
K: Oh yeah, that’s why they call her CeCe and they’re confused because they’ve met Charles/Charlotte before as CeCe but they didn’t know.
S: So, she reveals, “By the way, I’m ‘A.’ Nice to meet you. I’m not dead.”
K: She tells Ali the main reason she tortured the girls was because they weren’t really her friends and were happy she died?
S: But, didn’t she kidnap Ali?
K: Yeah, and Ali was running away, too.
S: This is where we see flashbacks to Charles/Freddie/CeCe/Charlotte/‘A’…
K: Freddie is the weird one. The others make sense, but I don’t get Freddie.
S: CeCe reveals Sara was one of the red coats.
S: And, a black widow. What is that?
K: I have no clue. I feel like it was one of those times when they were dressed up in all black or something. I don’t know.
S: CeCe is about to jump of the roof but Ali yells for Charlotte to not do it, which touches her heart so she doesn’t jump. Then we cut to the girls saying goodbye to go their separate ways, except for Ali, who has decided to stay behind – which is sort of ironic, since she was the one running away in the beginning, right?
K: Yep. That was something they talked about in that 5-year flash-forward special: why she stayed behind. I don’t remember the reason, but they said something about it.
S: Right, so the girls return to their high school, which Ali is a teacher at now, to warn her that “he” is back.
K: I don’t know who “he” is. It’s confusing to go through all this.
S: What do you want to find out in the premiere?
K: I wanna know who ‘he’ is, I wanna know why the drama is back, and I want to know why nothing happened for 5 years.
S: I want to know how they can afford those amazing clothes and what they’re up to.
K: I know Hanna is a fashion designer or works in fashion and she got married, but not to Caleb.
S: She got married?! Here we go.
Don’t miss the premiere of season 6B of Pretty Little Liars at 8pm ET TONIGHT on Freeform (née ABC Family)!