This review contains spoilers.
4.13 Grave New World
It’s good to have Pretty Little Liars back, especially after that doozy of a cliffhanger they left us with in the summer finale. Most fans probably wanted more Ezra in this episode but, as the producers warned us months ago, there are slightly more pressing issues to address in this Halloween special. The first is the pilot for spin-off Ravenswood, which took up a little more screen time than I would have liked, and the second was Alison. She’s alive, and she’s finally decided to reveal herself to the liars.
Starting with the Ravenswood stuff, Caleb has now left Rosewood at Hannah’s request and moved to the creepiest town on earth in order to uncover a secret involving him, his family and an equally mysterious girl he met on the bus. It helps that Hannah and Caleb are still very much an item as of right now (how long until that changes?!), and that he has her permission to stay but, without him around, we’re devoid of any trustworthy men. We thought we could count on Ezra, but recent events have shown us otherwise (I’ve never trusted Toby, for the record).
Removing Caleb and Miranda from the episode, there isn’t much left of note. Ezra was around throughout the episode, wearing the gas mask and suddenly confronting the liars face to face – isn’t it funny how that starts happening as soon as the audience know the villain’s identity? I jest. A confrontation between him and Spencer leaves him with a pruning shears mark on his right palm that will surely be difficult to hide, but I’m always sceptical of people’s identities behind masks since last year’s Halloween special. Was the gas masked attacker always Ezra? Surely the liars would have seen his cut hand while he was driving them home?
Most of the episode was about watching the girls point at suspicious things, chase suspicious things and fail to catch suspicious things, and it might have been the weakest Halloween special yet. The first was the clue-heavy flashback episode and the second was the Halloween train. I don’t know about you, but there’s something about a moving venue that makes things much more exciting. I appreciate that the episode finally confirmed that Alison is indeed alive, and it doesn’t appear to be her twin or another imposter, but we still have to wait to have the questions raised by Ezra’s reveal answered.
Like the third season finale, the episode is only revelatory if you haven’t been paying much attention for the last four years, and the idea that Alison is actually alive has been floating around since the pilot. We now know why she’s been in hiding, and that it’s almost certainly something to do with Ezra, but we have absolutely no clue why. I still doubt whether the writers would really make Ezra into a predatory murderer after all this time (though I live in eternal hope), so there’s the possibility that his interest in Alison isn’t a sexual/romantic one – it’s never been confirmed that he’s ‘board shorts’.
Things to note are Alison’s line to Hannah about remembering what she told her in the hospital: “You four remember more about that night than you think you do.” We’ve been told that Spencer might finally reveal the reasons she didn’t wake up with the other three liars ‘that night’, and it’s likely that it’s this Alison is referring to. What do you think? There was also the couple at the party wearing distinctive red coats – one of which was a child and the other an adult woman. Does this reawaken the twin theory anew? It’s still possible we might be meeting Courtney DiLaurentis at some point.
This was an average episode of Pretty Little Liars that just happened to air as the Halloween special but, with Alison now confirmed as alive and Ezra’s reign as A suspect #1 chugging along nicely, I won’t hold that against it. Goodbye Caleb, we’ll miss you!
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