And by the Grave, We Mean a Manger: Part 1 of 2
Holy shit, this summer finale was just wall-to-wall bananas. Where to start? Well, the PLL are now united in their belief that Ali is A, so they team up with Mona to stage a full-on Thomas Crown Affair-style heist to get their evidence — but before Mona can reveal what she’s found, she’s killed by Ali! (Or was it...someone even more sinister???? DUN DUN DUN!) Plus, Holbrook goes rogue from Tanner’s awesome competence and decides to arrest Spencer for the murder of Bethany Young, and they end up hauling her out of The Brew while she’s screaming and hollering about how she didn’t kill anyone. And, most shocking of all: we finally get a solid date in the timeline of this show.
The PLLs form their alliance with Mona in this classic power pose.
Behold the Rosewood miracle hair in all its glory. Seriously, those are some impressive locks these ladies are working with. The outfits? They’re a little more variable. I’ve been enjoying Hanna’s grunge phase, but ew to that lace-up top and drab cardigan. There’s grunge and there’s ugly. At least Spencer looks fierce as hell in her colorblock dress and statement necklace. And look at Emily with the red graphic on her T shirt! That’s pretty bold for her. As for Aria...
Oof. You are not seeing things.
That is a shiny black pleather A-line pleated skirt she’s wearing under that distressed jean jacket. It’s like she’s a secretary at a fetish company. At least her hair looks great?
With their Mona alliance newly cemented, the Liars discuss their Ali = A theory. Mona thinks Ali chose them for her dolls because while they might have bored her individually, together they offered her a thrilling challenge.
In Mona’s taxonomy, Spencer’s the smart one. I mean, she’s not creating her own nightmare universes of adrenalized hyperreality or anything, but she’s doing okay. She was the first one of them to turn on Alison, so that’s a mark in her intelligence column. On the other hand: there’s this outfit.
I am not theoretically opposed to this simple little T-shirt shift, but it lives or dies by its styling. Spencer styled hers with a leather harness. Spencer, you’re better than that. We’re all better than that.
Emily’s the loyal one, obvs. She held out for Alison long after Alison’s pet dog had given up on her. Come to think of it, whatever happened to that dog? Did it just disappear to Ravenswood after it dug up Jessica DiLaurentis’s body?
This gray baseball tee is pretty standard Emily fare, with the sheer mesh sleeves forming the most daring part of her outfit. She generally relies on her stupidly beautiful face to sell her outfits, which: valid.
Mona sells Hanna as the admiring one, which I think is cutting her short. There was a lot more to her relationship with Alison than just admiration. Hanna wanted to be Alison, sure, but she also loved her — not romantically, but that doesn’t matter. The heart of this show isn’t romance: it’s the friendship between the girls. They love each other, and at one point they loved Ali, and Hanna is deeply loyal to that friendship. She’s as loyal as Emily.
This is...not great. There’s about fifty layers of fringe and frayed hems in this one outfit. And is she seriously wearing a garter belt to school? I know Rosewood High doesn’t have a dress code or anything, but she does have a mother with eyes, last time I checked.
Mona also tells us Aria is the compassionate one, which, hilarious. When has she ever shown compassion to the birds whose feathers she ruthlessly plucks to embellish her wardrobe? But no, clearly Alison picked Aria because she’s the oblivious one, which means she’ll hold out longer than anyone else to a campaign of psychological torture because she barely notices that anything is going on.
She is working the heck out of this little gothic Lolita dress, though. It’s wildly inappropriate for school, sure, but see above re: Rosewood High dress code.
Mona gets them a recording of Alison’s testimony, and it’s basically an account of why Spencer is totally the person who killed Bethany Young, for sure, no way it was anyone else, so they break into Radley to find out what they can about Bethany.
And you know what a trip to Radley means: retro nurse costumes.
As we all know, Rosewood exists in a time warp in which the fall of senior year takes sixty full episodes to pass (you guys, senior year started at the beginning of season 3 and we just hit Thanksgiving now), sipping from a single roofied flask transports you straight to an Edward Hopper diner in the 1950s, late November in Pennsylvania requires no more outerwear than a light sweater and fashionable scarf—and the nurses at the local insane asylum wear World War II era uniforms. Obviously. Check Mona’s little headset, though. And the way she requires them all to use code phrases. Such a pro.
Aria runs interference by creating distractions in the art room in this surprisingly practical outfit.
Like, if you’re about to splash red paint everywhere, this simple black sweater and skinny jeans combo is a reasonable outfit to do it in! I would have thought that Aria would go for a pretentious paint-splattered set of overalls, or perhaps a Parisian beret, but this is really straightforward. It’s honestly a little unsettling to see her wear something so...unornamented.
Files retrieved, the gang stops by the Brew for pre-Thanksgiving coffee. As you do, just before you plan to consume enormous amounts of food.
Oh Emily, just after I congratulated Aria on avoiding the paint splatters, you go and wear this.
Emily: we do not take Aria’s rejected wardrobe ideas. They are not a good look on anyone.
On the plus side, her girlfriend looks amazing.
Paige stops by to tell everyone that Ali is amassing an army, and to simultaneously stun us all with the beauty of her hair. I love that lip-print shirt on her, and with that key charm, this is maybe the most fun we’ve ever seen her have with her clothes.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the bedazzled shirt trend can die any time now.
It’s also a weird fit for Newly Grunge Hanna. Floral miniskirt and tasteful pink purse Hanna? Sure, she’d wear this, no problem. But Grunge Hanna? Shouldn’t she be ripping this into shreds and then wearing it as a skirt or something?
I do quite like Aria’s striped shirt, and it goes surprisingly well with the floral maxi skirt.
A crop top seems like a poor choice for Thanksgiving, though. If there’s one day a year when you want to give your midriff some privacy...
Spencer, at least, understands the kind of fashion that Thanksgiving requires, and she rises to the occasion beautifully: she has achieved Level 14 WASP at last! Look at those tasteful pearl buttons, the beautifully tailored pencil skirt.
That must be the most genteel outfit the inside of a Rosewood jail cell has ever seen.