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Pretty Little Liars review: Noel makes a creepy comeback

Pretty Little Liars is bringing back the boys tonight. Byron (Chad Lowe) is back on the show and, more importantly, we finally actually see Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) in Rosewood, instead of just hearing about him.

Noel returns to school after being away at… does anyone know where he’s been? Plot hole aside, we’re glad to see him rejoin the cast. His name has been cropping up quite a lot for him to not actually appear in the show ever.

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Playing sides

As soon as Noel popped out from under that sheet, I started laughing. Aside from the unintentionally hilarious beginning, the scene quickly turns tense, as Noel demands his keys from Spencer (Troian Bellisario), which Emily (Shay Mitchell) stole to break into his car. As Noel argues with Spencer, we discover that he may not be Team Ali all the way, since Noel is very aware that Alison (Sasha Pieterse) has a habit of abandoning people once she’s done with them. It’s a fair point that explains why the girls found some odd pictures of Ali hidden in his car, but he’s just so creepy in this scene that we have a hard time rooting for him.

Still, we don’t think Noel’s the bad guy. Not after tonight, especially. It sounds like Ali’s got something on him, which is the main reason he’s helping her and not because they’re suddenly BFFs. This would also explain why Mona (Janel Parrish) and Noel may be talking. Could Noel be playing both sides just trying to keep lies of his own hidden away?

As Pretty Little Liars does so well, Noel’s re-entrance into the show only leaves us with more questions than we started with. We’re just going to assume this means the writers have something big planned for him, since tonight’s episode didn’t do a lot in the way of assuaging our curiosity about his involvement in the A game. Unfortunately, something tells us we aren’t going to get any of the answers we want anytime soon.

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Seeing double

But we do get answers tonight about Sydney. No, we have no idea why she and Jenna are wearing the exact same outfit in this episode, but we do know that she met Jenna a few years ago and came to Rosewood as support after news of Ali’s return. After Emily catches Sydney with Jenna, Sydney tries to explain that she truly likes Emily, but Emily isn’t having it. She doesn’t trust Sydney, and she shouldn’t. We haven’t forgotten that moment a few episodes ago when she and Jenna were scheming all evil-like.

The road to reconciliation

Speaking of evil, Zack’s turn to the dark side is finally uncovered. And Ella isn’t surprised. Apparently, there was another similar incident in another town before Ella and Zack arrived back in Rosewood. At the time, Ella brushed it off as just a rumor, but after the second time, she can’t ignore the reality that Zack’s got a problem. They call off the engagement, just in time for Byron to return home from his conference and comfort Ella. We’re so hoping these two will reconcile!

While Byron and Ella may be on the path to happiness, Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Aria (Lucy Hale) find their own happy ending tonight when Aria apologizes to Hanna for not accepting Zack’s turn to the dark side when Hanna first told her about it. Looks like the gang is back. Let’s just hope Hanna’s mood is on the upswing so she doesn’t feel the need to chug vodka anymore.

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Corroborating confession

At the end of the episode, some random guy shows up at the police station and confesses to kidnapping Alison. He knows all the made-up facts Ali told the police about her abduction. Turns out, the guy is working for — you guessed it — A. As if this show needs any more characters! I suppose if it finally leads us to the true A, we’ll take one more, but he better be good.

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