After what felt like an eternity off the air (and was, in fact, only a week), Pretty Little Liars? returned this week, and we learned that when the #SummerOfAnswers comes to an end, we’ll end up #FaceToFace with A. Or, more accurately, Charles DiLaurentis, whom we learned in this week’s “No Stone Unturned” is indeed alive and well.
And coming home soon for his birthday.
Of course, there’s likely still some kind of twist awaiting us with the reveal of A’s identity, but it was nice to get some of the red (-headed) herrings out of the way, like Lesli Stone. My favorite detective pairing of all time, Hanna and Spencer, decided to leave no stone unturned indeed as they focused their attention on Mona’s old buddy and Bethany Young’s roommate from Radley.
This leads Hanna to follow Lesli to Philadelphia and do some reconnaissance as she goes into a faculty lunch in a sushi place. In classic PLL style, Spencer is supposed to join her but is held up by the sudden arrival of a flirtatious older man, so Hanna has to improvise.
This leads to what would be nice to imagine is the soft pilot for a spin-off of the Hanna Marin, Teen Detective show of our dreams. Kind of like Veronica Mars, but with more Hanna. First, she uses her considerable powers to charm the keys to Lesli’s car free from the valet, and then she drives off in it. #GrandTheftHanna!
And then we get Spencer and Hanna rifling through Lesli’s car, which is parked in an alley somewhere. They discover that Lesli’s big, black glasses are just a hipster-y affectation and that she has a whole box of them, but there’s no prescription in those lenses.
There’s also a pair of wire cutters in the backseat, which seems like a pretty suspicious thing for Lesli to have; but then again, Spencer keeps bolt cutters in her car, so… you know. And then they discover that there are four large unassembled cages in the back of Lesli’s car. They’re human-sized, or rather, Liar-sized. And from this, Spencer is even more positive that Lesli is A. She’s A, and she’s going to throw them in cages (again), and Spencer has never been more sure of anything in her life than she is of this.
The more sure that Spencer is of this conclusion, the more certain we are that she’ll probably be proven wrong by the episode’s conclusion isn’t really the point here, though.
Since the core of the show has always been the bond between the Liars, and the strength of their friendship in the face of the A-ness of the chaos in their lives, watching Spencer and Hanna work together in these past two episodes, unencumbered by their relationships while also working through their romantic and psychological entanglements, has been a joy.
They are the perfect juxtaposition of personalities. Hanna has always been the polar opposite of Spencer in a lot of ways, being possibly the most emotionally grounded, the one who finds equilibrium the quickest after surviving something like the dollhouse, and the one who needs the approval of others the least.
But we love our Liars when they’re bonded together over a lie they have to tell — or a secret they have to keep. We love them when they’re commiserating over giant cups of coffee and throwing shade toward the latest suspect in their ongoing mystery show lives. So, of course, we’d love two of our favorite Liars talking about their relationships and how they refuse to be made to feel unintentionally weak by those who love them while they’re combing through some girl’s car for proof that she’s a psychotic monster.
I’m just going to go ahead and say what we’re all thinking now: Spencer and Hanna, True Detective Season 3? Sure.
Watching these two together, especially in the scene where they discover they’ve had trackers implanted in the back of their necks by Charles, made me really miss the private detective TV show, which you rarely see anymore. It almost doesn’t matter that they’re likely wrong about Lesli, because what we want is more hijinks. Like Spencer moving Hanna’s head back and forth in front of a Geiger counter or the two of them fending off a feral raccoon with Cheetos in an animal testing lab they broke into.
And, as with all great detective stories, it looks like Hanna was ultimately right about the most important thing: “He was never dead, and I knew it!” she exclaims at the end, after Deus Ex Mona has to show up and point the Liars in the right direction. Also, she managed to find time for some emotionally detached Haleb nookie.
So, Charles is alive, and Lesli’s not pretending to be him. She’s just pretending to be stable. If neither she nor Andrew are ChArles, who’s left? How polished are your CeCe and Wren theories?
With Emily’s relationship with Sara continuing to grow and deepen and further divide fans, and Aria getting more into her photography and possibly pining for Ezra again, I really hope the momentum of the Spencer and Hanna Super Sleuthing Power Hour continues through the endgame of this half season and maybe even into the post-time jump world coming to PLL.