Who needs "A" when you have Ali? Tonight's episode raised as many questions as it provided answers — just like our Q&A-style recaps do. Here we go.
So we learn that Cyrus Petrillo is the name of this mysterious guy pretending to be a pretend kidnapper.
Q: wait, are you talking about the actor playing this role?
A: no, it's just that the storyline has enough layers of pretend to be a play within a play within a play.
Q: is that more than Hamlet?
Q: does that make this show better than Hamlet?
A: no. Cyrus was taken in when Hanna's neighbor reported a man lurking in her yard. The Liars can't guess why he's confessing to something he didn't do, and in fact no one did. But they're certain "A" is behind it, and don't want to take the bait. Ali is tempted though. So the other girls make Emily go convince Ali, because Emily's eyes are hardest to disappoint.
Q: because they're Asian eyes? Are the Liars racist?
A: no, but you may be. So Emily goes to Ali, who confesses that Cyrus is not a stranger. They had a fling while Ali was on the run — until he robbed her and slashed her leg, which is how she got that scar. And we can believe her because we saw it in a flashback.
Q: why is that reliable?
A: I can't begin to fathom the logic of this high-school soap-opera "Lost", but I can say, for whatever reason, when a story is visualized and not merely told, it means it's real.
Q: are you talking about acting again?
A chair of one's own
Spencer plans to hide "Noel's insurance" (the pictures of Ali with Shana during the time she was supposedly kidnapped) in her special secret hiding place that no one can guess.
Q: her vagina?
A: ew, no. That little wooden box under the cushion of the lounger in her bedroom.
Q: her chair's vagina?
A: ok, sure. It's the same spot we saw "A" poking around in a couple of episodes ago. And when Spencer opens it to hide the pics, she discovers that the tape (of Ali's statement to the court-appointed doctor) is missing.
Q: and that's how "A" knew what to tell Cyrus to say?
A: that's what they want you to think. Until they don't want you to think it. I think. But we're not there yet.
Q: where are we?
A: Spencer watches her spy camera's footage to see who stole the tape and sees Melissa handing something to a man while saying, "Do it. Trust me." So Spencer searches Melissa's cabin, but gets busted, so just asks her why her computer had searches for flights to London, Zurich, and Taiwan. Melissa says she's only helping Mona to prove to Spencer how toxic Ali still is. Then she warns that she doesn't want Spencer standing too close by when Ali gets what she deserves, "It's not safe for me here. Or for you. Maybe you should come with me."
Q: Spencer in Taiwan? Every citizen would want a picture of the white giant.
Hanna goes jogging.
A: nope, she's sober now, and so sick of dealing with "A" and Ali, that she's jealous of girls at school freaking out over something as simple as chorus-solo tryouts. Then she tries out for the chorus solo.
Q: are you sure she wasn't drunk?
A: I know, I miss drunk-Hanna too. Anyway, Mona's there. And she's vamping up a storm of Mariah Carey virtuosity when she suddenly passes out.
Q: did an evil sea witch steal her voice?
A: you're thinking of "The Little Mermaid"...but, actually, yes: She's been fainting from panic attacks ever since Ali returned. When she comes to, Mona begs for her purse, so Hanna rifles through it first and sees pictures of Cyrus. Then she carjacks Mona's passenger seat that night, parked outside of the police station, and finds Mona bluesnarfing.
Q: yeah, seriously, what the hell does that mean already?
A: it's a real thing, a way to steal information from devices via Bluetooth. But I'm pretty sure you can't listen to conversations, which is what Mona does. Then again, I'm also pretty sure ghosts aren't real either, so stop questioning the logic of the show.
Giving the finger
Ali promised Emily she wouldn't let Cyrus go to jail. If she can just stall for the full 48 hours, he'll have to be released. But then, since Ali won't finger Cyrus, Tanner takes her to the basement hoping she can finger evidence, which will still give them a case. While there, the sight of the basement calls forth the aforementioned Cyrus rob-and-slash flashback, this time in more detail, and Ali tells Tanner yes, this is the basement.
Q: out of revenge for slashing her leg?
A: that's what you think. But it turns out her witness statement came too late so Cyrus was released, and then she meets him in the woods and pays him off for a job well done. It was all part of Ali's master plan.
Q: so it was also part of her plan that he get himself arrested by "lurking" mysteriously in Hannah's neighbor's yard?
A: perhaps he improvised that one. Anyway, when my mother-in-law — who has only seen one episode of this show before — saw Ali in a wig meeting Cyrus in the woods, she asked, "Who's that? Is that 'A'?" I started to giggle at her confusion, until I suddenly decided she might be a genius: I mean, really, why would "A" have needed that tape of Ali's doctor-office story?
Q: why would "A" have needed that tape of Ali's doctor-office story?
A: that's what I just asked.
Q: so what's the answer?
A: I don't know, or I wouldn't have asked!
A: me?! What are you even– Ugh.
When Emily finds out Ali fingered Cyrus as the kidnapper, she tells Ali she's done with her. Also, Aria's mom is getting over Zack, but Aria is way confused about Ezra. She has some list of things she wanted to tell him if he didn't die, and now that list is bashing around in her head or some other analogy that made her sound crazy. And we still don't why Mona was following Cyrus, or what Melissa did to help Mona, much less who scored the solo.