Hanna Aims at Taking Down Noel, A Jaria Hook-up & Back to the Dollhouse of Horrors
On this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars titled, “The Wrath of Kahn,” one of the Liars takes matters into her own hands as the others try to find out more about Mary’s (Andrea Parker) second child. Still off the grid, Hanna (Ashley Benson) puts her plan into motion hoping to prove her theory that Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) is Uber A and behind everything. With a hat to hide her identity, Hanna follows Noel as he discreetly throws a bag of garbage in a public dumpster. Inside it, Hanna finds a cell phone with video of Sara Harvey’s (Dre Davis) murder. She comes up with a plan to use the phone to lure Noel to a bar, where she tries to drug him. Things don’t go as planned for Hanna. Noel’s on to her and insists she drink his beer first. When she doesn’t he swipes the phone with her leverage and warns her to watch her back.
Elsewhere, Emily (Shay Mitchell), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) aim to divide and conquer. As Em goes for her interview for the coaching job at Rosewood High. Spencer works on getting Noel’s address and Aria tries to get details on the adoption of Mary’s second child. At the interview, Em sees Paige (Lindsey Shaw), who gives her a pep talk and some relationship advice regarding the reappearance of A. Meanwhile, Spencer gets Noel’s current address from her mom’s campaign manager, which happens to be Noel’s parents’ cabin. She and Em head there to investigate and shocking enough find a USB drive with footage of them in A’s dollhouse of torture. Noel is also on the footage. They take the drive and plan to go to the police once they’re all together. While Aria heads to the courthouse with Jason (Drew Van Acker) hoping for more details about the second baby and the adoption. As Aria and Jason wait their turn, we also learn about the pair’s past together and why things didn’t work out between them. They leave empty-handed, but their fake fiance’ story gets a promise from a clerk to ‘see what she can do.’
The ladies meet to discuss the day. They finally realize what Hanna’s up to and agree they must find her asap. Spencer gets called home the storm triggered her car alarm and heads home and Aria goes over to Ali’s (Sasha Pieterse) to wait for a fax about the adoption. While Em turns to Paige to talk about what’s going on instead of Sabrina. (Lulu Brud) Meanwhile, Spencer returns home to a house with no electricity and looks over the video again. A branch through a window distracts her and then a figure in the shadows prompts her to call Marcos. (Nicholas Gonzales) He finds no one, but when the lights come back on, the drive is missing. Ugh. So much went down on this week’s PLL. Here are the top five moments.
One of the week’s bombshells comes when we finally learn the meaning behind “what happened between us” Aria and Jason referred to a two episodes ago. All suspicions are confirmed! They were in fact cryptically talking about a passionate and secret fling they had shortly after Aria graduated college. Viewers’ jaws drop to the floor upon seeing in flashbacks of the five-year time jump of Aria waking up in Jason’s bed. He then enters the room freshly showered and wearing only a towel. They discuss their plans for the day. Aria has job interviews and then Jason asks her to join him on a philanthropy trip to Ethiopia.
It’s no secret Jason’s always had a soft spot for Aria, and he was, in fact, her hottie high school crush, but they’ve always keep things to friends. Even though the chemistry between Aria and Jason is undeniable, she opted not to make the trip to Africa with Jason. Even then she must have known she was still in love with Ezra (Ian Harding). She claims to take the job at the publishing company of Ezra’s first book to get a foot in the door. But in the present, Aria confesses to Jason she took the editorial assistant job secretly hoping it would lead her back to Ezra again. Jason understands and steals viewers hearts reassuring Aria about her relationship with Ezra. And just how lucky Ezra is to have her and she’s enough for any guy especially him. The Ezria gods must agree the pair are destined to be together because Aria finally gets a text from Ezra. Nicole (Rebecca Breeds) was not one of the survivors located from the Habitat for Humanity trip to Colombia.
It’s Second Nature
Coincidentally, Emily and Paige both fill out applications for the swim coaching position at Rosewood High at the same time. Em struggles with what’s happened in her past and Paige gives her a pep talk. The audience is reminded of old times between the two as Paige assures Emily it’s alright because she couldn’t list all the crimes they’ve committed either. And later the friendly exes reminiscence about the days they spent at Rosewood High. Paige even admits to wanting to go back stirring up viewers feels. And just like old times, Paige senses something is bothering Em, so Emily finally confesses ‘it’s happening again.’
Emily has been struggling with letting Sabrina into her life entirely. Specifically, when it comes to Uber A, It’s obvious her being able to talk to someone else about it is a relief. Surprisingly, Emily confides in Paige about her fear letting Sabrina in and telling her about Uber A. Paige assures Emily even though it took some time and adjusting she was okay with it and so will Sabrina. But at the end of the day and Emily needs a shoulder to cry on and someone to talk to it’s not Sabrina she calls. Viewers are shocked to see Paige on the other end of the call. Wonder what is holding Emily back from opening up to Sabrina? Looks like things with Emily and Paige might not be entirely over.
Back to A’s Dollhouse
After Spencer obtains Noel Kahn’s current address, of course, the PLLs go into detective mode. Turns out he’s been staying at his parent’s cabin, a familiar spot for the ladies, and oddly also close to the barn where Hanna was tortured. Emily goes along with Spencer to check things out. Luckily, no one’s home, but to make sure their visit got unnoticed Spencer smashes the security camera. They don’t find any sign the cabin is where Hanna was held captive and tortured and it seems like their visit was for nothing.
Then Emily finds a wooden box with a familiar symbol that catches her eye. It’s the same logo Noel’s brother used for admission to his parties at the cabin. But it’s what’s inside that leaves viewers speechless. Inside is a flash drive with a folder for Spencer, Aria, Mona, Hanna, and Emily that has an insane amount of videos of the ladies trapped inside A’s torturous dollhouse. And if that doesn’t have viewers jaws on the floor, the clips reveal Noel Kahn himself was there. We see him pouring blood, real or fake is yet to be determined, on Spencer, who’s unconscious. Spencer to make it look like she’d killed someone. Wow. Emily and Spencer both agree the plan is to take the drive and go to the police. Honestly, at least they had good intentions.
Viewers see a new and even more badass side of Hanna this week. We knew something was up last week when she lied to Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) about going to NYC but holed up in an abandoned shed instead. Her mission is to prove Noel is Uber A and she uncovers some quite unsettling things along the way. She’s got us all a bit concerned at first though starting her plan making a video for the police if she ends up dead. Say what? Hanna then does some detective work Nancy Drew would be proud of and follows Noel to a dumpster where he left a bag with Sara Harvey’s cracked cell phone inside. And if she needed any more evidence Noel’s super shady, the phone has a video of Sara’s murder.
Then later, Hanna takes viewers anxiety levels up a notch when she uses the phone to lure Noel to a dive bar planning to drug him. It’s totally obvious that she catches Noel off guard when he realizes she’s whom he came to meet there. Playing with fire, Hanna wastes no time telling him she knows he killed Sara, but of course, he insists Sara slipped. Oh, so he was there? Did he just admit her death was his fault? Hanna tries to play him and makes an alliance with him, so they’d both have alibis and get him to drink his beer. He’s onto her though and insists she take a sip first. When she refuses his suspicions are confirmed and he also manages to get her leverage back, Sara’s phone. It was a nice try. Don’t count Hanna out yet, though. She continues following him and the last time we see Hanna, she knocks Noel unconscious with a baseball bat. Damn Hanna! She ain’t playing! Let’s hope this plan goes better than the last one.
The Liars finally have the proof they need to prove Noel Kahn is behind everything just like Hanna’s insisted. And they all agree to go to the police with the flash drive chronicling their hell in A’s dollhouse that also shows Noel was there as well. All they need is to find Hanna, so they can all go together. If only it was that easy. Spencer keeps the drive with her as she returns home in the storm to deal with a car alarm. What’s with these car alarms lately?
Because the storm knocked out the electricity, Spencer resorts to torturing herself by watching more of the disturbing footage. A tree branch crashes through a window taking her away from the computer and the drive. Spencer goes into panic mode as she sees a shadowy figure in the dark and so does viewers. We know this new version of A is deadly and cannot help but fear for her life. She calls her new admirer at Rosewood P.D., Marcos and he rushes over. Luckily, both he and Spencer go unharmed, but the flash drive with the damning evidence against Noel is gone. And just like that, the PLLs are back to square one with proof against Noel. Clearly, whoever broke in knew exactly what they were looking for. My money’s on Noel, so let’s hope when Hanna knocks him out he’s got both the phone and the drive with him. A girl can dream, right?
“The Wrath of Kahn” sets the stage for what appears is going to be an epic summer finale of Pretty Little Liars. The writers do a remarkable job this week grabbing the audience’s attention opening with Hanna making a video for the police if something happens to her. From then on we can’t take our eyes off the screen anxious for what she could possibly have planned that she felt she had to do it alone. Ashley Benson is easily the episode’s MVP with her amazing portrayal of Hanna. Rigid body language and stone-cold serious expressions illustrate her determination to take down Noel. And the episode’s director makes a great use of camera angles to reinforce Hanna’s resolve in her mission.
The writers have us so preoccupied worrying about Hanna’s safety we’re even more caught off guard with the other bombshells dropped on us this week. A steamy hook-up between Jason and Aria had been suspected before, but who could’ve expected to see a bedroom scene with Aria in his bed and a half-naked Jason. Thanks to all for a shirtless Jason DiLaurentis. Damn! The director blesses us with a zoomed in shot of the hottie. Lucy Hale and Drew Van Acker do a wonderful job as Jason and Aria and are tied for second in the episode’s MVP. The chemistry between them is phenomenal and both convey Jason and Aria;s emotions greatly in both present and flashbacks.
Viewers have their minds blown this episode when Emily and Spencer find the flash drive at Noel’s parents’ cabin. Just when we thought A’s dollhouse of horrors was a painful memory of the past the writers bring it all back. This time around it’s revealed Noel was in the dollhouse too, but he was not trapped. Turns out, he was up to some shady sh*t while the Liars were inside and we only saw one clip from the vast collection of videos. Unfortunately, the drive is taken before anything else can be revealed about the PLLs time in the dollhouse. Let’s hope Hanna has better luck with Noel now that she’s got him captive and hopefully this time around she’ll call for reinforcements. With the next episode the summer finale, we know sh*t is definitely about to hit the fan.