'Pretty Little Liars' season 2 premiere: 'How is 'A' always one step ahead of us?' (2023)


'Pretty Little Liars' season 2 premiere: 'How is 'A' always one step ahead of us?' (1)

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ABC Family’s charming teen soap Pretty Little Liars is nothing if not a guilty pleasure. And last night’s season 2 premiere, which found the show back with new episodes for the first time since March, certainly delivered on that deliciously guilty front. One of my favorite, delightful moments was a quick exchange between two of the show’s main BFFs Aria (Lucy Hale) and Hanna (Ashley Benson), after the gal’s secret-wielding nemesis “A” had struck yet again, while the foursome was at one of their newly mandated therapy sessions. “How is ‘A’ always one step ahead of us?” Aria asked her group of pals in disgust, after they stormed from the shrink’s office. But it was the biting response from the always-fiesty Hanna that got me: “I’m starting to think that b—- has super powers!” Bam! And that’s exactly the way I like my Pretty Little Liars: sharp and sassy.

But also, the dialogue got me thinking: Hanna, you can’t seriously be just now realizing the power that “A” has, can you? “A,” as we’ve all learned, is craftier than MacGyver, slicker than James Bond, and less traceable than Lisbeth Salander. And that’s exactly why we all watch this show. But regardless of that tiny detail, it was yet another great episode of the teen sudser. I’ll dash off a few of my overall thoughts from the episode below, but mostly I want to hear what you thought in the comments section at the end of this post. So read on — but note: there are SPOILERS below — and then sound off. Please!

The episode’s title, if you happened to catch it before watching, might have given an idea of what was coming down the pipeline. Yes, a slug like “It’s Alive” definitely suggests that the presumed-to-be-dead-in-last-season’s-finale Ian (Ryan Merriman) may still be alive. As the episode revealed, no one could find a trace of Ian’s whereabouts, which certainly doesn’t make him dead. The four girls, who saw Ian hanging dead in the belltower at the end of last season, did have a little contact with him (or someone using his phone and posing as him) at the very oh-my-gosh end of the episode, via text messages to his wife and Spencer’s still-pregnant sister Melissa (Torrey DeVitto).

And it does seem likely that the person sending the texts from Ian’s phone is indeed Ian. “Ian’s alive!” Spencer (Troian Bellisario) gasped after she queried him about what he and Melissa were planning to name their baby (Taylor) and he correctly answered. The big question is, of course: How the hell did Ian survive that strangulating fall in the belltower and get away even though the girls all say him dead? How could he have pulled that off? It’s mind-boggling, to be sure, but this show will undoubtedly figure out a way to explain it away that is only slightly ridiculous. (Executive producer Marlene King told me that we’ll learn what really happened with Ian by episode 4 of this season.)

Another big development of the hour was the introduction of therapist Anne Sullivan (Annabeth Gish), who the girls’ parents forced them to see as a precautionary measure after their accusations about Ian. Of course, therapist Anne got virtually nowhere with the girls, although they did strongly consider telling her about “A,” since the shrink wouldn’t have been able to tell anyone else what they revealed behind closed doors. “Do we want to talk about that thing?” Aria asked the girls. And they almost spilled the beans, until Spencer realized that “A” had struck, by putting Aria’s on-again-off-again boyfriend Ezra’s (Ian Harding) diploma in Anne’s office as a warning that basically said to the girls: Don’t say a word about me to anyone, especially this therapist. Cue the “super powers” comment from Hanna.

The reversal in their plan to tell therapist Anne, however, only worked against the girls, as the confounded woman then suggested that the foursome be broken up…a bit. Explained Ella (Holly Marie Combs) to Aria: “She doesn’t think you girls are capable of maintaining a healthy friendship at the moment, so she’s recommending you spend some time apart.” It also seems like therapist Anne may also get some love from “A,” as we watched her leave her office late at night with someone creeping around in the background.

There were lots of other details in the episode that are basically just at the tasty morsel stage as of now: Toby (Keegan Allen) and Spencer finally reunited, despite the protests of her parents; Alison’s brother, Jason (the newly cast Drew Van Acker) mysteriously moved back to Rosewood; Ella moved back into the Montgomery household after her separation from Byron (Chad Lowe); Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) returned to Rosewood High from suspension; Emily (Shay Mitchell) faced the reality of moving to Texas; Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) returned to beg for forgiveness from Hanna, who ended her friendship with Mona (Janel Parrish) after finding out she trashed his letter to her; and Aria kept things cool with Ezra.

And of course, there was the short tag at the end of the episode, where we saw the leather-gloved “A” presumably deleting the video files from Emily’s computer while being shown around the house by the real estate agent leasing out the property. How the hell does he/she/shim do it? Yet again, Hanna said it best: “super powers,” indeed. “A” is simply mystifying and wonderful.

Overall, a lot seems to have been put in motion for a juicy season 2. Do you agree? Did you enjoy the premiere? What storyline is intriguing you the most so far this season?

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:

‘Pretty Little Liars’: What to expect in season 2

‘Pretty Little Liars’ finale: Alison’s death (maybe) solved, another character (maybe) dead, and more mystery to come

‘Pretty Little Liars’: Troian Bellisario on Spencer hitting ‘rock bottom’ and the mystery she’d like to see more of next season

All the guys on ‘Pretty Little Liars’ are basically the same

Episode Recaps


'Pretty Little Liars' season 2 premiere: 'How is 'A' always one step ahead of us?' (25)

Pretty Little Liars

Four little liars and a being named “A” (who may or may not be the fifth little liar) try to live their lives in Rosewood. It’s complicated.

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Who was A in season 2 of Pretty Little Liars? ›

After two seasons of relentless teasing, mind-bending clues and strategically placed red herrings, Pretty Little Liars at long last revealed the identity of that infamous taunting texter known as “A”! And just like in the books, the culprit is… Mona.

What happens in season 2 episode 22 Pretty Little Liars? ›

Emily discovers Maya went to the Greyhound bus terminal, but might not have gotten on the bus. Her dad is in town, but he's about to be redeployed to Afghanistan. Melissa has explanations and suspicions. She was harassing Ali to back off from Ian.

Why did Mona become A? ›

In the books, Mona becomes "A" as revenge for the Liars taking part in the blinding of Jenna Cavanaugh. In the TV show, Mona joins the "A-Team" because she feels that the Liars (possibly including Alison, as she received notes from "A" as well) "took" Hanna away from her.

What happens in season 2 episode 23 of Pretty Little Liars? ›

Jenna and Toby get aggro at the pretty little liars; Aria flies a plane; Ezra turns down the job offer. This is the episode where Aria flies an airplane!? This is the episode where Hanna saved Jenna's life from an explosion.

Who was the first A? ›

Original A was the first "A" and revealed to be Mona Vanderwaal. Mona began torturing Alison by sending her gifts, threats and soon attacking her while wearing a zombie costume. "A" continued to mess with Ali and her mother Jessica DiLaurentis, whom she believed it to be Spencer Hastings.

Who is Alison's twin? ›

Courtney DiLaurentis was the identical twin sister of Alison DiLaurentis. She was also the girl who Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna knew as "Ali" and was their best friend.

Who kills Noel Kahn? ›

Noel and Jenna lure the Liars into an abandoned blind school to take back the evidence the Liars have on him and plan to kill them. However, Noel is accidentally killed by Emily Fields after she punches him, causing him to drop his axe and fall onto it.

Who pushed Aria in season 2? ›

Aria's brother Mike is caught trying to break into Jason DiLaurentis' house and is also the one that stole things from Emily's garage and pushed Aria in Spencer's house.

What did the PLLS do to Sara? ›

When a fan questioned Sara's issues, the actress responded via Twitter Tuesday, “She got electrocuted when she stopped the bomb in the finale! She can't use her hands.”

What does Mona suffer from? ›

In the Season 2 finale, Alison's friends learn that Mona has used her talents to manipulate and torment them anonymously. It is also discovered that she has multiple personality disorder, according to her doctor.

Who was helping Mona as A? ›

Toby Cavanaugh (Keegan Allen)

Toby isn't a top “A” like Mona. Instead he was a member of the “A Team,” as revealed in season 3, and helped Mona with her devious plans. Toby claims he only joined “A” as a way to keep Spencer safe.

Who was texting Mona as A? ›

This message was sent to Hanna during season 3, when the girls were a little fuzzy on who was sending the “A” texts. Mona was in Radley, but clearly working with this new “A,” later revealed to be CeCe.

What was Ezra doing in A's lair? ›

Ezra's Lair is where Ezra Fitz keeps all items and information pertaining to research and surveillance for the book he is writing about Alison DiLaurentis.

Who visited Mona at the end of season 2? ›

So CeCe Drake was the one seen going underneath the DiLaurentis house and the reason she was standing outside of Ezra's apartment in a black hoodie is because she had lost her redcoat in the haystack.

Did Ezra sleep with Aria? ›

Aria and Ezra do sleep together on the show, but their having sex after he loses his job avoids being defined as statutory rape by a mere technicality. Pretty Little Liars not only portrays this relationship, it romanticizes it.

Was Aria meant to be A? ›

Spoiler alert: “A” was revealed to be a few people: Mona Vanderwaal, CeCe Drake, and “A.D.,” AKA Alex Drake, Spencer's (British) twin sister. According to Lucy, the main cast all wanted to be “A,” but it was not to be. "I wanted Aria to be 'A'. I think we all wanted to be the bad guy,” she said.

Who was the ultimate A? ›

Mona was unmasked as the original “A” in season two and then sent to Radley Sanitarium. She faked her death in season five, but it was later discovered that she was double-crossed by new “A” Charlotte DiLaurentis and held captive in her dollhouse throughout season six.

How many A's are in Pretty Little Liars? ›

In total, there have been two active "A" users - Mona Vanderwaal and Charlotte DiLaurentis.

Who is Alison's baby's father? ›

Ladies and gentlemen, the father of PLL's “Emison” baby is… Wren! The big reveal came midway through the finale's second hour, following Spencer's meeting with A.D. — aka her secret British twin Alex Drake!

Is Alison's mom A twin? ›

The first half of Season 7 ended with Spencer learning she was the biological daughter of Mary Drake, the identical twin of Alison's mother, Jessica DiLaurentis.

Who is the father of Alison's twins? ›

Not only was A.D.'s identity finally exposed, but the father of Ali and Emily's babies was revealed as well — but nope, they're not the same person. It turns out that Wren is the father and the secret comes out thanks to A.D. — aka Spencer's twin Alex Drake.

Was Spencer's twin A the whole time? ›

It turns out that Spencer (Troian Bellisario) had an evil twin this entire time, and that "A.D." refers to her initials — Alex Drake.

Is Noel Kahn Mary's baby? ›

After kidnapping him, Hanna uses a knife to get some of Noel's blood to send to a DNA lab to find out if he really is Mary's second child. Hanna is shocked when she discovers that Noel is not Mary Drake's second child, and reveals to her friends what she really had been up to.

What is Noel Kahn's secret? ›

In Season 4, it is revealed that he has known Alison is alive and has been helping her. However, he was blackmailed by Alison, but did not reveal his secret. In Season 7, Noel Kahn returned to Rosewood to team up with Jenna Marshall and Sara Harvey.

Did Ezra know Aria was met? ›

(Sample perspective: “I can't get behind a romance that, if consummated, would be statutory rape.”) That plot actually took a more sinister turn at the end of last season when it was revealed that Ezra actually knew exactly who Aria was when he met her — and made out with her — right before her sophomore year in high ...

Why is Aria so sick in season 3? ›

On season three, episode 16, "Misery Loves Company," Aria starts feeling sick after finding out that her father was being blackmailed by Ali and saw her the night she died. Meredith, Mr. Montgomery's girlfriend, is oddly kind to Aria and takes care of her when she's sick.

Did Ezra know Aria was A minor? ›

It's not until Season 4 that the show reveals Ezra knew exactly who Aria was and that she was underage when he had sex with her.

What sickness does Emily have PLL? ›

Little did she know “A” injected this tube with human growth hormones (HGH). Moments after getting a surprise visit from her dad at school, she collapses in the hall. The HGH, which showed up in her panels at the hospital, coupled with her stress from lying to her parents, winds up giving her an ulcer.

Who was in Alison's grave? ›

During last week's 100th episode of Pretty Little Liars, the name of the girl buried in Alison's grave was finally revealed—Bethany Young, a patient at Radley who escaped the same night that Ali disappeared.

Where was Aria when Charlotte was killed? ›

Aria left the hotel the night of Charlotte's murder. With Ezra. While the rest of the Liars agreed to stay in Rosewood to support Ali after Charlotte's murder, Aria rushed back to Boston for work.

What mental illness does Aria Montgomery have? ›

Well, according to the fan who runs the KillerAriaIsA Tumblr, Aria may have a multiple personality disorder and had been a patient at Radley in her youth. If Aria was a live-in patient when she was younger, of course an orderly would have gotten to know her, thus remembering her only a few years later.

What mental illness does Spencer have? ›

Reid has Asperger's and a family history of schizophrenia, therefore affecting his behavior on the show.

What Mental Illness Did Spencer Hastings have? ›

Spencer Hastings has Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Who made Mona become A? ›

Charlotte DiLaurentis, AKA CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray)

“Game Over, Charles” confirms Charlotte is our second “A,” meaning she's the one who trapped the Liars and Mona in the dollhouse.

Who strangled Mona? ›

Mona's kidnapper was an anonymous character that was revealed to have been Charlotte DiLaurentis as A in Game Over, Charles. At the end of Taking This One to the Grave, the blonde-haired character appeared to Mona in her room over Thanksgiving break.

How did Mona know all the secrets? ›

I guess they weren't too explicit about that on the show, but they did show that Mona had Ali's diary in her lair. Spencer was looking at it when Mona revealed herself to be A. Then last season she said she had digital copies of Ali's diary pages and knew where the rest were hidden.

What did Melissa whisper to her dad? ›

She buried her alive. This is what Melissa whispered to her father while waiting for Spencer in the police station last season and it's why Mr.

Who helped Mona while she was A? ›

Lucas Gottesman: Aided Mona with her A schemes while she was in charge in season two. 7. Sara Harvey: Aided Charlotte as one of the Red Coats and the Black Widow who appeared at Detective Wilden's funeral.

Why was Mona so mean to Hanna? ›

She really wanted to get Hanna back all to herself. Mona hates Hanna the most because the other three were Allison's friend, but Hanna was her friend. She feels the most personally betrayed by Hanna.”

Was Ezra the one in gas mask? ›

The person turns out to be Ezra, who is seen wearing the Gas Mask costume while spying on the girls. He is later seen following Hanna inside the old Victorian mansion and locks her inside an antique phone booth in the house.

Who does Ezra think A is? ›

Ezra seems to think that "A", the anonymous person who has been torturing the Liars for two years, is Alison's mom, Jessica DiLaurentis. At first we thought no way could someone's mom be behind all the madness, but the more we thought about it, Ezra might be on to something.

Why was Ezra obsessed with Ali? ›

They main reason he started a relationship with her was to gain information about Alison because he was writing a book about her, a "true crime novel".

Was it Spencer or Alex who slept with Toby? ›

And that time Spencer gave Toby a goodbye kiss at the end of the Season 7A finale? Yep. That was Alex, too. (Unfortunately for Spoby fans, Alex was also the one who hooked up with Toby in the cabin earlier this season — not Spencer.

How does Spencer realize Mona is A? ›

Meanwhile, Mona and Spencer drive to the Lost Woods Resort in order to discover what's in Room 2. Arriving there, Spencer discovers "A's" lair, where costumes, hoodies, pictures, and other parachute reside. Spencer finds Ali's diary and solves the puzzle: Mona is "A".

Why did Mona hit Spencer in the finale? ›

After the five-year jump, they both were involved in politics. Mona accidentally told Spencer that Veronica had cancer. Mona helped Spencer with her mother's campaign. Mona hit Spencer over the head and knocked her unconscious so that Spencer could be kidnapped by and meet Alex Drake.

How old was Aria when she slept with Ezra? ›

Ezra was Aria's high school teacher when they started dating — she was only 16 — that alone was creepy. The backstory only made it worse. He had previously hooked up with and romanced Aria's friend, 15-year-old Ali (Sasha Pieterse), until the night she disappeared.

Who was Alison afraid of? ›

Grunwald knew that Charles is who Alison feared, but because she can't really "see" with her gift, she instead "feels" in her soul whether or not someone can be trusted. So it was impossible for Mrs. Grunwald to know it was Alison's friend CeCe Drake.

Does Aria get pregnant in PLL? ›

“I love my PLL family. I'm so happy for them and the success on their show and I'm happy to hear that Aria and Ezra are still kicking it and have a baby, that's great,” she said. “It's wild. It's like, we were babies and look at all that happened!

Who was A during season 2? ›

Mona Vanderwaal: leader of the A pack in seasons one and two. 2. Charlotte DiLaurentis, aka CeCe Drake, formerly Charles DiLaurentis: leader of the A pack in seasons three, four, five, and the first half of six.

Who is revealed as A in season 3? ›

The third season takes place five months following the discovery that Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish) was the elusive "A" that had been creatively and relentlessly tormenting the four main characters, Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), and Emily Fields (Shay ...

Who is A's identity in pretty little liars? ›

After Mona is revealed as Charlotte's killer, "A.D." reveals themselves as Alex Drake, Charlotte's half-sister and the identical twin sister to Spencer Hastings, one of the Liars. Aside from wanting to avenge Charlotte's death, she wanted to take over Spencer's life and become her, prompting to hold Spencer captive.

WHO IS A in season 3 of PLL? ›

In the season three premiere, a summer has passed since Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer found out about Mona (series star JANEL PARRISH) being "A" and the death of Maya (recurring guest star Bianca Lawson).

Why is Toby A? ›

Toby isn't a top “A” like Mona. Instead he was a member of the “A Team,” as revealed in season 3, and helped Mona with her devious plans. Toby claims he only joined “A” as a way to keep Spencer safe.

Why did Aria join the A team? ›

The liars, pretending to be A.D., lure Aria to an abandoned playground, and they confront her. Finally! Aria explains she joined the A.D. team to protect Ezra. (Remember, she wrote a fake police report accusing him of sexual assault, which A.D. found and has been using against her all season.)

Why is Lucas weird in season 3? ›

Later, it's revealed that he is alive and well. He has just been laying low outside of Rosewood. He goes to Hanna's house and tells her why he has been acting strange: He gambled away his and Caleb's money and was scared that Hanna and Caleb would never forgive him.

Why did Cece become A in PLL? ›

Basically she had two reasons, the first being that they were happy Alison was gone and the second being that she was addicted to the game(like she said "it felt really good to be good at something").

Who ended up being A in pretty little Liars? ›

After seven seasons of whodunnit mystery, cliffhangers, and torment by “A,” the Liars finally found out the true identity of Rosewood's villain … Spencer (Troian Bellisario) has a twin! The identical twin with a British accent is named Alex Drake — A.D., get it?

Was Spencer an A? ›

He was later revealed to be a double agent to help the girls. Spencer Hastings was the 3rd "A" to be revealed. Spencer was revealed in 3x23 "I'm Your Puppet". She only joined to see if Toby was alive and to find out who Red Coat is.

Is Ezra the Big A? ›

Party of one?! To help you process this totally unexpected, and heartbreaking reveal, we chatted with executive producer, Marlene King, to further clarify the information that just exploded in our television screens. "Ezra is not A, but he is a pretty little liar." King exclusively revealed to E! News.

Who texted Mona as A? ›

This message was sent to Hanna during season 3, when the girls were a little fuzzy on who was sending the “A” texts. Mona was in Radley, but clearly working with this new “A,” later revealed to be CeCe.

What is the scariest PLL episode? ›

The 10 Scariest Episodes Of Pretty Little Liars!
  • of 10. Pilot (Season 1 Episode 1) ...
  • of 10. For Whom The Bell Tolls (Season 1 Episode 22) ...
  • of 10. Never Letting Go (Season 2 Episode 6) ...
  • of 10. Over My Dead Body (Season 2 Episode 12) ...
  • of 10. If These Dolls Could Talk (Season 2 Episode 24) ...
  • of 10. ...
  • of 10. ...
  • of 10.
14 Oct 2013

Is Paige A part of the A team? ›

In "The Lady Killer," Paige is officially cleared as an "A" despite Mona and Toby's plan to frame her for Maya's murder because of Nate St.

Who got Alison pregnant PLL season 3? ›

What I can't take credit for, however, was correctly guessing the child's father, which was finally revealed Tuesday during the Freeform drama's two-hour series finale. Ladies and gentlemen, the father of PLL's “Emison” baby is… Wren!


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