Only a handful of episodes remain in Season 4 of “Pretty Little Liars,” and the four teens are piling on the drama. Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna are all in some pretty strange places -- and episode 22, “Cover For Me,” has them battling their inner demons separately.
Turns out that Aria fled Rosewood to stay with her dad at Syracuse University. Not knowing about her fallout with Ezra, her dad thinks that Aria is visiting for perspective student week. But Aria’s week turns into so much more than that when she meets fellow perspective SU student Riley.
Riley is a musician whose whole family attended Syracuse -- but he has no plans of following in their footsteps because he’s been accepted to Berklee College of Music. The pair bond, kiss and canoodle over the week -- getting rowdy with some alcohol, playing hooky and sleeping off their hangovers (shirtless). As their week comes to an end, Aria finally comes clean about her reason for being at Syracuse: because some “jerk” broke her heart.
Riley accepts Aria’s situation just like she accepts his with Berklee, and when the pair part ways, it’s on a sweet note. “You should find me if you’re ever in Rosewood,” she tells him before he leaves. “Count on it,” he promises, handing her a note and giving her one last kiss.
“ONE FREE BEAT UP A JERK CARD,” reads the note from Riley. “But I have a feeling you can handle this one yourself.”
Inspired by Riley, Aria heads back to town and goes straight to Ezra’s door -- demanding that he leave town for good. Ezra begs her for a chance to work through this, but Aria puts her foot down. “I don’t want to see you,” she warns her ex. “I don’t want to hear from you. Ever.”
Knowing that Aria is stubborn (yet curious), Ezra hands her a copy of the manuscript before she leaves. “Thanks, but I think I’ll wait until it’s in the clearance bin,” she angrily tells him. But Ezra is insistent, telling her that he returned the publisher’s advance and that he thinks there is stuff in the book that can help her.
And Ezra’s right. After caving and looking at the manuscript, Aria calls an emergency meeting with her friends.
After spending three days in rehab, Spencer’s back and ready to return to her old life, despite having flashbacks from the night of Alison’s disappearance. But while Spencer thinks she’s ready to roll, her parents have other plans for her. They hired a live-in drug and abuse counselor named Dean, so Spencer must hand over her car, cell phone and laptop, and she must do her school work at home until she can earn those privileges back. The good news is that Dean is a major hottie -- the bad news is that he’s enforcing some strict rules to get to the bottom of Spencer’s problems.
But Spencer’s problems are only growing. Despite being cut off from technology, “A” is still finding ways to torment her. Heading into bed one night, Spencer finds a pile of dirt and a note underneath the covers: “I know you dug her grave. Now I’m digging yours -- A.”
Scared and more confused than ever about her flashbacks, Spencer’s shocked when Mr. DiLaurentis stops by. While Mrs. DiLaurentis innocently asks Spencer’s mom about the bridal show fundraiser she’s throwing, Ali’s mom uses her alone time with Spencer to mess with her mind. “Nothing beats a good night's sleep like a fresh set of sheets,” she tells her daughter’s former friend.
Not sure what it could all mean, Spencer’s flashbacks become a little more clear while she’s on a run with Dean. Stopping in her tracks as fear sweeps over her, Spencer sees a vision of herself chasing after Alison in the woods with a shovel in her hand -- when Alison trips and falls, Spencer whacks her with the shovel … causing blood to splatter on her face.
Dean demands that Spencer explain to him what’s going on, but all she can tell him is that she knows what she did. Later that night, Dean decides to reward Spencer for her hard work by giving her space to read a note from Toby, the twist being that it’s sent from London.
Unfortunately, “Pretty Little Liars” fans have to wait to find out what’s in the note, because Spencer steals her phone and heads off to Emily’s house after getting an SOS text from Aria.
With Aria and Spencer out of commission, it’s up to Emily and Hanna to do some digging. But separate issues sidetrack them both.
Knowing about Ezra’s betrayal, Emily’s bent on getting to the bottom of his connection with Mona. And just as she initially suspected, it somehow ties in with Aria’s brother, Mike.
“Pretty Little Liars” fans have noticed strange looks between Mona and Ezra whenever she’s around Mike, and it turns out that it’s because Ezra was forcing her to date Mike in order to spy on Aria. Mona reveals all this to Emily, and explains that she found out about Ezra’s book right around the time that she bought Jenna’s car. She was trying to stop Ezra from publishing some of the illegal crimes she committed, and the English teacher promised to remove them in exchange for some answers -- hence dating Mike. Mona ended up truly falling for Mike, though, and decided to dump him because she didn’t want to drag him into her mess. But she did warn Emily that Ezra may know who the person behind “A” is.
Hanna somehow found herself the center of police attention again, and not because of her kiss with Detective Holbrook. The detective got his hands on Paige’s anonymous letter about Alison and he wants answers from Hanna.
Since Hanna truly didn’t leave him the note, she denies knowing anything about it and tells him that it’s probably a fake. However Det. Holbrook and Lt. Tanner believe that the note is legit … and thinks that Hanna wrote it.
The teen waves off the officers, but while on a date with Travis, notices them pulling aside Mrs. DiLaurentis. Believing the meeting to be about the note, Hanna ends up bailing on her date with Travis to meet up with Aria, Spencer and Emily.
Who Is “A”?
With an SOS text from Aria, the four teens meet up at Emily’s house after spending the whole episode apart. It’s there that Spencer confesses her flashbacks about hitting Alison with the shovel, but Aria has a bigger jaw dropper.
“There is something that Ezra wanted us to know,” she tells her friends. Ezra believes that “A” … is Alison’s mom, Mrs. DiLaurentis.
Confused as to why Mrs. DiLaurentis would torment them, the group splits up but comes across even more problems. Hanna’s forced to confront Emily after discovering that Paige’s handwriting matches the note that the police have; and Spencer’s mom discovers that she snuck out.
Episode 22, “Cover for Me,” concluded with “A” trimming some strands off a bridal dress and zipping it up in a bag … further hinting that Mrs. DiLaurentis is the person behind “A.”
Do you think Mrs. DiLaurentis is “A”? Let us know in the comments section or send a tweet to @AmandaTVScoop.