The girls can’t catch a break on "Pretty Little Liars.” They’ve been harassed and tortured by “A” for years, but now things have gone too far … because A’s antics got them banned from prom and graduation.
Although they had hopes of fighting the school board’s decision, their parents break the news to them in episode 9 that they’re banned from prom and commencement due to the security risk. Instead, Mrs. Hastings (Lesley Fera) offers for the girls and their dates to hang out in the barn on prom night. Needless to say, no one is pleased about the idea.
Fortunately there are plenty of distractions to keep their minds off what a raw deal they’re getting. Ella (Holly Maria Combs) tells Aria (Lucy Hale) that she won first prize for the photography contest. That means Aria gets a cash prize and internship in Los Angeles. But Aria can’t focus on the internship opportunity when Charles DiLaurentis is on the loose. With Aria stressing over her tormentor, Ezra (Ian Harding) tries to make her feel better by agreeing to go to prom with her … now that he doesn’t have to “share a punch bowl” with his former students.
As Aria gains a prom date, Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) lose one. Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) tells Hanna that he’s going to New York City with his dad for the weekend, while Sara (Dre Davis) breaks the news to Emily that she’s already got plans to go to prom at her old school. Womp, womp. But while Emily accepts Sara’s decision, Hanna is suspicious of Caleb. She calls his dad after finding an industrial laptop in his bag, and sure enough, Caleb isn’t in New York with him. Hanna immediately suspects that he’s gone AWOL in order to catch Charles DiLaurentis. But the only problem is she can’t get in touch with him.
Everyone prepares for prom at Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) barn, but Charles doesn’t get the memo. He sends a threatening text to Alison (Sasha Pieterse): “You better be at prom. It’s our last chance to dance. Come alone.” A blocked number later calls Alison and she suspects it’s her psycho brother, even though the person doesn’t speak. He hangs up on her when she tells him that she can’t go to prom.
Elsewhere, Spencer is going to bat for Alison. After Alison stole Lorenzo’s (Travis Winfrey) badge last week, her new beau has been giving her the cold shoulder. Spencer pleads Alison’s case, but Lorenzo says he can’t forgive her. Either way, Spencer invites Lorenzo to prom at the barn with the hope that he’ll surprise Alison.
But even if Lorenzo does show, Alison won’t be at the barn. Nighttime comes and prom is underway -- both at Spencer’s barn and Rosewood High School. However, Alison doesn’t go into the barn. Instead, she sneaks into the woods after fooling all the moms hanging out inside the Hastings house.
The girls are stalking their classmate’s prom photos when they discover a photo with Alison in the background. Without a second thought, the girls hightail it to Rosewood High to stop Alison from coming face to face with Charles.
Someone is obviously not checking ID’s at the door because everyone that was banned from prom manages to get in. And the big shocker is that Clark (Titus Makin Jr.) is there as well. He hasn’t answered any of Aria’s phone calls after the girls found him following Rhys Matthews into an abandoned doll factory, yet here he is. He claims he’s the school’s photographer, but Aria’s not buying it. Unfortunately there is no time to hound him about it because a faculty member spots Aria and warns her to leave.
As the girls search for Alison, she receives threatening texts from Charles. He warns her that time is running out, yet he doesn’t reveal himself to her. When the girls finally do find Alison, she’s not happy about it. She’s desperate to meet her brother and doesn’t want them to scare him away as they did at the arcade.
Alison runs off again, but the girls keep a watchful eye on her. However, distractions arise. Sara shows up and tells Emily that she didn’t want to miss prom with her. Caleb also shows up and drops a bombshell on Hanna about New York City -- he was there for a job interview.
“We are moving to New York if that’s still your dream,” he tells her.
Turns out that he got a job in Information Risk Management for a top secret company. He can’t tell her the name, but the pay is so good that it will cover tuition and a decent place to live.
Caleb’s secret is a good surprise for Hanna, but the same can’t be said for Aria and Ezra. Aria read a text on Ezra’s phone confirming his flight to Los Angeles. Aria confronts him about it and tells him that she doesn’t want him to follow her to Los Angeles. But Ezra’s not. The flight is connecting him to Thailand where he’ll be working for Habitat for Humanity for the summer. Aria is surprised but happy that Ezra is moving on.
Meanwhile at Spencer’s barn, Veronica is having a meltdown over the DiLaurentis family and all the pain they’ve caused her family. She accuses Jessica DiLaurentis (Andrea Parker) of trying to steal her husband and her “psycho son” of burying her in her yard. But the other moms share the idea that maybe Charles isn’t to blame for that. Pam (Nia Peeples) suggests that maybe it was Kenneth (Jim Abele) who killed his wife. That only sets Jessica off even more. She decides that she’s going over there to confront Kenneth … and the other moms follow!
When they get to the DiLaurentis house, they find the door open but Kenneth missing. They do some snooping and find a childhood photo of Charles with Jessica. Distracted by the image, they don’t realize that someone else entered the house -- Rhys Matthews.
He explains that he’s from the Carissimmi group and that he has some questions for Kenneth. When the women reveal that Kenneth is not home, he tells them that he’ll come back at a better time. Rhys leaves the house and all the women agree -- they think they just met Charles.
The drama at the DiLaurentis house doesn’t stop there. They hear a noise from the basement and go to explore. Unfortunately, it was all part of someone’s plan. When they get into the basement, the door behind them slams and locks.
Back at prom, Alison finally sets her eyes on a suspicious red-cloaked figure. She follows him … and Clark follows her! The girls and their dates race after Clark to stop him and find a gun on him. They accuse him of working with Charles, but Clark reveals his real employer -- the police. It turns out that he’s an undercover officer.
“Please let me do my job,” he tells them. “It’s probably too late.”
And Clark is right. Alison receives a final text from A warning her that they’re finally alone. A gloved hand covers Alison’s mouth before she has a chance to scream.
The girls are frantic to find Alison, and Lorenzo shows up in the nick of time to help. But they don’t find Alison; they only find her phone.
Episode 9 of “Pretty Little Liars” ends with Charles leading Alison down a dark hallway. “Where are we going,” she asks. “Please, Charles. Talk to me.”
Charles doesn’t talk, but he does remove his mask. Alison’s final words are, “Oh, my god.”