Pretty Little Liars Season 5, Episode 10 Recap — The Return of Vivian Darkbloom
Well, the core four have officially ditched Alison (Sasha Pieterse) on Pretty Little Liars, and we say good riddance! TheQueen Bee tells more lies than Tom Pepper, paying off the mysterious Cyrus to confess to her own fake-kidnapping. Dastardly! What else went down in Season 5, Episode 10 (“A Dark Ali”)?
Wherein Ali Remembers Her Un-Kidnapping. The central plot in tonight’s episode unsurprisingly revolved around Ali’s decision whether or not to I.D. Cyrus as the person responsible for her fake-kidnapping. After promising Emily (Shay Mitchell) that she will absolutely, 100 percent not throw this dude under the bus even though he once stabbed her in the thigh, Ali totally does. But there’s a twist! Cyrus is released after the 48-hour holding period just as Ali I.D.s him. He goes to meet the person who hired him to make the false confession in the woods, and it’s Vivian Darkbloom, otherwise known as Ali’s brunette alter ego! The two seem more friends than enemies, as Ali gives “Cy” a plane ticket out of town. Was Ali’s entire flashback a lie? We’re so confused.
Wherein Emily Is Done. Alison may have successfully pulled off an elaborate plan to make the police and the town believe her kidnapping story, but she lost Emily in the process. For a second subsequent episode, Em goes to town on a friend who has betrayed her. An emotional Emily tells Ali that she wasn’t alone in this, that the Liars had been through hell these past few years, but they survived because they were in it together. “I wasted so much time on you … I’m so done with you,” Emily tells a distraught Ali, and it is simultaneously the saddest and most awesome thing ever. We just hope Ali realizes how much she lost. Fact: Emily Field’s love is stronger than adamantium.
Wherein Spencer Hatches a “Terrible” Plan. When Spencer (Troian Bellisario) discovers that “A” has found her super secret hiding spot, she hatches a new plan: take the evidence against Ali to the police, and tell them everything. All of the Liars treat this idea as if it’s absolute lunacy, even though it may be the best plan of all time. They eventually come around when Ali goes rogue and identifies Cyrus. Unanimous group vote: they need to cut Ali loose before the other shoe drops on “A’s” plan. Elsewhere in the Hastings household, Melissa (Torrey DeVitto) continues to behave shadily. When Spencer confronts her about possibly working for “A” and searching for flights to random European cities, Melissa says it’s not safe for either of them in Rosewood, asking Spencer to runaway with her. We’re all for a Hastings’ sister Euro-trip, but Spence seems less inclined. The episode ends with Melissa spilling her secrets to Spencer in a videotape. Are Melissa’s days numbered?
Wherein Aria Has A Good Instinct. In the wake of her mother’s broken engagement, Aria (Lucy Hale) is freaking out about her own love life. The Liar has slowly been letting Ezra (Ian Harding) back into her life — and her bed — since his return to Rosewood, and she’s not sure if she can trust him. When Ezra approaches Ali at The Brew despite promising Aria he wouldn’t, Aria sees it as a sign that Ezra hasn’t changed. Rather than reinforce the only good instinct Aria has ever had concerning Ezra, Ella encourages Aria to give Ezra another chance, using Byron’s pancake-making skills as proof that people can change for the better. Um, or maybe untrustworthy people can make ricotta pancakes, too?
Wherein Hanna Tries To Be Normal. Fed up with the way Ali’s lies have taken over her life, Hanna (Ashley Benson) commits to living a life of normalcy. Step one: try out for a chorus solo. Of course, when Mona (Janel Parrish) collapses from a panic attack at the audition and Hanna finds Cyrus’ mugshot in Mona’s bag, Hanna can’t help but get pulled back in. She follows Mona to a rather impressive Rosewood P.D. stakeout and demands her former bestie tell her the truth about her involvement in the “A” game. Mona says she’s just trying to find out who hired Cyrus, and to prove that Ali can’t be trusted. Just another night for a “normal” teenager! With Caleb’s (Tyler Blackburn) help, Hanna realizes that her life will never be normal until the truth is known.
— We’re not sure what to believe about Ali and Cyrus’ relationship because we’ve never had reason to doubt the validity of a flashback before. Whatever went down between Cyrus and Ali in the past, they seem to be friends now.
— Why was Ali wearing her Vivian Darkbloom wig when she met Cyrus? Was it just a tool to sneak out, or was this a sign that Ali has a twin?
— We’re not usually amongst the number who believe Aria is “A”, but there were a few clues to support the theory tonight: Aria’s comment that the Liars not worry how “A” got the tape of Ali’s story and the notable absence of Aria from Emily’s list of everything the Liars have been put through over the past few years.
— Melissa was in Spencer’s room when “A” called to demonstrate that she had Spencer’s tape. Did Melissa set this up to throw Spencer off her trail or is this proof they’re different people?
— If Melissa wasn’t talking to Cyrus outside of her apartment, then who was she talking to and what did she give them? Could this be related to the N.A.T. Club? Is this why Melissa is worried for her life?
— Do we believe Mona’s panic attack story or was she just trying to win Hanna’s sympathies?
— Melissa told Spencer: “Sooner or later, Ali is going to get what she deserves.” Does this come from specific knowledge or believe in some karmic power?
— “A” is an impressive folder. Perhaps the Liars should start looking for someone with a background in retail?
— Whatever “A” has planned for Ali, it seems to require a lot of “A” costumes and a candy striper outfit, so we’re thinking it will go down at the hospital and will include the entire “A” Team, whatever that entails.
— Why was “A” watching a dog show? And what happened to Pepe the Dog?
— What does Melissa tell Spencer in her video message? And does recording it spell her imminent and gruesome death?
Other Things to Be Discussed
— The worst decision the Liars ever made was letting Mona go. Girl’s got skills. And we’re not just talking about her singing ability.
— Spencer on the Rosewood P.D. believing Ali’s kidnapping story: “Thank god the police are here so we don’t have to worry about being imaginary kidnapped.”
— “A” stole from Spencer? Ballsy. But that was maybe the worst hiding spot ever. Hasn’t she ever seen Veronica Mars? Go for the air vents.
— Jogging Haleb may be our favorite kind of Haleb.
— Hanna on Mona’s warm-ups pre-audition: “OK, Mona, we get it. You can freaking sing.”
— Is it wrong to hope Mona and Hanna become BFFs again? Seeing them back in action together made us nostalgic.
— Hanna on Mona/Mike: “Like Mike Montgomery knows anything real about you.” Yeah, we still ship this.
— Ali’s dad? Discuss.
What did you think of Season 5, Episode 10? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on August 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!