The Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter season hadn't given us a whole lot of Alison, but Season 4, Episode 16 (“Close Encounters”) changed that, finally giving us a glimpse of Rosewood's queen bee in action in the present day.

We've been looking forward to this moment for a long time. Did it live up to our expectations? Read on for Wetpaint Entertainment's take on the episode, and then rate it yourself below!

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We thought this was the best episode of the winter season yet. Every girl's story had a solid emotional core, and there was fantastic acting all around.

First of all, we're really excited to see Aria get a hint of Ezra's darker side. Yes, she seemed to have bought his story about Maggie's lawyer and just being a little upset, but at least now she'll be primed to distrust him when someone else comes forward with proof of his bad behavior.

Then there was Hanna, whose pain over her breakup was maybe even more heartbreaking this week than before. Great work by Ashley Benson. Also, we liked her scenes with Travis. They definitely have chemistry, but it was clear that, at least for now, she's still totally caught up with Caleb.

Spencer and Toby's plot was also interesting. We always like it when Spencer's dad is in play, and we loved seeing her stick up for herself — but we're also glad that Toby pushed back against her. Spencer is unstoppable when she's determined, which can be great for getting problems solved, but can also be hard for those around her, since she sometimes seems to forget other people have feelings. We like it when there are consequences for her.

Speaking of, it was really the Ali, Emily, and Spencer material that stood out this week. While we find Shana's backstory a bit implausible, the resulting scenes between Ali and Emily and Emily and Spencer were totally worth it. Everything about Em's relationship with Ali is fascinating — it's hard to see her fall under Ali's spell again, but, like Em, we want to believe Ali really is sincere. And that fight between Emily and Spencer? Damn. Amazing acting all around.

We give it 4.5 stars!

What did you think of the episode? Rate it below, and then sound off in the comments!


Find  Pretty Little Liars spoilers here.

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, January 28, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.