We gotta admit it: Tonight’s episode was amazing, and far exceeded even our sky-high expectations. There were chills and clues aplenty, including dolls, videotapes, and a look at Lucas’ dark side. But the biggest surprise? That Emily and Jenna were making googly eyes at each other! In other words, if anyone has worse taste in significant others than Emily does, we legitimately feel sorry for that person.
It was a thrill just to have the show back on the air, since an episode of Pretty Little Liars is a way better Halloween treat than free candy. Tonight’s episode also meant that we got our biggest dose ever of Alison’s snark, meaning nothing was off-limits, including Hanna’s weight, Aria’s parents, or Lucas’ everything.
Tonight’s episode, "The First Secret," started off with the girls nabbing an invite to Noel’s Halloween party, thanks to Alison, who goes out of her way to remind the girls of their standing on Rosewood’s social ladder. (Speaking of ladders, is it just us, or did tonight’s episode kinda made you want to push Ali off the top of a really tall one?) Then again, we’d advise skipping the party altogether, since Noel’s parties always seem to end in disaster (like, remember Hanna crashing Sean’s car?).
Ali is being watched left and right in this episode. First, she gets a text in a costume store, informing her of just that. Later, in an eerie foreshadowing, we see Ian and Ali videotaping each other, meaning their relationship was already going on back then, even though Ian is very much with Melissa. (And the only costume that would be more appropriate for Ian and Melissa than Bonnie and Clyde would probably by Mr. and Mrs. Macbeth.)
Officer Wilden makes two surprising appearances on Hanna’s doorstep, the first being to escort Hanna’s mom home after a drunken night out (sounds like a love for the sauce runs in the Marin family!), and the second being to creepily check in on the ladies. Ms. Marin comments that this is the last time they’ll ever see the guy, to which we say, “You wish!” (Apparently, there are three things that are certain in this world: death, taxes, and Officer Wilden acting like a jackass.)
Aria drops by Hollis to visit her dad, but instead sees his student Meredith, lounging on the couch like she’s Cleopatra or something. And sure, that would be startling, but it’s still no excuse for her to not notice Mr. Perfect — sorry, we mean Mr. Fitz — in the hallway. Then again, he certainly didn’t yet have the sophisticated-professor look quite down yet, as that gray hoodie proves.
And then we relive the scene in which Aria and Alison ignore Mona on their way home from school. It’s here that they stumble upon Byron and Meredith in the car, as Meredith earns a little “extra credit,” if you get our drift. This is certainly sad, but it’s funny to see future-megabitch Mona as the outcast back then, wearing pigtails and a colorful sweater that even Bill Cosby would call unflattering.
Alison is in her room when Jason wanders in (and we’re guessing that the lucky bastard never had an awkward phase, since he was just as smokin’ back in ‘08!). This scene is particularly revealing, as he mentions that he and his buddies are busy filming a movie. (Could this have something to do with the N.A.T. Club, which “sees all”?) Then, he hands her a package containing a voodoo doll and threatening note, which Ali then places in a doll that happens to be identical to the ones that the girls received from “A” earlier this season!
Spencer — wearing glasses that are bigger than Larry King’s — is running for class president, but Ali tells her that she’s slipping in the polls faster than Michelle Bachmann. Ali agrees to get someone to tamper with the ballots, and Spencer ends up winning by two votes. (Somewhere, George Washington just shed a single.) Looks like the time in Season 1 when Spence stole her sister’s paper wasn’t the only time she cheated to get ahead! (That is, unless Ali is lying, which wouldn’t shock anyone who’s seen this show even once before.)
It’s finally time for Noel’s party, which Aria almost skips it since her Dad’s strong-arming tactics are bumming her out big-time. But Alison manages to convince Aria to attend, since convincing people to do things they don’t want to do is what Ali does best, as we all know. Then, as the girls get ready, they see a creepy guy wearing a baby mask in their backyard, and let’s just say that this is the only baby that a politician would refuse to kiss.
The girls get to the party, decked out in their amazing costumes — although only Spencer would dress up as a historical figure that requires a 20-minute explanation. A costume that gets a lot more male attention (not to mention Emily’s!) is that of new girl Jenna, who shows up in a much sexier Lady Gaga outfit than Ali does. In other words, Jenna definitely wasn’t wearing the meat dress. Ali offers Jenna a spot in her clique, but Jenna’s like, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
The party seems to be going along fine, but then trouble arises, as it always seems to at a Noel-thrown party. (Fellow party-thrower Hugh Hefner would not be proud.) Ali disappears and texts the girls to say that she’s trapped in the abandoned (and possibly haunted) house nearby. If it were us, and we got that frantic text from Ali, we would have been like, “Best of luck getting out of that jam. Let us know how that goes for you!” But apparently, the girls are not quite as heartless as we are, since they follow her in.
The girls eventually find Ali in one of the rooms, and she claims that she’s being chased by the guy in the baby mask but that she managed to escape from him (probably by kicking him in the balls, knowing Ali!). She then has the brilliant decision to go back into the house by herself (since that's always a good idea in horror movies), hoping to get cell reception. (Maybe she was bored and wanted to play Angry Birds?)
At any rate, things don’t go well (obvi!), and the girls soon hear Ali screaming. They see through the keyhole that she’s being attacked by someone, but the door is locked, so they have to escape through the window and climb down the building, Spiderman-style.
And then when they find Ali, what do you know? Ali explains that is was all a hoax to prove their loyalty, and that Noel was just pretending to attack her. Seriously, we now hate Ali more than we did before (if that's even possible!). She then licks the fake blood off of her knife, which is actually ketchup. Want fries with that?
But was it really a hoax? Noel claims he was never in the haunted house, and instead we realize (dun, dun, dun!) that Lucas was the one in that baby mask. (Talk about revenge of the nerd.)
It's then that Ali gets the very first text from “A,” which suddenly makes Lucas a very solid candidate for “A” - not to mention that it seems like Alison definitely isn’t “A”! Of course, we then see about a million other people wearing those baby masks, meaning that whoever has stock in that baby-mask company is presumably retired and on an island in the Caribbean by now.
Okay, so we got about a gajillion scares, a few interesting clues, and we're seeing some strong “A” candidates emerge, since Ali is about as easy to hate as brussel sprouts are. Then again, if you ask us, Ali isn’t the person whom we’d choose to stalk. Instead, it would be that Hollis cutie in the gray hoodie!