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Am I the only one that really wanted Ezra to die in this episode? While I think Garrett was a good choice because he revealed some really interesting details that don’t necessarily exonerate him but do make the plot more twisty, I really need something to break up Aria and Ezra. Like right now. Moving on though, the episode opens with two really pointless scenes that serve as creepy filler and filler-ins for viewers that don’t really know what’s going on, such as significant others of fans that are forced to watch with the uber-loyal shippers. 

Source: ABC Family
The first shows Mona at Radley, singing a song while painting joker lips on a papier mache head. I had to rewind this part a bunch of times to see if she was singing in code, but I got nothing. When she stops the song, at first I think she’s talking to herself because (1) like always, she makes no sense and (2) she’s just plain cray. However, the camera pans to show a hooded figure in the corner and she keeps talking about how awesome Halloween is. At this point, I assume it’s Toby and I’m thinking, DON’T KISS HIM I WILL PUKE, but we never see his/her face. Instead, she puts a handful of bullets and pills in his/her glove, making the scene somewhat useless because we true fans already know that someone will die in this episode. 

In the second scene, we see the Liars walking down the street, discussing their Halloween costumes. Actually, they’re not discussing their costumes because they decided to keep them a surprise from one another when they agreed to each dress as a movie character. Hanna is complaining because though she came up with the plan, she’s still curious. After Emily insists that going to the Halloween party won’t be too much for her after she was sneak-kidnapped and almost killed by Nate/Lyndon, Hanna announces that she has a dentist appointment that afternoon (random) but also shares that Caleb is still recovering, so her options are to attend the party or stay at home with her mom and Pastor Ted. Is it just me, or did they completely gloss over the ‘Who Shot Caleb?’ story line? Perhaps they felt it was borderline plagiarism after the Dallas remake this summer.

Next, the Liars pass Clifford Yeardly’s house. Am I the only one wondering who the heck this guy is? Anyway, as they walk by his decorated lawn they notice a coffin propped up, that reads ‘RIP Allison Dilaurentis.’ The girls stop to groan about the insensitivity of the display, when a guy, probably Clifford, pops out of the coffin wearing a mask and a blonde wig. This is the last we see of Clifford this week, so I have to ask, why couldn’t this have been done at Noel’s house?

Source: ABC Family
When Spencer arrives home for the day, she’s startled to see Garrett standing in her living room with a floral arrangement. Though he reveals that the flowers are for her mother (because that’s totally an appropriate gift for your lawyer), he came to fulfill his promise to tell her everything he knows about Allison’s death and body snatching. He’s about to spill his guts when Toby enters, as always, without knocking. Seriously, Hastings family, learn how to lock a freaking door! He tells Garrett to leave and Garrett obliges after whispering to Spencer that their conversation isn’t over. When they’re alone, Spencer tells Toby that Garrett was going to share all the important deets with her before he so rudely barged in, and Toby comments on how he doesn’t want her to meet Garrett by herself. We all know it’s because Toby is on the A-Team, but Spencer just thinks he’s being overprotective and rewards him with a kiss. They embrace afterwards and he shows us his best -A face. I don’t care that he’s actually a villain, he’s still so hot.

We then see Hanna arrive at the dentist, only to enter a supply closet and start making out with Caleb. Does he work there or did he have an appointment too? As they talk between kisses, we find out that they’ve still been meeting in secret to protect Caleb from -A, but Caleb thinks they can come out of hiding because they haven’t gotten any threatening texts since Garrett was released. How convenient, that the heroines of the show are always out of harm’s way during periods of hiatus. Caleb asks if they can go to the party together, but Hanna says no because they would put everyone else at risk too.

At Ezra’s, Aria makes final decisions about costume jewelry when her man-friend enters. Unfortunately, he can’t go to the Halloween party because he has a meeting in Philadelphia about a writing gig that will make him some serious dough. Like always, Aria forgives him too easily and they’re about to kiss when Trick-or-Treaters arrive at the door. I don’t think I’ve ever spent Halloween at an apartment, but is this normal? When Aria answers the door, Ezra looks guilty about something. Could he be meeting with Maggie or doing something else he shouldn’t?

Source: ABC Family
At the coffee house, the pre-party is in full swing. Hanna enters in a Marilyn Monroe costume, only to have her photo immediately snapped by Lucas, who also calls her beautiful. This is the most interaction we see between Lucas and anyone else this episode, which boggles me because to my knowledge, the show never addressed where he went when everyone thought he was missing, and the Liars haven’t taken any further steps towards investigating his involvement in drugging Emily the night Allison’s body was stolen. Hanna steps right past him to find Aria, who has to explain her costume (Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby) to our token blonde. To me, this feels like a weird link to Ezra’s character, since he was once a Fitzgerald. I think this is why Aria was so disappointed that he couldn’t make it to the party. 

Aria and Hanna are then approached by Noel and Jenna, who share that they usually have their own Halloween bash but decided to attend just so that they could make out in front of everyone. Hanna and Aria avert their eyes and cast their gaze on the Burlap Baby, which immediately has them freaked, though they delude themselves into thinking that it’s just a coincidence. Toby and Spencer then enter looking smoking hot, but the episode makes no mention as to what exactly their costumes are. After some digging, I found that the quote about whistling is from the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, and they’re dressed as the male and female leads. Emily and Paige enter later, dressed as Barbarella and some random person in a tuxedo. I guess she could be a character from Downton Abbey, but who the heck knows. 

When Spencer greets Hanna and Aria, she tells them that Garrett never paid her a second visit and is unreachable by phone. Noel approaches them again to make a comment about the food before tossing something in his mouth, only to choke on it. I find this incredibly hilarious at first because Noel is just such a tool, but then we find out that Toby doesn’t know how to give the Heimlich. Noel passes out and when Spencer and Toby are about to give him CPR, a puppet pops out of his shirt and we discover that it’s all just a prank. Before boarding the ‘Ghost Train,’ Spencer sees Jason in what I assume is a James Dean costume. He appears to be talking to Lucas, but the crowd obstructs our view.

Source: ABC Family
As the train leaves, the Liars enter the performance car, where the lights come on to reveal Adam Lambert as their entertainment for the night. I’m not the only person to call the show out on their stunt casting, but let’s face it, the Halloween specials are all about stunts. Though the music is pretty good, all the prolonged dancing and merriment feels like filler. During one of the multiple concert scenes, we see not only the Burlap Baby lurking in the background, but a Phantom of the Opera creeping on Hanna. She tells him to back off, but the long hair sticking out of the mask is a dead giveaway to the rest of us that it’s actually Caleb.

At the Marin house, Ashley and Pastor Ted greet Trick-or-Treaters, while dressed as a doctor and a sad, aging nurse. When Ashley goes to refill the bowl of candy, she finds a blonde girl near the back door, mumbling nonsense about being lost and cold and needing to call her mother. This is obviously another reference to Allison’s twin sister, though I don’t know much about the matter because I didn’t read the books. Ashley gives her the phone and returns to Ted. Meanwhile, we see a Radley nurse checking on Mona through the window. She thinks her patient is sleeping, but the camera reveals that she’s made her escape and the dummy head from the opening scene is holding her place in bed.

Back on the train, Jenna finds Toby at the ice chest and asks him to hand her a drink. He compliments her pirate costume, but mentions that he preferred when both of her eyes were obstructed. If she wasn’t so nasty, this would seem like such a douchey comment. Elsewhere, Spencer runs into Jason, who admits that he was going to visit her now that he‘s back in town, but saw Garrett leaving her house. Is it just me, or is Jason perpetually ‘back’ from somewhere? Jason remarks that he still suspects Garrett of murdering Allison before catching Lucas’ eye and following him to the next car.

We then cut to Hanna, who is followed by the Phantom as she walks to the balcony. She’s ready to fight the mystery man when he takes off his mask and she sees that it’s only Caleb. How she doesn’t feel like a complete idiot is beyond me, but they’re just too cute to complain. Inside, Aria drinks alone and is approached by Adam Lambert. She tries to tell him her name, but the train whistle keeps him from hearing it and she writes it on the foggy window. They flirt for a bit and Aria gushes after he leaves, despite the fact that he’s openly gay. We then see a masked character dressed as what I’d like to call the Joker Baby, but other sources are calling it the Queen of Hearts. The Queen opens a ring filled with drugs and empties it into Aria’s drink when she’s not looking.

In an empty cabin, we see Paige and Emily talking gibberish about how much they love each other. You’d think these rooms would be off-limits since this is a party for teenagers, but obviously someone wants them to get it on. Except for the opportunity to please Emaige fans, this scene has little merit other than a silhouette of someone listening on the other side of the door. 

Source: ABC Family
We then find Spencer walking alone down a hallway when suddenly she’s grabbed by the Burlap Baby. Once they’re on a pass-through, we see that it’s Garrett, and he tells her that he ‘liked her’ and wanted to keep her safe. It’s unclear whether he had romantic feelings for her or just thought she was a good kid, but he goes on to reveal that he was part of the A-Team before everything started going south, which is why he has to leave town. He tells her that the night Allison was murdered, Melissa walked in on him, Jenna and Ian (I assume) talking in Allison’s room. Because she’s angry at Ian, Garrett and Jenna went to the backyard, where they found Allison, alive and kicking. In a flashback, we see her pick a fight with Jenna and push her to the ground. Jenna grabs the infamous hockey stick but Garrett takes it from her. Egged on by Jenna, he swings at Allison but it looks like he only hit the tree behind her. Jenna, blind at the time, asks if he’s killed Allison, and he tells her that ‘he took care of it,’ at Allison’s behest. What I’d like to know is why Jenna immediately jumps to the conclusion that she’s dead, unless that’s what the NAT club was planning upstairs earlier. 

Garrett proceeds to tell Spencer that this is why Jenna told the police that he murdered Allison, but he shares that he returned to the backyard to find Allison talking to Byron! In another flashback, it looks as though they’re about to kiss when they hear Garrett hiding in the bushes. Spencer says it can’t be true, though I don’t know which part she finds so unbelievable, that Byron, a known cheater, could have been messing around with an underage girl, or that he could have killed her. Garrett tells her that he was going to tell everyone about what he saw before he was released, but for some reason doesn’t care anymore. Spencer goes back inside to find Aria after telling Garrett to wait for her. 

Inside, Caleb lifts his mask and waves to Hanna from across the car when Spencer enters and asks her about Aria. They walk to her chair to find her purse in the seat and her name wiped out in the window to spell ‘A.’ Like magic, a text appears on Aria’s phone, which Spencer misreads (I thought she was the smart one?) but we still get the point: Aria will die before the train reaches its destination. We cut to Aria, who wakes up inside a wooden crate, bound and silenced with duct tape. Emily, who also hasn’t seen Aria, finds Spencer and Hanna and assures them that Aria has to be somewhere on the moving train. They split up to warn Paige, Toby and Caleb while searching for Aria and returning to Garrett.

When Hanna finds Caleb, she pulls him aside and tells him what’s going on with Garrett and Aria, but he can’t keep his hands off of her long enough for her to explain. Finally, she submits and he flips her around, only to see the real Caleb lift his mask to take a drink on the other side of the car. She turns to face Faleb (Fake Caleb), and pulls off his/her mask and hood, only to discover a blonde wig and Allison mask underneath before the villain vanishes.

Back at home, Ashley returns to the kitchen to find the phone in the cradle and the little blonde girl gone. When Ted explains that he never saw her, Ashley checks upstairs and finds her in Hanna’s room. She rambles about how she got a hold of her mother, who was upset at her, probably because of something her sister did. She continues, telling Ashley about how they always fight, especially about dolls, and Ashley grabs her hand to comfort her but flinches because she’s ice cold. She covers her with a blanket and goes to get Ted, but when she brings him upstairs the girl has disappeared and the blanket is folded neatly on the bed. I know this is the Halloween special, but I will be so mad if this show takes a turn for the supernatural.

Source: ABC Family
On the train, Spencer searches for Garrett but only finds the baby mask when the Queen of Hearts chokes her and nearly tosses her over the rail. She pushes him/her away and runs back inside. The Queen follows and they fight for a few moments until Paige comes to her rescue and the Queen disappears. When they’re alone, Paige checks to see if Spencer is alright and finds a false nail in her hair. In the crate, Aria manages to get the tape off her mouth and rolls over to find that she shares the box with Garrett’s dead body. She screams, but the train whistle is too loud for anyone to hear her. She tries to use a nail to cut the tape on her hands when the crate is carried away by two people. A mysterious male voice tells the other person that he ‘can’t do this.’

Back inside, Spencer and Hanna worry about Emily telling Paige everything and discuss Garrett’s news about Byron as well as Hanna and Caleb’s failed attempt to keep their relationship a secret. They also tell us viewers that Toby and Caleb are still searching for Aria, but we’re all thinking, good luck with that. Spencer shows the fake nail to Hanna, commenting that the user must have been a large lady and Hanna agrees. I guess it takes one to know one. Spencer submits that it may have even been a guy, when Emily and her cross-dressing date enter. They split up to continue their search and Spencer and Paige share a moment. Spencer thanks her for saving her and Paige says, ‘it was a pleasure,’ which is such a weird line, though she undoubtedly enjoys wrestling with other girls.

While making her way through the train, Paige finds Jenna and they tease one another. When they part, Jenna notices Lucas’ camera on a table unattended. The other three Liars reach a locked door at the end of the train and are about to turn around when they see Aria’s necklace. Hanna takes a fire extinguisher from the wall and swings it at the window, but we don’t see it shatter, probably due to budget cuts. Inside the crate, Aria listens to the unknown man and woman argue while struggling to move the makeshift coffin. If only she had Jenna’s powers of voice recognition. Aria then finds a screwdriver and stabs one of her captors, causing them to flee. The Liars find the crate just as it’s about to fall over the edge and open it to discover a frightened Aria and a very dead Garrett. 

Later, the Liars and other involved parties talk to the police when Aria enters. She too doesn’t believe Garrett’s alibi and the rest of them think that -A not only murdered Garrett but set them up to exonerate him. They come to the conclusion that -A wants the NAT club dead. Ezra arrives, explaining that he wanted to surprise Aria, and I can’t help but think that he could be on the A-Team. However, why would he want to kill Allison and why would he or the other members of the A-Team almost reveal his then-secret relationship to Aria’s parents so many times?

Other suspects are Noel and Jenna, especially the former, who calls the Liars ‘bitches’ before he and his elderly lady-friend engage in a ‘No, you shut up’ match with our protagonists. The squabble is broken up by Toby, who shoves him into the ice chest, knocking it over to reveal a body bag underneath the drinks. Everyone is either actually freaked out or just pretending to be, including Jason and Lucas, who have been working together on something that night. 

Source: ABC Family
At Radley, Mona’s nurse checks on her again and this time Mona is exactly where she should be. After she rolls over, the camera pans downward to show the Allison mask on the floor by her bed. We now know that Garrett was the Burlap Baby, she was Faleb, which is consistent with her obsession with Hanna, but who was the Queen of Hearts? I’m thinking it had to have been a guy, or someone strong enough to lift Spencer over the railing, so I’m counting Jenna out. The obvious guess is Toby, but it also could have been Ezra, Jason, or my personal choice, Lucas, since his camera was found by Jenna and we saw him cavorting with the Black Swan last season.

Instead of an -A scene to end the night, we’re shown what I assume is a flashback of the Dilaurentis’ garden. Instead of a hand popping out of the dirt to scare us all, instead it slowly emerges and waves around. 

What did you think of the Halloween special?

Thanks for reading, Liars! Feel free to check out my previous reviews of PLL and other shows at WatchItRae.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, where I post links of my articles when they go live. Stay tuned for a recap of the Halloween special, "She's Better Now."

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