A lot transpired in the last season of Pretty Little Liars. In fact, I forgot Adam Lambert’s Ghost Train performance was during Season 3. I thought that episode aired 8 years ago. That is to be expected when one season spans TEN MONTHS. Here are some quick notes to get your head in the game for the June 11th premiere of Season 4. I’ll inevitably omit some big details because TOO MUCH HAPPENED. And the timeline is all over the place. My apologies in advance. And, obviously, this is a never-ending spoiler for Season 3. You’ve been warned.
Mona is “A” and ran the lair at the Lost Woods motel. Her mental breakdown at the end of season 2 landed her in Radley Sanitarium for a while. But she isn’t the only person behind “A.” There is an entire “A” team. I am grateful for this, because it means this show will never end.
Said “A” Team takes orders from an Alison-esque girl with blonde hair and a red coat, appropriately dubbed “Red Coat”. (Note: She has nothing to do with the American Revolution, but everything to do with any and all drama in Rosewood.)
Emily blacked out at a slumber party and woke up at Alison’s grave . . . and, of course, Alison’s body went MIA. Throughout the season, we learned more about what happened that night (she hung out with Paige, saw Red Coat at the grave, etc . . .).
Toby was on the “A” team . . . as a double agent to protect Spencer. She was devastated when she realized he was working with Mona. Spencer thought she found his dead body in the woods (It was a setup! The decoy body had Toby’s tattoo! “A” crosses every ‘t’ and dots every ‘i’), and had an epic meltdown. Like, Troian Bellisario deserves all of the awards.
Post-freak out, Spencer checked into Radley and joined the “A” team. She had to find out the truth about Toby! And she did. The Liars figured out that Spencer wasn’t actually nuts but was double agenting as well. The ordeal spanned a few episodes and undoubtedly caused many viewers to develop stomach ulcers. If Spencer breaks down, we all break down.
Maya’s cousin Nate was actually Maya’s ex-boyfriend Lyndon. Nate/Lyndon killed Maya. And kidnapped Paige. And tried to kill Emily. Emily and Nate/Lyndon battled it out in a lighthouse. Emily stabbed Nate/Lyndon out of self-defense, Caleb showed up to help Emily, and then, a dying Nate/Lyndon shot Caleb. Caleb is fine, THANK GOODNESS. The entire thing was very intense. I watched through my fingers.
The Nate/Lyndon fiasco led to Garrett’s release from jail. But then Garrett wound up dead on the Ghost Train after he told Spencer more info about the night Alison went missing / died. Womp womp.
Wren the Doctor continued to sketchily hit on Spencer and Hanna, all the while sketchily working at Radley. If you can’t tell, Wren the Doctor makes my skin crawl.
Aria found out that Ezra comes from a VERY wealthy family and has a VERY manipulative mother. Ezra’s mother paid off Ezra’s high school girlfriend, Maggie, to “take care” of the baby and disappear. Aria also found out that Ezra has a younger brother named Wes. As if we didn’t see it from a mile away, Aria and Wes smooch.
Aria also discovered that Maggie actually kept the baby. And Aria’s meddling resulted in Ezra meeting little Malcolm. Aria tried, but ultimately couldn’t handle being a high schooler who was dating an adult with a child (understandable, Montgomery!), and dumped Ezra.
Hanna worked to bring Caleb and his dad together. Hanna even set up Caleb’s dad with a contracting job at the Rosewood church! But because nothing good can stay, “A” framed Caleb’s dad to make it look like he stole money from the church.
Paige and Caleb teamed up to try to fight “A.” Paige enlisted the help of her ex-girlfriend, Shana, who ended up being kind of suspect. Why would Shana introduce Emily, her ex-gf’s current gf, to Olympian Missy Franklin? Because Shana is trouble!
Lucas had a rough season: He was blackmailed by “A” incessantly AND hit by a car. The Rosewood High lifestyle was a little too precarious for our Lucas, so he opted to be home schooled. Not sure how that protects him from the wrath “A” (whose hobbies include “breaking into homes with minimal effort”), but whatever.
Noel Kahn continued to be a creepy weirdo. He was Maya’s drug dealer and is Jenna’s boyfriend. Most importantly, Noel continued to say everything in the same cryptic yet quasi-threatening tone.
Jenna revealed that she’d been able to see for a long time, but we found out that she might be losing her vision again. Also revealed: She is friends with Shana (like I said, very suspect) and she transferred schools.
Byron Montgomery tried dating Meredith the Mistress for a hot minute, and she, predictably, turned out to be a nutcase who drugged Aria and locked the Liars in the Montgomery basement. Meredith knew Aria had Alison’s journal which incriminated Meredith and Byron. Note to self: Don’t mess with Meredith the Mistress.
Ashley Marin saw a ghost child the night of the Ghost Train. This incident has yet to resurface, but I suppose Ashley and Hanna were slightly preoccupied this season . . .
. . . because Ashley hit Detective Wilden with her car. He went missing (temporarily), but his squad car magic-“A”-lly appeared in the Marin garage. Assuming he died, Hanna and Aria push the squad car into the lake (one of the dumber ideas the Liars have ever had). Not-dead Detective Wilden reappeared and continued to harass the Marin women. Ugh, Detective Wilden is the worst.
CeCe said that Alison might have been pregnant before she died/went missing. And the Liars assume it was with Detective Wilden’s child. Detective Wilden is. The. Worst.
“A” trapped Emily and Jason in an elevator after they found a picture of Alison, CeCe, and Detective Wilden. Emily escaped the elevator, but the cable was cut just as Jason tried to jump out. The Photo was lost. Jason was hospitalized, but then went missing (escaped?). CeCe left Rosewood, but not before telling Emily that Melissa Hastings snapped The Photo.
The season ended with the Liars and Mona trapped in a fire (long story). Red Coat drags the Liars and Mona out of the fire, and Spencer, Hanna and Mona all see Red Coat’s face. Red Coat’s face is Alison’s. I gasped.
On their way home from the fire, the Liars and Mona saw Detective Wilden’s squad car by the church. The Liars and Mona decide to open the trunk. They gasp. I gasped again. I CAN’T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT/WHO IS IN THE TRUNK!