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|“||You bitches underestimated me.||”|
|Season 2, Episode 25|
|Air date||March 19, 2012|
|Written by||I. Marlene King|
|Directed by||Lesli Linka Glatter|
If These Dolls Could Talk
It Happened 'That Night'
UnmAsked is the twenty-fifth episode of Season 2 of Pretty Little Liars. This episode marks the Season 2 Finale. It aired on March 19, 2012. In terms of the Pretty Little Liars Universe, this episode took place in April 2011, during the second semester of the Liars' junior year.
SynopsisThe local news station reports the arrest of Garrett Reynolds for the murder of Alison DiLaurentis. He became a cop in order to destroy evidence, page 5 the girls surmise. Melissa appears and tell the girls she always knew Ian didn't kill Alison, and never believed they did either, though she knows about "The Jenna Thing." If Garrett killed Alison, then he must have had a good reason. She helps herself to Aria's toffee flavored frozen yogurt and leaves the girls feeling more suspicious of her then ever.
They all receive a text from "A" instructing them to return the cell phone as a messenger delivers invitations to a masquerade ball along with a message from "A" that demands their attendance. Spencer is sure they can discover who "A" is before the midnight deadline because hide and seek is her favorite game.
Outside school, the girls discuss how smart and untrustworthy Melissa is. Spencer insists they overlooked a clue in Ali's bag. They change the subject to costume choices when Mona approaches. Mona suggests they all go shopping after school together. They all turn her down one by one, including Hanna, who lies about studying with Caleb.
Aria brings the girls to Ezra's apartment while he is out of town for a safe place to search Ali's bag. The girls look through his book collection and photo albums and plenty of comments. Hanna gets a text from Mona asking where she is since she's not with Caleb. They comb through the contents of Alison’s bag once more and find the clue they were looking for.
That evening, during a thunderstorm, they drive to the Lost Woods Resort. The innkeeper, a dead ringer for Norman Bates, taps on the window, scaring them on top of their already frayed nerves. Spencer asks for Room 1, the number on the postcard they found in Ali’s things. Hanna trips in the mud on the way to the room.
Once inside the room, Hanna and Emily try to warm up while Spencer keeps an eye on the front office waiting for the innkeeper to leave. Aria volunteers to go with Spencer to get a closer look at the guestbook. They climb through the window with flashlights.
Hanna decides to take a shower to wash off the mud. Emily gets a call from Maya and goes outside to try to get a better signal. After she shuts the door behind her, we see "A" sneak past. Meanwhile, Spencer and Aria discover Alison had checked in twice as Vivian Darkbloom. "A" enters the room and gets very close to Hanna, but by the time she gets out of the shower, "A" is gone. Hanna then discovers Emily gone and the door of the room has been left wide open.
The next morning, Spencer and Aria return the guest book while Hanna and Emily discuss their costumes. "A" watches them through a peep hole from the next room while they talk about the dance. When the others return, Spencer suggests they get out of there before anyone notices they broke in.
On the drive home, Spencer sees Toby, who was hired by Jason to clear away debris at the DiLaurentis house after the fire. She tries to talk to him about Jenna, but Toby refuses to acknowledge her. Just after Spencer leaves, Toby receives a call from Dr. Sullivan.
Jenna drives to the park for a mysterious secret meeting with someone at a park. She removes her sunglasses and tells this person she has always thought about what she would say if she ever saw them again. Jenna gives something to the stranger, and says, "They're all going to be at the party; you know what you need to do.".
Later, the girls arrive at the masquerade together. They have 3 hours to figure out who "A" is and agree to split up for the next hour to investigate separately. A masked individual sneaks up behind Hanna and whispers in her ear. He corrects Hanna that his name is Romeo, not Caleb. Mona walks up and reveals she helped Caleb pick out his costume.
Caleb and Hanna go off to dance and Spencer witnessed the whole thing. She tells Mona what a great friend she's been to Hanna. Mona seems truly touched by the compliment. Mona brings up the last time Mona saw Ali - at a vintage shop in Brookhaven. She had seen Ali, dressed strangely, spying on someone. Mona tells Alison that in exchange for keeping Ali's secret she wants to be popular, Alison then takes out a postcard and writes a phone number on it, which she tears off and hands to Mona.
Jenna, while texting someone, watches Aria from across the room. Aria receives a text and excuses herself to go look around. She enters a maze and Jenna follows, taking off her mask, revealing her eyes to viewers once again. Waiting at the end of the maze is a masked Ezra and Aria is very happy to see him.
While Caleb and Hanna dance, Spencer calls Emily. Something Mona said made Spencer realize that no one had checked into Room 2 since before Ali went missing. With 2 hours 'til midnight, she and Mona drive back to the motel to look for more clues. Spencer sits for tea with the innkeeper to distract him while Mona steals the key to Room 2 from behind the desk. They stare in stunned silence when they open the door.
Aria and Ezra have their first official dance. They remove their masks and even kiss in public, not caring who might see. Elsewhere, a masked Paige dressed in a suit approaches Emily.
Spencer and Mona take in the room, which is plastered with photos of all the girls, newspaper clippings, dolls, maps and blueprints, and many familiar items belonging to A; it’s A's Lair.
Paige and Emily sit down and have a conversation about their relationship. Paige wishes she hadn't let Emily go the first time around. In the end, they decide to be friends. Back at the motel, Spencer and Mona get a closer look at the items in "A's" lair. Mona discovers some sketches of a masquerade costume. They assume "A" must be dressing as the Black Swan and Mona calls Hanna to warn her. Back at the party, Hanna happens to notice the Black Swan make an entrance.
While at "A's" lair, Spencer begins to notice the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. Mona offers Spencer a piece of gum. She declines, then notices that there is a gum wrapper inside of Ali's stolen diary . When Mona momentarily leaves the room, Spencer finds more clues pointing to "A" being Mona, including a bag of cashmere sweaters. And when Mona returns, she is wearing "A's" black hoodie and knocks Spencer unconscious with a flashlight.
The other girls reunite with Hanna and all 3 are curious about the identity of the Black Swan. They see her talking to Jenna and Lucas. When they try to get a closer look, the mystery woman runs away, escaping out the back door which locks behind her. All she leaves behind is a feather from her dress.
Spencer wakes up in the car terrified with Mona driving recklessly. At the party, Hanna tries to call Spencer, but her phone isn't working. Aria makes the call instead as they realize Hanna's phone has been set to record every time it is turned on. Spencer covertly answers Aria's video call so that her friends can see and hear her conversation with Mona. The girls come to the realization that Mona is in fact "A," leaving Hanna in a state of disbelief that her so-called friend is "A." A quick-thinking Spencer drops the hint that they are headed to Look Out Point. Aria knows a shortcut and they race to get there first.
Mona tells Spencer that she admires her and asks if she'd like to join The A-Team. Spencer asks if the reason Mona became A was her anger at them for letting Alison bully her. Mona laughs and says that she got over that a long time ago. Mona reveals that she became A because she hated them for stealing Hanna's friendship from her. Spencer pleads with Mona to stop, encouraging her that Hanna is still her friend.
Realizing it is now or never, Spencer pulls the emergency break, causing the car to skid to a stop long enough to escape. Mona jumps out of the car after her just as the other girls drive up, and Hanna careens towards Mona but at the girls' screams, slams on the brakes just before she strikes her down. Mona screams, runs and tackles Spencer and tries to push her off Look Out Point. They struggle and Mona slips and falls off the edge. The girls run to Spencer's side and stare in horror down at Mona.
Shortly after, the authorities and an ambulance arrive, surprisingly, along with Dr. Sullivan, and they discover Mona survived the fall. Dr. Sullivan comforts the girls, who are all visibly shaken by what has happened. Dr. Sullivan reveals that "A" blackmailed her by threatening her son, which is why she disappeared.
Dr. Sullivan diagnoses Mona with a personality disorder which caused her to experience a sense of hyper-reality and omnipresence. We learn from Mona's thoughts that everything is working out just as she planned. Mona is found to be criminally insane and sent to an asylum for treatment. Dr. Sullivan is confident that Mona can be helped with treatment. Outside, Dr. Sullivan reveals it was Toby who convinced her to come back to Rosewood. Toby, waiting by his truck parked out front, tells Spencer he had to pretend not to love her, and the couple makes up with a passionate kiss.
Later, the girls head to Emily's house to spend the night when an ambulance rushes past them. The police are waiting, and Emily runs up to her mom, who tells her that the police found a body… and they think it is Maya's. Emily is distraught. She falls into Spencer's arms and screams and sobs at the sight of the stretcher taking the body away while the girls try to comfort her.
Meanwhile, Mona is hospitalized—and at the end of the episode, Red Coat visits Mona in her cell. Mona tells the visitor, "I did everything you asked me to."
- This episode contained many deliberate references to the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, "Psycho," a favorite of Pretty Little Liars Executive Producer, I. Marlene King. The feel of the desolate motel, the creepy shower scene, and Mona's monologue at the end of the episode are among the many nods.
- The Black Swan comes from the ballet "Swan Lake," wherein the evil Von Rothbart tricks Prince Siegfried into believing that Von Rothbart's daughter (Odile) is the Princess Odette by making them look the same. In other versions of the ballet, Odile (known as the Black Swan because her costume is black) is actually the evil twin/double of Odette (who wears a white costume). The same ballerina usually performs both parts. All this could hint to the existence of Courtney DiLaurentis in the series. The Black Swan was popularized by the recent Natalie Portman film.
- When Marlene mentioned the 'black swan' as a clue, it could also refer to the 'black swan theory' rather than the film or swan lake ballet. The theory is defined on Wikipedia as 'an event that is a surprise (to the observer), has a major impact, and after the fact is often inappropriately rationalized with the benefit of hindsight'. This is true, considering Mona was a surprise to us as A, had a major impact upon not only the storyline, but the main characters, and was completely rational once viewed with hindsight.
- Homages are made to Bryan Holdman and Francesca Rollins, writers for Pretty Little Liars, in the form of their names appearing in the guestbook at the hotel.
- Much like the pilot episode covers the first Pretty Little Liars novel, this episode covers the fourth book.
- Spencer finds a bag of cashmere blend sweater sets inside "A's" lair, the same sweaters Mona offered Spencer after her post-Noel shopping frenzy in "Let the Water Hold Me Down."
- The last few seconds of the episode parallel the scene in the "Pilot" when Alison's body is discovered, down to the song playing in the background.
- Hanna almost hits "A" with her car—again. She stops short as Mona stands momentarily frozen in the headlights, whereas in "Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares," Hanna actually hit "A."
- Many of the elements that we have seen "A" playing with before are now contextualized in "A's" lair, including the many glossy photographs of the group, as well as dolls, a clown mask, the clown bank, the burlap Halloween costume, blonde wigs, the voodoo doll, and a Danby mug.
- In the Season 3 finale "A DAngerous GAme" Jenna met with somebody in the park again and this time her face was shown and it was Shana Fring.
- During "'A' is for A-l-i-v-e" Mona admitted it was CeCe who visited her, although she thought it was Ali, because she was under the effect of meds.
- Mona is found criminally insane after Dr. Sullivan diagnoses her with a personality disorder. Generally, people with personality disorders don't qualify as criminally insane under the legal definition, since they still know the difference between right and wrong. This could mean that because Sullivan knew of what Mona had been doing to the girls, she categorized her as criminally insane regardless.
- Various moments during scenes at the hotel are reminiscent of the horror film Psycho:
- When Hanna is taking a shower and 'A' walks in, 'A' doesn't do anything due to the fact that her phone rings. In Psycho, the woman taking a shower gets killed.
- When Harold says to Spencer that he finds himself talking to the stuff creatures. Spencer says that he only has to worry if they start to talk back. Harold, almost defensively asks what she means. Spencer tells him that she was joking. In Psycho, the hotel manager talks to his deceased mother's skeleton and says that he hears his mother's voice and she tells him to kill the woman in the shower.
- 'A' watches the Liars through a peephole in the wall covered by a painting.In Psycho Norman watches Marion undress through a peephole in his office wall
- Both motel scenes took place in the first room of the motel.
- Spencer and Harold consumed food in the back room of the office. This was also done with Marion and Norman in Psycho
- Mona and Norman both undertake an inner monologue about their feelings towards their "enemies" near the end
- Aria and Mona have both nominated the word "toffee." Aria in the first scene, when she gave the frozen yogurt to Melissa and Mona when she spoke to herself at the police's station, saying "I love this lipstick, what's it it called? Toffee Tango."
- Both Vivian and "Big A" both have been shown to were red. At the masquerade ball there are two women that are predominantly seen the back ground. Both have golden masks (though different). One is seen walking in as Hanna and Mona start talking at the ball, she has straight blond hair. The other is seen by Emily just before Paige begins to talk to her, she has curly hair.
- The definition of 'unmasked' could mean:
- (verb with object)
- stripped a mask or disguise from.
- revealed the true character of; disclosed; exposed.
- (verb without object)
- with one's mask put off; appeared in true nature.
- In this episode, the Liars unmasked "A's" true identity. In addition, before admitting her identity to Spencer, Mona unmasked herself from her masquerade costume. The effect of the title is augmented thanks to the capital 'A' in the center of the word.
- Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
- Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin
- Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery
- Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
- Janel Parrish as Mona Vanderwaal/A
- Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis/Vivian Darkbloom
- Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz
- Tammin Sursok as Jenna Marshall
- Keegan Allen as Toby Cavanaugh
- Annabeth Gish as Anne Sullivan
- Nia Peeples as Pam Fields
- Brendan Robinson as Lucas Gottesman
- Lindsey Shaw as Paige McCullers
- Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers
- Torrey DeVitto as Melissa Hastings
- "Better In Time" by Leona Lewis (at the masquerade ball)
- "Always" by Peter Bradley Adams (Aria meets Ezra)
- "Just a Kiss" by Lady Antebellum (Ezria dance)
- "Suggestions" by Orelia Has Orchestra (Maya's body is discovered)
Behind the Scenes
Hanna: I've wanted to be Juliet since Bridget Wu beat me out for the part in 6th grade.
Emily: Looking back, I think I wanted to be Romeo.
Hanna: So will you go to the party with me?
Emily: I'll be your date. But I'm not dressing like a dude.
Jenna [to an unknown individual]: They’re all going to be at the party. You know what you need to do.
Mona [to mystery person in red coat]: I did everything you asked me to.
Toby [To Spencer]: Pretending not to love you was the hardest thing I've ever done.
Spencer [To Mona]: I don't know why you hide behind that layer of superficial bitch, but you're a great friend to Hanna.