Pretty Little Liars fourth episode this season, “Birds of a Feather,” answered the question fans have been waiting to have answered since last season’s finale. Who is the Black Swan? We found out!
The episode started off, though, with the core four discussing 20/20 Jenna. Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Emily (Shay Mitchell), and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) don’t know what to believe. The girl faked being blind as a bat for five months, cited Aria, but she looked pretty timid and terrified to Emily. What about the rest of the nerd squad from the masquerade ball? What about Lucas? What about… the Black Swan? They spot Melissa (Torrey Devitto) in the back of the restaurant. They mostly think it’s Melissa. She faked begin pregnant, and Spencer has stolen two boyfriends from her. Plus, they have footage of her in Alison’s room the night she went missing.
Jason DiLaurentis (Drew Van Acker) has returned to Rosewood! He storms in shouting at Veronica Hastings (Lesley Fera) regarding how she decided to defend Garrett without alerting him first. I guess they’ve built some sort of a relationship, or at least a foundation. He doesn’t buy that she truly believes he’s innocent, as she claims she does. After he leaves, and Spencer follows, we find out that Jason is offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who turns in Ali’s remains! He’s putting up flyers all over town like she’s a lost dog. As Spencer’s mom notes, anyone who turns in the body would be considered the murderer, and Jason is asking to be screwed over. Then again, maybe whoever dug up Alison is a moron!
At school the next day, Aria and Hanna discuss her father’s upcoming date with Meredith, aka “The Skank.” She doesn’t have the heart to tell her mom, so instead she decides to give her a “girl talk.” I’ve always said, Spencer is very smart and a super sleuth, but Aria really works her girl powers. She encourages her mother, Ella (Hollie Marie Combs), to have a ladies night with friends. She wants her to be happy, and to not be alone. Later, she concocts a plan, along with Hanna, to set up a secret dating site profile for her mom. They don’t know what they’re doing, and they surf the wrong site. What are their standards for Ella?
Hanna: “Preferably someone who doesn’t look like a grape.”
Hanna’s mother, Ashley (Laura Leighton), suggests trying MainlineMate.com! Why don’t these two single moms just hang out? They always seem to get along well, and I thought they were friends!
Later on at the penitentiary, Hanna shows up for her typical visit with Mona, only to discover that Mona has lost her visiting privileges (after exploding in a fit of crazy at Caleb last week). Hanna tries to weasel her way in, but she is refused. She and Wren (Julian Morris) spy that snoopy detective (Bryce Johnson) using his authority to visit Mona, though! He always has that look of accomplishment on his face, as though he just figured it all out, but everyone from the characters to the viewers just remain consistently annoyed by his meddling. What do you want?
Emily got a job! She’s working at the coffee shop, and she’s already having issues. Nate (Sterling Sulieman), Maya’s cousin, shows up looking to speak with her. He’s a new college student in town. Later, he meets with Emily to talk about Maya, and how he misses her. She can relate, obviously. He gives her a gift from Maya, something that was delivered after her funeral. It’s a t-shirt with the poster of the movie they saw on their first date silkscreened across the front. It’s one of those shirts you get made at a cart in the mall. Also, both he and Emily competitively swim. Maya tried, but failed. He says Maya referred to Emily as her first real love. He also shows Emily a picture of her that Maya had sent him a while back. The picture has so many digital effects on it that it looks bedazzled!
All of the real drama surrounds the Hastings family. Spencer confronted Jason at school about offering a reward for Alison’s body. He knows she’s too smart to believe her mother’s excuses, but she’s also not eager to drag her family’s name through the mud any more than it already has been, thanks to A. Jason doesn’t feel comfortable with the police handling the situation anymore, and money talks. I like Jason, and I’m glad to see him back.
Caleb surprised Hanna with Bon Iver tickets. Would Hanna really listen to Bon Iver? They should just break up. She’s frustrated about not being able to see Mona. He is aggravated that she still wants to. He admits to being the one who instigated Mona’s outburst. He thinks Hanna is addicted to Mona like a drug. Wren thinks she needs to talk to Mona to heal herself. Back at the penitentiary, Hanna talks to Wren about bending the rules for her, but he refuses. He already has done so, apparently. He extends her visiting hours unbeknownst to her, and she appreciates it. The bond between Hanna and Wren is growing. Uh oh, Caleb!
The girls are onto Melissa, and they want answers fast! Spencer is hesitant, but the others won’t let up. Spencer suggests they go to Philly on a secret mission. She agrees to distract Melissa on a movie date, while the girls inspect her apartment. The girls jump the gun, though. They start ripping apart Melissa’s apartment before Spencer gives them the go-ahead. Emily clumsily misplaces a book, leaving it in plain sight on a coffee table. Come on, Emily! Come on! As it turns out, Melissa forgot her wallet, and in a classic “scramble to hide” scene, the girls clean up their mess before jumping in the closet. Melissa grabs her wallet from the closet without noticing them, but she does notice the book Emily knowingly dropped. Come on, Emily!
Side note: The theater Spencer was shot in front of is an actual screening theater for Warner Brothers’ employees. It also holds a museum of hollywood props and costumes. Spencer was very close to the actual Wild Things from Where The Wild Things Are!
Good thing the girls ended up in the closet. They find an empty costume bag. All that’s left inside is a feather, a feather that matches the one Hanna scooped up at the ball! Melissa is the black swan! The writing is on the wall, and when Melissa surprises Spencer with a visit later in the episode, Spencer confronts her head on. Melissa reacts strangely. She breaks down and looks upset, as opposed to angry that she was caught. In walks Mrs. Hasting, and she wants answers too. Why go to the ball, and how long did Melissa fake a pregnancy? Melissa claims to have lost the baby the day after they found Ian’s body. She claims that she was blackmailed into wearing the costume to the ball, and that “Mona” would reveal that she faked being pregnant. She didn’t want to ruin her family’s name, either. Apparently, the only note that was given to her with the costume said to distract Jenna at the ball. I couldn’t help but wonder how absolutely awkward it must have been to do so, if she’s telling the truth.
Now, Spencer wants answers from her mother. Truly, why represent Garrett? Apparently, Veronica caught wind of the defense’s witness list, and it included the private investigator she hired to track Melissa after the murder. He never found anything. Melissa was cleared, but Mrs. Hastings didn’t want the town to know that she questioned her own daughter, as if she had something dirty to hide.
Hanna wants to talk to Caleb, as Aria previously advised. She wants to tell him about A #2, and why she needs to keep seeing Mona. Just then, she gets a text from A with a picture attached. The pic is of a car wreck in Montecito. Caleb shows up with news of a car accident his mother had in Montecito. Someone tried to run her off the road. Hanna puts two and two together, and realizes she can’t endanger everyone in her life by telling Caleb, and he ends up dumping her. He can’t handle the silence and the secrets, anymore. I feel for him, but I’m siding with Hanna. Who cares about Caleb’s mom, but her mom could be next! Maya is dead, and she can’t risk it.
Ella runs into Ashley at the cafe, and the two have a glass of wine. They share stories of being single moms, and about moving on. Ashley lets it slip that she’s on a dating site, and Ella wants to see. She pulls up the profile, and here it is! HotMamma:
Ashley gives her good advice, too. You go from huddling up on your side of the big bed, as you’re used to, to one morning waking up on the other side entirely, it just takes a while. Back at home, Ella confronts Aria as she laces up her boots. She knows Aria meant well, but she’s not lonely. She wants alone time after being a wife and a mother for so long; however, she elects to keep the dating profile up. Who wouldn’t, Hot Mamma?
Nate tells Emily Rosewood isn’t for him after dealing with too much Maya buzz. He feels he can’t move on there. Emily wants to pursue a friendship, should he decide to stay. They can help each other move on. Emily gives him a letter for Maya’s parents, an act of closure.
As Aria comforts Hanna, Spencer wanders the streets and bumps into Jason. He’s gotten over two hundred calls about Ali’s body. Even Obama is a suspect! Even she is a suspect! He’s ready to call off the search. Spencer can’t wait for college.
Jason: “You can leave Rosewood, but Rosewood will never leave you.?
Spencer: “The truth comes on, Jason, one way or another.”
Jason gets a text and has to leave. Of all the characters, I think Jason gets the highest amount of mysterious texts and calls prompting him to make up an excuse and leave. Spencer goes, but as she leaves we see Jason make a call and write out the check! Before she gets home, the goony detective stops Spencer, asking just how far away her parent’s lake house is. He’s still after them, and he’s looking to figure out that they were at the grave the night Ali’s body was taken.
Lastly, we see A #2! A, you can’t use the trackpad on a macbook with leather gloves on. A changes Mona’s visiting permissions back to “green.” A’s a good tipper, and a big drinker. Does that mean A is over 21?
What did you think of the episode? Are you happy to see Jason return, or do you just think he’s getting jacked out of $50,000? Did you like Veronica Hastings’ new “coconut-head” haircut? Are you sad that Hanna and Caleb are over, or do you like Hanna and Wren better? Did you miss the majority of the supporting cast? Is A #2 an adult? Are you mad that I’ve spelled “Maya” as “Mya” for the first three episode recaps of the season?
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