'Pretty Little Liars' Season 4b premiere: Was Alison ever 'A'?

pretty-little-liars-season-4B-premiere-whos-in-the-box.jpg"Pretty Little Liars" is back with "Who's in the Box?," which has the Liars wondering that exact thing -- if Alison is alive, who is in her grave?

Alison and 'A'

One of the first potential big moments of the episode is when Emily wonders if Alison is "A." Wouldn't that be interesting? Maybe Alison was somehow working with Mona, or maybe she took over when Mona got sent to Radley? It would certainly add some drama if Alison were "A" for a while and then began to be afraid of someone else working as "A"? Or found out some other "A" was trying to kill her and went on the run? There are a lot of intriguing possibilities there.

Anyway.

The Liars are determined to find out who is buried in Alison's grave, spurred by Hanna's idea that they should look into other girls in the area who went missing around the time Alison did, because someone was buried in the ground beneath the gazebo between the time Grunwald pulled Alison out and the construction workers poured the cement. Who is that someone? Finding that out could point them in the right direction of "A" and/or the person Alison is running from.

The search leads the Liars to Sara Harvey, a girl from nearby Courtland, who, as it turns out, was the Alison of her group of friends. She was the kind of girl who "made you special," and she went missing around the same time as Alison did, plus she's roughly the same build as Ali and had blonde hair.

Hanna also reveals to the girls that she took the silver journal from "A's" lair in Ravenswood (which has since been cleaned out) because she knew the diary belonged to Alison. The girls' collective *gulp* is practically audible as they realize that diary probably contains every single one of their secrets.

It also turns out that it's not Sara in Alison's grave because she was seen riding her bike after the gazebo's foundation was poured, so chances are we're done with Sara Harvey and her group of friends. But it sure would be interesting if Sara's disappearance was connected to Alison's.

Aria and Ezra

Speaking of Alison's disappearance, now that Ezra has been revealed to be someone maybe not on the up-and-up (we're not calling him "A" just yet, gang), he's doing all sorts of, well, fairly innocuous things that before last summer's finale would have been normal but are now taking on a rather sinister undertone.

He's teaching his Rosewood High class "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," which, if you are not familiar, is about a man with a split personality -- mild-mannered scientist by day, blood-thirsty murderer by night. Red flag or red herring?

Either way, Ezra and Mona have a telling chat, wherein she implies she knows something about what he's up to and he makes thinly-veiled threats to her about pushing him too far. She also inquires about having a mentor-mentee relationship with him, so ... is Mona going back to the dark side?

As far as Aria is concerned, Ezra says he wants to be with her after graduation and apologizes for what he did to her regarding Maggie and Malcolm.

He then takes Aria to spend the night at a cabin that belongs to his "friend" who is out of town. Mmm-hmm. They make with the sexy time, which of course now feels like Aria is the fly in the spider's web. The "A" tag at the end shows someone (not necessarily Ezra) getting into the secret compartment in the cabin's floor.

Emily and Paige

Emily isn't doing so well with the whole Alison-is-alive thing, since she was in love with Alison. It's making Emily tense and confused, snapping at Paige, who just wants to know what's wrong. But Emily can't tell Paige about Alison, so she's just stuck with her anger and confusion. Poor Paily.

Claire, one of Sara Harvey's friends, comes to Emily at The Brew to talk about Sara, how she was everything to their group but also never really loved the girls in return. Emily is saddened thinking about how that's the way Alison was with her -- only taking love, never truly giving it back. But she also knows she can't end up like Avery, Sara's friend who has had to be heavily medicated since Sara's disappearance.

Hanna and Caleb

Caleb is back in Rosewood to ... break up with Hanna, basically. She thinks he's back for good, but he says he has promises to keep in Ravenswood. However, he won't tell Hanna what's been going on in good ol' Spookytown because when she eventually did believe him, he'd have a hard time keeping her out of it and he wants to keep her safe.

An actual bell tolls for the Haleb relationship as they have one of several sad conversations -- Hanna is naturally worried that Caleb is cheating on her with Miranda, and even though he says he's not, he won't tell her what's going on, so what is she supposed to think?

In the end, Caleb breaks it off and cries as he leaves town to go back to Ravenswood, while Hanna cries to her mother (who, incidentally, has taken a job working for Mrs. DiLaurentis as a real estate agent).

Spencer and Toby

Our intrepid detectives actually manage to figure some things out this episode, discovering that Radley Sanitarium is owned by Declodyne, a healthcare company. Spencer puts on her lawyer pants and makes some pretty good threats to a PR woman at Declodyne about exposing the cover-up in Toby's mom's death.

Declodyne caves and admits that Mrs. Cavanagh's death was not a suicide, which seems to satisfy Spoby, but Spencer's dad gets wind of what his daughter's been up to and says they could use this to get Radley shut down. Hmm.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • We can't wait for the diary to come into play. We were hoping after last summer's finale that we'd see it more in the premiere, but we'll settle for next episode. It's like a tiny silver bomb, waiting to explode its secrets all over the Liars.
  • Here's hoping Mona is not going back to the dark side. Just because she might know what Mr. Fitz is up to doesn't necessarily mean she's back on the "A" Team. We like Mona on the Liars' side, thank you.
  • What exactly is Mr. Hastings up to? You know his suggestion to close Radley cannot be selflessly motivated.

Best Lines:

    Hanna: "OK, I've been thinking and I have a theory."
    Spencer: "You have what?
    Hanna: "A theory. Do you wanna hear it or not?"

    Tina: "There's always this one girl who just seems to be everything and have everything. And out of nowhere she decided to talk to you. She makes you special."

    Caleb: "I'm not as quick on the draw as I used to be when it comes to reality."

    Claire: "I don't think she ever loved anybody. I don't think she knew how. She just collected love from other people. ... Everything she gave you, she took two things away."

What did you think of "Who's in the Box?"
Photo/Video credit: ABC Family
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