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'Pretty Little Liars' Season 5, Episode 14: 'How The A Stole Christmas'

Kathy Zerbib |
December 10, 2014 | 3:22 p.m. PST

Senior Entertainment Editor

A peaceful Christmas dinner? This was unexpected… (ABC Family).
A peaceful Christmas dinner? This was unexpected… (ABC Family).
Previously on "Pretty Little Liars," our favorite group of girls were stunned to find out that Mona had been killed. Was this A's doing, or - Gasp! - Ali's? Or, is Ali the new A? After all, Mona was killed moments before she planned to reveal A's newest identity to the girls. And why did Ali go to the police station?

READ MORE: 'Pretty Little Liars' Season 5, Episode 12: 'Taking This One To The Grave'

The summer finale of "PLL" left us with more questions than answers (as usual). Because the show opted out of a Halloween special, we're still sitting on our thoughts. Let's jump right in to the Christmas special.

The episode opens to Christmas and Hannukah decorations (How fitting!). The girls are discussing holiday gifts. Spencer is abstaining from Christmas this year, considering she was just bailed out of jail on murder charges. She and Toby have agreed not to exchange gifts.

Emily stops at a window and suggests the girls write a wish on a piece of paper shaped like a snowflake. Hanna reminisces to when she and Mona were in front of the same window a while back, making their own wishes and pledging to be friends forever.

The girls discuss Ali's Ice Ball. Her family is throwing one and they are less than enthusiastic to make an appearance. Mona is most likely dead, Bethany is gone, Spencer is being framed and Ali is sitting pretty.

A man nearby catches Aria's attention. Spencer speculates he is a lawyer, while Aria worries he is a cop or a journalist. He approaches the girls and hands Hanna a business card. Spencer's right - he's a lawyer. 

The lawyer was instructed to wait 30 days after Mona's death and personally deliver an envelope to Hanna. In it are drawings of Ali's house… Hiding places included. There's also a letter addressed to Hanna from Mona, stating the game is still on and that Mona went out fighting for her life. Mona tells Hanna not to give up. The girls believe something in Ali's house proves Ali killed Bethany, since "A" always keeps souvenirs.

A Santa walks by the group and Aria gives him money. He hands her a snow globe to thank her and walks away. Aria shakes the snow globe and stops in horror… It's the same snow globe we previously saw A making in the last episode. The picture of the girls is inside. On the other side is a message: "A takes a holiday. You should, too." In typical "PLL" fashion, the girls don't think to track down the mysterious Santa to ask how he obtained the snow globe. Sigh. Some things never change...

READ MORE: 'Pretty Little Liars': 'Love You To DeAth' Recap

Ali, later that night, is having a nightmare. She's asleep in her bed when her light burns out. Loud thumping ensues and she wakes up to find her mom (Dead, by the way) coming in her bedroom. This is reminiscent of Jacob Marley from "A Christmas Carol." Mrs. Di is Jacob and Ali is Scrooge. "She's got a lot to show you… Pay attention," says Mrs. DiLaurentis. Ali wakes up shortly after.

Ali goes downstairs and finds a picture of her mom. She cuddles up to the picture and falls asleep on the couch. Ali wakes up (Or does she?) and finds that her living room has been transformed with Christmas decorations. It's a perfect shot of holiday spirit, straight from an Ikea catalogue.

She realizes someone is playing the piano and walks over to investigate. Is that… Her? Or, rather, a younger version of her? Suddenly, a tricked-out, ghostly version of Mona appears by the piano and startles Ali. Ali is being haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Ghost Mona tells Ali she needs to see something.

Suddenly, Little Ali hits a note she can't seem to play. Is it broken? Little Ali lifts the piano cover to investigate. Surprise! It's two wrapped Christmas gifts. Little Ali opens it to find two identical yellow dresses. Hmm… That "Ali had a twin" theory is still very alive and real to "PLL" fans. Mrs. Di comes in and tries to make Little Ali believe there aren't two dresses. Apparently, Mr. Di will leave them if Little Ali tells him about the two dresses. Confused? You're not alone. Mrs. Di makes Little Ali repeat the fake story about only seeing one dress.

Ali asks Ghost Mona who the other dress was for. "Bethany?" Ghost Mona smirks. "It's not going to be that easy, bitch." Ali wakes up.

In the Hastings home, Toby and Spencer - AKA the cutest couple ever - are enjoying some together time. Toby's cast appropriately reads: "Here lie the broken bones of Toby Cavanaugh." He's zooming in on the DiLaurentis home with a fancy shmancy camera (a la Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window"), while Spencer gets dressed as one of Santa's best helpers. She looks great and Toby knows it. Since they're doing gestures for Christmas and not gifts, her outfit is her gesture.

Hanna and Caleb are busy at the church, handing out presents to children. Caleb points out an "Ali Mini Me" (How many are there?!) who is bullying a deaf girl. Hanna calls her over and warns her that she's making enemies. "In Rosewood, bitches get buried," Hanna says… to a group of 12-year-olds. They're horrified. When the Mini Me tries to recruit the group to leave, they choose to stay. Hanna's just saved the next group of Liars.

At the Shady Days Nursing Home, a choir troupe (Including Paige and Emily) are performing. Ezra is there and so is Aria. He hands her a jewelry box… Followed by another big box with an accompanying outfit. So much for lowkey.

Ali has a new group of four to call her own (ABC Family).
Ali has a new group of four to call her own (ABC Family).

READ MORE: 'Pretty Little Liars' Season 5, Episode 11: 'No One Here Can Love Or Understand'

After all the singing, Emily catches Paige upset and arguing over the phone. Paige tells Emily that her parents want her to come to California after Christmas. They're interrupted when Aria points out the mistletoe above them. 

In anticipation of the Ice Ball, Ali is helping the twins get dressed. They look great, which Ali says is a Christmas miracle. How sweet.

The girls are dressed in borderline Prom fashion for the Ice Ball. Seriously, they always know what to wear. Spencer heads over to take a picture with Santa, who turns out to be Lucas, who turns out to be in on the girls' plan to raid Ali's house for clues. Lucas is charged with keeping Ali at the party to distract her. Spencer warns him that Ali is building an army and he needs to be careful.

As the girls dance, Ali and her four-girl army walk in. The girls are wearing masks. We already know two of them are the twins, so who are the other two? And who is the hooded figure in white watching Hanna and Spencer slip away?

Aria spies Ali sneaking off to kiss a mysterious Santa Claus. It can't be Lucas… right? Aria goes on a hunt to find all the different Santas of the night. She's stopped by one… Officer Holbrook. Could he be Ali's new beau?

Are Ali and Holbrook an item? (ABC Family)
Are Ali and Holbrook an item? (ABC Family)
Ali, meanwhile, is headed off into the Winter Wonderland Maze. She's followed by the white hooded figure. Ali stops in the maze and turns around just as the hooded figure reveals herself. It's Cece. Cece gifts her with a personalized perfume. Ali tells her about the nightmares and Ghost Mona. Cece warns her about the girls, who she calls Ali's ex-friends. 

Emily confronts two of Ali's masked clan. It's Sydney and Jenna. Solves that mystery. Jenna says Ali offered her friendship when Jenna first moved to Rosewood. Jenna turned her down, something she now recognizes as a mistake. When Ali asked again, Jenna gave the right answer - yes. Sydney says she and Jenna are not the enemy. Emily says they're guilty by association. Jenna says they're just trying to survive. They all agree Ali killed Mona.

READ MORE: 'Pretty Little Liars' Season 5, Episode 10: 'A Dark Ali'

Hanna and Spencer scavenge through Ali's house. Toby and his zooming capabilities are keeping a close watch. Toby notices Hanna has found something, as the TV next to him warns of intense snow conditions. Hanna's takes her findings to Spencer: a passport for "Holly Varjak." Hello, flashback to "Breakfast at Tiffany's"! Looks like the girls found Ali's newest identity. 

Spencer finds out something of her own. Ali was talking to someone through the personal ads, like she did before with Mona.

Back at the party, the Liars and their boy toys (and Paige) spy Ali and the hooded figure leaving. Holbrook is also heading to the exit. Caleb and Ezra stop Holbrook, while Emily and Aria dash after Ali and Cece. The duo are cut short by Paige and Lucas, and turn to find Emily and Aria behind them.

But Ali and Cece aren't Ali and Cece. They're wearing masks, wigs and Ali and Cece's outfits. It's the twins. When did they have time to change outfits?! This is very bad news… Ali and Cece are MIA.

Hanna is digging upstairs in the attic when Spencer hears a suspicious noise. Are Ali and Cece there? Hanna, oblivious to danger, finds Ali's "Excellence in Archery" certificate. She also finds a tape recorder.

Toby gets a call from Caleb saying they lost Ali and the girls need to get out. Toby spies Hanna in the attic… And "A" downstairs. "A" has a knife. Spencer is hiding nearby. Still upstairs, Hanna finds a jack-in-the-box in a hidden room. The name on the box says "Mad Hatter," leading Hanna to another group of boxes with the same name. The boxes have letters between Bethany and Ali, whom Ali claims not to have known. Ali even invited her to Rosewood for Labor Day. Could this be what gets Spencer off the suspects list? Not so fast. Spencer finds Hanna's phone in the living room, so she can't warn Hanna that "A" is out and about. Toby tries to flash lights at Hanna's attic window, but she doesn't notice. 

Spencer arms herself with a shard of glass and sets off after Hanna and "A." Hanna thinks Spencer is calling her and walks downstairs … and straight into "A." Spencer hears her scream and runs over. Hanna is unconscious but not stabbed. What happened to the letters Hanna had tucked into her dress? The open window makes it seem like "A" is gone, but we notice a face behind one of the masks in the room.

The group is back together in the Hastings home. Spencer has the letter proving Ali invited Bethany over for Labor Day, and the group is relatively optimistic. The clock dings midnight and everyone wishes each other a Merry Christmas.

Ghost Mona is terrorizing Ali (ABC Family).
Ghost Mona is terrorizing Ali (ABC Family).
Back at the DiLaurentis home, Ali is having another nightmare. She wakes up on the couch to find Ghost Mona. She asks Ali about the party. When Ali doesn't respond, Ghost Mona tells Ali that ignoring her will make her mad. Ali is certainly spooked.

This time, Ghost Mona is playing the Ghost of Christmases Yet to Come. Ali asks Ghost Mona what it is she wants. Ghost Mona puts Ali in a church, with a casket. Ali opens the casket and sees herself lying there. Ghost Mona says no one ever found her legs. Ali asks her when it'll happen. Ghost Mona won't tell her. A veiled lady in black steps forward. "Do I know you?" Ali asks. The lady in black reveals herself to be Mrs. Di. She tells Ali "they" will be coming for Ali soon. "Am i going to Hell?" Ali asks her mother. Her mother's silence tells Ali yes. 

We see Ali screaming Mona's name in bed. Ghost Mona wakes her up, saying, "Wake up, bitch! It's Christmas… And I promise, you don't want to miss it." 

READ MORE: 'Pretty Little Liars' Season 5, Episode 9: 'March Of Crimes'

The girls are waking up on Christmas morning and feel sad that their parents are caught in the blizzard and can't make it to Rosewood. To cheer them up, the guys (and Paige) dress in Santa trunks and greet the girls from the stairs. The girls, to say the least, are thrilled (and so are we). 

As everyone sits in celebration, Paige then feels the need to ruin the day. She tells Emily that her parents want her to move to California, not just visit. Emily is shocked. 

Hanna says Mona should be there, considering they are able to celebrate because of her. She's still mourning her best friend.

The group enjoys a Christmas dinner. Ali comes to the window and sees the group laughing and eating. She walks away into the snow without making a sound.

A noise at the fireplace brings the girls outside (Without a coat, mind you), hoping for Santa sightings (LOL). They find a decorated tree outside, and Christmas lights in a message: "Merry Christmas, Bitches. -A." The group loses some of its holiday cheer. 

A bittersweet ending that's more sweet than bitter? We'll take it. 

An all-new season of "PLL" returns Jan. 6 on ABC Family.

Reach Senior Entertainment Editor Kathy Zerbib here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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