January 07, 2014 7:32pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars': 4 Biggest Moments From Season 4 Winter Premiere
[Warning: Spoilers ahead from the winter premiere.]
Pretty Little Liars returned for the second half of season four with Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily one step closer to finding out the truth behind who wanted Alison dead.
The Hollywood Reporter rounds up the biggest developments from Tuesday's winter premiere, "Who's in the Box?."
Hanna Marin, P.I.: After discovering that Alison is, in fact, alive, the Liars put on their detective hats as they try to put the pieces together of who would have wanted Alison dead. Not Cece. Not Shauna. Board shorts, perhaps? Hanna becomes the Spencer of the episode, coming up with a theory that a girl who went missing around the same time Alison was "killed" is the body in Alison's crypt. If they figure out who she is, that could lead them to the guilty party! Brilliant! She goes Googling around to find the identity of the missing girl and comes across a teen named Sara, arranging for the girl's friends to meet so they can find answers. (In the middle of all this, "A" threatens to crash the party when an ominous video plays: "Whoever finds Alison, gets to keep her.")
Hanna and Emily meet up with Sara's friends, who believe their buddy is still out there in the world, minus Avery, who Hanna finds out later from Sara's friend Claire, has been struggling after Sara's disappearance. Things seem to be pointing to Sara as the body, until it's revealed that Avery was the last person to see Sara the day after Labor Day. The unsettling thing about Sara and her friends? Reads like the exact situation Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer were/are in with Alison. So after all that, the Liars still don't know the identity of the body in Alison's crypt. But Hanna drops a bombshell: She has Alison's diary, where she waxed poetic about the four -- and from Hanna's warning, likely unpleasant things.
Ezra's suspicious nature: Ezra (aka "EzrA") teaches the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde. Appropriate move, considering his "A" connection. Mona intuitively makes the connection that something is up, telling him his reading list is revealing with the common thread between the stories all about masks and other identities. "Fear is the No. 1 motivator," he opines to Mona. "Fear of failure, fear of being discovered, fear of liking the wrong person. You figured that out and you dumped that fear and that's what makes you special. ... Fear can be a very good thing."
With Jake conveniently out of town, Ezra promises Aria that he's going to try to become the person she thinks he is. And he brings her to a hidden retreat, which he says is owned by a friend and has no cell service. Convenient. Ezra continues to sell Aria on the idea that he wants to start over and almost like that, he convinces her -- even giving Aria keys to the place. "It could be our secret," Ezra says before the two kiss. Uh oh. Later in the evening, Ezra's eyes lead us to a hidden door on the cabin floor. Who or what is underneath? (The tag goes a step further with a figure dressed in all black opening the hidden door.)
Everything leads to Radley: After finding answers about his mother, Toby and Spencer start to realize that everything leads to the sanitarium that had called Spencer and Mona patients, and that happens to be owned by a big corporation, Declodyne. Toby then breaks the stunning news to Spencer's lawyer father -- after Toby and Spencer threaten a Declodyne executive -- that Declodyne has to admit Toby's mother did not commit suicide. That seems to be all the ammo Spencer's father needs to jump on board with the anti-Declodyne campaign: His next step? Shutting the whole company down.
Caleb and Hanna take a break: Caleb returns to Rosewood, and while things, at first, seem fine between the two, the couple breaks up after Hanna misunderstands Caleb's secrecy about the truth of Miranda and the danger that lurks in Ravenswood. They say a simple "goodbye" as Caleb heads back to Ravenswood.
Other episode highlights:
- Hanna's mother, Ashley, is struggling to find a job after the events of the Detective Wilden murder trial, but it's Alison who plays a key role in Ashley's new job. Alison's mother, Jessica, reveals that it wasn't her idea to hire Ashley to work in her real estate office. "Ali suggested it," she says. Turns out, Alison still shows up in her dreams, or so she thinks.
Toby: "There was a time when Mona would've run us right over. Maybe she's making progress."
Spencer: "Yeah, or practicing her aim."
- Emily starts to let go of Alison by talking to Paige about past rendezvous, including the one time Alison and Emily kissed.
What are your thoughts on the winter premiere?
Pretty Little Liars airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.