Welcome to another Pretty Little Liars season six recap! Today I'm sharing a rundown and thoughts on the third episode titled Songs Of Experience. As usual spoilers are below the jump!
Season six’s third episode kicks off with the girls preparing for their first day back at school after the traumatic events of the dollhouse. Although they all say they'll be there, when the bell rings Hanna is the only one who has actually shown up. After bumping into Dr. Sullivan (who you'll remember from earlier seasons) Hannah spends her time talking things through and trying to gather the girls for a therapy session rather than attending any classes.
Meanwhile Emily keeps an anxious Sara company back at the Fields' house whilst Spencer skips school to go in search of more clues about Charles. Naturally Spencer tells it to Ali straight and refuses to believe Mr D knows nothing about the mysterious Charles. Much to Ali's protest (she’s convinced Jason will hate his little sister for causing more trouble) Spencer is insistent on talking to Jason about the situation.
“I saw you and Em and Aria and Hanna in that place, that sick place, and I knew I was why you were there. It always comes down to me. Everyone would be fine without me.” – Ali
Trusting her instinct Spencer goes to Jason who initially claims to have no knowledge of any Charles in the DiLaurentis family. But then something occurs to him… Charlie. In one of the latest episode's reveals we discover that when he was younger Jason had what he believed to be an imaginary friend named Charlie, until one day Mr D told him that Charlie ‘had to go away'.
Over at The Brew Aria spends the day hiding out with Ezra and the two decide to a little detective work of their own. Posing as Rosewood PD the pair try to get their hands on Andrew’s medical records hoping to find out more about the boy the girls have grown up alongside. Although they aren’t able to get much information over the phone they do make a significant discovery (another of this week's reveals) – Andrew was adopted.
With a little push from Hanna the girls gather at Dr. Sullivan’s office for a group session, only to be interrupted by the ring of Emily’s phone. The video call shows a sleeping Sara, curled up on Emily’s bed, and a gloved hand holding a knife, threatening that Sara will be harmed if the girls tell Sullivan about A. They rush home to find Sara safe and sound – but if Andrew is still locked up who sent the message?
Doubt about Andrew is already spreading fast amongst the Liars after Sara’s comments last week. Although Aria desperately wants him to be guilty so that they aren’t ‘back to square one’ it’s clear to see the cracks appearing in the theory and this is explored later in the episode when Andrew is released by Rosewood PD. As I’m sure we all suspected Andrew isn’t A and wasn’t responsible for the dollhouse. This week we also learn that he has alibis for many of the dates including when Ali and Sara went missing and therefore he is being released. As Aria confronts him and tries to tell him she’s glad he’s out, an angry Andrew confesses where he was the three weeks he was supposedly ‘on the run’ – searching for Aria. It turns out Andrew was hoping to swoop in and be the hero, only to be arrested and accused of the crime instead. Understandably he now wants nothing to do with her or the other girls and even went as far as to compare them to 'toxic dumps'.
“Other towns have nice toxic dumps. Rosewood has you.” - Andrew
Having explained the Charlie news to a bewildered Alison the girls decide to search the DiLaurentis house for clues, knowing that Mr D isn’t going to answer their questions without some sort of proof. Inside a jar of buttons of all places Aria discovers and old photograph, one of those that was mysteriously missing fro the DiLaurentis’ photo album, and was taken on the same day as A’s apple farm video. The photograph shows Mrs D, baby Ali, young Jason and a third child whom they all now believe to be Charlie.
After the flashbacks we saw last week everyone assumed that the girls were forced to torture each other but as it turns out A’s ‘games’ were all a big trick. As the Liars start to open up to each other about their experiences in the dollhouse (where they were asked to pull levers they believed were causing their friends to be shocked) they realised that none of them were actually harmed. Once again they’ve been tricked by A, who now has proof that at some point the girls will snap and turn on each other if they feel there is no other way out.
As usual the episode ended on a frustrating note when just as Ali and Jason finally got their father to talk we were left out of the reveal, looking on through the DiLaurentis’ window alongside a figure in a black hoodie whom we can only assume was A. On the plus side, if the DiLaurentis siblings are finally getting some answers and finding out more about their family’s deepest secrets soon we will know them too.
“Jason always said that something was missing from this family.” - Ali
So where are we at with the Charlie/A theories? The reveal that Andrew was adopted just screams red herring to me. I never bought into the idea that he was actually A and I think we can now be sure that he isn’t, despite this snippet of new information. Sara on the other hand is still acting very suspiciously and I’d have to agree that it’s a real possibility she is the child we’ve seen in A’s home video as well as the photo Aria found hidden in the button jar. Whilst at the moment I do think she is who she says she is – I just can’t see how she could go around telling people she’s ‘Sara Harvey’ with her photo on the news etc if she isn’t without anyone from back in Courtland, such as her friends we met back in season 4 calling her out on it - that doesn’t mean she couldn’t also be this mysterious ‘Charlie’. I won't go into details in this post as it has nothing to do with the episode, but I also still really like some of the theories suggesting that Cece could be Big A - I believe she's set to make an appearance in 6A too so hopefully we'll find out more soon.
In the preview for next week’s episode we hear the claim that ‘Charles is dead’ but I’m not buying into this just yet either. Let’s not forget we’ve been told characters are gone before only to have them return later on – just look at Ali and Mona! The statement could also mean that Charles is gone because he is now known by another name or identity. The wording that Charlie ‘had to go away’ is also inconclusive. Yes, it could mean that there was some sort of accident however it could also suggest that Charlie was perhaps sent away… to Radley. It’s clear that Rosewood’s famous sanitarium plays some sort of role in the conclusion of the A mystery and it looks like that's where the girls will be heading next on their search for answers.
What did you think of 'Songs Of Experience'? If you have any thoughts or theories don't forget to leave a comment below - I'd love to hear them!