Tuesday night's episode of Pretty Little Liars looked a little different, spending most of the time in the black and white noir world of Spencer Hasting's mind.
The episode starts as per usual, in color, with Spencer, Hannah, and Emily going into Ezra's classroom to find something that will prove he is "A" - or at least has something to do with "A." While Hannah is looking in Ezra's filing cabinet and Spencer and Emily go through his desk, Spencer finds Ali's diary that had been stolen from the girls at a cabin earlier in the season.
While at Spencer's house, the girls flip through the diary (which was WAY too easy to find). They decide to take a break from brainstorming. and Hannah and Emily leave Spencer with her thoughts - and pills. Spencer has been taking pills to keep her awake so she can put all the pieces together to prove Ezra is "A," but this time when she pops the pills, she opens her eyes to find herself in a black and white noir world.
In this black and white world where things happened (but really didn't?), Toby was a trench-wearing-detective, Ezra was blunt with his evilness, Hannah was more useful than normal (being single is working for this girl), Aria shared the secret that she is seeing Ezra again, and nobody has the cojones to tell Aria that Ezra is "board shorts."
The damper to this black and white episode was how secretive Emily and Paige had to be about their relationship. Lesbians weren't exactly public about their relationships in the 1940s, and it was rather heartbreaking whenever Emily and Paige had a scene together. Or even when Paige was having a conversation with Aria about Emily.
During one scene, Ezra and Toby are having coffee and Ezra lets it slip that Ali is alive. Toby takes this information to Spencer and tries to find out if she knew and how much she knew.
Ezra continues to let it slip that Ali is alive during a conversation with Aria. (Can this guy not keep a secret or does he really want to let everyone know?)
Later Hannah informs the girls that she has found Ali, and off the foursome go to a nightclub where Ali is a dancer? A showgirl? I don't know, but she is not happy to see the Liars, least of all Spencer, who she repeatedly tells she has no guts because she has yet to tell Aria about Ezra. During their argument a gunshot rings through the nightclub and the ladies run through a warehouse until they hear Ezra's voice. Aria wants to go to him, because of course she still thinks he's the bee's knees, but the rest of them try to talk her out of it. She walks toward a shadowy figure until they all realize it's Toby. As Ali heads in a different direction, the Liars get in Toby's car after he tells them he knocked out Ezra.
While in the car Toby keeps telling Spencer she has figured it all out, but Spencer doesn't understand. Then POOF we're back in present-day Rosewood and Spencer realizes why it was so easy to find the diary. She shares with Hannah and Emily that Ezra changed some of the words and dates in the diary, but little does Ezra know, Spencer has photos of all the pages on her phone!
The girls head to Aria's house to tell her the news only to find her kissing Ezra as they look through the window.
Fans of the show seemed to enjoy the episode, but then again, they pretty much enjoy every episode.
— ariel kathryn (@arielplosive) February 12, 2014
— Alicia Ponce (@Alicia_M_P_) February 12, 2014
Although at least one person was not a fan of the black and white episode.
please never do a black and white episode again pretty little liars
— kat (@divergenouis) February 12, 2014
According to Pretty Little Liars executive producer Joseph Dougherty, the noir episode was the networks idea. Dougherty told Entertainment Weekly, “It was the brainchild actually of ABC Family. Visually, Pretty Little Liars doesn’t look like anything else on the network. We are a place of darker shadows and more mysteries and more scares, and it was kind of like the network calling us out. They said, ‘Listen, we know where you’re going, we’d like to give you permission to go all the way, would you like to do one that’s in black and white?’ And I was a little shy about it because I couldn’t believe they were asking. They gave us permission to go as far as we wanted to go, and that was a dangerous thing to say because we went all the way and ended up with something I’m incredibly proud of. I’m proud of everybody who worked on it.”
So what can we expect in the next episode and the rest of this season? Dougherty tells EW, “Aria’s going to have to find out what the hell is going on. It’s a question of how she finds out and from who she finds out and how the hell she takes it. And we do have the reality of Ali out there as well and what her situation is. There’s an increased tempo in the episodes that are coming up that lead you to the finale...Pound-for- pound, there’s more going on in this finale than I think has been going on in any other finale, certainly since Mona dove off the cliff. But again, every answer you get gives you three more questions.”
Click on the video below for scenes from the next episode of Pretty Little Liars.
Image via Pretty Little Liars, Twitter