‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: ‘She’s Better Now’

Much like menacing Mona, the title of last night’s “Pretty Little Liars” winter premiere is not to be trusted—because not even two minutes into the episode, the recently released rabble-rouser creepily sneaks into Hanna’s room in the middle of the night like some vampiric love interest, confirming that she most certainly isn’t cured. Hanna’s rightfully disturbed and doesn’t have much faith in Mona’s intentions: “You spent the last two years majoring in torture,” she says, before finally agreeing to be her ally at school.

But Mona isn’t the only one out carousing under the cover of darkness. Her fellow A-Teamer Toby is careening in an SUV through the dimly lit streets of Rosewood, barreling down on a defenseless skateboarder. More on that to come.

In light of the derailed Halloween party, Emily’s dad has decided to alarm Chez Fields against intruders—and make Em something of prisoner inside her own home. And she better forget about that after-school charity race.

Unsurprisingly, Mona’s return to school isn’t without incident. After American history class (with maternity sub Meredith!), Mona finds a bovine brain affixed to her locker door with a butcher knife, accompanied by a note reading, “Takes one mad cow to know another.” With nearly the entire high school watching, Mona grabs the knife and brain, walking it down one of the longest hallways we’ve ever seen, finally finding a garbage to throw it into. As she waltzes back, knife in hand, she whispers something into Lucas’ ear. He retreats—with a mysterious limp. (Aria did stab someone on the Halloween train…)

Speaking of Aria, she’s keeping mum…about everything. From the accusations Garrett leveled against her dad to Ezra’s secret spawn, she’s hesitant to reveal any of her secrets. But as she leaves Ezra’s apartment, she spies an “It’s a boy!” gift basket outside his door. A knows.

At home, she finally dances around the subject of Ali by asking Byron what he thought of her and if he ever spent any time with her. (Because dads always hang out with their daughter’s BFFs for no reason…) He of course rebuffs her questions and leaves her room with a disturbed look on his face.

Emily’s loitering in the halls at school when she spots the new janitor, but he’s not new to her. He’s the caretaker from the lodge! He’s cleaning up brain juice from Mona’s locker, and the girls decide they’ll investigate his lair later during the charity race.

Mona shows up at the event too, glad-handing participants like she’s the First Lady. Thanks to Over-Protective Dad, Emily’s not there, so Aria, Hanna and Spencer detour to the basement to investigate the janitor’s office. But Emily is there, poorly picking the lock after having disengaged the security system at home. The girls don’t find Mona’s belongings, but they find something even more valuable: an old diary of Ali’s in which she details blackmailing Byron!

Mr. Janitor returns and finds the girls snooping around, but Toby arrives just in time (coincidence?) to help smooth over the situation and get them out of there. Meanwhile, at the race, Mona spots Meredith and, well, it looks as though she sets her up to walk right into a burning shed (and make the liars look like they’re to blame).

Lucas later shows up at Hanna’s house with an envelope of money for Caleb, and when Hanna asks about the limp, he says he was in a skateboarding accident. (So he’s the one Toby terrorized?) But he’s not the only injured one. The episode ends with Mona dressing a wound of Jason’s. Perhaps inflicted from a mysterious pyrotechnic mishap?

What did you think of last night’s winter premiere? Do you think Jason and Mona are in cahoots? Did Byron really have something to do with Alison’s death? And what’s Lucas up to? Tell us all your thoughts and theories in the comments and on Twitter!