‘Pretty Little Liars’ Recap: Red Coat Returns To Help Charles — Who Is It?

Things are more intense than ever in Rosewood. On this week's 'Pretty Little Liars', Charles plays a nasty trick on the girls, leaving them more freaked out than ever, but he's not working alone anymore! Red Coat is back...and the pair make a pretty evil team! Are the Pretty Little Liars one step closing to discovering who Charles (aka 'A') is?! On the July 28 episode, they followed some new leads, but, as usual, Charles was one step ahead -- and scared them more than ever with a mean prank. Plus, WHO is the oh-so-familiar looking sidekick helping him out?!

The episode opens with the girls watching the news, in which a reporter is explaining how Charles DiLaurentis has been named a prime suspect in their kidnapping — but is also being looked at for the murder of his mother, Jessica DiLaurentis. Ali reminisces on the video she saw of her, Jason and Freddie (Charles), and questions how the sweet little boy in the clip could become the evil person Charles is today.

Aria meets up with her new friend, Clark at the brew, and discusses the girls’ face-to-face (sort of) with Charles from last week’s episode. Ezra is not feeling the close new friendship, though, and is jealously giving the duo some major side-eye from just a few feet away! Once Clark leaves, Ezra confronts Aria with his suspicions about this new guy and why he’s suddenly getting so close, and the pair openly discuss their fears about Charles still being on the loose.

And speaking of relationships with older guys…Ali and Lorenzo are still hot and heavy! Ali feels terrible that her new love interest got hurt during the face-off with Charles, and the two share a sweet moment in his kitchen when the once-evil Ali brings over some homemade chicken soup. Awwww.

Hanna is still adamant that she doesn’t want to keep the scholarship money given to her by the Carissimi Group — she still believes the group was set up by Mrs. D. as a way to wire money to Charles, and that Charles is now trying to control her with the scholarship money.

Red Coat Is Back — Working With Charles?

Meanwhile, Aria has a chance to display her work in an art gallery, and Detective Tanner assures Ella Montgomery that there will be enough members of the force at the event to keep Aria safe. But Ella remains uneasy, and she may be on the right page! Immediately, the scene cuts to an image of a mysterious figure in a black hoodie (Charles, most likely) watching security footage of the gallery — and he’s joined by someone in a red coat! Wait…what!? Who is working with Charles? Didn’t we already figure out in Season 4 that Cece Drake and Alison were the ones wearing the red coats — is this someone different? SO many questions!

Emily meets up with Aria to help her decide on a dress for the art show, and when she spots her prom dress in the closet, the subject of the big dance comes up. Unfortunately, there’s been some backlash from parents at the school about whether or not it’s safe for the little liars to attend. OMG, you can’t make them miss their own prom! During the intimate conversation, though, Emily finally admits, much to Aria’s surprise, that she has feelings for Sarah Harvey. Although Emily is a little uneasy about asking her new ladylove to the dance, Aria urges her to do so — even though it will mean Aria will be the only one without a date. Sad.

Did Hanna & Spencer Just Find Charles?

Spencer and Hanna go to Carissimi Group to find out the truth about Hanna’s check, and the man they meet with,  Rhys Matthews, looks eerily similar to Jason — creepy! Just from the looks on their faces, you can tell the girls are convinced he could be Charles, and Hanna snaps a sneaky photo on her phone for proof.

Lorenzo informs Ali that Detective Tanner and Mr. D have hired a profiler to help find out who Charles is today (remember: Mr. D. allegedly only knew him when he was a little kid, and Mrs. D. was the one who’d been hiding the secret — for years — that Charles is  actually alive). But Ali isn’t satisfied with the answers she’s getting from everyone around her, and decides to do some sleuthing of her own. First step? Stealing Lorenzo’s police badge while he’s asleep!

Hanna is beyond convinced that Rhys from Carissimi is Charles, but Spencer doesn’t want the new revelation to ruin Aria’s big night at her art show. As the two, along with Emily, discuss what to do about it, Aria catches up with Ezra — and asks him to prom (“as friends”)! Because that wouldn’t be weird at all, right? Before Ezra can give a response, though, Nicole, Emily’s friend who Ezra connected with in last week’s episode, shows up and interrupts. EEK! Luckily, Aria has Clark to take her mind off it.

Charles’ Mean Trick

But it doesn’t work for long! Aria is announced as a finalist in the competition, and the guests are treated to a wall of her photographs — only they aren’t the ones she submitted! Instead, the pics have been replaced with four photos of the girls, passed out and naked on metal tables after being kidnapped by Charles, taken right after he put the trackers in their necks. SOOOO creepy!

Charles attached a note in Spanish to the photos, and Detective Tanner discovers that it’s a message to her — as much as she thinks she can uncover who Charles is, he can also reveal anything he wants about her past, too. Aria’s mom is NOT happy that Charles was able to swap the paintings, especially after being assured that the art show would be safe for the girls. When will the Rosewood PD ever learn — Charles is ALWAYS one step ahead!

While Hanna, Emily and Spencer are leaving the gallery, they spot Rhys in his car across the street and decide to follow him (because that’s always worked so well for them in the past). As he enters the creepy doll factory, the girls wait in the car, per Spencer’s suggestion. “Let’s see what he does,” she urges.

Ali uses Lorenzo’s pass to sneak into the Rosewood PD, where she sees an entire room dedicated to the evidence that’s been uncovered against Charles. As she’s snooping, Detective Tanner enters. “You’ve crossed a line, young lady,” she warns. Uh-oh! Tanner lectures Ali for entering a room she most definitely doesn’t belong in, but as their conversation progresses, it’s revealed that one of the items taken into evidence from Charles’ lair is actually a rattle that belonged to Ali. “Maybe part of him wants to stay connected to the family,” Alison suggests. But Tanner has another possibility: Murderers like to have an intimate connection to their victims. Still, Ali just can’t come to terms with the fact that her brother could be so cold-blooded, and seems frightened when Tanner reveals the force’s plan to take Charles down — literally.

Aria finally opens up to Ezra a bit about what went down when she was kidnapped and stripped naked by Charles. She reminisces on her family’s time in Iceland — before ‘A’ came into the picture and made her life so incredibly complicated. Ezra doesn’t have to say anything, but simply completes the intimate moment with a gentle touch. Ezria is SOOOOO back on!

Is Clark Working With Charles?

The scene then cuts to Emily, Spencer and Hanna, who are still waiting in the car for Rhys, but it’s who they see arrive next that’s most shocking — Aria’s new friend and photography pal, Clark! What?! He was just at the art show. How is he connected to all of this?! You really can’t trust ANYONE in Rosewood!

When Alison returns to Lorenzo’s apartment, he confronts her about stealing his pass — and he’s not happy. Ali explains Tanner’s plan to kill Charles once they catch him, and she reveals, on the verge of tears, that she just can’t cope with the idea of losing her brother…even though she doesn’t know him at all and he’s spent years torturing her and her friends. While we’ve spent most of this show viewing Ali as evil, the recent episodes have certainly painted her in a new light — does she actually have feelings?!

In one of this week’s creepiest moments, a  frightened Ella meets up with Ashley Marin to discuss her fears for the girls — and we see Red Coat watching them in the window! OMG! Meanwhile, Emily, Spencer and Hanna explain to Aria how they saw Clark at the doll factory. As they’re having this conversation, Tanner is watching security footage from the gallery, and closes in on a shot of someone in a black hoodie switching out Aria’s photos. Of course, the shot is taken from behind, so we don’t get a view of the face…because, duh.

The episode closes with black hoodie getting into the back of a car, which is being driven by Red Coat, who hands him an invitation to Rosewood prom. Looks like we’re going dancing next week, boys and girls!

HollywoodLifers, who do you think Red Coat is?! Seriously — WHO THE HECK IS IT?!

–Alyssa Norwin

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