6×01 Recap – Game On, Charles

I write recaps because everything makes more sense when I write it down and share it! 🙂 Actual theories to come shortly!

The very first scene of season six episode one shows a mysterious blonde watching the Liars run through the Doll House in an attempt to escape. When they run out of the doll house, they find themselves outside with a fence surrounding them. Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Mona all start running toward the fence to climb it until Spencer yells at them to stop because it’s an electric fence. Then the door slams shut behind them. They spend a number of days outside without food or water because Charles is angry with them. Eventually he opens the doors for them again and summons them all to follow the lighted passage way. After they enter the dollhouse again, Charles sets off a gas bomb and drags Mona away from the Liars. When they wake up, each of them is naked under white sheets lying on medical tables as if in a representation of being dead in a morgue. Mona walks into the Morgue dressed as Alison in a candy stripper’s outfit. Acting as Alison, she answers the Liars as quickly, but honestly as possible. Then A’s female voice speaks up over the speaker ordering each girl to go to their rooms. At first, Mona tries to defy A’s orders, but then she and the others follow the paths to their rooms. As quickly as their doors close behind them, we hear each Liar scream in horror from what sounds like unseen torture.

Eventually the mysterious blonde girl takes food to the Liars. At the bottom of the door, we see Spencer’s agonized eyes peek through the food slot and she starts screaming Mona’s name. Spencer’s tormented screams trigger those of the other liars and they are soon all calling Mona’s name. The blonde, who we know is not Mona, covers her ears as if to push away the desire to get the girls out. Whoever this girl is (Bethany Young? Sara Harvey?) fans know that she has likely been in the dollhouse since “that night” when one blonde was killed and another blonde, Alison DiLaurentis, went missing—almost three years.

Eventually the Liars’ bedroom doors come open and each girl is prompted to come out. Each of them is dressed in the same kind of clothing that they wore almost three years ago when the “A” torture all began; Aria even has a pink stripe in her hair. They all look as if they just faced the worse kind of torture they have yet to have been put through. This is seemingly proven by the fact that none of them wants to talk about what happened. The female voice directs them to go to Alison’s room where they must prepare for her arrival. They find boxes full of Alison’s things. They also find a newspaper declaring Alison’s innocence in Mona’s murder case, but Hanna believes it’s probably fake. One of the liars asks, “If A brings Ali here, does that mean he won’t need Mona anymore?” As if in answer to this question, fans are shown a desperate shot of Mona trapped in a pit where she is begging Charles to pull her out so that she can prove she will follow through with being Alison this time.

While the Liars are unpacking Alison’s bedroom, Spencer finds a toy in Alison’s box with the initials “C.D.” and Aria finds a message written on the closet wall that says, “He’s going to kill me. – M”

Each girl discovers things in their rooms that prove A has been planning to capture them and trap them in the dollhouse for a very long time—things that they believe have been missing for a very long time. Hanna reads a newspaper that says her mom has been taken to the hospital due to the stress and terror of the Liars being missing. Aria begins to threaten A after talking about how it must be for their families to know they are missing. Spencer begs her to stop though and she does. Spencer says, “A is making this house our home” and tells them that Charles is a DiLaurentis.

Mona sits curled up, rocking back and forth, singing “Hush Little Baby” while in the pit.

The generator shuts off and the Liars try to find their way to Charles’ vault where they will attempt to bargain with him. Spencer leads them to a room where she believes a secret passageway will lead them to Charles’ vault. She is right, because Emily finds a secret door that leads them into the room where Spencer saw the video of Charles, Jason, and Alison with Mrs. DiLaurentis at the Campbell apple farm. In the first room, each of the liars begin to realize that Alison and Charles would have grown up together. As they make their way into Charles’ room, Emily says, “A does have a soul.” The video begins to play again. When it stops playing, Spencer looks directly into A’s camera and says, “Game on, Charles.” She threatens to burn the film for Charles’ video and everything else that is his. When he doesn’t react she sets fire to the film and other things in the room.

Outside of the dollhouse, we see a band of reporters outside the DiLaurentis house waiting for Alison to come out and speak about her friends now that her conviction for Mona’s murder has been overturned. Before Alison comes out of the house, the main reporter talks about how the police and other Rosewood residents assume Andrew Campbell is the mastermind behind all that is going on because he seems to have gone missing at the same time as the Liars. After Alison comes out of her house, she talks about how the liars have been her rock through of the horrible things that she has been through. She begs Andrew not to hurt the liars as Caleb and Ezra collectively listen to Alison speak and then turn away as she finishes her pleading. In the end, Alison begs that no more reporters or police bother her and then turns around to go back inside. Inside her house, she talks with the police and her dad about how calling Andrew out on the video was to make him believe she was alone and hope that he would come try to capture her.

Ali gets a blocked call. Tanner orders her team of officers to be quiet and prompts Alison to answer the phone. When she answers, all they hear is the lyrics to a song called, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” Believing that this call will lead Andrew to come capture Ali, Tanner leads Ali downstairs, locks her in a room, and leaves an officer to watch after her for safety.

Upstairs in Ali’s bedroom, Toby finds a black hoodie sitting in a rocking chair. When he turns the chair around, he and Tanner see that it’s just a dummy with a pig mask with a cell phone ringing in its pocket. Tanner assumes that Alison escaped to go meet Andrew, when in reality, she actually meets up with Caleb and Ezra. The boys assure Alison that Toby is on their team and will always know where they are just in case something bad happens. They also give Alison high heel shoes that have a tracking device in the heel so that they could keep track of her while she went to meet A.

While one of the officers is watching a news video, the reporter was standing outside Radley with words flashing across the screen saying, “Radley Sanitarium’s doors are closed on the heels of unexpected sale” and the doors have a giant sign saying “Permanently Closed.” Also in the video, they see someone in a hat while behind the reporter outside the DiLaurentis house. They assume it’s Andrew, but could it be Jason? Or Charles?

After Caleb and Ezra drop Alison off in the woods, Ali waits. Then she hears the song “Walking After Midnight” by Patsy Cline playing in the distance. She follows the music and finds a deserted car with the radio playing. She opens the door, sits in the driver’s seat, and starts the ignition. A GPS starts talking and directs her to Tyler State Park, Pennsylvania. There the car stops working, her phone has no service, and the Road Side Assistance button doesn’t connect to anyone, but is instead a recording of a male’s voice (which sounds strangely like Peter Hasting’s voice). The male’s voice directs Alison to go to the back of the car, and open the trunk. There she finds a note that says, “Put on the clothes and start walking. Leave everything else behind or they die.”

With a box of things labeled as “Andrew’s” next to her, Tanner reads a journal with a page that says, “It’s people like them, people like Aria with her aloof, doe eyes, and Spencer, that smug over achieving know nothing know it all, and Hanna and Emily that are the root cause of all that is bad in this world. They like games? Well so do I. I fantasize about watching them scream, about watching what it takes to make them turn on each other. It’s not that I hate them, I don’t. They aren’t evil. They just play everyone like they’re game pieces. Like pawns. I’m no pawn, and they can’t play me.” While she’s reading this, Toby comes into the office, explaining that they found a lead on the car that they found in the video with the guy in the ball cap. Toby’s lead is at the same park where Caleb, Ezra, and Alison are.

After a while, when Caleb and Ezra realize that Alison hasn’t moved, they stop driving, get out of the car, and find the car empty. They find the letter for Alison and find that she took off her shoes, but pointed them in the direction in which she went.

While the liars are setting Charles’s room on fire, he is watching them but also watching Alison and trying to decide what is more important to him—the room that seems to have his only personal belongs in it or meeting Alison and bringing her to the dollhouse. While he’s trying to decide, we see another black hooded character watching the liars burn the room. Then A sets off a fire alarm and the girls start running.

At this point, Caleb and Ezra have found Alison wearing the yellow shirt she wore “that night.” They start walking away. Then they hear the fire alarm, go back to where Alison was, and find smoke coming up from the ground. They start digging but then find something in the distance and run toward it.

The liars run away and start searching for Mona. When they find her, she is hysterically happy and begs them to get her out. They find a rope and throw it down to her. When they get her out, they start running until they find a way out of dollhouse.

As Caleb, Ezra, and Alison try to bust the door open to the basement cellar that they find, the girls bust out of the dollhouse through the same door as the smoke from the fire follows them. Hanna runs straight into Caleb’s arms, Alison and Emily run into each other’s arms, Spencer and Mona hug each other, and Aria throws herself into the arms of Ezra who tells her, “I thought I lost you!”

When the police arrive they check Mona’s vital signs. Some of the officers run into the dollhouse and one of them yells, “There’s another girl down here.” A female officer talks to the mysterious blonde girl in the same yellow shirt Bethany and Alison wore and asks her name. “Sara Harvey,” she answers.

One of the girls says, “We met Sara’s friends remember. They’re from Courtland. She went missing when Ali did.” Last, but not least, Emily asks, “Ali, who is Charles DiLaurentis?”

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