Pretty Little Liars Wiki
Pretty Little Liars Wiki
We need to cut ties with Ali now. Tonight.
Emily to Aria, Hanna and Spencer

A Dark Ali is the tenth episode of Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars. It aired on August 12th, 2014.


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At the Rosewood Police Department, Kenneth DiLaurentis stands in an observation room looking in on Cyrus Petrillo. Kenneth asks Lieutenant Tanner how they caught Cyrus and she tells him that Mrs Marin’s neighbour reported a man lurking in her yard, and that his story matches Alison’s. After Tanner tells Kenneth to not say a word of this to anyone, Kenneth asks where Alison is.

In an office, Alison is looking at Cyrus’ mug shot when Kenneth comes in. As Kenneth asks Alison if that’s the man who hurt her, Alison says that she doesn’t know.

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The next day, Alison is in her bedroom with the other Liars. Spencer is shocked to hear that Alison said she didn't know who "kidnapped" her. Alison questions what she was supposed to say before Spencer asks if they have to remind her she was never really kidnapped. Emily points out that this is all of A’s doing, and Hanna realises that it’s the same story Alison told the doctor. Alison reasons that if ‘A’ is behind it all, then that is who Cyrus is going to run to when he panics. When Hanna asks what Alison is saying, she says that they can follow Cyrus to ‘A’ and finally win A’s game. Aria tells her that it’s great, but questions what will happen when they lose.

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Walking out of the DiLaurentis house, Hanna wonders why they haven’t got a text message from ‘A’ yet. Aria mentions that once Tanner finds out the kidnapping story is a lie, it won’t be long before she figures out about New York and Shana. Emily says that Alison isn’t an idiot and that she’s not going to walk right into an ‘A’ trap, but Spencer says they don’t know that: “she’s gone rogue”. The girls nominate Emily to talk to Alison and make sure she doesn’t ID Cyrus. After she walks off, Spencer tells Aria and Hanna about Noel’s insurance policy, before saying that she has a ‘spot’ where she can stash the tape and Ali's pictures and medical records in her house.

Up in Alison’s bedroom, Emily tells her that Aria was right and that if Alison identifies Cyrus, it will be way too easy for ‘A’ to prove that she’s lying. Alison says that she gets it, and as Emily asks why Alison can’t just say the guy is innocent, Kenneth knocks on the door. Alone with Alison, Kenneth is upset when Alison says that she already told Emily what was going on. Kenneth says that Cyrus has confessed already, and the police think he may have killed Jessica and Bethany Young as well.

Ella cancels a venue that was for the wedding. Aria comes in and they talk. Aria reassures her that the fallout with Zack wasn't her fault, and that she was the one who taught her about second chances. However, Ella says that her second chance was Zack. Aria offers to cancel the rest of the wedding arrangements for her.

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Hanna is cleaning out unhealthy food and drink from Caleb’s cabin when Caleb wonders how ‘A’ got someone to confess to Alison’s "kidnapping". Hanna tells him that Alison is in the driver’s seat of her life, and she’s sick of it. She plans to go to her school's upcoming choir audition in an attempt to do something normal for once.

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In her bedroom, Spencer phones Emily, who is walking on a street. Speaking in code, Emily asks if Spencer has found a place for the stolen goods from Noel. Spencer removes a part from her armchair to find that all the items have been stolen. Melissa walks in as Spencer searches her floor. Spencer’s phone rings and Melissa passes it to her, telling her to take it and that she’ll wait. Answering it, Spencer says that she’ll have to call Emily back, but the phone call isn’t from Emily. Spencer listens as Alison’s voice recording is played and after she hangs up and Melissa leaves the bedroom, Spencer receives a text message, “Check mate. –A”.

Hanna and Caleb are out for a run when Spencer drives past them and stops. Spencer tells Hanna in private that she stayed up all night trying to figure out who took the recording of Alison, but is shocked when Hanna says she’s not interested and runs off. After Spencer asks Caleb what's going on, he says that she asked him to help Hanna, so he is.

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In Aria’s bedroom, Spencer shows Aria footage from the barn that shows a man in a jacket and baseball cap walking towards the barn. Melissa walks out and passes him something. Spencer zooms in on Melissa and voices that Melissa is saying “do it. Trust me. Do it”. Aria asks when the video was recorded and Spencer tells her three nights ago, less than 24 hours before Cyrus Petrillo confessed. Aria wonders if Spencer thinks the guy is Alison’s fake kidnapper, and Spencer says they already know Melissa is working for Mona; so why not ‘A’ too? Spencer says that they cannot take any more chances and that they have to cut the cord with Alison before she drags them down with her. Aria asks what Spencer is saying, and Spencer tells her that they need to take everything they have to the police, including what happened in New York.

At school, Hanna signs up for the choir auditions, when she hears Mona going through her runs.

In Ezra’s apartment, Aria tells Ezra that Alison thinks Cyrus is going to lead them to ‘A’, but really, ‘A’ is going to lead Tanner back to them. When Ezra says that Alison is crazy but not stupid, Aria tells him that a whole day has passed and Cyrus is still sitting in jail. Aria confirms with Ezra that his book research for Alison is all gone from his apartment. Ezra wants to talk with Alison, but Aria tells him he can’t, because she wants him to be safe from Alison's mess with the police. Ezra promises not to talk to her.

Emily talks with Alison at the DiLaurentis house. She finds out that Cyrus is not a stranger to Alison, and Alison says she doesn’t know how ‘A’ found him. She shows Emily the scar on her right thigh, which was given to her by Cyrus.

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Emily asks if she was living with Cyrus in an abandoned basement and if he knew who she was, to which Alison says that all Cyrus knew was that she was on the run. She flashes back to her and Cyrus in the basement and the “Isle of the Dead” painting. All Cyrus wanted was her belongings and money, and looked at her as if she was worse than nothing. Emily says that ‘A’ is using Cyrus as a way to trap Alison and the liars. Alison lets Emily know that she knows she has to debunk Cyrus's confession.

As the girls auditioning for the choir are called into the music room, Mona faints.

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Spencer sits in Emily’s bedroom, laying out Noel’s photos of Alison. Emily comes in. Spencer rejects a call from Noel. When Spencer says that Noel might have more information, Emily asks if they’re really going to turn on Alison, and says that Aria filled her in on Spencer’s plan. Spencer says that Alison is not their friend right now, but a dangerous person. Emily argues that Alison isn’t dangerous; she is hurt. Emily tells Spencer that Alison isn’t going to ID Cyrus, and when he is released after 48 hours since the confession, it will be all over. She believes that Alison isn't the problem; Melissa is.

Mona regains consciousness. She asks Hanna to get her bag, and when Hanna goes over to take it, she looks inside and finds Cyrus Petrillo’s mugshot.

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Ezra walks up to Alison at The Brew. He says that a lot of people have supported her, done her bidding, and gone along with her stories. When Alison asks if he’s threatening her, Ezra replies that it’s just an observation. Aria spots Ezra talking to Alison. After Ezra leaves, Kenneth asks Alison if he was bothering her, to which Alison says it's fine. Ezra catches Aria's eye and they share a look. Kenneth reminds Alison that they don't have long until the 48-hour period runs out and Cyrus is released, but Alison averts the subject.

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Mona is sitting in a car outside the police department listening to Tanner's bluetooth device, trying to track Cyrus down. Hanna gets in and comments that she recovered quickly. She asks whose car they’re in and says that she saw the mugshot of Cyrus in Mona’s bag. Mona says that she didn’t set Cyrus up, but she’s trying to find out who did. Mona tells Hanna to get out, and Hanna says that they both know Alison brings out the ‘A’ in her, so whether Mona set it all up or not, she doesn’t trust her. They notice Tanner, Kenneth and Alison get into a car outside the department and drive off.

While stuffing things away in her car, Aria asks Ezra what he said to Alison. Ezra says that he told Alison her actions have consequences. He says he had made a split decision and walked over to Alison. Ezra asks why Aria is so upset over Ezra and Alison. Seeing a photo of her mom and Zack, Aria ignores the question.

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As Spencer sneaks into the Hastings’ house, Melissa comes out of the shadows and asks if she found what she was looking for. Spencer tells Melissa that she saw that Melissa was looking up flights on her computer and that she knows Melissa is helping Mona. Melissa explains that she only helped Mona because she wanted Spencer to see that Alison hasn’t changed, and that she doesn't want Spencer too close to Alison when she "gets what she deserves". Spencer wonders if Melissa truly is showing sisterly concern, and Melissa asks if that is so hard to believe. As Melissa leaves the house, she suggests that Spencer should come with her, as it's not safe for them anymore.

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At the abandoned basement in Philadelphia, Tanner tells Alison that this is where Cyrus said he kept her. As Alison walks down the stairs, she flashes back to her time there. She remembers bringing Cyrus into the basement to meet her friends, and another time, waking up to find Cyrus taking her bag. Cyrus and Alison physically fought, and he grabbed a knife and slashed her in the thigh. In real time, Tanner asks if Alison remembers the place, and Alison says that she could never forget it. While Tanner makes a call, Kenneth hugs his daughter.

Hanna asks Mona how long until they release Cyrus, and Mona says it will be any minute, but Cyrus could go either out the front or the back. Hanna asks Mona why she said she fainted because of a panic attack, and Mona says that’s because she did; Alison scares her to death, which is apparently why she went on the offensive. She and Mona hear Tanner telling the police that Alison has identified the abandoned basement and for them not to release Cyrus Petrillo.

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On the phone with Emily, Aria says that she can’t trust Ezra. Ella walks in. Aria tells her that she thought Ezra was gone, and then the whole time he was in the hospital, she compiled a list of all the things she would say to him if she had the chance. She believes that she can't trust Ezra and people don' change. Ella says she is wrong and won't let failed relationships dictate the rest of their love lives. Aria gets a text from Hanna: “S.O.S. Ali ID’ed Cyrus. Need to meet”.

Emily waits for Alison outside her house. Emily says she doesn’t understand why Alison ID’ed Cyrus; it affects them all and the past several years hasn't been easy for any of them. Alison tells Emily that she has a plan, but Emily is sure she will just throw them all under a bus to pull it off. Emily says she stuck up for Alison against everyone, and when Alison says that she can still find out who ‘A’ is, Emily announces "I am so done with you".

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Caleb asks Hanna how Cyrus got away if Alison identified him, and Hanna says that ‘A’ must have had a getaway car out back. After kissing Caleb goodbye, Hanna walks into her kitchen where Aria and Spencer are discussing Melissa. Spencer says it’s not too late to go to Tanner. Emily walks in saying that Spencer was right; they can’t trust Alison. Handing Aria the envelope of photos that proves Alison wasn’t kidnapped, Emily claims that they need to cut ties with Alison tonight.

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Cyrus is standing in the woods when Alison, dressed as Vivian Darkbloom, approaches him. Saying that there is a warrant out for his arrest, Cyrus goes on to say that he barely made it out in time and that it wasn’t the deal they made. Grabbing the plane ticket Alison gives him, Cyrus tells her that they he could have told the police the truth about her, to which Alison tells him she could have as well, but then they'd both lose. As Cyrus starts to walk off, Alison tells him that she found him once and he can bet his life she can find him again.

Setting up a camera to record, Melissa sits down in front of it - “Spencer, you’re right. I have to tell you the truth before it’s too late”.

A watches a pet show on television while folding some laundry, including black hoodies and a candy striper dress.


  • Spencer kept the recording Alison gave all the girls in a compartment inside her arm chair which 'A' stole at the end of "Scream For Me".
  • Cyrus was the one to give Alison the scar on her right thigh.
  • All the Liars decide to cut all their ties with Alison.
  • Cyrus was the one whom Alison was talking to when Aria and Ezra walked up to her in "Miss Me x 100".
  • Alison was seen dressed as Vivian Darkbloom while talking to an on-the-run Cyrus.
  • Melissa reveals to Spencer that she was working with Mona to help Spencer see that Alison is not a good person.

Title and Background

  • Marlene King revealed the episode title in her Reddit interview.
  • The title refers to a "dark" side of Alison, as seen in the episode.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • The table read was on June 9, 2014.
  • Filming began June 10, 2014 and wrapped June 18, 2014.
  • The episode was watched live by 2.05 million viewers.

Featured Music

  • "Silhouettes" by Colony House - (Hanna and Caleb jog down the street when Spencer drives by and stops.).
  • "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles (covered by Janel Parrish) - (Mona sings in the choir room when Hanna yells at her to stop).
  • "Ipswich" by Georgi Kay - (Ezra talks to Alison at The Brew).


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A Dark Ali has a photo gallery.