|“||Finders keepers, losers weepers. Quelle tristesse.||”|
|The Melody Lingers On|
|Season 5, Episode 23|
|Air Date||March 10, 2015|
|Written by||Joseph Dougherty|
|Directed by||Roger Kumble|
To Plea or Not to Plea
I'm a Good Girl, I Am
Alison and her father are meeting with Alison’s lawyer, Rebecca. Rebecca is prepping Alison for her trial. Alison is still adamant on taking the stand and telling her side of the story since the jury consists of strangers who do not know anything about her. Rebecca tells her that the key to winning her case is not telling the jury stories about how she is being framed. They have to prevent the prosecutor from proving his case. Rebecca assures them that the prosecutor has the tougher job since he has to convince 12 jurors that Alison killed Mona, beyond any reasonable doubt. All they have to do is make one of them unsure about it.
Meanwhile, Hanna is meeting with her mom and Ted. Ashley informs Hanna that she is going to Alison’s trial, but Ted doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Ashley is firm in her decision since she wants to be there if something that affects Hanna comes up in the trial. Ashley is sure that Alison is setting Hanna up. Hanna tries to convince her that Alison is not the one setting her up. Ashley tells Hanna that if she knows anything incriminating about Alison, now is the time to come forward, but Hanna is appalled that Ashley wants her to throw Alison under the bus. Hanna snaps that she is telling the truth; she didn’t do it and neither did Alison. Ashley tells her that she doesn’t care about the truth, she only cares about getting her daughter out of prison.
At Spencer’s house, Spencer, Emily and Aria are looking at newspaper clippings they found in Alison’s house of the communication between Alison and someone. Spencer tells them about her discovery that the phone number listed in the personal ads is the same as that of Varjak’s they found on the receipt. Spencer thinks that although the passport and letter they found were fake, the personal ads must not be planted since they were not found with the other things. Emily is unsure of what to do, since whenever they call the number, it just rings and no one picks it up and James Neilan has locked up his law office. Veronica walks in and warns the girls that they should stay away from Alison’s trial. She tells Spencer that although for Aria and Emily it’s a “suggestion”, for her, it’s more than that. Emily is worried about what Alison will think if they don’t go, but Veronica is more concerned about what the jury might think if they saw the girls at the trial. Aria thinks that if they don’t go, everyone will assume that the girls believe Alison is guilty. Spencer is annoyed and asks her mother whether they are supposed to turn their backs on Hanna too when she goes to trial. Aria and Emily leave to give Veronica and Spencer some space. Veronica makes Spencer promise that she won’t go near the court room.
Spencer, Aria, and Emily meet up with Caleb at The Brew. He has been trying to track down the number they found for Varjak but hasn’t had any luck since it is a secure number. Spencer borrows a burner phone from Caleb and composes a text to the number: “Did you miss me? Love, Holly.” She sends the text to see if they will respond, since they won’t answer their calls.
Spencer rushes out The Brew to track down Jason, but Jason tries to ignore her. Spencer pleads with him that they need to talk, but Jason doesn’t want to hear it. He tells her that he will not listen to her anymore because he did listen to her and now he is a witness for the prosecution. She tells him that Alison is innocent. Kenneth arrives and orders Jason to get in the car. Spencer tells him that she needs to talk to Jason. Kenneth snaps at Spencer that he doesn’t care what Spencer wants and tells her to stay on her side of the fence.
At school, Aria runs into Andrew. Aria apologizes for not contacting him as she was busy. Aria tells him that Mike is in Harrisburg with his lacrosse team. Andrew talks about how he is tired of his teacher memorializing Mona, like she won every championship on her own. Aria thinks it must be her way of trying to understand what happened to Mona. Andrew is annoyed at how his teacher thinks that Mona was a saint just because she is dead. Aria agrees that Mona was quite an aggressive competitor, but Andrew thinks that she wasn’t just aggressive, she was vicious. Andrew comments that they are lucky Mona didn’t get to college and think about running for President. Aria is shocked that Andrew is implying that the world is a better place without Mona. But Andrew casually tells her that he just thinks that there are other people on the team too.
Later that night, at home, Emily receives a collect call from Alison. Emily apologizes for not believing she was innocent. Alison isn’t upset; she just wants to know if Emily will be at her trial tomorrow. Emily is hesitant, but promises that she will be there. After some silence, both say their goodnights and hang up.
The next day Alison’s trial kicks off. Alison is glad to see that Aria and Emily showed up. The prosecution leads and informs the jury that Alison is about to lie to them and say that she was kidnapped and held captive for 2 years, when in fact, she faked her kidnapping and pulled it off with help from her friends. He tells the jury that he has witnesses to prove this. He goes on to say that Mona knew the truth about Alison faking her kidnapping and so Alison killed Mona to keep her quiet. Aria and Emily listen in shock.
Emily and Aria rush out to the lobby to call Spencer, who is at school, and fill her in on what happened. Aria is worried that the prosecution knows about what happened in New York too. Spencer thinks that the police must have found Cyrus and he ratted out Alison to save himself. Kenneth walks up to them and snaps at them that they must have manipulated Alison into making up the kidnapping story. Jason tries to tell his father that Alison lied to the girls just like she lied to them. People start looking at them and Rebecca tells Kenneth to calm down. An infuriated Kenneth walks away.
After the court is adjourned, Alison is back in jail. Alison is on laundry duty when Hanna is led into the laundry room. Alison informs Hanna that the personal ads and phone number they found are real. Alison tells that after her mother was killed, someone bought a tribute ad in the paper, referring to a book Jessica used to read to her when she a baby. This made Alison curious and she responded to the ad. Two days later, she got another ad in the newspaper with a phone number and started texting with that person. The person also claimed that they knew who killed Jessica. Hanna is angry that Alison didn’t mention any of this to them but Alison tells her that she didn’t want any of the girls to get hurt. Alison is sure that this person was Mona because the texts stopped when Mona died.
Veronica walks into Spencer’s room. Spencer asks Veronica whether she knew about the prosecution discovering that Alison’s kidnapping story was fake. Veronica replies that she did, but it was too late to do anything. Spencer deduces that this was the reason her mother didn’t want her going to court. Spencer is angry about Melissa and Veronica lying to her. Veronica explains that someone is going to go to prison for Mona’s murder and she doesn’t want it to be Spencer. Spencer asks her mother if she wants to know whether Spencer knew about Alison’s fake kidnapping. Veronica tells her that she doesn’t want know because Spencer doesn’t know anything about it either.
Caleb visits Hanna and she fills him in on everything Alison told her. Hanna tells him that Alison is trying to brave but it’s obvious that she’s scared. Caleb asks Hanna about how she is feeling, and Hanna tells him that she’s fine, it’s not something she cannot handle. Caleb reassures her that they are going to get her out of prison, but Hanna is not so sure about it anymore. Caleb tells her that they will figure this out, but Hanna doesn’t think that anyone will believe them. Hanna tells Caleb to make a promise to her: that he’ll stay safe. If things get worse, she wants him to leave town. Caleb disagrees but Hanna urges him to promise that he will leave.
At The Brew, Aria’s phone rings. It’s the Varjack number calling her but Aria is hesitant to pick up the call. They all argue over who will answer the phone and Caleb grabs it and says “hello.” No one answers on the other end though – it’s a recording of soft French music.
The girls and Caleb call Hanna and play the song for her. Hanna recognizes the song since Mona used to play it in her room all of the time. They realize that it wasn’t Mona who was texting Alison, it was ‘A’ taunting her. Emily doesn’t understand why ‘A’ didn’t just let them think that it was Mona and Caleb deduces that this is A’s way of taunting them. The girls think that there could be more stuff hidden in Mona’s room that could help them clear Hanna and Alison’s name. Hanna’s call gets cut off. Caleb apologizes to Aria for snatching her phone. Aria and Emily decide to go over to Mona’s house and talk to her mom and get in to Mona’s room to snoop around. Caleb asks Spencer to wait back.
Caleb regrets not leaving town with Hanna when they had the chance. Caleb tells Spencer that he knew that Hanna would never leave her friends behind. Caleb tells her about Hanna asking him to leave if things got worse and adds that he would never do it. He asks her whether she has spoke to Toby after she got back from London but Spencer doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
Emily and Aria arrive at Mona’s house. There is no answer at the door. Aria tells Emily that Mona was smart and if she had any idea about what might happen to her, she must have left clues for them. Emily isn’t sure about this and complains that they are running out of time. As they leave, someone watches them through Mona’s bedroom window.
Later that night, Jason stops by Spencer’s house. He apologizes to her for the way his father acted. Jason calls Spencer out for the night that she and the others trapped Alison, even though he let her get away when the police came for her. Spencer gets choked up and admits that she made a terrible mistake, but Jason tells her that he was the one who made a mistake by listening to her. Spencer admits that she likes being “certain” about things and someone is using this to hurt her. She tells him that she doesn’t think Alison killed anyone. Jason informs Spencer that the prosecution shuffled the witness list and now he has to testify the next day and leaves.
The next morning, Spencer gets ready to go to the courthouse. She tries to leave a note for her mother, but Veronica catches her. Veronica forbids her from going but Spencer refuses to listen. She tells her mother that if people are going to talk about her, she won’t let that happen behind her back and storms out.
In the courtroom the prosecutor plays the video of a blond person attacking Mona. Jason is on the witness stand. The prosecutor asks him whether he changed his statement about Alison’s whereabouts after he saw the video and Jason admits that he did- the day that Mona was killed, Alison was not at home. Jason changes his story and says that he initially thought that attacker was Alison but now, he doesn’t think so. The prosecutor changes his line of questioning and asks Jason whether he knows Hanna. The prosecutor further asks him whether he knows Ashley Marin and if she worked for him. Jason agrees that she used to work for him. The prosecutor questions him whether he and Ashley used to meet outside the office “socially” and whether these meetings were “intimate.” Jason snaps that it’s private. The prosecutor theorizes that Ashley convinced Jason to change his testimony and help her daughter by offering him “personal inducements.”
Outside the courtroom, Emily, Aria and Spencer are discussing the events of the trial. Spencer thinks that Jason’s testimony is bad for Alison since it makes it seem like Jason thinks Alison is guilty until Ashley made him change his story. Spencer spots Jason and walks up to him. Jason is furious and informs her that his father kicked him out. Spencer offers him a place to stay but he declines. Before leaving, Jason tells Spencer to hope that she doesn’t have to sit on the witness chair.
Ted and Ashley are at the Marin house. Ashley regrets going to the trial but Ted doesn’t think it would’ve made a difference if she stayed away either. Ted receives a call, but he ignores it. Ashley tells him that eventually, he has to talk to people about what happened in court. Ashley tells Ted that he can go if he wants. But Ted tells her that he made a promise to her and intends to keep it and that they can work things out. Ashley thinks that although he forgave her, people are who they are and cannot change and asks him to leave. Ted replies that he will leave after he finishes his coffee, implying that he doesn’t plan on deserting Ashley.
Spencer, Emily, and Aria head to Mona’s house. They bang on the door but there is no answer and the door is also locked. As they are walking away, they hear the same French music coming out of Mona’s bedroom window. When they try the door again, it’s unlocked. They run up to Mona’s room and see that it has been ransacked. They find a note from ‘A’: “Finders Keepers Losers Weepers.” Aria thinks this may be a trick and ‘A’ didn’t actually find anything in the room and only wants them to think they did. As the girls search the room, Spencer picks up a mirror on Mona’s dresser and realizes that there is something behind the glass. She removes the glass and finds a note, “Chandelier’s rituals. Sister launched lair. A ruler’s list chained.” Unbeknownst to them, Andrew is standing outside Mona’s house and sees Emily’s car parked out front. As the girls leave, we see an ice pick lying in the hallway, thrown in through the window.
Aria and Emily head to The Brew and Aria runs into Andrew. He apologizes for what he said about Mona earlier since he thinks Aria got the wrong impression. He doesn’t think that Mona deserved what happened to her. Aria tells him that it is water under the bridge. He tells her that if she ever needs help, she can call him and kisses her on the cheek, surprising her. As he leaves, she promises to call him.
Ashley heads to prison to visit Hanna. Ashley apologizes to Hanna and holds herself responsible for everything that’s happened. Hanna thinks that it’s not Ashley’s fault and apologizes for giving her such a hard time. Hanna tells her that everything will be okay and that she will survive prison. Ashley tells her that she loves her.
Meanwhile, Jason is visiting Alison. Jason comments that they are “quite the pair.” Alison tells him that her lawyer is confident, except when she doesn’t know Alison is looking. Jason comforts her that he is there for her but she tells him to get out of town and save himself before he gets dragged down with her. Jason reassure her that he knows that she didn’t kill Mona. Alison tells him that although she didn’t kill Mona, she let a lot of other things happen.
Spencer is at home reading the note she found at Mona’s house, trying to make some sense of it. Her mother walks by and glares at her. At The Brew, Emily is cleaning up. She sits down at the recording device that Jonny made. She listens to people’s confessions and laughs, until she hears the same French music. At a lab, an analyst takes out an ice pick from an evidence box to examine it. On the handle of the ice pick its written “Boo Boo’s Ice Cream.”
A hooded figure is shredding Paul Varjak’s documents, including Paul Varjak’s social security card. They use the shredded paper to line Tippi’s cage.
- Caleb tells Spencer, Emily and Aria that he was unable to track Varjak's phone number.
- Alison's trial begins.
- The prosecutor reveals to the jury that Alison was in fact not kidnapped and she faked her kidnapping with the help of her friends; Mona knew about this, and so Alison killed her.
- Alison reveals to Hanna that after her mother's death, someone bought a tribute ad in the paper, referring to a book Jessica used to read to her when she a baby. Curious, Alison responded to the ad and two days later she received another ad with a phone number and become texting the person. The person also claimed that they knew who killed Jessica.
- Jason is brought to testify for the prosecution. On the stand, Jason changes his story and says that he doesn't think Mona's attacker is Alison.
- The prosecutor reveals Jason and Ashley's affair and implies that Ashley convinced Jason to change his testimony to save Hanna by offering him "personal inducements".
- Spencer, Emily and Aria find a cryptic note hidden in Mona's bedroom: “Chandelier’s rituals. Sister launched lair. A ruler’s list chained".
Title and Background
- "The Melody Lingers On" is a 1935 film about a piano virtuoso who has a child out of wedlock to her fiancé, who is killed trying to save her life.
- "The Song Is Ended (but the Melody Lingers On)" is a popular song composed by Irving Berlin, with lyrics written by Beda Loehner in 1927.
- Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
- Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin
- Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery
- Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
- Janel Parrish as Mona Vanderwaal (archive footage)
- Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis
- Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers
- Lesley Fera as Veronica Hastings
- Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis
- Laura Leighton as Ashley Marin
- Jim Abele as Kenneth DiLaurentis
- Brandon W. Jones as Andrew Campbell
- Edward Kerr as Ted Wilson
- Lauren Tom as Rebecca Marcus
- Christopher Grove as Douglas Sirk
- Melanie Casacuberta as Cindy (uncredited)
- Monica Casacuberta as Mindy (uncredited)
- Filming began October 23, 2014 and wrapped on October 31, 2014.
- The episode was watched live by 1.74 million viewers.
Rebecca: Don’t be afraid to look at the jury. We don’t want them to think you have anything to hide.
Aria: I'll do it. I'm the least intimidating.
Veronica: We're not talking about ethics.
Spencer: That's for sure.
Emily: I have no idea. Let me change. I think better in lower heels.
- "Summer" by Katie Herzig - (Caleb tells the girls that he can't find anything on Varjak's number).
- "A Pain That I'm Used To" by Depeche Mode - (Emily hangs up on Alison; Alison takes a shower and looks in the mirror; The trial begins as the jury and judge file in; Alison searches for Emily and is surprised to see her and Aria at the door).
- "Paris Skies A" by Edward Jay, Eve Loiseau & Vasco - (Caleb holds out Aria's phone for the girls to hear; (Repeats) They play the song for Hanna; (Repeats) The girls hear the song coming from Mona's bedroom; (Repeats) Emily hears the song; (Repeats) A lab tech examines an ice pick; (Repeats) 'A' shreds Varjak's documents).
- "Atlas Hands" by Benjamin Francis Leftwich - (Caleb tells Spencer what Hanna told him).
- "No One Needs to Know" by HAERTS - (Andrew apologizes to Aria for what he said about Mona then kisses her on the cheek and leaves).