“Out of the Frying Pan, into the Inferno” – Pretty Little Liars

Oh god, the ways I no longer care about Pretty Little Liars. I don’t care that Spencer’s heart is broken. I don’t care that she’s hiring a PI to find out what the key unlocks, nor do I care that that’s probably exactly what Mona, TobAy and the overarching A wanted her to do. I don’t care whether the other girls tell Spencer about Melissa being in Ali’s house the night of her murder. I don’t care what happens between Aria and Ezra now that Ezra knows about his son. I don’t care that Ali was pregnant, nor do I care that the detective with the big ears may be the ‘beach hottie’ father. I don’t care that the fact that he was referred to as ‘beach hottie’ seriously calls Ali’s judgement into question. I don’t care that Hanna is lesbian bait. I don’t care if Paige is cheating on Emily. I only care a very little bit that Spencer seems to be suicidal and that A is planning to melt Hanna’s face. The only bit in the whole episode that I really cared about was TobAy in juvie, ‘cause that shit was hilarious.

This is going to be the last (terrible, sorry) PLL review from me. There may be some future ones from my lovely writing partner, B, but I’m out. This is the last episode I will ever watch. Farewell, Liars. I wish you the best. – K

Quoteworthy: “Your step-sis was going through surgery when some of these were sent. You want to know how it turned out? She’s still combing her hair with an electric toothbrush.” – Ali, providing me with the absolute highlight of the episode (if we forget about TobAy’s doo-rag and gang leanings)


“Misery Loves Company” – Pretty Little Liars

Surprisingly good episode from PLL – for once, they kept the mystery and intrigue to a bare minimum, focusing mainly on two storylines and with only one side thread. Our mind’s felt blessedly unassaulted and thoroughly not confused. It was amazing. It also saw a few story strands coming to a head, and being resolved as much as any PLL storyline ever is (i.e. they came to more or less satisfying resolutions, while nonetheless throwing up some more mysteries).

We got the Aria-Meredith-Byron saga finally coming to a close, after Meredith drugs Aria, locks her and her friends in a basement*, tells Byron everything, runs away because Byron thinks she’s insane and calls the cops on her, and after Byron tells Aria the truth and says he’s going to tell the cops the truth, too, and Aria burns the diary pages. This all kicks up the issue that Ali was desperate for money. Was she pregnant? Is this a thing we were supposed to know already? We’ve honestly lost track of everything we’re supposed to know and everything we’ve just guessed. Our brains need a break and, apparently, those 5 months we got just weren’t enough…

Spencer also finally figured out that TobAy is on the A-team. (We really wish they had called it something else, because all we can ever think of is this.) This taught us that surprises are always a terrible idea. Spencer worked out an elaborate plan to surprise TobAy for their first anniversary and, while in his house, found the swipe card he used to let Mona in and out of Radley. Thank god they didn’t drag this particular storyline out, though. If we had had to put up with months of Spencer not knowing, we probably would’ve gone crazy. Instead we get Spencer crying on TobAy’s doorstep. So one mystery solved. But, of course, it kicked up another. Early in the episode, we saw Mona and TobAy sitting in their lair, chilling in their black hoodies, and planning something that they were going to do the next day. Was everything that happened – A dropping the key, TobAy leaving the swipe card somewhere relatively obvious, TobAy breaking into the Hastings house to get it back, Spencer discovering the truth about him, etc – that plan? And who is the ‘she’ who Mona says everyone should know is in charge?

We’re also presented with a potentially disastrous new strand to the story: Caleb and Paige teaming up to protect their women from A. If they start getting in the way of A, horrible things are going to happen to them. They plan to find A’s lair and steal the evidence A is using to keep the girls in line – the photo of them at Ali’s graveside – so that they can be free to go to the cops if they want. This can only end well.

The aspect of the episode that interested us most, however, was the Ali spottings. Aria’s is easy to sweep aside – fever dreams – but Hanna’s is harder to ignore. The reflected image in the window of the Philly store of a blonde girl in a red coat simply reeks of Ali. And if she was in Philly, she could easily have been in Aria’s bedroom too, perhaps supporting the theory that carries over from the books that Ali was a twin. It also reinforces the story that gets rammed down our throat every Halloween. The writers have always said that the show won’t follow the books, but that could be a neat aspect to bring over.

Mostly, though, we were just glad that, relatively speaking, we got a little break from the endless confusion with this episode. Long may it continue. – B+K

Quoteworthy: “You’re asking me? Hanna, I’ve had this hoody since I was 12.” – Caleb, on why he shouldn’t be giving anyone fashion advice

*Don’t even get us started on this whole scene. The idiocy of these girls grows exponentially week on week. A) Hanna and Emily, what the hell are you doing walking into a darkened basement looking for Aria, and letting Meredith walk behind you? Did you really think she needed both of you to help her find her? Dummies! B) HANNA YOUR PHONE WAS LITERALLY IN YOUR HAND! Why did you not call the cops with a frantic ‘we’ve been locked in my friend’s basement by a crazy woman’???!?!

“Mona-Mania” – Pretty Little Liars

Bit of a mixed bag from PLL this week. There was the good and the bad, the funny and the unintentionally funny, and the clever and the downright idiotic. Then there was the realization that the only character on the show with an ounce of common sense is second tier, at best. Well done, Paige – a dubious honor.

First off the bat: well thank god the other three girls aren’t as dumb as Aria! Not that it did them any good, but going back to the basement for Ali’s diary at least showed that they had heads on their shoulders. And it did give us (and Hanna) the opportunity to learn that Lucas is still working at A’s bidding. Or, more accurately, Mona’s. Bribery good times! But it also raised some important questions, like how did three students find it so easy to break into their school in the middle of the night? We know Spencer can pick locks, but we didn’t know she could crack alarm systems, too.

We learned that someone is definitely helping the girls. Or are they helping Mona? Maybe a mix of both. That prank A pulled with the bike last week was to take out Spencer’s opposition in the race for captain of the decathlon team – but did A do it to let Spencer win or to open the race up for Mona?

We learned that Lucas is the one who tried to blow up Mona. The kids in Rosewood, they breed them tough. Does he show an ounce of remorse for nearly killing Meredith (because having a burned arm is life threatening)? Of course not. Do we care? Of course not. Meredith is a pain in the ass. Not that we’re advocating murder, but she’s really pissing us off. Mostly because she’s such a psychopath. Like, clinically. Did you see her cold dead eyes? She’s a practiced and skilled liar, which had us wondering why Aria would buy anything she had to say about Byron (i.e., that Byron came to see her that night, then went to see Ali, all while Aria’s mom said Byron was passed out next to her, and that she caught him going through Aria’s room and going through her own purse, thinking it was Aria’s) and had us screaming at the TV when Aria drank that stomach-settling tea without making Meredith taste it first. How are these girls not suspicious of EVERYONE at this stage?

The one person who is suspicious of everyone and everything is Paige, which is why she’s our favorite character of the week. She’s got some form of PTSD after the first half of the season. Almost getting killed and then being in close proximity to another murder would do that to a normal person. Normal = exactly what the four friends are not. While Emily is thrilled to go haring off into the dark woods to a swim team party (dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb), Paige gets more and more freaked out the further she gets from town. And rightly so. They spend ten minutes away from the car and they return to find a slashed tire. And then Emily sees someone in a black hoody lurking in the trees, so A is clearly after them. Then Emily chases after A, abandoning Paige. She nearly catches A (who, in this guise, is TobAy) but Paige stops her in time. Not quite sure, though, why TobAy was lurking out in the woods in the first place, or why he would slash Paige’s tires. What was his plan?

By the way, Aria was feeling queasy? Queasy, eh? PREGNANT, eh? We’re jumping the gun colossally here, but nothing shakes up a show like a teen-pregnancy scandal – just look at One Tree Hill, Glee, 90210, Veronica Mars… Plus, we know the original books had a very pregnant Emily. As that road is basically 100 percent closed to the writers, all they need is a character switcheroo. Pretty Little Teen Mom Liars. It’s gonna be huge. ­– B+K

Quoteworthy: “It was certainly calculating, but I wouldn’t call it Trig.” – oh, Aria. Zing. Zing.

PS Mona is stalking Byron.

PPS Pissing of Mona probably wasn’t your best idea ever, Hanna.

“She’s Better Now” – Pretty Little Liars

Pretty decent return for this ABC Family mystery. The girls were slightly less annoying than usual, the outfits slightly less terrible. We still had this single, overriding thought at the back of our minds, though – why are we still watching this?

It’s almost become too convoluted for its own good. Yes, it was interesting at first, not knowing who we could trust and who killed Ali and who A was. But now it just feels like the whole thing has gotten so wrapped up in its mysteries that it’s jumping at its own shadow. And we find we no longer really care who’s harassing the girls. We’re still curious about who killed Ali, but the A question doesn’t really bother us. We’re starting to see the mysterious texter and abuser as a narrative plot device, much like Gossip Girl. If there’s anything less threatening than a snide, teen gossip-monger we can’t think of it.

But, we have to admit, the action still moves along at a fair clip. And we do keep getting small glimpses into the secret world the girls are trying to figure out. This week we learned that the person Aria stabbed during the Halloween episode was Jason. And that Mona was his assistant. No surprises with that second bit. But did Jason and Mona know Aria was in the container or did they just think they were getting rid of Garrett? If so, who stuffed the unconscious Aria in there with him?

While we’re on that, was anyone else thinking that Aria seemed bizarrely unfazed by that whole ‘almost pushed off a moving train in a crate with dead-Garrett’ thing? Is this the A-fluence? Does mortal danger just not scare the way it used to?

Now that we think of it, this episode was quite Aria-centric. We also learn exactly what was going on between Ali and Aria’s dad (or do we) – bribery! Ali knew about Byron’s affair with Meredith (we think) and was asking for payment to keep it quiet. But that doesn’t exonerate Byron. He may not have been boning the underager, but he did have motive. And his next payment was due on the very same Labor Day weekend when Ali was killed.

Other things we learned: Mona’s out of the clink and back in Rosewood High, and possibly blew up Meredith to earn the girls’ trust (twisted, but it makes sense); TobAy tried to kill Lucas by running him down; Lucas is cautiously back on the girls’ team; Aria’s a little bit dumb, only stealing the pages of Ali’s DIARY that relate to her dad – because there couldn’t possibly be any other important secrets or information in there…

As the credits run, we learn that A is a prankster – (s)he loosens some randomer’s bike tyres. For shits and giggles, we presume. It’s so refreshing to see this fun-loving side of the sadistic gossip girl.

But, all in all, it’s exhausting being suspicious of everyone and everything. Yet we have to keep watching because we live in hope for the day on which it all suddenly makes sense. When it all comes clear. That day can’t come soon enough. – B+K

Quoteworthy: “Please stick a fork in my neck.” – Aria, after realizing that Meredith is her new teacher


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prettylittleliarsannotations: “Aria, why are you wearing a blue vinyl skirt? You look like a futuristic hooker.” – PLL Annotator Nate “She looks like she’s auditioning for a live action Jem and the Holograms film.” – PLL Annotator LaToya “No.” – Rolling Stone “That’s so Aria!” … Continue reading

“This is a Dark Ride” – Pretty Little Liars

       Image copyright ABC Family (2012)

For this year’s Halloween special, the Liars take the A-train. Take the A-Train! Ha. We’ve been waiting for forever to use jazz puns on Pond Hopping. And we finally got our chance! But the PLL writers missed one hell of a chance for A-related punning. We’re embarrassed for them…

Where to start? So much happened in this episode, it’s difficult to know… A brief synopsis would probably help.

It’s Halloween. The Liars are going to a party on a train. Ezra can’t come. Has to go to Philly for a meeting about ghostwriting an autobiography. Costumes: Hanna as Marilyn, Aria as Daisy from The Great Gatsby, Spencer as some sort of gangster’s moll, TobAy as a mobster (duh), Jenna as a pirate hooker, and Emily? Well we don’t know what the eff Emily was meant to be. The internet says Barbarella. Okay then. If you say so. Mona broke out of the loony bin for the night, so she was on the train too. Garrett was there to meet Spencer. They met. He explained that he didn’t kill Ali, but did see her with Aria’s dad having an über suspicious conversation. They were definitely sleeping together. I’m so grossed out. Caleb was on the train. Someone in the same costume as Caleb grabbed Hanna. Wearing two masks. We learn later that it’s Mona. Someone in a Venetian mask drugs Aria and kidnaps her. When the girls are looking for her, the same person tries to strangle Spencer. Paige saves her. When Aria wakes up, she’s in a wooden box with the corpse of Garrett. Eww. Someone is trying to push the box out of the moving train. There are two voices – one male, one female. We assume the female is Mona. Aria manages to stab the male with a screwdriver that she found in the box. But who was it? And, considering the other Liars come running in seconds after the A-team run out, how did no one see anyone? The police are questioning everyone on the train. The Liars, their bfs and gfs, Jason, Lucas, Noel and Jenna are all in one carriage together. Noel’s being an ass-hat, so TobAy starts a fight with him. Knocks him into the coffin full of ice and drinks, which breaks. Out tumbles a bag from a morgue. Are these Ali’s remains? Jason certainly seems to think so…

While we’re talking about Jason – where was he while all of this was going on? He disappeared with Lucas toward the start of the episode (Lucas even left his camera lying around). So what were they up to?

Just before TobAy and Noel’s fight, Ezra showed up. Yeah, he was all sweet with the being worried and the driving along the train tracks ‘til he found them… but why are we still sooo suspicious of him!? Seriously! This season we’re getting so many weird vibes off him. The Liars found one of the nails from the Venetian-masked would-be killer stuck in Spencer’s hair. It was too big to be from a woman. Could it have been Ezra’s?

Oh! And we forgot the absolute creepiest bit! Ashley Marin was being haunted for the night. As if her sexy nurse outfit didn’t wig us out enough, the fact that a creepy little blonde girl was mooching around was enough to push us over the edge. And that’s before the blonde girl told her little story about how her sister told her mom she’d run away and how when she dialed her mom’s number her mom was really upset. That was just setting off alarm bells, because remember Ali’s creepy story from last Halloween? About the sister who killed the other sister? Oh. Our. God. Why didn’t Ashley *69 her phone? That would’ve been the first thing we did… and who wants to bet that she would’ve got through to Mrs DiLaurentis?

So much to think about. So many mysteries. We love it! – B+K

Quoteworthy: “She was so cold. I can still feel how cold she was.” – Ashley Marin

All Aboard the ‘A’ Train

We’re soooo ready to take the ‘A’ train. How awesome does Spencer look as a gangster’s moll? That weird, Venetian mask wearing pursuer is super creepy. What is Aria doing all tied up in the closet? And who’s not going to make it to the end of the line?!

Can’t wait to see what this Halloween special has in store for us. Just five more weeks…

Pretty Little Liars returns with this Halloween Special, October 23, 8/7C on ABC Family.