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