TV Review: Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Episode 16
Alright, so you know that time I said Meredith was a reasonable authority figure?
Yeah, I’m takin’ that back.
TL;DR Meredith flips her fucking shit and smacks Aria around. At least we’re pretty sure Byron isn’t Alison’s killer anymore. And Spencer outs Toby as A.
Juice-A. You know, like “juicy.” But pronounced more sassy? Sass-ay?
Let’s look at some plots or whatever:
It’s an Aria-heavy episode (I know). She rolls around her house being sick. Meredith “takes care of her” by keeping her drugged up while she tries to track down the diary pages. Aria hallucinates (or does she!?) Alison for a bit. Then Meredith goes full-cray and knocks Aria out, locks Emily and Hanna with her in the basement, and tells Byron Aria knows everything. Byron says he didn’t kill Alison. Aria believes him and burns the diary pages.
Spencer is planning an anniversary dinner for her and Toby. This becomes a moot point when she finds him being A in her house. She cries.
Hanna thinks Caleb is planning something against Mona (she’s right), so asks Emily to tail him. Meanwhile, she gets attacked by A when she’s tricked to a fake job interview. She and Emily eventually go to check on Aria and get caught up in Meredith’s shit.
Emily is worried about Paige but Paige says she’s seeing someone to help her anxiety. She tails Caleb but narrowly misses seeing Paige meet him, and they conspire to take down Mona.
It’s no episode 12 (will anything ever be?), but you can’t poo-poo any episode where an A is revealed.
On the other hand, Aria is a mopey, frustrating little bitch who spends the whole episode being Elena-level indecisive and borderline retarded. And because she’s sick she’s made-down to look like crap. Boo.
Why I hate this episode:
Blame it on the fever all you want, but Aria really is frustrating as fuck. “Ooh, should I talk to my dad? Shouldn’t I? Do I believe him? Is Meredith trying to hurt me? Should I smash a mirror and hold on to a shard of it while I sleep as protection? Is Alison real or am I hallucinating?” Put some make-up on first, then we’ll talk.
And that breaking the mirror to get a weapon thing? Fucking what? Sure, she kinda is proven right when Meredith does go off the deep end later, but at the time it’s a horrifying overreaction. I mean really? There’s not a single other thing in your bedroom that you can use as weapon?
Emily missing Paige at the coffee shop is some Gossip Girl-esque, contrived-ass bullshit. I know this is how a lot of shows operate, but that doesn’t make it any less egregious when you see it happening.
I CBF going back through all my notes for season 3, but I don’t remember Toby getting some slick apartment (if you can correct me, please sling me a bitchy comment below. I need to learn to not indulge my crippling laziness). How is he paying for this?
I’m starting to get a bit fed up with A being inconsistent and bizarre. The attack on Hanna at the fashion store doesn’t prove or accomplish anything. All that comes out of it is the A there dropping the key which eventually leads Spencer to discover Toby is A. Even if we guess that Mona dropped the key for this very purpose (she seems to be pleased with herself following his outing), how did she know Spencer would keep it out somewhere Toby would see it? And if it was Toby at the store, then you just got yourself outed for what? Scaring Hanna a teensy bit. Prioritise, bitches.
Aria, after deciding she believes Byron when he says he didn’t kill Alison that night, burns the diary pages. Fucking idiot. You never know when that could have come in handy.
After Meredith locks them in the basement, neither Emily nor Spencer think calling the police might be something to consider. Dickheads.
Having known that Toby was A for a while now, I found Spencer’s “Ermagherd, may boyf is evul and now I must cry” breakdown underwhelming.
Oh, and Hanna wears probably her worst outfit yet. Think semi-transparent, oversized, star pattern jumper (sweater, for you Americans). Just look below.
Reasons to watch:
Well, Spencer knows Toby is A now. That’s reason enough.
After being in the dark for so long, I’m impressed by how efficient Spencer is at proving her suspicions once she has the tools. She sees a Radley Sanitarium visitors’ badge in a drawer at his apartment, then uses the A Key as bait to draw him out. Good work.
Not one to let the Liars do all the heroics, Paige meets Caleb and they conspire to find evidence to bust Mona for her continuing torture of their girlfriends. Secondary characters unite!
And it seems everyone is busy little bees this episode, as we get a brief scene of Mona and Toby at their new A-Base working some schemes. Mona also makes reference to someone else being in charge (a “she”). Ooh.
Aria finally decides to talk to Byron about Alison. Meredith beats her to the punch (ah ha! Because Meredith punches Aria) by spilling the beans to Byron before he rescues the girls from the basement, but the intention was there. And although I’m disappointed by how easily she believed his tale of innocence, I believe him, too. Byron is way too beta to kill someone.
Byron does include a nice little tidbit in his flashback to that night, though. As he walks away from Alison (after refusing to pay the blackmail and intending to deal with the consequences. Noble) he sees Melissa come out of the house, within eyeshot of Alison, while she’s on the phone to someone. Melissa’s back to prime suspect. Where she belongs.
Alison gets best line this episode during the flashback with Byron, who questions whether she’d be cruel enough to tell Ella about his affair:
Byron: “You’re not that horrible of a person.”
Alison: “Well then, you clearly don’t know me that well.”
Spencer tries to see Toby post-reveal to talk, but he doesn’t answer the door. We see Mona looking smug as fuck while inside, listening to Spencer cry. Where is Toby? I’m hoping Mona’s killed him. It’d be spicy.
Meredith punches Aria out cold. Perfection.
Toby does have a shirtless scene, so at least he got something right.
Oh, and Hanna’s hair and outfit for her job interview are fucking fabulous. It’s a shame I always dedicate the second image in these posts to the opposite kind of ensemble.