Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 8 – TV Review
The important thing is, Zack is expanding his age barrier horizons.
Maybe one day he’ll actually land at something within 10 years of himself?TL;DR Zack puts the mack attack on Hanna; Bethany and Jessica’s connection becomes more apparent; Alison orchestrates a fake A sighting to lend her story credibility; Sydney and Emily are yet to bang.
Come on, PLL. If you can service the Hanna/Zack shippers, you can do this.
So here’s the uncomfortably handsy breakdown of the plots:
Hanna is our major general again this episode. Her and Caleb’s totally out of control drinking problem is continuing, but Hanna quickly sobers up when Zack puts his smooth moves on her. Twice. She takes this information to Aria, and naturally, Aria tells her the fuck off and kicks her out. Aria remains the queen of denial. Alison also stays at Hanna’s house while her dad’s out of town.
Which helps facillitate Alison’s plan to get Roma’s interrogation off her back: have Noel pose as A and break into the Marin house so Ashley sees it, which makes the kidnapping paranoia seem more genuine. Alison is proud of herself, but Spencer and Emily are pretty disgusted by it.
Spencer and Emily spend most of the episode in tandem. They investigate (off of Aria’s intel) some stables where Jessica used to bring Bethany on excursions. A tries to kill them by locking them in with a spooked horse during a thunder storm, but it turns out okay. Toby also tells Spencer that he’s going to become a police officer so he can protect her.
Emily farts around with Spencer, and also bumps into Sydney a couple of times. Sydney has nominated Emily for some assistant coaching position with the swim team. Despite Sydney visiting Emily at home, they haven’t gotten around to making out yet.
And Aria finds out from Rhonda that Jessica used to dote on Bethany with the aforementioned horsey riding day trips, as well as gifts and stuff. Although Aria tosses Hanna’s ass out when she reveals the Zack attack, she is awkward with him later, so maybe there is a shred of sanity in that big, doe-eyed head of hers.
Ezra not being around might be helping her brain cells recover.
While my initial reaction to Zack’s advances on Hanna were to spit-take my fish bowl of Sauv Blanc, I’ve come around to the sheer, delightful drama of it all.
I’ve often criticised PLL of overdosing on the soap opera aspects, but this one’s thick and juicy. So I’ll alow it.
Toss in the required incremental gain on the A front, and this is indeed a solid episode. Well done, everyone.
Why I hate this episode:
But it wouldn’t be an episode of PLL without some Aria stuipidity. Firstly, she is the only one of the Liars who is upset at Hanna’s blabbing to Sydney last episode about New York. Expectedly, this doesn’t help Aria take Hanna seriously when she comes to her about Zack later. But come on, Aria. Hanna wouldn’t just say that kind of thing arbitrarily. How shallow and conditional are your friendships when you dismiss something of such magnitude so flippantly? For fuck’s sake, Aria. Have a little faith.
Speaking of Hanna’s blabbing to Sydney, nobody seems to be taking that very seriously. Which is alarming when you consider the very clear correlation between Hanna’s loose lips and the ensuing A taunt they got last episode. Emily goes to Sydney this episode and tries to play Hanna’s mention of New York off as just drunken nothings, but nobody brings up the fact that hey, Sydney might be A.
For what it’s worth, the Liars seems convinced that Mona’s Hit Squad might have perpetrated that text. But then they also think that actual A is on the hunt, too? I’m confused. And then by that logic, anyway, they should at least be considering that Sydney is part of the Hit Squad. Which means Emily probably shouldn’t be hanging out and receiving jumpers from her.
Ashley is pretty much the best parent ever, and Alison cruelly exploits that (as well as putting her in fear of her safety) to lend more credence to her lies and divert Roma from interrogating her further about Shana. I admire Alison’s pragmatism (and I will praise it below), but fuck you, you selfish bitch. Ashley is worth so much more than being just a tool in your pathetic stories. Fuck off.
Hanna asks Caleb to drunk drive her home at one point. Ew.
Is it possible to appoint someone as assistant coach of a swim team without them even knowing about it? “Surprise, here’s a bunch of responsibility and time commitment that you didn’t ask for!” Nice gift, Syd.
E Lamb gets waved off in a spurt of dialogue between Aria and a Radley nurse. Apparently he’s worked his “last day,” but Aria doesn’t get confirmation on whether he quit/transferred/was fired or what. And then doesn’t ask any more questions about it.
Ella wants Aria to be her maid of honour. Tacky.
Oh and, Toby? Just no. No to your whole thing. Stop with the martyrdom.
But it’s not all bad:
Oh, baby. I’d completely written Zack off as some masturbation fantasy for the fringe audience of middle aged women who are forced to watch PLL with their preteen daughters, but thank goodness he’s turned out to be so much more. And who knew all it would take was a little touchy-feely with Hanna? Good move, Zack. I’m still disappointed that Ted’s woman-juggling never became an issue, so I’m glad we finally have an Ella love interest to persecute (Byron, you’re off the hook. At long last).
Hanna makes the right choice and tells the other Liars about it. Spencer and Emily are skeptical due to Hanna’s drinking habits, but I’d put money on them believing her if it came to the crunch. Even Aria appears to be taking it seriously when she shows reluctance to hang out with Zack later. Now all you have to do is tell Ella and ruin everything. Or, for more drama, confront Zack and give him an ultimatum. God, I’m getting flushed just thinking about it.
I’ll take a moment to dole out some praise to Alison for her ruthless pragmatism. Oddly, though, in the scene where she tells Ashley she couldn’t sleep due to maybe hearing someone trying to break in, she appears to show genuine fear, even when Ashley isn’t looking at her. Could it be? Could Alison’s emotions be real?
Back on the A train, Rhonda’s confirmation of the link between Bethany and Jessica is putting things slightly more in focus. I imagine if Jessica was doting on her, then either she was someone important to Jessica, or someone whom Jessica had severely wronged (which might explain Bethany’s fragile mental state), and she was trying to buy her way to redemption. For a soap opera, we’ve been pretty light on the surprise relatives angle, so I’ll cross my fingers that Bethany was an illegitimate child or something.
Emily and Spencer also theorise that Bethany might have been the one who attacked Alison the night she disappeared.
Alison gets the best line of the episode when she shows she’s not too bothered by her duping of Ashley:
Spencer: “Why would you do that?”
Alison: “Well it worked, didn’t it?”
It’s the only defence you’ll ever need.
Emily and Spencer find a riding helmet of Melissa’s during their investigation into Custard, the horse that Jessica used to take Bethany to visit.
The stablehand tells them about an epic fight that Jessica and Bethany had on one of their visits, and that they never returned after that.
During her visit to Emily, Sydney mentions something about Emily maybe seeing a restaurant chain her father runs because Emily has been to New York. But Emily catches the lie, because it was Hanna who blabbed about going to New York. Sydney plays it off, but I’m watching you, bitch.
Sydney also mentions that she used to have a boyfriend. Which might put a damper on her chances with Emily, but it might help her break away from the lesbian swimmer mould.
Ezra isn’t in this episode.
Hanna gets mad at Ashley for letting Alison use some special bath salts, when Hanna’s requests to use them are always rebuffed. I lol’d.
Oh, and Hanna’s “alcoholism” may be a joke, but I can’t fault a girl for rocking a good hangover.