Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 9 – TV Review
Spencer’s Jenna impression may be a little off, but Sydney does a good job of it.
Why anybody would choose to look like Jenna at all remains a mystery, however.
Did Sydney and Jenna co-ordinate, or was it just a coincidence?
TL;DR Sydney is outed as an accomplice of Jenna; Aria tells Ella about Zack’s philandering, and the engagement is off; Hanna opens hostilities between herself and Alison; Noel is scared of Alison backstabbing him.
Alison? Never. That’s crazy talk.
These plots are on fire:
Hanna is still in focus this episode. She reveals Zack’s touchy feeling to Caleb, which leads to Caleb punching him in the face. Having endured enough hardship from drinking, Hanna appears to be kicking the habit. And she makes up with Aria, who believes her now. And she’s had just e-fucking-nough of Alison, too. Good.
Aria, having decided Hanna was telling the truth, divulges the details to Ella. Apparently this isn’t Zack’s first offence, so Ella calls it quits on that turd. Aria repairs her friendship with Hanna, while Ella finds consolation from a comforting Byron.
Spencer goes to the doctor about her fucked up eye, and while she’s there she sees Jenna and a very similar looking girl (eye drops make it hard for Spencer to determine). She calls in Emily, and Emily IDs the second girl as Sydney. Later, Spencer takes some surveillance photos of Alison (during the time she was supposedly kidnapped) that Emily had stolen from Noel’s car and hides them. Noel tries to fight Spencer for them, but Spencer can handle that bitch.
Emily does the leg work for snooping on Noel. After the Sydney discovery, Sydney tries to make excuses for why she knows Jenna, but Emily vows to coach her into the ground. Thanks for that assistant coaching position nod, Syd.
And Alison rounds out the episode by getting a call from the cops: they’ve found her kidnapper. And he’s confessing to everything.
Now that’s what I call dramz.
Overall, this is a solid episode. I attribute that, again, to Ezra being absent.
When Aria’s on point, you know things are okay in the world.
Why I hate this episode:
I am disappointed that there were no fireworks once Ella found out about Zack. She discreetly cancels the engagement party (oh yeah, Aria waits until minutes before the party is due to start before telling her. Nice one) with the ol’ food poisoning card. And we don’t even get to see her talk to Zack. I wanted flames, baby.
In the same vein, I really want Hanna to set things off properly with Alison, already. She’s not keeping tight-lipped about her disdain of her anymore, but I want a total meltdown of a catfight to occur at school or something. Public, messy, and forcing the Liars to pick sides. That’s what high school shows live for. That’s what I live for.
Caleb’s reaction to the Zack thing is both predictable and pathetic. Punching love rats in the face is so OC old-meme. And using violence is such a piss-poor message to send.
Spencer visits Caleb and Hanna’s hovel at one point, and notices a filthy frying pan. Caleb explains it as Hanna having failed at making nachos. How the holy fuck do you “fail” at making nachos?
Hanna’s embarrassment and shame over the Zack situation gives off the pungent odour of a rape analogy, and it very much isn’t. Zack didn’t rape you, dear. He just was like “Hey, let’s fuck sometime.” And you were like “Um, no?” Yes, it’s embarrassing and it’s causing trouble for your friendship with Aria, but calm the fuck down, everyone.
Oh, and during his tussle with Spencer over the surveillance photos, Noel mentions that Alison has something to hold over him. Which is why he needs a backup blackmail plan of his own. He doesn’t say what it is, though. Goddammit. Can’t anyone in this town just spit things out?
But it’s not all bad:
Well, someone is, but it isn’t the truth: Alison’s kidnap confessor. I don’t recognise him (unless he’s yet another random minor character who I’m expected to remember), but Alison does a bit of an eye pop when she sees him, so I think she does. She’s just as bewildered as we are while listening to him confess, though. I’ll bet that he’s another, Noel-esque minion. I can’t imagine the Machiavellian Alison could be this blindsided. At least not if it’s something that benefits her.
Noel’s subplot is the juiciest one this episode. Emily steals the surveillance photos of Alison from his car. He admits to Spencer that he’s keeping them (they’re photos that would utterly disprove Alison’s kidnap fable. If you’re having trouble keeping up) as insurance against Alison’s twisting allegiance. He tells Spencer that the photos were originally sent by Shana to Jenna. Alison had Noel steal them from Jenna’s house. At the exact time it exploded. Noel thinks Alison knew that was going to happen, and was trying to get rid of him. Spencer manages to get him to fuck off, but I know that if I thought someone was trying to blow me up, I’d do whatever was required to get my insurance back from some snotty teenage girl.
On the subject of Shana, Alison asks Jenna how she managed to turn Shana against her (Shana was Alison’s friend first, after all). Jenna says Alison’s the only one to blame for that. Burn.
Sydney tries to reconcile with Emily by explaining she knew Jenna from her time volunteering at the school for the vision impaired while Jenna was a student there. Jenna called Sydney in to emotionally support her now that Alison’s back in town. Emily, to her massive credit, tells her to GTFO, and promises to run her into the ground at training. Thank God.
Ella believes Aria’s story about Zack right away because he apparently had some other sketchy situation while they were in Europe. I’m thankful that we won’t have to sit through several episodes of Ella struggling to believe that her boytoy could be a cheating slut.
Byron is a true gentleman when comforting Ella. And he doesn’t even do it to have sex with her. He’s a gem.
Spencer gets best line of the episode during a Hanna rant about how she’s sick of Alison stinking up her house with her presence:
Hanna: “Even the doorknob smells like her.”
Spencer: “Why were you smelling the doorknob?”
Wait, that’s not normal?
Hanna pours out her booze after all the drama has gone down. Good. This anvilicious cautionary tale was gettin’ old.
She is also critical of Caleb punching up Zack.
And she mildly rages at Alison about how disruptive she is, and asks her to move out. Which Liar’s life will Alison ruin next?
Roma questions Aria and Ella about Ezra’s sex life, and asks whether he banged any other Rosewood girls, including Shana. I lol’d.
A stoked the fire of Zack’s desire by sending him an encouraging note from “Hanna,” which is what led to him getting all knee-handsy in Hanna’s car. Smooth moves, A. You almost got Hanna an attractive shag.
Oh, and I hope sobriety brings with it a spring cleaning for Caleb and Hanna’s festering pit of a hangout.