Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 23 – TV Review
Well, we’ve graduated from Orange Is The New Black to Law & Order.
It’s a boring court episode, is what I’m saying.
TL;DR Alison’s trial begins, and it’s boring; the prosecution seems to know a lot of things A knows, though; the Liars find an obscure clue in Mona’s bedroom; Andrew is the latest person who might be A; Ashley lets Ted go.
He doesn’t explicitly agree. But he doesn’t disagree, either.
There’s not much going on this episode, so we’ll eschew the Liar-by-Liar breakdown. The plot mostly centres on the beginning of Alison’s trial. The prosecution seems to be aware that Alison’s story about being kidnapped and captive while she was gone is bullshit. They also know about Ashley and Jason’s sex, which they use to ambush Jason on the stand and make it look like he’s withdrawn his earlier assertion that he thought Alison was the one on the Mona murder recording because Ashley banged him (Alison’s exoneration would mean Hanna would be off the hook, too). Later, Ashley gives Ted a free pass to cut ties with her due to the public humiliation. Good. Jason also spends a lot of time bitching at Spencer because she was the one who convinced him to sell Alison out in the first place. Meanwhile, the Liars (minus a prison-bound Hanna) put together some cryptic communications from Varjak to mean Mona might still have a clue, which they find in her room in the form of a randomly worded note. Andrew spies on them, for some reason. And Johnny’s little secret recorder artwork finally makes its reappearance.
It doesn’t have any impact, though. Thank goodness.
I want to fault this episode for being dull and sparse.
But I want to praise it for being simple and actually intelligible for once.
Oh God, what if they’re just stockpiling the rapid fire stream of seasons-old minor detail references for the next two episodes?
That parrot in the stinger was bad enough.
Why I hate this episode:
If the prosecution is ahead of the game because A is feeding them info, then I weep for a justice system that would base an entire murder case on anonymous tips.
If the prosecution is ahead of the game because A is on the inside (like, if they’re a cop or Roma or something), then I weep for a justice system that is so corrupt.
The only other explanation is that Spencer’s proposition that Cyrus might have talked is true. In which case, why would Cyrus rat Alison the fuck out? I thought they were tight or whatever?
Who even knows anymore. Watching this A bullshit snowball its way into a courtroom is just embarrassing, though. Like I said last week, what happened to our little secrets and mysteries soap opera? Revenge is more palatable because the drama is between super spies and billionaires. These girls are in fucking high school in a middle class suburb. And not even in New York, so no Gossip Girl lenience.
Caleb and Spencer have a one-on-one chat this episode, and there isn’t enough (any, actually) UST in it. The Spencer/Caleb ship tease was one of the better non-A subplots of the season, and this all but confirms it has been cut off. What a shame. Think of how upset it would have made Toby.
Hanna gets sidelined most of the episode. Boo.
Johnny’s listening device doesn’t even do much. Emily decides to listen to it while closing up, and she hears a few regular person secrets before the recording plays the creepy French music that A has been teasing the Liars with most of the episode. So what?
Oh, and there’s a smashed window in Mona’s house with an icepick on the floor inside (presumably, that’s how the window got smashed). It’s stupidly random (it’s not like the window was part of a door and they were breaking it to get the door open), and the Liars don’t even notice it. Like, huh?
But it’s not all bad:
A later scene right before the A stinger shows the icepick at some forensics laboratory, so I’m guessing the police found it and think it’s important. It’s from Boo Boo’s Ice-cream, for what it’s worth.
The best part of the episode is the public reveal of Ashley and Jason’s sex during the trial. It should be known to the world. Sex between two such beautiful people is something to be proud of. Aria, Spencer, and Emily are appropriately shocked. But you can tell that inside they were like “Nice.”
This also prompts a conversation between Ashley and Ted, wherein Ashley offers Ted an out for their relationship if he wants it. He tries to be all moral and refuses, but Ashley insists, and Ted does end up leaving. Please be for good.
And now that it’s out in the open, Ashley and Jason have nothing to fear. Papa D apparently kicks Jason out of the house over it. Just move in with Ashley, baby.
Jason’s bitching at Spencer for convincing him to dob in Alison is fair. He’s got you there.
Alison doesn’t appear to hold any grudges against Jason for it. They commiserate about the bad day they had in court, and she tells him he should take any opportunity he can to leave all of this shit behind. For Ashley’s sake, I hope he doesn’t.
I suspect the weird note the Liars find in Mona’s room to be an anagram. With any luck, one of them will figure that out, too.
Hanna asks Alison about the phone number, and she says whoever it was harassed her about Jessica’s death via text. She always thought it was Mona, because the texts stopped once Mona had died. When Emily tried to call it last episode, nobody answered, and Caleb’s computer wizardry turns up nothing on it. Spencer sends it a text signed as “Holly” as a last measure. It eventually calls back to Aria’s phone and plays the creepy French music, which Hanna helps identify as a favourite of Mona’s.
Andrew tells Aria early in the episode that he’s sick of people being so generous to Mona’s memory now that she’s dead, which makes it sound like he thinks she deserved to die. We later see him spying on the Liars when they sneak into Mona’s house. And then he promptly finds Aria and makes up with her. Because now even the arbitrary beefcake from two seasons ago is an A suspect now.
Aria gets best line of the episode when she, Spencer, and Emily are discussing which of them would be best to ask Mona’s mum to have a look in her room. Aria volunteers: “I’m the least intimidating.” We’ve got her on the record now.
Oh, and are the Liars really so surprised that Ashley and Jason had sex? Look at them. They’re as destined to bang as Elijah and Hayley from The Originals were.