Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 4 – TV Review
Yes, the complication-free PLL renaissance has come to an end.
A’s back, bitches.
And they don’t know anything. Because if they did, they’d know how much better the show was without them.
TL;DR Charles has been dead and buried for years; Radley’s back in the picture; more, unnecessary new characters are introduced; Sara, sadly, hasn’t killed herself yet; there are more trauma flashbacks to the bunker.
Gosh, get over it, already.
Our plots are:
Alison leads the way this episode. Papa D spills the beans on Charles: he was hers and Jason’s older brother, but was institutionalised (at Radley, natch) because he was evil. And then he killed himself.
Spencer is tormented by trauma flashbacks to the bunker (she thinks she killed somebody without even entertaining the idea that it was likely a trick by A), so goes wild in her hunt for narcotic relief. She also assists in Alison and Jason’s search for answers.
Hanna grabs the few shreds of logic left in PLL and holds them tight this episode. She turfs Caleb out after he continues to track her movements and suffocate her with his overprotection, and is the only Liar to make the reasonable suggestion that just because they found Charles’ grave, it doesn’t mean he’s in it. This plea for sanity is quickly rebuffed.
Emily keeps up her babysitting act with an erratic Sara. UST ensues.
And Aria also suffers some trauma flashbacks, which she eventually opens up about to Byron. A also gets a sneaky scare out of her.
And with Andrew’s alibi and Charles’ apparent death, who is A? Is there still time to make it Aria? Because that would suit me just fine.
While we’re still getting a drip-feed of answers, I can’t condone the return of Radley to centre stage. That stupid, Deus Ex Machina of a place has only ever overcomplicated this show.
And the new theory on A’s identity is that they must be an acquaintance of Charles’ from Radley. Who gives a fuck about Radley?
It was cute when Mona got stuffed in there at the end of season 2, but Jesus Christ, let it go, PLL. You’ve milked this plot contrivance cow so hard that all that’s left is raw, bloody udder.
Why I hate this episode:
Way to build up a new A in Charles, only to have them turn out to be long dead a handful of episodes later. Good God, PLL can’t even stick to its red herrings anymore. There’s nothing at stake in the mystery if the mystery changes so frequently.
Finding Charles’ grave was epic-level stupidity for the PLL gang. Hanna, Miss Sanity this episode, reasons that the headstone they find on Alison’s and Jason’s aunt’s property could just be a fake planted by A. And Hanna even begins to dig it up to make sure. But then Jason is like “Wait, the vines around it are old, so that means it fits the timeline of Charles’ death, thus he must be super 100% buried in there. Let’s not bother to make sure.” Alison agrees. Yes, Alison. The girl who, herself, wasn’t in her own grave. For fuck’s sake.
Jason has a big sook about how his whole life has been a lie because his parents made him think his brother was his imaginary friend. Slow down with the hyperbole there, Jason. That’s my job.
Spencer’s trauma flashbacks reveal that she woke up one time, after being heavily sleep deprived, in the bunker and found herself and the floor of her room covered in blood. Spencer just assumes that this means she must have killed someone and can’t remember it. Miss Sanity Hanna is like “But it was probably a trick tho.” Because, you know, everything else about Charles and the bunker was all tricks and games (like the shock game we learned about just one episode ago). But no, Spencer is convinced that she did something terrible. To who? Who else was down there? Get over yourself.
We get two more new characters this episode, while Lorenzo, already straining the bounds of how many characters we need, gets no screentime. One is a pot-happy baker at Ezra’s cafe who shares a little weed with Spencer. The other is some friendly black guy named Clark who fawns over Aria’s “photography.” We don’t need any more characters, guys. Also, remember that other time this show had a friendly black guy?
I’m still flying the “Sara needs to GTFO” flag. She seems to exist only to chew up Emily’s screentime. And I’m pretty sure Emily wants to hit that. That’s pretty sleazy.
Alison is a dick to Papa D because he didn’t love Charles enough or whatever. Bitch, he tried to drown you in boiling water when you were a baby. He wasn’t worth mourning.
Caleb shouldn’t have told Hanna that he’d bugged her car. Honesty doesn’t get you anywhere, bro.
I just realised that I’ve forgotten who Bethany was again.
Oh, and in contrast to Spencer’s “I think I killed someone” trauma flashback, Aria’s trauma flashbacks are about how she resisted colouring her hair for Charles, and then Charles chopped a bit off, and threatened to… oh God, you should probably sit down for this. Maybe get a barf bag. He… he threatened to cut all her hair off. Oh, the humanity!
But it’s not all bad:
Aria in pain is always a gain, baby.
Spencer’s conclusions about her flashbacks are stupid, but watching her rummage through Aria’s rubbish bin (Aria had mentioned that she threw her anti-anxiety pills out) is a joy. She Joneses so hard for a fix that she hits up Sabrina, Ezra’s baker, for some marijuana. Tres risqué.
While Aria’s busy flirting it up with Nate 2.0, Ezra spends his episode offering Spencer a sympathetic ear. When he sees her slinking away with her space cookies, he tries to reason that she needs more than a temporary fix, but Spencer ain’t gon’ let some square stand in the way of her party time, bitch.
Byron earns some Good Dad points by eventually coaxing Aria into confiding in him about her time in the bunker. He also mentions that Roma wants to interview all the girls again now that Andrew has been cleared. Let’s get this investigation back on the rails.
Hanna is the MVP this episode. Both for her sensibility, and for her pragmatism. She doesn’t just suggest that Charles might not be in his grave; she starts digging him the fuck up. She is, tragically, thwarted. But I admire her passion.
Caleb’s instincts are well-intentioned, but I wouldn’t be too impressed if my boyfriend told me he’d tagged me with a monitoring device. So I’m glad Hanna kicked him the fuck out.
Charles apparently committed suicide in Radley when he was sixteen (naturally, his Radley file is missing the pages necessary to confirm that). I mean, what is there to live for if you’re denied further opportunities to murder your sister?
Oh, and I suppose if Emily’s going to get her creep on, I applaud her choice to prey on an emotionally shattered teenage girl who has daddy issues. It’s a slam dunk.