Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 5 – TV Review
Maybe last week was just a blip? A minor aberration?
Because A has been banished back to the shadows, and a new suspect has emerged.
And Charles’ death hasn’t been retconned yet. So that’s gotta be a new milestone for PLL.
This world is so cruel. To us. For forcing us to endure Sara.
Our plots this week are:
Spencer is out in front this week as she has a bizarre nightmare featuring Maddie “Sia apparently isn’t paying all my bills or else why the fuck would I be in this” Ziegler. This relates back to Radley, and Spencer and Hanna manage to find files that prove Charles did indeed die there. Spencer also encounters Nathaniel Buzolic’s Dean again, and gives up her horrifying, single pot cookie habit.
Hanna hangs out with Mona a bit this episode, and they bump into a pissed off Lesli. Who also turns out to be a former Radley patient, Bethany’s in-treatment bestie, and an acquaintance of Charles. Ominous.
Aria gets friendly with Clark (I forgot she broke up with Ezra until she mentioned she was kinda single), and ends up with photo evidence that A has titties. Which adds further fuel to the “Lesli is A” fire.
Emily helps Sara with a bid to emancipate herself from her douchey mum. Caleb helps out, and Sara gets a generic back tattoo to celebrate.
And Alison mopes around home. Lorenzo must be into emotionally troubled high school girls, though, as Alison manages to get her mouth around his. Papa D is displeased.
Because a Dilaurentis can never be happy about anything.
Even though this episode is largely about A, and A is seen lurking briefly while tailing Aria, there’s a thankful shortage of stupid A scares. The closest we get is when a shelf falls near Aria, which may or may not have been A’s doing.
I still absolutely despise this “all roads lead to Radley” philosophy that PLL is leaning on so, so hard.
I wish Radley would go the way of the Initiative from Revenge.
Why I hate this episode:
The Maddie Ziegler scene is a bizarre piece of stunt casting that I can only imagine was included to hype up PLL’s teen girl audience. Spencer is convinced that this little contortionist girl must be someone from her subconscious memories (she thinks they might be the owner of all that blood she remembers from the bunker), but she’s not. She’s simply a face on a nutrition poster hanging in Radley, that Spencer likely saw during her stay there several seasons ago. Who gives a fuck? What a waste of money, producers. Silly.
And of course Lesli has to be not only a former Radley patient, but also roommates with Bethany while she was in there, and probably acquainted with Charles, whose stay was concurrent with part of Lesli’s. Jesus Christ. Hanna theorises that Lesli is out to avenge Bethany, who she assumes was killed by Alison and the Liars helped with the coverup (she evidently isn’t aware that Melissa killed her by accident). The Charles thing is likely just a convenient diversion tactic. If any of this felt even slightly planned from the beginning, I’d be on board. But this is equivalent to the “Dan is Gossip Girl” ass-pull.
Was Dean’s reappearance just a bit of fanservice now that PLL is headed to its conclusion? Was anybody begging for a wrap-up to Spencer’s two-episode failure of a sober sponsor?
Bonus demerit points for Spencer when, after getting chastised by Dean for chugging weed to relieve stress, she hands over the remains of her cookie to Dean. A fucking addict. That’s temptation, bitch.
Mona is paranoid that Alison will try to get her back for getting her sent to prison. Alison knows that it all was kind of unintentional, though, doesn’t she? Surely Alison would be satisfied that Mona got stabbed almost to death and tortured for months? We don’t need this unnecessary drama.
Sara is shit. As you know.
She gets a tattoo of a bird flying free from a cage. The only way she could be any whiter was if it was a feather that turns into little birds flying off of it.
Emily takes Sara to Caleb to help write a resume, because she’ll need a job to bolster her emancipation case. Caleb finds out that Sara only has a couple of months before she turns eighteen, and recommends she just tough it out at home. But Emily isn’t taking logic for an answer, and insists they file the damn paperwork. The icing on the cake is that Caleb hires Sara to work for him to satisfy the job requirement. What?
Oh, and Emily chooses a Japanese word for “courage” as her tattoo. Damn, Emily. You might be the whitest of them all.
But it’s not all bad:
I’m starting to root for Emily’s mission to sexually manipulate a broken teenage girl. You go on with your bad self, gurl.
Lesli, whose name spelling still hurts me, is the surprise star of the episode. The reason for her return to Rosewood is sensible as hell (she’s been summoned by the cops for questioning about that now-known-as-erroneous testimony she gave at Alison’s trial), and she has a delicious blow-up at Mona and Hanna when she bumps into them at a cafe (she calls Mona a “conniving little bitch” and Hanna a “bag of hair”). Spencer and Hanna later find Mona spelunking in Radley, and she’s been trying to extract Lesli’s file to get back in Lesli’s good books.
That file is how the Liars discover that Lesli knew Bethany and Charles on the inside. Hanna proposes they set up a sting to catch Lesli in the act of being A. I have zero faith that it will succeed, but it’s always refreshing to see the Liars on the offensive.
Aria actually assists the plot this week. She and Clark go photographing at some junkyard or whatever, and Aria notices A out of the corner of her eye. She later sees that Clark happened to snap a photo at just the right time to catch a glimpse of A, and we now know A is female. Because they have boobs.
Dean’s return was superfluous, but seeing as how we haven’t seen Nathaniel Buzolic as Kol for a while (damn body swapping on The Originals), it’s good to see him somewhere, at least.
Hanna still reserves doubts over Charles’ death until they’ve got the proof in their hands (the proof being a document detailing his organ donations after his death). Clever girl.
Alison works Lorenzo hard. Alison might not be good at being a decent human being, but that bitch can catch a dick like a fucking pro.
Oh, and Mona and Hanna back together feels so right. Their relationship is one of the more complex, meaningful ones in the show. I’d like to hope that Mona is fully reformed this time.