Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 9 – TV Review
Yes, we’re only one episode from the big Charles reveal.
And PLL certainly likes to rub our faces in it, by closing this episode with an offscreen unmasking.
Because satisfaction isn’t on the Pretty Little Liars priority list.
TL;DR Prom is unnecessarily complicated; Alison’s motivation continues to be ridiculous just so the plot can move forward; the mums form a drunken investigative committee.
Sadly, Ashley is not the drunkest of them all. She’s no Sydney Andrews.
Alison plays the most vital part this episode, as she continues in her quest to meet Charles and possibly get murdered while sympathising with the person who tortured her friends. Alison’s never been very good at being a loyal friend, has she? She eventually encounters Charles/A at prom. Maybe.
Spencer, at Veronica’s offering, hosts a pity prom for the girls in her backyard barn. Naturally, they all just go to Actual Prom, anyway, while trying to protect Alison/have conversations with their love interests. Spencer manages to patch things up with Toby after she accidentally got him drugged and suspended from duty.
With Clark looking shady, Aria turns her romantic attentions back towards Ezra. But he don’t want her, no. Because he’s going to work for Habitat For Humanity. Aria did somehow win that photography show thing, though, so she’s got that going for her. And Clark turns out to be an undercover cop trying to catch Charles.
Hanna mends bridges with Caleb, who has conveniently landed a high-paying New York job and offers to get a place there for the both of them. And pay her college tuition. Thanks, plot device!
And Emily gets her grubby little paws on an ever-obliging Sara. Blech.
Bonus subplot: Veronica, Ashley, Ella, and Pam, who are supposed to be supervising the barn prom, get drunk and raid the Dilaurentis house to confront Papa D and, when he’s MIA, search for clues on Charles. They encounter Rhys, and are subsequently locked in the basement.
How long will it take before they resort to homosexuality? Tune in next week.
Despite this episode echoing the boring, overblown spectacle of last year’s Christmas special, it’s otherwise a tasty enough prelude to next week’s final reveal of Charles (I fucking hope).
And Aria didn’t have a prom dress that made me question the sanity of the PLL costuming department. It’s a goddamn miracle.
Why I hate this episode:
While Aria looked good, though, it wasn’t really an adequate prom dress. More like Hipster Cocktail Party. It’s cute, but not for Fairy Tale Fantasy Prom, you know?
Alison’s motivation is just some necessary rubbish to keep the plot moving. First she doesn’t want to the police to kill the sweet boy she never got to know, and now she instead wants to meet him so she can find out why he hates her? Bitch, this guy is a kidnapping, violent supervillain. Just let the police gun his cloaked ass down and be rid of it.
I understand that PLL has to find something for each of the main characters to do in their futures, but Aria and Hanna just get gifted perfect post-school trajectories like it ain’t no thang. Despite the disaster Aria caused at the photography show, her stupid doll photos somehow won the prize. Which is cash and an internship in LA. Hanna is worse, as Caleb just magically gets some anti-hacking job for Big Company that will be lucrative enough to pay New York rent and Hanna’s college tuition. Who do you think you are? A Glee character?
And the Emily/Sara thing is still yuck. Obviously.
Lorenzo forgives Alison. So pussywhipped.
Hanna’s prom dress is okay, but she makes the same mistake she did with the last one by having that gratuitous sheer cleavage panel in the middle of the torso. And she wears knee high, laced boots. Some simple pumps would have classed it up.
Emily’s dress is okay from the waist up, but the skirt is too much. I wasn’t sold on the crown initially, but it fits the fairy tale theme, and she makes it work.
Oh, and the mums throw the girls a crappy barn prom and they don’t even have the decency to buy them some goon or vodka cruisers? Rude.
But it’s not all bad:
Thankfully, it turns out that Barn Prom is very easy to ditch, and the Actual Prom is quite the lush fantasy wonderland. All the servers are kitted out in red coats, of course, which makes Alison’s challenge from Charles (to find him, and he’s wearing red) difficult.
I haven’t mentioned Alison’s prom dress yet because I was saving it for the positive section of this post. It’s gorgeous. It’s puffy and shimmery and classic and luxurious. It suits Alison perfectly.
I’ve yet to mention Spencer’s, too. It’s not as outstanding as Alison’s, but it’s classic and subtle, which is what Spencer needs.
The mums manage to steal the entire episode away from their exhausting daughters. Not only because I can relate to getting white girl wasted at the drop of a hat and spilling life-altering secrets, but also because these drunk bitches are proactive, baby. Veronica lets slip about Jason actually being Peter’s biological son, which devolves into a Dilaurentis hate-fest, which devolves into a four-woman march for truth to the Dilaurentis house.
Veronica wants to confront Papa D about possibly being the one who murdered his wife, but when he’s mysteriously absent, they go snooping for clues about Charles. Rhys interrupts them, calmly claiming that he’s there because of the Carrissimi Group and just wants to ask Papa D some questions. But Ashley and Ella put that shit together and assume that he’s Charles.
Then they got locked in the basement arbitrarily. It provides them an opportunity to sympathise with what their daughters went through in the bunker, which was kind of cool.
Alison’s search for Charles is profoundly reckless, but it yields results: Charles semi-abducts her, and the final scene of the episode is her shocked reaction when he (offscreen, natch) removes his mask. I would speculate on who it is, but knowing PLL, that won’t make me happy.
Aria gets burned twice this episode. When the whole gang (the Liars plus Caleb, Toby, and Ezra) corner Clark, he deflates them by revealing he’s actually an undercover police officer. Aria has an obligatory whinge about how he lied to her, but nobody cares. Bitch.
Then, having seen a flight booking message on Ezra’s phone that implied he was following her to LA, Aria bravely implores Ezra not to throw his life away to tail her to the ends of the Earth. But burn again, bitch, because his flight to LA is only a layover on the way to Thailand. Eat it.
PLL answered my complaint from last episode about the girls being barred from prom due to security concerns, but the school having no qualms over them attending graduation, which is potentially more dangerous. It turns out they do have qualms, as they’ve also been barred from that. And now we thankfully never have to endure Spencer’s speech about Toby being the light in her life. Just hearing her paraphrase it for him this episode was painful enough.
Best line of the episode goes to Pam after the Drunk Mum Initiative trespasses into the Dilaurentis house because the door was open:
Ella: “Did you close that door?”
Pam: “I’m not leaving my fingerprints on that.”
She did used to work for the police, you know.
Oh, and the Liars quickly lose interest in Barn Prom because they can follow Actual Prom via social media (through which they see Alison in the background of a photo and that’s what spurs them into crashing prom). In a shout-out to forgotten characters of seasons past, they see that Lucas took Jenna to prom. What a world we live in.