Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 8 – TV Review
Just FYI, if there’s a noticeable lack of passion in this review, it’s because all my frustration has been driven towards the abysmal Scream season finale.
PLL: only looking (minimally) better when something else around it falls off a fucking cliff.
TL;DR Aussie Chick may or may not be alive; Noel may or may not be dangerous; Paige is back for her obligatory final season cameo; Grunwald, of all people, is back for her obligatory final season cameo; nothing new is learned; Hanna’s PTSD strikes again.
Our favourite Season 7 subplot.
It’s soap-only in the Liar-by-Liar this week:
Aria wrings her hands over news of Aussie Chick’s possible return, and faces Ezra’s wrath for deleting that call from Aussie Chick’s phone a couple of episodes ago. To placate him, she cashes in their elopement tickets so he can fly to South America, despite the fact that she hasn’t even been confirmed alive yet.
Emily tries cheating her way into applying for a swim coaching job at Rosewood High School. Instead of the episode focusing on how she’ll forge her credentials, we instead get the return of Paige, who is also applying for the job (presumably with the actual degree required). They have UST.
Hanna’s PTSD bullshit returns via dreams, and she’s utterly, 100% convinced that Noel is AD. Grunwald randomly shows up and vaguely supports this theory, so, frustrated by the rest of the gang’s ambivalence, Hanna sets out on her own to do something.
Spencer goes after the Dr Cochran Noel mentioned. After a hurdle that is a Dr Cochran Jr, she (and Aria. Because Aria has nothing better to do than tag along) meet up with Cochran Sr and he tells them how Mary Drake had a second baby that was taken away by child services, never to be seen again.
And Alison returns to her teaching job at Rosewood High School. She takes the opportunity to try to steal Noel’s file from the principal’s office, but AD is ahead of her.
So yeah, the greatest sin the episode commits is “doing absolutely nothing.”
In PLL post-Season 6A terms, I think that’s a win, right?
Why I hate this episode:
Oh, Aria. I’ll never let you off the hook. The stupid girl goes out and sells the Italy elopement tickets so she can gift Ezra a ticket for just him to fly to South America. But, honey, Aussie Chick hasn’t been confirmed to be alive yet. All they know is that a militant base or something has been found, and it might have foreign aid workers there. I respect the gesture, Aria, but that was really financially irresponsible. Red flag for a prospective wife, Ezra.
The whole Dr Cochran kerfuffle is a huge wank, and all we get from it is that Mary Drake had a second child and nobody knows what happened to it. Which we already knew. Cochran Sr doesn’t even know what gender it was. Although, with ol’ Cece/Charles/Charlotte, it’s not like we can rely on that kind of thing, anyway.
Did Emily actually get her degree or something? Because she makes a point of dodging the principal’s initial remark about her having it, but then it’s never mentioned again for the rest of the episode. Even when Emily’s talking to people who aren’t the principal or Paige. Weird.
The only reason Hanna is going off the deep end in her insistence that Noel is AD is because the plot needs her to. Way to dump on the one decent Liar left, show.
Alison gives a throwaway line of dialogue about how Jason is out of town meeting with an accountant, so we don’t even have any hotness around to ogle.
Grunwald is, predictably, overwrought and bizarre.
Oh, and in a very odd moment, when Alison is thumbing through the student files, a folder for a Lisa Cochran is very clearly visible to the audience. But neither Alison nor the camerawork pays attention to it. Was that just a huge oversight by the props department to put in a random name that happened to also be a pivotal character’s name for the episode?
But it’s not all bad:
The fact that Alison was so surprised to see that AD had gotten to Noel’s file before she could made me laugh at Alison. For being an oblivious twit. She should have rolled her eyes or given a “rats” to the camera, instead.
The overall lack of movement in the episode turned out to be its saving grace. Yes, it’s disappointing that the show is still, in its very final season, chucking out such blatant filler. But sometimes I’d rather PLL simply bore me. Rather than rile me up into a frothing rage.
With regards to Aussie Chick, this situation should be a huge bummer for Aria either way, which makes me happy. If Aussie Chick is alive, then that’s a huge spanner in their relationship. And if she’s dead, then Ezra will be devastated, which will also be a huge spanner in their relationship. Die, ship. Die.
Cochran Jr is played by an actress from The Following’s second season, so that was nice.
Emily and Paige have oodles more chemistry than Emily and Sabrina. I hope Paige is inspired to try to win Emily back now that she’s seen her in Sabrina’s arms. Crazy Paige could be back, bitches.
Noel gets best line of the episode when he encounters Hanna and Grunwald being fucking weird: “Freaks.” Right?
Oh, and Grunwald is, shockingly, not unbearable. She’s vague, which is annoying, but she doesn’t chew the scenery like I remember her doing in days of old. Having rewatched The Originals Season 2 recently, I have a better appreciation for Meg Foster. But please, baby, let this episode be it.