Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 10 – TV Review
I’m rough on Pretty Little Liars. A lot.
But I feel like I can’t overstate just how amazingly pathetic this episode is.
The phrase “has become a parody of itself” is often thrown around with too much abandon. But trust me, PLL has motherfucking earned it.
What a shocking waste of a show.
TL;DR Hanna’s plan to prove Noel is AD fails, natch; Noel ends up dead in an absurd accident; Jenna ends up abducted by AD; Mary reveals Spencer is her second child; Alison macks on Emily; Aussie Chick is found alive, after all; Toby and Yvonne possibly die in a car crash; Hanna and Caleb get back together; Jenna brandishes a gun and it’s not presented ironically at all.
Exactly which of these things is the most preposterous? Who knows? Who cares?
I’ll forego the Liar-by-Liar this week solely to make getting through this televisual atrocity simpler. The meat of the episode has to do with Hanna’s abduction of Noel. The gang (Spencer, Aria, Emily, Alison, Mona, Caleb) assume Hanna and Noel’s disappearances mean he’s kidnapped her, so they call the police. Meanwhile, Hanna stupidly films her torture of Noel, while sending out for a DNA test to match him to Mary, thus confirming him as her second child, and AD. It all goes to shit, obviously, and Noel escapes with the video camera. A text summons the Liars plus Alison to an abandoned mansion/school for the blind to trade the camera for the bunker videos USB Hanna (with Mona’s help) found on Noel before he escaped. They go, and are then slapped into a bizarre, wannabe D-grade horror movie, as Noel chases them around with a medieval axe, and Jenna chases them around with a gun. Despite, you know, the blindness. Emily and Hanna eventually accidentally make Noel fall on his axe, which inexplicably decapitates him. But Jenna manages to get one good shot in on Spencer, with Mary, of all people, coming to Spencer’s aid. Because, as Mary pukes out there, Spencer is her mystery second child. The episode ends as Jenna, having been dragged away in the commotion by a shadowy figure, awakes in a van driven by someone using a Mission Impossible mask. Because we needed to jam another one of those in.
Minor subplots include: Spencer bidding Toby farewell, while opening her heart to Marco; Toby and Yvonne getting into a car crash on their way out of Rosewood; Aussie Chick turning up alive on the news; Alison revealing she’s pregnant; Alison macking on Emily to piss off Paige; Hanna and Caleb getting back together; and Sydney coming back for this episode’s “connect every dot to every other dot” cameo.
The fact that anyone still gives even half a shit about Jenna at this point is the true mystery.
Look, I don’t know how many more ways PLL has to irrefutably display just how much of a disgusting dumpster fire it is. Is there even one, just one, person in the world who still takes this show seriously? Is there even one teen girl who still thinks this is okay?
Please, give me a sign.
Why I hate this episode:
PLL is literally a joke. It is. And nothing better confirms that than the ridiculous, insulting sequence at the abandoned school for the blind. The entire thing is irredeemable. It makes what the idiots over on Dead of Summer have been doing look coherent by comparison. It’s that bad.
The worst part of it is the supposed terror of Jenna walking around blindly with a gun. PLL didn’t even take the chance to make one of its now-trademark anti-blind jokes against her. Instead, the characters, and the show, treat this as if it’s the very height of suspense. Just fucking slap the gun out of her hands, you fucking wastes of space. What the fuck?
Yes, Don’t Breathe, releasing this past week, uses the same premise, and is (by accounts) quite scary. But Jenna isn’t. Not at all. Not ever. The girls run right past her several times (while breathing, I’ll add). And Jenna is so oblivious that her foot bumps against Noel’s severed head at one point and she doesn’t seem to register it. Her powers of observation are clearly not on point, gang.
Except for one sense, which earns her the worst line of the episode after she miraculously manages to shoot Spencer: “I smell your blood.” If the episode had framed any of this as the absurdity it is then it might have worked. But they didn’t.
Noel doesn’t do much better. At least he’s spared further embarrassment when he falls down on his axe and somehow cleanly decapitates himself. Fly free, pretty boy.
What more can I say about the “Spencer is Mary’s second child” reveal? The episode wanted to have its “Cece is A” moment, and it failed. Hard.
Emily turns her slut factor back up this episode. Not only is she cheating on Sabrina with Paige, but then Alison makes a move on her and Emily takes her up, too. Slut slut slut.
Toby’s not much better. Spencer asks his permission to pash him goodbye before he leaves town, and he allows it. Sluts get cut, Toby. Didn’t you know?
He didn’t. Because he and Yvonne are shown bloody and unconscious in their wrecked car. In case abandoned mansion axe and gun chases, and secret daughter reveals weren’t gasp-worthy enough for you.
Aussie Chick is alive. Who cares?
Hanna and Caleb get back together and have a tepid sex scene. Who cares?
Sydney’s obligatory cameo was a fucking groaner. She only gets one line while she’s playing a decoy Jenna (to trick Mona and Caleb so Jenna can sneak away to the haunted house of fun). Fuck off.
As soon as Hanna started filming what she was doing to Noel, I knew the footage would be used against her. Have these cunts seriously not learned that, yet?
Nobody apparently makes copies of the bunker videos USB. Again.
Where’s Ashley? She’s in London. Which is not okay.
Oh, and to further hyperbolise (but it’s not in any way insincere) just how awful the abandoned mansion sequence was, the girls, having recovered the video camera, split up when Emily notices she left her phone upstairs. For what fucking reason did Emily put her phone down somewhere? This might have been the least believable thing of all, actually. What the actual fuck, writers? How little do you respect your audience, and your craft? Fuck you.
But it’s not all bad:
Noel is dead. So he can shut his pointless ass up.
Toby and Yvonne might be dead. That’s cool.
In a rare win for continuity, I liked that Alison and Paige still hold their grudges against each other. And Alison’s evidently willing to really commit to it.
Aussie Chick might cause Aria and Ezra to break up. One can hope.
My money’s on Mona to turn out to be AD, for what it’s worth.
Oh, and as limp and retarded as it was, this episode still had a better chase scene than most of Scream’s second season. So PLL can be proud of that.