Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 12 – TV Review
The real tragedy is that nobody goes for a savage blind joke. The PLL of yesteryear would have delighted in that.
Also, I legitimately forgot that Sara was dead, so was pretty confused when she was brought up this episode.
Only eight episodes to go, baby.
TL;DR Jenna returns, but in true PLL form, nobody actually talks to anybody so nothing happens; Aria worries Ezra is straying; Emily has some bullshit plot-of-the-week at her shallow job; Hanna treads water; Spencer treads water; Alison is just kind of there.
It’s a better look than usual, so stick to it, Ali. Play to your strengths.
Come get your threadbare Liar-by-Liar plots:
Emily gets the strongest plot thread this episode, as some upstart student tries to get her fired by calling her a paedophile. Emily bizarrely assumes she’s somehow in kahootz with a returned Jenna and plays the AD board game to get ammo to take the student down. But Paige comes to her rescue, anyway, so who cares?
Spencer flares up at Jenna as she shows up to claim Noel made her be evil under threat of death. But now that Jenna is swanning around Rosewood with blind minions and being vaguely shady, that obviously isn’t true.
Hanna continues to pretend her fashion subplot matters, as the senator’s daughter picks out a dress from Hanna’s personal collection (thanks to a “what are boundaries?” Mona). But gasp, this dress was actually mostly designed by her evil old boss, so Hanna feels like a failure because it’s the only one the client liked. And then Jenna wears a copy of the dress for no reason at all, and PLL seems to be insisting this is a plot point. What?
Aria endures a news article that shows Ezra’s reunion with Aussie Chick, who is being reported as his fiancè. She is prevented from confronting Aussie Chick by Holden, whose cameo seems to be holding on.
And Alison doesn’t do much but just stand around for her obligatory screentime.
Again, keep up the good work, Ali.
The rational part of me wants to yell at Pretty Little Liars for wasting its final run of episodes on wheel-spinning garbage like this. With only eight more chances, now is not the time for plots-of-the-week or doomed romantic cameos from Holden.
But the other part of me, the part that has witnessed and lived through seven seasons of this show, is equally as afraid of the bullshit PLL comes up with when it does feel like it has to do something big and explosive.
Would I rather uneventful, inoffensive dullness? Or scandalous, infuriating big swings (and misses. Let’s be real)?
Could we have neither?
Why I hate this episode:
You know what we don’t have any of? Ashley. Where the fucking fuck is Ashley? Veronica is here for episode number two, but no other parents have appeared yet.
When Emily’s naughty student, who I will call Baby JoJo because she looks like baby JoJo, showed up I got trauma flashbacks to the horrible attempt that High School Musical 3 made to introduce The Next Generation. Luckily, it seems Baby JoJo is a one-and-done problem, but shit, can you imagine if PLL does try another spin-off? God, help us.
Emily confirms she is not ready to be a teacher as she does a terrible job of handling the Baby JoJo situation. From gossing to Paige in the locker rooms about Alison; to then allowing Baby JoJo, who has proven she’s an eavesdropper, to eavesdrop on her and Alison; and then her outburst in front of other students when she’s threatening and trying to blackmail the student later on. I thought Alison wasn’t ready to teach, but damn, Emily.
Also, was Paige’s trump card of the email real, or did she fabricate it to save Emily? The dialogue between her and Baby JoJo implies Paige made it up to get rid of her. But then Baby JoJo, despite her meek initial protest, then doesn’t even read it and hangs her head like she’s been caught. It was confusing.
Similarly confusing is the reason why Hanna doesn’t want the senator’s daughter to use the dress. I assumed it was because, having been mostly designed by her old boss, Hanna could be worried that she’ll get in trouble for stealing the ideas (like copyright infringement or whatever). Which would have been a practical, sensible reason for her to be upset (and a secret to exploit, which is what the A of the early seasons would have done). But no, PLL wants to really mine that emotional drama, and instead Hanna’s objection seems to be because she isn’t good enough. Either way, just let her wear the fucking dress. This is your job, right? Do your fucking job. Who do you think you are? Mercedes from Glee? Yes, I’m still mad about that.
And who gives even close to a shit about Jenna having the dress design? Like, really? Just think about it, Hanna. AD, like all the As before them, clearly snoops in on you constantly. AD has seen the dress and replicated it. And you know Jenna is in league with them, probably. Big whoop, you guys. Sheesh.
Hanna has some more PTSD from her AD abduction. I don’t care.
Instead of talking to Ezra about the Aussie Chick rumours, Aria’s plan of action is to instead hang flirtily around with her old boyfriend, and then try to sneak in to confront Aussie Chick after hours at her place of medical care. Has Aria tried not being a fucking retard? It could be an exciting new look for her. She should give it a go.
Oh, and Spencer dumps all the Mary revelations on Marco. Girl, this is too early in the relationship for insane asylum rape (Mary tricked Peter into banging her by impersonating someone else. That’s rape, honey) baby drama. Run, Marco!
But it’s not all bad:
Spencer not only has her mum as the first PLL parent back, but there’s also talk that Peter will soon be returning to explain himself. It’s only a matter of time, Ashley. I can feel it. Ella too, I guess. And I wouldn’t mind a last ride with Pam. Byron can stay away.
The “student falsely accuses teacher of creeping” storyline being directed at a female teacher was a nice inversion of the usual trope. And there’s no melodrama about homosexuality or anything. Emily’s weird meltdown (despite the fact she had proof, from AD’s game, that Baby JoJo was a fucking’ liar. Why did you melt down, Emily?) not withstanding, the subplot was treated well enough. Which is a surprise for PLL.
I’ll give credit to Holden. Although he’s hanging around, he doesn’t appear to be sending any romantic signals to Aria. He just seems like a decent friend, who reminds Aria that Ezra’s probably having a rough time with his own emotions and loyalties now that Aussie Chick has returned. Keeping it professional. I like that.
AD shows shades of benevolence. They commend Emily on succumbing to her darkness, and says she should do as AD has and embrace it. Emily is rewarded with another puzzle piece for the board game, and Spencer notices it appears to be building a map of the area around Rosewood, inferring that it looks like AD is showing them a way out of Rosewood. Cool.
If Baby JoJo’s incriminating email was fabricated by Paige, then damn, bitch. That’s awesome. Sabrina who?
Oh, and Baby JoJo really does look like baby JoJo. It was super distracting.