Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 18 – TV Review
God help me, I actually enjoyed this episode.
Because something actually fucking happened.
If only we could go back in time and let the rest of the season and series know this hidden secret.
TL;DR Aria is outed as being AD’s lackey, and faces the consequences; Marco is out and Detective Roma Maffia is back in, and she’s even more aggressive; Alison and Emily consummate their relationship; Spencer reels Toby back in; Caleb and Hanna get married; I can’t really remember what AD wants, anymore.
But in a world where nothing matters, does it matter?
Can you believe it? This is one of our final three Liar-by-Liars:
Aria is the reluctant star of the episode, as Mona figures out she’s working for/with/as AD, and blows up her spot with the other girls, who are shocked and appalled at her betrayal. Aria attempts excuses and amends, but AD gifts her a fake alibi for the night of Doctor Dude’s disappearance. But then also dumps his body in her car and sics the police on her? Huh?
Spencer is shocked to find Roma Maffia has replaced Marco on the case, so her pussy powers are now ineffective. Roma, despite having saved the girls from the bunker, is convinced they’re up to no good, and starts closing the net on them. So Spencer realises time may be running out to reconfirm her OTP, and jumps into Toby’s bed.
Hanna, too, feels the tug of the ticking clock, which is made worse by an actual ticking clock from the board game, demanding one of the girls give themselves up as Doctor Dude’s killer. Nobody does, of course, but Hanna does get married to Caleb, so that’s something. Ashley is also filled in about all this AD business, and Caleb later tracks the board game (having disappeared earlier) to Mona’s apartment, furthering the obviously false implication that she is AD.
And I’ll lump Emily and Alison together this episode, because that’s what the show is doing. Their only real contributions to the episode are their outdoors sex scene at the end, and their fury at Aria when they find out she’s AD’s helper, and thus is the one who vandalised the nursery.
What works about this episode is that characters’ actions actually have consequences. This is best exemplified by Aria, who effectively does lose the trust and support of all her friends as a result of her betrayal.
And PLL isn’t satisfied to simply rest on Aria’s verbal smackdown from her friends. We also get to see the consequence of Aria’s subsequent defiance against AD.
I mean, it turns out confusingly. But that’s pretty status quo for Pretty Little Liars.
Why I hate this episode:
Really, though: why would AD create a false alibi for Aria, but then sneak Doctor Dude’s decomposing body into the boot of her car? The only way I think this could make sense is if Aria’s fake alibi is then proven fake, and it makes her look even more suspicious. But I don’t trust PLL to be that logical, you know?
Speaking of being illogical, Hanna continues to frustratingly resist telling Ashley the truth about what’s going on, even with Ashley demanding it of her directly. Worse, though, is that Hanna confirms something is up, but then refuses to say what, lest Ashley fall victim to AD’s schemes, too. I appreciate the nobility of it, but did you think that would satisfy Ashley? It’s a no-brainer when she then immediately goes to Caleb for the details, and he, thankfully, provides them. Fuck you, Hanna.
Hanna and Caleb’s surprise city hall wedding means that they won’t have the chance to take the wind out of Aria and Ezra’s wedding sails. I wanted duelling weddings, dammit.
I’ve legitimately forgotten what AD’s plan is. AD has spent so much time harassing the girls for Doctor Dude’s death, with the end goal being that the girls would fess up to Cece’s murder, right? Or at least force the girls to go find out who killed Cece? I think. So then wouldn’t AD’s time and resources have been better spent just finding out for themselves. They’ve studied these girls enough to know that they’re all fucking idiots. Do it yourself, AD. Jesus.
Emily and Alison’s outdoors sex is weird. I think the fact that they did it at the Kissing Rock was supposed to be significant, but PLL didn’t do enough to draw attention to it. Odd choice.
Spencer’s beef with Aria over the AD helper thing has her hyperbolically stating that Aria’s scheme to drop off the phone is why her parents are getting divorced wah wah wah. Cunt, I’m pretty sure that your dad’s habit of sticking his dick into a pair of evil twins and then legitimately, admittedly, planning to murder one of them is the problem. Shoosh.
Oh, and I’m glad Roma is back, but her hateful attitude towards the Liars doesn’t make sense. She knows what kind of fucked-up shit they’ve been through. Yet she is going all in on them for Doctor Dude’s disappearance/murder. These girls were literally held prisoner in an Umbrella Corporation-esque underground super bunker. Don’t you think there could be more at play than “Shifty girls by shifty?”
But it’s not all bad:
PLL, thankfully, has the characters point this out to Roma. And her response is fair: she says that whole bunker debacle was the end result of the Liars’ lying. So she figures that if they’re all lying again, even when they know that she, Roma, was their saviour before, then they must be hiding something bad. Smart.
And I’m also simply glad that she came back. We didn’t need any more Marco.
You know who else didn’t need any more Marco? Spencer. She’s all about that Toby, again. Yvonne who?
Caleb may have told Ashley about the AD business offscreen, but thank God he did. I’m sure Ashley won’t be able to offer much tangible help, but she does mention that she’s arranging a lawyer for Hanna. And who wouldn’t want Ashley in their corner?
Aria’s fall from grace is the most effective element of the episode. I think Lucy Hale might have even emoted during that angry phone call to AD in the car. It’s rare.
And what a refreshing surprise to see the other girls not forgive her immediately. PLL rams this point home by having Spencer attempt to reconcile with her, but at that exact moment Roma comes in with the good news that AD has fabricated an alibi for Aria. Spencer, naturally, storms the fuck off. Reow.
AD’s turnaround with the body in the boot is confusing, but if it means trouble for Aria, I’ll take it.
Mona’s “j’accuse” moment towards Aria is utterly delicious. She lays it out for the other girls (and Caleb) when Aria isn’t around, and dutifully rebuts their incredulity with evidence. Help us, Mona-wan-Kenobitch. You’re their only hope. Of getting anything done.
Emily gets the best line of the episode with this welcome reality check when the girls (again, sans Aria) are ruing the fact that they could go to prison: “I mean, we did kill a guy.” You tell ’em, Em.