Pretty Little Liars Review: "To Kill a Mocking Girl"

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Welcome back to Rosewood, Toby Cavanaugh. Feel free to talk any second now...

Last night's episode of Pretty Little Liars, "To Kill a Mocking Girl," introduced a new, seemingly key character to the show - but upon first impression, Toby suffers from the same flaw that inflicts others on the series: he's utterly one-dimensional.

Couldn't the drama have made him creepy without making him silent? Unless Toby is truly a mute, his lack of noise just makes him unrealistic, as if the writers couldn't think of a way to make him an interesting, layered individual... so they just figured he'll sit around quietly and make faces.

As a whole, Pretty Litte Liars has a tremendous amount of potential, but it does suffer from this same problem throughout the course of an episode.

Photo Booth Fun

Every scene between Emily and Maya, for example, is almost laughable. It's a wholly unbelievable relationship, moving along far too quickly and making Maya seem like some weird stalker girl. I hope she has an agenda and is trying to get close to Emily for some reason.

That would bring some juice to this relationship.

For that reason, I was happy to see Spencer's gank her sister's paper. That family also seems over-the-top in its rudeness to Spencer. Again, the writers could have found a more subtle way for her to feel pressure at home than to make her sister and her mom 100% bitchy all the time - but Spencer stealing that essay gives the storyline something suspenseful at stake. Plus, we can all relate.

Who hasn't been tempted to plagiarize at some point in his/her school life?!?

Aria and Hanna are the two most interesting characters by far. The former's bond with Mr. Fitz is almost too normal, though, isn't it? It makes them boring. This is a primetime soap opera! We don't want a mature relationship - we want something cheap and tawdry and suspenseful!

My favorite parts of the opening episodes so far have been the flashbacks involving Hanna and Alison. These give the latter actual depth, as we see how A's picking on her and how Hanna's weight issues still affect her today. Her speech to Sean after he turned her down for sex was very well-done and well-earned by the show.

A few questions/observations before we turn this over to the readers for their reaction:

  • Did Hanna crash Sean's car? She did, right? On purpose, I presume.
  • You'd think Spencer would have made a bigger deal out of what she witnessed at the conclusion of last episode. But did she once say to the girls that she saw Jenna texting?
  • What information do you think Alison blackmailed Toby with?
  • I don't think we've seen the last of Wren. If Spencer really wants to get back at her mean sister, what better way than to go through with what Melissa suspects her of anyway?

Check out a few Pretty Little Liars quotes from the episode now and sound off: What did you think?

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Review

Editor Rating: 3.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (68 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Hanna: Mom, you don't need to do this.
Ashley: Do what?
Hanna: Squeeze his grapefruit.

Whisper, whisper, whisper. It's almost like Alison is still her.

Jenna