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?

Seeking Evidence


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+.


Also, who was that other guy that Spencer saw at the party? It didn't look like Toby....


I think you guys should read the books. They are truely amaxing and are way more suspenseful than the show. Also, for those of you who are wondering Jenna is indeed blind, the girls blinded her when Ali threw the stinck bomb into the garage. And yes in the book Toby does has a thing for Emily, not sure if thats gunna happen in the show though.


i think the creeper dude, Toby, is in love with Emily. Why else would he be in the bathroom? And I think Toby was the guy who took the pictures from the photo booth and copied them onto his wall.


I LOVE the Ezra Aria relationship and how it's developing. He's falling in love with a student. How is that remotely boring. and wren is hot so anything he does cant be boring to me. i think sean is gay...he acts like it so much maya and emily...way to weird i dont think jenna is blind either.


best on yet. hanna and aria are my favorites


does anyone hava read the books ?
please tell us


"That family also seems over-the-top in its rudeness to Spencer." Not sure if someone else has already said this, but their reaction is actually mild compared to how it is in the books. And I have to agree this one was a little boring... however I'm still hooked and can't wait for next week!


Um, does any one else see that this show is full of pedophiles? The teacher.. Spencer's sister's fiance... They're all in their 20s and these girls are 16...


I far it was the best. Hanna is a bit rash - she does things which are only increasing her troubles (crashing her bfs car) and all that! Also the detective has a secret and ezra and aria are becoming boring! i thought he must have a kid or a girl inside his apartment!


I found this episode the most interesting so far. I think the detective has a secret to hide, or wants to kill Hanna or something. He's always interviewing her by herself, he went through her purse, and was dating her mom. I also don't think that Jenna is really blind. In last week's conclusion, Jenna SAW Spencer jogging, while she was telling whoever was on the other line to send the text. And Toby, well. Toby just scares me. I think the girls have some history with him, that happened before the fire. I also wonder why the shed helps them remember Alison.

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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.