Pretty Little Liars Review: Toby, Plot Holes Exposed

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I know there are typically plot holes aplenty on Pretty Little Liars, and one has to leave logic at the door in order to enjoy this ABC Family guilty pleasure.

But there's only so many times I can have my intelligence insulted, and here are the reasons shy "My Name Is Trouble" pushed me toward that edge...

Liars in the Dark

Issue #1: We've seen Jenna literally sniff out the Liars multiple times in school. Now, she suddenly can't even tell it's Aria until after they hold a lengthy conversation?!? And can the show just rely on its storytelling for the suspense, please? That entire, supposedly eerie scene with the candle just felt contrived and forced.

Issue #2: So... Melissa lost her engagement ring and it was just sitting behind the toaster? That's a random enough plot device. But we got a good look at that rock. It was large. And, trust me, I've gone engagement ring shopping: that thing was worth well above $2,000. Like 10 times above that.

It's also one thing to be protective, but it's another thing to just be immature and self-serving. Spencer pawned her sister's ring?!? Hanna deleted her father's fiancee's text message?!? I know, these are just young girls, they make mistakes, they are impetuous. But they crossed a few major lines this week and I didn't find the actions endearing, I found them despicable.

Issue #3: This is subtle, but important: something clearly happened to Alison during that party to which they flashed back. There's interesting material to mine here. But that close-up of her face? When she was holding back the tears and looking at herself in the window?

Whose mind were we in? When a show flashes back, there must be a point of view established by a current character - but that one, key scene was of Alison and no one else (Spencer entered the picture after a few seconds). It doesn't make any sense in a narrative context.

Issue #4: The entire we-can't-be-seen-together-because-our-therapist-who-hasn't-appeared-in-two-weeks thing is, I'm sorry to say it, just flat out stupid. The girls get scared when someone else enters the bathroom because... why? People at school are gonna report them to the psychologist? We haven't actually see the Liars together any less since this credo was thrown down; we've just seen them act all worried about it for no season.

Issue #5: A won't be revealed until the series finale, creator Marlene King has already said that. At that point, it's unlikely viewers will remember every little incident, but maybe I should make a list. Because, let's face it, this stalker pulls off the impossible every week.

We are meant to believe she got into Emily's room, wrote a note, copied the fake letter from Danby and sent it to Emily's mom? Nothing A does is even shocking anymore, which removes all mystery because the answer to any question is always: A did it. How? Who knows! Just go with it!

There were a few positive developments this week: Alison's mention of money from her grandmother was intriguing. I hope Ezra's fiancee causes some mischief. Toby sweated a lot without a shirt on.

But I had to vent for a bit because the plot holes were just too glaring. I still enjoy Pretty Little Liars, I still look forward to it for the snark and twists and turns. I just ask the writers to give us some consistency and treat viewers with a bit more respect.

What did everyone else think? Should I shut up and enjoy the show for what it is? Or am I making a few legitimate points?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (84 Votes)

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


You make an excellent point. I enjoy the show very much. I have read the books and if the show would follow the books I think it would be perfect. The show adds more things that A does than the book does therefore like u said kind of kills the reality factor.


@liz thanks. I read her lips and I thought she said something like I was just being ____ about my grandma and now I figured that she was just thinking bout her grandma.


@ jennifer, she was saying: "I was just thinking about my grandma."


I think u should sit back and enjoy the ever-loving,crazy ride. plot holes...yes. who CARES??!!! It's t.v. show....not a political candidate.


If you have put that much thought into Pretty Little Liars you need to get a life, just enjoy the show and stop picking it apart. It's not stellar writing but it's entertaining, it is what it is.


What did alison told spencer when she asked if she's okay? She said "I was just being what with her grandma" I have hearing problems so hope you could answer me.


I randomly found pretty little liars when i was on holiday in canada (it was the mid-season finale) and i really enjoyed it but the more ive watched it the more i find it unbeleivable and i really dislike last season finale and it just feels like the mystery of A is entirely unbelievable and frankly by this point boring because they're not going to tell us who she is and why shes doing it for AGES, and when they do it will never be satisfying as this show is full of plot holes so i seriously doubt the reveal of A will be worth while. I havent watched this weeks episode and i dont think i will nor ever watch the show again ill just read who A is :P There are too many good shows to be watching (and i watch a plenty already) that this one is worth keeping up with in my opinion. Dotn mean to offend just my opinion :)


I agree on all the points and I still can't stop watching PPL...But I've to say, I do it under a different view this season, because I felt that the season 1 finale was disappointing...there was no conclusion at all and now the whole A thing just feels forced...A can do everything, everytime and never gets caught and we'll never know who A is...I understand that they want to stretch the mystery as long as possible, but I just don't really care anymore who A is. Because I know how this season will work: we get clues, the liars believe they know who A is, then it's all fake, they get new clues, and on and on and on... So I really ignore the A plot holes completely...besides this I find PPL still pretty much entertaining...I like the new layers we get with Alison, because clearly there is something wrong in that house and I'm really looking forward to learn more about her, because for me she's the most interesting character in there. I love the Spencer and Toby storyline, because they are just so cute. And even if the scene felt forced, I loved the Jenna scene as long as they keep me interested in Alison's character, serve cute Toby/Spence scenes and don't bother me with too many super interesting "This is totally A" clues I can still watch season 2 to it's end...then I'll decide if season 3 is worth watching...


Well I think I'll give up on this serie. If A is not revealed until the end it is gonna bother me because I can't rationaly believe he/she/it can be everywhere, anytime, following, not 1 but 4 girls, plus the rest of the town...ok it is just a serie but still, I don't like it!


The writers clearly don't have any plans for the whole plot. Like Jason, if they want to do a storyline about him, they won't recruite the suit in first season, then replace him with a completely differet one.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 3 Quotes

Stealing moisturizer is not a life. It's a hobby.


Ashley: Your father and I have a long history. We used to laugh. A lot.
Hanna: I must have missed that part.

Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 3 Music

  Song Artist
Please speak well of me Please Speak Well Of Me The Weepies iTunes
Song Baby I Got To Move Tim P and Stephen R Phillips
Song Imposter Jocelyn Alice