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Pretty Little Liars Review: The Ultimate Frenemy

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I'll give Pretty Little Liars this: dolls are really scary. Whoever came up with the idea to go all Chuckie on "Over My Dead Body?" Bravo. A frightening job well done.

I wish I could say the same about the storytelling, however. The midseason finale produced plot holes galore, prodded along by dialogue that, I'm sorry to say, was simply too unbelievable to accept.

Emily, Girls in Trouble

I mean, Jackie hasn't really made a move on Ezra all summer and then she suddenly blurts out that she wants to get back together? And Aria happens to be standing there? And then she gives Aria an ultimatum? Out of nowhere, the show decided to move this character front and center.

Yes, I know Pretty Little Liars is meant to be a guilty pleasure and viewers should just go along for the fun ride. I mostly do, trust me. But there are only two possibilities for the conversation Jenna and Garrett held at the conclusion of this episode:
  1. It's just another red herring, which would be a lazy, desperate, lame way to mislead viewers.
  2. It's the truth, Jenna and Garrett are behind Alison's death... and they simply delivered that information in a straightforward, expository manner via an exchange that no two people would ever have.

For that reason, I'm leaning toward scenario number-one. I just refuse to believe the writers would give us Alison's killers in such a boring, sloppy fashion. Hmmm... how should we make this major reveal to the audience? A-ha! Let's have Jenna and Garrett just talk openly about it in the police station!! I don't buy it.

I also don't buy the supposedly major cliffhanger: the shovel was the murder weapon and now the cops have caught the girls in the act? Okay, but in what act? There's no evidence at all here, except more proof that the adults in Rosewood are utter morons.

It's illegal to question a minor without an adult present. In the absence of an arrest, each parent should have walked in and demanded to take his/her child home. Done. Case closed. There's no legal means by which authorities can detain a minor who is not under arrest. I'm sorry, my family is made up of lawyers, and it may not be fun to read a review that regurgitates the law, but it seems like an important detail for the show to consider, doesn't it?

Fortunately, while the concluding events left me irritated and empty, the build-up to them was tremendous. The time-jumping aspect of the episode was executed very well, leaving me wondering every step of the way just how the girls came to be dirty and sitting in an interrogation room.

Dr. Sullivan really should have been killed, though. Imagine if the police had come upon the girls holding that shovel AND standing over a dead body. Now that would be a cliffhanger! It would also give A some weight because, as I continue to say every week, she never actually does anything. She threatens, she texts, the girls panic... and that's about it.

Just once, wouldn't it be nice to see the Liars not give in to a demand and to find out if A actually follows up?

As we wait until new episodes in January, at least the show has given viewers many questions to ponder:

  • Is this the end for Ezria?
  • Did Spencer really just kiss Wren? Where did THAT come from?!?
  • Is Mr. Hastings the father of Jason?
  • Who is Pretty Eyes? (My guess: anyone but Jenna. Another example of a misdirection.)
  • So everything with Mike was meant to.... hmmm.... what?
  • What did Jason find in the house?
  • Will we see Dr. Sullivan again?
  • Is referring to a girl's "back fat" the greatest diss of all-time?
  • How did Emily escape the barn?
  • Might Alison be alive?
  • And, oh yeah, who is A?!?

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
  • 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (118 Votes)

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

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    Sorry to break it to you guys but A is Alison.She's not dead, the body that they found is her twin!!!

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    Rehana, at the top of the page, it's like reading a drunken rambling letter. How can you read? You barely know how to write. Get with it girl! Your comment was impossible to follow.

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    jason is a spencer brother i must be the only one who taught jason saying my sister need me a sweet :) lol but i think the show should build on that make the sibling get long and work along together :) to find A they need somebody to help them :) and jason fits perfect cause he black out and he those nt trust allison ... well someone comment ealier that jason might be father i dont think so one if he was why would he go after aira anyway in books isint a cop who is baby father or is mellisa married to a cop ..cant rem i do know that mellisa an spencer are either half sister or nt related in one of books when her grandma left her will spencer is not mention as it is found out that she an mellisa are nt sister and she goes looking for her mom only to be lied to by some lady ..and loose all her trust fund money ...or something i will have reread that...jenna is annoying but intresting cause in book A kills jenna and toby can jenna be A no but maybe in future they can restore her eye for one epsoide or so ...garrath is carazy but i stii think he is setting jenna up ... i kind of agree with some that A can be maya for this season cause A is definatly picking on emily alot harder them other girls maybe maya vex with her or something ...
    ezra and aria is kind of boring dont get me wrong they were hot but unlike the rest of girls aria stroyline is still abt keep ezra a secreat...hanna is funny charater so far she has those nt do much expect be around lol i love hanna but give the girl a live :) i know in book it mostly abt hanna and her dad and step sister but in show they kind of change that up and i am glad but hanna needs a job or something else for A to blackmail her with... the adults in rosewood are moorans :)mike had an intresting storyline but that gotten cold so far it seems that mike was the one breaking and entering and scraing the girls maybe HE Was one of A puppet maybe half of rooswood is A poppets :) in book Alli killer is her twin ... but show said they go a diffrent roots i think they should play with fact alli had twin that no one knew abt and alli twin killer her and took her place ..but then someone killed the twin cause they hated alli not knowing alli was already dead ...let jason and spencer we sibling that get along and this makes mellisa angry and joins with A ....:) i like spencer and kason as sibling :) i this toby and spencer is hotter then wen and spens ..jason and aria makes a hotter couple then ezra he has lost his hotness ...hanna and cleb are a perfect match :) dont ever break them up he can be hanna knight :) emily needs some one new maya and the other girl are old news :) al in all preety little liars are amazing love ir

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    this was so intense!! i lmao when aria's mom thought ezra was in love with spencer xD

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    also i think spencers dad knows that melissa was involved in the murder which is why he is being so secretive and hiding something. it All makes sense!

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    I KNOW WHO A IS!! A is melissa (spencers sister) because she was also seeing a shrink since jason was murdered. so that is how dr sullivan figured out that it was melissa she had had her records. also the pretty eyes remark that the waitress gives at the end fits melissa.

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    I think its very suspicous that Wilden claims that they know that the murder weapon is a shovel how can they be sure. I think that is something that only the murderer could know. I also don't think the shovel is the murder weapon I think the hockey stick that was destroyed was the murder weapon and the shovel is a decoy, I doubt A would want the actual murder weapon in police evidence. I think A is blackmailing quite a few more people than just the 4 girls but because no-one can talk about A no-one realises that A is playing them all.

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    wouldnt jenna and garreth have to know who a is - in order to collaberate with the latter; i mean; it was a who kidnapped dr. sullivan, sent the dolls, made the demands.. so how does this add up with the fact that jenna/garreth stated that THEY did this to the girls/set them up? how did they get the girls to the woods without either being a, or working together with a? or do I totally overlook something?

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    I don't want to believe that A is maya or she is working for A but I don't know she just seem to good to be true she's hiding something.

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    The girls are being held because they've been set up using the shovel which was the same weapon used for Ali's death (apparently) but I think that it was used by Ian, but it didn't kill her because remember she got back up off of the ground. Also I think that the dent in the head would have been made with a hockey stick, but with a shovel it was have caused it to bleed as well and there was no reference to her head bleeding? Another thing, it could be Maya for the reasons that have already been listed, it has also been said that A was in the Pilot and it would make sense, I mean Maya even moved into Ali's old house, plus she had some of her old stuff like her diary AND she had access to the house and might have found Ali's hiding places? When Melissa went out in the rain with the baby scan thing and lied saying she didn't go out, she went to show Jason the scan. Jason is the father of Melissa's baby, when Spencer asked about Ian and Jason being friends, she said he wasn't 'reliable', one can only assume he doesn't want anything to do with the child. I also think that he is the illegitimate child of Ali's mum and Spencer's dad, which makes the fact that he is the baby daddy really creepy!!! I think Melissa's parents are clued up on a lot and are keeping SO MUCH from Spencer which is quite sad really. Also, I think Mike was being blackmailed by A to do stuff and that's why he was stuck in his room and so attached to his laptop and also why he felt really guilty. Spencer didn't keep Toby safe and Aria didn't get rid of Ezra's bitchy ex, so why were they still told to go and dig up the Dr? That was obviously not A because A would never have let them do that until they had done what she said, A didn't set them up. I think Garrett and Jenna killed A and he told her to burn the note that they gave to Jason saying 'I know what you did' or something along those lines. Either way, A really didn't like Alison because she wanted to torture her, but I think A is protecting the Liars in some ways and will somehow get them out of the situation they're in.