Pretty Little Liars

Tuesdays 8:00 PM on ABC Family
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Pretty Little Liars Review: The Ultimate Frenemy

by at . Comments

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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I have a theory about who A is. A long time ago the girls' parents were friends and they had a *itchy clique. Someone with a grudge has come back to cause their parents grief by torturing their kids which in turn tortures them. shall we say Alisson's grandma (who could've been their teacher) or the guy who showed up at Hannah's mom bank who lied about being an architect. OR. this person has to be someone in this age range: 15 to 22. someone who could be at all the places the girls go without looking suspicious. at the dance and at the party in Hannah's house from season 1, A had to be a student's age so they wouldn't be picked out from the crowd. A also has to be a legal adult. someone who can move about town and do business with people without looking suspicious. such as set up an appointment at a shrink's office. A also has to have A LOT of resources to pull off the stuff they do. again, so A has to be an adult with a job. since A can't be all of these things, A has to be a team of people consisting of at least 1 teen and 1 adult minimum. btw, what's the age gap between Garrett and Jenna? Jenna can't be the involved teen because she's blind. there is no way she's not actually blind. it has been made clear she is blind for real on many occasions. and becuz she's blind she can't be useful to A. except for maybe make out sessions. i wonder if A is even someone that has appeared on the show yet.

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Aria called Ezra, that's why he came to the police station. i wonder what if Ezra tells Aria's mom about him and Aria? he must think twice. i've noticed Elle's upset when talking to him about that. will she forgive and forget when she finds out that girl's her daughter? it's been four months to come since the mid finale episode. gosh, too long.................

Yougotmyreflection

if you notice that maya says at the start of season one to emily that she fell in love with a girl back home. for some reason i always thought it had something to do with alison. and now its starting to make more sense..

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I have to agree about Ezra, I'd like to know if he told Aria's mom if he meant Aria and not Spencer. For me personally, they are the main reason I watch the show.
My husband suggested the same thing about Emily being able to use her heels to break the window and either shut the car off or drive through the door. I agree, however a shoe may break easily when being smashed into the glass. Windshields are pretty hard. LOL. There could've however been something else she may've been able to use and if not, at least she could've tried her shoes.
I too had to wonder what Allison meant when saying "only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead." My first thought was, aren't you dead? I don't know if I believe she's still alive though.
I don't know why Garret and Jenna would talk about committing a murder in a police station of all places. That seems a little too risky for me.
As for someone asking the question, who did Aria call, I believe it was Ezra. She said I really need you here right now and then eventually Ezra showed up.
I'm not quite sure I understand what crime these girls committed. There was no body. Are they blaming them for Allison's death?

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is it really sad that the only thing i want to know is if ezra told ella is wasn't spencer

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Okay, while I genrally enjoyed this episode, it still left many questions. Liek always :)
The dolls were chilling (specially since they already creep me out).
I think Spencer's dad probably had some sort of affair with Alison's mom or something along those lines.
Jenna and Garret obviously had something to do with Ali's death, but I don't think they were the only ones involved. Many people had hatred towards Alison and if they writers just gave it away like that, something else is up. 'A', I keep having a feeling it is Jenna but I also believe 'A' might be more than one person. "Pretty eyes", could be Jenna because she does have vibrant, pretty eyes, but wouldn't most people in town know she was blind and it would be odd for her glasses to be off? And what exactly did the cops catch the girls doing? Digging up a doll? I didn't know that was a crime...

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WHO DID ARIA CALL ???

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I have to disagree with you, Rella, considering I'm a guy and I get told that my eyes are pretty all the time. Most guys don't get offended by it, unless they think someone is coming onto them. In general I feel like all of these "plotholes" and unexplained ideas are necessary for a show of this nature. If everything can be explained as the story is unfolding, crucial elements of the mystery may be left out. This episode was, by no told poorly. It did a nice job of recounting the events leading up to the girl being brought in. Also, just a note for the reviewer. I don't remember the girl being officially questioned for anything at all. As for the reason they were arrested, we don't know for sure. Obviously there is no reason to keep them there if there's no real crime being committed. The adults in Rosewood aren't the brightest, but there's no way the writers are completely ignorant. And yes, we've all clearly understood that we're being strung along. That was evident when we learned that we won't discover who A is until the end. I'm personally not a huge fan of this decision, but I don't think that is, AT ALL, a reason to punish each and every episode. If you want to make that a part of your review, you mind as well change every review you've written for the first season of the show, when we were under the assumption that we could learn who A was at any time. I honestly don't think that's a reasonable excuse to lower a show's score if it's a problem that is outside of the show. It may have been interesting if they were standing over Dr. Sullivan's dead body, but seriously, what fun would that have been? Are we going to just expect that every time someone knows who A is that they're going to just be hurt/killed off? That would be extremely poor writing and the way it actually ended may have opened up potential story lines to be uncovered in the future. I have a feeling we don't know the entire Jackie situation either. Obviously there had to be a reason she keeps coming up over and over again. She didn't just disappear for the entire summer and show back up. A must have known Jackie was still interested in Ezra and when Aria pushed her, she came out of her shell a bit. It might not have been the best characterization, but to say that came out of nowhere takes me aback. Whatever Jenna and Garret are revealing is obviously not the whole truth. All summer they've been suggesting little tidbits and we've just been taking what they say and assuming we don't know everything. This, once again, is something that hasn't been a complaint before, but all of a sudden seems to be an issue now. Just speaking my mind here, but I'm a little frustrated reading these reviews over the past few weeks.

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Alison is dead, that was a dream!

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this 'A' is MONA! im convinced!!!!! it would make perfect sense! jenna and garrett are not 'A'. it will somewhat follow the books in the second half of the series....

Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

I found a way to survive my secrets, but everyone I care about gets hurt.

Spencer

Hanna: You don't think her ear is in here do you?
Emily: That's a big box for an ear.

Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 12 Music

  Song Artist
Too pretty to say please Too Pretty To Say Please The Wooden Birds iTunes
Give it all Give It All Right the Stars iTunes
With wings With Wings Amy Stroup iTunes