Pretty Little Liars Review: A Versus A

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After a creepy and confusing mid-season finale, Pretty Little Liars returned this week with a special Halloween treat (or trick?), "The First Secret."

This flashback episode wasn't really meant to unravel the mysteries of the show, but it did give us some interesting peeks into life in Rosewood prior to Ali's untimely death and "A's" reign of terror. Plus, there were lots of spooky dolls.

The series regularly utilizes flashbacks to depict Ali from the perspective of each character, but this promised to show Ali as she really was. However, I felt there weren't any new revelations about her character. She was as mean and manipulative as ever. She didn't even exhibit much fear, even when being stalked.

In Costume

However, we did get to see her in a new role: she's the queen bee who's finally encountered a little competition.

Toby very rightly assesses his new stepsister, Jenna, by telling Emily, "She gets what she wants." Someone should have told Ali that before she tried to intimidate Jenna. Obviously, both girls are accustomed to getting their way, and I couldn't wait for their confrontation at the party. It was refreshing to see Ali seething at the sight of someone not immediately jumping at her every command or bending down to wipe her shoes.

Although I don't really like Jenna in the course of the regular series, I have to say that I preferred Jenna's Lady G over Ali's. Her costume was way more provocative and did get a lot more attention (unfortunately, that will easily become negative attention with Ali's help). Also, the fact that she didn't fawn all over Ali's offer of friendship made me like her a lot more than Ali's sheep-like friends.

AND...Jenna and Mona were friends?!? Did they remain close after Jenna's accident? Mona seemed pretty desperate to be popular and pretty forlorn with her position at the geek table. I wonder how badly she wanted Ali out of the way.

The episode had its up and downs, but mostly I liked how the flashback format showed us our little liars when they were under Ali's thumb. We returned to the days when Aria was semi-goth, Hannah was chubby, Spencer was (overly) determined, and Emily was still pretending to be straight. Plus, it was cute to see the "inside" nods to future events, like Aria bumping into Ezra at Hollis College. I definitely like the characters a lot more in the present because they can be themselves without Ali constantly terrorizing them.

Why were they friends with her again?

So what was "the first secret?" It turns out that "A" has been around a lot longer than we thought. He/she stepped into Noel's place as part of Allison's Halloween trick. Then, "A" sent Ali one his/her signature texts. When asked who it was, Ali merely responded that it was a secret. Does she know who "A" really is? Or was she just faking to keep from looking spooked?

I was really hoping this episode would give us some insight into "A" and the mystery surrounding Ali's untimely death, but I was disappointed by the lack of anything substantial.

Except... there was that creepy story from the opening. Ali tells a young boy about the psycho twin who stabbed her sister in the chest and was sent away to an asylum. Later, we see a car marked "Radley Sanitarium" in front the town's haunted house. Does Ali really have twin like the popular fan theories suggest? Or is this just the writers having fun with us?

Consider it a question to ponder under PLL returns in January. Hmmm....


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (121 Votes)

so excited for season 2 halleween special i think they might find out who a is?????????????????


it seems like ian killed her but now ians dead and they are still getong a messages.i wonder who it could be????????????????????????????????? its a mistory


i think that alison is (A) because she was the only one that new aria,hanna,spencer and emily darkest secret , she also had a twin sister,her twin sister always pretends to be alison so on that night when the girls were in the barn courtney was pretending to be alison at that stage so courtney went missing and alison kidnapped her. Alison just propaly hidding away and keeping a look on her 4 best friends. I not may be right but i thinnk thats wat happened


is there going to be a part 2 of the Halloween special ?


Good. I was hoping for more. I like the foreshadowing. Surprised Jenna and Mona were friends. Jenna looked great. Allison is a psychopath. I wonder if Ali's twin is A (one of the As).


The "popular fan theories" that Ali has a twin? Fan theories being.... the books this show is based on and got all its important ideas from?


@Maddie, thanks. There are definitely 2 pictures of Alison, so one of the pictures could show her twin. Interesting...


Wasn't lucas the one who tried to kill her, though? That seems kind of important...


I think this episode doesn't have anything to do with the ongoing series. Sure, the writer might think it's funny to throw some clues here and there.
Anyway, I love Pretty Little Liars so much, but it just seems blah for a special episode.
So at the end, nothing bad happen? No climax whatsoever? That scene in the house? Who are they trying to scare? 5-10 years old? I was staring full of boredom at that scene.
I'm disappointed.
But a few interesting points.
a) Aria bumped into Ezra at Hollis. Squeal!
b) Hanna as fat Britney. Awesome!
c) Jenna-Mona's friendship?
d) Noel Kahn!
Anyway, it's still a blah to me.


and i read a post on here that it had to be alisons body they found because they must of done dna tests but it has been known that twins have the same dna and a DNA test can't determine the difference between identical twins, while a simple fingerprint can. so it could be courtney in that grave and the dna will be he same as alsions

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Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Shy in the streets, sexy in the sheets.


Lucas: It was just an accident.
Ali: Is that what the doctors told your mom dad at the hospital?