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)

there was deffo two girls on the pic on the wall behind alison , there was alsion/courtney then jason and either alison or courtney on the end


the twins and jason appear at this time mark: 15:19


sorry but I think it is clear that the series are mirroring the books. the twins, the doll in Allie's hidden place, the sanitarium, the "it's a secret".. it all fits. mona might not be -A (I really think she is, the whole Hannah and her party thing fits) but I'm positive that Allie is Courtney and Allie killed her sister.


Awesome episode. I really loved it and can't wait to see the new episodes. And I liked Ali's point of view a lot.
But where was the pic of her, Jason and her sister? I couldn't see it.


I like they are getting some things from the books because Jenna and Mona were friends before the Jenna Thing and actually Mona say the Jenna thing


i liked the way jenna was in this episode and seeing her stand up to ali but i hate the way she is now.i was shocked to find out that mona and jenna where the flashbacks we saw that ali was mean to them somtimes but in this episode and seeing the flashback as a full episode we really saw how mean ali was and im still trying to understand how they could all be friends with ali.


When did Aria bump into Ezra? I wanted to see that part, watched closley for it but guess i missed it. I noticed Ali's story of one twingirl stabbing the other and the pic of her jason and Courtney. I don't feel like i got any answers/clues though.


I though it was creepiest when A;i put the note in the dolls head, and hid the doll because remember we found that box and the doll in the present on the show its just we've yet to open her head! Also when Jason said if she found out what the video was then he's have to kill her.......


The author of this blog was not paying very close attention to this episode. If they had been they would have noted that there was a picture in Ali's room of her with her twin (and Jason). The girl who plays Ali even said to pay close attention in the beginning for a 'clue'.
I just have trouble understanding how these girls continued to be friends with Ali. She was beyond mean. They had NO backbone what so ever!


Total crap. This episode didn't really expose anything we weren’t already aware of, nor did it allude to any ‘A’ suspects that i'm sure havn't already been considered. So many irrelevant scenes.. Complete anti-climax!

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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?