Pretty Little Liars Review: A Tale of Two Alisons

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Just when I start to get frustrated with Pretty Little Liars, it throws me a bone. Or rather a claim ticket.

"A Kiss Before Lying" provided the secrets, revelations and dramatic tension that should have been in last week's episode. In fact, it was almost too much action for one hour. But I enjoyed every minuted of it!

The biggest reveal of the night was Alison's creepy alter-ego: Vivian Darkbloom. This pseudonym for Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov creates some pretty icky implications. Nabokov's absorbing and disturbing story of Humbert Humbert's passion for nymphets (specifically the titular Lolita) adds a bizarre and distasteful tone to Ali's relationship with Ian. In fact, it casts a weird shadow on all the pairings of older men and younger women: Ezra and Aria, Spencer and Wren (Spencer and Ian for that matter), Jenna and Garrett.

A Look at Ezria

Was Ali trying to point out some disturbing behavior in the men of Rosewood (Ian, Garrett, and/or Jason)? Or was it just her favorite book? Another weird Ali-thing?

But the discovery of her strange interludes as Ms. Darkbloom was not only the only piece of the puzzle revealed. An old claim ticket from a place called J & L was placed in her copy of Lolita. Spencer called the place and, miraculously, they still have whatever was left there so long ago.

Is it just dry-cleaning? Or could it be more something more sinister like the videos the N.A.T club desperately wanted back?

This little piece of evidence kept Spencer occupied for most of the episode, which was a good distraction for her. She's really been mourning the loss of Toby and was even caught wearing his t-shirt under her own clothes (so sad!). Spencer was also helpful in finding a way to keep Kate from turning on Hanna again... until A sabotaged the whole thing.

Even though Kate was pretty diabolical when she got Hanna drunk and somehow arranged for Hanna to puke on her mother's wedding dress, I feel pretty bad for her. Hanna did start their little war by very publicly bashing Kate, her mother and her friends just because she felt like being bratty. Now, these naked photos are going to make life even more miserable for a girl who just had to leave her home and her friends to move to Rosewood. Being a teenager in this town is tough!

Meanwhile, Aria has decided not to tell her friends that she and Ezra are back together. It seems like the girls are beginning to keep a lot of things secret from each other lately. However, Aria and Ezra might not be together for very much longer. Due to a glowing recommendation by Aria's father, Ezra is offered a position at Hollis satellite school in Louisiana. It's a very tempting offer, but will he take it?

Also, I thought I picked up on some flirting between Holden and Aria. They are pretty cute together (and age-appropriate). But where did he get that painful bruise? Perhaps things aren't as good as home as we thought. Maybe Holden is using these outings with Aria to avoid an abusive situation.

With so much going on in this episode, I have to quickly point out these other exciting scenes:

  • Maya was being awfully petty with Emily's mom, making for an awkward dinner. I didn't like that somehow the blame got shifted to Emily for being jealous of Maya's ex-boyfriend.
  • How cute was Caleb trying to stand up to Jenna for Hanna! And how terrifying was Garrett's thinly veiled threat?!?
  • Our mysteriously dark-gloved A took a gun out of a locked drawer in the Hastings's office. Is this a sign of more violence to come?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (88 Votes)

I think 'a' is Ezra. maybe Ali had somethin 2 do wif him caz she lyked older guys. then Ezra found out Ali waz also wif Ian so he made 'a' to get back at her. also Ezra owns a typewriter just lyk 'a'
'A' haz to be da person we least expect. Ever1 has become a suspect except Ezra. 'A' is always easy on aria, maybe caz its Ezra and he loves her
'A' has pretty eyes just lyk ezra. Aria is alwayz talkin bout his beautiful eyez


did no one else pick up on the fact that Ezra had also given Aria the book 'Lolita'? There is a scene in the last episode I think it was, when she runs into Ezra with Mike in the street, she tells him she has the book to give back. I definitely think it's more than a coincidence that Ali also had the same book...


Holden's bruise couldn't be from the car. When I thought of that, it seemed plausible, but "A," or whoever Hanna hit, was hit on their left side and Holden's bruise is on his right.


My first thought when I saw Holden's bruise was a fight club sort of thing. Then it dawned on me he could be having domestic problems at home. I had never thought of him being A. I also thought that he might like Aria and agreeing to these outings just to be nice and get to spend a little time with her.
I am in love with Aria and Ezra. I have been a fan of them since day 1. He can't be that much older than she is and while he was her teacher at one time, it's certainly not the most scandalous storyline to ever happen on tv. I really hope he does not take that job in Louisiana. I would not like the show as nearly as much without them as a couple.
I love the Hannah/Caleb scenes too.


Better than last week but this series is getting very uneven and worse overall. Please let Holden be in a Fight Club!


I really liked this episode but I think The Lying Game was better this week. The thing that I didn't really get is how did 'A' get that photo of Kate in the change rooms because seriously, Who takes their bra off in the change rooms?? All you need to change is your clothes... WTF??


Need I remind everyone that Hanna hit (A) with her car the night at the greenhouse.
Could Holdens bruise be caused from this......


LOL @ Maya/Emily being too racy. It's only okay if it's a guy and a girl making out on the bed, is that it? Aria/Ezra--for the umpteenth time, it's not the age difference that is the big deal--it's the fact that he was her teacher; he was in a position of authority--that's what the law looks at. A relationship like that can be seen as coercion, on the part of the adult in authority, as far as the law is concerned. He's an IDIOT for risking jail, when he could just wait til she turns 18. Tougher things have happened to TV characters LOL


I thought there was a big to-do about Aria just turning 16. Getting her license or some such. I thought it was weird because she appears way older than just 16! Aren't they just Sophomores? I've lost track along the way but I thought she was only 16. Someone with a great knowledge of the show should know the answer!!


When I saw Holden's bruise, I immediately thought "Fight Club". Of course, now I realize that him being beaten by his father or him being a drug dealer is actually a lot more logical. But, why is A doing all this now anyway? I just don't see a reason... He's blackmailing them to ruin their lives but... whatfor? Just the pleasure of seeing them gravel? I always thought he was going to frame them for something he/she/they did, but it just looks like he's as evil as Stalin and as informed as the CIA and MI6 combined. With no reason at all.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 2 Episode 18 Quotes

Spencer: We're not even standing that close to you.
Caleb: Really? Then how do I know that you had a cheeseburger for lunch?

Ashley: Can we talk about the elephant in the room?
Hanna: Kate is not an elephant; she's a snake and she's going to my school.