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 am so sick of people hating on the aria ezra relationship! They are not very far apart in years and she's almost 18!! Pretty sure the only thing is that he was her teacher and honestly big whup. Her parents need to understand that if they tell her she CANT do something the of course she's just going to want to do it even more. Just stupid parenting on their part. I've dated guys 5 years older than me and it wasn't a big deal. People are just hating cause she's only 17 but pretty sure most people have dated people older than them. Maya really annoyed me in this episode. She was so rude and she's starting to come off like she doesn't give a crap about emily and then she does that weird romantic thing with her bedroom? Eh. Not feeling it.


Someone meantioned on Twitter that Holden's brusie looked like he could have been hit by a car. Maybe running from a greenhouse. And its in the right place I believe. So its a possibility. In season 1 Ezra had just graduated and was in his first teaching job so he had to be about 22/23 and with Aria at 17 (in my opinion) a 5/6 year difference doesn't really matter. I think the whole reason that Ella n Byron are so pissed is because he was her teacher n their collegue while he was with her. I loved Hanna and Caleb. Caleb trying to protect her was adorable. Garett almost running him over scared me silly. But Garrett is a weiner head. Specner broke me heart with the whole wearing Toby's tshirt. Emily n Maya dinner with mom kinda made me hate Maya but then the whole water thing kinda made up for it. I got the sneaking suscipsion that they were going to go to bed and since 12yrs watch this show I didn't really like that.


I love this show and won't miss an episode. For one I am not liking the Emily/Maya relationship, starting to get too racing for a show on at 8pm.
As far as Aria and Ezra I dont think he is too much older, is he? Maybe 4 or 5 years, and they seem to be a good couple. Hanna and Spencer need to find some happiness and having to give up their boyfriends is too much. What is this "A" person really after? Don't you think Garrett is too young to be a cop? I feel the same way about some of the other, I can't wait to see who "A" really is? I think haven't seen one person from the N.A.T. club, and that must be "A". I do think Holden's dad is hitting and pushing him around, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors.


i hated all the emaya scenes in this episode -.-
instantly when i saw the bruise on holden i just thought he was a drug dealer.
like last week or something i posted in the forum about kate being A's new target, and how it said that on wikipedia; i thought someone had just done it as a joke, but iv read things about A having a weird new target on other sites im sure of it? especially how A has just gone and sent that naked picture of her around the school.


I loved this episode it was great and next weeks looks even better. Can't wait.


Poor Hanna....girl needs to catch a break. I don't think Holden is hiding something in a bad way. If his father is abusing him, that's not something that should stay hidden. HOpefully Aria helps him.
Sorry but, I'm not a fan of Aria and Ezra, never will be. The whole 'relationship' is just wrong. Adults dating minors...just wrong. Of course he acts like a teenager.
The whole Ezra being offered an Assoc. Dean spot made me laugh out loud. They really really suspended reality on that one.
I think Paige took the picture of what's her name in the locker room.


This episode was kinda good. I think that Holden also could be dealing drugs and got beat up in the process of robbing him. I wish they would find a girl for Emily that I can actually like. There was also too many things going on in this episode.


Anybody thinking that A is the one texting Maya? Just a feeling I got. After all A is trying to sabotage the girls relationships. I'm thinking Kate took that pic herself since they clearly showed hannah leaving her phone in her bag before the whole kate and spencer scene. It's one way to get back at Hannah and really who gets completely naked like that in a school locker room?


I think I'm the only one that was disappointed by the episode. Didn't really like it that much and Alison having an ID with the name Vivian Darkbloom on it wasn't the biggest revelation ever.
And why would Aria not tell her friends about her and Ezra? Because A would know then? Oh wait, A knows everything anyways so A probably saw them in the car together. Just stupid. I finally want to know who A is, at this point almost everyone has been a suspect.
And Toby not being in the episode was a total bummer, he needs to come back.


maybe Ali had an affair with spencer's dad. make the gun scene understandable nd whole lolita reference. besides spencer's dad has been quite involved with ali's family.

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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.