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Pretty Little Liars Review: Off the Deep End

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After a few weeks of so-so episodes (last week's being the most frustrating), I anticipated some real action in this case. Especially with all the great promos.

And, yes, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" delivered the action - but it also brought the crazy. I mean certifiably crazy.

The increase in intensity and drama, which will hopefully propel the story forward, was very much appreciated after wading through one tepid episode after another. However, wasn't this a bit much? Will we look back later on and think of this episode as the one that "jumped the shark?"

Unusual Family Time

Spencer's decision to finally open up about the Toby problem was way overdue and I was surprised they weren't more upset about it. Instead, they were sympathetic to her situation because it is pretty awful to find out that the person you loved most was just faking it to mask his blinding hatred for you and your closet friends. And how does Spencer respond to their delicate treatment?

No surprise here; she continues being awful. Naturally, Emily has some trouble accepting that her once close friend could be A. Of course, Spencer has been there and done that; yet, she has no tolerance for Emily's false hope, even laughing in her face. Perhaps she was even speaking directly to Spoby fans when she said, "You need to stop thinking about Toby as the person that you thought you knew and start looking at him for who he really is."

But Emily has a good heart and needs to hear this from Toby directly.

So it was a good start to the episode, but then things started getting a little strange. I think what bothered me most was that the signature sin of the main characters - bad decisions - was amplified to a humorous degree.

For instance, why couldn't Emily take the extra time to look at that picture of E. Lamb? She was distracted by that text from "Toby" and never looked back. Nothing is ever as it seems in these girl's lives, so you'd think they would double-check things like that.

Why would Ashley listen to her teenage daughter about the Wilden situation? Wait, I mean, why would an adult listen to a teenager who has put herself and her friends at risk by hiding dangerous information several times?

Then after her mother places a lot of trust in her, why would Hanna do something as stupid as putting the car in the lake? Why did Aria just let him happen while saying it was a bad idea? Let's take bets on how long it will be before the car is discovered. Oh wait...a fisherman already put a hat out of the lake.

Having both Emily and Aria comment on the ridiculousness of the decision doesn't help either. It's like the show's writers know this is a dumb idea, but they're going to do it anyway.

Hey, wouldn't it be funny if Wilden's body was in the trunk?

But I kind of think Wilden's body is being put to good use. When Spencer found that body in the woods, I waited for her to take off the mask. Someone was obviously camping out in the woods (Toby probably), but it seems strange for him to just be hanging out with his helmet on. But Spencer was distracted by the mental breakdown that's been a long time coming.

And she loses it and she ends up in Radley. Really?!?

It seemed more like a convenient excuse for the show to get out of having to really identify the body to the authorities and leaving the girls (and us) guessing about Toby's fate. It struck me as super ridiculous and contrived.

I'm not totally convinced that Toby is dead. The tattoo was supposed to be the identifying feature, but I'll believe it when I see that body's face. I think it's Wilden's body being used to help Toby get some anonymity back as A. Did you notice the gravel on his hand? Seems like the kind of thing that would happen when you're hit by a car out in the woods. What do you think?

But that wasn't the only contrived situation tonight. Maggie's move to Rosewood put Aria in the position of babysitter, and Malcolm's little accident seemed like the perfectly overly dramatic event to indicate how much of an outsider Aria is now. It appears Aria is getting ready to stop expecting Ezra to put their relationship first, which is the first mature thing she's done since this whole Maggie situation started.

With any luck, we'll start getting some real answers from Mona herself in next week's episode. Until then, check out Janel Parrish's interview for a few hints and teases about Mona and Pretty Little Liars.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (89 Votes)
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"But that wasn't the only contrived situation tonight. Maggie's move to Rosewood put Aria in the position of babysitter, and Malcolm's little accident seemed like the perfectly overly dramatic event to indicate how much of an outsider Aria is now." ......it's like you SOMEHOW don't know how EVERY television series story in history works........it's genuinely SCARY how moronic you are XD

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UGH these reviews are beyond terrible written like a 5 year old and you're bitching absolute pathetic nonsense is just mind numming

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im so tired of PLL its sad how stupid and boring the show is getting i now hate this Aria and Ezra thing with malcolm and maggie in the picture they should just broke up is pissing me off the whole lets try to a happy family thing everybody knows it wont work

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What was up with Spencer looking at that ribbon with th wreath. What did she see? Was the e and m faded Em? As in Emily?? Lots more questions....

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I'm just like Marie,except that I CAN stop watching the show.After this episode I thought: why am I still even watching this? Well mainly to procrastinate but it's not even procrastination material right now. This show is ridiculous! I dislike unrealistic plots (the whole A is everywhere) but it's more than that, it's the whole Melissa/noel/jenna/mona thing.They keep popping up in certain episodes and then they don't appear for a long time and the same thing happens again! This whole 3rd season was a Snooze fest..no but really..Is any evidence even worth anything in this show?
And that body? I mean,spencer why not look ? Is it what is supposed to keep fans wanting more? That was terrible! And are we supposed to believe that because she was so shocked, her parents agreed to put her at radley that same night? And how stupid can Hannah be? How useless can Aria Be, couldn't she stop Hannah from doing it? I'm just not going to watch this show anymore. I'm tired of the fact that after 3 seasons, I still know nothing and yet they keep bringing suspicious characters and stupid evidence.It feels like writers don't have any real plan.

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@Marie
I totally agree with you, you said everything I was thinking. I am so confused with this show, they ALWAYS have to make people look suspicious. That guy that works with Toby for example.. He knew Emily's name without her telling him, should we worry about him now too!?

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The storyline of this show just keeps getting more ridiculous. The writers keep bringing up new shit instead of just continuing what they already know. It's getting confusing and stupid. All the suspects and "evidence" is getting out of hand. This show just needs to find out who is on the A team finally and go from there because its starting to get really annoying. Is Jenna even a suspect anymore? What about Noel? Melissa? Lucas? Like wtf it's getting beyond ridiculous how stupid these girls are and how weird and far away each storyline is getting. But I can't stop watching the show. But I certainly don't anticipate every Tuesday either.

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I think tha the dead body is not Toby.. The time Spencer went to put his helmet of is head, Mona distracted her!!! Spencer has cracked for real?? Nope.. She plays Mona's game!! When Spenced tells Aria and Emily that Toby is "A", only Emily freaks!! Why? Does Aria know?? (I hope not) Its weird that Hanna's mon listen to her and didn't call the police.. She is only 17!! Maggie, Ezra and their son are soo boring.. I love Ezra but the hero has never to give.. Unless he is with "A" - Who knows??!!

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over reaction from ezra hes a kid hes going to get hurt and jumping off the bed wouldnt cause that much damage that the nurse would only want 'immediate' family in the room bascially a plot to mess ezra and aria up and about time too! get them wiht someone new there on off on off is getting boring !! i love this show and will continue to watch but it hasnt been the same for a while

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I got the chance to talk to Troian yesterday at the PH meet & greet, 30 minutes after the show aired. I haven't seen the episode yet at the time, but I read a twitter spoiler about Toby. As a joke, my friend and I told her that we were sorry for her loss. What she replied was there are a few more episodes, and knowing the show, everything is not what it looks like. She practically told us that Toby isn't dead.
Anyway, yesterday was one of the best days ever. Meeting her was a dream come true. :)