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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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Frustrating ep to say the least but Im thinking NONE of you have ever babysat because someone elses kid getting hurt in your care is a big deal, and I dont know why everyone is so bent on ezra's kid changing the relationship or Aria's age...like it or not this happens alot. Like someone else said tho Im not missing Wilden but I do think its time the moms where let in especially spencers hers being an attorney. I dont wish Spencer dead I think she has a plan and last nites crazy act was part of it. I just hope someone soon offs Mona so the girls can win for once. As far as the stupid decisions they are kids but going places alone after all they been through that is beyond stupid.

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ugh, with the truncation!!! ..continued... Spencer touching the helmet...if that really is a dead body, and not someone posing for her benefit, then her fingerprints--which are already on file with the cops--are now all over that helmet.

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Hanna said she couldn't turn off the video in the police car--it was probably not playing on that laptop, but being transmitted from another location (Mona's house?), which would mean that yea, someone does have a copy of it. As to them all making bad decisions---they're kids, despite all the expensive clothes, and growing up includes making bad decisions--so you can learn from them. However, these girls don't learn (or we wouldn't have a show), and bad decision-making as a problem-solving method had to come from somewhere (I'm looking at their parents). Aria is an outsider. She never should have been with Ezra, in the first place, no matter how much the show tried to convince us otherwise. Even if she was an adult, when there's a baby in the picture, and it's not YOURS and his, well, all bets are off. Having a baby does change everything... Spencer touching the helmet...if that really is a dead body, and not someone posing for her benefit, then her fingerprints--which are already on file with the cops--are now all over that helmet.

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I didn't think 4 a second the body was tobys the fact that we never saw his face makes it obvious its not him my moneys on wilden n to be honest I'm really not that bothered by his death
I don't know who's more stupid hanna for dumping the car or her mum for not calling the police and listening to her 17 year old daughter who landed herself in a whole load of trouble time and time again
The thing that annoyed me most about this episode was the over reaction wen Malcolm hurt himself kids get hurt its kinda their thing don't get me wrong I enjoyed the episode but like the reviewer said some of the points were ridiculously over dramatic
I hope we get some perspective on why toby joined the A team and when soon it feels like we've been waiting for ages

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Aria get a grip little kids fall and hurt themselves.

Saad702

Also Hannah dumping the car. Stupid. She needs to think better. As for Spencer,I wish she would die. Its one thing to break down and be totally crushed by the fact that your boy friend is an evil bully but seriously. She is letting Mona win. Why does she want that? Snap out of it already!!

Saad702

It seems all that they do is make stupid decisions. Aria and her poor baby sitting. Emily with not checking things through. For me I think it could def be Wilden. The Red Coat would never have gotten rid off Toby so quickly. Its all part of their plan.

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That episode was awful. Even Emily, who I thought to be the rational one, acted in a ridiculous manner. I'm ok with suspension of disbelief on this show, but they took it too far. Every twist was predictable. The kid hurting himself( it looked small for god's sake). Hopefully next week will be better

Marissa

Ok dumping the car in the lake was pretty stupid since when the police find it it will look like someone's covering something up since there's no body. I think the body with the helmet is Wilden not Toby. Can't wait till tr next episode.

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Toby is not dead. I am convinced it was Wilden's body, spencer should have taken off the helmet. Stupid girl! Definitely Wilden, if the showin I the hand didn't prove that then we are all naive.

Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Episode 21 Quotes

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.

Spencer

Looks like someone's been skipping their anger management class.

Mona
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