Pretty Little Liars Review: Muddy Mother Marin

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After a Pretty Little Liars Season 4 premiere that featured some much-needed answers (mostly about Mona), tonight's followup stalled on the reveals. 

While "Turn of the Shoe" may not have given us much to work with in terms of the show's bigger mysteries, it did a serviceable job of setting up the major conflicts of the season.

Naturally, episodes like this may not always be exciting, but they help us anticipate some of the more dramatic moments of the future episodes.

Even so, it was not the most compelling hour for the series.

Emily on a Stretcher

We knew Wilden's death was going to be a major plot point after so much of the season premiere focused on his untimely death, and tonight's developments moved the mystery of his murder in an interesting direction.

Could Ashley have killed Detective Wilden?

Let's look at the evidence. She lied about her phone, and she had some pretty muddy Manolos hidden under the sink. All of that isn't very incriminating until Mona overhears those officers talking about the muddy shoe prints down at Torch Lake. Were those heel prints Red Coat's or Ashley's?

We know that Ashley has been harassed by Wilden again and again, and we know she'd do anything to protect her daughter (see the series premiere). But would she really murder someone? She's certainly acting guilty.

Of course one of the biggest issues the liars will face is whether to trust former A-team members Mona and Toby. After Mona's nearly murdered by either another A or Red Coat or Melissa or Jenna or Shana (whew!), it seems like they might be able to accept that Mona is definitely on their side. But what about Toby?

Despite the fact that he confessed to Spencer that he stole the RV in exchange for information about his mother, I don't think it's wise for Spencer to completely trust him. I was surprised by how easily Spencer and Toby returned to their previously blissful couplehood last week.

Sure, Toby's honest about his deeds lately, but Spencer should realize that she's not his top priority. This specific incident shows just how dedicated he is to discovering the truth about his mother's death. Plus, it drummed up some major sympathy for the character, which he needed after betraying Spencer last season.

With Ezra out of the picture, the show also has to work on providing Aria with a new love interest. Aria decides she wants to take fighting lessons because she's afraid she's more of a target as a small girl.

But of course this excuse is just the vehicle to introduce the sexy new fighting instructor, Jake. I thought the show might build up to a romantic relationship between the two, but then Aria went and kissed him during their first session. Awkward! But at least she knows he's interested now.

And the whole thing gave Jake a chance to utter the ironic line: "Maybe you're not comfortable with the whole teacher-student thing. Could be complicated."

This week also focused on an element that hasn't really been explored a lot on the show: the future. Spencer and Emily's dreams of the future involve college. Emily wants to go to Stanford with Paige, and Spencer's dream (which you'll remember from the "The Kahn Game") is to go to UPenn.

Unfortunately for both, A's involvement in their lives has made planning for the future incredibly difficult. Can Spencer really get in anywhere when she's constantly worried that A will spill her secrets? Emily's injury kept her from performing well at the meet (well, that and those pain pills!). These girls are reaching the end of their high school career, so it seems important to figure out what happens next.

Will A follow them to college?

There was only one development this week that was pretty out there. Tippy the talking bird was probably not as ridiculous as some of the show's other developments, but that's probably because we've become accustomed to unusual stuff on the show.

However, I do wonder if Spencer will ever get a hold of "beach hottie" or "board shorts" as Tippy calls him.


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (77 Votes)

I think Toby was in the car trying to hit Mona and Aria... Maybe A sent him there since A knows Mona is showing the girls everything... which is why the A layer had to be moved... wonder where he moved it to? Everytime Mona shows the girls the A layer someone almost gets hit lol.
I don't believe Toby's Mom's Death report or w/e that was to be true... A pry rigged it up... Is she really dead?
I don't believe Spencers letter either. Don't forget how A made up a letter to make it look like Emily was going to swim at that one college. A sent stuff to her house and got her mom so excited... Maybe that is Toby and A trying to get Spencer to stay or Spencer's sister so it looks like she failed to her family...
I agree with the Ezra comments (by the way). I saw a thing where it shows on Youtube Aria is A, Ezra is A - check them out!


Overall it was a pretty good episode. But the writers need to be a bit more inventive and come up with some new, different kinds of conflicts rather than repeating the same things over and over. Every time they want to set Emily back they make it some kind of swimming mishap that will prevent her from getting into the college she wants to go to. Zzzzzzz... Come on guys, this is a bona fide hit show, instead of coasting on your laurels be bold and show why it continues to deserve to be.


I don't believe Toby is bad. He is just another "red herring" so to speak. But Ali's mom seemed off to me. I think she is hiding something...that story she told about Ali was just weird. I like the Ezra theory. It's true, he's the only character (aside the main 4, Caleb and Ella) that hasn't been set up for Ali's murderer/A. There's no point in keeping him around anymore (now that Ezria is thankfully done) if he isn't somehow connected to Ali. Btw, where has Caleb been?


@xmeg ive always wondered why he was allowed on the train im pretty sure towards the end spencer said no one was allowed on or off and the parents had been called , hes not a parent of guardian so why would he be let on and his excuse that someone one told him something had happened so he drove looking for the train is suspious - he might be the other queen of hearts


i have 2 theorys: i actually think ezra is beach hottie , we know he can keep secrets (his family , aria relationship) we know he has a thing for younger girls hes been in since the fist episode as he went to alis funeral i mean who goes to a funeral of a girl hes never met and he went to wildens aswell *who we know was at cape may that time* and we know nothing really bad has happened to him (A never went to the police and it hasnt been A's fault hes sacked) the 2nd theory is that the writers are just making it up as they go along


* The language used in the Radley transcript makes me think the report is a fake. Where's all the medical termanology and psychobabble?
* Mrs D's Ali-brat story? What 15 yr old does that?! But if Mommy never called her bluf.......
* I have a hard time believing Mrs Marin killed Wilden. Remember how freaked she was when she thought she killed him with her car? Not the kind of person who decides to go back and do it for realsies!
* Spencer didn't get into UPenn? Now she can focus on getting into a school that has a really good Architecture/Interior Design program, which is her true passion anyways. Can we finally see the barn remodel she did? Or the whole Hastings family together in one scene?


Very creepy episode especially at the end...

Spindae 2o

It was a Solid episode! I was anticipating every new scene.
"A" drama! Good level of drama. Trying to kill Mona seems quite desperate. And how suspicious the Return of Ali's Mom! Could she be GaGa!? And try to revenge her Daughter. The scene with Ali not Breathing! CREEPY!
Hanna. She is my favourite Liar. She is straight forward and wants a solution she can't wait.
Spencer. The college drama is quite sweet. She is the UberNerd who is miles away from her goal.
Emily and her GF. It's sweet. But hope they don't follow the addiction story with Em's. She is much more stronger than to deserve that.
Aria. I love her taking a selfdefence class. Something new that challenges her. Can't wait for her to kick someones as*.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

This is Mona; she started lying when she was a fetus.


Maybe you're not comfortable with the whole teacher-student thing. Could be complicated.


Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 2 Music

  Song Artist
Adam agin safer in the dark Safer In The Dark Adam Agin iTunes
Pink the great escape The Great Escape Pink iTunes
Allison carvalho samba quebrado Samba Quebrado Allison Carvalho iTunes