Pretty Little Liars Review: Learning to Lie

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How can episode that showed such promise turn out so dull?

Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with many installments in Pretty Little Liars Season 4.

Rumer Willis on PLL

"The Guilty Girl's Handbook" had an interesting premise: Hanna comes up with another "genius" plan to save her mother and it involves Mona giving her a tutorial on living her lies. But the episode fell flat and not even Mona's delightfully devious assistance could save me from another hour of boredom.

Perhaps the problem is how the whole Wilden-murder angle is being handled. It's been such a drawn out process that doesn't have the dramatic steam to keep the show moving forward. Week and after week, Hanna has been going through the emotional wringer while her mother suffers in jail. Tragic, yes, but still a bit repetitive.

This time around, Hanna decides to take the fall for her mother, but rightly recognizes that she's a terrible liar. Who better to tutor her than Mona? Janel Parrish is amazing at playing Mona as both untrustworthy but extremely loyal. Her scenes are usually the most enjoyable ones of the season. And of course, who didn't predict that she would end up taking the fall for Hanna?

Mona is sorely underused (seriously, why haven't they asked Mona more questions about A and Red Coat??), but I think her confession will put her in the spotlight for a little while. And I'm looking forward to it!

Equally valuable but frequently absent Caleb was another bright spot in this week's episode. He's so supportive of not only Hanna but all of her friends. Seriously, how sweet was it for him to ask Spencer if she was really okay? Then, knowing Hanna as well as he does, Caleb stopped her from making a huge mistake. Why do we have to lose Caleb to Ravenswood?

The only other A-drama this week involved Mrs. Cavanaugh's suicide. Spencer happens to find an incident report filed by Wilden about her death and returns to Radley to ask orderly Eddie about the interview. Of course, she found some discrepancies, but her mother doesn't seem to think it's all that important. We knew Wilden was a dirty cop, but how will this information connect him back to A?

And any guesses on who's house A was drilling holes into? I'm thinking it's Spencer's house, so A can keep track of the murder trial.

The rest of the hour was dedicated to reconnecting Aria and Jake and shoehorning in another celebrity cameo. Emily's future plans seem to be slowly coming together, which is good for her, but not so interesting for us.

And as for Aria, is there nothing else for Aria to do except have one relationship drama after another? And of course to advertise an upcoming horror flick. What an awkwardly placed marketing tactic!


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

I really appreciate this post. I’ve been looking all over for this!


Maybe Ezra was board shorts? It's not a bad theory since he has never been more A involved. Not even in the track downs. And if the show is trying to follow the twin theory, maybe CC is actually Courtney. Then it's not just a coincidence they look so much a like. And Jason was illegitimate so maybe Ali and the twin were too. Anyway, I just hope they wrap up the wilder murder, it's getting boring watching Hannah cry.


It wasnt the best episode and I agree this season hasn't been as exciting as I thought it would be but I think it will start getting better most likely by the end of the season because that's what lots of shows do. The next episode looks good I really hope it is.


Why is Ezra never questioned as being A? He is never targeted by A, like Emily's girlfriends, Caleb and Toby. He seems to be equally close to all 4 girls. Not to mention they didn't start to get terrorized by A once Ezra moved to town. I think Ezra is A.


I used to love this show, but this season I have given up on watching and just reading your reviews to see what happens. With all of the unanswered questions and the stupidity of how the girls act it is just so frustrating.


Why would A drill holes in Spencer's house to keep tabs on the trial now that Mona's confessed?
Frankly I think Emily is being really selfish this season. Her mother is falling apart and it took a break down for Emily to even see it. Someone tried to kill her freaking mother and she's making plans to go make houses! I'm sorry but come on! If someone tried to hurt my mother.... I would make it my mission to hunt them down!


A couple of weeks ago, I thought things might start gaining a little bit of steam because it seemed like they were setting some interesting stuff up, but this episode nearly bored me to tears. All of the girls' storylines seem more disjointed than they have been in the past. The optimist in me wants to believe that they will start tying things together by the summer finale, but I doubt it. There was so much potential with some of these stories - Wilden's murder, the mystery of Toby's mother's death - but the execution is off. I don't mind having these slow-burning mysteries, so long as there is other interesting stuff going on, but Aria and her love life is used to fill time, and it's really dragging the episodes down. I will agree, though, that Mona and Caleb brought some good moments to an otherwise pretty weak episode.


Your review is exactly what I was afraid of. It's why I didn't even bother watching. When I am mind numbingly bored sometime this week I will watch it on Hulu.


Nice review as usual i agree this season is boring as all hell these characters really need to think their plans through and as per usual aria is as useless as ever what is the point of her damn character.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

Her blonde tarantula of a daughter.


Someone's got to remind you who you really are, Emily.


Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 8 Music

  Song Artist
Song So What Corey TuT
The rescues be my cure Be My Cure The Rescues iTunes
Hot as sun when we fell When We Fell Hot As Sun iTunes