Pretty Little Liars Review: A(li)'s Game?

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Well... we were all waiting to see Alison again, and tonight's episode of Pretty Little Liars delivered. But, of course, we did have to wait until nearly the end of the hour.

Good thing  Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 16 was an entertaining outing all around. It wasn't a great one, but it had its moments. Mostly, this installment continued the trend of building a solid mystery around Ali's return to Rosewood. Is she truly a victim? Or is she the one playing games?

And even though the liars continue to fall into the same old traps, the show's emphasis on character development has been much appreciated this season.

As we've seen in the past, Spencer is pretty good at isolating herself. Once she found out about Toby, she pushed everyone away until she ended up in Radley in Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Episode 22. Tonight's episode was no exception.

From her father to Emily and even Toby, she couldn't help but get into aggressive arguments about what she believes, what she knows is right.

With Toby and her dad, Spencer won't let the Radley issue go. Plus, the way Spencer's father kept protecting Jessica DiLaurentis makes her suspicious about his intentions. While I do think there's something fishy going on with this parent, I really think she should change her tactics.

Toby found out what he wanted to know, and her frustrating continued crusade just keeps reopening his old wounds. It would be better if Spencer paid more attention to her father rather than encouraging Toby to fight Radley.

Her fight with Emily also made me irritated with Spencer. Granted, Emily is being a little too naive about Alison when just a week ago she seemed to lose faith in her former friend. But it wasn't fair of Spencer to interrupt the meeting between Alison and Emily.

Why couldn't she just trust Emily to tell her what happened later? Why does Spencer always need to insinuate herself into everything?

The meeting with Alison did raise some compelling issues. Emily thinks Alison only trusts her and is truly remorseful for her past behavior. Ali has changed. Spencer believes that the whole thing is just another game to Ali. A way to divide the group and keep them looking out for A. Who do you believe?

Both sides seem compelling, but should we really buy that just because Ezra's been unmasked that there aren't more As out there? Since the EzrA reveal we've still been getting scenes of hooded figure doing A work. Why not just show Ezra if that's who it is? Could Ali be part of or the leader of this A team?

Regardless, it looks like Ezra has upped his creepy factor and become way more dangerous. Between screaming at the blonde woman (any guesses on who that was?) and possibly sabotaging Jake's training equipment, I can't help but feel anxious every time Aria is alone with him. Clearly, he's seems okay with hurting people, and whoever put those knives in Jake's punching bag isn't afraid to play dirty.

Shana's return also cast the character in a new light. She says she's been working for Alison, investigating possible suspects. Would a childhood friend really go through the trouble? As Emily said, Alison did have the ability to gain people's trust and affection. But it looks like Shana might be A's next target.

In less intense news, Hanna's attempts to move on from Caleb lead her to a quick hook-up with Travis. Bad move? Maybe. But Travis might be a good rebound for her.

Should Travis be Hanna's next boyfriend, a rebound, or just a friend?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (41 Votes)
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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Ashley: Trust me, throwing yourself at a new guy is the not the way to get over the old one.
Hanna: You're one to throw stones.

Aria: I'm not afraid of Ezra.
Jake: Maybe you should be.