Pretty Little Liars Review: Empty Shadows

at .  Updated at . Comments

Well, it was bound to happen some time.

Last week's Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 18 was an amazing installment and - if the promos are any indication - next week's will be just as exciting... but I guess it was time to slow things down a bit.

Luckily, it wasn't your average filler episode, so viewers could at least be entertained as they waited another week for the real drama to begin.

Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 19 was mostly a flashy installment with very little substance. It seemed more like an excuse to put the actors and actresses in beautiful 1940s and 50s fashions than anything else.

Spencer's pill-popping has become a serious problem. She looks jittery and exhausted, basically like a drug addict in all her non-noir scenes. And now her little habit has caused her to hallucinate an entire episode. Thanks a lot, Spencer.

The film noir daydream was clearly a way of indicating that Spencer was beginning to crack up, while giving the characters a chance to  look mostly uncomfortable in a costume drama. There were some stunning images in the episode and some killer clothes, but it was odd to have the characters completely adopt the 1940s atmosphere, especially because most of the events of the episode had no real effect on the actual storyline.

There was some exciting stuff in the noir scenes, but none of it really happened. So those scenes didn't really matter at all. Kind of seems like a waste of time, right?

While most of the noir stuff seemed pretty ridiculous (15-cent coffee, Hanna working as a telephone operator), the Paige and Emily relationship really worked as a romantic piece of social commentary. It may have been unnecessary, but watching the two struggle with the stigma of their love was moving. 

Spencer's little hallucination may have shown us that her mind is overworked, but it also gave her the space to work out the mysteries of the show and put the puzzle pieces together. In the end, she realized that the it was too easy to find that journal.

A is smart enough to know how to misdirect the liars and let them put themselves in trouble.

So the journal may have come back to them, but Spencer's pictures of the original show that certain words and phrases have been altered. If these seemingly innocuous changes were made, that must mean that they hold some clue to figuring out who A really is (or who all the As are), who tried to kill Ali, and where she might be hiding.

Now it's time to tell Aria. It's just too bad that now her friends now she's back with Ezra. Next week's installment looks like it will tackle the long awaited moment when Aria finds out. And it's about time.

Did you enjoy the film noir diversion this week?


Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
  • 3.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (61 Votes)

I never did understand the Emily/ paige pairing considering how Paige treated in the beginning. I don ot and have never liked them together. I cannot get past Paige almost drowning Emily. We are supposed she was just confused about not being openly gay and hiding her "true" feelings for emily but IMO it was all about emily getting the spot on the swim team that Paige wanted. I have a feeling if Ezra, or Toby or Caleb had physically attacked Aria, spencer or hannah people would not be rooting for them together. i find Paige aside form her attack on emily to be quite boring she has very little personality. Since they killed Maya I would have preferred
emily with the blond girl she met and briefly dated I think her name was Samara. I'm hoping sicne the actress who plays Paige is now appearing on Suburgatory maybe Paige will be written out.


First off I gotta say, was it just me or was EzrA creepier in black and white?? I went in expecting not to like it and it was kinda boring but it wasn't as bad as I orginially thought it was going to be, the best and sweetest part was Paig and Emily. It would have been fine if it was an actual episode, not just a dream sequence because like you said it didn't matter none of it happened, except to give Spencer the final clue in putting the pieces together. Now next week's, next week's episode is the one I have been waiting for when Aria finds out. Now that will be an episode. I will say I did like some of the humor put into it and the best line ever was Hannah "it's all about the Aness of things," haha that was awesome and Spencer "I wouldn't have put it quiet like that but hannah is right."


I had pretty low expectations for this episode, but it wasn't as bad as I thought, actually. I would rather have had the plot move on, but I'm hoping there were more clues in the noir dream than just the word changes. Looking forward to next week anyway. Looks like it's going to be a good one!


It was an ok episode I'm just not into the whole black white in the 50s thing and nothing that happened was real it was all in Spencer's head but what I did like was that she already knew everything she just needed to put it together and that dream helped her realize everything. Can't wait till the next episode it looks really good I really want to know what's going to happen with Aria and Ezra.


Was a waist of an episode in my opinion. I knew as soon as I saw the promo for this episode that there was not going to be any real substance in the episode. Kind of like most of the Halloween specials.


You've described this episode well. None of it actually happened. I imagine that because it's coming close to the end of the season, they had to add a filler to make sure the drama happens at the end.
I love Ezra. He is doing a great job of playing all of his roles. I just really hope he's truly in love with Aria. I have recently wondered if he was trying to get involved with one of the girls from the beginning just to get close to their little group or if it's because he was actually taken with her. I'd hate to find out that all of this was because he was actually in love with Alison and not Aria.

Tags: ,

Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 19 Quotes

Who sharpened your tongue, little girl?

Ali (to Emily)

Em, get real, this is all about the A-ness of things.


Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 19 Music

  Song Artist
Paul pritchard the black dahlia The Black Dahlia Paul Pritchard iTunes
Clairy browne and the bangin rackettes vicious cycle Vicious Cycle Clairy Browne & The Bangin' Rackettes iTunes
Frank chacksfield i dont know where to start I Don't Know Where To Start Frank Chacksfield iTunes