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.
1. Are You on Drugs?
Spencer's brain is trying to tell her something, but will she piece it all together?
4. Time for a Cocktail
A cocktail after a difficult phone call hits the spot for Spencer in "Shadow Play."
5. How Did That Get There?
When Spencer's sleepless nights and drug addled brain get the best of her, she's transported to the 1940s in a Film Noir world in "Shadow Play."
6. Toby Looks Dapper
Toby takes well to the 1940s style of dress that he'll be sporting in "Shadow Play"
7. Spencer Pouts as Toby Talks
What could Toby be saying that makes Spencer look so pensive? We'll find out next week on "Shadow Play."
8. Spencer Looks Serious
Spencer is all business as she talks to Toby in the upcoming episode of Pretty Little Liars titled "Shadow Play."
9. Get A Look at That Dress
Spencer's dress is simply stunning in the upcoming episode of Pretty Little Liars episode "Shadow Play."
10. Well Hello Alison
In her dreams, Alison trusts Spencer enough to meet face to face. Will that same trust cross over to real life?
11. Alison in Black and White
Alison DiLaurentis looks quite alluring in black and white in the upcoming episode "Shadow Play."
12. Ali Looking Someone Straight
Alison rarely gets the chance to look someone straight in the eye, but she'll get to do that while looking simply stunning in "Shadow Play."
13. Spencer's Reflection
Fully utilizing the genre, here's a beautiful photograph from the upcoming black and white episode of Pretty Little Liars, "Shadow Play."
14. Spencer Leans
Spencer leans against a vanity so we can take in the back of her suit. The details are amazing!
15. Emily Laughs
Emily makes us realize how fun it is to put on lipstick when you look as beautiful as she does.
16. Emily Putting on Lipstick
Emily gets serious about putting on her lipstick. Sometimes you have to suffer to be beautiful.
17. Hanna in Reflection
Spencer finally sees her friends in "Shadow Play" when Emily and Hanna stop by. Does she have news for them about Ezra?
19. Hanna and Emily Look Stunned
What is Spencer telling Emily and Hanna that has so captured their attention? It must be something about Ezra!
22. Focus on Aria
The focus is on Aria as the gang drives somewhere. Where could they be going? She doesn't look pleased.
23. Focus on Hanna
Now the focus is on Hanna. Nobody seems to be enjoying this car ride in "Shadow Play."
24. Spencer in Fur
All wrapped up in fur, it's Spencer's turn to be in the spotlight during their tense drive in "Shadow Play."
25. Focus on Emily
The fifth member of the drive is featured in this photo from "Shadow Play" and Emily doesn't appear any more pleased to be in the car than any of the others.
26. Toby Behind the Wheel
Toby drives the Liars on a dark and stormy night. Does Spencer learn what she needs to know during her trip back in time in her mind?
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?