Pretty Little Liars Review: Riding Out the Trauma

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Just when I think Pretty Little Liars Season 5 is going to be one big disappointment, the writers churn out an insightful and dramatic hour of television.

For the first time since Emily dealt with Nate's death, the gals attempt to realistically deal with all the trauma amidst their long search for answers, most of which Ali has caused. (And, no, I'm not counting Spencer's retreat to Radley because that was so over-the-top).

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 4 is probably one of the more down-to-earth episodes in the series. This time, I can see the rationale for all of the liars reactions and actions instead of wondering, "why would you do that?"

Liars at the Table

For one, Alison has to confront the issues of returning home after a long absence and the bad legacy she left behind in Rosewood. It's true that all her friends are dealing with the intense scrutiny of her peers (I mean, who wouldn't be curious about what happened to a missing girl for two years?).

However, Ali's trying to feel at home again... even though it's clear she's not the same, her friends aren't the same, and she seriously underestimated how much people despised her (as evidenced by that hurtful website).

In addition, the episode focuses on an aspect of Ali's disappearance that the show has largely ignored - sexual violence. Initially, it seemed like Ali was hesitant to see the doctor because she would have to continue spinning more lies. But then the doctor say that horrible scar on her inner thigh.

Ali obviously lied about how she got it. Its placement and severity are very suggestive. Something terrible (you know, other than being hit on the head and buried alive by her mother) happened to Ali while she was gone - and she doesn't want to even think about it.

Like Lucas, I felt really bad for her because her ordeal obviously involved more than running from city to city to avoid her would-be murderer/stalker (or murderer and stalker).

Meanwhile, Aria has to deal with her own act of violence. She defended herself and her friends against Shana, but she can't escape the guilt of what she had to do. It doesn't help that she continues to torture herself by watching that funeral video over and over again...

But it seems like this whole trauma is being used as an excuse to get Ezria back together. If so, good for Ezria fans, but their relationship still creeps me out.

Hanna is still going through her identity crisis and has returned to shoplifting. Where's Caleb when you need him?

And Mona's army has a plan in place to deal with Alison's return. However, it looks Lucas is having second thoughts - and Paige is definitely out. This thread won't really get going until Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 5, but I'm curious about what evidence Mona has to prove Alison is lying.

Because this was such a rich episode, filled with such drama and even some great Pretty Little Liars quotes, it really got me excited for next week's big confrontation between Mona and Alison. How about you?

Poor Spencer was probably dealing with the most trauma this week. Her mother shared her suspicious about her father's possible involvement in Jessica DiLaurentis' death. Apparently, Jessica was ready to frame Spencer for Ali's disappearance a long time ago and may have been ready to make Spencer the prime suspect in that other girl's death.

It seemed like Ali let Spencer's father off the hook when she revealed that it was a change in her mother's medication (she takes drugs for low blood pressure) that caused Jessica's death. But then Spencer found the exact same pills responsible for Jessica's death in her home...prescribed to her father.

Did Spencer's father kill Mrs. DiLaurentis?

Here is your first look at Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 5:

Review

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Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

People come and go so quickly around here. Shana gone, Ali back. One girl checks out and another one checks in.

Mona

Hanna, you're not spontaneous. You make a Pinterest board before you change your nail polish.

Aria