Pretty Little Liars Review: A is for A-L-I

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Even though it's only been a few months, it feels like forever since we've had a new Pretty Little Liars episode to dissect. Naturally, Liars fans are hungry for some answers.

Luckily, the first half of "A is for A-L-I-V-E " seemed to deliver some great reveals. Of course, a lot of that information depends on whether we trust Mona or not. Regardless, the show started off in high gear with more happening before the first commercial break than in the rest of the episode.

Pretty Little Liars and Mona

The hour kicked off where the disappointing season 3 finale left us: in front of an open trunk. Unfortunately the shocked looks on the girls faces were due to a dead pig in the trunk. BUT, funny story, that dead pig was a just symbol for the dead pig that would materialize the next morning near the car. Yes, perpetual pain-in-the-butt Wilden is dead.

It's the first time since the season premiere that a body has materialized before the end of the episode. In fact, there was a lot about this installment that reminded me of that first Pretty Little Liars episode. Mona and Hanna do some shopping, but are definitely not as bonded as before. Aria and Ezra meet again at that bar that apparently lets underage kids hang out. And then check out the picture above. The liars attend a funeral and end up being simultaneously threatened via text message. Except now Mona is also one of A's victims.

I thought it was really smart to remind viewers of what got us hooked on the show. With all the crazy, implausible twists, retconned revelations and constant stream of newcomers that all add to the ever-deepening mystery, I was happy to be reminded of the things I enjoyed in the beginning. The nostalgia of this episode made me forget that even after that great opening, the series didn't give us much more with which to work.

Except for Aria's little day-mare about Ezra getting arrested for sleeping with her. It was a nice little scare, but mostly because the show really acknowledged the consequences of sleeping with a minor. It is a felony.

The rest of the episode did a great job of setting up the problems of the season: Red Coat, the new detective, Mona, and Toby and Spencer's relationship (and to a lesser extent Emily, Hanna and Aria's love lives too). Did Red Coat set that fire just to set the girls up for Wilden's murder? Did she even murder Wilden? Is Red Coat Ali? Can Spencer ever really trust Toby again? Will Officer Holbrook be as suspicious of the liars as Wilden was? And most importantly, what's Mona's role in all of this?

Now let's talk about all the Mona reveals. She confesses to all the things she did as A, but more importantly she tells the girls what she did NOT do. Mona didn't kill Ian, raise the car out of the lake or try to kill Aria on the Halloween train. She claims that she did use Lucas as one of her minions (he apparently gave Emily that creepy A massage). The Queen of Hearts? That was both Melissa and Wilden. We can see the video of evidence of Wilden's guilt, but the video conveniently cuts out before we see Melissa's face.

Mona claims that Jenna and Shana knew each other for awhile before Shana came to Rosewood...and they're both terrified of Melissa. We did see Melissa telling both girls that "those bitches" were at the lodge. Could they be responsible for the fire?

It also appears that A or Red Coat has turned on Mona, but this isn't the first time Mona has claimed to be one of A's victims. Is it for real this time?

I guess the big question of the season will be whether or not Ali is really alive. Did her mother return to town to welcome back her daughter? Was Hanna just hallucinating? Or is the twin-theory correct?

Be sure to check out the Pretty Little Liars spoilers for the new season, sound off now and watch a teaser for next Tuesday:

A is for A-L-I-V-E Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (163 Votes)
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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

The cat plays with the mouse before she actually eats it.


Hanna: You were on the Halloween train dressed like Caleb.
Mona: To think we were this close to our first kiss.