Pretty Little Liars Review: Learning to Lie

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How can episode that showed such promise turn out so dull?

Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with many installments in Pretty Little Liars Season 4.

Rumer Willis on PLL

"The Guilty Girl's Handbook" had an interesting premise: Hanna comes up with another "genius" plan to save her mother and it involves Mona giving her a tutorial on living her lies. But the episode fell flat and not even Mona's delightfully devious assistance could save me from another hour of boredom.

Perhaps the problem is how the whole Wilden-murder angle is being handled. It's been such a drawn out process that doesn't have the dramatic steam to keep the show moving forward. Week and after week, Hanna has been going through the emotional wringer while her mother suffers in jail. Tragic, yes, but still a bit repetitive.

This time around, Hanna decides to take the fall for her mother, but rightly recognizes that she's a terrible liar. Who better to tutor her than Mona? Janel Parrish is amazing at playing Mona as both untrustworthy but extremely loyal. Her scenes are usually the most enjoyable ones of the season. And of course, who didn't predict that she would end up taking the fall for Hanna?

Mona is sorely underused (seriously, why haven't they asked Mona more questions about A and Red Coat??), but I think her confession will put her in the spotlight for a little while. And I'm looking forward to it!

Equally valuable but frequently absent Caleb was another bright spot in this week's episode. He's so supportive of not only Hanna but all of her friends. Seriously, how sweet was it for him to ask Spencer if she was really okay? Then, knowing Hanna as well as he does, Caleb stopped her from making a huge mistake. Why do we have to lose Caleb to Ravenswood?

The only other A-drama this week involved Mrs. Cavanaugh's suicide. Spencer happens to find an incident report filed by Wilden about her death and returns to Radley to ask orderly Eddie about the interview. Of course, she found some discrepancies, but her mother doesn't seem to think it's all that important. We knew Wilden was a dirty cop, but how will this information connect him back to A?

And any guesses on who's house A was drilling holes into? I'm thinking it's Spencer's house, so A can keep track of the murder trial.

The rest of the hour was dedicated to reconnecting Aria and Jake and shoehorning in another celebrity cameo. Emily's future plans seem to be slowly coming together, which is good for her, but not so interesting for us.

And as for Aria, is there nothing else for Aria to do except have one relationship drama after another? And of course to advertise an upcoming horror flick. What an awkwardly placed marketing tactic!

The Guilty Girl's Handbook Review

Editor Rating: 3.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (65 Votes)
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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 8 Quotes

Her blonde tarantula of a daughter.


Someone's got to remind you who you really are, Emily.


Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 8 Music

  Song Artist
Song So What Corey TuT
The rescues be my cure Be My Cure The Rescues iTunes
Hot as sun when we fell When We Fell Hot As Sun iTunes