Pretty Little Liars Round Table: "Close Encounters"

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On the latest TV Fanatic Round Table, we break down Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 16 and chat about Ezria, Spencer's Nancy Drew qualities, Ali's sincerity and Hanna's love life.

Get in on the fun and join staff writers Leigh Raines, Nick McHatton, Teresa Lopez and Carissa Pavlica when you jump into the discussion!


Do you think Mona is already working with EzrA?

Leigh: I love that we're now spelling it EzrA! Umm, I think she probably suspects he is involved somehow but doesn't know directly. The previews make it look like she does, but the previews always make people assume things.

Nick: It's definitely a possibility. With Mona though, I tend to give her the benefit of the doubt; she might have been superbly psychotic a few seasons ago, but I believe she's truly trying her best to help the liars (and herself) get out of this hole they've found their way in to because of Alison.

If Mona is working with EzrA, then she's doing so for information and control. We saw how she tries to get a rise out of him when she vaguely alludes to knowing his true identity, and she's probably willing to go along with his plans if she sees something she can use.

Teresa: I don't think so. She might have been scared off by their first conversation (who wouldn't be?). Mona needs to prepare before they start working together. Mona does protect herself really well, and EzrA is a much more dangerous enemy.

Carissa: I think she might be if only because I can't imagine who else is doing evil deeds in town right now. Maybe she's not working with him but has been doing things so she can proves she's ready to.

PLL RT - depreciated -

Were you surprised that Aria so easily bought EzrA's comments about the violent outburst, the lawyers and blame placed on Jake?

Leigh: No not really. She's in love with him and wants to believe him for that reason. Aria is a little naive. She's going to lap up whatever EzrA's going to give her.

Nick: Aria has a soft spot for EzrA, and no matter what she tries she loves him and wants to get back to that place of happiness with him; so it's not surprising she's so willing to accept all of those excuses as the truth. Maybe there is a grain of truth to them, but the dude placed knives in Jake's punching bag. The crazy is strong in EzrA, and I'm hoping that Aria begins to put some pieces together. She's in the best position to do so since access is a double edged sword. EzrA might be close to Aria for liar intel, but Aria is close to EzrA too. Perhaps a little EzrA intel isn't so far off for Aria.

Teresa: Not really. Aria's pretty gullible, and she's the worst liar on the show (and that's saying something). Her breakup with Jake was sooo awkward. Now, I'm sure she's just ready to be happy in love with Ezra.

Carissa: When a guy you're dating says he always thought the person you were afraid of was your ex, you should take a moment to think about it. A soft spot is one thing, but when you take into account that EzrA was an adult diggin' on a teacher, she's really thick. Poor dear.

Is Ali sincerely scared of A or is she trying to reel her back in, like Spencer deduced?

Leigh: I do think that Ali is sincerely scared. Ali plays a lot of games, but I don't think she is running for her life just for shits and giggles. I also think that out of all the girls, Ali trusts Emily the most and knows she can get the closest to her. Personally, I do not think Ali trusts Spencer at all.

Nick: I think there's truth to both. Ali plays fast and loose with people and secrets, and she's done something, or knows something, about A that is keeping her on the run. In order to get out, she needs a little help. Reeling Emily back in is her first step since their closeness is very different in comparison to the rest of the liars. She wants someone that won't question her, either.

Teresa: A little bit of both, I think. There's definitely more between A and Ali than we've found out. Perhaps Ali is just trying to get more people on her side before that reveal.

Carissa: I hadn't thought about that, Teresa. Getting more people on her side makes sense. I don't think that Ali is completely sincere, but I don't think she feels safe either. She plays a juggling act so muddled that I doubt she even knows what's real anymore.

Does Spencer need to learn to just let things go, or is she right to always Nancy Drew her way into everything?

Leigh: Umm, well, a lot of times Spencer's tendencies to be aggressive are a good thing. She gets a lot done and helps the girls figure things out. BUT sometimes she needs to learn to back off. First of all, it's TOBY'S mother. I get that she has a stake in things because it's A-related, but in the end it's Toby's call. Second, following Emily was eager and dumb. Emily's death stare was AMAZING.

Nick: Hell no. Spencer is the only one who gets stuff done. It's in her nature to question, and everyone else just needs to go along with it. They would've been sunk long ago without Spencer.

Teresa: Spencer, my god! She needs to learn to butt out, and the writers need to learn not to rely on her so much to carry the story. Spencer is a strong woman, and I respect that, but strong doesn't have to mean overbearing, nosy, and self-centered. She needs to learn to put more faith in the people she supposedly trusts.

Carissa: Again -- right on Teresa! She was overbearing and her lack of faith in the people she supposedly cares about and trusts is getting to be unpleasant. She's like Brennan on Bones, but not a savant. She needs to back off a bit.

Is Hanna moving too fast with Travis or was the distance between she and Caleb enough that she can see things clearly?

Leigh: Hanna just had her heart broken, let her make out with a cute dude! She's not seeing things clearly and she's acting out of emotion and hurt, but whatever. That's what you do after a breakup. You get distracted and that boy is one cute distraction.

Nick: I'm with Leigh on this one. Let her suck some face with cute boys to get over Caleb and break some plates with super mom Ashley.

Teresa: Hanna is moving way too fast. The breakup was too sudden for her to be completely over it, especially since she doesn't really know why things ended. Travis might be a good choice later on, but for now she (us Haleb fans!) need to grieve the loss.

Carissa: I'm torn on this. They were farther apart than I realized for longer than I recognized and sometimes just jumping back on the horse is the right move if it's the right person. TV has a short shelf life and Travis is cute, plus, it's another Bones tie-in on the same round table. WTH?  

NOTE: What a promo here for Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 17 and don't forget to watch Pretty Little Liars online at TV Fanatic!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

Ashley: Trust me, throwing yourself at a new guy is the not the way to get over the old one.
Hanna: You're one to throw stones.

Aria: I'm not afraid of Ezra.
Jake: Maybe you should be.