It's Round Table time!
This week, Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 3 focused mainly on the new secrets that Ali, Mr. Hastings and Melissa are keeping, Mona's grooming of Hanna after Ali's death and Aria steering romantically clear of Ezra.
TV Fanatics Leigh Raines, Nick McHatton, Teresa Lopez and Carissa get the ball rolling in the following debate, encouraging fans to jump in with their take in Comments below...
Talk about Mona's grooming of Hanna after Ali's "death."
Leigh: Well now that we know all that we know, it was kind of creepy. It was almost like Mona missed Ali as the HBIC. Or maybe she realized it's lonely at the top and needed a sidekick.
Nick: I like Leigh's line of thinking here. I really enjoyed what the friendship Mona and Hanna had in the beginning of the series, but as the information came to light this installment it's clear Mona needs a blonde girl to follow and lead on from the shadows. It's very creepy, and I think Hanna is mourning that friendship since it was so real for her, but not necessarily real for Mona.
Teresa: I don't think, as Hanna believes, that Mona really needed some version of Alison to be walking the halls of Rosewood. It was mostly a power play. Could mousy Mona influence one of Ali's inner circle? Plus, she wanted someone else to backup her takeover as the most popular girl.
Carissa: I think it is just more proof of how emotionally unstable Mona is, lending credence to her latest attempt to take over the school (and Rosewood) via Mona's Army.
Are you surprised Aria seems committed to staying away from Ezra?
Leigh: Is she though? Because she's already been by twice and confessed about Shana, soo...
Nick: Aria likes to commit to a lot of different ideas about Ezra only to wind right back up to her default position of being irresistibly attracted to him. She'll continue to get close to him, and it probably won't be long before he's back teaching.
Teresa: Not really. It won't be as satisfying for Ezria fans when they eventually get back together if there aren't some obstacles, even self-imposed ones.
Carissa: I'm shocked she made it this long without jumping into his arms. After almost dying, he looked kind of pathetic in his apartment all by himself. I see no epic love here. It's totally forced.
How little does Mr. Hastings know his daughter that he thinks Spencer Drew will stop digging, especially after admitting he and Melissa were hiding something. Any ideas now what it might be and why Melissa is willing to share when daddy isn't?
Leigh: Mr. Hastings is just trying to fool himself into thinking he still has everything under control. I think Melissa knows about the other girl who was in Ali's grave. Maybe she saw Mrs. D bury Ali. Maybe she was the one who hit her? Can't keep track anymore.
Nick: I'm not convinced Mr. Hastings thinks Spencer Drew will stop digging. Truth be told, as much as he hates the DiLaurentis family, he's always ready and willing to continue to find information on them and keep tabs on them, and he knows Spencer's constant penchant for digging up and sniffing into everything that revolves around the family is one avenue of information for him.
Teresa: It seems like the secret doesn't involve Melissa if she really wants to let Spencer in on it. I think, other than his daughters, the only person left for Mr. Hastings to protect is his wife. There must be something more going with Mrs. Hastings. It's worth taking a second look at a character who's seemed mostly innocent.
Carissa: There has to be another secret that he's keeping as well as the secret with Melissa, and they're connected. I don't think they'll point to Mrs. Hastings, but perhaps mess things up with her even more.
Aria didn't murder Shana. Considering all they've been through with murders and death, why are they covering up what really happened?
Leigh: Because despite the correct vernacular, Aria was in some way responsible. And those girls have been hung out to dry for a lot less. They're terrified and don't trust the police.
Nick: This story, among other ones, feels very forced. Shana can ride on top of ambulances and do some gymnastics between New York rooftops, but an orchestra pit kills her? Aria's a victim of poor writing not guilt from self-defense.
Teresa: I think they (or the writers) have gotten into the habit of distrusting the police despite the fact that the corrupt cops are all dead...as far as we know. Mostly, it just looks like confessing to any involvement in Shana's death will lead to having to make all sorts of explanations, including exposing Alison's lie. Or it's a just a clever plot device to keep the secrets growing.
Carissa: I hate this storyline. Considering how many times they've all been down this road, and knowing the police will catch up, it's ridiculous.
How soon do you expect Ali's lie about the kidnapping to come back to bite her in the ass?
Leigh: It already is.
Nick: As soon as Spencer began questioning why they're all lining up to cover Ali's ass after she's been in town for five minutes.
Teresa: I'd say before the end of the season. Holbrook will figure out the Shana-theater connection cause he seems like one of the few people who's actually doing his job. Will Alison ever just fess up? Probably not. I'd bet she spins another story to keep herself "safe."
Carissa: The longer she lives the lie, the more likely she is to believe it. The other Liars, on the other hand, will be caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
Bonus question: Mr. Hastings wants to stay away from the DiLaurentis family, but he sought out Ali and drove her home. What do you think they talked about?
Leigh: The stuff he knows that Melissa knows. Alison is addicted to secrets, blackmail, and lying. Please she's probably striking up a new deal already.
Nick: Certainly not the pretzels. As I mentioned above, I think he wants to keep tabs on the family, and to know his information is good. What better way than by getting to know and bond with the biggest liar of all?
Teresa: There are still some big secrets between these two families. I think the bigger question here is why is Alison still withholding information from her so-called friends.
Carissa: I think he was warning her to keep her mouth shut about whatever Melissa and him know. Ali knows it, too, and will be more likely to spill to save herself.
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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.