Throughout the fifth season of Pretty Little Liars, Liars “experts” Vinny Ginardi and Mike Caiola will dish out their thoughts on each episode. Please note, we write these recaps independently, so if there are any repeat thoughts or jokes, we apologize. Please visit our Pretty Little Liars page for previous recaps.
Sorry fellow Liars, Mike and I took last week off to attend a PLL convention in Rosewood. But we are back in full swing now.
Anyway, this episode opens up with Mona saying something pretty fitting right after PLL breaks ground in symbolism by having the girls find The Scarlett Letter: People come and go so quickly around here. Ugh, so true Mona! That’s why we haven’t seen Wren in what feels like decades but in this episode we also get the return of Evil Lucas and Andrew (I had to look up his name), Spencer’s body-building pal who sent her into a dark whirlwind of pill addiction last season. No worries though, he’s a mighty fine gardener.
A lot of this episode focuses on the possibility of Mr. Hastings being a murderer. Ok, not just a murderer but Mrs. D’s murderer. Spencer and the Drug Dealer — after Spencer declines his proposal to make out — find a box of rat poison. Spencer finds this odd because her family is realll tight and tells each other everything so she would absolutely know if there was a rat in the house that one of her parents was trying to get rid of. This must mean that her father bought the rat poison to kill Mrs. D. Spencer does some heavy Googling and finds out that, yup, rat poison is dangerous to humans. But things do look even more suspicious after Ali tells Spencer exactly what killed Mrs. D and then Spencer later finds the exact pills in a cabinet in her house. Thank God she sliced her hand open and had to go in there! Also, Mr. Hastings continues to heavily drink alcohol, we still don’t know Melissa’s secret and Mrs. Hastings enjoys a few days at the spa. Must be nice. Some of us have to work and shit.
Ali spends some time expanding on her lies. First the police, now doctor’s and nurses. We do find out that she has a pretty serious scar on her thigh though that she won’t tell Hanna how she got. Seems like bad news though. Ali has also been recording all of her lies and wants to the rest of the girls to memorize them for her. This will definitely end well. She also looks at some website that was basically celebrating her disappearance and death. This was basically the opposite of what yearbook signings are.
Hanna got a new hair style! And a new outfit! But she only paid for one of them. She does declare in the changing room though that she is done being the messenger for the group. Which is good news, because that’s basically all she has done since Caleb left to become a star on a show that would be canceled shortly after it began. I’m kind of digging rogue Hanna though. She’s a wildcard.
Man, was Aria mopey this episode. The girl just sat around in the dark sobbing and watching reruns of Shana’s funeral. I’m pretty sure I heard a Simple Plan song playing in the background. Jeez. The peak of Aria’s story this week reaches new heights when she plays board games and cards with Ezra and then decides not to stay at his place. Hoping for more from next week. Quite a let down, here. She did rock a fly hat for most of the episode though, so that’s bonus points in my book.
Emily spends time with her new swimming buddy and with Paige. But she might also still have feelings for Ali, despite, you know, everything Ali has done to her and everyone else in the past. Mona tells Paige she can’t be Switzerland in this situation and needs to decide which side she is on. Paige warns Emily.
Overall a solid episode after last week’s dud. Next week should bring big things being that it’s the show’s 100th episode AND Ali returns to school. Oh, snap.
- Is there a reason that any time that Lucas comes on screen it’s very dimly lit? Other than that this is Evil Bearded Lucas? Do they not us to see his face or something?
- I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed that after next week I will have watched 100 episodes of this show.
- Aria got a lot better at Googling. Last time she searched something like “theater dead girl new york city” this type she actually searched Shana’s name! I actually suggested that in my review!
- Community got picked up for a sixth season! That’s not reality to this at all but I’m pretty pumped about it.
MIKE CAIOLA’S REVIEW
So last week’s episode was a bust… and it left many viewers wondering did anything actually happen? The answer: no.
This week’s episode: Thrown From the Ride or Aria Wears a Hat
So this episode covers some important things:
- Hanna goes crazy and gets black highlights? What a crazy change! People will be talking…
- The Scarlet Letter is mentioned. You know the book literally about “A”.
- Aria continues to deal with the guilt of murder.
- Mona’s group is still almost going to do something.
- Spencer suspects her family of murder (again?)
I mean that’s basically it. But I guess we can go into more detail.
Aria is feeling guilty and needs a friend to talk to but Hanna’s hair is too black now to talk to her. Spencer needs to talk to her mom but her mom is too freaked out about the backyard to talk about it. Emily is teaching a new girl how to swim? And Ali is just sitting around waiting for the toxicology report on her mother so she can find out the cause of death. Though Hanna nails the cause of death as: murder, so I don’t even know why they need to consult a professional.
This episode also features a notable absence of Toby as they replace him with The Quiz Bowl guy (aka the guy that Spencer seduced into getting drugs from) who agrees to redo the Hastings entire backyard for either a makeout sesh or a bottle of water. Spolier: he gets neither. Spencer does find a container of Rat poison in the shed though. Since she hasn’t seen any rats around, there must be only one possible reason for buying it: murder. A quick Xster search shows that: “Rat poison is also human poison” so Spencer’s hunch is right on.
Side note: we get a glimpse inside of Spencer’s locker and on the inside it reads: Kyla is the best. Who is this Kyla? Hmm maybe it’s a clue? Spencer is pretty outspoken and opinionated, you’d think that someone she considers the best would come up once or twice in conversation.
Meanwhile, Aria is being haunted by murder still, this time it’s by receiving a chat from Theatergirl or something. When she gets it she looks around the room real fast as if the internet only existed inside that room. The Chat is coming from inside the house…. We quickly find out it’s fucking Becca from Calc. Let’s ignore that bitch. But now that Shana is brought up, might as well Google her and watch her online funeral service! What? That exists? Also it’s on the bottom of the
Google page sorry I mean Xster (the premiere search engine). That’s kind of messed up. So Aria decides to watch this service once, twice, 50 times… At this point, they should be tracking her IP address. But I have to say for an online funeral service there is some nice
cinematography. See that zoom into the dead girl’s face and was that another camera angle? Shana’s grandma spared no expense when making this!
On the other side of town, Mona is staring at people menacingly, especially Paige who is allowed to talk to Emily again. Later Mona tells Paige to pick a side because a war is about to start. Paige then infers that Mona is as bad as Ali… Ohhhhh burn!
Since it has been weeks? Months? Years? Since Ali got back it is about time they examine her body for cuts and signs of rape. And they find a scar on her inner thigh which she immediately lied about saying it was from when she was thrown from the ride (or possibly from Aria’s hat). When the medical professional tells her that is not possible she yells until he leaves. That’s when for the first time in PLL history, Hanna (in a Blue Brother’s suit?) asks Ali a question straight up: how’d she get the scar. So instead of Ali answering the question she says something unbelievably vague and unhelpful. Great. Might as well go shoplift your pain and troubles away.
The next day, we find out that Ali’s mom wasn’t killed by Rat Poison but instead by high blood pressure medicine. Spencer is relieved because her dad, a man who hides secrets, has a super stressful job, and is being forced to eat healthy by his wife couldn’t possibly have high blood pressure medication handy.
Paige decides to be Switzerland even though Mona says it isn’t possible, and warns Emily that maybe Ali shouldn’t go back to school or something bad will be happen. Emily tells Ali of course but she doesn’t listen because she is the only kid in America who is dying to go to school.
That’s basically it. The episode ends with Ali reading her MySpace and the camera slowly zooming into her eye. Look at that cinematography!
Emily’s plot: coach, eat lunch, complain about Paige, yell at Paige’s weird advice and get yelled at by Ali. Pretty eventful for Em actually.
Also Spencer’s mom “went to a spa” because she flipped out at the cops. And Spencer was very upset about it even exclaiming: What Spa? Like it was a lie. Did she think her dad also killed her mom? I feel like it would take a lot to convince me that my dad was a murderer not just finding rat poison in the shed or a mentioning of a spa. Calm the fuck down Spencer!