This review contains spoilers.
4.4 Face Time
Phew! Any episode with Melissa Hastings actually present in Rosewood is always going to be answers-packed, but this week took the biscuit. Spencer finally has the sense to use some of her A tricks to lure answers out of her sister, and it works! We may not have received the big answers we were after (let’s cut the writers some slack on that one – we’re only in week four) but the heated confrontation between Melissa and Spencer was certainly informative in other ways. What did we learn?
When confronted with the mask the Liars found last week, Melissa heads straight to Hector’s workshop, buys up every copy of her face mould and proceeds to smash them all. She really doesn’t want anyone getting their hands on them, which is understandable, but tells Spencer that there’s no sinister reason behind them being made. She visited Hector for the same reason the Liars did – she wanted to know when the Alison masks had been made, before or after her disappearance. She’s convinced Alison is still alive, and has some pretty hard evidence given that she all but admitted she’s part of the A team.
But she’s not admitted to actively terrorising the girls, and is adamant that she’s been protecting Spencer since “before it all started”. She and Wilden were the ones dressed as the Queen of Hearts on the Halloween train, but Wilden was the one who attacked Spencer. Melissa and whoever she’s working with were terrified of Wilden, and kept in the dark about the real reasons for their presence on the train. When Garrett turned up, killing him suddenly got bumped up the list of priorities, and Wilden didn’t get another chance at the girls until he set the fire in the season three finale.
Melissa, knowing what might happen, sent Jenna and Shana to protect them but believes it was Alison who ultimately pulled them out of the fire. She claims that the NAT club has nothing to do with anything but, as Spencer mentions, that seems unlikely given the involvement of so many members. Garrett and Ian have been killed, for one thing, and Melissa, Jenna, Wilden and now Shana are mixed up in an awful lot of Rosewood’s mysteries. When asked if she killed Wilden, she doesn’t deny it, but warns Spencer from digging any further into the matter.
The fact that Melissa and Ashley are such obvious suspects for Wilden’s murder, and the likelihood of us not finding out who it was until the mid-season finale, means that it probably wasn’t either of them. That leaves Tom Marin and Pastor Ted as my chief suspects, but it could really be any of the Liars’ families given that he died on the same night he tried to murder them all. Ashley is so suspicious because of everything he put her and Hannah through since the pilot, but that could just as easily drive her ex-husband or current boyfriend to murder. Now if only Ted would appear in an episode we might get some more clues.
Outside of the big season mystery, Emily’s family are being dragged through the mud. The authorities are still suspicious about Emily’s treatment at home and now her x-ray results have signified a more serious injury than she first thought. Her shoulder might now prevent her from swimming professionally, thus taking college scholarships out of the equation and putting her relationship with Paige beyond senior year in doubt. Add this to Spencer’s rejection letter from UPenn and it seems as if someone doesn’t want these girls leaving Rosewood next year – probably the PLL writers, since no college makes their lives easier.
Toby also had his own adventure this week, having tracked down his mother’s doctor. Initially believing him to be working at the hospital he’s living at, it soon becomes clear that he’s actually a patient. Most of what he says is dismissed because of the senseless rambling surrounding it but, as we learned from our time with Mona in Radley, crazy people give the best clues. He says Toby’s mother fell rather than jumped, and mentions an unpleasant blonde girl who visited her in Radley. Toby and Alison’s stories are getting more and more intertwined every day.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Cat’s Cradle, here.
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