This review contains spoilers.
4.5 Gamma Zeta Die
Let’s hope this week’s episode marks the end of the slightly ridiculous Tippy storyline, as Spencer has now tracked the parrot’s sung phone number to a sorority house at Cicero College. It’s senior year for the Liars, so we had to expect the obligatory college-visit episode to emerge during season four, but Spencer’s current out-of-character disregard for her future continues as she shuns the Ivy Leagues for a fact-finding mission with Emily. With Stanford looking like a distant dream without a swimming scholarship, Emily has more on her mind than whatever A is up to.
It seems strange to be dealing so much with the Liars’ private lives this season, rather than their mission to find Red Coat etc, and issues surrounding college are among the main storylines each week. I’m pretty certain that something is going to happen that prevents them from attending school, or at least a school far away and separate from each other, so it’s seeming a little fruitless at the moment. Maybe Spencer has the right idea by putting the solving of various mysteries above her future prospects. While they’re away however, Hannah and Aria are back in Rosewood dealing with family issues.
Aria’s are pretty boring, with Ella’s decision to stay in Rosewood to take care of Mike prompting a particularly violent A attack on mommy Montgomery. Threat delivered, Aria tries her best for the rest of the episode to convince Ella to go on the trip with her boyfriend and, by recruiting her dad, manages it. Why is A trying to get rid of all the Liars’ family? We do have Mike back for the first time since season one, at least, and that sibling squabble he and Aria had over Ezra was hilarious.
Hannah, meanwhile, quite literally finds the smoking gun to Wilden’s murder in her mother’s closet. Does this all but prove she killed him? I doubt it, but Hannah is stupid enough to try and bury the gun anyway. She’s smart enough to drive to Cicero beforehand, but Spencer’s wise words fall on blonde ears and she’s caught by the police burying evidence. I have no idea how she’s going to get out this one, unless the gun isn’t the one that killed Wilden. What was most striking about the episode was how unwilling the girls were to help each other, and Spencer’s brush-off meant that Hannah was desperate enough to put herself in danger.
Spencer and Emily also clash over what they’re willing to do to get into college, with Emily resenting the Hastings bank balance and Spencer judging her friend for flirting with the academic spin doctor her mother hired. It’s true that Spencer can probably buy her way into an Ivy League school of her choice, but it’s also true that her stint in Radley doesn’t look great on a college application. One thing I know is that I don’t trust Brendan, though that could just be the Pretty Little Liars-suspicion of absolutely everyone, and he looked decidedly shifty when Emily finally set the record straight.
The big clues delivered in the episode were both found in the sorority house – one being the existence of evil house mother Carla Grunwald and the other the panic room Spencer accidently stumbles upon. We know little of the first except A’s awareness of her in the over-credits coda, but the first brings the Tippy mystery to light. The phone number leads to an abandoned secret room within the walls of the sorority, containing nothing but an old-school pink telephone, an armchair and a radio. The only person we know who may have attended Cicero College before is Cece, so maybe it’s time for the Liars to get back in touch with Ali’s other BFF.
Next week we’re in Ravenswood for an introduction to the upcoming spin-off, so we can expect some even stranger goings on than usual. See you there!
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Face Time, here.
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