This review contains spoilers.
4.8 The Guilty Girl’s Handbook
Mona’s devious mind finally came in handy for the Liars this week, as her love for Hanna and Ashley trumped her hate for Alison and the other girls for the first time. That’s if her confession of killing Wilden was fuelled by good intentions and not because a) she actually did kill him or, b) she’s covering for someone else. We all knew that Hanna wouldn’t be able to go through with her plan to take her mother’s place, even though it was fairly logical since she’s right – whatever they’d do to a seventeen-year-old cop killer is probably a lot better than what they’d do to her mother.
Hanna’s storyline, which has been the standout all season, understandably dominated the episode, but Spencer was still on her detective kick – eventually connecting the death of Toby’s mother with Detective Wilden and Radley. Maybe there’s only been one huge, tangled mystery to solve all of this time, and every single thing about Rosewood that hasn’t added up is part of the same conspiracy? We can only hope, but it at least looks as though uncovering whoever paid Wilden off to lie about the ‘suicide’ will lead Toby to the truth about the ‘blonde girl’.
I’m still not buying that it was Cece (and we learnt that Toby was in New York this week knocking on doors), and sense that the show is throwing it out just so the big Alison twin reveal isn’t such an anti-climax (P.S. it still will be). Maybe I’m wrong and it’s somebody totally unexpected but, besides one of the parents, there’s really no one left on the show who hasn’t been a suspect. Even kind, sensitive Ezra is on my watch list, and people like Lucas and Jenna are conspicuous simply by the absence. No matter what, the girls are taking control of their own destinies, and Hanna’s planned confession feels like stage one of a fight back.
The destruction of Emily’s house has a lot of repercussions, as we see the Fields living out of a motel without a well-paying job between them. Emily’s being kind of smart, though a little naive, by planning several ways in which she can get out of Dodge – first to college next year and then on a summer volunteer programme with Bruce Willis’ daughter. Where do Paige and Stanford factor into this? And does she really expect this new A – a girl who thinks nothing of pinning a murder on your friend’s mother and crashing a car into the front of your house – will let her board a bus out of town?
Aria’s storyline, though at first appearing to be about the safety of her little brother, again boils down to her love life. Ezra, for once, doesn’t enter the picture, but it turns out that Mike has been taking martial arts lessons from ex-beau Jake. They make a date to see Insidious 2, so I guess we’ll be hearing far too much about this relationship for the foreseeable future. It seems like a lose-lose for the show, even, since the people who want her with Ezra really want her with Ezra and the people that don’t, by and large, want to see her contributing to the non-teen drama parts of the show.
Next week’s episode looks pretty dramatic, with a possible death and the return of Jenna. The promo makes it look as though Spencer’s the one face-down in the lake, but maybe it’s Shana? Let’s face it, it could be anyone.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Crash And Burn Girl!, here.
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