This review contains spoilers.
5.11 No One Here Can Love Or Understand Me
There’s an unwritten rule in mystery fiction that definitely applies to Pretty Little Liars – if the heroes decide on a killer miles ahead of the story’s resolution, then they’re certainly, unequivocally wrong. When they thought it was Toby, Mrs DiLaurentis, Melissa and Ezra, it took those suspects right off the table and pointed fingers even harder at other characters. One long-running theory has been that Alison is actually the post-Mona A, and this week’s episode proceeded to shred that theory to pieces.
Alison wasn’t even in Rosewood this week, and yet she seems to have lost all of her friends and allies after her various stunts since returning. Emily, of all people, is leading the charge, recruiting Ezra to investigate Cyrus and prove whether or not she actually knew him prior to last week’s impromptu confession. Obviously Ezra found the answers in double-quick time due to his carefully cultivated stalker skills and barn full of equipment, but I’m calling nonsense on his apparent cluelessness about what happened during Alison’s disappearance.
What the heck has he been doing for two years (besides the obvious), if not investigating where she was and who she was with? It seems a little too convenient, writers, just like his lack of A knowledge.
Feeding into Ezra’s profound stupidity (and, if we know anything, we know he’s not stupid) there is still one person that the Liars have never suspected – Aria Montgomery. It’s a popular theory online, and has been supported by writers comments and in-show clues as much as it has been contested, but this was one of those episodes in which we were actively encouraged to wonder whether it could be true.
Sweet, innocent Aria somehow managed to make Mona – an actual, diagnosed psychopath – freak out and cry with one whispered comment. Then there’s the veiled conversation about New York that followed. Alison can’t trust Aria after what happened there, which leads me to believe that they were talking about something other than pushing Shana to her death (itself, convenient if Aria is A). As Mona said, Alison underestimated Aria, and she always knows just where to stick the knife in. It takes one to know one, after all.
After tenuously praising how this season has handled the Ravenswood mess, this episode really escalated things to a level I’m not particularly comfortable with. Despite Hannah’s commitment to sobriety, Caleb hasn’t stopped drinking, and Spencer felt as if the only thing that could help would be the reignition of a classic bromance. Enter Toby, who was on excellent form again this week, who proceeded to just piss Caleb off.
He comes clean to Hannah later, however, and my psychotic break theory was gaining traction until that darn Ouija board pointer moved. Do we really need to introduce the supernatural into this world? If they had just left it there, then we could have forgotten anything ever happened, but now we have to consider that the answer to all of our questions actually lies in a world we didn’t know we existed in. There’s a way to do that reveal that wouldn’t be a terrible betrayal of trust (i.e. Lost), but this isn’t it.
The real drama of this episode lay in Melissa’s confession video to Spencer, which was more about confirming some old suspicions than revealing any earth-shattering new answers. Melissa didn’t hit anyone over the head that night, but seeing Bethany Young’s body made her believe that Spencer had. She rolled her into that open grave, burying Bethany alive, yet all the time thinking it was Alison. So Melissa’s in the clear, despite having a pretty juicy secret to keep, which probably means she’ll be dead by next week’s finale.
Speaking of next week’s fAtal finale, we know someone is definitely going to die. It’s not been confirmed that it’ll be someone we care about, of course, but it’s also been teased that the person is going to get horribly murdered. In other words, it’s just another summer finale of Pretty Little Liars!
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, A Dark Ali, here.
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