Pretty Little Liars / Screen

Unresolved Issues: Pretty Little Liars ‘Bite Your Tongue’ Review

Last week, Ali’s return left Spencer and Emily in dire straits as Emily blamed Spencer for causing Ali to flee and practically guaranteed that Ali wouldn’t reach out to Emily again.   If Ali’s intention was to divide the foursome, she succeeded as “Bite Your Tongue” saw the Spencer and Emily fued separating the group into pairs: Emily and Aria, coupling up to go the movies and Hanna and Spencer, not invited and focusing on getting answers to the ongoing Ali mystery in the meantime.

Much of the episode separated the girls into their own storylines barely overlapping except to have them check in with each other.  Emily dealt with her rightfully concerned father, back in Rosewood on temporary furlough, Aria struggled with Mike’s new relationship with Mona, Hanna’s new crime novel obsession led her for answers to the girl buried in Ali’s coffin, and Spencer turned to deciphering Ali’s ridiculous diary. 

With the discovery of Mona and Mike’s new relationship (they’re kind of dating apparently), Aria confronted Mona about her reasons behind it.  Why people are so quick to tell these girls to get over what Mona did to them is beyond me.  Mona’s torture wasn’t benign.  She terrorized them, going so far as to hit Hanna with a car so it’s more than understandable that Aria wouldn’t appreciate Mona hanging around her little brother or snooping through her bedroom.  Certainly Mona did take a leap in confessing to Wilden’s murder to help Hanna and Ashley, and her irritation at her connection with the group being severed after that is understandable, but so is the lingering distrust the others have of her.  Whether or not Mona’s turned over a new leaf is up for debate (her mysterious meeting with Ezra says different) new counselor Jesse (Wes Ramsey) chalking up Aria’s worries over Mike and Mona’s new relationship to “unresolved issues” between her and Mona was ridiculous. The Liars (and Aria) have a host of issues they need to work through, since they’ve spent quite a bit of time being terrorized by a shadowy, tech-savvy individual who hates them, but remaining wary of a girl who made their lives hell isn’t one of them.

Working hard to figure out the stories in Ali’s diary, Spencer turned to Andrew (last seen salivating over Spencer’s sideboob) for some help with self-medicating in what’s sure to become a disaster sooner rather than later.  For now, it served its purpose and allowed Spencer to piece together some of Ali’s sloppily-penned stories which led her to a bar where Ali used to meet a mystery guy who enjoyed his boisonberry pie with beer.  I’m glad everyone was on the same page about how gross a combination that was.  Once at the bar, a haggard-looking Spencer bumped right into Ezra feasting on the same pie before he scurried off, and Spencer’s suspicions were confirmed with the delivery of the beer Ezra ordered, a giant bottle of Board Shorts Ale.

 With Spencer’s knowledge, we’re that much closer to having Ezra’s duplicity exposed so we can stop watching him deliver creepy indirect threats (that he’s never delivered before) and watching Aria slip into new levels of ridiculous on his behalf.  Presumably, Jake kept the knives in his punching bag to himself, but some suspicion is bound to fall on Ezra when some terrible and inevitable thing befalls Maggie, who is maintaining Malcolm and Ezra’s separation. Ezra’s thinly veiled threats are more of a device on the show to emphasize Ezra’s duplicity, but they sure are heavy-handed about it.  Before everyone hopes onboard the Ezra is A train, there’s sure to be some doubt, but the result of Ezra’s tense negotiations with Maggie will probably seal the deal on any suspicions the group has. 

Also taking their parenting very seriously was Emily’s dad. In all PLL history, there hasn’t been a parent better than Wayne Fields (second only to Veronica Hastings whose legal aptitude has made her an invaluable parental unit when she and her husband aren’t totally trashing Spencer on Melissa’s behalf), but he ascended to new heights tonight.  Literally. With Emily barricaded in a room to hide from A and screaming for her dad through the window, Wayne climbed the building and got Emily out. It was all going well until he collapsed due to a heart condition he’s kept secret from Emily, and that put a damper on all the proceedings.  Now that this information’s been made public, there’s no doubt A’s going to utilize it in some way or another, and hopefully it doesn’t end in Wayne’s demise because the death of a parent seems like it would be especially dark, even for this show.

Hanna went off on her own to find patient records from the dentists’ office which she hoped had the name of the girl who was buried in Ali’s place.   I don’t know about you guys, but Caleb leaving was the best thing that could have ever happened since it’s given us Detective Hanna who’s taking the lead on her own investigations and not following behind Spencer.  There’s nothing wrong with Spencer leading the Liars to the truth, it’s fun when the other girls get to prove that they’re just as capable.  Most of Hanna’s most ambitious moments came when Ashley was jeopardy early in the season, and those scenes were tinted with real bleakness with Ashley’s worsening situation.  Despite Hanna’s visit to the dentist taking a creepy and dangerous turn with A’s involvement, it’s not as emotionally draining as her endeavors to keep Ashley from prison. 

Following Emily and Hanna’s respective A encounters, the girls reconvened at Aria’s where Emily and Spencer sort of reconciled.  I say “sort of” because there was no actual speaking about their fight or its cause, but there was a hug, and that’s a start.  It’s nice to see that the girls’ friendships aren’t smooth sailing all the time, but they’re definitely more fun when they’re all getting along.

 

Pretty Little Tidbits:

  • I’m holding my opinion on Spencer’s pill-popping until further notice, but it seems a strange avenue for the show to go while in the depths of the Alison and Ezra mystery. It seems more like a season one storyline than a season four one, as this has potential to end up being another secret Spencer’s forced to keep so A can derail her with it somehow.
  • Because of PLL‘s track record with inappropriately aged men interacting with its mains, the return of Sean Faris’ detective, now in plainclothes and chatting with Hanna about crime novels, is a questionable one. 
  • I’m not even going to guess at who Ezra was texting about an Alison setback because knowing this show he could have been texting Meryl Streep.
  • All of the remotely physical scenes PLL does, like Emily nearly stabbing Wayne with the scissors and Hanna struggling against the gas at the dentist, are just so unbelievably done.
  • From here on, let’s all refer to Toby as “that carpenter”.

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