It’s becoming harder and harder to rationalize where Aria’s parents are. They’ve been the definition of helicopter parents in the past (with good reason with their daughter being in a secret relationship with her English teacher) but are nowhere to be found as Mike’s flipping tables over and screaming at his sister. At one point Aria runs home screaming for her dad (who isn’t there), fleeing from an increasingly suspicicious Mike. As predicted, Mike isn’t Mona’s killerand his alliance with Alison also isn’t what it seems which isn’t surprising. The reason for his involvement is though, which I suppose I can give PLL some credit for.
It’s so Mona for her to have a refrigerator full of vials of her own blood, drawn so she can smear it across her house a a later date. It’s all part of her ruse to fake her death and have Alison charged with it, which would please A and leave the Liars safe and sound. I’d love it if Mona were alive and well, and this would give us a perfectly reasonable way to have her being that way, but since we’ve seen her body (though no one else has) we’re never going to see Janel Parrish again except in flashbacks.
At least we don’t have to sit through anymore of the Liars suspecting Mike of being dangerous, people warning Aria about staying home alone with her brother and such. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to take that information even after Mike’s confession, because he’s still been pretty sketchy and him finally giving Aria a reason and hugging it out doesn’t necessarily make him a good housemate. But it’s PLL so whatever. Aria’s understandably hesitant about letting the other Liars in on her solo investigation into Mike’a activities. She only utilizes Andrew who, for no reason, is just as happy to tutor her (because Aria’s only good subject is English) as he is to follow Mike into the woods. In true PLL fashion this all turns out to be for nothing, Mike being mostly benign and later, teary as he tells Aria the truth.
While Aria’s dealing with Mike, the other Liars have their own problems. There’s Spencer, who after last week biting Johnny’s head off about risking her getting into more trouble with the police accompanies him to an art gallery where they steal back his work (very wise, Spencer!). And Toby finally makes a reappearance in Spencer’s life, though he’s still lame about it. He’s jealous when he finds her at a casual lunch with Johnny but announces that he’s busy and therefore unable to hang out with Spencer that night. Which makes sense of course. Toby and Spencer are far from whatever charm they once possessed, and Toby doesn’t make things better with his embittered arrest of Johnny later on. He claims he’s trying to somehow protect Spencer, by keeping Tanner from taking advantage of their relationship in her investigation, but that’s very Toby isn’t it? He did once ally himself with A in the name of protecting them as well (though that also had something to do with his dead mom, right?) But even as this storyline seemingly resolves itself, with Johnny kicked out of the barn and leaving Spencer with a kiss before he goes, it’s boring.
I can’t pick out a storyline in this episode that’s much better. Jut kidding, they’re all better. But none of them have much to do with the central arc. Hanna’s committed herself to the pageant but finds she has to do more than look pretty, which is difficult for her. Her coach picks up on the same thing, and despite Hanna and Emily’s dance routine, she announces Hanna’s just not pageant material. And she’s right. It’s kind of cute how PLL plays on Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson’s real life friendship and love of dancing for themselves, but it’s pretty painful to watch Hanna’s attempts at keeping up with an obviously superior Emily, which only gets more painful when Hanna becomes consumed by her outrage when she’s tricked into thinking Kate’s also entered the pageant. It ends up nice enough I suppose with Emily vowing to enter the pageant and win on Hanna’s behalf, which is very sweet and will potentially give Emily more to do than figure out her romance with Talia.
Emily and Talia started out cute enough, but now it’s devolved into some weird…something. Emily’s put off when she encounters Talia’s husband who’s under the impression that Talia’s relationship with Emily is the product of some kind of experimentation. Though I doubt they’re over, Emily kicking Talia to the curb for her lying and “trendy” ideas of lesbianism is a nice moment for her. But as much as I want to see Emily making out with someone new, why can’t she have a relatively uncomplicated, sweet relationship with a not married woman?
Because it’s PLL that’s why.
- “Mike just came into the Brew. he’s getting scarier.” Okay, Emily.
- Hanna’s dancing is really not the business.
- I love when Spencer wears beanies because she never takes them off.
- Okay but really. Where are Aria’s parents?