Pretty Little Liars / Screen

Pretty Little Liars: “The Melody Lingers On”

PLL is one of those shows that packs its twists and turns so tightly it’s impossible to tell when something’s been revealed and what people know or don’t know. I’m not sure why I was under the impression that everyone knew Alison had lied about her kidnapping, but I was so the whole thing coming out during Alison’s trial, another blow to her trustworthiness in the eyes of a jury, I was just confused about how surprised everyone was.

Certainly we’d already covered that Alison fabricated the whole abduction thing, but apparently not since it throws a huge wrench into the already hurting trial. There’s really no way for Alison to come out of this one unscathed, despite her lawyer asserting that the prosecution is the one with the hard job of proving Alison killed Mona. Even without A to seal the deal, Alison and the other Liars have done plenty to ensure their own fates. To a jury  there’s surely little reason to believe anything this five suspicious teenage girls have to say about anything especially after they go through the arduous process of lying about one of their own being kidnapped.

So they’re all screwed essentially and looking for some way to rectify that situation. One may seems to be avoiding Alison’s trial which sounds reasonable enough except that’s not going to do a whole lot when the Liars are being namedropped in the courtroom as accomplices to Alison’s many lies. Aria and Emily come under fire when Alison’s kidnapping lie is revealed, and Ashley’s humiliated when the prosecution implies hers and Jason’s social relationship is what’s compelled him to change his opinion about Alison’s guilt. Ashley’s involvement begins to make more sense with this episode. As much as I enjoyed the pure ridiculousness of her hookup with Jason, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, but now that it’s being used against them it at least makes sense plotwise. And considering Ashley’s history of using her feminine wiles to get Hanna out of trouble (which no one thought to bring up now) it’s not hard to believe she would. Ashley didn’t of course, but that hardly matters when your kid’s being framed for murder alongside the crappiest friend ever.

If we assume A’s one really terrible dose of karma, this has been a long time coming. When Alison and Jason see each other again, Jason tells her he believes in her innocence but Alison’s equally certain that she’s done enough things to be guilty of something even if it isn’t Mona’s murder. In a weird way, A’s really just one being cautionary tale. Don’t be crappy or else you’ll be blackmailed, terrorized and maybe murdered. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sympathize with Alison, who’s obviously terrified she’s going to be sent to prison permanently and especially not Hanna who we’ve known to be fairly decent (if prone to bad decision making) and is going to go down for nothing. You’d think putting Alison through this ringer alone would be enough to satisfy A, who’s done a more than decent job ruining Alison’s life. She’s exposed, vulnerable and has fallen several pegs, but of course A’s not going to rest until Alison’s as low as she can go with no hope of ever coming back from it.

Without A’s texts to prove anything it does look a little bleek, but the girls are still reluctant to admit anything to their parents who continue to inquire as to who is trying to ruin their children’s lives.  Alison’s dad is irritating so he’s no fun, but Ashley and Veronica getting some screentime benefits everybody, and they’re both bending over backwards to defend their misguided daughters. While Ashley becomes more and more desperate to see Hanna safe and free (truth be damned), Veronica frostily forbids Spencer from attending the trial, which doesn’t even work, though she does seriously assert that Spencer knows absolutely nothing about Alison’s fake kidnapping. Which is a great moment really. This show is full of liars, who the truth is never going to help. Alison can’t tell the truth because she’s lied too much for it to be believable, and the other Liars can’t tell the truth because it’s just going to hurt them more. And their parents, their moral guides in the world, just don’t care as long as it means they’re all safe.

In an attempt at finding evidence that proves Alison’s innocence, the girls head to Mona’s house (none of them blinking an eye at going into her empty house uninvited and how that may or may not look to the authorities). It’s already been ransacked by A, and the Liars deciding to give things another search is a pleasant surprise, especially when it ends up working to their favor. Of course it’s another complicated Mona-esque riddle thing that Spencer has to pore over and will likely by ridiculously unnecessary when it gets figured out, but at least it’s something.

And because Aria really can’t date anyone decent (except for that martial arts guy who we’ve never seen again), Andrew proves to be one shady dude. Once he apologizes for his crass declarations that the world (or at least his world) is better off without Mona, Aria loses all sense that something’s wrong with him. Nevermind that he lurks alongside her house because she misses tutoring sessions. It’s not that absurd that something’s off with Andrew, since Caleb’s been the only guy being consistently pleasant and trustworthy these days (refusing to skip town despite Hanna’s insistence that he do so), but it’s absurd if I’m supposed to believe that maybe he killed Mona because he just didn’t like that she was smarter than him which may be the lamest reason anyone’s ever joined the A team.

Stray Observations

  • Still confused about why Aria’s helicopter parents have no opinion on Alison, her trial or Aria’s anything.  Same is true of Emily’s , who aren’t even in the state. I get scheduling conflicts and budget constraints, but really can we at least pretend they’re around and care?
  • Caleb said he wished he’d gotten Hanna out of town when they had the chance. That’s fine and all, but why did he act like it was Hanna who didn’t want to go when it was him telling her not to run last episode? Someone in that writer’s room forgot.
  • If Spencer and Toby get back together after this mess, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. He hasn’t spoken to her since whenever, and every time he does he’s overly rude. I’m sure he’ll say something about protecting her, etc, but really?
  • I’m so sick of the name Varjak.

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