I’m thinking all the higher points of this season are going to be those when Mona is around, as she’s the only one making any sense at this point. “No Stone Unturned” is quite the disappointment until she reappears, finding the girls snooping through Lesli’s lab which also marks the episode’s most confounding scene. Hanna, remembering her own captivity, decides to release all the test animals and then she, as well as Spencer and Aria, proceeds to freak out about the test animals actually leaving their open cages. It’s a relatively small thing, and it’s very PLL, but it’s frustrating that watching this show can at times mean making a mental tally of all the things that don’t make sense. “No Stone Unturned” is such an episode, as the Liars are certain that Lesli’s A and seek proof. For some reason they don’t’ think to alert anyone to the fact that they’ve had chips planted in their necks, because that’s not important at all.
Obviously there’s no reason to expect they’ll find any thing indicating Lesli’s their tormentor, not already knowing that Lesli isn’t A. She’s not in a hurry to hide her relationships with Charles and Bethany but simply to hide that she was ever institutionalized, which is a very valid thing to want to keep private. The world isn’t kind to the mentally ill, and PLL isn’t either. It never has been, but it seems to become less and less kind with each passing reference. Emily is apparently in “intensive therapy” with Dr. Sullivan, but we never see her there, and every time she mentions it it’s with annoyance. Spencer’s been going to her meetings, but finds nothing valuable in them now that Dean doesn’t go to them anymore, because he’s so obsessed with her romantically/sexually that he can’t be around her (but more on that irritating plot development later). PLL only mentions mental health when it’s something to be exploited as a murderous plot device or to crack jokes about Mona and Lesli sharing straitjackets. The very real trauma the girls have after their abduction has been shuffled to the side, without the grace earlier episodes implied the show might have.
The only person’s mental health we’ve been getting any kind of insight into is Sara’s, and not by much. Her recovery is defined by how it may or may not affect hers and Emily’s blossoming relationship. Emily foregoes the chance at a service trip to Thailand because Sara can’t go, which is confusing on its own because isn’t Sara working on becoming emancipated? Didn’t that actually happen an episode or so ago? And if it did, her mother’s wishes are no longer a factor, meaning she could very well go to Thailand with Emily. So of course Emily says she has to stay put, to help Sara. I’m equally concerned about Emily and Sara’s new romance, which seems to be built off their mutual trauma. Emily finds solace in helping other people, and Sara’s tumultuous return home feels rife for Emily to work with. But her sudden friend Nicole is right when to question if Sara’s even capable of returning Emily’s feelings. And even if Sara is just as fond as Emily, what kind of relationship can the two expect to have? Sara’s own mental state is precarious enough, and the show doesn’t do much to even cope with it aside from watching her furiously scrub Emily’s carpet to get the blood out, after having taken a fall while thinking she’s being followed. It’s more likely to become reason to have her labeled as a potential A suspect than anything else, which is frustrating but not unexpected.
The only Liar with something consistent going on is Hanna, who remains irritated with the kid gloves Ashley and Caleb are handling her with. Caleb’s endless hovering, and Ashley’s allowance of it (she gave him a key) only serves to make Hanna more irritated. She’s not opposed to a roll in the hay with Caleb, which works just fine since it means they’re actually interacting as opposed to Hanna avoiding him, tired of feeling like she’s weak under his gaze.
This entire episode is meant to lead up to the revelation that Charles is alive and well, having escaped from Radley on the same night as Bethany Young. It’s at times like these that you realize how slowly PLL moves, taking all this time to establish what the audience already knew. All shows eventually train you how to watch them, and this one’s no different. This early in the game (despite the rapidly approaching summer finale), there’s no reason to believe anything is at it seems. Of course Charles is alive and planning his return to Rosewood for his birthday, with special plans for dear old dad, who concludes the episode digging up his son’s grave.
- Let’s never have Dean come back shall we? Naturally this show thinks it’s romantic and even sweet for him to decide Spencer’s sobriety is no longer interesting to him because he can’t kiss her whenever he wants to and of course her deciding that she feels better making the valedictorian speech so missing the meeting is offensive to him.
- Ezra is seriously looked aged these days. He’s also pretty irrelevant.
- Lesli wears glasses for purely aesthetic purposes. Wow, what an awful person she is.
- Maybe it’s because Spencer’s got so much weed in her system these days but she seems to be shuffling everywhere and close to falling over all the time.
- Random thought: What has Hanna’s dad had to say about her disappearance/return? Something awful and unhelpful I’m sure, but I’m curious.
- No Alison this week. That was weird.