Tuesday, July 22, 2014

PLL: "Miss Me x 100" (5x5)

For a little while there, it seemed like the Liars were Thrown From The Ride, but just when you thought it wasn't possible... the game changed and A came back with a vengeance. Okay, so us viewers totally knew that A wasn't dead and gone, but the girls seemed to believe that fact. For a show that constantly delivers shocking twists, turns, and reveals... the 100th episode was no exception what. so. ever!

The 100th episode opened with Hanna and Travis working on an Astronomy project. Well, Travis was working, and Hanna was clearly distracted by the fact that Alison would be making her return to Rosewood High the next day. Travis tried to tell Hanna that no one thought of her and the other Liars as Alison's puppets, but Hanna still wasn't too sure.

Aria and Ezra were talking as they walked down a street in Rosewood, and Ezra assured Aria that she didn't need to be afraid of text message alerts anymore. The two saw Alison being dropped off at her Dad's office and went over to exchange pleasantries. A bus pulled into the stop across the street, and Alison, Ezra, and Aria looked surprised to see Jenna Marshall (and her sunglasses) back in Rosewood.

Meanwhile, at the Hastings, Toby and Spencer were talking and having some coffee. Toby claimed that he couldn't picture Alison as a victim, and Spencer didn't particularly lie to him, but she didn't tell him the truth. He received a call from Jenna and answered it, only to find out what Spencer already knew, Shana was dead. Oh, and Toby also claimed that he hadn't talked to Jenna since she moved to New York...

Emily Fields, Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, Alison DiLaurentis, Hanna Marin
c/o PLL Wiki

The Liars regrouped for another meeting to discuss recent events. Hanna was sure that Jenna was back to avenge Shana's death, Alison stood watch, Aria gave Spencer permission to tell Toby the truth, and Emily waxed philosophically about nothing changing even though A was gone. (foreshadowing!) Alison claimed that she was going to apologize and make amends with everyone she had hurt and bullied in the past, but when asked if the list included Jenna, Alison remained silent.

The next day, Alison made her return to Rosewood High. Spencer, Hanna, Emily, and Aria waited outside for her, and before she came over to see them, she apologized to the twins in Mona's army. The girls walked into school together, and Alison asked Emily if she could show her where the Guidance Counselor's office was, because she had forgotten.

Five Pretty Little Liars
c/o PLL Wiki

Not long after the friends went their separate ways to classes, Spencer was called into the office. Her mother was there waiting for her, and Veronica told Spencer to get her things and come with her, because she was leaving Peter Hastings, and Spencer was coming with her.

Outside, Lucas ran into Hanna and invited her to a party at his house that evening, to meet his new girlfriend. Hanna happily accepted and asked if she could bring Travis, and Lucas agreed.

Back at Chez Hastings, Spencer asked her mother why she was leaving Peter, wondering if it had anything to do with the death of Jessica DiLaurentis. Veronica told her that she didn't go to a spa, she hired a PI and had them investigate Mr. Hastings. The PI found out that Peter and Melissa had lied about their wherabouts the night of Jessica's death. Worse yet, Veronica couldn't believe that Melissa was involved because Peter and Veronica swore they would never involve their children in "this" but didn't tell Spencer what "this" was.

Back at school, Aria, Emily, and Hanna were having lunch and Aria was still working through her guilt. She thought she should talk to Jenna and try to console her, considering she's responsible for Shana's death. Hanna and Emily tell her that's a horrible idea, considering that she was never really close to Jenna in the first place.

Later, Sydney invited Emily to a Frozen sing-along (plot hole!), which Emily only agreed to attend to get out of the house and away from her mother's questions. She ran into Paige, and the two talked about Alison's return. Paige admitted that she still couldn't stand to be in the same room as Alison. Emily cautioned Paige about letting Alison have power over her, and reminded her that she is one of the strongest people she knows.

Despite Hanna and Emily's warnings, Aria went over to the Cavanaugh/Marshall house to try and talk to Jenna. The front door was open, and Aria called out for Jenna multiple times before eventually finding her sitting on her bedroom floor, sobbing. Jenna realized that someone was there, and asked who it was, but Aria didn't answer, and quickly retreated.

Emily, Paige, and Alison met in Em's bedroom. Alison apologized for the way she tormented Paige. Alison also told Paige that the two of them were very lucky to have Emily as a friend.

Spencer went over to Hanna's house under the guise of finding out the homework, but later admitted that Hanna was the first person she thought of to talk to about her parents, because Hanna had gone through the same thing. During Spencer's visit, Ashley cames in and Spencer lied about why she and her mother were staying at a hotel. When Hanna's mom left the room, Hanna called Spencer out about lying, saying that her mom would never judge Veronica. Spencer apologized, claiming that she thought her parents would always be together, and the whole situation was very unsettling. Hanna and Spencer hugged, and Hannakins told Spence that they'd all be there for her.

After Paige left, Alison asked Emily about getting dinner, and Emily informed her that she had plans for that night. Alison asked if she could come along, and Emily said that Paige would be there, and Alison backed off. She asked if she could stay at Emily's house for a little while, since her father was still away, and Em agreed. As Emily was about to leave, Ali illuded to the fact that their previous kiss might not have actually been practice.

Downtown (or uptown... not really sure now that I think about it!) at the Brew... Hanna and Travis were on a coffee date when Caleb showed up. Hanna broke up a fight between Caleb and another guy from school, but when Caleb saw the coffee cup with Travis' name on it, he bailed.

PLL 100th episode, Lucas, Travis, Hanna
c/o Alloy Entertainment

Later, at Lucas' party, Hanna was drunk, and attempted to call Caleb. She dropped her phone while talking to Lucas, and he picked it up and refilled her cup, just as Travis came over to check on her.

At the Frozen sing along, Emily and Sydney met Paige, and heard the news that Jenna is back in Rosewood and Shana is dead. Emily tried her best to look surprised.

Alison left Emily's house, only to be followed by a dark car.

Outside of the Chez Montgomery, Jenna rang the doorbell and Aria answered. Still feeling guilty about Shana, she offered Jenna tea, but Jenna declined, claiming she just wanted to know why Aria was in her room earlier. Aria claimed that she felt bad about her involvement in Jenna's accident, and then heard about Shana, but Jenna wonderded why Aria cared? She still had all her friends, but Jenna was alone. Aria asked Jenna if she wanted to come in for some tea, and to tell her about Shana, and Jenna accepted.

Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal Pretty Little Liars
c/o PLL Wiki

Still being pursued by the same vehicle, Alison ducked into the church in an attempt to get away. She sent out an SOS text to all the girls, but no one answered. After hearing a noise and finding a shutter banging in the wind, Alison closed it, turned around, and found herself face-to-face with Mona. The two had a heated exchange, largely brought on by Mona. She told Ali that she wasn't as good of a liar as she used to be, and that she had proof that Ali, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer were in New York the night Shana died. She told Alison to leave Rosewood, but Ali stood her ground and told Mona that she wasn't going anywhere. Alison told Mona she made her Loser Mona once and she could do it again. Mona's temper flared, and she angrily slapped Alison. Ali slapped her back, telling her to leave her alone.

Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal PLL 5x5
c/o PLL Wiki

Later, in Ali's bedroom, the Liars minus Hannakins had a meeting. Ali told them about what happened in the church, but left out the part about slapping Mona. The girls couldn't think of any evidence that Mona could possibly have against them. Spencer was sure it was purely a scare tactic, and Alison admitted that she's scared.

In back-to-back mother/daughter scenes, Ashley tucked a drunk Hanna into bed, waiting for morning to lecture her. Pam Fields let Alison sleep over, as Em tells her that she's really missing her mom.

Ezra's Scar Pretty Little Liars 5x5
c/o PLL Wiki

Across town at Ezra's apartment, Aria came back, and this time, she brought pie. The two dug in a little bit, and Aria continued to tell Ezra how guilty she felt for killing Shana. Ezra stopped her and showed her the scar on his stomach, from where Shana shot him. Aria apologized again as she traced her fingers over his scar, and Ezra told her he never wanted to hear her say that again. One thing led to another, and the two kissed... and kissed... and kissed... and eventually ended up in bed together.

Alison and Emily were in Em's bed, not sleeping. When Em asked if Alison was asleep, she turned over and faced her. Em leaned in, the two kissed, leading to a feverish makeout session. 

The next day at school, the Liars walked into the school lobby and were immediately confronted by Mona and her army. Mona recounted her story, showing video footage she secretly captured of Alison slapping her and calling her Loser Mona. Conveniently, Mona's slap and threats were edited out. Alison ran to the bathroom, and Emily, Spencer, Hanna, and Aria followed. The girls were angry that Alison had once again chosen to tell them a lie, rather than tell the truth.  Emily was especially angry, given the events of the previous evening.

Two girls got out of a car... Jenna, and surprise, surprise... new girl Sydney. They met Mona, with news that Aria and Emily don't want things to go back to how they were before, when Alison was in charge. Mona was pleased with the news, and the girls looked off camera as another car pulled up.

Sydney Driscoll, Mona Vanderwaal, Jenna Marshall, Pretty Little Liars 5x5
c/o PLL Wiki

In Toby's truck... (across town, in Bucks County, just outside Ravenswood... Honestly, I'm not sure where...) Spencer finally told Toby the complete truth. He was understanding, and the two ended up making out.

Hanna found Caleb at the swings in the playground and asked about Miranda. Caleb claimed that he hadn't seen her since Hanna left Ravenswood. The two were catching up, albeit awkwardly, when Hanna received a text message. She told Caleb that they had to go immediately, and he had to come with her.

At Emily's house, all the Liars and their significant others gathered for a televised press conference from Rosewood PD...

"Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen. I've called this press conference because we received confirmation tonight that the name of the victim that was buried alive on the DiLaurentis property was Bethany Young. She was a 17 year old patient at the Radley Institution, and was believed to have run away from the hospital on the night that Alison DiLaurentis was alledgedly kidnapped. The victim's parents have been notified, and the family is requesting at this time that you respect their privacy and allow them to grieve over the loss of their loved one. There will be no comments and no questions."

Just as the conference ended, a loud boom sounded, and the large window behind the liars shattered, sending glass shards spraying inside Emily's living room towards the group.

Cavanaugh/Marshall House Explosion Pretty Little Liars 5x5
c/o PLL Wiki

In the last scene, we watched a gloved figure moving into a new apartment. A's doll house was wrapped up, several dolls are present, and the black widow dress and veil were neatly displayed on a mannequin. A turned on the police scanner and listened as emergency crews responded to the blast.

My Thoughts

It's kinda funny... If the people in Rosewood chose to tell the truth instead of lie, it would be a much less dramatic place, and people might stop winding up buried in their neighbor's backyard. I wasn't ever sure if every mystery tied together... Especially Toby's Mom and Alison... but now, I'm beginning to think that everything is related in the convoluted town of Rosewood that we know and love. (and are sooooo glad we don't live there...)

The episode opened up with Hanna, still questioning who she is. I like that the show is exploring this, and they seem to be taking their time with it. Add in the fact that Caleb showed up out of nowhere, claiming to be back from Ravenswood, and... well, you can identify with the reasoning behind Hanna's bender. Travis swooped in at just the right time and got her out of there. I've really come to like Travis, so it's hard for me to watch Tranna slooooooowly implode. We all know it's just a matter of time before Haleb happens again... and I like Hanna and Caleb... but I really like Travis' character. He is one of the few seemingly genuine good guys on the show.

So, Emily and Paige broke up, making way for the possibility of Emily and Alison... but am I the only one who thinks it feels forced? It seems like Alison just isn't into it as much as Emily. It's hard to say if Alison is sincere, lonely, or manipulative. Emily got really mad at Alison for lying to her and the other girls, AND told Alison as much. I really like that Em has gotten stronger as the series has progressed.

Aria got involved in the whole A mystery by killing Shana and finally getting her hands dirty... but she's right on her way back to Ezraland. That worries me a little, because I liked having her feel a little more present in the mystery side of the show. I have mixed feelings on her getting back together with Ezra, but I know that's where she's eventually headed. I just hope that she'll remember that she has friends this time around and find a balance between Ezra and the other Liars.

Spencer's family is falling apart, much like it did in the books, just for different reasons. There are still a LOT of secrets surrounding Melissa and her father... What happened the night Mrs. D. died? Who does Melissa know/think killed Bethany Young? What was the understanding between Mrs. D. and Mr. H.?

It was great to see Mona and Alison in a scene together, and it was quite the little catfight. Mona came out on top in the first battle, thanks to a cleverly edited video she made while the two fought. Alison seriously needs to step up her game and remember just what Mona is capable of. When Alison started talking about how she faked the apologies and could make Mona "Loser Mona" again... I had a baaaaaad feeling.

All of that being said... I don't really understand Mona's continued vendetta against Alison. I flip between thinking there HAS to be more to her story, and thinking that she really isn't as mentally stable as she pretends.

And then there's Alison. She's really hard to read. At times, she seems really vulnerable, and I want to believe that she doesn't have anything to do with the A game. But then, there are times that she slips back into "Old Alison" and says mean and hurtful things like she did with Mona in the church. She's definitely hiding something from the girls... but what? Hard to say...

...and just to be clear, while I'm on the subject of Mona and Alison... their behavior as bullies is reprehensible. I don't like the idea of glamourizing Mona as the villain, or Alison as the villain. Alison being a bully in the past doesn't make it okay for Mona to do what she's doing. Sure, we can understand a little better and relate to her character, but Mona is playing a very dangerous game. It was just as dangerous when Alison played it.

Jenna seemed like she was close to Shana... but I don't know that we got enough scenes with the two of them together to really know that for sure. It's pretty clear that Jenna was only over at Aria's house to occupy her during Mona's showdown with Ali.

New girl Sydney is in league with Mona, Jenna, and a mysterious 4th. Could that person be the Black Widow? Could it be Melissa? Could it be someone else entirely? What is her connection to all of this? It goes without saying that she looks very similar to Jenna with the glasses on, but also bears a resemblance to Mona. Also, if you've seen the actress PLL cast to play Mona's mom later this season... well, there's a resemblance there too! Could Sydney be the long-lost/secret twin of either girl? Was she related to Bethany Young?

In the last moments of the episode, before the explosion at Cavanshall (Cavanaugh + Marshall) Manor... Rosewood PD publicly ID'd the body in Ali's grave as Bethany Young. I feel like it's important to note that they also chose to reveal the fact that she had been buried alive. I'm not sure why they announced that when keeping a small detail like cause of death might've helped their investigation. It could be that I give Rosewood PD too much credit, and have watched a few too many episodes of Law & Order. ANYWAY... Bethany Young. The mystery Jane Doe in Alison's grave... She escaped from Radley Sanitarium the same night Alison DiLaurentis disappeared.

That little tidbit, plus a little more knowledge from prior episodes, kinda makes some things unravel in Rosewood. Jessica DiLaurentis was on the board at Radley Sanitarium. If you ascribe those worried phone calls to the fact that Bethany escaped, it makes sense, but then all logic falls apart! She saw who hit her daughter with a rock, to her knowledge killing her, yet still protected that person. Could that person have been Bethany? If it was... why in the world would Mrs. D. cover for her?

Could Bethany be Alison's twin? The press conference ID'd her as a 17 year old patient. So, she would've been 2 years older than Alison and the other girls. Well, the only other person that I know of around that kind of age is CeCe Drake, and last we saw... she caught a flight to Paris as Vivian Darkbloom.

...and then outside of Emily's house... we heard a loud BOOM and were treated to that lovely closing scene... A was moving. The Black Widow outfit was on a mannequin in the background, so can we finally say that Uber A is Black Widow is a SHE?!? I'm honestly not sure... we've been minioned out so many times, it's hard to say. All we know for sure, is that Black Widow is definitely related to the A game, and A. Is. Back... with a vengeance and a "proclivity for pyrotechnics" to quote Professor McGonagall. 

Next time, we'll get to see more of the explosion, more plotting, more scheming, a message from A, and maybe a little bit more about Bethany Young in Run, Ali, Run... Kisses!

-S

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