Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PLL: "Thrown From The Ride" (5x4)

The last installment, "Surfing The Aftershocks" slowed down the pacing of Pretty Little Liars, and this week's episode continued with a lot of exposition, a couple of juicy bits, and not really too much action. I'm guessing this was all in an attempt to get things back rolling with the next episode, "Miss Me x 100" which is the 5th episode of the 5th season, and also happens to be the 100th episode of PLL. In all fairness, and in the interest of full disclosure, at the time that I'm writing this review... I've watched 5x4 AND 5x5. I'll try to keep it all straight, though! Now then... let's get started...

The Scarlet Letter PLL 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

The episode opened with Hanna and Aria perusing some used books for sale at school. Hanna's new do was shorter, with a few of her ends died black. Hanna asked Aria's opinion, and Aria was surprised at such a spur of the moment decision. As the two were talking, Aria picked up a copy of The Scarlet Letter, only to find that it had belonged to Shana. Seconds later, Mona waltzed over to the two and commented on Shana's disappearance and Alison's subsequent reappearance.

Alison and Kenneth DiLaurentis Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

Back at the DiLaurentis house, Alison was getting rid of some old clothes and her father suggested she wait until she was back for a little while before she got rid of anything. The two continued to talk, and he suggested leaving Rosewood for good. Alison disagreed, telling her father that she had already lost so much, she didn't want to lose her friends, too.

Veronica and Spencer Hastings Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

At Chez Hastings, Veronica Hastings was anxious for the police to leave. Spencer came downstairs and tried to talk to her mother about the secrets Melissa and her father were keeping, but Veronica didn't want to talk about it.

Mona Vanderwaal and Lucas Gottesman Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

At school, Lucas met with Mona and asked her to call off whatever plan she and her army had in place. Mona refused, claiming that she could prove that Ali's kidnapping story was just that... a story. Lucas seemed intrigued.

Emily Fields Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o Alloy Entertainment

Emily turned into Sydney's personal trainer since they met last episode. The two made plans to meet up again, and Emily complained about her mother asking too many questions. Sydney claimed that she has had questions too, it's just that she doesn't ask them. While the two were talking, Alison called, and Sydney watched her decline the call.

Four Little Liars Lunch Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

Later, as the girls were eating lunch, they sit outside of Rosewood High in an attempt to avoid the stares of other students, but it wasn't working. Hanna likened the girls to lobsters in a tank at a seafood restaurant, and Aria was convinced that Mona knew about everything that happened in New York. Spencer tried to assure Aria that she was just being paranoid, but Mona staring the girls down as they ate did little to convince her. While still at lunch, Ali texted the girls all at the same time, telling them that Rosewood PD would have to run toxicology tests to find out her mother's cause of death.

Alison and Kenneth DiLaurentis Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o Alloy Entertainment

Over at Alison's house... Mr. D. reminded Ali that the police had requested a full medical examination, but Alison didn't want to go. Thinking the worst, Ali's dad finally got her to agree to the exam, and Ali broke down after he left the room, upset that she was causing him undue worry.

Back at school, Spencer asked Andrew Campbell to help her and her mother with landscaping the backyard. He agreed, and seemed glad that Spence was healthy again.

Aria and Becca chat PLL 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

In one of the school's computer labs, Aria received a message that further fueled her paranoia, but it turned out to be about Ali, not Shana, and was from one of her classmates. Still feeling guilty, Aria looked up Shana Fring online. She viewed footage of her funeral, going so far as hallucinating that Shana sat up in the coffin and glared at her.

After another successful training session, Emily, Sydney, and Paige went to grab a slice of pizza. Mona noticed the girls together, and Paige shifted in her seat uncomfortably.

Across town at Chez Hastings, Andrew was helping Spencer and her mother re-landscape their backyard. The two went into the shed for more supplies when Andrew found a dead racoon and a bucket of spilled rat poison. With the death of Jessica DiLaurentis fresh in her mind, Spencer wondered whether her father or Melissa could've killed Mrs. D. using the poison, since she had never known Hastings Manor to have a problem with rodents.

Alison DiLaurentis at the Doctor Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

Hanna accompanied Alison to her examination, per Ali's request earlier in the episode. The Dr. commented on the strength of her lungs, which we learned Ali could hold her breath for an unusually long amount of time in Jessica's flashback in 4x2. He also examined her head and asked her to come back later for an x-ray.

Over at Emily's house, Aria, Spencer, and Em were discussing their relationships with Alison, and why they've all been avoiding her.

Back at the hospital, the Doctor examining Alison noticed a scar on her thigh. He asked how she got it, as no mention was made of it in the police report. Ali claimed she got it when she jumped out of her kidnapper's car and landed on a rock. The doctor told her it looked more like a wound made with a blade or a knife. Ali said that it had all happened so fast, that she didn't even notice she was hurt until she saw the blood. The doctor questioned her answer, and Alison got upset and defensive, claiming that she might not know exactly when it happened because she was blindfolded, and "didn't they tell you that?"

Over at Chez Hastings, Spencer demanded answers from her mother. Her mother told her that after Alison went missing, Jessica DiLaurentis was convinced that Spencer had something to do with it. Mrs. D. threatened to go to the police, so Mr. Hastings threatened to expose their affair to Mr. DiLaurentis. Veronica claimed that after the divorce happened, there was nothing to stop Jessica from going to the police, and she was afraid that Peter might have been involved in Jessica's death.

Across town, Ali and Hanna were finishing up at the hospital, and Alison gave a recording of everything she told the doctor to Hanna to make copies. She asked Hanna to distribute them to the girls, and to make sure that they all memorize exactly what Ali had said. Hanna asked Alison what really happened to her leg, but Ali only cryptically responded that, "once you know something, you can't unknow it," and that she wished she had been blindfolded when it happened.

Mona confronted Paige, asking whether she was with her or against her, and Paige didn't really answer. She did call Mona out and ask her when she had become the thing she used to fear the most.

Ali asked Spencer to come over and talk, while she scrolled through an Alison DiLaurentis memorial page online. When Spencer arrived, she was reading through some of the more hateful comments, and Spencer told her not to pay attention to what other people wrote. Alison told Spencer the cause of her mother's death. She hadn't been poisoned. Jessica DiLaurentis was on medicine for low blood pressure, and someone switched her pills with Losartan, a medication for high blood pressure. The switch in medication stopped her heart. Spencer was relieved that her father hadn't played a role in Jessica's death, and she and Alison had an odd bonding moment over the suspicions of their parents. They also talked about how complicated life had gotten, and remembered the good old days when the monsters were just under their beds, not lurking in the shadows around every corner.

Ezria Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o Alloy Entertainment

Aria paid Ezra a visit and told him about her guilt and watching Shana's funeral non-stop. Ezra told her that she needed to find some way to try and move on from what had happened. At one point when he left the room, Aria was trying to donate money to Shana's family, and Ezra stopped her. He decided they would play checkers and then chess in order to keep Aria's brain distracted. Later, when Ezra became tired, Aria almost slept over, but hastily left when she realized how awkward that would be.

At the mall, Hanna was trying on clothes when Spencer called. She asked Hanna why Alison didn't mention memorizing the tape to any of the other girls, but Hanna wasn't in a mood to chat. She told Spencer to just memorize it, and proceeded to button a blouse over the clothes she was trying on, marking her return to shoplifting.

Hanna shoplifts Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

At Casa de Hastings, Andrew and Spencer were cleaning up after dinner when Spencer cut her hand on a knife. In an attempt to locate something to put on the cut, she found a prescription for Losartan... in her father's name.

Emily went to Alison's house, in an attempt to warn her about what the students she previously bullied might be planning. She suggested starting over somewhere else, when Alison asked about the tape from the hospital and if Emily had memorized it. Emily stated that she would memorize the lie, but it would be the last time she'd lie for Alison.

Even later at Chez Hastings, Aria visited Spencer to talk about her visit to Ezra and how she almost spent the night. As the two were talking, Mr. Hastings came in and informed the girls that Veronica snapped at the police earlier, and would be spending some time at a spa for a few days. Given Spencer's recent discovery, she's worried about her mother.

Ali D. Memorial Site Pretty Little Liars 5x4
c/o PLL Wiki

The episode closed with Alison surfing the memorial site again. The camera scrolled through a few more negative comments before settling on a positive comment.

My Thoughts

There is so much going on in Rosewood right now, it's very difficult to keep track of all of it!

Aria, Aria, Aria... back over at 3B turning to Ezra in time of crisis. I want to say that's not a smart idea, but I don't think her friends are really helping her cope all that much right now. I mean, sure, Emily went through it with Nate, and Aria knows that she did what she had to do... but that doesn't change how she feels about it. Aria is a big carebear, so this is a huge deal for her, as it should be for everyone. The way Aria is dealing with killing Shana seems a lot more realistic than what we've seen before on the show. Regardless of what Shana did or didn't do... she had a life, and that life mattered. It's nice to see PLL finally address this. 

Emily befriended Sydney really fast, almost too fast considering what she went through with Nate. That being said, I really enjoy this story arc, because swimming was everything to Emily, and it's nice to see her actually remembering that she used to do it, and she did it really well!

Poor Hanna. She's really searching for herself, and I think she will likely descend a lot further before she finds her way again. I've really enjoyed seeing Hanna get more into solving the mystery, and just the progress her character has made. It's nice to see her dealing with some deeper stuff, and I can't wait to see where Hanna goes next, and how a reunion with Caleb might be possible. Oh, and I love the black extensions. :)

Spencer is pretty much ready to lock her Dad up for killing Mrs. DiLaurentis. She's never been shy about pointing fingers, so why start now? Although, I'm not sure that her Dad is the one who actually did it...

Mona and her army are quite disconcerting, honestly. I was giving Paige a through-the-television mental high-five when she asked Mona when she realized that she'd become the monster. But seriously... I'm wondering where PLL is going with Mona. Bullying isn't cool. It wasn't cool when Alison did it, but to turn around and make it seem like it's okay for Mona to do it because it was done to her also isn't right. It's just never okay. I feel like sometimes the show glamourizes the villainy of Mona, while Alison is treated like she's such a monster. Knowing ABC Family, I'm sure they're going somewhere with all this... I just hope that it's the right and responsible direction.

And then there's Alison... obviously that cut came from the time that she spent "away." Did she really think the Dr. wouldn't notice it? She seemed rather unprepared to explain that away. Did it happen so long ago she forgot about it? Is it an identifying mark? I mean... she's not supposed to have a twin on the show, but they're certainly making it out to seem like that could be true! Is it possible it was sustained on the Halloween Train, or another one of the confrontations A had with the Liars?

Mrs. Hastings claimed that Jessica was going to go to the police with her Spencer-spicions. Peter countered, claiming he would reveal their affair to Mr. DiLaurentis, ending Kenneth and Jessica's marriage. The marriage ended anyway, per Mrs. D. back in 4x10, but Peter only asked if their agreement was still on after Alison was discovered to be alive in 4x24. I think Veronica is telling the truth to Spencer, albeit the truth as she knows it. I think Peter lied to her. Why he lied to her, I'm not sure. Maybe the affair was ongoing? Maybe there was more than one "lovechild?"

Next week is the 100th episode of Pretty Little Liars, entitled "Miss Me x 100." Alison returns to Rosewood High, Mona and Alison are finally in the same room together, and things are guaranteed to be explosive, according to the producers.

-S

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