Saturday, February 14, 2015

PLL: "Out, Damned Spot" (5x19)

Lots of Hard Luck stories last week, and honestly, they pretty much bled over into this week. We've officially hit that cruising point in the back half of the 5th season. A little bit of action, a little bit of exposition, and a little bit of romance mix together to create a nice slow burn until we get amped up for the finale...

Blood Drive, PLL Out Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

This episode opened with the Liars at a school blood drive, headed by Ashley Marin. Spencer, Aria, and Hanna all gave blood, but Emily wasn't allowed since she went to Haiti. The girls argued over Emily being allowed to have a cookie, then a brownie, when Mike clumsily knocked into some equipment. He apologized to the workers, slipped something in his pocket, and left in a hurry, but not before the girls noticed that the freezer door housing the blood was ajar.

Aria's not having Mike as A, PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

In the hall, the girls talked and wondered if Mike was stealing their blood to give to A. Aria refused to believe that her brother could be helping Alison, and stormed off to math class. While taking her test, she froze. Unable to concentrate, she copied Andrew's answers. In the hallway after class, Andrew confronted her, and she agreed to let him tutor her to get her grades up.

Meanwhile, Hanna asked Spencer why she was being turned down for financial aid, and Spencer looked through her paperwork to find out that Hanna's dad made too much money for her to qualify.

Talia and Emily bike ride PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

Emily and Talia went for a bike ride into the woods. Talia took Emily to the spot where she had her first kiss in 4th grade. The two talk about first kisses and secrets, and Emily kissed Talia, telling her it's her do-over.

Hanna arrived home after the blood drive to find her mother still waiting by the phone for Pastor Ted to call. Turns out, she told him what had happened with Jason, but told him that she loved him and wanted to marry him. Saddened by her mother's news, Hanna decided not to ask Ashley about Financial Aid, instead offering to make dinner for her.

Aria answers Mike's phone PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

Aria was talking to Spencer, once again stubbornly refusing Mike's involvement with Alison. She reminded Spencer of how it felt when everyone thought Melissa was A. After the two hung up, Aria heard a buzz and found her brother's phone with a call coming through from an unknown number. She answered it only to hear a collect call being placed from Chester County Correctional Facility from Hank Mahoney. The caller hung up as soon as they heard Aria's voice.

Over at the Hastings Estate, Spencer was microwaving a frozen dinner. Johnny walked in and asked for her help on an art project, and she chided him for raiding their fridge. He promised that if Spencer helped her, in exchange, he would treat her to a real dinner.

Spencer and Johnny go to Hollis College in the middle of the night to paint the mural. Spencer mostly holds the ladder and hands Johnny paints, but added a little spray of color when Johnny asked her to.

Aria confronted Mike about Hank Mahoney. Mike doesn't answer her questions and tells Aria that what's going on with him is none of her business. Aria continued to ask why Mike would let Alison manipulate him, spilling to him what Leslie to Hanna about him arguing with Mona the night before she died. Mike slammed the door in Aria's face.

Hanna & Ashley Marin PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Over at Hanna's house, Ashley told Hanna that her father wouldn't be able to make it to their lunch, and Hanna explained why she had set it up. Ashley warned Hanna about tlaking to her father about anything financial, including that she didn't want him to know that she was currently unemployed. She told Hanna that she would come up with a solution to the problem.

Downtown at The Brew, Ezra seemed delighted that Talia and Emily were finally getting along. Emily accidentally let it slip that Aria was accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design. Emily was surprised that Aria wouldn't have mentioned it, and noticed the stack of payroll in front of Ezra. She saw that Talia's last name was different than what she had told her, and Ezra told her that Talia was married.

Hank chats with Mike PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

In his room, Mike messaged Hank Mahoney claiming that, "She told me what to bring. I'll have it tomorrow. What time?" Hank Mahoney responded that he would be in touch.

Hollis Vandalism PLL Out Damned, Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

The next day, Spencer woke up to the news of vandalism at Hollis College and saw Johnny's mural on the front page of the newspaper. Furious that she could be implicated in another crime and possibly arrested, she stormed over to the barn and confronted him. He didn't think it was that big of a deal, and Spencer told him how she had been arrested for murder and was still under close scrutiny of Rosewood PD. He tried to apologize, but a tearful Spencer angrily stomped back to her house.

Aria and Andrew sat down for their tutoring session, but Hanna interrupted her with a few texts, asking her about what Mike was doing.

At work, Talia was acting normally, making Emily angry. She stormed out of The Brew, only to catch Mike making a transaction at an ATM. He left before the receipt printed, and Emily snatched it without being seen. He had taken $400 out of an account with over $18,000 in it.

Aria & Andrew PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Back at the Montgomery house, Aria and Andrew were still studying. Aria commented on all of Andrew's extra-curricular activites, amazed that he was so involved and organized, but Andrew called his life "planned." He eluded that Aria's life seemed more exciting, but Aria assured him that he was healthy and functional. The two were interrupted when Emily knocked on the door and showed Aria the receipt. As Aria told Emily about the phone call from prison the night prior, Aria and Emily hear Mike leave, taking the car. They ask Andrew to borrow his car, but neither of them can drive stick.

Hanna talks to Papa Marin PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Ignoring her father's cancellation of their dinner date, Hanna went to his office to meet him. She tells him that she was accepted to college, and that the financial aid situation was a problem since he made so much money. He admitted that he was paying for Kate to attend Dartmouth, and couldn't afford both schools. Hanna couldn't believe the news, and Tom tried to claim that Hanna was never interested in college. Hanna told him that they last time they had talked about college, she was 12, and angrily stormed out of his office, leaving her phone behind.

Remembering something Melissa said about Oxford, Spencer sent an e-mail to Melissa asking if Wren still had a contact there.

Emily and Aria are riding in Andrew's car, pursuing Mike. Emily claimed that Mike had a drug problem, and that's why they were following him.

Ezra talks to Hanna PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Downtown at the Brew, Hanna was looking for Emily, but only found Ezra. Noticing that she was upset, he offered to lend a listening ear. Hanna told him about what had happened with her father. Ezra told her about being cut off by his parents and working all sorts of odd jobs to pay his way through school. He sweetly told Hanna that he knew it probably didn't mean much coming from him, but as her teacher, he always knew she had it in her.

Hank Mahoney = Cyrus Petrillo PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

Emily and Aria arrived at the diner, and told Andrew he didn't need to wait for them. They'd get a ride home with Spencer when she came. The girls went inside and watched Mike meet with Cyrus Petrillo, Alison's alledged kidnapper. Cyrus introduced himself as Hank, and Mike handed him an envelope.

Later, Spencer arrived to find Emily and Aria outside of the Diner, after almost being spotted by Mike and Hank/Cyrus. Unable to ignore the clues anymore, Aria told the girls that she didn't care if Mike was helping Alison, she wanted to make sure he was safe. Spencer told her that they could follow Cyrus when he left the diner, and the girls agreed.

Cyrus warns Spencer, Aria, and Emily PLL 5x19
c/o PLL Wiki

Aria, Emily, and Spencer continued to talk outside of the diner, and received a text from A, thanking the girls for donating to A's get into jail fund. When the girls look up at the diner window, Cyrus and Mike were gone. Mike got in his car and left, while Cyrus hopped on a bike and drove menacingly toward the girls. He stops, telling the girls that he likes to know who's following him. He claimed that he had something that belonged to the girls, and he was willing to make a trade if they were. Andrew shows up behind Cyrus with his baseball bat and scared Cyrus away before they could talk further.

Back at Chez Hastings, the girls have made it home safely, and Spencer found Johnny putting food into the freezer. She apologized to him for eating all his food. The two talked about boundaries, and how Spencer still had to get into college because it was her only way out of Rosewood. Johnny claimed he understood and that he had boundaries too, or at least he was trying to. He smiled devilishly at Spencer and left for the barn.

Emily and Talia talk, PLL Out Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Over at Camp Fields, Talia showed up to talk to Emily. She explained that she was indeed married, but it had turned into him being her best friend, and he knew that she was attracted to women. She apologized to Emily, and Emily also apologized to Talia. She aknowledged the fact that their relationship was new, and there were some things she wasn't ready to share with Talia yet, either. 

Mike watches Spencer PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

Spencer, Hanna, and Aria are upstairs in her bedroom, covering up with blankets and chatting about the day's events. Spencer closed the window, while Hanna talked about all the horrible things A could do with their blood. Spencer went downstairs to get another blanket for Hanna, but didn't notice Mike peering in through the backdoor.

A puts Hanna's blood on Mona's clothes PLL Out, Damned Spot
c/o PLL Wiki

The episode ended with Black Gloves/A/Black Hoodie and the vials of Hanna, Spencer, and Aria's blood. They take a few drops of Hanna's blood and add some to Mona's bloody clothes that were previously stored in the storage unit.

My Thoughts

The Blood Drive? NO! I mean, seriously? If I had someone like A trying to make my life a living hell, I would never willingly donate blood to any sort of drive.

Also, I've seen a lot of people ask about Emily not being able to donate, and that is a thing. My sister was studying abroad in London when that whole mad cow disease scare happened, and she wasn't able to donate blood for 10 years. Also, if you've recently gotten a tattoo, you're unable to donate for a year... so, yeah. Just throwing that out there.

There's being a whole lot of emphasis being put on the fact that Mike could be working for A, but I just don't see it. I guess that's all based on the fact that the girls are still thinking that Alison killed Mona, and that Alison is A, which I don't really believe to be true. If Alison really didn't do it, who else would she reach out to than Mona's boyfriend? I mean... they've got a shared interest, and that can bring together the most unlikely of allies.

The Cyrus Petrillo connection is a little shady though. According to Ali, she was waiting to meet with Cyrus when Mona's murder happened, so she doesn't have an alibi. At least, that's what she told Hanna. Was he caught up in an A trap like Alison? Does he owe Alison because of being set up and ending up in jail? Or is there something more sinister at work here? I'm still not ruling out the Alison-has-a-twin theory. Cyrus could be similar to Nick from the books.

That scene with Mike looking through Spencer's backdoor was a little creepy. There's so many possibilities there. He could really be spying on them, he could be working with a shady Johnny in the barn, or he could've just been checking to make sure Aria was safe. I don't see him as A material. It's very possible that A could be blackmailing him, but it's hard to say. If he is being blackmailed, I think he's trying to double agent it on his own, and that might be a mistake. We'll see.

Right at the end when Spencer closes her window... Can we talk about how it's March-ish in Rosewood, PENNSYLVANIA. It is not warm here. We do not open our windows in March. If you're lucky, you might have a day that's near 50, but it's raining, and damp, and not warm. I mean, it was 8 degrees overnight last night, but the producers forget about the PA setting alot it seems, especially when it comes to weather!

The scene with the blood at the end was interesting. Hanna called it, and it happened to be Hanna's blood that A began painting Mona's already bloody shirt with. I'm not sure if we're going to make it to the end of the season without one or more of the liars being arrested and joining Alison in jail.

But that does bring us back to... why? What in the world could A's motive really be? It seems like they're trying to take away any future that Alison and the girls might have, but it's such a weird back and forth. Sometimes A wants to frame them, other times A tries to kill them.

A lot of people are saying that they think there's more to the night Alison disappeared than what we've been shown. The theories usually involve the Liars being involved in the death of Bethany, in one way or another. The main problem I have with this, is it would be a HUGE retcon. If the writers did this, I could see a lot of fans being upset.

Then there's all those interviews with the cast and producers, and honestly... I'm not sure that I believe any of them. They're not going to say anything definitive, and they're definitely not going to tell the truth. So... yeah. I'm not so sure that we can believe everything they say.

I've got a lot of different working theories, but they're all incomplete and feature different people as A. I haven't had much time to really go over past episodes, but it is always interesting going back and watching. There are definitely little nuances there that you just don't notice the first time around, because you didn't realize the character's true intentions.

That being said... here are my picks for Uber A as of watching Out, Damned Spot...

1. Toby - I know, he wasn't even in the episode, and that's part of the point. He's really one of the only characters to be away enough, but there enough that being A would be plausible. I think we forget that he lost a year of his life in jail, thanks to taking the blame for The Jenna Thing.

2. Alison's Twin - I come back to this a lot, I know. If it's not true, I think the writers have been creating the storyling with the potential for this throughout the show. Perpetual Red Herring, if you will.

3. Jenna - I always come back to her too, and it's mainly because of the fact that I feel like she has the biggest reason to hate Alison and the Liars. In the books, she was killed off because she was one of the very few characters who knew that Alison had a twin sister. 

4. Ezra - He was so quickly redeemed, and how in the world did he get all that money to buy The Brew? Is it possible that he was the recipient of Jason's $50,000 reward?

5. CeCe Drake's twin - This is another one that I come back to, and it's based on that flashback from Jessica DiLaurentis. CeCe Drake tried to check in, claiming to be Alison DiLaurentis. So, it's possible that Bethany Young thought CeCe was Alison. There's a whole long rambling I did about this here, where I come up with a theory about CeCe's twin, Bethany, and Alison. Now that I think about it, I probably need to revisit that and update it!

So... yeah. That's where I'm at right now, but my theories change at a moments notice, depending on the clues. Next up... Pretty Isn't the Point... which leads me to wonder, what is? As always, we've just gotta wait and see.

-S

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