PLL: "Game on Charles" (6x1)

by - 6/09/2015

Can I just start by saying that we came back with a really big bang? I mean, I don't think I've ever been so glued to an episode in such a long time. There was a lot of action, and even if we didn't get a ton of answers or anything just yet... It was an incredibly compelling hour of television!

Charles wasn't happy that the girls tried to escape, so he let them sit outside for a little while. As someone who lives in PA, let me tell you that during Spring, it can be really warm during the day, and pretty cold at night. Poor things.

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But eventually, the door opened and the Liars had no choice but to go back inside. Charles came up behind them and gassed them, taking Mona to "solitary."

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Later, the girls woke up in a makeshift morgue, which Spencer claimed was staged for their parents. Mona came, dressed again as Alison. Briefly, she stood up to Charles, but then rescinded when she was reminded by the chimes of impending punishment. The girls went to their rooms for their "surprises" and we heard screams from behind the closed doors.

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Three weeks later, Alison had been cleared of Mona's murder and was holding a press conference. She slipped in a message for Charles, hoping that she could help find the girls by acting as bait. Caleb, Ezra, and Toby helped Alison to get away from her police surveillance and went to meet A by the kissing rock. A car was waiting for her, and the GPS was programmed to head straight to the dollhouse. Caleb and Ezra followed at a distance via a tracker in Ali's boots.

When Alison was just outside of Tyler State Park, her car ran out of gas. The GPS voice told her to look in her trunk for further instructions. Inside was a card, with a complete change of clothes. It was the very same outfit she wore the night she disappeared.

Ezra and Caleb caught up with Ali's car, but she had already changed and left. Caleb noticed her boots pointing towards the woods and quickly followed after her.

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Back in the Dollhouse, the girls reconvened for what looked to be the first time since they had gone into their rooms wearing only sheets. None of them wanted to talk about what had happened, and they were dressed just like they were on the night of Alison's disappearance.

The girls were notified of Alison's impending arrival and began setting up her bedroom. Aria looked in the closet to find a message from Mona, "He's going to kill me." Spencer told the girls that Charles is a DiLaurentis, and made plans to somehow escape that evening. When the power goes out, Spencer leads the girls to Charles' vault room and destroys the film she watched in Welcome to the Dollhouse. With an edge of the film on fire, she and the others begin burning things in the vault room.

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As Charles watched the Liars destroy his treasures, Alison showed up on some of the outside cameras. Charles was very conflicted between saving the items in the vault room and going out to grab Alison. Luckily, Ezra and Caleb caught up with Alison before Charles could see, and Alison smelled smoke.

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Inside the Dollhouse, the Liars continued to burn items in the room, when they began to realize there was no way out. Charles pulled the fire alarm, the sprinklers came on, and the door to the vault finally opened. The girls rush to free Mona and find a way out of the Dollhouse.

Caleb, Ezra, and Alison found the vent where the smoke was coming from and found a door a few yards behind it. Ezra instructed Alison to call 911, and with a little force, Caleb and Ezra were able to get the door open. The Liars just happened to be on the other side trying to do the exact same thing.

While the girls reunited with their love interests, police swarmed the Dollhouse. Inside, they found another blonde girl who claimed that her name was Sara Harvey.

During the entire episode, there were snippets with the police that named Andrew Campbell as a person of interest in the kidnapping. He had apparently been missing for the same amount of time as the girls. The police had found a journal and some other evidence that incriminated him.

Thoughts, Theories, and Random Facts

There's been a lot of talk about what the girls went through during the time that they were in the rooms, the screams, etc. With the snippets of the promo for tonight's episode, I thought it looked like they were hooked up to some sort of wires, and I wondered if Charles had been giving them electric shocks. Then a tumblr user posted about the Milgram Experiment, and it made a lot of sense. Whether or not Charles did shock them, I have no idea. If he was doing a true Milgram Experiment, he wouldn't have. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't have been traumatizing for the Liars.

But here's what I think is behind that. I'm thinking that it's a way to get the truth out of the girls about how much they know about what happened the night Alison went missing. There's a lot of theories out there that revolve around the Liars repressing something horrible they did that night. Maybe this experiment was a way of getting the girls to tell the truth?

The only problem with that, and the biggest problem I have with the Liars Repression Theory, is that it would feel so incredibly retconned. We know that we've never gotten the whole picture of that night, but we've always been led to believe that's because the Liars fell asleep/were drugged. I think to learn that they were complicit in a crime that night, but repressed it or don't remember they did it... Yeah, I really don't like retconned story lines, and I have more faith in the writers than that.

So who knows what Charles is really up to. We know that he was after them for a reason, but maybe he was wrong? Maybe he found out that they really didn't do anything that night. Maybe it all goes back to the Jenna Thing. That's honestly the only thing I can think of that the Liars and Alison did together that was really horrible that we know about.

And then there were those deleted scenes from Welcome to the Dollhouse that just hit the interwebs in the past couple of days. Photo albums with pictures of Jason missing, Mrs. D. being shady in a flashback. It makes it seem like they're really setting the stage for Jason to have the twin. And I'm okay with that... I'm intrigued by the idea of that story line.

There's also the fact that we've been told that all of this ties back to Radley, and it really got me thinking. What if Charles DiLaurentis is a side to Jason Hastings that we really don't know about? Maybe Jason doesn't even know about it? And I also kind of like the fact that they can still go two different ways with Jason having a twin. Charles could either be identical and played by Drew Van Acker, or fraternal and played by someone else. Like Ian Harding (Ezra) or Julian Morris (Wren). Then there's also the idea that it could be someone that we've previously thought to be dead, like Ian, Wilden, or Garrett! So many possibilities...

This Week's ChArles

1. Jason's identical twin played by Drew Van Acker
2. Jason's fraternal twin played by Julian Morrise (Wren)
3. Jason's fraternal twin played by Bryce Johnson (Wilden)
4. Jason's fraternal twin played by Ryan Merriman (Ian)

I kind of like the idea of bringing Wilden back. He was a really interesting character that we never really got to see the other side of. And Ryan Merriman is on there because his "death" was definitely suspicious. I guess what I really don't want is for Charles to be some random person that only had a couple of scenes in one or two episodes, like Harold Crane, Johnny, Riley, Holden, Jake, or any of those guys.

I fluctuate when it comes to how I want the reveAl to go. Part of me wants to be surprised, but if I'm surprised, I want it to make total sense. Part of me want that OMG I knew it moment, but I don't want it to be exactly the same as any of the other reveAls. Mainly I really want it to be a decently familiar character who's been on the show regularly enough for it to make sense. And I can't even stress how badly I want need Answers! But I think the writers know that, and like I said, I do have faith in them!


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