The latest episode of Pretty Little Liars felt a little like a filler to me. Sure, we gained some insight into a few mysteries, but I don’t feel like any of the characters moved forward in a meaningful way. They need to alternative methods of weaving in the bad guys (Mona, Sydney, Jenna, Melissa) without just having them randomly pop into a scene and give a vague threat. I mean, Sydney comes out of the bathroom stall and doesn’t even pretend to wash her hands. Either she was spying on them, or Ali needs to get her scarf dry cleaned, ASAP. This whole spooky villain who doesn’t say much thing, It’s getting tired.
However, this episode wasn’t a total loss – we see that the Liars all have a growing suspicion of Alison, even the absurdly loyal Emily. We see the return of the Toby’s Mom Didn’t Kill Herself plot (is that a good thing?) and proof of a strong connection between her, Mrs. DiLaurentis and the deceased Bethany Young. We also get a wee bit closer Melissa’s secret – more on that one below. Let’s review some of the more interesting things I learned.
1. Pam Fields is a BOSS.
Despite having the living room windows of her home smashed in for the second time this year (she got a discount on the second set of replacements!) Pam Fields knows how keep a level head. When she sees the way Emily’s eyes follow Ali around the hallway of Rosewood High, like a sad and loyal puppy, she knows what’s up. It’s time to bring this dubious kidnapping victim over for pot roast and some mother-level surveillance. The purpose of having Ali over for dinner, which she’s quick to admit to Emily later that night, is to see if the two girls are more than friends. When Emily admits that there are feelings there, Pam doesn’t flinch. Looks like Pam’s come a long way in accepting her daughter’s sexuality, huh? But she also has a few words of caution to throw her daughter’s way. First, Pam’s friends at the police station aren’t buying the kidnapping story. “There are problems,” Pam says, which is the understatement of the century. Second, maybe Emily doesn’t have to devote her entire life to saving Alison…again. Emily’s just like, “Jeez, mom, back ooooff,” but seriously, that’s the first solid piece of parenting we’ve seen on PLL in months. Take it, Emily! Cling to it!
2. Drunk Hanna is way more talkative than Sober Hanna – and she’s also hilarious.
I am not thrilled with this new plot that seems to be emerging, the one where Hanna has a couple of beers and Now She Has A Problem. It seems a little too after-school-special to me, first of all, not to mention that we just had a random and unrealistic addiction plot with Spencer. Note to TV writers everywhere: two or three days of pills/alcohol does not an addict make. Sometimes kids are just stupid and they do stupid things. Yes, we need to remind teens that drinking isn’t the right way to cope with your problems, but sheesh. I don’t even think I could drink straight vodka at dinner without making a face.
But I digress. Drunk Hanna! Despite the stupidly inevitable intervention plot we have coming up, I am enjoying the way Hanna lets everything spill out when she drinks. For starters, she manages to give the perfect amount of snide sarcasm. When Alison tells Emily’s mom how “sometimes in the dark” she blamed herself for her (fake) kidnapping? Hanna’s face is priceless. “No, Alison, you’re the special one,” is probably the best delivery of sorry-not-sorry b*tchiness we’ve seen on this show. And okay, so she also lets some secrets spill to Sydney when she shouldn’t – like accidentally mentioning New York and saying “Shana” instead of “Jenna.” But it’s not like she’s the only one who naively trusts Sydney. At least Drunk Hanna makes things happen – we can’t forget her loyalty to Caleb, can we? When Ali tries to convince Hanna to drop him, Hanna stands her wobbly ground. “Caleb is not a mistake. He’s the most un-mistake thing in my life,”she snaps. Plus: that kiss! #HalebForever
3. Then there was this exchange.
Emily: “Since when does your mom drink beer?”
Hanna: “She washes her hair with it.”
I was like, “WHAT? Drunk Hanna, you’re even drunker than I thought!” and “Emily, you accepted that lame answer?! You’re supposed to be the level-headed one!” But then I found out that this is actually a thing! Apparently, since beer is made from hops, it contains proteins that can repair damaged hair and provide life to limp hair. Also, sugars in the beer are believed to make hair shiny by tightening the hair cuticles. Who knew? Okay, so this isn’t necessarily important to the plot, but I’ll always take a free beauty tip. Thanks, Hanna!
4. Melissa’s definitely hiding something terrible – but whatever she did, she did it for love.
Spencer has a bizarre bonding moment with Ezra while helping him move all of his weirdo stalker files to a friend’s shed. “I want to use the creepy spy equipment you used on me and my friends. Can I borrow it? I want to spy on my family!” And Ezra is like, “Sure, spying is super rad!” and…okay, maybe it didn’t go exactly like that, but he and Spencer are both way too comfortable with this whole thing. The point is, though, that Melissa has temporarily moved back into the Hastings’ barn and Spencer sets up a camera network to spy on her. Creepy, yes, but probably also smart, considering Melissa is shady as hell.
Later, Spencer and Melissa have a fight – what else is new? – about their parents’ divorce and Spencer gives us all a moment of refreshing honesty. This isn’t about mom and dad being in love, she explains. It’s about Alison and her mom and that girl who was murdered and buried in her yard. Well, yes. “But it’s also about love,” Melissa says tearfully. Whatever happened, she says vaguely, it was for love. Then she leaves the room without saying anything else, because of course she does. So…what does that mean? My new theory: Melissa killed Bethany by mistake (thinking it was Alison) because of Ian.
5. Melted cheese is the best booze blocker. Just kidding, I already knew that one.
5. Poor Eddie Lamb might be Deaddie Lamb. (Yeah, I went there)
Aria spends the majority of this episode pretending to volunteer at Radley. She quickly finds a lead in “Big Rhonda,” a borderline racist character that I will not get into right now. But Rhonda was Bethany’s old roommate and just happens to have a notebook full of her drawings. These drawings include, but are not limited to: Jessica DiLaurentis covered in the word “liar,” Jessica DiLauentis with devil horns, a variety of horrible monsters, a picture of Toby’s mom falling to her death, a pony. One of those probably doesn’t matter.
Aria finally gets her hands on the notebook, but not before rousing the suspicion of Eddie Lamb. After his shift, he calls Ezra to set up a meeting, but he never shows. What happened to him? Did someone (A?) get to him first? Or is Eddie the person Alison snuck out of her house to meet that night?
Hopefully, this week will bring us some more answers. And more Drunk Hanna.