Pretty Little Liars "Hot Water" Review: Bringing a Gun to a Car Fight

Pretty Little Liars S03E20: "Hot Water"

Rosewood is awash with patrons who speak only in awkward delivery of painful scene-enders, but none of them are as torturous as whenever Detective Creeperson opens his mouth. Wilden contains a near infinite mixture of soapy acting, hostility toward the youth, and an innate quality of perversion and weirdness that I almost feel sorry for the actor. I hope for his sake he doesn't exude what he does as Wilden in real life. It must be a nightmare for him to get anything done, what with all the local area women calling the police to complain about a pervert in the area.

A reviewer can be torn upon seeing Wilden's presence in the show. Torn because if gives you a reason to come up with a bunch of great nicknames for Rosewood's most suspicious man but it also means you have to deal with his character as a serious part of the show and not just the shining example of how the local police force are dumber than the Carroll task force on The Following (and that, my friend, is a low bar).

I mean, how hard did you laugh when Wilden turned around and said, "Oh, and Hanna: See you around" with a straight face? I had to pause the thing.

The poorest man's Detective Lassiter looks to be here to stay, at least in threat, because Ashley hit him with her car. Wilden's escalation from sleazy creepshow to violent fiend was a quick one, wasn't it? Sure, he may sleep with a MILF to scrub a young girl's record clean or haunt the Liars like a poorly suited spectre but this episode forced the character to make the leap across the ravine between creepy and disturbing.

He hounded. He grabbed. He demanded his way with closed-ended threats. He reached for his last ultimatum of a gun and suddenly we're not dealing with the overcast of a police force that doesn't have the skillset to understand all the moving pieces of this mystery but an actual player in Ali's "death." Once Ashley hit him with the car, I was simultaneously surprised the show actually saw this through and disappointed by the fact that, with Wilden possibly still alive, I'm going to have to take him seriously as a character. And, worse, Ashley: Because you didn't kill him, you just made him mad.

Anger seemed to be contagious in Rosewood this week as the depressing plague that is Mother Fitz descended on the town in order to continue her campaign of emotional ruin and manipulation in the lives of her sons and inspire a lot of anger from Ezra. Yes, that means Ezra is back and just in time to let Aria know that being faced with grown-up problems like having a child did nothing to make him consider that his relationship with a high-school girl might be a raging case of Peter Pan syndrome. They're still together, you guys! What a relief! Good thing that age-appropriate Fitz is back at the far away school!

Ezria is a troublesome relationship for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of how it's described even by the characters. The most damning to me is Aria considering how her romance went from "high school to minivan overnight." That she considers dating a man in his mid-20s while she still has homeroom is a little disconcerting. And, yes, I always seem to make time for some Ezra-bashing, but only because the show always seems to make some time to try to convince me that this relationship is a good thing and not a total set-up for disaster. When it comes out that Ezra is the Queen of Hearts, don't say I didn't warn you.

But it's mostly that the show constantly tries to sell me on something that's supposed to be a love story despite the fact that Ezra would be a monster for doing this in any real-life situation. To me, his shady ethics about the amount of necessary separation between adolescent girls and all-grown-up men (which to him is zero) plus his connections to funding plus his convenient absences when bad stuff goes down leads me to believe that he should at least be seen as suspicious. Many disagree.

Speaking of grown-ass men hitting on young, vulnerable girls, Wren jumped on the "what professional ethics?" bandwagon by admitting his reason for visiting Spencer last week was, at least partially, to scam on her while she was in the throes of a break-up. While it's disturbing that Wren is "finally" getting some action from Spencer, no matter how chaste, what's most disturbing is the 180 on how Spencer has been developing over the past weeks.

She's seemingly emerged as a new force to be reckoned with as we've started to see the side of Spencer Hastings we'd always wanted to see from the bullied girls: someone who can play A's game. This week, though, we got a sad sack who has trouble getting herself out of bed or lifting her head from the desk when she actually makes it to school. Spencer spent the majority of the episode burdened by the same weight that we thought was fueling her fire.

Maybe I'm biased because I want Spencer to finally come to terms with a perceived destiny. The Liars, especially recently, have been using each episode's cold open to go over all the clues and threats and this week, when Spencer wasn't paying attention during the first meeting, Aria almost laughably called their conference a brain trust. While there's no doubt that even Emily has been able to pitch in some ideas and concerns about A lately, it's clear they need Spencer to make sense of all the scattered conclusions. They need Spencer to be on her game and I need her to not fritter away all the capital she's earned over the past few weeks. Just tell me the Wren kiss was a calculated move because she knew they were watching. It'll make me feel better.

While "Hot Water" left us hanging with Spencer's development, we're sliding more pieces into place for a fast-approaching finale. Cece ditching town (what about Bruce?), Melissa in the beach mix, and Wilden out there hunting Hanna should provide a pretty strong closing. Hopefully.


NOTES

– The poem on the chalkboard in Ella's classroom was the first line of "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats. There's so much bird imagery in this show between Wren, this poem, and all the birds Aria killed for her outfits in the first season.

– I don't mind the term "Red Coat" for the woman they believe is heading the A Team. But I dread the inevitable episode title "The Red CoAt is Coming."

– Microsoft's product placement on television lately is exhausting. I get that you want to put yourself in real-life situations to show us you can be a replacement for Apple or Google, but no one is using Bing Maps unless they're forced to. No one.

– Regarding the story Spencer told Wren before they kissed: Chekov's paperweight?

– Who knew Rosewood was such a hotbed for attractive girls who like attractive girls?

– I like it when Aria and Spencer reference Team Sparia. It's like the show recognizes all of your slash fiction.

– You know things are bad when Ashley switches from wine to brown liquor.

– Toby as the hoodie that locked Spencer in the shower has to be a red herring. Between Mona (who has a relationship with Wren) and Melissa (who's probably the crayest of cray), I feel like Toby being the culprit is at once too easy and completely against his character.


What'd you think of this episode?

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I love this show BUT I AM REALLY TIRED OF THE SAME AND THE SAME PLOTS OVER AND OVER AGAIN! A IS WATCHING, THEIR CLUELESS... UGH ITS BEEN I DOT KNOW HOW MANY SEASONS AND STILL THE SAME EVERY TUESDAY! I dont think ill be watching if this continues.. Sorry girls.... Love u but...
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Ezra thing is really disturbing, I do not think that it should be condone even on fictional stories like PPL and besides he is a character tumor to Aria. It is such a waste of airtime that some of the best characters are not given the proper sub-plot like Jena.

Ever noticed "A" is extra cruel to Spencer and Hannah well with Em I guess A is trying to murder her a couple of times but Aria, seriously? All her drama is that she hooks up with her teacher, kissed Jason then not kissing West and fighting Meredith, nothing that is A interesting, really. Just kill Ezra or make him be like Toby in the A-team because Ezra is the most miserable character on TV with no redeeming factor whatsoever.
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Please keep up the Ezra bashing. I made your reviews standard reading materials after watching an episode largely because of it. As a man in his late 20's, I find it rather disturbing. It just isn't right.Though I suppose if I was douche, I would happily support anything that convinces teen girls that relationships with adults is a good thing.

I do hope your wrong about Ezra being part of the A-Team. I've long been a supporter of A. Having Ezra on the team would ruin that.

Otherwise, I feel bad for Wilden. I mean he is almost certainly innocent considering how guilty he looks.
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I cackled when Ashley ran Wilden over, it was hilarious. I was actually surprised his body wasn't there when Ashley and Hannah went back, I should of known but I didn't.

Will A please kill Ezra and be done with it so Aria has an out? Their relationship is just infuriating. I don't care about them and I'm starting to dislike Aria because of it.
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I don't completely agree with Ezra being labeled this creep show because he's dating a 17 year old girl. He's suppose to be 24 not 30. I wouldn't really call him a grown man (manboy?). Should he be dating a girl his age? Of course but it's not like a seven year age difference is unheard of. I'm almost 22 and I don't have my shit together so I don't expect him to. It's also not illegal since the age of consent is 16 in Pennsylvania.
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I'm 22 too and I can't say dating a 15 year old would be healthy. Ezria is disgusting and so so lame. I'm sorry but they are not a believable couple at all. The writers ship them so hard and act like it's this big love story, but the actors have 0 chemistry, Aria has so much growing up to and Ezra is really not in a place where he should be dating ANYONE. I've kind of accepted that this show is going to have this relationship and unfortunately, that's all we can do.
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Also, the age of the younger party matters. You're 21, dating a 28 isn't a terrible thing. You're at least somewhat an adult even if you don't have all your shit together. Arya is not. And Ezra most definitely is. He is financially independent and has a career. He is by every standard, a fully functioning adult. He should and does have little in common with someone who is still in high school. Yet, he finds it perfectly fine to have a sexual relationship with someone still in high school.

Honestly, the age difference doesn't matter after you get to a certain age. If Arya was 20 and Ezra was 45, I wouldn't find it inappropriate (him being her teacher would still make it wrong) because Arya would be an adult. She would have had a few years to function as an independent human instead of half adult/half child that can be legally screwed.
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It's not about age difference. Ezra was Aria's teacher when they started dating. That makes him the Creep.
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I have to say that I laughed my ass off when Ashley mowed Detective Creeperson down (nickname shoutout) however I was equally disappointed when we didn't see him splattered all over the road Tarantino style.
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I need Spencer to buck up and start causing some trouble for the A team. Also I laughed so hard when Paige decided she needed to Bing where the costume shop was, it's bad enough on TVD they don't need to bring the bing onto pll as well!

Pretty boring episode. Wilden is such a lame character, and Ashley's decision to run him over was stupid. Also that dash cam was huge, did neither Ashley nor Hanna notice it when they were walking past the cop car it was like a 32" sceen!

I'm so over Ezra as a love interest for Aria his storylines are boring and I don't care about his child and babymomma. I especially don't care about his mother.

I'm hoping the next few eps go full steam ahead cos I need some answers and progress to happen!

Also I really wanted Spencer's cool steamer...until she got locked inside and almost passed out =S (if that was product placement, it was a poor one)
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To me this episode was nothing more than a filler, making it terribly desapointing. I hated that Spencer lost her awesome spunk. I want to see her choke the truth out of people again!
It's very clear that probably Melissa is to blame (or maybe Aria, if you belive that theory) for Spencer's almost run in with death. It would be very houdini like for Toby to do all that without being seen by one of those two, but hey! anything goes in this show, right?
One thing that always crosses my mind in such ocassions is that the liars' parents are awful! Their daughters are in constant danger, having almost died in more than one ocassion, and they haven't even put up a little security camera in their living room. I mean, come on people! Rosewood is kind of twisted, why won't do something already?
Anyway, the Ezria/ Wesria story is kindda of boring and pointless. Aria should have more to do besides being someone's girlfriend.
Has Emily always been this naive? I liked that her character is becaming more and more self-assured and i was glad to see her took charge of things and see what Paige was up to but she has to stop with all the 'always look on the bright side of people'...
Hanna's story seems to be the most promising one and since it was all taped more blackmail is probally coming her way which is bad for the character but good for the story. Though I think her mom should stop listening to a 16-year-old(?) and get on with calling a lawyer a.s.a.p.
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so no one;s going to write about the lying game this year? bueller? bueller?
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Thank you for pointing out all of the absolutely frustratingly absurd things about this show. It makes me feel a little less alone.
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Is it me or Rosewood is starting to look like a giant magician hat again? It's two episodes in a row where someone injured vanish from the surface of the earth. I hope they don't start making episodes about disappeared trees again...

Now that the girls said out loud that they suspect Cece to be the girl in red, we can know for sure it won't be her. They are ALWAYS wrong.
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The women outside of the shower was melissa, seeing as we learned just minutes earlier of her involvement revenge on her sister for dating wren would be just her thing to do
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I think wren character is amazing, he is such a player, the body isn't even cold yet and he already swoops in for the kill, to hit on Spencer when she hasn't finished her mourning over toby, to hit on Hanna after two minutes she broke up with caleb I mean the man doesn't waste time, if Emily wasn't gay he would probably hit on her too, he was super extra nice to her that time she was hospitalized because of those steroids A put in her cream. And let's not forget he kissed Spencer while he was engaged to Melissa all this should probably make him a very sleazy character but and it's totally due to the actor that plays him he is incredibly lovable and quite charming that makes it just impossible to hate him, maybe it's the accent I don't know but I actually find myself rooting for this guy to not just end up as another rebound guy for the girls.

Also I really hope nothing bad will happen to Ashley. Now that she ran over wilden it's just another threat over her and Hannah heads that A is sooo going to use, like that time she stole from the bank. But on other news running over wilden , there has been no more deserving character to get run over more than this guy , honestly why didn't this happen sooner .what a creep.

Oh another thing Spencer house looks amazing first with the Jacuzzi than with the steam room, can I just live there and marry her wardrobe because that would be a dream.
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I think woman in red coat wasn't CC. Because....possible spoiler following,so stop reading here,if you don't wanna know....

I think it wasn't CC,because for one,she is smaller than woman in red coat and has some "meat" on thighs. I think it is Ali's twin sister,like some people already said based on from books.
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I'd like to point out 2 facts that were forgotten in this review:
1. a really RED piece of clothing is shown in Cece's luggage while she's packing
2. Aria conveniently comes to Spencer's rescue after A has left
If those aren't clues to point us in the right/wrong direction I'm totally missing the meaning of PLL!!!!
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1. I had to go back, and rewatch the episode, there was something that looked like the red coat in CeCe's luggage! May be they are just trying to trick us? :)
2. As for Aria, she said "thank god I got your text message" to Spencer, must have happened off screen ? I for one always thought that Aria was part of A, mainly because nothing truely bad ever happens to her. And there are settle clues in the show, I don't know if they have meaning or not.

That rhyme Mona came up at the hospital comes to mind. What was it? Something like "Miss Aria, you’re a killer, not Ezra’s wife" for the coded message MAYA KNEW <<<< Is it a hint as to Aria being part of this? I seen other people speculate.
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1. I saw the red item as well. I think she may be part of the A team, and her leaving gives her good reason to do stuff behind the scenes.
2. I used to speculate that Aria was part of A, but there have been too many things that this doesn't add up with - one most notably being that she was almost shoved out of a fast moving train while in a make-shift coffin. I believe it was Melissa that tried to overheat Spencer, she has a lot of anger towards Spencer from stealing a bunch of her boyfriends - I mean she -was- engaged to Wren at the beginning of the show, I think a lot of the finale will be building up to Melissa being a part of the A team, what with all the hints they've dropped along the way:
- Melissa taking the picture
- Melissa being seen by Byron on the night of Ali's murder
- Melissa in the video with the NAT club
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Thank you for pointing out the fact that Wren's only dating pool seems to come from the high school. Dude is attractive, educated, and employed, why can he not find someone over 18? This has always bugged me ha!
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"The poem on the chalkboard in Ella's classroom was the first line of "Ode to a Nightingale" by John Keats. There's so much bird imagery in this show between Wren, this poem, and all the birds Aria killed for her outfits in the first season."

So true:
"To Kill A Mockingbird" was the first book they read in class
The Black Swan costume
Hanna's bedroom wall is painted with feathers
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I think you misunderstood, Nick. Their meeting isn't a braintrust. Spencer IS the braintrust
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"Chekov's paperweight" - Exactly what I thought. You don't just mention a paperweight buried somewhere in the backyard of one of the liars without using using it as a potential murder weapon later on...
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"This week, though, we got a sad sack who has trouble getting herself out of bed or lifting her head from the desk when she actually makes it to school."

Apparently Spencer is experiencing the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss:
1) Denial and Isolation - crying on Toby's doorstep, begging him to tell her she's missing something; not telling the other girls what happened
2) Anger - pick a scene, any scene, there are sooo many
3) Bargaining - mentally made deals with the Universe, God, or a higher power to change things, which I'm guessing she made on the ride home from attacking Mona.
4) Depression - where she was throughout this episode
5) Acceptance - where she seems to be headed by FINALLY telling the girls about Toby
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"Wren jumped on the 'what professional ethics?' bandwagon by admitting his reason for visiting Spencer last week was, at least partially, to scam on her while she was in the throes of a break-up."

Are we really surprised? This is the same guy who kissed her when she literally still had tears in her eyes the first time she broke up with Toby.
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To be fair while every guy on the show is a creep in some form or another, every gal on the show is a mean girl at one point or another.
Jackie (Ezra's ex), Meredith (Aria's dad's ex), Ezra's mom, Hanna's step-sister, CeCe, Melissa, Mona, Jenna. Heck even the Little Liars were mean girls when Ali was alive. In some flashbacks we saw that. Emily even apologized to Mona for their past behavior (back when she didn't know Mona was A).
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Great review, Nick!

1. Things got very steamy for Spencer this episode. When will she show Wren her cupcakes?

2. Original Ezra is back. Such a disappointment. Sounds like Mini-Ezra is not going to get into Aria's pants any time soon.

3. Laura Leighton is divine. No one threatens Hannah (not even Detective Creeperson) when Ashley is on watch.

4. Melissa is still home. I have a feeling something stinky is going to hit the fan very soon.

5. What did Detective Creeperson say to CeCe that the poor girl is leaving town in a hurry?

6. I was so hoping to see Ashley and Hannah getting rid of Creeperson's body. Such a waste it didn't happen. Maybe next week?
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"I hope for his sake he doesn't exude what he does as Wilden in real life. It must be a nightmare for him to get anything done, what with all the local area women calling the police to complain about a pervert in the area."

"There's so much bird imagery in this show between Wren, this poem, and all the birds Aria killed for her outfits in the first season. "

Thank you for writing these, I still can't stop smiling. :) I enjoyed your review very much so. XD

As for the show, I'm getting sick and tired of Aria's constant obsession over Ezra. I hate what she said to Spencer -- "I know you don't want a friend right now, but that doesn't mean your friends don't need you". It's just came off extremely selfish and narcissistic. I would be okay if anyone else said it but Aria. I never really like Aria, but as of last night I just can't stand her.

I don't think I can handle A torturing Spencer anymore. She is already beaten down, depressed and broken. She has been my favorite character from the very beginning, I can't stand to watch her be in pain anymore! I believe she has completly lost her mind. If A continues, I'm afraid Spencer would end up locked up in Rosewood's sanitarium. :(
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I completely agree. That was a really insensitive line. She was basically saying "put your drama aside because I'VE got drama!"
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Spencer will end up in either prison or asylum. I see no other options for her.
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I completely agree. I honestly believe the series finale will be Spencer killing the red coat and then going to prison.
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In regards to Toby: How much of his character do we really know? I feel like the A reveal was a dry erase basically chalking up any character inconsistencies to "it was all an act"
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A reveal was an hoax, whatever the producers said A's true id hasn't been revealed YET!!!
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