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Pretty Little Liars: Little White Lies

Pretty Little Liars S03E03: "Kingdom of the Blind"

One of the ironies of Pretty Little Liars—and it's been this way from the beginning—is that the only characters we can really trust are the titular girls. Sure, they lie all the time, but they lie to protect themselves, mostly. And as the series has progressed, we've come to accept them as the only characters we can truly count on. If there’s anything "Kingdom of the Blind" reminded us of, it’s that no one else can be trusted.

That’s not exactly new information, but one of the things that fascinated me about the lies everyone else is telling is that they mostly were lies for the right reasons. That is, this isn’t “A” trying to screw with the girls or make their lives more difficult—these are people lying because they also want to protect themselves, or because they want to protect someone they care about.

I mean, that’s assuming we believe they’re being honest about their motivations. But one thing at a time.

First, we have Ella, who cheated on Emily’s behalf. Kind of a big deal for a teacher, especially one who prides herself on doing the right thing—look how strongly she reacted to the idea of a teacher sleeping with a student. (Which, admittedly, is a far more heinous offense.) But this storyline did make me rethink the character of Ella: Is her role as Aria’s mom a conflict with her role as teacher? She wants to protect her daughter, and she knows on some level that there are larger, malevolent forces at play. Why wouldn’t she want to make an exception for one of Aria’s best friends?

The problem is that it sets a troubling precedent: If Ella is willing to cheat on behalf of Emily, why wouldn’t she do the same for Aria or another member of our core four? More disconcerting for Em, however, is what this says about people’s opinion of her. Everyone else sees her as weak, so they’re coddling her accordingly, but she’s more angry than scared. If you treat someone as fragile, they start to feel that way. So while Ella’s lie—and Ezra’s follow-up lie—came with the best intentions. They undermined Emily’s independence and her desire to move forward from the tragedy of Maya’s death.

In a similar mama-bear-protecting-the-young vein, we also saw Mrs. Hastings lie on behalf of Melissa. It’s still not clear exactly what she’s covering up, or if she even knows the whole story, but Veronica’s version of events was designed to help Melissa maintain her miscarriage story. In her mind, Melissa has been a victim in all this; she lost her husband, her baby, and Garrett, the one man she trusted. But as viewers, we have our doubts about Melissa’s complicity in Ali’s murder and the larger “A” conspiracy. While Veronica thinks she’s just helping her daughter in need, she could be obfuscating an already cloudy mystery.

Then there are those who are lying to protect themselves. The girls confronted Jenna about her fake blindness, and her response was actually pretty rational: Someone wants her dead, and pretending she’s blind makes her look like a more vulnerable target and thus easier to underestimate. It’s not quite as noble as lying to protect someone else, but you can’t exactly fault Jenna for her choice. If someone tried to burn down my house with me in it, I’d probably do anything in my power to, you know, keep that from happening.

Finally, we have Mona, the original “A.” Now more than ever, it looks as though she’s faking her catatonic state. There are plenty of interpretations here, all of which only raise more questions. I was puzzled by Lucas’s cryptic, “It’s better for a lot of people if Mona stays crazy.” We see Mona as the villain now, so it’s easy to assume she’s lying to manipulate the girls—but how do we know there’s not more to it than that? Mona herself is likely still facing manipulation from whomever put her up to this in the first place. And if she has had a change of heart, maybe she’s actually faking crazy to keep her former friends alive. Just a thought.

Everything is trickier this season, because the stakes feel higher. I’m still shuddering at that last shot of Ali’s bagged corpse—it would appear that the new “A” wants to continue leaving the girls party favors from their dead friend’s body. As frustrating as it is to sort through all the lies, we’re getting a sense that many of these characters really are just trying to do what’s best. Unfortunately, that keeps everyone else—and the audience even farther away from the truth.

QUESTIONS:

1. When did Melissa lose her baby, and why is she lying about it?

2. Will Ella and Ezra bond over their shared interest in Emily?

3. Is Mona faking crazy to protect the new “A,” or for reasons of her own?

Comments (15)
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Maybe Melissa actually had the baby and gave it up. Why else lie about a miscarriage?
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Okay, am I the only one that thinks that Jenna is lying? I mean she met with someone before the dance in the season 2 finale. I don't think that she is telling the girls the truth.
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Mona is probably faking it, bettter than going to prison. Plus she gets to see her bff/girl crush Hanna.
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1. either the baby is alive or she never was pregnant

2. it'd be nice if they did

3. mona scares me!
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1. Have we considered the possibility that Melissa didn't lose her baby? She would have been due to have the baby around that time yeh =S. Also I don't trust Melissa a lot, I know that she's been through heaps but she has far too dark a past to be innocent. Also now that Garrett is being represented by Spencer's mum, should't Spencer go ask Garrett some more questions and just pretend that she got her mum to defend him?



2. I do see a bond forming between Ella and Ezra.



3. Mona is faking crazy so that people don't suspect that she is lucid and actually planning her escape. I'm not loving the all the items she has been collecting, I sense a much more genius plan is forming so that she can rejoin 'the a team' and strike even more fear in the girls.



4. I'm adding my own question about Jenna and whether she is a victim in all of this or part of the A team, because honestly she's the one that I find the most guilty. I still think she set Garrett up, and that she was way more involved in what happened to Emily that night. Don't trust that B. at all. However she does have really pretty green eyes haha must be nice to not have to wear sunglasses all the time now.
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1. If Melissa was pregnant, the baby was lost before the masquerade. Someone got a really good screengrab that shows Torrey's face behind the black swan costume. I'm sure it can be googled.
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this season is being badass, I loved the following of Jenna and Spencer talking on the phone scene, great stuff



1. I don't think melissa was pregnant at all then, and I know it has to do with garret

2. I hope so, I like Ezra and Aria and when Ezra and Ella were talking I loved that part.

3. I don't know but I really want Mona to be good and sort of a victim, I really liked her character
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1. I think Melissa lost the baby when her and spencer were in the car accident in season one and she lied about it because she was in denial.



2. I don't think they will bond. Ella still feels uneasy about him dating her daughter.



3. I think Mona is faking crazy to protect herself.
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1) I say Melissa was really pregnant and lost it when Ian died from all the stress.

2) I hope they get close but just as friends.

3) Of course she faking and probably both, the two don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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1. I dont think she lost the baby, i think the baby is alive.

2. I think it will be the start of them becoming friends again.

3. I dont know
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1. I am betting she was never pregnant and even her mother doesn't know that (I theorize she thinks she lost it around when Ian was killed and by the way who did that and was hiding it)



2. I think they will bond over it, but I worry how far they might take that bonding. What is the prevailing theory on how old Ezra is? We think 24 maybe?



3. I think there is a little bit of truth to her craziness, but it is more along the lines of just being a psychopath and she could have faked the more catatonic stuff just to get to stay at the mental hospital where she can have visitors. I think she likely became afraid of the more physical team member who is harassing the girls now and the easiest way to be out of the way of him (guessing) is to be safely here. I think whoever it is, likely was a person who Mona, Lucas and whoever got on board with whatever the original plan was (guessing just to harass Alison and it went too far when Alison starting focusing on the Ian, Garrett, Melissa and Jason grouping) and then when the girls got back together it was initially just fun and then it got more dangerous when whoever the other guy is starting to physically threaten them. I am wondering what ever happened to Emily's boyfriend that she dumped in the first season....
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Good theories esp with Mona. Whatever was controlling Mona so to speak seems scarier and is way more in control. But yeah where is Emily's bf or Hanna's bf Sean or whatever. I'd kind of be curious for some stand off with Caleb or if they break up Sean "comes to the rescue" then it's like she's at square one. Except Caleb and Hanna cannot break up, unless it makes for some interesting dynamics like it did with Toby and Spencer. It's all too much handle!
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1. Probably when she found out about Ian's death and probably to cover up something or maybe it was a plan of the "A" team, who knows

2.Hum.. probably but not that fast

3. Both I think. Mona clearly knows a lot more.
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1. The whole baby plotline confused the crap out of me, so I put my hands up in surrender and a little voice telling me 'in due time my pretty' except nothing really ever gets revealed on this show, well the things that are most troubling.

2. It might bring them closer and I liked Ezra's comment about them being friends once upon a time. So maybe she will accept the relationship I guess in due time.

3. Mona, she's a hard egg to crack. Part of me feels like it's partly an act, yet the other half tells me she's been tortured for a while with her involvement being 'A' .With every horrible thing she's had to do, and being Hanna's perky, shallow, sometimes considerate friend. Even the sanest people would go kind of loopy after that. She might be pretending to be crazy as part of her real craziness, does that make any sense? Man this season is so awesome, and chillingly feeling very real all the sudden. The body on ice, still haunting me.
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1. I say Melissa was never pregnant. She just said she was to get more sympathy.

2. Not too quickly.

3. Yes?
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