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Pretty Little Liars S04E09: "Into the Deep"


Will Not Rish ever do any lawyering, or is she just a go-between for Rosewood justice?

I'm not saying she needs to get all Ben Stone on someone, mostly because I feel like courtroom drama on this show might be unbearable, but everyone keeps thanking Veronica for her help even though as far as I can tell, all she does is relay messages and brace people for the news that their case is basically un-winnable. Maybe Law & Order has led me astray and that's mostly what a lawyer does.

If that's the case, "Into the Deep" featured Rish lawyerin' all over the place, as she not only had nothing to do with her client's opportunity to get out on bail (that was Mona and her confession), but also told Ezra that his attempt to win custody of his child was basically a lost cause. To be fair, I think that Ezra probably shouldn't have custody of his child. I think you all know why. It's because he would just use the young'un as bait for high-school-age babysitters.

Not Rish's acumen as a lawyer notwithstanding, Ashley Marin got to come home after a couple episodes of testing out the theory of whether orange is, indeed, the new black. With her mom out of prison, we can hopefully look forward to Hanna returning to the fold of her other Liar friends; it's been weird lately without her brassy attitude. Though it seems like not being around the A investigation has made her lose her edge.


$100,000 bail is nothing to sneeze at, although Hanna asking her dad for it as if it was chump change was basically laughable. Hanna's desperation in this episode bottomed out as far as sympathy goes when she asked for 10 percent of a million dollars and told Pastor Ted that she didn't need faith, she needed money. Realist, sure. But after a few weeks of letting Hanna's reckless behavior slide because of how destroyed she's been with her mother being accused of murder and tossed in the clink, I'm definitely glad to see Ashley home. Hanna tested my patience.

Her isolation means the brassiness needed to fall on someone else, and since this was an episode for Emo Emily to be emo, that means Sparia had to take the mantle. One of the things I liked about "Into the Deep" was its overt demonstration of how awful these girls can be, no matter the event. Because they're our protagonists, we're so often treated to sympathy for them as they deal with their bullies but, in episodes like this, you start to see why Jenna hates them and Shana has nothing but disdain for any of them.

Emily has had to suffer greatly the last few weeks (although partly by her own hand), and while she still had to live in a motel and bemoan her lost future, a birthday party seemed like a great idea to raise her spirits. This should've been about her and making her feel better. Instead, Sparia decided it was a great opportunity to wield their witchiness on a Jenna and Shana who've been made sympathetic.


Despite some weird line delivery ("at this POINT"), "Into the Deep" tried hard to let us know that things may not be going so well for Jenna, and that the Liars add unnecessary burden to her already trying existence. She's handicapped again (bitch can't see), she's afraid for her life because of Alison and/or Cece Drake is after her, and then Sparia has the ovaries to tag team her while she's on the ropes.

Your sympathy for Jenna may be limited, given her connection to Nigel Wright a few episodes ago, the assumption being that those were her glasses on the table and her tea Nigel was fixing at the end of "Crash and Burn, Girl." Putting that aside, though, this episode made her a severely victimized character, particularly with her attempted murder, which at least suggested that the glasses on the table weren't so much I'm-blind-and-you-shouldn't-see-my-wayward-eyeballs as much as they were coquettish-Lolita specs. Maybe not the most rock-solid evidence, but something to consider.

If you're willing to accept the theory that Jenna is a victim, then Sparia using Emily's party as a trap for Jenna and Shana seems unreasonably cruel. It's representative of the infection of A into every aspect of their lives that they can't even get drunk and dance awkwardly without using it as an opportunity to catch a bully. And Spencer isn't absolved of being the one who knocked Jenna into the water. It's possible that no greater truth has ever been spoken on this show than when Shana said, "Nothing good comes from being around you four." That's absolutely true.

Which is why I don't understand Jake at all. Aria has offered every reason to run straight for the hills. She's hung up on someone else. She's standoffish and kind of a snob. And her life is basically a series of hydrogen-level drama bombs. But Jake seems to be so devoid of any personality and so indoctrinated by Rosewood's policy for twenty-something men, to claim that their women like Jacob the Wolf imprints on a baby and that dipping his wick in House Montgomery sounds like a passable idea.

On the flip side, I also say go, Aria. Because, even though Jake is all six pack and dead behind the eyes, any move away from Ezra is a decent move. The man is pretty shredded, and while I don't immediately recall Ezra taking off his sweatervest at any point to show what he's packing, he probably looks like a pale little boy compared to the town martial arts instructor. So go ahead, Aria. Take a chance. See what that's like. It's high school. Everyone experiments in high school, right? That's how that saying goes?

The Season of Answers may not be necessarily living up to its billing, but we are getting some perspective from different parts of the conspiracy. Nothing definitive, but something. And, if we're being led to believe that Jenna is just as victimized as the other Liars, that provides a new avenue for allegiance once the Liars are able to forgive Jenna for acting suspicious... even though she maybe, possibly has never done anything to them except get blinded by Alison. Oops.


NOTES

– MONA. It's hard not to like her right now. The investigator: "You snuck out of a mental institution?" Her: "Many times." I'm not sure what game she's playing, but I still maintain that she's the safest teenage girl in Rosewood by getting herself locked up. Also: Where did she get $100,000 for Ashley's bail? How much money is being pushed into her organization?

– Paige was really throwing stones from her glass house in saying Mona is capable of murder because of a little attempted murder. Maybe attempted drowning doesn't count.

– How is everyone in Rosewood so well connected to Olympic swimmers and coaches? Apparently, if you want to swim for gold and want to get noticed, you need to move to suburban Pennsylvania right now.

– Lo jacks can sniff out wine? WHY ARE THEY TRYING TO TEAR ASHLEY AND WINE APART?

– Of course the tall, busty girl Jake brought to the party is "on the swim team." Don't worry, Aria. She's not a threat.

– Emily saying out loud that her and Paige's plan to stay together is doomed might be the only sane thing to happen during this entire episode.

– I know Pastor Ted's closing remarks could lead you to believe, if you really wanted to believe, that Ted is the one to bail Ashley out of jail. But then you would have to think about how a pastor would be able to squirrel away $100,000, unless the reason for his recent absence from the show is that he's started a megachurch on the outskirts of Ravenswood. Think, Ashley.

– Your Moment of A: Red Coat snuck underneath a porch like a pregnant house cat. I think I assumed that it was the Montgomery place since it had that tell-tale knocking-boots silhouette before the lights went out but it really could've been the Di Laurentis place or really any house in Rosewood. They're all made of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.


– Your Moment of A, Part Deux: This hoodie had some piano sheet music for Toby and the same handwriting as whoever gave Emily the $50 gift card from the hardware store. I still suspect a fifth-grader.


What'd you think of "Into the Deep"?

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AIRS ON 1/6/2015

Season 5 : Episode 14

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