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Pretty Little Liars S05E03: "Surfing the Aftershocks"


We need to talk about Hanna.

We're in a Countdown to #Haleb so we can expect some monumental things for Hanna in the coming weeks once her ghost-romancing ex-boyfriend shows up to explain how complicated things were and that we should all just never talk about it again. But this week was a decent-sized breakthrough when it comes to her identity and the effect Planet Alison has had on her orbit. It was the kind of thing I'd hoped we see from Aria since she broke up with Ezra but, to be fair, she's kind of going through her own thing right now, deciding if she's actually a murderess. Well, of things that aren't birds.

Hanna's realization of what Mona did for her stitches together that uncanny audience feeling of Alison and Hanna's similarities and Mona seeking out the meekest of the Liars to be her friend. While we've basically had the idea all along that Hanna and Ali being superficially alike was intentional, we may not have known that it was Mona that put her on the path for that specific purpose of creating a likeness.

Mona was obsessed with being part of the clique and was gripped by Alison just as much as the other Liars, even in her disillusionment of being kept at arm's length by her "loser" monicker. So when Alison left, Mona had a chance to make a new Alison, a better Alison. She had the technology. And that technology turned out to be Spanx.

So the meekest little Liar turned into the better version of Alison: cool, likable, charismatic, and, best of all, tolerant of Mona. But there was a small detail that's missing from all the flashbacks we've seen with Alison and the Liars. We know who Aria was, the pink-streaked rebel, independent and artsy. We know who Spencer was, the overachiever who was bad with people. We even know who Emily was, the squirrelly, closeted athlete. Hanna was nothing but quiet and willing to take the abuse of her peers. It's a hole in the storytelling. They didn't flesh her out despite the fact that she's now a fan favorite. Now they've plugged the hole by detailing that Hanna doesn't really know either.

That's how Planet Alison most affected her orbit: after years of being the "me, too" of the group, she was clay to be molded and Alison was the ideal shape. Now that Alison is back and doesn't seem to have the same pull over everyone (unless they're named Emily), Hanna has the opportunity to look at her life, how she was mistaken for Alison and so ready to pretend to be her, and think, "What the hell am I doing?" Alison is not a person you want to be. You do not want to be the girl that people are hunting down because she was a jackass. You definitely don't want to be her now, all emotionally-scarred and traumatized from keeping one step ahead of the long arm of A. So, if the end-game of your creator was to be Alison, and you suddenly realized your autonomy, wouldn't you also need a change? A hair change is fine. Just don't change too much, Hanna.

Speaking of the storytelling itself, though, they also did an interesting thing with Jason this week, specifically, our theories about Jason. It appears we were right where they wanted us to be. In the season finale, we talked about how Jason is the only logical person to have knocked out Alison with a big rock since Mrs. D wouldn't really try to protect anyone else. So sound, our logic, right? I mean, talk to me three months ago and I would've said it was airtight. Outfoxed the show. Sorted. And then Emily and Hanna came up with the exact same theory. So, obviously, we have to be wrong.

Spencer cajoles her way through the episode with a pace we haven't seen in a while. She was actually borderline rude about everything, even after she came to terms with the fact that her parents might have done her solid even if she didn't need it. Papa Hastings was nothing but nice throughout the episode (which is, of course, suspect) and Spencer kept raking him over the coals. The sad part was when he brought home pretzels and he asked if his daughter wanted some. She says "sure" and it looks like they might have a civil conversation, maybe some father-daughter bonding time. But, instead, Spencer brought her Abbie Carmichael swagger to their countertop meeting. There was so much third degree that I almost identified with Melissa when she joined the party, a woman who is making it a difficult to be on her side, what with crazily swinging from being a loyal family member in cahoots to keep the Hastings safe to someone unnecessarily cutthroat and mean when talking to her sister. I guess that humanizing period is over.

Spencer is digging up the secrets, though, as you would expect her to. Hanna and Emily also have their own sleuthing squad but they don't find anything from the weird transient-looking dry-out house leader (or Arnie) that honestly is of any importance except that Jason used to eat A LOT of pizza. Three times a week? Hokey smokes. How did Jason keep his manly figure?

But while Hanna was finding out she's just been an Alison drone with better dialogue and Spencer was finding out that maybe her dad is a killer, Aria is off suffering the PTSD of being responsible for killing someone. She's confiding in Ezra, which doesn't really add up. I know that they're very close, love of each other's lives, blah blah blah. But it was only a couple weeks ago in Rosewood time that you found out he was a crazy stalker with hidden surveillance all over your life. She's so quick to trust him again. And I know that it's easy to take Alison's advice and do the exact opposite because, really, what the heck does she know, but can you start telling the man who, by his own admission, wanted to publish all of your secrets in a book for his own profit? Forgive and forget but maybe take some time.

But if there's an overall theme to the episode, it's honesty and refusing to just be a couple of satellites in the pull of Alison. Ezra wants to be completely honest with Aria. Aria tells Ezra about Shana. Hanna's on her way to being true to herself. And Spencer has been about nothing but truth since she came into our lives. It seems like only a matter of time before all this honesty is going to bite these girls in the behinds, particularly when their honesty conflicts with the lies they've been spinning. More importantly, though, I'm not sure what we're looking forward to right now. Yes, Spencer is on the verge of outing someone as the person to kill Mrs. D or the girl in the tomb or something. And Mona's got something going on. But there's not a lot to discuss as far as plot goes right now. We're not exactly cliffhanger-y. Maybe that's okay. We have plenty of time. So much time.


NOTES


— The Liars must have a closets dedicated solely to the revealing black dresses they wear to funerals. Where are they getting all these clothes? Are memorial services what gave Cece Drake her start in the competitive Rosewood boutique market? Before switching over to bright clothes and Tresemmé, did Bruce oversee racks and racks of lacy little numbers for casket viewings? Who knew there'd be so much tragedy in this suburban Pennsylvania hamlet that its young women would need endless funeral attire? Cece knew.

— Emily: "Coincidences happen." Spencer: "Yeah, all the time. They grow on trees like coconuts waiting for you to walk under them." Poor, sweet Emily. After all this time you'd assume that believing in coincidences in Rosewood is like rationalizing the tooth fairy. How can the tooth fairy fly with all those quarters, Emily? How does the tooth fairy fly?

— I know I bring it up every week but I really like that Mona is back and openly dastardly.

— Welcome to the show, Sydney Driscoll. If you're one of Mona's Heroes, you are terrible at the stealth game. If you're honestly just another swimmer hoping to get advice from Coach Em, well, that can't be true because we're in Rosewood. Literally everyone is up to something. Except that one kid from the academic decathlon. He just wanted to see Spencer's boobs.

— "Blood is thicker than water ... it can also be very slippery." What does that even mean, Melissa? Because you're also blood. So should Spencer stay away from you, too? Or are you saying that Jason and you are on the same level? Or are you just saying to not clean your floors with blood? I don't know where you're going with that.

— Alison got real scared of that painting. Is that the same one from Breaking Bad?

— In this episode, we also got the origin story of the cupcake-eating torture. It all comes together.

— I didn't realize that Ezra pinning the A title on Shana was so circumstantial. She was following them and was wearing a hoodie? That's your evidence? Anyone can be wearing a black hoodie (like, seriously, anyone—half the town is on A's payroll) and you were skulking around after the girls, too. Can the Liars please just put it together that Shana was not A. Can that be the next puzzle that Spencer solves?

— Spencer: "Crazy around here works on a sliding scale." Amen, sister.

— I say that Papa Hastings was being genial and protective this episode, but there's nothing more creepy in the entire episode than him offering to give Alison a ride home. It sounded like he had an unmarked conversion van waiting for her around the corner. Also: where the heck was Alison going?

— The Paige Saga: I'm over it. Do something with her.

— Aria: "But, here I am, once again. Back at the scene of the crime." Ezra: "There's no crime here. Not the way I see it." There was a crime there. It was consecrating "sacred ground" with your sixteen-year old student. Not to pry, but I'm sure there were multiple crimes there.

— So Mona is definitely watching Hanna get her new color. But who is the other woman behind the frosted window? It looks like someone wearing an Ali mask to me. But maybe it's Alison. Or Jenna. Or one of the vast number of waifish teenage girls that populate the show. Honestly, it could be an extra in the background of the high school. I guess anyone can be A now.


Next Episode

AIRS ON 8/30/2016

Season 7 : Episode 10

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I really like this show, I just don't understand why they add so much lesbian things to it, no offense. I took me a really long time to get over the fact that Emely was lesbian, and know they also added Ally to the list? I found that completely unnecessary. although I enjoy the mystery that A brings to the show.
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because representation in the media is actually important.
Also, there's not actually "lesbian things" in the show. Everyone has their A-storylines and romantic storylines, emily just happens to be gay while she does it. The only storyline that was actually revolved around lesbianism was when emily came out in season 1. Also, i dont see why having other queer characters is unitelligable for you, thats what life is like. Sure some people identify as straight, some as gay, some as bi, some as pan, but there really is a lot inbetween as well. Its providing an accurate representation of what life is like-diverse and somewhat sexually fluid.
Though, talking about the diverse thing, maybe they should get some other ethnicities in there that arent just white.
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isn't it shaUna tho?
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How do the Liars know when Mrs D was killed?
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Best line of the night was Hannah saying "You won't even know we're here."

Hannah wearing bright yellow shoes to a funeral was tacky, imo.

Well getting shot did not improve Ezra's moral compass. Aim a little lower next time. He is still a perv.

Get rid of Paige entirely. I never did like her. Make the new swim girl Em's new girlfriend. Paige can go to Ravenswood for all I care.

Spencer had some decent one liners, but not the best. I still like strung out Spencer.

Why do they keep talking about Jenna? I thought she was gone for good. And when are they going to realize that Shana was just a lieutenant?




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Haha I like the phrase, they can go to Ravenswood for all I care....might start using it in real life!
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Glad you liked it. Get the PLL community to start using it for all the characters we hate. Ezra, Paige, etc . . Just remember to give me credit. ;)
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I have a feeling that in the end, everything will end badly for the girls. I mean, it's back to the beginning, basically: they're all friends with Alison, who has everything revolving around her, Spencer has problems with her family (and Ali made those worse back them and probably will again), Aria has her own issues( her dad's affair last time, Shana's death this time, and Ali is involved in both), Hanna has identity issues (her weight which Ali mocked, and now her Ali-like makeover at the hands of Mona), and Emily is in love with Ali. In the past, their relationships with Alison caused them nothing but trouble and had them disliked by most of the town. Well, history is going to repeat itself.

Especially once A returns.

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Please PLL if you want to make Hannah look fat , make her look fat . Don't just change the lens in the camera and add some ( lame ) make up to her chin . It's embarassing .
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She doesn't look fat at all, they call her Hefty Hanna but all I see is sexy Ashley Benson with a bit of make-up attached to her neck.
I don't expect the Monica fatsuit or the embarrassing Lee Adama fatsuit but I expected her to look like me, FAT.
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Well I definitely enjoyed the flashbacks. I think it added a little more to the Hanna/Mona dynamic. Mona knew exactly what she was doing and it adds a little more to her sociopathy. But it's nice to see Hanna realizing what Mona did, and realizing how little she actually knows who SHE is. It'll be interesting to see her journey throughout the season. As long as she keeps her one liners I'm ok.

Spencer clearly needs a mystery in her life at this point. I don't think it has anything to do with Ali, it's just a matter of her having all the answers and being in control.

The pacing has been interesting. Things have been happening, but it's been weird not having the constant -A presence. I bet we'll see things pick up with the 100th episode.
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Ezra has never been more creepier until this episode. He literally was praying on Aria's inexpirence. "So young and stupid...which is why you are my type!" :D (he didn't say this,but he might as well have said it) Whole time he was figuring,how to get Aria back and when she told him her secret of killing Shauna,he went like *bingo!!! got something over you...found my way back in..oh to be young and naive... " how can I help?"
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I'm done with the show. It is completely retarded now. Aria has turned into the number one entitled self absorbed brat that I suspect the actress is in real life. The who thing is just sloppy now. Flashbacks of Hanna and Ali? Really? Too little too late. She was more interesting dead. These actresses are all CLEARLY too old to be teenagers and yet they keep trying to trick us. Just stop. The show has no meaning anymore not that it ever had a lot.
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Woah, how do you know how Lucy Hale is in real life? I mean, I don't know either, but I was just thinking about how hard-working she must be, what with the show, recording her own albums, and being involved with her own clothing line as I read recently. I just don't associate all of that hard work with being an entitled brat, myself. Anyway, if you have some evidence, carry on, but I thought your comment sounded mean.
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And I miss A! Come back soon bitch.
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I'm thinking having Alison back will be a lot more interesting when she comes back to school, right now she's just overwhelmed from being back in Rosewood, and now her mom dying. Hopefully we can see more of her snark if she has to defend herself at school. As for Sydney, I'm just glad to see Donna la Donna back on my screen. I hope her character isn't useless. Abc family, you lied to us, there was so "so that's who killed her" moment.
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I'm wondering how long are they gonna wait for A to make "his/her/their comeback"
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Am I the only one that thought Alison back would be exciting, I mean she is super bitch right, the most devious, manipulative person on the show, sexually provocative and controls everyone around her like puppets, well at least in flashbacks, having her back has been anti-climactic, when Mona comes out of a scene looking like a diva and Alison looks like she wants to go in a corner and cry, I'm like what's the Fck is this sht feel free to fill in the vowels lol. However the only glimmer of hope is that she wore the same dress that her mother wore to her funeral, sounds like Alison is still playing games, one can only hope. Anyone else disappointed in the return of Alison?
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I think the show is at least trying to show Alison as a woman changed by her disappearance. She went from someone who is manipulative and superficial to being traumatized and a little anti-social. Surely, Alison will be ready to play some games when the time and stakes are right. But there's a period where they have to humanize her again, too.
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Honestly I believe some kind of way Alison will turn out to be some kind of mastermind when all is said and done. Based on her history, I wouldn't expect anything less and this show is all about smoke and mirrors, slight of hand and diversionary tactics. Whatever they show you it's the complete opposite of whatever it is you thought by the season finale. I just would have liked to have seen a little more fire coming from Alison now that she's back, all of the girls have been toned way down. When the show first started they were all fun, bad girls sleeping with teachers, lying constantly about everything,, torrid lesbian affairs etc... but now it's kind of like they are all stuck, the pretty little liars aren't the hell raisers we were introduced to in season 1 and 2
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Whoever wrote the dialogue in the scene between Ezra and Aria has got to be taking the piss. No crime? NO CRIME EZRA? So statutory rape is okay? "I dare you, audience."
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I really really want A to come back and be like haha you thought I was dead, but you want get off that easy.
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Anyone else laugh at Emily & Paige "in and out" exchange?
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It's so rare that Emily has a funny.
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I'm not sure if I'm being mean or something, but what was up with that Sydney Driscoll girl's face? Bad botox or what?

Please, please PLEASE get rid of Paige. She is, and always has been the worst. Nobody cares!

Melissa's speech to Spencer in the bedroom was so over the top and dramatic that I actually burst out laughing! I mean, who would say something like that in real life?! No one! I guess we're back to caricaturing the villians of this show, starting with Melissa and Mona.

I think the person talking to Mona at the end is Paige. But I hope it's Jenna, cos she is way more interesting than Paige. (Not like that's hard though, but...yeah.)
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Paige doesn't necessarily need to go but they need to do something with her. I feel like we've seen the same "sitting on the porch" scene half a dozen times now. Either get her going on being part of Mona's "We're Not Losers" Brigade or give her a rest for a while.
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I loved that one scene between Jason and Spencer. They talked and talked, and finally the scene ended like this:

Jason: And remember, You can't trust him.
Spencer: I can't trust who?
Jason: Our father.

That's it. That's how you create suspense from nothing. Just end a meeting between two thinking people by leaving out the obvious things they would say in real life. A moment later Spencer said to Aria that Jason made it seem like "Mrs. D was writing to my dad". That's it? Miss Smarty-pants didn't ask any clarifying questions from Jason?
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That bit gave me goosebumps!
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With the interrogations she gives her family, you would assume she'd at least dig for a couple more answers or at least some clarification from Jason. It's not like Jason was ready to board a plane or something. There was time. My theory is that Jason has these brooding spells that overtake him at random where he breaks off a conversation and then stares wistfully through the nearest window, completely ignoring whoever else is in the room. "You didn't get anything else out of Jason?" "No, he had one of his spells again." "What was he staring at this time?" "A grocery bag in the wind." It's the only logical explanation.
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I think the fact that all the flashbacks with "Fat Hanna" are centered around her and cupcakes mean that the real A is the NEVER SEEN BEFORE cupcake shop owner, who after Hanna stopped binging on her treats, lost a ton of money and is now out for revenge.
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That would be funny and make about a much sense as anyone else
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yep, get paige to leave, never liked her, never liked them as a couple, shes just the worst, now that theyve broken up can they just stop putting her in episodes please.
Ezra is another one who needs to leave, they tried to redeem him by having it turn out that he wasnt really A, he was just a grown man who manipulated a 16 yr old girl into falling in love with him and then following her and her friends around taking photos, making creepy timelines, doing nothing to help them when they were in so many potentially harmful, life threatening situations. Not to mention all the secrets he must know that hes kept from the police regarding alisons supossed murder. How was that book of his ever going to be published without the girls permission anyway? how was he going to write it without incriminating himself, and getting himself thrown in jail? That whole story was just absolutely pathetic, and the fact theyre trying to redeem his character is unjustifiable. He used to just be a bit of a perv, now its clear he is actually a psychopath. Theres know way someone with a conscience could do what he did, especially to someone they were supossedly "in love" with.
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I've always been totally grossed out by Fitz. What a perv. But. . . um, (embarrassed to say this) for some reason the redemption has been working on me this season. I guess I've partially blocked out all of the stalking, and also feel bad that he got shot and appreciate him following Aria's lead on how to handle Allison's lies/Shana's death. What's wrong with me???? Maybe I just decided to ignore the gross and remember that the actor is hot and only 3 actual years older than Lucy Hale, and a year younger than Troian Bellisario. I can't explain it. . . I just. . . seem to be forgiving his disgusting ass this season!! Of course I'll be back on the side of reason shortly, but for now, I'm giving Ezra a break.
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On some level, Hanna had to know what Mona did to her already. Heck, she spent most of the past wanting to be Alison (a pretty, popular blonde), and she got her wish. In the worst way possible.


Paige needs to let go. Emily is so in love with Alison that it's not even funny.


Spencer needs a new family. And, Aria needs to remember that part of the reason she ended up killing someone was due to Erza spying on them the whole time and never once making a move to actually help them until after she learned the truth.
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I know that Emily has the feelings for Ali but I can't really get behind the #Emison 'shipping. One, because I don't think Alison has time for paramours with all her after-dark appointments and ducking into bathrooms to cower from paintings. But also because Alison and Emily would be the WORST couple. You would feel bad for Emily every day. Unless Em is a closet masochist, I can't imagine a more stifling relationship.

Also, as far as I can tell, Alison can't swim. So.
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I agree with this only on Ali's midnight snoops. Part of the show's angle, at the moment, seems to be showing us that Ali has changed, so far for the better, due to her trauma(s). I know that she knows she can manipulate Emily into a relationship with her, but I sincerely hope it doesn't come to that. As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a hopeless romantic and squeal like my 1 year old when flawed characters (1) admit said flaws and (2) mutually work around them to have a healthy relationship. Obviously Ali's gonna have to stop the late-night visits to creepville in order to have anything with Emily.
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Lol,these swimming jokes never get old.
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Unlike Aria....tic-tak,tic-tak....
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Pretty Little Liars has always had major issues with its time line and this episode continued that trend. How long have they been back in town for? To the girls I think it has just been a few days, maybe a week tops, yet Ezra already attended meetings with a counselor, arranged an in home provider, had his locks changed, and seems to be weeks along in his recovery.

I think part of this confusion comes from having the liars still in high school (and stretching out this first semester of senior year endlessly). Hannah and Emily are still at school yet Aria is at Ezra's apartment and has time to meet Alison in the shed deep in the woods somehow (isn't that supposed to be out of the way?). Then how did Hannah/Emily have time to go on a trip to New York? Wouldn't their parents keep any watch on them after all the stuff that just went down, not that any of their parents have ever really seemed to care about them before.

In the continuing saga of Melissa has a secret we learned that she still has that secret! shocking development I know!

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The time line doesnt make sense because season 3 has them starting senior year, then they go to a holloween party on that train. And then in season 4 they go to a holloween party in ravenswood, surely that would hve to mean a yr has passed?
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there wasn't Halloween in season 4, it was Ravenswood Founders Day Celebration... nevertheless, I agree that show's timeline is ridiculous
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ah okay, thnk you, it now makes a little bit more sense to me! :)
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oh man I forgot about the Halloween episodes as well. That is confusing. I wonder if they will just end up doing another one this fall and hope the audience just doesn't notice.
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wth...i never realized that. lmao thats messed up
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At least we're seeing a little more development behind the secret aka Mr. Hastings being creepier than ever!
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Whee can I watch the episode online for free?
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If you pay for cable/satellite (or knows someone that pays for cable/satellite), you can use your (or their) service login to watch it on the ABC Family site.
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Spencer should be sick of her father & sister being so condescending toward that she should just go right to the police and tell them that she suspects that her father & sister are hiding something regarding Mrs. DiLaurentis's death. Let them sort out the rest.
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Blood is thicker than water. And is really slippery. So. You can't rat out your father and sister. Because. You'll fall down? From all the blood? Something like that.
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She would...if she was certain that she didn't kill the girl that's actually in Ali's grave. She said something about that to Aria.
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So they were sick of the wigs for Hanna and are going to let Ashley Benson rock her own hair? Good for her maybe the Blacklist can take a note. So that and I was actually glad Aria could tell someone who might get where she coming from and Spencer actually did all she was looking for last week were my big takeaways. I appreciated that Aria was totally over Ali and that was the first time I remembered seeing Ali bothered. And then I remembered hey remember back long ago Aria was the most independent of the liars and least reliant on Ali's directives.
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She doesn't wear wigs, they just make her dye her hair really blonde all the time. They probably got sick of fighting her on it since she clearly seems to prefer her hair dark and wrote it in.
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I read somewhere last year that she did dramatically cut her hair and that the show had wigs for her. It sort of became obvious (like that last night, that was a wig).
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It wasn't so much the cut as the color. She went deep brunette right before they came back from hiatus. She hated the wigs so she went ahead and dyed it back.
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Unless I missed it, we didn't get the "shocker" we were promised. In the commercial for the episode, Spencer says, "So THAT'S who killed her?" And I didn't see that in the episode. I was pretty damn disappointed by all of it. Pretty much just a bunch of filler. The one highlight of the episode was watching the beginning of the Mona/Hanna Friendship.
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I was disappointed with the lack of a "shocker," too. I think that's why the episode felt so meandering and uneventful. I mean, they found some things out but nothing that really blows you away. Maybe ABC Family phoned in that promo, just expecting something shocking to happen so the put it in the commercial. "So what happens on the episode?" "I don't know. I haven't watched it." "But probably something shocking, right?" "I mean, it's what they do." "Perfect. And that's lunch."
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Yeah ... wth .. something was cut from the episode. The network lied.
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I think you might be A! Since you're already asking what we think about the episode, even though it's not over yet, I assume you know what's about to happen. You're definitely a suspect, mister...
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