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12 February 2014 @ 09:01 am
Pretty Little Liars: "Shadow Play" Episode Review  
Pretty Little Liars 4.19 "Shadow Play"

In this experimental episode, Spencer finds herself hallucinating being inside a noir film, where she tries to pinpoint what exactly she's missing from Alison's diary (that the girls found while searching through Ezra's office) and figuring out the missing pieces of the Ali puzzle.


A Pretty Little Noir

I love experimental episodes (when done right), and the fact that Pretty Little Liars did one (which oddly fits into the atmosphere and theme of everything) makes it even better. What's more is how well they did it to match what was happening in the show along with making it accurate for the era in which noir films are done. Everyone looked so glamorous in their clothing, and the cinematography and the way the whole episode was shot was absolutely gorgeous.

Aside from that, we were provided some other things from the episode.

The scenes with Alison, for example, were very interesting. I figured it was mostly perceived based on how her relationship with the girls has always been. Alison not giving all the answers, wanting to pit the girls against each other, butting heads with Spencer. The latter in particular, because that was the very nature of their relationship. Spencer has been the only one out of the girls who could stand up and challenge Alison, and there were some throwbacks to certain scenes from previous seasons, like their last argument with each other the night she disappeared to when Spencer was faking being the "Alison" of the group in order to get a rouse out of "A"; it was rather interesting seeing that played out because, this never really happens, it's all in Spencer's head so this is her own conjuring of things. She doesn't believe that Alison may be truthful, and that perhaps she's merely playing them once again as the vindictive person she once was as opposed to her current vulnerable situation.

Plus the fact it's the whole episode of her trying to figure things out. She knows there's more to the story, but she doesn't know what. The noir setting helped her understand what she was missing.

The changes in the diary is one thing, but finding out in the end that Aria has been lying to them, and that she has been seeing Ezra in secret this whole time, is another that they must face. Now the real obstacle is being able to confront her about this new revelation, which is another thing this episode explored; Spencer having the fear of revealing what they suspect and found out that Ezra is not who he says he is, and Aria being angry at her. It's understandable given that they've jumped to conclusions before, but this is different, and I think if they cannot bring themselves to reveal the truth to her then Aria will have to find out for herself. That could be disastrous and heartbreaking on so many levels. I want the girls to be able to tell Aria, though.


Things I liked about the episode:

++ Obviously the crime noir, it's just so different from the original format of the show and I was really impressed with how it was done and how they managed to make it work. Everyone looked fantastic. The clothing, the classic look of everything, it was so wonderful and such a treat to have.

++ Finding the diary and having everything revolving around the diary, or specifically what small changes there were that are of greater significance.

++ Mona! Finally, some screentime, though we need more of her, tbh.


Overall: Such a great episode, though I can't wait to see how the next one is gonna be like.
 
 
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thekaiserchiefthekaiserchief on February 12th, 2014 06:28 pm (UTC)
I agree, the film noir was well-done and it was fun to watch the episode in that format.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on February 15th, 2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
For the smallest brief moment I actually thought that everything that we were seeing was actually happening, just perceived as a noir to Spencer due to the drugs she was taking. But of course I realized that it couldn't possibly have been that.

Regardless, it was still very fun to watch and I liked the overall outcome of it.

Edited at 2014-02-15 07:19 pm (UTC)