Damn, when this show throws you a curve ball, it really hurls it.
Apparently Meredith went off the deep end, she was drugging Aria in hopes that she would search for the diary pages, for whatever purpose is still a mystery. Caleb and Paige manage to secretly team up together to try and figure out Mona and the whole "A" business, since they feel rather helpless when the girls are still being threatened. And the moment every fan has been dreading...Spencer finding out that Toby is part of the "A" Team, which was by far the most heartbreaking moment to ever witness.
Meredith Gone Cray Cray
Such a whirlwind with this character, especially after the last episode since I legitimately thought she had a change of heart. Boy, was I wrong.
Her completely snapping, drugging and locking Aria away seemed rather drastic, considering that there had been no other evidence otherwise suggesting that Meredith was remotely unhinged. That's the part that confuses me. Is she really that unhinged as the show makes her out to be, or was that done simply for the dramatic effect of the episode? Meredith may have been unapologetic about her involvement with her father and not exactly someone who you wanted to root for, but her actions in this episode seemed too far-fetched for someone who read pieces from a teenage girls' diary. What was her gain? Was she worried about Byron? Or was she more worried about herself, given the whole affair mess? Why go to such extremes the way she did, and why did she completely run off after everything? What does she have hidden that we don't know, if there's anything at all?
While all of that did allow Byron to finally tell the truth to his daughter, it seemed like such a drastic way to get to that point, in my opinion. Also, I'm still not really trusting of Byron after everything. He is still someone who placed his family, his daughter, in danger. I still want Aria to go live with her mom, and you'd think that she would fight for custody after all of that, tbh.
Of course, this leads us to wonder if Meredith had anything to do with drugging Aria on the train?
Spencer and Toby: Misery Loves Company
Naturally Spencer would have found out beforehand. She is smart enough to put the pieces together.
It still makes me sad, though. I have loved them together ever since the beginning of their beautiful relationship, so it breaks my shipper heart seeing everything shatter. But at the same time, it enthralls me because it leads to many questions about how and why Toby got involved, and that there's more to the story behind his motives. Nearly everyone who is involved has their reasons, and I'm hoping the show gives us at least some concrete answers. I also still want to believe that Toby loves Spencer. It seems impossible now that things will ever be the same, even if she does come to understand his reasons, but I have an inkling of hope that somehow, someway, his feelings for her are genuine. Whether he always loved her or that that love sprung during his infiltration of the girls and their trust, I do believe he cares for her.
This is why their decision to make Toby part of the "A" Team excites me. There are so many turns and directions they can take this, and I hope they don't disappoint in that department. I want this turn of events to be worthwhile.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Paige and Caleb collaborating together to help out the girls on their own time. It makes me happy that there are other characters who are doing their part in keeping the girls safe, even without their knowledge. I'd say the more allies, the better. The girls really need that outside support, and it's awesome to see that with these two.
++ ALISON FINALLY VISITING ARIA! Now all the girls have seen Ali in present day, mostly through being drug-induced, but nevertheless it makes me happy that they're keeping this up. Now that they've all experienced the same thing, hopefully that means they'll end up talking about it and trying to figure out what the hell does it all mean, and if Alison is still there with them.
++ Speaking off, the little glimpse of the blonde girl in the red overcoat through the window was a nice touch to all of that.
++ Aria being drugged and trapped inside her own room was very well-done in the creepy department. There is nothing more frightening than feeling weak and helpless inside your own home. I also liked how Hanna and Emily immediately knew something was wrong, and were ready to fight off Meredith with everything they got. Best friends having each other's backs. ♥
Things I didn't like:
++ While I appreciated the creepy feeling given what was happening, it still doesn't make much sense why Meredith would go to such lengths like that. I think I'm disappointed that she didn't turn out to be someone who, while sketchy in her life choices, wasn't exactly horrible and was just dealing with something much more bigger and could have actually helped Aria instead of harm her and her family even more. That's all. I know this show everyone is practically a suspect until proven otherwise, but it would have been nice to at least have someone who isn't like that.
++ It's such a bad move that Hanna and Emily went down into the creepy basement after witnessing Meredith purchase tons and tons of sleeping pills prior. It's like, girls, use your brains. Don't trust the bitch who has ARIA'S PHONE IN HER HAND! Although their loyalty to Aria as friends kind of make up for that.
++ The end of Toby and Spencer
Overall: I really loved the tone of this episode a whole lot. It was legit creepy, which is one of the accomplishments this show does incredibly well. Just the atmosphere with the heavy drama, and the climax towards the end of the episode with Aria (and Hanna and Emily) vs. Meredith, and with Spencer finding out about Toby. As I've already said previously, I hope the pacing of these episodes continues.