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13 June 2013 @ 01:52 pm
Pretty Little Liars: "A is for A-L-I-V-E" Season Premiere Review  
Pretty Little Liars 4.01 "A is for A-L-I-V-E"

Picking up where we left off from the finale, the girls are shocked to find not a dead body, but a dead pig in the trunk of the police car. But later when the police are investigating the car, they see that Detective Wilden is lying dead on the ground. It is unknown who did it, but the girls are worried that "A" is going to set them up to take the fall again. Mona appears to be cooperating with the girls, revealing all that she knows, since now this new "A" is coming after them all now. But is she trustworthy enough? Mrs. DiLaurentis moves back into town, but is there another motive for her being there? Who is this new "A"? Is she Red Coat? Is Red Coat Alison? So many questions still, and a whole season to see if they'll answer them.

Mona Vanderwaal: One of the girls?

It's something that I've kind of always wanted, for Mona to be part of the group. She technically was for a little bit before it was revealed she was part of the "A" Team, but now it's an entirely new ballgame. Red Coat, or whoever is running the show now, is coming after all of them. So there is no place for her to hide except be with the girls and figuring out what is happening. But it does make you question how sincere she is being, considering her history with the girls and everything she's done to them. It's hard to trust someone who tormented and tortured you and your friends for so long. Perhaps she is trying to make amends, at least convince them that she's not playing "A"s game anymore. But she will definitely have her own reasons and secrets to keep to herself. I mean, this is Mona we're talking about. She can't not break her habit of sneaking around and seem suspicious, so the possibly of her having other motives is very high.

But nonetheless, I do like that she and the girls are all on the same page now. And that she revealed some of the mysteries that we've been wondering about for some time. Like how it was Lucas who gave Emily that massage, and how Jenna and Shanna met and how they're both afraid of Melissa, and that Melissa was on the train and responsible for locking Aria in that box. There are still some things left unanswered, like who got Wilden's car out of the lake and who killed Ian, but even Mona isn't all-knowing in that department.

Where does her character go from here? I'm hoping she still works with the girls, but I'm also hoping that we see that she's still doing other things, possibly for her own benefit at finding out who Red Coat is.

Theories on Red Coat / Black Veil

I'm still holding out on the theory that they are heading into the twin direction because it would make sense, especially now since considering that all those who were the last to see Alison alive are the ones dropping like flies, it is a high possibility that it's part of a revenge scheme. Or that both the twins are alive but playing opposite ends, that one is trying to help the girls while the other is trying to hurt them.

Red Coat is assumed to be Alison. She was the one who pulled them out of the fire. It is to be assumed that she's been the one who has been warning the girls, appearing to them in either "dreams" or "hallucinations", and that she's not the "A" ringleader.

Black Veil could be the twin, or it could be someone else entirely. But I'm assuming that they are the one behind "A", and their entire goal is to mess with people, recruiting others, manipulating, and basically being the center of all the chaos. At the end of the episode we see that they unveiled themselves only to reveal they were wearing a mask, and half of it was burnt. They were amongst the fire. But it is unclear whether they started it, were near it, or they were in the house at the time and had barely escaped themselves.

This leaves me to think about how Jenna, Shanna and Melissa's connections were. They were talking about the girls, but it makes me think who they were talking about. They mentioned "she" will be there with the girls. But who is this "she"? Alison? Her twin? Both of them? Mona? That's still the mystery.

Things I liked about the episode:

++ The parallels with the pilot. I just love parallels.

++ Toby and Spencer being back together, happy once again. After all the shit that's happened they got through it all. And of course Toby is going through his own thing at the moment, "A" is clearly not really giving him much of a choice. Plus the thing with the lighter. I kinda want them to talk about certain things though, like all that time that Spencer just completely had her emotional meltdown because she believed he was dead. Granted they could have already talked about it and left all of that behind them because they have bigger fish to fry. But all the same, I do want them to discuss some of the things that happened last season.

++ Even though it was a dream/daydreammare sequence, I do like that we did get a serious consequence if Aria and Ezra were ever found out by authorities. Though you'd think if that were to happen, it should have happened many seasons ago because they were never discreet about it, like ever.

++ Hanna and Mona hanging out. Although it's Hanna being cautious with her "keep enemies closer" thing, it's interesting that their relationship has taken a whole new turn now. First they were bffs, then they were enemies, now they're....idk what you'd call them. Old acquaintances who happen to be dealing with the same kind of nightmare? Needless to say, I like that Mona was trying to at least prove that she can be trusting, even if she knows she doesn't deserve it. She did give up the hard drive and show the girls everything she had on them, so that's at least a start?

++ With that, I really enjoy seeing Mona in this light. I loved her from the earlier seasons, I loved her when she was part of the "A" Team, I loved her when she was Mona 2.0 and playing on a whole new playing field. And I love her now that all of that has been stripped away from her and she's trapped, the same as the rest of the girls. I just think that Janel Parrish is phenomenal in this role.

++ Emily being happy with Paige. Okay, I wasn't thrilled with Paige as a character before, but I've gotten fond of her since then. Especially since Emily is happy being with her and her happiness is all that matters. I like that they're making plans for the future, of getting away from all of the Rosewood chaos and just being free and happy.

++ Also, how hot was Emily wearing that cropped blue shirt? *_*

++ Ms. Parker Mrs. DiLaurentis coming back. I'm intrigued about what is going to happen with her, and how her presence is going to affect the girls and the town. Particularly since she's re-setting up Alison's bedroom to look exactly the same as if she were still there. Again, playing with the "is Alison alive / twin" thing.

Overall: It's good to have this show back. :) I'm all geared up and ready for another season of mystery, suspense, what-the-fuckery, and best friends solving crimes and being awesome together. Should be quite a ride.

Music from the premiere: Digital Daggers - The Devil Within
"You'll never know what hit you
Won't see me closing in
I'm gonna make you suffer
This hell you put me in
I'm underneath your skin"
Appropriate not just for the episode, but for the entire mood of the whole series. The girls are constantly at the mercy of "A", the endless torments and of everything unraveling around them, but sometimes they also have their moments of stepping up their game, of one-upping their enemies. But even that has consequences, too.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Digital Daggers - The Devil Within
Jennifer: pll_hannahjenniferkaos on June 13th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
Ahhhhh!! My eyes! My eyessss!!! Hahah!

I still have 9 episodes from the previous season to watch. I had no idea that they were going to be airing the new season soo soon. :)

I love Jason! Soo handsome! :)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Secrets.rogueslayer452 on June 14th, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
I quite like how they space things out in airing the show, there's not too long of waits or hiatuses as opposed to other programming. It's a great way of keeping everything fresh for fans. :)

How have you been liking the show so far where you are currently?
Tinka: Faithgwaevalarin on June 14th, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)
I love the new dynamic between Mona and the other girls. She is now in the same boat but never really one of them. That makes me feel sad for her - take the funeral, she looks really hurt there - but at the same time I have absolutely no idea how trustworthy she is. If at all.

I really wish they'd have given us a proper talk between Toby and Spencer before everything went back to normal, but I guess I can always pretend that happened off screen.
Other than that, I love seeing them back together and comfortable around each other again. But of course there has to be the next dark cloud hanging over them right away. I can only hope that Toby opens up to Spencer soon and tells her what's going on. I wish he would have right away. No more secrets! But I kinda understand why he didn't. They can never be sure what A hears and sees, not matter how alone and safe they feel. And this is his mother. *sighs*
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on June 14th, 2013 10:53 pm (UTC)
That makes me feel sad for her - take the funeral, she looks really hurt there - but at the same time I have absolutely no idea how trustworthy she is. If at all.

Yeah, that scene kind of broke my heart for her. You can tell that she wants to be part of their group, even if they don't fully trust her, but she doesn't know how to proceed with it and neither do the girls. Like, there's obvious tension and uncertainty about what this new dynamic is between each other.

Like, when Hanna said she missed her best friend that would take her shopping, and when Mona admitted that she did love her as a friend once, that made me sad. You realize that they want to return to those days, but everything has changed now. :(

I can only hope that Toby opens up to Spencer soon and tells her what's going on. I wish he would have right away. No more secrets! But I kinda understand why he didn't. They can never be sure what A hears and sees, not matter how alone and safe they feel. And this is his mother. *sighs*

I think he will. He just needs time to assess what is happening first before he opens up to Spencer about it. Like, we saw from the episode just thinking about it made him pause and just need a breather. So he needs to collect himself before telling her.

They've been through so much, this is just another obstacle that they can get through together.
semi-titledpocochina on June 14th, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
ooooh, I hadn't thought of the twin thing but that would be so much fun!

I also really liked the interactions with Mona. It's an interesting counterpoint to the fire-forged friendship the Liars all have. Because Mona's so clearly in that same crucible that they're allies, which shows all the dimensions to the trust the other girls have developed. I'm rooting for Mona to find a real place in the group too, I like her so much.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on June 14th, 2013 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'm rooting for Mona to find a real place in the group too, I like her so much.

Same here.

Even though she was an antagonist to the girls, she was just another victim that fell into the "A" trap. Same with why Toby and Spencer and Lucas joined or participated, Mona has her own reasons and motives for what she did. Now that the facade is over, what will she do now? It will definitely be an interesting dynamic between herself and the rest of them. It won't be as it was, but I'm hoping that she will at least become an ally to them, helping aid in finding out who Red Coat is.
semi-titledpocochina on June 15th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
She's so great, and she adds so much to every scene she's in. Also, something I've really liked about the girls is how much victim-blaming they don't do. I don't realize how much I'm always braced for people to be punished for being hurt or manipulated until I see it not happening, and I've found the Liars' non-judgmental attitude toward each other so refreshing. Which has all got to be tougher with Mona, because she was such a betrayal and such a vulnerability for them that they have a right to be pissed, but I just really want to see them remembering that A is the real problem.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Secrets.rogueslayer452 on June 16th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC)
The close friendship and bond between the girls is probably one of the reasons why I love this show as much as I do. On other shows there would be unnecessary cattiness and drama between friends, but not between these four girls. Even if there is a fight or misunderstanding they are quick to reconcile with each other. Most of the time it's because of "A" messing with them, trying to pit them against one another, break their circle apart. But they realize this and instead of breaking they become stronger and have each other's backs, always. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing to see.

I'm also hoping that the girls don't shun Mona completely, and that they focus on the real enemy. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out over the course of the season. If nothing else, I do want Hanna and Mona to kind of start over. Not necessarily go back to how they used to be, but rather start fresh of a new friendship based on what they've gone through, and are still going through.

Mona, most of all, needs a true friend. She had so much pent-up anger and jealousy of Alison that it's one of the reasons why "A" recruited her in the first place, since that rage was easy to twist and corrupt and to be used to their advantage until they were bored of her and saw her as a liability, thus spitting her right back out and becoming their prey. All because she wanted somewhere to belong, Mona was another victim of "A" and now look where that had gotten her. I feel like, even with everything, she can still find a place to belong with the girls. It will take some time, of course, but I do want there to be an alliance forming with them which can soon lead to an eventual friendship. If not with all the girls, then certainly with Hanna once again.
an idea is bulletproof: Pretty Little Liars - castelizalavelle on June 15th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
I like the feeling with Mona not being against the girls all of the time. I still wouldn't 100% trust her but I'm also interested in seeing Hanna and her make up because they do have a lot of friendship that they need to resolve.

I really wish Aria's fear day dream about Ezra getting arrested could have been true. I agree they should have been caught ages ago.

Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Still here bitches.rogueslayer452 on June 16th, 2013 11:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, the girls being cautious and wary is understandable, and smart, because they don't know if Mona is trustworthy despite all her attempts at making nice and they've already been fooled by her before. But I do want there to be an alliance between them, since they have a common enemy now who is after all of them. And I agree, Hanna and Mona do need to properly reconcile, since their friendship was a beautiful thing for many years until very recently. Even if it was her cover, she did say she really was her best friend once. And I truly believe that.

lol, and yeah, they were never discreet about their relationship. They were making out in the school parking lot that one time for goodness sakes. I think this would have had a better impact had this been a threat some seasons ago, to really emphasize how taboo their relationship was, and how more cautious they should've been.

But at least now with all these other obstacles Aria doesn't want to risk anything anymore. So I'd say this scare is rather good for her as a character to at least move on.
an idea is bulletproof: Pretty Little Liars - castelizalavelle on June 17th, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
I hope we get to see Aria move on this season :) Have you read the books? I really hope we get to some of the plots from the later books this season :)
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on June 17th, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
I haven't read the books, but I know what happens and the big plot reveals.

I really do want them to introduce the twin thing into the show. I know that they've strayed a bit from certain things, but I feel like that plot twist would be fascinating to watch unfold. They've already alluded to it, so I want to see it follow through.
an idea is bulletproof: Golden Compass - adventureelizalavelle on July 19th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
The twin part is my favourite twist from the books and I think they're almost about to reveal it on the show. It would make a great Summer finale moment.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Secrets.rogueslayer452 on July 19th, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
I know that the producer keeps saying that they're not focusing on the twin aspect, but come on, how can they not at this point. There's just too much alluding to that direction to not go there, and it would make sense for such a twist to happen now considering that the girls are contemplating whether or not Alison is still alive.