Spencer obsesses with investigating further into her Ezra theory, who in turn has been keeping tabs on everything and everyone and trying to keep Aria by his side. Aria feels conflicted by her secrecy with Ezra, seemingly unaware of his manipulation. Hanna does her own investigation on Spencer, deducing what has been up with her lately. Emily contacts Shanna, who later asks her for help in getting something for Alison.
The Ezra Fitz Saga
I think this episode further confirms how deep Ezra is in his professional creepiness.
That scene of him basically opening up that cellar door in his cabin and seeing everything he had in his lair, with his surveillance cameras practically everywhere, watching everyone, him basically knocking out Shanna in order to get information from her phone, I think it's safe to assume that we're not getting hoodwinked on this. At least, this version of him anyway.
Some fans have been mentioning that Ezra doesn't seem like the character we've come to know based on his behavior in these recent episodes, especially with pressuring Aria into staying with him and continuing to lie to her friends and family, and there's speculation that while the show might not be heading into the Alison twin storyline as featured in the books, they might be doing it with Ezra instead.
Which would make things interesting, but honestly it would lose the emotional impact of the situation, imo.
What makes the aspect of his changed behavior fascinating is how terrifying his change seems. We, as the audience, are aware of his shady behavior so of course it skews everything we've known of his character from before. Of course there should be the feeling of "no, that isn't him, he would never do this" because that's precisely what is supposed to be going through people's minds; there's supposed to be denial, thinking it's impossible. Granted we thought that of Toby, and in the end it turned out fine, but here with Ezra there's more glaring evidence of what he's really like behind the curtain and it's frightening. No, this isn't him from before. But that's the point. The him from before never was him to begin with. That was his facade, his cover, the face he wanted people to see him as. And it's scary to think about, because there are plenty of people out there who put this kind of mask on initially and then their true colors come shining through, whether intentionally or not. It's even worse in relationships where things get abusive or borderline controlling, which makes the partner not want to leave them thinking that they'll change back to the person that they once knew, that it's just an episode and everything is gonna be alright. Or, like with Aria right now, the obvious manipulation that they are utterly oblivious to because they love them so much that they cannot see beyond what they think they know of them.
I understand that there's worry about them doing something like fake us out in the end, despite everything that we've seen, and I'm desperately hoping that they don't because aside from it being thematically poetic, I feel like this revelation will be a huge emotional and personal impact on all of the girls, hitting Aria the hardest most of all. Not that I want her to get hurt! But just, it will make her realize the reality of the situation that she was in and she will come out stronger due to that.
I want the relationship between them to come undone, to break that spell and fantasy that she had been living in for the longest time.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Spencer going further downhill with her pill-popping, which makes me really scared for her, honestly. She's doing it to remain awake, from the stress and her grim determination to figure things out, which I understand. But she's putting herself in a lot of danger, and not just from the lack of sleep. Ezra knows, has been looking into her personal files, and no doubt he will make sure that the authorities know about what she's been up to and for all we know she could wind up right back in Radley.
++ I will note though how Troian plays strung out/sleep deprived Spencer. Just like she did with Crazy Spencer, she does a phenomenal job in her acting.
++ Hanna becoming an amateur investigator. We're getting a lot of development from her this season and I'm loving it.
++ Poor Alison. :( She looks absolutely lost and desperate at the end there. With little money, her trust in Shanna gone, she has nowhere to go. And that makes it dangerous since she's in quite a vulnerable state. I wonder what will happen to her, or if she starts to reach out to the other girls.
++ Everything involving Ezra that proves his shady creepy self. We knew this, but this further solidified what we already knew. From his cabin cellar lair to him lurking about and watching the girls, to him basically lying and manipulating Aria to his will because she trusts him that much, it's really disturbing and it's really so fucking amazing to me to see his character in this light that we never have before.
++ I initially I was confused about Aria not wanting to tell her friends about seeing Ezra because, discarding what we know, it's not like they would hate her for having feelings for him and seeing him again. But when you take in everything at a different perspective particularly because, I think it's understandable given how she's been feeling lately. She's angry at herself, she hates the lying and sneaking around and acting like they first did when they were together. She doesn't like that someone like Mona could be all chumming with her younger brother when she can't even do the same thing with Ezra. She's angry and confused, and gets even more confused with the way Ezra keeps suggesting that their sneaking around is bringing them "closer together". She's being toyed and lied to by the person she trusts, while lying to her friends, aka the people who actually do care about her and love her. I find it very interesting.
(Of course I'm secretly hoping that she pulls a Spencer and will discover the truth and basically throw it right back in Ezra's face.)
Things I didn't like:
++ I want more Mona. As always. I want to know what she's been up to.
++ I'm sort of facepalming at why Emily couldn't just keep the money on her person while at work instead of trying to find a place to hide it. The money was inside an envelope, Ems bby. It's not necessarily conspicuous, you know.
Overall: We're just teetering on the edge of what will happen; Spencer has been in the know, now the rest of the girls know, and we're anxiously waiting for Aria to figure it out and seeing her reaction to it all. And what will happen with Alison, and how everything comes together. Next episode is expected to be an experimental one, a play on black and white crime noirs (based on the play that's been mentioned on the show), so we'll see how that is done. I've seen the stills from it and I'm intrigued on how they're gonna do it.
Ravenswood 1.10 "My Haunted Heart"
In the season finale, Hanna makes a surprise visit to Caleb in Ravenswood. Remy, Olivia and Luke make contact with a ghost who shows them what happened to Olivia and Luke's father, which it turns out Dylan was the one who killed him. They all go to the abandoned church after Remy was kidnapped by Dylan, which it turns out to have been a trap, but they get saved by Mr. Collins.
I personally felt like the finale was the strongest episode of the first season, for numerous reasons. First off, it felt like a season closer.
Secondly, certain things that could have gone unresolved were actually dealt with. Dylan, for example, after gloating in the previous episode about having made a deal where he was practically untouchable, he basically got killed as his punishment for not completing what he was told to do. Mr. Collins coming through at the end of the day, revealing briefly of the past and his role (something he was born into and cannot get out of because of the pact having been made, he tried to stop it, as many others have before him, but it cannot be stopped unless you want to end up dead); and he's been trying to save these kids, and does so at the end of this episode. I also like his admission that he wanted to know his niece, but purposefully drove her away to save her, twice. This is perhaps the most emotional we've seen him on the show, since he's usually so stoic and off-putting with his cold demeanor.
And finally, we have the whole situation between Hanna, Caleb and Miranda sorted out. Well, as sorted out as can be at the moment, seeing as how Caleb is still remaining in Ravenswood.
I'm actually relieved about what they did, given that I was very disappointed and worried with how things were starting to look initially. Hanna going there to confront Caleb, or at least get answers to the things he was incredibly vague about, and gets more than she bargained for. Of course she wouldn't believe outright everything, but at least she got to know that Miranda died and that Caleb is dealing with some things. Things she might not entirely believer herself, but she believes that Caleb believes in it and has to deal with them there because it has affected him that much. I also loved that she managed to "speak" to Miranda, if rather indirectly, and that Miranda was listening. And I really liked that Miranda recognizes Hanna's love for Caleb, and Caleb's love for Hanna, and that she promises to protect him so he can return to her. Regardless of her own feelings, she puts all that aside in favor of his own, and I thought that was really great to show. Because Caleb does love Hanna, even if their ancestors were in love they aren't them.
And that ending with the Original Caleb having been released (by Mr. Collins as a bargaining to stop Abaddon from trying to finish what he started with the kids) and finding her, thinking that she was his Miranda? That is gonna be interesting, and make things interesting, for sure.
Overall: I really enjoyed the finale. I hope Ravenswood gets renewed for a second season, if only to see where they take this story. I am invested in it and I'm interested to see where they go from here and how things get resolved.