Alison manages to get the police to (temporarily) stop questioning her, Aria finds out more crucial information about Bethany which Spencer and Emily go investigate further, while Hanna is dealing with bigger issues that may have severe consequences, and it's causing a rift between herself and her friends.
Hanna Marin vs. The World
This episode stressed me out, most notably with Hanna and what's been happening with her, and to her.
Hanna has been turning to alcohol as a means to deal with everything. With Alison being back, with having to lie again and again, she basically feels like a puppet, the third wheel even inside her own home. Unfortunately she cannot talk to anyone about this, except for Caleb, and is using alcohol as a way of dulling her feelings and thoughts and to basically endure. It's a self-destructive behavior that is essentially a huge cry for help, and I'm surprised that none of the girls have actually tried to actively do something, an intervention, just simply talking to her about what is bothering her. They know it's about Alison, but it's so much more than that.
And now this episode basically has Zack, Aria's mother's fiance, hitting on and sexually harassing her while she is slightly inebriated. To which none of her friends are believing her. Well, Spencer and Emily might, though they second-guessed her judgment because she wasn't sober during the incident. And even Aria had the fucking nerve to insult and basically place blame on Hanna, accusing her of getting drunk to seduce Zack into her car.
Sure, Hanna hasn't been herself lately, she's been drunk going to school and talking to strangers, accidentally letting some crucial information slip about their time in New York, but to say that Hanna was the root of the problem? Has always been the root of the problem? Saying that Hanna is purposefully destroying Aria's family? That is going too damn far, even for Aria. I'm hoping to god that the next episode there's a reconciliation of sorts or that Aria witnesses that Hanna is telling the truth, because I am literally very angry with her right now. Like I get it, you're angry at Hanna for getting drunk and accidentally spilling the beans about New York, but don't you dare try to victim-blame her when she was truly sexually harassed by your potential step-father and think that it's a personal vendetta against you. Like, the fuck Aria?
Hanna is troubled at the moment and needs their help, but nobody is listening and just getting mad at her. And all I want to do is wrap her in a blanket and tell her it's okay. She needs to talk out her problems, she needs to address the issues, she needs to confront Alison on why she feels this way.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ I didn't know the girls had choir, or singing class. Granted, we don't really see the girls in all their classes so it's practically irrelevant unless it's relevant to the episode in question. Basically, what they sung at the beginning is what was used for the "A" ending scene.
++ Alison is quite the schemer, and it was a brilliant plan to back the detectives off her back for a while until she can get her story straight. She went to Ashley Marin, told that story, gained that sympathy, and what the attack happened and they called the police she was able to defend Alison and tell off the detective for hounding her like that. Yes, it was manipulative, but it was pretty clever. Also, I'm still quite curious about what Alison went through. They never addressed where she was going from the last episode, so hopefully that will come up later.
++ I love that Toby is joining the police academy to try and better Rosewood, to want to help solve the things that the police in that town cannot. Though I cannot help but wonder if that's the exact reason that Garrett took the job as well, to find something out and he eventually ended up on the shady side of things. Not that I think Toby will end up like that, he's the opposite of what Garrett was, since he wants all of this to stop rather than enable it.
++ And the plot thickens with Bethany Young. I'm intrigued by what this may be leading to, and I have so many theories on what this could mean. Are they doing the twin storyline? Another twin storyline? Something else altogether? Regardless, I am fascinated and wanna know more.
Things I didn't like:
++ Aria. I just cannot with her right now. I'm hoping that they really do resolve this in the next episode (as with this show fights between the girls don't always last long, and always get reconciled rather quickly, so I'm hoping this is the case for this). Until then, she's on my shitlist. Victim-blaming and shaming Hanna for being drunk and insinuating that she intentionally seduced her mother's fiance. Get real, Aria. Use your brain. Yes, you're mad at Hanna for the New York thing, but this is going way too far and you should know better.
++ It seems slightly out-of-character for Caleb to be enforcing Hanna's drinking habits and not realizing something is wrong about that. I know that he's changed too after Ravenswood, but he does care for Hanna and doesn't want anything bad to happen to her. I just want him to slow down and help her rather than allow her to drown in her problems.
Overall: The episode wasn't bad per se, it just really unnerved me with the way things were executed. I know there's complications and we should be expecting conflict between the girls from time to time, but this? Was not the way to do it. It made Aria look horrible, and it makes it look like terrible writing just to create issues between them. These girls have always been with each other through thick and thin, and have always supported each other, they would never accuse or blame the other for something like that. And if there is a fight, it's always quickly resolved within the next episode or two. So please show, fix this because Aria should know better. You should know better. That is all I have to say about that.