While Hanna sees the fallout of what she's been dealing with, Spencer and Emily investigate separately with things they are suspicious of concerning Noel and Jenna, all which may be connected to each other. Suspicions also land on Alison as there are still unanswered questions about her intentions with everyone she's been in contact with.
Hanna Marin and Aria Montgomery
Honestly, I wish Aria hadn't gotten off that easily.
I mean, I'm glad that they resolved everything and they made up and stuff, like I predicted they would. Like I mentioned before, this show doesn't do prolonged fights between our girls, because their friendship is what keeps them holding on and it's something I've always admired. However, I found how it was done kind of underwhelming. I mean, Aria said some pretty nasty things to Hanna in the heat of the moment and, while she might not have meant them, it was said and she needs to acknowledge that instead of brushing it aside. Like, she literally says, "it wasn't that I didn't believe you" and I'm just like, uh, yeah. It really does mean that. Because otherwise you wouldn't have said those things to your best friend, someone you love. You were angry and misdirected that anger at her and you should be apologizing for that. Because otherwise it doesn't make sense. And really, it seemed like they kind of softened her to make it seem like she did believe her, even though she was avoiding her at the same time? Idgi.
But whatever. As much as I hated this whole storyline (which thankfully only lasted for two episodes), at least they made up and the whole Zack situation is finally over, and now they can move onto more important things that they're all dealing with. That's kind of all that I care about, really.
The Alison Conundrum
Alison: How'd you do it? Shanna. She was my friend before she met you. How'd you turn her against me?
Jenna: I didn't. You did.
One of the things I appreciate with what they're doing with Alison's story right now is how nothing is simple. There's still unanswered questions, still missing pieces to the story, and with her lying and manipulating situations, even if there is a good reason, doesn't actually make things any better, especially for the girls who have more than enough reason to be skeptical of her actions. Here we have Jenna stating that she never manipulated Shanna, that her feelings about Alison shifted on their own. This is a harsh reality that Alison has to accept. It's something she has to really consider and reevaluate how she is operating because if someone she thought she could trust ended up turning on her, what is stopping any of the other girls from doing the same, even if it's to protect themselves?
Noel Khan, for example, is claiming that he is taking evidence that could destroy Alison and her fake kidnapping story as means of a security clearance in case Alison turns on him. Now, whether we believe this or not is still up in the air, but this is something that needs to be taken into account that even those Alison has met up with and has helped her along the way are skeptical of her loyalty.
This is important to note because, even if Alison is sincere and genuine with her fears and actually does want to change, it doesn't erase everything she had done in the past and needs to rectify in order to prove to others that she is going in that direction instead of falling back into her old schemes. Yes, there are those who are holding a personal grudge against her and have a very specific agenda (whether "A" related or otherwise) to make her life a living hell, which of course means having to hide things and not give anything away (because the girls have done this loads of times, to protect themselves and others from what "A" could reveal and fundamentally make things worse), but regardless of that she needs to establish a trust bond with her friends. Because if she doesn't, if she continues to hide things, sneak around behind their backs, or just basically lack any kind of communication between them in trying to make that effort, that trust is never going to form and she will lose them.
Lies, secrecy and trust issues, all which can either save or damage them depending on how and when things are revealed. It's truly a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, and in my opinion it's fascinating watching it kind of unwind the more we delve into things. From Alison and the girls to the alliances made with Mona and Jenna and Sydney and Melissa, to "A" (whoever that may be now) and the mystery surrounding Bethany Young. It's all connected, it's all complicated, and I'm excited to see how it all unfolds in the end.
(Which let's face it will only give us more questions than answers, but this shit is addicting so I cannot say I won't be entertained one way or another.)
Things I liked about this episode:
++ Spencer and Emily were on point this episode. They are truly hardcore badasses in their own right. Spencer wielding a fireplace poker and being threatening, and Emily just being all up on Sydney's face and not giving into her sob story, especially after catching her in a lie and trying to bullshit her way out of it. Thankfully Emily knew better and will be watching her like a hawk. I'm super proud of her, and of Spencer too. You go, girls!
++ Speaking of which, interesting how they had Jenna and Sydney look alike, from their hair and outfits to sunglasses. Obviously this was planned, and to make the confusion for Spencer thinking she's seeing two Jennas (another shoutout for a twin storyline? possibly? maybe?)
++ "Why were you smelling the doorknob?" lol excellent delivery, Spencer.
++ I kind of figured that Noel Khan had something else up his sleeve. Remember when Alison said that he had secrets too? I figure that he thinks Alison will use that against him, so he is gaining evidence to use against her if/when the time is right. So many secrets being held. I wonder what that secret of his actually is, and how damaging it might be.
++ I really liked the scene between Ella and Byron. It was sweet, and considering everything they'd gone through together, I like that Byron still does care for her and is there when she needs a shoulder to cry on.
++ Caleb beating up Zack = A+ in my book. :)
++ Even though I disliked this storyline, I do like that Hanna comments on how she feels about the whole ordeal. That even though he's the one that was harassing her, she's the one who felt like shit, especially since nobody else was believing her. It's a common thing for victims to want to hide and feel ashamed even though they were attacked because others either a.) don't believe them or b.) nothing can be done against the one that attacked them. I also liked that Caleb was willing to listen to her and actually believed her without a second thought, never mind not believing that Hanna would write a note to Zack and immediately thought about "A" stirring the pot. It's something I wish her friends did initially, but whatever. Caleb may be going through his own shit, and maybe he wasn't paying attention at first with Hanna's drinking issue, but when the time came he sobered up to listen and became the best boyfriend ever and took her side. ♥ ♥ ♥
++ I am intrigued with what is happening with that random guy who has been caught pretending to be Alison's kidnapper, since we know that story is faked. Was this setup by "A"? Possibly, given that ending. Just another thing to be several steps ahead of Alison and the girls, because it puts them in a difficult spot because what is Alison supposed to do? Is she going to identify him, thus confirming her own story? I don't think she ever planned on anyone ever being found, especially with "A" out and about. Or is she going to say she doesn't know? Why is this guy doing this, and for what price? Things should get interesting.....
Things I didn't like:
++ Obviously the whole Zack storyline, which thankfully is over now. It really didn't need to happen especially with the way it was executed.
++ Also Aria getting really defensive over Ezra not being a creep. Um, have you forgotten that he has lied to you for years? That he secretly spied on you and your friends with surveillance equipment? Stalked you, even? Furthermore, him possibly being in contact with Shanna is something you should be concerned about rather than trying to "defend his honor" or whatever. Just ugh, Aria, look at your life, look at your choices.
Overall: Despite my feelings on that particular storyline, for the most part the episode was really good. I enjoyed seeing Spencer and Emily being major bosses, kicking ass and taking names, and I am interested in what is gonna happen next with Alison and her story now that they've caught the supposed "perp".