While the police is waiting on whether or not Alison will identify the guy claiming to be her "kidnapper", Spencer is thinking that the girls should cut ties from Alison altogether to protect themselves from her stories and lies so they cannot be caught up in the game "A" is playing.
The Girls vs. Alison?
At this point I'm really wanting them to make a spin-off series of what actually happened to Alison when she disappeared, just to completely understand her motives and what she has planned. It would make it easier to see from her perspective on the actions she's doing versus the limited goggles the show has provided of us, especially when we have the girls (and everyone else) deciding that Alison hasn't changed, when it's kind of obvious that she has, just not in the way that they expected her to.
Granted, it's not that she's given any of them a reason to believe her with the lies and stories and even their history with her, but I think despite being stuck in the same situation their circumstances have been quite different. By that I mean while the girls have always had each other when shit has gone down throughout the years, Alison has always been on her own. And without a proper support system, without anyone to truly trust to have her back always, she had to go for the tactics she only knew how: lying, manipulating, blackmailing. Even before when she first started getting threatened by "A" she had suspected those in her life and tried to narrow them down. Alison may have gotten more resourceful while she had been on the run from "A" and gone into self-preservation mode, but at what price? Her childhood friend betrayed her, Noel seems to think that he needs to be prepared just in case she decides to turn on him, and now her four best friends are thinking of cutting ties with her altogether because they aren't trusting of her anymore.
I don't think Alison is the bad guy, but I do think her methods haven't been the best or the smartest. She needs to rectify this or else she'll basically end up losing everyone in her life that she thought she loved and could count on and then she'll truly be all alone.
Also, I don't blame the girls for being fed up with Alison, and especially given their history with her it's nice seeing that they're standing up for themselves and not automatically giving into what Alison expects of them. But at the same time it's sad, you know? I want Alison to be trustworthy enough for them to want to want to believe her, because they should be in this together rather than cutting ties. With everything involving "A", if one of them is affected then they're all affected. We've seen the little scene between Mona, Jenna and Sydney, they want the girls to separate the girls from Alison and think of her as someone they should be be wary of instead of joining forces. We don't know precisely what that means, but it's definitely not good news.
Furthermore, I think that Alison is their best bet on finding out who "A" is. When you factor in that she's been investigating by herself prior to her disappearance and been on the run for the better part of two years, including being able to go in and out of Rosewood without being recognized during that time when she visited the girls, she is, besides Mona, the only one who can match figuring out what "A"'s next move might be.
Unfortunately, everything is much more complicated. Alison knows she needs to atone for her actions and prove herself to others on how wrong she had been, but there's definitely more at stake than any of them (or us) realize. And unfortunately, she has a nasty past with how she treated people, even her own friends, that is coming back to bite her in the ass. It's a consequence she knows she must pay, but there are bigger things on the plate that must take top priority at the moment and she doesn't quite know how to deal with that without getting back into the old habits, even if it's for a good purpose.
I just have a lot of feelings on this, most of them jumbled. Nothing is quite what it seems and characters who are redeemable and want to change may not have a choice in the matter given their current situations; or sometimes, they may not know precisely how, and it's very sad. So, yeah.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ I do appreciate the fact that we're experiencing the unknowing feeling in regards to Alison, even though we want to know answers about what she's thinking/feeling/planning. We know there's more to the story, and it's frustrating seeing how we're being left out in the dark just like the girls, and it's also heartbreaking because they're now breaking apart from Alison because of this. There's this torn feeling about what is currently happening even though you know it's not the end of things, and it's definitely not the end of Alison and the girls. Even if they're all dealing with the same predator ("A"), they're not all on the same page and are dealing with their own monsters and issues. So, yeah, I think it's interesting watching it all kind of come undone like this, which I'm hoping it can be repaired later.
++ An uplifting moment of the episode, though, was Caleb and Hanna running together. I liked that a whole lot. Hanna reminds me of me in that sense; want to run, but you know you'll collapse even within a short distance, but there's motivation behind it despite that.
++ "Are you seriously running away from me? I'm faster than you, and I have a car!" I lol'd at that line. Spencer has all the best comebacks, imho.
++ Ella and Aria having their mother-daughter talk was nice. I'm happy to see Ella and I'm happy that there's little moments with them talking about things, even if it's stuff like the breakups and uncertainty of those in their respective love lives.
++ Not that I don't believe that Mona had been uneasy around Alison before (because trust me, I know what it feels like having to be around those who had bullied you, the anxiety and panic attacks are not fun at all), I just don't believe that Mona was quite sincere in her admission to Hanna in that moment. Let's not forget her responsibility of wanting Alison out of town and basically threatening her when she came back, and it certainly wasn't because it was out of fear of anxiety either.
++ Sasha Pietese deserves an award for her emotional scenes. Those flashbacks were quite painful to witness, and she manages to capture the pain and fear really well. All her scenes this season actually have been amazing. Major props to her.
++ I'm actually concerned for Melissa. Like, she hasn't always been the best person to rely on and has been the subject of suspicion for the longest time over the seasons, but there is certainly a level of fear going on with her. She knows things, perhaps knows too much of something, so much that she fears for her life and the life of her sister, who she has been swearing she wants to protect even before everything started to happen and escalate. And with her recording that message, I have a fear that she might get killed. D:
Things I didn't like:
++ Seeing that scene with Alison and Emily broke my heart. :( I do think Alison does have a plan, but unfortunately she cannot tell, and this is costing her the friendship with Emily and the girls. Just. :((((((
++ Spencer's plan, which even the girls have admitted was kind of horrible. It's something which I don't necessarily hate because we've all thought this at some point or another (re: them just going to the police and telling them the entire truth), but Aria is right that it really doesn't matter when they've all been branded liars. Never mind that there's so much at stake for all of them. At this point, going to the authorities doesn't really do much other than add more complications. Although I suspect it's more about the relief of getting the responsibility off their shoulders, especially considering they want free from anything Alison puts on them with all the lies and stories they have to tell to keep the charade up. Still, I'm not entirely agreeing on the cutting the ties with Alison thing, even if I understand the motives behind it.
Overall: This was another episode that made me anxious because of what was happening. There's this level of wanting Alison to tell the truth and be open to her friends but also wanting the girls to understand that Alison might be onto something, even if she's not telling them everything. And then there's everything else being connected, like Melissa and then Mona and how it's all intertwined with each other and how this all affects the girls, and this is why they can't cut ties because it doesn't really matter anyway because "A" will get them one way or another. I'm really interested, but also anxious, to see what happens next. What will happen with Alison? Will the girls ignore her? Will Mona (and the rest of her gang) rub this in her face? Will Melissa disappear or wind up dead because she is deciding to tell Spencer the truth about her involvement? All the suspense, I cannot wait.