The girls finally talk with Alison, filling her in what Mike knew about what Mona was planning. Aria and Hanna attempt to talk with Cyrus about who may have information on the true identity of "A". Spencer goes to London to meet with professors at Oxford University and unfortunately gets an "A" surprise, as does Alison behind bars.
Alison's Atonement and Apology
Seeing the girls approaching Alison after all this time and admitting that they were wrong made me feel quite vindicated. Of course it would've been better had they admitted that yeah, they intentionally planted evidence to get her framed for murder, but at least they aren't vocally accusing her of being the irredeemable She Devil that they had been for episodes now, so it's a start.
The scene between Alison and Hanna, though, was my favorite moment.
Hanna gathering up to courage to face Alison again after previously accusing her directly to her face rather vehemently, only to have Alison apologize to her. I liked that Alison acknowledged her past wrongdoings, understood that perhaps where she was, despite the fact that she was wrongfully framed, might have been karma coming back at her. It can be debated whether she is just acting, but I truly believe she is telling the absolute truth. I've believed her for a while now, and I'm happy that not only do the girls now believe in her, but also that Alison is understanding and realizing that she isn't entirely innocent in everything that has happened. Her tearful apology wasn't crocodile tears but what I believe to be genuine regret and acknowledgement of her mistakes and how deep it has gotten her, and everyone else.
There's something fascinating about this kind of arc that I am attracted to, the atonement of someone who has acknowledged what they had done wrong and wanting to fix things. The character study, and basically the entire point of the show, at least part of it, is about teenagers who have lied and done unspeakable things and then having to come to terms with the repercussions of their actions. Acknowledging and owning up to their wrongdoings and trying to better themselves as human beings. We've all known people in school who have hurt people, whether purposefully or unintentionally, and it can be hard to overcome those wounds or to see them other than that person who was malicious you. Which is why someone like Mona or Paige could never get over how awful Alison was to them despite the possibility that she has changed, and wants to change and make things better.
I think that is why this is one of my favorite themes of the show, and why I am so excited with anything dealing with Alison's arc this season. Seeing that change, this acknowledgement, what she has gone through and how she's trying to mend things is something I want to see more of. I want Alison and the girls to work together, I want Alison to prove her innocence, to prove that she is a changed person for the better.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Alison appearing in this episode. Just her presence after so long of her absence makes me really happy, and relieved because pretty much anything involving her arc and storyline is worth more than anything else that has happening lately. And Sasha's acting continues to be phenomenal.
++ Emily dancing. Just, that entire scene was the definition of sex, okay?
++ Like I said, the scene between Hanna and Alison was really good. I also liked that Hanna said that they could try to start over. She acknowledging that shit has changed and there's nothing to undo what was already done, but they can try to repair the damage bit by bit. That's a step in the right direction and I'm hoping we get to see.
Things I didn't like:
++ Yes, Alison has lied, but so has the girls too. They've all done things they shouldn't have and they shouldn't try to pin Alison being the biggest liar when they've all done their fair share of lying and twisting the truth.
++ Again, the girls shouldn't have to be introduced to possible flings constantly even when their current relationships are still pending. Like, the fuck. Let them be by themselves for once. Don't fill in the space with other people when there's already shit in the plot to figure out.
++ It was obvious that they were going to have Talia separate from her husband, because there was no way that they would continue to have her see Emily with him still in the picture. Regardless though, I don't see the point of her character. Like, I get it, she's going through some personal things with her own sexuality and where she stands with relationships and whatnot, and that's all fine and good. But why does it have to be involving Emily? It's pretty much the same situation that happened with Paige and her own repressed sexuality. I'm just not feeling this whole storyline, especially since Emily has offered to allow her to be a guest inside her own home. Like that isn't going to go somewhere. It's just too predictable and it's too unneeded, tbh.
++ I find it hilarious that whenever any show wants to have characters go overseas but cannot afford to do so all they have to do is show outside footage of that place and then just place whatever in the background to make it look like wherever they're supposed to be. Also, shouldn't there have been time zone issues when Spencer was calling/texting her friends? IDK.
++ Hair nets are supposed to cover your entire scalp covering the hair, not just acting like a substitute beret. That part irritated me.
Overall: An improvement from the recent string of episodes thanks to Alison being back, and also with the plot moving forward. I want to know what Mrs. Hastings found that she wanted Spencer to remain in London, and who are the "A" henchmen that keep trying to frame the girls.