Alison is given a choice for a plea bargain, which includes not just admitting that she killed Mona but that she had an accomplice as well, which may lessen her time in prison. Detective Tanner has built up a case against Hanna, and while Alison ultimately refuses to take the plea bargain in the end, Hanna ends up getting arrested anyway. Spencer finds out that her mother sent her to London to avoid being convicted of the same fate. Emily discovers more information about Varjak and they're all getting closer to discovering who "A" is. Supposedly, anyway.
Alison and Hanna: Guilty Until Proven Innocent
Things have started to escalate rather quickly.
Alison being viciously bullied while in prison was hard to witness. Obviously it's something constructed because of "A", who is using scare tactics to pressure her into taking the plea bargain, and she's been taunted by whoever this person is throughout her stay in the prison. It just is never-ending until Alison and the rest of the girls suffer behind bars, and even then who knows when the taunting and threatening will stop. Some will say that Alison deserves this, that it's karma, but naturally I don't agree with that. True, she does need to understand the level of pain that she has caused others, no matter how indirect her intentions were, but this isn't the way of doing that. Dulling out punishment and revenge like this isn't going to gain proper atonement from her or any of the other girls for the things they've done.
Now that Hanna will be joining her, I wonder how things will be. Will they collaborate together to figure out who has been sending Alison (and I'm presuming soon Hanna) messages from the inside? Will Hanna still view Alison as someone she cannot trust? Now that Alison has refused the plea bargain, what will that mean for her?
And what about the other girls? "A" has their blood too and it can be used to frame them all the same, as well. It makes me wonder why Hanna was the first. Granted out of all the girls, both Spencer and Hanna have the most colorful records. And Spencer was previously arrested in earlier this season in suspicion of whether she was involved with Bethany Young's murder. She was then placed on a plane to London in hopes that she can get away from Rosewood and the possibility of her being framed as an accomplice to Mona's murder. Something she didn't even know until this episode. I do think "A" is trying to take down the girls one at a time, and is picking off the easiest of the group and Hanna is the one that has gotten into trouble with the law the most. But it makes you wonder what else might be in store for the rest of them, and how they'll prove that they are being setup. Already there's so much evidence against them, not just what's being built up but also from the many lies they've told over the years. The stories, the lies, the cover-ups; they are the "girls who cried wolf", any bother mentioning how it all started now would be tangled up in those web of lies.
How are they going to get out of this unscathed? Will Alison and Hanna go to trial by the end of the season? Will any more of the girls be arrested? Will they be found guilty despite being innocent? Will "A" win? With only three more episodes to go, anything can happen.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Alison. ♥ Sasha continues to amaze me with her performance. From her fear, the desperation in the phone call she made, and the determination in realizing that she needs to fight now that the girls are being picked off one by one. The last scene with her flat out refusing to accept the plea bargain was pretty damn awesome. You could see how she was defiant. I think this is Alison understanding that she cannot allow "A" to win, no matter how much she is pushed and prodded to be yanked around even from the confinement of prison walls.
++ At least we know that Melissa wasn't the one inside the barrel. That's kind of a relief. But at the same time, disconcerting because someone was and it could be Mona or someone else entirely.
++ I'm curious about the Varjak person. Is it a guy or girl? Is it a henchman of "A" or are they the Big "A"? Or is this literally just some kind of mislead and we're just going to be going around in circle with this reveal that'll happen soon? Either way, I really want more information.
Things I didn't like:
++ The whole couple weirdness. I keep saying that I don't like or care for the flings our girls are going through, and it continues. Spencer and Toby are still together, but not really. Aria and Ezra are still technically together, but not really. Emily and Paige are also technically still together, but again not really. Like, none of them actually ever broke up, but they're all acting like they have with the other, or just not knowing where they stand and it's just weird. I don't like it. The only pairing that hasn't been in this confusing mess has been Hanna/Caleb, and I hope it stays that way even with Hanna locked up.
++ Any time someone brings up Ezra's "research" I basically go, "oh, you mean the 'research' where he (an adult male) spied on underage girls and got romantically involved in one and therefore is a skeevy pervert?" Ugh. Why does this show continually overlook this creepy factor?
++ Oh Ashley, I know you want to help, but sometimes the way you try to help protect your daughter isn't the best way. Same with Melissa. You think you're trying to protect Spencer things just get more complicated. I do wish that Spencer and Melissa had a better sisterly relationship, but unfortunately with everything happening it cannot be. They can start over, but once all of this is over and there are literally no more secrets between them on both sides.
++ I knew that immediately when it was mentioned that the girls could show evidence of "A" threatening them from their phones that all the information would be erased. Like seriously, back that shit up. Print it out, something. "A" is a mastermind with technology. So it's not surprising that they would hack into their phones and erase all traces of their involvement.
Overall: I really liked this episode. The pacing was good, and I was pleasantly surprised with how things escalated rather quickly in terms of the development and outcome of Hanna being arrested and with Alison's trial. And from the previews it does look like there is going to be trial appearance, so we'll be visiting more than just the random places on set and inside an actual courtroom. It does make me wonder, though, about how the outcome of this will be. Will "A" get the last laugh? With Alison and Hanna get tried as guilty or innocent? We have three more episodes to find out. And then two more seasons of this ongoing mystery and where it will lead our characters.