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04 March 2015 @ 08:19 pm
Pretty Little Liars: "To Plea or Not To Plea" Episode Review  
Pretty Little Liars 5.22 "To Plea Or Not To Plea"

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.
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: Icon For Hire - The Grey
Julie: Sailor Moon ★ never look backragnarok_08 on March 5th, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
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.

I agree with you there.
Samarsakuraberries on March 5th, 2015 09:59 pm (UTC)
Things are getting good! This is the PLL I like.

Why does Spencer always attract older dudes who are always forgetting that she's a high school student? Like, I realize I have no leg to stand on with this argument as an Ezra/Aria shipper, but really.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on March 6th, 2015 11:01 pm (UTC)
I knew that once Alison became more of a main focus again that things would start getting better. The show always kind of does this, it'll hit a particular lull of filler eps until they get right back into the main plot again. I think they would do much better with shorter seasons than extended ones, imho.

Honestly, I don't know. It kind of bothers me that, aside from some particular incidents, there is no discussion or concern about it within the show. Of course now that the girls are basically nearing graduating high school it's up for debate. But you'd think that someone who knew that a high school student from America, who wasn't old enough to legally drink back home, would be more cautious. Idk.
Maria: love voldemortshyngi on March 8th, 2015 08:17 am (UTC)
Truth to be told, after Alison "came back alive" I've stopped liking this show. But I still watching it for no reason! Most of the time I tend to scream at the episode "just go to the police and tell everything, then your life gets easier!"

I was so happy with this episode since Hanna was about to do that. Of course with bad luck but still! Progress!!
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Still here bitches.rogueslayer452 on March 8th, 2015 08:30 am (UTC)
I know some were skeptical about Alison truly being alive and that it might take away from the suspense/mystery of her disappearance over the last several seasons, but I actually really think the show has improved immensely due to her being back. It really shook things up direction-wise and has made things really interesting, particularly with Alison's relationship with the girls and seeing her character growth and redemption storyline. Sasha has really brought a lot to the table with her performance of having Alison be sympathetic, and it really plays into the theme of the show, imho.

My annoyances mostly go for the fillers and the slow pace of the reveals which end up getting lost in the timeline of events, and some of the side stories which don't really mesh with the main plot all that well. Also, as you said, kind of wishing that there was more common sense with the girls (i.e. backing up all the "A" messages as evidence).

I still love the show though, regardless of the things that I may have issues with. I've decided I'm in this for the long haul, no matter how ridiculous and convoluted their storylines can be. I want to see how the "A" mystery is going to be solved and how the girls are going to get out of this situation they've endured all this time.

Edited at 2015-03-08 08:32 am (UTC)
Maria: love voldemortshyngi on March 8th, 2015 09:18 am (UTC)
I too want to know how everything ends. I like suspence stories and maybe that's why I keep watching this show. I drop show very easily if the plot start being ridiculous (like Gossip Girl & The Vampire Diaries).

I haven't read the books so I have no idea what's going to happen. And knowing that there will be season 6 & 7 coming up makes me wonder how much longer we have to endure with this show.

I agree with the common sense. They are already 18? Shouldn't they know better by now?

When they first suspected Spencer killing Alison, I really hoped that would have happened. I like dramatical and out of blue plotting. But yeah, let's see what happenes now that Hanna was also locked up.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on March 8th, 2015 10:21 am (UTC)
I'm the same. Pretty Little Liars may have ridiculous storylines and the writing might not be good at times, but when they get suspenseful they do it really well. And the ongoing main mystery is still engaging, which proves that it's mostly the fillers that are the weakest link of the show. It's one of the reasons why I wish they had shorter seasons.

I haven't read the books so I have no idea what's going to happen.

Well, the show hasn't really been following the books for a while now, especially not with Alison being alive. The show has kind of created a life of its own separate from the books, with paying homage here and there with things. I was hoping they would be doing a particular storyline from the books, but it seems that they aren't or that they'll be giving that storyline to someone else, idk. All I know is that there's "Big A" and "Uber A", and "Big A" is to be revealed this season, at least that's what they're saying. What will be happening in the next two seasons is going to be interesting, and I hope that they have a solid plan of action.

Also, I want the girls to be out of high school before the show ends, is all I'm saying.

But yeah, let's see what happenes now that Hanna was also locked up.

It's probably wishful thinking, but I want this to be kind of an extended storyline with Hanna and Alison being locked up and having them being harassed by "A" from within and having to team up together to try and solve it from the restrictive space they have. I don't know, I just think having them survive in prison while "A" is still taunting them would be a fascinating thing to explore. Sadly, like with most of the interesting storylines (i.e. Spencer being part of the "A" Team, for example) them being in prison probably won't last long.
Maria: love voldemortshyngi on March 8th, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
That's interesting to know (about books). I've already got bored with Arya and Erza's realtionship problems and Emily changing girlfriends multiple times during season.

It would actually be nice to know how A would run things if all the girls moved away from rosewood to go to college and start new lives. And maybe Spencer going abroad to study.

I'm really hoping some interesting storylines that continue more than 1,5 episodes :D