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10 June 2015 @ 11:50 am
Pretty Little Liars: "Songs of Innocence" Episode Review  
Pretty Little Liars 6.02 "Songs of Innocence"

The girls try to readjust to everyday life after their escape from being held captive for a month, but find themselves suffering from PTSD and unable to really talk about what happened, each of them finding different ways of coping. Alison asks her father about a possible "Charles" DiLaurentis in their family, but it goes nowhere. Andrew Campbell has been caught, but there still needs more concrete evidence to put him away for such a serious crime. Sarah Harvey ran away from home and will be staying with Emily.


Innocence Lost; Courage Gained

We knew that going back to their lives wasn't going to be easy, and I really liked that we saw how difficult it was for each of them individually and how they attempted to deal with the aftermath of what they went through. Spencer couldn't sleep, Emily needed something to make her feel safe and in control, Hanna was understandably affected by her bedroom that needs to purge and cleanse everything and start anew to not be reminded of what happened, and Aria is in such desperation to stop whoever did this to them that she'll willing to lie to the police for everything to just be over with. While they seem fine physically, all four of them are psychologically scarred by what "Charles"/"A" did to them, and ashamed of what they were forced to do to each other.

I was correct in my assessment that the girls underwent a version of psychological electroshock torture, where they wouldn't sleep or eat until they completed these little "games" of choosing someone to electroshock, or else they all suffered. They were forced to torture each other in punishment for the sick enjoyment of whoever was doing this to them. The fact that none of them can look each other directly in the eye after the fact really shows how much they were broken from the horrific experience. It actually makes me wonder if the clothes they were wearing when they emerged from their rooms after goodness knows how long was their "reward" after each game session. Like, they started completely naked underneath that white sheet when we see them entering their rooms and were only given clothes (reminiscent of their former selves from years ago, complete with Aria having the red streaks in her hair) and other basic necessities when they successfully completed each round or did what was told of them, until "Charles"/"A" deemed all of them "well-behaved" enough to all exit their rooms.

The girls may be out from that underground hell, but the effects still linger, and their predator is still out there, whether or not they believe he's been caught by the police. Which I don't believe Andrew is the main culprit; he may have assisted and have his own reasons for hating the girls, but he wasn't directly responsible for everything done to them down there.

Seeing the girls with their parents was heartbreaking, because they only know the bare minimum, if that, of what they went through. And they spent about a month worried to death about what had happened to their babies, wondering if they were alive or dead or goodness knows what else. And their interactions with their daughters was both of desperation and helplessness because they couldn't protect them and cannot undo what was done. Just imagine being powerless to shield even your own child from harm and not being able to fix the situation. Especially since none of them are ready to discuss what happened, not with their parents and not even with each other yet. Just, heartbreaking all around.

So while the nightmare isn't over until "A" has officially been caught, the girls have maintained their sanity despite suffering the traumatic after effects of what they experienced. Their spirits may have been temporarily shattered, but they're all strong and have proven this as much throughout all the shit they've been through over the years and they will get through this, and they will make the fucker who is torturing them pay.


Things I liked about the episode:

++ Showing the girls having PTSD, and coping in their own ways, after having escaped captivity. Obviously them having to sleep in their bedrooms is hard when the one you were held prisoner in was an exact replica. Just the things like Aria opening her window to reassure herself that it was real and not a fake or enclosed space, Spencer not sleeping because of having nightmares from what occurred and having to leave her door propped open a little so she knew she wasn't trapped. Hanna was hit the hardest, triggered by her own bedroom so much that she basically cleaned everything out, her wallpaper included. It was heartbreaking seeing them go through that, but it's realistic when you suffer from something as traumatic as they have and I was glad that the show gave us that.

++ On the flipside there was Emily using a gun. Granted she did this to prove to herself that she can become stronger when having a defense weapon and be a good shot, but it proved to be more damaging to her than anything else. It wasn't helping her feel safer, it just added more pain because she couldn't get the images and memories out of her head. I also loved what she said, too, about how she suddenly felt like she was becoming the very thing she feared. That broke my heart. :(

++ I loved seeing all the mothers in this episode, making up for their absence from the premiere. I loved seeing that despite them all being different, they all love and care about their daughters and just want them to be safe.

++ So far I'm really liking Sarah Harvey, I'm interested in learning more about her background and story, especially since she seems to mirror Alison in the sense of being a former mean girl who has reformed based on the traumatic incidents that have happened to her, particularly from being held prisoner for years. It's sad hearing about her own mother though, who seems to thrive on the publicity from when she disappeared than to her being back and alive. Such a huge contrast between the other mothers.

++ Caleb being a caring boyfriend to Hanna. Just, Caleb. ♥


Things I didn't like:

++ Not loving the new officer guy. Not just because anyone in uniform on this show I don't trust (which is just instinct at this point), but also since I hear he's going to be a love interest for Alison (I'm also hearing similarly for Emily and Sarah, as well), and I am not here for that. Why does this show insist that all the girls need to be romantically involved? Why can't they remain single, especially with everything that is happening? Just, ugh. No thank you.

++ Toby beating up Andrew. Yes, Andrew is a douchebag, but after all the police brutality that happens in reality (esp of late) it left a bad taste in my mouth, especially after he states to another officer, "give me a few more minutes." Thankfully he was shut down and told to just "do his job", but seriously. Not cool Toby, no matter how pissed off you are that was not cool. :/

++ No follow up with Mona. :(


Overall: A little quieter than the premiere, but appropriately so since this was the aftermath of their traumatic experience and it allowed us to see how the girls are attempting to cope with it all. Which I really liked. It was a really good episode to give us that breather, but also remind us that even though the girls are out the effects from what was done to them will linger, and that "Charles"/"A" is still out there. I'm quite anxious to learn more and see how the girls go back to life, and how they heal from this, and hopefully get their revenge on their predator once and for all.
 
 
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Julie: Shameless ★ believeragnarok_08 on June 10th, 2015 07:41 pm (UTC)
Showing the girls having PTSD, and coping in their own ways, after having escaped captivity. Obviously them having to sleep in their bedrooms is hard when the one you were held prisoner in was an exact replica.

I'm glad that they showed that as well, on how the experience really affected them.

Nope, not liking the new officer either DX
Northern Wanderermidnightwhisper on June 11th, 2015 01:25 am (UTC)
I really need to start watching PLL again. I stopped half way through season 4 I think. I'll have to go look. But your reviews are convincing me I need to be watching it again.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Spencer Hastings.rogueslayer452 on June 11th, 2015 05:57 am (UTC)
You should! It really has gotten so interesting of late. I'm biased, though, since even though there are storylines that I haven't really favored over the course of the series, the show continues to be intriguing when they're dealing with the girls and the central plot. Recently everything has been amping up the suspense to greater levels than previous seasons, and if I'm correct and the seventh season is going to be the last then we're definitely getting closer to the end where everything comes together.
Chelsea: PLL → Caleb/Hannasictransits on June 11th, 2015 11:48 pm (UTC)
I liked that they showed how this really affected the girls, too, rather than just jumping right back in to the whole A storyline.

I was sad about the lack of Mona as well. She was in A's lair long before the girls were, so it'd be interesting to see how she's handling things.
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Emily.rogueslayer452 on June 12th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
I figure we're mostly going to focus on them getting back to their lives, still showing how they may be triggered by certain things, while also figuring out the "Charles" situation.

What I really want to see is, aside from her reuniting with her mother and with Mike, is how she is going to be around Alison. Before it was pretty much a turf war and with Mona absolutely hating Alison for returning back to Rosewood. I really want their animosity between each other to cease, because they're all on the same side now, with the same psycho who wants to torture all of them.
Creature Of Hobbit: mona vanderwaaltellshannon815 on June 12th, 2015 09:40 pm (UTC)
Definitely looking forward to some follow up with Mona!
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Hanna.rogueslayer452 on June 12th, 2015 11:12 pm (UTC)
I'm rather curious to how she's adjusting after everything that happened. I want to see her reunited with her mother, with Mike (especially with him since he was so worried about her plan and whether she really was gone), and I'm actually really curious to see how she may interact with Alison. Will the feud between them still occur, or will it finally chill?
Naomi: PLL Aria Sssh by sininfernofrelling_tralk on June 13th, 2015 01:50 pm (UTC)
No follow up with Mona. :(

That was a disappointment for me too, and also I was surprised that none of the Dad's featured. Emily had been missing for a month, it didn't make sense to me that her father would put his job before that and not return home, ditto with Spencer's father not appearing even though he had seemed just as concerned about her whereabouts as her mother was in the season 5 finale. Also Bryan was always portrayed as a caring father who was involved in his kids life in the past, yet only Ella was there for Aria's visits to the police? It's a little bit frustrating because I get the feeling that it's more about only being able to afford a certain number of actors, rather than it being organic to the plot. IMO they should have involved all of the parents, as well as kept Mona around, all of those characters would have been relevant for the episode directly after the girls rescue, even if they get just one or two scenes

I agree that the episode was overall a great one though for dealing with their PTSD, and I'm interested in seeing what the plans are for Sarah
Renée: Pretty Little Liars. Still here bitches.rogueslayer452 on June 13th, 2015 03:56 pm (UTC)
IMO they should have involved all of the parents, as well as kept Mona around, all of those characters would have been relevant for the episode directly after the girls rescue, even if they get just one or two scenes

I completely agree, especially since in the finale the Hastings were made aware about "A", so I would've that that would've been at least a topic of discussion. I want more follow-up with that. Having the adults know more about exactly what the girls have been going through for years is something I've been wanting to happen for a while, and we got that in the finale for one set of parents. I know this episode was about the girls readjusting and trying to reconnect with life, but I was hoping seeing the outcome from that. I'm hoping in the future.

I agree that the episode was overall a great one though for dealing with their PTSD, and I'm interested in seeing what the plans are for Sarah

Sarah is very interesting to me, because what happened to her could've easily happened to Alison had she been taken and caught since her disappearance. It could've been any of the girls, granted, but it seems that this person was settling for someone who had a similar position like Alison. I'm curious what they have in store for her.