Spencer continues with her investigation of who "Charles" DiLaurentis is, and gets a little closer with some confirmation from Jason. The girls further investigate with Alison and discover tangible evidence supporting what they suspect to be true based off what they learned from being trapped within the dollhouse prison. Meanwhile, Andrew Campbell was released from police custody.
DiLaurentis: Lies and Family Secrets
It's not surprising that Mr. DiLaurentis would lie about something like this, especially when you take into account the story that Jason recalled about being told that his imaginary friend had to go away, obviously this was a secret that they wanted to stay buried forever. Even Jessica seemed rather frazzled by this, based on her trying to get a young!Alison to lie and not mentioning the missing pictures in the photo album, always seeming to change the subject, but it does make you question the reasons behind it all. Why was "Charles" sent away? What was so horrible that their entire existence had to be erased?
It's been claimed that "Charles" is someone we've seen before and have known throughout the show (or so Marlene King says), and the show has been giving subtle hints and clues from twin motifs to everything surrounding Radley, and of course Bethany Young. I'm still in the mind that everything connects through Bethany somehow.
I liked that Jason and Alison confronted their father together on this issue, though I'm frustrated that we won't know what was being said until the next episode.
Let's Play A Game: The Dollhouse of Psychological Torture
It does make sense that the girls weren't actually shocked. "A" likes playing games, malicious and torturous games, and there is nothing more torturous than being forced to do something and think you're actually physically hurting your friends through your decisions. It's basically "A"s M.O., think about all the times the girls have been forced to do something via a text message or else something horrible would happen. This was just the next step into that, just forcing each other to think they were doing something horrible, to know that they would even consider doing something like that to each other. But I'm glad that none of them were actually hurt in that scenario, at least physically. Psychologically, however, that's another story.
Because what was mentioned was true, "A" wanted to isolate them. From the world, from each other, even from themselves. Hoping that they would become empty shells so they could do whatever "A" told them to without resistance. Breaking them down little by little, and judging from the preview for next week we're going to be seeing a lot more of what happened to them individually in their rooms and what other horrors they went through.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Even though I dislike the situation, I do like that Spencer is defending Alison and that she is willing to get her the benefit of the doubt when it comes to having your own life. Having a second chance, proving that someone can change from their former self. I've always liked the interactions between Spencer and Alison, their family connection aside, they certainly have amazing chemistry with the way they clash with opinions, even more when they are the same. So seeing Spencer talking to Alison the way she did, especially when Alison expressed her deepest sympathies with everything that happened (even going so far as blaming herself and wishing she never existed ;__;), makes me happy.
++ Alison and Jason finally confronting their father.
++ Spencer confronting her mother. I know her mom is trying to help in her own way, but at the same time Spencer has been dealing with a lot and she needs to at least have some support. And I'm sad that she gave in and took the anti-anxiety medication that she was forbidden to take, enabling her pill addiction. But as it was mentioned from Troian, Spencer is an addict; she is addicted to the rush of things, including finding the answers, which is why she was so persistent with Alison confronting her father about "Charles". I wish her being addicted to pills wouldn't be a thing, and I'm hoping that she stops herself before someone does that for her.
++ Dr. Sullivan! Happy to have seen her return. I hope some reappears again, because I think the girls need some amount of counseling, if nothing other than to allow the girls to talk to someone.
++ I'm curious about Sarah. She clearly had a horrible home life, and being trapped down in that silo for two years clearly messed her up badly, but I'm also wondering about the haircut she got. Obviously it was meant to be a change, allowing her to start anew, but at the same time it has got me thinking about "Charles", someone has already made the comparison. Perhaps it may be a coincidence, but it's rather odd that such a scene revealing her new haircut seemed rather spooky, especially with her hiding in the shadows. Emily's reaction said it all. So, I don't know if that was intentional or what, but it is just something to think about.
Things I didn't like:
++ The whole forced heterosexuality storyline with Alison and Lorenzo. I mean, I understand the aspect of Alison moving forward and getting to have a second chance with her life, but why force another unnecessary romance onto her to do that? Can't she do something for herself that doesn't involve a man? Seriously. Stop it, show. Nobody likes it and nobody is buying that this is something that needs to happen.
++ I'm not liking Toby at the moment. Just the way he is about Alison, not even taking into consideration that she has changed, or the possibility she has changed. Like, STFU Toby. If anything else, you should be wanting to stop Alison and Lorenzo getting together because Lorenzo is an adult male and the older male/young girl thing is gross.
++ Still no Mona. :( At least there was mention of her whereabouts, but I would think that we should've seen Mona somewhere at some point, especially reuniting with Mike after everything.
++ While I don't buy that Andrew wasn't involved (too much of a coincidence considering his threats towards Mona and him being with the surveillance equipment, never mind the Campbell farm in which all this ties together to), he has a creep vibe written all over him and whatnot, it was kind of ridiculous that Aria tried to explain things to him when she was so determined to prove it was him. Which I still think he is involved somehow, at least with his hatred with the girls since he made that vehemently clear to them as he was leaving (and we all know that "A" loves using certain people as their lackeys to do their dirty work for them in order to remain omnipresent), but still Aria was so desperate to name him immediately just to get all of this over with that trying to explain to him seemed like a bad move. I don't know, everything surrounding this just didn't feel right.
Overall: It was a good episode. I'm actually looking forward to next week, where we not only hear what was told to Alison and Jason from their father, to knowing what happened during those missing weeks.