Bummed that their school has prohibited them from attending their senior prom along with their graduation, the girls must settle for their own solo prom inside the Hastings barn. However Alison gets a text message from Charles telling her to meet him at the actual school prom, and when the girls get wind of this they follow her there. At the end, Alison gets captured by Charles and she sees who is behind the mask, with the episode going black before the reveal is made to the audience....
The Beginning Of The End Of Charles DiLaurentis
With next week being the grand mid-season finale and the final reveal of who Charles DiLaurentis is and whoever is helping them, I don't have much to say other than what I've already speculated in my previous reviews. I'm just rather anxious about what this reveal is going to be and how they'll manage to make continuity sense of it all. I know a lot of fans have been confused if not pessimistic by the concept surrounding Charles, like why this person, why now, why not someone we knew has always been a suspect. Well, if we're going by rumors this may very well be someone we've known since the beginning, it's just now it'll all (hopefully) click together.
I know this show has gotten quite convoluted over the seasons, with so much information and filler subplots clogging the main timeline that, true, they could very well pull something from their asses in attempt to hoodwink us. But I want to believe that it will all come together.
It's been said that there is a Big "A" and an Uber "A", and whichever Charles is will be unveiled next week. The upcoming storyline plot for the second half of the season will focus on the other "A" which, considering that they'll be doing a massive time jump in after the mid-season finale (flying past their college years and heading straight into their mid-twenties, I think is what I read), it should be interesting who picks up the slack of the "A" train and why, and whether it's still connected with the Charles situation or if it's something else entirely. Of course, that will all depend on what happens in the mid-season finale.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ THE MOMS. EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MOMS WAS GOLD AND I WANT MORE. Seriously, I've always adored the friendship the mothers have with each other, and it has been a shame that the show doesn't feature them hanging out with each other that often. But this episode had not just all of them together, but all of them pretty much having their own separate storyline which kind of mirrors the friendship and camaraderie between their daughters. I mean, from the impulsive investigating to showing more of their personalities outside of just being mothers. It was utterly perfect and beautiful and I want more of that, please. Hell, can we just have, like half of a season with just exploring this side of the mothers and their friendship and how they deal with the realities brought upon them from the situations they're in? That I'm here for.
++ The opening scene was nicely put together. In most finales or episodes-before-finales they have some very interesting cinematography or different perspectives in filming, and I really liked how the opening scene with interconnected everyone together.
++ Out of all the dresses, I liked Spencer's and Emily's the most. Also, Emily's earrings were outrageous and I want them. ♥
++ I totally called Clark not being involved with "A", though I definitely didn't see the undercover cop thing. I'm still curious on who hired him, why, and what his business is with Rhys. Which, I don't think Rhys is who everyone thinks he is, because it would be too easy, not to mention totally random.
++ I've been loving the progression between Spencer and Alison. These are two characters who have always kind of butted heads with each other, and this season really has placed all that bad blood aside for the sake of moving forward. I may dislike the whole Lorenzo thing, but Spencer coming to Alison's defense was a very sweet gesture. I love how she doesn't brush what Alison has done, present or past, under the rug, but she makes a very clear point that Alison has been through a lot, and that she has changed. Seeing this level of development is so wonderful to see.
Things I didn't like:
++ While I understand taking safety precautions, basically banning the girls from attending their own prom and high school graduation is kind of being over the top. The art gallery situation was bad, yes, but the issue should be about the security and the incompetence of the Rosewood police. It is not the girls' fault nor should they be punished for it. I mean, not that it matters anyway, they have found loopholes around these restrictions before and they certainly did by attending prom anyway, despite that a teacher/authority figure approached one of the girls once telling them to leave, but they didn't and they remained there, dancing and hanging around with nobody else approaching them. So, I guess all authority figures in this town are incompetent?
++ I'm disappointed that the show never explored further with what happened to the girls in the dollhouse. I mean, yeah, we got brief flashbacks here and there and showing the PTSD some of them were going through with the episode following their escape from that place, but we only got a couple of them of what they went through: Spencer (with being slept deprived and then tricked with being covered in blood) and Aria (the streaked red hair dye and cutting of her hair), and even then it was very minimal to remaining down there for nearly a month and what "A"/Charles put them through. What about Emily and Hanna, especially Hanna after her strong reaction from coming back? What happened to them in their respective rooms? What about them working through what happened between them down there, as vaguely implied through mentioning of talking with Dr. Sullivan but never quite got an answer to?
This is what should have been the focus on for the first half of the season. This is precisely the issue this show has had for some time now, introducing something that has potential, but never really exploring it further. Instead of introducing new characters or relationships that won't last, why not just focus on what you already have? Characters like Lorenzo and Sarah should not take priority over the characters and relationships that are already present, especially when there is hardly anything done with them aside from being filler. I mean, do we really know anything about Lorenzo and Sarah aside from them being there for most of the season and forcibly placed as love interests? Seriously, unless you take time with exploring and developing these characters outside of the romance filler aspect, nobody really cares.
(Speaking of, I'm getting a distinct impression that something will happen to Sarah in the mid-season finale, just judging from her words to Emily during the dance; the "no matter what happens" sounds quite suspicious that either something will be revealed about her or something will happen to her, because otherwise I cannot see Sarah surviving the time jump as a relevant character on the show. The same goes for Lorenzo.)
++ Also, there was no Mona. Shouldn't she be a part of this, as well, considering how she was also a victim of the same situation as the rest of them? She should have been there with Mike at the prom, or at least been invited to the barn prom that was originally setup for the girls.
Overall: With a few really fun things that were highly enjoyable, everything surrounding the mothers and their little adventure being the most memorable aspect of this episode (which we deserve more of, tbh, because these actresses are so fun together), this episode was mainly one huge setup for the grand mid-season finale. With Alison being taken by Charles, we'll have to see what happens with her and how the girls will get her out, and how Charles will eventually be captured in the end. I'm anticipating this mid-season finale, honestly. There is so much riding on how satisfactory it will be for the fans and whether or not it will deliver.