Our Favourite Little Liars are Back and All Grown Up.
WARNING! THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS BUT BE A DEAR AND READ ANYWAY.
Let us all just take a moment to process that Pretty Little Liars is back and if history is anything to go by we’re all emotionally doomed. Are we all ready? I know I’m not.
It has been five long months since the Liars last graced our screens and the world found out the CeCe Drake/Charlotte Dilaurentis (Vanessa Ray) was in fact the big bad, A. Something this fangirl is still not over. Alas, like I. Marlene King promised the second half of season six is set five years in the future and finds the liars living their grown up, A-less lives far away from Rosewood. That is apart from Alison (Sasha Pieterse) who has somehow become an English teacher in the school she used to rule through fear, whilst having missed various years of education herself… Television logic, am I right?
The rest of girls have led more conceivable lives, Hannah (Ashley Benson) travels the world with a fashion house; Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is in D.C working in politics, Aria (Lucy Hale) works in the literary industry and Emily (Shay Mitchell) well, I’m not sure what Emily does. We see her working in a bar but her friends are under the impression she’s a tour guide somewhere with great architecture? I don’t know, she went to college in Italy and she hated it but that’s all I got. Unfortunately for the girls those five A free years have now come to an end.
What’s that saying? You can take the Rosewood out of the girls but you cannot take the girls from Rosewood.
The storyline of the episode is as follows, if you don’t want to read spoilers block out this follow paragraph.
The girls are summoned back to Rosewood by the courts (and Alison) to give statements about the pending release of Charlotte. Alison asks the girls to speak in favour of her sister, feeling that Charlotte is of no threat to anyone anymore having gotten the help she should have had as a child. Aria is the only one at the trial who tells the judge to keep Charlotte locked up, while Spencer, Emily, Hannah and Mona all agree (somewhat falsely) that Charlotte is of no threat to them. Charlotte is released in to Alison’s care. The liars all the go and get drunk at the new Radley (more on this later) and end up passing out in Hannah’s hotel room. In the time they’ve slept, Charlotte goes missing and is thrown from the church bell tower and is later found dead. The liars attend the funeral and comfort Allie whilst being creeped out by Sarah Martin’s presence. After the funeral, Lorenzo all but tells them to stay in town because they are – which is a completely new concept – suspected of being involved. The end… for now at least.
I honestly enjoyed the episode but despite the time jump it doesn’t feel like much has changed.
Sure the actresses have changed their hair, they look slightly more mature and are now playing ages closer to their real life reality (apart from Sasha Pieterse who is still a teenager) but the tone of the show is exactly the same. Right down to ominous looking security cameras watching them, to someone dying and the police department suspecting that the liars did it. You’d think the Rosewood Police Department would have learned a thing or two in the last – what 7 + years (with the time jump) – the liars being guilty (generally) is basically like House diagnosing Lupus. It’s never Lupus. To be frank, the most shocking change that this episode gave was that Radley is now a high-class hotel ran by Hannah’s mother like… what?
For me the only real indicator that time has passed and that the ladies are now of an adult age came from the level alcohol they consumed in this one episode. At points I forgot they were meant to be older and then there would be a scene where alcoholic beverages were being drank with lunch instead of coffee from the brew (although that happens too). In fact there were four scenes that featured alcohol. We get it they’re over twenty-one and therefore alcohol is now their best-friend. There were also nods to the time jump through the dialogue and the ceasing of character relationships – Spencer and Toby, Caleb and Hannah, Pam Fields and Emily’s Dad (R.I.P) – which I imagine has broken a good deal of shipper hearts over the last couple of days.
While I can appreciate that I. Marlene King and her team of writers have worked out a structure that works (mainly for them) and doesn’t seem to put off their loyal fan base generally – so why break the habit of a life time? It feels like a creative cop-out to just repeat it when you have given yourself 5 years of unexplored stories to play with. Obviously, there’s going to be a new ‘A’ type villain coming (I swear if it’s Sarah Harvey I will cry) but why did the girls have to come back to Rosewood to repeat the same cycle as adults? You could have at least, changed something. The ending of the episode was practically the pilot ending but without the text messages. It seems lazy… I may eat my words as the weeks unfold, who knows the writers may have made TV magic and answer the many burning questions I have like:
- When did Spencer and Caleb get close?
- Who thinks it’s sensible to let Veronica Hastings run for senate? She got drunk and locked in a basement for like two days.
- Is Toby building the house for Spencer?
- Are they getting back together?
- Who the hell is Liam?
- Why do the liars keep saying they did something to Sarah? What did they do? Because the girl looked like a supermodel, an insane supermodel but a supermodel none the less.
There are many more.
Then again, if this episode was anything to go by, it’s going to be more of the same old story but possibly with Mai Tai’s this time around.