Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pretty Little Liars: “Through a Glass, Darkly” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin

From Flickr - JJduncan80
Three months following A’s Christmas sendoff, the town of Rosewood gathers for Mona’s funeral service. “The Liars” watch as the empty casket is loaded into the hearse, only to see Alison show up to speak with Mrs. Vanderwaal. She tries to tell Mona’s mother that she wasn't responsible for her daughter’s murder, but Mrs. Vanderwaal retaliates. She slaps Alison in the face, demanding to know what happened to Mona.

Bad news continues to travel as Mr. Hastings informs Spencer that the Youngs are petitioning to have her bail revoked. Later that night, Aria discovers that Oberlin, along with a handful of other schools, has rejected her college application. Alison surprises her in the town square, and Aria refuses to back down from her. She outright accuses her of killing Mona and Bethany, and even calls her A. Alison pleads with her to hear her out, but Aria won’t have it. She blows the whistle on her (literally) until Alison retreats.

Spencer tells the rest of the Liars of her impending prison sentence, and they devise a plan to rip Alison’s alibi apart. Caleb struggles to crack the encryption on Mona’s laptop, leaving Hanna at wit’s end. She calls Mrs. Grunwald with the hope that she can give some insight as to the location of Mona’s missing body. Nothing conclusive comes to light though, forcing Spencer to confront Jason. She tries to sway him into telling everyone the truth about Alison’s whereabouts the day Mona was killed.

When the result proves useless, Emily convinces Spencer to place suspicion on Alison to save Spencer from prison. The pair goes to Mona’s house to plant some of Alison’s hair there, as false evidence, when Spencer notices a camera hidden in the molding by the front door. Aria visits Ezra’s apartment to pick up her brother, who texted her to meet him there. She finds Mike’s lost phone, along with a hooded A who attacks her. After being smothered into a piece of tarp, Aria breaks free, only to discover A has stolen Mona’s laptop.

Hanna drops hints to Mrs. Vanderwaal about how Mona may have had cameras set up in the house for her protection, prompting Mona’s mother to take action. She calls the police and asks them to do another sweep of the home, in which they find the hidden camera. Jason is brought in for questioning and is shown the footage of Mona’s attack from November. He admits to the assailant having a striking resemblance to his sister, Alison. Detective Tanner pushes the subject, and Jason confesses to lying about Alison’s whereabouts on Thanksgiving.

From Zimbio - JJ Duncan
Alison sees the ambush coming, but she isn't fast enough. When the police surround the front of her house, she tries to escape out the back, only to find the Liars waiting for her. They stand their ground against her, barring her passage. Detective Tanner catches up to Alison and arrests her for Mona’s murder. Before Alison is hauled away, she warns the Liars that A will be coming for the four of them next.

With this massive victory under their belts, the posse heads their separate ways for the night. Aria tries to talk to Mike about Mona’s death. He explains why he’s been aloof and finally breaks down. Spencer arrives home to see Toby and Detective Tanner standing in her family room. Fear consumes her as she prepares to be dragged away to prison, only for Tanner to inform Spencer that the charges against her have been dropped. Alison is now the prime suspect in Bethany’s murder as well.

Emily races to the airport in an attempt to stop Paige from leaving. With her parents worried for her safety in Rosewood, Paige is being shipped off to San Francisco for the rest of senior year. Emily informs her that she doesn't have to leave anymore with Alison behind bars, but Paige tells her that she needs to go. She wants a life free of the drama and constant fear, so Emily regrettably consents to her decision and watches her fly off.

Coping with recent events, the Liars meet back up at Spencer’s house, finally contemplating the idea of being able to move on with their own lives outside of Rosewood. They revel in the spectacle of St. Bridgette’s carnival firework display seen from the backyard when three red flares shoot across the sky, forming the letter A. Could Alison be innocent after all?

“Through a Glass, Darkly” hits on all cylinders for PPL’s winter premiere. The pacing proves to be effective, giving the audience the perfect balance of suspense, resolve, and tear-jerking moments. Seeing present and future obstacles ahead, it leaves us all wondering as to what is hiding up A’s sleeves.

Pretty Little Liars: “Through a Glass Darkly” Episode Rating: A –
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