Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pretty Little Liars: “The Melody Lingers On” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin 

The prior Queen Bee of Rosewood finds herself in the hot seat this week as her trial begins. Since the evidence against Alison is all circumstantial, the prosecution decides to play dirty. Instead of presenting the details of the case, the chief prosecutor resorts to defaming Alison’s character. Given that the girl lies more than a rug, painting an unflattering image of her to the jury comes all too easy. It doesn't help that “A” assists the prosecution by exposing the truth about Ali’s fake kidnapping story.

The prosecution doesn't stop there. Hitching a slew of Ali’s loved ones to her ruinous wagon, they force Jason to testify as a witness against his own sister. Once placed on the stand, he tries to do right by Ali, insisting upon her innocence. The tables turn on him though as the prosecution throws him under the bus for his change of heart, resulting in him having to confess to his affair with Mrs. Marin in the process. Ashley breaks things off with Ted after her affair with Jason reaches the public’s attention. The jury’s still out on whether Ted accepted the decision or not.

ABC Family/Eric McCandless
The Liars desperately seek evidence to help out both Ali and Hanna by trying to contact Varjak. Using one of Caleb’s burner phones, they text the mysterious blackmailer with the hopes that “A” will reach out. Following a visit with Hanna, Caleb loses his cool and snatches Aria’s phone when Varjak calls her cell after she displays apprehension about answering. He accepts the call, but the anonymous source doesn't say anything. Instead, Édith Piaf’s song “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien” plays over the speaker. The girls relay the message to Hanna, and she recognizes the tune. Mona used to play it in her room. Going over to the Vanderwaal residence, the girls discover Mona’s room has been ransacked by “A.” Aria insists on not giving up on their search, and Spencer winds up uncovering a note hidden between the silver glass and the backing of Mona’s handheld vanity mirror.

Chandelier’s rituals. Sister launched lair. A ruler’s list chained.

Tensions rise with everyone in town and Andrew suddenly goes from Prince Charming to Prime Suspect, tainting the memory of Mona Vanderwaal right to Aria’s face. He even appears outside Mona’s house when the Liars are inside investigating. “A”’s little break-in at Mona’s, prior to the Liars’ arrival, results in a distinct screwdriver being wedged in the floorboards by a broken window. It’s later processed by the police, revealing it came from Boo Boo’s Ice Cream Factory. The show closes out on “A” as the hooded figure shreds all the records related to “Varjak,” using the bits of paper to line the bottom of a birdcage containing Ali’s parrot.

Despite the stakes being high for Alison and Hanna, nothing particularly compelling seems to surface during this episode. Pure regurgitation of prior events plagues the entirety of the trial, and none of the conversations occurring outside of the courtroom really drives the story-line. Everyone pretty much laments over past mistakes. As for the cryptic mirror message, it’s anyone’s guess on what it could possibly mean. With the verdict of Alison’s trial next week, things will hopefully pick up, but until then, it’s a little disappointing. Aria’s behavior really is the only aspect worth reminiscing over. Why did Varjak call her phone when she specifically never tried reaching out to him/her? Plus, her insistence that the rest of the Liars keep looking through Mona’s room after it appeared “A” already got what they came for is highly suspicious. Could Miss Montgomery really be the notorious blackmailer?

Pretty Little Liars - “The Melody Lingers On” Rating:  C +
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