Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pretty Little Liars: “Don’t Look Now” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin 

Mr. DeLaurentis finally tells his children the “truth” about Charles. Apparently, the eldest sibling of the clan displayed some rather disturbing behavioral issues from a young age. After attempting to drown a baby Alison in the bathtub, Charles was sentenced to the Radley Institute, where he killed himself by the time he turned sixteen. Mr. DeLaurentis just so happened to be out of town at the time of his son’s death, and his wife decided to cremate Charles without so much as holding a funeral service for his passing. Alison relays the tale to the Liars, and the ever so blunt Hanna immediately calls bull. Considering this is “A” we’re talking about here, would anybody buy this story? No funeral, no living witnesses to question, and no paperwork to back up any of this. As Shakespeare would say, “there’s something rotten in Denmark.”

Eric McCandless/ABC Family
Though the girls may have escaped the Dollhouse, they still can’t help but feel smothered in one form or another. Spencer’s anxiety and sleep deprivation consumes her every moment. Since her mother cut her off from anti-anxiety medication, Spencer resorts to dumpster diving in the Montgomery’s trash when she learns that Aria has tossed out her meds. When the effort leaves her empty-handed, she turns to accepting special brownies from Ezra’s new baker. Fitz catches on to what Spencer’s doing and lends his opinion on the matter, but the words fall on deaf ears. All Spencer wants is peace, even if it’s only temporary.
Tensions continue to boil as Hanna finally blows a gasket over the fact that Caleb is constantly hovering around her like an overprotective hawk. She’s “smothered” by him always being around. After she discovers that he’s even planted a GPS tracker on her car to keep tabs on her, she firmly declares that she “needs space.”

Things aren’t going any better over at the Fields’ residence as Sarah Harvey’s presence and skittish behavior sends up more red flags for Emily’s mother. Ms. Fields forces Emily into seeing a therapist, whether she’s ready to open up about her experiences or not. Sarah refuses to seek counseling though and even resorts to running away. Emily insists that she can help Sarah, and decides to take Ms. Harvey to the community swimming pool. The girls share a late night dip; Sarah finally seems to relax.

Lastly, Aria finds that her father has entered into full-blown papa bear mode, insisting on escorting her everywhere she goes. Having recently been bitten by the shutterbug, she finally manages to get some time alone when she visits the college to use their darkroom. As she develops some shots, she freaks out upon finding a note from “A” insisting that Aria is still “MY doll, bitch.” Apparently, Charles went all I Know What You Did Last Summer on Aria while in the Dollhouse by chopping off her locks after she refused to dye her hair pink—hence the new ‘do. Aria tries to flee from the darkroom, but soon discovers that she’s been locked inside. As only PLL can, a handsome helping hand comes to her rescue in the form of Clark, a gorgeous fellow photog, who removes the wedge “A” planted in the door.

Unconvinced by Charles’s supposed death, the Liars try to track down his medical records from Radley. Given that the facility closed down, they’re forced to sneak into Riverhill Davis Center, the place where the remaining patient records are sent for shredding. As per usual, Charles’s record is incomplete. Noticing that Alison’s deceased great-aunt was on the visitor’s log, they, along with Jason, go out to her old house with the belief that Charles is actually squatting there. They do in fact find him resting…just not in the way they expected. Jason and Ali uncover a grave in the backyard, with Charles’s name engraved on the headstone. It’s legitimate. The show closes out with the hooded “A” observing a computer monitor, where each of the Liars’ locations are pinpointed out on a map via GPS tracker. Yes, it was creepy.

“Don’t Look Now” definitely has its fair share of twists and insight, but it has problems, particularly with convenience. Sneaking inside a facility to get medical records would generally inspire a cute, low-grade Mission: Impossible heist plan, but instead, the girls just stroll right in through the backdoor without anyone noticing. ANYONE. Then, Jason just so happens to recall a bizarre occurrence at his great-aunt’s house that he never thought strange enough to investigate until…how long after the fact? It gets better.

Hanna and Caleb. What. Just. Happened?

The strongest couple on the show suddenly goes on a break, because Caleb was being…a loving boyfriend? Oh, how awful for you Hanna. The man helped rescue you from a psychopath’s lair and wants to keep you safe. Your response: push him away for caring that much. Seriously? If this development doesn’t inspire fantasies of throwing your remote shattered screens, then I’m not sure what will. This was not season six’s best. *tears*

 Pretty Little Liars - “Don’t Look Now” Rating:  C +


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