Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pretty Little Liars: “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” recap & review

by Melissa Parkin

There’s only three weeks left until the big reveal. That’s right. Five and a half seasons, and the moment is upon us where the infamous “A” will finally be unmasked. With the Liars having escaped the tortures of the Dollhouse and the police clued in on “A”, the proclaimed #SummerOfAnswers should be the crescendo of the series. All Hell should be breaking loose as all the loose ends get tied up and secrets are revealed.

ABC Family
What we get instead is sweet conversations over milk and cookies, relationship woes, and what feels like the billionth failed attempt to capture “A.” Sara decides to move out of Emily’s house to be with an old friend, Aria gets into the finals of the photography competition she entered, and Hanna receives a suspicious scholarship to pay for her college tuition. Yeah, not exactly the most climatic of events. Asides from the melodrama, Alison’s father practically kidnaps his daughter and holds her up in a hotel outside of town to protect her from Charles, but Jason refuses to heed their dad’s warning to leave home. Charles leaves another birthday invitation at the DeLaurentis house, and Jason decides to meet at the disclosed location written on the card.

The Liars know what Jason is up to, so they do some amateur surgery and remove the tracking chips from their own necks. Can you say ouch? Hanna puts a tracker of her own on Jason’s car as the girls plan to follow him to the meeting. Since Charles is obviously listening in on the police frequencies, they can’t risk going to the cops. Spencer tells Toby about everything, hoping he’ll accompany them to the rendezvous point as protection. He refuses to put the girls at risk and decides to go . . . alone.

Alison drugs her father with sleeping pills to escape the hotel and calls 911, telling the police about Charles. Meanwhile, Jason confronts the infamous hooded figure before Toby and his partner crash the reunion. What should be a clean-cut take-down goes horribly awry though when Toby accidentally winds up stoned out of his mind after eating a bagful of Spencer’s marijuana-laced candies. “A” takes out Lorenzo, leaving higher-than-a-kite Toby to trip out at the Technicolor lights of the abandoned arcade.  With both men down for the count and the Liars unable to stay away, the girls walk in on the ambush just before Rosewood P.D. raids the scene. Of course, “A” manages to get away. *eye roll*

What happened to this show? When Pretty Little Liars premiered back in 2010, audiences were introduced to a teen drama whose sinister story-lines left them on their toes and eager to join in on the fandom. All the theories, the intrigue, the gorgeous guys. Sure, the guys are still here, but the intrigue seems to have died and with it, the theories. PLL started as a Desperate Housewives for a younger era mixed with the riveting cloak-and-dagger aspect of horror films like Wes Craven’s Scream. Scandalous secrets, shocking reveals, and subtle clues made fans go crazy as we all theorized about who “A” was. Everybody was a suspect. Was it Jenna, Mona, the supposedly dead Alison, Wren, Ian, one of the Liars? The list went on and on.

But now there’s Charles. Is he even someone we’ve already been introduced to? Or is he just someone the writers invented last minute? These questions terrify fans the most. Did we sit through five years of an intricately woven web only for the creators to pull a 2012’s Gone on us? Were all those red herrings pointless? Did we spend all that time theorizing over a person we never even knew? This once promising #SummerOfAnswers has turned into a summer of frustration. Who came up with that hashtag anyway? Absolutely none of our questions have been answered. If things don’t improve by the mid-season finale, this series might be looking at some dismal ratings when the show returns in January.

Pretty Little Liars - “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” Rating:  D +
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