Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pretty Little Liars: Burn This

by Melissa Parkin

Let the bridesmaids burn!

Kicking off episode 18, Aria apparently went through with officiating Alison and Elliot’s wedding, as the newlyweds have skipped town. As the Liars clean up what’s left of the dual ceremonies, Aria discovers a series of ominous photos added to her parents’ camera. Staged by table cue cards, the messages warn the Liars to give up the killer by election night….or else. Aria manages to find a silver lining amid the drama, as Ezra informs her that he pitched an idea to her publishing house for her to co-write his new book.

Meanwhile, Spencer copes with the fallout from the campaign scandal, and her father isn’t making things any easier for the youngest Hastings. He demands that Spencer put some distance between her and Caleb. The plan fails miserably after Toby drops by the house and cold-cocks Caleb in the nose, believing him to be responsible for the leak. Instead of patching him up inside the house that they’re already in, Spencer decides it’s best to play Florence Nightingale with Caleb out in the open at a local park. Of course, the paparazzi catch the lovebirds in action, and the news passes through the grapevine back to a furious Mr. Hastings.

Thankfully, we finally get a little insight as to what broke up our beloved Spoby (Spencer and Toby). Flashbacks to Spencer’s sophomore year at college reveal that she had a pregnancy scare, forcing the pair to examine their strained relationship. Ultimately, it’s a false alarm, but the damage between the two has been done. Given this past circumstance, Spencer feels obligated to confront Toby over the political leak that his current fiancĂ©e had an abortion a few years back. She insists that Caleb had nothing to do with the scandal and at last comes clean about the new “Uber A” who has surfaced. Toby and Spencer find themselves on better terms, but all isn’t so fine and dandy for the remaining Liars.

Emily has apparently been bit by a radioactive spider, because she suddenly has superhero-level listening abilities. She overhears a random vehicle muffler as she walks down the street, and immediately recognizes it as the same sound as the truck that tried turning her into road kill the night prior. Going all-out Nancy Drew, she sleuths her way down to a local mechanic shop and finds the pickup hidden beneath a car cover. A worker spots her snooping around, and Emily is immediately—and quite conspicuously —turned away when she asks the mechanic if Spencer’s sister borrowed the truck.

As for Aria, an unwelcomed visitor lands on her front porch in the form of Detective Tanner. She insists that Aria accompany her to the police precinct for a lineup. Apparently, an unidentified witness gave a description of the woman who called Charlotte the night of her murder, and it’s a frighteningly close match to Aria. During her briefing, Ms. Montgomery steals a look at Tanner’s records. Of all things, the witness distinctly described an attractive brunette who just so happened to be carrying a pink dice key ring.

Anywho....

Hanna may not be under attack by the law, but she definitely holds the record for the world’s most miserable Bridal Shower. When Ashley attempts to lighten the mood with a trivia game about the groom-to-be, everyone fails miserably to answer any of the questions right.


Are we really expected to believe that Hanna didn’t gush all about how Jordan proposed to her? Or how they even met? Yeah, no one’s buying any of that.

If things couldn’t get any more awkward, Mona swings by the party just before Hanna’s electronically-controlled apartment goes haywire. The tablet that works everything from the temperature in the room to the music system suddenly malfunctions, shutting off the lights and kicking up the A.C. to tornado-level wind gusts.



Obviously, the absurdity can’t end there. Just as Aria heads across the room to pick up some tossed gifts, the fireplace practically explodes in her face, leaving her hospitalized with second-degree burns. Still shaken by the incident, Emily and Mona stick around Hanna’s apartment to clean up the mess. After dumping out the last of the charcoaled party favors, Mona says goodnight and heads to her car. Of course, Emily takes notice to her keychain, seeing pink dice.

So, who was really shocked?

Anybody? 

Anybody?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

PLL succeeds this week in giving its fans a reasonable excuse for why Spencer and Toby parted ways. Asides from that high note, the episode is possibly absurd, even by soap opera standards.

Apartment tornados people. Apartment tornados.


Need I say more?


Pretty Little Liars: “Burn This” Rating —     D+ 
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