Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pretty Little Liars: Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars

by Melissa Parkin

Tuesday night on Pretty Little Infidelity Liars, season six wrapped up not so much with a bang, but with a massive WTF? Dedicated fans know strange happenstances are commonplace in Rosewood, yet no one could quite wrap their heads around the events of the finale. That’s what you get when you mix Mission: Impossible, Night of the Living Dead, and Army of Darkness into PLL

Yes, you read that right. So, how did all of this transpire? Time to breakdown the mania of 6B’s closer.

“Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars” kicks off right after Hanna sends “Uber A” her false confession. The perp appears to buy the ruse, responding that he/she will shoot all the girls if Hanna is lying. Mind you, “shoot” is sent in the form of an emoji gun.

Hanna agrees to meet with “A,” but requests one more day to get her affairs in order. And with that, all Hell breaks loose over the course of the next twenty-four hours. Yvonne and Toby spar off when Cavanaugh tells his fiancĂ©e that he won’t be able to attend her mother’s election party. She demands to know why, but he can’t tell her anything other than that it’s in the service of helping Spencer. The pair parts ways for the night on poor terms, but Spoby fans get treated to a glimmer of hope as Spencer and Toby team up to investigate Radley. Using Sara Harvey’s blueprints to hopefully uncover what she’s likely hiding in the refurbished building, they go down into the underbelly of the old sanitarium where they run into a snooping Mona. The three come across an empty room with nothing but old medical records for someone named Mary Drake, who gave birth to Charles twenty-five years ago when she was still a patient at the asylum. This child was then adopted by the DiLaurentis family--an adopted brother or sister for Charlotte, Ali, and Jason’s.

Meanwhile, Caleb rigs up an electrical fence by the Lost Woods Resort with the hopes of thwarting “A” before the big meeting. As Hanna and he wait things out, Hanna finally comes clean to her ex over the fact that she still loves him after we’re treated to a flashback of the former couple’s breakup. Despite Spencer dropping the “L” word on her new beau not twelve hours prior, Hanna and Caleb share a lip lock until they’re interrupted by Aria and Ezra. This infidelity hurts all the more considering the showrunners pushed for us to accept Caleb and Spencer as the new pairing for the entire winter half of the season.

And they’re not the only adulterous ones of the bunch. Whether or not you like the tumultuous shipping of Aria and Ezra, it still leaves a bitter taste in your mouth when these two former lovebirds take a roll in the hay upon getting glowing reviews from Aria’s boss over their new book. We may not have spent much time with Liam, but it’s obvious that he’s a good guy (and a much healthier relationship option for Aria). Ms. Montgomery even spoke to Emily about Liam’s fear that she still had feelings for Ezra, claiming they were, for the most part, unfounded. Aria seems to suffer from some personality disorder, because not three hours later, she’s deep in the sheets with her ex-English teacher…again.

Amid the relationship melodrama, Alison takes a detour from happy honeymooner to full-on Girl, Interrupted. After her vivid dream in the hospital of her mom coming to visit her, she suddenly seems to be suffering from hallucinations. A music box starts playing on its own upstairs, and when Ali goes to investigate, she sees her grimy, dirt-ridden dead mother standing in the doorway of her old bedroom. Rightfully in a panic, Alison seeks comfort with Emily, who assures her that it’s all just a side effect of her painkiller medication. She tries convincing herself that it’s the culprit, only to find the deceased Detective Wilden lying in bed with her when she wakes up from a nap.

Thinking that she’s off her rocker, Alison checks herself into the mental health facility that previously housed Charlotte. In mere hours, Elliot is supposed to come home from his business trip. Emily begs her to reconsider, but Ali ultimately goes through with the decision.

All’s well at the Hastings’ campaign party when it’s announced that Veronica won the election. The merriment gets crushed when Aria calls Spencer to inform her that Hanna has gone missing. During the elaborate trap to catch “Emoji A,” someone triggered the sensors coming up to the motel room. Apparently, nobody thought of implementing the buddy-system to ensure that Hanna wouldn’t be left alone, because Caleb, Aria, and Ezra all leave her to check out the trigger. Of course, no one’s there, and they discover the same when they get back to the motel room.

First rule of baiting traps, make sure there isn’t a secret passage hidden beneath the floorboards. 

Bunch of amateurs.

The group reviews Caleb’s camera footage from the electrical fence, seeing none other than Alison’s dead mother on the recording. In the last minutes of the show, the deceased Detective Wilden appears again in the DeLaurentis house and rips off an Ethan-Hunt-style facial mask, revealing himself to in fact be Elliot—with a British accent no less.


As it turns out, Mary Drake, the woman from the recently uncovered hospital records, is in fact Mrs. DeLaurentis’s evil twin! She and Elliot invented this entire ruse—including Elliot marrying Alison—all so that when she checked herself into the mental hospital, Elliot would have control over the Carissimi Group. Taking away the family business is apparently step one in their quest for vengeance, as Elliot was apparently in love with Charlotte and Mary wants justice for her daughter’s death. The Liars receive one last text message reading, “Thanks for giving me Hanna. You’re free to go. – A.D.” Then the show concludes with events coming full circle as Hanna’s body is dragged across the floor of the church bell tower where Charlotte met her death at the start of 6B.

Considering all the “twists” coming out of left field and the sheer lunacy of events, it’s impossible to watch PLL anymore with any sense of investment. The suspension of disbelief one has to implement is seriously pushing it, even by soap opera standards. When the show debuted, the original “A” proved to be a formidable foe. The sound of an incoming text message honestly put knots in your stomachs, because “A” was truly menacing. This “Emoji A” has about the same gravitas as a petulant middle-schooler. 

Amid all the ridiculousness, the worst offense remains in the writers’ treatment of a particular Liar. Distraught from her father’s death, broke from poor life choices, and left without a job, Emily had the most compelling back story following the five-year time jump. Yet, over the course of the winter season, her character arc fell flatter than a pancake. And yet again, while the other Liars regale in copious love affairs, Ms. Fields continues to be the odd girl out for another season. Our deepest sympathies go out to Shay Mitchell for her continually untapped talents. Shame on you, writers. These grievances aside, the question still stands, if Mary and Elliot are “Uber A,” who actually killed Charlotte? And furthermore, do we really care anymore?  

Not really. 

Pretty Little Liars "Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars" Rating: D +


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