Every week tvtag pairs up with Jaymie Bailey, founder of All Things PLL, to bring you in-depth analysis of our favorite show Pretty Little Liars. Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the latest episode, "A Dark Ali."
VB: There's so much we need to dive into!
JB: I love love loved "A Dark Ali." I could not peel my eyes away from the television because I didn't want to miss a second. I was waiting for Season 5 to take a turn, and this episode just knocked everything out of the park! The actors were amazing, the twists were insane and I loved every minute.
Let's start this week's discussion with an overall observation: How amazing was Lucy Hale tonight? In an episode full of drama Aria really stood out this week.
I said the EXACT same thing during this episode! I was literally screaming, "Lucy Hale is killing it tonight!" at my television. I've never been the biggest Aria fan, but Lucy blew me away in "A Dark Ali." Aria was there for her mother, which was exactly where she needed to be (not with Ezra or talking about Ezra while her mother was in pain), and she didn't take any crap from Ezra when he did exactly what Aria asked him not to do.
Another thing I loved is that Ella had to insist that Aria talk about what was bothering her. She finally didn't make everything going on in her life about Ezra. Aria's friends are hurting and her mother is hurting. She's dealing with her biggest issue since Season 1 and she's finally handling it the way she needs to handle her problems. All the kudos to Lucy Hale for her scenes this week!
Absolutely! Another standout for me: I'm so thrilled Hanna appears to be getting back on track! What did you think of her and Mona teaming up to investigate Cyrus? And are we witnessing the return of the Haleb we know and love?
Personally, I'm a fan of Team Manna. I'm a huge Mona Vanderwaal fan whether she's evil or not. The show wouldn't be the same without her, just admit it. I also think it would be beneficial for the Liars to team up with Mona, which seems like what will be happening in the upcoming episodes! The common enemy right now, unfortunately, is Alison DiLaurentis. So, put your resources together and figure this out!
As for Haleb, I think they're getting back into the swing of things. They have a lot to work on with Caleb's problems he brought back from Ravenswood, but Hanna is the only one who is going to really help him through everything. But I did see where Caleb is hiding something from Hanna next week, so I'm dying to know what that is. Here's to hoping it's not "A"-related!
Spencer's urged the other Liars to walk away from Ali a few times now, but this week it looks like they might actually be listening to her. How do you feel about Spencer's plan?
Like I said during the episode, I'm willing to follow Spencer's plans all the time, no questions asked. Especially if she's wearing that outfit from this episode. The Liars have this trend of digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole as they keep telling more lies. Every now and then, the truth doesn't hurt. But like Aria said, the truth doesn't mean much when it comes from a bunch of Liars. They are going to have a hard time getting out of this one.
While I like the idea of the truth for once, I think they're going to need a little bit of help maneuvering out of this web of lies. And the person who's going to be of some help is Mona Vanderwaal. I think the girls will hold off telling the police the truth and join forces with an unexpected, somewhat untrustworthy ally.
What do you think Spencer's sister Melissa is getting ready to reveal?
Melissa has been keeping this big secret in order to protect Spencer. She even encouraged her sister to get out of town with her. A theory that I have had for a little while has to do with Spencer's foggy memory of the night Alison disappeared. She was strung out on pills, and she doesn't quite remember what happened. Alison confirmed that Spencer didn't hit her with the shovel, but she could have hit someone with that shovel. Perhaps she hit Bethany Young, who happened to be dressed like Alison, and Melissa buried her to protect Spencer. I'm hoping that my favorite character wouldn't even accidentally do something like that, but even if she did, I wouldn't love her any less.
Don't get me started on our shared Spencer-love, we'll be here all week. I really hope she's closer to getting some answers out of her family. Switching gears: Emily's words cut like a knife to the heart this week! What did you think of her finally telling Ali she's done?
Emily has been a bit bold these past two episodes, and I honestly wouldn't have her any other way. Time and time again Emily has been seen as the weak link and she's finally standing up for herself and her friends! While Emily really has no right to say who Sydney can or cannot hang out with, she sees Sydney as a threat to her and her friends because she's been caught with Jenna.
Alison is the most untrustworthy character on this show right now, but that's simply because she's the only character we really don't know. Emily was protecting her friends, and she's right, Alison seems to be willing to throw them all under a bus to have things go her way. If Alison has her own plan I'm scared of the twists and turns that will hurt the Liars in the end. So, I'll always be Team Liars -- even if that doesn't include Alison.
I think it was made very clear this week that the Liars are starting to realize the root of all their problems is Alison DiLaurentis. And the "Lead Liar" was in rare form tonight. I had a sinking suspicion she wasn't telling the truth about Cyrus and that was proven correct in the final moments. What do you think she's up to?
I think nothing in Rosewood is as it seems. I read an interview recently -- because I obviously love this show way too much -- where Sasha Pieterse was concerned about the turn Alison's character is taking, but Marlene King told her not to worry, 'It's not what you think.' I trust that because that is always what happens in Rosewood. The writers head in one direction and have you thinking you know exactly what you think you know, then BAM! something unexpected hits you out of nowhere. And that's what I love about this show. I love the answers, but I love the questions that come along with those answers.
Without the questions, there would be no show. As far as Alison goes, there is a piece of me that has a little faith in her. I think Alison's first priority is herself, but this time, the Liars are sinking with her. If Alison brings her own head above water, she's bringing the Liars with her. I think Alison has a plan, and I think it's going to play out just the way she wants it to play out, but rest assured that "A" is going to throw some curveballs her way.
Join us next week for in-depth analysis of the Summer Finale, "No One Here Can Love or Understand Me." Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC Family. Image used with express permission.