To celebrate the fifth season of Pretty Little Liars kicking off this week TV Tag's pairing up with Jaymie Bailey, creator of All Things PLL, to bring you in depth coverage and analysis of our fAve show.
Caution, major spoilers ahead.
Jaymie: We're back in New York, Alison is alive and "A" is catching a ride on top of the ambulance to the hospital. You know, just another opening scene of PLL. Ezra's pulse is weakening, and the Liars' pulses are rising. Aria, it is finally an appropriate time for you to talk about nothing but Ezra Fitz. All the other girls run to the Fitzgerald Theater, a place Alison knows well. Oddly enough, Shana seems to be the only one willing to keep Aria company at the hospital, and that makes Ezra AND me uncomfortable.
Mona is super-pissed and is mobilizing an army against Alison, and its members include: Paige, Lucas and Melissa Hastings. Is it just me or did Lucas get seriously hot during his time away from Rosewood?
Ezra finally wakes up and gives Aria some useful information which involves Shana, who shows up at the theater pointing a gun at the Liars. Turns out Shana came back for revenge for Jenna (who really doesn't love her). I have never wanted to jump through a television and hit someone more than I did in that moment. But Aria takes care of that for me. She hits Shana with a musket, sends her off the stage to her death and gives a whole new meaning to the theatre term, "break a leg." You are my hero, Aria.
Vanessa: Aria steps up in a way I wasn't expecting from her. Each of the Liars has an opportunity this week to show us how much they've grown since the first season. They played A seamlessly, something they would never try to do in the early days of the show.
If it's possible, Season 5 shows us PLL is only going to get better and better. The direction, dialogue, camera sequences - everyone involved both on and off-camera have really grown into their roles and taken this show from greatest to greatestest (is that possible? I'm saying, Yes).
Some foreshadowing this week: the power is shifting for these girls. They openly defy their leader when they get frustrated with Ali's secretiveness. Emily and Spencer use Ali's own words against her, insisting that secrets don't keep friends together, they tear them apart. Gone are the days of blindly following Ali anywhere. It's going to be fascinating to watch how the group dynamics shift now that she's returned to Rosewood. I'm so excited with how this season has dived in and delivered this totally new angle to the story.
Our Stray Observations / Gasp-Inducing Moments:
It's finally confirmed that CeCe Drake killed Detective Wilden and subsequently broke out of jail. Alison willingly gives CeCe her Vivian Darkbloom passport to get the hell out of town, and CeCe does just that. The two are assisted by none other than Noel Kahn, who proves this week that whatever we suspect about his involvement with the A Team, Noel is still on Team Ali. He spotted all of them at the scene of Ezra's shooting and keps his mouth shut, allowing the girls to get out of there before being spotted by police.
Shana turned against her former-friend Ali (who sent her to Rosewood in the first place) but the harassment began before she entered the picture. Even though Shanna shot Ezra and tried to kill the Liars, she could be ruled out as the true mastermind.
Mona has an Army that includes Melissa, Paige and Lucas. But Paige looked reluctant to join before Melissa arrived. Will Paige tell Emily what's going on?
Speaking of Melissa, the elder Hastings daughter has a HUGE secret and Peter Hastings might actually kill her if she spills the beans. He stops Melissa from telling Holbrook the truth in a way that's overtly sinister. Melissa insists everything she's done has been for Spencer's safety, but how far exactly did she go to ensure it?
Aria has officially joined Emily in the Murderers Club -- not our sweet, innocent Aria!
Pretty Little Liars has been renewed through Season 7 - we have so much more time to analyze the crap out of this show!
Jaymie Bailey is an entertainment writer and creator of All Things PLL with work featured in Hollywood Life and The Insider. One of her Top 5 Moments was interviewing Executive Producer Marlene King for the Season 2 finale (and the first A reveal!). Join the likes of Marlene King, Ashley Benson, and Sasha Pieterse by following "All Things PLL" on Twitter.