Saturday, January 30, 2016

'Pretty Little Liars' Rosewood Roundup ("The Gloves Are On") [Contributor: Megan Mann]

"The Gloves are On"
Original Airdate: January 26, 2016

It seems our lovely ladies are back exactly where they were more than five years ago: wondering why one of them lied. Zen music plays softly in the background as Emily, Spencer, and Hanna try to figure out why Aria didn’t meet them to talk about her disappearance (and the security footage proof) the night Charlotte died. Hanna tells them that she deleted the footage but, as the girls never seem to learn their lesson, they fail to check their surroundings and they’re not alone in the spa. When she goes back for her key, Emily sees Sara and wonders how much she heard. Emily asks her a series of questions that culminate in screaming at Sara to answer her, but Sara doesn’t budge. Can she get any creepier?

Down in the lobby, Ashley meets with Lorenzo in regards to the investigation. He implies that the security footage was clearly tampered with as it jumps from midnight to noon the next day. All those years with Caleb and Hanna didn’t pick anything up. Shame. Speaking of Hanna, who does she run into at the brew but Lucas. What significance does he play in this new narrative? He seems to have moved far beyond the reach of Rosewood yet he’s back at a very crucial time.

First Lucas and now Melissa. When the Hastings are in crisis, in she swoops to fix (or attempt to) the situation and get ahead of the bad press for their mom’s campaign. Spencer says that they’re essentially asking her to lie. Caleb offers to make Spencer something to eat before they head out to their next event at Hollis. And because, like the rest of us, Melissa isn’t blind, she asks Spencer what’s going on between them. “I know you like to shop out of other people’s carts.” Spencer denies there’s anything there and Melissa points out that maybe lying isn’t as hard for Spencer as she makes it seem. Good to know she’s consistent in her bluntness.

Still refusing to tell the truth to anyone, Hanna lies to Ashley about tampering with the security footage. Ashley receives a message to report to the precinct for questioning and out of the corner of her eye, Hanna spots Aria and Ezra walking into the bar area. From the look in her eyes, Hanna is suspicious of their meeting.

Aria struggles to bring up the horrifying images Ezra had on his flash drive. He avoids the topic and instead hands her a notebook with the first chapter of his book, though he thinks it’s absolutely terrible. Ashley walks over and informs Ezra that he is not to be served alcohol at the hotel anymore after a previous incident. Poor Ezra. He can’t catch a break.

A bag of medication zips shut as Mrs. Fields screams at Emily not to drive off. A letter from Pepperdine arrived and finally her secret, at least that one, is out. Her mother frantically screams at her and to avoid her eyes, Emily looks off and notices Sara sitting on a bench across the street. She pleads with her mom to have this conversation elsewhere. Over at Hollis, Hanna alerts Spencer that Lorenzo knows that the tapes were erased and that they have the names of everyone who stayed in the hotel that night. It’s only a matter of hours before he calls the girls in for questioning. They need a plan. And fast.

Emily sits down at The Brew with her mother and explains that it wasn’t exactly easy to tell her mother that she was skipping school. She was already so worried about her that it became difficult to tell her the truth. Pain floods her mother’s face and it’s evident that in an attempt to not worry her, she only made it worse, hurting her by her omission. After everything that had happened, you would hope that the girls had better sense than that.

A knock reverberates off Lucas’s door and there stands Hanna asking for his help. She asks if he was in town the night that Charlotte died and if he was, would he lie and say that he came to her room so they could catch up? Hanna is running out of options and immediately knows this was a bad idea. She didn’t really think the plan through and, ever the white knight, Lucas agrees to be her alibi.

Aria reads from Ezra’s notebook and Emily snaps, wondering if the story is about Aria and why they care about the work of someone who possibly killed Charlotte. Aria lashes back saying that if Ezra said he went home, then he went home. “Why won’t Sara Harvey go home?” Emily counters. “Everywhere I go, she shadows me like a dark cloud and I’m afraid she might know something.” When Aria suggests Emily have dinner with her mom, she chooses not to tell her about their fight but rather that she’s staying put. Secrets don’t make friends, ladies. I thought we already knew that.

Spencer goes to Hanna’s to apologize for how she acted earlier. Hanna shrugs it off and mentions Lucas being willing to help. Sensing that now was a good time, Spencer decides to broach the subject of Caleb. As Spencer usually never flounders for words and is usually impossible to read, Hanna can tell through her apprehension that Spencer might have feelings for Caleb. It’s clear that this comes as a shock to Hanna and though she seems hesitant, she tells Spencer to find out if he feels the same way.

While Ezra questions Aria’s praise of both his book and his general character, Spencer approaches the journalist who turned the interview from millennial voters to the dollhouse scandal. Like the lioness she is, she pounces and asks if he was taking a different angle. If not, then why was he in contact with Mona? Turns out Mona is working for the other candidate. Against Mrs. Hastings. When she approached Veronica about working for her campaign, she was shown the door. Spencer is shocked and it shows.

The other three are meeting in Arira’s room before Hanna is questioned. Panic mode has set in as Hanna has resorted to eating orange juice concentrate with a spoon. Liam FaceTimes to tell Aria that if Jillian doesn’t get pages by the next day, they’re dropping Ezra as she thinks him a fraud. Her response is tense with anger and one can only hope that Liam is smart enough to realize that Aria is leaving out a lot of the story. Hanna doesn’t understand why she cares so much about his book when she should be caring about how he might have murdered Charlotte. A ding sounds off from Emily’s phone and she excuses herself to the bathroom where Hanna catches her injecting herself with a needle moments later. Hanna is proving herself to be the most important Liar lately.

As Emily rounds the corner into the living room, she’s stopped by Hanna. She asks if she’s sick and she says, “No, I’m broke.” She sighs with resignation and tells Hanna that she left school, blew through all of the money her dad left her and lied about her job. Left without any money beyond what she makes as a bartender, she decided to sell her eggs and has to take a lot of hormones. But it’s something that feels good about; she gets to help a couple start a family.

Hanna heads over to the precinct for questioning. Lorenzo doesn’t buy her answers right away and calls Lucas in to verify her answers. It’s uncomfortable and tense and Lorenzo is out for answers. It’s obvious he took Ali’s word seriously, that she thought her friends capable of murder. Shouldn’t he be looking at her instead, the biggest liar of them all? The most manipulative?

Spencer isn’t even in the door two seconds before Melissa explains the fiasco at Hollis with the journalist. He left to take a call and when he came back, the questions had changed. His notepad referenced a tape and Melissa, unaware of the hotel footage, thinks it’s the tape from the night Ali went missing. She storms up the stairs and Spencer frantically texts Aria saying someone saw the tapes. Ezra needs to talk. Aria grabs her bag and flies out the door.

Emily storms across the bar and demands Sara give her answers. If Charlotte was so horrible, why did she stay for the funeral? Was her admission to the judge all an act so she could walk out a victim? She says she was lucky to get out alive at all and offers to take her gloves off. Emily reminds her that there was nothing any of them could do. “Who are you trying to convince? Me or you?”

Aria gets to Ezra before the other girls can. Halfway to tears, Aria says that no matter what kind of place he’s in, she’s willing to lie for him no matter what. The other girls barge in screaming at Ezra to admit to what he did, to say that it was in self-defense. Shock and confusion shakes Ezra and he asks the girls to go, but they want the truth. He can’t believe they would be so quick to assume he was capable of killing someone. He’s not sorry that she’s dead, but he also doesn’t agree or disagree with their conclusion.

Spencer hangs her head as she walks into the barn and asks Caleb where his mind went when he found out Charlotte was killed. It seems like Hanna was leaving out information about what happened that night at Radley. After Emily punched Sara, she caught herself on a set of wires that had gotten wet and Sara was electrocuted causing the burns on her hands. Caleb assures her that they were in an impossible situation, but Spencer isn’t sure. What if they let it happen because all the years of torture had hardened them?

Emily returns home to find her mother sitting on the porch with a glass of wine. Her mood has softened since their fight and she wants Emily to know that she can come to her with anything, that whatever she’s going through, they can help share the burden. Again, she chose not to tell her about the selling of her eggs. Is she worried that her mother will be ashamed?

Hanna thanks Lucas for his help, but he gets right to the point and asks if she had anything to do with Charlotte’s death. For the first time, Hanna admits how hard it is to be back in this situation, in this place, in her old room. Lucas offers her the keys to his place as a way to ease the myriad feelings she’s having. At least he’s stayed constant in his sweetness.

Aria’s phone rings and Liam tells her that the chapters she had sent over were incredible. Jillian was blown away by Ezra’s work, but was it really Ezra’s work? Did Aria find notes or an outline in that notebook? Is that why she was hunched over her tablet wildly typing? If she was pretending to be Ezra to save him, I think Aria is in some career trouble now.

A dark, twisted version of “Ring of Fire” fills the fire-lit room as Spencer and Caleb finally admit to and act on their feelings for one another. Emily dumps the wine her mom offered her and her face grows wary as she checks her phone. Hanna’s phone trills with a text as her face matches Emily’s. Aria continues to type as her phone follows suit. She grabs it and sees a text: “You know who did it and I’m going to make you talk,” complete with a devil symbol.

A doll perches lopsided next to a turntable as a record spins. Next to it is a clear, plastic box with the famous Ali mask. The camera spins and A’s greatest, creepiest clues, all wrapped in plastic, stare back at us. A pair of pliers snaps a zip tie, opening the container to reveal A’s infamous black hoodie. It’s tossed into the trash as our new Big Bad searches for uniforms.

And you thought your lives were all right again. Think again, ladies. This is Rosewood and you’re never safe.


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