Pretty Little Liars Review: When Dolls Attack
After weeks of patient viewing, Pretty Little Liars really kicked it into high gear with an hour packed with tense drama, tragic romance and one of the creepiest doll scenes ever!
"If These Dolls Could Talk" brought us back to that scary doll hospital, introduced us to some new characters and revisited our usual suspects. With the big reveal just a week away, tonight's episode gave us a lot of teases about A's identity. BUT it's up to us to look really closely at each suspected A.
First off, how unnerving were those scenes in the doll hospital? The owner was extremely unhelpful (and we definitely found out why), but the biggest clues (or misdirects) came from a little boy named Seth. He claimed to remember Ali and to know who was after her: a dark-haired woman and man. When he said the girl was not blind, the girls began to suspect Melissa. It seemed easy to dismiss him and his apparent visions... until he mentioned that Ali died from breathing in dirt.
That little piece of information wasn't released to the press and it was something only the killer would know. Or a psychic? Could Seth really "see" things? Paranormal matters have never really been a part of this teen drama, so it's kind of weird that the show would head in that direction now.
Plus, once we were treated to that terrific scare in the basement, I began to doubt Seth's psychic visions. Then A showed up to pay off his partner for the damage to her dolls. It's possible the whole thing is just a ruse to terrify the girls and us. Well, it certainly worked! The little horror puppet show in the cabinet was so disturbing that it pushed the girls into doing the one thing they've refused to do so far: go to the police.
The whole incident really got the girls focused on Melissa. Even Spencer, while still be hesitant to tell the cops, had to finally reveal her parents suspicions about Melissa and the fact that Jason was her half-brother. In a surprising move, she showed Melissa the video and waited for her response. What she got was threat that seemed to confirm her all her worst fears. But is Melissa really A?
Hanna seems convinced, especially after offering up Caleb to make out with Mona as a trap for Melissa (a hilarious scene!). But Aria was right to point out that if Melissa was A she certainly wouldn't have admitted to texting Ali at all. Or that might have been a clever misdirect on her part. She seems very suspicious and she's really refused to directly answer any of Spencer's questions.
However, we shouldn't forget Jenna. Early on in the episode, it looked like Jenna was very disappointed at the failure of her surgery to restore her eyesight. She made a seemingly heartfelt apology to the girls, asked them all to move on and mentioned that she wasn't the one they should be afraid of. Emily wasn't sold on this change of heart, and neither was I. However, the girls might fooled by Jenna's manipulative ways, which spells disaster for everyone.
Because Jenna can see. Plus, she set up Garrett rather nicely by giving Toby the missing page from the autopsy report. She knew what Garrett gave her outside that interview room, and she knew she wasn't going to destroy her only leverage against Garrett. That's probably why he's been parked outside her house watching her and waiting for her to make her move. Jenna seems like the most obvious suspect, but couldn't she be A?
There are other suspects, of course, but these two women were the focus of tonight's episode. Garrett was arrested, but did he really kill Ali (alone or with a partner)? And it seems certain that whoever A is, he/she isn't working alone. So, who do you think it is?
In other news, it seems the celebration for Ezria fans was a little premature. Aria's parents briefly considered sending her to school in Vermont, until she hit back at them with an even bigger tantrum. It's true that her parents have made her love life very difficult, but I believed Ella when she said she was only trying to protect Aria from some unknown threat by the name of A. Aria couldn't accept that and her threat to expose her father's affair with his student really destroyed her family dynamic.
Obviously, Byron is in no position to judge his daughter's relationship given his past behavior, but two wrongs do not make a right. The whole scene was very ugly and made it seem like this relationship has destroyed Aria's character. However, her threat ended up being for nothing because Ezra is fired and now has zero job opportunities in Rosewood. Their relationship ends not with a whimper, but with a bang... metaphorically speaking. As Ezra tries to find the way to say goodbye to Aria, they're relationship gets a lot more physical. But, just how far did it go?
I also had an odd thought about the way tonight's show opened. Spencer saw Ali poking through her bag and urging her not to overlook an important clue, but we were left wondering if Ali was really there. A similar thing happened to Emily when she nearly died and to Hanna in the hospital. With each Ali appearance, there seems to be more uncertainty about whether these are just dreams or if Alison is really alive.
Could she be messing with their heads from beyond the grave or did she somehow fake her own death?