Welcome to the Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 1 Round Table! We're discussing general expectations and sharing reactions to the premiere in the following Q&A.
Below, TV Fanatics Nick McHatton, Teresa Lopez, Leigh Raines and Carissa Pavlica debate such top
React to creator I. Marlene King said saying the "pacing" of the Pretty Little Liars Season 5 premiere was meant to shake fans up.
Nick: I think Marlene is tooting the episode's horn way too much. The pacing of the episode is very much like a typical episode: Lots of rounding of corners, and plenty of fake-outs and false promises to be had. The only differences are there's some play and differences with Mona preparing for Alison's arrival back to Rosewood, and there's confirmation of multiple A minions. As the season progresses perhaps Marlene's statements will be closer in truth, but the premiere does not shake much of anything up that we haven't thought about or had vague confirmation about before.
Teresa: King is definitely fooling herself. The pacing was different in that it was incredibly slow this time. Most episode do follow the same pattern of slow buildup to big surprise at the end, and tonight was no exception...although the big surprise wasn't so surprising. If this premiere is a reflection of the season as a whole, I'm going to have a lot of trouble watching it.
Leigh: I mean, there were certainly things I didn't predict in this episode. I didn't think Ezra would actually identify a person for Aria. I also didn't think Aria would take someone out! It felt too easy to finally see a shooter. And it's DEF not over.
Carissa: I almost fell asleep. The pacing was terrible and the reveals mediocre. If that's the big season secret, we're in trouble.
Was Shana a satisfying shooter?
Nick: It confirms our suspicions about Shana being shifty, and that she's very much in love with Jenna - and do anything for her. I'm not going to miss her from the show though.
Teresa: Yes and no. It's good to see that our instincts about Shana were right, but it was kind of a letdown. The show still uses these minor characters that just pop up (Shana and Alison were childhood friends?) when its convenient so they can avoid pointing the finger at one of the major characters. And when they do involve major characters like Toby or Ezra, it's usually a red herring or something that's retconned away once the writers are done "shocking" the audience. These patterns are getting very old!
Leigh: Like I said before, I didn't even expect to see anyone. She was fine I guess, don't care about her either way. The fact is, there is more than one A. And there was an original who started it all. I doubt that was Shana so who was it?
Carissa: No. Shana was a barely known who was used as a scapegoat to keep someone who "matters" from falling. I believe it was also said that Alison DiLaurentis was dead in the first episode so they hope nobody is ever truly gone from the show. How very Vampire Diaries of them.
What secret could Melissa be keeping that would be worth the wait?
Nick: I'm curious if the show is going to follow the books here Melissa knows that Alison has a twin. That secret could be worth the wait, and it makes sense that why Mr. Hastings would be willing to keep it.
Teresa: I'm thinking it has something to do with the twin angle too the more I think about it. What if it's not Alison's twin, but her mother's? We saw Jessica getting buried alive at the end of last season, but we don't know when that happened. Jessica was acting very nervous the night her daughter was attacked and didn't do anything to stop the person from trying to kill her daughter.
Perhaps she knew her crazy twin had gotten out and was after her family. Then, once she buried her own daughter, her twin turned on her, buried Jessica, and has been living her life all this time. It would explain why Jessica is such a menacing character sometimes. Melissa might have seen this twin kill and bury that other "girl", but would think she saw Mrs. Di. Sounds crazy, but at least its an entertaining theory.
Leigh: I think she killed the other girl who was in Ali's grave. Twin angle would be great too. I think I have to rewatch the finale when she first told Papa Hastings.
Carissa: Her secret is all of her other shows got cancelled and now she's back on Pretty Little Liars. She was married to a soldier who will soon be on The Young and the Restless as Billy Abbott. Are those satisfying secrets? I'm done expecting a twin story and I don't care about the unknown dead girl.
Was learning CeCe was always on the side of good satisfying?
Nick: I'm really not sure. There's been some things said about her that are hard to dismiss, but with Alison being such a different character now that she's on the run. I'm inclined to believe that she's on the side of good, so the sense of redemption and selfless from both Ali and CeCe is satisfying.
Teresa: Honestly, she's another one of those characters who shows up when its convenient. I didn't have much invested in her character.
Leigh: Is anyone on this show really "good"? Jessica DiLaurentis was buying CeCe clothes if you recall from the last 2 episodes of last season. So if Jessica was taking care of CeCe and CeCe was in cahoots with Ali- it just doesn't make any sense.
Carissa: She seems like another in a long stream of red herrings and double crosses. The best part was seeing Brant Daugherty as Noel Kahn again, ever so briefly.
What are you looking forward to on Pretty Little Liars Season 5?
Nick: I can't wait to watch Mona's Army - complete with these newly envisioned Lucas - and what their plans for the future are. Mona is such a fun character, and I'm interested to see how Paige, someone who has escaped her own dark place, will go back to her dark place being with Mona.
Teresa: I'm interested to see how Alison does or does not fit into life in Rosewood. She's been this specter hanging over the show for years, and now she has to exist as a real person in the world of Pretty Little Liars. I wonder how that will work.
Leigh: Mona and her deluded army should be entertaining, but I'm more interested in Melissa. Also want to see Aria handling the fact that she killed someone. Heard Hanna is going to go a little wild and Caleb will be back so that should be interesting. Ali readjusting to Rosewood is going to be intense.
Carissa: I'm with Leigh. Watching Alison live in the real world is interesting. Will she try to recapture her old spot as the grand leader or allow the Liars to be a democracy? That should be fun.
Remember, if you need to catch up, you can watch Pretty Little Liars online any time via TV Fanatic.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.