Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pretty Little Liars - Taking This One to the Grave

The mid-season "fatale finale" lives up to its name as before the end of the episode one Liar will be arrested and one series regular won't live long enough to see the closing credits roll. Paranoia over Alison's (Sasha Pieterse) latest plans makes strange bedfellows as the Liars enlist the help of Mona (Janel Parrish) to discover just what Alison has told the police and where she has shifted suspicion concerning the death of Bethany Young. The unusual partnership culminates in Mona and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) sneaking into Radley in Charlie's Angels fashion, with the help of Aria (Lucy Hale), to find evidence that will turn the police's attention away Spencer and back on Alison who Mona believes to be A.

Amidst the intrigue, lies, a car accident which leaves another regular injured, murder, and arrest that make up the mid-season finale, "Taking This One to the Grave" also delivers some light-hearted moments including Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) moving forward with their relationship, Aria and Ezra (Ian Harding) baking pumpkin pies, and the ridiculous lengths that the young Miss Fields goes to in order to begin celebrating Christmas on the day before Thanksgiving. Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) also appear to be in a good place for the first time since his return, and the screw-up of the Liars even begins to plan for the future.

The mid-season finale certainly doesn't shy away from painting Alison as the Liars' tormentor given her confrontation with Mona, her lies to the police, her new growing army of followers, and her apparent joy over Mona's brutal murder, but with the series continuing another two seasons following this one (which itself is now only half over) I'm guessing the real identity of A will be much more complicated. As one of the show's most complicated figures, Mona's death is likely to hit each of the Liars in different ways as their frenemy met her end helping the foursome secure evidence which cost Mona her life. Mona's death and Spencer's arrest (which hopefully won't result in a long drawn-out trial) raise the stakes going forward as the truth Mona discovered shortly before her death seems to have died with her... at least for now.

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