Hello all! This is Mark Trammell here, and I will be covering the second half of the latest season of “Pretty Little Liars” for you and will hopefully continue to do so until the bitter end of the series. I have been a fan of the show since day one, but full disclosure: I haven’t read the books as of yet. That may soon change, as I received a box set of the first four for Christmas, so hopefully I will be able to further discuss the similarities and the differences between the two by the time next season starts- or at least start to- there’s like twelve books (soon to be one more in June) so far!
Anyway, until then, I will strictly be making predictions and the like based on the show alone, especially since they’ve already said there would be divergences in the two, as well there should be, IMHO. I mean, hey, it worked for “The Walking Dead.” Besides, I think the idea of having two separate culprits for each is kind of fun- or multiple culprits, that is, assuming there’s a “A-Team” that’s an actual team in the books as well. Think of it this way, book fans: if you don’t like one solution to Alison’s murder, there’s always a take two for the show. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.
There was a lot going on in this episode, which was, one assumes, ironically titled “She’s Better Now.” The person in question being Mona, of course, who has been given a get-out-of-asylum free card and is back on campus in Rosewood. (Lana could use one of those right about now over on “American Horror Story.”) She certainly wastes no time in bringing the creepy, even before the “cow brain” incident. I know I always like a personal visit in my bedroom in the middle of the night from my friends that are hot out of the nuthouse.
Then there’s her wacky 50s-style outfits…shades of Audrey Horne on “Twin Peaks”- nor was the only reference (assuming it was one) to that long lost, much beloved cult hit. There’s also a Harold here, and what’s that he has in his possession…a diary? Hmm. That can’t be a coincidence. Substitute Laura Palmer for Alison, and I see what you did there, “PLL.”
In what had to be the best scene of this show, someone puts a knife through Mona’s locker- and right through a icky-looking cow brain, with the note “Takes one cow to know another.” Real subtle. But not nearly as subtle as the following act by Mona, who rips out the knife from the locker and walks menacingly down the school hall with it before disposing of it in a trash can, but not before brandishing the knife at everyone for a hot minute as iPhones went nuclear in no time. What, there wasn’t a closer trash can? That’ll endear you to the student body, Mona.
Of course, Mona is smarter than that and eventually sought to rectify matters by posting a video pleading for a second chance online. (In case you missed the clue/link, as the message said: “Want more of my video? Go to denolies.com”- so do so accordingly if you want to see the whole spiel.) I loved Hannah’s grandma’s reaction to it: “That girl is more twisted than my toes.” LOL. I also agree wholeheartedly with her assessment that: “Right now, I think Mona may be the best argument we’ve got against human cloning.” (Definitely the lines of the evening, hands down.)
Meanwhile, Aria was dealing of the fallout of her finding out that her dad might have been involved with the Alison sitch somehow. Though it was sort of implied that the two might be a little too familiar in the last episode, “This is a Dark Ride,” in this one, it was shown that Alison was in fact blackmailing him about Meredith. So, this clearly gives him motive in Alison’s murder, although fat lot of good it did him since the word got out anyway. D’oh! That is, if he did it- which I’m by no means convinced of. Either way, he did pay her off once and seemed ready to do so again. My guess is he’s a red herring. Either that or they forgot to give him a backbone until now, since he’s never seemed half as creepy or guilty before.
So, who do I suspect? My money’s still on Ezra being one of the main members of the “A-Team.” There are certainly a lot of fishy things going on with him, and a whole lot of covering up on his end, and with his family in general. I also wouldn’t put it past his mom to have done the truly dirty work, though. I can see Alison finding out about his previous affair with his baby mama and blackmailing him the same way she did with Aria’s dad, then mom getting wind of it and “taking care” of her, just like she did with Maggie. As for Ezra, could it be that Alison had an affair with him personally? It’s motive either way.
I don’t get why Aria doesn’t tell Ezra about his kid, though. Sure, it’s a big deal, but lying isn’t exactly going to help matters. On this show, it all comes out in the wash anyway. And now, with “A” or a member of his/her team signifying they know via gift basket, better sooner than later. If “A” doesn’t have anything to hold over your head, “A” doesn’t have the power, after all.
Other significant developments: Mona and Harold, the inn keeper at the “Bates Motel”-like place, aka the “Lost Woods” inn she holed up in to obsess (if not with the entire “A-Team”) are acquainted and Harold has a bit of a crush, to say the least. I freeze-framed a fair bit this episode, and one thing I saw from reading the diary was that Harold has a creepy fixation on Mona. He also thinks that Alison’s diary was her’s, which could have contributed to that. It seems from the note that he and Mona haven’t talked much, but he has definitely interacted with her before, and they were caught talking to one another, so she must know who he is. What’s not clear is what he’s doing in Rosewood now, but he’s clearly up to something with Mona.
I also noticed in the freeze-frame confirmation of the humiliation Alison enjoyed inflicting on certain classmates, with her perpetuating a rumor about a boy leading people to believe he was gay and had done some stuff in the shower with another guy. I need to double check, but I’m almost positive this was alluded to in a prior episode at the party at Noel’s house, and I believe it was Noel who was the victim of Alison’s shenanigans. (Though there was a name that looked like Garrett’s in there, only spelled differently.)
Also, Toby’s behavior is pretty sketchy here as well. We already know he and Mona are in cahoots somehow, and he certainly was Johnny-on-the-spot when that fire broke out, semi-flambé-ing the home-wrecking Meredith. My guess? He was actually there to meet up with Harold for whatever reason, possibly to communicate something from Mona, who was busy setting said fire, or at least getting Meredith where she needed to be. Either way, he sure showed up at just the right time, didn’t he? Also, I think it was him who caused Lucas’ injury in the opening sequence, and that it was actually Jason who Aria stabbed in the last episode. My guess is that Toby was supposed to put the fear of “A” into Lucas, who was going off-grid a bit too much for his/her liking.
Finally, we saw why Jason wasn’t scared of Mona- there’s clearly something going on there. Did you see him in the “cow brain” scene staring her down? Then later on, it seemed like they were getting awful cozy with one another. Whatever the case, that looked like a screwdriver stab to me. He better get that looked at because it looked pretty infected!
Last but not least, we ended, but of course, with a highly cryptic scene involving a member of the “A-Team” sabotaging someone’s bike. I didn’t recognize the character, but I thought I heard someone call him Brad or possibly Brett. Anyone know out there? Let me know in the comments if you do. Either way, it was clearly not “A,” as whoever it was clearly flinched at the results of his/her actions. My guess? A duly reprimanded Lucas, back doing the dirty work for “A.” As for who that guy was, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps someone “A” was trying to get out of the way in order to get one of our girls in the line of fire in a bike race of some kind? (Looking at you Emily, what with the bike you were riding earlier in the episode.)
Alright, I think that about covers it for “She’s Better Now.” Feel free to spout off any crackpot theories you may have below in the comments section, or to comment on anything else I may have missed, which does not include how awesome Aria’s American flag skull shirt was. Because it totally was, and that should go without saying as Aria always does have the best fashion sense. And the starter gun fires in 3, 2, 1…go!