Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Review “Turn of the Shoe”

Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 2 Turn of the Shoe (9)

In the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”, we got some intriguing new developments as per usual, plus lots of in-joke references to boot, starting with that title, “Turn of the Shoe.” I’m assuming that was a literary reference to the classic Henry James story “The Turn of the Screw”, a ghost story that served as the inspiration for the great movie “The Innocents” and likely inspired the also-good, more recent thriller “The Others”. All of the above sources revolve around restless spirits that may or may not be real and could quite possibly be a hoax meant to scare someone into going off the deep end, just as the girls continue to find themselves haunted by a former friend that may or may not actually be dead.

The references didn’t stop there, either. Always good for a good Hitchcockian in-joke, this episode features several, including the “Rear Window Brew”, which I do believe has cropped up before on the show, but also a bird by the name of Tippi, a reference to actress Tippi Hedren of the classic Hitchcock film- you guessed it- “The Birds”.

The bird also function as a double reference of sorts in regards to another oft-alluded to source of inspiration, “Twin Peaks”, which featured a bird named Waldo that offered up a clue via repeated, overheard quotes and noises. Though the end of the episode featured a heart-stopping fake-out via “A” or a member of the “A”-Team sitting down for a bit of basted birdie, thankfully Tippi did not suffer the same fate as poor Waldo, lest PETA consider going after “A” themselves.

There was also a mention of Toby’s mother’s name being Marion, which is Janet Leigh’s similarly ill-fated character’s name in “Psycho”, a source the show has referenced before, notably in the episodes involving the creepy cabin in the woods with the sketchy manager. Could that be an indication that his mother was indeed murdered, as suspected by Toby? I love this sort of thing, and though these in-jokes may not necessarily shed light on what’s actually going on in the show, at the very least, they point the way towards the show’s influences, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I believe in giving credit where credit’s due.

As for more significant clues, there was all that business with Hanna’s mom, Ashley, who was clearly lying about something. As the titular shoe in question was hers and the cops found high-heel imprints at a location Wilden was known to be at the night of his death, is it possible she actually did kill him? Ashley certainly had her reasons to, and absolutely seemed to be hiding something, and it wasn’t just those muddy shoes. Still, she swore to Hanna that wasn’t the case, but that might be just to protect her. Either way, someone else knows about it, judging from that next-to-last scene.

Someone certainly tried to put the hurt on the girls at the former RV site, with he/she attacking Mona and trying to run down the girls, putting poor Emily out of contention for the big swim meet soon after, and effectively causing her to lose the race in the process when she banged up her arm. Zonked out on painkillers, Em ended up banging her head against the wall of the pool and knocking herself clean out, resulting in her being carted off to the hospital. Gotta wonder where mom was this whole time, though. You’d think she’d be there to support her daughter. You’d think. Hmm…

We also got some info from Ali’s mom, who told Hanna that Ali nearly flipped out at a local restaurant, trying to convince her mom to let her stay at the Cape May beach-house with the girls, which turned out to be a lie, as Ali never invited the girls. There was evidence of a party, though. Perhaps Wilden, Cece, and Melissa? I’m not sure how important it was, but there was also mention that Ali had a yellow blouse on when her mother saw her body…or did she just assume it was Ali because of the blouse and not take a close look? That would certainly be understandable, under the circumstances.

Note also that when Ali pitched a fit, she seemed to be holding her breath, about to pass out- or possibly self-induce a seizure or something like that. Either way, she looked about ready to blow a gasket ‘o crazy. That holding your breath trick might well come in handy, though, if one were, say, buried underground. Remember that scene at the end of last season?

Other potential clues…Tippi said the following things over the course of the episode: “I can’t keep coming back,” “Hey, board shorts, did you miss me?” and a whistled series of dial tones. I also got a kick out of Spencer’s query: “Does it take requests?” LOL. Also amusing was defense instructor Jake’s all-too-apropos statement to Aria: “Maybe you’re not comfortable with the whole teacher-student thing. Could be complicated.” You think?

Speaking of which, was it me, or did Ezra seem to be somewhat more into Spencer than he needed to be? I get that he’s helping her out with getting into college, and Lord knows, his recommendation that Spencer might want to downplay the crazy a bit was dead-on, but still…his behavior seemed a bit iffy to me. Which is interesting, because his relationship with Aria never bothered me that much before. Maybe it is a pattern with him…one that could leave him open to, I don’t know, blackmail maybe? Could Ezra be a member of the “A-Team”? I wonder…

That about does it for clues, I do believe. By all means, let me know in the comments section if I missed anything. And feel free to let loose with your craziest “Pretty Little Liars” theories below while you’re at it. Who’s on the “A-Team”? Who is “A”? Is Ali really dead? Is Mona really on the girls’ side? Did Ashley kill Wilden? Who was spying on her? What’s next? Sound off below!