Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Review “Under the Gun”

Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 6 Under the Gun (7)

Well, “Pretty Little Liars” had their big freeze-frame-able scene earlier this season with the bulletin-board-o’ clues, so it’s only appropriate that they would also have a genuinely WTF moment as well a few episodes later. It remains to be seen if it’s a “jump the shark”-type moment or the beginning of something creepy and interesting, but at the very least, I’m sure it got viewers’ attention!

I will break it down as best as I can, seeing as I’m not too sure what the what was going on there, either. So, basically, Spencer & Toby go to scope out Mrs. Grunwald, aka the spooky German sorority house mother with, ahem, some interesting ways of running things that apparently involved paddles of the “thank-you- ma’am-may-I-have-another”-variety. (What hath 50 Shades of Grey wrought?)

So, they go to this spooky neighboring town by the name of Ravenswood to look for her, which we know is spooky because they use that whole grey-camera-filter thing that makes the picture look all washed out and colorless. There’s also lots of Hitchcockian ravens about, possibly to plug in advance the proposed “PLL” spin-off, “Ravenswood” coming on ABC Family in October. Let’s hope that show fares better than the unfortunate raven that bit the dust on Spencer’s car.

Anyway, Spencer gets nothing from the cagey Grunwald, possibly because of the interference of one Shana, possibly with an assist from the unseen Jenna, whose car was spotted on the scene. Then she hears weird choral music coming from loudspeakers, and a bunch people gathering around an angel statue to, like, pay tribute to someone or have a moment of prayer or whatever the hell was going on there. Shana was among them, when we first see her, and it would look as if that were part of the reason she came, if not to talk to Grunwald.

It was all pretty out there and kind of put me in the mind of something like “The Lottery,” which many of you may know better as the old-school version of “The Hunger Games,” if you know it at all. There were also shades of Stephen King’s underrated book “Needful Things”– witness the store entitled “Oddities” seen in the background, along with other esoteric store names.

From the looks of it, the spin-off is going to have some sort of supernatural underpinnings, which is why I say this could or could not be a “jump the shark” moment. After all, just because they go that route on that show doesn’t mean they will on this one. I’m intrigued, but I definitely don’t want “PLL” to turn into a SK adaptation- they should stick with the Hitchcock, and keep things grounded in reality. That’s just my opinion. Maybe someone that reads the “PLL” books can offer us a heads-up in the comments section as to whether there are any supernatural occurrences in the book version. (Try to keep it from being too spoilery, as I’d still like to read them!)

Anyway, not sure what we were meant to take away from all that, save that Shana was all over the place this episode. Snagging Emily’s spot on the swim team? Check. Playing violin at school and at open mike night? Check and check again. Cameo appearance in a freaky town gathering? Check-a-palooza. The girl gets around. She’ll be snuggling up to Paige at Sanford soon, you watch.

Other stuff: Say it ain’t so! My beloved redheaded MILF Ashley is headed to the clink! She swears she’s innocent, and for the record, I believe her. The police seem to know that Hanna was stashing that gun from the last episode on her behalf, and now that they’ve got it, it wasn’t long before they had Ashley’s fingerprints from the bullets inside. Eep! Moms are not faring well this season on “PLL.” Bees for Ella? (“Ahh, not the bees!”) Check. Child abuse charges for Pam? Check-a-roonie. Frame job for Ashley? Double check-set-match. Veronica better watch her back, yo.

Aria had her own drama to contend with, courtesy of major douche-bag and Rider Strong stand-in Connor, who she was good enough to help with his English homework, only to have him tell everyone they got it on big-time. After all the “A” frame-ups, it was actually kind of oddly refreshing to see Aria deal with a very typical teen issue that many girls have to contend with that didn’t involve, you know, corpses and death threats and the like.

After what she’s gone through, this should have been a relative breeze, but understandably, the weight of everything got to her, and it was little bro to her rescue, as Mike took a bat to Connor’s ride something fierce. Was it me or did it look like Ezra for a second there? If so, there’s a resemblance I never noticed before. I’ve heard of daddy issues, but brother issues? Ick.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Shana takeover, Em went from bad to worse when she turned in a well-hidden copy of Hanna’s evidence of her mom the night Wilden went missing, which Em cut out to leave only Shana and Jenna, hoping to cast suspicion on them. Big mistake, as what the cops ended up with was someone in an Emily mask (!) holding up a “Guilty” sign in a red coat in front of what was, one assumes, a representation of the dwindling population of Rosewood.

The Em mask also popped up at the end of the episode as a car thief donned in one took off to get up to who knows what- although next week’s preview might offer up a clue as it showed a car pummeling into what looked to be Emily’s house. Anyway, the Ali version was freaky, but the Em version was even more so, I thought. There’s something disquieting about seeing Em’s face on someone else’s like that. It just wasn’t right, you know? Felt like a violation of sorts. I guess now we know that the mask maker knows more than he let on, as he’s the only one that could have made said mask.

That was about it, I do believe, save maybe the return of Mona, and the revelation that Spencer and Toby were hiding things to the girls. As per usual, this entire episode raised more questions than it answered, but I do feel like something almost has to give here soon or the show is going to hit a wall of sorts. We do know that the red coat revelation is definitely going to happen, but it will be interesting to see where the show heads from there, or on the way to there, for that matter.

What did you think of “Pretty Little Liars” this week? Did you enjoy the “Ravenswood” bit or were you a bit put off by it? Were you sad for poor Ashley? Not to mention poor Hanna. Think Mona knows more than she’s letting on, as per usual? What was up with the game of “Where’s Shana”? Think Grunwald knows more than she was letting on? How about that creepy groundskeeper? Sound off below on that and more, and I’ll see you next week!