Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Review “Thrown from the Ride”

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 4 Thrown from the Ride (2)

The premiere of the fifth season of “Pretty Little Liars” was the first to seem more like an extension of the finale, rather than the usual packing away of moderately important dangling plot threads and assessment of where we stand. Instead, that type of episode was shifted into the following shows, including the aptly-titled “Surfing the Aftershocks.”

With this episode, the show started to ramp up into second gear, in preparation for next week’s landmark 100th episode, in “Thrown from the Ride.” Granted, it was more bark than bite, but you could see the gears beginning to turn, and with Ali about to return to school, it’s only a matter of time before things go south.

We started with Mona throwing serious shade at the girls when they discovered a copy of “The Scarlet Letter” that once belonged to Shana. She either knows exactly what happened, or thinks she does, but either way, the girls were decidedly rattled. One thing’s for certain: she’s not buying Ali’s kidnapping story for a minute.

As much as I like Mona in evil agitator mode, I did agree with Paige’s later assessment that Mona had basically become the thing she was so worried Ali was going to be once she returned to school- a malevolent dictator ordering her minions around to follow her every whim. Just ask Lucas. Whatever the case, she’s clearly got a plan for Ali’s return, and from the looks of next week’s preview, it may do more harm than good, in that it might just awaken the old Ali that Mona seems so desperate to quell.

Ali, as she exists now, is just not the same person she was all that time ago, when she was “killed.” This is a vulnerable, sad Ali, the likes of which we’ve never really seen before. Sure, the Ali she once was, was undoubtedly a holy terror, but that’s all changed- and for the better. But some tigers don’t change their stripes, and it’s not wise to mess around with a sleeping tiger under any circumstances. Mona’s actions may well end up doing more harm than good.

Of course, the crazy thing is, Ali essentially created the monster that Mona became, not only by tormenting her in the past, but by helping fashion Mona into a sort of mini-Ali, or as she put it, giving her the “Ali upgrade.” And we all know what happened with Frankenstein’s monster: he created something he couldn’t control. Suddenly, Ali’s dad’s suggestion that they get the hell out of dodge is looking like a valid option, if Ali knows what’s good for her.

Alas, it seems unlikely that’s going to happen, but do we really want that anyway? A Mona vs. Ali war is going to make for some fun television, let’s be honest. Whatever Mona’s got planned, it might just make Ali resort to something more akin to “Carrie.” Watch your back, Mona! Don’t forget: Ali taught you everything you know. Although, sometimes crazy can trump cold and calculating, so maybe it’s Ali who might better watch out.

Meanwhile, Spencer is likewise a mess, and the very fact that the show’s pushing so hard to make us think that her dad is the one who either killed Ali’s mom, and/or attempted to kill Ali, makes me think that he had nothing to do with either. Melissa, on the other hand…let’s just say the jury’s still out on her. Besides, her father didn’t start acting so crazy and drinking non-stop until after Melissa told her what she did, so that to me is the real reason he’s been acting so suspiciously.

Factor in the fact that someone appears to be setting him up to take the fall for Jessica’s death (i.e. the pills and the rat poison), and it seems like a frame job to me, though I don’t rule out that he might have been the one to clock Ali on the head way back when of the two potential crimes. It certainly doesn’t have to be both, though.

Also continuing to flip out is Aria, who started to obsess over Shana’s death to the point of checking out her online funeral ceremony. Wait, is that even a thing? If so, that’s all kinds of wrong, IMHO. I mean, who would even want to watch that, even those who couldn’t go to the funeral for one reason or another? That is more than a little screwed up, and so was Aria’s reaction to it, including seeing Shana rise from the coffin to stare at her accusingly. Creepy!

Not much happened on Emily’s or Hanna’s end, for the most part. Emily continued to train new girl Sydney, while Paige continued to come between them, albeit less awkwardly than before; and Hanna continued to give herself a complete make-over-haul, and backslided into shoplifting again, like she did way back in the first season, if I remember correctly.

Some clues did emerge, though. Particles of the weapon used to assault Ali were still in her wound, so the doctor took samples of that to examine and identify, which might come in handy on down the road. We also discovered that Ali had a mystery scar that she was unwilling to come clean about, which is bound to mean something as well.

I also noticed that one of the pics that cropped up on the Ali hate page online was used in the episode where the girls participated in a fashion show or something like that- it was part of the montage that “A” put on the screen, which means it was likely Mona’s doings. Still, seeing an entire webpage dedicated to slamming you and your character- with her gravestone as a header, no less!- has to be a sort of wake-up call for Ali, in terms of the damage she did, right? We shall see.

Other cool moments: Spencer calling out Aria to take a “psychological selfie” and Hanna’s assessment of Jessica’s untimely demise: “Cause of death? Duh. Murder.” LOL. The respective showdowns between Mona and the girls and later on with Paige (no one gives the Luigi Death Stare like Mona- you better recognize!); the catty comments on Ali’s hate page; and the bit with the girls about the monsters under the bed and how they feel compelled to create some when there are none was an astute observation, although the monsters are still very much alive and well in Rosewood.

What did you think of “Pretty Little Liars” this week? Who do you think killed Jessica for real? Is Peter Hastings being set up? What is Mona’s Army up to? Will Hanna end up getting busted for shoplifting? Will Aria do something stupid to get herself caught? Will her and Ezra kiss and make up? Will Emily give Paige a second chance, or move on to Sydney? Will Ali resort to her old ways? What’s the story with her scar? Sound off below and see you for the big 100th episode!