Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Review “Miss Me x 100”

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Episode 5 Miss Me x 100 (8)

In the literally explosive 100th episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” the nefarious “A” returned with a bang, in “Miss Me x 100.” We all knew it was bound to happen- if “A” was really dead, there would be no show, after all, in a sense, as that is the central mystery at hand. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it could well be this new team that has risen up, working in tandem with others. Hell, it would pretty much have to be more than one culprit, right? I don’t doubt there’s a ringleader, but “A” has never been in this thing alone, from the jump.

I will get to my theories about who that was at the end, but let’s start with the new team. We all knew about “Mona’s Army,” but that was small potatoes compared to the bomb dropped that Mona had a side team that included a newly-returned from New York Jenna, new girl Sydney, and an unidentified third person, along with Mona herself.

Now, I’d be lying myself, if I said that I didn’t think there was something up with Sydney. After all, it’s standard operating procedure for the show to introduce someone new and either make them look guilty for a while before dropping it- or having them be on the “A” team. Which is why, even though Sydney being a mole was predictable, it was actually gratifying as well that they didn’t drag it out and do the same thing as usual. We know how the game works, too- why bother hiding it?

What we’re seeing is a shuffling of the decks, I think. The writers and show-runners know we know how the show does things by now. So, rather than hiding it, they’re simply changing up the game, adding new players and restructuring it from the ground up. It’s the “A” team with an assist from Mona’s Army vs. Ali, plain and simple, and if you side with the wrong team…woe is to anyone who gets in the way. Just ask Toby, who no longer has a house. Maybe it’s ABC Family who should have used the network tagline “Boom” instead of TNT.

So, who is the fourth member of Mona’s alpha team? I’m going with Melissa, all the way. I’ve said from day one that I think she’s part of the “A” team and may even be “A” herself. Note that the movers acknowledged she was a local- “Welcome back,” one of them said- and if it were an adult, the attire would have seemed out of place, but a younger girl of a certain age…not so big a deal.

Lots of people wear hoodies and gloves when they’re younger, and that also explains the girl items, i.e. the dolls and dollhouse, which the movers had to have seen as well. Their non-reaction tells me it’s likely a female, and though it could be someone like, say, Dr. Sullivan, who could conceivably have kids- hence the kid’s stuff- I’m still betting on Melissa.

After all, it wasn’t until she told her dad something in particular that he started acting up, and she’s been lying to her mother and likely Spencer as well about her whereabouts. She has also been in and out of town, and was spotted at the Mona’s Army meeting to boot. Is it possible she told her dad that Spencer hit Ali in a pill-induced haze, and he killed Mrs. DiLaurentis to cover it up? O better yet, that Spencer hit the girl who ended up in the coffin, Bethany Young, thinking it was Ali in a drug-induced state? Melissa then covered it up by putting Young’s body in the coffin and subsequently told her father when it looked like Spencer was inevitably going to go down for it, and he did in Ali’s mom. Case closed.

Now, all of that said, I do think all of that with the Hastings is separate from the “A” team thing. I think the “A” team thing is more of a personal vendetta on Melissa and company’s part. They all hate Ali, with good reason, save maybe Sydney, insofar as we know. But she could have a reason as well, just as easily. So, in other words, Melissa has one thing going on with her father, and another thing altogether going on with Mona’s team. But I think she could well be the actual “A” and is just using the others as a means to an end- to take down Ali.

Note also that they aren’t actively trying to take down the girls- yet. Yes, people on the “A” team have gone after the girls, but we know about most of them: Mona, Wilden, Ian, Nate, et al. Those are also personal vendettas that are largely unrelated to the “A” vs. Ali thing. Yes, it’s true that Spencer was also somewhat terrorized- remember the shower thing? And the “A” team knew well enough that recruiting Toby would shatter Spencer- but also throw her off their scent for a while. And it’s entirely possible, despite Melissa’s claims that she’s looking out for Spencer and the less she knows the better, that she still holds a grudge over the whole thing with Dr. Wren.

Of course, Wren has been MIA as of late, too, so who’s to say he might not be the mystery returnee at the end of the episode? Yes, the whole dollhouse thing and the outfit would seem a bit more hinky to movers, but I suppose it’s possible. Highly doubtful, IMHO, but I guess it’s somewhat plausible. I don’t think it’s Cece, though. Surely, she’s not dumb enough to come back to town after killing a cop and escaping police custody. I can’t think of anyone else right off hand that it could be. Given the scenario, an older adult seems highly dubious to me, like I said.

Moving on, there were some great moments throughout this episode, to be sure. The return of Jenna, and her typical habit of appearing out of nowhere was great fun to see again. We also got Ali’s return to school, complete with an awkward situation outside of the school and a slow-mo walk into it, framed by the mass outing of Mona’s video causing everyone to turn on her in record time. Even better, we got a nasty war of words and an excellent slap-off between her and Mona. I half expected to see one of those catchphrases at the top of the screen: #BitchSlap.

We also got the return of Caleb, a sloppy drunk Hanna, some nice moments between a guilt-ridden Aria and a heartbroken Jenna, Veronica announcing she was leaving Peter and taking Spencer with her (and that her husband promised not to involve the girls in…something); a hook-up between both a reunited Aria and Ezra and- be still my heart- Emily and Ali; the big reveal of who was in the coffin (yet another denizen of Radley, wouldn’t you know) and, of course, the big finale with Toby’s house and seemingly half the block going sky high. I certainly didn’t see that last one coming, I don’t know about you!

Great quotable lines, too. Here are some of my faves:

Aria, on her heightened reactions to texts, then-seemingly post-“A”: “Tell that to my right eye. It still twitches every time I get a text.”

Emily, after being asked which part she wants to sing at a “Frozen”-themed sing-a-long: “I think I’m more of an Adele Nazeem than an Idina Menzel.”

Ashley, speaking on behalf of moms everywhere, upon finding Hanna drunk as a skunk: “Oh, I’m mad at you, Hanna. But I know you won’t remember it, so we’ll talk about it tomorrow.”

Aria, after being informed of…well, I’ll just let her speak for it: “So, Mona blue-snarfed us?” (Yep, it’s a real thing, which is terrifying.)

All in all, it was everything you could have possibly wanted in a 100th episode: big reveals, big moments, and big action. This episode of “Pretty Little Liars” was getting things done, to be sure. I don’t know that I have a single complaint about it, though the emo-rific music was a bit much at times. (Nice touch with the “Every Breath You Take” cover, though- a song about a stalker pitched as a love song- that seems just about right, given the context.)

Oh, and there was even what I do believe was the requisite Hitchcock reference: they should just call an episode “Dial ‘A’ for Murder” and be done with it. Or not. I kind of like the Hitchcock references, to be honest.

What did you think of the 100th episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Do you have an alternate version of events than mine above? Feel free to chime in with your crazy theories below. Lord knows, I’ve been wrong before- it’s that kind of show. But that’s why we all love it, right? See you for the fallout next week, and happy clue hunting!