Pretty Little Liars “She’s No Angel” Review (Season 6 Episode 5)


On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” we got a bit of a weird one that was more in keeping with the old-school “PLL” than the 2.0 version. Think lots of creepy doll action, bizarre dream sequences, the girls creeping around Radley looking for clues, a group meeting to discuss theories, an enigmatic “A” sequence at the end, that sort of thing. Not that I’m complaining, mind you- which is more than I can say for some “fans” out there that want those answers and they want them NOW! Settle down, people. The “Summer of Answers” still has five more episodes to go, and a lot can happen in five episodes.

This one, “She’s No Angel” actually did have a fair amount of stuff going on, though much of it may be the usual red herrings meant to throw viewers off the “real” trail. (Did anyone else hear that old song “I’m No Angel” in their heads and think of that “SNL” skit with a pregnant Amy Poehler when they first saw that title? Just me? Yep, I’m old.)

We began with a dream- or perhaps more correctly, a nightmare, in which Spencer found herself in what later turned out to be Radley’s basement, a room with a couple of tubs, and for some reason a little girl dancing around. It was like that girl from the Sia video combined with Reagan from “The Exorcist” in “spider walk” mode. As it turned out, it actually WAS that girl from the Sia video, Maddie Ziegler, of “Dance Moms” fame, who I didn’t quite recognize sans her signature blonde Sia-style wig, not actually having seen “DM” personally.

Well, that and the fact that it was hard to get a good look at her with her dancing around all crazy like that, but it precisely those oddball dance moves that gave it away. Later on, we did get a good look at Ziegler via a poster in the basement of Radley, but I’m not sure what to make of all that, beyond it serving as a signal that Spencer was firmly and literally in the land of her dreams. Maybe the little girl was supposed to be a former patient? That would certainly explain her crazy dance style! Talk about a girl possessed…

If she was supposed to represent Lesli (a returning Elizabeth McLaughlin), she certainly didn’t look like a redhead. Then again, I suppose she could have dyed her hair- that seems to be a thing this season, so who knows? Stranger things have happened on this show. Anyway, so Lesli cropped back up, flipping out on poor Mona, who was still reeling a bit from her experience in the Dollhouse. My favorite moment of the episode, that nutty intro notwithstanding, had to be when she called Hanna a “bag of hair”!

So, it turns out that Lesli’s mood swings weren’t entirely her flipping out for no good reason. Well, technically, she had a decent reason, as the cops had called her in to speak to her about her testimony and potential perjury committed in the whole Mona affair, which had apparently endangered her scholarship and a potential job and what have you. (The cops likewise wanted to speak to Mona about the whole “faking her death” thing, which would also be somewhat understandable if she hadn’t actually been freaking KIDNAPPED.)

However, there was another reason for Lesli’s wigging out- it seems she was yet another denizen of good old Radley, and had known Mona there, as well as Bethany Young (aka her roommate there) and potentially Charles as well. It just all comes back to Radley, doesn’t it? Spencer and Hanna caught Mona red-handed trying to nab Lesli’s files to cover for her, after the latter inadvertently gave Lesli the heads-up they were heading there, and she tasked Mona to do her a solid after the whole potential perjury thing. Needless to say, Lesli was not thrilled when Mona called her to tell her she’d failed and the girls knew about her. I halfway expected her to pull a pseudo-Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Boogie Nights” and start hitting herself yelling “You’re an Idiot!” over and over again.

The real question is, was Mona really trying to help her or is she in on something with her? Or maybe a little of both? Either way, it certainly made them both look incredibly guilty of something, and you better believe that the girls went into theory overdrive about it. Spencer’s was that Lesli was avenging Bethany’s death, which she must have thought Ali was responsible for. Sara’s abduction, then, was merely a “dry run” for her planned assault on Ali later on which went wrong, just a surrogate for the real thing.

My favorite part was when Spencer cavalierly commented how “Melissa just buried her alive,” in regards to Bethany. Oh, is that all? Just did one of the worst things you could possibly do to a person? Has Spencer not seen “Kill Bill, Volume 2”? Way to gloss over that one, sweetie! (And no, I have not given up on my “Melissa is involved in this whole “A” thing somehow” theory- I just don’t buy that whole she-loved-her-sister-so-much-she-was-willing-to-cover-up-a-murder-for-her thing, not at a time not long after Spencer cheated with Melissa’s then-BF Wren- it just doesn’t add up to me at all.)

Beyond that, we got a little bit of action for the girls, including Ali smooching on Officer Lorenzo, much to her dad’s chagrin- note also his utter shock when she mentioned the grave for Charles at her aunt’s house, which he clearly didn’t know about. Meanwhile, Aria and Clark got a little closer, albeit more hesitantly on Aria’s part. She’s still a bit wary of strangers, and who can blame her? On the plus side, Clark did unintentionally get a picture of “A” or someone, at least, in a black hoodie. You couldn’t make out who it was, but it certainly appeared to be a female.

Meanwhile, Sara got herself legally emancipated, with Caleb’s help, then she and Emily went and got tatted up! Sara’s was a bird in flight out of a cage, while Emily got the Japanese character for “courage.” Spencer finally got herself to a NA meeting and ran into old sponsor Dean (a returning Nathaniel Buzolic), who she willingly gave up the rest of her pot cookies to, which is a big step for her, given the circumstances.

Also in Radley, the girls found seemingly definite proof that Charles was indeed dead via a report arranging for the pick-up of his organs, as he was an organ donor. We also saw exactly who bought Radley via a stamp on the wall: The Carissimi Group. (So very close to a “Melissa” anagram…curses!) There was also a creepy bit with a submerged CPR doll in one of the aforementioned tubs, but that was about it.

Predictions: the Lesli stuff is all one big fake-out and a total red herring. Mona really was trying to help her friend stay out of the girls’ crosshairs, and Lesli being there at Radley at the same time as Mona, Bethany and Charles really was just a coincidence meant to make her look suspicious. Note how they still haven’t brought up Cece, who we also know was there at least at one point. It could still totally be her- or even Melissa. Who’s to say that Veronica Hastings might not have called in a favor to Ali’s mom to cover it up- after all, Mrs. D. certainly owed her, what with her having slept with Veronica’s husband and all. Peter could have also called in that favor, for that matter. Either one would do anything to protect their daughters, clearly.

Either way, I tend to suspect the ones that the writers haven’t brought up in a while- simply because they haven’t brought them up. They brought up Lesli in a big, guilty way- ergo, it’s probably not her. Or so I’ve convinced myself. They could possibly be pulling a double fake-out for those fans who think they know their tricks. Who really knows with this show?

What did you think of the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? What did you make of Maddie Ziegler’s wacky dance moves? Who was she supposed to be, if anyone canon on the show? Is Lesli really part of the “A” team? Could she possibly be “A” herself? Is Mona in on something with Lesli beyond what she claimed? Who is the Carissimi Group? Did they buy Radley to cover something up? Will Mr. D. make good on his threat to take Ali out of town? Will Aria enter that photography contest and win and move to LA when the show does their time jump? Do Lorenzo and Ali stand a chance? Are Lorenzo, Clark, Dean or Sara involved in the “A” situation? Sound off with your own crazy theories down below and see you next week!