Pretty Little Liars “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” Review (Season 6 Episode 7)

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In the latest, highly enjoyable episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” the girls, as per usual, proved that they are their own worst enemies, in the wryly-titled “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou.” Of course, it all starts out reasonable enough, as Spencer advocates leaving their chips in for the time being, in order to preserve the element of surprise now that they finally have one up on Charles for once. When the right time comes, then they’ll take care of it somehow, but for now…

This was followed by my favorite moment of the episode, in which Aria’s phone rang and she confused it with her chip! The look on her face…priceless. One of my favorite things about the show is how the girls can be so smart about some things, and dumb as a box of rocks about others. Case in point #2 and my second fave moment of the episode- when Hanna assessed said chips in the following way: “God, we’re like Cyclops.” Says Spencer: “Cyborgs.” Hanna, without skipping a beat: “I’m pretty sure it’s pronounced Cyclops.” (At least she was smart enough to be suspicious that anyone in their right mind would give her scholarship funds, which proved to be right on the money, literally.)

After the okay but fairly inconsequential last episode, it was nice to see the show keep things moving here, smoking through a lot of plotlines like wildfire, knocking ‘em down and moving on to the next one, lickity-split. Ken snapped Ali up and dragged her out of town to avoid Charles, while Jason stayed behind to confront him. Mike stopped moping around over Mona and confronted her and they essentially got back together after a heartfelt talk.

Hanna researched said scholarship and discovered that it was from the Carissimi Group, which was the same investment company that bought Radley, which tied it into Ali’s mom, and thus, likely Charles, which could explain where he’s getting all this funding for underground dollhouse and the like. Spencer being Spencer, recognized that Carissimi translated to “beloved” in Latin, and further connected it to Charles, who was Jessica’s “beloved” son and theorized that maybe that was how she was funding Charles on the sly- and how Charles might be funding Hanna as well.

Emily ran into Claire (Skyler Day, “Parenthood”), Sara’s old friend, thus addressing some fans’ complaints over why none of her friends had been in touch with Sara all this time. Claire later admitted to Sara she bad-mouthed her to Emily, which was why Emily was being so over-protective of her when they finally met face-to-face.

This meeting also dispelled the ongoing theory that Sara is actually Bethany in disguise, which is why she’s really avoiding everyone from her past- because they’d recognize her as not being Sara after all. Obviously, we now know that to be false- Sara is exactly who she says she is, and part of that is that she used to not be the nicest person in the world, by her own admission.

All of this just goes to show what a lot of us already know- if you can just be patient, the show will answer a lot of your unanswered questions…eventually. Yeah, it might take a while, which infuriates some fans to no end, but chances are it will happen sooner or later- probably later, more often than not.

Sara opts to go visit with Claire for a while, thus putting a little distance between her and Rosewood, which is probably a good idea with all that’s going on lately. However, she makes it clear with a kiss to Emily that it’s still on like Donkey Kong with the two of them, despite Emily’s hesitation.

Stoner girl Sabrina slips Spencer some loaded gummi bears while she’s hanging out at the coffee shop, which she doesn’t notice until they’ve done some serious damage to Toby later on. She gets a call from Ali who alerts the girls that Jason is going to try and meet with Charles alone and that someone should stop him or help somehow, then she later calls the cops after drugging her father (!) and escaping the hotel room they went to with an assist from Mona, looking to make amends.

Meanwhile, the girls perform some ad-hoc surgery on each other to remove their respective chips after watching a how-to video on the internet. Would that we could have seen that! Then Spencer calls Toby, who agrees to follow Jason via a tracking device Hanna got from Caleb and put on Jason’s car, but only if she stays put. He grabs Lorenzo, and the two head to the meet place, while the cops Ali called go to Jason’s house and get the address for the meet from there as well.

Then naturally, the girls get antsy and before you can say a word that starts with a cluster and ends with an “uck,” things go completely south. Jason arrives, then Charles, then just as they’re about to talk, in storms Toby and Lorenzo and all hell breaks loose. Toby has a clear line on Charles, but Charles turns on the various machines at the old arcade (!) and chaos ensues, especially in Toby’s drug-addled mind, causing him to not be able to focus, what with all the flashing lights.

Then the girls arrive, further mucking up the proceedings and consequently alerting Charles that their chips are out of their bodies and thus, blowing their own covers, and the other cops show up and Charles gets the hell out of dodge, naturally before anyone gets a good look at him. I’m sure some will be like “Um, why the hell would the power work at an old abandoned arcade?” Or, for that matter: “Why are the games in the arcade positively ancient? Did Jason and Ali grow up in the 60’s?” Good questions all, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned as longtime fans of “PLL,” it’s that sometimes you just have to go with it for the sake of a cool scene, and this was definitely a cool scene, so I did.

We end on a series of brief scenes: Ashley already deposited Hanna’s scholarship money and doesn’t care where it came from; Aria gets a letter from the Cardillo Arts Fellowship, aka the contest Clark mentioned, which says she’s a finalist in the competition for her creepy doll photos, and thus, could potentially win money and an internship at a “prominent magazine in L.A.” (how much you want to bet that’s another set-up, via Clark working for Charles?); and Emily smashes her chip when she gets home.

Later, Jason gets tanked and complains to Ali for interfering, saying he was going to talk Charles into turning himself in (yeah, right), then they hear a child’s voice saying Jason’s name from the next room and go in to find another film playing, this one of Jason, Ali and Charles celebrating the latter’s birthday at the same arcade they were at earlier. Mrs. D. refers to Charles as “Freddie” and told her other kids he was a distant cousin, and Charles makes reference to having to “go back” somewhere, which one assumes meant Radley. Ali and Jason both remember the event, and that their mom made them promise not to tell their father about it.

We end with them finding a heartbreaking note from Charles: “I wAnted to trust you,” while Charles himself receives a birthday present waiting for him wherever he resides with a note that says: “Happy birthday, from your friend and ally.” Charles opens it, and it’s a painting of that very aforementioned day with him, Ali and Jason.

So, what to make of all this stuff at the end? One thing does seem obvious, but then it already was, anyway, IMHO: Charles is not in this alone. He definitely has someone else he’s working with, maybe more than one someone, and they might well be pulling the strings on everything instead of Charles. Could it be that Charles, who we already know has mental issues that were pretty much life-long, is just a pawn in the real “A” game as well? I’m beginning to think it’s highly likely.

I’m calling it here: we’ll discover who Charles is, “really” (as in which character it is), but not who the head honcho “A” is, by the end of this first half of the season. Reportedly, we’ll find out who the “Black Widow” and “Red Coat” are as well. My predictions: Charles is Wren (which would explain how he was able to get in and out of Radley so easily and also keep an eye on things); Melissa is the “Black Widow” or “Red Coat” (she is romantically involved with Wren and more than a little bit crazy herself, of which we have a fair amount of evidence of already, i.e. her burying Bethany and “covering” for Spencer when she thought she killed someone); and Cece is whichever Melissa isn’t, likely “Red Coat,” what with the blonde hair.

Note also that, if Wren is Charles and Mrs. D. saw him hit Ali over the head, she would have covered for him- and possibly Melissa as well, as Melissa was involved with Wren/Charles, so that would explain that. Then, when Mrs. D. said she wasn’t going to cover for Charles anymore (remember the aborted e-mail?) and he got wind of it, one of the three killed her as well. Melissa’s MO seems to burying people, so I vote her, but I’ll fully admit to having it out for Melissa since pretty much the jump, so I might be biased on that one.

Some have also posited that it could be the following team: Wilden, who faked his death, with Cece’s help- thus keeping her in play as either “Red Coat” (most likely) or “Black Widow.” If this is the case, I suppose Melissa’s involvement becomes less likely, so that would make “BW” someone else. Some have posited that it might be another person who faked their death, Maya. I feel like four faked deaths (if you include Mona & Ali) is a bit much and piling on, so I don’t agree with that particular theory. I can buy maybe one of the two, with Wilden more likely of the two, but not both. So, if the Wilden theory is true, then “BW” is likely someone else, and I’m gonna go with Jenna on that one, who we know was faking her blindness a lot of the time and was definitely up to something with Shana, so she’d make sense with this particular configuration.

Note that a lot of the above have been out of play for some time, and the “PLL” MO is to put an obvious suspect front-and-center as a red herring in order to make you take your eyes off the real culprit(s). So, it could be any of the above, as well as several other people that come up in the various theories rumbling around, including: Lucas, Noel, Holbrook, Dr. Sullivan, Sydney, Jackie, Maggie, and others. Insert your own wacky theories below, but those two above seem most likely to me, personally.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Only three more to go! Sound off below and see you next week!