Pretty Little Liars “The Wrath of Kahn” Review (Season 7 Episode 9)

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On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” Hanna went rogue while the girls continued to try and dig up some dirt on Noel and find out who Mary’s mystery baby was- but were they one and the same? In one of the best-titled episodes of the show ever, “The Wrath of Kahn,” we didn’t quite get answers to any of this, save one undeniably great bit of info, but it was still a fairly engaging episode overall.

You all seem to be enjoying the new format, so I’ll stick with it for the time being, though the mid-season finale might require something a bit more in-depth, depending on how it goes. Hopefully, it won’t be more of the same stalling tactics, but we’ll see. As ever, spoilers abound, so make sure you’ve seen the episode first- if you plan to, that is! (Shout-out to those readers who have bailed altogether on the show and have taken to reading my recaps instead! 😉 )

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Gone Girl- As predicted, Hanna did indeed go rogue and try to take down Noel all by herself, but things didn’t quite go as planned- until they did. In other words, she found a juicy piece of evidence- Noel getting rid of Sara’s broken cell phone- used it to bait the hook and get his attention, then lured him to a bar, with the intention of drugging and absconding with him…but that’s not what happened.

Instead, Noel, no fool he, saw through her ruse, refused to drink her “peace offering” beer and simply grabbed the phone from her and left, leaving Hanna with no evidence to speak of, beyond her hunch that he was up to something. Indeed, he didn’t even admit to anything she could have used, had she opted to record the conversation at hand, which she didn’t appear to do.

But what goes around comes around, and when Noel left, Hanna went back to his place- or rather, his parents’, where he’d been staying for who knows how long- and baited Noel again by leaving her hat for him to find, and when he bent down to retrieve it…whack! So, while I stand by my predictions in the last review, looks like we’ll have to wait until next week to see Hanna go all Jack Bauer on Noel.

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Cabin in the Woods- Speaking of Noel’s folks’ place, the girls managed to track it down themselves, where Aria and Emily found a wooden box with an insignia that Emily certainly found familiar- she last saw it on the wrist of none other than the late (?) Maya, who many are convinced is still alive. Aria told her that it was also the stamp that people used to gain access to Noel’s brother’s exclusive parties back in the day.

Inside the box was the real find of the episode, a flash drive with footage of Noel himself inside the notorious Dollhouse, clearly helping Charlotte with her festivities, notably the faux-murder that they made Spencer think she was behind when she woke up covered in blood with more blood splattered all over the room. Obviously, Noel is indeed up to his neck in everything that’s been going on, so Hanna’s not wrong to suspect him after all- not that I thought she was. But is he really A.D.?

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Jasaria Dreams- As clearly implied in the last episode, Jason and Aria did indeed have a fling some time ago, after Ezra left town with Nicole but before Aria got the job working for his publishing company. It was serious enough that Jason invited her on his Ethiopia trip to help the less fortunate, but not enough for her to come- a fact Jason realized when he noted that her new job had a decided Ezra connection, and that it was likely no coincidence. (Set to the strains of a “Sex & Candy” remake, of all things- Bordering-on-gross imagery there, music supervisors!)

Could it be that Jason is smarter than we gave him credit for? Maybe so, but I have to say his new Jesus-lite look makes me snicker every time I see him, so it’s hard to take any of this seriously, much less him. Besides, we all know good and well that, like it or not, Ezaria is endgame. That said, good on Jason for recognizing that, and taking his situation for what it is.

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Anyway, it was Team Jasaria that nonetheless got to the bottom of the adoption situation, to a certain extent, after paying a visit to the agency and Aria sweet-talking the agent there, who sent them a largely-redacted file, which revealed very little about the identity of the child in question, but did reveal one big thing: that it was Noel’s judge father who oversaw the adoption.

Might Noel’s parents have adopted Mary’s baby? I think that’s what they WANT us to think, but I’m not so sure. Anytime this show pushes something so hard, it usually means there’s a twist somewhere. Noel’s father undoubtedly knows who the mystery child is, but I doubt it’s Noel.

If I had to guess, I’d say that Charlotte was blackmailing Noel to cooperate, just as Ali was before, and the flash drive is the proof she held over his head to keep him in line. As for what else she had over him, who knows? But the fact that Noel has been in scramble mode to cover it all up just makes him look that much more guilty, which is exactly why all signs are pointing to him at the moment.

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Obviously, he and Jenna are in cahoots, but I think it’s because they are both being blackmailed and trying to get to the bottom of who’s doing it now, what with Charlotte no longer part of the picture- or is she?

*(Some people doubt she’s dead at all, with a popular online theory being that she’s actually Sabrina and she assumed her identity in plain sight after killing the real Sabrina and no one’s noticed. A little dubious, but the two DO look a lot alike, so you never know with this show.)

Note also that Melissa, who was also down with Team Jenna once upon a time, was also being blackmailed by someone as well- who’s to say the same person didn’t do the same to Jenna and Noel? That would explain why Sara inferred that she and Jenna were actually trying to help the girls, not hurt them. As for Jenna being resistant to Sara telling them that outright- well, Jenna’s not exactly the girls’ biggest fan, either. If it true, then UBER “A” can’t be any of these people- but Charlotte could be- as could Queen B, Mona, for that matter.

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Sparco Ignite!– According to Marco, Archer had fled to France under a fake passport, officially taking the matter out of his jurisdiction- something Mona easily could have pulled off, BTW, given how MIA she’s been as of late. As such, he was free to see Spencer in a non-official capacity, but she was a little more hesitant, given all she’s been through as of late.

Fortunately, Marco was a patient man, and a golden opportunity presented itself when someone crashed a tree through Spencer’s widow and used the distraction to steal back the flash drive- likely Noel, one would think, though he might have been occupied with all the Hanna drama, so it could have been a not-so-blind Jenna, or maybe even Mary.

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Spencer called Marco with the intent on giving him the flash drive, but alas, he was just a hair too late, as the thief had already made his/her getaway by the time he came inside. Obviously, as it was the lone concrete evidence the girls had that Noel was involved, that’s too bad, but I think it’s safe to say that Hanna will get some more one way or another next week.

Though whether or not it’s of the concrete variety remains to be seen, that’s for sure. I’m not so sure she’ll remain too rational if she finds out it was Noel behind her kidnapping, and it’s looking more and more like it might be after all. If so, things might not end too well for old Noel. Lest we forget, however unintentionally, Hanna has killed somebody once already, so I wouldn’t put it past her to do it again, this time on purpose, especially in her current state of mind.

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Other Stuff- Emily opted to brush off Sabrina yet again- a decision she might come to regret if those theories are true- and instead went to Paige with her troubles, revealing all about the current state of affairs with the new, if not necessarily improved “A.” (What was with the whole emoji phase- or was that someone else?)

Ezra texted Aria to let her know that Nicole was NOT among the rescued hostages and he was headed home, much to her relief, which is kind of screwed up, if you think about it. Then again, what about Ezaria ISN’T screwed up, really, the more you think about it? And I say that as someone who’s actually okay with them ending up together, God help me. It’s kind of sad, but they’re really the ones best suited to one another, you know?

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Aria told Jason about the girls being at his Aunt’s house at the time of the fire and what they found out before it happened; Spencer and Emily noted that the generator at Noel’s family cabin seemed to be the same brand as the one at the Dollhouse; and the girls found out from Caleb that Hanna was “off the grid” and are now actively looking for her.

I do believe that’s it for the highlights of this episode. As I said, it was more preamble for better things to come than juicy stuff, but it does set us up for what one hopes will be a solid mid-season finale, so there’s that. Can’t wait to see what Hanna does with Noel, and really hoping Mona returns for more mischief and mayhem, along with some other familiar faces, hopefully. At the very least, there should be some nifty flashbacks this time around, one would hope.

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Join me next week for the big finale of “Pretty Little Liars” and hopefully, we’ll have something more to talk about! Until then, I will continue to smell sex and candy and make icky faces to myself in anticipation- or not. See you then!