There’s trouble in paradise on this episode of Pretty Little Liars, and that’s not just in reference to the “Fresh Meat” that somehow ended up on the wall of Emily’s (Shay Mitchell) would-be new office space. Now that Ali (Sasha Pieterse) is behind bars, the Liars are even more paranoid, if that’s even possible, as they quickly realize that Ali’s arrest didn’t mean an end to A’s maniacal plans – big shocker there.
I think we can all agree at this point that either Alison is the most intelligent actress on the planet by far, or that she’s not A after all. When the chips fell, Ali found herself incarcerated as the prime suspect in both Mona and Bethany’s murders, which is fortunate for Spencer (Troian Bellisario), but unfortunate for anyone not fond of being a sitting duck. A has proven that law enforcement doesn’t pose any threat when it comes to carrying out her/his evil plans.
A has changed it up a bit and gone back to targeting individuals instead of focusing on the Liars and their accomplices as one entity. Viewers have seen A use this tactic before, and the most problematic thing about it is has always been that it breeds tension within the group. As A picks apart the individual, they in turn, mostly out of pure embarrassment, decide to keep it a secret, thus creating this giant web of lies that threatens to turn Liar against Liar. Occasionally it works to divide the girls for a few episodes before one of them finally comes clear and it’s back to being an ‘all for one and one for all’ motif.
Aria (Lucy Hale) once again has taken the brunt of A’s wrath – so far. But frankly, can you blame A? Sending a deeply personal e-mail full of fictitious prose to your boyfriend’s ex, who doubles as the admission counselor at the college you’re desperately hoping to get off the wait list and into, and expecting the psychopath stalking you and your friends to not fish that one out, is a bit of a stretch. Even Aria should have been able to foresee that turning into something much larger than she intended.