Just when the Liars were convinced that their endless game of cat and mouse had finally come to an end, the winter premiere of Pretty Little Liars proved that not everyone is playing by the same rules. For the better part of season five, and periodically throughout the series run, Alison (Sasha Pieterse) has played the antagonist. She’s been the big bad wolf hiding in dark corners for so long that it almost seemed fitting that she would have been A, and maybe she was at some point, but it looks like she’s back to playing the psuedo-innocent victim as she embraces the idea that ‘orange is the new black’ in a serious way.
“Through A Glass, Darkly” was split down the middle between tear jerking moments and finding evidence to clear Spencer (Troian Bellisario), ergo incriminate Ali. The writers didn’t waste any time throwing viewers back into the thick of it, starting with Mona’s (Janel Parrish) funeral, err, memorial service. Rosewood’s finest have yet to find a body, which in television land could mean the Parrish will reprise her role later on, but for the sake of the narrative, Mona is presumed dead.
The three months lapse in time didn’t do much one way or another, since it seems like all the investigatory work was saved for this episode, but it did push up Paige’s (Lindsey Shaw) exit from the show. Paige hasn’t really been an asset to the storyline this season, or ever, but she was a nice distraction for Emily (Shay Mitchell), who let’s face it, is one tragedy away from ending up in Radley. Which might not be as horrible as it sounds. Radley still seems to be the one location that everything can be easily traced back to – the common thread, if you will.
None of the other characters seem too far away from breaking, either. Even the guys seemed to be nearing the end of their sanity – Toby (Keegan Allen) working within the system, and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) hacking the system. Getting Spencer off the hook for murder may prove to be the big-small victory everyone needed, but it will be quickly overshadowed now that the Liars know that Ali isn’t the A they were desperately searching for.