Pretty Little Liars Review: “To Plea Or Not To Plea” (Season 5, Episode 22)


Pretty Little Liars Review: "To Plea Or Not To Plea" (Season 5, Episode 22)

It’s not everyday that your friends are arrested for murder, right? Well, that doesn’t really seem to be the case in the Pretty Little Liars universe, where being accused of killing someone seems to be what all the cool kids are doing these days. And among the Liars’ growing list of concerns is the fact that contrary to popular opinion, orange is not the new black.

The most frustrating thing about Pretty Little Liars, and with this season in particular, is how quickly things have escalated. Not that A has ever been particularly harmless, or that the threat of police interference hasn’t always played its role in A’s schemes, but there’s always been a sense of A being in complete control. It seems that A is still pulling the strings, but so much of what happens to the Liars at this point goes beyond that.

I suppose A could always make the evidence against Ali (Sasha Pieterse) and Hanna (Ashley Benson) conveniently disappear, but it’s not as if A can just make everyone suddenly come down with a case of amnesia to help the process along. The Liars have almost always been on the suspect list, but A has played things close enough to the vest that it was nothing more than a lingering suspicion and happenstance on the part of the police. Is A really prepared to throw the Liars under the bus for good? And, if so, why now?

Pretty Little Liars is a show about give and take. If the writers give you an answer, like the promised A reveal in two episodes time, how many more questions will they pose in exchange? Even when they gave fans Mona (Janel Parrish) in the season two finale, there was so much more about her reign of terror that came later on. The current A has had three seasons to terrorize the Liars and since Ali has returned, the situation has become dire. It’s understandable that any number of people would have a vendetta against Ali, but grouping them all together, especially after all this time, there’s a story there just waiting to be told – over the course of several seasons, no doubt.

It’s clear that the Liars have a reason to increase their sense of urgency these day, but the performances overall in this episode were all over the place. The only time that Aria didn’t seem like her head was about to explode (err, or her eyes weren’t going to bug out of skull) was when she was breaking it off with Ezra (Ian Harding). Even though this should have been a scene enveloped with a fair amount of emotion – after all, these two have been through the ringer together over the years – it was almost as if they were simply casual acquaintances discussing the weather rather than a couple calling it quits. Hale’s performance was eerily calm given the circumstances. Her best friend was just arrested for being an accomplice to murder and coming clean to Detective Tanner (Roma Maffia) about A was on the table, yet she almost seemed smug. Is this an indicator for who A really is? It’s unlikely that he/she would be one of the Liars, but it’s definitely possible.

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