Pretty Little Liars has spent four seasons building up the suspense surrounding Alison’s (Sasha Pieterse) disappearance, but it has also set her up as a character with very few redeeming qualities. The further we go down this storyline involving Alison’s return to Rosewood, the more it seems like Ali is really the ultimate antagonist. On top of causing her friends some substantial emotional trauma over the years, both before and after her disappearance, she isn’t satisfied with keeping that in the past. On “The Silence of E. Lamb” viewers see once again that Ali is deliberately misleading the Liars – sneaking around town, perpetuating her kidnapping story despite the holes in it, and generally being the bossy teen she’s always been.
This episode of Pretty Little Liars did relatively little to move the story along, but what it did do well was further showcase the growing animosity between Ali and Hannah (Ashley Benson). Hannah has had a tough run of it lately with her break up from Caleb (Tyler Blackburn), the one person in her life that she can be semi-open with and really gets her. It looked like that situation was going to remedy itself with he introduction of a new love interest, Travis (Luke Kleintank), who seemed to be isolated for the most part from the drama of A, but with Caleb’s return, it’s only mucked up her love life further.
In addition to her boy drama, Hannah is going through a period of self-doubt. After Ali left town, Mona (Janel Parrish) eagerly helped Hannah to become Ali 2.0 and she’s kept with this style ever since. The similarities are shockingly more noticeable now that Ali is back, and it’s left Hannah with an urge to once again differentiate herself from her ‘frienemy’ without losing the popular undertones that she worked so hard to acquire. When Hannah went from “Hefty Hannah” to the current version of herself, she gained a lot of self-confidence which Ali threatens to dismantle with her subtle, but harsh remarks regarding the change.
It’s only a matter of time before this conflict reaches a full-on head and the Liars are forced to confront the elephant in the room. I smell an intervention just waiting to happen. However, maybe Hannah shouldn’t get the brunt of their disappointment. Ali has been making a number of interesting choices since returning to Rosewood, including concocting an off-the-wall story about being kidnapped that caught the Liars off-guard. This season has been about keeping this secret in tact, but it’s wearing on the Liars, and understandably so. They finally thought they were going to be able to be honest with the authorities – barring any mention of what happened in New York – and Ali threw a monkey wrench in that plan.