Pretty Little Liars Season Premiere Review: “EscApe From New York” (Season 5, Episode 1)


If you thought the season four finale of Pretty Little Liars a few months ago had a lot going on, tonight’s season premiere put it to shame. Any theories that finding Alison (Sasha Pieterse) would put an end to all the questions has gone right out of the nearest window. It seems like there are even more now that the Liars know for sure she’s alive than there ever were when she was presumed dead. On top of that, the Liars are now going to find themselves standing between Mona (Janel Parrish) and her newly formed army of Ali hating peers (plus Melissa), and their target. Going into season five, it’s clear that no one is safe and everyone is suspect.

There were two cliffhangers that the Pretty Little Liars’ writers had to address going into the new season – whether or not Ezra (Ian Harding) was going to survive being shot in New York, and what happened to Mrs. DiLaurentis (Andrea Parker), who the last time we saw her looked like she was in the midst of being buried alive. It would have been a lot to hope that we would get both answers right out of the gate, especially on a series like this where its claim to fame are the secrets it keeps. So fans will have to settle for news that Ezra made it off the rooftop alive, and unless ‘A’ gets to him, should be in the clear for now. Which is a relief, since Ezra still has a lot of explaining to do. Plus, he still has to win Aria back.

In this episode, Aria (Lucy Hale) was really able to step outside of her comfort zone. ‘A’ has made several attempts to call her out as the weakest link and each time she responded with some sort of brilliant maneuver that bought the Liars a little more time. This time around, she didn’t just put off the inevitable, she stopped it. I think it’s probably too easy to assume that Shana (Aeriél Miranda) is ‘A,’ or at least in totality, but at that moment she was the biggest threat, and although Aria probably didn’t intend to kill her, she must have realized on a certain level that it was either her or them. And she chose.

If Aria had hesitated, searching for a moral solution to this predicament, or even froze with fear, the risk that Shana would have taken the life of one of her closest friends (or all of them) would have most likely become a reality. Especially given that Shana is the most likely candidate for the hooded figure who shot Ezra. She’s definitely athletic enough to have made the jump, and her wardrobe kind of gave it away.