Pretty Little Liars Season Premiere Review: “Game On, Charles” (Season 6, Episode 1)


Pretty Little Liars hurtled back into the drama at full speed in the season six opener, sparing no one’s feelings in the process. Picking up almost immediately where they left off back in March, the writers have created an effortless jumping off point for the rest of the season. With some fresh creative choices paving the way for the only partially recycled story arc, they’ve made Ali (Sasha Pieterse), the on-again off-again antagonist, relevant in a positive fashion for the first time in too long.

After nearly escaping the clutches of their mysterious captor, the Liars are forced to endure more psychological torture for the sake of Charles/Andrew and his twisted occupation with playing dolls. The rationale behind his obsession stems from what the Liars eventually uncover in the vault, which Spencer (Troian Bellisario) momentarily had a glimpse of last season – Charles is a DiLaurentis.

His real life dollhouse begins to help fans piece together elements of the show which have been strung together, unanswered, over multiple seasons. The most obvious of which being A’s use of dolls as props. Countless times as the credits have begun to roll, a hooded A sets the stage for whatever is coming next through the dolls, which cleverly mirror aspects of various characters within the show. Viewers were left to believe this was simply an aesthetic choice used to convey a deep seated obsession with the Liars and some of their close friends, but clearly there is more to it than that.

The emotional toll this whole experience has taken on the Liars and their loved ones is sure to be a topic of conversation over the course of the season. Hanna (Ashley Benson) showed detrimental signs early on, and Aria’s (Lucy Hale) anger boiled over temporarily in one scene, but nothing really compares to the experience of Mona (Janel Parrish), or the girl no one even knew was there. The lasting effects of being held hostage, and whatever took place behind closed doors that the writers have yet to reveal, clearly will be a strong plot point as the Liars attempt to put it behind them and finish up senior year – if that’s even possible.