This season of Pretty Little Liars is a definite step up, and certainly much darker than the previous seasons have been.
These past episode we have seen: Spencer finding out that Toby is ‘-A’, Jason with a mysterious injury on his side (the screwdriver from the Halloween episode perhaps?), Mona acting as “Mona 2.0” and being out of Radley, and Aria, Emily, and Hanna all being locked in the basement because Meredith went crazy over Aria finding out about her dad being linked to Alison on the night of her death. Speaking of, does anyone else find Meredith’s actions weird? First she acted like she didn’t know about Byron (Aria’s dad) and Alison, then we found out she was drugging Aria (who was sick with the flu), and next she’s locking her in the basement and seems to be about to try to kill her before Byron comes home early!
As for a much darker side to the show, I am excited to see just how badly Spencer snaps after finding out about Toby! (If you didn’t see the episode here is how she found out: that night, Spencer was setting up a surprise dinner for her and Toby since it was their one year anniversary. When Toby showed up at her house before he was supposed to go to work, he found the apartment key for ‘-A’ on the counter and asked what it was for. (The key had been dropped when Hanna was attacked by ‘A’ when she was supposed to be meeting a fashion designer, Corin, for a possible job.) Spencer told him it was her sister’s storage locker key and put it in a drawer. Later that night, a black hooded figure sneaks in to Spencer’s house and starts rummaging through the drawer and all of a sudden Spencer is in the doorway saying “is this what you’re looking for?” while holding the key up. Toby looks up, turns around and asks Spencer how long she has known and she just holds up his Radley badge. Before talking about how long Spencer has known about him, she gave him the “slap heard around the world” as I. Marlene King called it on her twitter account. ) The scene at the end where Spencer shows up at Toby’s apartment and breaks down at the door was absolutely heartbreaking. The way she was asking him to just explain it to her and tell her that there is a good reason that he is a part of the ‘A Team’ showed how much she cared for him and believed that he really was good. Based on Toby’s actions away from the girls and overall creepiness now, there is no doubt that his participation with ‘-A’ is not with good intentions for the PLLs. Another worrisome part to this ‘A Team’ is that there seems to be a higher power. During the scene between Toby and Mona in the beginning of the episode where Toby tells her that Spencer is lying to him about ‘A’, Mona tells him that “They need to understand that she’s in charge.” Who is this she? Ali? Meredith? Aria’s mom? Someone else? I don’t believe that one of the PLLs is on the A Team based on interviews by I. Marlene King and other writers/producers.
Byron’s story just keeps growing though. At first, we were led to believe that he was the one that killed Alison. Garrett told Spencer the story of how he saw Ali and Byron talking and then getting mad at each other the night that she died while they were on the Halloween train in 3.13. In 3.14 (“She’s Better Now”), Aria and the girls found a diary that Harold (the guy that was at the Lost Woods Resort) had in the office of his new job – a janitor at Rosewood High. He was writing in it like it was a love letter to Ali and in it, the girls found an entry that talked about Aria’s father and how he and Ali were set to meet the night that she got back from her grandmas so he could pay her. Aria ends up ripping the entry out of the diary because Harold shows up and she hides it. Her dad found out about the pages, stole them (in a very creepy manner) and Meredith ended up stealing them back. In episode 3.16, Aria came down with the flu and was at her house staying with Meredith while her father was out-of-town. There were instances where Aria would get very disoriented with where she last had something and was always very sleepy which made me wonder if something else was going on. When Ali (or Ali’s ghost) walked in, I knew something was up. When Ali walked in she was looking for something. In Aria’s closest she found a doll and inside of the doll’s hidden spot in the back of the neck were the diary pages. Aria, being very out of it, asked Ali, “Is this a dream?” to which Ali replied, “No sweetie. I’m more real than I’ve ever been.” They talk about ‘A’ and if Ali knows who ‘A’ is. She hints at who ‘A’ is and gives about as close of a clue as she can without saying the name by saying that they all see ‘A’ and she is very surprised that Spencer hasn’t figured out who it is. Before she leaves, and as Aria is about to take a sip of her tea, Ali tells her that she wouldn’t drink that because Meredith is looking for the pages too. She leaves the doll by the door saying “You know why I picked you, right?” Aria wakes up from her ‘dream’ and rolls over to see the doll just where Ali had last left it. After pouring out the tea, she tries to venture out and finds that her bedroom door is locked. The suspicions with Meredith just keep on rising when Hanna and Emily see Meredith fighting with the pharmacist as she tries to get an order of clonazepam refilled. He tells her that she can’t do that because she got an order of it refilled the week before, so she grabs 4 boxes of antihistamines and leaves with those. Hanna and Emily look up the prescription that Meredith was trying to get filled and it is used for “anxiety, but some people also us it to help them sleep.” The girls try to call Aria again but the call goes straight to voicemail.
Back at Aria’s, Aria is still trying to get out of her room. She tried prying the door open, but it wouldn’t work. So instead, she decides to try and watch for Meredith and do something. So she breaks a mirror (do you really want 7 years of bad luck Aria?) and gets in to bed with a shard of the mirror in her hand. Of course because of the clonazepam (I’m assuming), Aria ends up falling asleep and wakes up to Meredith standing over her. She has the piece of the mirror in her hand (which is bleeding because of how tightly she is holding the glass) and begins to tell Aria that she has looked all over for the diary pages and will not let her turn it in to the police. It seems Meredith didn’t know though that Aria’s friends knew about the pages. When thunder claps and the shutters on the windows move, Aria takes the opportunity to run out of the room and try to escape Meredith. When she gets down the stairs, the phone doesn’t work and when she turns around, Meredith is there waiting and knocks her out cold. When Hanna and Emily show up, Hanna finds the key and they go in looking for Aria. They go up to her room but don’t find her there. Instead, when they call, they hear her phone vibrate and turn around to find Meredith in the doorway. She tells the girls that Aria went down to the basement to find flashlights but it had been a while so they should check on her. When they get a few steps down, the door closes behind them and locks. As they go down the stairs, they find Aria passed out at the bottom on the floor. (Did anyone reading this watch One Tree Hill? Am I the only one seriously getting OTH vibes in the episodes recently? First Nate not being Nate and now Meredith is seemingly nice and innocent and turns out to be crazy… Wonder what else will pop up!) When Aria wakes up, she tells the girls just how crazy Meredith has turned out to be. After Hanna declares to open a can of whoopass on Meredith, Aria’s dad gets home early from his trip. Meredith tells him that Aria knows about everything, the blackmail, seeing Ali that night, and that her friends know too. Emily grabs a golf club as Byron opens the door and he asks Aria if she is OK and tells them that they don’t need to be afraid of him – he didn’t hurt Ali. Cue the flashback. Byron tells Ali that he didn’t bring the money and tells her she won’t make the call to his wife. He ends up walking away while Ali just keeps going on. But the subtle addition was Melissa (welcome back Torrey DeVitto. We’ve missed you!) stepping out on to her back porch on a phone call asking someone if she has to call 911 to get someone’s attention. Oh Melissa, what are you up to? Back to the present, Byron explains that he was going to tell the truth that night, but once Ali went missing and the longer he waited, it got harder and harder to tell anyone the truth. While they were talking, Meredith took the chance to run from the house, and once the police got to her place, she had left. Aria asked why he didn’t tell anyone and he knew how it would look with there being no suspects, since he saw her that night. She tells him that she found out through the diary pages and when he asks if there is “any part of her that thinks he did it”, she doesn’t say anything. Byron gets up to go take the diary pages and himself to the police to try and prove to Aria that he had nothing to do with Ali’s death. She realizes that her dad is telling the truth and proceeds to burn the diary pages. Oh Aria… I hope this doesn’t come back to bite you in the butt..
Favorite quote of the episode:
“If you really want to surprise Toby, have on 5-inch heels and nothing else when he walks through the door.” ~Hanna Marin
At the end of the episode, while Spencer is breaking down begging Toby to explain it to her, Mona is sitting in the kitchen in her ‘A’ gear enjoying the nice, candlelit dinner that Spencer had prepared for Toby for their anniversary. But just where is Toby hiding now that he has been caught red handed?