Pretty Little Liars: She's No Angel
July 1, 2015 5:59 AM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Mona returns to Rosewood in a very fragile state as she must answer to the police for faking her death. Hanna is determined to help Mona out, not only to reassure her she is safe from Alison but also to try and repair Mona’s friendship with Lesli. Emily tries to help Sara with her troubled home life by encouraging her to explore the possibility of emancipation. Spencer, on the other hand, finds help from someone from her past. Meanwhile, Alison grows closer to Lorenzo as she looks for support outside of her family.

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posted by Bulgaroktonos (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been super busy and unable to comment on this, but let me try to get some thoughts out.

1) This episode was a little slow plot wise, but ACES dialog wise. Calling Hanna a "bag of hair," Spencer defending Melissa by pointing out that she had only buried Bethany alive, Hanna complaining that she and Caleb aren't having enough sex, along with "Dr. Oz says sex is a drug, too." It was all so great.

2) The revelation that A is a woman based on a blurry picture of what looks like the side of a boob? I think A probably is a woman, but I don't really see the reason to get so excited.

3)The dancing girl is a interesting move, although it does make it seem like Spencer is having magical dreams which would be...odd. I was wondering if her dance means something (at one point I think she was sort of dance miming childbirth), but I'm not up enough on dance to figure it out. I'm sure there are theories, though, that I would love to read.

4)I sort of turned on Sara Harvey for urging Em get that tattoo. It seemed weird coercive and Emily doesn't feel like a tattoo kind of person. Oh man, though, the euphemism "the good china" was a new one on me and made me laugh.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:17 PM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, ditto on the dialog: "My mom just got back from Curves and I don't want to have this fight with her when she's fresh from pumping iron." Classic. And "the good china" deserves a permanent place in the English lexicon.

Re: female "A." It's important because it means there are a minimum of two "A" operatives out there: "Charles" who wore the tux in the dollhouse, and a relatively petite woman. That's big. Even bigger (for me, anyway) is the fact that Sara Harvey seems to have been with Emily at the time of the sighting, so femme-A can't be her,

Re: The dancing girl: As a self-contained bit, I loved it to pieces, and I would buy tickets for a full-length Radley ballet in a heartbeat. In the context of the show, it's potentially troubling. I will be *pissed* if the solution to the "A" puzzle has a supernatural dimension, and given the Ravenswood/Grunwald/Alice stuff, I worry that it will. So my hope is that the dancing girl isn't so much a vision as a memory: possibly a memory of something Spencer experienced or heard about when she was very small. (We've gotten a hint about that already: recall that Dollhouse "A" seemed familiar to Spencer when she stood near him in the vault.) (And FWIW, I also got a "childbirth" vibe from the dance.)

Re: the tattoo: I agree it was a bit coercive. Maybe we're starting to see a resurgence of Sara's "queen bee" nature?

Other thoughts:

A) I really hope that we're now done with the stupid Spencer Substance Abuse plot. (i. e., I hope that Spencer tossed her cookies so that we won't have to.)

B) Any episode with lots of Radley stuff is a good episode in my book. Bonus points for the drowned Resusci-Annie.

C) LOVE Lesli's Radley connection. I also love Mona's new "helpless, beleaguered" act. Glad to see that she hasn't been neutralized through trauma-bonding.

D) I dig Aria's new photography pal, Clark, but I hope that he doesn't wind up being another player in the mystery. Right now, the mystery needs fewer moving parts, not more. I'll be fine if he turns out to be an asshole who's tring to cash in on Aria's story, though.

E) Can't wait to see what Carissimi Group turns out to be. Much Tumblr hay is being made of the fact that there's a 17th century composer by that name, but I'm thinking that the word's plain meaning (masculine plural of "beloved" in Italian) is going to be more important.

F) Outfit-wise, I was very disappointed by Hanna's big, yellow, Wilma Flintstone necklace. It really seemed like a step backward. Oh, well.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 6:20 PM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, so OMG, after chasing a few theories from The Tumblr, I just rewatched 5.07 (The Silence of E. Lamb.) And Lesli is in Aria's art therapy workshop at Radley! The scene is about nine minutes in, and we see her twice!

So now I am all, like, "Whoa."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:03 PM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh yeah! And from watching The Silence of E. Lamb, I remembered that Eddie Lamb is actually unaccounted-for at present. Since he's apparently the only character in that state, he's now my pick for the occupant of the barrell.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:14 PM on July 2, 2015

I can't believe I haven't said anything in this thread and it's already next Tuesday; I've been busy and now I feel sick and so I am not giving this the full and complete attention it deserves. That said, I hope it's not Eddie in the barrel because I really like him and that would make me sad, plus I think he's got a lot of answers about Radley that I'd like to hear.

Lesli being in Aria's art therapy workshop is awesome and I'm super super glad you mentioned it; I would not have guessed that and I love when they give me clues and it's my fault for missing them instead of just an impossible puzzle.

Totally agree that the tattoo thing cooled me off on Sara since I don't really think that's the right choice for Emily and it felt kind of pressurey (and I say this as someone with a few tattoos that I really like so I'm not just anti-tattoo generally).
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:14 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay now that I have posted that and am feeling a little more in the PLL groove (and planning to leave work in about fifteen minutes and this being the most productive thing I can think of to do for now), let me address other points specifically:

1) Yeah if there's more supernatural stuff going on I will be effing pissed as well. My thought/hope is that Spencer was drugged or something by SOMEONE at Radley -- staff, another patient, whomever -- and in that time she was brought to the basement and doesn't remember it consciously and her subconscious is just throwing this stuff together into weird dreams. That would be fine and awesome -- I love Spencer piecing shit together from vague clues -- and I absolutely detest the supernatural nonsense they pull sometimes.

Philosophical interlude like the PLL equivalent of a trolley problem: If you could get rid of the supernatural plotline or the Spencer junkie retcon plotline, which would you choose? There is no right answer -- they're both terrible!

2) It actually didn't occur to me that A might be part of a team even now. CeCe and Charles, maybe? Melissa and Charles' organs? The NAT club? Remember that? Jenna? She's alive but blind, right? I can never keep track of if she's alive or dead and whether she can see.

3) So glad we're back at Radley. I basically said that before I think but I <3 <3 <3 everything to do with Radley and creepy Radley plotlines and there's nothing this show does better than crazy nonsense like sneaking around the basement of an abandoned mental hospital. It is so good.

4) Totally agree about Clark; he doesn't have to be a good guy, but he needs to be an actual outsider and not someone else who's part of this whole crazy mystery. He could maybe get sucked in somehow, I could live with that, like A starts leaving him notes about Aria maybe, but he can't be in on it already. It's too much.

5) Yeah, what is it with this show and ugly yellow crap? You'd think they'd have learned their lesson after condemning multiple actresses to wearing that shirt over and over again.

Also definitely said it before but so excited about Lesli being at Radley (also makes more sense than knowing Mona from summer camp -- I totally should have known there was more going on there!). Very pleased and excited for tonight!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:55 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

On the PLL subreddit, someone who claims to have been a PA this season but was fired reveals who A is and how the show will explain it. It doesn't make much sense, so it would be perfectly consistent for the show.
posted by riruro at 8:37 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Marlene King is denying the authenticity of the Reddit drunk guy spoilers. Given that she did not issue a denial when the (accurate) DaisyGate spoilers for the Season 5 finale were released, this is enough to allow me to cling to the hope that the drunk redditor spoilers really are a hoax, because damn, they'd make for a boring resolution.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 3:51 PM on July 8, 2015

And hey, since we now have a week with no new PLL stuff to talk about, why don't we toss out our top picks for A's identity? Give as many or as few as you want.

My current favorite is:

Byron Montgomery.

Primary reasons:

(a) Super creepy on a day-to-day level (thanks, largely, to the extraordinary ick-induction skills of Chad Lowe, whom I have loved since his heartbreaking/skin-crawling guest appearance on Law & Order:SVU);

(b) Byron's near-immediate departure from the country after Alison's disappearance, and the seemingly complete cessation of A-activity during his absence;

(c) The fact that he seems to have an unexplored back-story with Alison; (See, for instance, Garrett's recollection of Byron and Alison's conversation on the night she disappeared in 3.13, "This Dark Ride.")

(d) The fact that Aria's gotten off relatively easy w/re A-aggression, with A appearing to go so far as to re-target a phase of activity (see the A-ending bumper to 3.19 "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted.")

(e) The fact that A seems obsessed with preserving a particular moment in Aria's life (the pink hair time) which could be read as a psychotic effort to restore her innocence;

(F) Byron's overwhelming fear that Aria would get burned as a toddler (see 3.17, "Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire,") which echoes the fact that Alison apparently did get seriously burned at a similar or earlier age (see 6.04, "Don't Look Now.")

(G) demonstrated problems with rage;

(H) The fact that he's a known cheater (with Meredith) who seems to have alluded to other affairs (see his confrontation with Ezra in 2.15, "A Hot Piece of A"), and therefore could easily have fathered Charles;

(I) the fact that, as a senior faculty member at Hollis, he is arguably the only character who could have facilitated Lesli's transition from long-term commitment at Radley to a university teaching fellowship.

Reasons against:

(1) I've heard that ABCFamily does not want any of the parents to be on the "A" team. (Note, however, that I haven't seen any solid documentation re: that; just forum chatter).

(2) Byron could not possibly be Ali's 24-year-old brother.

Anyone else?
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 8:22 PM on July 8, 2015

That's a very interesting theory! For point (H), didn't Alison's father say they moved to Rosewood AFTER Charles went to Radley, though, to be closer to him? Not that I trust Ali's father 100% or anything but I'm not sure he could actually have fathered Charles although who knows.

I think A being a legit grownup would be interesting. If it has to be one of their parents, I'm pulling for Mrs. Hastings; her daughter was in the NAT club, she could have gotten Melissa to slip that blood to Spencer when she was in England, and she's smart and competent enough to pull it off. She could also be reverse-psychologying Spencer into being more of a drug addict, plus her husband is Jason's father which pulls her into a whole creepy weird dynamic with the DiLaurentis family. I don't think it IS Mrs. Hastings but I think I would be pretty okay with it as long as they made her smart AND crazy.

I'm intentionally not reading that reddit link even if it's probably not true because I want to stay pure; fan theories are awesome and I'm all about those but anything that even purports to be legit spoilers I don't want to hear even if I am DESPERATE to know.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thinking more about it, I am pretty sure this theory is brilliant:

1) Mrs. Hastings would have plenty of reason to kill Mrs. DiLaurentis.

2) Maybe Mrs. DiLaurentis would protect Mrs. Hastings as a way to protect Jason.

3) As a lawyer, she has tons of access to information about all of them.

4) We know she can keep secrets; remember when she told Spencer about how she had breast cancer and never told Mr. Hastings?

5) She would hate Alison for what Alison did to manipulate her daughter but also maybe she would hate Spencer for being weak enough to succumb to Ali's manipulations. You know how much being strong and successful is prized in the Hastings family.

6) Her other daughter left the country to get away; maybe she knew more than she should have, plus it seems like Melissa was siding more with Mr. Hastings, perhaps because of what she knows.

7) That family has some money and being A can't be cheap.

8) As a lawyer, she'd know a lot of criminals who she could enlist to help her out with her schemes.

9) At least one of her daughters has been in Radley which seems possibly relevant somehow.

10) The whole twisted mixed-family-no-one-talks-about dynamic -- it's unfair and creepy and uncomfortable.

I'm sort of running out of steam but I think there's something to all of this. If anyone could pull off being a parents and having a job and being A I think it's Mrs. Hastings.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:59 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think you're dead-on about Peter and/or Veronica Hastings being deeply involved in the "A" story somehow.

A few other bits of evidence:

1) The meltdown Veronica has after the discovery of Jessica's body reminds me -a lot- of the meltdown Leland Palmer had after the discovery of Laura's body in Twin Peaks, and I think it's meant as a similar kind of clue.

2) Spencer and Veronica's conversation from from 5.05 ("Miss Me x 100"):

Veronica: "I thought your father and I had an understanding. We'd always agreed that no matter what we would never involve you and Melissa in all of the-- (breaks down.)"
Spencer: "All of the what?"
Veronica: "I want you to know that I'll always take care of you."

3) Jessica DiLaurentis's statement to Alison in 4.23, "Unbridled," that Spencer "has plenty of reasons to want to hurt this family," which she declines to explain when Ali asks.

4) The creepy/menacing offer of a ride that Peter Hastings makes to Ali in the middle of the night in 5.03 ("Surfing the Aftershocks.")

5) The profound interest Peter Hastings shows in controlling Toby's legal case against Radley, and the way he appears to immediately tank the case after taking it over, despite his initial assertions about the strength of Toby's claims. (See 4.14, "Who's in the Box?" and 4.16, "Close Encounters.")

6) The letters from Peter Hastings to Jessica that Jason describes in 2.20, "Ctrl:A", which switch abruptly from the sweet nothings to the use legalistic language: "In light of recent events...under the current situation. . . ." The show leads us to believe that this is about Jason's birth, but we currently have no way of knowing whether that's the whole story.

So, in the final analysis, I don't know if I'm quite ready to buy Veronica Hastings as A, but I feel quite confident that she and/or Peter have something to do with A's genesis. I'm also completely willing to buy Veronica as Jessica's killer.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:11 AM on July 10, 2015

Oh, and you're right about the timing of the Di Laurentis move to Rosewood-- it was after Charles and Jason's birth. However, it looks like they were living in Rosewood for a stretch before Jason came along, during the time when Peter Hastings and Jessica were having their affair. We don't know that much about Byron and Ella's early years, but what little we do know doesn't seem to rule out a Byron/Jessica affair.

Here's what we know about young Byron and Ella's living situation:

(1) Byron and Ella met in undergrad and married soon after. The college they attended was within 50 miles of the places where each of them grew up. (See 1.07 "The Homecoming Hangover.")

(2) Their first place together was a "dump on East 6th." (See 5.09 "The March of Crimes") Of course, most cities and towns can be expected to have an "East 6th," so we don't know for sure that this was in Rosewood.

(3) During grad school, Byron and Ella attended a party in Ezra's apartment building. (See 2.15, "A Hot Piece of A.") IRL, of course, most successful humanities academics do not attend the same school for their grad and undergrad training, but who knows if this is true in PLL-land. (It's also possible, though not necessarily likely, that Byron got an M.A. and an Ph.D from two different schools, but IMO, speculating about this adds needless complication at this point.)

(4) The Montgomery family moved into their current house when Aria was of an age to look "like a big ball of yarn rolling from room to room" when dressed in layers of sweaters. (See 3.17, "Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire.)

Meanwhile, here's what we know about the DiLaurentis family's early movements.

(A) Per Peter Hastings, at the time of Peter and Jessica's affair, Veronica was off at law school in Boston, and Jessica and Kenneth were living in "an apartment on Willoughby." (See 2.20, "Ctrl:A") This apparently was in Rosewood, because Willoughby is also the street where Garrett Reynolds was living when Mike Montgomery stole Jenna's ceramic lamp from him. (See 2.07, "Surface Tension.")

(B) After Jessica became pregnant and decided to keep the baby, the Di Laurentis family moved to Atlanta. (See 2.20, "Ctrl:A")

(C) Per Peter Hastings, the DiLaurentis family returned to Rosewood when Spencer was five. (See 2.20, "Ctrl:A") (Peter Hastings describes them has having "moved back.") This would be several years after the event that, per Kenneth, caused the Di Laurentis family to institutionalize Charles, but it's not inconsistent with what Kenneth said about the resulting move: ("We moved here after Charles was admitted. Your mother wanted to be close to him.")(See 6.04, "Don't Look Now.") That it took them three to four years to move to Rosewood after Charles's commitment just adds an extra layer of heartbreak.

Given this all, I feel like young Byron and young Jessica could have had enough potential overlap in Rosewood for a paternity plot to work. It's also possible that they overlapped in other places (say, around Philadelphia and U. Penn) but speculation about that just adds needless complication at this juncture.

Oh, boy is it time to stop obsessing about this. At least for today.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:12 AM on July 10, 2015

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