Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pretty Little Liars: It's On Bitches!

Screen Capture of ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars

We have arrived at the season three premiere of everyone's favorite obsession and I'm happy to report it did not disappoint! Pretty Little Liars "It Happened 'That Night'" gave us everything we could have wished for in a season premiere. Our four heroines in snappy outfits with sarcastic comments, deep secrets still residing in their hearts and a solid friendship to hold them together.

After months apart, they appear to have settled into their own versions of a false security. "A" has been captured and Mona is in the asylum. None of them truly believe this, but they've done what they can to take advantage of the little things, like using a cell phone for it's intended purpose rather than as an object of abject torture.

But their shared history and deep commitment to each other is also their biggest downfall. Whoever "A" is, whether one or many people, that friendship is their biggest fear and tearing apart Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Emily their one true purpose. While they are apart the terror eases, while they are together the horror enhances to degrees even I didn't expect in this wickedly creepy episode.

One of the first things I noticed was that Sasha Pieterse is now a series regular in the credits. Go Sasha! I haven't read the books, but I have some idea of what they hold and my mind is spinning with possibilities. The first is, if it's so easy to get in to see Mona with an assumed name, is she Mona's only visitor?

I love that Hanna has been going to see Mona. It makes perfect sense. It hasn't been very long since they were best friends or since Hanna was the odd girl out. She has to wonder just what pushed Mona, who she thought she knew better than anyone, to such a dark place. Mona tried so many times to spend time with Hanna, and Hanna's life was so different from when their friendship was unbreakable. Surely, that is a driving force behind her visits as well. Compassion for the Mona she knows is still somewhere inside the girl she has become.

I also found it interesting that Hanna was the only of the four to rationally consider telling the police what really happened to Emily on the night of the open grave. As much as I wanted them all to be safe, surely they felt their false armor cracking as they repeated to themselves that nobody saw them, right? By now they know that "A" is everywhere. If "A" walked into Spencer's house, used her phone to call Emily and drove Emily to the open grave, stood her up and put a shovel into her hands, "A" most assuredly captured the moment on film.

Let's discuss Emily for a minute, and Shay Mitchell in particular. When the show first started, I considered her the weakest link. Her acting abilities needed work, and her scenes were flat. Not any more. She wowed me last night. That scene when she was drinking on the couch was very subtle. It's really easy to play a goofy drunk, slurring your words and doing all the textbook "drunk" things, but she didn't do that. She captured Emily in deep trouble. Farther down the path of destruction than we had imagined to that point and if I was in an audience for that scene I would have completely ruined the moment by standing up and clapping.

Shay, you awed me with your performance. What incredible growth you have shown as an actress in such a short time. Great work!

The same can be said for Keegan Allen. While he had his abs to get him by, he no longer needs them (that doesn't mean you can start draining sixers every night!!). He, too, turned in a great performance and one of my favorite scenes of the night was Emily and Toby sharing their moment of affection. That the two have remained friends after Emily came out has played out very well.

I found it odd that I read on the interwebs today how upset people were that Ella and Byron were no longer together. Having never been a fan of theirs, I look forward to the character of Ella getting a story of her own and Holly Marie Combs getting some meaty text to bite into. Trying to hold it together as a mother of a teenager dating a young man in his twenties might be just the thing. To deny their relationship is easy, to learn to live with it and accept it could prove quite challenging.

All of our couples had action and I like to see them happy and in love. Hanna with Caleb's use of the "I" word was adorable. I want very much for the girls to trust in their men. Can they do that? Will they do that when they know Emily doesn't have a partner to confide in or will they turn away from their SOs in solidarity with Emily? Emily certainly won't be alone long, but it would take a while for a new partner to catch up on the history of their friendship and bring them into the fold.

Also pleasing was seeing the mothers caring for their daughters. Please, please let family make more of an impact this season. This isn't The Peanuts for heaven's sake. They all have family and we know they have family. Their families know the trauma they've suffered, so please don't let them slip so far down the rabbit hole again before noticing they're missing. Spencer's mom has her finger on the pulse of Rosewood. Let's hope it stays that way.

Bring on the next episode! A promo for "Blood is The New Black" is below.





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