Review: Pretty Little Liars’ “Close Encounters”

Published 1/21/14 by:

Pretty Little Liars Close EncountersImage courtesy of: AlloyEntertainment

My rambling recap:

In tonight’s episode we finally see the Liars venture into the great unknown WITH WEAPONS. Hallelujah! They show up at the Busy Bee Inn wielding hammers, field hockey sticks etc. They’re too late, but it’s renewing my faith in their potential to track down Ali, and not get murdered in the process. In no time Spencer is playing hardball with her dad, as he discovers her at Toby’s apartment. She assumes he’s there tracking her down, but he’s there to discuss Radley with Toby. We then find out via Spencer’s excellent litigation tactics that Jason has started drinking again, and was recently arrested for starting a fight in a bar. That solves the sneaking around that Spencer’s dad and Mrs. DeLaurentis have been doing…maybe?

Oh no, just what I was hoping for last season, but now have been dreading ¬†finally happened. Aria picked Ezra over Jake, after his “morning with me, afternoon with him?” comment. I’m all for more Ezra screen time, but not if he’s a total creeper spy bro who potentially is the luminous “Board Shorts”. And Shauna shows up at the church out of the blue? I forgot she existed. Now she’s passing messages for Ali to Emily? Have we (as viewers) figured anything out about Shauna? I feel like the Liars dismissed her too quickly, and now they’re going to regret not having paid more attention to her earlier.

Shauna may have just earned a spot as a Liar – she lived next door to Ali’s grandparents in Georgia, and has been keeping eyes on Jenna to see who tried to kill Ali. That must be some bond that she and Ali had, if Ali is trusting her on this witch hunt. It’s quite fishy (per usual) that Ali never mentioned this lovely friend from Georgia to any of the Liars – especially Emily.

The Aria dumping Jake scene was excruciating because he was such a nice guy, but walked into a thunderstorm mid lightning. And Toby contemplating signing the plea bargain is dragging out that Radley story line even more. Sign it, don’t sign it – I don’t give a crud.

The Liars still think Shauna is on the A team after Emily reveals her church encounter with her. While it doesn’t seem plausible that this “out of the blue friend from Georgia” would move to Pennsylvania to hunt down Ali’s tormenter, Emily reminds the Liars that “Ali can make someone love her enough to do that.” Man, that just makes me want more Ali flashbacks – she’s the most fascinating character on the entire show. Her charisma and cunning ways around older men as well as her female peers is unlike anything else happening on television right now. I have to say, I’m pretty convinced by Shauna after she knew everything Ali said to Em outside of the barn. I’m not buying this whole “you have to see Ali alone” business though, but I am a firm believer that Emily really was her favorite. I’m glad that Spencer tries to talk some sense into Emily, because let’s face it: she’s still blinded by her life-long love of Ali.

I didn’t recognize that blonde that Ezra was conveniently berating in front of Jake on the street. She looked older? Anyone think she looked familiar? And Travis? Hanna physically attacking his face with her lips? She’s rushing it, but I kind of don’t blame her. She feels like crap, and now Mrs. Marin is concerned. Good times. Her mom’s advice to Hanna is solid, but Hanna is stubborn. Hanna is right – ¬†it is her broken heart so mend it she will (whatever way she wants).

Now Mrs. DeLaurentis is on the board at Radley? THIS could get interesting. She could be the master puppeteer in terms of all the lovely ladies who have graced the halls of Radley. And who would’ve thought that Jake would be the one to warn Aria about Ezra? I’m sure he’s not the last person to do this…but maybe this will finally let the Liars in on Ezra’s secret.

I can’t tell if Ezra is lying about meeting with Maggie’s lawyer, but if he is, damn he’s good. And hearing Aria say that she’s so happy that she chose Ezra makes me cringe. And now Emily is dropped off by Shauna to see her long-lost love. I can’t help but find it adorable that Emily changed her outfit so many times to see Ali. And just when Emily and Ali seem like they’re going to team up with each other and rekindle their odd BFF-lover thing, Spencer shows up and blows it for Em. If looks could kill, Em may have just maimed Spence. Does this mark the first time we saw Ali being vulnerable? It was actually alarming to me.

While Spencer has always been the conspiracy theorist of the group, and is usually pretty spot on, I blindly trust Ali in this situation. Ali genuinely looked freaked out, and even though that whole “targeting Emily to divide the Liars” theory has potential, I’m still swayed by Ali. I guess she made me love her enough to be swayed – I’m no better than Em. Whoops.

The knives in Jake’s boxing bag? Shauna’s photo being set on fire!? YIKES!

Tonight’s episode had a lot of good set up, but that scene between Ali and Em was the best of the season thus far. What did everyone else think?

What could Jason really be doing?

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2 responses to “Review: Pretty Little Liars’ “Close Encounters””

  1. Stephanie says:

    I feel like last night’s episode was a giant turn. While the girls have always been in danger, even getting hit by a car in one episode, they’ve never showed openly gory violence. Seeing Jake’s foot sliced open by the hidden knives in his punching bag seemed like a blatant sign from the writers that we’re going to another level now. It actually scared me quite a bit. I, too, hope we get more Ali flashbacks, now that she’s really back on the show. And I’m so upset about Ezra. He seemed like such a solid guy until the Halloween episode. Had me completely fooled. And now I don’t believe a word he says and I think he’s become obsessed with Aria on a really bad level and I worry he’s going to chase her the way he’s evidently chasing Ali. I’m so intrigued as to where Marlene King is taking the show. Can’t wait for Tuesday!

    • Kaitlin says:

      Do you think Shauna is for sure going to die? And what’s going on with Toby’s story line? Now that he signed the Radley papers it seems like he’s almost *gasp* disposable on the show. EEEk.

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