We’re one week away from the season finale and things are looking very grim for our Liars. Ali’s guilty, everyone’s heading to booking, and Magic Mike’s beautiful eyes will take ages to recover from that mace-to-the-face. Smile for your mugshots, ladies, and keep those chins up: at least none of you is at the very, very bottom of this week’s Pretty Little Power Rankings.
1. Caleb (last week: 1)
Once again, the only person in the entire episode to consistently make intelligent decisions — even though, owing to the gravitational force of WTF that pulls all these people into a pit of ridiculousness, even he cannot escape some bananas situations. But he continues to show up for Hanna and real talk/profess his unwavering love for her. He’s the only one who seems to understand that Mike (A MINOR) can’t just skip town with Aria’s ex-boyfriend/current high school English teacher and hide out in a cabin in the Poconos until a murder trial “blows over” (because that’s how murder trials go down; if you wait long enough, they definitely blow over). He pulls the boss move of sitting on a chair in Ezra’s cabin, in complete darkness, so he’s inside and waiting when Mike and Ezra arrive. He also adorably refers to Ezra’s privileged upbringing as an adolescence spent on a “horsey estate.” It was maybe not wise to bellow at Tanner that “THERE IS SOMEBODY AFTER US,” but, hey, the guy’s not wrong.
2. Detective Tanner (last week: not ranked)
Age is a funny thing in Rosewood. All the teenagers look about 27, the adults look too young to be parents of high school students, and everyone acts approximately 16 years old. So I shouldn’t be shocked that Tanner would issue an ultimatum to her new hire, demanding that he choose between his badge and his girlfriend. And yet: I’d held out hope for this adult, who at one time seemed like the most grown up grown-up in Rosewood. But no more! Has anyone tested out the theory that Tanner is A yet? Throwing that prediction in the ring.
3. Ali’s lawyer (last week: not ranked)
“Where do you two think you are? Homeroom detention? This is a murder trial, ladies.” Well, someone had to say it.
4. Leslie (last week: not ranked)
Not sure how to feel about this girl. Do I find her glasses pretentious-looking and annoying? Yes. I also find the timing of her discovery of the card from Mona quite suspicious. This trial has been going on for how long, and chick stumbles on an incriminating, handwritten missive from Ali to Mona in which Ali swears that Mona will “be eaten by worms” if she “opens her trap about the fake kidnapping,” and she didn’t remember the card until now because it was tucked away in a textbook? What is this, the Robert Durst letter from The Jinx? And am I supposed to believe that Ali — manipulator extraordinaire, a Kaylee Hooper type so savvy that, at the tender age of 15, she convincingly staged her own kidnapping — would be careless enough to put the phrase “fake kidnapping,” in her own freaking handwriting, in a card to someone she knew she couldn’t trust?
5. Toby (last week: not ranked)
“I even got a buzzcut!” Priorities.
6. Andrew (last week: 11)
I get that the show is setting us up to hate/not trust this guy — “gee, my phone was turned off during that horrible attack on Magic Mike and company because I was so busy thinking about my yearbook quote!” ooookay — and this leads me to believe that, while Andrew is super-annoying and unconvincing as Aria’s boyfriend, he is not, in fact, the man behind the murder. Does anyone have an explanation for why he knows about Ezra and Aria’s relationship? Is there a single person in Rosewood who doesn’t know Mr. Fitz used to play house with his student?
7. Spencer (last week: 5)
“Where has Leslie been all this time?” Aria asks. Spencer, on point as usual: “Probably took her a while to cross the River Styx.” For once, Spencer sounds like a real teen girl: First she describes her infidelities to Emily by saying she “dated” a couple of other guys, but then she has to backtrack and admit that all she did was kiss them. Anyway, I guess it’s cool to see her back with Toby? Great kiss, you two! I would’ve liked to see Spencer shack up with a few more British blokes, but I suppose order must be restored to the romance by the season finale next week.
8. Emily (last week: 4)
“Closed mouth or open?” Drink your sauce, Emily.
9. Hanna (last week: 8)
Kind of amazed that Ali slammed her hand in the dryer just so they could talk in the infirmary. On the bright side, Hanna’s about to have a lot more friends in prison!
10. Ali (last week: 13)
So Ali has had a potential alibi this entire time, and it only just occurred to anyone that somebody may have seen her in the playground? What is with these girl detectives and their inability to ever do anything with the most basic information readily available to them? Also: Why couldn’t Ali just tell the truth about that archery contest on the stand? Pretty sure no one is going to care anymore that she fibbed to win an award when she was 11 years old. She is found guilty of murder, which I guess is not a surprise considering her history of criminal behavior. Why would a jury ever like her?
11. Lawyers of Rosewood (last week: not ranked)
When Aria and Mike were debating whether or not Mike should take his evidence to the police, I couldn’t stop asking myself: Why exactly does the Montgomery family not have an attorney on retainer? Why aren’t any of these people seeking legal counsel? This trial is obviously going to touch everyone in town; Hanna and Ali are just the beginning, and besides, this is not anyone’s first run-in with law enforcement. Wouldn’t everybody be lawyered up by now? Why are these high school students essentially left to advise themselves?
12. Aria (last week: 6)
Aria finds a tongue in a box (?!?!?) and learns that Mike thinks he has helpful information, so of course she runs to Ezra to solve this problem. Then, in the midst of deciding how to protect her younger brother from self-incrimination on the stand, she asks Ezra if this conversation is about “you and Mike or you and me?” Aria, you started this conversation, and you know it is not about you. Then when Mike and Ezra go off the grid, Aria has a panic attack and calls Andrew — not Spencer, not Emily, not either one of her parents — because she is the most helpless damsel in Distressville, and she can barely brush her teeth without a boyfriend to assist her.
13. Ella Montgomery (last week: not ranked)
Look who decided to parent this week! As per usual, she does a terrible job, not just at parenting her own daughter but at counseling this surrogate daughter she apparently found strolling the halls of Rosewood High. She suggest Aria use Hamlet for a yearbook quote — what is it with this show and Hamlet? Do they think none of us have heard of any other Shakespeare plays? — and then cracks a weird joke about how Aria shouldn’t be surprised to know students confide in their “favorite teachers.” So the statutory rape thing is funny now, to the mother of the girl who was the victim of this completely inappropriate and illegal relationship? Are we just supposed to roll with that now? ROLLING WILL NOT HAPPEN HERE.
14. Magic Mike (last week: not ranked)
An incomplete list of all the terrible things that happen to Magic Mike in this episode: He’s called to testify, shuttled around like a child by people who are literally two years older than he is but feel the need to call him “kid,” attacked Katniss-style, maced, duct-taped, photographed in said compromising position for evidence for some reason, yelled at by his incompetent sister as if she is some sort of moral or intellectual authority, basically ignored by his parents, still mourning his dead girlfriend.
15. Perd Hapley (last week: not ranked)
Not totally sure of this character’s real name (and I know the actor plays a news anchor on Scandal, too), but I can never hear this voice and not think: “I’m Perd Hapley.” I miss you, Pawnee! What a comfort, to see this gentleman’s face again. And let’s be real, “Is this girl going down, down, down?” is such a Perd thing to say. Speaking of faces: Why is this news broadcast showing the pencil sketch from Ali’s old “missing” poster when she must have a school photo by now? Also: I see what you did there with reporter Sara Shepard.
16. Kendra (last week: not ranked)
So she was on speed and she passed out in the tube at the playground and hallucinated that she had eight fingers on one hand and no one knew she existed until 30 seconds ago when Ali somehow perfectly described this one jacket that just so happened to be visible from her backpack that Emily and Spencer miraculously recognized on sight even though Ali just told them about it over the phone so they’ve never seen it before, and this Kendra girl is also buddy-buddy with Aria’s mom? Um. No.
Lingering concerns: How did Caleb get inside Ezra’s cabin? What kind of tongue was in that box? Are we supposed to understand why Ali was in the playground or why she can’t give a better alibi? Does everyone have feuds in high school?
Maybe it was a squirrel,