Look, PLL. I’m not asking for any of these episodes to make sense. Not in this real world, where I reside, and certainly not in the Rosewood world, where the space-time continuum is a mere suggestion that characters can obey or ignore at will. I’m not even asking for a solution to the mystery — mysteries? — of who A is at any given moment, or how Ali managed to talk to so many people on the night she was “killed,” or how all the moms got out of that basement. But please, if you’re going to be insane, for the love of Ashley Marin, be insanely entertaining!
Anyway, the girls are ostensibly getting together to take down A by using the same tricks that never worked in high school — lying inconsistently, jumping to conclusions, tampering with evidence, not going to the police — but at least they’re in it together? Time to take no prisoners in this week’s Pretty Little Power Rankings.
1. Caleb (last week: 9)
THE T-SHIRT RETURNS.
2. Emily (last week: 1)
I love her on-character reaction to Hanna referring to all parents by their first names. Of course Hanna would start doing this the second it became borderline-appropriate, and of course Emily will never be comfortable with it. Anyway, Emily has to take hormones, gets that egg removal procedure, has a fear fantasy where Sad Robyn jabs her with a needle for reasons unclear, and then A/evil emoji leaves her a carton of eggs that’s all, “Do what I say or I’ll take your eggs.” Maybe we’re crossing a weird line here? I kind of feel like we have.
3. Ashley Marin (last week: 2)
Another great dress, another slick exit, another disaster averted.
4. Hanna (last week: 3)
Hanna tells Jordan she can’t drive back with him because she needs to “be by a landline” since reception on the turnpike is bad. That is … nope. In what alternate reality is Hanna Marin going to perch by a landline phone all day, like some girl from the ancient past (ca. 1994) who is hoping her boyfriend will call? Whatever, Jordan is distracted by how they stayed up having sex all night. Good for these two beautiful, blonde soul mates. Hanna quits her job in a blaze of righteous rage, and approximately 20 seconds later, she realizes three things:
- She will be blackballed in the fashion world.
- She should have just apologized.
- She left behind her panda mug.
I respect how quickly Hanna gets to the most important issue on the table: the fate of her New York Times wedding announcement, and how she will need to come up with something better than “unemployed” before her Vows column goes to print.
Honestly, Hanna is pretty obnoxious to Ashley about the backup security tapes, especially considering Hanna is kind of a guest in her mother’s home, and she is — once more, with feeling — engaging in criminal behavior to save Hanna from that orange-jumpsuit life.
5. Aria (last week: 13)
Owns a selfie stick. Also, reminiscent of how these girls made fun of Jenna for not being able to see when they were the ones who blinded her, Aria cracks a joke about Sad Robyn learning “how to make hospital corners with her teeth.”
6. Ali (last week: not ranked)
Wears a strapless dress with a cardigan to work at a high school. Still don’t know what she’s up to, or how anyone is supposed to feel about her, or if she is a good person, or, really, anything. All I know is that I miss the complicated, difficult, cutthroat teen she used to be. Why is she cowering in front of Sad Robyn? Ali should stand on that desk like, “I AM YOUR O.G., AND I WILL BE RESPECTED AS SUCH.”
7. Spencer (last week: 7)
“We don’t know if this is A,” Spencer says of the text messages that are exactly similar in tone and timing as all the text messages the girls have been receiving from A since the dawn of this series 10,000 years ago. “It could be anybody. Anywhere. Hiding in plain sight.” So … it could be A, because that’s what A is? This is just the beginning of Spencer’s very un-Spencer-like idiocy: She follows up with a real genius gem, saying, “Maybe Sad Robyn is signing her texts with emoji because an image is easier to send,” which is patently ridiculous because you still have to type to send emoji. In fact, it is harder to send them, since you have to take the extra step to switch keyboards, and then scroll around until you find the picture you’re looking for. (Even if we assume the devil emoji is in A’s frequently used section, she still has to tap away from the ABC page to get there.) Spencer also makes really weak metalworking metaphors about her distrust of the outside world — telling secrets to the one person she shouldn’t be telling secrets to, like the guy from Stillwater — and then swipes Yvonne’s phone, a move you just know will come back to destroy her.
Swanky lingerie, though. I find it hard to believe that she owns it at all, or that she would bust it out on a random Tuesday, but sure.
8. Mona (last week: not ranked)
So underutilized! More Mona! Bring her back, and give her something better to do than Yvonne’s dirty work.
9. Emily’s doctor (last week: not ranked)
We’ve seen our fair share of incompetent medical “professionals” in Rosewood, but I don’t know that anything matches this fine M.D. telling Emily — who just underwent a major, invasive medical procedure — that “there’s been an unforeseen development,” when what she really means is, “That couple you were going to donate to doesn’t need your eggs anymore.” That is not the language you use, doc! It sounded like she was about to tell Emily they’d sliced her uterus in half and she’d never be able to have kids, or something. And then the doctor is like, “Well, you could destroy them or freeze them,” as if there’s no door No. 3, when the obvious solution to this not-particularly-dire problem is for Emily to just donate her eggs to someone else. When Emily suggests this, the doctor seems genuinely stunned at the idea that the eggs don’t need to be iced or offed, and goes to fetch the paperwork in a daze.
10. Sad Robyn (last week: not ranked)
I really did laugh out loud at this chick lurking around Rosewood High in broad daylight. You just know that five years in the future, after all the teen-centric murder that’s happened ‘round these parts, plus general paranoia about school shootings and/or terrorism, there would be much better security at this school. At the very least, the doors would lock and you wouldn’t be able to get inside without someone from a main office buzzing you in. Anyway, she’s cosplaying as Jessica Jones and does the quickest about-face I think we’ve ever seen on this show: “I didn’t realize you worked here,” she tells Ali. A single beat. “I knew you worked here.” Well, there’s some valuable dialogue! So glad that stayed in the script. (Did they use a first draft by mistake? And did they realize the mistake halfway through shooting, but it was too late to fix, so they just rolled with it?)
11. Jordan (last week: 6)
Still handsome, still boring.
12. Yvonne (last week: 11)
13. Claudia (last week: not ranked)
This character is such a wasted opportunity. We’ve seen the whole “harried, demanding, high-power fashion boss” thing 8 billion times. If you aren’t going to top Devil Meryl, don’t even bother.
14. Byron (last week: 14)
I’m going to address the improbably named Byron directly, as I want to be certain he hears me: So you thought it was a good idea to literally sit in the dark — like, total darkness, in your own house, even though you are so close to a lamp that you could reach out and turn it on without even shifting your weight on the couch — waiting for Aria to get home, so you could greet her by saying, “Did I scare you?” Did you forget the part where your daughter has severe PTSD and is, yet again, not-so-tangentially involved in a recent homicide? Was it worth it for the not-exactly-romantic reveal that you’re re-engaged to her mom? Was Ella just, like, chilling around the corner, also in the dark, waiting for you to say, “I’ve been seeing someone” before she entered? What? Why? No.
15. Doctor Elliott (last week: not ranked)
Who even are you?
Lingering concerns: Ugh, how do we feel about the fact that Spencer has an Apple Watch? Has the show ever referred to Spencer and Aria as “Team Sparia” before this episode? Where do we think Aria is now?
I’ve been pushed around by a lot worse than you,