Pretty Little Liars
Though our fair show is about liars, I must begin this season premiere recap with a truth: I do not totally understand what is happening here.
I know, as your power ranker, it is technically my job to comprehend the show. But we have reached an impasse: This show is 100 percent illogical. I am not entirely sure anything that transpired in Tuesday night’s episode made sense, like even a little sense, like, “Oh, I guess if you look at it in this convoluted way, from a weird angle, and don’t ask too many questions, then it kind of makes … ” sense. We are in a realm without reason, a city without seasons, of forever teenagers and their (STILL) too-old-for-them love interests.
Yet I will not let this lack of logic stand in the way of my enjoyment of this program. Just the opposite: I invite you to join me in basking in the blatant* ridiculousness that is the current state of PLL. Embrace it. Lean into it. We’re all in this together, even when Charles sends us to our separate rooms for some indeterminate length of time to torture us in unspeakable ways, but also let us continue to curl our hair. Yet even though we’re united here, only one entity can sit atop this week’s Pretty Little Power Rankings.
1. Upbeat, creepy, old-timey music (last episode: not ranked)
No villain on this show has ever been as unnerving as this week’s perfect, vicious soundtrack. My personal favorite: “Don’t Fence Me In” playing as the girls look around at their electric cell.
2. Spencer (last episode: 5)
“We’re in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s the waning moon.” MY GIRL IS BACK. MY GIRL NEVER LEFT. I don’t really follow her rationale behind lighting random stuff on fire in a room in which she and her best friends are trapped, but I am no longer troubling myself with these gaps in logic (see above). Besides, her smoke signals are what set everyone free; who am I to argue with those results?
3. Ali (last episode: 15)
While she is required to wear that yellow tank top again — just touching it must give her PTSD — and traipse through the woods alone, she does manage to avoid actually getting kidnapped (again) or killed (again). Unfortunately, when she’s not wearing her Missing Girl uniform, she’s dressed like a frumpy mom running carpool.
Nice work sending Andrew those clues through the speech, by the way.
4. Emily (last episode: 8)
When Mona asks Spencer if she recognized anything about Charles, “like a smell,” Emily goes, “She’s not Jenna.” Seriously, girls, you have got to stop making fun of this chick for being blind! Need I remind the Liars that they blinded her in the first place? Not the kind of thing you forget, despite your traumatic circumstances.
5. Hanna (last episode: 6)
“You may be a dude, but you’re still a bitch.” Is it possible that the writers are giving Hanna sassy tweets in place of real dialogue? Anyway, I hope now that Hanna is free this means Ashley Marin can get out of the hospital! Honestly offended that ABC Family did not promote #prayforAshley.
6. Charles (last episode: not ranked)
So Charles is Jason’s twin brother, right? And even though he was living with the DiLaurentis family as one of their own at least until the age of 5 or so, given his appearance in the video, no one in Rosewood has ever so much as hinted at his existence? So he left all these anagrams and also his most valuable possessions — videos of which he apparently has only one copy, a stuffed animal with unclear significance — in an unlocked, semi-hidden room in the labyrinthine hellscape he constructed in a park, which he somehow built underground without anyone finding out or noticing, and how long has he even been there and — sorry, I know, I’m leaning into the ridiculousness, none of this bothers me, NOTHING TO SEE HERE I AM FINE.
7. Aria (last episode: 9)
When did she get those hot pink stripes back in her hair? They look cool and all, just wondering. She contributes nothing of value to these escape attempts and pretty much spends all her time saying she doesn’t think she can take it anymore and making empty threats at a camera she isn’t sure anyone is watching, so.
8. Mona (last episode: 2)
Mona warns the Liars that if they break the rules, “it steals you in the night and puts you in the hole.” Great, the worst part of Scandal is being incorporated into PLL.
9. Caleb (last episode: 4)
I’m trying to balance the fact that I am impressed by Caleb’s idea of putting a GPS tracker in Ali’s shoes with my disbelief that it never occurred to this gang to do something like that before, considering nobody in this clique can stay on the grid to save their lives, literally.
10. Ezra (last episode: 12)
“This better not be a colossal mistake.” May or may not be the wisest thing this gent has ever said. (I also liked his “that’s a poor choice of words” to Caleb’s “She’s at a dead stop.”)
11. Detective Tanner (last episode: 13)
Still not better at police work than a half-dozen teenagers and their twentysomething-year-old, not-so-secret-boyfriends.
12. Toby (last episode: 11)
Then again, Toby has not demonstrated even above-average policing abilities. Kissing skills are still top-notch, though!
13. Sarah Harvey
If sad Rapunzel has been stuck in the Dollhouse since the day Ali went missing — who knows how the hell long ago that was in the world of the show; for us viewers, it was 2010 — how is she still in such a solid mental place that she can tell the police officer her first and last name with no hesitation? Would’ve thought she’d gone full-Helena by now, but I guess they’ve got to save something for next week.
14. Approximately the first 11 minutes of this episode (last episode: not ranked)
While I love the early–Taylor Swift vibes of those ballgowns in the pouring rain, have we not already established that (a) Charles is a relentless torture monster who punishes the girls for insubordination, and (b) the Dollhouse is encased inside an electric fence so the Liars are trapped whether or not they manage to get outdoors? What purpose does this plodding exposition serve except to rehash stuff we already know and give us an opportunity to hear what bodily fluids, in what forms, our Liars are willing to devour while starving? An ice cube of pee for Hanna, the sweat off a jockstrap for Emily. There, now you know!
Lingering concerns: Did Ali and her guys really trick the police force with the old “the call is coming from inside the house” tricks? Are there no new ideas? How did Ezra call 9-1-1 if there was no cell service?
Maybe it’s not mad at us anymore,