August 11th, 2010 by thetvchick
“She knew too much,” are four words I have been waiting to hear (or see) since Pretty Little Liars started. Those four words, texted to Aria, Spencer and Emily by A, capped off an exciting and fantastic summer finale. Who is A referring to? Why our lovely resident liar Hanna who seemed to have figured out who A was, and A decides to run her over with her car. But back up, there is a lot that leads to this incredible cliffanger.
Ian Thomas returns to Rosewood, Melissa’s ex-boyfriend who Spencer admits to the girls that she kissed and Ali caught her. He is back to coach field hockey at school, and Spencer wants Melissa to patch things up with him. She also wants for her and her sister to stop hating each other. Of course, we find out later that he was Ali’s secret older boyfriend. And then there’s Mona. Bitchy, bitchy Mona. She invites all four girls to go glamping at Camp Mona (or glamorous camping, which is genius). The girls don’t want to go, but A sends a text for them to come find her at Camp Mona. Oh boy, this obviously doesn’t end well.
All the girls are stressed out for various different reasons. Hanna gets a lecture from Mona about being a good friend. Meanwhile, Mona spreads a rumor about Hanna getting liposuction, claiming A texted her this. She has been blown off by Hanna one too many times and un-invites her from her party. And her mom is delinquent with her mortgage. What Hanna doesn’t know is that Ashley Marin takes matters into her own hands and steals some money from a safe deposit box. Whew, boy. This wasn’t in the books but I love seeing a bad-ass side to Ashley. She clearly wants her family to survive and is guaranteeing this by any means necessary.
Aria’s dad is stressed out about life without Ella, while Aria is trying to patch things up with her mom. And even though things seem to be going smoothly for Aria and Noel, she clearly still has her eye on Ezra Fitz (love him!) A leaves her a note on a book in her locker (which Noel finds) to read a poem by Ezra, which is presumably about her. Aria confronts Ezra about his poem, tells him to move on. But on the girls’ glamping adventure, Aria meets up with Ezra in secret. Ezra admits he was wrong, asks her to forgive him. They make out. Woo!!
Emily is still with Maya when her dad comes home. Her mom kicks Maya out for some family time. Someone had mailed her mom the photos of her and Maya kissing. I think this story will be heavily developed in the second half of the season. Emily and her dad talk about Toby, who is now the number one suspect in Ali’s murder. Later, Emily is driving to meet the girls, and Toby startles her in the backseat. He wants to finish telling her what he started to tell her at homecoming. He tells Emily that he and Jenna were in a relationship. He told her it had to stop on September 1st (hence the tattoo) but she is still in love with him. He met Ali outside Spencer’s barn on the day she disappeared to tell her she did him a favor getting him away from Jenna. He came back to say goodbye to Emily and make sure she believed him. Toby, you are slightly creepy, but I believe you.
But the big thing that is bearing down on all of them is of course still who killed Ali (and who is A). The girls get called to the principal, because the FBI is getting involved in the investigation. A tape of Ali shown to the girls, she’s at the kissing rock and talking to her mystery boyfriend (ahem Ian). They decide they will find out who A is once and for all. Hanna will spy on Camp Mona from the woods. Meanwhile, after an ominous text from A, Spencer goes to the place they found Ali’s bracelet. Then, her and Emily go to the playground and they find Alison loves Ian carved on a tree. They get a text from Hanna to meet her in the parking lot. Hanna had seen Aria get in the car with Mr. Fitz (does she think A is Aria?) but then sees someone spying on them creepily writing “I see you” on the back windshield of the car. We also see Toby waiting for a ride, and the cops closing in on him. (Emily, why did you call the cops on Toby?!), so that rules him out as a suspect. Or at least he’s not A.
The girls approach the parking lot but they are not in time. They see Hanna get run down by an SUV, and they come to her side and call 911. Whew, what a great summer finale! A lot of people I know were hoping for the big “A” reveal. However, this is only the summer finale. There are going to be 22 episodes in season one, this was just the half way point. If they reveal who A is right away, where do they go from there? I thought this was a great cliffhanger ot end on. One of the books ended on this cliffhanger, and they kept the text message the same which I loved as well. For those worried about Hanna coming back, I can tell you that in the books she does, and I highly doubt ABC Family would kill off one of the fan favorites. She’ll be back with her knowledge of A and all.
They utilized a lot of A flashbacks in this episode which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think Sasha Pieterse has really grown into the role so well. She is great at being manipulative, coy and sweet at the same time. I also think this show has done a fantastic job at balance. The episodes are generally about all of them and their relationship to A, not just an Aria, Spencer, Hanna or Emily-centric episode. Each character shares the spotlight quite well. In the books, there was a little more shift of focus but I like the way they are telling this story. Also, as creepy as the Aria/Ezra relationship might seem, I have been a fan of this since the beginning. They just seem to fit together so well. Aria seems like an old soul, and I think her and Ezra belong together. (Call me creepy, it’s cool). As for the Emily/Maya relationship, I am glad they didn’t decide to break them up after a few episodes. I am sure the whole kissing thing is bound to blow up in their faces because of her mom receiving the pictures but I want to see where this will go. It’s important to address Emily’s self discovery, which was a big focal point of the book. She comes to a lot of realizations which I can’t wait to see on screen.
And while I do find myself comparing it to the books frequently, I am coming to realize what a great job the show has done making the two very separate entities, while staying true to the loyal fans. I love True Blood which is also based on a book series (which I read and loved), but Alan Ball and Charlaine Harris are two entirely different worlds. Pretty Little Liars merges the two wonderful worlds while branching out a bit as well. It is very respectful of Sara Shepard’s writing while incorporating new elements too.
I am beyond excited that this show has become such a big success. It is well-written, intense, dramatic and has all the makings of a hit. I’m so glad it became an instant favorite among critics and fans alike. I’ve been waiting for it to become a TV show for years, and it has not let me down. I realize January is a long time to wait until new episodes (and I may have to fill my time watching reruns), but I am certain it will be back and better than ever. Now I just have to go plan my glamping trip and get my hands on one of those Camp Mona hoodies.Tweet