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Pretty Little Liars: Taking This One to the Grave

And by the Grave, We Mean a Manger: Part 1 of 2

Holy shit, this summer finale was just wall-to-wall bananas. Where to start? Well, the PLL are now united in their belief that Ali is A, so they team up with Mona to stage a full-on Thomas Crown Affair-style heist to get their evidence — but before Mona can reveal what she’s found, she’s killed by Ali! (Or was it...someone even more sinister???? DUN DUN DUN!) Plus, Holbrook goes rogue from Tanner’s awesome competence and decides to arrest Spencer for the murder of Bethany Young, and they end up hauling her out of The Brew while she’s screaming and hollering about how she didn’t kill anyone. And, most shocking of all: we finally get a solid date in the timeline of this show.


The PLLs form their alliance with Mona in this classic power pose.

Behold the Rosewood miracle hair in all its glory. Seriously, those are some impressive locks these ladies are working with. The outfits? They’re a little more variable. I’ve been enjoying Hanna’s grunge phase, but ew to that lace-up top and drab cardigan. There’s grunge and there’s ugly. At least Spencer looks fierce as hell in her colorblock dress and statement necklace. And look at Emily with the red graphic on her T shirt! That’s pretty bold for her. As for Aria...


Oof. You are not seeing things.

That is a shiny black pleather A-line pleated skirt she’s wearing under that distressed jean jacket. It’s like she’s a secretary at a fetish company. At least her hair looks great?


With their Mona alliance newly cemented, the Liars discuss their Ali = A theory. Mona thinks Ali chose them for her dolls because while they might have bored her individually, together they offered her a thrilling challenge.


In Mona’s taxonomy, Spencer’s the smart one. I mean, she’s not creating her own nightmare universes of adrenalized hyperreality or anything, but she’s doing okay. She was the first one of them to turn on Alison, so that’s a mark in her intelligence column. On the other hand: there’s this outfit.

I am not theoretically opposed to this simple little T-shirt shift, but it lives or dies by its styling. Spencer styled hers with a leather harness. Spencer, you’re better than that. We’re all better than that.


Emily’s the loyal one, obvs. She held out for Alison long after Alison’s pet dog had given up on her. Come to think of it, whatever happened to that dog? Did it just disappear to Ravenswood after it dug up Jessica DiLaurentis’s body?

This gray baseball tee is pretty standard Emily fare, with the sheer mesh sleeves forming the most daring part of her outfit. She generally relies on her stupidly beautiful face to sell her outfits, which: valid.


Mona sells Hanna as the admiring one, which I think is cutting her short. There was a lot more to her relationship with Alison than just admiration. Hanna wanted to be Alison, sure, but she also loved her — not romantically, but that doesn’t matter. The heart of this show isn’t romance: it’s the friendship between the girls. They love each other, and at one point they loved Ali, and Hanna is deeply loyal to that friendship. She’s as loyal as Emily.

This is...not great. There’s about fifty layers of fringe and frayed hems in this one outfit. And is she seriously wearing a garter belt to school? I know Rosewood High doesn’t have a dress code or anything, but she does have a mother with eyes, last time I checked.


Mona also tells us Aria is the compassionate one, which, hilarious. When has she ever shown compassion to the birds whose feathers she ruthlessly plucks to embellish her wardrobe? But no, clearly Alison picked Aria because she’s the oblivious one, which means she’ll hold out longer than anyone else to a campaign of psychological torture because she barely notices that anything is going on.

She is working the heck out of this little gothic Lolita dress, though. It’s wildly inappropriate for school, sure, but see above re: Rosewood High dress code.


Mona gets them a recording of Alison’s testimony, and it’s basically an account of why Spencer is totally the person who killed Bethany Young, for sure, no way it was anyone else, so they break into Radley to find out what they can about Bethany.

And you know what a trip to Radley means: retro nurse costumes.

As we all know, Rosewood exists in a time warp in which the fall of senior year takes sixty full episodes to pass (you guys, senior year started at the beginning of season 3 and we just hit Thanksgiving now), sipping from a single roofied flask transports you straight to an Edward Hopper diner in the 1950s, late November in Pennsylvania requires no more outerwear than a light sweater and fashionable scarf—and the nurses at the local insane asylum wear World War II era uniforms. Obviously. Check Mona’s little headset, though. And the way she requires them all to use code phrases. Such a pro.


Aria runs interference by creating distractions in the art room in this surprisingly practical outfit.

Like, if you’re about to splash red paint everywhere, this simple black sweater and skinny jeans combo is a reasonable outfit to do it in! I would have thought that Aria would go for a pretentious paint-splattered set of overalls, or perhaps a Parisian beret, but this is really straightforward. It’s honestly a little unsettling to see her wear something so...unornamented.

Files retrieved, the gang stops by the Brew for pre-Thanksgiving coffee. As you do, just before you plan to consume enormous amounts of food.


Oh Emily, just after I congratulated Aria on avoiding the paint splatters, you go and wear this.

Emily: we do not take Aria’s rejected wardrobe ideas. They are not a good look on anyone.


On the plus side, her girlfriend looks amazing.

Paige stops by to tell everyone that Ali is amassing an army, and to simultaneously stun us all with the beauty of her hair. I love that lip-print shirt on her, and with that key charm, this is maybe the most fun we’ve ever seen her have with her clothes.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the bedazzled shirt trend can die any time now.

It’s also a weird fit for Newly Grunge Hanna. Floral miniskirt and tasteful pink purse Hanna? Sure, she’d wear this, no problem. But Grunge Hanna? Shouldn’t she be ripping this into shreds and then wearing it as a skirt or something?


I do quite like Aria’s striped shirt, and it goes surprisingly well with the floral maxi skirt.

A crop top seems like a poor choice for Thanksgiving, though. If there’s one day a year when you want to give your midriff some privacy...


Spencer, at least, understands the kind of fashion that Thanksgiving requires, and she rises to the occasion beautifully: she has achieved Level 14 WASP at last! Look at those tasteful pearl buttons, the beautifully tailored pencil skirt.

That must be the most genteel outfit the inside of a Rosewood jail cell has ever seen.


Pretty Little Liars: Taking This One to the Grave

Battle of the Titans: Part 2 of 2

Of course, the real drama this week wasn’t with the PLLs. It was the epic battle between Mona and Ali. Glares were glared. Armies were formed and disbanded. Black hoodies were tossed about. And in the end, blood was shed. Sniff. We'll miss you, Mona Vanderwaal, you fabulous little lunatic.

The show finally deigns to show us Mona’s room, and it is amazing. I always figured it would be like her A lair, all mutilated pictures of Alison and masks of Alison’s face wearing masks of Emily’s face smeared with rat blood, but it’s even better: 

It’s all dolls. If there’s one thing this show has taught us, it’s that dolls are the most terrifying things on earth, so Mona’s room is just filled with piles on piles of dolls staring out at us with their beady little eyes of death and mayhem like some kind of nightmare horror show. With a French fetish, for some reason.


Mona’s normal girl drag is a little dull, but that’s what happens when a supervillain tries to dress like a high schooler.

So we have pink floral leggings and this drab gray T-shirt with, ugh, bedazzled epaulets. I think we’ve already established that those are pointless on everyone.


She upgrades for her planning sesh with the PLLs in this lovely patterned shirt.

Get that black silk Peter Pan collar. And the red graphic pattern is great on her. It’s the perfect mixture of adorable and sinister.


I have to say, I’m kind of missing her terrifying black A hoodie and accompanying heaps of eyeliner. You’d think hacking into the police database would be the time to break it out, but no.

Polka dotted blazer instead. Which is super cute, but it feels like a missed opportunity. I guess it just goes to show that Mona has hung up her A hoodie for good?


As she gathers her evidence against Ali, Mona goes for this purple peplum top and more pink floral leggings.

The color combination is a little My Little Pony, but the boots are fierce. 


Meanwhile, Alison is spending the week in florals.

The police have her describe this outfit for her polygraph test, and she says in a voice of heartbreaking innocence, “White. With pink flowers.” Which is so Ali, right? She’s a good little girl, really, officer, she swears.


She stays in her innocent florals even as she amasses her army.

The poppy-printed maxi dress says innocence, but the army o’ dopplegangers says Rosewood better watch its back. If she’s so harmless, why does she have a set of creepy twins at her beck and call? Not to mention doubles for each and every one of the Liars. It’s like they’re living dolls. Side note: how have none of the Liars noticed before now that their dopplegangers go to school with them? I guess this is what happens when you never go to class.


So finally Mona calls Aria and is all, “Alison’s A, and I can finally prove it,” and stares at her own reflection with the righteous gaze of one who has finally achieved their fondest wish, but before she can proclaim her righteousness unto the world, someone in a black hoodie with a bunch of blonde hair breaks into her house. And when the Liars show up, demanding to see Mona’s proof in person instead of just having her text it to them like normal teenagers, Jesus, they find enormous pools of blood!!!!


This is my favorite A tag in so, so very long. A goes up to the Nativity scene outside of Emily’s house, throws baby Jesus out of the manger, and replaces him with guess who?

Happy holidays, everyone. (In August. Shut up. It’s almost Labor Day. That’s a holiday.) We’ll see you again in December for the Christmas special. Be good little kiddies until then, you hear? Or Santa might leave the world’s creepiest doll in your stocking.


Pretty Little Liars: Taking This One to the Grave

Pour one on the ground for our fallen Liar. I'm going to miss that stylish teenage computer hacker, even is she was a little on the evil side. But let's back it up. I had been (not so) secretly hoping they'd kill Ezra off, but instead they invited him to Thanksgiving dinner. Ali got a lie detector test and set Spencer up for an arrest over the death of Bethany...Melissa's truth telling is going to be a major inconvenience, pretty soon. Too bad the Liars talked Spence out of lawyering up early on. In other PLL Christmas miracles, Pennsylvania is actually rotating the sun on its own schedule and has holidays whenever it damn well feels like it, Hanna is apparently an SAT genius, Paige still loves Emily, and Toby survives our lesson in why we shouldn't use our cell phones while driving. (But seriously, we probably shouldn't.)

Only in Rosewood Moment

Only in this town do high school drop outs graduate from Police Academy after a month of training (also, do we remember when he was team A and terrorizing his girlfriend? No? That's cool, the writers don't either). Only in Rosewood is lie detector footage filmed in HD. Only here do nurses wear old fashioned nurse costumes instead of scrubs. And only here do cops tell the TV stations it's a murder, while the mom waits on the sidelines to know what happened to her daughter. 

Random Return of Minor Character
Hot Cop and Lucas came back from whatever rock they've been under, but the real minor character was Mona's mom. I had no idea she had a mom!

Best Worst outfit
Another sketchy week. Right now I'm seriously questioning Hanna's punk rock garters at school and Ali's floor length floral.  

Best "A" message
It's all your fault. A. Although, replacing the baby Jesus with the Li'l Mona doll while actual Mona is in your trunk also counts as a solid A statement

Current A Team Suspect
Loves the holidays, collages, and snow globes. Also may have blonde hair and a fondness for murder. I'm leaning towards Ali, but I still think she's just a hard core bitch as opposed to the Great and Powerful A. 


Come back on FridAy when Constance gives us the full fatal finale recap. 


Pretty Little Liars: No One Here Can Love or Understand Me

Part 1 of 2: We're All In This Together

A week without Ali brings out the suspicions. Could Ali be A? I doubt it, seeing as the Liars are always wrong. I’m also doubtful my heart can handle the fAtale finale, but this week’s episode preps us with some pre-mortem dramz — Spencer has an intense conversation with her laptop, creepy Ezra is actually useful, Toby reveals his inner Oprah, and Mona loves ice cream as much as Aria loves leopard print. But most importantly we finally learn Melissa’s secret — she (unintentionally) killed Bethany Young. Shocker. Although I’m not so sure it was a good idea to record your murder confession, Melissa. A will obvs have that video by next week.


This week’s episode begins where we left off — the girls finally (FINALLY) have enough sense to go to the police. However, A quickly intervenes with an elaborate video message that ends their momentary lapse of insanity.

Who knew a High School Musical quote could sound so threatening?


I really want to know how A is so well equipped for every scenario. A’s doll making, AV, hacking, and surveillance skills are top notch. This bish is prepared.

The girls are in their same outfits from last week: Hanna wears a custom shredded denim jacket (you can’t buy that kind of cray in a store), Spencer sports her Inspector Gadget costume, and Emily wears a sick leather jacket over an otherwise lackluster (aka boring) outfit.


I can’t give Aria too much flack for the leopard print jacket because, well, I own that exact same LAMB hoodie. Although I admittedly have not worn it since high school, when I wanted to be Gwen Stefani.

Wait. Was I my high school’s version of Aria Montgomery? What a horrifying realization.


Afterwards, Spencer and Emily go out for for decaf coffee and whipped cream. You know Spencer's upset when she can't handle caffeine. Sign of the apocalypse?

But forget cravings for "comfort food" — I have epic boot lust for these girls' footwear. Although the rest of their outfits are questionable, the shoes are perfection.


The next day, Emily turns it up a notch with a form-fitting Topshop dress, leather jacket, thigh highs, and wedge sneakers. Although I’m not fond of the neckline, this look is really great alternative for Em’s usually dull style. She meshes Sporty Spice circa 1990s with modern day American Apparel ads.


Aria also takes a nostaglic trip and decides to mix a cray f21 pleather skirt with an equally cray shredded lion t-shirt. Please reference The Carrie Diaries next time you want to channel the 80’s, darlin. DLD/Sydney can help.


Later that day, poor Hanna had to endure borderline Spoby phone sex. Cadet Toby? No, Spence, no.


Although snaps for the cute burgundy dress and blazer.


Speaking of cute couples, Pailey fans may rejoice — Paige is no longer a creepy stalker and Emily suddenly wants her back!

Her Free People hooded denim jacket doesn't hurt, but what she wears later really shows Emily what she's missing:

Damn gurl! I'd want you back too in that sexy LBD. Hot dress = stalking forgiven. Too bad she’s already found a new lady love. #awkward


Our other favorite stalker gangs up with Emily to review his creepy aerial shots of Ali. This new friendship reminds me of when Emily and Toby were bffs and exchanged mix tapes and secrets. I’m sure Emily/Ezra will have completely forgotten of their brief friendship by the end of this season, too.

I will say that Ezra does look pretty darn adorable in blue plaid, so I kinda understand why Aria took him back. Well, no I don't. But I still like his shirt.


More plaid, this time on Caleb, taking part in a Dr. Toby intervention. I love you Spence, but lately you're been off your judgment game. How is Toby a better sober coach then an actual sober coach?


I mean, I agree with Caleb — who died and made him Oprah? A couple weeks in police academy doesn’t turn you into Dr. Phil. More then likely, Spence just didn’t want to see her former flirtation now that her main squeeze is back from Europe (or wherever the hell Toby disappears to every couple episodes).


Although Spencer’s decision making is shoddy, her style was on point. Luurve this Rachel Roy striped bodycon in fall colors. And she ups the ante with matching blue booties. Preppy perfection with an edge.



Pretty Little Liars: No One Here Can Love or Understand Me

Part 2 of 2: That's So Ravenswood

Melissa displays the epitome of sisterly love this week — murder. Well, accidental murder, since she thought her sister had already killed the Ali/Bethany, except that girl was still alive. For someone so smart, Melissa makes a lot of stupid mistakes. She couldn’t even check for a pulse before burying poor Bethany?

At least Melissa has a legitimate reason to leave the show. Usually characters disappear off PLL like the actors of Downton Abbey.

And is it just me or does every conversation between the Hasting sisters sound like a verbal joust? This week they display their knowledge of Shakespeare. We get it. You’re both smart, preppy, and capable of quoting classic literature and/or making historical references. Pls stop now.


So I gotta admit, I love Hanna’s new grunge style. Our girl looks good in ripped tights and acid wash. This is, however, this is my least loved look of the season. Too much tears, mesh, and asymmetrical weirdness.

BTW: Maybe I missed a storyline but when did Caleb go from homeless chic to cabin-owning farm boy? At least he’s making an attempt at pattern mixing.


Anyway, I much prefer Hanna's casual grunge, such as this UNIF tee and maroon skinnies.


While Hanna and Caleb are working on their Caleb's issues, Mike and Mona rekindle their relationship, much to Aria's dismay. I actually forgot Mike existed for a while. Thanks, PLL writers, for occasionally notifying us that your minor characters haven't disappeared and/or died.

Mona reps her love for ice cream with an ice cream printed sweater from Topshop and ice cream cone earrings. Obvs nobody who wears ice cream prints could be an evil manipulator like A? Right?

Yeah, I’m not buying those crocodile tears either.


While Mona styles her love of desserts, Aria shares her love of the animal kingdom for the umpteenth time this season.

She ruins a perfectly good dress with a gaudy belt and Ken doll scarf in leopard print (of course). But overall the outfit isn’t so bad, I wou – LACEY ANKLE SOCKS??

Why, Aria, why? We are not in kindergarten anymore. In fact, you are at a Hitchcock movie screening, which is sort of the opposite of kindergarten.

Someone seriously needs to restrain this girl from the accessories section of the mall. I’m surprised she didn’t rip the bird necklace and ice cream earrings off Mona as they faced off in the ladies' room.


Hey, remember that time Caleb was on Ravenswood? Did you ever wonder how it was supposed to end? No? That's ok, he gives us a quick recap, which is handy because — lets be honest — 90% of us never watched that show. I include myself in that, and after his confusing story of fireflies and jars and demons, I’m not surprised it was cancelled.


Also, did Hanna just quote Twilight? This show is getting too paranormal for my liking. #nomorecrossoverspls

And thanks ABC Family for the not-so-subtle product placement for the Ouija movie. I won’t be watching that either.

So who do y’all think will fall victim to A next week? And who’s being arrested for murder? And am I horrible person for hoping one of those people will be Ezra?