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Pretty Little Liars - The Bin of Sin - Review: "Let's Split Up in This Abandoned Building And Look For Clues"

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5.17 - "The Bin of Sin"
Directed by Tripp Reed
Written by Jonell Lennon
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide

Aria is attacked and Mona's laptop stolen but it had a tracker which takes Spencer and Caleb to a storage unit. Aria sent an e-mail to admissions at a college Ezra's ex works at, but the e-mail contained things Aria didn't truly mean. Ashley and Jason slept together which Hanna quickly finds out about which leads to Ashley running away from Ted's marriage proposal. Talia hits on Emily. Alison is arrested for the murder of Mona. Spencer and Caleb found a barrel in the storage unit, which Toby argues with Spencer about going behind his back. They find out the storage unit is rented under Hanna's name.

'The Bin of Sin' Recap and Review

Got a Secret, Can You Keep It? NO!

At Caleb's, the girls find out about the storage unit and that the place is rented under Hanna's name, which Aria slips out that it must be payback for Hanna visiting Alison. Spoiler alert, Aria! The unit was rented one day before Mona's murder, so it appears the murder was pre-meditated and they knew they'd need that storage space. They argue over what's best to do next since it appears Hanna is being framed. They always seem to argue about what to do next these days. Aria almost slipped out the ending of the wild goose chase in the last episode where she found out about Ashley and Jason. It seems Aria is getting tricky with her secrets lately. Hanna looks really scared here and I feel for her, it seems like everything is going to fall apart for her and she's going to get the blame for everything.

Should call this show Pretty Little Brew since it's where most of it is set these days. Aria and Emily discuss the barrel and Aria wants to tell Ezra about the letter. Just do it already girl, it's not that big a deal. Talia made a pie for Ezra which is a little wierd but kinda nice. It's to say thank you, not to hit on him. She confuses me. I like that Emily lays the rules for her by telling her to back off since Ezra is dating Aria. I'm so used to Emily being a lesbian I never realised she never said her ex was a girl to Talia. Hanna is at home researching gloves, bless her, and Ashley reveals she never told Ted about Jason but that she couldn't fail at a marriage again. Ashley is trying to forget it but Hanna thinks it will gnaw away at her. Hanna really has developed morals about being honest when it comes to other people's secrets. Sometimes she may have to practice what she preaches, but I am glad Hanna is being decent about it.

Spencer visits Toby at the police office as she's worried Hanna will do something stupid. Tanner comes and stops the conversation. Spencer flees (good girl, get away from her quick) leaving Tanner to discuss Alison's case file with Toby. Toby divulges that he thinks someone tampered with Alison's polygraph test. This leads to a discussion of Holbrook. Tanner makes an observation that is so true - "you have been a cop for all of six minutes". It's true though right?! His rise to being a cop was far too quick and sudden and it seems even the characters in the show know this (and the writers) so why do it? It makes the show even more unbelievable.

Check Out the Sexual Tension

Aria has Ezra round hers where she finally lets him know she got into Talmadge. Ezra tells her it's unlikely Jacki will ever run into Aria which makes her bail out of telling him the truth about how she got in. But when he goes to leave, Aria goes for it. She tells him she wrote the letter hoping Jacki would see it. Aria shows him the letter but we don't see the immediate aftermath yet. Damn. Hanna has been shopping for gloves and supplies when Caleb arrives. Files are corrupted, woo! Caleb sees the supplies and Hanna confesses she wants to move the stuff from the storage unit. She wants Caleb to help but he won't. So Caleb will go galavanting with Spencer but when his own girlfriend needs him, he refuses? Hanna reasons with him and compares her situation with when Toby found the knife. "You forgot one thing." "What's that?" "The cameras." Woohoo, Caleb's in! No bonding experience is better than disposing of incriminating evidence to a murder.

Back to Aria and Ezra. See! Ezra isn't angry. I didn't think he would be. He understood that she did what she thought was best to get in, by appeasing Jacki. That's all she should have said to begin with. But the way Ezra's eyes lingered on the letter has me thinking maybe he does have a problem with it? Ashley and Jason are having lunch where Ashley is giving Jason the things he needs. He says she doesn't have to quit over what happened but she is adamant that she does. Jason kind of wants something between them, which is a little surprising, but Ashley can't. She was just lonely. Jason understands, which is nice of him. Damn he's so dreamy. Hanna and Caleb are at the storage unit where Caleb is disabling the cameras. Hanna struts to 'her' storage unit with her power drill which was such a cool moment.

Emily seems pretty confused why Ezra didn't take more offence to the letter. Spencer arrives with bad parking (not helping the whole women drivers stereotype) and reveals the laptop is moving which she thinks is Hanna. They decide to go check it out. Jason walks into the place where they work as Ashley is packing her things away. Jason notices no ring which seems to put some hope in his heart. Ashley says it's because there is responsibily with being a Pastor's wife but we all know the real reason. Jason probably does too. Jason thinks maybe Ashley slept with him to ruin a good thing, but she assures him that it wasn't that. Ezra is re-reading the letter. Yep, he definitely has a problem with it.

More Suspense, Because We Need It In Every Episode

Aria and Emily must have swapped places in the car on the way over since Aria legged it to the front seat when they got in. They're driving to the laptop's location but as we see in the next shot, Hanna and Caleb are still breaking into the storage unit, so it's definitely not them. They finally get in but everything has been moved. Everything except the barrel. Hanna doesn't want to look in case Mona is in there. I just want to know what is in it and I'm starting to think Mona isn't. Spencer, Aria and Emily are now in this creepy abandoned building, an old ice cream factory. They still think Hanna and Caleb are with the laptop but creepy noises and ghostly "wind" soon make appearances to really lay on the pathetic fallacy. Oh and loss of cell service. Pretty sure they're trying to make every episode a mini horror movie as it's their go-to when things seem a little boring.

Hanna and Caleb are leaving the storage unit when Tanner and Toby arrive and stop them. Caleb's story about thinking about renting a storage unit probably isn't believed by Tanner. She's such a hard character to read. Hanna really does give away how nervous she is, she really needs to work on her poker face. Her excuse about needing to pee was both funny but so frustrating. Really think Tanner's going to believe that? Hanna and Caleb end up going but Tanner finds the open security box that Caleb tampered with. After the extremes they went through, Caleb forgets to close the damn box. What an idiot. "Looks like someone's camera-shy."

Back at the old ice cream factory, where the girls have gone all Scooby-Doo and split up, Spencer cautiously walks around where she begins to hear a voice. It's a recording of Caleb's voice from when he was at Hanna's. Emily comes across a moving box with a cat and a dead rat in. Horror movie cliche #6, check. Freeze-dried almonds are in the boxes, wonder if that's important? Spencer gets closer to the sounds. It really does sound like Hanna and Caleb are there. Spencer enters the freezer where she sees the footage. How did they record that, I do not know. I didn't see a camera. Aria appears out of nowhere (which is a little weird, right?) and they agree to go find Emily.

But they hear noises and Spencer slowly reaches for the wrench she used to wedge the door. I am really liking this moment actually, really smart of Spencer, but she was too slow. Liquid nitrogen gets sprayed inside and this is a really cool moment actually, I love the way it was shot and their hair blowing around and they can't get out. It's a typical moment but a good one nonetheless. Emily tries to break the box but gets a shock. The windows start to freeze and all we have are Spencer's and Aria's panicked breathing. So dramatic. Love it. And Emily doesn't know what to do. She soon sees the valve to the freezer and breaks it, then able to open the door and get them out. Woo! They live to see another episode! As much as Pretty Little Liars uses these kinds of moments (such as Caleb getting locked in the furnace thing the other day), they usually are pretty great to watch.

What's In the Barrel?

Tanner and Toby have entered the room with the barrel. They break the barrel open and Tanner opens it. It immediately stinks so she closes it, suggesting a hazmat team. Toby goes outside while Tanner takes another look. She sighs. She probably thinks it's Mona all liquified with the acid that Spencer and Caleb found. There's blood on the floor too. It's most likely one of the girl's (probably Hanna's since she's the one to frame this week) that was placed there by A. Later, Jason helps Ashley with the boxes to her car. They seem to be really good with each other and they hug before they depart. Except Jason leans in for a kiss which Ashley immediately breaks up. She doesn't even let it linger, which is wise but damn. What a lucky cougar.

At the Brew, Talia is still cooking away when Emily goes to lock up. Talia gets Emily to help her with it, leading to some tiny kind of Ghost-like 'Unchained Melody' moment. That might have just been me who thought that. When Emily gets a text off Hanna that she went to the bin but so did Tanner and Toby, Emily lets the pan go up in a flame. Talia saves the day thought Emily feels guilty about it. Talia really seems nice and cool even though they didn't hit if off straight away. Aria and Ezra had their chinese takeout (because romance is not dead) where Ezra gives Aria a present. It's a journal with the initials 'AM'. So sweet. Ezra makes a comment about not wanting Aria to miss out on what's coming since she missed out on so much in high school. BURN. That was bitchy Ezra and I liked it. Aria tries to tell him that she didn't mean any of it but he thinks at least some of it must be true. Ezra thinks Aria will grow to resent him. He's trying to do what's best for her though it sounds like a proposal for a break-up. Aria isn't happy about it but she'll think about it.

At Spencer's, Hanna and Spencer argue about how Toby knew about the storage unit. Spencer thinks Holbrook tipped Tanner off when he recorded them talking. Hanna rips into Toby and Spencer sort of tries to defend him but it isn't really working as Hanna's right. "Since when did his job become more important than his friends?" Spencer blames Hanna for not listening to her about going to the storage unit, leading Hanna to exit. It's all coming undone. Spencer calls Toby but he ignores it when Tanner comes. She wants to discuss what happened at the storage unit. She reveals she doesn't know if it's Mona's remains in the barrel but if the blood matches Mona, the girls will be brought in for questioning. Tanner tells Toby he took an oath when he joined the force and that if he has something she should know, he should tell her. I can really see him cracking here. He's gonna talk.

You Fell Right Into A's Trap Girls!

At the Brew, Talia and Emily talk. Talia gives Emily some food she made her, which was so sweet but it still feels like she's interested in her. Emily thinks Talia probably thinks she's a mess after the way she's been portrayed lately. She has seemed pretty bi-polar. They have the best interaction so far. Talia brings up the Ezra's cute comment and reveals it was to figure out if Emily was into guys or girls as she is interested in Emily. Not shocking, I really did sense that she was into Emily but I thought the comment was because she was bi-sexual. Never mind. Talia leaves Emily speechless as she goes back to finish up cleaning.

Hanna and Caleb discuss Holbrook and that he must have set them up. Hanna knows it's her fault that they got in that mess and Hanna wants Caleb to stay away from her in case he gets into trouble. But Caleb wants to stick with Hanna no matter what. FINALLY! Some great romance between the two after it's been missing for a while. Really sweet. Aria is looking through a yearbook of juniors with their pictures and what clubs they're a part of underneath their names and when she gets to hers, only her name is there. She wasn't part of any clubs. Maybe she really did miss out on a lot because of Ezra. Ashley looks at her ring and slips it on but she doesn't seem convinced.

Spencer jumps up to answer Toby's call. He's still at work due to paperwork. He reveals Tanner got an anonymous call that Mona's body was in the storage unit. Spencer shouts at him that he knew she was worried about Hanna and he went anyway but he couldn't talk with Tanner beside him. Toby won't tell Spencer what was in the barrel and he tries to avoid going over but Spencer really wants to see him. Toby says he will call her tomorrow then puts the phone down and leaves in a truck. For the final moment, Mona's bloody clothes are revealed to now be in the ice cream factory. An unknown person shines a light on it, revealing handprints that belongs to one of the girls who had been there earlier.

Episode Verdict

This episode was fine. They've all been fine so far, nothing that stands out but because this wasn't a premiere or a finale, I guess that's all we can ask for right now. There were some moments I loved. I loved the freezer scene, I thought that was very dramatic and pretty well done, even if it was a cliche in this show to resort to a dire situation where we know they're going to get out alive anyway. I enjoyed the fracturing of the friendship and the desperate attempt Hanna made to clear her name. We can see these girls getting really scared as things heat up now. I especially loved Tanner's comment about Toby's time as a police officer, which takes my Best Line award today. Toby really is starting to abandon the others for his new love of the law which he wasn't so hesitant to break a few seasons ago. Maybe this all has a point in the long run and Toby turns things around but right now he's just a dick. Finally grateful to get some Haleb too and maybe Ezria will take a break which will be nice. Hopefully they can both develop and get better material away from each other for a while, then have a reunion further down the line. We'll see. The whole framing thing is working out well so far and I'm really seeing these girls behind bars soon. Also, I'm interested in seeing how Talia and Emily progress now since Talia is definitely game. The promo for the next episode looks good so let's hope the episode lives up to it as we near the finale. Eight episodes to go people!

Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: Hanna. Her fear and drive in the episode makes her win this for me.

Most Macho Male: Caleb, again the only male who is remotely interesting and I like at the minute.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Spencer & Aria & Emily. They bossed that ice cream factory.

Best Line: (To Toby) "You have been a cop for all of six minutes..." - Detective Tanner. One thing to say to that - HAHAHAHA. So true.

Best Moment: Spencer and Aria are trapped in the freezer and the liquid nitrogen blows inside. Well shot moment.

Saddest Moment: Spencer's phone conversation with Toby. She knows their relationship is falling apart and she can't do anything about it.

Creepiest Moment: Spencer slowly reaches for the spanner when she and Aria hear footsteps, but it's pulled out before she can reach it.

Biggest Reveal: The end scene that the stuff from the storage unit was moved to the ice cream factory that now has the girls' prints all over it.

Best Cat Fight: Hanna vs. Spencer.

We liking the Talia and Emily potential? Will Aria and Ezra benefit from a break? Will Toby stop being a dick? What did you guys think of 'The Bin of Sin'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Pretty Little Liars on February 3rd on ABC Family!

About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV on August 9, 2014 and will be reviewing 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem and Sleepy Hollow in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact him at
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