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Pretty Little Liars - Fresh Meat - Review: "LiAr is the New Black"

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5.15 - "Fresh Meat"
Written by Oliver Goldstick and Maya Goldsmith
Directed by Zetna Fuentes
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide

Alison shows up at Mona's funeral unannounced and is welcomed by a slap from Mona's mother. Hanna finds the letter from Bethany explaining the matching clothes from 'that night' and everything else but Holbrook is doing everything to get it thrown out. Ezra is doing up The Brew. Paige leaves Rosewood, leaving behind a devastated Emily. Aria seeks Caleb's help to find out why six college rejected her, thinking it might be A. Aria is attacked leading to Mona's laptop getting stolen. Alison is arrested for Mona's murder.

'Fresh Meat' Review

Alison's Revenge?

Toby goes to the jail to give an officer an envelope. The officer gives Toby a frosty response. Toby sees Alison who reveals the girls aren't taking Alison's calls and they're not going to see her. Alison is adamnant about being innocent and the characters have to be morons by now not to believe her. But to be fair, Alison has lied about many things before so who knows, she is a very good actress. She questions Toby, asking if he remembered how it felt to be locked up for something he didn't do. Of course Toby remembers, after all Alison is the one who put him there in the first place. Alison says something ominous - "maybe you'll get it when the others are chained to this bench too." Does Alison know something that will get the Liars put in jail? They're next, unless A kills them first. Uh oh.

At the school, Toby (still wearing his uniform so there's still some semblance of his usefulness) has relayed to the girls what happened with Ali. They think she has somebody helping her but they have to be pretty naive to see they got the wrong A. Aria is convinced it's Holbrook but Hanna said they can't be sure. If it was a drinking game of how many times the girls had a theory that turned out to be wrong, I'd have been dead for four years. Toby leaves and the girls try to plan something for the weekend, but Hanna is away looking at a college. Aria, who has been rejected from all of the colleges she applied for, changes the subject. Holbrook may be the new Wilden, and I really hope not because I hated Wilden.

Aria gets a text from Ezra about how tomorrow night is the opening for the new Brew and that it's turning into a circus. Emily approaches her and was about to ask Ezra for a raise so she could get more cash for a plane ticket to go see Paige over the spring break. The best thing Emily can do right now is just move on. Paige isn't coming back anytime soon, Emily isn't moving to be closer to Paige, these long-distance relationships very rarely work out. Aria cracks and reveals to Emily about her college situation. Aria thinks it's Alison's revenge to keep Aria in Rosewood. At Ashley's office, Jason is visiting. Jason notices Ashley's resume being faxed out but he doesn't want her to go until he's confident with being there.

Ready, Steady, Cook

Spencer phones Toby who reveals Tanner has ordered another search behind Mona's house for her body. I have no idea when Mona's body will turn up but I'm guessing it will be when A is ready to get the Liars all together to find it. Toby finds what could potentially be the murder weapon but instead of letting the other cops know, he hides it. Not sure why but okay. Oh wait, it gets answered straight away. It's Toby's knife. Caleb has used it before so it could have both of their fingerprints on it. That wouldn't be a very good situation for either boys. Spencer thinks the knife was planted to also get them behind bars like Alison wants. Caleb sides with Spencer while Toby wants to hand it over to the police. For the first time in a long time, I agree with Toby. They hide so much from the police already, by hiding the murder weapon, it makes them even more guilty. Spencer promises to not retrieve it if Toby promises not to hand it over. Caleb eventually agrees but I'm thinking one of them will crack and get it.

At the Brew, which has come a very long way since the last episode, Aria is there with someone who is sort of designing the style of the place. I must admit, the place looks pretty awesome, especially with the bookshelves. Ezra argues with the caterer on the phone before he quits, leading to Emily offering to do the catering. She's a woman of many talents, my Emily. Ezra asks all the questions I had in my head but Emily gets the gig. At Ashley's office, Ashley receives a call from the correctional facility. Ashley accepts and Alison wants to speak to Jason but Jason won't accept. He now thinks she might have something to do with what happened to their mom.

At a college, Hanna is being shown the sorority houses by a nerdy student. Kind of reminds me of Mona back in the day. Hanna phones Caleb and Caleb tells Hanna what happened with the knife. Caleb tells her not to drop anything but Hanna ditches the student. At a kitchen, Aria gives Emily her letter to a college to read but Emily thinks it should be more personal. Aria has a bit of a meltdown and reveals everything for Ezra's ears who she didn't know was there. Oops. Emily leaves for Aria and Ezra to talk. Ezra reveals Jackie (his ex) who hates their guts is the admissions officer so any attempt by Aria to get in would fail. Spencer comes to Caleb's after Hanna angrily texted her for not telling her about the knife but Spencer wants to keep it a secret from Emily and Aria. Secrets between the girls are always fun. Spencer sees Caleb is going back for the knife and Caleb reveals he was once under suspicion by the police before so he needs that knife. Spencer agrees to help Caleb get the knife and so begins Spencer's betrayal to Toby! Yay! Sorry, I just like potentially exciting things.

Liver Alone

Emily is trying hard to make the food for Ezra's opening while Aria goes stir-crazy in her room about the whole Jacki-College situation. Ezra visits Emily in the kitchen and it's very clear that Emily does not have things under control. I hope for her sake she does get everything under control for the opening. Hanna visits a creepy-looking mobile park where she thinks Holbrook is holding up. Seriously the whole place is complete with expired cars and dead deers, and even a man chopping up what looks to be a liver. Hanna asks the man for the correct caravan and passes a young boy on a bike. The boy shouts "papa" and disappears. I do love scenes like that in Pretty Little Liars, where they're alone in a different environment where a serial killer could jump out and hack them down at any minute. These girls really are lucky they're not dead already. They've probably cheated death more times than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, each.

Hanna knocks on the caravan door where Holbrook's father greets her. His father hasn't seen him in weeks. It becomes clear that Holbrook's father has mistaken Hanna for Alison. Spencer and Caleb go to the place where the murder weapon is to find it but it's too dark to see. They find the weapon and Caleb picks it up with a cloth. Hanna returns to her car but all the doors are wide open and a teddy bear sits in the front seat. She pulls a piece of thread that opens up the teddy and spills out animal guts. Sick man, absolutely sick! Just why? Was it to just gross her out or did it have a purpose. The little boy on the bike rides away again. Did he do it the sick little sh*t?!

In Emily's bedroom in the morning, Emily tells Aria she came home three hours ago. I wish I could look as good as Emily after no sleep. Instead, I look more like this...

Paige hasn't replied to any of Emily's texts, leading me to concur what I said earlier about long-distance relationships not lasting. Aria hands Emily her letter to be accepted. Aria took Emily's advice way too seriously about getting personal, speaking directly to Jacki about getting involved with an older guy. Aria had already e-mailed it off even though Emily thinks it's not appropriate. Emily gets called to the Brew where Ezra has hired some help for the kitchen. The new help doesn't take too kindly to what Emily has already made. Love the tension.

Too Hot to Handle

Caleb arrives at Spencer's and reveals he couldn't throw the knife in the lake as he felt he was being followed. They conclude they have to make the knife "not exist" which is damn risky if you ask me. It could be the way of finding Mona's killer yet they're too self-obsessed with saving their own skin that they don't care that the real murderer is out there. They take it to the walk-in furnace at the school to destroy it. Caleb puts the knife in the furnace while Spencer steps out after hearing noises and footsteps, leaving Caleb alone. Bad idea, guys! Very bad idea! Caleb gets locked in (obviously) and the furnace gets turned on. It feels very Hocus Pocus, all it was missing was Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

Aria is at the college where Jacki works and approaches her. Aria wants to delete the letter she sent but Jacki has already read it and tells her she won't tell Ezra. She realised that she wasted a lot of time with Ezra, and she has an actual genius idea - a pacemaker that zaps your heart every time you fall for Mr. Wrong. Now that is something I would buy! I can't decide whether I dislike Jacki. I like her for the moment so that's something at least. Spencer closes a window that was probably making that racket but all I'm screaming is GET TO CALEB NOW!! My worst nightmare is being burned alive slowly after I worked in a bakery and dealt with ovens all the time. I would picture myself getting trapped inside one while it was on. Shivers. Spencer saves Caleb and they still go through with their plan of destroying the knife. Sigh.

Hanna visits Alison in jail and tells her to give up, to stop fighting. Alison says she has and that she could have thrown the others under the bus with her if she wanted to. Alison is clueless about the knife but reveals where she was for those missing hours on Thanksgiving - she was waiting for Cyrus who she thought might expose their deal. He never showed. It turned out to be a trap by A to make her look guilty for being missing for those hours. Alison speaks sense and it sounds like a solid alibi for us and we already knew Alison didn't kill Mona. We see a very confident Hanna here too as she tells Alison she doesn't care about Alison anymore. That's fair enough but she's innocent, but man I love how the girls aren't letting Alison walk all over them anymore. It's a double-edged sword but oh well, they picked the wrong time to be all cocky with Alison.

My Invitation Got Lost in the Mail

Time for Ezra's grand opening. Wish I was there. Spencer comes in and Emily practically forces her food down her neck. I would have took one anyway had I been invited. They look tasty-ish. Emily leaves and that designer guy comes and mistakes Spencer for Melissa. Shock reveal - Johnny is apparently going to be living in their guest house. Spencer tries to scare him off living in her backgarden. Emily is throwing out her food when Talia comes into the kitchen to help save them. Emily breaks down and tells Talia everything that's going on with Paige. Poor Emily, she needed that. She needed to get it off her chest. It's pretty nice to see Talia help Emily save her food. I think I like her but I don't know if she's going to be back in any future episodes. Could be interesting.

Jason visits the Marin household where Ashley lets Jason in. Jason seeks Ashley's help with some work and reveals he was kicked out by his father after what he did to Alison. Ashley offers dinner, which could lead to even more interesting things. Aria arrives at the Brew where she gets an e-mail from Jacki. SHE'S IN! SHE MADE IT TO TALMADGE! I am actually so relieved, I feel so invested in these characters now that I want them to do well, so thank f*ck for that! Now I love Jacki! Aria doesn't really react though I thought she'd be climbing the walls - must feel guilty about that e-mail. Ezra introduces Aria to Bob, a teacher at a college Aria wanted to get into. Too little too late. Toby arrives also and gets Spencer to come outside. They fight about going behind each other's backs. Spencer makes a good point that if Toby wanted to do the right thing, he would have done it when he saw the knife in the first place. Toby uses his role as a police officer to stop Spencer from revealing too much. It's a shame really to see this relationship falling apart now Spencer can't confide in Toby anymore.

Jason is having food with Ashley in her home. Ashley reveals she is scared to live alone when Hanna goes and all I can say is 'girl, you should be.' She lives in Rosewood for crying out loud, it's probably worse to live there than Mystic Falls. Jason leans in for a kiss. I kinda saw that coming but it's still pretty shocking, especially when Ashley says "I don't mind being thanked" and they start playing tonsil tennis. Ashley is one lucky mom. At the Brew, Emily asks Aria about her situation and Aria reveals Jacki read the e-mail and that she got in. Aria says she won't tell Ezra nothing tonight, leading to Ezra telling Talia that he doesn't know what to do without her when he opens as her food was a hit. Ezra approaches Emily and Emily tells him to hire her. Aria finds a book for colleges and a bookmark inside is on the Talmadge College page. On the bookmark is an excerpt from Aria's email. Another creative A message. I like.

What a Sexy Surprise

Oh shit. I see where this is going. Hanna returns home and sees two plates in the kitchen, indicating Ashley had a guest. She hears a door close upstairs and looks into the hallway where Jason walks down the stairs buttoning his shirt. That's another secret blown completely open straight away. This is very interesting. At Alison's jail cell, Alison is handed a new uniform with a note inside. It's a threat, saying - 'Your friends will see you soon.' I can't tell what's going through Alison's mind there. She seems to have a sort of smile and she doesn't look shocked. She really has me doubting her innocence. How am I supposed to take her. Her facial reactions, such as smiling outside Mona's house after her murder, makes me question her authenticity of innocence.

Overall, a fine episode. Not great, just fine. It had some good moments, some good developments that should lead to some interesting things in the future but this isn't Pretty Little Liars at its best.

Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: Aria Montgomery. She went with her gut to get into the college and it was so risky but it worked. Go Aria!

Most Macho Male: A lot of the males annoyed me in this episode, but the one who annoyed me the least was Ezra. So this one is for you Ezra.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Emily and Talia. They had great tension but really worked together by the end. I liked it.

Best Line: "Because somebody was buried in it. Excuse me?" - Spencer Hastings. Straight to the point, love it.

Best Moment: Who doesn't love a near death in a furnace?

Saddest Moment: Emily breaking down about Paige not replying to her texts. I think everybody but Emily saw Paige's ignorance coming.

Creepiest Moment: Hanna visits the mobile park where a dead deer hangs upside-down and a man is chopping up its insides. We then have Hanna open up a teddy bear where animal insides fall out. Ew!

Biggest Reveal: Jason coming down the steps after sleeping with Ashley, much to Hanna's surprise.

Best Cat Fight: Hanna Marin v. Alison DiLaurentis. It seems every week now there's going to be a fight with Alison, and I loved Hanna standing up to Alison.

Are the Liars going to jail? Is Aria going to regret the way she got into the college? What did you guys think of 'Fresh Meat'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Pretty Little Liars on January 20th 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 and Salem in the 2014-15 season. Gavin's favourite shows include Charmed, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, The Walking Dead, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Scandal and much more. You can contact him at
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