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Pretty Little Liars - Bloody Hell - Review: "Keep Calm and Carry-On"


5.21 - "Bloody Hell"
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Written by Maya Goldsmith
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide




Hanna auditions for the pageant by dancing with Emily but is told she isn't pageant material, although Emily is who agrees to do the pageant for her. Spencer sends an e-mail to Melissa. Andrew begins to tutor Aria. Emily meets Eric, Talia's husband, who reveals Talia told him Emily was just an experiment. Hanna visits Alison to break that tie between them. A has the blood vials of Spencer, Hanna and Aria and Cyrus offers a trade. Mike reveals Mona was planning to fake her death so Alison could get jailed and they'd find out who A is, but A double-crossed her. It's also revealed Cyrus took Alison out of town that day on A's orders. The girls realise they destroyed evidence that could prove Alison's innocence and realise they have to say something about it before her trial.


'Bloody Hell' Recap and Commentary

Would You Like Tea with the Queen?

In a room in the prison, Spencer, Aria and Emily are there to see Alison. Emily and Spencer feel guilty for what they've done but Aria believes Alison is jailed because of karma, which is true. I do agree with Aria there. Alison didn't kill Mona so she doesn't deserve to be in jail for that, but she deserves to be in jail for so many other things. However, they have a point - jailed for a murder she didn't commit isn't fair, even for her. Alison comes, and it is actually nice to see her after so long. She's very reasonable actually, in this scene. She isn't hateful towards the girls. Alison tells Aria she'll have to tell her lawyer about Mike, but Aria convinces her to hold off. Again, Alison is being very reasonable. Hanna chickened out, and I'm not surprised after what she said to Alison during her last visit. Aria reveals she's not worried about Mike taking the stand, but because he'll be the number-one target on A's hitlist.

Yay, Veronica! Always a pleasure. Spencer walks in and gets a scolding off her for visiting Alison. Veronica drops a bomb on her by giving her a ticket to London for THAT night (lucky bitch) who will be seeing a professor at Oxford and will stay with Melissa and Wren. Outside the Brew, Emily is visted by Clare, the co-ordinator of that pageant. She needs a parents' signature but we haven't seen Pam or Emily's father in so long, of course they wouldn't be able to sign it. But Clare gives Emily some information and says she's a promising contestant. Of course she is, she's our Emily.


Back at Spencer's, Hanna and Aria go to visit her when Aria stops to talk to Veronica about legal stuff. Veronica informs her that she may not be able to keep what she says a secret because she's not her lawyer. Aria hands her a dollar and asks to be her lawyer for the next hour. Veronica accepts. I love that, it was so clever of Aria and so nice of Veronica to accept. At the Brew, Talia is in the kitchen when Emily walks in. She sees if she can get some shifts covered by Amanda (have we met Amanda?) but Talia doesn't think it's possible. One of the perks of being one of the people in charge and you have someone you're fighting with asking for something. But turns out she's not just doing to hurt her - she quit. Aria continues to talk with Veronica hypothetically and discovers that by witholding information when someone died would get that person in a lot of trouble.

Will You Be My Fairy Godmother?

In Spencer's room, the girls don't really want Spencer to go to London. Hanna thinks Spencer should come clean and ask for help - which could be very wise! But Aria reminds us what happens when the girls don't play by the rules. Aria has been very smart in this episode actually. We go to Alison in a laundry room (anyone notice the A on one of the laundry trolleys?) as she writes Mona on a very dusty table. A policeman gets her to come with him. It appears it's because Veronica pulled her out to talk to her, which also surprises her. Veronica wants to know why her daughter and her friends are visiting her. Alison says they know she's telling the truth now, but Veronica doubts a jury will believe her due to the amount of lies she's told. Alison is going to take the stand but her lawyer won't let her. "I know it's hard to make people change their minds about me... but I have to try." Alison asks her if she'd help her be her coach. Does she say yes? Oooh.

Aria returns home late at night when Andrew appears. Aria forgot about their study session but he's cool with it. I told you he's like a perfect guy, so I'm naturally suspicious now. But he is great. But this is Pretty Little Liars. It's not a date though, even though I've seen a lot more chemistry between Aria and Andrea than Ezra and Aria lately. He says they're going as friends. Then Andrew says something totally cryptic and proves WHY I was already suspicious of him - "it's a thriller about getting messages from a shadowy figure who knows everybody's secrets." If that isn't shady, then I don't know what the hell is. Spencer is in London, woop woop my home country (though I've only ever been to London once before, twice but one time doesn't count). Colin answers the door with his very nice British accent. Bare in mind, it is much nicer than mine. I'm from the North East so it isn't as pleasant on the ears as Colin's. Melissa and Wren are out of reach for the minute but Colin will be good enough company.

Alison goes back into the laundry room where someone has wrote a reply to her writing Mona - "told everything." But who wrote it? Emily bumps into Talia outside the Brew where she's come to pick up her last check. Emily notices her car is filled with her things and Talia reveals she talked with Eric and revealed everything, but the talk didn't go so well - they're separating. Emily offers to let her stay at her house. At Hanna's, Ashley asks about how to tell if someone has read an e-mail she sent as she sent a few resumes for a job application. Ashley gets a call and leaves as Aria conveniently arrives. She tells her she went to the bar they saw Cyrus and found out he works at a garage not too far away. He's being treated at a hospital and Aria wants to see him before he disappears. Hanna is hesitant but Aria convinces her.

Hips Don't Lie

Spencer arrives at her appointment with the Oxford professor. This scene reminds me of the good old Spencer I fell in love with - incredibly intelligent with an amazing talent of using her words to her advantage. He looks like he liked it too. Aria and Hanna are at the hospital and have to disinfect and put on a robe before going in to see Cyrus in the burn unit. "No net, no visit!" That nurse has sass. In her cell, Alison hears a can roll on the floor. It comes from under the bed and she picks it up. It resembles the barrel from the previous episodes with a little figure of her inside it along with a note. "You're already over a barrel, wanna be in one, too? - A". Freaky. Back with Spencer, the interview is going extremely well as the professor tells Spencer a joke. Somehow, a vial of blood in Spencer's bag breaks at that moment and spills through her bag. Uh-oh.

Emily is rocking out to some Shakira when Talia sees her through the window. Emily stops dancing and turns the music off. Talia notices she doesn't seem happy about doing the pageant and doesn't buy that she's doing it for a friend for the money. Emily wants to take control of her life too and Talia understands. Emily gets Talia up to dance with. Pretty sweet moment. Hanna and Aria see Cyrus and see he's in really bad shape. Cyrus says it wasn't an accident and starts writing something down - carjack. The nurse pulls them out before they can ask questions and Hanna argues with the nurse to stay. Spencer phones Aria and is panicking about the blood. Spencer then gets a text - "Keep calm, but watch your carry-on. There's more blood where that came from. - A" Haha, that's both a sinister but mildly funny A text.

Emily is teaching Talia the moves but Talia can't really keep up. Neither could Hanna, Talia, you're fine. Nobody can keep up with Emily, she's a powerhouse! Talia falls and they both laugh, but then Talia starts to cry. A slow song comes on and they start slow-dancing together. At the hospital, Aria and Hanna start to leave. Hanna wanted to take her, or Aria to distract her - "what did you want me to do? Juggle?" - and they head into the elevator. Hanna realises they read carjack wrong, it's actually Varjack. They also realise they would have met. In the hospital room Cyrus is in, somebody wrapped up in white bandages on another bed rises up and stands. Creepy. Spencer looks through all her luggage to see if she can find anything incriminating in there. Colin comes in and is concerned but Spencer wants to go home. He says she is having a panic attack and calms her down with an exercise.

The Wedding is Back On!

In the dance room in the school, Clare visits Emily while Talia is there too. Something is wrong, we can sense it, and Clare asks if she read the entire thing. She says it explicitally states she has to be of good moral character. For a second, Emily and Talia thought she meant it was because Emily is a lesbian, and even I did too. I was ready to get my cat to hold my sh*t while I punched her between the eyes. But no, it's because of her connection with the DiLaurentis case. They want her to drop out to avoid negative association. Well that's a bit of a sh*tter. Hanna arrives home and sees Ashley is in a very good mood. She reveals she and Ted sorted out their differences and Hanna doesn't react the way we expected her to. Hanna didn't think it was fair for Ted to keep her mother in suspense. Ashley is glad though because he took the time to really think and be honest. It's a really great moment between mother and daughter here and I never tire of that dynamic. Ashley better never die.

Outside the school, Talia confronts Clare with Emily. Talia uses Clare's words against her to get Emily back into the pageant, or at least make a donation towards Emily's education. Clare drives away and Emily can't believe Talia asked her to send her a cheque. Aria, who always breaks into her brother's room nowadays, has a look for Mike's schedule. She sees something on a dart board and steps on some equipment to get it. Andrew comes home just as the equipment falls apart, leading Aria to injure herself. Andrew notices the loose screws (CHECK OUT THOSE ARMS!!) and notices the nuts and bolts don't match, so if Mike had of been on it, it would have crushed his skull. Shock horror!

Andrew checks out Aria's foot and thinks she may have a sprain. As Andrew talks, Aria starts crying as she looks at the equipment. They kiss. Veronica is in the Hasting's house when she looks at Alison's case file. She sees something and phones Spencer saying she wants her to cancel her flight home. Hanna visits Alison in jail and apologises, but Alison tells her not to. She says she honestly thought she was helping them by telling them what to do, so she found new friends who would. In jail, no one listens to her, instead she's told what to do. She realises how bad it feels to be on the other side of that. Alison genuinely feels sorry and is upset, asking if they can start over, but Hanna doesn't know. Hanna says they can try but only if Alison is honest with them about everything. Alison agrees and Hanna asks about Varjack.

The episode ends with A putting twenty dollar bills in bibles at the correctional facility, specifically on a page about vengeance.

Episode Verdict

This is yet another episode where a Liar has kissed someone they shouldn't. Spencer and Jonny kissed in the last episode, and Aria and Andrew kissed her. I liked it when it happened both times actually, despite Toby being Spencer's long-lasting love and Ezra being Aria's, but both have proven they're better characters without latching onto their significant others. Aria has really burst out in 5B since her and Ezra took a break. But yeah, this is a pattern.

Not a bad episode at all. We can really feel the stakes are getting higher here especially with the scene with Aria on the exercise machine in Mike's room. I could feel Aria's heart break when she realised Mike could have been killed had she not stepped onto it. I can't imagine how that feels. Speaking of Aria, she is continuing to really shine in these past few episodes and I am loving it. Once she got involved with the important story instead of focusing her on getting into college and Ezra, she got interesting. I LOVE this Aria. Her and Hanna together at the hospital was great.

Speaking of Hanna, she didn't really have her own thing going on in this episode. Her almost-fight with the nurse was great, their banter was hilarious. I am so, so glad Ashley and Ted are back on the table as I really want Ashley to be happy. It will also make Hanna happy too, and that scene between Hanna and Ashley about Ted taking his time to forgive Ashley was perfect.

Emily's storyline with the pageant took an interesting turn to say the least and I think that's the end of that pageant saga thank God. However, I did absolutely love seeing Emily dance her ass off as she is so good at it, I really want to see her do more with that. That's her new calling I think, swimming is just too far behind her, dancing is the future. She can lead me on the dancefloor any day of the week.

I found it really bizarre to have Spencer away from the girls and in London in this episode, it felt so strange. I did like it though. It was an interesting turn to have her go to London so abruptly but again, it makes the stakes feel so much higher with her in a different country, especially when the vial of blood smashed in her bag. She was having such a good interview too, I really hope she gets what she wants in the end. We got a glimpse of that old smart Spencer we all know and love who loves her education, so I was really happy to see that again.

I'm sorry, that A on the laundry bin Alison was pushing was way too obvious. I enjoyed Alison in this episode and yet again I'm starting to feel sympathy for her. I genuinely think she's being genuine in her apology and she's seen how it is to be controlled and didn't like it. Being in jail was exactly the wake-up call Alison needed to realise how bad a person she used to be, but hopefully now we can start fresh. As always, this is Pretty Little Liars, so it's always best to take redemption with a grain of salt - just how much can we trust what these characters say?

And just look at Andrew's arms! Drool.


Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: Aria, again. She is just slaying it lately. She annoyed me in the first half of 5B but she's really coming into her own. All I can say is - you go girl!

Most Macho Male: Only really one featured prominently was Andrew. And damn, have you checked out those arms yet?

Favourite Episode Pairing: Hanna and Aria. Their scenes in the hospital together really drove the plot forward and they got some progress out of visiting Cyrus. Their talk after the nurse kicks them out was also funny. Good stuff. Close second would be Emily and Talia for their dancing, so sweet.

Best Line: "Keep calm, but watch your carry-on. There's more blood where that came from. - A" Not really a line, but a text, but still it was pretty funny yet creepy at the same time. Keep calm and carry on Spencer!

Best Moment: Aria reaches for the dart board but the exercise equipment falls apart.

Saddest Moment: Aria sees the wreckage of the exercise equipment and starts crying when she realises her brother could have been killed if she didn't step on it. Close second is Talia breaking down after she fell down. Both funny and sad at the same time.

Creepiest Moment: A man in bandages rises up from the bed near Cyrus.

Biggest Reveal: Nothing too major but I guess Cyrus having been burned on purpose for his involvement with A.

Best Cat Fight: Hanna and the nurse, though that would have been so awesome had things turned more into Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

What did you guys think of 'Bloody Hell'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Pretty Little Liars on March 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 gavin@spoilertv.com.
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