Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Pretty Little Liars - Pretty Isn't the Point - Review: "Dancing With the Liars"

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Pretty Little Liars - Pretty Isn't the Point - Review: "Dancing With the Liars"

5.20 - "Pretty Isn't the Point"
Directed by Melanie Mayron
Written by Oliver Goldstick and Francesca Rollins
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide

The girls donate blood at the blood drive but Mike steals Hanna's, Spencer's and Aria's vials. They ponder why he visited Alison in jail or fought with Mona. Hanna confides in Ezra about her father's decision to support Kate financially for college instead of her. Hanna thinks of entering a contest with a $20,000 scholarship. Emily confronts Talia about her marriage. Andrew protects the girls from Cyrus. Jonny tricked Spencer into vandalising a college. Mona was murdered and the amount of blood in the house indicates the wounds were fatal. A reveals to the girls he has their vials of blood.

'Pretty Isn't the Point' Recap and Commentary

Would You Like Cheese With That Love Interest?

The girls rummage through Mike's room and Aria finds lubricant (hehe), it's always a bad idea to rummage through your sibling's rooms. I regret looking in my brother's that one time. Aria thinks it's wrong they're looking but Hanna brings up a good point about him stealing their blood. Spencer looks in the mini-fridge and is about to pick up a can (which she surely would have felt was off) but stops when Aria distracts her. They find a necklace but Spencer notices it contains a morse code saying 'I'm with you'. They think it might be with Alison. At the Brew, Talia is on the phone when Emily walks in. She's on the phone with Pam, Emily's mom, who called about some food Emily took home the previous week. It's nice she has that bond with her as some of Emily's past girlfriends never achieved (especially Maya, may she rest in peace). They're both still secretive and are fine with moving slow. Talia says a super cheesy line too which wins the award for Best Line by the way so check that out. Then Mike walks in. Cue the awkwardness. Emily makes him a coffee despite not being open yet. He's so rude. So much awkward silence and Mike just beeping on his phone. Apparently both coffees are for him and he shoots Emily down when she asks about his day. 'Mike just came into the Brew. He's getting scarier.' True that!

Spencer and Jonny are talking about Spencer going overseas to attend College. They laugh and that's when Toby decides to show up. Things seem a little awkward at first - there's a lot of awkwardness in this episode already and we're not even six minutes in. There is totally no love for these two whatsoever anymore, why do they even try? Jonny says something in Italian and even though I didn't understand it, I giggled. At Caleb's apartment, Hanna and Caleb talk about Mike and Alison. Hanna gets a few calls but she ignores them. She reveals to Caleb she enrolled in a beauty pageant and needs the prize money for her tuition and Caleb offers to help by asking his mom's husband for a loan. Hanna puts her foot down and rightly so, saying she's not asking anyone for help. I'm glad she's taken this stance as I love it when Hanna depends on herself and shows she can do things without the guidance of others.

Jonny talks to Spencer about how awkward it was with Toby. Spencer continues talking as Toby stops when he notices a snapshot of the vandalism they did the other night. At Aria's, Andrew is continuing to help Aria study. Andrew is teaching the 'trial of the century' when Mike walks in which distracts Aria. Aria asks Andrew if he can follow Mike to the gym when he goes to see if he meets someone. Mike comes out of his room, really angry, knowing Aria went in his room. He goes ape shit on her and it is a little scary. Inside the house with the vandalism photo in the window, Spencer and Jonny have gone inside and it's a gallery with those photos. At first I thought it was a set-up to catch who vandalised the college, but it turns out the man received them when someone was going to throw the pieces in a garbage truck.

Dancing With the Stars of Pretty Little Liars

At Hanna's, a woman from the pageant begins asking Hanna some questions from last year's pageant. The first question made me think 'what the fuck'. How can one person reverse extinction of animals, that's just bizarre? Hanna can't seem to answer any of the questions and the woman tells her 'pretty isn't the point' (nice shout-out to the episode's title there). It's pretty funny actually as the woman is like 'what do you do well?' Hanna doesn't seem to be in the game which the woman notices, but finally Hanna says she can dance. The madness will ensue. She texts Emily that she will be dancing with her that weekend. Eric, Talia's husband, stops by. More awkwardness even though Eric knows who she is. He tells her not to feel weird and she starts to let her guard down until he talks about experimentation. Just what did Talia tell him? That Emily was just testing the waters? Talia, you naughty girl.

In some woods, Mike leaves something in a hole in a tree and doesn't see that Andrew followed him. That's my boy. At Hanna's, Ashley lets Emily in and they talk about dance and Hanna. The conversation leads to Emily asking if it's okay to date someone even if you know it's not going to last forever. "It's amazing in the moment but ultimately you think it's probably doomed." This echoes Ashley with Jason. Ashley kind of picks up on this but answers nobody should enter a relationship without intention. Wise words, Ms. Marin. We then go to Andrew telling Aria about what he saw Mike do but didn't see what he put in the tree. Andrew offers to go back but Aria wants to do it herself. Andrew seems protective and genuine as he fears for Aria being around Mike. He is unstable.

Jonny knocks on Spencer's door and asks for a toolbox. His knocking made me jump too, Spencer. Sounded like gunshots. Spencer figures it's so he can break into the gallery and ends up egging him on and helping him. She gets mad that her painting got sold. At the school, Caleb sees the sign-up sheet for the pageant. In a dance room, Emily is teaching Hanna to dance. The music, one of my favourites - Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. The moves even mirror the dance routine Janel Parrish (aka Mona) performed in her first week on Dancing With the Stars. Hanna wasn't so great but Emily was a powerhouse. Hanna just needs to put her back into it. Caleb comes in and he doesn't seem too convinced. Not enough time either as her coach is going to be checking on her soon, and as Hanna puts it - "she's makes you feel like the girl on Fat Camp who get caught eating toothpaste... What? It was minty!" Shit hits the fan when Caleb shows Hanna that Kate has signed up for the pageant too. That was the fire Hanna needed to push her. She's going to nail this routine... AFTER she goes to pee.

Pretty Little Thief

At the gallery, Jonny and Spencer go to break in. Jonny can't break the lock but our smart Spencer does it. He goes inside while Spencer waits outside while Aria goes to Mona's house. In the gallery, Jonny is pulling down a painting when Spencer approaches him. She's like a professional criminal! "You're new at this aren't you?" It does make me laugh though haha. Hanna and Emily continue practicing the dance when Caleb gets a call. It's Ashley checking up on Hanna, not so convinced she's doing so well and Caleb tells her that who she is competing against is the problem. Spencer puts the paintings in the truck and she watches Jonny try to pull down a painting. An alarm goes off and he rushes out and Spencer drives away. Little rebels. They end up at a gas station. Jonny is inside while Toby pulls up in a police car. Jonny comes out and is honest about what's happened. He completely ignores Spencer's pleas as he arrests Jonny. Just doing his job. Toby warns her to not give Tanner any ammunition and tells her to walk away.

Aria, in the woods behind Mona's house, finds the tree. She becomes scared of a bird as it flies away. Hanna and Emily are still at it. This time in front of the coach. Hanna really goes for it and it seems to take a strain on her. She has flashes of Kate and you can tell she's getting more angry. She starts improvising and it's pretty hilarious. Emily has to stop dancing to let Hanna do her thang and it's a pretty glorious thang to watch. What makes it more hilarious is that she seems so proud of herself at the end with the little fist thing. The coach tells Hanna the one thing the girls have in common to taking the crown home have 'allure, mystery and you need to learn to keep a secret in this age of oversharing.' Hanna tells her she has lots of secrets and the coach picked up on her anger. Her whole package is off and she is told she's not pageant material. It's pretty heartbreaking. Emily runs outside and Hanna drives away. Talia shows up and Emily tells her about her run-in with Eric.

Back with Aria at the tree, Aria finds the packet Mike left. She opens it and finds a vial of blood inside. She hears Mike coming and drops her flashlight. It's too late for her to run. She asks about it and Mike reveals it's Mona's blood. Aria runs and drops it, smashing it. Mike doesn't look too happy about that. What's he doing with Mona's blood? At Hanna's, Emily catches up to her. Ashley also joins them and reveals she called Hanna's father who told her it's impossible for Kate to do the pageant as she's out of town all weekend. Ashley goes for her shower while Emily tries to reason with Hanna. Hanna gets an A text, perhaps the most cruellest A text of all - 'Kate won't win the pageant, but she's already won your daddy's heart. - A'. That was a very low blow. Hanna says it was Mike who did this as A (Alison in their minds) is in jail. Emily offers to do the pageant for Hanna. Hanna doesn't want A to go after her too, but it won't stop Emily from helping someone she loves. Awww.

Pieces Falling Into Place

At Spencer's, Jonny arrives. Veronica posted his bail which came out of his now-expired lease. She's kicking him out 'effective now'. We don't see Veronica do this but we can imagine it. Spencer blames Toby and worries about where he will go. Next thing we know, BAM - Jonny leans in for a kiss AND Spencer doesn't push him away. It's probably something she needed even though I'm glad Jonny will be going - he was far too much of a bad influence on Spencer. He was really just there to drive a wedge between Spencer and Toby but to be honest, Toby did that all himself. The kiss happened quite organically and to be honest I've preferred Spencer and Jonny over Spencer and Toby the past few episods. Still glad he's going though.

Aria runs home and shouts for her father. Of course he's not there, Byron hasn't been home in seasons. Mike catches up and begins to tell Aria what happened that night Lesley was on the phone to Mona. We flash back to it and see Mona with a hidden storage unit for vials of her blood. Mike walks in and sees it. Mona tells him that she's been offered a chance to make things right for Aria and the others by exposing A and bringing them down. She tells him the blood will be smeared all over the house so it will look like Alison killed her because A wants her locked up. A came up with a plan that Mona thinks is brilliant and she needs to earn meeting them face-to-face. Mona says she will have to go away for a while, Alison will go to jail and the Liars will be safe. Aria is speechless and Mike tells her it's true as they fought about it for days. Mike says he and Mona were supposed to meet a few times but she never showed and he was meeting Alison to discuss the plan. Mike thinks A double-crossed Mona and killed her. Mike tells Aria what we already knew, Alison is not A. Cyrus told Mike that A had him drive Alison out of town that day. The blood vial Aria smashed was all Mike had left of Mona. That's still creepy though.

Aria tells the girls everything at Spencer's house. The girls smack themselves for thinking Mike was a bad guy and conclude Mona must have trusted him with telling him about A and everything else. They wonder if they should tell Alison but Spencer points out they destroyed a lot of evidence that could prove they were innocent. The girls ponder how they're going to fix things when Alison stands trial. They're being watched from outside, and we soon go into Mike's room with A going through his gym bag then start lifting one of his weights. That was totally random. A then pulls out a spanner. Is A going to plant it in his room to frame him? I'm assuming it's the same one from the abandoned ice cream factory? Either way, I'm confused.

Episode Verdict

Yes! We finally get some answers! While most of this episode was filler, there was still something to take from this episode and the Mona flashback revealed a lot, especially in regards to why Mike was acting so scarily. 

Firstly though, I hope this is the last we see of Jonny. I had moments where I liked him but I knew that overall he was just a bad influence on Spencer. I don't like Toby anymore and I hope he and Spencer just call it quits because it's just torture watching those two now. Right now he just feels like recurring diarrhoea. Talia is even disappointing me at the minute so what is with all these disappointing love interests? The only one who isn't as much use as a chocolate fireguard is Caleb at the minute. I get that Spencer and Jonny were just stealing back what was theirs and as much as I don't like Toby in his new job, they still broke the law and Toby did do his job. Spencer must have thought she was above the law or something. But still, Toby handled it poorly like you would expect and acted like the jealous boyfriend. I didn't resent that kiss between Spencer and Jonny though as it felt organic, but still get him off.

I enjoyed Aria's scenes this week. As a friend also pointed out to me, she's so much more interesting when she's not with Ezra. I think there's some meaning to the topic Andrew was teaching Aria to this to the overall PLL picture. The Stanford White case, the 'trial of the century', is mentioned that the murderer's psychiatric defense was never successful - maybe that speaks about A as a character, being mentally unstable because how else can you justify putting four girls through hell (and many more as collateral damage)? I am glad we got answers to Mike's behaviour in this episode and the whole Mona flashback thing explained so much! I have several theories and after reading the spoilers leak for the finale on this site, a lot of it makes sense now. I won't write those here as to not spoil anyone though. It was a great scene though, from Aria in the woods behind Mona's house to ending up at her house with Mike catching up. I liked this jigsaw piece falling into place. It makes sense. Leads me to believe Mona could still be alive but at the same time, those blood vials still wouldn't have been enough to splash around her house that we saw at the crime scene.

I loved the Bang Bang part with the moves that mirrored some of Janel Parrish's routine on Dancing With the Stars. Nice shout-out. Hanna and Emily's practicing was a nice part of the episode though it just highlighted the fact that we are getting so much filler right now. Hanna's dancing was epic though, and who knew Emily could shake her stuff on the dancefloor? Maybe we will see Shay Mitchell in the next season of Dancing With the Stars. It was a shame that woman was a bitch to Hanna, but it meant Emily rose up and is Hanna's knight in shining armour. Their scenes were amazing and shows how deep their friendship runs. I really thought Kate was going to sabotage Hanna by signing up but turned out it was A. I should have known. That text A sent about Kate and her father was very cruel to Hanna, the cruellest text ever sent I think.

Overall, perhaps a more enjoyable episode than some of the ones we've had of late. I really enjoyed the upbeat dancing and I love that song, Bang Bang, and the fact we got some revelations with Mike and Mona saved this episode somewhat. The pageant thing, though, is just a distraction and it's so nice of Emily to step in for Hanna but it's just so irrelevant to the main point of the show. I am also so glad the Liars see that Alison is not A because we all knew that ages ago. Maybe now they can move forward and start thinking about the right A. It's going to be interesting though since they've done and said so much to incarcerate Alison and branded her guilty, so moving forward will be tricky. All I can say is, with the last ten minutes, they're making it something to build towards in these next five episodes. Make it a good one writers, I beg of you, no fillers!

Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: Aria. She got the truth out of Mike which blew this whole case wide open. Emily was a close runner-up though for being there for Hanna and what she said to her in the kitchen.

Most Macho Male: Mike. We finally learn the truth about what's going on with him and even though he acted like a knob at the start and talked to his sister so horribly, at least we know why.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Emily and Hanna. Their dancing was genious, especially when Hanna goes off and does her own little thing and Emily's just standing there thinking 'what the fuck?'

Best Line: "Did you just wake up this beautiful?" Guess when it comes to romance, Talia goes straight for the cheese. Get it? Since she's a cook? Ahaha.

Best Moment: Hanna's improvised dancing during Bang Bang in front of the coach.

Saddest Moment: Hanna being told she's not pageant material. So harsh. Then hearing her echoes from outside and telling Emily she has what it takes.

Creepiest Moment: Mike and Aria in the woods behind Mona's house. Shining the flashlight on Aria's scared face and the arguing was probably the creepiest thing that happened in this episode, especially since Mike was so angry.

Biggest Reveal: The Mona flashback. So much we learned by it. It also makes me think - is Mona still alive?

Best Cat Fight: There was none unfortunately. Sad face. I miss a really good cat fight.

What did you guys think of 'Pretty Isn't the Point'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of Pretty Little Liars on February 24th 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
Recent Reviews (All Reviews)