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Pretty Little Liars - I'm a Good Girl, I Am - Review: "You Have Failed This City"


5.24 - "I'm a Good Girl, I Am"
Directed by Oliver Goldstick
Written by Oliver Goldstick and Maya Goldsmith
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide




Hanna gets arrested, accused of being an accomplice to Alison in Mona's murder. Veronica tells Ashley they found Hanna's blood on Mona's shirt from the day she died. Spencer and Toby have been keeping their distance. Lesli, a friend of Mona's, pays the girls a visit. Andrew talks to Aria about Mona. Alison's lawyer suggests she should plead guilty.


'I'm a Good Girl, I Am' Review

First of all, that opening segment with the "expert on the case" as Sara Shepard who has "been with this since the beginning" was a pretty genius meta-moment. Though the conversation was extremely cheesy, it was nice to see her again since her previous cameo in season one. It led nicely into the courtroom as Lesli, who appeared a few episodes back, is called as a witness. I always knew there was something about her. All I could think during Lesli on the stand was "that bitch". Fair enough about Alison if Mona really did send her that card, but come on, she completely slated the girls on the stand, and Mike. She's definitely an enemy now. I wash my hands with her. It's pretty nice to see another parent on the show besides Ashley and Veronica as Ella finally rears her head. It's a great moment too when Mike pulls out a huge animal tongue that was left in a box on the porch. Vile. But yay, Holly Marie Combs!

We get some insight into where exactly Alison went on Thanksgiving during Mona's murder. The park she's in is later visited by Emily and Spencer looking for someone who might have seen her that day. The weird thing though is Andrew. When Aria tells him about Ezra taking Mike out of town for a couple of days, he gets really, really weird. Almost needy. It's so distracting because it's painfully obvious that he's just too invested in Aria right now. While I'm finding that ship a little weird, the best ship - Haleb - just continues to prove why they're currently the best couple on the show. It's a genuinely moving moment between Hanna and Caleb as Caleb doesn't know what to do.

"I can't even hold your freakin' hand. I love you Hanna and I'm not just gonna walk away. I'm not gonna leave you. It's just never gonna happen."

I love that, even though it's breaking Hanna's heart because she knows she's in trouble, she still doesn't want to give Mike up. Secrets keep coming as Ella is turned on by a girl Emily and Spencer think saw Alison at the park. Ella keeps hush-hush though as she promised not to reveal her secret, but Aria chips away at her and she talks. It's not a very big secret at all and this girl wouldn't make a very good witness. We do get good all-male moments with Ezra, Mike and Caleb as Ezra has taken Mike to his cabin to keep him out the way, but Caleb implores him to help the girls. Mike agrees, and the argument between Ezra and Caleb is a good one as they both make some good points. I do want Mike to tell the truth but I know it won't end well for him, and Caleb is only making the effort because he wants Hanna safe, which is romantic and all but he isn't really putting Mike's best interest ahead of his own agenda. It does lead to some exciting Arrow-esque moments when we see Mike has gone missing with flying arrows trying to hit Ezra and Caleb. We know what happened to Mike pretty quickly as he's running from someone, but he doesn't escape. It's really frightening and I worried for Mike. Seeing him tied up, I instantly thought he was on death's door but it's a pretty random thing to just tie him up and leave him there. If it was to scare him, I guess that's a job well done.

Spencer and Emily are the dream team in this episode. I'm glad we find out why Spencer has been kissing every Tom, Dick and Jonny in Rosewood and London (over-exaggerate much Gavin?), because to her - "It felt really good to be with someone who wanted to be with me." We kind of knew Spoby was on its last legs and the two temporary love interests since have been annoying to say the least, but at least we know it wasn't pointless. The other dream team are Alison and Hanna in the laundry room. They both really need to talk so they go to extreme measures in order to do that - get themselves in the infirmary. Alison proves my fear or irons when she deliberately burns herself and Hanna has Alison jam her hand in a washing machine door. Ouch ladies. Toby has also went back to Spencer, telling her that he's not going to choose between the badge and his girl. It's a much-needed scene because it has felt like Toby has been neglecting Spencer, even if it was to help her. It's good that he's putting his foot down with Tanner because she needs to be told.

"This town has it so ass-backwards..."

We see just how infuriating the police department is in this episode too. We already know the Rosewood P. D. are as much use as a chocolate fireguard from the amount of times they've failed in the past, but Tanner is now the entire embodiment of that. Ezra and Caleb come to her about Mike but all she sees is that they are connected to the girls and she must have some personal vendetta against them because she doesn't even seem to try and help the girls anymore. "Instead of helping untie your friend, you stopped to take a photo." In all fairness, Tanner does sort of have a point, I mean, it's all very suspicious and the timing seems very convenient. The picture doesn't really prove anything as Ezra and Caleb could have set it up with Mike to try and get something out of the prosecution. Use your heads, boys. We get the first fruits of what's to come when Tanner mentions to Toby it's too late to save her later on.

THE VERDICT

Just when I was losing faith in the lawyer defending Alison, she comes up with the grapefruit trick. It definitely shows Alison couldn't "hurl" Mona in the video as is shown which the girls see as a victory though the whole thing is a stretch, but kudos. The whole thing is sort of debuffed by the opposing asshat lawyer who digs up an archery award Alison won. She should have just told the truth that she didn't really win it fairly while she was on the stand, it could have helped! My heart was actually racing for the verdict. I wasn't 100% sure which way it was going to go.

"We, the jury, find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree." 

Ugh, my heart dropped. Totally the verdict I did not want to happen to Alison. However, I'm glad it did because it makes everything all the more interesting. I would love to know what the jury discussed to come to that verdict because it's very serious to condemn a young woman for murder. The evidence was mostly circumstantial so what was the irrefutable proof they needed to reach 'guilty' in unison? That's not even the worst part. Tanner comes into the courtroom with a couple of officers and Aria notices her and gets Spencer and Emily to turn around. We already know what's going to happen and it's confirmed in a little montage where the girls get their prints and photographs taken. The Liars have been arrested. All of them are now behind bars. Can I just say, I totally, totally love this because I am an evil, wicked person and I don't really want my girls to be in jail but man, what an awesome turn in the story. They won't stay in jail long though. Or will they? A seems to be having a fun time though, playing with his or her toy bus with little dolls on. They pull one of them out and puts them in a castle then pulls the drawbridge up. That's a very cool ending, showing us the scope of the girls' real life confinement.

This was an awesome, awesome episode. We suffered through a couple of fillers in 5B but it's all paying off, ever since Hanna got arrested. It's been a chain reaction since and I'm loving this jail storyline. It has raised the stakes for the finale so intensely that we just don't know how the girls are going to get out of this one. All I can say is, bring me that finale!!


Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: This is actually impossible to choose for this episode. Impossible. I literally cannot choose because they were all pretty equal in this episode (though poor Hanna has been pushed to the back since her arrest), so I'm just going to cheat and say all of them were the prettiest little liar this week. If they want, they can fight it out for the crown.

Most Macho Male: Caleb. He wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to Hanna then helps Mike. He also says what's on everybody's mind about the police in Rosewood.

Biggest Asshole: Tanner. It's getting quite clear she just straight-up hates the girls and their boyfriends.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Spencer and Emily. "You can be aggressive sometimes."
Runner-up: Alison and Hanna.

Best Line: "I can't. There are barracudas with duller teeth." - Emily Fields.

Best Moment: The entire verdict scene, from the "we find the defendant guilty of murder in the first degree" to Spencer, Aria and Emily being arrested.

Saddest Moment: I definitely had to choose the verdict again for this because it's just mortifying to be found guilty for a murder you didn't commit.
Runner-up: Caleb's speech to Hanna.

Creepiest Moment: Mike is chased through the woods before he is pepper-sprayed. We see what it's like to look through is eyes where we can't really see much, just shapes and even a figure moving around.

Biggest Question Mark Award: Who was Alison's bunkmate in the camp?

Biggest ReveAl: Ella is actually around? Kidding, it's obviously the reveal of the jury's guilty verdict.

Best Cat Fight: Caleb vs. Ezra. They both had a great scene arguing about bringing Mike into everything and both bring up valid points.


A's Mysteries

MAYBE SOMETHING FROM HAMLET?


Ella makes a comment to Aria after mentioning the hard time she's had for four years. For Aria's yearbook picture, Ella suggests she use something from Hamlet. Shakespeare's Hamlet (which has been brought up quite a few times this season) involves the betrayal of an uncle who becomes Hamlet's father-in-law. Maybe this is a clue?

MORE NOTE DECIPHERING


In last week's episode review, I wrote that the note found in Mona's mirror could be an anagram for Charles DiLaurentis, something that a few people figured out. It was also pointed out to me in the comments that it could also be Nerd Lucas Is a Liar. That makes so much sense too. But what if the three sentences aren't anagrams at all. Alison tried to work it out and gave her notes to Hanna, but her lawyer took it away from her. I found it interesting that Alison didn't look at it in the way of anagrams, but instead she looked at the meaning. She wrote that 'Chandelier's rituals' could be symbolic to rising from the dead. It's been alluded to that someone is rising from the dead. Mona? Maya?

WHO'S THE ARCHER?


It's definitely not Oliver Queen because whoever this archer is, they're not a very good shot. Earlier in the episode, Aria told Andrew where Ezra was taking Mike. The fact that he knew and he was so invested in Mike earlier does make it look very suspicious. He was also an award-winning scout. "Never know when those skills are going to come in handy." However, looking at it in an opposite way of assuming he's on the A team, maybe he knows Mike is important to the overall story and is genuinely worried for him. I read a comment on the site that maybe Andrew could be an undercover cop. I don't think he'd be a cop (I mean it was pretty unbelievable for Toby to be a cop at his age never mind Andrew but this is Pretty Little Liars) but maybe he is helping in a way. Like a guardian angel?

"Bullseye, bitches - A"

Archery is also brought up at Alison's trial, right? Alison was apparently really good at it, despite her injury as a child. She even got an award for it at the camp. And who else was in the camp with Alison? It's been hinted that it could be Maya, Sarah Harvey, or someone we have yet to meet.

TED IS A?!


Okay, this has just come to my attention by Christopher DeBono who just told me in the comments that Mona's note could also be an anagram for "Run Ali, Ted is Charles". A little further up in regards to Hamlet, it's about a father-in-law betraying the main character. Well, Ted is going to be Hanna's father-in-law, isn't he? Makes total sense! There's no real motive there that we know of but we can't strike out Pastor Ted just yet.

What did you guys think of 'I'm a Good Girl, I Am'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the finale episode of Pretty Little Liars' fifth season on March 24th on ABC Family! Be prepared for the Big ReveAl!



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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