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Pretty Little Liars - The Melody Lingers On - Review: "How to Maybe Get Away With Murder"

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5.23 - "The Melody Lingers On"
Directed by Roger Kumble
Written by Joseph Dougherty
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

Season Guide

Spencer finds out Alison was talking to somebody through personal ads. Jonny builds a whispering machine in The Brew. Tanner and Toby run into Hanna at the storage unit, leading Hanna to worry about Caleb. Jason sleeps with Ashley before Ted proposes to her. Aria and Andrew kiss, while Melissa tells Spencer that Alison had a plea bargain to name an accomplice and the Hastings were worried they'd name Spencer. Hanna is arrested when Tanner finds the clothes Mona wore the day she died - the same clothes A planted Hanna's blood on. Alison doesn't take the plea to name Hanna.

'The Melody Lingers On' Review

I have to say, this was a so-so episode really. The momentum kind of dropped after last week's final intense moments with Hanna getting arrested. I think this episode could have been a lot better if they focused more on the trial and on Hanna and Alison inside the jail too. Hanna was severely under-used in this episode. It really did allow the others to shine a little but even so, there wasn't much shining here. It was a good enough episode but after the building up of the past few episodes, it was a little bit of a let down. There were some good times to be had and some more progress on the A front. For example, now I definitely think Andrew is working against the Liars. I used to like Andrew, now I don't really think I do, especially with his implication that the world would be better without Mona. He didn't say that explicitally but we can read between the lines. I'm really, really thinking he's on the A-Team. We saw A slice up a business card with Varjak's name on it so I don't think Andrew is Varjak then, but we can't count him out just yet. Or maybe it's just been one huge red herring, the eight-hundred-and-ninety-second this season alone, since things are starting to become a little too obvious with Andrew.

The court scenes were good, though that lawyer was such an asshole I even made a new award for Biggest Asshole, just for him! God, I hate his smug little face. I always get reminded of How to Get Away With Murder now whenever we are shown the inside of a courtroom (even though I have watched countless shows involving lawyers in the past, including Drop Dead Diva) and I couldn't help but picture Annaliese Keating as Alison's lawyer. The one Alison has now is doing a fine job with what she's got though and I do like her, but Alison needs a miracle right now. Her kidnapping story has cost her any credibility with the judge and jury and now the girls are falling further into the grand scheme too with their involvement with Alison. It's just not a pretty time right now for the girls.

Focusing on the characters, Alison is becoming more human and it's getting a lot easier to sympathise with her. I do wish we had more Alison and Hanna scenes in this episode but I think we'll get some great scenes between them in the next episode judging by the promo. Spencer seems to be doing most of the work as usual when it comes to cracking the case though I liked how she, Aria and Emily all worked together. Aria was especially deserving of some respect when she questioned the note A left for them in Mona's room, seeing right through it and showing us that Spencer isn't the only smart one on the show. I just wish there was more for Emily to do, she only really tagged along and had an awkward phone conversation with Alison in this episode. What happened to Talia, I'm sure she's still around? I did like her scene with the whispering machine though, but please let Emily have more involvement in solving this mystery!

When it comes to A, we have to commend them for a job well done. Planting the icepick that will lead to the Ice Cream factory the girls were in (where A also moved the condemnable things from the storage unit into) was a very, very smart move. I do wish, because it has been so long, for the girls to upstage A and finally work one step ahead instead of fourteen steps behind. It's getting frustrating watching these girls just launch themselves into A's traps without thinking first. But seriously, have the examiners not noticed Hanna's blood on Mona's shirt was placed long, long after her death? Come on, Rosewood detectives, up your game! I'm starting to think there's just a fault in the legal system over there and they'll do anything to stir up some drama. Not that they need it. I do wonder where Tanner and Toby are though, you'd think they'd be present for Alison's court case, or at least involved in some way.

Episode Awards

Prettiest Little Liar: Spencer Hastings. The Liars didn't do an awful lot in this episode but Spencer did the most.

Most Macho Male: Caleb Rivers. Literally the last decent guy on this show (Him and Ted anyway).

Biggest Asshole: The lawyer who was against Alison. What a dick.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Hanna and Caleb, even if it was just for a brief moment.

Best Line: Veronica: "We're not talking about ethics." Spencer: "That's for sure." Burn.

Best Moment: Spencer, Aria and Emily going inside Mona's house.

Saddest Moment: Ashley telling Ted he can leave.

Creepiest Moment: The music playing through the whispering machine.

Biggest Question Mark Award: The message Spencer and the girls found in Mona's mirror.

Biggest Reveal: Not to us, but the exposure of the Jason and Ashley affair in the courtroom was a pretty good reveal to the characters.

Best Cat Fight: Spencer vs. Veronica Hastings. Two episodes in a row now Spencer has argued with a family member, and can we really blame her?

A's Mysteries

I'm Gonna Swing From the Chandelier!

So, the crazy ramblings on the piece of paper in Mona's mirror could actually be an anagram for Charles DiLaurentis. Look at them, they all spell that when you mix the words around. This may be a crazy theory (aren't all theories) but maybe this Charles DiLaurentis is A - and the writers are going the book route with the twin idea, but maybe the twin on the show will be a boy? So A is Alison's twin brother Charles?

What's Your Game Andrew?

Too obvious to be a bad guy at this point like countless red herrings we've had in the past, or is that what the writers want us to think? He trash-talked Mona while lurking outside her house not long after it was ransacked by A, who left a icepick at her home that has the Ice Cream Factory's name on it.

Honey, Boo Boo's Ice Cream, Child!

So, if Andrew planted the icepick in the house for the authorities to get their hands on, which will lead them to the Ice Cream Factory that has the girls' prints all over them, then there's no denying Andrew is working against the girls. It's possible it's just a coincidence he happened to be watching the house, but haven't we learned by now that there are no coincidents in Pretty Little Liars?

What did you guys think of 'The Melody Lingers On'? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars' fifth season on March 17th 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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