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Pretty Little Liars - Don't Look Now - Review: "I Know What You Did Last Season"


6.04 - "DON'T LOOK NOW"
Directed by Arlene Sanford
Written by Jonell Lennon
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington


SEASON GUIDE




'DON'T LOOK NOW' REVIEW

THE BACKSTORY OF CHARLES

Again, we have an episode that delivers quite a lot of answers, despite still not being quite clear of the entire picture. The most important thing we learn in this episode was the backstory of Charles DiLaurentis. I found this aspect of the episode fascinating from the very beginning, continuing on from the end of episode 3. They didn't chicken out either - they actually told us what happened. Sure, what Kenneth said was just what Jessica told him so we can't be sure of the authenticity of some of his story, but the parts where he was present in Charles's life can be seen as pretty accurate. So Charles was born 15 months before Jason and was troubled from an early age, becoming too dangerous to keep in the house. His parents then institutionalised him at Radley, which was actually the reason the family moved to Rosewood, so that was a neat little thing to learn. It was also saddening to learn that Charles committed suicide at the age of 16, which is deeply tragic despite what Charles did to Alison when she was 11 months old.

What I loved about the progression of this storyline within this episode was the denial that Hanna and some of the others had about Charles's actual death. I love group scenes, so when the girls took a trip to the data centre to retrieve Charles's files, I became excited. They really took their own initiative and followed the plan. It was a good scene too, especially since we get the talk between Hanna and Emily about how the girls stand with each other - "we'll get there". These kinds of scenes allow us to see the bigger picture with these girls and how they interact and we can tell the dollhouse saga hasn't ended with them. The best part of the whole Charles mystery in this episode was Hanna's line to Spencer at Charles's grave: "We've been down this road before. Every time A thinks we're on to him, he does something to throw us off track." After years of being frustrated that these girls don't learn from their past mistakes, this was a welcome change. This season has had the girls fight harder for answers as Aria has also been able to actively seek out answers. But does nobody find it odd how she is always the one to find things - the photo in the button jar in the last episode, the Radley files in this episode - just seems a little convenient, or maybe the writers really just want her to the one who finds answers this season.

THE DECONSTRUCTION OF THE LIARS

Spencer had a pretty big episode here actually. Whether you love or hate Spencer's spiral into addiction, you have to admit that the show is handling it well. It's very realistic and we can really understand why Spencer is feeling the need to relapse. I don't really want a drug addiction storyline for Spencer again, but as long as they treat it differently and it allows the writers to develop Spencer more, I can be really okay with it. I loved her flashbacks so much and it really provided some true horror to the other things that happened in the dollhouse. I never expected Spencer to wake up covered in blood with a trail leading to the door like a body had been dragged - that was awesome. It makes me really curious as to whether Hanna was write about Charles's mind games, or if Spencer really did hurt someone. With the experiments and games Charles put them through, it wouldn't be too far-fetched for Spencer to be mind-controlled to do something and forget about it. I can't wait to find out if the writers really are going to go that far with Spencer. "I can't sleep, okay? My mind won't shut off. I just, just want to quiet the noise. I need to quiet the noise."

I expected Hanna's storyline to take her where it did. I could feel the claustrophobia she felt from the constant attention from Caleb - and even I was getting slightly annoyed. I mean, I love me some Caleb and he has been so great in helping Hanna lately, but as Hanna said, he's just a little suffocating at the moment. "Your constant need to keep tabs on me, it's making me feel like I'm still in that bunker." Hard words, but very effective and relatable. It now means Hanna and Caleb will have some space and I hope this means Hanna will get to explore other things outside her relationship while her PTSD continues to break her. Emily, on the other hand, seems fine besides what Pam has told us. And am I the only one who has noticed that Pam has taken over from Ashley as the main parent in Rosewood now? Ashley has barely been in this season compared to Pam. Emily spent most of the episode with Sara again. Not saying I don't like Sara, but I feel she is dragging Emily down and her scenes have become far less interesting than everyone else's. I'm hoping this changes soon.

Aria managed to have a good episode too, having a few isolated scenes that further deepens the mystery. I loved her flashback to the dollhouse too after getting her note from A saying "you're MY doll bitch", and the transition to Aria in her fake room saying "I'm not your doll." I am fascinated by Charles's need to restore the Liars to how they were in season one, with Aria having the highlights in her hair. It reminded me of I Know What You Did Last Summer when she woke up with her hair all cut off. Aria's scene in the dark room was creepy too, and I was hoping she'd save herself rather than have some random new guy save her. Is Clark a new recurring character? He seems to be set up that way as he has a few things in common with Aria that's to do with photography. His name also reminds me of Clark Kent, who had a secret identity. Maybe Clark does too? I'm always suspicious of new guys so forgive me.

EPISODE VERDICT

The ending kept my interest peaked after an all-round good progressive episode. I noticed Toby was missing from this episode and his partner after they both had big roles in episode three. They probably couldn't fit them in since this episode was more about exploring Charles's backstory. It was touching to see both Alison and Jason affected by this news despite only recently learning he was their brother. I like Charles's story and that he's dead and A is assuming his identity - or is Charles even dead? The flashbacks for Spencer and Aria were amazing, and Hanna continued to shine. I feel like they're struggling with knowing what to do for Emily this season and it saddens me, so her storyline with Sara had better kick up a notch or there's not going to be much need for Emily. Great scenes included the grave scene, and the small breakdowns of Hanna, Spencer and Aria as they confront their feelings. People may have found it boring but I was enthralled by the story.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Hanna Marin for her wit and drive to know the truth, not just what someone is telling her.

Most Dreamiest Guy: Jason. He helped with the mystery loads in revealing the story about Aunt Carol's house.

Biggest Asshole: Kenneth DiLaurentis, for saying his kid's death was a relief.

Most Sympathetic Character: Aria Montgomery.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Spencer and Hanna. They didn't really get that much but it was great seeing them together at Aunt Carols' house.

Best Line: "What did I do? What did you make me do?"

Funniest Line: N/A.

Best Moment: I loved the transitional moment when Byron caught Aria in a lie and Caleb caught Hanna in a lie, while Pam also talked to Emily about Sara. It was just a greatly directed and edited moment. But the best moment will go to the scene at Charles's tombstone.

Saddest Moment: Aria finally telling her father what her room was like. "There was no way for me to get out."

Creepiest Moment: Aria in the dark room and is locked inside. "You're MY doll, bitch - A".

Shadiest Moment: For me, when Sara asked how long Emily could hold her breath underwater. I think she's planning on drowning her in the future and wants to see how long it would take to do so. Perfect serial killer skills.

Damned Disappointment: We didn't get to see where the blood came from that was on Spencer.

Biggest Question Mark Award: Is Charles really dead?

Biggest ReveAl: Charles isn't Charles, but A is assuming his identity.


A's Mysteries

CHARLES DILAURENTIS

So Charles is NOT Charles DiLaurentis. Instead, A is just assuming his identity which also means A attended Radley at the same time as Charles and knew him. How are the girls going to get the records of who was at Radley at the time Charles was in Radley when the records are getting shredded? Or is Charles even dead? Hanna had a good idea to dig the body up, and even if the gravestone was planted naturally and wasn't a fake, it's still possible that casket is empty.

DID SPENCER KILL SOMEONE?

There was a lot of blood on Spencer and in her room. Was it just a mind trick and game by Charles, or something much bigger. She really could have been hypnotised into hurting somebody as far as Charles's games go, so Spencer may have the right idea by thinking she might have done something she can't remember.

What did you think of 'Don't Look Now'? Let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode on June 30 on ABC Family!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of 'Abyssal Sanctuary: Remnants of the Damned'. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Mistresses, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, The Flash, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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