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Pretty Little Liars - The Gloves Are On - Review: "There's a New A in Town!"


6.13 - "THE GLOVES ARE ON"
Directed by Kimberly McCullough
Written by Maya Goldsmith
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE




'THE GLOVES ARE ON' REVIEW

This was definitely a good episode, and it's very comforting to know that 6B has not gone sour yet. And now we have the return of A, I doubt the second half of the season will go downhill. In fact, maybe the only way is up? 'The Gloves Are On' was far from exciting and there wasn't a grand deal of things going on, but there was enough to keep the episode running. I can imagine it being much more enjoyable through binge-watching though, which I wish I could do, but then I wouldn't be able to write my weekly reviews then! But anyway, there were some things that really went well in this episode, and some that did not. Fortunately, we got some answers we craved, and more questions to ask. And Spencer did the "ssshhh" in the credits, yay!

Emily revealed all. Or at least, most of the stuff she's been dealing with. I was the most interested in her story ever since she came back to Rosewood, and she's had a lot to deal with. I was relieved to discover that she is not sick, but instead donating eggs to help a family out - while also earning some money. Anyone notice that it's Hanna who keeps discovering people's secrets? First Aria, now Emily. It surprises me to say but maybe Hanna is the wisest of them all (somewhat), and it was nice to see that bond between Hanna and Emily. I really feel for Pam. It was quite painful watching Emily push her mother away when all she should have done was open up. She's lied about so much and I was expecting her to keep everything a secret and for the new A to expose her somehow. Looks like A was a little too late to the game there. I loved when Pam basically chased her daughter down to ask about the letter from the university she got. I was expecting a bigger reaction from Pam, but I guess given the light of their situation, she acted in a way we should expect. I loved the final scene with both the girls, as Pam made Emily promise her to not go through something alone. But, of course Emily is not going to keep that promise, but it's nice to know Pam will always be there for her. Sometimes we have to be reminded about that from the parents - they are actually there.

Speaking of parents, how great was it to have a little bit more material for Ashley? She was in the mid-season premiere briefly, but her role as the manager of the Radley is providing her with a bit more juice than she's been used to lately. Lorenzo is now an absolute dick, as all police officers in Rosewood have to be, so the repercussions of Hanna's actions are starting to affect the Marin girls. I've loved Hanna the most this season, and she continued to shine in this episode. Not only for getting the truth out of Emily and helping her unburden her truth, but for her absolute maturity. I loved the scene with Hanna and Spencer, and she can tell that she has feelings for Caleb - "well, then, I think you should find out." Like this girl has grown up a lot since season one, perhaps the most out of all the girls, and I love it! It was great to have Lucas back in the show too. It was so sweet how he jumped at the chance to help Hanna through her trouble - "Hanna. You need me. I'm here for you." Awww. So she asked him for an alibi the night of Charlotte's death, and without question he turns into her knight in shining armour. It was a little worrying during the talk with Lorenzo and the ice thing seemed to go in a bad direction, but it seems like they pulled through okay. Good old reliable. It was great to see her sort of face off with Ezra and demanded him to tell the truth about Charlotte.

"I'm not going to say sorry that they are dead because I am not."

Ezra definitely scared me a little in this episode, and I'm finding him more and more unbearable as the episodes go on - yet I'm still intrigued by his story. Aria seems very intent on helping him, but I think she should ditch her losses and get out of there. She really could and has had many opportunities to, but I guess she just loves Ezra that much that she wants to care for him. Is Aria writing Ezra's book for him? I don't know, I might have mis-interpreted that. But it seems like she is sticking by him no matter what, but there needs to be some progress in their story because right now I'm wondering why she's even bothering. Ezra needs to sort his shit out. I found it interesting when she told him that he was sensitive and kind, and he replied: "Maybe I'm not." I don't know what the writers are trying to do with him now, and his anger towards Charlotte seems a little much. I did love the moment Spencer texted Aria and told her someone saw the tape, leading to her going to his. The moment that scared me a little about Ezra was when he shouted at the girls to "get out". I don't recall him ever talking to them that way, but it came out of nowhere. To be fair, they were accusing him of murder, which wouldn't go well in my books either, but still. So yeah, there needs to be a lot more progression with him, otherwise he's just gonna keep moping around and drag Aria down with him.

"There's something else I've been judging myself for."

Not only was Lucas a returning face from the past, but Melissa too! She needs to be in it more, because I miss having the Hastings sisters together. It led to a great comeback line from Melissa - "Cause I know how you like to shop out of other people's carts". Ouch. Better call the burn unit. But we did get little glimpses of them helping with Veronica's campaign, though I wish we would see more of it. As I discussed above, I loved the moment Spenser visited Hanna, and she began to realise she has feelings for Caleb. Even Melissa noticed a bit of flirting between them. It's a little weird to see Spencer and Caleb together. I do like it, I think, but I'm just not used to it. It's always been Hanna/Caleb and Spencer/Toby, so this new shake-up is a little much to get used to so quickly. The kiss was great though, I mean that scene had me giggling like a little girl watching Frozen, so I have to say I like what I see so far. It's just bizarre. And are they really going to have sex straight away? Don't they want to, I don't know, make sure that it's what they want first. I mean, this kind of thing could make things awkward since they've been friends for so long, and even though Hanna said it was fine, it could still be awkward for her too. Spencer's story is my least favourite of all of them, I think, simply because hers involves sleeping with a BFF's ex. I hope she gets better material soon.

Sara needs to go, like ASAP. It was good to see what happened to her hands, even though Janel Parrish said it was from the bomb in the mid-season finale. It didn't make sense though, as someone pointed out that Spencer turned the bomb off, not her. But now I understand she touched it when she tried to get up off the floor. Oops. But the creme-de-la-creme of the episode was the final moments. We've all been anticipating it - the reveal of the new A. I never thought I'd say this (because it's ring around the roses when it comes to A), but it's so good to have those threatening texts back. It's not Pretty Little Liars without them. And this one signs its texts with a devil face. That's EVIL! I wonder if they'll call this A, the 'Red Devil'. Maybe have a bit of a Scream Queens crossover. Loved the text too, though it's not as amazing as the season 3 premiere text after Mona was pushed aside. "Mona played with dolls. I play with body parts. - A" Chills. But this one was good too. Plus, A is ordering a new uniform. I hope it's a lot more colourful than the black hoodies.

"You know who did it and I'm going to make you talk."

EPISODE VERDICT

If you ask me, season 6B is quite the success so far. Totally not the best season yet, but it's been consistently interesting. This episode was a very decent instalment, and it provided some answers we needed to know. Emily came clean, and we found out what happened with Sara's hands. There was also the development with Spencer and Caleb, while Hanna and Lucas managed to get a much-needed reunion to remind us how much we loved their friendship in the early days. And the best part was A's return. Am I the only one whose mind immediately went to Alison, who was missing in this episode. She's the only one I can think of who would really want to find out who killed Charlotte. It wouldn't surprise me if it was her, but that's predictable. I just can't wait for more A now. It's gonna be good!


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Emily, for coming clean. She probably felt a whole world of relief.

Boyfriend Material: Lucas, for being an absolute star and helping our Hanna out.

Biggest Asshole: Ezra, he's quite the angry chap these days.

Most Sympathetic Character: Pam, it can't be easy for her. Emily pushing her away was painful.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Hanna and Lucas, I really missed their friendship.

Best Line: Spencer: "And I don't even know if he feels the same way." Hanna: "Well, then, I think you should find out."

Funniest Line: "We're here to chill, not spill." - Hanna.

Best Moment: The ending 'Burning Ring of Fire' sequence.

Saddest Moment: Emily revealing her secrets to Hanna (but it's also sweet that she'd donate her eggs to help a family).

Creepiest Moment: A sends a devil face at the end of his/her texts now.

Shadiest Moment: Melissa was a little shady at the beginning with Spencer.

Funniest Moment: The girls' spa treatment.

Damned Disappointment: No Alison or Mona in this episode.

Biggest Question Mark Award: What uniform is A going to order? A nurse outfit? Nun? I want to know what the new look is going to be.

Biggest ReveAl: There's a new A in town.


What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments and be sure to watch the next episode on February 2nd on Freeform!



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