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Pretty Little Liars - Burn This + Did You Miss Me? - Review: "I Killed Charlotte"


6.18 - "BURN THIS"
Directed by Arthur Anderson
Written by Maya Goldsmith
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

6.19 - "DID YOU MISS ME?"
Directed by Roger Kumble
Written by Joseph Dougherty
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE




'BURN THIS' REVIEW

I firstly apologise that my review for Burn This is only being posted now - last week I was swamped! Kinda still am, but with it being only one week until the season six finale, I couldn't not put up these reviews. It just so happens that the most recent 2 episodes have been better than the ones that have come before it in 6B, so I guess that will just make this review double-awesome. I'll start off with Spencer actually, as we get some dark twisty things with her, especially after the whole Yvonne fiasco. Caleb is still saying it was him, so I was kind of on edge when Toby came around and punched him. I still don't get why they didn't just tell him in the first place, but I was relieved that Spencer eventually did. We were also treated to a flashback of Spencer in her dorm room, and it's dark, and they're talking about deep things. I thought she was scared that she could be pregnant, especially when she tells Toby that she couldn't judge Yvonne for her "making that choice... not after you and I." I thought maybe Spencer did have an abortion, until she said "We almost had to make that choice", so either she ended up not pregnant, or lost the baby anyway. Or maybe she had a baby, who knows?!

Aria had a fun time in this episode, and her big moment was kind of a little less "big" in retrospect. Firstly though, Ezra told Gillian that he wants to co-write the book with Aria, which I think is awesome. Wasn't sure if Gillian would have reacted well, but fortunately she did. They have a good flow when they're working on it together, and complimenting each other and whatnot, so I think this could work. All until Tanner showed and got Aria to do a line-up. It was a little scary, I know I'd be terrified, but I loved when Aria spoke to Tanner after seeing Sara leave the police station - I wonder why Sara didn't just say the brunette was Mona, since it turned out to be her. Sara knows Mona, obviously, so what's the deal there? Anyway, I liked how she knocked the coffee over and read the report - very smart. But that was short-lived when she got almost flayed alive at Hanna's bridal party. It was a good little moment, to be sure, with the air conditioning going weird and the fire almost exploding out of the fireplace. Second degree burns were in a very convenient place though, I think I would have liked more realism with that.

I liked how Emily took some initiative to follow the car sound that she heard when she was almost run over; I much prefer when the girls are more active rather than passive. Unfortunately, Emily's little endeavour to find out who the car belongs to was pretty much pointless. I liked the scene with the female mechanic, which I found rather unsettling, but I kind of knew she wouldn't say anything about who was driving the car. Should have known the woman was being kept quiet. I did enjoy Emily's scene with Mona the most, at the end, when she realises that Mona is the one that is being described in the witness statement. It's better in the next episode as it goes straight into it, but I always like when Mona interacts with the liars. Loved the whole "get in the car" part. Emily is taking no prisoners!

I felt quite sorry for Ashley in the episode, Hanna was quite mean to her. The argument they had about Ashley not "including" Jordan and whatnot was very harsh. I knew something was bothering Hanna, and it turns out she learned that lesson herself by the end of the episode. I'm not sure if she argued because Caleb was bringing back some distant memories, as it's quite clear that neither are over the other completely. I was hoping for more Hanna and Mona scenes, and I liked that Ashley realised that Hanna was icing her out - means she is paying some notice to her daughter. The wedding dream book was cute, and I hope Mona is valuable to the girls again. It was quite embarrassing that nobody knew anything about Jordan, but that just shows that Hanna has been isolating him as she really isn't committed to the relationship herself. Even Hanna probably couldn't answer the questions that Ashley was asking!

EPISODE VERDICT

A better instalment than some of the previous entries, but even then the show didn't quite fully expose the true potential of this episode. I liked the developments, especially considering the revelation of Mona being the one who called Charlotte that night, as well as some serious danger threats on the girls, starting with Aria's burn. Not quite the true level of PLL drama, but definitely up there in relation with season six's episodes.


'DID YOU MISS ME?' REVIEW

Right from the start, I loved this episode. I love when it can flow seamlessly into the next, and we have the small cliffhanger of 6x18 resolved instantly. Well, I wouldn't say cliffhanger, but the tension between Emily and Mona. Mona admits to being the girl on the phone, and she brings up some very true points - "Charlotte DiLaurentis knew everything about every one of us: every mistake, every lie, every crime." Why didn't she use that? What was her game when she was released? Mona had all the right questions - she needs more credit. Emily was very quick to dismiss Mona as telling the truth, and it seems like she never can. Understandable, but also a shame. I was suspicious when Mona was talking to Sara's driver, but I think I believe her when she says that she just wanted to speak to Sara. Their scene together really highlighted Mona's brilliance, and showed just how crap Sara is. I can't wait for her to get off the show, but Mona was amazing against her, and I hope they have a showdown.

Aria seems to be recovering nicely from her burn in the previous episode, and it wouldn't surprise me if the bandage is completely removed by the finale. We start seeing some of the cracks in her partnership with Ezra in writing the book, which made me worry about how Gillian was going to approach them. It was really interesting to get some insight into Nicole actually, and it looks like the show wants to go the way of ABC's Lost and have more frequent flashbacks. They're really amping up the amount they show us now, which I do like. It's going to be weird to see Aria have to deal with another woman in Ezra's life who isn't there, as she is writing about her, so it's a bit of a bizarre situation. The lunch with Gillian went well and I assumed it would go a different direction. So far so good, ay? In the end, Aria decides to tell Ezra that "it's happening again" with a new A, which I loved, and it brings Ezra into the fold and will hopefully make him into a more relevant character.

I was actually really shocked by Alison falling down the stairs at the start of the episode. It came out of nowhere, and if the camera didn't show her feet, I would have assumed that Elliot pushed her, because he's shady to me. "Maybe every good thing has to be paid for by a bad thing." Could be true Alison in your case. The dream with Jessica was a little weird and I saw no relevance in it other than for her to say Elliot is a good guy - but that makes me suspect him even more! Emily mainly consisted of sharing a storyline this episode with Spencer, and I loved their little partnership and how they sort of ambushed Sara's driver. It was a little obvious what they were doing, so Sara's driver must be quite dumb, but they got away with it (I think) and they did a good job. Emily is definitely more detective in these episodes, especially in tailing the driver and seeing Sara receive the floor plans for Radley. What is their game?!

Spencer and Hanna also kind of go hand-in-hand in this episode. I loved their scenes together, and their weird new love triangle seems to be getting worse. Firstly though, I liked that Hanna defended Mona to the others. I also liked Hanna's initiative in this episode, and that she went to visit Alison in the hospital. She is fiercely loyal, which is why I love her. Calling A's bluff is, to me, quite a good plan on her part, and it's the best thing they can do when they have no other options. When she told Spencer her story about killing Charlotte, for a moment even I believed her! When she mentions the tape, saying "stealing the security drive wasn't because Aria was on it... it's because I'm on it" made really good sense, but this good little actress only had me fooled. Even Spencer was confused, and it takes more to confuse Spencer than anybody else. It made things a little awkward though when Hanna was getting a little too close with Caleb, especially the hand-holding. Nothing is going to get better between Hanna and Spencer just yet I feel, as Spencer seemed really p*ssed off about it. The final moment, with Hanna sending the text, was just amazing and it makes me so excited for the finale next week.

"Leave my friends alone. I killed Charlotte - Hanna."

EPISODE VERDICT

I liked 'Burn This', but I enjoyed 'Did You Miss Me?' so much more. There was enough in this episode to keep the plot moving much faster than it has been lately, and beginning the episode in the middle of the action of the cliffhanger in episode 18 was a good touch. Mona was a highlight for me in this episode actually, and I always love when Hanna shows us how much of a bad-ass she can be. The pace is picking up now the danger seems to be looming. I can't quite believe the finale is next week - where did 6B go?! This was a strong episode and it makes the anticipation for the finale a little unbearable.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Hanna - for stepping up her game and coming up with a plan.

Boyfriend Material: Caleb has been a trooper.

Biggest Asshole: Sara, for being Sara.

Most Sympathetic Character: I'm going to say Mona, just 'cause I love her and think she's misunderstood.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Spencer and Emily - loved when they tag-teamed Sara's driver.

Best Line: "Stealing the security drive wasn't because Aria was on it... it's because I'm on it. I murdered Charlotte." - Hanna.

Funniest Line: "We're all connected like a big ball of linguini." - Hanna.

Best Moment: The fireplace that burned Aria in 'Burn This', and Hanna telling Spencer she murdered Charlotte in 'Did You Miss Me?'

Saddest Moment: I thought when Mona had to throw away the wedding dream book.

Creepiest Moment: When the power in Lucas' apartment went crazy.

Shadiest Moment: Sara's talk to Mona.

Funniest Moment: Spencer's and Emily's ambush of Sara's driver, pretending to have crashed into his car even though there clearly wasn't a dent.

Damned Disappointment: I NEED TO SEE WHAT THE NEW A IS GOING TO RESPOND TO HANNA'S TEXT!

Biggest Question Mark Award: What was the purpose of Jessica's "dream" visit to Alison, other than to tell her Elliot is a good guy? I'm starting to think he isn't.

Biggest ReveAl: Mona was the brunette at the Two Crows diner.

What did you think of the episodes? Let me know your thoughts on the last two episodes in the comments and be sure to watch the finale on March 15th 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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