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Pretty Little Liars - Along Comes Mary - Review: "#PLLProposal"


7.05 - "ALONG COMES MARY"
Directed by Norman Buckley
Written by Bryan M. Holdman
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE





'ALONG COMES MARY' REVIEW

To say not a lot happened in this episode would be a lie. But did that make this episode a good one? In some respects, yes. It was a very good episode and one that I enjoyed from start to finish - but not as good as last week's. Things simmered somewhat following the direct aftermath of Rollins' death, and here we have a lot more going on with Alison and Mary, as well as some sleuthing by Aria and Emily. I liked this, as it gave these two more to do, but it kind of meant that Spencer and Hanna basically guest-starred in this episode. I found their limited performances rather frustrating, especially after their very strained relationship in the last episode following the Spaleb scene that I loved. I cannot say a lot of bad things about this episode, and a lot of my thoughts are positive, but as always, a negative thought or two does creep into my brain... and this review.

"Why don't you ask yourself why you're wearing one guy's ring when you may still have feelings for another?"

I may as well briefly touch upon the brief roles Spencer and Hanna played in this episode, as it would be hard to talk about both in two separate paragraphs. It's a huge shame that they were both underused following last episode, but I guess it was the others' turn to shine. Spencer tries to find Caleb, only to discover that he is staying with Toby. And yep, that is basically all she does, which is a huge change from the last episode. She has some exchanges with Hanna too, who sees Jenna and has "other ways" of following her, but we don't see anything really happen here. When an episode has some character screen time issues like this, I usually find them weak and poorly paced. I didn't mind as much here though, because I felt like these two didn't really have a story to give this week anyway that doesn't involve the mysteries of Elliot. Caleb is out of the picture (for now) so that's that for Spencer, and Hanna is laying low since she killed Elliot. It was about damn time Aria and Emily contributed a little more than usual.

"It must feel good to come home and finish what you started."

There were multiple times in this episode when I wanted to give Emily a shake. While I loved her stepping up a little bit more and taking an active role by texting the number (some initiative with a very convincing text) and checking out the apartment with Aria. But damn girl, she gave poor advice about what Aria should do about the ghostly phone call. "You obviously can't tell Ezra, what good would it do?" It's literally like "lie" is the first solution to everything. Really Emily? She should "obviously" not tell him about a phone call that might save someone's life because Nicole could be lost and phoning for help - knowing this show, she isn't even dead! Silly Aria for following her advice too. I need to knock both of their heads together. But they (sort of) redeemed it for finding things out at the apartment, and it took some good thinking from Emily to check the bottom of the filled sink for the passport. While they probably didn't get any helpful answers, they did discover that Elliot was paying both Mary Drake and Jenna Marshall. But, let's face it, we knew the three were working together already, so what did this little day trip teach us? Probably, nada.

"Aria Marie Montgomery, will you marry me?"

Moving along to just Aria now, because the Sabrina/Emily parts of the episode kinda bored me, I have to throw my hands up and say - I did enjoy the PLL Proposal. I know I may get some stick for this, because I haven't really been a fan of Ezria for years, and I know people have problems with it, but it was a very romantic gesture. I've watched this relationship through so much over 6 whole years, and finally we can stop chasing the goose! It was a very nice speech by Ezra too, and considering he's a writer, I expected nothing less. The candles, the speech, the cute way Ezra looked - it was pretty much perfect. Don't shoot me for liking it, because I really am a sucker for happy things, and I'm glad this could be the end of the cat and mouse chase. But after Aria decided to keep Nicole's phone call a secret, especially after Ezra told her that "it felt wrong keeping a secret from you", I'm not entirely sure Aria should say yes... just yet. She may never come back from this betrayal, and the slate needs wiped clean before they begin this new chapter. Aria certainly looked conflicted at the end and didn't give an answer - which could be problematic. I like that.

"Next time you call Archer, tell him I said Go to Hell!"
"Maybe he's already there."

Aside from all this, the best character of the episode was Alison. Her scenes with Mary Drake were great, and some of it had me questioning just what the hell Mary's motives are! She weaves a wicked web but she speaks in story that sound like they should have merit but we need to trust her to believe her, and like Alison, we can't trust her... yet. The part where she throws things around the room and Mary comes in also had me questioning Mary's motives - especially when she says that Elliot double-crossed her. What am I believing? I don't know. It really needs to be spelled out for me at this point. I did love the moment she yelled at Jenna, though she accidentally let her know that she's on to her. Have I also mentioned how grateful I am that Alison is finally out of the hospital bed? I was sick of seeing her mainly stationary that it was nice for her to be free, which made me feel free. And the ending? With A.D. giving her the dirty jacket and the revelation that her friends gave it to A.D., that is going to cause some distrust between the group, and rightly so.

I really enjoy Jenna being back on my screen, though I can honestly say I cannot wait for Sara to just go. I'm hoping she is the death in the next episode, though it would be a shame for Jenna. It seems they've now gotten close, and Jenna has already lost one girlfriend due to death by a liar. Another death would be a bit too much for her, I think. While I hated every time Sara talked, I just loved the general sass that Jenna brought. It's hard to describe what she does, but her mysterious allure and the ways she talks just had me enthralled whenever she was on screen. And the ending, with the return of Noel Khan was very nicely done. Had I not known he was coming back, I would have been surprised. I'm very interested in learning how he plays a role in this current game considering he's been away for so long. Either way, this is definitely the season of reunions, and because it's (very likely) the final season, I'm rather liking it. It adds something new each time someone returns, so I'm sure as hell not complaining that their high school reunion is happening years too early.

"Babes and booze... it's like you were expecting me."
"Noel Khan."
"Did you miss me?"

EPISODE VERDICT

The reunions continue with the return of Noel Khan, and I ain't complaining, especially since he's as beautiful as ever. But in regards to the overall episode, I was happy to let Aria and Emily play to let Spencer and Hanna have a bit of downtime following the emotional heaviness of the last episode for both of them. But it was also a flaw in this episode, as Aria and Emily continued to make some stupid decisions amongst some great scenes. I have to give major props to Alison for really shining in this episode with her scenes with Mary Drake, as well as the little she had with Jenna too. At least none of the episodes this season (well, except maybe episode 2 which I wasn't a big fan of) have been boring, and there's something to do in each one. Unfortunately there's a 2-week break until the next episode, so it's going to take even longer to see what will happen next, and I'm more interested in Jenna and Noel than Aria's answer to Ezra's proposal.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Alison DiLaurentis (not Rollins!)

Boyfriend Material: Ezra Fitz.

Biggest Asshole: Jenna and Sara (it's a tie).

Most Sympathetic Character: Hanna.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Aria and Emily.

Best Line: "You told me once, a long time ago, that you couldn't imagine your life without me. And I told you that I wanted you in mine and we would, we would... figure something out. And then we spent years apart, a world apart. 5 years later when you walked in the door, after all that time, if felt like the last flat stretch of track of a rollercoaster ride, right before it comes to a stop, where your stomach's flipping out and your knees are weak, but you can breathe again. That's when I knew - I want you in my life, Aria, for the rest of my life. I don't ever want to let you go." "Ezra..." "Wait. I have just one more thing to say. Aria Marie Montgomery, will you marry me?"

Funniest Line: "Help me Toby-wan-kanobi, you're my only hope." - Spencer Hastings.

Best Moment: Alison tears Jenna a new one.

Saddest Moment: Hanna with her fake ring.

Creepiest Moment: The apartment scene with Aria and Emily, and someone shakes the door before it's revealed to be Toby.
Runner-up: A call from beyond the grave - Nicole phoned?

Shadiest Moment: Noel Khan joins Sara and Jenna at the Radley.

Funniest Moment: None.

Damned Disappointment: No answer to Ezra's question and we have to wait 2 freakin' weeks to see what she says. Also No Mona!

Biggest Question Mark Award: Why is Noel back?

Biggest ReveAl: Noel's return.

What did you think of last night's episode? Did you love it? Hate it? Let me know your thoughts on the episode in the comments and tune into the next episode, airing on Freeform on August 2nd!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. As Senior Staff, Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews Dead of SummerDevious Maids, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars and Salem. Gavin will write previews for Empire and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Once Upon a Time, Reign and Scandal. Gavin also writes special anniversary articles, most recently Charmed. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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