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Pretty Little Liars - Hold Your Piece - Review: "Death Comes to Rosewood"


7.13 - "HOLD YOUR PIECE"
Directed by Marta Cunningham
Written by Bryan M. Holdman
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE





'HOLD YOUR PIECE' REVIEW

While these episodes overall are just as uneven as the rules of the board game, there was a lot to take away from last night's Pretty Little Liars. I will probably say this is the best episode so far in 7B, and a lot of that comes down to the promise of progress. A big problem last week was that things were getting a little too stagnant - Aria and the Nicole issue, for instance - but now we see things are happening to ensure us that they are working towards the endgame. So I will start off by saying that I thought this was a good episode, and that it makes next week's look even better.

'Guys, I have to keep the phone. It's my turn.'

The best thing about season 7 now is the game, and the wheel of fortune landed on Hanna this week. I do feel for her because she did get the hardest pick of the draw out of her, Spencer and Emily, who have played it so far. I was wondering when Hanna's design side-storyline would hold some gravity in an episode, and I enjoy how it helped raise the stakes for her turn of the game. As soon as Caleb got brought into it, I thought she would lose the game. I do like the guy, but sometimes letting others in on the secret takes away from the girls a little - and now look where it's got them. The introduction of that freaky doll really got me; that face with the stitches, oh my god, stuff of nightmares. When she had to cut into it and the 'blood' poured out, I had to look away. And part of me wishes she had of went into the meeting, just so I could see it fall apart. Maybe it wouldn't have, we'll never know.

I liked the 'trying-to-not-be-awkward' scene between Caleb and Spencer. After what happened between them, it's nice to see them try to move on, especially since Caleb is going to be part of Spencer's life no matter what, really. The moment Caleb pulled up the building (it was smart to look there), was intense. I did not expect spray to come out and nearly kill him, I mean, that could have been one of the girls. For Spencer, it was nice to see her away from family drama and she was able to get a bit closer to Fury, but, I am also annoyed at this decision in this episode, and I'll explain why. I like Fury, he's a good fit for Spencer, and I genuinely believe he's one of the good guys. I do think they make a good couple. However, what transpired with Toby and Yvonne also meant this entire episode for Spencer was, in the long run, for nothing. Development, to then dash it away. I will say that I liked the opening with the baby crying on the phone, but that's all I can say that I liked about Spencer's story this week.

'Are you happy?' 'Happiest.'

At the start, I was shocked Yvonne would wake from her coma. I genuinely believed she would be a goner, and for most of the episode, I was a bit in disbelief. I thought the writers would kill her off to reunite Spoby. Turns out I was not wrong. I will give the writers props for carrying this long con through this episode, and it became such an emotional story by the end. Rather tragic for Yvonne, to be caught between two characters who are endgame (Spoby), so she was never going to come out of this storyline unscathed. But how heartbreaking for Toby to have a hospital wedding (they did have the wedding, right, I assume because they were talking about the honeymoon), to then lose her so quickly. It was a very nice scene, and the falling of the flowers was pretty touching. R.I.P. Yvonne, you were not meant for this world of PLL.

I genuinely loved the scenes with Aria and Emily in this episode. Last week, I praised Emily for having a better storyline and she had something to work with, and this week I was worried she'd fall back. In a way, she did. But, she saved herself with her sleuthing, led by Aria, who surprised me with how badass she was. Always nice to see old faces such as Sydney, and to have Aria and Emily tail her is not something new on this show, but the way the girls handled it was perfect. They could have easily slipped up, but they really took the initiative (with thanks to Caleb too). It's a shame both characters couldn't develop independently and they needed each other to carry their stories this week, I always want what is best for both, so I can't complain really.

'I'm done talking now, so let's go. Move it.'

I think some of the pent-up frustration with Ezra helped with Aria's control over Sydney - she really took no prisoners! To be fair, I was starting to feel frustrated for her, especially since Nicole is all over the news and the 'love story' she has with Ezra is being hyped up through that. The media is eating her up, which is bad for Aria. I think if that had of been the only time we saw Nicole in the episode, I would have been a little mad, because I'm sick of the whole goose, goose, goose, with no duck payoff. Finally, Nicole is here. Finally, she and Aria are going to have a face-to-face conversation. If they delayed it anymore, I would have flipped a table. It was a creepy way to introduce herself though, why was she sitting in the dark? For effect? Girl be creeping.

EPISODE VERDICT

Another thing I want to pick up on is the end with Fury opening up the packet with Rollins' finger in it. I love the punishment for failing the game - the stakes could not be higher. I enjoyed the episode, and I do think it's the best one of 7B so far, especially in terms of progression. Hanna's storyline was the best this week but I think Aria stood out because of how she handled the Sydney situation. We finally got more progression, which makes this episode a winner.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Aria, she really took control in this episode.

Boyfriend Material: Detective Fury.

Biggest Asshole: Sydney.

Most Sympathetic Character: Hanna.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Aria and Emily.

Best Line: Hanna: 'No names are mentioned but the scoop came from an anonymous source, you can't spell anonymous without A.D.' Aria: 'Well technically there's no D in anonymous but, whatever, I get your point.'

Funniest Line: Sydney: 'Namaste, bitch.'

Best Moment: Caleb pops the building off the game and gets maced.

Saddest Moment: Toby breaks down after Yvonne's death.

Creepiest Moment: Hanna receiving the life-size doll. That thing is.... urgh.

Shadiest Moment: Nicole, why you be creepin' in the dark?

Funniest Moment: None.

Damned Disappointment: Spencer being wasted on a developing love interest when we all know what's gonna happen.

Biggest Question Mark Award: Was Sydney the second shooter?

Biggest ReveAl: Nicole has come for a visit!

What did you think of last night's episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and make sure you tune into the next episode, airing May 9 on Freeform!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
SpoilerTV Senior Staff Writer and award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and, as of 2016-17, reviews Pretty Little Liars and Salem. Previously, he reviewed 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, Mistresses and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin also writes special anniversary articles, most recently for Charmed and Desperate Housewives. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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