Pretty Little Liars 5.10 Review: “A Dark Ali”

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This week on Pretty little Liars, Spencer is convinced that Ali has “gone rogue” and has a refreshingly honest conversation with Melissa about asking questions instead of sneaking around to get answers. Emily finally tells Ali off, Hannah just wants to be a normal high school girl but can’t get away for long, and Aria frets over Ezra…again.

The episode entitled “A Dark Ali” begins with the girls trying to convince Ali not to identify the suspect in custody for her kidnapping, Cyrus Petrillo, as she would be accusing an innocent man. Their pleas are to no avail; even Emily can’t convince her to change her mind. Spencer tells the girls that Ali is protecting only herself and announces that she thinks they should just go to Lieutenant Tanner and tell her everything. Aria is understandably apprehensive about this route, as this would mean confessing to killing Shana, even if it was in self-defense.

Hanna starts to take a step back. She confides in Caleb that she is tired of Ali and her lies running her life. She wants to know what being a regular high school student feels like so she decides to audition for a solo part in the school’s choral group. Hanna’s escape from the craziness is insanely short lived. Mona is also at the audition. Hanna gets a chance to snoop through her purse and finds a copy of Cyrus’ mug shot. She just gives up and falls back in. But the bright spot is that Caleb and Hanna are back to working together and having the most stable relationship on the show.

The recording part of the girls’ insurance against Ali is stolen from Spencer’s house. Spencer then receives a phone call playing the stolen recording. Melissa walks in as Spencer is desperately searching. She warns Spencer that it isn’t safe for them in Rosewood, although she can’t tell her why. Although it is maddening that Melissa just won’t answer a simple question, she and Spencer do discuss how no one in their family asks a direct question and instead they go behind each other’s backs and scheme.

Aria again has the weaker storyline. She’s worried about telling all to Tanner, but she’s even more worried about Ezra having a talk with Ali as Tanner may see them and start to investigate him again. The appeal of Aria and Ezra isn’t completely lost on me. I can see the younger portion of the audience (though not exclusively, just generally) seeing the couple as a fantasy. I just think that the fact that he was her teacher is inappropriate.
Maybe if he was just some guy she started seeing secretly, I wouldn’t feel as strongly.

Ali is being pressured by her father to identify the suspect as her kidnapper. Ali claims she can’t be sure so Tanner asks that Ali come and identify the place that Cyrus claims he held her. Ali positively identifies the warehouse-type building which in turn identifies Cyrus as her kidnapper as he first gave up the place.

I take back anything good I have ever written about Ali; this girl is a pathological liar. This is the confirmation that the girls that Ali is only concerned with churning out excuses and lies. Emily finally understands that Ali will just keep on lying and dragging the girls along until she gets what she wants. Similar to how she dressed down Sydney, Emily tells Ali that she’s through with her and her lies. This was a great scene. Ali is playing the desperate, lost, victimized girl, sputtering that she has yet another plan to expose “A.” Emily not buying the act seems to solidify that the girls are going to take back their lives from Ali.

The last scene is of a recently escaped Cyrus secretly meeting with someone. That someone turns out to be Ali in a dark wig. He tells her that he could have told them how he really knew her and Ali counters back that she has something on him as well. She hands him a ticket and tells him to start a new life and never come back.

It’s so satisfying to see the girls, especially Spencer, be proven right. Also, the mystery of Cyrus was wrapped up pretty quickly with an actual surprise. This type of reveal is what was lacking in the first few episodes of this season. Alternately, the last three episodes have been pretty fast paced and we are receiving more information and less dancing around the plot. This sentiment is echoed in the conversation between Spencer and Melissa where they discuss how no one asks the questions they really have and instead sneak around to get answers. With one more episode left (next week is the summer finale), we are starting to get answers to at least some of our questions.

[Photo via ABC Family]

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