Pretty Little Liars – Under the Gun

by Alan Rapp on July 18, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Pretty Little Liars – Under the Gun
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Pretty Little Liars - Under the Gun

As the cops run ballistic tests on the gun found in Hanna‘s (Ashley Benson) possession, Hanna and her parents go over the events that led to their current predicament and Hanna’s mother (Laura Leighton) stealing the gun from her ex-husband (Roark Critchlow), and the rest of the Liars are shocked by the return of Mona (Janel Parrish) who exposes Spencer‘s (Troian Bellisario) role in hiding the fact that Toby (Keegan Allen) returned A‘s RV to their unknown enemy which only continues to further drive a wedge between Spencer and Emily (Shay Mitchell).

As Hanna and her family wait for word from the police, each of the Liars finds a way to get lost in their own drama. Spencer and Toby take a road trip to a bizarre little town in an attempt to continue the search for a connection between the sorority house and Alison (Sasha Pieterse). Emily decides to try and use the recording from the police car to try and help Hanna’s case by anonymously dropping it off at the police station (which backfires and lands Emily in hot water as well). She’s also surprised when Shana (Aeriél Miranda) returns to Rosewood High and takes her place on the swim team. Aria’s past with Ezra (Ian Harding) is dredged up once again after she shoots down a friend of her brother‘s (Cody Christian) only to find out he’s started spreading locker room rumors about the Montgomery’s eldest child.

The town of Ravenswood, despite coincidentally having the exact same Main Street layout as Rosewood, is so ridiculously over-the-top it might as well have plucked directly from a David Lynch movie. I did, however, like the scenes between Spencer and Toby as the pair try to help each other through what has become yet another impossible situation (and Toby’s mention of “low-blood-sugar Spencer” was a nice touch). The less forced drama found in both Hanna and Aria’s stories works better. Shana’s return, and how she keeps popping up over the course of the episode, suggests her importance in events surrounding the Liars (or she could be simply yet another red herring). And, as is the pattern of the show, we see Emily put herself in further danger when she sticks her neck out to try and help out Hanna, whose mother is officially arrested for Wilden‘s (Bryce Johnson) murder as the episode comes to an end.

“Under the Gun” isn’t a bad episode, but it lacks the big reveals or the emotional upheaval of the last couple of weeks. The arrest of Ashley Marin was a forgone conclusion that didn’t need to be drawn out as long as it was. That said, I did like how the Connor/Ezra storyline brought Mike and Aria back together and Hale does a nice job of showcasing Aria’s wounded pride. I don’t know why the show felt the need to force Shana into so many scenes, but I found it more than a little distracting. Although the pair try to make up a couple of times over the course of the episode the tension between Emily and Spencer continues. Given Emily getting smacked down by A it will be interesting to see how she proceeds going forward, and if the show moves forward with her offer to Mona to go on the offensive against A.

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