By Nicole Bozzani
When viewers last visited Rosewood, Mona’s murder was still unsolved and the Liars (and their significant others) were celebrating a lovely Christmas together. Ali, on the other hand, had a much rockier holiday filled with lies, deceit, and a few ghostly visitors. The same old mysteries remained, but could new evidence from Ali’s secret hiding places free Spencer from Bethany Young’s murder?
“Through a Glass, Darkly” jumps three months into the future. Mona’s friends and family gather to give her a semi-proper funeral despite her body still being missing. Everyone believes more than ever that Ali is A and they decide to ramp up their efforts to finally trap her and put an end to her games. Meanwhile, Paige and Emily must finally say goodbye and Mike has a harder time dealing with Mona’s passing than the rest.
Mona’s honor burial comes out of necessity, not only for the Liars and their cohorts but most importantly for Mona’s family. During a time of mourning, and based on a false sense of confidence over her alibi, Ali decides it’s a good idea to attempt to offer her sympathies to Mrs. Vanderwaal. Anyone within a bird’s eye view of that exchange knows it’s not a good idea, but the slap heard round the world is more satisfying than ice cream on a warm summer’s day. Ali deserves everything that is coming to her. Her sympathies are false and her motives completely selfish. It’s interesting to note that although Mike and Mona didn’t date very long she seemed to have an affect on him. Mike feels like a Greek chorus because, in the time of Mona’s death, they talk about how nice she was, but they didn’t truly know her or how nice she actually was. It causes a moment of reconsideration: Mona wasn’t as manipulative as we originally believed her to be. Mona wasn’t as much of a villain as she was a victim of Ali’s psychotic (and possibly jealous) behavior. She just chose to stand up for herself albeit by very interesting circumstances. She was cunning and smart, and somewhere a trail of cookie crumbs leads to Mona. This certainly can’t be the last of her, can it?
Ali had a solid alibi for her whereabouts during Mona’s murder, but then Jason and his conscience came along. Jason has always been a shifty character but for all the wrong reasons. He knows something is up with Alison and flipping her alibi upside down to the cops was an inevitable turn. Jason refused to be manipulated by Alison anymore, whittling her loyal follower count down by one. The most solid scene between Alison and Jason is after the police come to arrest her and he leads her to believe, one more time, he’s on her side. Of course, she is promptly stopped mid-escape by the Liars who refuse to let her escape justice one more time. She’s trapped in the yard, trapped in jail, and still trapped in her secrets. Alison and the illusive Bethany Young will never cease to be interesting. With Spencer cleared of Bethany’s murder we can’t help but wonder if could she might have been Ali’s first victim?
For a winter premiere “Through a Glass, Darkly” made sure to leave a few dead ends and raise possible questions. Aria is determined to learn how to hack in order to find out why she is being rejected to college, which ultimately seems like a bit of a childish reaction. Her plan fails when Mona’s computer is stolen by A after she is stapled to a wall in plastic wrap! Certainly the reward doesn’t justify all of that trouble, does it? Maybe Caleb just has a future as a super good looking hacking teacher, and she is his first loyal (yet not brilliant) student. Honestly Aria, how many of these traps are you going to fall for? The creepiest scenes of them all naturally star Ms. Grunwald in a mausoleum. Hannah should have heeded Caleb’s warning and never gotten involved. Sure, Ms. Grunwald could lead her to the body like a dog on a scent trail, but at what cost? This definitely is not the last of terrifying Ms. Grunwald.
In the end, the Liars think their era of terror has come to an end and they begin to dream of better lives outside of Rosewood (as if they can’t just take a vacation at any point). Unfortunately for them, A has other plans and hijacks a fireworks show. The real questions remain: if Ali is in jail who is sending the secret A fireworks message? Could she really be A or is it someone else? Who knows the truth about Bethany Young? Why does everything lead back to Radley? Only time will tell, but it seems like the winter series of Pretty Little Liars is off to a very interesting start.