Welcome back, Liars!
Pretty Little Liars Season 4 got underway Tuesday night with "A is for A-L-I-V-E," as Mona shared her secrets; the girls stood their ground; and Aria realized she helped Ezra commit a felony. With so much to discuss, staff writers Leigh Raines, Teresa Lopez and Nick McHatton joined me for a discussion about the premiere.
So pull up a virtual chair. Here we go!
What was your favorite development in the premiere?
Leigh: When the vice principal threw the photos on the desk of Aria and Ezra I nearly fell over. I was like there is no possible way Ezria's storyline just got this exciting. And then boom it was a dream. However, she's ready to see other people now...bring on the new guys of Rosewood!
Teresa: I liked Ali's mom showing up. She looks like she's playing nice with the girls, but there something sinister about her. It's like she's toying with the liars, but for what purpose?
Nick: I'm here for Spoby. I love them together. Also, is Toby looking even hotter (I totally started watching PLL for entirely superficial reasons)? Mona's coffee run in Emily's car using her own set of keys comes in at a close second.
Carissa: As much as I have wanted to clear Rosewood of Mona in the past, she was written surprisingly well last night and I found myself hoping she really is on the other side of the fence now, with the girls and not against them. She is ridiculously smart and after Hanna needed the "Mi Casa" comment explained to her (I laughed out loud), an extra brain wouldn't to go to waste in talking down A!
How are you feeling about Mona and Toby at this point in time. Do you trust them?
Leigh: I will never fully trust Mona. She's a few fries short of a happy meal. Toby on the other hand, we see how he got dragged into everything. Young, innocent Toby getting teased by Ali about his mom made me want to slap the crap out of her. My little Toby! He's won me back.
Teresa: I probably trust Mona more than Toby. Mona seemed drawn into the A-team because she felt seriously alone, and she seems genuinely upset that she's really damaged her friendship with Hanna. But we don't really know what's motivating Toby. I'm sure it has something to do with his mother and that means he'll probably be willing to betray Spencer all over again.
Nick: Mona might be batshit crazy, but I've always enjoyed her underdog status. Even as an "A" she was never really in charge. She's in just as much trouble as the rest of the ladies, and she's better with them then on her own; so I'm willing to bet she's trustworthy. There will always be an element of mistrust to Mona, and it brings some much needed variety to the ladies. She's the only other character aside from the boyfriends that can keep up with the liars. I trust Toby as well. He's proven on multiple occasions where his loyalties are, and the current A bullying him into bringing the van in exchange for information on his mom is emotional extortion. Toby's a smart guy he's probably got a long game plan.
Carissa: I'm wary of both, but more inclined to believe Mona is back for the long haul. My reasoning there is that she doesn't seem to have a deep dark secret that made her fall for the schemes other than losing Hanna and falling outside the popular girls. As odd as it may sound to someone who has never been there, it can make you seem crazy. But Toby had a crazy mom, and was already aware of that and protective of it when first Ali and then A started messing with him. That makes him a bit more dangerous. I still can't help but think of the time we were told his going bad wasn't a ruse. Really? Didn't he just deliver the lair to A?
Was there any significance to Wilden and Melissa both being the Queen of Hearts on the ghost train?
Leigh: I think they were both the Queen of Hearts so it was easier to confuse people and be in two places at once. It takes more than one person to terrorize a whole Halloween train full of mayhem. During PLL hiatus I watched the whole series of One Tree Hill and experience Melissa as crazy Nanny Carrie. Bitch does crazy well.
Teresa: I agree with Leigh. It definitely made it easier for them to accomplish whatever they set out to do, but just what is that? It feels like there are at least two separate camps, and we don't really know who belongs to what A-team. Maybe Wilden and Melissa are working against Red Coat and that's why Wilden had to die. Which would make even more sense if Red Coat does turn out to be Ali.
Nick: It allowed them to be in two places at once and throw off the process of elimination. The biggest takeaway from their little group is that they're being picked off one by one, so whatever they know, A (or someone else) doesn't want that information to be come to light. The more the liars try to extract information from someone, the more they usually end up dying. I think they know exactly who Ali is.
Carissa: I'm agreeing with Teresa, and she's agreeing with Leigh....and Nick makes a lot of sense. It's starting to seem there are two groups and each have their own agenda. I'd like to see more definition of the players as this season progresses.
We know where Ali got her snotty personality. What do you think Mrs. DiLaurentis moving back to town means?
Leigh: Mrs. DiLaurentis is back in town to grind her own axe. And to tell Hanna how great she looks keeping the weight off. To be fair, Hanna did look awesome at the funeral, amazing dress. But yeah, Mrs. D definitely has an agenda.
Teresa: I wonder if Mrs. DiLaurentis was told that the liars had something to do with her daughter's death. That would certainly account for some of her behavior. Perhaps she's trying to torture the girls with her presence.
Nick: Someone needs to fulfill the creepy factor. Standing in Ali's window and wearing Ali's red coat freaked me out. Mrs. D is back in town to raise hell and enact payback; we just don't know the reasons why she's doing it.
Carissa: Mrs. D's comment to Hanna showed her true colors, and making up her daughter's room either means she's nowhere near done with the grieving process (duh) or she knows something we all don't. Like another child might be lurking out there doing crAzy things!
The lady in the veil. Was it Red Coat? Is Red Coat Ali (making Ali's body that of the much rumored twin, Courtney)? And was the mask burned or was her face burned behind the mask? Can things get any more confusing?!?
Leigh: Wait... what? This show makes no sense, but I love it! I'm on board with the theory that it's all Ali's twin Courtney. I think the mask was burned and quite possibly the face. After all we did see a charred red coat.
Teresa: The lady in the veil might be Melissa, especially if we believe she was working with Wilden as the Queen of Hearts. As for Red Coat, I'm sure her(his?) disguise was damaged in the fire, but I don't know if we're suppose to assume that means Red Coat's face is burned. But then again, who knows?
Nick: I think Veil and Red Coat are two different people. I'm more inclined to believe Red Coat is a red herring while Veil might be Ali mainly because I don't see the point of pulling the ladies out of the fire. The Veil gives A a chance to spy and make sure her plan is still going going along the way she wants it to.
Carissa: I never thought that Melissa might be wearing the veil. If she hadn't gotten into a limousine with such dramatic flair I might be more willing to agree. My thoughts are still that Veil and Red are the same. They're both hooded, and when in mourning, is it really right to wear red? That would be rude. I wish I could figure out if the mask were burned or the face under it, but it was a fun little reveal.
Because it was the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Premiere, and a lot was revealed, let your free thoughts flow before you go!
Leigh: I'm more curious about who killed Wilden and how Ashley's phone ended up in his casket. Also how could Spencer put it up to her face after it was rubbed up on a dead body? Jenna has a burn on her arm like the burn of someone pulling someone else out of a fire. Hmm. Also what was with the pig? Good premiere. Obviously nothing made sense but it kept me entertained. Plus I love the fashion!
Teresa: All I'm thinking is this better be the "seasons of answers" as the producers have been saying. I'm just looking forward to things actually making sense for once.
Nick: I'm still trying to process! There's so much that is still a mystery. I'm still wondering who Aria stabbed on the train - was it one of the aces? Jenna being more cryptic than usual makes me think she knows she has a target on her back.
Carissa: My first thought when they said "there are two" Queen of Hearts was that there were two Wildens. LOL I wonder if there are more than one set of unknown twins bustling around Rosewood. That would make things easier to follow. Answers, even if they lead to more questions, would be welcome. The ones Mona gave were a start. I hope that's not all we're in for. I'm also very worried for Hanna. Ashley is in a lot of trouble, it would seem, and Caleb is gone and might get stuck in Ravenswood. Worrisome!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.