TV Rundown: Feb 8 - 13 | Part 1: The 'Pretty Little Liars' Dig Up Secrets, Mutiny Hits 'Arrow' & 'The Flash' Attempts Romance

Pretty Little Liars | To sum up “Out Damned Spot”; Mike continued his bizarre behavior, Emily learned that her new girlfriend was keeping a pretty big secret, Spencer’s neighbor took her out to paint graffiti, Hanna asked her father for monetary support for college and Fitz espoused a life lesson. First of all, Emily is moving on way too quickly from Paige, who left 5 seconds ago and her rush to forgive Talia for her deception was hard to take, given she has always made Paige work incredibly hard to earn back even a speck of trust that was lost between them.

After this episode, it became clear that Hanna has one of the worst fathers on TV. This isn’t the first time Papa Marin has coldly mistreated her, only this time he managed to ramp it up by pouring salt in her fresh wounds. Will this jerk ever get his comeuppance? 

It was recently revealed (though I always suspected) that Hanna is smarter than Spencer and while that might be a shock to some, Spencer’s behavior in the latest episode only corroborated it. Jonny, the guy living in her parent’s backyard (who bears a striking resemblance to director Richard Linklater) invited her to come along with him to paint a mural…at night. In what universe does it make sense that he would paint in total darkness?

Spencer should have the common sense to be suspicious of this. Something Emily and Spencer have been sharing in common lately is allowing total outsiders too much access into their lives. You would think they’d have learned to keep an arm’s length from strangers by now. Side Note: Hank Mahoney has to be an anagram…right?
The Flash | In “The Nuclear Man” Joe and Cisco got closer than ever to solving the murder of Barry’s mom, Team Flash attempted to separate the mind of Prof. Martin Stein from Ronnie’s body and Barry dealt with trouble in the romance department as his new love interest attempted to speed things up between the two.

While Barry might be the fastest man alive, his new girlfriend Lisa has been pursuing him at warp speed. To this point, Barry has been portrayed as a romantic and Lisa seems to be more into the flesh than The Flash. Where’s the deep and meaningful bond built on a friendship and mutual respect? It may not be a necessary foundation for everyone but for Barry, it’s been essential. 

Side Notes: This episode offered a much needed break from the go-to freak of the week formula, as it stood on its own with the previously set-up Ronnie storyline. “The Flash” is growing a strong base mythology and it’s poised to break free of its procedural shackles sooner rather than later. Bonus points for the cliffhanger. 

Arrow | Team Arrow experienced another mutiny in “Canaries” as Felicity, Roy and Diggle revolted against Oliver’s leadership, making it clear democracy was the team’s new game plan. While questioning Oliver’s decision making is a realistic turn of events, the way in which it’s been incited feels forced. Oliver was only gone for 1 month and it wasn’t by his own volition. He was recovering from a nearly lethal face off to protect his beloved sister. He wasn't out clubbing.

The motives for his absence were good, everyone supported his mission and despite a valiant fight, he almost died. Why is everyone being so hard on him and where’s their sudden animus coming from? Instead of welcoming him back, he’s facing a catastrophic resistance in an endeavor he founded.

Felicity, Roy and now Laurel; appear to have gotten drunk on the power they exulted in his absence. Whatever its source, it’s not attractive behavior. Oliver is flawed so it’s natural he’d make some bad decisions as a leader. The problem is he hasn’t made any lately and certainly not enough to justify this sort of rebellion. Diggle is the only one coming across levelheaded in this scenario by remaining open minded to both sides. The others need to take note and separate their own personal agendas from what’s best for the team.  

Side Notes: Hopefully the Vertigo storyline has taken its final bow, as the hallucinatory drug thing simply isn’t exciting to watch. Laurel’s continued deification of her treacherous brat of a sister continues to be an annoyance, as do the continued use of flashbacks. PS - Where’s Ray Palmer?

Photo Credit: "Pretty Little Liars"/Freeform/ABC Family, "The Flash"/The CW