Life Readjusts on 'Pretty Little Liars' - Plus, 'Beauty and the Beast' Returns

Pretty Little Liars | Still reeling from their abduction, the Liars dealt with its aftermath in very different ways. For Spencer it was trying to get a drug fix, for Hanna it was redecorating her defiled room, for Aria it was denial and trying to get justice by making a false statement to police and for Emily it was shooting off steam at the gun range.

Each of the girls’ way of handling it not only highlighted their diverse personalities, it also foreshadowed the impact it could have on informing their futures. Not sure if this classifies as a spoiler so guide your eyes away if you don’t wish to know anything about the future of the series…

Okay, now that we have that out of the way. In the second half of the sixth season, the series will do a time jump and pick up 4 years after the events of this season. At this point, the Liar whose future seems the most determinable is Emily’s, who seems destined to follow in her dad’s footsteps and join the military. Whether this week’s episode foretold that Hannah will be an interior decorator might be too soon to tell.

Aria might find herself spending time in prison, the way her life is unspooling. Has she really learned nothing about the false accusations the Liars, as a group, have made against other people? They have literally caused people to die because they pointed the wrong finger. Restraint would be best at this time. The girls in all of their growing up seem to have learned nothing about making a rush to judgment and misleading the police.

They will then in the next breath claim they cannot trust the RPD. Might the police’s skepticism in believing them have more to do with the fact they have a shoddy track record with correctly identifying the culprit? Let’s not forget one of the worst things they have done in the entire run of the series. Falsely accusing Garrett Reynolds of being A, an allegation that not only led to Garrett’s death but also his mother’s. The only time the Liars seem to show proper self-control is when one of their own family members or a loved one is at the center of the suspicion (i.e. Aria’s dad, Melissa or Ali).

Major kudos belong to Spencer’s mom for not letting her daughter slide on her sobriety with a sleep aid and calling Spencer out on her addiction. The fatal flaw in the handling of Spencer’s chemical dependency storyline up to this point has been that Spencer’s never admitted that she is a drug addict and took ownership of that life fact. She is an addict and will be for her entire life.

That is a cold hard fact that she has failed to take accountability for. Instead, she’s shirked it off as the concerns of “overprotective” parents. She has failed to acknowledge they’re right and has attempted to get her drug addiction ignored in the bedlam that is A.

Spencer’s lack of admission could have something to do with her underlying superiority complex, putting a prescription drug higher on the totem pole and failing to recognize that Ritalin as dangerous a drug as any other. The show deserves praise for continuing to tackle this subject matter, one its audience truly needs to be informed on. 
  • Side Notes/Burning Questions: Will Spencer ever admit she’s a drug addict? Everyone’s mom was on board to help their daughters through their difficult time, which leaves the question; where were their dads? Emily’s father not being present is understandable given he’s deployed. Hanna’s dad wasn’t around because as was stated earlier, he is one of the worst dads on all of television. Why wouldn’t Aria or Spencer’s dads be around though? They’ve been a pretty consistent presence for their daughters; especially Spencer’s dad who was very active in the search for her in last season’s finale. 
  •  At this point it’s safe to say that Caleb is the best boyfriend on “Pretty Little Liars”. He’s calm, supportive and doggedly rational; a characteristic missing in boyfriends portrayed on television, in general. The performances from Ashley Benson, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell and Lucy Hale were all top notch this week. 
Beauty & the Beast | The fan favorite series returned for its third season and the premiere picked up closely after the events of the previous season finale. Catherine and Vincent were trying to enjoy a “normal” life as a new adventure beckoned to Cat who was having a hard time turning it town and Vincent rejoined the work force as a doctor. Meanwhile, JT was struggling to emotionally and physically recover from his near death experience, complicating his romance with Tess. 

After spending more than a year off TV, it might’ve been nice to reacquaint ourselves a bit better with the characters. The show instead opted to dive right into the story, which makes sense given its loyal fanbase should have no trouble remembering why they care about them. 

The chemistry between Vincent and Cat still falls flat and the dynamic between Tess and JT is still refreshingly gruff. The impetus to care for Vincent, who continually growls his way through most episodes, is harder to bare than ever, as is accepting this is who Cat is feverishly in love with, rose colored glasses fully intact. Kristen Kreuk and Nina Lisandrello’s buddy chemistry continues to outshine the series’ trouble spots and the show’s navigation into its own mythology is promising. As long as it doesn’t become a redundant reprisal of beast of the week takedowns, the season seems promising. 
  • Side Notes/Burning Questions: Why is Heather’s fiancรฉe being kept such a mystery? Is he Gabe’s long-lost twin brother? Does Vincent ever smile for the heck of it? Was Tess a little too harsh on JT? Does anyone else feel like Gabe was short changed as a character and awkwardly squeezed into being a villain? Personally, it was the biggest overarching flaw of last season. Titled “The Beast of Wall Street”, the season premiere paid a clever homage to the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
Picture Credit: Pretty Little Liars/Freeform/ABC Family