'Pretty Little Liars' Returns, 'Game of Thrones' Delivers Best Episode of Season 5


Pretty Little Liars: “Game On, Charles” |
Picking up where last season left off, the Liars were being held captive by Charles in his dollhouse lair. Apparently, he knows something viewers don’t because the Liars and Mona haven’t done anything that comes close to deserving the punishment he dealt them. Holding them against their will for over a month and in solitary confinement for 3 weeks was just cruel.

Poor Mona arguably got the worst of it, as she was made to spend much of her time in a hole in the ground. While the Liars were imprisoned,; Caleb, Toby, and Ezra teamed up with Ali to rescue the girls. They somehow managed to outsmart the police and,d in the episode’s final moments, helped set the girls free.
Two moments that really stood out in this episode that raised the creep factory: were the girls waking up on a slab with only a sheet covering them and their blood-curdling screams when the doors to their rooms/cells closed. Why their first concern was whether or not their organs had been harvested was an interesting conclusion to jump to in their circumstances. The season opener easily created more questions than it did answers.

For instance, what happened to the girls after those horrific doors shut that they won’t even discuss with each other? That will apparently be explored further as the season continues. Why the girls repeat that Charles has a soul or is somehow capable of compassion simply because he has some old keepsakes is a bit puzzling. He could just be into collecting things.

Emily running over to Ali, who got all of them into this mess, to begin with due to her “friendship,” was a bit much. Remember Paige, Emily? The girl, Ali all-knowingly tortured, among others. She might be innocent of murdering Mona, but she hasn’t legitimately repented for any of that. How can Emily have such a short memory of what a detestable person Ali truly is? 

Side Notes/Burning Questions: No one mentioned Aria’s haircut? Why on earth does Charles hate Mona so much? Poor Ashley had to be admitted to the hospital. How much more can this woman take? Is Charles really Andrew? It seems a little too obvious for that to be the case. When the girls tell everyone that “Charles” held them, hostage, will everyone else in Rosewood be as confused as to whom they’re talking about as viewers were after last season’s finale?


Game of Thrones: “Hardhome” |
Season 5 has been plagued by boredom, tedious plotting, a lack of momentum,m and a boatload of filler. It has also featured swashbuckling action, long-awaited comeuppance,s and burgeoning buddy relationships that have been central to some much-needed comic relief. As it has trudged forward, it has done so in the series’ signature style -- pensive pauses, extensive monologues, and exciting fight sequences.

For those waiting for something awesomely jaw-dropping to finally happen, “Hardhome,” the episode before the penultimate, proved worth the wait. Tyrion and Daenerys teamed up, and  Cersei suffered a fragment of her retribution and The Wall. One of the more boring plots of the series erupted into a spellbinding battle that left last year’s clash in the dust.

The Wall was a standout because it has sometimes lent itself to the most exciting storytelling, often too morose and sedate to warrant much of a reaction. The lead-up was mainly where it earned most of its extra points.

Tormund’s entrance was especially kick-ass, and Jon Snow made a strong case for his leadership, able to diplomatically extend an olive branch to the Wildlings with sound reasoning. The skirmish and Snow’s climactic showdown with the White Walkers proved a highly entertaining highlight for the series overall. As it closes on the finale, “Thrones” leaves fans with some breathtaking moments.

Side Notes: Dany and Tyrion’s repartee was everything dragon dreams are made of! It was incredibly refreshing to see two central characters finally share a scene together after years of partitioned storylines. Ser Jorah has more than earned Dany’s forgiveness at this point.