Friday, 5 June 2015

Pretty Little Liars Recap: S6E1 'Game On, Charles' *CONTAINS SPOILERS*

After an unplanned short break from blogging I'm back today trying out something new for my little space. I love chatting TV and for a while now I've been wanting to add regular episode recaps to my posting schedule, so today I'm introducing a new series!

Although so many of my favourite shows are now on their summer hiatus, Pretty Little Liars has just returned for it's sixth season making it the perfect place to start talking TV! For the rest of the season, deemed the 'summer of Answers', I'm hoping to recap each episode and talk theories as we get closer to unravelling the mystery of A.

Of course I'm kicking off today with the highly anticipated season 6 premiere titled 'Game On, Charles', which landed on UK Netflix on Wednesday morning. If you haven't seen the episode yet please be warned there will be spoilers after the jump!

The Pretty Little Liars season six premiere opens with an unknown Ali lookalike trapped in the dollhouse, peeking out at the Liars as they run through the hallway to make their escape, leading us to an all too familiar scene from last season’s dramatic finale. As the girls take in their surroundings we have a new perspective on the scene, knowing that all this time they haven’t been the only ones entangled in A’s game.

After Mona is separated from the group, we cut to the four Liars laid out on morgue-style tables covered in white sheets in what looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie. When Mona returns and is back to playing Alison in A’s twisted game they are all invited back to their rooms to find their ‘surprises’, followed by the girls stepping inside their personal rooms to a chorus of screams as the doors slam shut behind them.

Cut to three weeks later and we're back in real-world Rosewood where Ali is addressing the press after her release from jail having been framed and accused of Mona’s murder (who the police now know to be alive) last season. When the police suggest using her as bait to lure top 'A' suspect Andrew to the DiLaurentis house, Ali sneakily teams up with Caleb and Ezra (aka the 'boyfriend squad') to escape protection and put her life at risk to help track down the girls. When out in the woods she hears music and follows it to a car which turns out to be programmed with directions leading to Tyler State Park; the location of A's creepy lifesize dollhouse. Confused as to why the tracker they put in Ali’s shoe shows she has stopped moving, the boyfriend squad catch up to the car only to find it abandoned, with Ali’s shoes tossed aside and nothing but a creepy greeting card from A to help them figure out what has happened to her.

Back at the dollhouse the girls find a secret passageway to A’s lair (thanks to another smart ‘Spencer plan’), where last season we saw the infamous home movie featuring Mrs D, baby Ali and two young boys. Having now all seen the video, the girls create a distraction by setting fire to Charles’ beloved treasures and head off to rescue Mona (who is being held captive in ‘the hole’) before fighting their way to the exit of the dollhouse just as Caleb, Ezra and Ali stumble across the door.

As the police arrive and the rescuers embrace the girls, happy to find them alive, the police announce another girl has been found inside… The big reveal? The girl we met in the opening scene is Sara Harvey, a name we’ve come to recognise as she mysteriously disappeared the same night as Ali. The eventful premiere episode concludes with Emily asking Ali the question on all of our lips; ‘who is Charles DiLaurentis?’.

If the premiere is anything to go by season six is set to be PLL’s darkest and most intense yet. With the proper introduction of Sara, whose part in the night Ali disappeared is set to be explored this summer, alongside the upcoming time jump, it looks as though there's much more of this atmosphere to come. Although the first episode in the so-called ‘summer of Answers’ hasn’t handed us many of those yet, I’ve got my fingers crossed for more clues in next week’s episode, but for now here's this week's top questions...

What Happened When The Doors Closed?

In the spirit of creating more questions as opposed to providing answers, we saw the girls enter their dollhouse rooms followed by the doors slamming shut and a chorus of screams. When they emerged three weeks later they were all dressed in old outfits from the night Ali disappeared and seemed traumatised by whatever had happened to them, choosing to stay silent about their experiences leaving the audience wondering about those lost hours.

How Does Sara Harvey Fit In?

One of the most interesting elements of the premiere was the introduction of Sara Harvey, a name we have come across before. We already knew that Sara went missing the same day as Alison and was somehow entangled in the mystery of that night but until now had no idea she was also in the dollhouse.

With so many theories flying around, I couldn’t help but feel a little suspicious of Sara’s sudden appearance. I feel bad saying this as she did look like she had been through an incredibly traumatic experience and whilst it is likely that she is an innocent victim who has been trapped in A’s lair for a very long time, I couldn’t shake off that tiny bit of doubt about her – with so many red herrings and A ‘reveals’ that turned out to be misleading I just can’t trust anything on the show at this point! Extreme suspicions aside, I’m really looking forward to finding out more about Sara this season, including what she knows about A and the girls.

And, Just Who Is Charles DiLaurentis?

Both her reaction to Emily’s question about the identity of Charles and the promo for next week’s episode suggest that although presumably a relative the name means nothing to Alison. With the police (including Toby) having no clue about the girl’s discovery of A’s name and still assuming Andrew is the one behind the ‘game’ it seems highly unlikely that this will be the case when all is finally revealed.

What did you think of the season 6 premiere? If you have any thoughts or theories don't forget to leave them in the comments section below - I'd love to hear them!
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