Pretty Little Liars Episode Review: “Fresh Meat”

by StevenHelmer

A review of the season 5 television episode that first aired January 13, 2015.

Synopsis: While searching the house behind Mona’s (Janel Parrish) house, Toby (Keegan Allen) discovers a bloody knife that he immediately recognizes as one he owns. Knowing it has been planted, he tells Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) and, when they decide to retrieve the potential murder weapon and destroy it, their decision puts Toby and Spencer’s relationship on the rocks.
Meanwhile, Aria (Lucy Hale) makes one last desperate attempt to get accepted into a college while Emily (Shay Mitchell), realizing her long distance relationship with Paige (Lindsey Shaw) isn’t working out, tries to earn extra money so she can fly out west.

Guest Stars

Guest stars include Miranda Rae Mayo.

We've Seen This Before

My daughters do really well in school and, partly as a way to keep them level-headed, I usually remind them having book smarts isn’t the same as having common sense. I was reminded of this last night when my wife and I watched this episode.

When, in the five years this series has been on the air, has hiding or destroying important evidence ever worked out in the favor of the PLLs? Hanna (Ashley Benson), for example, tried to do it with a gun and her mom was arrested as a result. Yet, when given the same opportunity, Spencer (supposedly the smartest of the group) and Caleb didn’t hesitate to bite. And, while they did manage to destroy the knife, I do have a feeling this will come back to haunt them. In fact, I would not be surprised, in the least, to see some surveillance footage be anonymously delivered to the police department by the end of the season.

Short term, the decision has caused some serious the Spencer/Toby relationship. Toby has always been a bit of an outsider and reluctant to get involved. And, while he joined the police department to protect his friends, I think his loyalties are starting to shift a bit, partly because I think he is starting to realize the PLLs are doing more to harm themselves than the mysterious “A” is and is going into self preservation mode.

The part with Emily trying to earn money by catering Ezra’s (Ian Harding) bookstore grand opening was much more interesting than I thought it would be, in part because it didn’t have a predictable, feel-good ending to it like I thought it would. I figured Emily would figure out a way to overcome her lack of experience and impress people. So, when she failed miserably and admitted her relationship with Paige was likely over, it was actually a little bit of a shock and caught my attention as a result. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing for her or not. But, it’ll be interesting to find out.

The same could be said for Aria, who finally got accepted to college by essentially throwing Ezra under the bus and making him seem like one big mistake (which, ironically, I actually agree with her about). I thought it was a smart move on her part, partially because I suspect her large number of rejection letters might be related to word leaking out about her student/teacher relationship with Ezra. But, at the same time, it’s something that is sure to come back to haunt her.

I wasn’t as impressed with the scenes involving Hanna trying to locate Holbrook (Sean Faris) by visiting the detective’s father. That scene, which had a bit of a cannibal redneck feel to it, just didn’t seem to be executed the way I think the writers wanted it to be and, unless it is going to come into play at a later time, wasn’t really a scene that worked for me.

Of course, anything she did see in that bizarre trailer park was probably nowhere near as shocking as learning her mom (Laura Leighton) had just hooked up with Jason DiLaurentis (Drew Van Acker). Wasn’t she just talking about how her mom already had a boyfriend? I really can’t wait to see how that conversation starts.

Fresh Meat

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Final Opinion

This was a somewhat interesting episode, in part because it does seem to clear Alison (Sasha Pieterse) both of being “A” and potentially of Mona’s murder (which I have never believed she was guilty of). As I said before, the decision to destroy evidence is going to come back to haunt the PLLs and I really can’t wait to see just how or when it does.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 01/14/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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