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‘Pretty Little Liars’ ‘Close Encounters’ review: What’s Ali’s game?

Aria makes a big relationship decision on 'Pretty Little Liars' 'Close Encounters.'
Aria makes a big relationship decision on 'Pretty Little Liars' 'Close Encounters.'
Facebook/Pretty Little Liars/ABC Family

'Pretty Little Liars' 'Close Encounters'

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On “Pretty Little Liars,” the four friends have stuck by each other through thick and thin, even when A has tried to drive a wedge between them. But on “Close Encounters,” which aired on January 21, the biggest threat to their friendship is someone they used to consider their best friend: Alison (Sasha Pieterse).

Before Ali works her wily ways though, Hanna (Ashley Benson) is still dealing with her breakup with Caleb by getting up close and personal with Travis, a relationship that surely won’t last on this ABC Family drama. Then there’s Spencer (Troian Bellisario), who is still determined to learn the truth about Toby’s mom, even if her dad has a settlement agreement from Radley for Toby and his dad. But Toby wants to be done, supposedly; he tells Spencer, “Let it go, it’s over.”

But Spencer has another, more pressing, issue to deal with. After Emily (Shay Mitchell) tells her that Shana is working with Alison, Spencer is, naturally, suspicious. She wants to go with Emily to see Alison, but Emily says no way, since Alison wants to see Emily alone. After all, the idea of Emily seeing Alison alone seems downright stupid. How can Emily really trust Ali after all this time? When they still don’t know who’s been taunting and torturing them since Ali’s “death”?

Even so, Emily trusts Alison. Since Spencer doesn’t, she follows Emily, and just after Ali says she can only trust Emily -- and none of the other girls -- she hears Spencer in the warehouse. Then suddenly, poof, Alison has disappeared up an elevator. Emily thinks Spencer has ruined any chance Emily had of learning more, but Spencer has a different, more reasonable, take on it. “She’s still playing games with us.” And those games seem to be working. Emily is angrier at Spencer than she has ever been before.

So why is Ali doing this, after all this time? That’s the big question. But it’s not the only intriguing question of “Pretty Little Liars” “Close Encounters.”

Things are getting complicated in the world of Aria. “You’re the one, you always have been,” Aria tells Ezra (Ian Harding) when she chooses him over Jake. But Jake isn’t going down without a fight, especially not after he sees Ezra yelling at a blonde woman, saying, “this isn’t over” out in the streets of Rosewood.

Naturally, Ezra has an explanation for this when Aria confronts him. He claims he wasn’t with his friend in Philly; rather, he was meeting with Maggie’s lawyer, since he still wants to see Malcolm even though Maggie doesn’t want him to. Aria buys it, hook line and sinker, despite Jake telling her to “keep her eyes open.” But it isn’t Aria who is going to pay for questioning Ezra. Rather, while working out in the gym, Jake’s foot gets sliced open because someone’s put knives in the punching bag.

So what is Alison’s game? And what’s Ezra’s? Is he really after Ali, or is he just a sick psycho in general?

Not many things were answered on “Pretty Little Liars,” but, once again, there are plenty more questions.

© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2014

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