“I’m Your Puppet” is an outstanding episode. The A-Term has actually finally stepped up their game to threatening all the Liars, and it’s glorious.
Spencer, in sharp contrast to the last few episodes, doesn’t really have much of a plot here. She sort of wanders aimlessly through the halls of Radley, putting together clues about Mona. These clues don’t really seem to lead anywhere, except to another hallucination of Alison. However, Spencer has apparently joined the A-Team and is doing some work for them, which isn’t nearly as exciting or dramatic as when Toby turned out to be the A-Team.
The A-Team has really stepped up its game, though. Spencer’s first mission is the first real threat to Aria. Malcolm is kidnapped, and eventually left in a carnival, while he’s supposed to be in Aria’s care. This is remarkable because Aria has always been the least threatened by the A-Team for whatever reason. Even when she has been threatened with having her secrets exposed, she tends to thwart the A-Team’s plans by just revealing her secrets. And this event does lead to some direct consequences as it prompts Aria to break up with Ezra (although they have broken up a hundred times before).
Meanwhile, Hanna is dealing with the fact that Det. Wilden is back and that he wants his car back. For that most part, however, that is on the backburner. Front and center, instead, is the A-Team driving a massive wedge between her and Caleb by framing Caleb’s long-lost father for murder. And while all that’s going on, she and Aria are also helping Emily find proof that the body the police found in the woods isn’t Toby. While the John Doe is definitely not Toby, the second body the police find very likely is, making Emily’s efforts futile.
All in all, the episode isn’t particularly plot-heavy. It however, is full of a rather dramatic tension. And it’s always nice to see the A-Team playing their games. Especially when the games promise to be laying the foundation for a truly epic finale.