“Mona-Mania” is a very odd episode of Pretty Little Liars. All the characters were thrown off their game. It could have been an interesting shift in dynamic for the show. But, really it just came across as plain boring.
Half of the episode is taken up by Spencer Hastings and her obsessive tendencies. Oh, not the fun obsessive tendencies that have kept the plot from derailing. No, Spencer is focused entirely on taking down Mona, who is apparently sincere in her attempts to reform. Of course, the audience is clued into the fact that Mona is still working for the A-Team, but she isn’t doing anything interesting with it anymore. There is no pay-off until the very end of this episode where Hanna Marin snaps and tells her former BBF, Mona, to get out of their lives and stop blackmailing Lucas Gottesman. That is, sadly, almost all the relevance Hanna has in this whole episode.
Emily Fields fares only a bit better. Her plot, at least, is tied into the overall plot of the show. She is left to deal with her girlfriend’s, Paige McCullers’s, emotional fall-out from everything that has happened to them thus far. But, this is perhaps the most disconcerting thing of the episode. The Liars don’t, as a general rule, react to the general air of terror they live in every day, and they haven’t for quite a while. Pretty Little Liars has gone out of a way to build a little bubble where everything that’s going on is almost normal, and Paige’s traumatic and real reaction is a sharp reminder that it really isn’t normal. In some ways, this was a very good reminder. If only it had come in a more interesting episode.
The last bit of this boring episode is filled with Aria’s supposed struggle to come to terms with her father’s possible part in Alison’s murder. Given that nearly everyone on this show seems to be involved in Alison’s murder somehow, Aria never really liked her father, and she already accepted this fact last episode, it’s half-hearted at best.
That’s a good way to sum up this episode. It’s half-hearted at best, and boring at worst. Pretty Little Liars is a show that should be full of weird twists and turns. Being it boring is perhaps the worst thing this show can be, especially twice in a row.