“Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is something of a breather episode after the gasp-a-minute “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” That doesn’t mean Pretty Little Liars lost any of that momentum, though. Rather, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” might even be more intense in its quietness.
The bulk of the episode is taken up by Spencer’s dual storylines in Radley. In one storyline, she befriends Eddie Lamb, a nurse that Toby had been impersonating. Eddie tells Spencer that she is currently staying in Mona’s old room. All this leads to Spencer uncovering some new clues about Mona and Toby. It feels very standard for Pretty Little Liars. Significantly less standard, and perhaps more unsettling, is Spencer’s continued descent into madness. The longer she stays at Radley, the more Spencer begins to believe that she really has gone crazy and the audience begins to believe it, too. Perhaps the most unsettling part of this storyline is the stark reality that there is actually consequences for one of the Liars. Pretty Little Liars doesn’t just set the reset button and have them continue on as normal.
Meanwhile, outside of Radley, the other Liars are more or less there. Though they don’t really detract from the episode, they don’t do much of anything either. They talk some about the situation, which hilariously results in Aria admitting she assumed Emily was the weak link while Hanna states she always knew it was Spencer. Other than that, though, they sort of continue on as usual. Aria may or may not be breaking up with Ezra, Hanna and Ashley deal with the fact that Det. Wilden is still around somewhat, and Emily runs into that chick Paige was maybe flirting with some episodes back. It’s not particularly dramatic, but it’s a small enough bit that doesn’t take away from anything.
Pretty Little Liars has definitely hit its stride for the latter half of the third season. The storylines for three of the four Liars may not have much to do in particular with the main storyline, but it’s also not their story at the moment. It’s very much Spencer who has the chance to shine in these episodes. That’s really okay as the other Liars have had their chance to shine, and likely will have another chance again.