Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 1 Review: Game On, Charles

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, the girls, and Mona, were captured by -A. Also known as Charles. Who has a soul. And if you misbehave in his dollhouse, he turns a Taylor Swift goat scream on full blast over the intercom that, if played long enough, will make you want to die.

Pretty Little Liars returns strong, with another view to the girls’ attempt of escape as shown in 5×25, only from the point of view of another blonde girl, that looks just like Alison. She marks another tally on her wall of tallies, which seems to be the number of days since she last took a shower. 

The girls, after being stranded outside the compound, are stuck in the rain, left for days without food or water, and have to sleep in the mud… which did not do any favors for Mona’s “Ali” hair. Charles then recollects his soul, after having it shattered, along with his heart, when he was falsely crowned Prom King, and lets the squad come inside… and head to their rooms for their punishment. Charles then locks them in, and all that can be heard is their screaming.

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Flash forward three weeks and Alison has achieved what normally takes months, or years…. Her verdict has been overturned and she is at home with her family. Holding a press conference, she pleads with the masked coward to give her friends back. She then requests for the police to go away, but turns out that was a ploy to make -A, or Andrew, think that she was unprotected, so he’d try and take her, too.

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Back in the bunker from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the girls are finally let out of their rooms. Each comes out of their room as the girl they were before Alison went missing: Spencer in her nerdy clothes, Emily is her jock gear, Aria with her pink stripe (but whatever -A did to her in that room was more than he did to the rest of them, she came out with a stylish new haircut and a badass attitude) and Hanna comes out, though she’s not hefty, like I expected, but broken. Charles commands the girls to go prepare Alison’s room for arrival, which they discover is not Mona’s return, but the real Alison’s.

Mona, unofficially, spent the three weeks in the hole. Alone. In a limited space. Singing Loser, by Beck. But she’s more messed up than the girls, even though they’d all been locked up.

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Alison, Ezra and Caleb work together to use Ali as bait for -A. Once they get rid of the police, they use the message Ali left in the press conference to meet with -A at the Kissing Rock. (A reference to Ian, perhaps?) Alison is prompted to a car by -A, with directions. Ezra and Caleb follow, and they all disappear into the woods of a Pennsylvania State Park.

Once the generator goes out, the girls find their way to Charles’ soul room, and after they realize they have nothing to lose except their youth, Aria decides to torch the room. (Like I said, somehow she became a badass in three weeks…) Charles must then decide whether to save his soul room, or kidnap Alison as she waits outside the bunker. In the end, he lets them go before they all burn in his bunker, and the smoke draws the attention of the outside crew. They call the police, who just so happen to be on their way already, even though the Rosewood Police Department has been incompetent for six seasons..

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They hug, they cry, they accuse Ali of knowing Charles DiLaurentis, but most importantly, the police find the dirty, blonde girl and finally let her shower. The girl identifies herself as Sara Harvey, the random girl from season four who went missing the same weekend as Alison..

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Next week, the girls return home, but the threat of Charles is still very real as the girls cope with their kidnapping. From the promo, it looks as though the girls won’t be staying in their bedrooms, as Hanna’s, at least the decor, seems to be torn down.

All in all, this episode was as dark as the cast and producers promised. Crazy to think that this is the same show it was in the pilot, where their biggest concern was cheating, stealing, and more cheating. Stay tuned!

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