This trial feels more like Judge Judy.
Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Family
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I’m sure Rosewood has won some sort of award for most picturesque suburb. Or maybe the richest (seriously, have you seen the collection of cars that the Liars circle through?). But for all of the charming cafés and reading nooks there is something seriously twisted in that town—the criminal justice system. You thought Rosewood PD was bad? They’ve got nothing on the judicial system and nothing on the prisons. What is the local paper’s number? Because I have a hell of a pitch to the Rosewood Gazette.

But now let’s be real—how long does it take a murder case to go to trial? That’s a key timeline to understand with Ali’s trial, which started in “The Melody Lingers On.” Let’s assume that Ali was arrested in February and that she has been in jail for three months now—and that’s being generous. How did she manage to fast track her murder case through the system?

Okay, but first, let’s give the Liars the benefit of the doubt. Has anyone been keeping up with what season it’s supposed to be? Because last I checked they were wearing daisy dukes in February—when this season supposedly started—and now they’re wearing sweaters in what I think it supposed to be April? May? As per usual, I am lost in the Liars world of fashion.

But with nothing to guide us through to the conclusion that there has been some sort of month-long time lapse here, we’re guessing it’s springtime in Rosewood. There are people who rot for years in jail before getting their case in front of a judge. But somehow the magical Alison DiLaurentis can pull herself in front of a judge, with a weak defense, I might add, in record timing. Because, sure. Why not?

So the court proceedings have begun. Mona’s lawyer comes out swinging in the arguments, telling the court that Alison’s story about being kidnapped is completely fabricated, Mona knew, and that’s why Ali killed her. Honestly? Sounds like a pretty solid argument to me.

The really bad news here is that the lawyer calls out the Liars on the sly, telling the court that her friends have perpetuated the lie that she was kidnapped. First thing’s first—bravo. That is absolutely what happened. But also, are you an idiot? He all but side-eyed Aria and Emily, but yet they weren’t up on the stand. Any lawyer with half of a brain would figure out how to get them on the witness stand. But there they were, sitting in their fashionable court attire watching their former best friend be put on trial for Mona’s murder.

Somehow everyone else involved with this case realizes that Mona’s lawyer made this colossal mistake. Spencer’s mom, for example, bars her from attending Alison’s trial. And why? Because she knew that the girls were going to be exposed as Alison’s gatekeepers, so she tells Spencer not to go. After the big revelation, Ali’s dad confronts Aria and Emily, accusing them of telling the cops that his daughter had fabricated her own kidnapping. You know, which is true. But instead of asking them if the lawyer’s allegations are true, he immediately accepts them as fact. It’s never a, “Oh, what do you think about the trial so far?” or, “Hey, could you tell me some more about my daughter perhaps faking her own long-term kidnapping and leaving me with emotional scars that I will likely never rid myself of?” Nope. Mr. DiLaurentis jumped straight to the conclusion that Aria and Emily had something directly to do with telling the cops and thus giving the lawyer the ammo. Somehow, I feel like he had to know this already.

NEXT: The Liars Prison Gang

So if the courts are about as effective as Judge Judy, let’s turn our focus to the prisons. Seriously, does Rosewood block Netflix? Have none of you seen Orange is the New Black? Here is maybe the most basic tenet of being imprisoned (as surmised through fictional but well-researched shows): Keep your mouth shut. Seriously. Never say anything that you wouldn’t say in front of everyone else. Both Alison and Hanna seem to have absolutely no regard for this, because they clearly have not seen the plight of Piper Chapman.

Because laundry is apparently the only job to do at the prison, new jailbird Hanna and Alison end up on laundry duty together. Alison tells Hanna that some mysterious number has been sending her cryptic messages through the newspaper and texting her since her mom died. Ali is convinced it is Mona, because the messages have stopped since Mona died.

But Hanna quickly blabs this to Caleb during visitation that this has been going on, and they collectively uncover that the number is the same one that they have for Varjack. So it is “A” striking at Ali, not Mona. That is important information to take away from Alison’s admission, but seriously? That has to be the most lax security that has ever existed in a prison. Ever.

If the potential breaches weren’t already clear enough, Hanna conducts some sort of counseling session on the mind of Mona the crew on the outside. Spencer, Aria, and Emily break into Mona’s house to search her room for clues about who could have been tormenting them both, since we’re all very sure that she is completely innocent now. When they arrive, the place is ransacked, but Aria has some brilliant realization that “A” could have beaten them to the punch and faked the whole pillaging.

Good work, Aria! Because the first thing that Spencer picks up—literally the first thing—has the secret clue that Mona left behind. Hidden behind the glass of a hand mirror was a notecard that said:

“Chandelier’s rituals

Sister launched lair

A ruler’s list chained”

You can toss and turn over that, but somehow I’m sure that whatever comes out of it will be something completely unexpected and borderline (if not completely) unbelievable.

But GUHHHHHHHHHHH, Mona! If you’re going to leave behind clues at all, why would you make them cryptic? Like, Spencer already pried open your mirror, girl. Just make it easy from there on out.

After the girls leave, there is a mysterious shot of broken glass, indicating that someone entered the house after them. Then it cuts to Andrew quickly turning and fleeing the scene outside of Mona’s house. At this point, it’s not wise to buy anything that seems remotely obvious with the Liars, so we’ll chalk Andrew’s appearance outside of the residence as some creepy stalking episode. You know, something innocent like that.

Regardless, no one ever has anything to worry about if they’re in trouble in Rosewood. The whole place, despite its charm and perceived wealth, seems to be full of public officials who are completely incapable of enforcing the law. So as for that exciting trial that Ali is going to go on, and Hanna’s subsequent release? We’ll go ahead and chalk both of those up to wins already.

Episode Recaps

Pretty Little Liars

Four little liars and a being named “A” (who may or may not be the fifth little liar) try to live their lives in Rosewood. It’s complicated.

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