The Whisper Box blog

Episode Review: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Goes Noir for “Shadow Play”


Even after seeing the preview last week, I completely forgot that this episode of Pretty Little Liars was going to be 1950s film noir style! I was so absorbed in the search for proof of Ezra being part of the A team that it totally slipped my mind.

The transition into black and white begins with Spencer standing over the sink, another dangerous pill in hand, as she watches an old Humphrey Bogart film.

Gunshots are fired in the movie and Spencer covers her eyes in fear. When she opens her eyes she finds herself in a black and white world, dressed in fancy 1950s attire.

Everyone was dressed so nicely in this episode! The men looked extremely dapper and the Liars strutted their stuff in the most gorgeous 1950s couture. I loved Emily’s look the most, especially her shiny jewels.

Here are some of the highlights from “Shadow Play”:

1. Toby and Spencer are back together (for this black and white episode at least). He keeps trying to get Spencer to stop taking those pills to stay awake but she’s addicted.

2. Ezra’s freckles. During the scene where Spencer goes to rescue Hanna in 3B, Ezra gives Spencer a few words. It’s so hard to hate Ezra while his freckles are glistening in the chiaroscuro!

3. Alison jumps out of the paining. Just as Toby predicted when he saw the portrait of Alison on the wall, “It’s as if she could jump out and kiss you, or laugh in your face.” I think we can all agree that she did the latter during her scene with Spencer.

4. The most passionate lesbian kiss ever. Enough said.

5. Ali is a showgirl? When Hanna takes the other Liars to find where Ali’s been hiding, it turns out to be a dressing room filled with boa scarves, tons of makeup, and several vintage vanity mirrors. Burlesque, maybe?

The exciting black and white world gets left behind when Toby screams at Spencer “Don’t look at the book, look at the pages!” The car that Toby and the Liars are in crashes, a bright light flashes, and Spencer is back at home in color.

There are a few things I was sort of confused about in this episode, one of the main ones being Emily and Paige’s relationship. Since the episode is set circa 1950, does that mean no one knows about their sexuality? Do Hanna, Spencer and Aria even know? Although there is a scene where Emily and Paige discuss their fears on the subject, they do not mention if their closest friends are aware that they are lesbians.

Despite that one little detail, this episode did not disappoint. All the hype was totally worth it.

I cannot wait to find out how Aria discovers Ezra’s big secret next week!


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