TV Review: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ 6×12 “Charlotte’s Web”

Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of Pretty Little Liars. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.

While last week’s season 6B premiere of Pretty Little Liars laid the groundwork for the five-year time jump, this episode introduced more mysteries while successfully becoming the series we became addicted to in season one.

The episode opens with the girls discussing who could have killed Charlotte. They catch sight of Sara Harvey (Dre Davis) getting help from someone to sign her name which implies they all did something to her that limits the use of her hands. While the girls think Sara could have been after Charlotte for revenge, they later learn the burns on her hand are so severe, she couldn’t have done the deed.

However, the biggest suspect of the night was good ol’ Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), who is eager to leave Rosewood to go back to Boston for work. This immediately arouses Hanna’s (Ashley Benson) suspicions because she noticed Aria leaving their hotel room around 3 a.m. the night Charlotte died.

Veronica Hastings 2016!

Veronica’s (Lesley Fera) biggest competitor is playing a dirty campaign linking Spencer (Troian Bellisario) to Charlotte’s murder. What makes Spencer apprehensive is a paper she wrote in college about a murdered woman who died in a similar way to Charlotte — who we learn was thrown headfirst to make it look like a suicide while her hands and fingernails were wiped clean. Spencer shows the paper to her mother so she will be prepared to have her campaign fight it if it gets out. At least one of the liars is not keeping secrets! However, this paper will likely blow up in Spencer’s face before the season ends.



The flirtatious undertones made the possibility of a past romance between Spencer and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) even more clear. We learn they ran into each other a few years ago in Madrid while Spencer was finishing up her year abroad and Caleb was backpacking through Europe. They ended up going to a bullfight, enjoyed some drinks and watched a beautiful sunrise. It seems obvious something must have happened prior to the sunrise that will make Haleb and Spoby fans angry.

One interesting aspect of the Spaleb relationship is how nothing has actually been spelled out explicitly. Could it be possible they are only really good friends who enjoy each other’s company? It seems odd Caleb is spending the night on Spencer’s couch and their relationship has yet to be spelled out yet.

Meanwhile, we also catch glimpses of Hanna’s fiancé Jordan (David Coussins). As of now, Jordan seems like the perfect guy for her but we all know this couple is not end game. It should be fun to see how these love triangles develop over the course of the season.


Is Emily sick?

We see Emily (Shay Mitchell) having secret doctor’s appointments at Hollis. Outside of the medical center, she’s having trouble paying a parking meter and gets help from Sabrina (Lulu Brud), who you may remember as the girl who gave Spencer some drug-laced gummi bears and ended up getting Toby higher than a kite. Sabrina ended up being the manager of the Rear Window Brew after Ezra (Ian Harding) went to South America with Nicole.

Later, Spencer asks Sabrina not to tell anyone about seeing her at the medical center. This is when Nicole tells Emily how she had cancer a few years ago and it made it easier once she started confiding in others. Emily brushes it off and says she’s going to be fine.

The only other insight we get into Emily’s story is when she visits her father’s grave and confesses how she flunked two classes, resulting in her college taking away her scholarship. Of course, Sara Harvey ruins everything when she’s in the cemetery and Emily runs away, scared.


Since her father’s death affected her negatively, it doesn’t seem likely Emily has cancer. Could it be possible she contracted a sexually transmitted disease after engaging in risky behaviors? This storyline is enough to keep you wondering what is exactly wrong with her.

Did Aria kill Charlotte?

Aria begins to look even more suspicious when she forcefully tells Ezra to agree the two of them did not see each other that night. Afterwards, Aria rushes to work in Boston where she reunites with Liam (Roberto Aguire), her co-worker who she is secretly making out with under her boss’s nose.

However, Aria is soon forced back to Rosewood when her boss is not so happy about Ezra giving back the advance for his second book. Ezra ends up handing over a rough draft of his manuscript but Aria asks for even more. When she confronts him about where he went after they separated that night, he says he went home but doesn’t make eye contact with her. According to Aria, she could always tell when Ezra was lying when he didn’t look at her directly. But didn’t he lie to her pretty much from the beginning of their relationship? You’re not that bright, Aria! Ok. Moving on.

Emily, Hanna and Spencer investigate surveillance footage of Aria leaving the hotel lobby with Ezra at 3:12 a.m. and she returns without Ezra at 4:28 a.m. Charlotte’s time of death was around 4 a.m., meaning Aria or Ezra would have had plenty of time to kill her.

The girls end up giving Aria an intervention to find out what happened that night. She confesses she was hanging out with Ezra when they saw Charlotte walk into the church. Ezra apparently got angry at how people like Nicole go missing but people like Charlotte can walk free. Could he have done it?

Spencer recalls a time when she met Ezra for lunch while he was on his book tour. She told him about that murder case she wrote the paper about and inadvertently told Ezra how to murder Charlotte. It seems a little far-fetched for Ezra to recall a random conversation from years ago as inspiration for murder but this is Pretty Little Liars, after all.

Eventually, Aria agrees no one can see the surveillance footage because both Ezra and her will be incriminated. Hanna ends up deleting the footage and then gets into her bed with her fiancé. It seems like Hanna feels guilty about returning to the life of lying she thought she left behind.

Honestly, to have Ezra be the culprit once again may seem like a cheap gimmick but it’s an intriguing storyline nonetheless. It should be fun to see Ezra reach the breaking point he will likely hit. This will likely happen sooner rather than later since Alison (Sasha Pieterse), who initially told Lorenzo (Travis Winfrey) how her friends had nothing to do with Charlotte’s murder, decides to change her story.

Creepy “A(?)” Epilogue

We get a POV shot of someone putting flowers on a grave. The person slowly walks to a limo where a driver opens the door and mentions how sorry he is for this person’s loss. Could this be New A?

Closing thoughts

While “Charlotte’s Web” wasn’t exactly phenomenal, it managed to build more suspense than the previous episode. For the first time in awhile, I can honestly say I care about the show’s smaller mysteries. What’s wrong with Emily? What’s going on between Spencer and Caleb? Can Aria REALLY tell when Ezra is lying now (she can’t)?

It still seems like the season is trying to deliver a slow burn but at least it’s working! Slowly but surely, it is becoming the reboot the series and the fans deserve.

Rating: 9/10

What did you think of the episode? Do you believe Ezra killed Charlotte? Sound off in the comments below!


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