Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 5 review: Noa's Final Girl test is bloody good, but too rushed

Noa doesn't make the best choices in this episode, but all the elements and storylines actually make it the best one of the season so far. Here's what we think about PLL: Summer School episode 5.
Courtesy: Max
Courtesy: Max /

Bloody Rose certainly isn't holding back with these Final Girl tests! In Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 3, Mouse was tested followed by Faran at the end of the fourth episode. And this time around, it was Noa's turn to face her Final Girl test. It certainly was a bloody good one, but unlike the other girls, I think Noa's felt a bit rushed. Here's our thoughts on PLL: Summer School episode 5, "Chapter Fifteen: Friday the 13th." For a full recap, head on over here.


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Noa is not making the best choices

Things go to the next level between Noa and Jen as the two sleep together. No surprise there after the flirting and eyes in the last few episodes. But, Noa doesn't make the best choices in this episode. She also sleeps with Shawn, and he goes as far as moving out of his house when he finds out his mom came to accuse Noa of taking his money. Remember the $2,000 he used to bail Jen out after her dad called the cops on her? Yup, that money.

Now Shawn, Jen, and Noa are living together and he's none the wiser. Poor guy. I love Noa, she's my favorite character after Imogen, but she's really not making the best decisions here. And Shawn is actually a great guy who doesn't deserve this, while Jen doesn't deserve to be strung along. Her dilemma is known by Bloody Rose, aka A, which leads to an exciting but rushed Final Girl test.

I don't know. I feel like we were with Mouse and Faran for longer when they faced theirs. Noa's was over pretty quickly. And it was bloody good, as I mentioned. But still felt a bit underwhelming if I'm being honest. I guess there's only so much time you can spend watching someone run in a bed of thorned red roses from a dog. She's in trouble, but thankfully Jen pops up and saves her in the nick of time.

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This church is freaking me out

Um, if there's anything that's really creepy in this episode, it's definitely the church. It was interesting to see how at the beginning of the episode, it shows Bloody Rose's followers crouching down and raising their hands towards her. And then some of the churchgoers, including Henry and Kelly, were doing the same in some sort of communication with God ceremony. Yeah, this place is definitely a cult. To be honest it's not the most original idea. This has been done so many times where a church is a cult in disguise. But I guess I'll roll with it. It is having the desired effect of freaking us out, so I'll give the writers that.

This does lead to Faran and Henry breaking up, which I'm not really upset about. Yes, she was lying to him about dance and her recovery. But even before he became a devout member of the church, Henry wasn't the greatest or most supportive boyfriend. Faran can do much better, and she finally called it quits with him. Goodbye, Henry. Let's see how far his brainwashing will go though in the next few episodes leading to the finale.

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Imogen has a right to be mad, but she takes it a bit too far

Imogen's dad, Sawyer, comes to visit his daughter in a rare instance telling her he'd like to start spending more time together. He also drops the news that he's engaged and would like Imogen to meet his fiancée. She agrees and it's all going well until Imogen sees her mom's wedding ring on Rebecca's finger. This was Sawyer's mother's ring and Davie had given it back to him after the divorce, but it still triggers Imogen.

I know she's going through a lot and she's on meds, but I feel like she went from zero to 100 really quickly here. It felt a bit too exaggerated to be honest. It had to be taken down a notch. But after everything Imogen has been through, it's also understandable. Thankfully Johnny is there and I have to say that I am loving this relationship. The constant flirt is actually a sweetheart, which is my favorite type of "reformed" boyfriend type I like to see. I'm so here for it!

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PLL: Summer School episode 5 is the best episode so far

As far as the season goes, I finally feel like the story is starting to pick up. And that's why I think PLL: Summer School episode 5 is the best one so far. The past four episodes have had a lot of exposition and some poor writing. And there's still a bit too much talking and explanations going on here too. But overall, the direction of the episode and the story as a whole has gotten much better.

I enjoyed Noa's dilemma in choosing between Shawn and Jen. And I'm sure this will continue for a few more episodes still. The Final Girl test with Bloody Rose popping up with that scary dog really works too. Even though it did feel rushed, I can still appreciate it. Plus, there' more wackiness uncovered from Our Mother of Holy Grace, the horrors of SpookySpaghetti and Bloody Rose's followers, and even the big secret that Dr. Sullivan is writing a book about the girls' experiences. I do think this rules her out as A. It would be too obvious right now if it was her. But we'll have to wait and see. Too bad, I like Dr. Sullivan!

VERDICT: Episode 5 moves each of the girls' stories forward individually, as well as together, in this traumatic experience. The show is leaning more into the two extremes of followers - Bloody Rose and the church. And while similar, it's interesting to see how different they are as well. While there's still a bit too much exposition, overall I think the story is moving in the right direction and Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 5 is the most interesting one so far. What will happen in episode 6 next week?

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School streams new episodes Thursdays on Max.

How is Pretty Little Liars: Summer School connected to the original series?. dark. Next. How is Pretty Little Liars: Summer School connected to the original series?