Pretty Little Liars: Summer School is wasting too much time on side plots in Episode 7 (Review)

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 7 on Max
Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 7 on Max /

The penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars: Summer School released today, and it is just as eager to solve the mystery of Bloody Rose as the audience. The vast majority of the episode focuses on unmasking the killer... with some really unnecessary plot lines thrown in for good measure.

The new episode is titled "Chapter Seventeen: The Bogeyman," but it has less focus on Bloody Rose or the titular Bogeyman than would be expected at this point in the season. Frankly, it seems like all of the Liars have other priorities, which makes for a very disjointed episode.

The episode was good overall, despite being the first in a long time without a Final Girl Test. However, it lacks a sense of direction, which has been one of my constant criticisms this season.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 7 on Max /

Too many unnecessary plotlines

While there were some interesting developments in the overarching mystery of this episode, characters were too easily distracted. When the episode started, Imogen was too traumatized to function, but that was quickly swept under the rug as both she and Tabby took their romantic relationships to the next level.

The romantic dalliances might be understandable, since either of the boys could be involved in the Bloody Rose plot, but other subplots were utterly unnecessary. Perhaps the biggest of these is Faran's legal drama with the Millwood Pool. There was no reason to have this plot at all, but certainly not right before the finale. It felt like a complete waste of time.

Finally, Noa's relationship drama has gone on way too long. As all the other Liars look for a way to stop Bloody Rose, Noa runs off to break up with Shawn. Then, when he's justifiably upset that she cheated on him with a woman who effectively cheated his family out of $2,000, she destroys his car. It's character assassination at best, but even if it were enjoyable, it has no place here.

The only way to excuse the writing is if we are supposed to assume that the Liars are easily distracted because they don't actually see Rose as a threat. After all, they're not aware of the killings that have happened. But that doesn't seem to be the writers' intent, which means it's just messy.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 7 on Max /

They're preparing for Season 3

While Season 2 was very uncertain during the airing of Original Sin, this episode was full of sequel bait. Shortly before the episode was released, Pop Crave announced that Warner Brothers filed a trademark for the title "Pretty Little Liars: Scene Stealer."

This fits perfectly with the extended subplot about a new horror movie based on the Millwood Massacre. It makes sense to go down this route, especially since the show has a history of referencing the Scream franchise.

However, a good idea for Season 3 is not justification for drawing time away from the penultimate episode. There is just too much ground that needs to be covered for the characters to focus on anything that isn't urgent.

VERDICT: The newest episode seems far too eager to be done with the Summer School season, spending too much time on irrelevant plot lines and not nearly enough on the danger at hand.

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

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