Generally, Pretty Little Liars tends to heat up toward the end of the season, but there’s one mid-Season 4 episode that’s caught our attention: Season 4, Episode 19 (“Shadow Play”). The episode, shot predominantly in black-and-white, already looks gorgeous, and we can’t wait to see what the Powers That Be have in store for us.
We’re going noir, people!
That’s right. This isn’t just a “Wizard of Oz reversed” as writer/director Joseph Dougherty described it, this is a full-on commandeering of the noir-style: 1940s style, moral ambiguity, and plenty of shadows! And we have our fingers crossed for a Spencer voiceover throughout the episode. We wouldn’t be surprised if everything is spot-on. Joseph has been tweeting about Raymond Chandler and his excitement over filming on the same stage as film noir classic The Maltese Falcon since September. Check out the glorious look of the episode in the promo photos already released.
It’s not a gimmick, OK?
Apparently, there was some concerned speculation that the ep would feel gimmicky, to which Joseph resolutely tweeted “I'll tell you a couple of things I believe about #419. It's not a gimmick, it's a very grounded way to look at the characters. We took the process very seriously, and there is as much moment to moment emotional honesty in #419 as there is in any episode of#PLL.” So, there.
It’s Spencer’s brain
We’ve known for a long time that this would be a Spencer-centric episode, but it’s becoming more and more clear that the change-up in the show’s normal format will be tied into Spencer’s pill addiction. According to the episode synopsis,“Spencer’s numerous sleepless nights with the help of prescription pills start to take a toll on her as her hunt for Ali and much needed answers continues. As she pours over newly acquired information, her worldview takes a black and white turn. Now teleported into the world of 1940’s Film Noir, Spencer tries to come up with the answers she and her friends have been desperately looking for.” Oh, we are so on board with this.
Spoby will be front and center
You didn’t think they could make a Spencer-centric episode without some Spoby feels, did you? Joseph Dougherty told Wetpaint Entertainment back in September: “Much of 4x19 is about the relationships, as they’ve been created over the last three or years, but everything is heightened and intensified. That means the emotions you’re used to will be intensified. There will be an intense attraction between [Spencer and Toby], but at the same time, these are two people who have kept secrets from each other, and that has had an affect on their personal trust level. There’s still things being worked out there, so there’s an intensity in the relationship that you’ll see between Spencer and Toby.” Is this the episode when Toby decides to leave Rosewood?
The Liars are keeping secrets from Aria
It seems that Spencer still has her suspicions about Ezra, and that she has let both Emily and Hanna in on them. In the promo photos for Episode 19, we see Spencer, Hanna, and Em meeting alone in the school bathroom. Are we reading too much into this, or are they pursuing the Ezra theory without Aria’s knowledge?
Ali will appear
It seems that Alison will appear in this episode in some form, as we see all done up in ‘40s makeup in this photo from the set. We’re hoping her appearance is more than just a hallucination or flashback, and we think there’s a chance she might have a real storyline in the ep considering Sasha Pieterse called it her favorite episode ever.
Paily will be together in a scene
It seems like forever since we’ve gotten a decent Paily scene, but perhaps Episode 19 will make up for it? Joseph tweeted this tantalizing tease for a Paily scene to come: “Directing @shaymitch & @LadyShawsters makes me think it's time to write something to go with The Yellow Sweater,” Joseph tweeted last week. (“The Yellow Sweater” is Joseph’s Paily-centric fanfiction written for Kindle Worlds.) Yeah, Paily!
Are you as excited about this episode as we are? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch this episode of Pretty Little Liars on February 4, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.