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Good Girls Review – Guess Who’s Back, Back Again (3×01)

Credit: Good Girls/ NBC

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Good Girls is back and you better strap in for one emotionally twisted and dangerous ride.

Beware: this post contains spoilers, obviously. If you haven’t seen the premiere of season 3, tap out! 

First off, they’re back, baby!

Secondly, he’s back, baby!

I have never been this excited to see a character, who I already assumed survived, confirm that he is, in fact, alive.

Of course, I’m talking about Rio, who is like a cat with nine lives and despite going off the grid and letting everyone think he’s dead, he’s still somehow the ringleader in charge. You know he’s a bad guy, but you have to kind of be in awe of how nonchalant he is about everything and yet still manages to get things done without lifting so much as a finger.

Beth might think that he’s dead, but she clearly has never heard of the golden rule in television – no one is dead until you see a body and even then, be suspicious.

Last we saw Rio, he was bleeding out as Agent Turner dangled a Hail Mary in front of him after Beth betrayed him, shot him multiple times, and left him to die.

The odds were against Rio, but we all correctly assumed that Agent Turner would spare him and use him at his own convenience as a snitch.

Agent Turner could have just walked away and lived a happy life, sure, but he’s always been consumed with getting the bad guy and bringing Rio and his men down. He wanted revenge and well, he paid the ultimate price.

Rio, known now as Kowalski (sure, he can pass for European any day) was put in witness protection in exchange for his cooperation.

However, it’s unlike Rio to work alongside the cops and FBI, and we should have known he would have a contingency plan if it ever came down to it.

Rio may be a lot of things, but one thing he’s never been is stupid — he knew the feds were closing in on him and could scoop him up at any moment, so there was a huge likelihood that he prepared for this exact moment.

Rio didn’t just have a plan to get himself out, he had a plan to take Turner out, too. No FBI agent sticking his nose into Rio’s business, no problem.

Rio played his part right, and when Turner thought he gave him what he wanted, he pulled one over on him. Turner’s flaw is that he grew too trusting of Rio and walked right into a trap. He was ambushed and gunned down in broad daylight. Just like that.

Beth is living life oblivious to the fact that she has a giant target on her back.

The ladies who continue to believe that he’s alive despite all the clues and foreshadowing that he’s definitely coming back.

Dean mentioned Rio coming back as a zombie (oh, Deanie, you have no idea) and even Rio’s baby momma, who Beth befriended out of guilt, keeps insisting that Rio always comes back.

And she’s not wrong.

Beth is in for quite a wake-up call when she realizes the man she “thought” she killed is still alive and is out for blood. A piece of advice — if you’re planning to kill the King, make sure he’s dead before you walk away.

She’ll likely realize something is amiss when she hears about Agent Turner’s death. Or maybe she won’t because his “accidental” death is a good thing for her, too. Without Turner around, she can go about her business and produce counterfeit money without having to look over their shoulder every few months.

Beth hasn’t learned her lesson despite the dangers she’s found herself in. She’s still dabbling in this lifestyle because it’s convenient and she assumes that the risks have been eliminated.

If Beth was smart, she wouldn’t be surprised by the rise of a new (or old) problem. It’s the territory that comes with the shady life she’s leading. If it’s not going to be Rio, it’s going to be some other gang leader trying to get into her business.

But Beth trudges on and finds new ways to keep on keeping on with her lucrative “career.”

The lengths these women go to to find new ways of doing bad things is incredible.

If you take a step back, it’s actually a lot of work for someone who is essentially “taking the easy way out.” It’s hard making an honest living, but making an illegal living is no walk in the park, I’ll tell you that!

However, it’s not difficult to understand why Beth, Annie, and Ruby are willing to take such risks.

When the series picked up, our ladies were doing their best to scrape on by, and that financial struggle is what has motivated them to continue pursuing this life of crime.

I’d say of the three of them, it’s most burdensome to Beth and Ruby’s family.

Beth’s working at a gift shop picking up hours to pay off the mortgage that they’ve fallen behind on. How is she running a counterfeit money production company from the back? Who owns this shop? Throughout the episode, it seems like Beth’s an employee or possibly a supervisor, but yet no one has caught on to her off-hours project?

Meanwhile, Ruby is working at a nail salon where she’s still putting bitches in check while Stan, a disgraced cop, is working security for “The Mayor” aka a strip club in town.

This is by far the biggest change in the series considering how buttoned-up and proud Stan was in the beginning. Situations change and the Hill family has been flexible and accommodating (Ruby watching butt-naked strippers walking around Stan is something) to pay for their daughter’s medical care.

With Annie, it doesn’t seem like money issues are as big of an issue as her boredom with a mediocre lifestyle. And as far as we know, she’s working valet and taking all those expensive cars for a whirl aka my biggest fear giving way my car to valet!

Good Girls started off with moms dabbling in crime to make ends meet but the more we trudge along, the more we understand why they do what they do, and that may be the biggest takeaway of all — that earning money “the right” way isn’t enough to support necessities in life.

A series that could have run out of storylines, burnt through them, and exhausted possibilities has figured out a way to elevate and one-up themselves each time. It has never slowed down, it’s only speeding up as the crimes they commit catch up them just as quickly as the lies.

Just when you think you know what twist is coming, they surprise you.

The series isn’t afraid to pull triggers, literally, and knows when it’s time to close the chapter on a character to better the story. It shows the good and ugly sides of each character, embracing both equally, and establishing that it’s okay to break the rules when necessary and backed into a corner. But most importantly, it teaches you to own up to it even if Beth’s still figuring that out.

While we want to champion Beth for being a headstrong woman who never lets anything knock her down, she remains oblivious to her involvement in anything.

She may have watched a man die, but she doesn’t blame herself. Sure, it pains her to see his family suffer, but she believes it’s for the best and that Rio had it coming.

It has never occurred to Beth that’s she’s just as low and terrible as Rio because she hides under this housewife facade.

Her terrible choices even boil down the befriending Rio’s baby momma because she’s searching for some twisted version of forgiveness and likely some connection to him.

Other Thoughts from a Good Girl

  • Dean went from selling cars to selling spas. At least he’s trying to pull his weight.
  • I love how they’re testing their fake money at the Currency Exchange of the guy they kidnapped!
  • They really told Lucy that they needed her to make money for casino night. Remember what happened the last time they dragged an innocent into this unwillingly?
  • “You bitches just leveled up.”
  • The stripper giving Sara a tutorial about swallowing a pill… the Mayor’s office will get ya.

Will Beth get it together? Or will Rio’s return slap her right in the face? I love our girl, but I’m kind of excited to see the other foot drop.

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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Review – Hell House (206)

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Pretty Little Liars Summer School Review Hell House Season 2 Episode 6

Welcome to our nightmare couldn’t have been a more accurate statement for the liars of Millwood, especially after the most recent development on Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 2 Episode 6.

In the final moments of the episode, Imogen is challenged by Bloody Rose, but unlike with the other girls, she doesn’t give her much of a heads up, ambushing her in her mother’s bedroom. 

It’s at this moment that I had this odd feeling that maybe, just maybe, Bloody Rose is Imogen’s mother—and lo and behold, that’s exactly who Imogen said was under the bloody gauze when she pulled it off. 

Now, we have to take it with a grain of salt, considering Imogen’s mother died… we never saw a body body, but we saw her in the bloodied bathtub, which seemed like enough proof. 

There’s also the fact that trauma has a way of playing tricks on you, and while it seems like Imogen is fine most of the time, she is in a vulnerable and fragile place when it comes to her mental health. She’s had a significant amount of breakdowns that could have caused her to imagine her mother’s face in place of whoever is actually attacking them. The trauma could’ve intensified by being back in her childhood home where she saw her mother take her own life. 

And let’s not forget that there’s a handful of people in town who are skilled at making very detailed and intricate masks. Imogen wasn’t able to say much about who she saw under the gauze aside from “my mom,” but it’s possible that her next words would have been “or a mask to look like my mom.” Because the odds of it actually being her mom are slim. 

It also doesn’t really make sense if it were to be Imogen’s mother as she didn’t give off homicidal tendencies. I know a lot of people aren’t who they claim to be in Millwood, but Imogen’s mother was genuinely excited to support her daughter becoming a mother before she was brutally murdered—and made to look like a suicide—by Archie. Therefore, I don’t think she’d ever turn around and terrorize her daughter and her friends—what would be the reason?

The town of Millwood is ensuring that the liars don’t forget about their trauma too quickly either with the arrival of Redemption House, which everyone dubs Hell House. And considering the rooms are all themed to stick it to the liars and make them feel guilty about all that they’ve endured—losing loved ones, being taken advantage of at parties, etc—it’s a fitting name. 

Thankfully, this season, the liars aren’t just taking it, they are fighting back in any way that they can. They aren’t just boldly taking on Bloody Rose’s deathly challenges, they are taking a stand and ensuring that their message is received by the culty church that rented out Imogen’s house for their theatrics. 

 Their plan to terrorize Redemption House with monster and demon masks was innocent yet effective, considering the cult members’ fear of hell, but it also slightly backfired not only because of Bloody Rose’s attack on Imogen, but because Bloody Rose already got to Redemption House before them and stabbed Pastor Malachi dead between the eyes. 

Was it gruesome and brutal? Yes. Was it deserved? Well, no one ever deserves murder, to be clear, but the man did bring it upon himself. I was hoping someone would notice his absence/bring up his death during the episode, but I’m guessing it will be timed to the movie that the boys recorded, which will somehow place the blame back on the liars. It’s not the first time they’ve been set up. 

The whole Redemption House storyline is bizarre on so many levels—something the liars themselves have acknowledged, which is nice—and I can’t speak to why Henry is blindly taking part in it, but I’m convinced that Kelly is brainwashed. Whatever her mom did to her in that “prayer room” changed her completely, so she’s just going along with it blindly despite knowing that it isn’t right. 

Another development I’m excited to see is Greg and Faran’s hook-up. They have such an intense chemistry that it’s only a matter of time, not to mention Greg’s character was being wasted on that Redemption House storyline. If anything, Faran is his redemption. Plus, the fact that he’s Kevin from Riverdale’s cousin makes him so much better in my book. I love the subtle callbacks to sister shows. 

Then there’s the Jen of it all. While I was on board with her and Noa’s relationship initially, I’m not into it now that I know she tried to right one of her wrongs but bling-ringing Shawn’s house and then giving him the money. Like, in what world is that a reasonable solution? Noa was upset, but not as upset as she should’ve been, simply telling Jen to stop breaking into people’s homes. Her feelings for Jen are clearly clouding her judgment, but I wish this moment would’ve painted a clearer picture for her overall because it was a shitty move on Jen’s part. 

What did you think of the episode? Do you believe Bloody Rose is really Imogen’s mom? Or do you think someone is playing tricks on her? Can the liars’ circle of significant others really be trusted? And where is Wes? Did Bloody Rose get to him? Did Christian?

Share your thoughts on this weeks episode of PLL: Summer School now! 

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Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Review – Friday the 13th (205)

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Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Review - Friday the 13th (205)

What happened to sticking together the next time Bloody Rose—not to be confused with the actual Rose Waters, mother of Angela and Archie, who jumped off a bridge (it wasn’t that tall so she’s presumably still alive) the moment she heard her son was still alive—calls upon one of the liars to pass their “test”?

At this point, it’s clear Bloody Rose’s tests are just traps for the girls, seemingly punishment for their sins, which makes me think that there’s a good possibility that Bloody Rose is Kelly’s mother, who has fully immersed herself in the cult—yes, it’s a cult, we all saw whatever it is Henry was doing in there—of Redemption House. Multiple times throughout this second season of Pretty Little Liars: Summer School, Kelly’s mother and that creepy pastor mentioned paying for the sins of the town, and considering what happened to her husband last season, she has plenty of reason to believe that the “final girls” are to blame. 

However, whoever Bloody Rose actually is, she has to have a lot of disposable income at the ready as the amount of thorny roses placed on the path for Noa to run across would cost a fortune, which kind of leads me to think that maybe it is someone like Dr. Sullivan, who has a steady income as a psychologist and proved herself to be untrustworthy as the girls found a recording device that lent itself to transcripts of every convo they’ve ever had. Dr. Sullivan claimed she was using it to write a book about adolescent survival, but who is actually buying what she’s selling at this point, especially once they figured out she was also Rose Waters’ therapist at one point. 

The truth is, any OG PLL fan will remember Sullivan went through hell and back while serving as a soundboard for Aria, Emily, Hannah and Spencer, so while she might not be winning the trust of our new liars, I’m also hesitant to think that she’d be responsible for tormenting all these young teens, particularly when she was targeted by “A” in the past herself… and now pushed down the stairs by a new masked psycho.

I’m also skeptical of Imogene’s father’s new fiancee, who, admittedly, came out of nowhere. There was something off about her presence, and the way she looked at Imogene sort of resembled the same look that Bloody Rose has whenever we do see her. And it would make sense that she’d go after Imogene’s father if she wanted to infiltrate her life. 

Imogene spiraled at dinner, though it didn’t scare of shake Johnny one bit. You’d think the dude would be running for the hills by now after his maybe-gf threatened to cut off his dad’s fiancee’s fingers and previously called him over to the house she was babysitting at before opening the door with a sharp knife. But he’s been pretty understanding, knowing that she’s just working through the trauma of last year. It’s nice that she has someone on her side who comes without judgment—let’s just hope he stays a good guy! 

But aside from the “who is Bloody Rose” theories, Noa was the next target, and she narrowly escaped with Jen’s help. While I thought the setup of the whole “test” was bloody terrific, it felt all too rushed and not as personal as the ones Mouse and Faran faced. 

It’s also not exactly clear how Jen knew where Noa would be, but I’m guessing she found Noa’s behavior concerning and went back to the apartment to read the contents of the letter she initially assumed was from Shawn.

Quite honestly, Noa’s been going through while toggling back and forth between her feelings for Shawn and Jen. She needs to come clean to her man, and maybe there’s a way that they can all be in an open relationship. At the very least, Shawn deserves to know about her feelings and past connection to Jen as he seems very serious about her. And it’s clear that whatever she feels for Jen isn’t temporary and shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially now that she came to her rescue and has very much seen what Bloody Rose is capable of. Also, where did BR get that dog?

And then there’s our boy Wes, still stirring up problems for Tabby, but this time, she has someone on her side as Christian notes he’s getting “bad vibes” from the movie theater manager. Honestly, we’ve been saying that from day one, Christian! Wes also tries to suggest that Tabby was only contacted about her short film because she’s black, which doesn’t sit well with her, and she hits back with the suggestion of a colorblind movie-off. The growth in Tabby’s character has been impressive, and it’s nice to see that even if they are being hunted by a masked killer, they still know their worth and can stand their ground. 

And finally, Mouse’s grandmother Lola needs care—I said it. Why are we letting this poor woman spend time alone on SpookySpaghetti where she’s easily manipulated? She cut her forehead as part of some step 1 in the Bloody Rose’s reckoning—and the fact that this killer hs so many followers is actually concerning. 

Oh, what an unlucky Friday the 13th! You’d think by now, the town would stop showing horror movies for fun—isn’t the horror of their life enough?

What are we thinking about the season so far? Who is Bloody Rose? Are the girls handling things properly? Should they be better equipped since their showdown with Archie? Is it bold of them to be taking things into their own hands for once and trying to push back against BR bullying ways? 

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Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review – Sweet Sixteen (203)

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Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review - Sweet Sixteen (203)

There was nothing sweet about Mouse’s sweet 16 on Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 2 Episode 3. 

At such a tender age, these girls have survived one serial killer, only to be preyed on by another, seemingly more deranged, one. 

My whole heart hurt for Mouse as she realized that the location where Lola dropped her off for her surprise party was a trap set by Bloody Rose Waters, considering how depressed she was when she thought her friends weren’t prioritizing her birthday.

All sweet Mouse wanted was to feel special, but instead, she was fighting for her life at every turn—and thanks to some quick thinking, managed to make her way out of the abandoned restaurant after Bloody Rose set it on fire. 

All those months of therapy went down the drain in a flash as the trauma returned upon the realization that it was happening again—their biggest fears were manifesting. Not to mention poor Imogen is going to struggle between distinguishing reality from her nightmares/hallucinations as Bloody Rose exists in both.  

The final girls needed to once again prove that they could survive a serial killer. 

Throughout the episode, I kept trying to figure out who could be behind Bloody Rose. While there’s always the possibility it is actually Archie’s mom, I’m inclined to believe it’s someone who knew what happened to them and wants to continue preying on them. 

Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review - Sweet Sixteen (203)

Credit: PLL Summer School/Max

However, all of the topline suspects were at the roller rink for Mouse’s actual surprise party—that she sadly didn’t get to enjoy—including Imogen’s crush, Johnny, Noa’s juvie friend, Jen, Tabby’s new work crush Christian, and Kelly and Gregg. 

There were a few people missing, including Henry and Sean, which I found suspicious. I don’t actually think Sean is behind any of it, but I can’t shake the feeling I’m getting about Henry, especially as it would make sense for the killer to be someone all too familiar with what happened to them last year. 

Then there’s Ash, who wasn’t at the party but did come to Mouse’s rescue, once he found out about her other “surprise” party from Lola. He seemed very much in the dark the whole time, so I think we can rule him out. 

I’m not counting out Kelly’s mom, Chip’s mom (who has a reason for wanting revenge), and Dr. Sullivan herself, who knows the liars’ deepest darkest secrets and can frankly use them against them. 

Murder and serial killers aside, Tabby and Imogen both confided in their new crushes about their trauma and PTSD—and much like in the original, the guy seems like they will be a source of support, which is nice. Everyone needs supportive partners, especially when you’re being hounded by a psychopath.

Faran owned her power after a terrifying experience at the pool, and while being intimidating might warrant some haters—especially the dude she fired—it was also warranted as he was negligent on the job twice, and it almost led to a terrible accident. 

And I’ve got to ask, what’s with all the douchey dudes in Millwood? For every good one, there are several around to make derogatory and misogynistic comments for absolutely no reason.

What did you think of the episode? Is Bloody Rose taking things too far? How will the liars ensure their survival this time around?

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