Pretty Little Liars Review: Choose or Lose (Season 7 Episode 18)

Pretty Little Liars, Reviews

There is something so cathartic about this episode! Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 18 “Choose or Lose” turns up the heat on the Liars, and gives them an ultimatum designed to drive a wedge between the five lifelong friends.

As families close ranks, A.D. prompts the Liars to play: “Choose or Lose.” They need to select one Liar to plead guilty, or they will all go to jail.

As riveting as the dilemma is, (and is it really a dilemma?), I am taking what may be a perverse pleasure in seeing Aria unmasked for the game she’s been playing.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – “Choose or Lose” – (Freeform/Eric McCandless)
LUCY HALE

I am not a fan of the Dark Aria plot. It’s been painful to watch on many levels, especially the scene where she destroys the nursery for Emily and Ali’s baby in Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 16 “The Glove That Rocks the Cradle.”

I have been waiting for them to unveil Aria to the rest of the group and have them find out that she’s inflicted this pain on them is all because of Ezra.

Aria is the Liar I have always felt had it the easiest when it comes to A and A.D. I am not saying she hasn’t suffered, but everything she ever did was because she was afraid of losing Ezra because she is so stubborn that she doesn’t want to give him up.

By joining the A.D. team, Aria has stooped to a new low to protect Ezra. A level that has made me flat-out dislike her. Even if she did think to turn herself in at the end of the episode, it hit a “too little, too late” note with me. She betrayed her friends, she blew up Spencer’s family, and she destroyed Emily and Alison’s nursery.

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PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – “Choose or Lose” – (Freeform/Byron Cohen)
SASHA PIETERSE, JANEL PARRISH, ASHLEY BENSON, TYLER BLACKBURN, TROIAN BELLISARIO

They have the right to be ticked off at this. The game has gone on for far too long, and they have Aria perpetuating it now. But what is really despicable about this is how A.D. rewards Aria for it.

Lieutenant Tanner rules out Aria as a suspect in Rollins death, through traffic footage that places her in New Hampshire.

This is a lie, and we know it, because she’s sitting in the backseat of the car when Hanna hits Elliot at the end of Season 7 Episode 3 “The Talented Mr. Rollins.” We also see her helping Emily and Spencer dig the grave on Season 7 Episode 4 “Hit and Run, Run, Run.”

So let’s review what Aria has received for her calculated betrayal: a file she filled out when she was angry that Ezra was writing a book about Alison, a puzzle piece, and now a get-out-of-jail-free card.

This all gets turned on its head when Aria opens the trunk of her car and finds Rollins’ body, right as the police pull up behind her. This comes after A.D. promises her an “unlimited supply of absolute freedom.”

Now if we believe A.D., this is definitely not what it looks like. Of course, there is also the chance that A.D.’s words were rich with sarcasm that isn’t coming through because their voice is computer generated.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – “Choose or Lose” – (Freeform/Byron Cohen)
TROIAN BELLISARIO

Let’s assume A.D. is telling the truth. Can you see what’s happening here?

A.D. has rigged the game.

We can argue that the game was always rigged, but this takes it to a whole new level. Sure Aria may have wanted to turn herself in, but A.D. has given her an alibi, and now with the body in her trunk, A.D. is setting it up so it looks like the other four Liars framed her out of jealousy.

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If the footage exonerates Aria and puts the rest of her friends in jail, that will be one truly twisted ending from a very sadistic foe.

To be honest, the body in the car, is a bold move on A.D.’s part, but if Hanna, Emily, Spencer, and Ali get dragged through questioning by the police I may reach a new level of disdain for Aria.

Stray Thoughts:

  • A big part of this episode is Spencer and Aria’s friendship and about how Spencer turned dark first. Let me highlight one difference: when Spencer played for the A Team, she was a juvenile. After five years I would have thought that at least one of the Liars would have learned not to give into these games.
  • Really don’t like how the default villain is always Mona. Sure, the evidence seems pretty damning, but given Mona’s tech skills there could be other motivations behind it.
  • Tanner is a much more formidable cop than Furey was. I am glad she’s back on the case. She scares the pants off of me.
  • Spencer smashing the phone with a rock is the best reaction to one of Liars Lament’s twisted questions. Really? Why didn’t anyone think of that before?
  • As much as I wanted to see Caleb and Hanna have a big white wedding, I am glad they had this understated ceremony instead, and that Ashley was there for it. She was always in their corner so it feels right to have her as a witness.
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What did you think of this episode of Pretty Little Liars? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Reviewer Rating:

User Rating:

[Total: 3    Average: 3.7/5]

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Freeform.

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Lauren Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.

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