'Pretty Little Liars' Goes Film Noir: 9 Things To Know About 'Shadow Play'
'Pretty Little Liars' Goes Film Noir: 9 Things To Know About 'Shadow Play'
Morgan Glennon
Morgan Glennon
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Pretty Little Liars can be a pretty colorful show, but in "Shadow Play" the drama is happening in black and white. The episode is Liars first foray into old Hollywood glamour, where the outfits were impeccable and danger lurked around every corner.

Considering the show has confessed to noir inspirations before, from old Hollywood mysteries to Edward Hopper paintings, setting an episode in shades of grey just makes sense. Plus, the girls are practically amateur gumshoes as it is. 

You've never seen a Pretty Little Liars episode look like this, but don't worry, 'A's' long shadow is still haunting the girls. From dressing gowns to lavish portraits and fedoras, here are just a few hints to get you excited about the noir episode: 

1. Spencer's Popping Pills

She's so excited, she's so scared, she's so bugging out to the 1940s. The whole elaborate film noir sequence comes courtesy of Spencer's new-found pill addiction. While most of the episode is a dream sequence, expect to see Spencer try to work through some of her biggest problems. Among them is her growing problem with Adderall, her relationship with Alison, and how to tell Aria some tough truths.


2. The Episode is Almost Entirely in Black and White

The dream sequence, complete with period touches and dialogue, takes up most of the run time of the episode. But for those who can't wait to see what's going to happen in the main timeline, don't despair. Spencer and the girls find something at school, put a few pieces together, and make a shocking discovery.

3. Matching Isn't Important in Black and White

According to costume designer Mandi Line, one of the biggest challenges dressing the girls for the noir episode was throwing out preconceived ideas about color matching. Since their impeccable outfits are never seen in color, some of the pieces were far from matchy-matchy. For instance, Emily's look apparently consisted of a purple dress with an orange belt and green shoes. That's a lot of color! What's important, however, is how the shades of grey look on screen. 


4. Alison Makes an Appearance

Alison has been everywhere this season, but she gets a lot of play in "Shadow Play." Sasha Pieterse not only looks great in the period attire, but her Alison is the perfect femme fatale. Look out for a hilarious giant portrait, several sightings of the elusive liar, and her trademark phrase. "Immortality, my darling," never looked so good. 

5. Toby is a Detective

You can't have a good film noir without a detective. In this case Spencer nominates Toby, who even takes our favorite Hastings down to the precinct. 

6. Romance is in the Air

Several couples in the episode end up in a lip-lock, but only one has a truly steamy scene. Can you guess which one? 


7. Ezra Plays a Perfect Devil

It's not like Ezra has been particularly subtle lately, but even that subtlety is thrown out the window in this film noir version. This Ezra is a perfect foil for hard-charging Spencer, and he's not afraid to openly threaten her over a 15 cent cup of coffee. 

8. Hanna Heads the Man Hating Club

What to do after a bad breakup? When you're Hanna Marin, you break some plates, read some Patterson, and become the official mascot of the man hating club. But Hanna still manages to stretch her sleuthing muscle in the noir episode, and she looks darn good doing so. 


9. Putting the Pieces Together

Spencer's noir dream actually works to help her put a few important pieces together about a big clue. Could the girls potentially get one step ahead of 'A'? 

What do you think? Are you looking forward to the noir episode? Which couple do you think will steam up the screen? Share in the comments! 

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC Family.

(Image courtesy of ABC Family) 


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