A lot of the show’s previous inhibitions with regards to pacing have been shed completely as of Blood is the New Black. There’s little evidence of the writers desperately trying to drag things out, which became a huge issue before A’s reveal last season. Instead, they’ve replaced delaying tactics with new exciting twists, and the show is all the better for it.
The darker vibe I mentioned last week infused this week’s episode even more, as the show continues its quest to scarier ground. There’s a greater sense of menace surrounding this new A, who seems much more intent on seeing the girls suffer, rather than seeing their social lives crumble. It’s a mantra that’s so far proved extremely successful, and that teeth necklace was even creepier than the car full of photos that were part of A’s last gift. I wonder where they’re going with this...
I’m also enjoying the teen drama taking a back seat to all this mystery that’s been taking over lately. I get that the show needs to include the romance thing, and it’s something I like seeing myself, but when it overshadows what you want to see, it becomes a huge issue in terms of holding viewers attention. What so great about this season is that these typical teen catalysts have been used as part of the bigger picture, with Caleb’s distrust of Hanna arising due to her secret visits to Mona, and Emily’s academic troubles becoming a consequence of her hazy memory from “that night”.
Hanna's visits to Mona continue to be one of the most fascinating sequences of this new season. There's not much that Mona's doing herself, but watching Hanna dealing with the loss of her friend to some form of inanity is an absorbing, if odd, turn of events that I would have never have thought a show like this could have been capable of exploring. Mona's theft of those tweezers might just be out of a desperate desire to escape, but maybe there's another darker purpose behind it, since she showed no aversion to self-harm in her final scene this week.
Most of the twists this season feel lot less “one step forward, two steps back” than they did in the previous two seasons, and the girls discovering that Jenna’s sight is back was something I was worried would get seriously dragged out. The moment of realization was intelligently pumped with Spencer’s declaration of offence against her, since we already knew Jenna was lying.
I’m not sure if this show is still as logical as it should be, and some parts feel like they’ve been popped in out of nowhere, but I just don’t seem to care about it all that much since the show is just as, if not stronger, than it’s ever been.