“Hey Baby! You’re cute! Wanna go out sometime?”
Greetings, my Pretties! This week, the makers of Pretty Little Liars offered us VERY IMPATIENT fans of the series a little treat to tide us over, during the show’s interminable hiatus. Or, perhaps, I should say, a TRICK OR TREAT . . .
“Mmm . . . a human hand . . . yummy. (Tastes like chicken.)”
I’ll be honest. I went into “The First Secret” not expecting too much. After all, this was an out-of-season “special” . . . one that many fans of the show probably won’t even see, given the random time during which it aired. How many clues could they REALLY reveal, during an hour like this? I thought to myself, as I sat down to watch the show, this past Wednesday night. Well, as it turns out, the answer to that question is A LOT!
In many ways, “The First Secret” was a gift to both loyal fans of the show, and readers of the PLL book series. The episode succeeded in:
(1) capturing the spooky mood of Halloween;
(2) providing a fresh coat of paint to a series that was beginning to show signs of a slight sophomore slump;
Sorry . . . it had to be said.
(3) answering a lot of questions that viewers have wondered about, since the pilot episode; and
(4) offering viewers a treasure trove of new clues and theories to ponder over, between now, and January, when Season 2 returns.
Not bad for a “stand-alone special,” right? You know what would have made the episode PERFECT though? A little WREN . . .
But hey, we can’t always get EVERYTHING we want, right? So, suit up in your favorite costume (as long as it isn’t Lady Gaga), and keep your cell phone handy for any phantom texts from “A,” because it’s time to learn “The First Secret” . . .
(Special thanks go out to Home of the Nutty, for most of the fabulous screencaps you see here.)
Either Ali is SUPER self-absorbed (which, we already know she is), or her and Vampire Jason have another sibling . . .
My favorite parts of this episode were the ones that seemed to suggest that either Ali HAD a psycho twin sister, once locked away in the looney bin, who was now out for revenge, or that she WAS the psycho twin sister. The most obvious hint of this was the “scary story” Ali told the little boy she and Hanna were babysitting at the beginning of the episode, The story in question revolved around two twin little girls, who played dolls with one another, until one went nuts and stabbed the other.
Then, the stab-happy sister gets shipped to a mental institution.
The dolls the two girls in the scene play with look similar to the one we find in Ali’s “Secret Box” later in the episode. Another hint to the fact that there may be some truth to Ali’s story, is the arrival of the Radley’s Sanitarium truck (a clever To Kill a Mockingbird reference), which pulls up outside the abandoned Rosewood home, shortly after Ali finishes her tale.
After Ali finishes her story, we are treated to a Halloween-themed version of the original PLL opening sequence, which is AWESOME! It basically takes the already-creepy theme song, and Pretty Dead Girl Images, and makes them even more spine tingling, by throwing thunder, lightning, and strategic blood splatters into the mix.
“I’m Watching You”
Note to self: Hanging out in creepy abandoned houses, is a great opportunity to look up girls’ skirts – A.
The actual episode begins, in October 2008, about a year before the events in the pilot take place. Still-alive Ali, is walking with Fat Hanna, Goth Aria, Nerdy Spencer, and Shy Closeted Tomboy Emily. The group is trying to decide whether Hanna should shave her head, so that she can be Bald Crazy Brittany Spears for Halloween . . .
Ahhh . . . memories.
Of course, given that Hanna is currently
donning a ridiculous looking fat-suit a bit on the hefty side, shaving her head would probably make her look more Buddha than Britney. So, instead, she opts for Britney’s “Hit Me Baby, One More Time” naughty school girl incarnation.
“But Hanna, if you show your tummy, everyone will see your FAT SUIT!”
Then, Bushy Eyebrows Noel (whose eyebrows resembled furry caterpillars far less, back in 2008, by the way) drives up in his “super cool” car, with his “super cool” varsity friends. This happens, so that Noel can flirt shamelessly with Ali (Apparently, these two were an item, back in the day?), and invite all of the PLL girls to his “super cool” Halloween party, which will take place at his “super cool” house.
On second thought, they were actually just as bushy . . .
For Ali, being invited to Old Caterpillar Eye’s party is no big deal. But to the rest of the girls, it’s . . . like . . . OMG . . . the best thing EVER! The foursome decide to get ready for the party together in Spencer’s room, because Spencer is filthy rich.
SPENCER: “I am wearing ugly glasses, and a dorky belt, so you can tell that I am a ‘NERD’.”
ARIA: “I am wearing pink streaks in my hair, and a rocker tee, so that you can tell that I am a ‘GOTH.’”
EMILY: “I have a boyfriend, because I don’t want you to know yet that I am a ‘LESBIAN.’”
After Noel drives off with his friends, to go mutilate puppies, or whatever it is that “cool,” Bushy Eyebrowed boys do with their spare time, the rest of the girls take a few moments to talk about the SCARY ABANDONED HOUSE, that seems to have a SCARY ABANDONED PERSON in it, who was brought over by the SCARY MENTAL HOSPITAL TRUCK, which the girls, of course, fail to notice. Do you guys smell something? I think that’s the scent of FORESHADOWING . . .
Barbie’s Dream House, it ain’t!
Emily walks off by herself and comes upon Not YetAbs Toby, who, at this point, is still Creepy Toby. Creepy Toby is SUPER DEPRESSED, apparently, because his dad just married this witch Soon-to-Be-Blind Jenna’s mom. So, now he has to help Soon-to-Be Blind Jenna unpack her sh*t, including her Ugly Ass Snow Globe Collection, which, as we know from future episodes, will eventually fill the family living room with glass encased weirdness . . .
“Shouldn’t she have packed this in a box, or something. How did it not break on the trip over here?”
Later, at the Costume Store, we get to hang out with the not-dead-yet Ali . . .
Fake Smile Alert!
Ali is skipping around the costume shop when, OH NO, someone comes behind her and grabs her face. WHO COULD IT BE? (IS IT . . . A?)
Don’t worry kiddies, it’s just Bushy Eyebrows Noel . . . again.
Then Ali looks over and sees Not-Blind-Jenna lurking around the Lady Gaga costumes (or, as Ali calls her . . . since, they are like “close” or something) “Lady G.”
Why be Lady Gaga, when you can be Ugly Baby Head? Didn’t you know that all the cool kids are dressing up as Ugly Baby Head, this year!
Ali is FURIOUS that some new soon-to-be-blind chick has the NERVE to attend a costume party in HER costume. So, she decides to go and give this Jenna B*tch a real piece of her mind . . . Of course, she does it in that, “so nice, it’s evil,” way that mean girls have of dominating social situations. In Not-Yet-Blind Jenna’s defense, she doesn’t seem at all intimidated by Ali’s Alpha Female antics . . .
ALI: “You may be laughing now, but you’re going to be a blind, freakish brother f*&ker, by this time next year.”
NOT-YET-BLIND-JENNA: “And you’ll be DEAD. So . . . I WIN!”
Moments later, Ali gets a text on her 2008-era cell phone. It could be from the infamous “A.” Or it could be from one of the other 80 people who seem to enjoy stalking Ali. It’s hard to tell, honestly . . .
Least creative stalker message, EVER!
Ali turns nervously, and finds herself face to face with . . . you guessed it . . . UGLY BABY HEAD! She calls him (or her) a freak, and stalks out of the costume shop.
Hello, Creepy Pedo Not-Yet-Zombie Ian and Fitzy!
Creepy Pedo, Not-Yet-Zombie Ian are at Spencer’s house. And Creepy Pedo is videotaping Ali, while she talks about her smelly grandma. (Why do people always assume old people smell bad. For the record, my grandma always smelled AWESOME. Just sayin.) Then, Spencer comes down the stairs, with Melissa, who is being weirdly nice to her little sister, as she helps her with her speech for the upcoming school election.
“In less than a year, one of you will be dead, and one of you will be carrying a Demon Child in her womb. I bet you can’t guess which one is which!”
Melissa, who is dating Ian at this time (pre-Wren, of course), talks about how Spencer will definitely win the election because she is a Hastings. She also notes that her and Ian will be dressing up for Halloween as Bonnie and Clyde. Awww, how cute. *gags* There is some tension between Ali and Melissa, which, likely can be attributed to the fact that Ali is secretly boning Melissa’s boyfriend. But Spencer doesn’t seem to notice . . .
“Hey Spencer’s sister, maybe if you were better at sex, your boyfriend wouldn’t have to get his jollies, by boning every pre-teen in town.”
Meanwhile, over at Hollis College, Aria has a chance encounter with a special someone . . .
Awww, he waved at her! How cute!
Aria, not at Hollis to see Fitzy though (She doesn’t even KNOW him yet.) She’s actually there to visit her cheating turd of a dad. When she arrives at his office, some slutty chick is sitting on Daddy’s couch, totally making herself at home.
“Your dad is such a nice guy, Aria. He always lets all the girls in his class take naps on his office couch. And only one of them ended up pregnant, as a result!”
Aria asks her dad about the random chick on his couch. But he kind of blows it off as “no big deal.”
“I swear Aria, I’ve never seen this girl in my life! *mouths to Meredith* (Psst . . . Don’t forget to pick up your thong from under my desk.)”
Beware of Deputy Douchies!
Hey Hanna! We get that you’re supposed to be “Hefty.” You don’t have to rub it in our faces by wearing CAKE PAJAMAS!”
Hanna is home alone watching a SCARRRRY MOVIE, when her lights flicker, and there is a scraping sound at her window . . .
Then the phone rings. It’s a Breather . . . you know those people who call you on the phone and start wheezing into the mouthpiece, so they sound like Santa Claus having an asthma attack? Hanna hangs up the phone, super creeped out, only to have it ring again, the minute she returns the phone to its cradle. It’s THIS GUY . . .
JUST KIDDING! It’s ONLY Ali! She wants to know is Hanna happened to be at the costume shop today, dressed as Ugly Baby Head, or if she sent her a phantom not particularly stalker text message on her cell phone. Hanna did neither of these things . . . probably because she was too busy
adjusting her fat suit eating, or something.
The doorbell rings. And Hanna nervously rises to answer it. It’s her mom, and Deputy Douchey, who is currently just Douchey Cop. (Now . . . why didn’t Hanna’s mom have keys to her own house? Weird.)
“Hello, Hanna. Would you, perhaps, have any interest in engaging in a threesome, with myself and your mom? I brought protection.”
To be honest, it’s kind of refreshing to know that Hanna’s mom already knew Deputy Douchey, back when she boned him in the pilot episode, so that he would drop Hanna’s shoplifting charges. This makes Hanna’s mom seem like way less of a ho-bag, than I initially thought she was. Anywhoo . . . Hanna’s mom, was apparently drunk as a skunk at some bar. So, Deputy Douchey offered to drive her home
in hopes of getting laid out of the kindness of his heart. Douchey Cop makes some not-so-subtle suggestions that he be invited inside for a quickie cup of coffee. But Hanna and her mom are clearly not interested. And so, he reluctantly leaves.
Hanna and her mom then briefly discuss their financial troubles, and Hanna’s dad’s new girlfriend, before Hanna’s mom passes out on the couch. YAY for Good Parenting!
*sigh* “I guess I’ll go eat my feelings, now.”
“Shy on the streets. Sexy in the sheets (or in the backseat of a car).”
The next day at lunch, the girls are all gossiping about a rumor Wifebeater Ben apparently started, about his having sex with Emily. Emily alludes to the fact that this rumor might be true. And all the girls seem surprised, excited, and a bit jealous to hear about it . . .
“I’m not sexually attracted to girls. Not me . . . no sir . . .”
Then, Nerdy Mona comes by, and all the girls laugh, as Ali humiliates the crap out of her . . .
So, Mona has to go sit at the NERD Table with Lucas. FOR SHAME!
“Awww, man! Tuna for lunch, AGAIN!”
Did I mention before that Spencer is running for Class President? Because she IS . . . And she has way better posters than that lame chick “Dana Williams.” (To compare both posters, simply scroll up three pictures.)
I only mention this, because I have this theory that “Dana Williams,” Spencer’s opponent, is actually “Not-Now-Dana.” a.k.a. the Random Girl Who Just Got Eaten by Stefan on TVD . . .
After school, we are treated to that flashback from the pilot, where Aria learned of her dad’s affair, by finding him hooking up in the backseat of his car, with that slut, Meredith. Only this time, we have the joy of experiencing it in Real Time . . . (Mona sees it happen too!)
“Tra la la . . . eating yogurt is fun. (And not at all fattening.)”
“Wait for ME! I LIKE EATING YOGURT TOO!”
“What a LOSER! She is SO not touching our yogurt. Hey, isn’t that your dad, making out with the slutty student who was laying on his couch, with her legs open, earlier in the episode?”
“Hey, you’re not my Mommy. Why is your tongue cleaning my Daddy’s teeth?”
Vampire Jason Strikes Again . . . (and so does Douchey Cop)
“I want to suck your blood . . . but first, let me give you this Mysterious Package.”
That night, Ali is home in her bedroom, which may or may not feature a picture of her Evil Twin Sister on the bedroom wall, when Jason comes in to talk about “making a movie.” He’d like to tell Ali what that movie is about, but if he told her he’d “HAVE TO KILL HER!” (I smell foreshadowing again!) After Jason leaves, Ali opens the box and finds a voodoo doll in it. The doll comes with a note . . .
“Well, that’s not very nice!”
Ali then does what most of us do, when we receive creepy voodoo dolls with threatening messages attached to them. She opens her heater vent, and pulls out another box. Wait . . . WHAT?
The box contains an ugly doll that looks surprisingly similar to the one the two girls played with in Ali’s scary story. There’s also a necklace in there of some sort. (I suspect this was the box Jason gave to Aria, earlier in the season.) Ali unscrews the dolls head, and puts the “I’m going to torture you” note inside. Then she closes up the box, and puts it back in the heater. I guess Ali doesn’t want anyone to know she still plays with dolls . . .
It’s just a letter . . . nothing to lose your HEAD over . . .
Back at Hanna’s house, Douchey Cop pops over again. And this time he’s REALLY insistent on coming inside. But he gets REJECTED. Hanna seems concerned. But her mom, doesn’t think much of it. “He’s just a horny cop. I’m sure we won’t see him again . . . ” Riiiiiiight.
“Kiss me, I’m Douchey . . .”
“Kiss me, I’m wrapped in a towel, and staring at your butter.”
Everybody cries . . . sometimes
“I’m not crying because I might lose the election. I’m crying because I REALLY HATE TO SEW!”
Now, Ali is at Spencer’s house. (Girlfriend gets AROUND!) Spencer is crying, because she’s afraid she won’t win the class election. And, if she loses, her dad will think she’s a total loser! So, Ali vows to make sure that Spencer wins the election . . . probably by paying Stefan to eat Not Now Dana . . . (It’s all starting to make sense now.)
Over at Aria’s house, Aria and her dad, are having an incredibly awkward conversation, in which Aria’s dad has the NERVE to tell his daughter not to rat him out for boning that student, because finding out would make his mom SAD . . . or something. Yeah, he’s a TOTAL A$$HOLE, Aria! I’m glad “A” told on his ass . . .
“Please don’t tell your Mom, I’m a total loser, who wears way-too-tight shirts, and who she never should have married . . .”
*sniffle* “I think she already knows.”
“I don’t think I can ever forgive you for this,” whispers Aria, as she storms out of the room.
Then she cries. And her dad cries. And I cry. We ALL cry . . .
Fake Sex, Hermaphodites, and Election Wins . . .
The next day, Ali suggests that Emily go on the pill, since she’s apparently started boning Wife Beater Boyfriend Ben. Emily admits to Ali that they didn’t really have sex. This causes Ali to wonder why Emily let everyone believe that Ben “took the VIP tour to Never Never Land . . .”
We know that Emily only did this so no one know she’s really gay. But she makes some excuse about planning to bone Wife Beater Ben in the future, anyway, so why not let people think she’s doing it now. Yeah . . . that makes sense . . . not really . . . but OK, Emily.
At school, Aria claims to be COOL with her Dad being incapable of keeping his weiner in his pants. But the ugly hat she is wearing says otherwise . . .
“Hanna eats her feelings. I wear them on my head.”
Then Spencer wins class president election. YAY! (In other news, Not Now Dana is Dead.)
Also, Lucas is wearing a dorky pumpkin t-shirt. And spilled soda on Ali. So, she called him a hermaphodite. You know, because people with both kinds of private parts, are very clumsy, and like to wear orange . . .
“Don’t worry. I’ll lick it off you.”
After the girls leave, Lucas tells Mona that Ali will one day “get what’s coming to her.”
It’s Party Time . . . (and quite possibly time to DIE!)
As promised, the girls all get ready for Noel’s SUPER COOL Halloween party at Spencer’s house, where . . . SOMEONE MAYBE WATCHING THEM . . .
After the rest of the girls leave, Aria seems not so psyched about attending the party. So, Ali blackmails her to go, by threatening her that, if she doesn’t, Ali will tell everyone about her dad’s affair with the Student Slutbag . . .
“Wow! You really are a terrible human being, you know that? No wonder half the cast of this show are suspects in your murder.”
“I know. And my Lady Gaga costume sucks too . . .”
At the Halloween Party, Spencer has dressed up as Bloody Mary . . . but not the cool, scary, pops out of bathroom mirrors, Bloody Mary, the boring historical one . . .
Spencer has made the Lindsay Lohan from Mean Girls mistake of not dressing up as something sexy, while attending a Super Cool Halloween party. (For shame.) Busy Eyebrows Noel is dressed as a doctor. (Yeah . . . because THAT’s creative.) And a whole lot of people came to the party as Ugly Baby Head . . .
But the MOST SHOCKING THING OF ALL IS THAT NOT-YET-BLIND JENNA HAD THE NERVE TO GO TO THE PARTY AS LADY GAGA!
And what’s worse, she’s a WAY HOTTER LADY GAGA THEN ALI!
Knowing that she’s been beaten at her own game, Ali offers Not-Yet-Blind Jenna a spot in her SUPER ELITE circle. An offer which Jenna promptly declines. She’d much rather hang out with Looking A lot Less Nerdy Now, Mona, who is dressed as Cat Woman, thank you very much!
Ali won’t let this rejection ruin her party. So, she makes her way around the room, stopping to flirt with some boys . . .
She also pulls Spencer aside, to show her all the random ballots she STOLE, so that she would win the presidential election. “I thought you’d like to look at them first. You’d be surprised at who your friend’s AREN’T.” Ali notes slyly, before walking away.
OK . . . first of all, where the heck did Ali hide those ballots in her costume? (Did she put them in her BRA?) Second of all, aren’t ballots supposed to be anonymous? Third of all, which PLL girl in her right mind would vote for Not Now Dana, instead of Spencer? Fourth of all . . . yeah . . . I don’t have a fourth of all . . .
Then Ali sees Emily drooling over Not-Yet-Blind Jenna. So, of course, she has to make a clever comment about that . . .
Later, the girls get a text from Ali, claiming that she is stuck at the Creepy Farm House, and that they should come alone . . .
Uh oh! I hope Ugly Baby Head didn’t take her . . .
Things get kind of spooky, from here on in. The girls enter the farmhouse, and go up the stairs . . .
Of course, Ugly Baby Head is there. Because everybody knows Ugly Baby Head never misses a party . . .
“Come play with me.”
The girls here noises, and are really FRIGGIN freaked out. Then Ali, pokes her head out of a door, claiming that some dude grabbed her.
“Please help me. I’m too young to die. (I’ll be old enough in a couple of months. But I’m too young, now.”
Ali goes back behind the door to check if the dude is gone, and to call the cops. But then SHE IS GRABBED BY AN UGLY BABY HEAD!
“Want a hug?”
She screams. The girls SCREAM. WE ALL SCREAM!
But then, it turns out Ali is OK . . . OR IS SHE? (Maybe her Evil Twin took her away?)
Back at the party, all these other cast members, have randomly arrived. Douchey Cop is there, and so are Vampire Jason, Melissa, and Creepy Pedo Not-Yet-Zombie Ian . . .
“For Halloween, I’ve decided to dress up as a slightly less Douchey version of myself . . .
Bushy Eyebrows Noel is back, except now he’s wearing a costume that looks less like the doctor one he was wearing before, and more like Ugly Baby Head . . .
Ali asks Bushy whether he was the one who grabbed her in the haunted house earlier, signifying that what happened to her up there, may not have been the Big Funny Prank on the rest of the PLL girls, that Ali pretended it to be. Bushy claims he didn’t do it. And I believe him, only because I think he’s too stupid to pull something like that off. Then Lucas appears at the party, and he’s dressed as . . . wait for it . . . UGLY BABY HEAD! (Surprise!)
WOAH! Lucas looks SUPER EVIL in this screencap!
There’s yet another Ugly Baby Head at this party. But his identity is never revealed. (Seriously? The people in Rosewood REALLY need to get more creative about choosing their Halloween costumes. It’s not like there’s ever been an Ugly Baby Head movie! How the heck did this costume get so popular?)
At the end of the episoe, we get our first OFFICIAL text from A. Here it is . . .
*insert evil laugh here*
And that was “The First Secret” in a nutshell. So, what did you THINK?