Greetings, My Pretties! Happy New Year, and welcome back! It sure has been a long cold winter, without any nefarious texts from “A,” sneers from Blind Jenna, obligatory Ali flashbacks, or Pretty Little Couple’s Makeout Sessions.
Fortunately, Pretty Little Liars is back with a vengeance. And if this mid-season premiere episode is any indication, we are in for quite the wild ride.
So slip into that fashionable orange jumpsuit, practice your right hook, and prune your garden hoe, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .
We open on a completely random shot of little girls jumping rope to some Pretty Little Liars’ themed rhyme. You know, because little girls are scary . . . especially ones who jump rope.
Then again, perhaps I only think this because I was a particularly unathletic child.
Anywhoo . . . it’s been one month since our fabulous foursome was caught fondling the Big Fat Shovel That Killed Now-Dead Ali. The time jump conveniently ensures that we can skip over all that Boring Legal Stuff the girls likely had to endure for being the MAIN SUSPECTS IN A MURDER!
Thank goodness for that! And, while we’re at it, thank goodness for Spencer’s Mom! She must be the best criminal attorney EVER! Step aside, Guy Who Represented O.J. Simpson
(Johnny Cochran, R.I.P.). There’s a new sheriff in town!
But lest you think our pretties got off scot-free, this is NOT the case. They had one month of community service, which basically entailed picking up trash on the highway. (Take that, Lindsay Lohan!)
At first blush, this doesn’t sound so bad, right? I mean, aside from being a very environmentally conscientious “green” thing to do, they get to do it together. So, here I am expecting a nice, fun-filled, scene filled with snarky one-liners, community service hijinks, and maybe even a chain gang sing-a-long a la Glee. But, alas, it is not to be. Something stinks in Rosewood. And it’s not the trash on Highway 16 . . .
Suddenly Emily is TOTALLY sticking it to Spencer for not wanting to go in on her “Big Plan.” She even goes as far as to suggest that Spencer’s rich, fancy parents would throw the rest of the girls under the bus for Ali’s murder, if they had the chance . . .
Cue Spencer Face . . .
Ugly Horse Sweater not included . . .
Next thing you know, Spencer is tossing her garbage bag at Emily, and the girls are throwing down, Fight Club-style . . .
The moment that launched hundreds of M-rated Spemily Slash fanfictions . . .
Things get so intense between the two growling, grunting, hair-tugging teens, that the local sheriffs have to intervene. (But not, Police Boy Garrett . . . whose sole function on the police force seems to be to sit in his car and
suck face with Blind Jenna twirl his non-existent Evil Mustache and plot World Domination). The altercation results in two extra weeks of community service for each girl. Oh, and Spencer’s dreams of an Ivy League education are pretty much shot to hell. But, hey, I hear the Women’s Wrestling Federation is hiring!
But Spencer isn’t the only one who seems to be hating on Emily. Back at La Casa de Marin, Hanna is also giving her the cold shoulder. AWK-WARD . . . especially considering that, last I checked, these two were sharing a bedroom. Emily doesn’t mind too much though.
After all, she got a Really Cool and Mysterious Fax.
Maybe it’s from the Womens’s Wrestling Federation. Meanwhile . . .
Frowny Fitzy and Avoidant Aria
Aria’s skipping through town with her used-to-be-crazy
for about three episodes Little Brother Mike. (By the way, does anyone else think Little Brother Mike kind of looks and acts like Little Brother Jeremy from The Vampire Diaries? Just wondering . . .)
Little Brother Mike tells Aria that he’s happy he has a nice new therapist, and that people don’t look at him like he’s a Bobble Head anymore. This caused me to wonder how exactly people look, when they are looking at a Bobble Head. Do they just nod a lot?
The Montgomery duo run into Fitzy in town. So, Aria, being super slick, and not-at-all obvious . . .
. . . tells Little Brother Mike to go throw out her coffee cup in the Trashcan Far, Far Away. Little Brother Mike complies, but not without looking at Fitzy, like he’s a Bobble Head. (See what I did there? ;)) Apparently, Aria’s been giving Fitzy the Big Freeze, ever since Wacky Jackie threatened to have her former honey fired from Hollis College, if Aria continued to see him.
This probably would have been a REALLY good time for Aria to tell Fitzy that his latent-onset psycho ex-fiance will most likely come after him with an axe screaming, “If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN,” if the two are seen together. But hey, Pretty Little Liars wouldn’t be Pretty Little Liars if all the characters didn’t keep completely unnecessary secrets from one another. And besides, Little Brother Mike is back from his trek to the Trashcan Far, Far Away. So, it’s hasta la vista, for now, Dear Fitzy . . .
Elsewhere . . .
We’ll get you, Policeboy Garrett! (And your creepy blind girlfriend too.)
Clearly having picked up a thing or two about creepy fortune-cookie-esque taglines from “A,” Spencer confronts the traitorous Police Boy Garrett. She does this, pretty much just to make fun of his now-public relationship with Blind Jenna . . .
(If by “interesting” you mean “stomach-turning” and “vomit-inducing,” then, yes, they certainly are “interesting,” Spencer.)
Spencer also wants to freak to Police Boy Garrett out, by making him think that she’s on to his involvement in their frame-up and/or Ali’s murder, and/or A’s antics . . .
I’d say her intimidation tactics were successful, but it’s really hard to tell. After all, Police Boy Garrett only seems to possess one facial expression: the “I Just Got Laid by a Minor” look . . .
Given that, it’s often difficult to determine whether he is scared, angry, smug, or just really has to pee . . .
GIRLFIGHT: Part Deux
Things continue to go from crappy to crappier for Poor, Newly-Outcasted, Emily Fields. We find out that the fax she received earlier in the episode was actually a clean bill of health from that time “A” put steroids in her skin cream.
Don’t do it. NOOOOOOO!
An excited Emily approaches her athletic advisor with the results, hoping that she can finally rejoin the swim team. The problem, of course, is that Emily is a murder suspect. And I guess the thought that one of your teammates might bash your head in with a shovel in the locker room is “bad for team morale,” or whatever. Then again, that Paige chick ALMOST DROWNED SOMEONE. And she still got to swim. Lame . . .
This prompts “A” to send Emily a text message . . .
. . . and Emily to respond, in a way that would only make sense if “A” happened to be in the same English class . . .
After class, Emily is at her locker, when she comes upon a book she accidentally/ on purpose took from Spencer. (It’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. I’m not really sure that’s relevant. But I figured, it couldn’t hurt.) Inside the book is a note instructing Emily to meet SOMEONE at 10:30 p.m. that night. Emily complies. And, SURPRISE! It’s the rest of the girls.
Apparently, all this “Hating on Emily” was just a Big Ole Ruse to make her look like the Weakest Link, and get “A” to meet her. Clever, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so either. But it did give the actresses a chance to wrestle! So, yay to the writers for that . . .
Lucas Flirts with Hanna / Has an Online Gambling Problem (?) / Gets His Heart Broken
Though I love me some sexy Haleb action just as much as the next girl, I’m still a Lucas / Hanna shipper at heart. So, of course, the nerd girl inside of me did a little Happy Dance, when I found out that Lucas has been keeping Hanna company, while his bromantic buddy, Caleb, is soaking up the sun in California with his Rich Bio Mom . . .
Apparently, Lucas has been spending whatever time he’s not actually with Hanna, combing the internet for pictures of her in her prison jumpsuit . . . which, to him, is probably almost (but not quite) as good as porn. I think it’s super sweet that Lucas is willing to take down all these pictures to spare Hanna’s “pristine” image.
But Lucas is no dummy. He knows an opportunity for flirtation when he sees one. And so, he cleverly manages to sneak into the conversation the fact that he thinks Hanna looks “pretty,” even in prison garb . . .
You’ve got to admit, the Dude’s got game. Speaking of game, this was the Super Mysterious Website he had on his screen, before Hanna sat down next to him . . .
It looks like some sort of online sports gambling site. Perhaps, in addition to a successful eBay Auction career, and expert finder of Hanna Marin pictures, our adorkable, innocent, chlorine intolerant, Lucas is also a bookie. Who knew?
It recently occurred to me that Lucas is not only a Mini Seth Cohen from The O.C.
He also may very well be the future lovechild of Leonard and Penny from The Big Bang Theory. (Yes, I watch way too much television.)
How else would you explain his feeble attempt to interest Hanna in the fascinating world of comic books and graphic novels?
But alas, this little foray into geekdom will be short-lived. Not long after the the Beauty and the Geek duo return to Hanna’s house, they find Mr. Sexy Pants, himself, Caleb, right there waiting for them.
It becomes immediately apparent that the Caleb / Lucas bromance is starting to sour, when Lucas not-so-subtly implies that he liked Caleb much better when he was living in California, as opposed to regularly boning their mutual dream girl.
Lucas then wryly lectures Caleb on possibly leading Hanna on, if he plans on staying in California, for the long term. It’s a nice gesture, on Lucas’ part, but, at the same time, a bit self-serving. And I say this as a Lucas Fan . . . (Please don’t let him be “A” or Ali’s killer . . . pretty please, Writers! I beg you!)
Elsewhere, in Unrequited Love Land . . .
Spoby on the Rocks . . . with a Rocking Chair
Apparently, Spencer took A’s thinly veiled threat regarding Abs Toby’s safety VERY seriously . . . so seriously, in fact, that she hasn’t said a word to him, since she unceremoniously dumped him in his car, one month ago. But when the going get dumped, the dumped build rocking chairs. And that’s exactly what Toby does for Spencer . . . you know . . . because she’s secretly an 80-year old woman with a bad back and arthritis . . .
But Spencer doesn’t want anything to do with Toby, or his senior citizen gift (or, at least that’s what she wants him to think). And she tells him as much . . “Forget about me,” she tells him, coldly. “Worry about your sister and that cop boyfriend of hers,” she concludes, before stalking into her house.
Poor Abs Toby. I blame the rocking chair . . . if he had only taken off his shirt, instead, things might have gone differently . . .
GIRLFIGHT III: Now with more Liars . . .
At the school swim meet, Abs Toby confronts his pal Emily, to ask her why Spencer is suddenly acting like such a Raging Biatch. Emily, of course, has to pretend that her and Spencer aren’t friends anymore, so that they can keep up their ruse with “A.” And she too, blows off Toby.
After the match, the girls stage their Big Fight for “A.” During it, Emily asks Spencer for the box that Jason gave Aria, which purportedly contains Ali’s things, and a “Big Clue as to A’s Identity.” Backed by the other girls, Spencer angrily refuses to tell Emily the location of the box. And Emily threatens to find it, and steal it. Moments later, Emily receives yet-another text from “A.” It says . . . (drumroll please) . . .
Those watching the altercation include Lucas, Caleb, Garrett, and Toby . . . along with . . . well . . . I guess the rest of the school, just to narrow it down for ya!
Ezria Comes Out of the Closet / Gets a Fat Lip
Under the guise of returning a book to Ezra, Aria sneaks into his office at Hollis College, while he’s teaching a class, in order to leave him a love note of some sort. Of course, who should walk in to witness this but Wacky Jackie . . .
And she’s ANGRY! Aria has DISOBEYED her, and now SHE WILL PAY! Or will she? Because Fitzy just so happens to have heard the WHOLE THING! And he is not amused by his batsh*t crazy, faux-tanned, ex’s antics. This discovery prompts Aria to FINALLY come clean about why she dumped Fitzy in the first place, which, in turn, prompts Fitzy to decide that he and Aria should come “out” to her parents, ASAP . . .
Oh, the awkwardness of this moment! I was squirming in my seat, as Fitzy, looking like a frightened child faced down Aria’s parents. All he really had to do was tell them that he and Aria were dating now. Or better yet, a t-shirt might have sufficed . . .
But noooooo! Fitzy had to be all honest. He just HAD to tell Aria’s parents that he LOOOOOOVEED Aria, and that he’d been dating her the WHOLE TIME he was her teacher. Now, I’m not saying, they would have taken the news better, if it was a bit more edited down, but it certainly would have been worth a shot.
That said, I was proud of Aria for having the courage to stand up, walk over to Fitzy, and hold his hand. It was a nice moment of solidarity between these two. Plus, I’m pretty sure her brave actions kept poor Fitzy from pooping in his pants . . .
Now, we all know how Mama Montgomery reacted, when she thought Fitzy was diddling Spencer. So, the fact that she took news of her own daughter’s May/December romance with the English teacher badly was no surprise.
But Papa Montgomery? Mr. I Made Out with a Student Young Enough to Be My Kid in Front of my Own Daughter and Made Her Promise Not to Tell Her Mother? You would think that he, of all people, would at least pretend to be a bit more understanding . . .
*cough* douchebag *cough*
Yet, things are about to get worse for Fitzy. Of course, Daddy Hypocrite promptly kicks him out of the house. But before he can go, Little Brother Mike dashes down the stairs to give his sister’s not-so-new lover a little parting gift. I’ll give you a hint. It’s something that rhymes with “lunch.”
Poor Man’s Megan Fox Wacky Jackie
Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, hey, hey, hey, GOOOODBYEEEEEE!
Understandably, Fitzy heads back to Hollis to lick his wounds and get faded on that fancy Scotch he supposedly doesn’t like to drink. Then, in walks Jackie with her smug face that I want to reach into the screen and pound into a flat pancake . . .
Apparently, Fitzy feels the same way, because he threatens her with the awesomest one liner to ever emerge from his mouth . . .
He even manages to add a hint of Crazy Eyes to the line delivery, which just makes the statement all the more awesome. Suddenly, I have this great image of Fitzy going all Terminator on Wacky Jackie’s ass . . . Now, that’s an episode I’d want to see . . .
As for Hobag’s now completely useless threats against Aria, Fitzy had these final words to say . . .
Balls . . . Fitzy has them . . . who knew?
The Return of Dipsh*t Daddy, Evil Kate, and (Slighty Creepy Again,This Week) Abs Toby . . .
Poor Emily . . . she’s got no luck this week. Here she is FINALLY waiting at the greenhouse to confront A, and NONE of her friends are on time meeting her. First there’s Aria, who’s grounded for having a teacher boyfriend. Interestingly enough, she ends up getting a helping hand out of the house, from none-other-than Little Brother Mike, who offers her an escape route, as a way of apologizing for beating up her boyfriend. Apparently, he only did it, so that his father wouldn’t get a chance. Way to stick it to the Man, Little Brother Mike . . .
Then Hanna has to meet with her Douchey Daddy, who tells her that he’s moving his whole new family, including that beast of a stepdaughter Kate to Rosewood, in order to
punish Hanna for stopping the wedding help the Marins become one big happy family again. Ugh! KATE! I thought we were rid of that evil wench . . .
Spencer can’t leave, because Toby has accosted her in her home, once again. Oddly enough, he seems to have taken Emily’s side, in their faux-fight, after the swim match, and is accusing Spencer of turning into Ali. Woah! Tobster, comparing a woman to a dead b*tch is not exactly the way to win back her heart! Just sayin . . .
Spencer pushes past Toby, promising him that she will explain everything, tomorrow, provided he promises to let her go, and not follow her.
And if you believe he kept his promise, I have a bridge to sell in you in Brooklyn for a dollar . . .
“A” Does Some Gardening with Emily’s Face, Hanna Gets Revenge, and we get a cliffhanger . . .
Ugh! I know this was an exciting scene. And it had a great final payoff. But this was the part of the episode that frustrated me the most. You ever watch one of those cartoons, where the super villain has this GREAT opportunity to kill the main protagonist? But he mucks it up, by taking like FIVE MINUTES to explain his entire master plan, before pulling the trigger?
That’s how I felt about Emily, when she confronted her black-hoodie wearing nemesis in the greenhouse, in the final moments of this episode. Now, granted, perhaps, she was just stalling, while waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive. But really, there were so many ways she could have unmasked “A” in this scene.
Annoyance aside, the smug expression on Emily’s face, when she revealed to A, that she FINALLY got the upper hand on him or her, by getting him or her to come all the way out in the middle of nowhere, just to look inside, what ended up being an empty box, was full of win. Kudos to Shay Mitchell for an excellent perfomance in this scene.
And yet, really, did she have to SHOW “A” the box? Wouldn’t it have made sense for Emily to ask “A” to reveal him or herself, BEFORE giving up the information? Or, perhaps she could have told “A” to “come and get” the box, and ripped the hood off his or her head, once she got close enough to do it.
Another option would have been to stall, until all the girls got there, and had them all jump out and tackle “A” together, ripping off his or her hoodie, before the villain knew what hit him or her. Of course, my favorite option, by far would be for the PLL’s to install a camera inside the box, so that it snapped a picture of “A,” once he or she opened it, and sent a picture of the culprit to one of the PLL girl’s cell phones.
But alas, Emily did none of these things. And this gave “A” the opportunity to ATTACK HER WITH NUMEROUS GARDEN TOOLS, BREAK GLASS OVER HER HEAD, and TRY TO STRANGLE HER . . .
Folks, that’s not good . . .
Luckily, Aria and Spencer arrived just in time to prevent “A” from KILLING Emily. But they didn’t get their fast enough to catch “A”, before he or she managed to escape the greenhouse on foot. You know who DID sort-of catch A, though? HANNA . . . WITH HER CAR! Seriously, how great is that? (Payback’s a b*tch!)
Of course, in any normal world, getting hit by a car, while wearing a hood, would cause one’s hood to fall off, thereby revealing the victim’s identity. But no such luck here, as “A’s” sweatshirt is apparently made of Kryptronite or some other supernatural material that renders it impervious to impact by cars. Additionally, it is important to note that while Hanna nearly lost HER life from being hit by “A’s” car back in season one, “A” managed to get up and run away, without so much as a scratch on him or her. Go figure!
But Hanna’s not all that upset about this. She just wants to know if any of her pals managed to figure out A’s sex, while fondling the perpetrator in the greenhouse . . .
Silly Little Liars! They had “A” right in their clutches, and no one thought to try and get to second base . . . pity! And yet, there is a silver lining to this cloud. You see, the impact of Hanna’s car might not have caused “A” to lose his or her hood. But it did cause “A” to lose a CELL PHONE . . .
Uh oh, “A”! It looks like you really do have something to be afraid of, now . . .
The final moments of the episode, show a rather frantic, and pissed-off “A” looking desperately for his or her cell phone, which we know the girls have already stolen. He or she then breaks the window to (I think) Hanna’s car, which, honestly, I’m not sure why she left there. It seems like a particularly boneheaded thing to do, under the circumstances. But hey, what do I know?
Next week’s Pretty Little Liars’ promises lots of cell phone hacking antics, an in-car smooch, and a whole lot of yelling . . . You can check out the promo here. (I haven’t managed to find the Canadian promo yet. But as soon as I do, I will most certainly be sure to share.)
So, what did you think about the Mid Season premiere? Were you fooled by the girls’ faux fighting? Are you happy that Caleb is back, and that Ezria is finally out of the closet? Have any new theories as to who “A” might be, based on the clues we received in this episode? Oh, and where the hell was Blind Jenna or Mona, during all of this? And, more importantly . . . WHERE’S MY WREN?
Until next time, my Pretties . . .