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The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux – A Look Back at Some of the Most Pivotal Scenes in Ripper Stefan Canon (Part I)

DAMON: “Psst, don’t you think it’s weird that TV Recappers and Imaginary Men are doing a blog series on YOU?  I mean, isn’t everything related to this show, on BOTH of those blogs, usually about ME?”

STEFAN:  “Yes .  . . but things have changed.  I’m EVIL now.  Girls like evil.  Didn’t you get the memo?” 

Greetings, Fangbangers!  September 15th is just a few short weeks away.  Before we know it, Damon, Elena, and the gang will be back on our TV screens, compelling us to watch them . . .

This, of course, begs the question:  “How have YOU been preparing for The Vampire Diaries Season 3 return?  Perhaps, you’ve tried out a new diet . . .

 . . . or spent time cuddled in bed with a loved one?

Maybe, you’ve sat yourself down on the proverbial therapist’s couch, in order to figure out what you’ve got hiding underneath those metaphorical “blankets” .  . .

Perhaps, you’ve been trying hard to forget the past, in hopes that you can stop it from haunting you . . .

As for me, and my fabulous blogging pal, Amy, over at Imaginary Men, we’ve been spending the hiatus, revisiting some of The Vampire Diaries’ most pivotal moments . . . and revisting them . . . and revisiting them . . .

During this exercise, one of the things we’ve found particularly intriguing was the evolution of Ripper Stefan.  As you know, Ripper Stefan, much like his companions, Naked Damon . . .

  . . . and Ponytail Elena . . .

 . . . have ALWAYS been a part of TVD canon.  But they only show themselves at pivotal moments during the series  . . .

In this web series, Amy and I will be reviewing four pivotal scenes in the evolution of Ripper Stefan.  The first one, you can read RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.  The second one, will be featured on Amy’s Blog (hopefully, this coming Thursday).  The third one will be back on this blog, and  .  . .

 . . . well . . . you get the idea . . .

So, let’s get started with the Ripper Redux!  After all, when it comes right down to it, cannibalism IS just another form of Brotherly Love .  . .

Ripper Redux- Scene 1: “We can do this . . . TOGETHER!”

Episode: “Blood Brothers” – 1 X 20

Stefan Salvatore:  A bleeding heart, who makes hearts bleed . . . 

(Click the internal link to view)

Setting the Scene: 

Having both died with Vampire Katherine’s blood in their systems, Stefan and Damon awaken one fateful morning, in 1864, to find themselves “in transition,” half human  / half vampire.  Now, they are faced with a choice:  Feed on human blood within the next three days, and become a FULL vampire . . . or die of starvation.

In other news, I believe this is the ONLY time in Vampire Diaries history, in which Stefan and Damon can both be found shirtless in the same frame.  And, trust me, I’ve looked!

Damon — who can’t imagine a life without the woman he loves (Katherine, at this time, is presumed dead) — seems fairly certain that he will choose death over the alternative.  Stefan agrees, but seems a bit less certain of his decision than his brother.  But then the younger Salvatore brother greets . . . and eats  . . . his murderous vampire-slaying jackass of a dad, in his childhood home.  That’s when ALL BREAKS LOOSE . . . in Stefan’s soul.

Potent Quotables:

STEFAN:  “I brought her for you.  She is a gift.”

DAMON: “What have you done, Stefan?”

STEFAN:  (about his father) “He was dying and the blood was too strong .  . . I needed it.  I had to have it.”

STEFAN: “My body is exploding with power, Damon.  I can hear things from far away.  I can see through the darkness.  I can move like it’s magic.  And the guilt?  The pain?  Damon, I can turn it off like a switch.  Katherine was right.  It’s a whole ‘nother world out there, Damon.”

DAMON: “Katherine is dead, Stefan.  There is no world without her.”

STEFAN: “No.  You can turn that off too!  You don’t have to feel that, pain anymore!”

DAMON: “I don’t want it.”

STEFAN: “You are weak. You’ll be dead soon.  You NEED  THIS.  You’ll DIE.  . . Don’t fight it.  We can do this .  . . TOGETHER!”

Why it’s essential to RIPPER CANON:

Before we get started, can any of you Pretty Little Liars fans out there confirm for me whether or not the girl who plays “Dinner” in
this scene is, in fact, Troian Bellisario, a.k.a. Spencer Hastings from PLL?

I suspect she’s NOT, because I didn’t notice the credit on her IMDB page (and you would think, of all prior film and television credits, THIS would be one she’d definitely want on there!).  And yet, every time Iook at “Dinner,” all I see is “Spencer,” particularly, at the beginning of the scene, when Damon asks, “Who’s THAT?”  It’s really quite distracting . . .

“Please don’t eat me, you big sexy vampire, YOU!  I’ve got enough problems with “A” out to ruin my life.”

Anyway, on to the scene . . .

The most obvious parallel between THIS scene, and the one between Stefan and Klaus in the finale, comes right out in the first sentence
Stefan utters.  Stefan refers to “Dinner” as a “gift” that Damon should be honored to “rip into.”  Years later, Klaus uses the same concept of
“gift” to entice Stefan to feed, not just on human BLOOD, but on a REAL HUMAN girl, just like “Dinner.”

It’s probably worth noting, that back in 1864, blood bags weren’t as readily available as they are today.   Therefore, I suspect that MOST of the
vampires living in Mystic Falls back then (as well as the vampires in Katherine’s and Klaus’ time) fed almost exclusively on HUMAN blood.  They did so, not necessarily because they loved doing it, but because that’s what they needed to do, in order to survive.

This would seem to soften the blow of what Stefan is asking of his brother, thereby, making it seem slightly more humane, at least in
context.  But Stefan’s remorseless detailing to Damon about how he ate their DAD, because he “had to have [his blood],” tends to erase any sympathy we might have otherwise mustered for him in this scene.  No matter how AWFUL a person is, I really don’t think anyone deserves to be eaten alive by their own son.  Do you?

In Stefan’s defense, this guy kind of SUCKED .  . . 

Next, we witness Stefan’s “pitch” to Damon about the“Wonders of Vampirism.”  And, boy, does he sell it!  This monologue was undoubtedly a tough one for Paul Wesley deliver.  In the hands of a lesser actor, you could imagine these words coming out sounding too cliché, or Scooby Doo-esque, a parody of themselves.

“Mmmmm, just like Dad used to make taste.” 

Yet, Paul delivers the lines like a coke addict, who is jonesing off his very first taste.  It’s the right choice for the character.  After all, blood IS a drug, for Stefan.  It allows him to experience a sort of manic euphoria that he would never allow himself to enjoy in an un-altered state.

In the ultimate role reversal, we see Damon (noticeably weakened from having purposefully allowed himself to live bloodless for a couple of days) looking at his transformed brother with a mixture of fear, concern, pity, and just a twinge of self-righteousness.  Of course, in the present day, we have seen Stefan give Damon THIS look many times.  But for Damon, this seems to be somewhat of a first.

I’m totally judging you, right now  . . . 

I mention self-righteousness.  And yet, surprisingly enough, I’m not actually referring to Damon judging Stefan for eating his dad, nor for his
unrelenting enjoyment of being a vampire.  Rather, Damon judges Stefan for not LOVING Katherine enough to TRULY be willing to die for her.  However, the  fact that Damon seems to LOVE Katherine more than Stefan does, gives him no joy.  As we later learn, a big part of  Damon’s turning on Stefan, and threatening him with an “eternity of misery,” stems from his resentment that Katherine chose to feed Stefan her blood, in addition to Damon.

Yet amidst all this drug pushing, violence, jealousy and cannibalism, there is a surprising amount of brotherly love in this scene.  And though he may be doing it for his own selfish reasons (most notably, a fear of spending eternity alone), I suspect there is a part of Stefan, even in his darkest incarnation, that genuinely wants what’s best for his brother.  And to Stefan, what is best for Damon is LIVING!

“Here I am .  . . just chillin.’  Living La Vida Vampire.” 

“You are weak . . . You’ll be dead soon.  You need this!  You’ll die,” pleads Stefan, clutching at his brother’s shirt, in desperation.

Even during Damon’s first feeding, Stefan, in his own twisted way, seems insistent on showing brotherly affection and concern for the
elder Salvatore.  Observe how he gently clutching his brother’s shoulder, offering him both physical and emotional support, as he takes his first taste.

“Hey, Stefan!  Can you get out of here!  Can’t you see I’m trying to get laid?” 

These aforementioned “brotherly moments” have echoes throughout the series.  The first echo appears in “The Last Day,” when Damon makes the unilateral decision to force feed Elena his blood, in order to prevent the possibility of HER death by Klaus.  She sees his actions as selfish.  But he sees them, at least at the time, as her only TRUE chance at survival.

The second echo comes during the finale, when Stefan literally sells his soul to the Devil, also so that Damon . . . can LIVE.

“This is Martyr Stefan speaking.  How can I personally sacrifice for your happiness today?” 

Back in 1864, Stefan enticed his hungry and weak brother to complete his vampire transition, so that the two of them could spend eternity
TOGETHER.  But a furious Damon rebuffed his entreaties.  And for many years, Stefan walked the Earth without his “other half.”  Now, in the present day, Stefan again must walk ALONE without his brother.  Only this time, the choice to do so was all HIS . . .

Amy’s Take:

For me “Blood Brothers” will forever be the episode that aired while I was en route to Las Vegas. I was so desperate to see it though, that I asked my friend who I was visiting to DVR it FOR me so I could sneak in a watch between all my various crazy Vegas shenanigans! I just COULD NOT wait 5 whole days to see how “As the Salvatores Turned” came out!

And it did not disappoint. This episode is full of angst, emotional torture, guilt, resentment, pain, and extra broodiness. It not only reveals the absolute core of the Salvatore’s relationship – but it has the added bonus of super hot Paul Wesley’s tank-topped shoulders, AND Paul Wesley pulling out a pretty extraordinary performance as a man who is is so tired and pained by the the choices he’s made that he’s ready to die for his own mistakes.

Early on in the episode, Stefan is brooding in his basement prison at La Casa de Rich and Awesome. He doesn’t seem mad that his brother and
girlfriend conspired to stab him with vervain and lock him up until he detoxes from his bloodlust. Mostly he just seems determined to do what he should have done 140 years before: die.

“After what I’ve done, it has to end. I just want it over”

When Elena relays Stefan’s mood to Damon, he scoffs with a dismissive, he’s just being dramatic….typical Stefan Martyr stuff which means
that not only has Stefan had previous bouts of “Martyr stuff”, but that Damon has been around to witness it and doesn’t take it at all seriously.

But Stefan is taking his martyrdom quite seriously this time – he’s not just upset with himself for falling off the wagon and lunching on Amber the Beauty Queen, he’s upset with himself for EVERY SINGLE DECISION HE’S MADE SINCE BECOMING A VAMPIRE. Just a century plus of guilt being carried on his (sexy, muscular) shoulders! He tells Elena, I’m making the decision I should have made years ago by letting himself starve to death (or later on possibly burn to death.)

This episode is so much about choices: how we make them, how they define us, how, our actions are what set things in motion, but we have to
live with that as Elena tells suicidal Stefan. Stefan did not have a choice to drink from Katherine – he was compelled to – so his LACK of choice – set everything after into motion. He chose (a bit reluctantly IMO compared w/ Damon’s resoluteness not to transition fully) not to become a vampire, but then his instincts when faced with his bleeding-to-death-dad caused him to make his first shameful choice: to drink and become a vampire.

Side note: Of all the terrible things we’ve seen/heard of Damon doing, I have to say watching Stefan accidentally kill, but then FEAST from his own DAD was for me, one of the more disturbing acts on this show.  Vampirism by Patricide – that’s pretty intense! It is also the very first “decision” of Stefan’s that will forever haunt him.

I fully echo Julie’s description of High-on-Blood-Stefan giving his best “come to the dark side” pitch to his horrified brother. This whole arc of Bloodaholic Stefan was so perfectly played by Paul.  He really IS an addict – it becomes clear that Damon drinks human blood because  he likes it – Stefan drinks it because he loves it – it erases everything that hurts him, …the guilt, the pain…I can turn it off!

I got the feeling watching this episode that Stefan was much more “the alpha” between the brothers during their human life.

“Oh Stefan, this is the best Hide and Seek Spot EVER!  They will never find us here . . .”

At the start, as he and Damon watch in horror as Katherine is carted away by the pitchfork wielding townsfolk – it is Stefan who comes up w/the plan to cause a distraction and directs Damon to go get Katherine.  As they attempt to rescue her, it is Stefan who is issuing Damon orders on getting her untied. And when it is time to transition or die – it is Stefan who comes, “gift” in hand (as it were) to show his brother how it’s done.

“You just put your lips together, and SUCK!” 

“Eww.”

The actual turning scene had me on the edge of my seat. For one thing – I’m pretty sure “Dinner” has been compelled by Stefan as she has that glassy-eyed stare and isn’t screaming or struggling.  So Stefan has already learned a nifty and dangerous vampire trick. Damon’s horror is visceral – you can see how repulsed he is by this offering and how freaked out he is that his brother has broken their vow and gone ahead with the transition. But a true hallmark of Bloodaholic Stefan is his desperation – he is DESPERATE for Damon to join him, to experience what he’s feeling, to not feel the pain of losing Katherine, to explore the “whole new world” that lays before them – together . . .

And there you have it, Fangbangers.  Part 1 of our 4 part series on the Evolution of Ripper Stefan . . .

Be sure to stop by Imaginary Men on Thursday for Part 2 . . . or else Damon will be very upset . . .

. . .  and Stefan might cry . . .

And we wouldn’t want THAT, would we?

[**** UPDATE:  PART 2 of this Series is NOW available! *****]

View it HERE!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Hard-Hearted Hanna – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Someone to Watch Over Me”

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Enough with all the friggin arts and crafts, “A”?  What’s next?  A Pretty Little Liars Diorama that you explode in your microwave at the end of the episode?

This week, on the penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars, we got even MORE evidence that “A” hates Hanna and Spencer WAY more than she (or he) hates Emily and Aria.  I mean, let’s face it, aside from a bit of unfounded jealousy, Emily had a fairly stress-free episode, one that ended with her getting some serious nookie.  And as for Aria .  . . well . . . any problems SHE experienced this week arose from her own idiocy (SERIOUSLY!), and the douchebaggery of her dad and little brother, respectively.  But Hanna and Spencer?  Their lives are kind of sucking ASS right now, aren’t they?

Let’s get on with the recap, shall we?

A+B = Spencer is SERIOUSLY SCREWED!

Kudos to the set designer for making Spencer’s room EXACTLY as we would expect it to be — sparsely decorated, obnoxiously spotless, and filled with every single solitary room organizing tool EVER sold on the Home Shopping Network . . .

Not so kudos to the WARDROBE department, for dressing Spencer in my favorite sweater from when I was 8-years old . . .

When the episode begins, Spencer and Emily have just arrived home from school.  Spencer is bitching about how her distractions at home are starting to impact her ability to understand Algebra.  How can possibly she figure out the value for “X”, when she has suddenly become the “X” factor in her own life? 

It’s a true dilemma!

Now, maybe I’m being nitpicky, but two things surprised me about this scene: (1) The Academically Elite Spencer is taking Algebra her junior year.  (Shouldn’t she be in Pre-Calculus or Advanced Placement Geometry, or some other class for mathletes, like herself?) (2) Spencer and Emily are in the same math class.  (Don’t get me wrong.  Emily seems like a total sweetheart.  And she may even have more common sense than some of the other Pretty Little Liars *cough Aria cough.*  But Little Miss Future Olympic Swimmer just never quite struck me as the academic overachieving type.)

Anyway . .  .  Spencer’s mom rushes downstairs to warn Spencer that the police obtained a warrant to search the Hastings home, and, specifically, Spencer’s room, for evidence linking her to Alison’s death.  Spencer, understandably horrified and frightened, asks her attorney mother to make the police leave.  Unfortunately, the warrant gives the police a right to be there.  So, Spencer’s mom’s hands are tied. 

As the police are searching Spencer’s room, Creepy Pedo Ian (who never seems to leave the house, forever lingering, like the smell of mildew on an overused sponge) further expemplifies his creepiness and pedophilia, by smirking at Spencer’s bed, and slowly / seductively drinking MILK from a glass . . .

Milk . . . it does a body creepy . . .

For Heaven Sakes Aria, THINK before you TEXT!

“Uh oh!  It looks like I accidentally deleted “My Brain” from my “Contacts” list.  I guess I’ll just have to make do without it, this week!”

So, Aria’s parents have been sneaking around, not wanting to tell their kids their back together, until they can be sure their renewed courtship is “REAL.” Zzzzzzzzzzz . . .  And I just fell asleep typing that sentence . . .

NEWSFLASH PLL Writers:  We don’t care about THESE TWO as a couple!  NOBODY ships Ella and Byron!  NOBODY!  So, stopping rubbing this storyline in our faces, PLEASE!

Since Aria already CAUGHT her parents macking in the library (ICK!), and her little brother seems to have also caught them in the act this morning, Montgomery Ma and Pa decide that the family should get together for dinner later that week to “discuss things.”

But lest you think this storyline won’t be funny at all, THIS happens . . .

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In case you didn’t catch that, here’s what Aria wrote:  “Thinking of your eyes.  How I want to be looking into them right now.  This second.  XO Aria.”  — AKA The LAMEST SEXT EVER!

And then THIS happens . . .

BUSTED!

OK . . . so we know that Aria was sending a text to her FITZY (who was noticeably absent this week), and sent it to her MOM instead.   Now, here’s what I don’t understand.   Personally, my mother is listed in MY cell phone Contacts Lists as “Mom.”  But I can understand how some folks cooler than myself (and Aria’s definitely cooler than I am) would put their Mom in their Contacts List under her first name. 

And, if Aria did this, then, YES, “Ella” would be close to “Ezra” on her list.  These names would probably even be next to one another on MOST people’s cell phones.  But NOT on ARIA’S phone . . . because she has “EMILY” as a contact.  DUH!

“What am I?  Chopped LIVER?”

So, it’s kind of hard for me to believe that Aria “accidentally” skipped over TWO names to send a text to the VERY wrong person.  I mean, it’s not like she was drunk or anything . . .   Or was she? 😉

Careful, Aria!  Drink more of that, and you may text us all of your secrets!

At the end of the day, Aria’s mom confronts Aria about the Phantom Text.  But Aria refuses to confess the textee’s identity, wryly noting that family members should be entitled to their privacy. like, for example, the ability to privately bone your husband in a school library.  Aria’s mom reluctantly accepts her daughter’s wishes, which makes her seem about ten times cooler, in my book., than she ever did before.

But then EEEEVVVVIL hypocrite Papa Montgomerycomes along. 

When he hears that Aria has a secret boyfriend, he ABSOLUTELY thinks he has a right to know that person’s identity so that he can try to score a date with the guy, himself.  To make matters even douchier, while Aria is out of the house, her dad starts snooping around her room for clues.  He ALMOST comes upon a book that Ezra personally inscribed for Aria, when Aria’s mom stops him.  (Wow, I’m really liking her this week.  Weird!)

Taking a lesson in sarcasm, and passive aggressiveness, from her daughter, Aria’s mom casually notes that maybe her daughter wouldn’t think it necessary to keep secrets from her family, were it not for her own father secretly whoring around with one of his students.  Aria’s dad, of course, is TOTALLY offended by this, and refuses to admit to his own wrong doing.  Aria’s little brother then walks in on the pair fighting, and, COMPLETELY blames Aria for it.  Because, apparently, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the Douchey Tree .  . .

“Douchey is as douchey does, sir.”

Aria’s brother wants Aria to singlehandedly fix their parents’ marriage, since her having a secret boyfriend is OBVIOUSLY the reason it’s broken, and not the whole “Dad’s a Cheating Deadbeat” thing.  But, before Aria can make up a fake boyfriend to tell her parents about, she and her brother head down to Family Dinner, to find out that their Mom is a no show . . . again. 

Way to suck up your pride, and put on a brave face for your kids, ARIA’S MOM!  I guess I spoke too soon when I said I like you . . . On the other hand, you can do WAYYYYY better than Aria’s Asshat of a DAD . . . So, I’m kind of torn . . .

Knowing that she has to STOP being such a MORON when it comes to appropriately hiding her inappropriate relationship with her teacher, Aria decides to hide all her Fitzy Memorabilia (Fitzyabilia?) with Emily for safe keeping . . .  The ironic thing, of course, is that MOST of the stuff she gives to Emily, NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would trace to Fitzy.  Case in point, THIS . . .

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Really Aria?   A PLASTIC SPOON from your first date?  What exactly do you think your parents are going to do with THAT?  Swab it for DNA?

Now, for all you Ian Harding fans out there who found yourself missing your Fitzy Fix this week, I’ve got a little surprise for you . . .

That’s right, boys and girls!  Apparently, Fitzy tweets now!  And you can catch all his Fitz-alicious goodness right here: http://twitter.com/IANMHARDING

(So, don’t say I never gave you anything, Fitzy fans!)

Falling Out of the Closet

In completely unrelated news (actually, all four stories were, pretty much, unrelated to one another, this week), Emily spied Back-to Bad-Haircut Paige flirting with Dull as Dishwater Sean . . .

And Emily was MAJORLY JEALOUS, even though (1) Paige is SO OBVIOUSLY gay; and (2) even if Paige was straight, she’d never, go for a lame-o like Sean!  (Sure, Hanna did it once, but only because she was feeling chubby and insecure, at the time.)

Later, Sean asks Emily if Paige is single, and if she could put in a good word for him.  He did this, despite the fact, that as one of Hanna’s besties (and someone who watches PLL), Emily should have ABSOLUTELY ZERO “good words” to say about Sean . . .

But because Emily is a much nicer person than I am, she simply tells Seany-poo that her and Paige aren’t really friends.  So, she’s not really in the position to help Sean get laid by her.  SORRY!

But because they ARE actually friends (with benefits), Emily warns Paige that she thinks Sean is going to ask her out.  So, Paige should come up with a good excuse as to why she can’t date him NOW, and let him down easy.

The problem is that Sean already ASKED out Paige . . . and she  . . . wait for it . . . said YES!

Needless to say, Emily is pretty depressed about this news . . .

“I am pretty depressed about this news.”

That is . . . until Paige comes right to Emily’s house, fresh from her “date,” all tarted-up and ready for a Booty Call . . .

I get why she wore THIS to the karaoke bar, but why Paige wore a super sparkly stripper dress on a Group Date to the Movies is beyond me . . . Wardrobe Department FAIL!

Surprise, surprise!  Paige doesn’t like Sean.   (NO ONE DOES!)  In fact, the sheer awfulness of macking with that lame-o, has the impact of THROWING PAIGE RIGHT OUT OF THE CLOSET!  (Who says, a kiss is just a kiss?  Right!)

And I have to say, I really feel for Paige, as she contemplates the prospect of coming out with Emily.  Her eyes tear up.  Her lip quivers.  She is clearly terrified.  The actress, Lindsay Shaw, portrays Paige’s heart-wrenching range of emotions beautifully; I must say.  It’s not HER fault she has a bad stylist . . .

 “If I say it out loud, my whole world will change,” Paige explains sadly.

I love how patient and sensitive Emily is with Paige, when a lesser person, would probably be tossing out smug “I told you so’s” left and right. in her situation.  “I didn’t come out of the closet.  I fell out on my face,” Emily explains adorably.

Then, Emily tells her Next Fling, that, back when she was trying to be straight, she always went for guys just like Paige . . .  Domestic Abusers?  Gay Folks in Search of Beards to hide their true identity?  Swimmers with Bad Haircuts? folks who would “pull her on stage” and make her do things that scared her.  (Yeah . . . that still doesn’t explain Wife Beater Ben . . .)

Then the pair sit together on Emily’s little window seat, hold hands, and kiss . . .

And I must admit that these two are starting to grow on me.  But I still want Paige to get a haircut . . . and a stylist . . .

Don’t MESS with Hanna Marin!

Back at the Marin home, Hanna and Caleb are making breakfast AGAIN, and flirting AGAIN, just like any good couple, who just had sex for the first time, would be.  Then Caleb leaves for a moment.  So, Hanna takes the opportunity to go digging in his bag for condoms goodies.  

What she finds is the UGLIEST, MOST TACKY, owl necklace I have EVER SEEN!

And yet, Hanna is completely BLIND to the hideousness of this owl, as she is convinced that it is a Secret Gift from Caleb to her.  After all, they did see OWLS on the night they screwed!

So, she snaps a picture of it, and brags to her friends about the awful  generous gift her boyfriend is about to give her. 

But all is not well in Haleb land.  We learn this, when Aria and Emily overhear Caleb talking on the phone with a woman who APPEARS to be his ex-girlfriend, who is stalking him.  He keeps telling the girl on the phone that he “can’t do this anymore,” because he is living at “her” (Hanna’s) house.

“Peekaboo!  We see you!”

Being the good pals that they are, Emily and Aria immediately confront Hanna about what they learned.  Hanna gets VERY defensive.  Caleb can’t be a liar!  Because Hanna would NEVER have sex with a liar . . . would she?  As if on cue, Blind Jenna arrives wearing around her neck . . . you guessed it  . . . that UGLY ASS OWL NECKLACE . . .

Now it’s Super Sleuthing Spencer’s turn to STALK!  She follows Blind Jenna outside, and sees her using the Ugly Owl Necklace as a Flashdrive . . .

So, basically, Caleb gave the Ugly Owl Necklace to Blind Jenna, NOT because he’s boning her, and NOT because he has terrible taste, but because he’s feeding her information . . .

When Hanna hears this, she astutely recalls how Toby heard Jenna talking on the phone about the number 214, and tries that combination on Caleb’s locker . . .

Let’s ignore the fact that the picture shows Hanna stopping at number “5” instead of  “4”

Surprise!  Surprise!  Caleb’s locker OPENS!

Inside ,she finds . . . wads and wads of CASH . . . just hanging out . . . waiting to be discovered . . . or stolen.  (COME ON, CALEB!  We know you’re POOR, but I seriously doubt you don’t own an envelope, in which to stash your dirty money.  I’m sure the school has plenty in the main office, for you to steal.)

At home, Hanna confronts Caleb about what she learned . . .

Caleb reluctantly admits to “spying” on Hanna (So, THAT’s what the kids are calling it these days . . .  “spying”) for cash from Blind Jenna.  Her Blindness apparently, not only bribed Caleb, but blackmailed him as well, after finding out how he rigged Emily’s phone, so that she could get illegal calls into Maya at De-Gaying Camp.  Screwing for money . . . that makes you a whore, Caleb . . .

But Caleb insists that his feelings for Hanna are real.  And that he stopped working for Jenna the minute his hot dog went inside Hanna’s bun.  All the information he gave Jenna on that flash drive was false. 

Unfortunately for Caleb, Hanna doesn’t give two sh*ts.  She hands the Dirty Dog his bags, and kicks him out into the street.  Harsh!  Hope you like that park bench, Caleb!  Because something tells me that you might be living there for awhile!

Back at school, the PLL’s are admiring their reflections in the bathroom mirror.  (Is it just me, or do all these girls spend a TON of time in bathrooms, and in front of mirrors?).  Then, they hear a familiar noise . . . it sounds like thunder clapping in the night.  It sounds like the End of the World.  It is . . . Blind Jenna’s CANE OF DESTRUCTION!

 

Thinking fast, Hanna traps Blind Jenna right in front of . . . you guessed it . . . the bathroom mirror.  (Again . . .why are you always LOOKING at yourself in the mirror, Blind Jenna?)

Sensing someone behind her, Blind Jenna tenses up, and slowly turns around.  Then THIS happens . . .

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My sentiments exactly . . .

Then, Hanna, reminding us of the Mean Girl she was for the first three or four episodes of this show, cooly hands Blind Jenna back her glasses, and tells her, without emotion, “It’s Hanna . . . in case you couldn’t guess.”

Well, that’s gotta suck . . .

At home, in the comfort of her bathroom (Where else?), Hanna begins to mull over her lost first love, and lost diginity.  She then finally breaks down in tears.  From outside the door, Hanna’s mom listens to her daughter sobbing.  She wants desperately to soothe her pain.  Yet, she doesn’t know how . . .

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The final scene of the episode features “A” LITERALLY smashing Hanna’s glass heart to bits, and mailing it back to her, along with some glue.  Next time, try for a metaphor that’s a bit less obvious, A!

The Walls Close in on Spencer . . .

As I mentioned earlier, Hanna is not the only miserable Pretty Little Liar this week.  Poor Spencer has a police investigation looming over her head.  Fortunately, she’s made a new “friend” who knows EXACTLY what she’s going through.  Of course, I’m referring to the Character Formerly Referred to as Creepy Toby, Now Abs Toby.

When Toby comes over to visit, he warns Spencer that cops are staking out her house.  She replies, by telling him that he probably shouldn’t be seen with her, now that’s she’s, like, wanted for murder . . . and stuff.  But Abs Toby is not that easily deterred . .  . “People cross the street when they see me coming.  They think you tried to frame your brother-in-law for your friends’ murder.  Who else are we going to hang out with?”   Abs Toby inquires, quite rationally, I think.

A real pro at being watched by the cops, Toby cleverly instructs Spencer to go outside, and offer the Stake Out Crew cups of coffee, in order to show them that  (1) she knows they are there; and (2) she is not afraid of them.  Seeing as this was probably the SAME Stake Out Crew that used to hang out outside Toby’s house, I’d say these guys are starting to consider Free Coffee a regular job perk.  Of course, they’d all probably much prefer staking out Hanna’s house.  Because there, Hanna’s mom shows them that “she knows they are there, and “is not afraid of them”, by giving them Free Sex . . .

And sex ALWAYS beats coffee . . .

Anyway . . . Spencer and Abs Toby share a sweet moment, in which Spencer asks Toby about the time she saw him sitting in an alley, after he ran away from home . . .

Apparently, running away is kind of a regular occurrence for Abs Toby.  As for Spencer, she only away once, back when she was little.  Her and her sister had been in a fight, and her parents took her sister’s side, as per usual.  So, Spencer made a tuna sandwich, and escaped to the movies.  (Resourceful little girl, that one!  Sure beats hanging out in a dirty alleyway!)  But then, she got lonely, and went home.  Her self-absorbed family never even REALIZED their little girl was gone!  (Family FAIL!)

Abs Toby looks at Spencer with obvious adoration and sympathy, and, grabbing her hand, makes her promise him that, if she ever wants to run away again, she will call him first.  All together now . . . “AWWWWWWWWWW!”

By the way, speaking of Spencer’s absentee fam, how come nobody seems to notice that Melissa keeps randomly disappearing for episodes at a time, while Creepy Pedo Ian just sticks around, like the fungus he cleary is!  My theory:  Creepy Pedo Ian killed Melissa, chopped her up into itty pieces, put them in a blender, then drank them up . . . like a milkshake . . .

“I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!”

As for Creepy Pedo Ian, he’s looking extra special spooky, as he waits in the dark for Spencer to emerge from her late night run. 

Apparently, Creepy Pedo Ian wants to help Spencer run away from home (Am I noticing a THEME here?), so that he can grow his hair long, assume Spencer’s identity, and kill all her friends, while dressed as her the cops can’t arrest her. 

“I can’t BELIEVE I thought you were cute in Final Destination 3!”

Spencer knows that this will make her look SUPER guilty, which, obviously, is exacty what Creepy Pedo Ian wants.  So, she tells him to stick his runaway plan . . . and his milk . . . where the sun don’t shine.

But just when she thought her day couldn’t get any worse, Spencer’s mom wakes her up in the middle of the night, and tells her that the police found fibers of Toby’s Puke Green Sweater / Alison’s Death Outfit on that cheapo name bracelet Alison gave Spencer gave Spencer, before she died.  “I think someone is going through a great deal of trouble to make you look guilty,” Spencer’s mom, never one to sugar coat things, admits.

Mother and daughter then share a tearful and heartbreaking  hug, as the curtain closes on this, the penultimate episode, of Pretty Little Liars . . . 

See you after the finale!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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