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“I’ve come to bury Nucky, not to praise him.” – A Recap of Boardwalk Empire’s “Ourselves Alone”

“All by my selllllllf.  Don’t wanna be, all by my selllllllf, anymorrrrre!” 

Poor Nucky!  I never thought I would ever begin a recap with those two words.   After all, wasn’t the entire theme of season one how blessed Nucky was in every way except in the looks department, of course, and how much power he wielded in his pants Atlantic City?

My, have the tables turned quickly . . . well, actually not so quickly, considering Season 1 aired a year ago!  Now, everyone’s out to screw Nucky over.  And District Attorney’s are touching his personal items in ways that Eddie finds personally offensive!

“I’m so upset over what is going on here that I am going to eat this phone.”

You know who else started out as a guy, who had it all, and ended up with crap?  THIS GUY . . .

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. . . well, him too.  But I was thinking more along the lines of THIS GUY . . .

The obvious comparisons between Nucky’s current situation and Julius Caesar’s are so striking, that I can’t imagine they weren’t intended by the writers of this show.  I mean, think about it, we’ve got the young up-and-comer, who used to be part of Nucky’s ranks, being groomed to usurp his throne.

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We’ve got the not-so-whispered words of mutiny amongst the senators alderman.  And, perhaps, most importantly, we have Nucky experiencing the ultimate betrayal at the hands of the person he trusted most . . . his own brother . . . his Brutus.

(Take that High School English Teacher that only gave me a B+ on my Julius Caesar paper!  You know who you are.)

And yet, while it would seem as though this episode revolved around the Downfall of Nucky Thompson, arguably, the real stars of “Ourselves Alone” were his supporting cast . . . the surprisingly sly, and cunning courage of Margaret Schroeder . . . the quiet, yet extremely dangerous, ferocity of Chalky White . . . the stone cold ambition of Jimmy Darmody . . . the bat-sh*t craziness of Nelson Van Alden . . .

Well, actually, he wasn’t in this episode.  But I think you catch my drift . . .

So, settle down with a good book, pop open a new can of shoe polish, or take a dip in the Temperance Fountain, because it’s time for another Boardwalk recap . . .

(By the way, special thanks to ladymanson.com, for the kickass screencaps you see here!)

“Nucky’s in the Slammer.  Who wants pancakes?”

“Do you think they are whispering about me, because I’m not wearing any underwear?”

The episode begins with Margaret tiptoeing down the mansion steps in her nightie, to the sight of her apprehensive all-female staff, regarding her, as one would regard a terminally ill cancer patient.

“I can’t believe NONE of us were cast in the movie The Help.  It’s NOT FAIR!” 

Too bad Margaret doesn’t live in Modern Times.  Otherwise @randomnewsreporter could have totally tweeted her the news that her not-so-hubby was very much arrested the night before.

Doh!

Instead, the new Woman of the Thompson Household is forced to learn of her lover’s arrest in the local paper.

Margaret, who has obviously adapted rather quickly to the unspoken responsibilities of being an expensive sex toy the wife of a powerful public figure, is remarkably stoic, in the face of this obviously surprising and disturbing news.  Rather than bursting into hysterics, or rushing out the door to the nearest jail like a mad woman, as the old Margaret might have done, Nu-Margaret merely takes a deep breath, and returns to her regularly scheduled  tasks, i.e. bossing around of the staff.

It is not until a bit, later, when we see Margaret on the phone with Nucky’s driver, Eddie, that cracks in her marble facade begin to show.

“So, what exactly ARE conjugal visits?  I don’t think we had those back in Ireland.” 

“I’d be more than happy to SHOW you.”

Poor Margie can barely keep herself from crying, when Eddie tells her that he can’t pick her up and drive her to the jail.  (As it turns out, the District Attorney and his cronies have been inappropriately fondling the items in Nucky’s office.  And Eddie is afraid to leave them alone.)

When the house maid is found lurking near the doorway, Margaret asks her what kind of coat she owns?

Huh?

Well, THAT’S a strange thing to ask.  Is Margie hoping the maid will drive her to the jail to see Nucky?  Is she worried about her favorite housekeeper catching pneumonia during those cold A.C. winters?  Is she secretly writing an expose on the dressing habits of maids for the local paper?  Or is something more sinister afoot?  (Well, obviously, you already know the answer.  But let’s pretend everythings all scary and intriguing, for a little while longer, OK?)

Meanwhile, down at the Pokey . . .

“Gee, sorry I had you arrested, and am now sharing a jail cell with you . . . AWKWARD!”

“I never really believed all those silly rumors about ‘dropping the soap,’ did you?” 

How convenient odd is it that a large, purportedly crime-infested, place like Atlantic City, only seems to have two cells in its town jail?  Now, if that’s not a good reason NOT to screw over your friends, I don’t know what is.

Just last week, Nucky had his liquor and political compadre Chalky White arrested “for his own safety,” after a “nice, friendly” meeting with some SHEET HEADS KKK members went horribly awry.

SHEET!

Now, Nucky finds himself trapped ALONE in a jail cell with Nucky.

(Apparently, Chalky’s political clout has gained him enough social standing to earn a spot in the “more elite” jail cell, apart from the rest of the assorted riff-raff.  Umm . . . yay?)

Silly, Nucky!  He was apparently having sex sleeping during his Jail Cell Etiquette Class.  Rule #1 of Surviving Prison:  Don’t accuse your cell mate, who YOU are responsible of throwing in jail, of betraying YOU.  And yet, that’s exactly what Nucky does, by asking Chalky a few VERY pointed questions about whether his “people” had anything to do with the “anonymous witnesses” whose testimony got Nucky thrown in jail for election fraud.

“Vote on THIS, b*tch!” 

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  Were it not for Chalky, there is a good chance that Nucky’s cronie, Anthony Bader, would have NEVER been elected Mayor.    Not to mention the fact that Nucky is DEFINITELY no longer in the position to be choosy about who he gets to call his “friend.”

Things get even MORE awkward between Nucky and Chalky (I’m sorry, but are those not the WEIRDEST NAMES EVER? My fingers get twisted on my keyboard everytime I have to type them both together), when Nucky’s lawyer comes to post his bail, while Chalky is made to rot in the slammer.  Oops!

“See ya, Sucka . . . er . . . I mean . . . sorry, Big Guy!” 

So, Nucky exits the jail a Free Man (for now), and successfully engages in a battle of wits with the local journalists, looking to prove he’s a criminal to the “Good People of AC.”

(He calls them all alcoholics.  BURN!  What a NOVEL insult about journalists!  You have to wake up pretty early in the morning or whatever time Jimmy, the Commodore, and Eli wake up to pull one over on Nucky Thompson.  What a FIRE CRACKER!)

Meanwhile, Chalky is forced to deal with insults of a much more personal nature . . .

David Copperfield (err  . . . I mean “Tom Sawyer”) must be a REALLY GOOD BOOK!

“I have flipped through a 100 pages of this book, and I haven’t seen a single BOOB.  And they call this a classic!” 

It starts off innocent, enough. Chalky’s wife has come to visit him in jail.  They have a fairly banal conversation, during which Chalky’s wife tells Chalky that his son wanted to come visit him, but she thought it would be best if he stayed home.  Remember Chalky’s son?  The adorable prepster piano player from last week?  Yeah, not exactly someone you picture in a jail cell.

“I may look sweet and innocent, but  .  . . yeah, I’m sweet and innocent.” 

Mini-Chalky sent a gift to his dad, in his absence, however.  It’s a book, David Copperfield, to be exact.  (Was I the only one hoping there would be some sort of file, key, or weapon hidden in that book, that would help Chalky to plan his escape?  Well, there wasn’t . . . It was just a book.  Crime Boss’ son FAIL!)

Hidden mechanism for escape or not, Chalky seems touched by his son’s gift.  “That’s a good one,” he says, with a proud smile, as he takes the book from his wife’s hands.  As Mrs. Chalky leaves one of the Chalky’s “cell-mates” from across the way makes some comments that a man should NEVER make about another man’s wife.

“What’s that you say?  That I’m going to be dead in five minutes?  You’re LYIN’!” 

Chalky accepts the passive aggressive taunting of his cell mate, which is thinly disguised as good natured banter, with a surprising amount of dignity and grace, though its obvious he REALLY wants to put a cap in this guy’s ass.  The guy’s name is Dunn Purnsley, which is a really stupid name, if you ask me.    (No offense to all you Dunn Purnsley’s out there.)  And the fact that Chalky currently has a “fancy” cell to himself REALLY seems to dust Dunn’s doileys, as does the fact that Chalky dresses expensively, and has an attractive, comparatively light-skinned, wife.

You’ve got to admit, they do make a cute couple.

When another white prisoner is brought into the jail, Chalky is switched into the cell with Dunn, and the rest of the prisoners (all African American).  According to the guard, this is to prevent the mixing of races, which is strange considering that Nucky and Chalky shared a cell just hours earlier.  Weird .  . .

You would think that Chalky’s relocation into Dunn’s cell would placate the latter’s ire.  Unfortunately, it only seems to rile him up more.  Now Dunn is making increasingly inciteful and offensive comments about the color of Chalky’s skin, and referring to him in derrogatory terms, that, I suspect were generally reserved for the pre-Civil War era.

(OK, now I’m REALLY hoping Chalky kicks this Dunn guy’s butt!  He’s TOTALLY asking for it now.  If he doesn’t do it.  I may just jump into the television screen and do it for him.)

What follows are what are, in my opinion two of the most intriguing scenes in the entire episode.  The first arises when Dunn asks Chalky – who has been silently “reading” David Copperfield this whole time, what he is reading.  When Chalky first announced the book as Tom Sawyer, I thought he might just be messing with the guy.  After all, Mark Twain was an author who was pretty well known for having some fairly strong opinions about race relations, as evidenced in his follow-up book to Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn.

“Once upon a time, there was a man named Dunn, who’s life was almost finished.  Get it . . . done . . . finished?  Oh well, I guess you had to be there.” 

But then, when Dunn asks Chalky to describe what he is reading, he does so by making up a story about a picture that happens to appear in the center of the David Copperfield book.  Fans will undoubtedly recall that this is the method most of us used as children to PRETEND we knew how to read, before we had learned to do so.  The fact that Chalky probably does not know how to read, and has obviously hidden this fact from his wife, and Harvard-bound son, is both shocking and a little bit sad.

But now is not the time for sad stories.   Now is the time for ASS KICKING!  That’s right, boys and girls, Dunn is stupid enough to put up his fists and threaten Chalky.  He even has the audacity to RIP David Copperfield out of his hand, tearing out the picture Chalky used to describe what was happening in the book.

SERIOUSLY!  THE NERVE OF THIS GUY!

This next part is pretty cool.  Chalky doesn’t lift a FINGER!  Instead, he quietly addresses each of the men with whom he is sharing a cell.   He knows them all by name, and ALL of them, owe him SOME sort of debt.  It becomes apparent in this scene, that Chalky is the Nucky of the African American community in Atlantic City.  The only difference is that, unlike his political counterpart, Chalky’s power is still in full force.

Dunn rises to throw the first punch.  BAD MOVE!  Now, all of Chalky’s cell mates have been given their unspoken instructions.  They BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF HIM . . . LITERALLY, as in . . . HE DIES!  Then, one of them casually gives Chalky back his book.

“And they all lived happily ever after . . . well . . . almost everyone.” 

So, Chalky decides its a great time for a bedtime story.   (Why not?)  He asks the group, which of them know their letters, reaffirming the fact that he, himself, cannot read.  One of the cell mates obliges, and begins to read the remaining living cell mates David Copperfield proper, as the victorious, but not, necessarily triumphant Chalky, stares blankly at the torn out page of the book.  The fact that its incredibly depressing words are meaningless to him do not mean that they don’t hold meaning for him .  . .

When Season 2 Margaret Meets Season 1 Margaret . . . (How META!)

“So that’s me from the future .  . . I was kind of hoping my boobs would get bigger.”

So, earlier in this recap, I teased at Margaret’s inquiry to her maid about what kind of coat she wore.  In this scene, we get to see what exactly she did with that lovely coat.  In a scene that ironically mimics that of the poor, beaten, and pregnant, Margaret Schroeder’s first fateful visit to Nucky Thompson, Margaret arrives at Nucky’s office to see it being swarmed by lawyers and investigators.

Having had a lot of experience playing this particular part, Margaret is flawless (if a bit exaggerated)  in the role of her old pre-f*&king Nucky self.  She feigns ignorance to Nucky’s arrest, claims to have wanted to see him in order to get some cash, and asks to be shown to the nearest rest room.  Feeling pity on this helpless biddy, the District Attorney personally directs her to the toilet, and then, most likely forgets her existence.  This, of course, gives her free reign around the rest of Nucky’s office.

We’ll find out what she does with that “free reign” at the end of the episode . . .

Elsewhere, specifically,  at La Casa de Commodore . . .

The Oldest Man Ever to Suffer from a Mid-life Crisis . . .

“This is my very subtle way of telling you I have a large weiner.” 

For the Triumverate of Evil — Commodore, Eli, and Jimmy’s winky (Don’t worry, Jimmy, I still love you, even though you’ve turned to the dark side.  You are just too hot to hate.), getting all of Nucky’s cronies, specifically, the aldermans of each of the five wards over which Nucky is city treasurer, was surprisingly easy.  All they had to do, was convince these greedy poopyheads that Nucky’s ship had sailed.  And if they wanted to continue fattening their pockets, and living in the manner to which they had grown accustomed, they had to support the “New Guard.”

Having already got these doofuses under their thumb, except one (more on him later), Commodore invites them all to his Dead Animal Zoo study to talk “business.”  Concerned that the aldermans will discount him due to his age, Commodore decides to dress up as a fat Charlie Chaplin, and amaze them with his remarkable ability to lift elephant tusks in the air.  (Because you KNOW that’s going to come in handy on the road to World Domination!)

“When you come face-to-face with destiny, do you want to be the bear, or do you want to be the one holding the shotgun?”  Commodore asks his ambivalent admiring associates.

Actually, I’d prefer to be Dick Cheney.  But that’s neither here nor there, is it?

Meanwhile, Nucky is also trying to rally the troops for his cause . . .

When the guy who’s house you burned down is your only ally, you know you have problems . . .

Exhiled from his swanky Ritz Carlton office, Nucky is forced to (gasp) actually work in the dingy work space provided for him by the government.  It comes complete with a secretary, who has probably spent the past, lord knows how many years, sitting on her fanny from 9 to 5, reading magazines and painting her nails.  (Now THAT’s a living.)

“You REALLY want me to work today?  But my radio soap opera is on in five minutes?”

Nucky has his not-so-new assistant call all of the aldermans, the mayor, and his brother for an impromptu meeting.

Only two of them actually show, both RIDICULOUSLY LATE.  The first is the Mayor, because . . . well, duh . . . Nucky’s election fraud GOT him his job.  And if Nucky goes down, so does HE.

“Honestly, I was just looking for a little more screen time . . .” 

The second “loyalist” is alderman Damian Fleming.

Remember him?  Nucky offered him his father’s home.  And then he BURNED IT DOWN!

This takes the term “working fireplace” to a whole new level .  . . 

But he gave him another one.  So . . . let bygones be bygones.  I guess . . .  Except, Damian isn’t really coming to Nucky to tell him he’s on his side.  He’s coming to tell him that he’s SORRY that he can’t be, and to warn him that everyone is against him now . . . everyone, including . . . nu-Fredo his brother . . .

It’s pretty darn heartbreaking to see Nucky, with tears in his eyes, alone in a rundown office, taking a call from his brother, who, at this point, he KNOWS has betrayed him.  And yet Nucky is STILL offering him a chance to return to the fold.  It’s all very “Et tu Brute?”

“That’s really too bad, Eli.  Because I was planning to celebrate your coming back to my team, by getting you a hooker?”

“If you want to get out of this, I can help you?”  Nucky offers.  “I’m prepared to hear your side.   Because in a minute it’s going to be too late.”

But Eli isn’t interested in second chances.  He’s interested in Power . . . and wearing Big Boy Pants . . . and sitting at the grown-ups table.  And so he gives Nucky a speech that I’m sure he practiced in front of his mirror for three hours, even though he always knew he was going to deliver it over the phone.  “How does it feel .  . . sitting by yourself?”  He asks cruelly, before continuing his Pee on Nucky Parade.  “Nobody takes power. Someone has to give it to them . . . What have YOU got?”

“What a poopy head!” 

Then he hangs up on Nucky, and I find myself in the rare situation of wanting to reach through the television screen and give Steve Buscemi a hug.  What are you DOING to me, Boardwalk Empire?

While Nucky is busy learning the One truly IS the Loneliest Number, Jimmy is across town, trying to get SOMEONE to give HIM some power . . .

Oh, Arnie, how we missed you! (And your milk!)

“Milk . . . it does a gangster GOOD!” 

Jimmy pays a visit to Arnold Rothstein (and his “pet” Lucky ;)).  He wishes to present him with a proposition . . . one that involves screwing over Nucky (SURPRISE!), and entering into the liquor business together.  Arnold seems a mixture of amused, impressed, and curious.  Arnold is no dummy.  He knows Jimmy used to be Nucky’s fair-haired boy.  He also knows that Nucky was recently arrested.

As he listens to the young up-and-comer kiss his butt and beg for his business, you can see he wheels turning in his head, regarding the possibilities this might present, and the inevitable risks.  Is this kid for real?  Arnold isn’t quite sure.  And so he politely bids Jimmy adieu, without offering an answer one way or the other.

“Well, if you are not going to go into business with me, could you at least take a drink.  I’ve always wanted to see the biggest crime boss on the East Coast with a Milk Mustache . . .” .

So, remember when Lucky f*&ked Jimmy’s winky kissing mom?

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Well, bygones, because now he wants to do business with him.  “You know that thing you asked for?  I would have said yes to that,” Lucky offers cheerily.

“Yes, but I asked Arnold.  Not the guy who carries his water.”  (Ummm . . . it was MILK, Jimmy!  MILK!  Get it right!)

Ohhh, yeah and . . .

Apparently, Arnold’s other pet, Meyer, he of the baby face and Cheshire Cat smile, instructed Lucky to invite Jimmy to their weekly poker night so the three could “talk.”

Oooh, I smell a Next Generation Rebellion!  Yay Twenty-somethings!

Meyer Lansky says, “Say YES to heroin.  (And NO to Temperance Fountain.)”

“So, before I got this part, I was cast in my college production of Batman . . .  I was the Joker.  I hope that explains the smile.” 

At their meeting Meyer tells Jimmy he has BIG PLANS for the two of them and Lucky.  “We’ve learned a great deal [from Nucky and Arnold],” he begins.  “But no one wants to be in school forever.”

Except all these people . . . 

Then, Lucky and Jimmy start exchanging Yo Mama jokes (well, actually, it’s just Jimmy’s mama), and beating the crap out of eachother.  So, Meyer has to stop them, so that he can tell them his BIG PLAN.

“Calm down.  You’re both pretty.” 

It involves Meyer and Lucky buying liquor from Jimmy, if Jimmy and HIS people buy HEROIN from them.

Ummm . . . HOORAY for HEROIN . . . I guess .  . .

(Something tells me school teachers Arnie and Nucky would most certainly NOT approve.)

At the poker game, Jimmy wipes the floor with some of Meyer’s friends, while Meyer has an uncomfortable meeting with two goons who apparently represent the “Lower East Side.”  Later that night, Jimmy is walking home from the poker game, when those same two goons try to steal his lunch money poker winnings.

“I know you really want to ask me out on a date, but this is a bit too agressive, don’t you think?  There is something to be said for playing a little hard to get.” 

So, Jimmy . . .. ummm KILLS THEM, and leaves them lying in the ironically named Temperance Fountain with their mouths gaping grotesquely, and their necks spurting out blood.

I’m not going to lie.  It’s kind of awesome.

Speaking of awesome  . . .

Hi, New Cute Irish Guy!  (Yeah, that’s basically all I got from this plotline.)

“SOMEONE has to make sure Steve Buscemi doesn’t get all the chicks.” 

While Margaret waits for Nucky to come home, she’s got her OWN problems to cope with.  Nucky is apparently having a very stuffy Irish gentleman to visit.  He wants guns . . . or something.  He also doesn’t eat anything that walks on clove or hoof, and HATES AMERICANS.  Sounds like a real Life of the Party Type, right?

PARTY ANIMAL! 

He does have one thing going for him though, his help is HOT.  His name is Owen Sleater.  He has a cute Irish accent, can helps straighten rugs, and puts his foot in his mouth, like it’s his JOB.  He arrives to try and get into Margie’s pantsmake sure the Thompson house is SAFE for his boss.  Within minutes, he proceeds to mistake Margaret for he MAID, and the MAID for Margaret’s DAUGHTER, despite the fact that the two look to be only about five years apart at most.

“I’m deeply offended, and furious with you.  Yet, I have this strange urge to bone you, right here on this floor.”

Yet, there’s something charming about him.   He has a bit of sexual chemistry going on with Margaret (and the maid).   And, most importantly, he’s STICKING AROUND!

Woohoo!  Look out Jimmy Darmody and Al Capone.  It seems you have some competition for my heart  . . .

Speaking of hearts . . .

Margaret Schroeder = A Modern Day (Likeable) Lady Macbeth (Who knew?)

“Just don’t start talking about ‘damn spots,’ or I am SOOOO out of here.” 

We’ve been waiting for it all week, and it finally happens at the end of the episode.  Margaret confronts Nucky about his arrest, and everything that has been going on with him, these past two episodes.  Calmly and firmly, she gets her lover to admit everything to her, including, most painfully, his brother’s betrayal.  “I keep people satisfied.  It’s what I do,” says Nucky dejectedly, unable to comprehend how far he has fallen.

“They will never satisfied.  You know that already,” she replies, not entirely unkindly.  (Now, we know who the REAL brains of this operation is!)

Then Nucky tells Margaret, what he has TRULY been avoiding telling her all along.  The District Attorney has evidence against him, hard evidence.  It appears the officers searching his office have taken his ridiculously crime ridden business ledger, as well as $20,000 in cash.  Or HAVE they?

Like a BOSS, Margaret, skips to the other side of the room, and pulls BOTH incriminating items out of a nearby drawer.  Ahhhh!  So, that’s what she was doing at the Ritz in the Poor Girl Costume!  It all makes sense now!

Margaret decisively tosses the ledger in the fire, making Nucky promise to commit his shady dealings to memory from NOW ON!  You tell  him sister!

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as impressed with a female television character as I am with Margaret Schroeder right now.  Margaret, I take back every mean and snarky thing I ever said about you in season 1 and at the beginning of this rccap.

In the final moments of the episode, Margaret kisses and emotionally and physically exhausted Nucky on the forehead, and tells him to come to bed, where there will certainly be some EPIC lovemaking . . . I’d prefer not to picture it, though . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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The Body Snatchers – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Goodbye Look”

EMILY:  “Wow!  You know, for cafeteria food, this stuff doesn’t actually look half bad.”

HANNA: “True, but don’t forget what show this is.  With our luck, ‘A’ probably miraculously poisoned all those fruit plates before we arrived, without anyone seeing her or him do it.”

SPENCER: “Yeah, and as soon as one of us eats one, and falls down dead dead, she’ll text the rest of us with something SUPER cheesy, like ‘Beware of lunch ladies bearing poison apple slices – A.”’

ARIA: [Falls to the floor, unconscious.]

HANNA: “See what I mean?”

SPENCER, HANNA and EMILY: [Sigh and wait for their cell phones to ring.]

Welcome back, my Pretties!  This week’s Pretty Little installment was all about that oh-so-frightening prospect we all must face, at some point in our lives . . .  The Future. 

Therefore, it was fitting that, during the course of the episiode, each character made a choice that would undoubtedly affect their own future on the show.  Admittedly, “The Goodbye Look” wasn’t exactly what you would consider an “action-packed” PLL episode.  For starters, unlike last week’s groundbreaking Fitzy’s Bod Extravaganza, it contained NO shirtlessness, whatsoever.

While we are on the subject of what wasn’t in the episode, there was also no adorable Lucas, mysterious Caleb, or British studmuffin, Wren . . .

He’s coming back NEXT week, though!  *does dance of joy!*

But hey!  That doesn’t mean the episode was a TOTAL loss.  After all, it did introduce to me a mystery that I will undoubtedly ponder between now and the end of time.  Namely, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO JASON DILAURENTIS’ FACE?

“The world may never know!”

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

(Once again, the Awesome Screenshots from this Recap were provided by THIS KICKASS WEBSITE.  Thanks guys!)

Zombies Don’t Text (But, apparently, they can take out the trash just fine!).

This week’s PLL installment continued last week’s tradition of starting precisely where the previous episode left off.  The girls have just learned that Spencer’s sister, Melissa, may or may not be in cell phone contact with Creepy Pedo Zombie Ian, and they are PRETTY F*&KING FREAKED OUT ABOUT IT . . .

Can you blame them?

Hanna tries to analyze the situation from a “rational” perspective, something that doesn’t often go over particularly well on this show.  “Zombies DON’T text,” she explains.

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Another PLL’er (though I can’t recall who) suggests going to the cops with this new information.  “Yes, because that has gone so well for us, so far,” snarks Spencer.  And SHE would know.  She’s had the worst luck with policemen of ALL the PLL girls.  Then again, NO ONE has had as bad luck for the cops as her boyfriend,  Abs Toby.

“Hmm . . .  I wonder if my body would look this good if it was stuffed in an orange prison jumpsuit.”

Ultimately, the girls decide to stay away from the cops.  Rather, Spencer will use her super sleuthing skills, and Trademark Investigation Face . . .

 . . . to ascertain precisely how much Melissa REALLY knows about Ian’s whereabouts and mortality situation.

The girls’ discussion is quickly interrupted, when they start hearing strange noises coming from the roof of the greenhouse.

Well, OF COURSE, ‘A’ is hanging out on the ceiling watching them.  I mean, why not?  What else could she possibly be doing in the middle of the night?  Note to A:  There are WAY better ways to cure insomnia than stalking teenage girls.  Might I suggest Tent Sex, for example . . .

 . . . or dancing . . .

Our PLL’s quickly bolt from the scene.  On the way home, they find Facelift Jason skulking around Maya’s house, which, of course, used to be HIS and Ali’s house, back when the two were growing up.  As we learned last week from Blind Jenna and Police Boy Garrett, Ali’s older brother has somehow managed to convince Maya’s family to let him stay at the house, while Maya, herself, is away at De-Gaying Camp.  And what’s his first order of business in the home, you ask?  Well, to toss out all Dead Ali’s CRAP, of course!

“Thanks for the Box of Clues, Facelift Jason!  Now, I finally know who ‘A” is!”

Now, I know that the PLL girls, and, I suspect, some viewers, found Jason’s action of haphazardly tossing his sister’s things out with the morning trash insensitive and suspicious.  And yet, I find it more maudlin that Maya’s family would choose to hang on to that stuff, in the first place.  I mean, it’s bad enough to move into a home not too far away from where its previous inhabitant suffered a violent end.  But to KEEP the Dead Girl’s stuff, because you “can’t bear to throw it away?”  That’s just bizarre.

 Parents Just Don’t Understand

Hanna seems to be gaining a bit of ground with her Mom, regarding the whole “My therapist said I can’t have friends” thing.  After all, as Hanna says, if Mom doesn’t believe in therapy, why should SHE?  Where Hanna is making less progress is on the issue of her “darling Dad,” who seems to only make reappearances in her life, when she is in trouble with the law . . . like now.  Other than that, Dad’s idea of showing fatherly concern seems to consists of sending Hanna and her mom plants . . . that DIE.  But Mom’s a bit lonely now that Deputy Douchey has left town.  Remember him . . .

. . . so she’s willing to overlook Hanna’s remarried dad’s flaws, provided there exists an opportunity that papa might wind his way back into Mama Marin’s pink pantalones. 

Poor Hanna!  She’d have more luck being parented by a PLANT, than she would by these two.

Over at the Fields’ household, Emily’s homophobic mom thinks the therapist’s idea of separating Emily from all her friends is a FABULOUS one.  (Why?   Does she think this will somehow make her straight?)  She decides that Emily should leave her cell phone on the kitchen table, and make all her phone calls THERE, where Mom can overhear every word. 

Speaking of “great news” (she said, sarcastically), Emily’s mom also informs Emily that their house has been rented.  It’s moving time!

Emily storms upstairs and learns that, SURPRISE, her entire laptop has been erased, because she was an A$$HAT, and left it on in her room, for all potential “renters” of her home, and “A” to see.  Remember THIS little scene from last week, during which Gloved Hand person worked his evil magic on Emily’s deepest darkest snuff born videos, and Ian-related secrets?

Ahhh memories!

Emily calls Spencer to fill her in on the bad news.  Spencer would probably very much like to tell Emily that she is dumber than dog sh*t.  However, since Spencer made a SIMILAR mistake with HER laptop last season, she acts sympathetic.  Besides, Spencer has her own problems. 

Melissa has just arrived home from her sonogram appointment, and plans to spend the next few days on the couch doing nothing, which, if you think about it, has more or less been what she’s done since about the fourth episode on this show.  The problem now is that Spencer wants to snoop through Melisssa’s stuff to figure out whether she knows more about Ian’s whereabouts than she lets on.  And if Melissa’s lazy ass is on the couch all day, sniffing through her personal belogings will be VERY difficult!

“Damn you, Lazy Pregnant Lady!  Damn YOU!”

Aria Gets a New Nickname.  Fitzy Stays in the Dog House . . . for now

Back at school, Fitzy makes a lame excuse to pull Aria into his classroom alone AGAIN.  It’s a good thing Fitzy is leaving Rosewood Prep  Because he is getting SO MUCH worse worse at keeping his private Sex with a Student Business a secret.  Then again, maybe he’s just the kind of teacher who LOVES to give extra credit assignments to his most promising students. 😉

And Aria is simply more “promising’ than all the rest.

Fitzy takes this “extra credit” opportunity to not-so-subtly remind Aria that Friday is his last day as her teacher.  In other words, Aria, the Fitzy Love Train is leaving the station!  Better get aboard, or its going to pass you by, directly en route to Jackie Town!

Aria understands the insinuation her (ex?) is making, and doesn’t appreciate it.  “Thanks for the warning,” she says in a voice tinged with sarcasm, and a smidgeon of hidden longing.

“Why do I feel like you are picking apart everything I say with a pair of tweezers?”  Fitzy inquires, hurt.

Fitzy and Aria are suddenly starting to sound a heck of a lot like an old married couple.  The question is:  is that a good sign or a bad one.  Aria wants to know where the couple stands in their relationship.  And though Fitzy feels he has already made his love for Aria clear, he is willing to meet with her the following evening to have “The Talk.” 

My advice to Fitzy:  Already trying to figure out what to wear to ensure this “Talk” with Aria will go as well as humanly possible?  Here’s a hint:  Leave the sweater vest in the drawer!

Just sayin’!

Outside the classroom Annoying Mona traps Aria, in a rather grating conversation, as the recent absense of Hanna in her life, has apparently left her with no one to worship.  (Where’s Bushy Eyebrow Noel, when you need him, right?)  Though on the surface, this conversation seemed fairly meaningless and mundane, those in the “Mona is A” camp undoubtedly found a lot to chew on in this particular exchange.

“Hey, Big A!” Mona calls after Aria, ignoring the MASSIVE eyeroll Aria gives her, when she reaches her side.

Huh?  Big A?  Who’s Little A?  I mean, usually calling someone Big A, implies a smaller or younger A, in existence, right?  And who out there is smaller than Aria?  That girl is TEENY!  Not to mention . . . um . . . Mona?  I hate to break it to you, but there is NO girl in the world who enjoys being called “Big.”  Shallow Attempt at Friendship? FAIL!

As it turns out, Mona’s reason for accosting Aria is two-fold.  First, she would like Aria to help pick out a Going Away Gift for Fitzy, since the the two of them are so . . . close . . .

Of course, Mona is referring to the fact that they have had a lot of hot monkey sex together the two of them worked together on the school play!  Right?  Maybe . . . then again . . . maybe not.  After all, A is certainly familiar with Ezria’s sexploits, and if Mona is A, then . . .

The second favor that Mona asks of Aria is that she put in a good word for Mona with her now-on-the-outs former bestie, Hanna.  Last week, if you recall, Hanna gave Mona the big ole boot, when she found out that the latter had made Caleb’s love letter to Hanna DISAPPEAR in the Lamest Magic Trick Ever.

RIIIIPPPP!

 When Aria remarks that SHE hasn’t been talking to Hanna either, as a result of the whole “Our Shrink Doesn’t Think We Should Hang Out Anymore, Because Everyone Assumes We Lied About Finding Ian’s Dead Body” thing, Mona acts like she DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT AT ALL!

Whatchu talkin’ about, Mona?”

At this point in the show, my Bullsh*t Meter is on high alert.  I don’t believe, for a second, that the Biggest Gossip in the School had NO CLUE that her so-called best friend was involved in a scandal / possible criminal activity coverup of EPIC proportions.

Nevertheless, Mona puts on her best, “I’m sorry the Shrink took all your friends away” face, and bids Aria adieu.

“A Strikes Again”

On the lunch line, the girls (who are not supposed to be hanging out with one another, even though it should be SO OBVIOUS to anyone watching them that they still are) are whispering about the whole Ian Situation and wanting “closure.”  Correction . . . everyone wants closure except Hanna, who HATES closure, with the passion of a girl, who gave up her virginity to a boy, who was paid to seduce her and extract information from her, and then found out that he had fallen in love with her, somewhere along the way.

As if by instinct, all four of our heroines immediately head to the same lunch table . . . that is, until it hits them that they should probably NOT BE SEEN TOGETHER IN PUBLIC. 

Oops!

It is unbelievably sad, seeing these four supposedly super popular individuals each sitting at a table ALL BY THEMSELVES.  (Couldn’t Emily have sat with any of her swim team friends?  She is CAPTAIN, after all.)  I also had to wonder how SMALL this school is, that there were enough empty tables for EACH of these girls (and Mona) to do this.

Speaking of Mona, I know it makes me a terrible person, but I had to laugh a little bit at her expense, when she motioned for Hanna to come sit next to HER, and was DENIED. 

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Queen B Hanna would, apparently, rather sit BY HERSELF, than with the likes of the Future Miss Bushy Eyebrows.

So, of course, the minute the girls are all seated by their lonesome, A sends one of her trademark text messages to all four of them at the same time.  It says:  “Look at you.  All alone in a crowd.  I win!”

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Oh, COME ON, A!  You couldn’t think of anything more creative than the texting equivalent of sticking your tongue out and blowing a raspberry?  Clearly, you are losing your touch.

Toby Gets a Job . . . Then Loses It

Speaking of loners, after a VERY long absence, Abs Toby is back at Rosewood Prep, filling out papers. Spencer sees her beau, and is, of course, thrilled, rushing to give him a celebratory hug.  She thinks he is returning to school (and that she won’t have to suffer the humiliation of eating lunch alone again)

But alas, Spencer is wrong , (which is becoming an increasingly common occurrence).  Toby is simply collecting the papers necessary to complete his home schooling so that he can earn his GED and leave Rosewood . . . possibly, for good.

Spencer, NO LIKEY!

Toby and Spencer both flirt with the idea of Toby sticking around Rosewood to be with Spencer.  There are a lot of knowing smiles and eye f*&king, but nothing is really established.  Oh, and remember last week, when Toby suddenly became all Mr. Fix It, with Emily’s wall height chart? 

It turns out that was actually PART OF THE PLOT!  (Who knew?)  This week, we find out that our little enterprising Abs Toby has gone and scored himself a construction job in town.  Someone is REALLY itching to get some cash, and get away from Blind Jenna, isn’t he?  And honestly, can you blame him?

You know, if there was ever a contest for Luckiest Dude in Rosewood, Toby would probably come in dead last.  So, of course, it is no surprise, that the very same day Toby begins his career as a construction worker, the client who’s house he is “constructing” gets the poor kid fired, because he didn’t want Abs Toby near his daughter . . . him still being a Murder Suspect, and all.

Poor Toby!  Sometimes the Adult World is just as bad as high school.  At least he has Spencer to lean on, when times get rough, which, let’s face it, is basically ALL THE TIME, on this show 

In a really sweet scene, later on in the episode, the uber cute couple meet up in a forest, of all places,  and talk about how genuinely sh*tty the town they live in and the people who live in it with them are.  Spencer, who’s wearing a business suit, for no apparent reason WHATSOEVER, even goes as far as to offer to tell the cops what she knows about Ian, so that Toby can FINALLY be completely exonerated for any wrongdoing.  Toby then reminds Spencer that the cops in Rosewood are pretty much useless, and don’t believe a darn thing EITHER Toby or Spencer say.  So, what’s the point? 

They put their heads together and cuddle with one another under the stars.  And suddenly the Unluckiest Boy in Rosewood isn’t feeling so unlucky anymore.

Just Keep Swimming . . . Just Keep Swimming

Over at the pool, Emily is busy (SURPRISE) winning a swim meet again.  How convenient, right? 

Glug, Glug . . .

By the way, anybody seen Paige and her Sad Little Orphan Bitchy haircut? 

I know her and Emily sort of/ kind of broke up, but,  does that mean she automaticallly gets tossed into the PLL Vortex of Lost Former Significant Others?  Just curious . . .

Anywhoo . . . Emily is walking with Samara (Remember her, from the Carnival, and that blind date sort of meeting she was supposed to have with Paige, before Paige bailed?), who is NOT Emily’s girlfriend yet, but, I guess is close enough to her to attend her swim meets.  Samara asks Emily out to a movie, and Awkard Emily treats the poor girl like she PROPOSED MARRIAGE.  “But I’m moving . . . and I just got out of  a relationship. . . and I don’t want to start anything serious . . .blah, blah, blah” she yammers on. 

To her credit, Samara handles Emily’s weirdness pretty well, reminding Emily that going to a movie theater is not the same thing as picking out China patterns. 

“Oh, get over yourself, girlfriend!  Have you seen what I look like?  I can get WAY sluttier girls than you to go out with me.”

So, Emily agrees to keep things “casual” with Samara.  But not so fast!  As we all know by now, NO relationship on PLL can truly be a “casual relationship.”  Every first date must seem like Love Everlasting at least, for two episodes, or until the next love interest comes along, whichever is sooner.

 Worry not, Semily Fans!  The PLL writers have a solution for this conundrum which, also, could coincidentally end up allowing Emily to stick around for Season 3 of the show.  Some recruiter from Dartmouth Darby starts talking to her about swimming scholarships, conveniently noting that, if she moves out of Rosewood before the year is up, she probably will miss her chances of getting one. 

Emily is thrilled.  Now, she finally has ammunition to take to her mother that could genuinely prevent her from having to move to a dreaded “Red State,” if you catch my drift.

At the movies, Samara and Emily talk about the “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (real ones, not the ones from that LAME Matthew McConaughey Movie). 

Emily recalls that her first date with her FIRST girlfriend Maya, was also a Movie Date.  (Good job, Emily!  Because THAT’S what all new significant others like to hear on a first date Tales of the Ex.  Man, Emily really does SUCK at this whole dating thing, doesn’t she?)  Paige, of course, is not mentioned at all. 

EMILY:  “Umm . . . Samara.  Have you noticed that no one else is in this movie theater aside from us?”

SAMARA:  “Oh, did I forget to mention that I was taking you to see porn?  Sorry about that.”

In and of itself, the scene is pretty useless.  Samara and Emily don’t even hold hands or touch, let alone kiss.  I suspect the only reason for the existence of the scene, was to show that Emily was BACK IN THE DATING world, and to foreshadow Maya’s inevitalble return in a later episode. 

*insert evil laugh here*

Don’t get me wrong, I like Samara.  She’s fun and drama free, which is exactly what Emily needs in a girlfriend right now.  But seriously?  This storyline? Zzzzzzzzz.

Back at home, Emily’s mom is surprisingly open to the idea of Emily staying in Rosewood and finishing out her high school career there, if it means her getting a swimming scholarship to Dartmouth Danby.  She just wants a letter from the recruiter GUARANTEEING  the scholarship, before she brings the idea to Emily’s father.  Ummm, Emily’s Mom?  That’s actually not how college recruitment works . . . AT ALL!

Maternal Advice FAIL

Now, don’t forget that Emily was the Dumb Bunny who left her EVIDENCE OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY filled computer open and on in her bedroom, while her house was being shown for rental, so ANY NUMBER OF STRANGERS HAD EASY ACCESS TO ALL HER FILES. 

Is she pretty?  Absolutely.  Is she a spectacular athlete?  It would seem so.  Is she smart?  Not so much. 

So, of course, Emily assumes that her New Recruiter Friend will have absolutely NO TROUBLE giving her a PROMISE OF SCHOLARSHIP letter.  As you would expect, New Recruiter Friend pretty much LAUGHS IN HER FACE.  And yet, he does promise to give her a “We are definitely, maybe, considering, giving you a scholarship to our school . . . I think” letter. Emily looks crestfallen. 

That being said, since we all know she’s SOMEHOW going to manage to stay in Rosewood, assuming PLL gets picked up for another season, it’s hard, as a viewer, to really be worried for her.

Also during this scene, we learn that, in addition to erasing the harddrive of Emily’s laptop, SOMEONE stole camping gear from her garage.  Apparently, similar random break-ins have been occuring throughout Rosewood.  This handy-dandy piece of information may seem useless now, but it will come in handy later.

Hanna’s Dad Comes Back to Town (Nobody really cares.)

“I was so bored of my own story line, this week that I left in the middle of the episode to go watch The Voice.”

Of all the PLL girls, Hanna probably got the shortest end of the stick this week, in terms of plot advancing storylines.  (And that’s saying a lot, if you consider how LAME Emily’s storyline ended up being.  See above.)  When you think about it, all that really happened to Hanna this week was that her dad came back to town.  In the kitchen, the father/ daughter duo had their own little private therapy session about how Daddy-o only seemed to come around when Hanna was in trouble, and how he pretty much ABANDONED his own daughter for his better-behaved step-family. 

After Hanna stomps upstairs, Mama Marin and Papa Marin have a “reunion” of sorts, in which Daddy Dearest agrees to move back home for a while, until all this “Hanna as Murder Suspect Sh*t” blows over.  I can’t imagine things are going too well with Mr. Marin’s OTHER family, if he is so willing to up and leave them like this.  Then Hanna’s parents decide to do what any “rational” parents would do in this situation, they break out the booze.

I am SO getting you drunk, so I can get laid tonight.”

“You SURE ARE!”

You know, I don’t think it sends such a good message to teens that Aria’s and Hanna’s “Trouble with the Law” ended up being what brought BOTH of their parents back together.  It teaches kids that if their parents are having marital troubles, all they have to do is “act out” or misbehave in some way, and they will get back together.  Just sayin’

Oh, and I almost forgot, toward the end of the episode, Hanna randomly decides to forgive Mona for the Caleb Thing.  Mona claims excited, because “nobody has ever forgiven [her] before.”  (Umm . . . really, Mona?  Because I seem to remember HANNA forgiving you, last season, for starting a rumor that she had lipsuction, and for disinviting her to your Big Ass Birthday Party.  How quickly we forget?)

Hanna and Mona further cement their truce, by promising not to talk about their current love interests Caleb and Bushy Eyebrows Noel with one another.  That’s good, because I REALLY don’t want to learn anymore about Mona and Bushy Eyebrows making out.  I had to rinse my eyes out with alcohol from the last time that image was seared into my brain . . .

Parking Lot Sex . . . Well, that’s one way to Go Public with your “Secret Relationship”

So, remember how Fitzy promised to meet Aria at his apartment to talk about the “status” of their relationship.  Well, as it turns out, Fitzy got caught up in a little orientation meeting with college faculty, and his soon-to-be boss, and was late to the date  .  . . HOURS late.  (Apologetic Boyfriend FAIL!)  At first, Aria doesn’t seem to mind too much, as we know from earlier episodes how much she LOVES snooping around Fitzy’s apartment, while he’s not home. 

“So, it’s already been a few days, and Fitzy still hasn’t realized ‘A’ stole his diploma.  Do you think he’d notice if I took some of his underwear home for ‘safe keeping?’

First, she returns to Fitzy the diploma that “A” stole from his apartment to freak out the girls, then she starts reminiscing about their relationship, by looking through all sorts of little mementos Fitzy saved along the way, like, for example, the paper bags they wore over their heads, to note the secret status of their relationship. 

I can’t decide whether this is really romantic, or really creepy . . . I’m leaning toward creepy.

As Aria tends to do, while snooping around Fitzy’s alone, she calls Spencer to ask for advice about how long she should wait at the apartment, before she starts looking like a Total Desperate Hobag.  “You are the master of time,” Aria says to Spencer, kissing her ass, as hard as she can.

This true, technically,  when it comes to macking with the boys, Spencer is an EXPERT with time.  It’s the timing of everything ELSE in her life that seems to suck so royally.  Anywho, Spencer ditches Aria to go hang out with Toby.  So, after hours, of waiting for Fitzy to show up, Aria finally decides to leave. 

Cleverly (or callously, depending on how you view it), Aria leaves her Dear John note for Fitzy, in his old-fashioned type writer.  (Maybe she was hoping he wouldn’t find it?  I mean, really, just because he OWNS a typewriter, doesn’t mean he uses it.  Fitzy may be OLDER, but he’s not OLD!  He knows how to use a computer, for crying out loud!)

Nevertheless, the typewriter is where Aria ends up placing her letter, which goes a little something like this:  “I’m sorry we couldn’t work things out with our relationship. -Aria”  (OUCH!)

If any of you out there were MAD at Aria for the particular way in which she decided to dump Fitzy (Hey, at least she didn’t do it by text message or Post-It Note), worry not, karma got to her BIG TIME, when she wandered into Spencer’s house, after being stood up on her “talking date.”  Upon entering Spencer’s house, Aria steps on broken glass, immediately signifying to her that SOMEONE has broken in.  (No wonder Spencer carries that knife around everywhere.  That house sees more action than Paris Hilton!)  However, before Aria can react to this new information, she is tackled to the ground by an unseen home invader, as he dashes from the home.

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When Spencer comes home, her and Aria discuss the possibility that “A” has been sneaking into homes in the area, and collecting things . . . that “A” may be Ian . . . and that he may be out to get Spencer.

The next day at school, is Fitzy’s last day, he seems SUPER sad to be leaving “his students,” and by “his students” I basically mean, only Aria. 

“I don’t even know who half of you people are . . . I spent the entire year staring at Aria’s rack.”

“No wonder I got an ‘A-cup’ in English this semester.”

In fact, Fitzy’s entire goodbye speech seems to be solely directed toward her.  (I guess he uses that typewriter, after all!)  In typical Geeky, but Endearing, Fitzy fashion, he uses a quote to embody his feelings for Aria the class.  “Joseph Campbell once said, ‘You must give up the life you planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for you.’  I didn’t understand what that meant, until I met you.”

(Well, you better explain it to ME, Fitzy!  Because it doesn’t sound all that inspiring from where I’m standing.)

Nevertheless, Fitzy’s speech must have had an impact on Aria, because, after HOURS of sitting by herself on school grounds (weren’t her parents looking for her), she rushes into Fitzy’s classroom, looking for him, only to find that he has already left.

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But fear not, Ezria fans!  Because when Aria runs out to the parking lot, she finds Fitzy packing the last of his personal belongings into his car, and, in perfect Romantic Comedy Fashion, rushes into his arms for one of those LOOOOONG KISSES, that they use the 360 degree camera to film.

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It was heart-warming, triumphant, and super sweet . . . but it also made me really dizzy.  Just sayin’.

 Jason 2.0 apparently has both Multiple Personality, and Multiple Face Disorder

As I mentioned earlier, Super Sleuth Spencer has taken it upon herself, to find out exactly what happened to Ian.  First, she tries getting information from her sister Mopey Melissa, but girlfriend is not cracking.  So, she gets some store bought cookies, puts them in a plate to make them look baked, and carries them over to Maya’s house, where Jason is currently staying.

Though they showed Jason a bit, in the first scene, where he was throwing out all of Alison’s stuff, Spencer’s second meeting with Jason marked the first time I REALIZED that he was a different person.  And BOY was I confused! 

Luckily, I had my laptop in front of me, and was able to locate the article I linked above for you, which explained the Great Jason DiLaurentis Body Snatch.  Apparently, the old Jason was recast for someone a bit younger looking, as this was more consistent with the “direction” in which the writers wanted the character to go, in the show’s second season.

Considering that they chose a younger-looking actor, and considering that, EVERY MALE on this show ends up somehow involved with one of the PLL’s, I suspect that the main reason for this little switcheroo was to set up a future romance between Jason, and one of our girls (Using process of elimination, I would suspect it would be Aria Hanna, since both Spencer and Hanna already have love triangles with which to grapple, and Aria is currently a one-man lady.) 

And yet, while the actor who plays Nu-Jason is definitely cute, I can’t help but feel like the way his character is being introduced, is too similar to the way the writers introduced Toby in Season One, i.e.  The Sort of Creepy, Potential Suspect, Guy, who ends up being Sweet and Misunderstood.

I hope I’m wrong.  Because, as far as I’m concerned, there can only be one Toby.

Word!”

But I am getting ahead of myself here.  So, Spencer arrives at the house, and a grouchy Jason, makes me sort of hate him, by throwing rocks at a poor defenseless little dog, to get him out of the back yard.  He’s pretty defensive and rude to Spencer, and yet somehow gets her talking about what happened at the church.  At least initially, Jason seems to believe Spencer’s story about what Ian did, and what might have happened to him. 

You’ve really gotta hand it to Jason 2.0.   He’s smart.  Here was Super Sleuth Spencer coming to his home for information, and SHE ended up giving all the information she had to HIM, while he pretty much revealed nothing.  Talk about a Wanna Be Veronica Mars, FAIL, Spencer!

This scene is followed by a completely random, and not all that useful, flashback, in which Ali taunts her older brother Jason 2.0, by hiding his crap from him.  She makes some very Ali-like comment about how, when she hides things, they stay hidden.  I suspect it was supposed to be a “mysterious” scene.  And yet, I was so distracted by the appearance of Jason 2.0, I found myself unable to really concentrate on it all that much, to be honest.

(Didn’t they say last season that he used to be a goth, back when Ali was alive?  He looks more like the Captain of the Soccer Team here.)

Spencer’s sleuthing abilities are redeemed somewhat, when she comes home to her lazy ass sister, sitting right on the couch, where she seems to have been for two days straight. 

“I’m on to you Crazy Nanny Carrie from One Tree Hill . . . er . . . I mean, Melissa.”

Though Melissa claims to have been there the whole time, Spencer notices that Melissa’s raincoat and boots are wet, and in her pocket is the sonogram picture that she showed Spencer earlier.  Also, though Melissa clearly left the house that day, her car seems not to have moved.  Now, Spencer is wondering whether Melissa has been “entertaining” someone in the barn where Ali was pretty much last seen alive . . . possibly Ian.

But this section isn’t about Melissa or Ian, right?   It’s about Jason. 

Toward the end of the episode, the girls find him outside building a fence, either to keep intruders out, or to keep someone IN. 

He’s building in the middle of the night, in a rainstorm, and seems to have a TON of camping gear around him, similar to the camping gear that was stolen from Emily’s house. 

That cute little dog is there again, and it seems to be sniffing inside one of the sleeping bags, on the ground near Jason.  Something long and tall, is in that bag . . . something that could be but probably isn’t a dead body.

In the final scene of the episode, we see the Infamous Gloved Hand fondling the cute dog’s head.  For a second, we worry that Evil Gloved Hand Person might do something TRULY AWFUL, like break the dog’s neck. 

But, instead, it just lovingly pets the dog, who seems to recognize Gloved Hand instantly.  If this is, in fact, the DiLaurentis Family dog than Gloved Hand person, must be someone who is familiar with the family . . . like, for example, Ian . . .or one of Ali’s parents . . . maybe even Ali, herself.

And there you have it:  “The Goodbye Look” in a nutshell.  Be sure to tune in next week, when, if my sources are correct, MY HONEY BUNNY Doctor Wren / Julian Morris returns to Rosewood!  SQUEE!  (It’s about DAMN time!)

You can check out the SUPER INTENSE Much Music promo for the third episode, entitled “My Name is Trouble” here:

See you next week, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever]

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