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Happiness is a Warm Chair – Looking Back at the Top Ten Chuck and Blair Moments from Season 5, Part 1

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Greetings, Upper East Siders!  So far, this season of Gossip Girl has been quite the bittersweet one for us Chair fans.  On the sweet side, we have Chuck and Blair displaying just as much love, adoration, and passion for one another, as they always have.  Each time they were together on screen was more electric than the one before.

Even when Chuck and Blair were apart from one another, it was clear that they were never far from one another’s minds.  Donut Dan Humphrey, perhaps, said it best, when he said of the pair, “You two have some strange force field effect on eachother.  Physicists should study it.”

All of the amazing things Chuck did this season . . . from adopting Monkey, to becoming active in local charities,  to sacrificing his own happiness for Blair’s . . . Donut Dan’s . . . and even that cyborg asshat, Louis-bot’s . . . he did them out of love for, and in honor of, one very special Queen B.

As for Blair, her continued doubts about her relationship with Louis, and whether the so-called fairytale ending she had finally earned was all it was cracked up to be, all seemed to lead her back to Chuck Bass.    It was his face, she sought out, at the end of nearly every episode.  It was his voice she needed to hear on the phone.  It was his hand, she wanted to caress her face, when all hope seemed lost . . .

What’s amazing about seeing Chuck and Blair together in Season 5, is how much they both have grown, both as individuals, and as a couple, since Gossip Girl premiered, back in 2007.  Both have had their hearts broken, more times than they can count.  Their experiences have made them somewhat less impulsive than they used to be, and less willing to give their hearts to others, out of fear that their love won’t be returned.

But these same experiences have also made them kinder, gentler, more selfless people.  Chuck and Blair started the series as headstrong, manipulative, somewhat selfish individuals.  Now, they are adults, who are ready to enter into a mature, honest, and intimate relationship with one another, and maybe even start a family together.

It sounds pretty perfect, right?  But, alas, all was not well in Chair-land this season.  First of all, we were saddled with that marble-mouthed, personality-free cyborg, Louis-bot . . . the only character capable of uniting Chair and Dair fans in mutual hatred.

He ate up precious Chair screen time with his inexplicable verbiage, lame schemes, and ridiculous 8:54 apologies for whatever odious thing he did to Blair that week.

Due to his presence, and the existence of his evil spawn inside Blair’s belly, Chuck and Blair were frustratingly tentative, throughout most of the season, about sharing their true feelings for one another.

And when Chuck and Blair finally did receive their much awaited, and deserved happy reunion, it was ripped away by a nearly fatal car crash.  Thus proving that these two long-time lovers are just as starcrossed, as they always have been.

I guess some things never change . . .

But the holidays are not a time for regrets, complaints, or petty accusations.   They are time for spreading happiness, limo sex and for giving and receiving love and bar-mitzvah sex.

And in that spirit, I proudly present to you, my dear Chair fans, my picks of the Top Ten Chuck and Blair Moments from Season 5, so far  . . .

10. “I wanted to move on, to give you the happy life that you deserve.”

Episode: “Rhodes to Perdition” – 5 x 9

Setting the Scene:

Blair’s realization that Chuck has returned the engagement ring he once bought for her, causes our Queen B to have some shocking and disheartening revelations about herself, and her relationship with Chuck . . .

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Potent Quotables:

CHUCK: “Dr. Kirby thought you were upset I returned the ring.”

BLAIR: “He has too many PhD’s.  They cancel each other out and make him a moron.”

CHUCK: “I returned it because you asked me to let you go . . . I wanted to move on to give you the happy life you deserve.”

BLAIR: “All this time, I’ve blamed you for pulling me into the dark.  But I was wrong.  It was me who brought out your dark side.  And now that I’m with Louis, I’ve done the same to him.  I’m sorry.”

Why it made the list:

It is quite fitting that Blair begins this scene tasting cakes, as pastries have always played a major role in Chuck’s and Blair’s sex life . . .

Blair claims that she can’t enjoy her cakes because Louis-bot has lost his sweetness. How do you lose something you never had?  However, I can’t help but wonder whether it is her fear that she has lost Chuck’s love for good that is messing with her appetite.  After all, he always did like to eat her pies!

It’s interesting how Blair initially tries to deflect the seriousness of the conversation through casual banter, and witty insults.  Conversation avoidance is typically Chuck’s forte.  But, in this instance, it is Chuck who demands a serious conversation between Blair and him.  He knows that Blair was hurt by his confession that he returned her ring, and feels more than a bit guilty about causing her pain.  But I also think a part of him is a teensy bit hopeful.  Deep down, Chuck likely recognizes that the reason Blair got so upset over the fact that Chuck returned the ring is that she is not over him.

I’m awed by Chuck’s maturity throughout this scene, and how honest he is with Blair about his feelings.  Chuck has no desire to manipulate Blair’s feelings for him, as he has done in the past.  He only wants her to be happy, even if that secretly makes him miserable.  Chuck knows that no matter how many rings he leaves on the doorstep of Harry Winston to get stolen by homeless people he will always love Blair, more than life itself.

But, at this point, Chuck believes that Blair can only be happy with Louis.  And so, he says what he needs to say, to ensure that happiness.  It’s the type of blatant self-sacrifice we will see from Chuck, again and again this season . . .

But Blair misconstrues Chuck’s words terribly, interpreting them in a way Chuck never imagined that she would.  She begins to blame herself for Chuck’s and Louis-bot’s foibles.  And the anguish on her face, is mirrored by Chuck, the moment he realizes he has unwittingly caused her to feel this way.  It’s a sad scene . . . one that represents just how star-crossed Chuck and Blair truly are.  But it also illustrates their unbreakable bond, and how invested these two individuals are in eachother’s feelings and emotions.

9. Those pesky match-making squirrels . . .

Episode: “Memoirs of an Invisible Dan” – 5 x 4

Setting the Scene:

Reunited for the first time, since Blair announced that she was pregnant with Louis-bot’s spawn, Chuck and Blair undoubtedly worry that things might be awkward between them.  So, Chuck’s best friend, Monkey, plots with a few Chair-shipping squirrels to help break the ice . . .

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Potent Quotables:

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BLAIR: “Since when do you bite your tongue?”

CHUCK: “I’m learning.”

BLAIR: “Isn’t Humphrey becoming quite the drama queen?”

CHUCK: “Isn’t that usually your role?”

BLAIR: “I prefer drama princess now.”

CHUCK:  “How are you, by the way?”

BLAIR:  “I’m OK.  Thanks for asking.”

CHUCK: “I’m sorry .  .  . squirrels.  Should we?”

Why it made the list:

With all the heartache and angsty moments these two have endured over the years,  it’s nice, every once in a while,  to see a light-hearted, dare I say, cute moment between them.  I remember watching the pregnancy reveal in 5 X 3, and wondering how Chuck and Blair would react to one another, when they saw eachother again.  Would they be cold?  Awkward?  Distant?

It was refreshing to see Chuck and Blair be so completely at ease with one another, despite the obvious subtext between them.  And I applauded the pair for being able to make, what could have been a terribly uncomfortable moment, oddly normal, filled as it was with easy jokes, friendly familiarity, witty familiarity, and, of course, mild flirting.  Already, Blair is starting to notice that Chuck has matured, in his staunch refusal to reveal Dan’s secret.  She’s clearly impressed with him  . . .

And yet, once again, as in the prior scene, it’s Chuck that brings the conversation to a deeper level.  He places an affectionate hand on Blair’s arm, as he asks her how she’s doing, with a look in his eyes that is a mixture of concerned and loving.  The pregnant and subconsciously maternal Blair, gently moves her hands toward her stomach,  before she replies, a subtle implication that she knows exactly to what he’s referring.

When Blair thanks Chuck for asking, on the surface, it’s a banal response, one that anyone would make, if someone asked them how they were doing.  But the look Blair gives Chuck when she says it, shows that she is expressing gratitude, not just for Chuck’s words, but that he has the courage to resume their relationship, and continue to support her, even though she is carrying another man’s child.  We’ll see that gratitude expressed again, in a more significant way, later on in the season.

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Everyone’s favorite guest star, Monkey, has been a secret Chair fan, ever since he comforted Chuck,  after his fateful encounter with Blair at the end of episode 3.  So, it is no surprise that the canine Bass is a little schemer, just like his owner.  It’s certainly no accident that he went after those squirrels, in such a way that Chuck would have to pull Blair close to him, in order to hold on to the leash, and keep his pregnant lover from falling on the concrete.

Thanks to Monkey, Chuck literally sweeps Blair off her feet, in such a way that the two are both smiling, blushing, and eye-goggling eachother, long after Monkey has been set back on the straight and narrow.  Chuck Bass is always so cool, calm, and collected.  This is why some of my favorite Chair scenes arise when Chuck seems to lose his composure.  The shy, and goofy way a red-faced Chuck mumbled a shy apology over the squirrels, warmed my heart,  because it shows just how smitten he still is with Blair, even after all these years.

Blair may have wanted Chuck to murder those butterflies in his stomach,  back in Season 1.  But here we are, four seasons later.  And they are clearly alive and well . . .

8. Blair and Chuck attend couple’s therapy

Episode: “Rhodes to Perdition” – 5 x 9

Setting the Scene:

In complete denial of the obvious-to-everyone-else-but-her fact that the reason her relationship with Louis-bot is failing so miserably, is that she is head-over-heels in love with Chuck, Blair tags along on one of Chuck’s therapy sessions.   While there, she hopes to unlock the mystery of why Chuck is so awesome, and Louis-bot is so awful . . .

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Potent Quotables:

BLAIR: “I was a teenage bulimic and my father came out when I was fifteen.  This isn’t my first analysis.”

SHRINK: “Are you saying that you want your fiancé to be more like Chuck?”

BLAIR: “No!  More like the man Chuck’s become.  Like Louis used to be when Chuck was like Louis is now.”

SHRINK: “If you don’t mind me saying so, you seem confused.”

And later .  . .

CHUCK: “But I did let go of you, Blair . . . if you don’t believe me, call on Harry Winston.  The night of The Spectator launch, I left the engagement ring I bought you on the doorstep and walked away.”

Why it made the list:

At first, this scene seems as though it’s going to be played mainly for laughs.  Chuck, clearly aware of how patently ridiculous it is that his non-girlfriend has decided to attend therapy with him, teases and taunts Blair, by using most of his therapy time to wax poetic about Monkey’s self-pleasuring tendencies.  (Any hope of Monkey getting a love interest, next season, Josh Schwartz?)  And yet something tells me Chuck’s real therapy sessions are much more juicy, and decidedly Blair-centric.

From Chuck’s perspective, it’s interesting that he refrains for as long as possible from telling Blair about returning her ring, presumably because he knows it will hurt her feelings.  And yet, when he is finally goaded into revealing this pertinent information, he seems both surprised and cowed, by how much his confession affected her.  It’s almost as if, a part of Chuck believed that Blair wouldn’t care at all about the ring, because he doesn’t yet consider himself worthy of her love.

As for Blair, she never expected that Chuck’s transformation had anything to do with letting go of her.  And the mistaken realization that Chuck might truly be over her, devastates her in a way that she never expected.  Leighton Meester is spectacular in this scene.  Her body stiffens in shock, as her eyes well up with tears.  It’s almost as if she’s experienced the death of a loved one.  But what she’s really experiencing is what she believes to be the death of love.

Blair tries to act casual about this discovery, when she excuses herself.   But the way her voice cracks, as she escapes the room, says everything about what’s going on in her head and heart.  She’s not fooling anybody, least of all, herself . . .

7. “Do you think you could love another man’s child?”

Episode: “Riding in Town Cars with Boys” – 5 x 10

Setting the Scene:

Hiding away in Brooklyn, so that those nosy paparazzi won’t realize that her pregnant fingers are now too fat for her wedding ring, Blair struggles over why she can’t commit to her robot fiance.  Seeking closure or perhaps an opportunity to escape this sham of a marriage, Blair calls the one man, who can help her get in touch with her true emotions: Chuck Bass . . .

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Potent Quotables:

BLAIR: “I need your advice.  It seems as you’ve found your way, I’ve lost mine.”

CHUCK: “I didn’t think Blair Waldorf could get lost.”

BLAIR: “Neither did I, but I’m so lost I wound up in Brooklyn.”

CHUCK: “There are worse places.  This isn’t something Humphrey can help you with?”

BLAIR:  “No . . . only you .  . . Do you think you could love another man’s child?”

CHUCK: “Why are you asking me this?”

BLAIR: “I’m paralyzed.  I can’t move.   I can’t breathe.  You have to help me.”

CHUCK: “I can’t make this decision for you, Blair.  You’re the one who has to live with it.”

BLAIR: “But, what’s the right choice, Chuck?”

CHUCK: “I can’t imagine it would be a mistake to marry the father of your child.  Right?”

Why it made the list:

What’s interesting about this scene, is that it takes place entirely over the telephone.  So much of Chuck’s and Blair’s relationship is conveyed through their body language, and facial expressions.  When they are face-to-face with one another, knowing what is truly in eachother’s hearts comes easily to Chuck and Blair.  It is second nature to them.

But while on the phone, Chuck and Blair cannot look in eachother’s eyes when they speak.  They can’t touch one another.  They can’t see how eachother or standing, or read the tears in eachother’s eyes, or the devastation in eachother’s posture.  And this causes them to have a miscommunication of tragically epic proportions.

However, as viewers, we get to see Chuck and Blair, as they engage in this conversation.  And this gives us the unique opportunity to read the subtext of their words, which they, themselves, cannot see.  For example, Blair’s voice, when she asks Chuck for help, and jokes about being in Brooklyn, is deceptively subtle, and lighthearted, though we know, from the way she is seated on the couch, that it is taking all her will, not to break down.

Chuck responds in an equally light-hearted fashion.  But the sad look in his eyes, when he speaks  shows fans how hard it is for him to carry on a casual conversation with someone he loves more than life itself, and yet knows he cannot have. When Blair asks Chuck if he could love another man’s child, we see how nervous she is . . . and how tentative.  This is incredibly hard for her.  We know what she wants Chuck’s answer to be, even if she’s not ready to admit that to herself.

As for Chuck, on one hand, his heart swells from hearing this question.  It is the one Chuck has secretly wanted Blair to ask him, ever since she told him she was pregnant back in Episode 3.  On the other hand, a part of him feels as though fate is playing a trick on him, as though it is too good to be true.  “Why are you asking me this?” He asks,  with just a hint of nervous accusation in his voice.

This is when Blair breaks, she admits to being paralyzed, and torn up by fear and indecision.  She needs Chuck to give her the permission to leave her marriage, and save her from herself.  Now, Chuck can clearly hear the anguish in Blair’s voice, and it hurts his heart.  It takes all his will not to hang up the phone, rush over to Brooklyn, take her in his arms, and never let go.  And, perhaps, if Chuck could look Blair in the eyes, and see his love mirrored back in her, that’s exactly what he would have done.

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But he doesn’t see her.  And a voice in his head is nagging him to keep his feelings to himself.  He doesn’t know yet, how much Blair still loves him.  He worries that she will resent him, if he takes her away from the father of her child.  So, he says what he thinks is the “right” thing to say .  . .  He gives her up.  Even though he has to bite his quivering lip, when he finishes speaking to keep from breaking down.

Now, Chuck and Blair are both more lost than before.  But, fortunately, not for long . . .

6. Blair tells Chuck she’s pregnant / helps him to feel again

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Episode: “The Jewel of Denial”  – 5 x 3

Setting the Scene:  

After sacrificing his own happiness, so Blair could marry Louis-bot, Chuck escaped to Los Angeles, hoping to lose himself in booze and beautiful women.  But the old tricks, don’t seem to work for Chuck now, as he finds himself shockingly devoid of the ability to experience any sort of human emotion.  He reacts by throwing himself into increasingly dangerous situations, hoping that the physical pain he suffers will somehow translate into an emotional  one.  But Chuck isn’t experiencing physical pain, either.

Chuck’s new bestie, Humpty Humphrey, has spent the entire episode, trying to get him to feel something.  However, in the end, only Blair Waldorf holds the key that unlocks Chuck’s heart . . .

Video:

Potent Quotables:

BLAIR: “I need to talk to you.”

CHUCK: “I thought we said everything we needed to say, last time we saw each other.”

BLAIR: “Chuck . . .”

CHUCK: “Is this another misguided attempt by Dan to get me to feel something?”

BLAIR: “I’m pregnant.  It’s Louis’.  I didn’t want you to find out from someone else, and wonder if the baby was yours.”

CHUCK: “That’s very considerate.”

BLAIR: “Yes . . . well . . . if I know anything about Chuck Bass, it’s that fatherhood isn’t part of the lifestyle.”

CHUCK: “You must have been very relieved when you realized you weren’t carrying my offspring.  It certainly would have derailed your fairytale.”

BLAIR: “This fairytale is complicated.”

CHUCK: “Blair, meet my dog, Monkey.”

BLAIR: “I saw Gossip Girl. I thought you got rid of him.”

CHUCK: “I just sent him to get fixed.  I thought it was the responsible thing to do.”

And later . . .

BLAIR: “There is a part of me that really wanted it to be yours.”

Why it made the list:

In the telephone scene, Chuck and Blair spoke volumes to one another.  But they could see one another, and, therefore, missed the painful emotions behind the words.  Conversely, in this scene, up until the very end, Chuck and Blair actually say very little to one another.  The conversation is polite, cordial, and even a bit cold.  If a conversation like this was done over the phone, it could have singlehandedly wrecked Chuck’s and Blair’s relationship.  But because Chuck and Blair can see one another, and know what eachother are feeling, during the conversation, it actually strengthens the bond between them.

When this scene first aired, it was the first time Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick had shared the screen together, since the season 4 finale.  Chair fans waited with baited breath for the couple to reunite, over the long summer hiatus, and through the first two epsiodes of the season.  It made their actual reunion that much more epic, emotionally-charged, and meaningful than it perhaps would be, otherwise.

When Chuck first lays eyes on Blair,  his eyes widen, as if he doesn’t quite believe she’s really there.  Though they’ve spent months apart, it is quite clear, in that first moment that Chuck’s and Blair’s love for one another hasn’t diminished.  “I thought we said everything we needed to say the last time we saw eachother,” Chuck says, coldly.

He’s protecting his heart.  He doesn’t want Blair to hurt him again.  Blair’s utterance of his name in response, is a plea, that he take down his walls, and open his heart, so that he can really hear what she has to say.  It melts him a bit.  But his guard is still up.  He still thinks her presence in his apartment is too good to be true.  He thinks it’s a ploy or a trick of some sort.

But that all changes, when Blair admits tearfully that she’s pregnant, and that the baby is not his.  He’s clearly heartbroken, as is she.  They know how one another are feeling.  And yet, they still exchange cold pleasantries, maintaining the falsehood that Blair still wants her fantasy life with Louis-bot, and Chuck still wants to live life as a perpetual bachelor.

Once again, this conversation is in danger of ending very badly for Chair.  But in comes Number One Chair fan, Monkey, at just the right moment.  His presence makes Blair realize how much Chuck has changed, and it softens both of their hearts.  Because, really, who could be angry, in the presence of an adorable dog.  I think it’s the presence of Monkey, that enables Blair to make the heartfelt admission that ensures the future of Chair, “There’s a part of me that really wanted it to be yours.”

Clearly, Chuck feels the same way.  You can see it in his eyes.  But he says nothing.  Instead, he bids Blair a polite goodbye,  and waits for her to depart, so that he can finally breakdown.  Blair’s confession has awakened Chuck’s ability to experience pain and emotion.  She’s saved his soul, and broken his heart, in a single moment.  Fortunately, Monkey is there to pick up the pieces . . .

5. “You are the lightest thing that ever came into my life.”

Episode: “Rhodes to Perdition” – 5 x 9

Setting the Scene:

Having learned that Chuck’s shocking transformation took place, only after he committed to giving her up for the greater good, Blair has come to the devastating conclusion that she brings out the evil in the men that she dates.  Knowing this to be patently false, and unable to allow the woman he loves to be so down on herself, Chuck goes to Blair’s bedroom to comfort her . . . .

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Potent Quotables:

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CHUCK: “You never pulled me to the dark side, Blair.”

BLAIR: “I appreciate you trying to make me feel better.  But I have my answer.”

CHUCK: “You were the lightest thing that ever came into my life.”

BLAIR: “Then, why did it take letting me go to find this whole new side of yourself?”

CHUCK: “I only turned dark and desperate, because I was afraid of losing you.  You’re love kept me alive.”

BLAIR:  “But you survived without me.”

CHUCK: “The worst thing happened, and I didn’t die.  But I had to find a way to move on with my life.  I only want you to be happy.  I’m just sorry it couldn’t be with me.”

And later . . .

CHUCK: “I’m not the groom.”

Why it made the list:

Many times throughout the series,  we’ve seen Blair comfort Chuck, when he needed a hug, a kind word, and a gentle self esteem boost.  And though Chuck clearly cares for Blair deeply, and can can be turned into puddy at the sight of her tears, it’s rare that we see him comfort her.  It’s not that Chuck isn’t sensitive to Blair needs, or that he doesn’t want to make her feel better, I think he just worries that he doesn’t have the right words to do it.  Perhaps, that will change, now that the New and Improved Chuck has come to the Upper East Side . . .

It was heartwarming to see Chuck helping Blair through her devastation, by not letting her go on believing that she was to blame for his darkness or Louis’.  In this instance, he knew exactly what to say to cure Blair of her misconception.  And the best part about it, was that it was all true.  Chuck is a much better person, for having known and loved Blair.  She believed in him, supported him, and helped him to become the man he is today.  And if Louis-bot wasn’t such an asshat, she’d probably make him a better person too.

It’s not at all surprising that a guest in the home, walking into the situation would assume that Chuck was the groom-to-be.  Chuck’s and Blair’s romantic connection to one another is apparent even to strangers.  That said, Chuck’s utter dejection when he informed the baker that he wasn’t the groom broke my heart . . .

4. Chuck and Blair play dress-up, and  things get RED HOT.

Episode: “The Big Sleep No More”  – 5 x 7

Setting the Scene:

Blair just can’t seem to get Chuck’s hot body epic apology out of her mind.  Unable to accept the fact that she’s obviously still in love with him, Blair tries to convince herself that Chuck is only pretending to be a better man, so that she will doubt her dull relationship with the Robot Prince.  It’s working!  Desperate for answers, Blair crashes Chuck’s Sleep No More charity event, and attempts to seduce him.  By doing so, she hopes to prove, once and for all, that Chuck Bass is the same sexpot he’s always been.  But the problem with seduction is that it is often a two-way street, which begs the question, “Who’s seducing who?”

Video:

Potent Quotables:

BLAIR: “Of course, you knew it was me.  Was it my perfume?”

And later . . .

BLAIR: “It looks like we’re stuck . . . together . . . alone . . . amongst the masked and anonymous.  Do you remember when we used to play dress-up?”

CHUCK: “How could I forget?  Though, I didn’t think this was your kind of entertainment anymore.”

BLAIR: “At least I know I’m safe, locked in here with the New Chuck Bass, who has none of his old urges.  I have to admit, I had a hard time believing you, at first.  But now I see . . . the therapy, the apology . . . you really have changed.  As warm as it’s getting in here, I can sweep the hair from the nape of my neck, without setting you off.   It’s such a relief to be able to let my guard down.  Oh look!  They even have Red Hots.  You never could resist.  Do you want one?

CHUCK: “No . . . thank you.”

BLAIR: “No one is looking.  Even the new Chuck Bass must have some of his darkest desires.  Just a taste.”

(They kiss.)

BLAIR: (slaps Chuck) “I knew you were still the same Chuck.  You thought by one fake apology, and a few charitable acts, you could get me to question, all the reasons I’m with Louis.  But I was right.  You are incapable of change.”

CHUCK: “It seems you know me too well.”

BLAIR: “And now, thanks to you, I am more certain than ever, that I chose the right man.  Goodbye.”

CHUCK: “Goodbye, Blair.”

Why it made the list:

I suspect some readers might be surprised at how high up on the list this scene appears.  After all, one could argue that everything that happens here is an act.  Blair is seducing Chuck, because she wants to prove that he is still the Bad Bass she knows and loves.  She thinks this will make her feel comfortable entering into her boring relationship with that Gibberish Speaking Cyborg.  And, though we don’t know it, at the time the scene first airs, Chuck is playing a part as well.  He’s pretending to be seduced by Blair, as a favor to Dorota, who claims it will help Blair find happiness with Louis-bot.

On the other hand, how much of this scene really was acting, and how much was real?  It’s fun to try and guess.  After all, this certainly isn’t the first time Chuck and Blair have used their sexual powers of manipulation on one another.  (Remember the “I love you” wars, of Season 2?)

Sexual chemistry simply can’t be faked.  And Chuck and Blair have it in spades, in this scene.  Chuck certainly seems hot and bothered by Blair, as she dances around him, rubbing her neck, filling his nose with her scent, and taunting him with red hots.  His breathing is labored when he speaks to her, and his voice is decidedly husky.  As for Blair, there’s something about the way she stares at Chuck’s mouth that seems to suggest that the seduction act is working it’s magic on her, just as much as it’s working on him.

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And the kiss, it seems to take Blair by surprise, even though she’s been working toward it all this time.  It’s long.  It’s passionate.  It’s red hot.  And both Chuck and Blair find themselves carried away by it’s intensity, until it becomes all-too-apparent that neither of them are acting, anymore.

Even the slap that follows, and the heated argument that occurs between the pair,  seems charged with sexual energy.  Watch their body language in the scene . . . the way their faces are flushed, the way their eyes dilate, when they speak to one another.  After Blair storms, off, Chuck seems a bit lightheaded, like someone waking up from a trance.  He’s not entirely sure what just transpired, but he knows he kind of liked it . . .

Then you remember that Chuck did all this to ensure Blair’s happiness with another man, and it makes you fall in love with him all over again . . .

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3. Chuck apologizes to Blair for  . . . well . . . EVERYTHING.

Episode: “I am Number Nine” – 5 x 6

Setting the Scene:

While on his Path to Redemption, Chuck decides to apologize to Blair and Chair fans for some of the less-than-loveable things he’s done to her, during the course of their roller coaster relationship . . .

Video:

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK: “I’m not here to apologize about what happened tonight.

BLAIR: “What are you here to apologize for?”

CHUCK: “Everything else.  I’m sorry for losing my temper the night you told me that Louis proposed to you.   I’m sorry for not waiting longer at the Empire State Building.  I’m sorry for treating you like property.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I loved you, when I knew I did.  Most of all, I’m sorry that I gave up on us, when you never did.”

BLAIR: “Thank you.  I hope never giving up on people isn’t going to be my downfall.”

CHUCK: “It’s why you are going to be an amazing mother.  You are always there for the people who you love, even when they don’t deserve it.”

BLAIR: “You know, that’s never going to change.”

CHUCK: “It’s OK, if it has to.  Starting tonight, I’m going to take care of myself.”

Why it made the list:

This scene was not just a love letter from Chuck to Blair.  It was also a love letter from the GG writers to Chair fans.  On the surface, this was simply Chuck showing Blair just how much he had changed and grown up, over the years.  By admitting, and coming to terms with all the ways in which he has hurt Blair, throughout their relationship, Chuck is saying to the woman he loved, “I am going to change for you.  I am willing to accept responsibility for what I have done wrong.  And I am ready to become a man, who is worthy of your love, even if you cannot bring yourself to love me in return.”

But peel back the layers, and you can also hear the writers saying to you: “Thank you for sticking by this ship, through thick and thin, even when other fans called you crazy for doing so.  We know this couple has accumulated a lot of heavy baggage, over the years.  And we aren’t going to insult your intelligence, by sweeping it under the carpet, and pretending that none of it ever happened.  Instead, we are going to have Chuck own up to his wrongs, and try to make amends for them, not just by his words, but also through his actions.  In short, we are going to reward you, Chair fans.  Because, just like Blair, you don’t give up on the things and people you love.”

With the apologies out of the way, Chuck and Blair actually get to share a really sweet moment, where Chuck illustrates his admiration for Blair’s unflinching ability to stick by people she cares deeply about, even when they disappoint her.  Like Chuck, we know that this will not be Blair’s downfall, but will ultimately be her salvation.  It will keep her strong during the tough road ahead.  And the fact that Chuck told Blair that she would be a great mother, at the very moment, when she needed to hear it most . . . well, if that doesn’t warm you’re heart, you’re a soulless vampire . . .

.  . . or, possibly an evil cyborg.

2. Chuck’s and Blair’s Tragic Limo Town Car Reunion

Episode: “Riding in Town Cars with Boys” – 5 x 10

Setting the Scene:

In this epic mid-season finale episode, Chuck and Blair have finally come clean to one another about their feelings for eachother.  Now, along with Blair’s unborn child, they are finally ready for their much-deserved Happily Ever After.  Unfortunately, those pernicious paparazzi have other ideas . . .

Video:

Potent Quotables:

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BLAIR: “I have to tell Louis, face-to-face that the wedding is off.  He deserves at least that.”

CHUCK: “Are you sure you want to do this?  I mean . . . a prince . . . a fairytale wedding.  This is all you ever wanted.”

BLAIR: “No!  You’re all I ever wanted.  I love you.  I love every part of you.  I couldn’t tell Louis that he would never lose me, because it wasn’t true.  You’re the one I never want to leave.”

And later . . .

BLAIR: “We can go anywhere.  Switzerland has impeccable schools, or maybe Tokyo.   They have opening ceremony, and great test scores.”

CHUCK: “Blair, we don’t need to go anywhere.  We can raise this baby right here.”

Why it made the list:

I have such mixed emotions about this scene.  On one hand, never have I seen such a joyous reunion between two people, as the one between Chuck and Blair.  I mean, seriously, Chair fans.  When have you ever seen Chuck so adorably giddy?

He’s like a little child, practically bursting out of his seat with happiness.  His face is flushed.  He’s breathing heavy.  He’s babbling.  His eyes are wide with excitement.  He keeps touching Blair’s face, as if he can’t quite believe she’s real.  We’ve waited five seasons to see Chuck like this.  And it’s hard not to smile, watching him, even though we all know tragedy is about to strike.

As for Blair, it’s heartening to hear her finally verbalize her feelings for Chuck . . . the one’s we always knew she felt,  but could never quite bring herself to say.  Up until this point, this season, it’s been Chuck always making the heartfelt speeches, the epic apologies, the eloquent declarations of love.  Now it’s Blair telling Chuck she never wants to leave him, planning for their future, talking about starting their family.

In an alternate universe, Chuck and Blair didn’t trade taxi’s with Nate that night.  They avoided the paparazzi, arrived back in the Upper East Side, safe and sound, made sweet love in Blair’s bed, and woke up early the next morning to shop for baby furniture.  But it our universe, Blair finally noticed the paparazzi stalking her car.  And in that moment, the fantasy was shattered.

What’s in store for Chuck and Blair now, remains to be seen . . . But no matter what happens, we can always look back at this moment, and remember them as a young couple, deeply in love, and overjoyed at the prospect of spending the rest of their lives together . . .

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . . The Number One Chuck and Blair Moment from Season 5, so far is . . . (drumroll please) . . .

1. “I’m going to love your baby as much as I love you.”

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Episode: “Riding in Town Cars with Boys” – 5 x 10

Setting the Scene:

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After their devastating telephone conversation, during which Chuck could not bring himself to tell Blair to ditch that bastard, Louis-bot, for his sexy self, Blair is completely inconsolate, fearing that she will never be happy again.  But Matchmaker Dan has other plans for his friend and the unrequited object of his affection.  And those plans involve the one man with the power to give Blair the happiness she deserves . . .

Video:

Potent Quotables:

CHUCK: “Dan arranged it for us.”

BLAIR: “What us?”

CHUCK: “The ‘us’ I should have fought for, when you called.  The ‘us’ that is not just you and me, but you, me, and your baby.”

BLAIR: “Then, why did you tell me to choose Louis?”

CHUCK: “I thought it was selfish, if I was the one to tell you to break up your family.”

BLAIR: “That was the moment you chose  not to be selfish?”

CHUCK: “Timing has never been our strong suit.  I had it all wrong.  Just because Louis is the father of your baby does not mean you should be with him.  You should be with me.”

BLAIR: “Why?”

CHUCK: “Because I’m going to love your baby as much as I love you.”

And later . . .

BLAIR: “I’ve gotta get out of here.”

CHUCK: “Wait .  . . I want to come with you.”

Why it made the list:

This scene truly embodies Chuck’s and Blair’s relationship.  It’s as if everything we’ve endured with this couple, over the past five seasons — all the breakups, and makeups, the accusations, and the insinuations, the beautiful speeches, and the smoking hot sexual encounters — has culminated in this single moment.  Finally, Chuck is ready to fight for Blair, as he promised he would, during his apology to her in “I Am Number Nine.”  Finally, he is saying the things he’s known in his heart, since he fell in love with her, back in high school . . . the things he’s always wanted to say, but never had the courage to do so.

After all his soul searching, Chuck finally feels worthy, not just of Blair, but of Blair’s child, which he will love as if its his own, because it’s part of the woman he loves more than anything in the world.  It’s a more honest, mature, and heartfelt, Chuck, then we’ve ever seen before.  And it’s this Chuck that takes Blair’s breath away, by saying things to her, that she’s never admitted to herself, that she’s always wanted to hear.

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She moves in closer to him, clutching her unborn child, and, in that moment, they cease to be indviduals, and become a unit . . . a family.  The fact that Chuck doesn’t want to leave Blair’s side, even though he knows this might make them a more likely target for the paparazzi, is both romantic, and symbolic of this union.  Chuck spent so much of these past two seasons apart from Blair.  And he doesn’t want to be separated from her, for another minute.

If only the episode ended here, we could sleep better at night, knowing, for certain, that Chuck, Blair, and Blair’s baby lived happily ever after.  And though that wasn’t in the cards for our favorite Upper East Side Couple, the fact that a perfect scene like this exists, reminds us Chair fans, that Chuck and Blair are meant to be.  They’ve endured hardships, heartbreak, evil cyborgs, bland prostitutes, and so much worse, but it never shook the solid, unbreakable foundation of their love for one another.  And that gives us hope for, and certainty in their future . . . together.

You know you love them!  XOXO!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Chuck and Blair, Gossip Girl, Television Super Couples, Top Ten Lists

Rocking OUT at Seattle Grace, Mercy Death! – Some thoughts on Grey’s Anatomy’s Musical Episode “Song Beneath a Song”

If Sue Sylvester and that Kurt Kid show up in this dream, I am SO outta here!

“She works here at Seattle Grace Mercy Death.  So, I’m sure she’s pretty much going to go crazy, or get cancer, or shot by a gunman or hit by a truck,” remarks Alex Karev, this week, upon being asked about the prospects of him and his Latest Love Interest making it for the “long haul.”

That’s right, Karev!  You have TERRIBLE luck with the Ladies on this Show!  And the Ladies on this Show have terrible luck with . . . well . . . EVERYTHING!

Awww . . . remember back when it was just these three . . . and Dead George . . . and Cancer Izzie?  Good times!

This “We’re Hot Doctors, So Why Do Our Lives Consistently Suck So Badly?” sentiment was echoed later in the episode, by Meredith Grey, who, in an uncharacteristically (but oh-so-poignant) emotional elevator scene, turned to her Post-It Note Husband Derek, and said, “The universe is so screwed up, and random, and mean.” 

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Sing it, SISTA!

Speaking of singing . . . you might have noticed that this was the Musical Episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  And WHY was everyone singing, you ask?  Well, because CALLIE TORRES was hit by a truck, of course! 

Believe it, or not.   This actually isn’t as cruel and inappropriate as it sounds!  You see, in Callie’s final moments of consciousness, before she LITERALLY left her body (a coping mechanism, employed by her traumatized brain, to cope with the pain of the accident), she managed to utter the word “music.”  And it was “music” that enabled Callie’s mind to understand what was happening to her and her unborn child, while being given the opportunity to connect with the people she loved. 

Because, if Callie Torres’ Extra Special Vagina Vote wants to see Singing Hallucinations of her Friends, while she’s on the operating table, Callie is going to GET Singing Hallucinations, dammit!

Now . . . the fact that ONE of those hallucinations featured all of the Grey’s couples BONING one another, while happily singing “Running on Sunshine,” as Callie NEARLY BLED TO DEATH on the operating table . . . THAT was cruel and inappropriate!

“I feel like there’s something I should be doing right now . . . besides you .  . . and I can’t, for the life of me, remember what it is!”

“HELLO!  IT’S ME . . . CALLIE!  DYING HERE!  You think maybe one of you Strapping Specimens of Men could put it back in your pants long enough to  . . . I don’t know . . . save MY LIFE?”

Of course, most of the singing during the episode was brought to the fans, courtesy of Callie, herself.  Consequently, this gave actress Sara Ramirez (who has a background in theater, and even won a Tony for her performance in Spamalot, back in 2005) the opportunity to flex her musical pipes for fans, like me, who have never had the chance to hear her sing before.  Of all of Sara’s performances during the hour, my favorite, was probably her cover of Brandi Carlile’s “The Story.” Callie sang this uplifting tune in the final moments of the episode, moments before waking up, FOR REAL, and belatedly accepting Arizona’s initially ill-fated marriage proposal.

“I’ll marry you . . . yes.”

As for the rest of the episode, it was kind of a mixed bag for me.  Interestingly enough, my favorite moments from the episode were mostly the non-musical ones.  These included the marriage proposal acceptance, shown here, and Meredith’s emotional elevator breakdown, shown above.  I also adored the quiet moments of friendship and understanding shared between Lexie and Mark during the episode (“I don’t hate you.”), and the less quiet ones between Arizona and Mark.  (“You are not nothing.”) 

Speaking of Mark Sloan, Eric Dane’s heart-wrenching performance this week was top notch . . . the best I’ve seen from the actor at least, while still wearing all his clothes in a long time.

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(Oh . . . and, for the record, his singing voice is pretty awesome too.)

The Arizona / Callie / Mark triangle took a major step in the right direction tonight, with Arizona FINALLY learning to put their baby’s needs first (By the way, it’s a GIRL!), and Mark FINALLY learning to put Callie’s needs first.  It was Callie’s and Mark’s respective shifts in ideology that brought about the truce that ultimately binded these heretofore perpetually-at odds-characters together, toward the end of the episode.

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A similar ideological shift happened for Lexie, who, upon taking a step outside of her own personal melodrama, for a change, was finally able to, if not necessarily forgive Mark for his “Unfortunate Sperm Donation”  . . .

“We were ON A BREAK!”

 . . . at least, accept it enough to support him in his Hour of Need.

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And it was that acceptance, that ultimately gave Lexie the courage to truly give her budding relationship with the SUPER FLY Jackson Avery a fighting chance to survive, in the long term.

More of THAT, please!

Speaking of Lexie, Chyler Leigh’s rendition of Anna Nalick’s 2 A.M. Breathe, was extremely impressive, especially considering the actress had no musical training before filming this episode.  Of all the songs that wound their way into the hour, this one (in my opinion, at least) came about the most naturally, in terms of the episode’s plotline.  And, as a result, it seemed the least forced.

Less believable for me was Gyno Lucy (I’m still not feeling this character . . . or her relationship with Karev, for that matter . . . AT ALL!) . . .

Dr. McUselessPlotDevice

 . . . and her sudden admission that she was “out of her depth” in taking care of the pregnant Callie.  Presumably, Lucy’s temporary bout of Selective Amnesia for Everything She Learned in Medical School only occurred, so that Saint Addison Montgomery could miraculously (and oh-so-conveniently) be flown into town to Save the Day, as per usual. 

(By the way, is there something in Kate Walsh’s Private Practice contract that REQUIRES Shondra Rhimes to inexplicably include her about every fourth Grey’s episode for NO REASON WHATSOEVER?)

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Oh . . . and don’t even get me started on Teddy’s random and out-of-character outburst directed toward Cristina.  Silly Yang!  How DARE she have the NERVE to come up with a plan to save Callie’s and her baby’s” lives, without Teddy patting her on the head, and giving her a lollipop, first!  “I can’t teach you, anymore,” Teddy huffed, before blowing Cristina a raspberry, sticking her thumb in her mouth, and running out of the room, crying.

First of all, when was the last time Teddy actually TAUGHT Cristina? 

“It was . . . no that wasn’t it . . . Well, then it had to be . . . no, that wasn’t it either.  Perhaps, it . . . no.  I’m stumped.”

While we are on the subject of Teddy, when did Callie’s near death experience suddenly become all about Dr. McMajorStickUpHer Ass’s inferiority complex, and need to be hero worshipped by all people, at all times?

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Be careful, Noel from Felicity!  Cristina may have to work with her, but YOU’RE the one who’s going to have to evenually take her home!

“I am SO screwed!”

And while I thought it was appropriate and rather cheesy fitting, that the episode climaxed (Yes, I intended for that to sound dirty.), with the entire cast singing The Fray’s “How to Save a Life,” I couldn’t help but wonder why saving Callie’s life REQUIRED the whole cast.  I shudder to imagine what the heck was happening to the OTHER 3,000 or so patients DYING in the hospital, while all of Seattle Grace’s finest medical experts were busy enjoying their impromptu karaoke session . . .

“The good news is, if they bring in another Crazed Gunman, he will know exactly where to find us all!”

Speaking of karaoke, I also probably could have done with a FEW less songs packed into the hour.  (I mean, you’ve gotta leave SOMETHING over for the sequel, right, Shondra Rhimes?)  Because one Kevin McKidd solo is cool.   Two is OK . . . but FOUR?  I mean . . . let’s face it, Justin Timberlake, he’s definitely NOT!

Though, admittedly, a Dick in the Box cover would have REALLY spiced things up a bit for this episode . . .

Maybe next time, McKidd!

All in all, I thought Grey’s experiment with musicality was an intriguing little exercise, the making of which obviously took a great deal of preparation, courage, and considerable “guts,” on the part of Shondra Rhimes, and her intrepid staff of “Greysies.”  And, although the hour wasn’t necessarily positively received by all who viewed it, it certainly sparked more “water cooler” and online conversations about the show, than I’ve heard “through the grapevine” in a while . . .

So, what did YOU think about Grey’s Big Musical Extravaganza?  Did it leave you tapping your feet, and begging for more . . .

. . . or holding your ears, and begging for mercy?

Feel free to sound off in the comments section, below.

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Hey Ian! How’s it Hanging? – A Recap of the Pretty Little Liars’ Season Finale “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

 

When a television show ends with someone being shot, or blown up, recappers typically describe it as “ending with a bang.”  Well . . . this episode of PLL ended with a hang . . .

Ummm . . . nice scarf?

Wildly inappropriate corpse jokes aside, Pretty Little Liars’ season one finale definitely did not disappoint, this week.  In fact, the entire hour was jam-packed with twists and turns, unusual (and, sometimes,  downright icky) alliances, oodles of OMG moments, and, of course, plenty of “A.”  (Though, admittedly, all these supposedly “SCAAAAARY” text messages are getting a bit . . . how do I put this kindly . . . LAME!)

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OK . . .  maybe that was putting it less than kindly.

So, what are we waiting for, my Pretties?  Let’s get that bell tolling!

Video Killed the Blind Incestuous Porn Star

Hanna:  “Wait to go, Tobster!  Look who’s rocking the ABDOMINALS!”

Spencer:  “Shut up!  He’s mine!  You already have three love interests!”

Hanna:  “Come on!  I only have TWO!  Everyone knows that Weiner head Sean doesn’t count!”

The finale episode begins precisely where we left off last week.  The PLL girls are huddled together in bed (kinky!) watching the disturbing videos captured on the flash drive that Dead Ali stored away in her Tweety Bird lunchbox, before she died.  In addition to some SUPER CREEPY images of the PLL girls, as tweens, unknowingly dancing in front of the camera in their underwear, the flash drive also includes some EVEN CREEPIER footage of a not-yet-blind Jenna seducing a not particularly willing (though not as entirely unwilling as I would have liked) Abs Toby .  . .

And YES, he was shirtless in the video . . . (Can I get a HELL YEAH!)

In the video, Jenna is heard blatantly threatening Toby that if he doesn’t let her . . . “play with his flute” . . . she will tell their parents that he “forced himself on her.” 

“Wow!  I’ve never seen such a big . . . flute.”

By the way, if you were Jenna, and you were trying to SECRETLY SCREW YOUR BROTHER, would you REALLY do it in front of a WINDOW, so that anyone who happened to be wandering by with a VIDEO CAMERA could SEE? —  Incestuous Sociopath FAIL! 

*sings*  “I once was lost, but now I’m found.  I was blind, but now I . . . nope . . . still blind.”

(Interestingly enough, the video appeared to have been taken through a window, and yet the sound quality was PERFECT.  So, I’m guessing the house was bugged?)

Disgusted by the sight of her new boyfriend macking it with his nasty ass sister, Spencer insists that the girls stop watching the videos.  In hindsight, this was probably a mistake.  After all, based on later scenes in the episode, it appears that more Rosewood Residents may have been featured in these videos, aside from the PLL girls, Ali, Toby and Jenna.  Like, this GUY, perhaps?

“Oh no!  If they watch the rest of the videos on the drive, they might find out I was in that Hillary Duff movie!”

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As far as the PLL girls are concerned, Ian “I Like to Make Out with Girls Who Still Wear Training Bras” Thomas seems to be the most likely videographer of this Kiddie Porn DuJour.  And, since Blind Jenna obviously knew about the flash drive and its contents (After all, she hired Man Whore Caleb to steal it for her.), they figure that Little Miss Brother F*&ker might be willing to share information with them that will incriminate Ian in Ali’s death. 

But what if Blind Jenna is “A”?  Are the girls walking into a trap? 

Fitzy spells trouble J-A-C-K-I-E

This week, the role of Ezria Cock Block will be played by Jackie Molina . . .

Things actually seem to be going pretty well for Aria when the episode begins aside from her being stalked by a sadistic stalker psycho killer.  Admittedly, we were all a bit worried for Aria and Fitzy, when Police Boy Garrett knocked on the English teacher’s door last week, asking questions about “one of his students.”  And we became even MORE concerned, when SOMEONE stole the VERY POORLY HIDDEN hide-a-key from underneath Fitzy’s Welcome Mat, and broke into his home. 

Yet, when Fitzy meets Aria at the school, to tell her what went down, we learn that Police Boy Garrett didn’t ask any incriminating or even vaguely interesting questions at all!  (Gotta love Rosewood’s Finest, and their top notch investigating skills!) 

But WAIT!  There’s more!  Fitzy, apparently, just got a job working at the local college . . . which means that he’s NOT going to teach at Aria’s high school anymore . . . which means that Aria and Ezra can feel free to date in public, without fear of persecution (except for, you know, the whole STATUTORY RAPE thing).!

What’s more?  Aria’s dad, who also works at the local college, and REALLY wants to get into Fitzy’s pants is holding a Faculty Mixer at the Montgomery Household that evening as an excuse to get into Fitzy’s pants.  So, since Fitzy is now officially FACULTY at the local college, he gets to go to Aria’s house and .  . . visit her bedroom.

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And we all KNOW what happens when boys get into girls’ bedrooms!  (Right, Abs Toby?)

But then, things go south at the Faculty Mixer, when SHE shows up there . . .

Uh Oh!

It turns out that Jackie, the long-ago ex-fiance from far, far away, is not-so “long-ago,” nor is she so “far away.”  In fact, she TEACHES at the college too! 

To make matters worse, Fitzy has been with Jackie as recently as last year, back when she was a T.A. at the same college where the pair will now both be teaching. 

(I hope you are wearing a bulletproof vest, Fitzy!  Because you are NOT exactly Aria’s favorite person right now . . .)

But, hey!  At least you got inside her bedroom!  That’s gotta count for something, right?

In other BAD news . . .

None of my Exes Live in Texas .  . .

Emily’s mom wants her and Emily to move to Texas, where Emily’s father will be stationed for a year.  Poor Emily!  What will happen to her 85,000 girlfriends in Rosewood?

And what exactly is the Gay Scene like in Texas?  Will Emily have to change her “look,” in order to fit in there?

 

Tune in next season when we will, of course, learn that she is not actually moving, as she is one of the four MAIN characters of the show to find out!

In other news . . .

Marry me, Lucas!

LUCAS IS BACK!

And he’s wasting no time reminding us why we fell in love with him in the first place.  When we first see Lucas, after a WAY TOO LONG HIATUS, he’s still giving Hanna the cold shoulder, as a result of her highly UNFORTUNATE rejection of him at the “I Didn’t Have to Get My Spleen Removed, Even Though I Was Ran Over by a Car” Party that Mona threw for her a few episodes back  .  . .

Yes, Lucas looks like a beaver died on his head, in this picture.  But we are going to forgive him for that, since he is SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.

Even though Lucas was deeply hurt by Hanna, he CLEARLY is still watching out for her.  After overhearing Annoying Ass Mona lie through her teeth about the letter she was SUPPOSED to give to Hanna from Caleb, in which the Hot Man Whore professed his love for her  . . .

Do, a little dumpster diving, Hanna!  You might still be able to find it!

 . . . Lucas THEN overhears Mona using Hanna’s PHONE to talk to Caleb.  Mona actually has the GALL to tell the Poor Slutty Bastard that HANNA ripped up his love letter to her, when we all know that it was MONA who did the not particularly effective ripping.  When Lucas confronts Mona about this, she offers to help Lucas win Hanna’s heart, if he agrees to keep quiet about what he knows.

Well, THIS turn of events was kind of a head-scratcher for me.  After last week, I was under the assumption that Mona didn’t want Hanna coupled with Caleb, because she wanted Hanna to stay single, like her.  So, why, suddenly, would Mona prefer that Hanna date LUCAS, as opposed to Caleb?  After all,  just a few weeks back, Mona seemed determined that Hanna DITCH Lucas, in favor of Boring Ass Sean?

HUH?

I’ve actually got three possible theories regarding the above conundrum:  (1)  Mona is a WAY better friend than us PLL fans give her credit for.  And, as a GOOD friend, Mona recognizes that Lucas will be a better boyfriend to Hanna than Caleb. (2) Self-absorbed Mona wants to be Queen Bee at Rosewood, and she figures she will have a WAY better chance of doing so, if her biggest competition ,is dating a so-called”loser” than if he is dating the schoolest Hottest Homeless Bad Boy.  And finally (3) Mona doesn’t have any intention of helping Lucas win Hanna’s heart.  She just wants to keep Lucas’ mouth shut, and will say whatever she has to say, in order to accomplish this.

“I’m glad she only came up with three possibilities.  Because I can’t count any higher than that.”

Whatever Mona’s intentions are, Lucas doesn’t give a RATS ASS about her shady offer to play matchmaker between him and Hanna.  He proves this by tracking down Caleb (in Arizona?) and bringing him back to Rosewood.

“Why are you doing this for me?”  Caleb asks incredulously, as the two men, who are both CLEARLY in love with the same woman, ride back to town with absolutely NOTHING interesting to say to one another.

“Because I am about twenty times more awesome than you will ever be.”  “Because Hanna deserves to be happy,” Lucas replies solemnly.

(*Sigh!*  Please put this recap on pause, while I retrieve my panties from the floor . . .)

OK . . . I’m back!  Little do these newfound bromantic buddies know that, at the same time they are both gearing up for a Caleb / Hanna reunion . . .

. . .  Hanna is deleting the Man Whore’s number from her cell phone.  Oops!

You know, it might be a good thing, that most of our PLL girls have (at least temporarily) left their respective love interests in the dust this week.  After all, they’ve got ENOUGH to worry about, without having to cope with Boy Drama . . .

The Flute Player Gets Played (In more ways than ONE!)

Creepy Kiddie Porn Flash Drive in hand, the PLL girls confront Jenna at school, about how the latter made her bedroom into her very own City of Brotherly Love.  The PLL girls want answers from Jenna.  They think they are  entitled to them.  They want the TRUTH!

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As Little Miss Brother F*&ker shares what she knows with the PLL’s, we are treated to a Blind Jenna Flashback for the first time EVER, since the beginning of the series . . .

(Did anyone else think it was weird that Jenna was already wearing her “Blind Person Glasses,” back when she was first put in the hospital, following her Little Firecracker Accident?  Wouldn’t her eyes be bandaged?  Her face burned and bruised?  I mean, those are DESIGNER GLASSES she’s wearing!  Please, tell me what hospital gives THOSE out for free.  Because I’m getting admittted!)

So, Ali comes to visit Blind Jenna at the hospital, following her trip to “Georgia.”  She then promptly presents the Freaky Flute Player with the same video we saw  earlier, of Jenna threatening, and subsequently making monkey with, Abs Toby.  “The guy I like likes to make movies.  I thought they were just about me.  As it turns out, the Boy Next Door, likes watching ALL the Girls Next Door,”  Ali monologues unnaturally, as if she is villain in a Batman Comic Book (The Riddler, perhaps?).

 Now, of course, Jenna can’t SEE the video.  But I’m assuming, she figures out what was going on in it based on the extremely poorly written dialogue what is being said. 

“Really Jenna?  You ACTUALLY said, ‘It will be so easy to make my parents think you forced yourself on me?’   Ever hear of a little thing called subtlety?  I mean, seriously, I know comic book villains that have a better way with words than you do, and I am one of them.”

Caught between a rock and an incestuous place, Jenna is forced to make a deal with Ali.  Ali will make sure the incriminating flash drive never sees the light of day.  And, in return, Jenna will leave Rosewood FOREVER!  (Aha!  So, now we know why Jenna RETURNED to Rosewood for Ali’s funeral! Little did Ali know that their little agreement had an, easy out, Death Clause . . .)

After her confrontation with the PLL’s, Blind Jenna makes two phone calls . . .

“Can you hear me now?  GOOD!”

The first call is to Creepy Pedo Ian.  Upon hearing that the girls found the flash drive (which presumably includes videos he took), Creepy Pedo promises to “take care of it.”

“Hey, by the way, do you happen to have any 13-year old friends who are single?  I’m looking to mingle!”

But it’s Jenna’s SECOND call that’s the MOST disturbing.  Remember when I mentioned earlier that SOMEONE ELSE may have also been featured in Ian’s “home movies?”  Well, that UNSEEN porn star, arrives at Jenna’s house.  Jenna complains to him that this video is going to ruin all of their lives.  But HE promises her that he won’t let that happen.  Then HE takes off her glasses, and THIS happens . . .

Oh no, Police Boy GARRETT!  Not YOU TOO!  Man, are their ANY boys on this show who actually like girls their own age?

I stand corrected!

Nice Knowing Ya, Ian!  (But, not really . . .)

“Now that I’m dead, I wonder if I can get a better deal on a cell phone plan . . .”

So, Melissa and Ian are planning to have their yet-to-be-born baby baptized at the local church.  But Spencer is concerned that this might be a bit premature, since the baby might not be  . . . entirely human.

Awww!  He looks just like his dad!

Meanwhile, Spencer and the gang attempt to procure a confession from Ian about making the videos contained on the flash drive.  They do this, by sending Ian a text from a blocked cell phone number (They stupidly used Spencer’s phone for this.)  In the text, they instruct Creepy Pedo to bring $10,000 to a nearby park, in exchange for the flashdrive. 

Hanna:  “Hey, aren’t those the bears from the Charmin commercials? What are THEY doing here?”

Aria:  “What do you THINK?”

Source

Taking things one step further, the girls call upon Garrett the Police Boy to help them with the sting operation.  Of course, as we know from watching him clean Blind Jenna’s teeth with his tongue, earlier in the hour, Police Boy’s intentions are not necessarily pure.  Fortunately, Hanna, who knows a thing or two about shady police officers with ulterior motives  .  . .

. . . has the foresight to lie, and tell Police Boy that her mother knows where they are.  (In other words, “don’t try any funny stuff, Officer Kid Groper!”)

Tensions are high, when a car pulls up, and a man emerges, carrying a bag filled with $10 grand in Cold Hard Cash . . .

Hey there, Sexy?  Who are YOU?  And why aren’t you a REAL cast member on this show?

Unfortunately, as you probably noticed already, that guy is NOT Ian.  He’s WAY HOTTER!  Rather, it’s some dude that Ian paid to drop off the cash, and retrieve the flash drive on his behalf. 

Woah . . . wait up . . . you’re telling me that Ian . . . a twenty-something high school hockey coach . . . has ten grand in cash, lying around his house AND has MORE money than that left over to pay hot guest stars?  Ummm . . . I don’t think so!

Then again, Ian coaches at the SAME school where a youngish English teacher can afford to rent a limosine to (1) drive him all the way to Philadelphia; and (2) WAIT around for him for an entire evening, while he makes out with his underage girlfriend . . . so . . .  yeah.  (I’m SO getting a job teaching at Rosewood!)

Meanwhile, Spencer is cuddling with Abs Toby, falling asleep in his arms, and letting him adoringly play with her hair (AWWW!) . . .

This lovefest is interrupted, when Spencer gets a text from Melissa, stating that Ian never picked her from the church, following the Baptism . . .  . interview(?). 

(Wait . . .  if Melissa walked to the church, why couldn’t she have walked HOME from there too?  Lazy pregnant biatch!)

Fortunately, for us, Spencer doesn’t leave to pick up her good-for-nothing sister, right away.  Instead, she spends some time sweetly telling Abs Toby that he is her “safe place to land.”  In return, Toby tells Spencer that he will ALWAYS be there for her, whenever she is ever in need.  (Something tells me she is going to be taking you up on that promise REAL soon, Tobster!)

Then, of course, the two makeout .  . . again . . .

Never .  . . gets . . . old.

Eventually, Spencer finally manages to pick up her bratty ass sister, who’s Pregnancy Brain made her leave her cell phone in church. 

“Wahhhh, MY PHONE!  Waaahhhh My Creepy Pedo Husband!  Wahhhhh you’re mean to me!  Wahhhh I’m one of the most unlikeable characters on a show that is FILLED with unlikeable characters!  Wahhhhhhh I miss WREN!

Spencer stops the car, to return to church, when WHAM, her car gets broadsided by another car (on purpose?).  Next thing you know, Spencer is in the hospital, without a scratch on her.   But Melissa seems pretty banged up, and is at risk of losing herbaby.  So, being the caring sister Spencer is, she decides to go back to the church and retrieve Melissa’s phone.  (Because, cell phones are way more important than stupid babies, anyway!  Yeah, way to have your priorities straight, Spencer!)

“Oh, please!  The baby is going to be EVIL, anyway!  At least the cell phone comes with cool ring tones!”

So, Spencer heads back to the church.  And there . . . SURPRISE . . . is Creepy Pedo IAN!

You know how, up to this point, it was kind of hard to figure this guy out.  Because, as creepy as Ian was, he sometimes did NICE things, like rescue Spencer from the Fun House that he may have trapped her in, in the first place?  Well, all that is GONE in this scene.  Creepy Pedo Ian is in full on EVIL mode! 

“Melissa would want me to take care of this,” Ian says menacingly.

Creepy Pedo then admits that he KNOWS his wife was in the hospital, having just been HIT BY A CAR, but chooses to accost Spencer in the church, rather than tending to the mother of his child.  (It is almost as if he KNEW they would be in an accident.  Interesting . . .)

So, I’m convinced that the reason the producers chose to show a full moon in this shot, is to imply that Creepy Pedo Ian is actually a werewolf . . . Yes . . . I DO watch too much Vampire Diaries and True Blood.

“You were planning to’ take care of this,’ like you took care of Alison,” Spencer sneers. 

Spencer then shows Ian the incriminating  flashdrive (makes some fairly lame “home movie” jokes, while she displays it). Thinking fast, the “Smartest PLL”  tosses the flash drive at Ian, before dashing up to the Church’s bell tower.

Wait . . . WHAT?  You THREW AWAY the evidence . . . AGAIN, Spencer!  I’m hoping you were smart enough to make a copy this time, Little Miss Supposed Over Achiever!

Oops!

Now, Spencer may have been silly, when it came to her flash drive evidence, but she WAS smart enough to call Emily on her cell phone, as Ian chased her around the church . . .

ARIA:  “Crap!  I forgot to DVR Pretty Little Liars, tonight!”

EMILY:  “Don’t worry!  It’s playing on my iPhone RIGHT NOW!”

This enables all the PLL’s to hear all the SUPER INCRIMINATING things Ian is saying while he TRIES TO MURDER Spencer.  (I hope you recorded that, Emily!) 

Admittedly, I had to watch this chase scene twice, to figure out what Ian was saying.  And I STILL don’t think I got it all down.  Mostly, Ian was talking about how he was planning to kill Spencer in the church, and make it look like a suicide.  He planned to leave a note on Spencer’s computer, after she was dead, saying that she couldn’t deal with the pain of Ali’s death, and, therefore, offed herself . . . in a church.

There are two interesting things about Ian’s monologue: 

(1)  He inadvertently cites the WRONG cause of Ali’s death.  While Ali ACTUALLY died of strangulation, he cites, in Spencer’s fake suicide note, that she “fell to her death.”  This comment would seem to go AGAINST the commonly held notion that Ian killed Ali.  

 (2) Ian notes, once AGAIN, that he is killing Spencer, FOR Melissa.  Is it possible then that MELISSA killed Ali (or at least that Ian THINKS she did)?  Has Ian’s creepy behavior merely been a result of his trying to cover for his wife, because he feels GUILTY about cheating on her with Ali and about being a disgusting pedophile, who videotapes half-naked tweens?

It wouldn’t be the first time this actress played a psycho killer!

The answers to these questions, apparently, are not ones we will get first hand.  Because, moments later, Ian is dangling Spencer from the church bell tower.  In a strange twist of fate, she is grabbing on to her would-be killer’s arm for dear life.  Then, she pulls herself up onto the scaffolding.  What happens next is pretty shocking.  (As if all this WASN”T SHOCKING!)  A black cloaked figure comes out of the darkness, and pushes Ian off the scaffolding.  And yet, Ian doesn’t FALL to his death.   Instead, he gets tied up in the ropes and is hung. 

Of course, the rest of the PLL’s arrive, after the hooded figure (A?) has left the building.  They reach the top of the church tower, to find the disturbing image of Dead Ian swaying back and forth, like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, as Spencer watches on silently traumatized . . .

Yet, by the time the police arrive on the scene . . . IAN’S BODY IS GONE!

But, look who’s back from the PLL Lost Boy Vortex?

It’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel!

In the final moments of the episode, the girls, OF COURSE, get, yet another text message from “A” . . .

And here’s what it says: “It’s not over until I say it is.  Sleep tight, while you still can b*tches!” – A

Oh boy!  Something tells me, many of us PLL fans will be having some trouble sleeping, between now and when the show returns in June for it’s second season!  Fortunately, that gives us plenty of time to piece together all the clues we’ve gathered so far during Season 1.  So, I now turn things over to you, My Pretties!  Start sleuthing!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Things That Make You Go “HUH?” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The New Normal”

This week on Pretty Little Liars new relationships sizzled, arguments fizzled, new enemies presented themselves, and an old, terrifying, villain reemerged in Rosewood . . .

Yes, boys and girls, “Blind” Jenna’s CANE OF DESTRUCTION has returned, after enjoying a long and restful vacation in HELL!  And when “Blind” Jenna has her CANE OF DESTRUCTION by her side, we know that evil is truly afoot.  Be afraid, my Pretties.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Hanna’s “Infestation Problem”

So, Hanna and Caleb are continuing to play “house” in Hanna’s basement.   And Caleb is just having a fine old time.  After all, he’s living rent free, and having the Girl of his Dreams serve him breakfast in the morning, at no cost.  What could be better?

Caleb says he plans to leave, having received offers to leech off of OTHER families in Nebraska, or Nevada, or somewhere else that’s not Rosewood.  But we all know THAT’S not really going to happen — not when he’s coming closer, and closer to getting laid each week things are going so well for him here.

“Oh Hanna, would you mind getting me a towel?  I can’t find any here in the bathroom. because I’ve hidden them.  Did I mention, I REALLY, REALLY want you to see me naked?

Talk about a sweet deal!  Not only does Caleb get free room and board at Hanna’s house, Hanna has even kindly offered to wash his hat collection, which, let’s face it, was starting to smell like ass . . .

Sure, Hanna may have STARTED to wash the hat, so her mom wouldn’t realize that Caleb had left it in the kitchen that morning, but the result was the same, nonetheless.  Then, the next morning, the usually clever Hanna, gets the “bright” idea to hand Caleb his hat at school, SO ALL THE PLL’S CAN SEE HER DO IT.

GOTCHA, Secret Hat Sharers!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl returning a hat to a boy.  But was it ABSOLUTELY necessary for Hanna to do this at school, when the boy lives IN HER BASEMENT?  I mean, did he really need the hat so badly, that this couldn’t have waited until he got home to wear it?  Is the bald spot really that noticeable, Caleb?

Nonetheless, the fact that Hanna and Caleb “hatted” eachother, ended up being a good thing.  You see, it prompted Aria, who’s a BIG FAN of Secret Inappropriate Relationships, to forgive Hanna for almost ruining her life, by nearly outing Aria and Fitz’s relationship to Aria’s mother.  You know . . . because no two PLL girls can stay angry at one another for more than half an episode, no matter what terrible things they do to one another . . .

“I’m glad we are friends again, Hanna.  Because I have some hats that could really use washing.  For example, that Where’s Waldo one I wore a few weeks back.”

Truth be told, Hanna is going to need all the friends she can get, now that her mom is being stalked by this CREEPO . . .

It all started when Hanna’s mom decided to return what was LEFT of the cash she had stolen from Dead Miss Potter’s safety deposit box.  Conveniently enough, before she could do it, some guy named James Leland, who to be Miss Potter’s only living relative, requested the contents of the box.  Remembering that Miss Potter had said that she had no living relatives Mommy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to snatch her cash, if she did Hanna’s mom asks this mysterious man for appropriate identification.  He provides it promptly.   And everything seems to check out.

Then Creepo Mr. Leland asks Hanna’s mom out on a date.   And since slutty Hanna’s mom would go out with a FERRET, if he asked nicely, she agrees.  That nigh,t the doorbell rings, and everyone assumes its Creepo Mr. Leland.  But it ends up being someone WAY more pleasant to look at . . .

 

Ever the pro at Breaking and Entering, Caleb wisely figures that if Hanna’s mom meets him first, she won’t be so surprised, when he knocks up Hanna if she ever sees him hanging around the house.  Hanna’s mom is concerned that Hanna seems to be rebounding from Sean, by having strange boys over at her house.  And yet, since Hanna’s mom has strange boys over at the house all the time, she really has no grounds to judge . . .

Strange Boy #1

When Creepo Leland actually arrives, it’s Caleb who first greets him.  “I’m the Guy Who Opens the Door,” snarks Caleb when Creeop Leland wants to know who the heck he is, if not a relative of Hanna’s mom.

Before they can leave for their date, Hanna’s mom has Mr. Leland sign a bank document.  This action prompts suspicion from Caleb because . . . wait for it . . . Mr. Leland USES A CHEAP PEN!

Because, clearly, anybody who uses a Blue Bic MUST be a serial killer, right?  After Hanna tells Caleb that Mr. Leland is supposedly an architect of some sort, Caleb astutely notes because he lived in an architect’s bathroom for a month once that architects tend to carry around nice pens.  Then Caleb takes it upon himself to do some background research on Mr. Leland.  And I begin to wonder whether he is the long lost brother Spencer and her Investigation Face never knew they had . . .

Now that you mention it, I do kind of see a resemblance . . .

What Caleb learns from his research is actually quite interesting.  As it turns out, the REAL James Leland WAS an architect, and he WAS related to Miss Potter.  But he was also MASSIVELY OLD, and is now MASSIVELY DEAD.  Hanna shares these findings with her mother, who blows them off, because “blowing things” is what she does best. 

But Hanna’s mom becomes suspicious of Creepo Mr. Leland too, when he (1) balks at the small amount of money leftover in Miss Potter’s account . . . almost as if he KNEW how much was supposed to be in there; (2) starts asking suspicious questions about who had access to the dead woman’s safety deposit box; and (3) seems unwilling to provide any information about where in “Syracuse” he supposedly does his banking . . .

Back at home, Hanna and Caleb share a sexy Almost Kiss Moment, before Caleb skulks back down to the basement to jerk off go to bed . . .

Moments later, there is a knock at the door.  Hanna answers it.  In doing so, she is greeted by what I think is the most HILARIOUS “A” taunt to date . . .

“Are you A?”  Asks the Funny Lookin’ Old Dude in the Weird Blue Jumper.  “Because I got a call from an A about an infestation in your basement?”

Haha!  Get it?   “A” just called Hanna’s new love interest a RODENT!  Fitz, apparently, thinks its funny too.

But be careful, Hanna!  If you keep eye f*&king Caleb, in public,  I suspect SOMEONE will see too it that you have a REAL infestation problem in your basement very soon . . .

“You better stop messing with my girl, Caleb.   Or I’ll stick my pet rat right up your ass!”

In the last few moments of the episode, SOMEONE leaves flowers on Miss Potter’s grave.  And I’m willing to bet that it’s NOT that Creepo Fake James Leland . . .

Could the FAKE Leland have MURDERED the Real Miss Potter for her money?  Does this storyline have ANYTHING to do with “A” or Ali’s death?  Only time will tell . . .

Aria’s Papa Don’t Teach

This week’s episode of PLL was a bit “parent-heavy.”  Don’t you think?  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for stories about Hanna’s mom, because she’s a Dumb Slutty Felon, who amuses me.  And Emily’s interaction with her mother this week (more on that later) was truly touching.  But PLEASE PLL writers, let’s lay off on the Aria’s Parents’ Storylines, shall we? 

GO AWAY!

These two just bug the heck out of me.  And this is the THIRD week in a row, where their drama took up a major portion of the episode.  It all started with Aria’s mom DROOLING over Fitzy, as he singlehandedly saved the high school lunch room, from Paige’s Evil Father (more on that later). 

 (Apparently, the teachers eat lunch with the students at this school.  Now that HAS to suck for everybody involved.)

Fitzy then invites some of the teachers, Aria’s mom included, to go to some silent auction / book signing by an author that Aria’s mom secretly hates.  Aria’s mom agrees to attend the event because she really wants to get into Fitzy’s pants it’s for a good cause.

“Mrs. Montgomery, are you trying to seduce me?”

Cut to Aria’s parents roaming the halls of the school.  Aria’s mom wants Aria’s dad to meet Aria’s English teacher, Mr. Fitz, because their daughter is boning him because he is just SOOOOOOOO Dreamy.

“He’s smart, attractive, and sensitive,” coos Aria’s mom.

“Does he play the guitar too?”  Aria’s dad snarks.  (I swear, this is the only funny thing he’s said all season.)

So, of course, Aria’s dad immediately becomes convinced that Fitzy is screwing Aria’s mom.  So, when it comes time for the parent teacher conference, Aria’s dad is a TOTAL AND COMPLETE dick to Fitzy.

This rough treatment, of course, has Fitzy peeing in his pants, because he’s convinced that Aria’s dad hates him.  “Your dad hates me, or is crazy!”  Fitzy insists poutily.

  But Aria is not concerned.  “No ONE could hate my Fitzy!  IMPOSSIBLE!”  She assures him.  “And everyone already knows my dad’s crazy so . . .”

But then, when Aria actually questions her father, she learns, to her chagrin, that her dad DOES hate Fitzy.  “There’s just not a lot of depth there.  And he uses that boyish smile too much,” says Aria’s dad mopily.

Source

I have no idea what he’s talking about.

But when Aria explains that LOTS of teachers will be attending the event Aria’s mom is attending with Fitzy, and that’s it’s for a good cause, Papa Montgomery seems to change his tune about the English Teacher.  (Coincidentally, I’m not really sure what would piss Aria’s dad off more.  The idea of Fitzy boiking his wife, or his daughter?)

Anyway . . .

Aria and Fitzy are busy macking on the couch in Fitzy’s apartment, one evening . . .

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 . . . when Fitzy gets a message on his answering machine.  It’s Aria’s dad.  He’s sorry about his bad behavior at the Parent Teacher Conference, and wants to take Fitzy out for a drink (or ten). 

Source

MY LORD!  Does the ENTIRE Montgomery family want to BONE this guy?

Emily Gets “Special Treatment”

Poor Emily!  She can’t catch a break!  First her lover gets shipped off to De-Gaying Camp.  Now her teammate, Little Orphan Butchy’s, crackpot dad is shouting across the school lunch room that Emily is getting special treatment on the swimteam, just because she’s a lesbian.  (Yeah, because that makes a lot of sense!  And by “a lot” I mean “none at all.”)

“Man, my dad is such a DOUCHE!  Now, I wish I really was a Little Orphan, instead of just having a Little Orphan haircut.”

Emily keeps the pain of this experience to herself.  And doesn’t tell her mom about it, out of fear of upsetting her.  But count on Aria’s mom to SPILL THE BEANS. 

“Hi, my name is Big Mouth Montgomery.  What’s yours?”

(Seriously?  I know it ended up working out for the best.  But that was a TOTALLY inappropriate thing for Aria’s mom to do . . . Then again, making out in the school library after hours, and hitting on your daughter’s English teacher, are also inappropriate things to do.  So, at least, her character is consistent.)

Later, at the Parent Teacher Conferences, Emily’s mom confronts Emily about what Little Orphan Butchy’s dad said about her in the lunchroom. 

When Emily reluctantly admits to witnessing the event, Emily’s mom takes big steps toward redeeming herself in my eyes, by calling out Little Orphan Butchy’s dad for constantly blaming other’s for his own daughter’s shortcomings.  When it’s all over, Emily’s mom turns to Emily, and gives her a speech, that I must admit, made me go all mushy inside.  (I may have even shed a tear or two.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone!)

“I still don’t understand [your sexuality].  But I love you.  You are my child.  And nobody hurts my child.  I’m sorry if I [was a homophobic biatch who got your girlfriend shipped off to De-Gaying Camp] . .  .” says Emily’s mom tearfully.

Then they hug . . .

*sniffle sniffle*

That night, Emily walks to her car.  But before she can put her key in the ignition, an uninvited SOMEONE piles into her passenger seat.  (Because that’s not rude or scary, at all!)

Pouty Paige wrongly assumes that, because Emily’s mom stuck up for her against Paige’s dad, Emily’s mom is tolerant of her “lifestyle.”  “Why is everything so easy for you?”  Paige whines.  (Ughhh!  I despise this girl!  Can’t they put a COOL Lesbian onto this show, for Emily’s sake?  Tea from Skins, perhaps?)

“I’m single!”

Emily begins to explain to Paige just how NOT easy life is for her.  Upon hearing this, Paige shocks Emily, by planting a Big Fat Wet one on her lips . ..

“Don’t tell,” says Paige when it’s all over, dashing from the car, as quickly as she came . . .

“W .  . . T . . . F!”

OK . . . Did anyone NOT see this little “twist” coming, a mile away .  . . aside from Emily, of course? 

Don’t worry, Emily.  You are not alone.  Kurt from Glee feels your pain.

Spencer’s New Sidekick

When the episode opens, we see Spencer and the rest of the girls trying to decipher the braille note that Toby supposedly found hidden in Jenna’s room . . .

Using the internet, Spencer is able to translate the code, by matching the braille to corresponding letters . . .

This is the message she decodes . . .

Aside from being a song by Michael Jackson, it means precisely nothing.  The other girls are convinced that Toby has “punked” them, because he doesn’t trust them.  This, of course, would be completely understandable, considering they all, more or less, accused him of being Ali’s killer, just a few weeks back.  But Spencer, who has seemingly fallen in LOVE with the guy over the course of two weeks (It’s amazing what a little French kissing tutoring can do for your love life.), can’t IMAGINE that Creepy Toby would do such a thing to her.

So, Spencer calls Toby to make sure he hasn’t punked her ass, Ashton Kutcher style.  He tells her he hasn’t.  She’s just reading the code wrong.  Spencer later figures out that the braille marks also represent numbers.  So, the code, in addition to saying “Bad,” also says “214.” 

When Spencer meets up with Toby later, while “Blind” Jenna is away at “flute practice, he tells her, that “Blind” Jenna wrote the note, after talking about Spencer on the phone.  He claims that “Blind” Jenna is afraid of all the PLL girls involved in the accident, but Spencer, most of all.  Toby asks Spencer if the numbers have any significance to her. “Aside from being the date this episode is airing?  They don’t . . .

But thanks to the producers, we are later shown that 214 is motel room number.  And guess who’s staying at that motel?

YIPPPEE!  It’s Wren!  He’s back!  He’s back!  YAY!

Or . . . maybe not . . .  You see, I was SO excited about the prospect of my Wren returning to PLL, that I took the liberty of rewatching the Motel Kiss that occurred between Spencer and Wren during episode 4.  And, unfortunately, unless he changed rooms (please, please let him have changed rooms), he wasn’t staying in 214 . . .

Room 103?

So, “Blind” Jenna’s cryptic note remains a mystery.  You know what else remains a mystery, why “Blind” Jenna was shopping for a lace dress, (“He loves lace,” she says creepily to the store clerk.).  Also, why was she LOOKING AT HERSELF IN THE MIRROR while she was trying it on?

If you recall, this is the SECOND time we’ve seen “Blind” Jenna look at herself in the mirror.  THIS was the first . . .

So, who was Jenna getting all dolled up for?  Stepbrother Toby would be the most obvious choice (EWWWW! EWWW! EWWW!).  After all, he had just received some very good news (more on that in a moment), and would, perhaps, be in the mood to screw “celebrate.”  And Spencer did receive THIS cryptic message from “A,” when she agreed to meet up with Toby again.

But perhaps, Jenna has another lover we don’t know about.  Maybe it’s Pedo Ian  (He seems to like them young!), or maybe it’s Ali’s killer?  Unfortunately, this is yet another mystery that we will have to wait to solve.

Less of a mystery is Creepy Toby’s guilt, or lack thereof.  When Spencer arrives at Toby’s house, the two share a moment.  Their hands brushing against one another, as they both fondle one of Jenna’s snowglobes.  During that Moment, Toby shares his good news with Spencer.  I am STD Free!  The District Attorney has dropped the case against him for Ali’s murder, because the blood evidence on Ali’s coat was “corrupted.”

Spencer offers to bring Toby down to the police station to have his House Arrest leg bracelet removed, and Toby agrees.   But then, once the new couple step outside, Jenna is there with her CANE OF DESTRUCTION!  She wants Toby in her cab, and she’s not about to take no for an answer . . .

SPENCER: “Awwww, crap!  She’s gonna hit us with that thing, isn’t she?”

TOBY: “It actually feels kind of good, when she does it right.”

SPENCER: “I just vomited in my mouth, hearing you say that.”

TOBY:  “Breath mint?”

“Hope you brought a helmet!”

Though “Blind” Jenna worked the whole “blind” angle, by calling Spencer “Emily,” I don’t buy for a second that Jenna didn’t know EXACTLY who was in the process of stealing her man.  Jenna briskly tells Spencer that her services are no longer required.  Her CAB can take Toby to the police station.  “I’m going with Spencer,” says Toby firmly.

That’s when Jenna’s head starts spinning around in circles, and she begins spewing green goo out of her mouth . . . just kidding!  But she certainly wasn’t a Happy Camper. 

During their road trip to the pokey, Spencer and Toby bond a bit.  And the sexual tension between them becomes increasingly evident . . .

TOBY:  “Everyone else on this show makes out in cars.  Are you sure you don’t want to try it?  It’ll be fun.”

SPENCER: “I generally only kiss boys who are dating my sister, or hit on my mom.”

TOBY:  “I can do that.”

Toby notes that he is ready to make changes in his life.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before those “changes in his life,” include a nice long trip inside Spencer’s pants . . .

“Ready or not, I’m coming in!”

And that was “The New Normal” in a nutshell.  It wasn’t exactly the most eventful episode we’ve seen, so far.  But at least it paved the way for plenty of Hot Hookups in the future (Hanna/LucasCaleb, Spencer/Toby, Emily/Yucky Paige, ME/Wren) . . . 

How about you?  Did you enjoy “The New Normal?”  Are you liking any of these new pairings?  What’s the deal with “Blind” Jenna and that Leland creep?  What are your thoughts on the number 214, and how it relates to the PLL mysteries?  And finally, how excited are you about the Naked Caleb featured in the promos for next week’s episode?

Speaking of the promo, you can watch IT, and a sneak peek from next week’s episode, RIGHT HERE!

See ya next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

The French Connections – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Je Suis Un Amie”

Oh, Creepy Toby!  How we missed those big blue eyes and that Serial Killer Facial Expression, of yours!

“Je Suis Un Amie,” this week’s episode title, when translated into English, means, literally, “I Am A  Friend.”  Get it?  A Friend . . . as an “A?”  Pretty darn clever, huh? 

Given the title of the episode, it’s kind of fitting that this latest installment of the series (1) featured lots of French influences — from French tutoring, to Spencer’s ridiculous French-inspired wardrobe (Seriously, who is DRESSING her, lately?),  to a French language version of Catcher in the Rye; and (2)  may very well have brought us closer than ever before to finding out “A’s” true identity.  (I’ll give you a hint.  Based on the evidence we learned this week, all fingers seem to point to a girl who’s name rhymes with . . . LINED . . . HENNA.)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s start digging for clues!

Turning the Paige . . .

I am going to start with the LEAST exciting storyline first, to get it out of the way . . .

Sorry, Em!  But you KNOW it’s true!

It’s a few days before the Big Swim Meet.  Emily and her new rival Paige, or, as I like to call her, Little Orphan Butchy, are still at odds with one another.  Except now, instead of MERELY competing for the role of Team Captain, Emily and Paige are now also in competition to determine who gets to swim the much-coveted anchor leg of the relay race.

Since the girls’ respective personal best times are identical, the coach decides to have the at-odds pair compete in a Swim Off against one another.  Emily, once again, tries to be friendly to her rival, by offering her a few words of encouragement.  But Little Orphan Butchy is not having it.  She responds to Emily’s efforts by, more or less, growling and snarling, like the rabid dog she may very well be, underneath that ridiculous wig of hers.

That night, Emily awakens to a knock at her door . . .

And, wouldn’t you know it . . . it’s a WET DOG!

Little Orphan Butchy is COMPLETELY soaked through with rain (or is it sweat?).   She’s also blubbering and crying, and looks half way toward catching pneumonia.   But does Emily let Butchy into her house?  Nope.  (GOOD GIRL!)

All joking aside, Little Orphan Butchy evokes just a smidgeon of my sympathy, when she starts sobbing out apologies to Emily, while standing on her porch.  “I’m sorry,” she snivels.  “I just wanted you to know that.  You have every reason to hate me.”

(Yes, she SURE does!)

With those brief words, Little Orphan Butchy dashes off on her bike, right into the storm, leaving a still half-asleep Emily completely confused.  Now, while I’ll admit I felt a little bad for Little Orphan Butchy, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Evil Homophobe was apologizing for something more than just a few nasty comments, and that time she almost drowned her . . .

Could Little Orphan Butchy have done something AWFUL to Emily to sabatoge her ability to compete in the upcoming Swim Meet?

Understandably, I fear for Emily’s safety, when she arrives at the swim team locker room, the following day, prepared for her little race against Little Orphan Butchy.  As it turns out, however, my worries are unfounded.  Because Wet Dog Paige DOESN’T show up to practice!  Coach claims she was HURT on her bike the night before.  Her absence results in Emily getting the opportunity to swim the anchor position in the relay, by default!

HUH?

Well . . . surely it is Little Orphan Butchy’s intention then to sabotage Emily at the MEET, itself.   Right?  

The day of the meet comes.  And once again, I am EXTREMELY worried for Emily’s safety.  As she waits on the platform, I watch her for signs of poisoning and sudden illness.   When she steps onto the diving bored, I fear that Paige may have greased it with butter, causing Emily to slip and break her head.  When Paige HERSELF arrives on the scene, I find myself entirely convinced that she’s some kind of witch/wizard, planning to put a spell on Emily to make her perform poorly, during the race.  (Yes, I read Harry Potter too much.)

But then the race ends, and Emily WINS IT FOR HER TEAM!

“Fooled ya, didn’t I?”

After the meet, Emily finds Paige alone at the pool.  Paige admits that she wasn’t hurt,  but WISHES she had been.  As it turns out, she has gotten so caught up in the pressure and competitiveness of winning, that she just doesn’t enjoy swimming anymore.  Emily, of course, can relate to this feeling, having experienced it herself, just a few months earlier, when she had temporarily quit the swim team.

“How did you get over it?”  Paige wants to know.

“I stopped swimming for everyone else, and started swimming just for me,” explains Emily.  “When was the last time you swam just for fun?”  Emily inquires, with a wink.

Then, suddenly Emily and Paige are “having fun” in the pool together, with Cheesy Girl Power music playing in the background.  Emily is giving Paige some “looks,” if you catch my drift.  And these LOOKS worry me.  (Please LORD don’t make these two a couple, PLL Writers!  Emily can do SOOOOO much better than Little Orphan Butchy . . . just sayin!)

Just keep swimming, Emily!  There are MANY other (better) fish in the sea!

Source

Aria’s Not So Shocking Discovery

Hanna:  “Ewww, Aria, why are your mom and dad making monkey in our school library?  That’s REALLY nasty!”

Aria:  “Shut the f*&k up, Hanna.  At least my mom doesn’t screw Deputy Douchey, or steal money from old ladies!”

If you recall, last week’s PLL installment ended with the completely lame and entirely predictable cliffhanger of whether or not Aria’s mom ACTUALLY saw Aria and Fitzy necking on their clandestine “date” at the Philadelphia museum . . .

When the episode begins, Aria is digging for money in her dad’s jacket pocket, when she comes upon some VERY interesting contraband . . .

When Aria inquires as to what her dad is doing with the SAME ticket to the SAME museum event that she secretly attended with Fitzy, Aria’s dad mumbles something about  Aria’s mom, and then proceeds to become even more socially awkward and incoherent than usual.  Aria gets even MORE concerned that she’s been found out, when her mom acts equally bizarre, when questioned about whether SHE attended the event.

“Ummm . . . ummmm . . . ummmm . . . I’m boinking your dad again, and have inexplicably decided to keep it a secret from you so that you will spend the entire first half of the episode worried that I found out about you having Hot Limo Sex with your much older teacher boyfriendI’m sorry.  Could you repeat the question?”

Aria is ultimately relieved to learn that her mom’s car broke down, thus making her, ultimately, unable to attend the museum art exhibit.  And yet, much to Hanna’s chagrin, Aria has caught Spencer’s Veronica Mars Disease, and is still intent on finding out why her parents have been acting so friggin bizarre lately.  And so, Aria and Hanna tail Aria’s dad’s car one night.  Of course, they are surprised, when he ends up parking it at their high school.

Hanna:  “Hey Aria, maybe your dad has lost his memory, and thinks he’s 16 years old again, and still looks like THIS . . .”

Oh yeah, that’s TOTALLY a pre-drugged out Charlie Sheen next to him, by the way.  It’s AMAZING what you can find on the internet! 

Still waiting in the car, Aria calls her mother from her cell phone.  As a result of that call, we are treated to this image . . .

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little . . .

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I’m ageist, or anything.  In fact, there are PLENTY of 40 and 50 somethings that I would be PERFECTLY cool with seeing hook up.  (For starters, I could watch George Clooney hump a TREE, and I’d still be happy!)  It’s not even that Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe are unattractive.  On the contrary, they are both VERY good looking people.  It’s just that these two have NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER!  So watching them makeout, and rub up on eachother, is about as romantic as watching two slugs mate . . .

Anywhoo . . . Aria is concerned by her mom’s weirdness on the phone, and knows that her parents are DEFINITELY up to something.  (Oh, they are up to SOMETHING all right!)   After some cajoling and puppy-dog eye giving, Aria ultimately convinces Hanna to go into the school with her, so the pair can stalk Aria’s dad.  Good times!

Hanna’s and Aria’s investigation ultimately leads them to the library, where they encounter THIS . . .

Nope . . . still not sexy . . .

(Of course, the girls find OTHER things in the library too, which I will get to in just a bit, when we tackle Hanna’s storyline.) 

The next day, a now emotionally-scarred Aria gets a text from A, that says THIS . . .

Oh, HANNA!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

Hanna (temporarily) loses a friend . . . but gains a new boy toy and housemate

Welcome to The Dating Game, Hanna!  So far, we’ve met Bachelor Number One, Sean, and Bachelor Number Two, Lucas.  Allow us to introduce you to Bachelor Number 3, Caleb.  Caleb is homeless, has no family, and is probably a drug dealer.  But he’s very attractive, and can break into anything even your pants!  Needless to say, your mother will LOVE HIM!

Lucas has been gone for two whole weeks now, and Hanna seems to have a VERY short attention span.  For this reason, she spends most of the episode eye f*&king Resident Bad Boy Caleb.  You see, Hanna owes Caleb for that “little favor” he did for her, by wrecking Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t get to the museum where Aria and Fitzy were screwing enjoying their date.  And Caleb wants to COLLECT on this favor . . .

Now, if this were a show on ANY channel, aside from ABC Family, we all KNOW EXACTLY how Caleb would expect Hanna to “repay him” for the “favor” he did her.  (Hint:  It rhymes with “lex.”)  But this IS ABC Family, so Caleb merely wants Hanna to go on a “date” with him.  Caleb believes that dating a popular and “clean cut” girl like Hanna will give him the “Street Cred” he needs to push drugs and alcohol on Hanna’s rich friends.

Hanna kindly obliges, even going as far as to point out which of her friends are the wealthiest, sluttiest, and most drug addicted.  She does this, in exchange for information regarding Caleb’s Sick Sad Life as a foster child.   Once Caleb has enough gullible marks for his Con Artist game, him and Hanna attend Emily’s swim meet, and eye f*&k eachother some more . . .

That night, while she is stalking Aria’s parents, Hanna finds an air vent, filled with cell phones, dark clothing, and a wad of cash, all of which she immediately assumes belongs to “A.”  Hanna promptly pockets the cash, explaining to Aria, that “A” owes her for the medical bills she incurred when “A” ran her over with the car.  (Of course, she neglects to mention to Aria the whole “Felony Blackmail thing,” or that “A” also “owes Hanna” for doing her bidding, by trying to sabotage Aria’s date with Ezra.)

The moment Hanna steals  borrows takes an Unauthorized Loan of the cash,  however,  her and Aria are startled by a loud crash, and frightened by the sight of a dark figure looming before them, in the distance . . .

Aria and Hanna try to outrun their assailant, but he is WAY faster than them, and catches up quickly.  At one point, Hanna tries to put more space between her and Aria and their potential attacker, by overturning a trashcan in front of him.   But the dude leaps over it SO effortlessly, I start to wonder whether “A” (if that’s who he ends up being) might, in fact, be Spiderman . . .

Eventually, however, the hooded figure backs Aria and Hanna into a corner.  Out of options, Hanna cleverly improvizes, by spraying hairspray in her assailant’s face.  Blinded, he removes his mask.  And the girls’ assailant IS . . . (drum roll, please) . . . THIS GUY!

Yes, boys and girls, Caleb lives in the LIBRARY, where the books are free, and the nighttime teacher makeout sessions are a plenty!  He does this, because he doesn’t want to end up in yet another foster home.  Hearing this, understandably, makes Hanna and Aria feel guilty for complaining about their own, not nearly as crappy, lives.  So, Hanna reluctantly returns Caleb’s money.  Then, the girls leave the library, and let Caleb go back to reading Wuthering Heights for the 325th time . . .

The next day, school board officials find Caleb’s personal belongings stashed in the heating vent, and toss them in the trash.  “My Eviction Notice,” notes Caleb to Hanna morosely, as he digs his food-stained shirts out of a nearby garbage pail.

“Well, this place has very little closet space,” remarks Hanna,  trying to keep things light.

Recognizing how terrified her new Bad Boy Buddy is about returning to the foster care system, Hanna invites Caleb to live in her basement.  “My mom is so self-absorbed, and oblivious to every aspect of my life, she will NEVER EVEN KNOW YOU ARE THERE!”  Hanna says, more or less.  “Besides, she’s out hooking most of the night, and sleeps all day in a drug-induced stupor.”

In hindsight, it’s kind of a good thing that Hanna has a new housemate.  Because she’s going to need all the friends she can get, now!  When Aria first receives that cryptic text from “A” alluding to Hanna’s part in her almost getting caught with Fitzy by her mom, she immediately confronts Hanna with it, not believing the content of the message at all.  “A’s really gone off the deep end now.  She’s trying to turn us against eachother!  I can’t believe it,” insists Aria, infuriated.

(Well . . . that’s true, Aria.  Just not exactly in the way you think.)

Though Hanna could have just blown off the text message, thereby preserving her friendship with Aria, guilt ultimately overcomes her.   So, Hanna comes clean to her bestie, about sending Aria’s mother the museum tickets.  “A has something on ME,” Hanna insists, by way of explanation for her massive betrayal.

“A has something on ALL OF US,” argues Aria, “But nothing A said could make me do that to you!”

And, with that, a rightfully furious Aria stalks off, leaving a dejected Hanna alone to lick her wounds.

That night, Hanna is sobbing on the staircase, as she makes yet another apologetic phonecall to Aria that goes unanswered.  Caleb is there, talking about showers, and towels.  So, I start to think that maybe we will get to see him shirtless tonight . . .

We don’t . . .

But we do get to see him sit next to Hanna and sweetly comfort her, which is nice . . .

And yet . . .  given that Caleb has spent weeks living in the school library, I’m not entirely sure his decision to FORGO a much needed shower, for Hanna’s sake, is a particularly hygenic (or good-smelling) one.

Here, I would  like to note that the Lucas has not missed a single shower since he was two-years old.  Just sayin’

And finally, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Spencer and Toby do French . . . but not in the way you think . . .

Last week, I mocked Spencer a bit, for the Indiana Jones costume she wore, while investigating Ali’s hot shirtless brother Jason out on the field.  This week, Spencer entertained us, by wearing yet another Halloween costume.  This time she dressed up like her favorite American Girl doll  . . .

Blue Beret sold separately!

Maintaining her French wardrobe theme for the evening, Spencer’s second ensemble was a cross between French Maid, French Clown, and French Poodle . . .

Given Spencer’s newfound love of French Couture, it was, perhaps, fitting that she had decided to tutor Creepy Toby (who was now being homeschooled, as a result of all the bullying he was receiving, on account of being the main police’s suspect in Ali’s murder) in French.

Spencer’s reasoning for deciding to tutor Toby is three-fold:  (1) She feels guilty for being TOTALLY convinced he murdered Ali, during the early months of her murder investigation.  And she sees this as a good an opportunity as any to apologize for being such a b*tch to him.  (2) Seeing as people keep blowing up his mailbox, there’s no way Toby’s ever going to get those Rosetta Stone CD’s he ordered from Amazon.com, in time for finals . . .

(3) Now that Spencer TOO has been somewhat accused of being responsible for Ali’s death (Remember that Crazy Bead Selling Lady, suggested that Spencer had ordered Ali’s Death Bracelet, last week?),  the Veronica Mars Disease in Spencer has somehow convinced her that Toby can be her Logan Echolls (or, at least, her Wallace).  Together, Spencer feels that she and Toby can figure out WHO is framing them and why.  And THIS, she figures, might actually lead them to “A” and Ali’s killer.

After taking the advertisement off the wall, so no one else could volunteer for the job not that anyone else would want it, Spencer nervously heads over to Boo Radley’s Creepy Toby’s and Blind Jenna’s house, after school . . .

When she eventually finds the courage to ring the doorbell, Creepy Toby answers.

 Toby is clearly leery of Spencer, and isn’t quite sure what her true intentions are.   He’s also concerned that, if Blind Jenna knows that Spencer is in the house with him, she will rape Toby again freak out.  Of course, Creepy Toby would absolutely LOVE to study with Spencer someplace away from home, where he would feel more comfortable (like a cemetery, or bat cave, perhaps), however his darn House Arrest Bracelet, won’t let him leave his property.  So, Spencer suggests that the pair study on the porch instead.  Toby reluctantly agrees . . .

Initially, Spencer tries to butter Toby up, by giving him a French version of a book she KNOWS he enjoys, namely, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Spencer wisely notes that reading a book in French that he has already read in English will help him become fluent in the language.  But Toby is not so easily bought.  He wants to know why Spencer is really there.

The two eventually warm to one another a bit, and get to talking, about how much it sucks to be framed for Ali’s murder.  Spencer wonders out loud how the jacket Toby gave Ali on the night of her murder, ended up back in his house, after she died. Before he can answer her question, however, Toby notices the rustling of a nearby window, and quickly bids Spencer adieu.  Obviously, Blind Jenna has come out to play! 

(OK.  If Jenna is BLIND why is she “LOOKING” out the window at Spencer and Toby?   Weird!)

That afternoon, Spencer already seems totally smitten with Toby, which is odd considering that she used to make out with SUPER HOT Wren that just a few episodes ago, she hated his guts.  “He seems . . . hornydifferent,” Spencer notes dreamily to Emily, as the latter tries not to laugh hysterically at her friend’s MAJOR change of heart.

*sigh*  “Creepy Toby is sooooo dreamy.   Do you think he likes me?  You know, when Toby and I get married, Blind Jenna will be my sister-in-law.  That’s going to suck SO BAD!”

When Spencer is not sleuthing, or dressing French, or dreaming about Toby, this week, she spends the rest of her time, glaring at her new brother-in-law Pedo Ian, and quitting the hockey team, because he’s it’s coach . . .

Ian feigns offense at Spencer’s obvious rejection of him.  He insists that he just wants to make peace with his wife’s little sister.  However, Spencer isn’t buying it.  Big Sis Meliss tries to intervene, and let Spencer know what a FABULOUS person Pedo Ian is . . .

“Is THAT why he’s hitting on a 13-year old now?  Because that’s what FABULOUS adults do?”  Spencer notes wryly (more or less), as she motions toward a little kiddy that Pedo Ian seems to be grooming for his special Lolita collection.  

Spencer insists that Melissa ask her new husband about his various rendezvouse with Ali before she died.  But Melissa retorts that, since Spencer has been spending time with Creepy Toby, he must be poisoning her little sister’s mind against her new husband.  “You just always want what I HAVE,” remarks Melissa.  “You need help!”

Correction, Melissa:  Spencer wants what you HAD . . . not HAVE.  There’s a BIG distinction.

Speaking of Wren, he gets a SHOUT OUT, in Melissa’s next line, “I’ve already lost one relationship because of you, you will not ruin my marriage too!”  Melissa huffs, before storming out. 

(Well, at least SOMEONE, besides me, remembers that Gorgeous Hunk of Man!)

Later, Melissa approaches Spencer again to apologize for her earlier behavior.  Apparently, Pedo Ian has finally come clean to his wife about making out with Spencer, while the pair were broken up, but she’s totally cool with it (NEVER MIND THAT SPENCER WAS 14, AT THE TIME).  Then, Melissa decides to drop a couple of bombshells on Spencer, by revealing (1) that SHE proposed to Pedo Ian, not the other way around; and (2) that she’s pregnant with Pedo Ian’s Evil Spawn!

For once, Spencer, that face is TOTALLY justified.

Later that day, Spencer comes back to visit Creepy Toby again, and is totally caught off guard, when he dumps her as his French tutor.  “This isn’t going to work out,” says Toby brusquely.  “We can’t help eachother.  You have to go,” he concludes, handing Spencer back her book, as he dashes back inside his Haunted House. 

(By the way, did you notice the DARK GLASSES on the outside table, during this scene? Do you think they were Blind Jenna’s?  If so, what exactly does that mean?)

You’ve got some ‘splaining to do, Blind Jenna!

When Spencer gets home from Creepy Toby’s house, and puts the French Catcher in the Rye book on her bed, a slip of paper falls out of it.  It’s a message from Creepy Toby . . .

“I found this in Jenna’s bedroom.   I think you may be right!”

Below Toby’s handwritten message is a pencil rubbing done of some characters, which were clearly typed in braille.  The question is:  What exactly does it SAY?

In the final moments of the episode, we are treated to the CREEPY sounds of a record (SERIOUSLY A RECORD?  What is this, 1975?), which boasts that it can teach a person French easily.  All they have to do is listen.  As the voice on the record repeatedly utters “Je Suis Un Amie,” the camera pans over a number of suspicious items:  (1) laptop, (2) a knife, (3) some rope, (4) a wrench, and (5) THIS . . .

What the F*&K is THAT supposed to be?

What exactly all this signifies is still a mystery . . . to me, anyway.  After all, TOBY would seem to be the most likely candidate to own a record like this.  After all, he needs to learn French, and he just ditched his tutor.  So, it would make sense for him to practice the language using an instructional record (possibly originally by one of his parents’)? 

And yet, up to this point, all signs have pointed to JENNA being the mysterious “A.”  Certainly, JENNA would have access to Toby’s room, during this scene.  She may even play his French record out of curiousity, and manipulate his belongings, in order to throw fans off track frame him for Ali’s murder. 

And yet, would the solution  that Blind Jenna is “A” be too obvious?  Could “A” have been Toby all along?  Or is the person featured at the end of this episode someone else entirely . . . one of Toby’s and Jenna’s parents, perhaps?

I guess we will have to wait until next week to find out . . . See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Well, THAT’S Convenient! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again”

SMILE!  You’re on a Creepy Stalker’s Camera!

Welcome back, my Pretties!  This was a pretty productive episode, wasn’t it?  We met a new enemy (specifically, Emily’s Swim Teammate, Paige, or as I like to call her, Little Orphan B*tchie).

Seriously?  That hair?  Those clothes?  No . . . just . . . no.

We got to know a new friend with benefits? a little bit better . . .

“Hi!  My name is Stereotypical Bad Boy Love Interest.  What’s yours?”

We welcomed back a new suspect (who’s been SERIOUSLY hitting the steroids HARD eating his Wheaties, since we saw him last).

A few couples heated things up (one of which we ACTUALLY cared about!).

Mmmm!  That looks like it tastes good . . .

Meh . . .

An old lady died (RIP Old Lady!).  And another Old Lady told SOMEONE (A?  Ali’s Killer?) that she (or he, though it definitely seemed more like a she) had nice eyes . . .

“Why thank you, Old Lady, and you have nice .  . . teacups.”

And finally, Spencer FINALLY revealed why she’s been acting so Cuckoo Bananas, everytime she gets anywhere near that picture of Ali that was taken the night she died . . .

But we still haven’t figured out why she always makes that weird face . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Questionable Judgment (and even more questionable hats)

Clearly, all these months of being tortured by “A,” making out with inappropriate men (and women), and not sleeping, have started to take their toll on the girls.  We see the first signs of this, when the typically stylish Aria arrives at Spencer’s house inexplicably dressed like Where’s Waldo?

(Hanna, of course, had another analogy for Aria’s bizarro appearance.  She compared her to a Strung Out Powder Puff Girl.  This, to me, seemed kind of redundant, as the Powder Puff Girls ALWAYS look strung out, as far as I’m concerned . . .)

Sorry, Buttercup!

And yet, we can’t really blame Aria for not looking her best this morning.  After all, she’s been up all night, dreaming about the next public restroom she and Fitzy can screw in, McDonalds?  Wendy’s? studying Ali’s morbid final moments caught on film.  And during these hours of restless study, she has come to two conclusions: (1) there is a shadow of a second person in the film, who is clearly following Ali toward wherever she is going; (2) the photograph was taken from Ali’s bedroom window.  This new information causes Hanna and Emily to begin speculation as to who could possibly be the second person caught on film.  And it causes Spencer to . . . make That Face again . . .

Sometimes, my jaw and eyebrows get tired, just watching her do this . . . I’m starting to think she might have inadvertently swallowed her “ex”-boyfriend, Wren . . .

 . . . and Alex, for that matter . . .

In terms of who has taken the Extremely Morbid Picture, the girls rationally assume that it had to be Ali’s brother, Jason.  If you recall, Jason is the same creepy brother who TOTALLY took over Ali’s memorial service, and basically, accused all the girls (but, mostly, Spencer) of knowing more than they claimed about Ali’s death.  None of the girls seem to have any desire to talk to Jason again.  But Spencer JUMPS RIGHT ON THAT OPPORTUNITY!

Gee!  I wonder WHY?  (That Spencer . .. such a Maneater!)

Clad in her best approximation of an Indiana Jones Halloween costume (all she’s missing is the whip), Spencer heads off to the track to find Ali’s brother, Jason, sans shirt.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the first shirtless male we’ve seen on PLL?  Thanks, ABC Fam!  It was much appreciated.  TRUST ME!) 

Of course, he HAS to be running stairs when we first see him!  Because, otherwise, there seems to be absolutely NO EXPLANATION as to how this guy nearly DOUBLED in size (and hotness), since we last saw him . . .

He also seems to have dyed his hair . . . not that I spent all that much time focusing on anything above his neck . . . 😉

Jason initially denies taking the picture.  When asked who he thinks might have taken it, he informs Spencer that it could have been anyone.  After all, plenty of  insensitive people have tried to send him fake photographs of Ali, since her untimely demise. 

All doubts aside, Jason takes the picture, anyway (not sure where he put it though . . . his pants, perhaps?), and promises to have his private investigator take a look at it.  Jason then apologizes for being such a douche to Spencer, during Ali’s memorial.  To this Spencer mumbles her assent unenthusiastically, and rushes off.  Now, I suspect our girl Spence would have been more gracious about accepting Jason’s apology, if she weren’t so mesmerized by his six pack and bulging sweaty chest . . .

See, in THIS context, The Face makes PERFECT SENSE!

But Jason isn’t the only one getting some exercise this morning.  Emily is in the pool, working on some strokes (no pun intended).

The Battle of the Breast(stroke)

If you recall, Emily was quite the swimmer, back in the day.  But after everything went down with Ali, she took some time off from the sport, to get her head together.  Now, Emily is back, and kicking butt!

But SOMEONE isn’t happy about it . . .

Little Orphan B*tchie doesn’t appear to be quite the swimming phenom that Emily is.  But what she lacks in talent, she makes up for in sheer annoyingness, and cheesiness.  This is evidenced by her deciding to use the team’s Locker Room Change Time to give everyone on the team dorky “Go Sharks” bracelets . . .

Does that Ugly Bracelet look familiar to you?  It sure looks familiar to EMILY!

Of course, Emily immediately assumes that the “friendship bracelets” they got from Ali, back when she was alive, the DUPLICATE one that “A” gave them, and the ones that Paige had made, all come from he same place.  (Really?  Because I’ve probably seen about 100 ugly friendship bracelets that look just like those, in my time.  You can usually buy them for 50 cents in those toy dispenser machines they keep in front of grocery stores . . .)

Paranoid Paige, who immediately assumes that Emily is back on the team, only to take the coveted Swim Team Captain job away from her, not-so-subtly threatens to “out” Emily to the rest of the team, should she compete against Paige for the position.

Paige does this by making an extremely unfunny Breast-stroke joke.  (Why do I have a feeling this is going to end up being a Kurt versus Karofsky from Glee situation, all over again?)

Emily holds her own, however.  She tells Paige, in no uncertain terms, that if she really wants to be Swim Team Captain, she should stop sucking so much at .  . . you know . . . swimming.  But Paige’s homophobic comments still irk Emily enough to complain about them to Aria and Spencer at lunch.  These complaints prompt Spencer, unbeknownst to Emily, to rat Paige out to the swim coach.  (This, by the way, eventually causes a pretty intense fight between Spencer and Emily.  But they make up by the end of the episode.  So, it didn’t really seem worth mentioning.)

The swim coach keeps Emily and Paige, after practice, to discuss Paige’s derogatory statements.  She even offers to throw Paige off the team, for what she said to Emily.  Emily, however, tells her that won’t be necessary.

Now, you would think that Emily’s act of EXTREME kindness, in the face of TOTAL douchebaggery, would merit some appreciation on Paige’s part.  But NO.  Paige instead tries to DROWN Emily in the pool . . .

Paige claims she did THIS, because she was pissed that she ended up being replaced by Emily on the relay team for an upcoming meet.  But I just think that BIATCH is CRA-ZY!

“Are YOU talkin’ to me?”

As for those ugly bracelets, the girls later did some investigation as to where they were purchased, and learned that they were made by some old lady, who worked out of her home.  When Spencer (of course, it would be SPENCER doing the investigating, AGAIN!) arrives at the lady’s house, however, the old biddy tells her that both Emily’s bracelet, and “A’s” bracelet, were both purchased by . . .  wait for it . . . SPENCER HASTINGS!

But just when I think that this was going to devolve into one of those Split Personality Lifetime-type movies . . . you know, the ones where the victim ALSO ends up being the torturer . . . we are treated to a final scene, in which an unknown person, who, apparently has NICE EYES, visits the old biddy.  And the Old Biddy says to HER, “I did exactly what you said [lie].”

That, of course, immediately made me think of THIS flashback  scene, from the episode “Please, Do Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”

And with that, “Blind” Jenna just moved up a notch on my Suspects List.  After all, we never did figure out how she was able to put on that lipstick using the MIRROR . . .

But enough about Little Miss Swimfan, and Blind Jenna’s “beautiful eyes,” let’s talk a bit about Aria and Fitzy, and their Hot Date . . .

NO!  Not that one . ..  the one at the MUSEUM!

Night at the Museum

(NOTE:  Animated GIFS in this section of the recap have been “borrowed” from the Aria and Ezra Tumblr.  So, special thanks to the folks over there!  Readers, if this is your “SHIP,” definitely check them out!)

Up until this point in their relationship, Aria’s and Ezra’s “dates” have included (1) a quickie in a public restroom; (2) some hot tongue action in cars; (3) blink and you’ll miss it, romps in Ezra’s Swingin’ Bachelor Pad; (4) school dances; (5) and a trip to the movies with Aria’s MOM.  So, you can imagine how THRILLED Aria was, when Spencer got her and her Secret Boyfriend tickets to an art opening at a museum in Philadelphia . . .

As Spencer put it, Aria was willing to give her TONGUE for those tickets.  (Hmmmm .  . . wonder how Emily would have felt about that.)  In Philadephia, Aria and Ezra will be FREE to swap spit in public!  YAY!  (Well . . . people will still probably notice that Ezra was macking an underage girl, but at least they won’t know she’s his HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.)

For me, the BEST part of the entire episode, was when Aria approached Ezra, while he was proctoring an exam, to give him the tickets (hidden in a writing notebook), and inform him that he should “dress formally” for their date . . .

For a second there, I was seriously concerned that Fitzy’s eyes were going to fall right out of his head!

Unfortunately, for Ezra (along with the two straight male fans of this show on the entire planet), Aria wasn’t exactly naked under there . . .

There are, of course, a lot of X-rated ways in which this “note” could be interpreted, but I’m pretty sure she’s just telling him to wear a tie . . . unfortunately.

That night, when Aria arrives at Ezra’s apartment for their date, he surprises her by picking her up in a stretch limo, Mr. Big from Sex and the City– style . . .

And in my dirty mind, on the WAY to the museum, the pair got it on, Chuck and Blair-style . . .

Even though the artist they were SUPPOSED to see ended up canceling the event, Aria and Ezra still had an amazing time . . .

 . . . which is a relief, considering how close they came to having the WORST TIME EVER!  (I’m looking at YOU, Hanna!)

If you are REALLY happy that some one died (because it will prevent you from going to prison), does that make you a bad person?

Probably . . . but we still love you, Hanna (and so does Lucas .  . . and maybe that Caleb guy too).

Hanna’s family hits yet another rough patch, when the old biddy who Hanna’s mom took the “unauthorized loan” from inexplicably made an appointment to meet with Hanna’s mom.  And although Mommy Felon tried to put a brave face on things, you could tell she knew she was TOTALLY up Sh*t’s Creek, without a paddle . . .

“I am SO f&*ked!”

Later that day, Hanna gets notice from “A” that she can make some extra cash, by ratting Aria out to her mom.   The note comes with a ticket to the museum event Aria and Ezra will be attending.  Obviously, this is a TOTALLY crappy thing to do to your supposed best friend.  But, then again, letting your mom get 15-to-life for trying to pay your medical bills is also a kind of crappy thing to do. 

So, Hanna leaves the tickets in an envelope in Aria’s mom’s mailbox at school (apparently, she teaches there, who knew?).  However, immediately after making the delivery, Hanna has second thoughts.  So, she tries to put a stop to things, by convincing Aria not to go on the date.

Whatchu talkin’ about, Girl Who’s NOT Dating a Hot 20-Something?”

But that doesn’t work.  Then she tries to talk Aria’s mom out of going to the museum . . . but that doesn’t work either.  Finally, she tries to steal back the envelope, but ends up getting detention for skipping gym class.  (I’m glad SOMEONE noticed that one week, Hanna had a CAST on from being RUN OVER BYA CAR.  And the next, she was dancing with Lucas for SIX HOURS at a school event.) 

In detention, the seemingly omnipresent Caleb starts flirting with Hanna, hardcore . . .

“Hey Hanna, I may be a Bad Boy, but I’m Real Good in the Sack . . .”

As for Hanna, she’s either so desperately in love with Lucas that she doesn’t notice any other boys (YAY!), or she has NO game, whatsoever.  Because Hanna actually responds to Caleb’s flirtation by . . . wait for it . . . talking about how much she loves Justin Bieber.

Hanna’s got the Bieber Fever.  Side Effects:  Never getting laid . . . EVER!

(OK . . . now, I GET that ABC Family was trying to do a whole Cross Promotional Thing with the Bieber Documentary Movie, but this whole scene was just lame, with a capital “L.”)

And yet, Bieberery Slips aside, Hanna apparently still charms the pants off Caleb.  Because the dude actually goes out and BREAKSAria’s mom’s car, so she can’t get to the museum.  Now, how’s THAT for dedication?

Hanna, of course, offers to PAY Caleb for his trouble.  But he doesn’t seem to want any money.  He’d much prefer to get inside Hanna’s pants . . .

Don’t you worry about it, Lucas!  He’s a strong contender.  But we still think you can take him!

But what about Hanna’s mom, and the felony??  Well . . . the good news is we aren’t going to have to worry about that for a little while at least, until the Old Crone’s will finishes going through probate, which could take months.  The bad news is, this is because the “unauthorized lender” . . . DIED.

Tears of sadness, or tears of joy?  You be the judge.

The Part About Aria’s Parents — Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Hey, Aria’s mom!  Just because I recently got under the hood of one of my students (Sound familiar?), doesn’t mean I can’t still pop YOUR hood?”

So, remember when I told you that Caleb broke Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t go to the museum opening?  Well, it turns out she REALLY wanted to go.  So much so, in fact, that she was willing to call her Cheating Louse of Husband to fix the damage, which, of course, he couldn’t.  The pair bicker a bit, and it’s supposed to be cute, I guess.  But it isn’t, because we don’t really care about Aria’s parents (no offense), and the actors playing them have no chemistry with one another, whatsoever.

Long story – short, Aria’s dad ends up driving Aria’s mom to the museum in his car, and they end up making out in the front seat.  (Apparently, the “Making Out in Cars” gene runs in this family.)  Since we didn’t see what happened after the two started necking (THANK THE LORD!), we can’t be too sure, whether Aria’s mom, in fact, SAW Aria and Ezra on their “date.”  And yet, Aria’s mom is acting MIGHTY weird, when she tells Aria they need to “talk” the following day at school .  . .

“Why does SHE get to make out with the hot guy, and I get the Wanker?  Damn you, Aria!”

Personally, I’m pretty sure Aria’s mom DIDN’T see Aria and Ezra.  I’m thinking she wants to tell her daughter that “Mommy and Daddy are getting back together.”  After all, thinking about someone’s life, other than her own, doesn’t exactly seem to be Aria’s mom’s strong suit.  Then again, I could be wrong . . .

Spencer’s Big Secret

When Spencer arrives home from school that day, she is surprised to find that Hot Jason (now wearing clothes, unfortunately) has let himself into her house.

Clearly, not much for small talk, Jason spills a wealth of information to Spencer, in just a few short moments.  Here’s what Jason tells Spencer:  (1) The picture she gave him of Ali is Real.  (2) Jason may have taken it himself.  (3) Jason can’t remember whether he took the picture or not, because he was drugged out of his gourd the entire month before Ali died.  (Fortunately, Jason doesn’t drugs, anymore . . . well, aside from the steroids of course.) (4) Creepy Ian was Jason’s good pal, and a fellow drug addict.  He often spent time at Jason (and Ali’s house), and was probably there the night Ali died.  (That last part, of course, we already knew.)

This last bit of information prompts Spencer to recall the fight she had with Ali the night of her death.

During the fight, Ali (who, unbeknownst to Spencer, was boning Ian, and probably just wanted him for herself) threatened Spencer that if she didn’t tell her sister that she (Spencer) and Ian had kissed, Ali would spill the beans for her.  This prompted Spencer to tell Ali that she was done being friends with her.  And eventually, if she had her way,  the other PLL’s would ditch her ass too.  “You are dead to me already,” concludes Spencer

This outburst prompts the normally unflappable Ali to storm out of the house, and Spencer to sneakily follow after her.  (See, some things NEVER change!)

In Real Time, the rest of the PLL’s confort Spencer, as she tells them about the fight, and admits that SHE was the second shadow in the photograph of Ali sent to them by “A.”  The girl’s are very supportive of Spencer, and tell her, that she has nothing to feel guilty about.  The love fest is interrupted, however, when the girls spy Hot-But-Now-Seeming-Kind-of-Creepy-Again Jason leering at them from a nearby window.

“Damn him!  Why is he STILL wearing his shirt!”

And that’s all I’ve got, My Pretties!  SO, now it’s your turn!  Feel free to sound off in the comment section, and tell me what you thought of tonight’s PLL installment.  I’ll even leave you with some questions to get those wheels turning: 

Do you think “Blind” Jenna is behind those ugly bracelets? 

Did Aria’s mom see Aria and Fitzy getting up close in personal in front of the museum?  Or is all of this just about Aria’s SUPER BORING Dad? 

Are you Team Lucas or Team Caleb?  (Notice I’m completely leaving out Team Sean.  Because that’s not even an option as far as I’m concerned?)

What the heck is up with Jason’s new bod?

And, finally, do you understand “The Bieb” as well as Hanna does?

See ya, next time . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Degrassi: In Too Deep — Anatomy of Two BRAND NEW Promos!

REJOICE, DEGRASSI FANS!  THE NEW PROMOS ARE FINALLY HERE! 🙂

Last night, Teen Nick aired two much anticipated trailers for Degrassi‘s upcoming new season, entitled In Too Deep, which is set to premiere on February 11th at 9 p.m.  The first trailer was relatively short (lasting only about 30 seconds).   However, it was comprised almost entirely of NEW footage, never before seen by Degrassi fans . . .

The second trailer was double the length of the first (clocking in at about 1 minute, 30 seconds), and was an amalgamation of scenes from the first trailer, scenes from the trailer that Teen Nick aired last season, and some extra “bonus” scenes . . .

So, now that you’ve seen them, let’s discuss what we’ve learned.  Shall we?

Fadam is ON! / Fiona is still drinking. / Fiona may be gay (and into Holly J)?

When we last left our favorite (and only) transgendered Degrassi student, Adam Torres, he was putting some major effort into wooing the object of his affections, Fiona Coyne.  He even went so far as to throw a genuine New York-style ball, fit for a Princess, in her honor.  However, up until this point, Fiona’s feelings for Adam have shown little evidence of venturing beyond the platonic.  She might be aware of Adam’s attraction to her, but she hasn’t done much to show that she reciprocates those feelings.  In fact, she BAILED on the party he threw for her — a major NO-NO, in Relationship World.

But if the promos we’ve seen for next season are any indication, all of that is about to change, BIG TIME . . .

Though Fiona and Adam’s first kiss may be the result of a drunken (at least on Fiona’s part) game of Truth or Dare (as suggested in the first promo), clearly their relationship extends far beyond this “momentary indiscretion,” as the season progresses.  We know, from last season’s promos (plus, many of those scenes were repeated in the new trailers), that Fiona and Adam (or Fadam, as the cool kids like to call them) engage in a full on, Horizontal Couch Makeout Session, later on in the season.  And it is this couch session that Holly J. unceremoniously interrupts. 

Sounds great, right? 

Well . . . maybe not . . .

When we first watched the earlier promos, many of us Degrassi fans speculated as to the “logistics” of Fiona’s and Adam’s relationship.  Specifically, we wondered how Fiona would react, when she learned  that Adam was born female (and still has lady parts).  Based on the promos we saw last night, Fiona’s knowledge regarding Adam’s trangender status doesn’t seem to be the issue . . .

Both promos feature Fiona telling Adam that “drinking makes it easier to be with [him].”

This line suggests three things: (1) that Fiona is still abusing alcohol; (2) that she is aware that Adam is transgendered; and (3) while that knowledge has not caused her to stop seeing him, it still makes her feel at least somewhat uncomfortable.

But here’s the REAL twist . . .

Could Fiona actually be a lesbian?  Is she merely using Adam to “safely” evaluate her attraction to people of the same sex, while secretly vying for her bestie, Holly J?  This would be an interesting plot development indeed!

Sound crazy and completely out of left field to you?  Here’s my take on why this might be a real possibility . . .

For starters, Fiona has always been someone for whom relationships seemed more about status and convenience, than about genuine attraction.  She briefly dated Riley (before he was officially out of the closet) because she thought he was a nice guy who would keep her away from the advances of douchebags.  The fact that Riley was gay, and would likely never want to be intimate with her, almost seemed like an added bonus, as far as Fiona was concerned.

Fiona dated the ultimatey abusive Bastard Bobby, back in New York, because he was rich, popular, and had the right family name. 

She hooked up with her brother Declan (INCEST!  GROSSSSSS!) , because she worried that she was losing him (He was her only friend, at the time,) to Holly J.  So, she assumed that, by being DISGUSTING, she  could scare her brother’s boyfriend away . . .

So, we’ve never actually seen Fiona exhibit feelings of attraction for a man of the opposite sex.  And, based on the promos, she does seem more open to beginning a relationship with a transgendered male, than most heterosexual women her age, and in her situation, probably would be.  In conclusion, what initially might have seemed like a bizarre “out-of-character” plot twist the Degrassi writers inserted into their story to appeal to a considerable fanbase of “Dudes Who LOVE HOT LESBIANS,” makes more and more sense to me, the more I continue to think about it . . .

As for Holly J. . . .

Apart from her scenes with Fiona and Adam, we really don’t get to see all that much of her in these new promos.  However, the above shot, seems to suggest that she gets injured at some point during this season.  She may even end up in the hospital, as a result of said injuries?  (Based on the white background, behind Holly J., I thought she might be laying on a hospital bed in the picture above.)

Could Holly have somehow been involved in the EPIC CAR ACCIDENT to which all the Degrassi spoilers keep referring?  And, if so, why did the hospital choose to cope with injuries, by merely pasting a cheap bandaid over them?  (Random Canadian Hospital FAIL!)

Ali gets in trouble again. /  She runs away from home, is robbed, and wears an UGLY wig?

When Alli told her parents that she wanted to be transferred to private school, she never expected that they would ship her off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Although we didn’t learn too much more about Alli’s predicament than we had already deduced from previous promos, these new trailers helped us fill in a few of the blanks as to what actually happens to Alli during this season.  First, we see her at home, in her school uniform, complaining, that while she tries to be “good,” bad things continue to happen to her . . .

Combine this scene, with the one from the earlier promo, in which she is arguing was Sav (“You are ruining MY life,” he screams at her.) and you can deduce that Ali got into some trouble at her All-Girls private school, and shamed the family, as a result.  She may have even been EXPELLED from that school.  After all, we do see Alli later on in the promo, talking to Clare, at what appears to be a Degrassi Dance . . .

There is no way of knowing for certain whether this “Dance Scene” comes before or after Alli runs away from home.  But we do know that she’s on the run at some point during the series, and is away from home long enough to be declared a Missing Person . . .

This information is all but spelled out for us, when we see Alli at home, threatening to run away . . .

We then see her out in the street dressed in that RIDICULOUS OUTFIT, ripping down Missing Person posters of herself . . .

I didn’t know Lindsay Lohan was on Degrassi!

After that, Alli gets mugged by some lowlife, who steals her purse and runs away (probably, because he thought she was Lindsay Lohan, and that he could see the purse on Ebay for some serious dough.  He was probably super disappointed, when he found out that the purse he stole belonged instead to “some chick from Degrassi”).

Then, finally, Alli’s dad, and Sav go out searching for her in the family car, during a rainstorm.  Presumably, they find her, and bring her back home  .. . just in time for the Degrassi Dance!

YIPPEE!

And now for the storyline, you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Eli flips out. /  He becomes super possessive of Clare.  / She dumps him.  / And he gets into a car accident on the anniversary of his dead girlfriend’s death?

Of all Degrassi’s upcoming season storylines, I’d say Eli’s and Clare’s is the one about which fans are the most excited.  And why not?  After all, the Degrassi: In Too Deep Season finale is set to air on April 22, 2011, precisely two years (maybe one in Degrassi world), since the tragic and untimely death of Eli’s former girlfriend, Julia, who was hit by a car.

I know that, in real life, this is the picture of a model in a bad black wig.  And yet, “Dead Julia” still gives me the creeps every time I look at her . . . kind of like that Freaky Chick from The Ring movies . . .

To add fuel to the Eclare fire, Degrassi Writer/Producer Stephen has publicly admitted that the Eli/Clare/Dead Julie saga will be featured prominently in the latter episodes of the season.  He also teased that something will happen to a creepy “picture” of Julia, and that Eli is in that picture as well.  Speculation as to what Sohn meant by this cryptic statement has ranged widely from the literal (a picture of Eli and Julia is stolen during the finale) to the practical (Eli accidentally ran Julia over with his car), to the outright BIZARRE (“Julia” is actually Eli in a black wig, a la Psycho)

This eye-catching shot from the extended promo seems to show a bereft, and tear-stricken Eli clutching Julia’s picture while standing next to his trusty hearse Morty.  The question is, where the heck is he?  The library?  (There are shelves of books shown behind the car); His garage? (Where else do you put a car indoors?)  Degrassi High?  (Did he DRIVE THE CAR INTO THE SCHOOL?)

In the promos, we see that things between Eli and Clare aren’t nearly as rosy as they were last season — back when the pair bonded over Eli’s hoarding issues, and Eli helped Clare cope with her parents’ impending separation.

Suddenly, Clare is talking about “taking a break” and “needing space” from Eli.  This is an unusual turn of events, especially considering that in previous episodes, it was Clare, who seemed the more “clingy” of the couple, while Eli was a bit more standoffish, and constantly required time alone to “sort things out.”

“Could someone tell me when exactly I became the GIRL in this relationship?”

Now, suddenly, Eli never seems to want Clare to leave his side . . .

Whenever they are together, he constantly has his arm wrapped around her protectively, as if he is afraid that if he lets go, she will get run over by a carhe will lose her forever . . .

The usually adorable Eli is suddenly saying creepy lines like the guys in the Lifetime movies do . . . right before they go after their girlfriend with a hatchet.  (“If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN!”)

“You promised me you’d never leave me,” he tells her in one scene.

“We need some time ALONE together . . . just you and me,” he says to her in another.

It seems obvious that, as the date on the calendar creeps closer and closer to the anniversary of Julia’s death, Eli is becoming more unhinged.  He copes with these feelings, by sticking close to Clare, the only person who has the power him feel safe. 

But Clare almost makes Eli nervous.  After all, Eli presumably felt “safe” with his last girlfriend too, and look what happened to her!  So, just like Eli “hoarded” random objects in his room, to preserve Julia’s memory, he is, in essence, “hoarding” Clare now, to keep her out of harms way.

But Clare isn’t an old notebook, or smelly shoe.  She’s a person, who needs her own space.  Clare confides this in Alli at the school dance.  So, Alli suggests that Clare be honest with Eli about how she’s feeling . . .

Ummm . . . Clare?  1993 called . . . And they would really like that lipstick back!  (Seriously, why does the wardrobe department always insist on dressing this character like a 43-year old Soccer Mom?)

But was this the right advice?  In both of the promos, we see Clare confronting Eli, frustratedly telling her boyfriend that he is “suffocating her.”

Needless to say, Eli does not take this accusation (or possibly being dumped?) very well.  In the final scenes of both of the above trailers, we see Eli driving his car recklessly into the night, with tears streaming down his face . . .

Though a clearly anguished and incredibly guilty feeling Clare, calls Eli repeatedly on his cell phone, begging him to answer her, we can see that he does not do so . . .

Could THESE be scenes from April 22nd’s Season Finale, entitled “Drop the World?”  Could this be the Massive Car Crash Degrassi spoilers have been teasing us about since last year?  Is Julia’s picture in the car with Eli, while he’s driving?  Could Eli’s reckless driving, be construed as a suicide attempt, as a result of guilt over his girlfriend’s death?

I guess we will just have to wait until February 11th to find out.  (But until then, speculations and spoilers are always welcome in the comment section, and would be much appreciated. 🙂 )

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Degrassi: The Next Generation, Spoilers and Sneak Peeks