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A Sad Day for Little Piggies – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ Season 4 Premiere – “A is for Alive”

pig one

anxiety

Hey there, my Pretties!  It’s that time again.  Our favorite little liars are back for another season of being tortured by “A”  . . .

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. . . romanced by sexy shirtless men . . .

caleb shower fragrantroses

big abs

2 4 shirtless jason

. . . and making questionable fashion choices (sometimes) . . .

TROIAN BELLISARIO

wet aria

So dig that creepy baby-face mask out of moth balls, keep your cell phone away from coffins, and for Heaven sake, hide your little piggies . . .

hide pig

. . . because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

There’s A Dead Body Bacon in the Trunk!

wildens car

“So, I’m guessing that Rosewood doesn’t have a car wash?”

Last season, on Pretty Little Liars, Deputy Douchey’s car magically emerged from a lake, and drove itself out to meet our fabulous foursome (plus Mona).  It turns out, Douche Car was on a mission.  It wanted to show the Liars incriminating footage of Mama Marin hitting Deputy Douchey with her car, and driving off into the sunset.  Now, admittedly, getting hit by a car sucks.  But it could have been worse, Deputy Douchey!  You could have been hit by a car ON YOUR WEDDING DAY .  . .

Also, Deputy Douchey didn’t even DIE yet, when he was hit by that car.  He just brushed himself off and walked away.  He even got the opportunity to shower, after it was all over . . .

shirtless D Douchey

. .  . which is more than we can say for his car . . .

Because, as we find out, in the opening minutes of the episode, being dirty, and playing a bad home movie on its OnStar screen are the LEAST of Douche Car’s problems.  THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE TRUNK!

ahhh

WHAT COULD IT BE?  It must be something pretty horrible, considering the writers made us wait MONTHS to find out . . .

I mean, when you think about it, anything could be in that trunk . . . Ali’s corpse, Jason’s corpse, Toby’s corpse, A SPARE TIRE . .  .

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But what actually ended up being in the trunk was worse than ALL OF THOSE THINGS COMBINED.  It was . . . BREAKFAST .  . .

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“OH THE HUMANITY!”

got to be kidding

Silently agreeing to all become vegans, the little liars hightail it from the “crime scene,” before they can be spotted by the cops.  Mona, however, decides to stick around, because a good song is playing on the car radio.  And everyone knows it’s bad luck to leave a car when a good song is playing . . .

taking tape out of car

bitch 1

bitch 2

bitch 3

bitch 4

Mona Vanderwaal’s theme song

Actually, she’s just dismantling the incriminating OnStar video monitor, like the sociopath / criminal mastermind she is . . .

Good going, girl!  An extra special helping of bacon for you!

F.A.Q’s

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You know how a lot of company websites have a Frequently Asked Question page, so that the customer service line isn’t inundated with the same inane questions, over and over again, like “What’s the mailing address?” or “What are your hours?” or “Why does the hair color on my head look nothing like the picture of the girl on the dye box?”

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Well, that’s kind of what the next scene was like for me.  Having Mona answer six or seven of the series’ most frustrating questions all at once, was both a really lazy thing to do, from a writers’ perspective, and an oddly satisfying experience for the fans.  So, without further adieu, I proudly present to you, Mona PLL F.A.Q. . . .

mona and red coat

(Does this mean Cece is Red Coat?  She certainly seems to be A Red Coat.  I’m just not certain yet that she’s THE red coat.)

mamas proud enter cece drake

hannas garage

recruit

shanna

lucas gave em mass

cute lucas

bell tower

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Should the writers have revealed the answers to these “Burning Mysteries,” through actual plot exposition, as opposed to mere script exposition?  Sure.  But if they did that, they’d have so much less time to focus on things like Dead Pigs in car trunks and the never ending Love Saga of Ezria . . .

come at me bro

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Sarcasm aside, I think the writers simply recognized the fact that they didn’t have time to include the answers to these questions in their actual plotline.  And, if that’s the case, I’m glad they revealed them, this way, rather than keeping them as intensely frustrating eternally unsolved mysteries, like some OTHER shows I know . . .

lost

“I’m looking at you, Hurley Bird, and Walt’s rapid aging /random magical powers!

One of the things I love most about PLL is how refreshingly self-aware it is of it’s own occasional ridiculousness.  Take for example, this next scene, where all the little liars awaken to find Mona gone.  Of course, they immediately assume that they all fell asleep because Mona drugged them  .  . . and not simply because they were tired from a long night of playing Fondle the Dirty Cop Car . . .

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And why wouldn’t they think that?  Especially, when Emily, Hanna, and Aria have each been drugged by their enemies, at least once on the show.

Poor Mona!  She just went out to get all her friends their morning cups of coffee, exactly how they like them . . . and possibly murder Deputy Douchey.

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Mona is kind of a kick ass car thief!  They should really consider hiring her for the next installment of Fast and Furious . . .

Trailer Park of the Dolls

the lair

You know, we all make jokes about how all the liars (with the exception of Emily) have such awful parents.  But what about Mona?

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I mean, think about it.  Here’s a girl who spend about half a year in the nuthouse.  And when she gets out, her parents don’t seem to notice, mind or care, that she took all that creepy crap she used to store in a random skeevy motel room, and moved it to her OWN PERSONAL TRAILER!  Last I checked, you had to be 25 just to rent a car.  Can you really buy a house on wheels at 17?

no no on

In hopes of proving her worthiness, Mona generously allows each of the girls to read the personal stalker files she’s amassed on each of them, during the course of three seasons.  Then, she glibly admits to Hanna that she successfully impersonated Caleb despite being about 5 inches shorter than him at last year’s Halloween party, just so that she have an excuse to suck face with her former bestie, who she once tried to run over with her car . . .

halloween train

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But Mona wasn’t the only cross dresser on the Halloween Train of Terrors.  Check THIS out?

wilden as queen of hearts

It’s pretty hard to be afraid of someone who looks so ridiculous.  Then again, this was the guy who drugged Aria, put her in the coffin with a dead body, and then literally almost THREW HER FROM A MOVING TRAIN . . .

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Mona’s carefully captured video footage suggests that there was another member of the A Team responsible for Aria’s future therapy bill.  She claims it was Spencer’s B*tch Sister Melissa . . .

crazy nanny carrie

big bitch crazy

But this pretty awesome “Kiss Virus,” smears fake lipstick kisses across Mona’s desktop, and deletes all her files, before Mona can confirm that she’s telling the truth.  My theory?  Mona clearly has a backup for this footage.  I’m thinking she likely planned the “virus,” because she’s covering for someone much more surprising than Melissa . . . someone who we HAVEN’T actually assumed was bad news from Day One.  Someone like . . .

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I’m kidding.  I know the writers would never do this.  But you have to admit, it would be a pretty shocking reveal .  . .

Attack of the Kiddie Clones

Outside the trailer, the girls hear the sounds of their names being called, and head out to investigate.  Here’s what they find . . .

all the pretty girls

My goodness!  Does A work in a toy factory?  It’s the only possible explanation as to why every single week she or he seems to come up with another set of dolls that look exactly like the liars.  (I hope ABC Family is selling some of these to fans.  They’d make a mint.)

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Well . . . honestly, these are pretty ugly.  I wouldn’t buy these!

bobble heads

WANT!

So, the kids tell the liars that some girl named “Alison” gave them the dolls, and blah, blah, blah.  We’ve heard this one before.  What’s more disturbing is the fact that the kids themselves actually look like the liars.  What is this Orphan Black?  Is the A Team involved in human cloning too?

clone club

I said the little girls look like younger versions of the liars.  What I didn’t mention was that there was one MAJOR exception to this rule.  Aria’s “clone” looked like someone else entirely . . .

miranda cosgrove look alike

miranda looks

I swear this show just gets more disturbing by the minute . . .

Ding Dong Deputy Douchey’s Dead . . .

looking at body

On the way home from the Trailer Park of Terror, the girls encounter a familiar face . . .

dead wilden

miss me

Either Deputy Douchey is DOA, or he just picked a really bad location for a nap.  Suddenly, the girls realize the significance of the pig in the car.  Get it . . . pigs . . . cops?

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It looks like the little liars are about to be framed for yet another murder.

must be thurs

Now, more than ever, they need Mona to give up that incriminating video footage.  But can they trust her to turn it over?

Fitzy Goes to Jail . . . Just KIDDING!

After a few weeks of successfully avoiding Fitzy, post breakup, Aria has an uncomfortable encounter with him at the coffee shop.  The fact that she’s wearing an outfit that directly resembles Sheldon Cooper’s Doppler Effect Halloween Costume certainly doesn’t help matters . . .

aria doppler

doppler effect

Then Fitzy reveals to Aria that he’s once again taking a job teaching at Rosewood High, and mixing stripes with solids quickly becomes the least of Aria’s problems.  “I have a family now,” Fitzy reminds Aria, careful to use the word “family” and not just “kid,” to imply that the awful “Maggie,” is also a part of this picture.

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“Why do you insist on continuing a relationship with Alex Mack.  She is LITERALLY a pile of goo!”

alex-mack

But to Aria’s credit, she keeps her cool, even icily referring to the guy she used to bone as “Mr. Fitz,” before exiting stage left.  You go, girl!

Back at school, Aria’s paranoia kicks into overdrive, when she becomes positive that the school principal is watching her moon over Fitz.  Her suspicions seem to be confirmed, when the principal calls her into his office, and confronts her with some TRULY PORNY pictures of Ezria going to pound town on one another . . .

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You know what comes next, don’t you?

going to prison

arrested ezra

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Aria is crushed.  She rushes out of the principals office, to a chorus of sad trombones and tiny violins .  . .

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Then Aria “awakens” to find herself still outside the principal’s office.  It was all daydream, silly!

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Fitzy isn’t really going to jail!

And while part of me is relieved for Aria, the other part of me kind of wishes they actually did arrest Fitzy, if only so that he could start wearing doo rags in prison, like Toby, and, possibly even get the words “Thug Life” tattooed on his butt.

pirate toby

Speaking of the Tobster . . .

The Many Faces of Toby Cavanaugh

Sometimes I think Abs Toby has multiple personality disorder . . .

psycho toby

Sometimes he’s REALLY creepy . . .

welcome back creepy toby

creepy toby

Other times he seems genuinely sweet . . .

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He can occasionally be a thug . . .

pirate toby

And this week, he was about eight other things, I hadn’t actually seen before.

how you like me now

It all started on an ordinary morning, during which Toby generously cooked his on-again girlfriend Spencer a breakfast, which hopefully didn’t include bacon . . .

eat

No doubt, it was a sweet gesture.  But there was something about the way he kept reminding Spencer to thank him for the food, and shutting her down, whenever she tried to talk about Deputy Douchey’s death that didn’t sit right with me.  Perhaps, a part of me feels that Toby’s earlier betrayal was whitewashed over a bit too quickly.  And I’m clearly having a harder time trusting him again than Spencer.

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That said, I genuinely felt bad for him, when “A” left him that threatening text about the mystery surrounding his mother’s “disappearance.”  I even understand why he kept that information from Spencer.  Though, I’m sure that decision will eventually come and bite him in the ass, during the weeks to come .  . .

sad toby

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He’s a little shady.  But he’s still a really sexy crier (with great abs).

evil abs

Later in the day, Toby takes Spencer to that burned down building in search of the elusive red coat.  And it’s pretty much the Worst Date Ever . . .

spoby at burned down lair

Of course, Super Sleuth Spencer doesn’t seem to mind too much . . .

Through a flashback, we learn that Toby’s mother was either massively depressed, or had a serious drug problem.  And Ali was a seductively manipulative b*tch.  Of course, we already knew that last part . . .

almost kiss

Something struck me as odd about this flashback.   I understand that Toby was supposed to come off as young and naive.  And Ali was supposed to come off as an evil date rapist, who recycles her pickup lines . . . despite the fact that both characters were realistically only about 13 or 14 when this event took place . . .

It’s just that the way the lines were read, Toby somehow seemed less young and naive, and more . . . Lenny from Of Mice and Men, if you catch my drift . . .

make bunny cry

In happier couples news . . .

You’ve Come a Long Way, Little Orphan B*tchy . . .

Remember when Paige looked like this?

1 16 little orphan bitchy

And did this?

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Well that’s sure in the past.  Because now Paige is asking Emily to go to Stanford with her.  And the pair are exchanging “I love yous.”

love you,

love you too 2

really love you

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But more importantly, her hair and wardrobe are awesome!

happy elena

The little liars have been a very good influence on you, girl!  It’s too bad that by admitting your love for Emily, you’ve pretty much just signed your death warrant.  Emily Fields is basically the Jeremy Gilbert of PLL . . .

jer bon poster

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2 12 emali this little liar

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Best Friends and Bad Hair Days

You can tell that Hanna is having a difficult time processing Deputy Douchey’s death, because she’s got her wig on crooked.  And she’s wearing her headband so low on her forehead that you would think she was auditioning for a workout video for the 1980s . . .

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Speaking of the 80’s, bedazzle much?

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It’s abundantly clear that these two girls need to go shopping.  Though, given their current wardrobe choices, I’m not quite sure it’s such a good idea for them to be shopping together . . .

search party

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All sarcasm aside, I thought the moments Mona and Hanna shared together this week were actually really sweet.  And a big part of me genuinely wants to believe Mona, when she tells Hanna that she truly loves her and misses her, despite knowing that Hanna is only hanging out with her now to protect herself and the rest of the liars.

friend pretend

Mona even gives Hanna the incriminating disk we saw in the beginning of the episode, as a gesture of good faith.  After all the terrible things Mona has done to the girls, and Hanna in particular, she’s still a long way from gaining my trust.  But this was definitely a start . . .

In other news, Mama Dilaurentis is back in town.  And despite her daughter’s having supposedly been dead for two years, still can’t quite bring herself to get rid of all her sh*t.  So, the “twin” theory rears its ugly head yet again . . .

twins clue

halloween twinsies

starring ali mom

And finally . . .

A Nice Day for a Black Funeral

funeral outfit

Everyone in Rosewood knows that the monthly funerals are the most important events on the town’s social calendar.  This is why the little liars always attend them, dressed like they are going to bachelorrette party in Vegas.  It’s also why they insist on sitting in the front row, despite the fact that not only are they typically of no familial relation to the deceased, they also tend to be the number one suspects in that person’s murder . . .

cant sit with us uneedpll

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The social importance is Rosewood funerals may also explain why Jenna insists on showing up to them fashionably late, on the arm of a new heretofore unknown gentleman, each month . . .

jenna escort

But if trying to make a fashion statement at the funeral was the little liars (and Jenna’s) ultimate goal, then all of them failed.  Because if anyone was going to get gawked at during Wilden’s funeral, it was most definitely going to be THIS CHICK . . .

weird lady

She’s wearing a mask AND a veil?  How does she not bump into walls?

Before the big day, Spencer gets a tip, thanks to “A,” that there may be something special waiting for her in Deputy Douchey’s coffin . . .

closed casket

Spencer is excited, because she hasn’t fondled a corpse since, well . . . the last time she fondled a corpse.  Mona, who received the same cryptic message, is also up for the challenge .  . .

in coffin

“I hope the clue is not in his pants.”

The girls extract a phone from Douchey’s coffin, and dial the number attached to the contact “Kisses.”  So, you can imagine their surprise when the phone call goes directly to HANNA’S PHONE!

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Don’t worry, Caleb . . . it’s actually Hanna’s MOTHER, who Dead Wilden was dialing.  But still . . . gross . . .

After the funeral, New Deputy Less Douchey confronts the girls, and does that TV cop thing, where he seems to be both flirting with them, and accusing them of murder at the same time . . .

hot new guy

I don’t care if he ends up being an A$$hole, who, like everyone else in this show, is somehow, involved in Ali’s murder and/or has it in for the liars.  He’s HOT!  There, I said it. . .

In the final moments of the episodes, the girls get yet another cryptic text from A, informing them that the truth is going to BURY them . . .

bury you with it

Get it?  Bury!  Ahhh . . . you got a love a good funeral pun.

See ya next time, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever] [My Tumblr]

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Pretty Little Liars Season 3A – The Good, The Bad, and the TOBY!

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Hey there, my Pretties!  This week, PLL wrapped up its third summer season with a hot sex scene, the discovery of a bastard child, another dead body, and a shocking twist that absolutely blew last season’s arguably anti-climactic reveal of Mona as “A” out of the water.  Though admittedly a bit less action-packed than past seasons, season 3A of PLL still managed to serve up some genuine scares (Mona’s “nursery rhyme” anyone?), a few great one liners (“Bitch can see!”), and some tantalizing clues that kept fans guessing each week, long after the final credits rolled.

So, hold on to your teeth, check your dolls for hidden recording devices, and always keep that wooden mannequin leg handy (You never know when you might have to murder a snake with it.), because here comes a Pretty Little Season 3A retrospective . . .

THE GOOD

After Mona’s “outing” as A last season, I think a lot of fans, myself included, worried that PLL would begin to run out of steam.  “Would subsequent seasons of the show just be more of the same?”  We wondered . . . another A . . . more text messages . . . a few empty scares and clues that would end up going no where . . . until it was ultimately revealed that the story was turning out just as the books had predicted it would.

And yet, somehow, the writers and producers of PLL managed to overcome this obstacle . . . at least, partially, by giving the season a darker, more mature, tone (the girls are seniors now, after all), introducing some new characters, while delving further into some older ones, and creating some really solid standalone moments that brought back memories of what the show was like in its groundbreaking first season.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, “The Good” of Season 3A . . .

Best Scares/ Moments of Season 3A

Maya-normal activity

Admittedly, I had a lot of issues with the Maya St. Germaine murder mystery, as you’ll see in “The Bad” below.  That said, one aspect of this B-plot that I enjoyed thoroughly was the use of web videos to increase the intrigue, and heighten the fright factor, of what otherwise could have become just another “cold case” type story.  Just as the PLL writers have always done with their trademark Dead Ali Flashbacks, Maya’s web diary, helped to make Maya a more interesting and mysterious dead character, than she ever was a live one.

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In addition to providing some “slice of life” character insight, Maya’s videos also heightened the tension of the scenes in which they were featured, because the viewer always knew that, just outside the video frame, someone was out there trying to KILL her.  This technique sort of harkened back to “Ali’s Last Video Debut from Season 1.”  I’m sure you guys remember that one . . .

However, one of my favorite video moments of the season actually didn’t come from Maya’s video diary at all.  Rather, it came from the surveillance video that Noel Kahn sent Spencer to exculpate himself as a murder suspect.  The makers of the Paranormal Activity series will tell you, there’s just something about a grainy surveillance video, featuring seemingly random footage of people you know that’s inexplicably scary.  Maybe it’s the feeling of “authenticity” you get from watching something with a time stamp.  Or, maybe it’s because they catch you off guard, by being so boring most of the time, and then, converting to BATSH*T CRAZY MODE, just when you’re about ready to change the channel . . .

All I know is that when Maya, seconds after appearing on screen, got yanked out of the frame by an unseen evildoer, I jumped out of my seat, for the first time, this season . . .

Show Me Your Teeth

Sure, it was campy, and not particularly believable, but I love that the “A” team made a necklace out of real teeth, and slipped it into Emily’s bag at school.  I mean, sure, I imagine those chompers could have come from any number of mundane places . . . the dentists office, some way-too-proud parents commemorative jar, the tooth fairy . . . But just the mere idea that the A Team might have hand plucked pearly whites from Ali’s now nearly two-year old corpse is disgustingly genius!

Truth or Scare

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Because the girls are forced to deal with some pretty adult stuff on a daily basis, we often forget the fact that, back when they were hanging out with Ali, they were all still REALLY young.  That’s why some of my favorite PLL moments take seemingly innocent childhood toys and games, and present them in a creepier, much more sinister, light.  The most obvious example of this are those ugly-as-sin talking dolls that have fast become Evil!Mona’s calling card.  Halloween masks, Ouiji Boards, pumpkins, and super cute clown banks have also been used to create this same effect.

This season, however, the PLL writers boldly tackled a place where only middle school sleepover parties have gone before: Truth or Dare.  We’ve all played this one before, right?  It’s a game that, at it’s tamest, involves revealing secret crushes to your friends, and at it’s most bawdy typically involves flashing people, and making dirty prank phone calls.

But PLL somehow managed to turn a simple game of Truth or Dare into a tantalizing game of Cat and Mouse, during which Rosewood’s two most intense residents, Spencer Hastings and Jenna Cavanaugh each tried to out interrogate one another.  And while the game, itself, didn’t exactly reveal to fans, anything they didn’t already know, it was still incredibly fun to watch . . .

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Snakes at a Fashion Show

Let’s face it.  Snakes are SCARY!  If they weren’t, nobody would have ever bothered to make a movie, who’s entire plot featured them slithering around on a plane.  So despite the fact, that I have no idea how anyone on the so-called A-team managed to (a) buy that kind of a snake; and (b) slip it into a box of clothing without anyone being any the wiser, the ick factor produced when Spencer opened that box, and that disgusting snake started nipping at her heels, had me squealing at my TV set.

But that wasn’t the best part.  The best part was when Cece Drake “rescued” Spencer though, honestly, it’s seems pretty obvious she had something to do with the darn thing being there in the first place by  . . . wait for it . . . beating the CRAP out of the snake with a MANNEQUIN LEG!  Girls got skills .  . .

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Child’s Play – Mona van der Waal Edition

I’m going to discuss Mona’s dialogue in this scene a bit more in depth in the “clues” section.  For now, I just wanted to fangirl a bit about this scene itself, and how it seemed custom-made to produce chills in anyone who happened to be watching at the time . . . from the abandoned corridor in the already creepy insane asylum . . . to the implication that there are enough Crazy Babies, and/or Crazy Mom’s with Babies for said insane asylum to have a Toddler’s Ward . . . to that terrifying way Mona had of stroking the dolls lovingly like that Creepy Ring Monster from Lord of the Rings, while speaking in this whisper-soft, sing-song voice that made you feel like, any minute, her head was going to start spinning around and green-stuff was going to pour out of her mouth . . In short, it was AWESOME!

Best one-liners

“Or, I’ll show my boobs and we’ll be news again.”

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Why: Because Drunk!Emily is always ten times more fun than Sober!Emily.  And because, no matter how old I get, the word “boobs,” still makes me cover my hand over my mouth and giggle like an eight-year old who just heard a “naughty word.”

“Bitch can see!”

Why: We’ve all known Blind Jenna could see for ages.  But there was something genuinely satisfying about having the girls FINALLY figure it out.  And Lucy Hale’s wide-eyed, yet uncharacteristically “street,” delivery of the line was priceless (and made me secretly want to watch Jenna and Aria “rumble” in the school parking lot.  For the record, my money would be on Aria.  She may be small, but she’s scrappy!

“When you baby squirrel Ezra, you are stealing his nuts.”

Just the images on Tumblr of Ian Harding’s head on a squirrel’s body that followed the episode in which this statement appeared, were enough to make me fall in love with this line.  Plus, once again, the eight-year old school girl in me, got a real kick about the fact that, no matter how you slice it, Spencer was talking to Aria about  Fitzy’s Man Parts . . .

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Best New Character – Cece Drake

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When you are coming onto a show in its third season as a new character, the deck is already stacked against you.  TV fans aren’t particularly known for being fond of change.  And chances are, the new character is being brought in to mess with their Ships, and Gal Pals, which makes it even harder for the Newbie to develop his or her own fanbase.

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I’ll be honest, I was all set to dislike Cece Drake, when her character was first introduced in the middle of the Season.  Though she was portrayed as a possible early muse for Ali, I thought for sure she’d be the straight-to-video version of a complex character I had actually grown to adore over the seasons.  However, as the season progressed, I developed a soft spot for Cece’s Fiercely-Loyal-Mean Girl-Who-Likes-to-Party-Persona.

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Of course, I don’t trust her, as far as I can throw her, but the PLL girls have all become SO serious lately, that it’s nice to throw a character into the mix, who clearly doesn’t give a rats about anything, but living in the moment, and having a good time.  Did I mention she MURDERED A SNAKE WITH A MANNEQUIN LEG?

Best Villain – Mona van der Waal

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As I mentioned earlier, I was one of the people, who were annoyed by the writer’s decision to stay loyal to the books, and make Mona “A.”  Though I thought Janel Parrish did a great job with the material she was given, during the first season, I thought her reveal as a Crazy Psychotic Loon in last season’s finale was too abrupt, and not necessarily believable.

Fast forward to season 3A, and Mona has become one of the best villains on TV.  Alternating from nearly comatose, to syrupy sweet, to oddly sympathetic, to creepily childlike, to batsh*t crazy, to EVIL!GENIUS MASTERMIND in the course of just twelve episodes, you never really knew what you were going to get, whenever Mona van der Waal appeared on screen.  But you always knew it was going to be spectacular . . .

Best clue- Mona’s secret code

Perhaps suffering from “A Fatigue,” I found it difficult to become invested in PLL during the first few episodes of Season 3A.  Basically, I just couldn’t bring myself to care all that much about which 5 or 6 suspicious-looking Rosewood residents stole Ali’s coffin, and took Drunk!Emily on a Wild Ride.  More on that later . . .

However, all that changed, during the episode “Crazy,” when Mona started speaking in her super special code.  Suddenly, I was like a Season 1 PLL fan again, re-watching scenes, stalking the message boards, and ravenously hunting through trade magazine for spoilers.  What I loved about this code, was that it never took fan’s intelligence for granted.  The PLL writers had enough faith that us fans would pick up on the hidden messages in the scene.  And we did, which made solving the mystery that much more fun . . .

Best flashback – The story of Pigskin

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If you’ve read this blog before, you might know that I was never Paige’s biggest fan.  (I belive the nickname “Little Orphan B*tchy” was used once or twice.  And while I’m still not 100% sold on the character, or her relationship with Emily, I adored the opportunity to delve deeper into her psyche this season.

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One of the best opportunities us fans had to get to know Paige better, was the flashback involving her and Ali.  Sure, it made Paige look a little crazypants, with those marks she left on Ali’s back (though, not nearly as crazy pants as she looked when she tried to DROWN EMILY), but it also explained  a heck of a lot about Paige’s treatment of Emily, and arguably disturbing behavior, during those early episodes.  I mean, how could you not sympathize with the poor girl, after Ali stole her love letter to Emily, thereby humiliating her in the worst, and most personal way possible?

Well, actually, this hair is more humiliating . . .

Oh, and she ended up NOT being Maya’s killer . . . so . . . that was nice . . .

THE BAD

Ah, yes . . . the Positivity Train has officially left the station . . . at least temporarily.  Here’s the part of the blog, where I talk about the aspects of Season 3A that I thought didn’t work, and dragged down an otherwise solid season . . .

Worst twist – Nate is Maya’s stalker / killer

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Come on now, PLL writers!  No one, for a second, believed that the super creepy, suspiciously appearing, and not the least bit interesting or likeable “Nate St. Germaine” was Maya’s real cousin, or anything, other than exactly what he turned out to be, Maya’s stalker / murderer.  So, the fact that this guy spent no less than twelve episodes, eating up screentime, with his fake Maya Memories, and his cringe-worthy attempts at “bonding with Emily,” were more frustrating than they were fascinating.  It also made Emily look like a TOTAL MORON (more on that later), for falling for his tricks . . .

Maybe if the writers (and the actor who played Nate) made the character look like a bit less of a lecher, from the get go, more of us would have actually been fooled by the guy . . .

Worst Plotlines –

PLL parents try dating 

Yeah, sorry.  Maybe this makes me sound ageist.  But I don’t watch PLL to see Ashley Marin date the Dull as Dishwater Deacon, or Byron Montgomery date that blonde twit student with whom he cheated on Ella.  And, yes, the American Pie Guy is hot and charming.  But I don’t watch PLL to see him makeout with Ella in the coffee shop either.  None of this has ANYTHING to do with Ali’s death or “A.”

Just sayin’ . . .

Emily’s “lost night”

So, let me get this straight.  Emily got roofied.  Then, she was picked up on the street by Jenna and Noel.  Then, she went to some restaurant with that dude who sort of/ kind of/ but not really dated Aria for one episode, and then pretty much disappeared forever.  Then, she went to Paige’s house, and made out with her a little bit. And THEN she went back to the cemetery, and watched the “A” team dig up a grave?

Ummm . . . am I missing something here?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of Ali’s corpse being stolen, and Emily being framed for it, shows a lot of promise.  I just wish the writers managed the mystery in a more streamlined way, rather than going for the, throw in everything but the kitchen sink approach . . .

Worst clues –

The Ugly Earring

The real mystery for me, is why ANYONE in their right mind would wear that hideous earring, and not, how it ended up being Rosewood’s answer to the Traveling Pants, winding up under couch cushions, in graves, inside of lockers, and in Paige’s purse, all in the course of a single season . . .

Those lame final sequences

Remember when PLL final sequences were AWESOME?  Like the one that showed Lucas bashing the crap out of Ali’s memorial fountain . . . . or the one where “A” killed the Rat Named Spencer . . . or the one where “A” changed the Rosewood Population sign to imply that SOMEONE WOULD DIE TONIGHT!

Yeah . . . now, we’ve got “A” drinking booze, watching Wheel a Fortune, and listening to old songs on a jukebox.  Can you say, LAZY?

Worst new characters

Nate – SEE ABOVE. 🙂

Maggie

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Hey, I love Alex Mack as much as the next girl . . .

But I do not love the freaky, wide-eyed pixie version of her that Fitzy supposedly impregnated with his spawn.  And now, from what I hear, this is Aria’s New Competition?  Jackie 2.0?  Been there, done that, read the Cliff Notes for it . . . let’s move on . . .

Most Frustrating Character Development – The Dumbing Down of Emily

Oh, Emily.  Let’s face it, you were never the sharpest tool in the shed.  And we know academics have never been your strong suit, considering you were ALMOST LEFT BACK A GRADE.  But, in the course of a single season you, failed to mind your FLASK (NEVER LEAVE YOUR BOOZE UNATTENDED, GIRLFRIEND) . . . got roofied . . . lent your diseased flask to your girlfriend, WITHOUT WASHING IT, so that she could get roofied too (Now, that’s just unsanitary.), hung out with your dead other girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, believed that your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER was her cousin, despite the fact that he DIDN’T KNOW WHERE HER PARENTS LIVED, and SEEMED TO LOOOOOVE HER, IN A WAY COUSINS SHOULD NOT LOVE ONE ANOTHER, kissed your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER, and finally, went to a cabin alone with your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER.

Maybe you just mistook your thinking cap for your swim cap this season, huh, Emily?

And, finally .  . .

THE TOBY

Ooh, talk about a shocking twist.  Coming off a season, where the Big Reveal of who “A” Was shocked almost NOBODY, Season 3A’s final moments legitimately surprised EVERYONE!  Who would have suspected that Spencer’s stalwart Rock . . . the man who supported her crazy, fell off a scaffold for her, played endless games of Scrabble with her, humped her many times in his truck, and took her virginity, would also be one of her biggest enemies?

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And that look on his face, as he donned that hoodie, and ran off into the night . . . SUPER CREEPY.

Of course, the implications of this discovery are HUGE.  WHY did Toby do it?  How long has he been doing it?  And, perhaps most importantly, did he ever really care about Spencer at all?

It’s interesting how, of all the PLL girls it was the one least likely to trust others, who let The Enemy literally get underneath her skin . . .

But I guess all is fair, in love and A . . .  Until next season, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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There will be blood . . . and DOLLS – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Crazy”

Hello, my Pretties! Things have really been heating up lately in Rosewood, where the Ouija Boards are bloody, the mom’s are “slutty,” the dolls know everyone’s secrets, and no one seems to stay dead for very long . . .

So, break into your local loony bin, screw on your trusty decoder ring, and speak loud enough for the ugly dolls with the screw top heads to hear you, because it’s time for another Really Exciting Caper About Pastries . . . otherwise known as a “recap.”  (See what I did there?)

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Deputy Douchey – Bloodhound

Remember the good ole days of PLL .  . . back when Mama Marin was just a lonely lady in need of love, and Deputy Douchey was sniffing around the house for a side of sex with his Murder Investigation?

Well, apparently, not much has changed since then.  Mama Marin is still taking innumerable “business trips” and skirting around with “silver foxes,” who love dairy products. Meanwhile, Deputy Douchey continues to skulk around the Marin front porch, hunting for “clues.”  This time around Vampire Douchey wants Hanna’s blood . . . literally. 

“Invite me in, so I can drink from your pretty neck . . . er . . . I mean have sex with your mom, and take a shower in your bathroom . . . er, I mean continue to botch  a three-seasons old murder investigation beyond repair .  . . er, I mean . . .  just let me in, blondie!”

Apparently, the Corpse Bracelet that freed Police Boy Garrett for a life of soap-on-a-rope, communal toilets, and avoiding men named Bubba, contained SOMEONE’S O-type blood . . . And we all know who has O negative type blood?  Approximately seven percent of the world’s population?  Hanna Marin.  So, she must be Ali’s killer, right?

Yeah, I didn’t think so either.  But then again, I never attended the Rosewood Academy for Lame Ass Cops Who Always Bark Up the Wrong Tree.  I do have a theory about who’s blood is on that bracelet though.  I could tell you about it, but I’d rather show you, first ..  .

A few weeks back, many of us wondered why Mona randomly decided to steal  Hanna’s tweezers, and use them to prick her own finger.

That’s true, Spencer.  But after the folks over at ABC Family decided to rehash that ick-worthy scene in their “previously on” recap, this week, I’m thinking Mona’s penchant for self-mutilation, might be a bit more purposeful.    In fact, I’m willing to bet . . . um . . . no amount of money at all my honor as a recapper that Miss Mona also has the sort-of-rare O-negative blood type.

These two did used to share everything, after all!

Now, of course, most of us know, by now, that Mona didn’t actually kill Ali.  But still it’s a little strange that a known psychopath like that wasn’t the first on Deputy Douchey’s suspect list, once Police Boy Garrett was unshackled.  I guess it’s just more fun for Deputy Douchey to hang out around the Marin house than inside the Nut House, where the girls aren’t as pretty, and the bathroom towels aren’t as soft . . .

Anyway, Hanna is understandably freaked out by the whole Bloody Bracelet thing.  After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the A Team has tampered with evidence to make one of the PLL’s look guilty of murder.  In fact, Hanna is SO upset about the possibility of a Prison Prom, that she does the unthinkable . . . and goes to CLASS EARLY . . .

Oh, the horror!

If it looks like an Ali, and talks like an Ali, it must be . .  . a Cece?

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While Hanna is sitting in homeroom, undoubtedly contemplating how to convert an orange prison jumpsuit, into a stylish summer party dress, the rest of the PLL’s are getting some morning java over at what has suddenly become The Only Coffee Shop in Rosewood.  (What, no Starbucks?) Upon arriving the girls hear a very familiar voice spout off a very familiar quote . . .

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When the threesome confront this very Ali-like species, she claims to be all BFF with the dead chick, having spent an “intense” summer with her, back in Cape May. During that summer, Cece dated Ali’s brother (Facelift Vampire Jason) and, apparently, did little else but talk to Ali about the PLL girls, considering the seemingly encyclopedic- knowledge she has about the foursome . . .

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Seriously, girlfriend knows everything from Hanna’s issues with shoplifting, to Emily’s sexual orientation, to how Emily likes her coffee.  Heck, I bet she even knows Hanna’s blood type.  Everyone knows Hanna’s bloodtype.  It must be published in the Rosewood Blood Type Gazette. It’s almost as if Cece is actually an older Ali from an alternate universe, in which Ali didn’t die, who has traveled back in time to prevent her own death in this timeline, only she ended up getting here about a year too late . . .

Yeah, yeah . . . I know!  It’s totally not that type of show.  But you have to admit, it would be pretty cool, if it was . . .

Many fans of the show immediately assumed that the mysterious Cece is part of the A-team, some fans even going as far as to pinpoint her as the Blonde Wearing the Weird Sunshine Mask in last season’s finale . . .

I don’t know.  Right now, I’m leaning more toward Cece being Ali’s muse, someone she admired, and eventually became, at least in terms of her personality and mannerisms.   The way I see it, “Cece Drake” was just another alter ego Ali embodied, while in Rosewood, just like Vivian Darkbloom was her alter ego outside of Rosewood . . .

You see, despite the foursome considering Ali their “friend,” I don’t think they ever REALLY knew her at all  (They don’t even know she has a crazy psycho twin sister.).  Ali only let them see what she wanted them to see . . .a pretty, popular, manipulative girl, who always had an answer for anything.  When deep down, I’m guessing she was someone much more troubled, complex, and “intense.”

Speaking of intense . . .

Cece Drake – Murderess of Unicorns, Torturer of The Blind . . .

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You may not have killed it Cece, but you sure did get it drunk, and steal its virginity . . .

Over at the dress shop where Cece works, Maya’s stalker / murderer “cousin” Nate has commandeered the lethally naive Emily to help her get a “nice” first-date gift for Not-Blind-Anymore Jenna.  Who the heck buys first date gifts, anyway . . . especially in high school?  Where I come from, if your new high school boyfriend lets you share a few of his Dollar Menu McDonald’s fries, before feeling you up in the backseat of his parent’s car, he’s considered a “good guy.”

Truth be told, if an 18-year old buys you a scarf for your first date, like the one Nate ended up buying Jenna, there’s a pretty good chance he’s either (a) gay as a rainbow float in a pride parade; or (b) planning to use it to strangle you, and string you up on the ceiling, after he’s chopped off all your limbs, and glued them together to make a coat rack . . .

Don’t even get me started on how Nate “magically” remembered the earrings Emily bought Maya mere days before her death, because he used them them to cut out her eyeballs “saw them in a photograph.”  Seriously?  This guy is like American Psycho for Dummies.

Unfortunately, Emily is not exactly the sharpest tool in the Pretty Little Liars tool chest, and realizes precisely none of this.

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(Understandable . . . but you should be well acquainted, by now, with what “psycho” feels like.)

Emily does, however, notice Cece totally giving her some serious f*&k me eyes, as the latter pulls her aside, and asks her why she hates the idea of Nate dating Jenna so much, when she and he clearly don’t bat for the same teams . . .

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We all know Emily was seriously crushing on Ali, back in the day.  So, it’s absolutely no surprise that she’d be more than a bit intrigued by the 1.o version. Anywhoo, Cece suggests that Emily be honest with Nate about what an evil wench Not Blind Jenna is.  Emily actually takes that advice.  But it totally backfires, when Nate finds the fact that Not Blind Jenna recently dated a suspected serial killer to be “charming” and “endearing,” as opposed to “suspicious” and “creepy.”  He would, wouldn’t he?

When Emily reveals this “bad news” to Cece, during one of their late night tete-a-tetes (Hopefully, the first of many.  Girlfriend is TOTALLY hilarious, in a Regina George from Mean Girls kind of way.) . . .

 . . . Cece takes matters into her own hands by calling the recently-blind girl on the phone and threatening to scratch her eyes out, if she doesn’t stay away from the “sweet, mild-mannered” Nate . . .

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If that line was delivered to any other blind girl, that would be totally offensive.  But because it was Jenna I actually think it was kind of awesome.  Plus, it was SUCH an Ali Thing to do.  Emily seems to be a mixture of impressed by Cece’s moxie, and frightened by her seeming complete lack of morals  / empathy, and tells her as much.  But then Cece gives her a flirty nickname, and all is right between them again . . .

Sorry Paige.  I think you’ve just been replaced . . . again.

History repeating?

Now that that’s done, let’s get that “Adult Storyline” out of the way, shall we?

Mama Montgomery is dating the guy from American Pie . . . and HE GAVE HER PASTRIES!

This week, after debating on whether to accept dating and fashion advice from her daughter, who never leaves home without a deadly weapon in her earlobe . . .

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(No wonder they made her take her earrings off in the insane asylum!)

 .  . . Mama Montgomery heads out for a “hot date” with the same dull pastor dude, who Mama Marin was flirting with last week.

Eating ice cream in the park?  That’s not a hot date.  That’s a five-year old’s birthday party . . .

Fortunately, that ends early.  So, she winds making a late night of it, with that dude who played little Stifler, in the straight-to-video versions of American Pie . . .

You go, ELLA!  Except . . . well . . . I wouldn’t eat those pastries, if I were you.  (You don’t know where they’ve been .  . .)

In other news . . .

Spencer Hastings – Honors Student, Loyal Friend, Evil Genius?

I’m sure I’m not the only one, who finds it weird, that Spencer seems to have more fun cyberstalking Cece Drake, and creating a creepy database on Dead Ali than humping Abs Toby, like a “normal” teenage girl would . . .

Then again, I guess she’s kind of preoccupied with rescuing her super hot half-brother from drunken hit-and-runs, and lying about it to the cops . . .

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I hate to say this, but these two have awesome chemistry, and not necessarily in a “healthy sibling” way, either.

Better amp up your game, Tobster, or you’re going to lose this one . . .

Now, that’s more like it!

Last but certainly not least . . .

It’s those damn dolls again . . .

Off with her head!

Poor Hanna.  It seems like Deputy Douchey, isn’t the PRICK she has to deal with this week . . .

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Apparently, someone needs to do a better job sanding their Ouiji Board.  (Ouch!)  Also, the Marin’s should seriously invest in a home security system.  I mean this place has more unwanted guests than a subway station in a bad neighborhood, after 2 a.m.

So, yeah, this happened.  And not only does it mean that the A Team is LITERALLY out for Hanna’s blood, it also means they (1) can STILL break into Hanna’s house (which they seem to do, at least once a week anyway); (2) know that Hanna put the Ouiji board marker thinky in Ali’s coffin, after she and Mona had a “sighting” of the blonde teen, shortly after playing the popular occult game.

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A very freaked out Hanna decides to sneak into the nut house to visit Mona, and ask her about the whole Ouiji board thing.  The only problem is that Hanna is now Persona Non Grata at the place, after THIS happened . . .

That’s where Aria comes in . . .

Now, Aria and Mona have never exactly been close.  So, you can understand why the initial meeting between them is a bit . . . tense . . .

But psycho or not, on some level Mona DOES seem to have some fondness for Hanna (even if it’s fondness of the “If I can’t have her, no one can” vein).   And when Hanna sneaks into the hospital later, Mona is decidedly more cooperative. First, she reminds Hanna of a little code the two of them made up together, on that fateful day, when Ali’s dad freaked out on poor Hanna for giving the Dilaurentis’ false hope about their daughter being alive .  . .

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I imagine, when former Mean Girl Hanna first heard about this code, she assumed it would be a fun way to bully those less popular than herself.  But, as it turns out, Mona has bigger plans for her Slut Code.  We find this out when she rushes off to a freaky children’s ward in the sanitarium . . . I imagine this is where they put all the creepy kids from horror movies, like that chick from The Ring . . . and that kid from The Sixth Sense . . . and the Children of the Corn (once they get out of “the corn” that is) . . .

Anywhoo, Janel Parrish, who plays Mona is positively brilliant in this impressively complex scene, in which she embodies the dual role of a psychotic murmuring nonsensical nursery rhymes, while compulsively brushing a dolls hair, and a genius mastermind, who is seemingly performing A’s bidding, while, at the same time, secretly cluing in an old friend to some Very Important Information . . .

Upon arriving home from the Nut House, Hanna and the rest of the girls put together the code Maya provided for them.  As it turns out, Mona’s “Where were we . . .” statement, apparently provides the address for a website with Maya’s photograph on it.  http://www.masssugar.com.  And though the girls still hadn’t cracked it’s password, by the end of the episode, many fans have suggested that Mona’s final statement prior to leaving the children’s ward: “Please wait, I miss my dolls,” states the answer to that riddle plainly:

PW: IMMD

As for the ward being “not safe” . . . well, we now know, based on the last scene of the episode,that the dolls in the children’s ward were bugged with recorders. And Mona likely led Aria and Hanna there, under the Malevolent A Team’s instructions to catch them making incriminating statements that could be used to pin Ali’s murder on them.

But what about “Maya Knew?”  What exactly did she know, and could that information possibly have gotten her killed?

I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out . . .

Until then, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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I’m not crying . . . It’s just raining on my face. – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Blonde Leading the Blind”

Greetings, my Pretties!  Oh, rainy days!  They can be good for so many things . . . like staring longingly out the window . . . or staring longingly out the window AND CRYING . . . or stopping traffic with a soggy, impromptu, supposedly secret, makeout session.

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Rain can make our secret emotions bubble up to the surface.  It can also give us REALLY bad hair . . .

Remember Paige?  Nobody else does . . .

This week’s rainy day installment of Pretty Little Liars was filled with shocking reveals, terrifying twists, lies, betrayals, makeups, breakups, and a whole lot of very wet faces . . .

But, sadly, no shower scenes . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Reasons why you should invest in a good lock for your bedroom door . . .

“Well, hello there!  My name is Ian.  I’m your friendly neighborhood pedophile!  Don’t mind me.   I’m just here to install a nifty little video camera in your room, so I can watch you get naked, while in the comfort of my own home.”

When we last left our liars, Hanna was grudgingly allowing her Super Hacker and Formerly Homeless Boyfriend to extract the video files from A’s cell phone.  This week, the girls meet up to examine the fruits of his labor.  What they end up finding is quite fruity (fruitful?)

HANNA: “Ick, Ian is so gross.  Why do I feel the sudden need to take a shower?”

SPENCER: *rolls eyes* “Gee, I wonder!”

The video begins with that little episode of Ian / Ali snuff porn we’ve all seen about eighty times before by now.  “I know you wanna kiss me,” coos Ali humiliatingly to the camera.

Poor girl!  Popular and feared as Ali may have been, her lasting legacy ended up being nothing more than a poorly shot sex tape, and some awkward attempts at pillow talk.  Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian can relate . . .

The video then rough cuts to later that night.  Now, Creepy Pedo Ian is installing this same camera in Ali’s bedroom, when in walk . . . wait for it . . . Police Boy Garrett and Blind Jenna.  Now, there’s a party I wouldn’t want to attend.

Police Boy Garrett: “You promised there’d be hot chicks at this party!  WTF man?”

Blind Jenna: *clears throat loudly*

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Unfortunately for Spencer, the self-proclaimed “NAT Club” doesn’t dance.  What it does do, is bicker with one another, and search aimlessly for a bunch of videotapes that Ali has apparently stole from the membership.  As for the club’s fourth member, Facelift Vampire Jason, apparently, he’s passed out drunk somewhere . . . drunk ON HUMAN BLOOD . . .

“MWAH-HAHAHA!”

Apparently, NAT club stands for “Never Accomplish Things,” because the threesome (minus one vampire) never find what they are seeking.  They do find Ali’s Magical Mystery Box of SECRETS, however . . . and seem shocked by it’s contents . . .

“So, THAT’S where she’s been hiding our souls . . .”

Of course, we don’t get to see what’s inside the box, because that’s just not how they roll on this show . . .

Then, Police Boy finds out he’s on Candid Creeper Camera, and gets SUPER PISSED at Pedo Ian, for setting him and his lady love up, like that.  I guess Ian was looking for some leverage . . . or perhaps, some company in the showers at the Rosewood Correctional Facility.  Either way, as we know, things didn’t end well for him . . .

. . .  or for Ali, who, we now know, was murdered that same night . . .

“Spencer can’t come to the phone right now . . .”

So, remember two weeks ago, when, in a horny weak moment, Spencer slid into Abs Toby’s Truck of Loooooove, and gave him a tongue bath?

Well, apparently “A” does too.   Because she got an EXTREME CLOSEUP shot of it on camera.  That made “A” angry.  And you wouldn’t like “A” when she’s angry . . .

“Hey Spence .  . . I know you’re freaked out about ‘A’ possibly murdering your boyfriend, and all.   But do you think you could teach me how to kill like that?  I’m testing out some new moves to use on Maya, the next time we go out bar hopping using her completely unnecessary fake ID . . .”

Wouldn’t you know it, not two seconds after Spencer receives that text threatening her boyfriend’s life, who should pull into her driveway, but the Tobster, himself . . .

“This truck is a real chick magnet.”

Abs Toby calls Spencer from his LOOOOOOVE Truck.  This causes Spencer to make the Spencer Face . . .

She then tosses her phone in Emily’s direction, begging her bestie to protect her from the evil sexual urges that are telling her to rush right into that truck and ravage her honey bunny.  Unfortunately for Spencer, Emily’s always been, by far, the worst liar of all the Pretty Little Liars.  Case in point, her words to Abs Toby: “Spencer can’t come to the phone right now,” she says, in robotic answering machine tones . . .

“What?  Why are you looking at me, like that?  Would you rather I have told him we were busy practicing our kissing moves?”

In what’s starting to sound a bit broken record-esque, Abs Toby, once again, begs Emily to tell him what the F is going on with his wackadoo girlfriend, who’s humping him in the car, one minute, and avoiding him like rotten cheese, in the next . . .

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“Pretty please, can I see her?  I’ve recently showered and everything!”

Of course, Emily has no answers that’s she allowed to give him.  So, eventually Toby dejectedly returns to his criminally-under-used-of-late Loooooove Truck, and drives away, sporting a very bad case of these . . .

Everybody Loves a Beard . . .

“Me?  Gay?  Not with this Fozzie Bear hair . . .”

Back at school, the Pretty Little Liars are all complaining about how hard it is to keep their loved ones at bay, in order to protect them from “A”. (Hey!  That rhymed!)  Well, except for Aria, who’s complaining about how Fitzypoo won’t come close enough to Aria to require her protection.  But when Aria gets a little head nod from the curly-haired dude two lunch tables down, the conversation quickly shifts to something on which PLL fans have been speculating ever since the self-proclaimed “Male Little Liar” Holden came to Rosewood a few weeks back . . .

HANNA: *pouts* “Oh!  Aria is so lucky.  I’ve always wanted a gay best friend.”

EMILY: *clears throat loudly*

The PLL girls immediately suspect Holden of being gay, based simply on the fact that he never hit on Aria.  You know, because, apparently, everything with a weiner should want to to stick it in Aria . . .

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To prove her beard is straight, Aria saunters over to Holden and confirms their fake date, for the evening.  Both little liars are strangely evasive about their REAL plans.  But then Aria catches Holden checking out someone who DEFINITELY doesn’t have a weiner, and begins to wonder whether her friends might be jumping the “gay gun” after all . . .

“Well, hello there, little lady.  Ever wonder what it’s like to date a guy who strongly resembles a muppet?”

Be Afraid, Caleb .  . . Be VERY Afraid . . .

“Sure!  I think hacking into a stolen cell phone in public, while sitting two feet away from a cop is a great idea!”

Have you ever had a dream about somebody, and then, when you saw that person the next day, you found yourself irrationally wondering whether that person could tell you had dreamed about them, just by looking at you?  Well, that must be exactly how Caleb feels, when he watches stolen video footage of Police Boy Garrett beating the crap out of Creepy Pedo Ian in Dead Ali’s bedroom, only to find Police Boy Garrett himself, sitting just inches away . . .

“Ahhh, yes.  The camera loves me.  Hey, did I ever tell you about that time I was in the Lizzie McGuire movie?”

Caleb bolts pretty quickly, as soon as lays eyes on the subject of his stolen video . . . so quickly, in fact, that he leaves his keys on the table at the outdoor cafe where he’s working.  Of course, you can count on Police Boy Garrett to inform Caleb of his forgetfulness, in a way that sounds suspiciously like a threat.  Did he know what Caleb was doing?  Probably  . . . it’s not like the idiot tried to hide it at all.  After all, the NAT club KNOWS everything . . . except, perhaps, for where to find it’s own videos . . .

It’s Halloween All Over Again . . .

  . . . maybe that’s why Hanna is dressed up like Pebbles Flintstone . . .

As tends to be the case on this show, the one person who DOESN’T want to play A’s games anymore, ends up being the one to find the next clue.  This time, that person is Hanna.  The blonde is in the process of lecturing the girls to turn Caleb’s STOLEN video contents over to the police (And how exactly are they planning on explaining THAT?  Not to mention the fact that Police Boy Garrett will obviously get to it first), when she “accidentally, opens the head of that ugly doll in which Ali used to hide her own torturous letters from “A,” back in the day.  (There I go, rhyming again . . .)

DOLL: “So THAT’S why my neck’s been killing me lately!”

Most of the letters the girls find were the same ones we saw Ali receive, during the Halloween Special.  And yet, there is another message — signed by “A” herself — that Ali received on that same night, which we never got to see . . . until now . . .

(Side note:  Since most PLL fans generally assumed that the “A” in the letters the girls have been receiving since Season 1 was supposed to stand for Alison, herself, it’s odd that ALISON also got letters from an “A” before she died.  And yet, those fans who believe the Twin Theory of Ali’s murder will find a lot of support for that theory, in this particular clue . . .)

We move into flashback mode, where we are taken back to that faithful Halloween night.  Ali and the girls arrive on her front porch, after Noel Kahn’s “eventful” Halloween party to find a not-so-pleasant surprise . . .

“Someone trashed your porch,” says Captain Obvious Hanna, despite the fact that she’s BEHIND Ali, so Ali clearly saw it first.

Sure enough, there are smashed pumpkins all over Ali’s porch.  One of those pumpkins still has a knife in it’s head, which is attached to a letter hastily scrawled on the back of one of Noel Kahn’s party invitations . . .

“Hey, can you tell me if I have something in my eye?”

The note, which is a thinly-veiled threat to Ali’s pretty little head, ends up being eerily prophetic, especially considering that Ali ended up having her head bashed in by a long metal object . . .  In classic Ali style, she laughs it off, claiming the display is nothing more than a sick joke left by Facelift Vampire Jason’s beer buddies.  And yet, the letter seems to have spooked her enough to insist on the girls spending the night with her at her house.  She clearly doesn’t want to be alone at a time like this.  And, under the circumstances, who could blame her?

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Back in real-time, Spencer unfolds the undoubtedly disturbing letter, and confirms it’s sender.  “A was after Ali, before she was after us,” remarks Little Miss Super Sleuth . . .

Plot?  I hereby pronounce you thickened . . .

The Hypnotic Eyebrows of EEEEEVVVIIILLL . . .

“You are getting very sleepy.  When I snap my fingers, you will wax those hungry caterpillars off your face . . .”

At school, Mona (who’s devastation over her tragic breakup with Bushy Eyebrows Noel has clearly caused her to rip her poor pink shirt to shreds, in an act of mourning) is still giving Hanna the silent treatment, for disobeying the “Hoes before Bros Code,” and not supporting her, during this traumatic time.  In an attempt at closure, Mona skips up to Noel, to very publicly return the necklace he gave her.  But the Bushy Eyebrows win out in the end.  And Noel ends up merely smirking malevolently, as he carelessly tosses the returned necklace in the trash, thereby further exacerbating Mona’s obvious humiliation . . .

Hey Mona . . . a piece of advice: Get back at Bushy Eyebrows, by dating his friend over there.  I mean, that guy is HAWWWWT.  And I bet HE even owns a pair of tweezers .  . .

Hanna rushes to the ladies room to comfort her crying friend.  “He’s a bad guy,” says Hanna, matter-of-factly.  (Ain’t that the understatement of the century?)

“Here, Mona . . . let me lend you my jacket.  I don’t know if you realize this, but there’s a hole in your shirt that is suspiciously close to the nipple area . . .”

“I’ve never met anyone who could lie like that,” sniffles Mona, as mascara runs down her cheeks, raccoon style.  “It’s his eyes . . . I would look in them, and it was like I was hypnotized.”

She’s right . . . those . . . eyebrows . . . so  . . . hairy . . . can’t  . . . look . . . away . . .

(Side note:  I actually think this reference to Noel’s eyes was meant to be an “A” reference.  Since, many times, “A” has been referred to as having “pretty eyes.”  But since I’m almost positive that “A” is a girl, this so-called “clue” kind of fell flat, for me.)

Hanna promises Mona to take her out to dinner for a Bushy Eyebrows Free evening, to which Mona readily agrees.  Once the two leave, we learn that SOMEONE has been listening in on their conversation.  Golly gee, I wonder who that could be?

Surprise!  It’s Blind Jenna . . . who, I guess, didn’t have her eye surgery last week, after all.   (Either that, or she just really likes wearing sunglasses indoors.)  By the way, does anyone else find that Blind Jenna spends an inordinate time lurking in bathrooms?  Maybe she has irritable bowel  syndrome?  That said, Blind Jenna’s listening in on THIS particular conversation, actually has significance later on in the episode . . .

Meet me at the Big Ole Clock . . .

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I wonder if Fitzy is in Aria’s “in” calling network . . . or any of the other little liars’ networks, for that matter.  Because Aria sure does leave him a lot of unanswered voice mails!  You’ve really got to hand it to Aria, though.   She sure is persistent.  We see her here, instructing Fitzy to meet her at 8 p.m. by a big ole clock, to prove to her that the two of them should continue to secretly bone one another.

Over at Hollis a decidedly dejected looking Fitzy stares at his phone for a few loooong seconds, before returning to his work . . .

Forbidden love?  There’s an app for that . . .

Look!  He’s flying . . . or not . . .

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Last week’s episode ended with “A” loosening some hinges on scaffolding in front of Spencer’s house, where Toby used to work as a construction worker.  This week, we get to find out why she did that (assuming, of course, that we never watched the promos, which explain exactly why).  Spencer finds out at school about Toby’s accident, and is understandably devastated .  . . not to mention, she feels partially to blame . . .

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“Oh no!  I hope he didn’t hurt his beautiful abs!”

Spencer and her Spencer face rush to the hospital to find Toby looking surprisingly clean and unblemished (save for an arm cast, considering the major kersplat he made, when he hit the ground . . .

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“Care for some pity sex, considering I nearly DIED for you?”

Oh, I bet you can’t guess who Abs’ Toby’s has for a physician.  I’ll give you hint, he’s GORGEOUS, TASTY, WITTY, has a SUPER SEXY accent, is clearly my future husband, and very well might be the ONLY doctor in Rosewood . . .  Give up?

It’s WRENNNNNNN!  HOOOOOOORAAYY!

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*sighs elatedly. . . takes deep breath*

OK . . . I’m better now.  So, apparently, Wren has not given up on the prospect of a Wrencer courtship.  (This is news, right?)  In a “mark my territory” move that is nearly as effective as peeing on Spencer’s leg, Wren not-so-subtly admits to Abs Toby that he would have married Spencer’s sister if something *cough Spencer’s lips cough* didn’t get in the way.

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(I love how Spencer’s facial expression here is a complete mixture of, “Please stop, you are getting me into trouble,” and “*sings*You REALLY likkkkke me .. . you think I’m sexxxxxxy . . . you want to DATTEEEEE me.”)

The scorching chemistry between these two is not at all lost on Abs Toby, who inquires pointedly, whether there is something Spencer “wants” to tell him.  Cue the text from “A” . . .

 . . . annnnd . .  . Spencer’s speedy departure.  (Bye Wren . . . for now!  We’ll see you soon!  I miss you already!)

That not-so-fresh feeling . . .

One of the really nice things about Spencer dating Toby, and Jenna dating Police Boy Garrett is that we no longer had to witness the vomit-inducing creepiness, of Blind Jenna repeatedly trying to rape her OWN BROTHER . . .

Well, unfortunately, with both couples currently on the outs, it’s . . .

Honestly, I still don’t quite understand the squirm-inducing dynamic of the Toby/Jenna “relationship.”  Take, for example, the speech she makes to him at the hospital.  It is equal parts threatening (“I told you not to go to her house.”  “We’re family whether you like it or not.”) . . . jealous (“She’s haunted.”  “I’m the only one who belongs here.”) . . . and nauseatingly flirtatious (The whole time Jenna is talking to Toby, she’s amorously massaging his leg . . .)

Oh, and to further confuse matters, did I mention that Blind Jenna might have another boyfriend, already?  Or that’s it’s Bushy Eyebrows NOEL?

(Hey, at least we know Noel’s Hypnotic Face Caterpillars can’t hypnotize HER!)

That’s right, when Hanna and Mona head to the restaurant for a Noel-free night on the town, they spot this surprisingly cozy (and yet AWFUL) couple canoodling in the window.   And yet, considering we already know that Blind Jenna overheard the girls’ plans.  They might just be seeing exactly what that biatch wants them to see . . .

But Blind Jenna is not done wreaking havoc all over this episode.  She also has to go and threaten poor Emily at the hospital, and accuse her of WANTING Toby . . . you know . . . in the biblical sense.  HELLO!  Emily’s GAY!  Read the memo, Blind Jenna.  And here I thought you knew everything . . .

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And who’s fault is that, exactly, Blind Jenna?

Meanwhile, in Halebland . . .

Anyone care for an NAT Club Smoothie?

You know that move “The Ring,” where everyone who watches that video with the weird girl popping out of the well dies in SEVEN DAYS?

CALEB: “You know, everyone’s always telling me I look like the male lead in that movie!”

HANNA:  “Oh, you mean the one who ENDED UP DEAD?”

CALEB: “Well . . . yeah . . . but everyone ended up dead, pretty much, except for the lady and her kid, so . . .”

HANNA: “Not helping, Caleb!”

Well, I’m starting to think that’s the case with this USB drive featuring evidence surrounding Ali’s murder.  Hanna, apparently, thinks so too.  Because the minute she learns that Police Boy Garrett might be stalking her boy toy, Hanna lays waste to the USB drive, killing her blender, right along with it . . .

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“You are out of the phone tech business, as of now!”  Hanna warns her boyfriend, in that stern voice typically only used by mommies, and high school principals.

Yeah . . . I don’t know about that, Hanna.  Old habits die hard . . . and some secrets are just too juicy to leave alone . . .

Speaking of alone . . .

Spoby in Crisis . . . AGAIN.

“Awww . . . he looks so cute in there, all doped up on pain killers.  It makes me want to just rush in their, and peek at his abs, one last time.”

Insistent on believing that Abs Toby will never be safe from “A,” as long as the two of them are dating, Spencer asks Emily to do the unthinkable: Dear John Toby for her.  And she does it in the most painful way possible too . .  . by alluding to Spencer’s very real, but not entirely present tense, involvement with another man . . . THIS GUY . . .

As heart-wrenching as it was, this was actually one of my favorite scenes in the episode, simply because of how well-acted it was.  As Emily, Shay Mitchell displayed just the right amount of discomfort, inner turmoil, guilt, and sympathy, over doing something she may or may not agree is the right course of action.  Yet, she knows her friend’s intentions are pure  . . . and wants to honor her wishes . . .

As for Keegan Allen, he portrays Toby in this scene with just the right mixture of hurt, anger, denial, disbelief, and, finally, a grudging, and bewildered acceptance.  Toby asks Emily who the man is with which Spencer is involved.  But deep down, we suspect he already fears he knows the answer . . .

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Poor Wren.  He has no idea what he’s walking into the next morning, when he comes to sign Toby out of the hospital, and is threatened with a beating.  Then again, maybe he does . . .

Cue the maudlin music, the torrential nighttime downpour, and of course, the barrage of rainy faces . . .

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It must have been all that angst, heartache, and RAINNNN that got to me.  Because, when I learned that Toby gave Spencer back the Truck of Loooooooooove, and skipped town (by bus?), leaving only a tersely-worded letter behind, I actually got a little teary . . .

TV Recappers have feelings too, you know . . .

But, in lighter news . . .

How Yoda the College Student Saved Ezria . . .

“A good deed . . . I did do.  But laid . . . I sadly did not get.”

Off our stalwart Aria heads to Philadelphia with Beard Holden on a Date with Destiny . . .

And while the two liars don’t really have enough time to share each other’s Deep Dark Secrets, at least they get that pesky “gay rumor” out of the way.  . .

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OK . . . so, I guess Holden’s not gay.  (He sure could have fooled me.)  He’s doesn’t live in a library (like Caleb).  And he probably never screwed his sister (like Toby), or became addicted to online gambling (like Lucas).  So, what secrets does that leave, exactly? 😉

Sans-beard, Aria traipses off to the Big Ole Clock . . . where she waits . . .

 . . . and waits . . .

“Dammit . . . all this rain is making me have to pee .  . .”

Meanwhile, Fitzy is still in his office, fighting with Yoda student on why the former gave the latter a “B” on his short story . . .

In case you were wondering, the “B” stands for, “B*tch please!  A man’s going to leave his rehearsal dinner to chase after a total stranger?  That’s horse poopy!”

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As Fitzy talks, he begins to realize that he may have adversely graded Yoda student’s paper, due to his having his period being so utterly bereft without his Aria.  And so, being the good little English teacher we know him to be aside from the whole “dating a student” thing, Fitzy kindly agrees to review Yoda student’s story again, when he isn’t in such a fowl mood.  Of course, Yoda student is elated.  So, elated, in fact, that he decides to offer some parting advice to his favorite troubled teacher . . .

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And so, the student has become the teacher.  Inspired by those brilliant words, Fitzy pops into his car, and battles a rain storm, so that he and Aria can stop traffic, engage in one of their trademark slo-mo makeout sessions, carelessly risk getting caught by Aria’s mother, by practically forking in public, and of course, decide to give their relationship another go . . .

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Somewhere north of the Death Star, Yoda Student is doing a little dance of joy . . .

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Got a Secret Can You Keep It . . . From Hanna?

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In what was, perhaps, the most shocking twist of the episode (for me, anyway), Caleb confronts Spencer and Emily to rat out Hanna for the little Information Disappearing Act She Performed with the Blender . . .  Needless to say, Emily and Spencer are LESS than amused . . .

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But then Caleb shocks them even further, by telling them that (1) he kept a copy of the information; and (2) he wants the rest of the PLL’s to keep all of this a secret from Hanna . . . wait for it . . .  to PROTECT HER . . .

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It’s a romantic statement, one that’s clearly filled with good intentions.   And this is undoubtedly why the girls ultimately decide to let Caleb (at least part way) in on their “A” games, and to keep his involvement a secret from Hanna.  Of course, something tells me that Hanna won’t see it that way . . .

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The episode ends with “A” cutting up and burning black-and-white photographs of each of our four main Pretty Little Couples necking . . . you know, because burning stuff is fun . . .

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This reminds me, remember, back in Season 1, when “A” bought those rats that she named “Aria, Emily, Spencer, and Hanna,” and proceeded to MURDER THEM . . .

Yeah, girlfriend REALLY needs to get herself a hobby, STAT!  And that was “The Blonde Leading the Blind” in a nutshell.  Next week on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna gets REVENGE . . . maybe . . . She might just end up crying and pouting, a lot . . .

See you then, my Pretties . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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“Lucas Gottesman Sleeps with the Fishes” (well . . . “Fish” . . . to be grammatically correct) – A Recap of Pretty Little Liar’s “Let the Water Hold Me Down”

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Hey, check it out.  Lucas actually has some decent abs, under those too-tight pants, and Hanes Beefy Tees . . . Who knew?

Oh Lucas . . . dear, sweet, dorky, Lucas.  I have a little life advice for you.  The next time you find yourself wrapped up in an illegal online gambling scheme that you don’t want your friends to know about, try not acting like a psycho serial killer, mmmm-kay?

That’s right, my Pretties.  In a twist that surprised positively NO ONE, Lucas revealed himself to be (1) alive, and (2) an addicted gambler.  What was surprising (for me, anyway) was that Lucas didn’t actually act totally bizarre and freak out Hanna, because he was working for A, and felt guilty about it.  He freaked her out, and acted totally bizarre, because he just so happens to be a freaky kind of guy, sometimes . . .

Of course, Lucas wasn’t the only one shown to be hiding skeletons in his closet this week (or, should I say, worms in his Chinese food).   Quite a few other characters on the show were “outed” this week, for various secrets they’ve been keeping.  Also, this week, after a way too long hiatus, A’s snarky text messages are back, Baby!  Hooray!

So, chug down some lake water, and slip into your favorite cashmere sweater set, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

For that Deep Down Body Thirst . . .

When the episode begins, a very soggy Hanna is sitting by the fire, all comfy cozy . . . or . . . at least, she would be comfy, cozy, if she wasn’t terribly frightened about having possibly murdered Rosewood’s Most Adorkable Nerd, in self defense.

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(Just hope there aren’t any mathletes on the jury, Hanna . . .).  Hanna’s pals try to comfort her, by telling her that the police are dredging the lake for bodies, as they speak.  Riiight . . . because that’s what all possible murder suspects like to hear, after a long hard night of beating their homicidal-seeming friend with an oar, until he almost drowns . . .

Aria remarks that she doesn’t consider Lucas a violent guy.  This prompts Hanna to remind her that she’s been so busy sucking face with Fitzy, that she missed the PLL episode where Lucas beat the crap out of Ali’s Ugly Ass Fountain Memorial.  (Remember that, my Pretties?)

Also, apparently, Lucas knows how to swim . . . which is weird, considering he’s allergic to chlorine.

Where did he learn to doggie paddle? In his bathtub?

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Thinking about Lucas’ “fishy” behavior makes Hanna thirsty.  Fortunately, someone has put a thermos of liquor in her pocketbook.   Wait, did I say liquor?  I meant LAKE WATER  . . .

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That’s right.  “A” strikes against poor Hanna with a vengeance, and, of course, a snarky text message to match: “No fun chugging lake water is it?  Choke on this, b*tch!”

Oooh!  Now, that’s what I call a burn, which is probably what Hanna’s going to feel in her stomach, when that lake water comes back up for another cameo appearance.

In other Creepy A news, she’s apparently been stocking up on prepaid cell phones, and hiding them in Spencer’s nana’s attic, while Caleb and Hanna were boning on Spencer’s nana’s couch.

This humps for you, Nana! 

Among the cell phones, creepy dolls, and used condom wrappers, Spencer finds something else in her nana’s attic: a receipt . . . from Smitty’s .  . . in Philly.

I smell a Road Trip!

Still “Holden” onto Fitzy . . .

They say the best way to get over an ex, is to get under someone else.  And that’s probably true, unless you’re Aria.  If you’re Aria, the best way to get over an ex, is to get under that ex again, while telling your parents your under that nerdy childhood friend they seem to like so much.  And this is how Aria comes to accept a date request from that curly-haired muppet Holden .  . .

I see the resemblance, don’t you?

It’s also how she comes to bring him to that exact same lame play she was supposed to attend with Professor Sweater Vest, before Papa Hypocrite and Mama moody got in the way . . .

“Oh No . . .el!”

Who cares that Hanna’s “romantic row” across the lake wound up morphing into the last scene of a bad Lifetime Movie.  Mona is upset, dammit!  She’s just been dumped by her Bushy Eyebrows Boyfriend . . . and less than twenty-four hours after she showed him her “lovely lady lumps,” no less.

Mona + Noel  = Mole?  This relationship was doomed from the start . . . WORST SHIP NAME EVER!

Now, that’s gotta really mess with a girl’s self esteem!  But like I said, Hanna’s got her own problems.  Not only might she have just turned Lucas into Rosewood’s own version of Swamp Thing, she’s also about to LOSE HER Homecoming Crown, because she’s a SUSPECTED Ali Killer . . . Oh the horror!

(I don’t know . . . if I were Hanna, I’d be more concerned about the fact that there was once a MASSIVE CLOSEUP SHOT OF MY FACE in the display case at school.   I mean, that thing was just asking to have a mustache, and black teeth drawn on it.)

Hey, remember Sappy Sean?  Nobody else does . . . 

But, like I said, this isn’t about Hanna!  It’s about Dumped Mona!  And she’s mad that Hanna isn’t down with joining her for a Bushy Eyebrow Boyfriend Bonfire.  What an unsupportive biatch!  (Hey Mona, remember when Caleb left you a letter for Hanna, saying that he loved her, and you poured soda on it, and threw it in the garbage?  I bet Hanna does!)

BUSTED! 

Hypocrisy aside, Mona blows a raspberry in Hanna’s face, and storms off to watch three hours of The Notebook, nonstop, while she cries into an entire tub of Chunky Monkey ice cream.

Feel free to eat your feelings, Mona . . .

Meanwhile, Hanna heads to the ladies room, for her own Cry Fest . . .

In Which Hanna’s Tears Flood the Entire Girl’s Bathroom . . .

What high school girl hasn’t rushed into a stinky bathroom stall for a snot-filled Ugly Cry?  In the next scene, we see Hanna doing exactly that.  But here’s the weird thing, it seems the ENTIRE BATHROOM IS CRYING FOR HANNA.  I mean literally, the whole place fills up with water, that pools at her feet.  (Hey, wasn’t that a scene from Alice in Wonderland . . . the Disney version?)  Undoubtedly, Hanna is wondering which non-Homecoming Queen had the nerve to stop up a toilet, while her highness was sobbing.

However, when she emerges from the bathroom, she learns that the culprit wasn’t an excessive toilet paper user at all!  Instead, it was a really small oarsman, in a teeny tiny boat . . .

(How adorable!)

Buzzzzzz . . . it’s been nearly five minutes since our last message from “A”.  You know what that means . . .

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Kiss the girl . . . unless she knocks you in the back of the head with a phallic-looking wooden object . . .

I don’t know “A” the boat was cute and all.  But I, personally, would have gone with a rubber duckie.  Their squeakier. 🙂

In Which Maya pretends to need a fake ID . . .

Emily gets a weird phone call, from a blocked cell phone number.  But she doesn’t screen it, because, apparently, she’s a moron.  The person on the other end of the line is a mixture of seductive and creepy.  Is it “A”?

That depends . . . do you think Maya is “A?” I do!  I do!  Because that’s who ends up being on the other end of the line.  She wants Emily to get her a fake ID, so that she can pretend she’s not 40 so that the two can go clubbing . . . or something.  Emily decides to offer her new/old girlfriend Aria’s fake ID, because, apparently, the two are going to a bar for the blind.

TWINSIES!

Then, Maya gets a mysterious call, and has to get off the phone ASAP.  We know it’s “mysterious,” because Maya makes the Spencer Face, when she gets it.

Golly gee, I wonder who it could be?

No Sex on Spencer’s Nana’s Couch , Tonight!

The Honeymoon’s over for Haleb, and it’s all Lucas’ fault.  Damn, that Lucas and his shady, possibly dead, ways!  How dare he come between this sexy super couple.  Now, how’s baby Haleb supposed to be conceived on Spencer’s Nana’s couch?

Here’s what the fight is about.  Caleb wants to go find Lucas, and Hanna would prefer he rot at the bottom of the lake.  Well, not really.  But based on how she’s acting, you certainly can’t blame Caleb for thinking that.  He’s also pissed at Hanna for not being “honest” with him . . . (says the guy who was hired by Blind Jenna to stalk her, and who, up until recently, made a living hacking and stealing people’s cell phones).  But hey, nobody is perfect, right?

Don’t answer that . . . 

Anywhoo .  . . Caleb’s going to go back to Spencer’s lake house, and check nana’s couch with a blacklight for any sign of sperm that’s not his own.  He’s such a super sleuth, that Caleb.   Then again, knowing Caleb, he could probably save himself a lot of trouble, and car mileage, by simply hacking Lucas’ phone . . . or maybe even checking his computer for “strange” web activity?

Most guys just stick with porn . . . 

I See Blind People . . .

Meanwhile, Spencer and Aria are chilling in Philly, right outside Smitty’s, which ends up being nothing more than a lame magazine stand.  Talk about a wasted trip!  But, here’s the kicker .  . . well, there are two kickers actually.  (1) Smitty’s is right by Psycho B*tch Melissa’s apartment.  As for the second kicker, we won’t find out what it is, until Aria conveniently exits, stage left.

Mere minutes later, Spencer finds herself surrounded by . . . wait for it . . . BLIND PEOPLE . . . LOTS AND LOTS OF BLIND PEOPLE . . . AND THEIR LITTLE DOGS TOO.  This, understandably frightens Spencer, who’s only experience with blind people has been through the frightening, flute playing, brother f*&king one one, who may, or may not have gotten Spencer ARRESTED for a murder she didn’t commit.

“I also ate my seeing eye dog . . . “

 Given that, can you blame Spencer for being a little Blindist?

Nevertheless, Spencer follows the Blind People Parade to a Building for Blind People.  (An Existential, But Possibly Offensive, Riddle:  If there is a building that no one ever sees, does it really exist?)

Spencer talks to the Building for Blind People’s receptionist, in an attempt to get information about Blind Jenna.  Unfortunately, Building for Blind People’s receptionist is just too tough of a nut to crack.

But lest Spencer be forced to make her Face again, Someone magically appears to help her in her hour of need.  Question: Who could it be?  Answer: THIS GUY . . .

Apparently, one of the perks of enrolling in the Building for the Blind is a free curling iron . . .

OMG!  It’s that guy from Glee . . . you know, the one Blaine was in love with for one episode.  Apparently, being serenaded by the Warblers, made the poor guy go blind!  Oh, the humanity!

Anywhoo . . . apparently, Blind Jeremiah (or whatever his name was supposed to be in this show) just looooooooved Blind Jenna, because she was so kind and supportive, or whatever.  She also seemed really determined to graduate from Blind Building, so she could do stuff .  . . you know, like torturing fellow high schoolers, and screwing  siblings and police boys.  Blind Jeremiah also cryptically notes that Blind Jenna is totes awesome at “reading people” and feeling up their arms, to determine if their pulse is racing.  How’s that for foreplay?  Something tells me if Spencer wasn’t madly in love with Abs Toby, she’d be all over this blind hand-fondling hunk of man meat .  . .

But alas, this is a “working vacation.”  And Spencer has evidence to steal .  . .

That’s right, my Pretties.  In a twist of convenient ridiculousness that only can exist on this show, Spencer notices that Blind Building keeps books containing the signatures of ALL THE PEOPLE WHO EVER VISITED THERE right behind the desk . . . for fond memories, I guess (which would make a lot more sense, if people signed in using braille).  I love that Spencer immediately thought to look up the sign out book for OVER A YEAR AGO, and it just happened to be RIGHT THERE FOR THE TAKING.  (Talk about a waste of precious trees, and space!  Who the hell else would be interested in a bunch of names and times from a year ago, aside from Spencer?)

All sense of logic aside, when Spencer flips through the book, she learns that Police Boy Garrett signed Jenna out of Blind Building on the night of Ali’s murder AND NEVER SIGNED HER BACK IN . . .

Silly Garrett, you signed your lover out of her blind house to commit a murder, and USED YOUR REAL NAME?  Did your parents drop you on the head one too many times as a baby?

DOH! 

Speaking of people who might be brain damaged . . .

Mona Goes Shopping . . .

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In a scene that’s so useless, it’s only purpose seems to be to make Mona look like she might be “A,” Spencer runs into the recently dumped chickee, right outside the subway station, on the way back from her trip to Blindland . . . er . . . I mean Philly.  Apparently, Mona’s been trying out a little retail therapy, of the Ugly Sweater Set variety.  So, if she shows up for next week’s episode looking like this . . .

But hey, it could have been worse.  She could have bought THIS sweater . . .

The Case of the Mysterious Maya . . .

Maya is acting “weird.”  She keeps getting text messages, and making funny faces.  Emily worries that Maya might be getting stalked by “A.”  Why not?  Everybody else is!  Except, since I think Maya IS actually “A,” that can’t really be the case, can it?

Fortunately, unlike with the whole Lucas Fiasco, the writers don’t make us wait a week to find out.  As it turns out, Maya met someone at Druggie / De-gaying Camp.  They started to date, and things went sour.  (Boooriinng!) Oh, but that’s not all, Maya’s “date” was a HE!

“Whatchu talking about, Maya?” 

OK . . . so, I have a theory about this.  Wanna hear it?  (Too bad, I’m going to tell you anyway.)

Maya’s stalker ex boyfriend is . . . wait for it . . . Bushy Eyebrows NOEL!

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  Especially considering how Noel’s dumping of Mona coincided almost exactly with Maya’s “mysterious text message” receipts AND how both characters were “absent” around the same time.

If this is true . . . Maya better watch out . . . because those slimy caterpillars over Noel’s eyeballs are not the type to  take no for an answer . . .

Because Arthur Miller Plays are Sexy .  . .

When most people see their ex, while their out on a date with somebody else, they do this . . .

But not Fitzy and Aria.  Nooo sir . . . these two star crossed lovers prefer to walk . . . toward . . . each . . . other . . . in  . . . slooooooo . . . . mooooo . . . while . . . verrrry . .  . cheesyyy . . . muuuussiiiic .  . . plays . . . in . . . the . . . background . . .

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Poor . . . poor, probably gay, anyway, Holden!  How exactly does one compete with millions of teeny tiny violins, and enough Fitzy tears to flood an entire theater filled with old people.  (Because, really, who else under the age of 55, goes to see Arthur Miller plays, unless they are doing it extra credit?)  Then again, if anyone knows a thing or two about “extra credit,” it’s Aria Montgomery . . .

Speaking of 55-year olds, Fitzy’s bad experiences with Wacky Jackie have caused him to completely swear off girls his age.  Case in point . . . his date to the theater . . .

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Then again, this isn’t the first time, Fitzy’s chosen to bring a chaperone along on his sort-of date with Aria . . .

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Aria is crushed, when Fitzy makes his big wet puppy eyes at her, but escapes the theater, without even so much as trying to cop a feel . . .

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But don’t worry Ezria fans, unlike Aria’s mom, and that random middle-aged lady, Possibly Gay Holden is totally cool with being used / playing a third wheel to Professor Romeo and Underage Juliet.   In fact, it kind of turns him on!

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  So, can Aria and Fitzy trust Holden to be their beard?

I think so.  Anyone who’s brings gummy bears on a first date can’t be too evil, right?

He’s Baaaaaack!

It’s a dark stormy night despite the fact that it wasn’t raining a moment ago, when Aria went on her date . . . or when Spencer went to Philly . . . or when Emily went out clubbing with Maya.  Hanna is sitting on her steps in the dark, feeling sorry for herself .  . . and possibly trying to save electricity?  Suddenly, the window opens . . . so she goes to close it.  (Sounds like a pretty sensible thing to do, right?)

But then, when she turns her back for a second, we see DIRTY FOOTSTEPS ON THE FLOOR.  And we all know those dirty footprints can only come from one person?

(Geez, Lucas!  You’d think you’d have learned by now to wipe your feet before commiting misdemeanors . . .)  Under the circumstances, you really can’t blame Hanna for thinking that Lucas is trying to kill her.  (She did, after all, sort of / kind of try to kill HIM.)

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Also, he’s not exactly looking like an upstanding citizen, right now . . .

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When Caleb arrives at the house to find Lucas looming seemingly threateningly over Hanna, not-Seth Cohen has some SERIOUS explaining to do . . .

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Get ready to feel incredibly guilty, Hanna.  Apparently, Lucas’ Big Water Confession was not that has was working for “A”, but that he had spent all of Caleb’s phone hacking stash betting on basketball games.  (I don’t know . . . it sure sounded a lot worse than that, when he was calling the SUICIDE HOTLINE!)  So, where has Lucas been all this time, if not skulking around with “A” or sleeping with the fish, you ask?  It appears our nerdy high roller has been out trying to sell his comic stash for some quick cash to pay back his friend, Spongebob Squarepants . . .

Caleb takes the news surprisingly well.  But Lucas can’t help but notice how quiet Hanna has gotten, since he made his confession . . .

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Poor Lucas undoubtedly took the above statement as some kind of judgment from Hanna.  But just as Hanna did earlier, when she smacked Lucas upside the head in the middle of a lake, he might very well have misread the situation.   After all, Hanna, of all people, knows what it’s like to do Very Bad Things for money.  (Remember when “A” paid her to dance with Lucas, using the money her mom stole from that old lady?)

I actually think Hanna meant the line in an oddly positive way, as in “I’m glad you’re not A’s evil henchman, who beat  Emily with garden tools, because she showed him an empty box . . .

Poor Lucas!  If only he knew . . .

“I’m not crying . . . It’s just raining on my face.” 

I Ordered my Worms without MSG!

Later that night, the girls order Chinese takeout, and find a special surprise in their lomaine . . .

Noel’s eyebrows!  How did you get in there? 

I guess they should have stuck with the fried rice . . .

In the final scene of the episode, Gloved Hand tinkers with Toby’s architecture stand thingy . . .

It looks like another Pretty Little Boyfriend is going to end up all wet . . . I hope this one isn’t allergic to chlorine . . .

As for next week’s PLL installment, be on the look-out for more A shenanigans, Pretty Little Boys in danger, and, of course, Spencer Face . . .

 You can check out the Canadian promo here:

And it’s American counterpart here:

Don’t cry, my Pretties!  PLL will be back before you know it!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirlsforever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Row, Row, Row Your Boat . . .- A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “A Hot Piece of A”

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Things we learned from this week’s installment of Pretty Little Liars:

(1) If you are a high school student in crisis (which I really hope none of your are), and need to consult with the Crisis Hotline, be sure to call the one that’s three towns over.  There’s a really good chance someone you know is working at YOUR crisis center.  And he or she will soon learn all of your dirty little secrets . . .

(2) If you are going to take a picture of four hideous-looking dolls on your camera phone,  don’t put them in front of the ugly floral wallpaper!  Put them on a couch, and then pose them, so that they look like they are doing something dirty.  It’s just funnier that way . . .

(3) If your significant other’s father randomly comes to your apartment at night, and threatens you with police action, don’t fret . . . just scream, “Please stop touching me there.  No means no,” loud enough for all the neighbors to hear.  That should shut him up . . .

(4) If it is pitch black out, and you are in the middle of nowhere, there is really no good reason for you to be in a canoe . . . NONE . . . consider a motor boat, jet ski, or luxury cruise liner, instead.

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Hello, my Pretties!  Oh, how I adore this show, let me count the ways . . .   This week’s PLL installment featured a couple reunion, a couple implosion, some deliciously X-rated allusions to Spencer’s Nana’s couch, and HIGH SEAS INSANITY, COURTESY OF A SELF-DESTRUCTING LUCAS . . .

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(Good thing it wasn’t a pool . . . We all know how allergic he is to chlorine.)

So, strap on a life jacket, and polish up your rowing skills, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Emily has Glass in her Hair!  Someone call the Wahhhhhhmbulance!

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Now that the girls have all come down from the high of potentially finding A’s cell phone, Emily has decided she’s super pissed at the girls for leaving her to battle “A” in the greenhouse ALL BY HERSELF.  And while her anger is TOTALLY justified, if I were her, I’d be wayyy more upset about the fact that I was BEATEN UP BY GARDEN TOOLS, than the fact that I had GLASS IN MY HAIR.  I mean, the latter even sounds kind of fashionable . . .

Anywhoo . . . Spencer immediately insists that the girls call on Hanna’s hacking beau, Caleb, to download data off the phone.  Considering how determined she is to keep her OWN boyfriend out of “A’s” crosshairs, this seems more than a bit hypocritical of her.  Hanna agrees with me, telling Spencer that she is not one of her “winged monkeys.”

Woo-hoo!  A Wizard of Oz reference! 

She hilariously insists that the girls use someone who’s a bit more . . .  um . . . remote to hack into the phone . . .

 

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Awww, now Hanna . . . that’s just plain racist . . .

Caleb offers the girls some “Technical Support.”

ARIA: “Hey Hanna, come look!  Caleb’s got naked pictures of you on his computer . . .”

SPENCER: “Is that my Nana’s couch?” 

So, the good news is that Caleb found a lot of major,  potentially incriminating, data on “A’s” cell phone . . .

The bad news is that he can’t access any of it (aside from one lame doll picture), because the phone’s owner cleverly trashed all of it’s content, remotely, using his computer.

Also in the “bad news” column . . . Emily smells like mulch . . .

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Caleb is going to need a bit more time to recover the phone’s files.  He looks to Hanna, who’s been unusually quiet, this entire time, for approval of his continued involvement.  She reluctantly agrees.  However, she refuses to involve him any further in this mess, by giving him more information on the subject.

This annoys Caleb, obviously.  But not enough for him to give up all the hot bunny rabbit sex, these two have apparently been having lately . . .

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(I don’t know about you, but I’d personally be VERY interested in the “other ways” they’ve been naked . . . But I guess we will have to wait for PLL to get picked up by HBO or Showtime, before we can find out . . .)

When the Spoby Mobile is a-rockin’ . . .

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Last week, if you recall, I was rather annoyed at BOTH Abs Toby and Spencer, for acting like total douchebags to one another.  Abs Toby acted like a douchebag, because he basically stalked Spencer, made her a lame rocking chair, and didn’t know how to leave well enough alone.  Spencer acted like a douchebag (Can we call girls douchebags?), because she rudely and angrily froze Abs Toby out, even though there’s a good chance he could have helped her out, if she simply let him in, a little bit . . .

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That said, I’m happy to report that both members of this couple completely redeemed themselves (at least in my eyes), this week.  I was proud of Spencer for confronting Abs Toby, apologizing for her earlier behavior, and admitting that she still cared deeply for him, even if she couldn’t tell him everything about what was going on in her life.  I was also proud of Abs Toby for accepting that Spencer had her reasons for continuing to keep him in the dark on certain things, and for making out with her, like a BAMF!

 

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Do I smell little babies with six packs, in this couple’s future?

Trouble in Paradise for the Most Disgusting Couple EVER?

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Did you ever notice how every time Spencer and Toby make out in his Looooooove Mobile, they end up overhearing a conversation that ends up being crucial to the plot?  Now, if that’s not an excuse to car bang ALL THE TIME, I don’t know what is!

This time around, Spoby overhears Police Boy Garrett arguing on the phone with Blind Jenna, who has apparently dumped his ass, over one of their EEEEEEVILL plans going horribly awry.  Police Boy Garrett is clearly a moron . . . one who obviously doesn’t understand the concept of using his “telephone voice.”  It’s no wonder the ENTIRE TOWN didn’t hear him bitching to Jenna about “messing things up last night,” and “getting someone else involved.”

Cue Spencer Face . . .

Abs Toby suggests that the pair might be fighting over Blind Jenna’s stress regarding her upcoming operation.  But Spencer immediately assumes they are referring to the girls’ botched meeting with “A”, the night before . . . a meeting about which EVERYONE in Rosewood oddly seems to have intimate knowledge.  (They must really like their greenhouses, in that town . . .)

Later, Abs Toby confronts Police Boy Garrett, and it’s kind of cool to see the tables between these two turned, for once . . .

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Apparently, Blind Jenna had some fancy limo take her to Boston (or at least to the airport), for her fancy eye surgery.  (Uh oh!  It looks like Blind Jenna might have to get a new nickname.)  Police Boy Garrett is miserable over this, because he didn’t get to take her highness, himself.  He’s desperate to know whether she went with another man.  (Ummm . . . I would kind of think her parents took her?  Getting Not-Blind-Surgery is usually the kind of thing Mom and Dad like to be in on . . . just sayin’.)

To Police Boy’s credit (though it does make him seem more than a bit pathetic), he seems to genuinely love that creepy, flute playing witch, and is more concerned for her well being, than anything else.  Abs Toby, of course, basically tells him not to bother.  “Blind Jenna uses people up, and spits them out, like chewing tobacco,” Toby explains, more or less.  She clearly did that to Abs Toby, which is just too disturbing for words, if you ask me . . .

*makes vomit noises*

I hope, for Police Boy Garrett’s sake, that Blind Jenna decides to stay in Boston.  This way, he can go back to dating Lizzie McGuire, and everyone can be happy!

Ezria gets by with a little help from their friends  . . .

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Things have gotten mighty rocky in Ezria land, ever since last week’s Declaration of Love that Went Horribly Awry  . . .

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Now, Aria’s parents are keeping her on lockdown, saddling her with a dress code, limiting her PLL Girl Time, and trying to set her up with random guest stars named “Holden.”

I’m willing to reserve judgment, until I learn more.  But I don’t like his hair. 

To make matters worse, when Aria calls Fitzy on the phone, he either screens her calls and doesn’t pick up, or, flat out, tells her not to call anymore!

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But despite all the doom and gloom, the Pretty Little Liars have managed to rally around this couple, each finding ways to show their support.  Hanna (who, not so long ago, had to endure the ignominy of having a parent who didn’t approve of her choice of boyfriend) gallantly takes the time to travel out to Hollis college, to tell Fitzy she’s on Team Ezria.  (And as sweet as the scene between them was, I thought it was kind of funny that Fitzy made Hanna leave the door open, while she was making her speech.  Hey, at least he’s learning!)

Back at Rosewood, Emily, in a speech that manages to be both respectful, and decidedly bold, reminds Aria’s mother that Aria is exactly the same person she was, before Mommy Dearest learned she was boning her former English Professor . . .

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You tell her, Sista!  (As we will see a bit later, Emily’s brief words may have gone a long way in warming Mama Montgomery’s heart . . . if not necessarily to the idea of “Ezria,” at least to the idea that Aria shouldn’t necessarily be judged poorly for what happened between them.

On the other hand . . .

Byronnnnn = Moronnnnnnnn

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“Ooh . . . a knock on the door late at night . . . I hope it’s a booty call.”

“Doh!” 

OK . . . OK . . . I understand that most parents wouldn’t be entirely cool with the idea of their sixteen year old girl dating a guy in his mid-twenties, who used to be her teacher.  But honestly, there was just something so disturbing about Byron hunting down Fitzy in his home to “lay down the law.”  For starters, there was that remark he made about him having, “gone to parties in this building . . . with my slutty student girlfriend Ella.”  Seriously, why would you tell that to someone you are about to threaten?

But the best was the part where Byron admitted that HE himself, had difficulty navigating “student /  teacher” relationships.  However, because HIS former honey happened to be two years older than Aria, THAT makes him a better person than Fitzy.  (Never mind the fact that BYRON is probably old enough to be HIS ex-girlfriend’s daddy . . . Oh, and HE’S MARRIED!!!)

I feel like I would have felt less  put off by this conversation, if it was ELLA making the threats, as opposed to Byron.  And then, when Papa Doucheface took things further, by threatening to call the police . . . well that was just TOTALLY uncalled for  . . . (and kind of made me hope that his girlfriend 1 . . . ends up to have been lying about her age, and is really just an incredibly intelligent, and rapidly aging, 14-year old; 2 . . .  happens to be pregnant with his spawn).  I know . . . I’m evil . . .

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*pees in pants* 

Remember when I mentioned how Emily’s words in support of Aria’s honor influenced Mama Montgomery to come around a bit on the whole Fitzy situation?  Well, we get to see that, firsthand, in the following scene, when she blasts MoronByron for considering going to the police, and ruining HIS OWN daughter’s already-tarnished reputation, in the process.  She also says this: “We raised our daughter to be independent, and open minded.  That means we don’t get to be shocked, when that is exactly who she is.”

BRAVO, Miss Montgomery!  That might very well be the smartest thing you’ve said all season . . .

That said, Mama Montgomery may have only been faking “smart.”  Because she sure falls fast for Aria’s ridiculously obvious lie that she has a date with “Holden,” when it’s crystal clear, she wants to see Fitzy, instead  . . .

Oops! 

What Lucas has in common with Spongebob Squarepants . . .

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By the end of this episode, they are both all wet and soggy? 

Lucas has been acting kind of strange, lately . .  . stranger than usual,  I mean.  Whereas our adorkable brunette used to practically do cartwheels, just for the opportunity to be within spitting distance of Hanna, he’s become surprisingly cool with her .  . . trying desperately to make excuses as to why they can’t study together.  He’s also been more than a bit b*tchy to Caleb, even though the two are usually, as Hanna describes them, “like Patrick and Spongebob.”

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Typically nerdy to the extreme, and a veritable fountain of knowledge on all subjects, Lucas seems oddly distracted and un-helpful, during his and Hanna’s Civil War Study Session.  He also seems to have no desire to help Hanna throw a birthday surprise party for her beau, at Spencer’s lake house where the two boned on Nana’s couch . . . ahh . .  memories.

Lucas sights “money issues,” as the reason behind his unwillingness to party plan.  I actually think there is more to this statement than meets the eye.  It may even be the reason why Lucas ended up doing what he did . . .

But more on that theory, later . . .

For now, Lucas is being weird, and Hanna is being completely oblivious, drunk as she is on Caleb love, and dreams of expanding the ways in which she and her beau can see one another naked, in the future . . .

Something tells me that later, Hanna will be kicking herself, for not picking up on the signs that something was very, very wrong . . .

1-800-Don’tHurtHanna!

Over at the LEAST ANONYMOUS CRISIS HOTLINE EVER  . . . Emily is performing her community service responsibilities.  So, of course, as part of her “training,” she is asked to read a transcript from a call that came in the night before (Now why wouldn’t you use an older transcript than that?  That just seems in bad taste to me?).  And, of course, the caller seems to have a lot in common with Emily’s attacker from the night before.

What a coinky-dink!  Mystery caller just seemed to BLAB on about screwing up, and “almost getting caught” and “shutting it down,” and “wanting to kill himself.”  Wait . . . WHAT????!!!!

Sh*t just got REAL!

Upon hearing about Emily’s experience, Spencer decides that SHE should volunteer at the call center too  out of the kindness of her heart.  How fitting then, that shortly after Spencer arrives Mystery Caller calls again, and that AWFUL Crisis Manager decides it would be a great idea to have the girls LISTEN IN, on this poor soul’s suicidal rantings.  (Note to self . . . never call a crisis center, EVER!)

Oh, but here’s the thing about Mystery Caller.  He just so happens to have a very recognizable voice . . .

“That’s LUCAS!” 

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Now, the PLL girls are convinced that Lucas is the one who attacked Emily in the greenhouse that night, and, resultantly lost his cell phone.  It would stand to reason then, that Lucas somehow, got roped into working for “A” and/or Police Boy Garrett and Blind Jenna.  I think this is probably a good assumption.

But the real question is HOW involved is he, and WHY is he involved?   Because, while certainly not innocent, I don’t think Lucas is nearly as evil or nutso, as the PLL girls seem to think he is, by the end of the episode.

Why nutso, you say?  Because at the end of his little convo with Worst Crisis Center Manager EVER, he says this: “I never wanted to hurt anybody . . . now I HAVE TO . . .”

Lucas dips his toe further into the Wackjob Pool, when Emily “conveniently” finds herself at the Crisis Center again, just minutes before Caleb’s surprise party, and happens to pick up the phone, herself, when Lucas calls a third time . . .

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Of course, Emily thinks Lucas is talking about Hanna.  And I think he is too.  I just don’t think he’s actually talking about killing her.  I suspect his intentionally vague words have more to do with the fact that he’s planning to come clean to her about his involvement in the whole “A” fiasco.   But he knows that the minute she finds out what he’s done to her and her friends, their friendship will be over.  I also think Lucas got roped into working with “A” as a result of . . . wait for it  . . . gambling debt.  Remember the sports betting page from earlier?

Mmmmm- hmmmm!

But that’s neither here, nor there.  The important thing to remember, right now, is that Lucas is acting a couple of pawns short of a chess game.  So, Emily needs to get to the lake house, ASAP . . . BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!!

“I can’t watch!  It’s all too INTENSE!” 

“We’re having a party . . . everybody’s . . . swimming?”

It’s Caleb’s surprise party, and everyone’s there . . .  even people who weren’t technically invited . . .

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 . . . like Mona and Bushy Eyebrows Noel (haven’t seen him in a while, have we?).  Spencer is lurking around the attic, when she randomly moves some boxes, and discovers the same ugly wallpaper from the creepy doll photograph on Lucas’ (?) cell phone.  You know what that means, don’t you? “A” was IN THE HOUSE!

Geez!  It seems like EVERYBODY gets busy on Spencer’s Nana’s couch!  (She should start charging rent, by the hour!)  Spencer then has a weird run-in with Lucas,  who claims to be “looking for tools,” and also seems to have surprisingly intimate knowledge of the room, despite, supposedly, having never been there before.  The usually fearless Spencer, looks genuinely frightened of Mr. Adorkable (who is now sweating like a pig, and not looking so hot AT ALL), and runs away like a frightened mouse . . .

Enter Emily (wow, she got there fast!), who warns Lucas not to do anything CRAZY (you know . . . like beat people with garden tools), and tells him that Hanna will probably forgive him, provided he doesn’t . . . you know . . . murder her.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Lucas thinks to himself, before deciding to take Hanna on a “romantic canoe cruise” to set off some fireworks.  Ruh roh!

“If you put me in the hospital again, Lucas Gottesman, we are SO not Facebook friends, anymore  . . .” 

In what was honestly, the most frightening PLL moment I’ve experienced in quite some time, Lucas and Hanna ride across the lake in silence, as Hanna finally catches on to the Lucasy-weirdness her friends have been warning her about.  By the time he stops rowing, grabs the oars from her hands, and sternly tells her to “sit down,” while suffering from a bad case of “Crazy Eyes,” our spunky blonde is truly terrified, and near tears.

“If you kill me, Caleb and I will never be able to have sex on Spencer’s Nana’s toilet!  (We’ve always wanted to do that.)” 

To make matters even more frightening, Spencer and Emily are now across the lake, frantically screaming at Hanna, and telling her to get the f*ck out of there.  “Don’t make this any harder for me, than it already is,” says Lucas, rising to his feet.  (That’s right, Lucas.   You tell Hanna how insensitive she’s being, for not rejoicing in the “alone time” she’s getting to spend with your seemingly crazy ass.)

On impulse, Hanna appears to knock Lucas overboard with one of her oars.

“But I’m allergic to chlorine, which means I probably can’t swim!  And if you think that once I’m dead, I’m going to help you remove all those unflattering pictures of you online, you are sadly mistaken!”

With Lucas literally “swimming with the fishes” but probably not dead . . . yet, Hanna tries frantically to paddle to shore.  But then, someone CAPSIZES her boat.  Was it Lucas?  I DON’T THINK SO!  I’ll tell you why, in just a bit . . .

Things look REALLY bad for Hanna . . . at least for a few seconds, until we see her doggie paddling to the shore like a PRO!  (Emily will be SOOO proud!)

(She’s not allergic to chlorine!) 

As Spencer and Emily pull a breathless, and pale Hanna to the shore, Bushy Eyebrows and Mona magically appear SOAKING WET!  They claim to have randomly decided to take a “sexy dip in the lake,” while Hanna and Lucas were DROWNING.  Sounds reasonable, right?

And, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn . . .

Man, does EVERYONE on this show work for “A”?  (BTW, Mona is currently my top choice for “A.”  Because Blind Jenna just seems too obvious.  As for my second choice?  Maya .  . . just because it would be so completely out of left field, that it would make me giggle.)

If the letter fits . . .

In an unintentionally hilarious moment, Poor Caleb chooses this moment to arrive at the Birthday Party that will Never Be . . .

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At least he’ll still get to eat that really pretty chocolate birthday cake Hanna baked for him!

In the final moments of the episode, we see yet another hooded figure fishing Lucas’ sneaker out of the water . . .

(For those of you who don’t remember, Lucas’ sneakers had a cameo on this show, back in Season 1, when we found out he destroyed Ali’s memorial?)

So, is Lucas gone for good?  No, he’s in next week’s promo.  It’s too early to tell.  But one things for sure.  After his little “boat ride” with Hanna, someone sure as hell has a lot of explaining to do . . .

Now . . . promos for next week . . . you want ’em?  We’ve got em  . . .

(Once again, CANADA WINS!  Come on, USA!  Get with the program!)

So, how did you like “Hot Piece of A?”  How crazy is Lucas, really?  Do you actually believe Bushy Eyebrows and Mona about their “late night swim?”  What the f*#k are we supposed to call Blind Jenna after her surgery? Are you happy for Spoby?  Miserable for Ezria?  And perhaps most importantly, WHO DO YOU THINK IS A?

Please sound off, in the comments section below.  Until next time, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Everybody Hates Emily? – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares”

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Greetings, My Pretties!  Happy New Year, and welcome back!  It sure has been a long cold winter, without any nefarious texts from “A,” sneers from Blind Jenna, obligatory Ali flashbacks, or Pretty Little Couple’s Makeout Sessions.

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Fortunately, Pretty Little Liars is back with a vengeance.  And if this mid-season premiere episode is any indication, we are in for quite the wild ride.

So slip into that fashionable orange jumpsuit, practice your right hook, and prune your garden hoe, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

GIRLFIGHT!

We open on a completely random shot of little girls jumping rope to some Pretty Little Liars’ themed rhyme.  You know, because little girls are scary . . . especially ones who jump rope.  Then again, perhaps I only think this because I was a particularly unathletic child.

Anywhoo . . . it’s been one month since our fabulous foursome was caught fondling the Big Fat Shovel That Killed Now-Dead Ali.  The time jump conveniently ensures that we can skip over all that Boring Legal Stuff the girls likely had to endure for being the MAIN SUSPECTS IN A MURDER!

Thank goodness for that!  And, while we’re at it, thank goodness for Spencer’s Mom!  She must be the best criminal attorney EVER!  Step aside, Guy Who Represented O.J. Simpson (Johnny Cochran, R.I.P.).  There’s a new sheriff in town!

But lest you think our pretties got off scot-free, this is NOT the case.  They had one month of community service, which basically entailed picking up trash on the highway.  (Take that, Lindsay Lohan!)

At first blush, this doesn’t sound so bad, right?  I mean, aside from being a very environmentally conscientious “green” thing to do, they get to do it together.  So, here I am expecting a nice, fun-filled, scene filled with snarky one-liners, community service hijinks, and maybe even a chain gang sing-a-long a la Glee.  But, alas, it is not to be.  Something stinks in Rosewood.  And it’s not the trash on Highway 16 . . .

Suddenly Emily is TOTALLY sticking it to Spencer for not wanting to go in on her “Big Plan.”  She even goes as far as to suggest that Spencer’s rich, fancy parents would throw the rest of the girls under the bus for Ali’s murder, if they had the chance . . .

Cue Spencer Face . . .

 Ugly Horse Sweater not included . . .

Next thing you know, Spencer is tossing her garbage bag at Emily, and the girls are throwing down, Fight Club-style . . .

The moment that launched hundreds of M-rated Spemily Slash fanfictions . . .

Things get so intense between the two growling, grunting, hair-tugging teens, that the local sheriffs have to intervene.  (But not, Police Boy Garrett . . . whose sole function on the police force seems to be to sit in his car and suck face with Blind Jenna twirl his non-existent Evil Mustache and plot World Domination).  The altercation results in two extra weeks of community service for each girl.  Oh, and Spencer’s dreams of an Ivy League education are pretty much shot to hell.  But, hey, I hear the Women’s Wrestling Federation is hiring!

But Spencer isn’t the only one who seems to be hating on Emily.  Back at La Casa de Marin, Hanna is also giving her the cold shoulder.  AWK-WARD . . . especially considering that, last I checked, these two were sharing a bedroom.  Emily doesn’t mind too much though.

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After all, she got a Really Cool and Mysterious Fax.   Maybe it’s from the Womens’s Wrestling Federation.  Meanwhile . . .

Frowny Fitzy and Avoidant Aria

Aria’s skipping through town with her used-to-be-crazy for about three episodes Little Brother Mike.  (By the way, does anyone else think Little Brother Mike kind of looks and acts like Little Brother Jeremy from The Vampire Diaries?  Just wondering . . .)

Little Brother Mike tells Aria that he’s happy he has a nice new therapist, and that people don’t look at him like he’s a Bobble Head anymore.  This caused me to wonder how exactly people look, when they are looking at a Bobble Head.  Do they just nod a lot?

The Montgomery duo run into Fitzy in town.  So, Aria, being super slick, and not-at-all obvious . . .

. . . tells Little Brother Mike to go throw out her coffee cup in the Trashcan Far, Far Away.  Little Brother Mike complies, but not without looking at Fitzy, like he’s a Bobble Head.  (See what I did there? ;))  Apparently, Aria’s been giving Fitzy the Big Freeze, ever since Wacky Jackie threatened to have her former honey fired from Hollis College, if Aria continued to see him.

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This probably would have been a REALLY good time for Aria to tell Fitzy that his latent-onset psycho ex-fiance will most likely come after him with an axe screaming, “If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN,” if the two are seen together.  But hey, Pretty Little Liars wouldn’t be Pretty Little Liars if all the characters didn’t keep completely unnecessary secrets from one another.  And besides, Little Brother Mike is back from his trek to the Trashcan Far, Far Away.  So, it’s hasta la vista, for now, Dear Fitzy . . .

“Toodles!” 

Elsewhere . . .

We’ll get you, Policeboy Garrett! (And your creepy blind girlfriend too.)

Clearly having picked up a thing or two about creepy fortune-cookie-esque taglines from “A,” Spencer confronts the traitorous Police Boy Garrett.  She does this, pretty much just to make fun of his now-public relationship with Blind Jenna  . . .

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(If by “interesting” you mean “stomach-turning” and “vomit-inducing,” then, yes, they certainly are “interesting,” Spencer.)

Spencer also wants to freak to Police Boy Garrett out, by making him think that she’s on to his involvement in their frame-up and/or Ali’s murder, and/or A’s antics .  . .

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I’d say her intimidation tactics were successful, but it’s really hard to tell.  After all, Police Boy Garrett only seems to possess one facial expression: the “I Just Got Laid by a Minor” look . . .

Given that, it’s often difficult to determine whether he is scared, angry, smug, or just really has to pee . . .

GIRLFIGHT: Part Deux

Things continue to go from crappy to crappier for Poor, Newly-Outcasted, Emily Fields.  We find out that the fax she received earlier in the episode was actually a clean bill of health from that time “A” put steroids in her skin cream.

Don’t do it. NOOOOOOO! 

An excited Emily approaches her athletic advisor with the results,  hoping that she can finally rejoin the swim team.  The problem, of course, is that Emily is a murder suspect.  And I guess the thought that one of your teammates might bash your head in with a shovel in the locker room is “bad for team morale,” or whatever.  Then again, that Paige chick ALMOST DROWNED SOMEONE.  And she still got to swim.  Lame . . .

 To make matters worse, Emily almost comes to blows with Spencer in English class, when the two knock into one another, conveniently sending one another’s books flying across the floor.  (Wink, wink.)

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This prompts “A” to send Emily a text message . . .

. . . and Emily to respond, in a way that would only make sense if “A” happened to be in the same English class . . .

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After class, Emily is at her locker, when she comes upon a book she accidentally/ on purpose took from Spencer.  (It’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  I’m not really sure that’s relevant.  But I figured, it couldn’t hurt.) Inside the book is a note instructing Emily to meet SOMEONE at 10:30 p.m. that night.  Emily complies.  And, SURPRISE!  It’s the rest of the girls.

Apparently, all this “Hating on Emily” was just a Big Ole Ruse to make her look like the Weakest Link, and get “A” to meet her.  Clever, right?  Yeah, I didn’t think so either.  But it did give the actresses a chance to wrestle!  So, yay to the writers for that . . .

Lucas Flirts with Hanna / Has an Online Gambling Problem (?) / Gets His Heart Broken

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Though I love me some sexy Haleb action just as much as the next girl, I’m still a Lucas / Hanna shipper at heart.  So, of course, the nerd girl inside of me did a little Happy Dance, when I found out that Lucas has been keeping Hanna company, while his bromantic buddy, Caleb, is soaking up the sun in California with his Rich Bio Mom . . .

Apparently, Lucas has been spending whatever time he’s not actually with Hanna, combing the internet for pictures of her in her prison jumpsuit . . . which, to him, is probably almost (but not quite) as good as porn.  I think it’s super sweet that Lucas is willing to take down all these pictures to spare Hanna’s “pristine” image.

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But Lucas is no dummy.   He knows an opportunity for flirtation when he sees one.  And so, he cleverly manages to sneak into the conversation the fact that he thinks Hanna looks “pretty,” even in prison garb . . .

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You’ve got to admit, the Dude’s got game.  Speaking of game, this was the Super Mysterious Website he had on his screen, before Hanna sat down next to him . . .

It looks like some sort of online sports gambling site.  Perhaps, in addition to a successful eBay Auction career, and expert finder of Hanna Marin pictures, our adorkable, innocent, chlorine intolerant, Lucas is also a bookie.  Who knew?

It recently occurred to me that Lucas is not only a Mini Seth Cohen from The O.C.

He also may very well be the future lovechild of Leonard and Penny from The Big Bang Theory.  (Yes, I watch way too much television.)

How else would you explain his feeble attempt to interest Hanna in the fascinating world of comic books and graphic novels?

But alas, this little foray into geekdom will be short-lived.  Not long after the the Beauty and the Geek duo return to Hanna’s house,  they find Mr. Sexy Pants, himself, Caleb, right there waiting for them.

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It becomes immediately apparent that the Caleb / Lucas bromance is starting to sour, when Lucas not-so-subtly implies that he liked Caleb much better when he was living in California, as opposed to regularly boning their mutual dream girl.

Lucas then wryly lectures Caleb on possibly leading Hanna on, if he plans on staying in California, for the long term.   It’s a nice gesture, on Lucas’ part, but, at the same time, a bit self-serving.  And I say this as a Lucas Fan . . .  (Please don’t let him be “A” or Ali’s killer . . . pretty please, Writers!  I beg you!)

Elsewhere, in Unrequited Love Land . . .

Spoby on the Rocks .  . . with a Rocking Chair

Apparently, Spencer took A’s thinly veiled threat regarding Abs Toby’s safety VERY seriously . . . so seriously, in fact, that she hasn’t said a word to him, since she unceremoniously dumped him in his car, one month ago.  But when the going get dumped, the dumped build rocking chairs.  And that’s exactly what Toby does for Spencer . . . you know . . . because she’s secretly an 80-year old woman with a bad back and arthritis . . .

But Spencer doesn’t want anything to do with Toby, or his senior citizen gift (or, at least that’s what she wants him to think).  And she tells him as much  .  .  “Forget about me,” she tells him, coldly.  “Worry about your sister and that cop boyfriend of hers,” she concludes, before stalking into her house.

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Poor Abs Toby.  I blame the rocking chair . . . if he had only taken off his shirt, instead, things might have gone differently . . .

GIRLFIGHT III: Now with more Liars . . .

At the school swim meet, Abs Toby confronts his pal Emily, to ask her why Spencer is suddenly acting like such a Raging Biatch.  Emily, of course, has to pretend that her and Spencer aren’t friends anymore, so that they can keep up their ruse with “A.”  And she too, blows off Toby.

After the match, the girls stage their Big Fight for “A.”  During it, Emily asks Spencer for the box that Jason gave Aria, which purportedly contains Ali’s things, and a “Big Clue as to A’s Identity.”  Backed by the other girls, Spencer angrily refuses to tell Emily the location of the box.  And Emily threatens to find it, and steal it.  Moments later, Emily receives yet-another text from “A.”  It says . . . (drumroll please) . . .

Those watching the altercation include Lucas, Caleb, Garrett, and Toby . . . along with . . . well . . . I guess the rest of the school, just to narrow it down for ya!

Ezria Comes Out of the Closet / Gets a Fat Lip

Under the guise of returning a book to Ezra, Aria sneaks into his office at Hollis College, while he’s teaching a class, in order to leave him a love note of some sort.  Of course, who should walk in to witness this but Wacky Jackie . . .

And she’s ANGRY!  Aria has DISOBEYED her, and now SHE WILL PAY!  Or will she?  Because Fitzy just so happens to have heard the WHOLE THING!  And he is not amused by his batsh*t crazy, faux-tanned, ex’s antics.  This discovery prompts Aria to FINALLY come clean about why she dumped Fitzy in the first place, which, in turn, prompts Fitzy to decide that he and Aria should come “out” to her parents, ASAP . . .

Oh, the awkwardness of this moment!  I was squirming in my seat, as Fitzy, looking like a frightened child faced down Aria’s parents.  All he really had to do was tell them that he and Aria were dating now.  Or better yet, a t-shirt might have sufficed . . .

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But noooooo!  Fitzy had to be all honest.  He just HAD to tell Aria’s parents that he LOOOOOOVEED Aria, and that he’d been dating her the WHOLE TIME he was her teacher.  Now, I’m not saying, they would have taken the news better, if it was a bit more edited down, but it certainly would have been worth a shot.

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That said, I was proud of Aria  for having the courage to stand up, walk over to Fitzy, and hold his hand.  It was a nice moment of solidarity between these two.  Plus, I’m pretty sure her brave actions kept poor Fitzy from pooping in his pants . . .

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 Now, we all know how Mama Montgomery reacted, when she thought Fitzy was diddling Spencer.  So, the fact that she took news of her own daughter’s May/December romance with the English teacher badly was no surprise.

But Papa Montgomery?  Mr. I Made Out with a Student Young Enough to Be My Kid in Front of my Own Daughter and Made Her Promise Not to Tell Her Mother?  You would think that he, of all people, would at least pretend to be a bit more understanding . . .

*cough* douchebag *cough* 

Yet, things are about to get worse for Fitzy.  Of course, Daddy Hypocrite promptly kicks him out of the house.   But before he can go, Little Brother Mike dashes down the stairs to give his sister’s not-so-new lover a little parting gift.  I’ll give you a hint.   It’s something that rhymes with “lunch.”

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Sayonara, Poor Man’s Megan Fox Wacky Jackie