Tag Archives: It Happened that night

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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Unknown Caller – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ Season 3 Premiere “It Happened That Night”

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Sorry, A!  It looks like we are going to have to save that request for Pretty Little Liars: Spring Break Edition . . . or at least until PLL gets picked up by HBO.

Welcome back, my Pretties!  Long time, no “A.” . . .

Let’s see, it’s been five months in Rosewood Time (and about three months in Real Time) . . .

 . . .  since the erstwhile social pariah, turned Queen B, turned psychotic lunatic with a text-messaging addiction, Mona van der Waal donned her evil black hoodie, and evil-er raccoon eye makeup, and took a long leap into a short ditch, but, miraculously, didn’t die.

So, what have our favorite PLL’s been doing during all this supposedly A-free time?  Let’s review, shall we?

Nightmare on Spencer’s Street 

Nearly two years ago, to the day, the pilot episode of PLL bean with what ended up being the Worst High School Sleepover Party EVER!  Sure, everything started out normal enough.  There was gossip, girly pop music, ambiguous liquor being consumed out of not-so-ambiguous red cups . . .

But then Ali snuck out for a quicky with Creepy Pedo Ian, and the rest is, for lack of a better term, “history.” . . .

And how do the girls plan on commemorating the proud day when their bestie got her head bashed in by a shovel?  By throwing another slumber party, of course!

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We get a creepy sense of deja vu as the girls listen to Rihanna (By the way, does anybody remember what pop song was playing during the pilot?), while drinking from those all-too-familiar red plastic cups, and discussing the summer that recently passed.  Emily spent her summer building homes in Haiti, where, at least according to Hanna, up to 50 people can live in one house.  (If that’s true, I wonder how many bathrooms she built.)  Aria and Spencer took college courses, while Hanna had an obscene amount of sex took cooking classes with Caleb.

What’s cooking, good looking? 

Just to remind the fans that she (or he, or they) is still around, “A” instructs the girls, via text message, to expose their tatas to the viewing audience.  Clever!  Maybe the real “A” is a dude, after all . . .

In hindsight, I think the point of the text was to foreshadow that the girls were under close surveillance by at least one member of the so-called “A” team.  But at the time it just made me giggle . . . you know, because they said “boobs” on the “Good Little Christian Channel” that is ABC Family . . . also, because I’m 12 . . .

Emily, who has been getting progressively drunker by the minute (By the way, Drunk Emily = My New Favorite Character on this show), thinks the whole “show your boobs” thing is a Great Idea!  And if this show actually had any male fans, I suspect they would too.

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Now, in most cases (with the exception, perhaps, of during Mardi Gras0, when a woman starts offering to expose herself in public, that’s a pretty good indicator that she should be cut off, liquor-wise.  “Nahhhh, you just keep getting sh*tfaced,” decides Hanna.

And why not?  After all Drunken Exhibitionist Emily is SOO much more fun than the mopey sober one, who whines aout Maya being dead / missing all the time.

On second thought, I may have spoken a bit too soon.  In the course of about a minute, Emily morphs from being a slightly jaded, but still hilarious drunk, to a killjoy depressive drunk.  (Isn’t that always how it works?)  When Spencer brightly tries to engage the girls in a toast to their upcoming senior year . . .

 . . .  Debbie owner Emily reminds them all that Maya will never get to be a senior . . . you know, because she’s like . . . dead . . . and stuff.

(Don’t fret, Emily!)  Maya DID make it to her senior year .  . . about ten years ago . . .  on Dawson’s Creek.

Now, it’s the middle of the night, Aria and a very hungover Hanna (Both girls must have been pretty hammered to fall asleep with their boots on . . . SOOO uncomfortable) . . .

 . . . wake up to find the front door to Spencer’s home open, and both Spencer and Emily MIA.

As if on cue, Spencer rushes own the stairs to inform the girls that Emily is, in fact, gone.  (Sound familiar?)

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Yes, Spencer, you looked everywhere . . . including upstairs, even though the most obvious place to look for Emily was OUTSIDE considering that the DOOR WAS WIDE OPEN.

And you’re supposed to be the Smart One!

Now, Spencer has always been my favorite little liar . . . after Hanna . . . and now Drunk Emily.  But even I have to admit, her actions throughout this scene were SUPER SHADY with a capital “SUPER,” especially considering that she was also the first PLL to notice that the now-dead Ali was missing the summer prior.

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First off, why didn’t Spencer think to call Emily’s cell phone, the minute she noticed she was missing . . . like Hanna does, just moments after she awakens.  Oh wait . . . she did . . . only she blocked her number from Emily’s phone.  Spencer, of course, claims to have no memory of this call.  She claims that someone must have come into the house and made the call, while she was asleep.  o we believe her?  For now, I think we do.  But it’s still mighty suspicious . . .

The Grave Mistake

Anyway, back to Drunk Emily.  Now, when some people get wasted, they black out and wind up in bed with inappropriate people.  Other people get waste, black out, and end up getting married at an Elvis Chapel in Vegas.  Still others get wasted, black out, and wake up in a pool of their own vomit.  Emily’s fate was worse than two of these options . . .

Hey, Ali.  Aren’t we a little too old for Hide and Seek?

I think we can probably assume, based on what we learn later in the episode that the A-team somehow further drugged Emily, shoved her in the trunk of one of their cars (Blind Jenna’s), drove her to the cemetery, dug up the body, then pulled Emily out of the trunk of the car, handed her the shovel and drove away.  That said, I’m not quite sure why Emily’s reaction to all this was to stand like a zombie over the empty coffin, still holding the shovel, from the time Hanna called her to the time the girls finally arrived at the cemetery to pick her up.

Nevertheless, the PLL girls, who’ve gotten pretty adept at cleaning up crime scenes, quickly wipe Emily’s prints off the offending shovel, and get the f*&k out of there.  For some reason, and I don’t exactly recall why, the group splits up.  Spencer and Emily return to Spencer’s house, to engage in a rather homoerotic exchange, in which Spencer demands that Emily strip for her, so that the former can burn her clothes, which can now be construed as evidence.  (Hey!  It looks like Emily got to show someone her boobs, after all!)

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Elsewhere, Hanna and Aria are shocked to find a new-and-not-so-improved Lucas (now with facial hair!) lurking around town in the middle of the night.  Could Lucas be a part of the mysterious “A” team?

Only time (and a few more episodes) will tell.

Anywhoo, Boss Woman Spencer unilaterally decides that the girls will all head to her creepy lakehouse (a.k.a. the place where Hanna and Caleb had sex on Spencer’s nanna’s couch), and claim to have spend the night there, thus providing them with an alibi for the grave robbing for which at least one of them looks extremely guilty . . .

You know what they say . . . if the shovel fits . . .

And it’s a good thing too, because, sure enough, the next morning, Ali’s body snatching is all across small-town news, and the girls need to have their story straight, when they are inevitably questioned by the cops about it . . .

Hmmm . . . so, let’s see.  What else happened this week?

Cooking with Caleb

Hanna talked dirty to Caleb . . . something about dongs . . . or is it “dong po.”  The pair cooked together, while Hanna fibbed about going to the shrink, when she’s actually been visiting Crazy Pants Mona this entire summer.  Caleb, of course, assumed that Hanna spent much of her time in therapy talking about him, because, and I quote “We are intimate.”

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In other news, Caleb now needs to turn in his Man Card, because, in the course of a single episode, he grocery shopped, used the word “intimate” to describe something other than underwear, and cooked a meal with a name that sounds specifically similar to a very private part of the male anatomy . . .

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In other couples’ news .  . .

In which Abs Toby gives Spencer a blue shirt (and blue something else) . . .

Abs Toby is a TOTAL TEASE!  First he parades around Spencer’s bedroom wet and half-naked all summer.  Then he lets her wear his shirt, and DENIES HER SEX.  (I’d say Toby has to turn in his Man Card too . . . but I can’t.  I mean, LOOK at those abs .  . .

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Speaking of Spencer, I should also note that, throughout the episode she gets calls from a blocked phone number, though she seems to know exactly who’s calling each time.  She keeps these calls a secret from the girls and Toby though, all of which makes her seem even more shady . . .

Eventually, we learn that those calls are actally coming from Police Boy Garrett, who seems to be using all his limited phone privileges on the little liar, who probably hates him the most.  So, I guess that means conjugal visits were probably out of the question . . .

“A police boy can dream, can’t he?” 

But more on those two, a bit later.  First we have to talk about Aria and her “thing” with bathrooms . . .

“Hey, remember that time you and I almost banged in a dirty bar bathroom?  Good times!”

Meanwhile, over in Ezria land, Fitzy cleverly decides to remind Aria that this day is not just the day her friend’s rotten decaying corpse was stolen from the ground . . . nor is it the anniversary of the day that same friend was bludgeoned to death . . . it’s also the anniversary of the day the two of them met in a bar, and, moments later, almost got VD by banging in a dirty bar bathroom . . .

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Given those oh-so-fond memories, you would think that Aria would really LIKE bathrooms . . . but . . . apparently not.  Apparently, bathrooms give Aria panic attacks.

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No offense, Fitzy . . .

Anywhoo Aria’s and Fitzy’s plans to “Recreate the Date” of their first public restroom screw, are foiled when Aria gets called in by the cops for questioning about the disappearance of Ali’s body.  Mommy is there, when Aria’s finished.  And she has some not-so-kind words to say to Fitzy, while Aria’s isn’t around to hear them.

“HISSSSSSSS!”

(Did I mention that Mommy Montgomery and Daddy Montgomery are getting a divorce?  At least we won’t have to watch them making out anymore.  Yuck.)  Nevertheless, the two Aria lovers manage to retract their claws temporarily for Aria’s sake, and even agree to a sit down dinner date.  How very mature of them all . . . even the underage one . . .

OMG!  Psych Ward Mona is creepy.  Why the heck would Hanna . . .  WREEEEEENNNNN!

In slightly less happy couple news, Hanna just can’t seem to “quit” Mona, even though the latter pretty much ruined her entire life, and possibly tried to have her killed on more than one occasion.  Unbeknownst to the rest of the PLL girls (though she eventually comes clean later in the episode), she’s been visiting the wackadoo at what appears to be the psych ward from Every Bad Horror Movie Ever .  . . all the way down to the pee-colored yellow walls, saggy beds, and, of course, dirty chairs.  Hang out too long in a place like this, and if you aren’t already crazy, you’ll be there in a month or so .  . .

“Mona, girlfriend.  You’ve gotta cut those split ends from your hair.  And the big baggy white nuthouse nightgown look is SOOOO last season.” 

I’ve seen toilet bowl seats that were cleaner than this . . . 

So as not to clue anyone from town into her visits, Hanna’s been seeing Mona under a fake last name . . . wait for it . . . Rivers.  I guess Caleb Rivers would probably be amused to know this . . . after all, the two ARE “intimate” . . .

Of all the PLL girls, Hanna was, by far, the closest to Mona.  She truly considered the girl a friend, having confided many secrets in her, as the pair traveled the ranks of popularity together.

This makes Mona’s betrayal wound Hanna much deeper than the other girls.  And so she finds herself in desperate need of closure.  She needs to know why.

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Unfortunately for Hanna, Mona isn’t exactly in the closure-giving mood, lately.  Rather, she is in the stare at the wall blankly and drool mood.  In fact, the only time we get any sort of reaction from Mona, is the SUPER CREEPY smile she gets on her face when she hallucinates “Ali” reading Lolita, in the chair behind Hanna.

Is Mona for real?  Is she faking it?  There’s one scene in the episode, in which Mona rises to watch Hanna converse with the doctors and nurses outside Mona’s door, that seems to suggest that is exactly what she is doing.

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“PEEKABOO, I SEEEE YOUUUUU!”

But one thing is for sure, Mona didn’t act alone as “A.”  In fact, the girls can pinpoint at least two times during which Mona COULDN’T have done the things that “A” did.  One of them was the time “A” snuck into Emily’s spa session and massaged her.  (Mona was with Hanna at the time.)  The second one was moving Ian’s hanging body from the bell tower.

“Just hanging out.”

Mona simply isn’t strong enough for that.  The question, of course, is who was helping Mona complete these tasks, and more importantly why.  The seeming lack of motive for these torture sessions are the most confusing thing about them.

But enough about that.  Let’s talk about WREEEENNNNNNN!

Wren’s position as the Only Doctor in Rosewood, apparently extend to psych wards.  (When does this guy sleep?)  For a guy with romantic feelings for Spencer, Wren seems oddly invested in Mona’s fate, even going as far as to personally call Hanna on the phone to  ensure that she continues visiting the looney tune.

Next week, we’ll learn that Wren’s father suffered from mental illness (schizophrenia, perhaps?).   I have to say, I kind of love the writers for taking the time to explore, and provide a back story for this seemingly side character . . . And not just because he’s super hot, and has an adorable accent . . . well,  maybe 95% of my interest has to do with that.  But the last 5% is totally intellectual, I swear! 😉

Speaking of the boys of PLL, what’s the deal with Lucas?  I used to ship him with Hanna.  And now, all the sudden, much like Mona, he’s wandering around town disaffected and zombified.  (Perhaps, being part of the A-team means becoming a zombie.  That would be an interesting supernatural twist on this mystery, wouldn’t it?)

That said, I have to say, the black clothes, and slight facial hair, really work for this guy.   He looks so dark and tortured now.  Sexy . . .

Why Emily needs Ginko-Baloba

Speaking of people who have been a little off lately, Emily definitely seems to be going off the rails a bit.  On registration day at school, she hangs back from the girls, staring at the longingly from outside the school.

(What’s with all the creepy staring in this episode?)

 Upon meeting with her old pal, and sort-of/kind of erstwhile boyfriend, Abs Toby, Emily admits to having developed quite the little drinking problem over the summer.  In fact, the opening scene of the episode, is far from the first time she’s blacked out,  “lost time,” and awoken to find that she’s done something she wouldn’t normally do .  . . you know, like have sex with inappropriate people, get married in Vegas, or sleep in your own vomit.

Abs Toby, being Abs Toby is super supportive, and not-at-all judgmental of Emily, which is exactly what she needs right now.  He tells her that her friends love her for who she is . . . a drunk, who’s sometimes slutty, and possibly enjoys digging up dead bodies,  just as much as she enjoys building homes in Haiti.

Back at home, we see that much of Emily’s problem is that she still really hasn’t adjusted to Maya’s disappearance.   We watch as she sadly wraps one of Maya’s picture, with a scarf the latter gave her, back when the two started dating.

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Man, this episode is depressing . . .

In brighter news, Emily’s memory from at least one of her drunken blackout moments seems to be coming back to her.  Out for a head-clearing jog, Emily sees a car (It’s actually the same one we saw the no longer blind Jenna driving, back in the season finale.) . . .

 . . .  and distinctly remembers being stuck in it’s trunk on the night of the grave robbing.  She’ll get her answers yet.   If she can stop getting wasted long enough to comprehend them . . .

In which Police Boy Garrett begs for Spencer’s help, upon learning that all those rumors about jailhouses and dropped soap are 100% true.

Speaking of wasted, Police Boy Garrett is in bad shape.  The guy who used to bone both Blind Jenna, and B*tch Sister Melissa, positively reeks of desperation, when Spencer visits him in his jail cell, after he’s called her phone about a dozen times from the pokey.  One sight that Police Boy is in trouble, the new hairdo . . . it’s kind of sexy, in a badass sort of way.  And if I like it, you can be assured that the other inmates do too, if you catch my drift.

Watch out, Police Boy.  I hear some of your cell mates are really big fans of The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

Apparently, Police Boy’s defense lawyers had just petitioned the exhumation of Ali’s body, claiming that something on her year-long rotted corpse could prove his innocence.  This means that the “A” team in which he used to be a part, severely betrayed him by taking the body, quite possibly to protect themselves.  It puts him in a unique position to help the PLL girls, if they trust him enough to let him.  Police Boy Garrett tries to bargain with Spencer.  He’ll tell her what she knows, if she gets her mother to help with his defense.  You know, because Spencer’s mom is “the best lawyer in the country,” or something.

“In the words of Harvey Levin from TMZ, I’m a lawyer!” 

Understandably, Spencer isn’t too thrilled about helping the guy who almost got HER put behind bars for the exact same murder.  And yet, as she leaves the jail cell, there is something Police Boy Garrett say that gives her pause . . .

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He doesn’t know crap about Maya though, who he also supposedly killed.  I’m starting to think her death/disappearance might be completely unrelated to this whole “A” thing . . .

Field Trip to Creepo Motel

In other keeping secrets news, we learn that Spencer’s has been spending her spare time visiting, and trying to recreate “A’s” lair, which we got to see in last season’s finale.  Apparently, the place had been cleared out, pretty much instantaneously upon Mona’s arrest, and not by the cops either.  Spencer immediately suspects the  highly suspicious chick who dressed up the black swan at the girls’ junior prom.  You know, because everyone knows the Black Swan is ALWAYS NUTS!

Toward the end of the episode, the girls decide to take a little trip down to the place, to see what they can remember.  But when they emerge from the hotel, they have a little surprise waiting for them . . .

Ending episode scenes of PLL have always been my favorite parts of the episode, and this one is no exception.  You’ve really gotta love the CRAZY of these A people.  We find the car the PLL girls arrived in, open on all sides and positively littered with incriminating images of the girls at the cemetery the night of Ali’s grave robbing.  Once again, “A” appears to be all places at all times.  And if the message she (or he, or they) delivers to the girls at the end of the episode is any indication, New A means serious business.   “Mona played with dolls.   I play with body parts.  Game on, b*tches. – A.”

Quite a leap, from “Show me your boobs, right?”

Next week on PLL . . . (By the way, as always, the Canadian promo is about ten times better than the American one.  What gives, USA?)

Until next time, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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