Tag Archives: January 7

The Hand that Rocked the Video Camera – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Know Your Frenemies”

Oh, lighten up, girls!  The Jersey Shore isn’t THAT BAD!

Welcome back, my Pretties!   Well .  . . it seems we are one week closer to figuring out who A, and Ali’s killer, are.  (According to the PLL writers, the mysterious “A’s” identity should be revealed next week.)  Given the events of this week, we can now be pretty sure that “A” and Ali’s killer are two different people.  Inevitably, this begs the question of what, exactly, “A’s” motives are? 

After all, this week, for the first time, we witnessed “A” doing things that ostensibly seemed to help the girls, both in their personal relationships, and in their quest to solve the mystery of their friend’s murder. 

 

So, what’s the deal?  Is A seeking simply to seek vengeance against the girls, for wrongs they have purportedly committed against her (or him) in the past?  Or does she (or he) have more complex motives than that?  Let’s analyze, shall we?

A Whisper in the Dark

Is it just me, or does the fact that Spencer is wearing BRAIDED PIGTAILS make this scene seem much more ominious than it would otherwise?

With her boyfriend, Alex, pissed at her, Spencer is no longer getting laid. 

I know someone who could fix that for you, Spencer . . .

As a result, she’s got A LOT of time on her hands.  And what better way to spend your spare time, than stalking your recently-married sister, and her quite possibly sociopathic boyfriend?  When the episode begins, Spencer is eavesdropping in the stairwell of the basement where newlyweds, Melissa and Sociopath Ian, have formed their temporary Love Nest.  Conveniently, she overhears them both whispering incriminating things to one another like “No one can know.”  and “We are in this together.” 

When Spencer’s monstrously large feet creek on the steps, Melissa becomes paranoid, and rushes to investigate.  In doing so, she just misses Spencer, who dashes back to her bedroom, and shuts the door, just in time to escape detection.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The minute Spencer gets back to her computer, the ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING, ALMOST GODLIKE “A” has left her an e-mail . . .

Married for love or an alibi? – A

Well, THANKYOU Captain Obvious!  (“A” maybe all-powerful, and all-knowing, but her messages seem to be getting lamer and less funny, with each passing week.  What gives, PLL writers?)

The next morning, Sociopath Ian finds Spencer in the kitchen, and starts threateningly asking her questions about what she may or may not have heard the night before.  Spencer claims she didn’t even know the Happy Couple was home.  But the Deer in Headlights expression on her face says differently . . .

Sociopath Ian informs Spencer that he and Melissa will not be sticking around Rosewood, as originally thought. Instead, they plan to move to Philly (on the lam?)  “We are family now,” Sociopath Ian tells Spencer menacingly, “I hope you start thinking of me that way.”  (Hey, Ian.  You know who else was really into family?  Norman Bates from Psycho . . .)

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

Recalling the MYSTERIOUS GOLF TAG attached to Ian’s bags . . .

 . . . which were also attached to Alison’s bags on the night she died, Spencer asks Ian a few pointed questions about the resort and golf course.  When Ian refuses to take the bait, she decides to investigate the matter further . . .

The next day, the Oh-So-Clever Spencer contacts the resort, pretending she is Ian’s wife, who is interested in getting information about the room where he stayed.  (By doing this, Spencer hopes to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Ian HAD, in fact, gone away with Ali, the weekend before she died.)  Inexplicably, she makes the call using a Laughably Bad Southern Accent.  (Why the accent, Spencer?  Do you think they are going recognize your voice?   Not everyone who works at the Hilton Head watches Pretty Little Liars, you know?)

Of course, the good ole’ folks at Hilton Head confirm that Ian (who apparently wasn’t smart enough to use a pseudonym, when he checked into a hotel room with a girl who was OH SO OBVIOUSLY underage) had, in fact, stayed at the hotel with a “guest,” shortly before Ali was murdered.  Despite the fact that this would be a FABULOUS lead for the police to investigate, when the New Chief Detective on the case (a.k.a. NotDeputyDouchey) conveniently pops in on the girls, Spencer says nothing.

“Dammit, Spencer!  You couldn’t have said ONE SENTENCE to me about Sociopath Ian?  I was one line away from getting my SAG card!”

Back at home, while supposedly “studying,” Spencer embodies the Nosy Neighbor in every single Family Sitcom ever made, by snooping around in Ian’s moving boxes for clues.  Spencer’s search is interrupted, when her sister Melissa comes home, bearing groceries, and a Big Ole’ Pregnancy Test Ovulation Kit, that conveniently falls to the floor, so that Spencer can find it.  (Come on, Melissa!  You couldn’t have fit that in your purse?  What kind of Murder Suspect ARE YOU?)

When Spencer questions her sister about the kit (She’s just questioning EVERYBODY this week, isn’t she?), Melissa’s eyes glaze over like a Stepford Wife, as she explains how she no longer cares about having a successful career.  Instead, she would rather squeeze out lots of “Little Melissa’s and Ian’s,” and have a Big Sweet Sociopathic Family.

Spencer immediately begins searching Melissa’s ears for excess wires and computer parts.  Finding none, she becomes convinced that EVIL Ian has hypnotized her Big Sister into giving up her future.  During this enlightening conversation, a very Testosteroney (seriously, did he BULK UP since the last scene?) Sociopath Ian comes home.  Upon hearing that Melissa spilled the beans about the Happy Couple’s planned Baby Fest, Ian grunts and shoots a Roid Rage-induced sneer in his new wife’s direction . . .

This is probably what The Hulk looks like, about two seconds before his face turns green . . .  and he rips his shirt open . . . with his bear hands . . .

Though both Melissa and Spencer assure Ian that the couple’s “Baby Making Secret” (SO SCANDALOUS!) will remain under wraps until further notice, Ian doesn’t look at all convinced . . .

Emily’s and Maya’s Relationship Goes to Pot . . .

Unlike Spencer, Emily’s problems this week ostensibly had NOTHING to do with “A” or “Ali’s killer.”  Rather, her own MOM was the Big Bad Villain of her tale, this week . . .

It all started with Emily’s mom catching Emily and Maya getting a bit cuddly on Emily’s bed, while the two were studying eachother’s body parts.  Emily’s mom TOTALLY flips out, and kicks Maya out of the house.  Maya is so incredibly shocked by Emily’s mother’s rude and homophobic behavior that she leaves her bookbag in Emily’s room.  This, in hindsight, was the STUPIDEST thing Girlfriend could have done, under the circumstances.

Once Maya leaves, an Enraged Emily tells her mother that, for the first time in her life, she is ashamed to be her mother’s daughter . . .

Taking a page from Snoopy Spencer’s book, Emily’s mom creeps into Emily’s room, while the latter is at school, and rifles through Maya’s bag.  Inside the bag she finds a MIX TAPE (gasp!) and an ALTOIDS box (double gasp!).  Why Emily’s mom decided to open her daughter’s girlfriend’s Altoids Box remains a mystery to me.  (Perhaps, she has bad breath from all the SEAFOOD she has been eating lately, if you catch my drift. ;))  Whatever the reason, upon opening the ALTOIDS, Emily’s mom finds two delicately rolled joints embedded therein.

Maya is INTO THE REEFER! 

Emily’s mom speedily confronts Emily about what she found, before rushing off to rat Maya out to her parents.  The next day, we learn that, upon finding out that their daughter smokes Altoids, Maya’s parents have decided to ship their daughter off to some Religious Wackadoo Camp for BAD GIRLS!  (I’ve seen pornos that started this way . . .)

“I wanna be a BAD GIRL, because it hurts SO GOOD!”

By the way, did anyboy ELSE find it weird that Maya’s Hippy Dippy Parents, of the Permanent Marker Wedding Rings and the Getting Married AFTER having two kids, would freak out THIS MUCH over a little pot?  Riiiiiiight . . . as if those two weren’t High off their Asses, and rocking out to the Grateful Dead, when Maya was conceived!)

Emily is clearly heartbroken, when she informs her friends of the news, the next day.  But fear not, Emmaya Fans!  The Pretty Little Liars have a plan!  And when the foursome get together that night to search through more of Ian’s boxes study (No .  . . I’m serious.  This is the girls’ idea of fun) . . .

. . . they call upon Maya to surprise Emily, and give the Wounded Lover a nice final Goodbye Screw, before she leaves for Jesus Camp . . .

Remember, boys and girls, Maya eats EVERYTHING . . . but seafood.

Now, I have to admit, initially, I was skeptical of the Emmaya pairing, simply because I thought Maya was boring, and looked more like a 35-year old hooker, than a high school student.  But I must say, the farewell kiss and slow dance that Maya and Emily shared together this week was SUPER HOT!  (And this is coming from a Straight Girl.)

We’ll miss you, Emmaya!  Y’all come back now, you hear?

Note:  When Maya is leaving Spencer’s house, SOMEONE, presumably either “A” or Ali’s killer, is clearly watching the girls from outside the house.  The foursome gives that person chase, but SHE gets away, causing Hanna (I think) to remark, “That’s one fast, B*tch.”  Whichever of the two “villains” that stalker ends up being, it obviously isn’t Maya.  This is not to say, that if the stalker was “A,” Maya can’t end up being Ali’s killer, or vice versa.  It’s just some food for thought . . .

Poor Creepy Toby!

In other news, Spencer has been spying on Creepy Toby.

Seriously, is there anyone Spencer HASN’T been spying on?  I feel like she’s been making THAT FACE for the ENTIRE HOUR!

In spying, she learns that Creepy Toby, has been getting harassed at school, as a result of his being the main suspect in Ali’s murder investigation . . .

His face also, apparently, scares little kiddies . . .

This causes him to cry in dark alleyways . . .

We feel your pain, Creepy Toby!

A Strikes Back (Against Bushy Eyebrows Noel?)

Creepy Toby wasn’t the only PLL Guy having a rough episode this week.  Our favorite English Professor, Fitzy, was still dealing with the increasingly aggressive threats of Blackmailer and Professional Creepo, Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who “needed” Fitzy to change his grade on his English paper, so that he could compete in the “game” this week. 

(Note: I’m not entirely sure what sport Noel plays.  However, I imagine he’s probably not a swimmer.  Those massive eyebrows would DEFINITELY weigh him down, underwater.) 

Noel even goes so far as to hand Fitzy the same paper AGAIN to “re-evaluate.”  To show Fitzy and Aria that he means business, Noel then makes lewd and suggestive comments to Fitzy’s students about Aria being into “older guys.”  He also suggestively tells Aria’s brother that Fitzy is messing around with a “student.” 

Fitzy is clearly shaken by the threats, and considers changing Bushy Eyebrow’s grade.  However, ultimately, he decides that he cannot, in good conscience, do that. Upon coming to this important decision, Fitzy texts Aria, and invites her to his apartment.

Once she is there, Fitzy confirms his love for Aria, and tells her that he plans to resign from Rosewood High to protect his career, and save their relationship.  “How I feel about you is real,” Fitzy tells Aria.  “I will not change Noel’s grade.  And I will not let him hurt you . .  . I will not let him change this into something that feels wrong . . .  I love you.”

Lo and behold, Aria loves Fitzy too.  (AWWWWW!)

The two then share a long and sweet kiss . . .

Afterward, they head to the couch, for an extended dry hump cuddle session . . .

But just like the final rendezvous between Emily and Maya, there is an element of sadness here, as if the pair fear that, once Fitzy resigns, their relationship is doomed.

The next day, Fitzy packs up his classroom super slowly, as MAJORLY DRAMATIC MUSIC plays in the background.  (Dead Fitzy Walking.)

But, just when Fitzy is about to tender his resignation, he finds Noel in the hallway, getting busted by the principal for purportedly stealing exams . . .

The PLL’s, all of whom, except Spencer, have suspected Noel of being “A” for the past couple of weeks, are shocked by the recent development.  However, they are even more shocked to learn who was behind it.  Just seconds after Noel is publicly confronted for “stealing,” the girls all receive texts from the increasingly chatty “A.”

“A is for Alison, not Amateur.”

Now that “A,” who is clearly NOT Noel, has done Aria a solid, by saving her relationship with Fitzy from utter ruin, the future Miss Fitzy doesn’t know what to believe, anymore . . .

Hey look, Aria is wearing an “A” necklace!  Yes, I understand that her name begins with an A.  But still . . . weird . . .

Cupcake Torture

Seriously, how ADORABLE are these cupcakes?  And where can I buy myself one?

Of all the Pretty Little Liars, Hanna has probably been the one who has gotten the brunt of “A’s” torture.  I mean, the girl got RAN OVER BY A CAR!  It doesn’t get much worse than that.  This week, Hanna found herself at “A’s” mercy, as a result of the letter she found last week, instructing her that she had to follow “A’s” directions, in order to get her mom’s hard-earned  stolen money back.   In her locker at school, Hanna finds one of the many missing $100 bills . . .

The bill has a message taped to the back of it . . .

Go to 21 Main Street.  Ask for Hefty Hanna’s Order – A.

Suddenly, it’s flashback time!  We are treated to a shot of a still-skinny-but-pretending-to-be-fat Hanna, binging on an ENTIRE brownie tin . . .  In comes Ali to “rescue” Hanna, with her “helpful” tips on the Wonderful World of Bulimia.

“I can help you get rid of it [the food in your belly],” offers Flashback Ali seductively.

Back in the present day, Hanna is forced to order an entire box of Pig-Decorated Cupcakes.  She then receives another message from “A,” telling her that she must EAT THE WHOLE BOX of them!

Watching Hanna tearfully stuff her face with cupcakes, as football players “oink” at her, was a truly painful experience.  Arguably, baiting Hanna’s preexisting eating disorder is the WORST psychological torture “A” has inflicted on a member of the foursome thus far.  And when Hanna receives a text from “A,” echoing Ali’s earlier flashback words, “I know how you can get rid of it,” it starts to seem like things have been taken a bit too far . . .

Fortunately, Aria arrives to save the day.  She even blesses the oinking football players with the FUNNIEST line of the entire episode . . .  “Don’t you guys have practice?  Or have you lost your balls?”  the former Goth Girl snarks . . .

You GO, ABC Family!  There’s nothing like a good balls joke, to lift the crowd’s spirits after an uncomfortable moment . . .

While, not going as far as to tell Aria about the “unauthorized loan” her mom took out, Hanna does confide in her friend, about the nature of A’s threats, and her problems with bulimia.  Aria is supportive, without being judgmental.  And it is the support that enables Hanna to go to the bathroom, and NOT puke up those cupcakes . . .

She, does, however, wash and dry her hands, and is rewarded by “A” for doing so.  (Cleanliness is godliness, after all.)

Back at home, Hanna’s mom learns that Hanna has somehow gotten a portion of her “unauthorized loan” back.

And though she clearly realizes that Hanna probably had to do something VERY naughty to get that money, Ashley doesn’t really question it’s source.  This is because Hanna’s mom is kind of a terrible person. (But she is still way better than EMILY’S MOM!)

You know what they say about Idle Hands . . .

In the climactic last few moments of the episode, “A” sends the girls the same video the detectives had shown them last year, of Ali and her “boyfriend” on the night of Ali’s death.  The only difference now, is that this is the UNRATED and UNCUT version.  And, let me tell you, this puppy has SNUFF PORN written all over it!  First, we see Ali talking about how immature her friends are and how much she loves the person holding the video camera.  Then, she turns the camera on HIM . . .

Now, those of us who watched the show last year, already KNEW it was Ian on that tape.  What we didn’t know, was that his on-camera debut, was followed by: (1) the camera being dropped to the ground; (2) moans of pleasure from Ali;  (3) a scream of possibly pleasure, and possibly excruciating pain, on Ali’s part (though the horrified, mostly virginal, PLL’s obviously assume it’s the latter); (4) Ali’s hand grasping at dirt, and twitching; and, finally (5) and, Ali’s hand falling to the ground — completely immobile and lifeless.

Ladies and gentleman, what I just described to you was either the most sexually suggestive video EVER to appear on ABC Family, or one of the most horrifying murders-by-video-camera ever to be witnessed by a young adult audience, during prime time.  Either way, it’s some pretty intense stuff.

Honestly, there’s no telling where things are going to go from here.  And I, for one, can’t wait.  Until next week, My Pretties! 

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Looks Can Be Deceiving – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Salt Meets Wound”

Hanna got bored being home alone.  So, she decided to reenact a famous scene from that old movie, Rear Window.

Welcome back, my Pretties!  It’s time for another Pretty Little Recap.  Is it just me, or does this show keep getting better every week?  I mean, here we are two weeks away from the supposed reveal of “A’s” identity, and I still have NO CLUE who it is!  NONE!  And I suspect everybody . . . even YOU!

Let’s start reviewing the clues, shall we?

What do Jesus and Humpty Dumpty have in common?

When the episode begins, the Fabulous Foursome have just taken a wheelchair-bound Hanna home from the hospital.  Immediately, we see  Hanna fussing with a very large bumper sticker on her cast.  (I’m loving her flawless blue manicure, by the way.)

The bumper sticker says “Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed.”

“So TRUE!”

Of course, the nursery-rhyming sticker is meant to cover up a much more odious message, which “A” left on Hanna’s cast last week . . .

Aria snipes at Spencer for the inappropriate nature of the bumper sticker.  (Hey, at least it didn’t say “Humpty Dumpty was run over by a car.”  Because that would have just been rude!)

“Ya, think!”

(By the way, notice how Hanna has BLACK nailpolish in this scene, and LIGHT BLUE when she gets home from the hospital . . . just sayin’.)

Spencer defends her choice by saying, it was either the Humpty Dumpty bumper sticker or one that says, “Jesus is coming  .  . . look busy.”  Personally, I would have gone with Jesus . . .

With all the TOTAL crazies who are after these girls, they are going to need all the help from above they can get!

One of the girls (I can’t remember who) holds up a stuffed panda that Hanna brought home, and asks who gave it to her.  She tells the girls it’s from Lucas.  Emily thinks this is very sweet, but Hanna doesn’t seem to agree.   As for me, I just keep wondering about that EVIL bear that we saw by Hanna’s hospital bed, last week . . .

That bear is nowhere to be found.  I’m thinking it was from Sean.  So, Lucas’ panda probably ate it . . .

The Truth is in the CARBS!

Hanna sudddenly gets this MAJOR craving for Pop Tarts, which is kind of random . . . And if this was any other teen show, it would make me think she was pregnant.  So, when the rest of the girls leave the room for a second, she takes her crutch, and uses it to empty the contents of the Marin Family FORBIDDEN CARBS CABINET!  Unfortunately, Hanna never gets to eat her precious Pop Tarts, because she finds THIS on the floor . . .

It’s a box of lasagna . . . with HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS HIDDEN INSIDE!

Hanna’s not 100% sure where this money came from, but she’s thinks its probably bad news.  Us fans, on the other hand, KNOW its bad news, because we watched Hanna’s sticky fingers mother steal it from a little old lady, during the mid-season finale.  When the girls come back from wherever it was they conveniently ran off to for the last two minutes, Hanna kicks their asses out of the house.  They seem confused by her sudden rudeness, but chalk it up to her being tired, and, ultimately, leave.  Then, as if on cue, Hanna gets THIS text from “A.”

“Like Mommy, like daughter.  Can you run from the law on those legs? – A”

(I’m thinking this “clue” is going to be a pretty tough one for the writers to explain away.  I mean, any number of high school students could have learned about Hanna’s shoplifting arrest.  Teens do gossip, after all.  But for “A” to know that Ashley Marin stole that money, he or she would have had to have been in the bank with her WHILE she was doing it . . . or at least saw the wad of cash in her car, when she was driving away.  I don’t think too many of the suspects on this show had the opportunity to do either of those things.  The plot thickens!)

When Ashley Marin arrives home from a shopping spree, Hanna confronts her about the Lasagna Money.  (I sure hope they don’t end up eating those!  Who knows where that money has been?)

Rather then be embarrassed or apologetic about her behavior, Mama Marin copes with the situation, by getting extremely defensive with her daughter.  “I HID IT IN A BOX OF CARBS!  I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SAFE!”  She whines.

(Nice Mama Marin!  Way to make your daughter, WHO IS RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER, feel good about herself . . .) 

 Ever the wordsmith, Ashley describes the money as a five finger discount an “unauthorized loan,” one that she plans on paying back by the end of the year by turning tricks for Deputy Douchey and Aria’s dad.  Hanna, of course, thinks her mom’s excuse is a load of crap, as do I.  But she’s got way too much on her plate to deal with it right now . . .

“Maya eats everything!”

Sometimes, I have to wonder a bit about the writers of Pretty Little Liars, and just how purposeful their “dirty little jokes” are.  Take this scene for example, where Emily is having yet another awkward breakfast with her perpetual-stick-up-her-butt mom, and her way-nicer-than-I-thought-he-would-be military dad.  The family is discussing how Emily’s girlfriend, Maya, will be joining them for dinner that evening.  So, Emily mother asks if there is anything she should know about what Maya eats.  To this, Emily responds, “Maya eats EVERYTHING!”

I know, girls.  We can’t believe they wrote that into the script, either . . .

Source

(For those of you who don’t understand why that comment was risque, you are probably better off not knowing.) 

Anyway, the next day at school, Emily is VERY nervous about Maya coming over for dinner, and instructs her new lady love to wear a dress.  Maya jokes that she will tell Emily’s parents that she knit her dress, so as not to appear too “butch.” But Emily is not amused.  Apparently, Emily’s parents are NOT down with the gay jokes except the ones they accidentally make, involving “eating out”.  They even change the channel when Ellen comes on . . .

They must have something against dancing!

Aria, who is nearby at the time, tells Maya that if she decides to wear jeans, instead of a dress, she should definitely IRON THEM . . .

“Nice one, Aria!  Usually, Spencer and Hanna get all the funny lines, but that one was all YOU!”

Maya does end up wearing a dress to dinner, which scores her major points with Emily’s mom.  Those points disappear, however, when Maya tells Mrs. Fields (as in Emily’s mom, not the maker of the cookies) that she doesn’t eat fish seafood.

Yeah . . . I can’t defend them anymore.  The writers definitely knew what they were doing here.   That was one FISHY joke!

“But you said MAYA EATS EVERYTHING!”  Emily’s mom cries out way too loudly.  (Oh dear!  This is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.)

Maya loses more points, when she admits that her parents didn’t get married until AFTER she and her brother were born.  (GASP!)  They also used a FELT TIP MARKER to DRAW their wedding ring. (DOUBLE GASP!)  And one of them even has a TATTOO!  (OOOOHHHH NOOOO!)  Emily’s dad thinks Hippy Dippy Maya is just a plain old riot.  But Emily’s mom most certainly does not.  In fact, she leaves the room to do THIS . . .

While in the pantry, Emily’s mom spent so long, staring at jars of food, and bawling her eyes out, I half expected her to try and POISON Maya to death, by sneaking seafood into her meal.  To make matters worse, when Emily’s mom comes outside to give Maya some leftovers, she finds her and her daughter making out, HARD CORE!

I wouldn’t eat those leftovers, if I were you, Maya.  They seem . . . fishy.

After dinner, Emily’s sweet mom kindly tells Emily that (1) her dad’s leaving again at the end of the month; and (2) Emily’s relationship with Maya makes her sick to her stomach.  (Wow, the moms on this show are the BEST EVER!  One’s a thief, and the other’s a mean-spirited homophobe . . . If Aria’s mom ends up having killed Ali, I won’t be surprised.)

She is a witch, after all . . .

 Speaking of Aria . . .

She visits Fitzy, after class to tell him that it was Bushy Eyebrows Noel who “I SEE YOU””d his car, during the mid-season finale.

Aria assures Fitzy that Noel promised to keep their relationship a secret.  But Fitzy isn’t so sure . . .

His suspicions are confirmed, when Noel stops by the class later to complain about a “C” he got on his Great Gatsby paper . . .

Noel doesn’t think he deserves a “C.”  Not with all he .  . . KNOWS.  In fact, he thinks that he deserves an “A.”

Get it?  “A” . . . (hint, hint, wink wink)

Fitzy tells Aria that Bushy Eyebrows Noel is a TOTAL psycho, who is blackmailing him for grades.  Their discussion is interrupted by Super Scary Blind Jenna (more on her freakishness later), who needs Fitzy to sign something.  “Sorry to interrupt,” she snivels.

OK . . . PLL writers, the whole “Blind Girl Knows Everything” joke is getting a bit old . . .

Aria later confronts Noel about Fitzy’s allegations against him.  Noel completely denies it, assuring Aria that her illegal boyfriend is a Big Fat Liar.  What surprises me is that Aria actually considers this for a moment.  However, she then remembers a time when Ali got Noel’s girlfriend to dump him, so that he would be single for Aria (who was crushing on him at the time).

Check out “Goth” Aria, and Not-Actually-Chubby-But-Pretending-To-Be Hanna from Flashback World!

And look!  There’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel with an Elvis Presley Haircut that’s SO LAST YEAR!

“Is there some old grudge you’ve got against me and my friends?”  Aria asks, genuinely expecting an honest answer from this d-bag. 

Noel responds by . . . walking away . . . (Hmmmmm, interesting.)

 

But you know who CAN’T walk away?

Even though Creepy Toby is out on bail, he’s under house arrest.  This means he has to wear a police-locating anklet, just like Lindsay Lohan.  When Emily comes to visit him, he’s trying to CHOP IT OFF.  (Riiiight, because the cops would NEVER notice a thing like THAT!)  Emily promises that she’s not the one who turned Creepy Toby in to the cops last season.  Creepy Toby doesn’t seem to believe her, because Emily never showed any signs of believing Toby, when he promised her that he didn’t murder Ali.

After Emily leaves, Blind Jenna pops up (as she ALWAYS tends to do), thereby ensuring that this already creepy scene is about to get TEN TIMES CREEPIER!

Toby tells Jenna about how Emily said she wasn’t the one who turned him in to the cops.  “She didn’t.  I did,” says Jenna matter-of-factly.  “How did you expect to prove you were innocent, if you kept running around like a fugitive?”

Then . . . she KISSES . . . HER BROTHER . . . ON THE LIPS!

OK . . . I get that they aren’t supposed to be biologically related .  . . but STILL!

Toby makes me like him just a smidge more, when he rebuffs Blind Jenna’s advances.  (See, I didn’t even call him Creepy, this time.  Baby Steps.)  “You can chain me to this porch, and I still wouldn’t touch you again,” he growls.

Blind Jenna responds to this remark, by slapping Toby in the face, and running away.  But Toby’s got bigger fish to fry than a Scary Incest Loving Sister.  We learn toward the end of the episode, that the police found Ali’s blood on the ugly green sweater Toby lent her the night she died.  This will undoubtedly make Toby the prime suspect in Ali’s murder, in the eyes of the Rosewood Police.  In PLL viewers’ eyes though, the prospect of Toby’s being “A” and/or Ali’s murderer is becoming increasingly less likely.  (After all, he has a perfect alibi for when Hanna was hit by the car last season, seeing as he was IN JAIL at the time.)

 

“Point, Set, Match!”

Of all the Pretty Little Liars’ storylines tonight, Spencer’s was probably the least interesting.  Because Wren wasn’t in it.  BRING BACK WREN!  In her defense, she was looking ABSOLUTELY fabulous in her 1920’s inspired hat, and matching blouse.  She spent most of the episode making out with her new boyfriend notWren Alex . . .

 . . . who, though, supposedly “working class” inexplicably owns a REALLY nice sports car (see above). 

Spencer and Alex got into a bit of a fight over the fact that Alex had the opportunity to take on a fancy tennis internship  (He could GO PRO!), but prefers to stay at home and work for his uncle instead.  Over-achieving, Harvard-bound, Spencer thinks this is kind of lame.  And when Alex throws the internship application in the trash, she looks disappointed in him.

“I’m judging you.”

So, you could imagine BOTH their surprises, when Alex is notified by phone that his internship application has been submitted ELECTRONICALLY.  Alex automatically assumes Spencer went behind his back to do this, and storms off.  So, of course, precisely NO ONE is surprised when Spencer receives that Oh-So-Predictable text from “A” that says . . . wait for it . . . “Point, Set, Match . . .”

That’s OK, Hanna . . . we thought it was cheesy too.

Back at her mansion, Spencer finds all of her NEW brother-in-law, Ian’s stuff in her living room, and chats with her dad about what a huge jackass her sister decided to marry, and how bizarre the whole thing is.  (We think so too, Spencer!)  While she’s looking at Ian’s crap, she notices a set of golf clubs with a hotel tag on them Hilton Head, South Carolina . . .

She then conveniently recalls, via flashback, that Ali had the same tags on her suitcases when she returned from her “Grandma’s House” the day she died.  And since WE all know from that video tape from last season, that Ian may well have been the last person to see Ali alive . . . this all looks very suspicious, indeed .  . .

Happy “You Still Have a Spleen” Day, Hanna!

Annoying Mona decides to throw Hanna a “Welcome Back!  You are still hot, even though you don’t have a spleen” surprise party at the Marin household.  But Hanna still HAS her spleen, so Mona has to change the party’s name.  Name changes aside, Mona arrives at Hanna’s house, under the pretense of “getting her up to speed” on school.  She then acts shocked, when a random car pulls into Hanna’s driveway.  Hanna, of course, FREAKS out.  “CALL THE POLICE!”  She yelps.

“SURPRISE,” replies the ENTIRE student body of Rosewood High . . .

Hanna tries to be a good sport about this impromptu event, but it’s pretty clear she’s not having a good time.  For starters, random people (most notably BUSHY EYEBROWS NOEL) are raiding her CARBS CABINET, which, as you recall, contains her Stolen Lasagna Money.  Then there’s her lame as heck boyfriend, Sean, telling lame stories about Hanna to anybody who will listen, and making constipated monkey faces, like THIS . . .

Then there’s Lucas, who CLEARLY did not take Hanna’s gentle bedside rejection of his advances well AT ALL!  He’s getting belligerantly wasted on “jungle juice,” and making all sorts of snide (though admittedly VERY funny) comments at Boring Sean’s expense.  Eventually, Sean gets fed up, and starts to whale on the kid.  Fortunately, Bushy Eyebrows Noel breaks up the fight.  (I can’t believe I just used the words “fortunately” and “Noel” in the same sentence.) 

Hanna invites a very petulant Lucas outside to talk about his feelings . . .

“You came here to get back at me for what happened at the hospital,” Hanna tells Lucas, matter-of-factly.

“You are no different from the rest of them!” Lucas yells, despite the fact that Hanna has been NOTHING BUT NICE to him, through his hospital stalking, and recent bad behavior.  “Considering what that b*tch did to me, I should have done way worse to her!”

Hanna looks horrified.  “What did you do to Ali, Lucas?”  She asks.

Lucas then admits something we all have suspected, since last season.  He was the one who destroyed that UGLY ASS memorial fountain built in Ali’s honor.  “Dying doesn’t make you a saint,” Lucas says, by way of explanation.

But destroying this fountain makes YOU one, Lucas.  MAN, was that thing UGLY!

Lucas offers Hanna the opportunity to turn him in for his destruction of public property, but Hanna refuses.  “I’m not going to call the cops.  I think we can keep this between us,” replies Hanna.

“Please don’t make me like you.  It’s too hard,” pleaded Lucas sadly, before walking away.

(Please don’t make me like YOU, Lucas!  Because, despite everything you’ve done in the past two episodes, I still DO . . . VERY MUCH, actually!  And if you end up being “A” or Ali’s killer, that will make me REALLY upset!)

*Sigh* 

After Lucas leaves, Boring Sean comes outside to stick out his tongue and sing “Na-Na Na-Na Boo, Boo!”

But Hanna uses this opportunity to question him as to how well he really knows Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who she still suspects of being “A” and/or “Ali’s killer.”  The mere SUGGESTION that his Butt Buddy isn’t Mr. Perfect, freaks out Sean.  And he gets all huffy with Hanna.  So, Hanna, who is clearly tired of babysitting cranky baby boys, when SHE is the one nursing a serious leg injury, tells Sean to leave, and take the rest of her “party guests” with him.

While Hanna is cleaning up, she hears a noise in the house, and becomes convinced she is being attacked by “A” and/or Ali’s killer.  The poor girl is nearly in tears, when her mother gets home.  Mama Hypocrite is FURIOUS with Hanna for throwing a party (which she didn’t, by the way .  . . at least, not on purpose).  Hanna’s mom then becomes even MORE furious when she finds that someone has STOLEN her STOLEN MONEY from her!

Ashley Marin takes one of Hanna’s pain meds, before stomping off to bed.  But when Hanna opens the SAME medication, she finds a letter tucked inside . . .

“You will get your money back, if you do what I say. — Sweet Dreams, A”

In the last scene of the episode, we see a “mysterious gloved hand” (Aren’t they ALWAYS mysterious and gloved?) shoving those stolen $100 bills into an UGLY Clown Bank . . .

My prediction?  The next time we see this bank, it will be in episode 4.  And it will be THIS bank, that ultimately reveals to US (if not to the Pretty Little Liars themselves) A’s identity.

And, that was “Salt Meets Wound” in a nutshell.  Sweet Dreams!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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