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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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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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