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You Better Knock on Wood! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Murder of One”

“Hey Rebekah, would you mind if we finish reenacting your favorite scene from Fifty Shades of Grey, later?  I kind of have to pee.” 

Greetings, Fangbangers!  Our favorite vampire show has become quite the merciless tease, hasn’t it?

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The promos promised us Open Season on Originals . . . a veritable Vampire Bloodbath . . . our heros, armed with more stakes than they had targets. “The odds ever in their favor.”

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What we got was one lowly kill, of a character who’s claim to fame was literally being a Creepy Mama’s Boy.  Also, dude couldn’t fight worth a sh*t.  (Let’s face it, my grandma would have put up more of a fight than Finn did.)  Then again, in his defense, if you had spent the last 900 years napping, you’d probably be a bit off your game too.

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Additionally, the promos promised us intensely erotic Delena kisses.

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What we got was a Dream Sequence . . .

. . . oldest trick in the book . . . And yet, I manage to fall for it Every Single Time.

Shame on me.

Petty frustrations aside, there WAS definitely some fun to be had during “The Murder of One.”  For starters, we were treated to a rather clever twist on the concept of “Vampire Family.”  (So, which Original do you think sired Rose?)

Mommy? 

In related news, our Scooby Gang reached new levels of stupidity, when it willing ARMED the serial killer . . . again.  (They really would have been better off hiding the stake in the soapdish . . .)

So, stroke . . . er . . . I mean sharpen your woody . . . and chain up your half-naked pet vampire.  Because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

(As always, special thanks to my expert screencapper, Andre for the filled with awesomesauce screencaps you see here.)

“Shhh . . . be very, very quiet.  We’re hunting Originals.”

“Elena, please stop hounding me for sex.  You are starting to sound a little desperate.” 

Truth be told, Damon is acting a little cagey, when Elena pops by the site of Alaric’s “house arrest,” to drop off the latter’s Breakfast of Psycho Killer Champions.  The dark-haired vampire seems unusually eager for the love of his life to leave.  In fact, he pretty blatantly rebuffs her attempts to cross the threshhold into the apartment.

(And we all know how much Damon and Elena generally enjoy their bedroom rendezvous.)

Something is definitely UP, but what could it be?

Perhaps, Bad!Alaric has gone on a rampage, and destroyed the house?  Or, maybe the two bromantic buddies are having a dance-off.  Maybe, Damon and Alaric are watching a Lifetime movie together.  And they have just reached the part where Tori Spelling finally escapes her wife beating-shrew of a husband, and finds her way into the waiting arms of the mildly attractive B-list actor, who loved her all along . . .

“Funny . . . I always thought the most dangerous weapon in the world was in my pants . . .” 

It isn’t until after Damon closes the door in Elena’s face, that we find out what he’s really hiding . . . It’s his morning wood . . .-en stakes, that is.  That’s right, boys and girls!  It turns out that Psycho Killer Alaric Saltzman is a whiz with a buzz saw!  (Take that, crazy family from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.) 

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And Damon?  Well, he can whittle like nobody’s business!  Their Herculean efforts (combined with Stefan’s griping and complaining about his wood not being sufficiently erect) turn an old lame wooden bridge sign, into no less than TWELVE lean, mean, Originals- killing machines . . .  (Though part of me thinks they could have had more, if they made them a little smaller.  Silly men – always so preoccupied with the size of their sticks . . .)

Then, because five whole minutes have passed in the episode without anyone having done anything stupid, Damon and Stefan convince Psycho!Alaric to not only NOT turn himself in to the cops, but also to wear his “Jamaican Me Crazy” ring, for sh*ts and giggles.  Then . . . they actually GIVE this lunatic a stake!!!  Can you believe it?

Speaking of Psycho!Alaric, Elena tells Caroline that she should TOTALLY forgive him for murdering her father.  After all, it’s not his fault that he has REALLY bad taste in jewelry!

“It could be worse, he could have a Jamaican Me Crazy Nipple Ring . . .” 

Just like it’s not Caroline’s fault that she used to sometimes drink her favorite B Positive Blood from peoples’ necks, instead of using a straw, like the rest of us . . .

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After all, everybody knows that if Elena chose to turn her back on her friends and lovers JUST because they were serial killers, she wouldn’t have any friends at all!  (Plus, she’d pretty much never, ever get laid.)

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Caroline is super impressed by Elena’s Mother Theresa-esque attitude toward supernatural murderers.  So, she vows to be more tolerant of her father’s stake-wielding, cold blooded killer, in the future.  All  together now: Awwwww!

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As it turns out, Elena and Caroline aren’t just frolicking in the woods for their health.  They have a date with destiny!  Stefan has gathered the entire Scooby Gang . . . and Matt . . . in order to indoctrinate them into Team Kill Originals.

“No, Damon!  Everytime you make us play shirts versus skins, Vampire Killers, you always make us be skins.  It’s not fair!” 

“I can take off my pants, if that helps.  (I’m not wearing any underwear.)” 

And why shouldn’t everyone get to play?  There are plenty of stakes to go around!  Plus, since Mommy Original Witch’s spell has succesfully linked the family’s lives together, all the group needs to do is manage to kill ONE Original, and the rest of them will die shortly thereafter.

Now, surely, this stalwart crew of monsters, murderers and  . . Matt . . . can manage to kill one measley vampire, right?

Well . . .

On one hand, I adored the lighthearted nature of this “training” scene.  I smirked when Elena got to “roleplay” Klaus.  And I smiled again, when Caroline, (a.k.a. Klaus Bait) got to roleplay Rebekah.  My only gripe with this scene was that I thought there should have been a whole lot less planning, and a whole lot more .  . . STABBING of things.  Just sayin.’

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Finn Mikaelson . . . you are The Weakest Link.

Little does the Scooby Gang know that an Originals-Killing opportunity is closer at hand, than they think.  As it turns out, The World’s Most Self-Loathing Vampire (though, it could be argued that his vampire-eating, father hated himself more), did not actually leave town, as initially suspected.  In fact, he’s wandering around the Mystic Falls’ town square, RIGHT NOW.  It is here, where brother and sister dearest, Klaus and Rebekah corner him, and drag him back to their family lair.

“Check out those pects!  Have you been working out?” 

But Klaus and Rebekah are no dummies.  They know, full well, that they can catch more flies with honey, than with Finn-egar.   (See what I did there?)  Knowing that Finn will not guard his  life, to save his own siblings, they opt to offer him another reason to live  .  . . a.k.a. his lover girl, Sage . . . the boxing mind raper.  (Well, we all know who wore the pants in THAT relationship.)

Personally, my impression of Finn has always been that the only woman he’s ever dreamed about being horizontal with, is the one who breast fed him.  But hey, at least cares enough about Sage to put off whacking himself, long enough to accompany her to the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls for some bottom shelf tequila.  Ahhh, true love!

“He always shouted out, ‘Mommy,’ whenever we had sex.  I thought it was a cute pet name . . . until that time, when his mother tried to climb into bed with us  . . .”

Well, hello, there, Bondage Damon!

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Damon and Alaric (Wait . . . they are letting the Psycho Killer out of the house now?  What happened to house arrest?)  . . .

Then again, maybe some fresh air wouldn’t hurt . . .

 . . . are busy hiding their Originals-killing stakes.  When Damon decides to hide his in the fire kindling, Alaric hilariously reminds him of the “Moonstone in the Soapdish” incident.  Crazy Train is right, Damon.

Hiding valuable objects in plain sight might not be the best idea, in this instance.  . .

Unfortunately, Damon is about to have bigger problems than merely choosing a poor hiding place for his surrogate weiner.  Suddenly, Alaric has been knocked out cold, by an unseen force.

Alaric: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Alaric’s alter ego: “Suck it up, loser!  We’ve got people to kill!” 

Next thing you know, Damon is being staked in the gut, to the point of unconsciousness.  “Hello, lover,” coos Rebekah, as she drags her “ex boyfriend” out of the house.  Well, that’s one way to let a guy know you are interested . . .

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This is another . . . 

Sometime during the commercial break, Rebekah, the sadist – who was none too happy to learn that Damon had used her body for sex, and then mind-raped her too boot (I don’t know, sounds like a pretty great time to me) has taken the opportunity to chain Damon to her ceiling.

Now, that’s a lot of heavy hardware to have just “lying around” your new mansion.  In fact, it made me wonder where one goes to purchase such a contraption.  (Something tells me an S&M sex shop wouldn’t do particularly good business in an old-fashioned town, like Mystic Falls.  Then again, considering about ¾ of the people we’ve met who live there are bloodthirsty vampires, witches, and werewolves, perhaps some intrepid entrepreneur capitalized on what he saw as a good business opportunity.)

Question, fangbangers:  Does the fact that I was turned on by the sight of an open-shirted Damon chained to the ceiling make me a bad person?  I strongly suspect that it does.  Then again, unless this is the first recap of mine that you are reading, you probably already knew I was a bad person, anyway, and have decided to withhold judgment against me for it.  So, thank you for that.

You know what’s nifty about the Salvatores?   (Yes, I just used the word “nifty.”  1954 has been calling me ever since I typed it, asking that I return the word to its proper decade.)  They even bleed pretty.  Back in “As I Lay Dying” the makeup department did a pretty awesome job  of making the gorgeous Ian Somerhalder genuinely look like a sickly vampire, mere moments away from suffering the True Death.

But this time, Bondage Damon just looked like a gogo dancer at an S&M themed strip joint . . . one who’d been splattered with red body paint to accentuate his perfectly muscled abs.

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Klaus must have noticed this too.  Upon seeing Damon Salvatore, The Extra Large Christmas Tree Ornament Version, he suggested that Rebekah HANG HIM UPSIDE DOWN.  Now, that is something I would have liked to have seen!  (I suspect Ian and his agents would likely have disagreed to that though.)  The implied method to Klaus’ awesomeness madness is that an upside down Damon can be bled for vervain much faster than one that is right side up, which would make him a quicker candidate for compulsion.

Rebekah balked at the idea . . . not necessarily because it was a bad one . . . but, more so because it was Klaus’ idea.  And Rebekah can torture her ex boyfriends just fine, without his help, thank you very much.  Also, I suspect, based that Rebekah was much more interested in torturing Damon and making him bleed, than actually .  . . oh, I don’t know . . . making him do something useful for the Original’s cause.  Such motivation (or lack thereof) is kind of consistent with who Rebekah is as a character, I think.  She’s never really been one to concern herself with mundane things like “goals, plans, and  . . . logic.”

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In other words, it’s all “id” all the time, for this chick . . .

Mystic Falls, we have a problem . . .

Unlike Bonnie, who never seems to pick up her cell phone, or return anyone’s calls (It looks like someone got a bad cell phone plan at Witchmart), Damon is usually rather chatty.

So, when Alaric has no clue where Damon has gone, and the latter is not answering his phone, Stefan knows that something is drastically wrong.  He tells Elena to hold off on staking Finn in the town square, because the Team is in trouble.

Upon hearing about that Damon might have been captured by the enemy, Elena immediately campaigns for a rescue mission.  “Please Stefan,” she says “Rescue your brother, because I strongly suspect he is half naked, and, back when you were chained to a ceiling half-naked by older vampires, he dropped everything to go out in the rain and rescue you.   Also, I’m in love with the guy, and would very much like to bone him” Elena says (more or less).

Stefan replies, “Meh, maybe later.  Killing Originals is wayyyy more important than my brother’s life. He’ll understand” (failing to realize, of course, that because Damon has been captured BY AN ORIGINAL, this would be an excellent opportunity to kill two birds with one stake.)”

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*clears throat*

Elena pouts in frustration.  But will she defy her exes instrustions to rescue his brother?  Only time will tell . . .

Damn you, promo makers.  DAMN YOU!

Rebekah may not be her brother’s equal, when it comes to Concocting Plans of World Domination / Vampire vervain draining, but she can definitely hold her own, when it comes to psychological torture.  Later on in the episode, we see a fully drained and rather pale Damon, still chained alone in the grand hall area, when a “mysterious female figure” approaches him.  It’s “Elena.”  “Elena” looks at Damon with obvious concern, as he weakly motions for her to free him from his chains.

“If you wanted to be kinky, Damon, a pair of fuzzy handcuffs would have been much cheaper.”

Damon’s body collapses into Elena’s, as the two stumble dramatically toward the exit, calling to mind a similar situation that occurred back in “As I Laying Dying.”  But Damon is too weak from loss of blood, and he falls to the floor, zapped of strength.  “I’m not leaving you,” Elena says heroically, cupping her lover’s face in her hands, as she offers him her wrist.  “Drink, she says.”

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And drink he does.  It’s so sweet and erotic, that you really can’t blame the pair for wanting to make out, afterwards, despite the fact that they are minutes away from being discovered and killed by ORIGINAL VAMPIRES.  (What can you do?  The tongue wants what it wants.)

Then, Damon awakens to a triumphant looking Rebekah, who clearly planned the entire hallucination.

Well . . . that BITES! I throw my shoe at the television, in disgust . . .

 Between a Rock and a Klaus Place

Damon may not be having the best day, but it might give him comfort to know he isn’t the only Team Scooby, who’s stuck being an Original’s b*tch, this week.  Klaus has Bonnie, who he has been holding under duress to perform the spell that will unlink the Original siblings lives.  When Bonnie claims not to know any such spell, Klaus threatens Jeremy’s life (via Kol, who’s secretly watching the future serial killer), and the life of her errant mother.

This recap has been brought to you by Apple iPhone . . . 

Suddenly, Bonnie’s memory returns to her.  (It’s a miracle!)  She mumbles a bit over the blood of the Originals, and it starts to escape in separate directions.  And, just like that, the spell has been completed.  Well, that was easy . . .

How many friggin candles does this chick have?  Seriously, she must light about 30 in every episode.  And they are always these boring white ones too.  A little color wouldn’t hurt, ya know?

On the way out of Klaus House, Bonnie catches sight of Bondage Damon, and opts to leave him there rotting, when Klaus reminds her of what he did to her sorry excuse for a mother.

Clearly, someone hasn’t been attending the Elena Gilbert School of Supernatural Forgiveness.   Once Bonnie is outside the house, she calls Elena to let her know that Klaus still has her lover boy.

After that, the stresses of the day overtake Bonnie, and she cries until snot pours out of her nose . . . literally.  I guess this means that snot and tears are the new nosebleed.  Look on the bright side Bonnie, it will save you a lot of money on dry cleaning.  And hey, life could be worse: SOMEONE COULD HAVE LEFT YOU CHAINED TO THE CEILING, HALF NAKED, AND ON THE VERGE OF DEATH!

The Wild and Wacky World of Vampire Genetics

It’s too bad the Scooby Gang doesn’t watch The Vampire Diaries.  If they did, they would have known about the whole separation spell having already been completed.  It would have saved them a stake . . .

Over at The Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, lovebirds, Sage and Finn, are enjoying shots of tequila.  Apparently, the 1,000ish year old Finn was a “tequila virgin,” up until this point.  (Yikes.  What a way to live!  No wonder he was always wanting to die!)

“The more of these I drink, the more you look like my mother.” 

A few shots later, Finn has decided to save his own life . .  . which, of course, means he’s about to get shanked . . .  That’s just how this show works. But before Finn can be killed, we have to endure a discussion between Finn and Sage about how many people they’ve each turned.  Finn seems to suggest he turned ONLY Sage, and did so out of loooooooove.

Sage, on the other hand, was a vampire-turning slut, converting humans left and right, whenever the mood hit her.  She even recently turned some dude in the bar, on the way to the bathroom . . .

With the help of Plot Device Matt, Stefan slips some vervain into Sage’s and Finn’s tequila.  When they go outside to investigate.  Stefan stakes Finn, and he goes kablooey.  Sage cries, and snots, like Bonnie did earlier.

“Listen honey, I know you’re hot for me, but this is just ridiculous.” 

And Stefan leaves, triumphant, thinking he’s just killed Klaus.  Sucks to be him . . . But hey, it could be worse, he could be CHAINED TO THE CEILING HALF NAKED . . . or . . . even worse than that . . . he could be Finn . . .

“One tequila, two tequila, three tequila . . . floor.” 

Who will save YOUR soul?

When Stefan learns from Elena, via Bonnie, that Klaus is not-so-much-dead, he’s furious, and finally ready to retrieve his brother, so that he can personally kill Klaus.  (Well, it’s about damn time!)  Shortly thereafter, Sage arrives to avenge her loverboy Finn’s death, along with that random vampire she turned in the bar.  Fortunately, for Stefan, the pair start coughing up blood, and die,  before they can do any real damage.

This looks like the before picture in a Botox commercial. 

Maybe she died of a broken heart, mused Caroline “B Positive” Forbes, who was there for moral support.  Nahh, if vampires could die of a broken heart, all the vampires on this show would have been dead a long time ago . . .

Eventually, Elena and Caroline figure out the “loophole” to their little plan.  Apparently, when an Original dies, he takes his entire bloodline along with him.  Well, hello BIG TWIST!

Of course, this means that ONE of the Original’s holds the key to the Salvatore Brothers’ and Caroline’s mortality.  After all, these three vampires come from the same “bloodline.”  Damon’s blood turned Caroline.  Katherine’s blood turned Stefan and Damon.  And Rose’s blood turned Katherine.

The question is . . . which Original turned Rose?   Because that’s the one our Scooby Gang can’t kill.  Personally, my money’s on Elijah, the Original, who’s continued existence for all eternity is the least likely to have a negative impact on the Salvatore Brother’s lives.  (If you recall, both Rose and Trevor were working for Elijah, during their first appearance on the show.)  This also gives Daniel Gillies, a “get back on the show” free card for the rest of the program’s run, which makes me very happy.

In other news, Tyler clearly comes from Klaus’ bloodline, which kinda sucks for Caroline, who’s pretty much destined to lose two love interests in a single episode.  But hey, at least she’s not CHAINED TO A CEILING, HALF NAKED. 🙂  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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Meanwhile, over at Klaus House, Stefan comes to rescue Damon.  “This went much differently in my head,” the Elder Salvatore brother jokes.

It went differently in my head too . . .

Stefan admits to killing Finn, and offers to make a deal with the Devil.  Eight Original Killing Stakes in exchange for Damon.  (Sounds like a good deal to me!)

But Klaus is smarter than I am, and knows there must be more than eight stakes left over.  So, he evilly compels Damon to try to break free from his chains, causing the poor guy excruciating pain . . . scratch that  . . . MORE excruciating pain.

Someone needs a nap . . . 

It really has not been a good episode for Damon.  Has it?  He then compels Damon to tell him the actual number of stakes remaining, which, as we know, is eleven (since the stake in Finn is gone, gone, gone).

Interestingly enough, it’s actually scorned lady Rebekah, who ultimately shows Damon mercy, offering up Damon’s freedom as a sign of good faith, while Stefan retrieves the remaining stakes, and brings them back to Klaus.  Drats, foiled again, Scooby Gang.  But hey, look on the bright side, Klaus might end up being your “daddy,” and then you’ll be glad you didn’t kill him / commit suicide.

Heart-to-Bloody Heart

In the aftermath of this twist of fate in Kill Klaus games, Rebekah balks at Klaus’ complete inability to mourn his brother’s passing.  Klaus calls Finn pathetic, and better off dead.  (Well, we certainly won’t be having HIM speak at the funeral.)  Rebekah notes sadly that, for all their manipulations the Salvatore brothers are willing to  risk their lives for one another, whereas the Mikaelsons only seem to give two craps about one another, when they are magically linked.

Klaus pouts,  promising Rebekah that he will make his own family, who are magically inclined to love him, no matter how many people he kills, or cheesy horse pictures he draws.  That’s the spirit Klaus!  Everyone knows there’s no better friend than a love slave . . .

Speaking of love slaves, Stefan’s kind of bummed that he can no longer focus all his life energy on killing Klaus, anymore.  This means, he’ll have to finally cope with what a douchenozzle he’s been to everybody this season.  That makes Stefan sad.

Stefan is also finally going to have to cope with the consequences of his recent actions . . . and one consequence in particular . . . the fact that his departure paved the way for Elena to fall in love with Damon.

“Look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t feel something for him,” says Stefan solemnly to his lady love.

Elena claims she doesn’t know what she feels.  But everyone else in Mystic Falls does . . .

Bad!Alaric strikes again.

Earlier on in the episode, Caroline had an awkward, “It’s OK that you killed my dad,” conversation with Alaric, who was supposedly “cured” from being a serial killer by some of Bonnie’s magic “Serial Killer Be Gone” soup.

“It’s OK, Alaric.  My father will always live on in my memories.  We shared so many good times together.” 

During that conversation she talked about the folks that she killed, back when she first turned vamp . . . like that random high school kid Connor, and her mom’s police boy partner . . . “We all have blood on our hands,” Caroline mused. sympathetically.

“Was it as good for you, as it was for me?” 

But Alaric’s got bigger problems now than “blood on his hands.”  He’s also still got psychopath on the BRAIN.  (Bonnie Soup = FAIL!)  Alaric comes to THIS painful realization, when Damon comes to collect his Originals killing stake, and Alaric learns that he’s stolen it . . . from himself.  (Don’t you just hate it when that happens?)

Maybe it’s hidden in your Chunky Monkey. 

Two weeks from now, on TVD, Elena will finally admit her feelings for Damon on a Vampire Road Trup.  Then, the two will share a bed together, and have “finger sex.”  *sigh*

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(This better not be another dream sequence, or someone’s going to get a stake up their ass, courtesy of one very angry TV Recapper.)

Dead Rose will also appear, thanks to Ghost Whisperer/ Future Psycho Killer Jeremy.  In other news, Tyler’s back.  And he’s wasted no time reuniting his tongue with Caroline’s.

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But is he still Gay for Klaus?  Only time will tell . . .You can check out the trailer for that episode here:

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Managing Expect-A-tions – A Review of Pretty Little Liar’s Season 2 Finale “UnmAsked”

[Brief note: This post is simply a “review of” and “reaction to” “UnmAsked.”  A full recap will follow . . . eventually. :)]

Strait jackets .  . . all the cool psychopaths are wearing them . . . 

Greetings, my Pretties!  This week, PLL wrapped up its sophomore season with a season finale that was arguably as polarizing as “A” herself.  Thousands of frustrated fans flooded the message boards, Twitter, and YouTube to express their discontent with the way the season concluded.

Meanwhile, others rushed to defend the controversial choices made by the writers and producers.

The source of this controversy, of course, was the identity of “A” . . . the technologically savvy, ridiculously snarky, and seemingly omniscient super villain, who had been torturing the titular Pretty Little Liars, since the pilot episode.

And while I suspect a large number of fans were surprised by the reveal, it wasn’t necessarily for the reasons the writers intended . . .

Truth be told, this was far from the first time a television series that had been based on a book series chose to remain faithful to some of those novels’ main plot points.  Many television shows have successfully done this, without provoking the inevitable ire of the fandom.  Back in 2008, True Blood was applauded for its faithfulness to the murder mystery storyline that comprised the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse book series (serial killer included).

A season later, they were applauded again for creatively diverting from those same books, in order to save the life of a beloved character, who notoriously met his demise on the first few pages of the series’ second novel.

More recently, in 2011, the producers of Game of Thrones received critical acclaim for their almost slavish loyalty to the book series on which it was based.  Critics particularly appreciated the show’s courageous decapitation of the show’s main character, a moral and mostly likeable protagonist, who also happened to be played by a rather well-known and popular actor.

So what made PLL the high school outcast of this group?

The difference in this situation, I think, was that the producers, writers, and cast of PLL failed to properly manage expectations regarding what viewers could expect to see in the season’s final episode.  In what was undoubtedly an attempt at last-minute damage control, Pretty Little Liars showrunner, Marlene King, assured fans that she had never explicitly told fans that the identity of “A” would be different from who it was in the books.  And yet, when countless articles, and press releases, like THIS ONE, and THIS ONE posited this very theory as stemming directly from King, herself, she never exactly disabused fans of this notion, either.

So, when Mona van der Waal acted so RIDICULOUSLY guilty, throughout the show’s second season, that she all but wore a neon sign on her back that said, “I AM A,” recappers and reviewers, like myself, pointedly avoided listing her as our main suspect, simply because we took for granted the fact that the writers weren’t going to go there.

 

So, when they did, in fact, go there, we couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed and betrayed.

And that’s a shame, because it undermined the integrity of what was, by many other respects, a pretty solid finale episode.

Truth be told, of all the possible “A” suspects — with the exception of, perhaps, Not-so-Blind Jenna, and maybe Lucas — Mona had the best motive to be “A.”  After all, she had been shamelessly tortured by Ali throughout most of high school, while the rest of the PLL girls stood idly by, and let it happen.

To make matters worse, Hanna, Mona’s self-proclaimed “one true friend,” has been noticeably distant from Mona, throughout the series, consistently ditching her to engage in “A-Sleuthing” with the rest of the liars . . . (of course, it could be argued that Hanna’s recent absence from her life was actually MONA’S fault).

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And yet, I would have liked to see the producers push the boundaries a bit, by not necessarily going with the most obvious choice for “A.”

We’ve seen the writers take chances like this, earlier in the series, in a number of ways: by introducing new characters, who weren’t in the books, choosing not to kill characters who died in the books, and, in one particular instance, killing a character who DID survive the series.  So, why not do it again, in this instance, by changing the identity of “A” to someone unexpected . . . someone who seemed a bit less . . . for lack of a better term . . . shady?

Or, conversely, I would have liked for the writers to simply be honest about the direction in which the story was headed, by saying something like this: “There are some aspects of the television series that pay homage to the books.  But even faithful book readers will find some surprises in store for them in the season finale.”

This, at least, is a true, and non-misleading, statement.  After all, the finale DID have some surprises contained within it, even for fans of the book series . . .

Unlike a lot of other series’ season finales, which tend to be slow-moving and uneventful, until the last ten minutes of the episode, “UnmAsked” definitely FELT like a season finale.  The episode moved a long at a brisk pace, throughout the hour.

And the genuinely creepy locales where the drama unfolded . . .  for example, the Psycho-inspired motel (complete with its very own Norman Bates, lookalike) and accompanying Shower Scene . . .

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 . . .  the Masquerade Ball filled with strangers and unsavory looking characters . . .

. . .  the abandoned road on a dark and stormy night, A’s “Lair” which looked like it would have been right at home in the first hour of any episode of Law and Order, SVU . . .

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 . . . only added to the building excitement, and unshakeable feeling of impending doom.

I was also really impressed with the acting in this episode.  As the unhinged Mona, Janel Parrish was just the right mix of campy crazy, unintentionally hilarious, and genuinely terrifying.

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Hanna’s shock and sadness at learning her so-called bestie was a total wackadoodle, who HIT HER WITH A CAR, felt real to me.

Shay Mitchell’s Emily literally had me in tears, during the episodes heartbreaking final moments . . . And this is coming from someone who was never a Maya fan.

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(I also adored the parallel between the pilot episode’s Body Discovery, and this one.  That background song they played during both, will haunt me for the rest of my days . . .)

And who could forget the unbeatable Team Sparia, who provided the episode’s only evidence of comic relief . . . not to mention a nice nod to a certain segment of the fandom?

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Speaking of ships,  fans of Ezria . . .

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Spoby . . .

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  . . . and Haleb . . .

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 . . .  all had something to cheer about, when the aforementioned couples each received their respective Happily Ever Afters Nows, this week.

Of course, I still wanted my Wren to make an appearance . . . (Damn you, writers!  DAMN YOU!)

And while the episode did answer some of the major questions plaguing fans throughout the series, it also presented us with plenty of new ones to get us excited for the upcoming third season (which is set to premiere this summer).  Here are just some of the questions that were swimming around my head, after “UnmAsked” concluded:

(1) Who exactly is on the A Team?

Was Mona REALLY it’s leader?

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 (And why didn’t Spencer “join it,” when she was given the chance?  I mean, wouldn’t that have been the perfect way to keep your ENEMIES CLOSER?)

(2) Which mysterious female dressed as The Black Swan at the Masquerade Ball?

(3) Who was Not-so-Blind Jenna talking to in the park, and what mysterious item did she give her (because it looked much too small to be the Black Swan costume)?  And WHEN DID SHE GET HER DRIVER’S LICENSE?

(4) What the F is the deal between Abs Toby and Dr. Sullivan (a.k.a. as the lame shrink who got scared out of town by an eighty pound high schooler?  Is he her son, or what?  How much did they know about what was going on?  And why was it necessary for Toby to “pretend he didn’t love Spencer?”

(5) Who exactly was the creepy chick with the red dess and gold mask at the Masquerade Ball?

And was she the same creepy chick who visited Mona in the loony bin, at the end of the episode?

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(6) Does Mona’s have Supernatural Powers, which enabled her to BEAT UP Spencer and Emily, on separate occasions, and CARRY SPENCER INTO A CAR?  (Oh and how lame was Dr. Sullivan’s explanation of her PSYCHOSIS?  How exactly does being a psychopath, make you seem omniscient to OTHER PEOPLE?  Where exactly did this b*tch go to shrink school anyway, Dunkin Donuts?)

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(7) Did the flashback featuring Mona and “Ali” dressed as Vivian Darkbloom actually happen?  Did “Ali” really not pick up the phone, when Mona called her, like Mona said?  Or was being “A” the price Mona paid for her so-called popularity?

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(8)Who killed Maya (assuming Maya is actually dead) and why?

(9) And, perhaps, most importantly, “WHERE’S MY WREN?”

So, tell me, my Pretties, what were your thoughts on the Season 2 finale?  Were you disappointed that Mona was “A?”  What are your expectations for next season, in light of some of the cliffhangers / new mysteries introduced here?  Feel free to vent to your heart’s content, in the comment section below.  I’ll see you there!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

“Follow me . . . End up like me.” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “If These Dolls Could Talk.”

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Thank you, PLL, for reawakening my childhood fear of being murdered in my sleep by my neighbor’s Ugly Doll Collection . . .

Greetings, my Pretties!  This week’s installment of PLL was definitely not for the faint of heart.  It featured ghosts . . . things that go bump in the night . . . ugly evil demon dolls . . . ugly evil demon kids . . . old ladies that talk like the witch from The Wizard of Oz . . . one VERY dead fly, the sister from hell, and worst of all, MONA KISSING CALEB!

 But those of you who watched the episode hidden behind pillows, or with your hands covering your eyes, did so at your peril.  After all, next week’s episode features A’s big reveal.  And that means this one was chock full of clues as to his or her true identity.  So, be brave, my Pretties.  And follow me toward another Pretty Little Recap . .  .

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Better ease up on those pain meds, Spencer . . .

Oh, dear, sweet, sexy accented Dr. Wren!  Not only are you insanely easy on the eyes, you also dole out the GOOD pain meds to your girlfriends . . . even though the only injury they’ve suffered recently is getting a few sprigs of glass in their palms.

“Your love is my drug, Doctor . . .” 

We begin this episode with the usually-uber-alert Spencer, passed out and drooling, on the Hastings’ living room couch.  Suddenly, there is a loud crash in the living room, followed by the sound of someone noisily thumbing through Spencer’s purse.  As it turns out, that someone just so happens to be Dead Ali (who we would expect to be a lot more stealthy, given all we know about her).

Not to mention the fact that . . . oh, I don’t know . . . she’s DEAD!

This is actually the third time we’ve seen Ali appear to one of the girls, while they are in a “less than sober” state.  The first time we experienced this was with Hanna, when she was in the hospital, after having been hit by A’s car.

The second time, it was Emily’s turn, when “A” locked her in a garage, and she asphixiated on the fumes.  (Don’t be surprised if Aria ends up with a concussion, next week, after some rough sex with Fitzy goes south, so that she can see Ali too . . .)

What’s intriguing about all these Beyond the Grave exchanges is that, as the viewer, you are never 100% sure they are the hallucination they claim to be.  After all, following these sequences, Ali always seems to leave the “sleeper” in question, with some sort of souvenir of her presence.  And yet, since the Liar in question believes herself to be dreaming, she never gets the opportunity to ask “Ali” the questions she would likely ask her, had she encountered her in a more lucid state.

Take for example Spencer, our resident super sleuth.  She is so frustratingly dense, during this exchange with Ali, I nearly threw my shoe at the television.

And because she failed to ask “Ali” a single pertinent question, throughout the entire exchange, it was up to Ali, herself, to offer the cryptic comments and clues we will inevitably be analyzing, this week.  Proponents of the “Melissa is A” theory, will undoubtedly harp on Ali’s comment that Spencer “deserves a good sister,” thereby not-so-subtly implying that Melissa is NOT one.  Well, I could have told you that . . .

Best  . . . sister . . .  EVER! 

And yet, merely being a horrible person, with a terrible personality, and few redeeming qualities, doesn’t necessarily make you a murderer . . . nor does it make you a relentless stalker of your little sister and her friends.  Does it?

More intriguing, to me, anyway, was THIS comment  . . .

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 I thought Ali’s choice of the word “parked” was a rather unusual one. It’s just not the type of phrasing you would expect a teen like Ali to use . . . It’s kind of old-fashioned, and, for lack of a better term, “nerdy.”  Given that, I can’t help put think that Ali used the word “parked” specifically to make reference to a certain car . . .

The most obvious car reference would seem to point to Police Boy Garrett, who’s car was most recently spotted in front of Not-so-Blind Jenna’s house, and has literally seemed to follow Spencer everywhere she goes this season.  But it also could be referring to the car Spence purchased for Toby.  If you recall, Toby returned this car to Spencer’s driveway, when he left town.  And, as far as we know, he hasn’t retrieved it yet.

Another car that played a major role in the series was the one that hit Hanna at Mona’s party, back in Season 1.  And of course, we can’t forget Fitzy’s car, site for many a passionate make out session, throughout the course of the show . . .

Ali’s parting words to Spencer were that she was “getting warmer,” which I guess, after two season of seemingly endless wrong turns, on Spencer’s part, regarding this mystery, must be nice to hear.

I mentioned earlier that Ali always seems to leave something behind following these “dream sequences,” that causes the Little Liar, as well as the viewer to question whether the scene actually occurred in real life.  This time, however, it wasn’t what Ali LEFT BEHIND that was important, but, rather, what she took.  Presumably, Spencer’s pain medications were in her purse when she fell asleep.  And yet, when she wakes up, not only are they on the counter in front of her, they also seem to be a couple of pills short.  Oh Ali . . . don’t you know abusing drugs could kill you?  Er . . . nevermind . . . pill pop away, Pretty Little Corpse .  . .

In which Emily, Hanna, and Aria’s parents all get BUSTED . . .

It’s a bad day for being sneaky, this week, on PLL . . . a lesson Emily, Hanna and Aria’s parents all learn the hard way, when they try unsuccessfully to hide pertinent information from their friends and lovers.  First up is Emily, who receives an angry, “How could you rat me out to my parents?” type text from the still-missing Maya.

OK . . . now I’m positive something is fishy about her disappearance.  First of all, how would Maya know that Emily had contacted her parents, if said parents had no way of reaching her, since even Emily couldn’t pinpoint her exact location?  Second of all, why is Maya texting Emily from her own cell phone?  Isn’t she the least bit concerned that Emily will trace the call, and tell her parents exactly where she’s hiding?  It just seems odd that Maya felt the need to send an e-mail from an “Undisclosed Sender,” and yet seems more than willing to use her actual phone to send a text.

My theory?  “A” has Maya’s cell phone, and she’s been the one sending messages to Emily.  But, if that’s true, where’s Maya?

Speaking of cell phones, Hanna gets busted for disobeying her mother’s implied “no cell phone” rule, when she stupidly fails to keep the darn thing on vibrate, while hanging out in the Marin kitchen . . . with her mother.

Hey, nobody ever said Hanna was the sharpest tool in the shed, right?  I have to say, for a character who’s supposedly “good at lying,” Hanna really botched this one.  It would have been easy for her to simply say she had been holding on to a friend’s phone, and forgot to return it.  But instead, her excuse is, “Mona needs to keep in touch with me?”

Well . . . I guess that one’s actually kind of true . . . particularly, if Mona ends up being “A,” which I really hope she isn’t, because BOOOO-RRRING.

And yet, as annoyed as Mama Marin might be with her daughter’s deception, she can’t quite justify confiscating a phone for which she (1) didn’t pay for; and (2) isn’t footing the monthly bill.  So, instead, Mama Marin simply rolls her eyes, mutters under her breath, and sends her daughter off to school.

In other parental unit news, Aria inadvertently learns her parents want to ship her off to a Fitzy-free boarding school in Vermont, upon finding a telltale application on her mother’s desk, at school.  Understandably, the littlest liar is livid.

You could feel the tension in the Montgomery home, as Aria clomps around in her wedge shoes, passive aggressively avoiding her mother’s attempts at casual conversation.

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Now, while Aria might be the best liar of the foursome, she’s definitely not the most adept at hiding her feelings.  So, of course, it isn’t long before the pint-sized brunette is letting Mommy Dearest know exactly what she thinks about the whole “let’s ship Aria off to boarding school” plan.  It’s a terrible idea.  And I think, deep down both of Aria’s parents know it.  Even if we take at face value Mama Montgomery’s statement that the decision was not based solely on Aria’s determination to continue dating Fitzy, applying for a school a thousand miles away, isn’t exactly the kind of thing you do for a sixteen year old, without broaching the matter with her first.

While I think most PLL fans agreed wholeheartedly with Aria that her parents were in the wrong, in terms of how they addressed this situation, I was surprised by how divided the fanbase was, regarding how Aria ultimately responded.  In a move that would have made Expert Blackmailer “A” proud, Aria venomously threatened to expose her father’s erstwhile affair with a student, should the Montgomerys decide to actually ship her off to boarding school.

Having perused the message boards a bit, following the episode, I noticed that while a good number of you applauded Aria for standing up to her parents, and blatantly exposing their hypocrisy (particularly her father’s).

There was also an equal number of you who thought Aria took things much too far.  You were shocked by her seeming willingness to put her boyfriend before her father’s career, and her family’s financial stability.

In Aria’s defense, I don’t think Aria had any intention of actually ratting out her father . . . just as I don’t think Aria’s parents would have ever gone through with their plans to ship her off to boarding school, without first discussing the matter with her.  Rather, I think Aria made her threat predominately out of anger, and also as a way of making herself be heard, by two people (again more-so her father than her mother) who have made a habit out of not listening to her point of view.

*insert hissing noise* 

Regardless of Aria’s true intentions, the Montgomery’s were clearly crushed by what they viewed as their daughter’s betrayal.  Mama Montgomery even went so far as to say she was ASHAMED of Aria, which, as any one who has a parent can tell you, is about the most hurtful thing a parent can say to his or her kid.

Throughout these past two seasons, the Montgomery family’s relationships with one another have continuously disintegrated.  What we have now is a family in crisis . . .

But hey, at least we’re getting laid, right? 😉

To catch a predator (by making out with your best friend’s boyfriend) . . .

Oh Mona!  If you are going to go through the trouble of sending yourself fake text messages from “A” (which most of us assume is what she’s doing, whether or not it’s because she’s actually “A” herself, or simply out of desperation to be the unofficial fifth liar), the least you could do is make them seem moderately realistic.

Why would “A” suddenly decide to use MONA to break up Hanna and Caleb?  It just doesn’t seem to be A’s style, especially when it would be much more mentally devastating to blackmail one of the other girls to do it, or, better yet, force Hanna to do it herself, as “A” had previously done with Spencer and Toby.

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I also find it increasingly odd that, despite Mona’s increasingly erratic behavior, not one of the girls has ever suspected her of being “A.”  This is particularly strange, when you consider how practically everybody else in Rosewood has earned a slot on the suspect list, at least once, including family members and significant others of most, if not, all of the liars.  I would have at least expected Spencer to consider the possibility.  She usually suspects EVERYBODY!  Those pain medications must really be dulling her senses . . .

I blame the evil horse sweater . . .

Perhaps the reason the girls are all missing the neon pink flashing, “I’m a Suspect!” sign over Mona’s head is because Spencer’s sister, Crazy Nanny Carrie has been acting SOOOO frigging guilty.  When Spencer finally confronts her with that video of her storming around Ali’s room, just hours before the dead girl’s demise, Melissa really has nothing to say in her own defense, aside from, (1)”Well, EVERYONE wanted Ali dead so . . .,” and (2) I’ve got dirty videos of you b*tches too, so F-U.”

It’s not exactly a rousing defense.  So, when Mona conveniently suggests that she make out with Caleb in front of Melissa, to see if she takes the bait, and text the info to Hanna, the rest of the girls blindly go along with it .  . . even though poor Caleb looks like he’d rather make out with the old lady from that denture commercial.  “We are doing this for Hanna,” says Mona solemnly, before aggressively raping Caleb’s face with her tongue.

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Poor Caleb!  He was so horrified by the experience, he literally bolted from the car, and walked home alone.  This, of course, gave Mona . . . er .  . . I’m sorry, I mean “A” . . . the perfect opportunity to text Hanna the “bad news.”  (Don’t you think the real “A” would have at least sent a picture as proof?)

Moments later, Mona’s back at Hanna’s house, supposedly wanting to shower the so-called “ickiness” of Caleb off of her body.  Sure you do, Mona . . . sure you do . . .

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He sees dead people.  (How original!)

Upon learning that Ali communicated with “A” via the classifieds, and may or may not have met her in front of that Creepy Doll Hospital, before she died, the girls decide to take a little field trip there.  When they arrive there’s a creepy kid staring at that from the window, who must have been cast in this role, because he is the perfect mixture of (1) the kid from The Sixth Sense; (2) the kid from The Shining; and (3) a Chucky doll come to life.

As for the owner of the hospital, she’s just some old lady.  (Old ladies are scary too!)

When the girls question the Old Lady about the voodoo doll in the window (the same one “A” sent Ali), she claims not to sell them.

She’s also rather cagey regarding whether or not she keeps records of prior doll purchases.  And while Old Lady doesn’t seem to be particularly forthcoming with information, Creepy Kid Seth is just a fountain of knowledge.  Claiming to have some sort of “Sixth Sense” about people, Creepy Kid Seth reports meeting with Ali prior to her death.  He even knows exactly how she died, despite the fact that the cause of her death was not recorded in the papers.

But the most intriguing piece of information of all that Creepy Kid Seth offers the PLL girls is that a “dark-haired couple” was out to hurt Ali.  Now, of course, a “dark haired couple” could refer to any number of pairings on this show.  (And I’ll list them all, in just a bit.)  But Creepy Kid Seth eliminates one pair from the suspect list right away (Blind? Jenna and Policeboy Garrett) by assuring the PLL girls that “the girl is not blind.”  (Or DOES he?)

Other couples that fit Creepy Kid Seth’s description, and, might have been out to hurt Ali include:

Melissa and Dead Pedo Ian (Creepy Kid Seth specifically noted that the female had hair like Spencer’s.)

Melissa and Policeboy Garrett

Mona and Bushy Eyebrows Noel

Mona and Lucas

Jenna and Toby (though Toby’s hair seems more reddish than dark)

Maya and Noel

Fitzy and Jackie

Fitzy and Aria (Don’t kill me.  I’m just mentioning all the possibilities here . . .)

“Vivian Darkbloom” (i.e. Ali’s twin) and . . . Dead Pedo Ian or Duncan Donuts?

Well, now that narrows things down, doesn’t it?

To see, or not to see . . .

I mentioned earlier that Creepy Kid Seth’s assertion that the female in the couple wanting to hurt Ali was not blind, may or may not exclude Blind Jenna from the list of suspects.  I say this because Jenna’s blindness has been a subject of debate among PLL fans, ever since that time when she used a mirror to put on her lipstick.  And yet, faking eye surgery would be a pretty tough feat to pull off.

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Jenna’s blindness gets called into question again, when she takes off the bandages from her post-surgical eye, this week, and immediately erupts into tears.  Toby, of course, assumes the worst, and moves to comfort his step sister.  But we never get to hear Jenna’s response.

At school, the following day, Hanna, never one to beat around the bush, asks Jenna right up front whether or not she can see.

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This time,  she pretty explicitly states that the operation was a failure.  Yet, according to Jenna, the mental  clarity she gained from this experience has convinced her to “forgive the girls” their Jenna thing, in hopes that the former enemies can move past their grudges and hatred for one another.  Do we believe her when she says this?  Perhaps, more importantly, do we believe her when she says this?

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I don’t know about you, but I was definitely fearing Jenna, toward the end of the episode,  when she shocked everyone, by aggressively killing a fly on her window, wiped it off with a tissues, and winked at the camera . . . her sight clearly restored.

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The question is, how long has Not-so-Blind Jenna been able to see.  Has she been playing us all along, as many suspected?  Was she actually blind, but regained her sight, as a result of the operation?  (And if so, why is she lying to the girls, and possibly Toby?)  Another possibility is that Not-so-Blind Jenna wasn’t lying at all to the girls.  She merely hadn’t fully regained her sight until the end of the episode.

I suspect we’ll learn the answer to this question, next week.  But, of course, I’d be eager to hear your theories on the subject . . .

Another intriguing thing Jenna does this week is turn the infamous Page 5 of the Autopsy report in to the police.  She plays dumb as to its contents, when broaching the matter with Toby.  But, by the end of the episode, it’s pretty clear she knows exactly what’s on them, and WHO they will incriminate in Ali’s murder . . .

To screw, or not to screw . . .

Throughout most of the episode, Aria and Fitzy still find themselves walking on egg shells around one another, as Fitzy nervously awaits the fallout from his decision not to take the Associate Dean position in Louisianna.  He expects the worst, and gets it, when the class he teaches is mysteriously ripped from the college curriculum.  (I thought he just taught Freshman English?  How does a college take Freshman English off its curriculum?)

Fitzy and Aria are certain that this is Evil Papa Montgomery’s doing.  But I’m not sure how realistic that is . . .  I mean, it’s one thing for a popular professor to have enough influence on the university to help someone get a job; it’s quite another for that same popular professor to have enough influence to COMPLETELY CHANGE THE COURSES THAT THE COLLEGE OFFERS.

Anyway, long story short, Fitzy and Aria finally bang one another, on that darn couch Fitzy loves so much . . . a little detail that I found surprisingly fitting.

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Their “Sex Song” was a really awesome cover of Wicked Games . . . the epitome of sex songs, in my humble opinion.  It’s white hot!  (I also really liked the lace tank top Aria was wearing pre-bone.  Does anyone know where I could get me one of those?)  But is it really goodbye sex?  Only time will tell . . .

Welcome to the Dollhouse . . .

While Aria is cashing in that much-abused V-card, the rest of the PLL girls are heading back to the Creepy Doll Hospital to show “I See Dead People” Seth a video of Melissa, in hopes that he could possibly ID her as the dark-haired woman who “wants to hurt Ali.”  Unfortunately, when they arrive at the “Hospital,” no one is there . . . or are they.  Not two seconds after the girls enter the place, a doll starts eerily chanting “Follow me . . . end up like me,” over and over again.  (I’m not going to lie, I almost peed my pants.)

As the girls move through the dark corridors of the place, we see a pair of eyes follow them, from beneath one of the dolls . . . or is it a mask?

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The voice they hear is coming from a closed cabinet.  And when they open it . . . ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE . . .

As if the dead Ali doll recreation wasn’t frightening enough, the whole place literally starts falling down around them, as the girls run screaming from the exit.  Can you blame them?

Arrested Development

Now, I don’t know about you.  But if I had just got home from that Doll House of Horrors, the absolute last thing I would want to do is go searching through some creepy dead girl’s bag in the home of her possible killer, Crazy Nanny Carrie.  (They’ve decided to turn it over to the police, after all.)  And yet, that’s exactly what the girls are doing, when they hear Melissa, herself, and Policeboy Garrett enter the home from the kitchen.  Did I mention they are tonguing one another?  (Crazy Melissa SURE DOES get around! Oh, and Policeboy Garrett seems to have recovered from being dumped by Jenna pretty quickly.)

Then again, he got a very early start . . . 

In just one of the many shocking twists of the evening, both the Gross Makeout Couple, and the girls are interrupted from their machinations, by a knock on the door.  It’s the police . . . they’ve come to arrest Policeboy Garrett . . . the question is why?  My first thought,  was that they were going to bring him in for questioning regarding the fire at Jenna’s house, or Maya’s disappearance.  After all, it did appear to be his police badge that “A” planted right outside, Facelift Vampire Jason’s recently exploded house.

And yet, Policeboy Garrett actually ends up being arrested for Ali’s murder . . . which likely means that something on Page 5 of the autopsy report Jenna turned into the police, coupled with additional evidence, served to incriminate him . . .

EXCEPT, WE STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT THE DARN THING SAID!!!

In the final moments of the episode, “A” is seeing paying off both the Old Lady and Creepy Kid Seth for their “work” at the Doll Hospital, thereby calling into question everything they said earlier on in the episode, including the whole “Dark-haired couple” comment . . . which basically leaves us back at square one, in terms of suspects.  Brilliant . . .

Next week on PLL, the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives . . .

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Feel free to check out (and massively over analyze) the trailers for the episode, below . . .

Last chance, my Pretties.  Choose your villain wisely . . .

Tune in next week to find out of you’re right.   I know, I will!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Where There’s Smoke, There’s a Liar . . . – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Eye of the Beholder”

Greeting, my Pretties!  This week on PLL, we got a deeper glimpse into “Vivian Darkbloom’s” past.  In other news, Blind Jenna got a wicked eye patch, Fitzy got a bit testy with the parental units, and Facelift Vampire Jason’s home underwent some “explosive” renovations.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on Spencer and all the awesome eye sex she got to have this week.  It’s a good thing retinas can’t get pregnant . . .

They can’t . . . I promise! 

So, hop into that rickety plane with a complete stranger, and hold on to your music box, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

(Screencaps provided by prettylittleliarsfans.com)

Well, THAT was awk-ward . . .

So, remember that cute little cupcake shop, where “A” COMPLETELY BRUTALIZED Hanna, by forcing her to eat a vomit-inducing amount of little piggy-shaped cupcakes, in front of a crowd of judgmental jocks?  Well, apparently, Hanna was not quite as traumatized by that moment as I would be.

(Let’s not forget, this is a girl who’s already been HIT BY A CAR, ARRESTED AS A SUSPECT IN HER “BEST” FRIEND’S MURDER, and almost DROWNED IN A LAKE.  It’s entirely understandable that our ideas regarding what’s considered “traumatizing” would differ.)  After all, the episode opens with Hanna enjoying a CUPCAKE (not pig-shaped) with her fellow little liars at that very same sweets shop.

As the girls pretend to eat cupcakes, and chat, we learn a bit more about the Anonymous Hot Guy who mistook Aria for “Vivian Darkbloom” at the end of last week’s episode.  It turns out, his name is “Duncan.”  He has a last name, but since I wasn’t paying attention when it was referenced, I’m just going to call him Duncan Donuts, OK?

“You can trust me, because I dress like I’m 75.”

So, apparently, Duncan Donuts and Vivian Darkbloom were REALLY close . . . as in close enough to go on numerous secret dates in a town nearby . . . and close enough for him to buy her a not particularly cheap red jacket . . . but not close enough for him to CALL HER ON THE PHONE, AFTER NOT HAVING HEARD FROM HER FOR OVER A YEAR . . . and certainly not close enough for him to READ THE LOCAL PAPERS, SEE HER PICTURE ON THE FRONT PAGE, AND FIND OUT SHE’S A CORPSE.

Aria thinks she should give Duncan Donuts a call, basically because her contract requires her to have a boyfriend-type figure in every episode.  And Fitzy and Holden won’t be sharing scenes with her, this week . . .  From experience, every PLL girl already knows that meeting Strange Men — who may or may not have had sexual relations with Dead Ali in the past — while alone, is a bad idea.

However, they wholeheartedly support Aria in her stupidity.  That’s what friends are for, right?

Oh, hey, look who’s back in town?  It’s Abs Toby and Blind Jenna . . . correction, it’s Abs Toby and Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna.  That’s right, my Pretties!  As we’ve long been promised, Jenna finally had her groundbreaking,” blind-no-more” surgery . . . in one eye . . . which hasn’t healed yet.  Yep, they are really going to drag this plotline out for as long as possible. aren’t they?

“At least I will save money on my pirate costume, this Halloween!”

Truthfully though, we are less concerned with the return of Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna, than we are of the return of Spencer’s ex-boyfriend with the HOT haircut, and the ice COLD chip on his shoulder.  Cue the Spencer Face . . . the longing looks (on Spencer’s part), and the glares (on Toby’s part) to the tune of . . .  Intense Mood Music, and Slo-Mo Walking.

Also, notice how Abs Toby is no longer treating Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna like the brother-raping, police boy banging, little-liar framing, ninety pounds of pure evil she actually is!  He actually seems to NOT MIND hanging out with her, as evidenced by the way he keeps . . . you know . . . touching her and stuff.  Did they give you a lobotomy with that haircut, Tobster?

Spencer runs into Abs Toby again later at school.  And she’s all, “What’s the deal with your Creepy Sister and her fugly eyepatch?”

So, Toby’s all, “She finally had the operation.  What’s it to you, you Maneating B*tch?  I miss you!  I love you.  Why did you start humping that hot British doctor, when I would have let you be part of my Abs Toby Sandwich?

So Spencer says, “Let’s get back together.  Mm-kay?  Because Emily was totally kidding about me banging the British guy.  I didn’t do that until we were ‘on a break.’  ‘A’ still might end up murdering in your sleep, because you’re dating me.  But that’s just the price of True Love, right?”

But Toby’s all, “Ya snooze ya, lose, Ho!  I LOVE YOU SPENCER!  KISS ME, YOU FUNNY-FACING MAKING BUNDLE OF LOVE!

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Then Half-Blind Jenna emerges from the Principal’s office, and creepily tells Spencer, she KNEW she was standing in front of her, despite Spencer not having uttered a word, since Half-Blind Jenna’s appearance.  This means Half-Blind Blind Jenna knows her Pretty Little Liars so well, that she can smell them, when they are close by.  Yeah . . . because that’s not creepy, at all . . .

“Stop sniffing my ex-girlfriend.  That’s MY job!”

Missed Calls and Mixed Messages . . .

Back at the Marin household, Hanna and her mom are in a fight.  It turns out that Mama Marin won’t buy Hanna a new phone to replace the one she DROPPED IN THE SOAPY SINK, last week, in order to prevent Mama Marin from confiscating it.

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As much as I adore my Hanna, you have to admit, this was a pretty ballsy request on Hanna’s part . . . I mean, sure, we all know that Hanna only destroyed the phone to prevent her mother from discovering A’s identity, thereby, putting herself in danger.  But she has to see that, from her mom’s perspective, the whole “phone drowning” thing, came off as a very deliberate and highly personal “F-U Mommy.”

Besides, Mama Marin worked hard to steal that money from the Old Dying Lady!  She can’t be going off spending it, wily nily, on electronics, every time Hanna decides to drown them, or throw them in a blender!

Part of me thinks it would have been REALLY funny, if Hanna got one of those prepaid phones mailed to her by “A,” with a message like, “Try not to get this one wet, or make it into a smoothie.”

However, considering it was Mona, who ended up providing Hanna with a replacement phone, and many people think SHE’S “A,” perhaps my scenario is precisely what happened.  More and more, we are seeing Mona get involved in the PLL girls’ dealings with “A” in ways that help the mysterious evildoer complete her master plan.  In this case, obviously “A” wants Hanna to have a phone, so that she can continue to taunt her with text messages . . . like the one the girls received later on in the episode: “Where there’s smoke, there’s payback.”

But here’s a question for you?  Assuming the cell phone Hanna received from Mona was on Mona’s account (which Mona explains to us that it is), how did “A” manage to snag Hanna’s new number, if not from Mona herself?  (Assuming Mona and “A” are two different people, of course.)  Unless, Mona somehow transferred Hanna’s old number to Mona’s account, in which case, I take back everything I just said  . . .

Speaking of anonymous, and not-so-anonymous communications, “Maya” has been secretly contacting Emily, with text messages saying she is “OK,” and sweet, exceptionally well-written e-mails, about their great times together and “perfect goodbyes.”  Emily is touched that Maya is reaching out to her, but torn as to whether she should clue Maya’s parents in to her possible whereabouts.  In the end, she decides to confront the St. Germaines with the information she has received.

The question is . . . did Emily jump the gun?  After all, Maya’s messages (particularly the e-mail) certainly SOUNDED like they were from Maya. But what if they weren’t?  After all, both messages were sent from an “undisclosed sender.”  Is it possible that “A” has been sending these messages, on Maya’s behalf, to keep her off the trail of a girlfriend in danger?  Only time will tell . . .

Come Crash Fly with Me!

Duncan Donut has two dates meetings with Aria, in this episode.  The first one is normal.   The second one is ridiculous.  First Duncan Donut meets Aria in the school courtyard, where he admits that he knows that Vivian Darkbloom was just an alias for Ali.  (No mention as to whether he believed that big ole black wig was actually her real hair.)

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He also seems to know a heck of a lot about Ali / Vivian’s friends, including Aria . . . “the writer . . . who keeps journals.”  Interesting . . . because the only time I’ve ever heard Aria even talk about writing was in the pilot episode . . . right before she humped Fitzy in the bathroom.  I thought the whole “writing thing” was just a pickup line.  Go figure!

Talk about being the bearer of bad news!  Aria then has to tell Duncan Donuts that Vivian/Ali is . . . you know . . . not-so-much alive,  anymore.  Check out Duncan Donut’s face in this scene.  He’s clearly shocked . . . and totally crushed by the news . . . either that, or he’s a really great actor.  P.S. He claims to have been with Ali / Vivian the weekend she supposedly disappeared . . .

Having had so much fun on her first date with Duncan Donut, Aria decides to set up a second one with him, this time in a totally secluded area in a town called Brookhaven.  Be careful Aria.  Your best frenemy hung out with this guy, and then DIED.  Does that make him a killer?  Not necessarily.  Does that make him REALLY bad luck? Absolutely . . .

So, you know those comedy sketches that take place in front of green screens, where it’s supposed to look like the television character is doing something CRAZY, like water skiing on Niagara Falls, or climbing the alps, or hanging off the top of Mount Rushmore.  But actually, they are basically just standing in front of a piece of paper with a picture on it.  Well, those all look WAY more realistic than the image of Aria and Duncan Donut flying a plane together on their date / mutual interrogation session.

Why does Aria get into a plane with this Admittedly-Hot, but not particularly stable-seeming loon, you ask?  It beats the hell out of me.  Supposedly, this was something Ali/ Vivian just loooooooved to do.  According to Duncan, flying with him (he has a license, she didn’t), made her feel free from all the little people on the ground, who were trying to kill her.  You know, because death-by-plane crash is much more pleasant than death-by-shovel-repeatedly-bashed-into-brain.  (So much for that dream!)

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Throughout the entire experience, Aria basically looks like she is about to pee in her pants.  So, of course, this gives Duncan Donut the brilliant idea to FORCE her to takeover the controls, despite her complete lack of experience flying planes, under the ridiculous rationalization that this will help her “understand” Ali.  (If you mean because they will both be dead, by the time they have finished with you, then, yes, this is a brilliant idea, Duncan Donuts.)

It certainly doesn’t help matters that Duncan is sporting a serious case of the Crazy Eyes throughout the entire scene.  I’ll be honest, this made me miss a lot of what the pair were talking about, because I was so busy screaming at my television, “Don’t kill Aria, before she gets to have that sex scene.  Ezria fans will FREAK!”

Nonetheless, here’s what I got out of this lovely near-death-by-green-screen conversation:

(1) Duncan Donut would have loved to have intimately explored Vivian’s “dark bloom” (if you catch my drift), before she died.  However, he suspected that there were other men out there, who were beating him to the punch.

(2) Aria admits to Duncan Donut that she thinks the police and the newspapers are wrong regarding Ali’s murder.   Creepy Pedo Ian didn’t kill Ali.  He was either framed, or willingly took the fall for someone else, before he died.

(3) Duncan Donut notes that on the weekend prior to Ali’s disappearence, he flew her to Philadelphia from Brookhaven, which means she had been back in town for hours, by the time she met up with the girls.  (What was she doing in Rosewood, during all those missing hours?)

(4) Duncan observed that Ali seemed “different” the last time he saw her.  He assumed this was because she had “just figured something out.”  However, the proponents of the “Ali has a twin” theory, could easily surmise that “Ali” seemed different, because she was actually a different person, than the one with whom Duncan had developed a relationship.

Oh yeah, and he and Aria didn’t end up dying in a plane crash.  So, yay for hot people surviving the danger of their own idiocy . . .

Speaking of men who want to put their hands all over Aria’s “controls” . . .

Fitzy Must REALLY Like that Couch . . .

Fitzy, you little lazy scamp, you . . . why do you always seem to be laying on that couch of yours?  Aren’t you afraid of falling asleep and missing your classes?  Do you actually teach any classes?  Or do they just pay you to sit on that couch and pretend to grade papers?

After “Who’s A?” and “Who killed Ali?” this is the third biggest mystery of PLL.  Fitzy is an enigma wrapped in plaid, wrapped in a nerdy sweater vest, wrapped in Aria’s arms . . .  He also seemed to grow a pair this week, when he was visited by not one, but BOTH elder Montgomery’s.

How did he grow a pair, you ask?  Well, he basically told them both where to stick it, in terms of their attempts to control his career / relationship with their daughter.  (Well, on second thought, he was a bit more polite to one than the other . . . bet you can’t guess which one . . .)

Oh, one more thing about Fitzy, before I recap the conversations he had with Aria’s parents . . . he can be a little . . . how do I put this kindly . . . intense .  . . when he’s feeling disrespected.  We saw this for the first time, during his “don’t wake a sleepwalker” speech to that scheming harlot, Jackie.

We saw it again tonight.  Now I’m not SAYING Fitzy is “A.”  (For one thing, he lacks a comprehensive motive . . . so far.)  However, I will say that those of you who subscribe to that theory, got a lot of juice out of his scenes in this episode . . .

First up was Mama Montgomery, who also, seems to rarely teach, as she just decided to hop on over to Hollis college smack in the middle of the day to give Fitzy a piece of her mind.  “I’m not an ally,” insists Mama Montgomery to the Perpetual Couch Dweller.  “I don’t have an opinion on [the job offer my husband is using to manipulate you to leave town].”  She adds.

“It matters what you think of me,” Fitzy replies stoically.  (Well, that was a nice thing to say, under the circumstances . . . I guess.)

And yet, lest you think this conversation is a total waste of time (which I’ll admit I did, initially), before leaving, Mama Montgomery lays her cards on the table, regarding why she REALLY made this long journey to Fitzy’s office in the middle of the day.  I’ll give you a hint: it starts with the letter “A.”

Apparently, Mama Montgomery is still very much hot on the trail of the “A” who (1) initially informed her about her husband’s affair; (2) clued in Byron to the continuing nature of the Ezria relationship; and (3) may or may not be torturing Aria and her friends on a fairly consistent basis.  So, she turns to Fitzy for clues, hoping that, perhaps, one of Aria’s Deep Dark Secrets will help yield another.

Fitzy’s words are brilliantly filled with alternative meanings, and double entendres, depending on whether you view him as an “A” suspect or not.  For those of you who view Fitzy as 100% innocent in the torture of Aria and her friends, his statements, “I would never intentionally hurt Aria,” and, “there was someone who would want to hurt [me], but not any more” seem perfectly honest and straightforward.  The first statement, simply refers to his complete and unabiding love for Aria, and the second refers to Jackie, the one person, aside from “A,” Aria’s parents, and, of course, Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who ever sought to ruin the Ezria relationship.

And yet, those who think Fitzy might be “A” see the statements in an entirely different light.  Assuming for a second that Fitzy was “A,” his statement regarding how he would never “intentionally hurt Aria,” seems to dovetail directly with fans “concerns” regarding the fact that, of all the liars, “A” goes the absolute easiest on Aria.  As for Fitzy’s statement about someone wanting to hurt him and Aria, but “not anymore,” well,  one might surmise that he was referring to Ali, herself . . .

Just a suggestion . . .

While Fitzy’s meeting with Mama Montgomery was all mixed meanings, and double entendres, his conversation with Papa Montgomery gives off a much clearer message.  And that message is: ‘I hate your guts . . . BASTARD.”

*insert growling noise*

Whatever your feelings are regarding Ezria, you have to admit that this scene was just incredibly fun to watch.  Initially, the two grown men are icy, yet cordial, to one another.  Fitzy informs Byron he’s not going to take the job in New Orleans, and Byron says he’s “sorry to hear that.”  But that’s when the gloves really come off.

Fitzy tells Byron that the reason he’s not taking the job in Mardi Gras town is that he doesn’t want Papa Montgomery to have that kind of “power” over him.  There was also some smack talk flying back and forth about which man had the bigger “ego.”

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 In other words, Classic Male Pissing Contest.  It was awesome.  Fitzy’s been running scared from the Montgomery’s for such a long time now.  It’s nice to see him finally taking charge of his own life even if he does end up being “A.”  Oh, and, after it was all over, he called Aria, and told her he loved her, thus proving that Classic Male Pissing Contests are exceptionally good for the libido  .  . .

“I wanna whack her like a pinata!”

Oh, Mona!  I used to find you insanely annoying.  But now I kind of adore your smart mouth, and warped sense of loyalty.  You are like the female version of the comedically- inclined hitman character on one of those mob shows.  (So, I really hope you don’t end up being “A.” like you were in the books.)

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Anywhoo, the PLL girls have plenty of good reasons why they want Abs Toby to stay away from Half-Blind, Eyepatch Jenna.  For one thing, that’s SPENCER’S man, dammit though, I still prefer Wren.  For another, Half-Blind is a fairly awful human being, who never really forgave the girls for their part in her blinding, and has more than once framed them for some Very Bad Things.  For a third, she’s just CREEPY.  And has been known to do things like rub Toby’s leg, while saying that she “wants to surround herself with things she love, and you [MY BROTHER WHO I LIKE TO SCREW] will be there too.

Get your paws off me, pirate!’ 

(By the way, where the heck are Half-Blind Jenna’s and Toby’s parents, during all this?  Did Half-Blind Jenna eat them?)

To be honest, I’m not quite sure why MONA hates Half-Blind Jenna (assuming she’s not “A,” of course).  But whatever the reason, she’s REALLY quick to offer a helping hand in getting Hanna some alone time with the Tobster, for anti-Jenna reasons.  (She’s also really quick to offer to basically BEAT HER TO DEATH, but that’s neither here nor there.)

“If you show me your abs, I’ll give you this car.”

Mona get Toby alone by offering a threesome with her and Half-Blind Jenna claiming to have some random “car question” for him.  But once she’s got him cornered, she’s out like a tubby girl in dogeball, and in comes Hanna.  Now, in Abs Toby’s defense, Hanna comes on just a LITTLE bit strong, with her whole, “How dare you hang out with your sister, when she’s so mean to your ex girlfriend,” logic.  That said, Abs Toby, is more than a bit douchey in response, by playing the whole “YOU BLINDED HER” CARD, and then storming off, like it’s his job.

Speaking of doucheyness, Abs Toby has an extra special dose of it lined up for Dr British Hotpants Wren, when he happens by Half-Blind Jenna in the hospital, on the day she is supposed to have her bandages taken off.  If looks could kill Hotpants would be one very sexy puddle on the floor.  That said, I have to give the Line of the Day Award to Half-Blind Jenna, who refers to Dr Hotpants as “Spencer’s personal physician,” and insists that “even a lie would sound good in that accent.”

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Truer words have never been spoken . . .

 Ali DiLaurentis – Closet Hoarder?

It’s odd, isnt’ it, that mere days after Maya goes missing, Facelift Vampire Jason pops by to claim that she ”just happened” to drop some of Ali’s stuff by the house, in a big fat duffelbag?  The PLL girls are thrilled, assuming that they will find something in the bag that leads to discovering who either “A” or Ali’s killer is.  Unfortunately, most of the stuff in there is just a bunch of childhood junk (though I did notice the Voodoo doll from the Halloween special in there. YAY, continuity!) . . . or is it?

While searching through the crap, the girls realize that the newspaper in which it is wrapped, is actually from prior to Ali’s disappearance, and contains within it, some sort of a code.  (Thank you Hanna for your insanely accurate memory of Michelle Obama’s wardrobe).  It seems that Ali and “A” were communicating with one another through personal and classified ads prior to Ali’s death.  (How very low tech!  I’m disappointed in you, A.)

In fact, on the weekend of Ali’s demise, she met “A” at .  . . wait for it . . . the Creepy Doll Hospital.

(Oh, Ali also has a creepy music box.  I’m not entirely sure why that’s relevant, but the producers seemed to focus on it a lot, so I figured I would throw it in there.)

Burning Up for Your Love

Upon realizing that the bag might contain even more clues than originally suspected, the girls rush to retrieve it from Facelift Vampire Jason’s porch, where they had dutifully returned it, earlier that day.  Hanna gets to do the honors.  So, you can imagine her suprise when HALF-BLIND JENNA’S FACE POPS OUT OF NO WHERE, and THE ENTIRE FIRST FLOOR BURSTS INTO FLAMES.

It’s Hanna and Spencer (when did she get here?) to the rescue, as they pull Half-Blind Jenna from the wreckage, just seconds before the flames . .  . excuse the expression, whack her like a pinata.

Off to the hospital we go to assess the damages.  Surprisingly, Hanna is absolutely fine, aside from her hair smelling like smoke (which, of course, brings back memories of Emily’s “I have glass in my hair,” moment.)  But Spencer has glass in her HANDS.  YAY!  Wait . . . why am I saying, yay, to Spencer’s injury?

THAT’S WHY!

Wren is “cleaning and mending Spencer’s hands” very carefully (which I wish was a euphemism for something, but isn’t).  He’s also talking to her in this super sweet and soft voice of his, and telling her that she has a very complicated life.  (See, Wren is smart!)   He then eye sexes her up, so hard, she pops out about ten eye babies.   Upon eye baby delivery, he asks her if she would like to pretend certain things between them (like massive makeout, eyesex, half-nude massages, and drunken sleepovers) never happened.

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Spencer responds, “HELL TO THE NO!”  (As most of us would.  Because, seriously, who would want to forget  any time spent with Dr Hotpants . . . I mean, really.)

In other news, Spencer’s mom is apparently not on Team Facelift Vampire Jason, for obvious reasons.  Spencer takes issue with this because . . . well . . . he’s her half-brother, a.k.a. family.  (Makes sense.)   In fact, judging by the way things are turning out for the Hastings brood,  he might very well be the most SANE hastings of the bunch . . .

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But for not so obvious reasons, Mama Hastings claims that SHE, and not her husband, was the one who spent $15,000 for the private investigator to find Ali.   Hmmm . . .  Why do I feel like we are still missing a big chunk of this story?  Toward the end of the episode, Facelift Vampire Jason and Mama Hastings seem to share some not entirely antagonistic words at the hospital.  So . . . um . . . progress!

Controlling the world . . . one Rosewood Resident at a time . . . 

Oh, I guess you’re interested in finding out how Half-Blind Jenna is, right?  Well, she’s fine . . . if you ignore the fact that she is still half-blind . . . hysterical crying . . . and of couse, an evil brother-f*&king shrew.  As it turns out, Half-Blind Jenna was in Facelift Vampire’s house based on a message she supposedly received from Jason . . . a message he claims he never sent.  In other words, “A” basically tried to have Half-Blind Jenna killed, but Hanna saved her life (with Spencer’s help).  “Where there’s smoke, there’s payback,” right?

Again, where the F*&k are Half-Blind Jenna’s parents?  HELLO!  YOUR KID ALMOST DIED!  Time to return from the mall, or wherever the heck it is you’ve been for 2.5 seasons

There is an interesting, and suprisingly divisive, scene toward the end of the episode, in which a tearful Half-Blind Jenna asks Hanna why she would possibly save her, given the awful history the two have with one another.  (The Slap Heard Round the World Comes immediately to mind here.)  To this, Hanna responds with a rather icy, “You’re welcome,” before exiting stage left.

Having perused the message boards, I notice that a lot of you felt this was rude of Hanna, considering Half-Blind Jenna’s emotional state.  However, I kind of think, under the circumstances, Hanna handled the situation quite well.

After all, Hanna and Half-Blind Jenna are NOT friends, in fact they are nearly enemies.  So Hanna certainly didn’t save the girl out of any fondness or loyalty she felt toward her.  Rather, she simply did it, because it was the RIGHT thing to do . . .  She probably would have done it for ANYONE . . . possibly even a complete stranger (like Duncan Donuts).  While this is a perfectly good reason to save someone’s life, it’s not a particularly nice thing to say to someone.:  “I saved you because I was SUPPOSED TO DO IT.”

And like Mommy always says, when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all . . . which was exactly what Hanna did . . . at least in my opinion.  (That said, giving Jenna a little smile when she said it, certainly wouldn’t have hurt . . .)

In the final moments of the episode, Gloved Hand leaves Police Boy Garrett’s badge on the floor near Facelift Vampire Jason’s house, thereby implicating him in the fire.  In hindsight, he’d make for a good suspect, considering we’ve seen him arguing with Half-Blind Jenna, and angrily fleeing her home many times in the past.

Ahhh, the plot thickens.  Next week on PLL, more Creepy Dolls, Creepy Old Ladies, and an Ezria sex scene?  You can check out the promos here . . .

So, who do YOU think is A?  Until next time, my Pretties . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Daddy Dearest? – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Father Knows Best”

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Dads . . . scientifically speaking, we can’t live without them.  Though, by the end of this episode, three out of four of our Pretty Little Liars may have been wishing they could do just that.  Not Emily.   Her dad is awesome . . . which is probably why the writers are going to kill him off, just to make us cry.  Meanies!

I’m still not quite sure how I feel about “Father Knows Best.”  Don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t a bad episode, by any means.  It gave us some solid insights into each of the girls’ families (Hint: Spencer’s family is CRAZY!), while providing us with some interesting clues as to A’s identity.

And yet, I kind of felt as though something was missing.  Perhaps, it was because the girls had little time in the midst of all their family drama, for their usual fun snarky interactions with one another.

Maybe it’s because not one of the girl’s significant others actively appeared in the episode.

(I refuse to count that ridiculous shot of possibly-Toby on the motorbike.) All I know is that I left the episode hungry for a bit more camp, and A-related chaos . . .

That said, I’m seriously considering replacing “Clowns” with “Dolls” at the top of my list of Things that are Supposedly Meant for Kids that Give Me Nightmares . . .  It’s been nearly 24-hours, and just thinking about that doll hospital still gives me chills . . .

So grab your dad, and strap on your favorite dress, and, for heaven sake, hide all those creepy dead girl pictures you have in your lock drawer, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Emily Fields and the Case of the Missing Maya . . .

It’s a few days before Rosewood High School’s annual Father/Daughter Dance.  While Emily’s obviously psyched that her father traveled all the way from Texas just to attend, erstwhile-girlfriend Doobie-Lovin’ Maya’s recent disappearance has her feeling more than a bit distracted.  Fortunately for Emily, her dad is the most awesome dude on the planet, and is completely understanding of Emily’s predicament.

When Emily admits that she suspects Maya St. Pothead of possibly running away to San Francisco, so as not to have to attend Druggie Daycare, Papa Fields even shares with us a tale of his own days as a teenage runaway.  How cool is that?  That’s almost as good as your parents admitting to you that they used to smoke pot, when they were your age.  Not that I know this from experience or anything . . .  😉

Anywhoo, culling from his experience as a Teenage Bad Ass, Papa Fields cleverly suggests to his daughter that Marijuana Maya probably headed to the nearest bus station.  He reasons that bus transportation tends to be the quickest and cheapest way to get out of town in a pinch.  I liked how Papa Fields immediately offered to drive Emily down to the bus station, so that she could look for her friend, rather than immediately calling Maya’s parents, which would have been (in my opinion) a betrayal of her daughter’s trust.

Some might argue that Maya’s parents — who were undoubtedly extremely worried about their daughter — had a right to know this information.  And yet, it wasn’t really Papa Fields’ information to give.  Plus, if it turned out that Smokey St. Germaine had never gone to the bus station, the Fields’ “tip” would have done nothing more for the St. Germaine’s than get their hopes up about their daughter’s safe return home.

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At the bus station, Papa Fields shows off his awesomeness again, when the man on duty at the ticket booth is less than helpful in providing Emily with information.  Papa Fields plays the Army Card, and immediately gets Ticket Man to change his tune.  Suddenly, he absolutely remembers a totally stoned looking Maya purchasing a ticket to San Francisco, before, possibly, getting into a strange unmarked car and driving away.  It’s not exactly the news Emily wanted to hear, but at least it’s something . . .

Later on in the episode, Emily misses a phone call from Maya’s cell phone.  But when she calls the number, back she learns that the voicemail box is full.

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Well, that sucks . . .

You know what else sucks?  That Emily has to find out at the father/daughter dance that her awesome dad is going to be deployed to Afghanistan for six months.

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Why do I have a sinking suspicion the writers are going to kill off the best dad on this show, just to tug at our heartstrings, around sweeps week?  Here’s a hint for you, PLL writers: DON’T DO IT!

In other news, Gloved Hand takes a newspaper from a bin with Maya’s picture on the front page, and the words “Missing” emblazoned across the top.

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Silly Gloved Hand!  We already knew Girlfriend was missing.  You couldn’t have found something a wee bit more EXCITING and A-like to do besides reading yesterday’s news?  Just sayin . . .

Hanna Marin and the Case of the Police Report that will NEVER DIE . . .

You know how sometimes after a celebrity is big and famous, someone will come out of the woodwork with an old nudie picture of the actress from her starving artist days, and it creates a whole big “SCANDAL?”  Well, that’s kind of what happened to poor Hanna and her dirty little shoplifting secret.  That darn police report just keeps popping up everywhere, doesn’t it?

Now, it’s prompting Mama Marin to make more Not-So-Secret Meetings with Deputy Douchey, who suggests that Mommy Dearest steal her own daughter’s phone, to find out what exactly she’s been hiding.

Then again, maybe she just wants another excuse to get him naked .  . .

But hey, at least Mama Marin kinda cares about her kid.  The same can’t be said of Papa Marin, the guy who supposedly moved into town and enrolled his stepdaughter in Hanna’s school, so that he could spend more time with Hanna.   And yet, oddly enough, can’t be bothered to attend the Father/Daughter dance with EITHER of his kids, despite living right down the block from the school . . .

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Feeling more than a bit guilty, Mama Marin offers to attend the dance in her ex-husbands place . . . which sounds like a super sweet idea, until Hanna gets wise to her mother’s rendezvous with Deputy Douchey, and throws her cell phone in a sink filled with soapy water, in protest.

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Hanna Marin: Enemy to All Technological Devices . . .

Though the bold move solved the immediate problem of having Deputy Douchey or Mama Marin learn about “A,” it did little to solve the larger problem of the “Police Report.”  Oddly (and suspiciously) enough, it’s Mona who suggests that “the best liar of the group” confess to sending the report to Hanna, herself, as a way to stage an “intervention” on Hanna against future shoplifting excursions.

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I found it interesting that the girls immediately chose to crown Aria as “Best Liar” of the bunch.  I guess that’s true, somewhat.  This meta moment, was followed by another one, in which Aria hilariously confessed to Mama Marin, “A stand for Aria.  A stands for Anonymous.  I am A.”

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Could that be true?  Random Hot Guy at the end of the episode certainly seemed to think so, when he saw Aria wearing Ali’s alter ego “Vivian Darkbloom’s jacket” in the street,  and immediately referred to her as “Vivian.”  Upon seeing this case of mistaken identity play out, one can’t help but notice that Ali’s “Vivian Darkbloom” wig, does bear a striking resemblance to Aria’s natural hair color, style, and texture.

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Hmmm . . .

In other news, as good of a liar as Aria might, in fact, be, Mama Marin apparently doesn’t buy her story, which is why she teams up with Aria’s mom at the end of the episode to find out once and for all who this “A” person is, who has been torturing their daughters.  This can’t end well . . .

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Aria Montgomery and the Case of  . . . Lots of Pouting . . .

It was basically more of the same, in Arialand.   There, the littlest PLL girl, struggled with the notion of having to “play nice” with her pops, despite knowing that he tried to permanently cock block his own daughter, by shipping her lover off to the Big Easy.  With both Pops and Daughter being stubborn as mules,  it was up to Mama Montgomery, and formerly crazy, but now seemingly perfect, Little Brother Mike to keep the peace.

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Mommy did her part, by convincing Aria to attend the dance with her dad, despite her protests.   As for Mike (who would like you to know that he’s a REAL man, who shaves now . . . yessiree!) . . .

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 . . . he subtly and politely asks Aria, whether all the trouble that her dating Fitzypoo is causing the Montgomery family is worth while.

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She replies that “When you love someone it’s worth fighting for.”

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I wonder if Little Mikey has ever been in love.  I find the character intriguing, and was kind of disappointed when they unceremoniously dropped his storyline earlier in the season.  I hope they revisit it soon . . .

Lest you think Little Mikey is on Team Dad, he also has some choice words for Papa Montgomery, later on in the episode, about how the latter might not be really giving his daughter a chance, by actually listening to what she has to say, in regards to Fitzy.

Nonetheless, despite the rest of the families’ encouragement, the Father/Daughter Dance does not go well for the Montgomery duo.    In fact, it all ends, pretty sh*tty, with Aria huffily refusing to take a picture with her father, arguing that, “I’m not your little girl, anymore.”

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Now, I’ve certainly never been a fan of Byron Montgomery’s.  But, I have to say, my heart went out to him just a smidge in this scene.  Maybe it’s because my dad isn’t around anymore.  And I would do absolutely anything to get to take my picture with him again, dance with him, and have him call me his “little girl.”  But I guess that makes me a bit biased . . .

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What do you think, my Pretties?  Was Aria’s treatment of her dad at the Father/ Daughter dance overly harsh?  Or did the punishment meet the Ezria cockblocking crime?

Spencer Hastings and the Case of “Which of My Family Members is a Murderer?”

As screwed up as the rest of PLL girls families might be, Spencer’s family definitely takes the wackadoodle prize!

When we last left Spencer, she was stupidly heading off alone in a car with her surely-psycho sister, sans cell phone.

This week, she’s already in the car.   And so far, Melissa has not yet bludgeoned her with a butcher knife.

I take that as a good sign . . .

Anyway, Spencer’s still wondering why Melissa ditched her to go hang out with Police Boy Garrett.  (I’d say, Spencer should be THANKING her for doing that, because it enabled her to have more makeout time with that Hot Doc, Wren.  But that’s neither here nor there.)

Melissa makes up some excuse about wanting to talk to the Police Boy about her supposedly murderous husband Dead Creepy Pedo Ian.  I, for one, don’t buy it.

If you are feeling guilt about Marrying a Psychopath, tell your shrink, or your priest.  Don’t tell the Local Police Boy.  How exactly do you think he’s going to heal you, by handcuffing you, and telling you to “Get Up Against the Wall and Spread Em?”

“Well, I’d certainly enjoy that.” 

That said, even though I don’t trust Melissa, I don’t think she’s “A” either.  If she was, she probably wouldn’t have admitted to her sister, that she threatened the dead girl, by sending A-like texts to her, when the latter started making out with her boyfriend in public places.  The setup . . . the motive . . . it all just seems a bit too simplistic too me.

Plus, having Melissa end up being “A” after learning all the suspect things she did, just three episodes prior would be more than a bit anticlimactic for fans, I suspect.  That said, at least now we know why Melissa was in that video on A’s phone.  And why Jonah traced one of the cell phones that called Ali to the law firm where Melissa used to intern.

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When the rest of the PLL girls, learn Melissa’s excuse, they immediately want to turn her in to the cops.  But the ever-loyal Spencer, asks for more time to clear her sister’s name.  And why not?  When her equally psycho dad would make just as solid of a suspect in Ali’s murder!  Boy, when they were handing out family members in Heaven, Spencer Hastings must have been in the bathroom.  There sure are a lot of runts in her litter, aren’t there?

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Speaking of Spencer’s dad, like Aria’s not-so-proud papa, Spencer’s sire is also trying desperately to make amends for past wrongs.  Check out the I’m Sorry I Fathered a Bastard Big Brother of Yours and Never Told You About It Designer Necklace.  Spencer’s not quite sure how to react to this token of monetary affection.  So, she starts by snooping around her dad’s office, while he’s out playing tennis.

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There, she finds a number of naughty things, including porn a copy of a check made for $15,000 to cash . . . which just so happens to be precisely the amount of blackmail money Ali had lying around, and a folder filled with a bunch of creepy photographs of Ali.

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“Why is every male I know a TOTAL PEDO?” 

One thing she didn’t find in dad’s drawer, was a gun.  You know, because “A” already STOLE that . . .

And where does Spencer confront her dad about all this?  You guessed it, the Father/Daughter Dance.

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“Out of all my legitimate children, you were always my second favorite.” 

After she drops the bomb shell, she then dashes outside to see a mysterious leathered up figure riding past her on a motorcycle, “Toby?” She stage whispers.

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But whoever it is just rides right past her . . .

Now what the hell was the point of that?

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Once at home, Spencer admits to finding the incriminating items in Daddy-o’s drawer.  He explains them both away, by saying that he used the money and the pictures to hire a private investigator to find Ali, shortly after she went missing.  He claims that because he knew Melissa was threatening the girl earlier, he was hoping he might be able to clear her name.

I don’t know, it all sounds a bit too convenient for me. Besides, since when do you need 80 pictures of a girl to send to a private investigator?  Shouldn’t one or two suffice?  And besides, why exactly did Papa Hastings have SO MANY pictures of Ali, on hand, in the first place  It’s all a bit creepy, if you ask me.  Unless, of course, he ends up being HER father too . . .

While rifling through his now thoroughly searched drawer, Papa Hastings finally figures out that SOMEONE has stolen his gun . . . someone who has a key to his home and his lock drawer.

Once Spencer assures him she’s not a gun thief, Papa Hastings call the cops.

It’s not until they arrive that a frantic Melissa — who claims to have been “watching television” in the “no television” cabin — escapes back to her home in Philly.  Wow, someone really has something to hide, doesn’t she?  Melissa’s parting words to Spencer are that, if things get too tough, “I will always be around to protect you.”

“Riiiiiiiiight.” 

Why is that statement, when coming out of the mouth of a freakazoid like Melissa, not at all comforting?

Now, I remember . . . 

Newsflash: Dolls are Scary.

So, do you guys remember Jonas ?  The guy who bilked Spencer and Facelift Vampire Jason out of a crapload of money, just to give them the address to some old abandoned law firm?  Well, apparently, the guy’s been withholding some information.

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Apparently, Melissa’s phone wasn’t the only one threatening Ali.  She was also receiving calls from another number.  . . one in a nearby town called Brookhaven . . . a telephone that “A” likely dialed, while standing in front of the Creepiest Doll Hospital ever.  (Of course, in Doll Hospital’s defense, this is probably the first Doll Hospital, I have ever seen . . .)

Looking in the window, the girls immediately recognize the dolls as highly similar to the blackmail-bearing Chuckie dolls they received from “A” last season.  The plot . . . oh how it thickens.

In other news, Aria apparently didn’t dress weather appropriate for the Doll Hospital excursion.  Fortunately, Dead Ali’s alter ego’s red coat is still waiting in the trunk of the car.  The minute she puts it on, from the back, Aria looks exactly like the infamous “Virginia Darkbloom.”  Special Hot Guest Star must think so too, because the minute he sees her, he starts calling her “Vivian.”

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That Dead Ali!  She sure did get around, both literally, and figuratively, in her short life, didn’t she?

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And that (aside from the obligatory showing of Gloved Hand READING A NEWSPAPER) was Father Knows Best, in a nutshell.

Next week on Pretty Little Liars, Toby returns, Blind Jenna gets a super eye patch, and Hanna BLOWS UP.  It’s all just another day’s work for “A” . . .  You can check out the trailers for the episode here:

See you next week, My Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][FangirlsForever]

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YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Breaking the Code”

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Caleb must have accidentally slipped a video from his personal porn collection into the “A” attachment . . .

The Truth hurts sometimes, My Pretties!  And for a group of characters, who have become rather accustomed to spending their lives tiptoeing from one lie to the next, sometimes the pain of facing real, honest-to-goodness, truth can be just about unbearable.  In “Breaking the Code,” all of our PLL girls were forced to confront some pretty ugly truths, both about themselves, and about the people they loved.  How they react to this knowledge will undoubtedly shape the events of these crucial upcoming weeks, as we get closer and closer to finally figuring out the identity of “A”!

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So head on over to your favorite abandoned law firm, drink some tequila shots with the hottest doctor in town, and plan a tea party with your mom and boyfriend, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

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“Did I catch you in the middle of a nap?”

That Mona!  For a girl who supposedly became Queen B, around the time Princess Ali kicked the bucket, she sure does get the short end of the Friend Stick, where Hanna is concerned.

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Between her endless “A” investigations, dramatic family issues, and regular interludes of sex on Spencer’s Nana’s couch with Caleb, it seems as though Hanna constantly has better things to do, than to go shopliftping with Mona.  This, of course, makes Mona’s receipt of text messages from “A” seem more than a bit convenient, don’t you think?

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Now, suddenly, Mona has something else to talk to Hanna about, aside from whether she should wear pure silk or a poly blend to some party.  And it’s a good thing too, because life sure seems to be distracting Hanna from the “important things,” lately.  “Did I catch you in the middle of a nap?”  Mona inquires, when Hanna isn’t giving Mona’s new clothing “purchases” the attention the latter feels they deserve.

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You know what DOES get Hanna’s attention though  . . . Mona’s admission that “A” has been feeding her intel about Hanna’s mom and Deputy Douchey, that’s what!  You know, like, for example pictures of the two of them making sweet, sweet love IN FRONT OF AN OPEN BEDROOM WINDOW  (Because that’s precisely the place you take all your secret lovers, right?) . . . and police reports about Hanna shoplifting that were expunged, after Mama Marin and Deputy Douchey made sweet, sweet love IN FRONT OF AN OPEN BEDROOM WINDOW.

“Are you looking at my bum?   You dirty bum-looker!” 

This is some pretty damaging stuff!  (Not as damaging as the fact that Mama Marin stole money a dead lady, mind you, but pretty damaging nonetheless.)  Now, suddenly, Hanna is very, very interested in what Mona has to say, indeed . . .

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Of course, this is PLL, not Gossip Girl.  So, when “A” shares information with you, it’s not just as an FYI.  Usually there’s a catch involved to knowing certain things, even if you weren’t interested in knowing them in the first place.  Now, “A” is threatening Mona to rat out Mama Marin, or SHE will be the one put under fire for her own pretty little shoplifting habit!

“Moi?”

What’s Mona going to do?  Sell out her bestie, in order to ensure her own safety?  It’s not really Hanna’s place to say.   But Mona’s confession does put her in a really awkward position with her friend . . . not to mention, make her feel EXTREMELY guilty.

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Fortunately for Hanna, Mona ends up being loyal, and turning herself in for shoplifting instead  . . .

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I don’t believe it either, Hanna.

. . . an act of valor which results in her getting to do some PLL-themed community service, like all the other characters in our story.

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(Poor Mona!  And she would have been such a good crisis center call responder too . . . such sensitivity to those less fortunate than herself!)

It also earns Mona a spot at the PLL girl’s lunch table . . . an honor she’s been denied, multiple times in the past.  The invitation in question, comes after Mona gets yet another threat from “A,” this time on an apple, of all things.

If I were “A”, I would have probably just written “bite me.”  But I guess this works too . . .  

Hmmm . . . on one hand, I’m happy to see Mona finally getting treated right by Hanna, and accepted into the fold, by the other girls.  She really has come a long way from that girl who ripped up, poured soda on, and tossed out, Caleb’s first declaration of love for Hanna.

And yet, if Mona DID end up being “A,” wouldn’t her sudden receipt of text messages, and act of valor involving Hanna be the PERFECT ALIBI, not to mention a great way to get in close with her victims, and mine them for additional information.  (“Keep your friends close . . . and all that.)

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I hope I’m wrong.  But it’s all starting to look mighty suspicious to me.  Speaking of suspicious . . .

“I’m The MONEY!”

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I just love when Spencer goes into Law and Order mode!  Her tough-girl rendition of, “I’m the money,” when that creepy Jonah dude met with her and Aria to give them tracer information on the cell phone from whom Ali was getting calls, nearly had me in hysterics.  Too bad they spent $2,000 of Jason’s money, and only got themselves one stinky address.  (I could of told them, the call was from a prepaid cell phone!)

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Though the girls initially plan to seek out the address in question immediately, they can’t because Police Boy Garrett is watching them .  . . Correction:  he’s ALWAYS watching them!  And we wonder why so many bad things happen in Rosewood to the teenage population!  It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that all the cops in town are too busy stalking their underage ex girlfriend’s enemies, or diddling the parents of crime suspects, now could it?

Eventually though, the girls manage to give Police Boy the slip long enough to stake out the address.  And it ends up belonging to an old abandoned law firm, and the CREEPIEST LOOKING OLD GUY EVER!  Seriously, I’m talking Freddy Krueger levels of frightening.

“That’s not A!”  Captain Obvious Emily remarks, as the pair dash away from this oldster, and escape the abandoned, but not entirely forgotten, premises.

But wouldn’t it be hilarious, if that was “A”.  Just the idea of this guy sending Mean Girl text messages to Emily, and scrawling threatening letters to Mona on an apple is enough to make me giggle . . .

As much as Jonah’s Ice Cold Tip might have seemed like a red herring at first, the law firm in question actually ends up being linked to not one, but two, characters on the show .  . . one of whom is pretty close to the top of the “A” suspect list.  For starters, it’s the law firm that represented Mama Marin in her divorce from Papa Marin.

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 Second, it’s where MELISSA HASTINGS interned, back when she was a student.

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But the bigger question for me is, why the hell did the firm shut down, in the first place?  Most law firms don’t just close up shop over night, and sell their real estate to creepy, Freddy Krueger-looking old guys.  Something pretty bad must have gone down at that firm, in order for this to occur . . . just sayin . . .

“The first time I saw you, I just thought, ‘Damn!'”

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Ahhh, now for my absolute FAVORITE part of this episode.  While continuing to decode A’s cell phone, Caleb unearths another piece of the same video taken from Ali’s room, that we’ve been viewing part and parcel, for weeks now.  Up until this point, we’ve always assumed that the NAT club was sent scattering from the room, because Ali herself was returning there.  But, as it turns out, the person from whom the NAT club was running wasn’t Ali at all .  . . it was . . .  wait for it . . . a TOTALLY PSYCHO-looking Melissa.  Seriously, girlfriend looked full scale Crazy Nanny Carrie in those video shots!

(I know I keep using them, but I just love these pll-ichats.  They are hilarious!)

No wonder the PLL girls were screaming so loud!  Crazy Face Melissa could give Freddy Krueger looking old guy a real run for his money, in the evil entrances department.  The rest of the girls, of course, want to turn the video over to the police right away . . .Now, this seems a bit moronic, if you ask me.  After all, how many times are these girls going to give up the goods to the police department, before they realize that the Rosewood PD is (a) completely useless, (b) always ends up using the information against the girls, and (c) is probably working for “A.”

Aside from that, stomping into someone’s bedroom angrily, far from makes you a killer.  Then again, she does look pretty f*&king crazy in that picture.  Anyone could see that . . . well, except for maybe Blind Jenna.

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Inappropriate?

Not wanting to turn in her pregnant sister to the cops, so soon after (1) her husband died / killed himself / was murdered; (2) she got into a car accident and almost lost the baby; and (3) she just found out that her parents have an illegitimate child she used to enjoy making out with, Spencer begs the rest of the girls for another 24 hours, to talk to Melissa, and get HER side of the story, before they turn her in.

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Here’s the thing about Melissa.  I kind of think her being “A” is too obvious, especially since she was painted pretty firmly in the suspect corner this week.  And, remember, we still have at least two episodes left in the season, before we learn A’s true identity.  What I do think about Melissa though, is that she might have been the one Ali was blackmailing with information about Jason’s paternity.  There was just something about the way Melissa acted early on in the episode when that information was revealed, just didn’t strike me as that genuine.

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The blackmail option would also explain Melissa’s angry presence in Ali’s room, on the night she died . . .

As for Spencer, the possible guilt of her sister isn’t the only harsh truth she has to face, in this week’s episode.   She also learns that Aria’s been lying to her about not seeing Fitzy, when, in actuality,  the two were sucking face on a weekly basis, the whole time Spencer was whining to her about the loss of Toby.

Then, to make matters worse, when Spencer goes to meet Melissa at a local bar, to discuss her appearance on the tape (Yes, because a bar is an absolutely GREAT place for an underage girl and a pregnant woman to meet!) . . .

. . . Melissa BLATANTLY ditches her for Police Boy Garrett, of all people.  Worse yet, Spencer WATCHES her do it, and lie about it, from the window of the bar!

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(Rumor has it, these two have been spending A LOT of time together.  It was even implied, during the episode, that Melissa’s current spawn, might actually belong to the Policeboy.  Crazy Eyes sure does get around, doesn’t she?)

Just kidding . . . please don’t kill me.

Is it any wonder that, by the end of the night, an emotionally exhausted Spencer is ready to get totally snockered on tequila with Dr. McSexypants himself, Wren?

I know I’d do it, if I were her!  After engaging in some innocent bar flirting, Wren ends up taking Spencer back to his place, where she drinks even more, and starts drunkenly seducing the older man, like it’s her job!

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“The first time I saw you, I thought, DAMNNNNN,” coos Spencer in Wren’s ear, as she shimmy shakes around him like a dancer in a burlesque show.

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(That’s funny.  This is exactly how I reacted, the first time Wren was on MY TV screen.  Go figure!)

It’s rather impressive, actually.   Then the pair share a pretty adorable conversation about which one of them is more screwed up / comes from a more screwed up family.  (Hint: Wren don’t even bother, Spencer’s got it in the bag!)  During the conversation, Spencer admits to being a competitive perfectionist (duh!), even when it comes to yoga.  As for Wren, apparently he’s so OCD about organizing his books alphabetically, that when Spencer teasted him about having an Aristotle book out of place (What kind of twenty-something actually owns a book by Aristotle?  Oh Wren, it’s a good thing you’re so hot!), he actually stopped macking with Spencer to stare at his bookshelf.  Silly boy!

Skewed priorities aside, the chemistry between Wren and Seduction Mode Spencer (it’s always the straight-laced ones that end up being the craziest drunks) was white hot!  And what was even white hotter, was the fact that Wren, despite clearly be tempted, ultimately played the part of a gentleman, by not taking advantage of Spencer, in her vulnerable situation.

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He did, however, let her sleep on his couch, and offer her an invitation to return, whenever she likes.  They tongue kissed to seal the deal, of course.

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Wren might not want to take advantage of Spencer.  But something tells me Spencer will be taking advantage of that body of Wren’s very, VERY soon.  Can you blame her?

In other news, Melissa finally decided to show up and talk to Spencer.  But she insisted on taking her to a remote place to do it, and just seemed really squirrely throughout the entire conversation.  What’s worse, the usually smart Spencer, decided to go off with Crazy Eyes, herself, WITHOUT TAKING HER CELL PHONE.

Clearly, all those hot Wren kisses, must have gone to her head . . .

Speaking of face sucking . . .

When the going gets tough, (the tough eat your face) . . .

Maya may actually have made good on her threat to run off to San Francisco, rather than return to True North to conquer her “doobie problem.”

All Emily knows is that she hasn’t been returning any of her calls.  But as is usually the case with Emily, the very minute she seems like she might be single again, a buzzer goes off in the heads of every lesbian in Rosewood.  And suddenly, they are all in hot pursuit.

“Ooh . . . ooh . . . pick me . . . pick me . . . my turn!”

This time, Emily’s aggressor is Paige, a.k.a. as Little Orphan Butchie, (though now that she has a better haircut, the title is admittedly no longer appropriate).

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When we first see Paige, she’s all zen and thrilled about having finally come out to her parents.  And it’s not long, before she’s making flirty and suggestive comments to Emily, about the possibility of a rehash of their earlier, tumultuous relationship.

*clears throat*

Paige may be more out and proud than she was when we first met her, but when it comes to reading relationship cues, she still has a heck of a lot to learn.  Case in point, when a crying Emily admits to Paige that Maya and her had a fight, after which the former went missing, Paige decides this is a great opportunity to RAPE EMILY’S FACE.  Oops.

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Emily literally runs away, horrified.

And as much as I was never Paige’s biggest fan, I can’t help but feel bad for her and her utter cluelessness.  Then again, she did try to DROWN Emily, once before, which undermines my sympathy for the character, just a smidge  . . .

At the end of the episode, the police come to Emily’s doorstep to talk about Maya.

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Golly gee, I hope she didn’t burn down that law office, while sparking a big ole’ doobie . . . Seriously, though, I hopes she’s OK . . . unless she ends up being “A,” in which case, GOOD RIDDENS . . .

Speaking of good riddens .  . .

It’s an Ezria Tea Party! (a.k.a.  Now A’s messing with the Moms!)

Ladies, what the heck was the deal with Fitzy, this week?

And why was Aria wearing that bizarre early 90’s ensemble?  She looked like an extra from Saved by the Bell . . .  Was it just me, or was he SUPER CALLOUS in that car scene,  with Aria, in which he contemplated dumping her, and running off to New Orleans, for his new boyfriend Byron?

Yes . . . Fitzy . . . you were a dick . . . yes, you were.

On one hand, this isn’t the first time, Fitzy has been scared away by Aria’s parents, and frightened into giving up on the couple’s May/December romance.  But the way he treated her, while he was doing it, just seemed uncharacteristically cold to me . . . particularly when he left her alone crying in the car, and then proceeded to WATCH HER CRY, STONEFACED, from his car, for about five minutes, before driving away.

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It was just an odd scene, all around, in my opinion.  Though on a positive note, Lucy Hale definitely does give good cry.  I’m not ashamed to admit, I got a little teary .  . .

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Make that A LOT teary . . .

Speaking of odd, Aria’s mom is suddenly all up in A’s grill, because of that note Papa Montgomery got last week, cluing him in to the location of Aria’s ultimately canceled date with Fitzy.  Now, she’s decided to find out, for herself, who A is.  That can only lead to BAD THINGS, me thinks . . .

*insert hissing noise here*

But the hunt for A isn’t the only aspect of Aria’s life that Mama Montgomery has started to dip into.  She’s also decided to reevaluate her stance on the whole Ezria issue, after receiving a tearful tongue lashing from Aria regarding Papa Montgomery’s plans to ship Fitzy down to the bayou (probably in hopes that he would be eaten by alligators).  Honestly, ladies, it doesn’t get much more awkward than your mother plopping down on the couch at your boyfriend’s couch, and staring at you, while you all pretend to drink tea.

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That said, I do give Mommy Dearest some props for her willingness to hear her daughter out . . .

Speaking of self-sacrificing mom’s, Mama Montgomery might not be the only PLL Mommy hot on A’s trail.  When Mama Marin finds the police report A threatened Mona with, her first thought is that Deputy Douchey sent it, in hopes of forcing Mama Marin to have more sex with him.  But when she confronts the latter with the offending document, he seems just as freaked out by it, as she is!  And with good reason!  Last I checked, accepting sexual favors in return for sentencing clemency, was generally frowned upon, in law enforcement . . . no matter how good one might look, dressed in nothing but a towel . . .

In the final moments of the episode, we see “A” using the gun she stole from Spencer Hasting’s desk to do some pretty on-point target practice.

Be afraid, PLL girls.   Be very afraid!

And that was “Breaking the Code” in a nutshell, my Pretties.  Next week on PLL, we get a father/daughter dance, a missing persons poster, Toby on a motor cycle, and Spencer’s dad repeatedly saying things, like “pump up the jam.”  (Hey Mr. Hastings, 1992 called.  It wants that phrase back.)  You can check out the promo for the episode, here . . .

Until next time, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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The “Save Elena” Games . . . – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “All My Children”

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Greetings, Fangbangers!  It was Original versus Salvatores versus Witches, this week on TVD.  And though the various sides were fighting with one another for any number of reasons: love,  honor, retribution, redemption, natural balance intestinal regularity,  freedom, etc. . . . at the heart of it all, was one girl.  She was the trophy . . . the badge of honor . . . the prize at the bottom of the cereal box.  And that girl, of course, was  . . . Elena Gilbert.  Isn’ it always?

So make yourself a salt pentagram, douse yourself in gasoline, and throw some horse pictures in the fire, because it’s time for another installment of The Save Elena Games  TVD-cap . . .

Figuratively (and literally) Fondling Damon Salvatore . . .

The episode begins with a sexually frustrated Elena waking up alone in bed, her arms drawn tightly around a certain teddy bear.  Hmmm . . .  that teddy bear looks very familiar.  Where have I seen it before?

Ahhh . . . it’s all starting to come together now. 😉  Having not had anyone declare their love for her in the past six hours, Elena is feeling mighty lonely.  And so she calls her men for a little love and affection.

“Worship at my altar, vampire b*tches!’

Stefan is too busy writing in his diary to pick up his phone.   And while Damon does pickup Elena’s tenth call of the night (Oh sweetie!  We all know you love him, but you should really try playing a little harder to get. ;)), he only does it, so that he can tell her he’s “over it,” and hang up on her ass.

“No more phone sex for you, Buster!  (At least not until the next time I get drunk.)” 

Now . . . this wouldn’t have anything to do with that little “your love for me is a liability” comment Elena made last night, does it Damon?

Nahh  . . . I didn’t think so .  . .

Tired of not being totally and completely doted on by her Salvatore boy toys, Elena stomps over to La Casa de Rich and Awesome, only to be greeted by a mostly naked Damon Salvatore (yay) . . . and guest (boo).

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“Oh hey, Elena!  You’ve met my good friend, Jealousy, right?”

Count on Elena to give Damon a self-righteous lecture for his extra-curricular activities.  She even goes as far as to ask whether her lover has been compelled to sleep around.  Far from being angry, Damon looks rather pleased with himself.  And why shouldn’t he be?  After all, Elena is clearly falling right into his little love trap.  Come to think of it, he should have done this a long time ago . . .

But this little morning meeting is about more than sexual politics, Elena wants to fill Damon in on Mommy Witch’s plan to murder the entire Original Brood.  Elena thinks this is a problem, mainly because of the awesomeness that is Original Elijah.

She also conjectures that Damon, having had a taste of the forbidden fruit that is Rebekah, might actually give a flying fig whether she lives or dies.  As it turns out?  Not so much . .

“There’s more where she came from!”

You know who else has tasted Rebekah, but doesn’t seem to care about her continued existence on Planet Elena?  Stefan.

(Poor girl . . . she’s had thousands of years on Earth to practice.   And still, her sex skills are apparently not up to snuff.)

 At least you’ll always have eachother . . . *clears throat*

The younger Salvatore Brother appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to join Damon’s chorus of “Just let the Originals die, already.”

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Outnumbered and outwitted, a pouty Elena stomps off, now even more sexually frustrated than ever  . . .

As for Damon, he’s ready to offer his brother a bromantic high five for a job very well done.  “I like you on my team,” he say congenially.

But Stefan’s never been much of a “Team Player.”  It simply isn’t in his broody, loner, eternally angsty nature.  So, instead of high fiving,  Baby Salvatore just stares longingly at Damon’s blood cup, like he want to make out with it, and snidely echos Klaus’ sentiments that Elena would be much better off without both of them.

(Truth be told, I think Elena’s Teddy Bear would strongly disagree with this statement.  Thanks to the state in which our Salvatore Brothers left Elena the night before, it is now pregnant.)

Aside from wishing to live out the rest of his life as a celibate bunny muncher, Stefan is also concerned that Elena’s conscience will get the best of her, and cause her to eff up Mama Original’s kiddie killing plan.

What?  Elena?  Ruin plans?  NEVER!

Our brother the martyr . . . Our sister the strumpet . . .

Meanwhile, Rebekah and her sex hair have returned to the still-frighteningly unfurnished Originals house.  So, of course, every sibling wishes for a chance to get a dig in at her expense.  Kol, gets the first shot in, by very eloquently calling his sister a strumpet.  To this Rebekah responds that she wishes to systematically remove his teeth from his mouth   . . . which, in Original Vampire world, is likely a form of foreplay.

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Jealous that Rebekah is getting sex with someone other than him and he isn’t, Kol commandeers Klaus to go with him to the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, in hopes that he can remedy his little problem . . .

Klaus agrees, because . . . hey . . .why continue to draw pictures of Caroline with a horse, when, instead, you can ride her, like a philly?  But, of course, Kol isn’t quite done with Rebekah yet.  He still has THIS to say . . .

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 I’ve gotta say, I’m loving this guy’s sense of humor.  TVD writers, please somehow insert a scene into the show in which vampire comedians Kol and Damon face off against one another with a delicious round of “Yo Mama” jokes .  . . 😉

With Kol and Klaus out of the house,  Elijah confides in Rebekah that their mother has been acting weirder than usual .  . . Some of the weird things she’s been doing include conducting privacy spells in the house, and looking at her children, as if she wishes to chop off their heads and wear them as hats.  Rebekah sees nothing at all strange about this.  Then again, she’s probably still too busy nursing her war-torn vajayjay to worry about much of anything.

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Besides Rebekah wasn’t the one who had to suffer Elena lying to her face.  (At least, when Elena screwed over Rebekah, she did it in her back.)  So, Elijah decides to pay his pretty little liars a visit . . .

Tales of a Vampire Gigolo

Elena has invited Bonnie and Caroline over to listen to her b*tch about Damon having sex with other women.  You know, because his love for her is such a liability, and all . . .  Well played, Damon.  When it comes to turning on the object of your affection, screwing Rebekah seems to have been your most effective manuever since Miss Mystic Falls.  You can almost hear her panties falling, throughout the episode . . .

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Bonnie tries to conduct Mama Original’s privacy spell.  But clearly, she isn’t working hard enough at it because (1) it isn’t working; and (2) her nose isn’t bleeding.

That’s better!

Then, Elena finally manages to stop drooling over Damon long enough to hear about Bonnie’s and her mom’s little pact with the Original Witch  to kill all her kids that very night.   Ruh-roh!  Talk about burying the lead!

Both Bonnie and Caroline don’t seem to think it’s Elena’s fault that Elijah will be included in this bloodbath.  I disagree.  And then, like magic, the gentleman vampire himself appears at Elena’s front door . . .

“Are you there, Elena?  It’s me, Elijah!”

Ever the romantic, Elijah decides to take Elena for a little trip down memory lane.  (Silly Elijah, doesn’t he realize the way to get into Elena’s pants is by sleeping with his sister?)  As they travel through forests, trees, and various grassy knolls, Elijah is able to recount, from memory, all the things that used to exist in that very spot, once upon a time.  They stop at an opening to a cavern, which apparently has an intricate network of tunnels that run directly below Mystic Falls . . . in other words, the Perfect Makeout Spot.

This is where Elijah chooses to drop the bomb on Elena that he knew she was lying about Mama Original’s motives all along, due to her telltale rapid heartbeat.  But, of course, Elijah being Elijah even manages to make this accusation sound like a compliment, by peppering it with phrases like, “I admire you.”  and ‘You have compassion.” and “It is not in your nature to be deceitful.”

 “That’s not going to work!”

It works like a charm!

The next thing you know, Elena is a blubbering,  quivering mass of puddy in Elijah’s hands.  She confesses everything.  “I just wish there was something I could do,” Elena whines.

“Be careful what you wish for,” replies Elijah, before literally stamping out the ground beneath him, hugging Elena toward him, and traveling through the floor with her Reverse Superman Style.

One word: HOT!

The battle lines are drawn

While Elena tries in vain to get cell phone receptions, Damon calls Alchy-ric, who likely hasn’t left his seat at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, since last week, when he got out of the hospital, after that whole “death” thing.  He’s with Crazy Nanny Carrie, who never seems to mind that the only thing these two ever do on dates is get wasted.  (Clearly, she’s just as big of an alcoholic as he is . . .  perhaps, intoxication helps dull the crazy.)

The Bromantic Buddies exchange some much-deserved barbs with one another.  Alaric gives Damon a “hard” time about his Originals Sex, which, of course Elena told him about, because she tells Daddy everything. 😉

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Damon, in turn, notes that Alaric is still screwing a psychopath serial killer.  (Given what happens at the end of the episode, Damon probably should have been a bit more concerned about that.)  Of course, the Elder Salvatore Brother has bigger fish to fry, at this point.  His lady love is missing.  And Damon rightly suspects that foul play was involved.

Meanwhile, Bonnie and Abby have kept their date to meet with Mama Original, who’s just filled with syrupy compliments for the two witches who both almost maimed members of her family.  She also shares a bunch of hippy dippy philosophies about “restoring the balance of nature,” by using the direct descendants of Esther’s former bestie, Ayanna.  Through it all, Mommy’s golden child Finn continues to stare at the witches, as if they are lunch.  It’s all highly unpleasant.  But after last week, the Bennetts are so happy to have an actual plotline in this episode, that they keep their mouths shut.

“Just nod and smile, baby.  Just nod and smile.” 

Underground, Elena runs into Rebekah, who’s still rocking a major grudge, as a result of the whole “backstabbing” thing.  What’s nice about Rebekah is that she seems to be the only individual on the show, who’s completely immune to Elena’s charms.  After chasing her around the cavern, roughing her up a bit, and forcing her to make a humiliating “ransom video” on her cell phone (But how did she get reception?), Rebekah kindly explains to her captive, Elijah’s diabolical plan for her.  The plan?  Rebekah gets to murder Elena, if the Salvatores don’t find a way to stop the Originals from dying.

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Over at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Elijah explains the same thing to Stefan and Damon, who seem reluctantly amenable to Elijah’s requests.  Anything for Elena!  (Man, how many times has THIS happpened!  For folks who claim to want Klaus dead, the Salvatore brothers sure seem to like saving his life, a lot!)

Back in the tunnel, just to prove that she means business, Rebekah actually douses Elena with gasoline, when the latter holes herself up in a vampire-free section of the cavern.  Hurry up, Salvatores!  Or else, Baked Elena might end up on the dessert menu at the next Originals Family Ball!

Speaking of balls . . .

The Original Hybrid Pickup Artist

The plan of the day is to play “divide and conquer” with the Originals, so a non-vampire can dagger one.  Each participating Scooby Gang member gets a mark.  Caroline, of course,  gets Klaus.  But Kol clearly likes her too , and chooses to show it with construction worker-type cat calls.  Though, I guess  the words “She looks tasty,” have different connotations depending on whether a construction worker, or an original vampire are uttering them.

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Either way, Klaus isn’t cool with Kol leering at his Vampire Barbie.  “Say another word, and I’ll take your liver,” Klaus threatens.

First his teeth, now his liver.  I’m starting to think Kol is that guy laying on the operating table in the game “Operation.”  Everybody just takes what they want from him. (Personally, I’d go for the eyes and the lips.)

This is Kol . . . 

When Caroline gives chase, Klaus runs after her gamely.  *insert whipping sound*

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 “Get to know me, I dare you,” says Klaus, as the two get comfy on a park bench.

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But just because Caroline needs to keep Kol from Klaus, doesn’t mean she’s going to go easy on her mark.  In fact, when asked about her “hopes and dreams” (oh, Klaus, you really have been a bit out of practice, haven’t you?), she says this:

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Back in the bar,  Kol is busy trying to make it on top of the pool table with Crazy Nanny Carrie.  (Kol, here’s a hint for you . . . some meals are just not worth tasting.)  So, busy, in fact that he barely sees Alaric come at him with the white oak dagger in the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls.  It’s like a game of Clue!

All around Mystic Falls, Originals begin to drop undead .  . . except for Klaus . . . who just gets a stomach ache.  But I guess that kind of makes sense, since he’s the only Original who, as a result of his hybrid status, is immune to the white oak dagger.  Klaus’ Spidey Sibling Sense immediately tells him that Kol is hurt.  So, he abandons that Jezebel Siren Caroline, and rushes to intercept and de-dagger Kol, who’s currently being dragged away by Alaric and the Salvatores . . . though, honestly, I’m not sure they were all needed for this part of the plan.

A scuffle ensues, and Kol  is destaked in the process, thereby reanimating the rest of the Originals.  Alaric doesn’t fair quite as well, suffering a cracked rib, and major blow to the head.  He probably would have gotten much worse.  But Elijah has appeared to put an end to the fighting, and get everyone focused on the plan at hand.  i.e. “Stop Mommy Dearest, from eliminating us permanently, or Rebekah will have a lesbianic underground interlude with painfully disembowl Elena.

The Salvatore Brothers know exactly what they have to do . . .

Heads I win, Tails Bonnie loses . . .

Over in witchland, Mommy Original has fashioned a pretty little flaming pentagram out of salt.  The idea is for Finn to die in the middle of it,  while all the witches chant, and permanently erase the rest of the Originals.  (Honestly, I think it might all be for theatrics, especially considering how seemingly easy it was to “stake” all the Originals by staking Kol.)  Anywhoo, after a brief hiccup caused by Finn “acting” momentarily staked, the Dead Originals show is once again on . . .

Outside the festivities, Stefan and Damon are discussing how much they both love Elena, and are fighting over which one of them will “stop the spell” by “breaking the Original Witches’ connection to the Bennett line, by “breaking one of the Bennetts.”  Neither one wants to do it.

 

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But only because it would piss off Elena, and possibly, temporarily make her love the killer less, not because they give two flying figs about the Bennetts.  They actually do a coin toss to decide which brother will end up in the doghouse.  We don’t get to see who wins . . . yet.

Elijah and Klaus arrive at the Salt Pentagram, so that Original Mother can tell them in person what abominations she thinks they really are . . . even Elijah, who’s a better vampire than most people are humans.  But really, the Originals should be expecting this.  After all, on this show, if you do have a parent, that’s a good indicator that he or she is probably going to try and kill you at least once.  The best way to survive Mystic Falls is to be an orphan . . .like Elena . . . and the Salvatores.  Which reminds me, have we met Alaric’s parents yet?

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Inside the witch house, Stefan accosts a now-tearful Bonnie, coldly explaining to her what’s going to happen . . . and all for the love of Elena.  But then, in a surprise move,  Damon pops up, and vampirizes Abby, thereby breaking the Original Mother’s connection to the family line because  . . . wait for it . . . witches can’t be vampires.

In a moment of unintentional hilarity, Original Mother instantly feels the witchy connection severing.  “Don’t abandon me, sisters,” she yells.

Oh, silly Original Mother?  Have you not by now realized that these witches are some fickle b*tches?  I mean look at their track record: they supported Abby . . . they abandoned Abby . . . they supported Bonnie . . . they abandoned Bonnie . . . they tortured Damon .   . . they stopped torturing Damon . . .they tortured Klaus . . . they stopped torturing Klaus . . . they hid the coffins . . . they made the coffins appear.

Anywhoo, both Finn and Original Mommy evaporate into thin air.  But we know we’re not lucky enough for them to be actually dead, right?

The Aftermath . . .

Rebekah eventually lets hostage Elena free, but not before the two have a little heart-to-heart about how Rebekah is REALLY mad at her, because . . . wait for it . . . she hurt her feelings, by not really wanting to be her friend.  (Because telling someone why they are mad at you isn’t patronizing at all!)  Rebekah agrees though, (She is Klaus’ sister, in every sense of the term . . . and these two really do seem to have a soft spot for the ladies, and an almost desperate need for companionship.  She also reminds Elena that Revenge is a decent show on ABC a dish best served cold.  So, Elena can expect to get hers in small doses.  How sweet!

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Speaking of cold . . . shoulders, Elena goes to see Bonnie, and is sent away by Caroline, who rightly tells Elena, that it’s kind of her fault that Bonnie’s mom is a vampire.  (Grams would have hated that!)  And that Bonnie’s getting a little tired of playing the “Save Elena Games,” and ending up crying as a result.  (However you might feel about Bonnie, Abby and forced vampirism, you have to admit, girlfriend has a point.)

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized, in order for someone to save Elena Gilbert . . . 

Elena leaves sobbing, and, on the other side of the door, Bonnie is sobbing too.  Something tells me Damon going to be getting a lot of cell phone calls tonight. 😉

“What are you wearing?” 

Meanwhile, back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Damon and Stefan have a heart-to-heart about Stefan returning to the bunny diet after that heinous Bridge Incident, and Damon taking the fall on the whole “kill Bennett” thing, despite having won the coin toss.   There goes Damon again, doing the martyr thing, and all for his little brother’s love of Elena.  On one hand, it’s frustrating . . . and a little annoying.  On the other hand, Damon did say this “I’m better at being the bad guy.”

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Now, with this, I agree.   Once again, I’m brought back to Damon’s and Stefan’s conversation in “The Last Dance,” when, again Bonnie’s “life” and Elena’s psychological well being were sacrificed to save Elena from an Original.  Back then, Damon told Stefan that he would be the one who kept her alive.   And he was willing to play that role in her life, even if she ended up hating him in the process.

Somewhere along the line, Damon lost a bit of that edge.  He just started to love Elena way too much for her to hate him in return.  But I actually think it’s this so-called “bad Damon,” who Elena fell in love with,  in the first place.  And something tells me that, while Damon’s unquestioning support of Elena scared her away to some extent, his loving and protecting her from afar, while pretending not to care, will drive her right back into his eternally waiting arms . . .

At least, I hope so . . .

In other news, Elijah left town, leaving a Dear John-esque parting letter for Elena in his wake.  Turns out, he wasn’t just blowing smoke up her ass, so that he can kidnap her.  Elijah really does admire and envy Elena’s compassion.  How adorable!  Now, get the f*&k back to Mystic Falls, so that you can hit on, and sacrifice your life for Elena, just like everyone else . . .

Also, Klaus burned some pictures of Caroline and that horse.  There were a SCARY amount of pictures, actually.  So, is this the end of Klaroline? I’m thinking not . . . once again, giving a lady her space is the absolute best way to remind her of what she might be missing . . . even if what she’s missing just so happens to be a sociopathic vampire, with a bit of a stalking problem. 🙂  He’s still super pretty though!

Speaking of Klaus, Rebekah pops by to tell him that she’s been spending a lot of time reading cave paintings, and one of them told her that White Oak Ash trees still exist.  This means the Originals lives are still at risk . . . a little factoid I’d be a bit more concerned about, if we hadn’t by now seen them all staked and de-staked, by white oak ash daggers, about 82 times a-piece, this season . . .