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Things That Make You Go “HUH?” – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The New Normal”

This week on Pretty Little Liars new relationships sizzled, arguments fizzled, new enemies presented themselves, and an old, terrifying, villain reemerged in Rosewood . . .

Yes, boys and girls, “Blind” Jenna’s CANE OF DESTRUCTION has returned, after enjoying a long and restful vacation in HELL!  And when “Blind” Jenna has her CANE OF DESTRUCTION by her side, we know that evil is truly afoot.  Be afraid, my Pretties.  Be VERY AFRAID!

Hanna’s “Infestation Problem”

So, Hanna and Caleb are continuing to play “house” in Hanna’s basement.   And Caleb is just having a fine old time.  After all, he’s living rent free, and having the Girl of his Dreams serve him breakfast in the morning, at no cost.  What could be better?

Caleb says he plans to leave, having received offers to leech off of OTHER families in Nebraska, or Nevada, or somewhere else that’s not Rosewood.  But we all know THAT’S not really going to happen — not when he’s coming closer, and closer to getting laid each week things are going so well for him here.

“Oh Hanna, would you mind getting me a towel?  I can’t find any here in the bathroom. because I’ve hidden them.  Did I mention, I REALLY, REALLY want you to see me naked?

Talk about a sweet deal!  Not only does Caleb get free room and board at Hanna’s house, Hanna has even kindly offered to wash his hat collection, which, let’s face it, was starting to smell like ass . . .

Sure, Hanna may have STARTED to wash the hat, so her mom wouldn’t realize that Caleb had left it in the kitchen that morning, but the result was the same, nonetheless.  Then, the next morning, the usually clever Hanna, gets the “bright” idea to hand Caleb his hat at school, SO ALL THE PLL’S CAN SEE HER DO IT.

GOTCHA, Secret Hat Sharers!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a girl returning a hat to a boy.  But was it ABSOLUTELY necessary for Hanna to do this at school, when the boy lives IN HER BASEMENT?  I mean, did he really need the hat so badly, that this couldn’t have waited until he got home to wear it?  Is the bald spot really that noticeable, Caleb?

Nonetheless, the fact that Hanna and Caleb “hatted” eachother, ended up being a good thing.  You see, it prompted Aria, who’s a BIG FAN of Secret Inappropriate Relationships, to forgive Hanna for almost ruining her life, by nearly outing Aria and Fitz’s relationship to Aria’s mother.  You know . . . because no two PLL girls can stay angry at one another for more than half an episode, no matter what terrible things they do to one another . . .

“I’m glad we are friends again, Hanna.  Because I have some hats that could really use washing.  For example, that Where’s Waldo one I wore a few weeks back.”

Truth be told, Hanna is going to need all the friends she can get, now that her mom is being stalked by this CREEPO . . .

It all started when Hanna’s mom decided to return what was LEFT of the cash she had stolen from Dead Miss Potter’s safety deposit box.  Conveniently enough, before she could do it, some guy named James Leland, who to be Miss Potter’s only living relative, requested the contents of the box.  Remembering that Miss Potter had said that she had no living relatives Mommy wouldn’t have been stupid enough to snatch her cash, if she did Hanna’s mom asks this mysterious man for appropriate identification.  He provides it promptly.   And everything seems to check out.

Then Creepo Mr. Leland asks Hanna’s mom out on a date.   And since slutty Hanna’s mom would go out with a FERRET, if he asked nicely, she agrees.  That nigh,t the doorbell rings, and everyone assumes its Creepo Mr. Leland.  But it ends up being someone WAY more pleasant to look at . . .

 

Ever the pro at Breaking and Entering, Caleb wisely figures that if Hanna’s mom meets him first, she won’t be so surprised, when he knocks up Hanna if she ever sees him hanging around the house.  Hanna’s mom is concerned that Hanna seems to be rebounding from Sean, by having strange boys over at her house.  And yet, since Hanna’s mom has strange boys over at the house all the time, she really has no grounds to judge . . .

Strange Boy #1

When Creepo Leland actually arrives, it’s Caleb who first greets him.  “I’m the Guy Who Opens the Door,” snarks Caleb when Creeop Leland wants to know who the heck he is, if not a relative of Hanna’s mom.

Before they can leave for their date, Hanna’s mom has Mr. Leland sign a bank document.  This action prompts suspicion from Caleb because . . . wait for it . . . Mr. Leland USES A CHEAP PEN!

Because, clearly, anybody who uses a Blue Bic MUST be a serial killer, right?  After Hanna tells Caleb that Mr. Leland is supposedly an architect of some sort, Caleb astutely notes because he lived in an architect’s bathroom for a month once that architects tend to carry around nice pens.  Then Caleb takes it upon himself to do some background research on Mr. Leland.  And I begin to wonder whether he is the long lost brother Spencer and her Investigation Face never knew they had . . .

Now that you mention it, I do kind of see a resemblance . . .

What Caleb learns from his research is actually quite interesting.  As it turns out, the REAL James Leland WAS an architect, and he WAS related to Miss Potter.  But he was also MASSIVELY OLD, and is now MASSIVELY DEAD.  Hanna shares these findings with her mother, who blows them off, because “blowing things” is what she does best. 

But Hanna’s mom becomes suspicious of Creepo Mr. Leland too, when he (1) balks at the small amount of money leftover in Miss Potter’s account . . . almost as if he KNEW how much was supposed to be in there; (2) starts asking suspicious questions about who had access to the dead woman’s safety deposit box; and (3) seems unwilling to provide any information about where in “Syracuse” he supposedly does his banking . . .

Back at home, Hanna and Caleb share a sexy Almost Kiss Moment, before Caleb skulks back down to the basement to jerk off go to bed . . .

Moments later, there is a knock at the door.  Hanna answers it.  In doing so, she is greeted by what I think is the most HILARIOUS “A” taunt to date . . .

“Are you A?”  Asks the Funny Lookin’ Old Dude in the Weird Blue Jumper.  “Because I got a call from an A about an infestation in your basement?”

Haha!  Get it?   “A” just called Hanna’s new love interest a RODENT!  Fitz, apparently, thinks its funny too.

But be careful, Hanna!  If you keep eye f*&king Caleb, in public,  I suspect SOMEONE will see too it that you have a REAL infestation problem in your basement very soon . . .

“You better stop messing with my girl, Caleb.   Or I’ll stick my pet rat right up your ass!”

In the last few moments of the episode, SOMEONE leaves flowers on Miss Potter’s grave.  And I’m willing to bet that it’s NOT that Creepo Fake James Leland . . .

Could the FAKE Leland have MURDERED the Real Miss Potter for her money?  Does this storyline have ANYTHING to do with “A” or Ali’s death?  Only time will tell . . .

Aria’s Papa Don’t Teach

This week’s episode of PLL was a bit “parent-heavy.”  Don’t you think?  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for stories about Hanna’s mom, because she’s a Dumb Slutty Felon, who amuses me.  And Emily’s interaction with her mother this week (more on that later) was truly touching.  But PLEASE PLL writers, let’s lay off on the Aria’s Parents’ Storylines, shall we? 

GO AWAY!

These two just bug the heck out of me.  And this is the THIRD week in a row, where their drama took up a major portion of the episode.  It all started with Aria’s mom DROOLING over Fitzy, as he singlehandedly saved the high school lunch room, from Paige’s Evil Father (more on that later). 

 (Apparently, the teachers eat lunch with the students at this school.  Now that HAS to suck for everybody involved.)

Fitzy then invites some of the teachers, Aria’s mom included, to go to some silent auction / book signing by an author that Aria’s mom secretly hates.  Aria’s mom agrees to attend the event because she really wants to get into Fitzy’s pants it’s for a good cause.

“Mrs. Montgomery, are you trying to seduce me?”

Cut to Aria’s parents roaming the halls of the school.  Aria’s mom wants Aria’s dad to meet Aria’s English teacher, Mr. Fitz, because their daughter is boning him because he is just SOOOOOOOO Dreamy.

“He’s smart, attractive, and sensitive,” coos Aria’s mom.

“Does he play the guitar too?”  Aria’s dad snarks.  (I swear, this is the only funny thing he’s said all season.)

So, of course, Aria’s dad immediately becomes convinced that Fitzy is screwing Aria’s mom.  So, when it comes time for the parent teacher conference, Aria’s dad is a TOTAL AND COMPLETE dick to Fitzy.

This rough treatment, of course, has Fitzy peeing in his pants, because he’s convinced that Aria’s dad hates him.  “Your dad hates me, or is crazy!”  Fitzy insists poutily.

  But Aria is not concerned.  “No ONE could hate my Fitzy!  IMPOSSIBLE!”  She assures him.  “And everyone already knows my dad’s crazy so . . .”

But then, when Aria actually questions her father, she learns, to her chagrin, that her dad DOES hate Fitzy.  “There’s just not a lot of depth there.  And he uses that boyish smile too much,” says Aria’s dad mopily.

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I have no idea what he’s talking about.

But when Aria explains that LOTS of teachers will be attending the event Aria’s mom is attending with Fitzy, and that’s it’s for a good cause, Papa Montgomery seems to change his tune about the English Teacher.  (Coincidentally, I’m not really sure what would piss Aria’s dad off more.  The idea of Fitzy boiking his wife, or his daughter?)

Anyway . . .

Aria and Fitzy are busy macking on the couch in Fitzy’s apartment, one evening . . .

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 . . . when Fitzy gets a message on his answering machine.  It’s Aria’s dad.  He’s sorry about his bad behavior at the Parent Teacher Conference, and wants to take Fitzy out for a drink (or ten). 

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MY LORD!  Does the ENTIRE Montgomery family want to BONE this guy?

Emily Gets “Special Treatment”

Poor Emily!  She can’t catch a break!  First her lover gets shipped off to De-Gaying Camp.  Now her teammate, Little Orphan Butchy’s, crackpot dad is shouting across the school lunch room that Emily is getting special treatment on the swimteam, just because she’s a lesbian.  (Yeah, because that makes a lot of sense!  And by “a lot” I mean “none at all.”)

“Man, my dad is such a DOUCHE!  Now, I wish I really was a Little Orphan, instead of just having a Little Orphan haircut.”

Emily keeps the pain of this experience to herself.  And doesn’t tell her mom about it, out of fear of upsetting her.  But count on Aria’s mom to SPILL THE BEANS. 

“Hi, my name is Big Mouth Montgomery.  What’s yours?”

(Seriously?  I know it ended up working out for the best.  But that was a TOTALLY inappropriate thing for Aria’s mom to do . . . Then again, making out in the school library after hours, and hitting on your daughter’s English teacher, are also inappropriate things to do.  So, at least, her character is consistent.)

Later, at the Parent Teacher Conferences, Emily’s mom confronts Emily about what Little Orphan Butchy’s dad said about her in the lunchroom. 

When Emily reluctantly admits to witnessing the event, Emily’s mom takes big steps toward redeeming herself in my eyes, by calling out Little Orphan Butchy’s dad for constantly blaming other’s for his own daughter’s shortcomings.  When it’s all over, Emily’s mom turns to Emily, and gives her a speech, that I must admit, made me go all mushy inside.  (I may have even shed a tear or two.  Shhh!  Don’t tell anyone!)

“I still don’t understand [your sexuality].  But I love you.  You are my child.  And nobody hurts my child.  I’m sorry if I [was a homophobic biatch who got your girlfriend shipped off to De-Gaying Camp] . .  .” says Emily’s mom tearfully.

Then they hug . . .

*sniffle sniffle*

That night, Emily walks to her car.  But before she can put her key in the ignition, an uninvited SOMEONE piles into her passenger seat.  (Because that’s not rude or scary, at all!)

Pouty Paige wrongly assumes that, because Emily’s mom stuck up for her against Paige’s dad, Emily’s mom is tolerant of her “lifestyle.”  “Why is everything so easy for you?”  Paige whines.  (Ughhh!  I despise this girl!  Can’t they put a COOL Lesbian onto this show, for Emily’s sake?  Tea from Skins, perhaps?)

“I’m single!”

Emily begins to explain to Paige just how NOT easy life is for her.  Upon hearing this, Paige shocks Emily, by planting a Big Fat Wet one on her lips . ..

“Don’t tell,” says Paige when it’s all over, dashing from the car, as quickly as she came . . .

“W .  . . T . . . F!”

OK . . . Did anyone NOT see this little “twist” coming, a mile away .  . . aside from Emily, of course? 

Don’t worry, Emily.  You are not alone.  Kurt from Glee feels your pain.

Spencer’s New Sidekick

When the episode opens, we see Spencer and the rest of the girls trying to decipher the braille note that Toby supposedly found hidden in Jenna’s room . . .

Using the internet, Spencer is able to translate the code, by matching the braille to corresponding letters . . .

This is the message she decodes . . .

Aside from being a song by Michael Jackson, it means precisely nothing.  The other girls are convinced that Toby has “punked” them, because he doesn’t trust them.  This, of course, would be completely understandable, considering they all, more or less, accused him of being Ali’s killer, just a few weeks back.  But Spencer, who has seemingly fallen in LOVE with the guy over the course of two weeks (It’s amazing what a little French kissing tutoring can do for your love life.), can’t IMAGINE that Creepy Toby would do such a thing to her.

So, Spencer calls Toby to make sure he hasn’t punked her ass, Ashton Kutcher style.  He tells her he hasn’t.  She’s just reading the code wrong.  Spencer later figures out that the braille marks also represent numbers.  So, the code, in addition to saying “Bad,” also says “214.” 

When Spencer meets up with Toby later, while “Blind” Jenna is away at “flute practice, he tells her, that “Blind” Jenna wrote the note, after talking about Spencer on the phone.  He claims that “Blind” Jenna is afraid of all the PLL girls involved in the accident, but Spencer, most of all.  Toby asks Spencer if the numbers have any significance to her. “Aside from being the date this episode is airing?  They don’t . . .

But thanks to the producers, we are later shown that 214 is motel room number.  And guess who’s staying at that motel?

YIPPPEE!  It’s Wren!  He’s back!  He’s back!  YAY!

Or . . . maybe not . . .  You see, I was SO excited about the prospect of my Wren returning to PLL, that I took the liberty of rewatching the Motel Kiss that occurred between Spencer and Wren during episode 4.  And, unfortunately, unless he changed rooms (please, please let him have changed rooms), he wasn’t staying in 214 . . .

Room 103?

So, “Blind” Jenna’s cryptic note remains a mystery.  You know what else remains a mystery, why “Blind” Jenna was shopping for a lace dress, (“He loves lace,” she says creepily to the store clerk.).  Also, why was she LOOKING AT HERSELF IN THE MIRROR while she was trying it on?

If you recall, this is the SECOND time we’ve seen “Blind” Jenna look at herself in the mirror.  THIS was the first . . .

So, who was Jenna getting all dolled up for?  Stepbrother Toby would be the most obvious choice (EWWWW! EWWW! EWWW!).  After all, he had just received some very good news (more on that in a moment), and would, perhaps, be in the mood to screw “celebrate.”  And Spencer did receive THIS cryptic message from “A,” when she agreed to meet up with Toby again.

But perhaps, Jenna has another lover we don’t know about.  Maybe it’s Pedo Ian  (He seems to like them young!), or maybe it’s Ali’s killer?  Unfortunately, this is yet another mystery that we will have to wait to solve.

Less of a mystery is Creepy Toby’s guilt, or lack thereof.  When Spencer arrives at Toby’s house, the two share a moment.  Their hands brushing against one another, as they both fondle one of Jenna’s snowglobes.  During that Moment, Toby shares his good news with Spencer.  I am STD Free!  The District Attorney has dropped the case against him for Ali’s murder, because the blood evidence on Ali’s coat was “corrupted.”

Spencer offers to bring Toby down to the police station to have his House Arrest leg bracelet removed, and Toby agrees.   But then, once the new couple step outside, Jenna is there with her CANE OF DESTRUCTION!  She wants Toby in her cab, and she’s not about to take no for an answer . . .

SPENCER: “Awwww, crap!  She’s gonna hit us with that thing, isn’t she?”

TOBY: “It actually feels kind of good, when she does it right.”

SPENCER: “I just vomited in my mouth, hearing you say that.”

TOBY:  “Breath mint?”

“Hope you brought a helmet!”

Though “Blind” Jenna worked the whole “blind” angle, by calling Spencer “Emily,” I don’t buy for a second that Jenna didn’t know EXACTLY who was in the process of stealing her man.  Jenna briskly tells Spencer that her services are no longer required.  Her CAB can take Toby to the police station.  “I’m going with Spencer,” says Toby firmly.

That’s when Jenna’s head starts spinning around in circles, and she begins spewing green goo out of her mouth . . . just kidding!  But she certainly wasn’t a Happy Camper. 

During their road trip to the pokey, Spencer and Toby bond a bit.  And the sexual tension between them becomes increasingly evident . . .

TOBY:  “Everyone else on this show makes out in cars.  Are you sure you don’t want to try it?  It’ll be fun.”

SPENCER: “I generally only kiss boys who are dating my sister, or hit on my mom.”

TOBY:  “I can do that.”

Toby notes that he is ready to make changes in his life.  I suspect it’s only a matter of time before those “changes in his life,” include a nice long trip inside Spencer’s pants . . .

“Ready or not, I’m coming in!”

And that was “The New Normal” in a nutshell.  It wasn’t exactly the most eventful episode we’ve seen, so far.  But at least it paved the way for plenty of Hot Hookups in the future (Hanna/LucasCaleb, Spencer/Toby, Emily/Yucky Paige, ME/Wren) . . . 

How about you?  Did you enjoy “The New Normal?”  Are you liking any of these new pairings?  What’s the deal with “Blind” Jenna and that Leland creep?  What are your thoughts on the number 214, and how it relates to the PLL mysteries?  And finally, how excited are you about the Naked Caleb featured in the promos for next week’s episode?

Speaking of the promo, you can watch IT, and a sneak peek from next week’s episode, RIGHT HERE!

See ya next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

The French Connections – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Je Suis Un Amie”

Oh, Creepy Toby!  How we missed those big blue eyes and that Serial Killer Facial Expression, of yours!

“Je Suis Un Amie,” this week’s episode title, when translated into English, means, literally, “I Am A  Friend.”  Get it?  A Friend . . . as an “A?”  Pretty darn clever, huh? 

Given the title of the episode, it’s kind of fitting that this latest installment of the series (1) featured lots of French influences — from French tutoring, to Spencer’s ridiculous French-inspired wardrobe (Seriously, who is DRESSING her, lately?),  to a French language version of Catcher in the Rye; and (2)  may very well have brought us closer than ever before to finding out “A’s” true identity.  (I’ll give you a hint.  Based on the evidence we learned this week, all fingers seem to point to a girl who’s name rhymes with . . . LINED . . . HENNA.)

So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s start digging for clues!

Turning the Paige . . .

I am going to start with the LEAST exciting storyline first, to get it out of the way . . .

Sorry, Em!  But you KNOW it’s true!

It’s a few days before the Big Swim Meet.  Emily and her new rival Paige, or, as I like to call her, Little Orphan Butchy, are still at odds with one another.  Except now, instead of MERELY competing for the role of Team Captain, Emily and Paige are now also in competition to determine who gets to swim the much-coveted anchor leg of the relay race.

Since the girls’ respective personal best times are identical, the coach decides to have the at-odds pair compete in a Swim Off against one another.  Emily, once again, tries to be friendly to her rival, by offering her a few words of encouragement.  But Little Orphan Butchy is not having it.  She responds to Emily’s efforts by, more or less, growling and snarling, like the rabid dog she may very well be, underneath that ridiculous wig of hers.

That night, Emily awakens to a knock at her door . . .

And, wouldn’t you know it . . . it’s a WET DOG!

Little Orphan Butchy is COMPLETELY soaked through with rain (or is it sweat?).   She’s also blubbering and crying, and looks half way toward catching pneumonia.   But does Emily let Butchy into her house?  Nope.  (GOOD GIRL!)

All joking aside, Little Orphan Butchy evokes just a smidgeon of my sympathy, when she starts sobbing out apologies to Emily, while standing on her porch.  “I’m sorry,” she snivels.  “I just wanted you to know that.  You have every reason to hate me.”

(Yes, she SURE does!)

With those brief words, Little Orphan Butchy dashes off on her bike, right into the storm, leaving a still half-asleep Emily completely confused.  Now, while I’ll admit I felt a little bad for Little Orphan Butchy, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Evil Homophobe was apologizing for something more than just a few nasty comments, and that time she almost drowned her . . .

Could Little Orphan Butchy have done something AWFUL to Emily to sabatoge her ability to compete in the upcoming Swim Meet?

Understandably, I fear for Emily’s safety, when she arrives at the swim team locker room, the following day, prepared for her little race against Little Orphan Butchy.  As it turns out, however, my worries are unfounded.  Because Wet Dog Paige DOESN’T show up to practice!  Coach claims she was HURT on her bike the night before.  Her absence results in Emily getting the opportunity to swim the anchor position in the relay, by default!

HUH?

Well . . . surely it is Little Orphan Butchy’s intention then to sabotage Emily at the MEET, itself.   Right?  

The day of the meet comes.  And once again, I am EXTREMELY worried for Emily’s safety.  As she waits on the platform, I watch her for signs of poisoning and sudden illness.   When she steps onto the diving bored, I fear that Paige may have greased it with butter, causing Emily to slip and break her head.  When Paige HERSELF arrives on the scene, I find myself entirely convinced that she’s some kind of witch/wizard, planning to put a spell on Emily to make her perform poorly, during the race.  (Yes, I read Harry Potter too much.)

But then the race ends, and Emily WINS IT FOR HER TEAM!

“Fooled ya, didn’t I?”

After the meet, Emily finds Paige alone at the pool.  Paige admits that she wasn’t hurt,  but WISHES she had been.  As it turns out, she has gotten so caught up in the pressure and competitiveness of winning, that she just doesn’t enjoy swimming anymore.  Emily, of course, can relate to this feeling, having experienced it herself, just a few months earlier, when she had temporarily quit the swim team.

“How did you get over it?”  Paige wants to know.

“I stopped swimming for everyone else, and started swimming just for me,” explains Emily.  “When was the last time you swam just for fun?”  Emily inquires, with a wink.

Then, suddenly Emily and Paige are “having fun” in the pool together, with Cheesy Girl Power music playing in the background.  Emily is giving Paige some “looks,” if you catch my drift.  And these LOOKS worry me.  (Please LORD don’t make these two a couple, PLL Writers!  Emily can do SOOOOO much better than Little Orphan Butchy . . . just sayin!)

Just keep swimming, Emily!  There are MANY other (better) fish in the sea!

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Aria’s Not So Shocking Discovery

Hanna:  “Ewww, Aria, why are your mom and dad making monkey in our school library?  That’s REALLY nasty!”

Aria:  “Shut the f*&k up, Hanna.  At least my mom doesn’t screw Deputy Douchey, or steal money from old ladies!”

If you recall, last week’s PLL installment ended with the completely lame and entirely predictable cliffhanger of whether or not Aria’s mom ACTUALLY saw Aria and Fitzy necking on their clandestine “date” at the Philadelphia museum . . .

When the episode begins, Aria is digging for money in her dad’s jacket pocket, when she comes upon some VERY interesting contraband . . .

When Aria inquires as to what her dad is doing with the SAME ticket to the SAME museum event that she secretly attended with Fitzy, Aria’s dad mumbles something about  Aria’s mom, and then proceeds to become even more socially awkward and incoherent than usual.  Aria gets even MORE concerned that she’s been found out, when her mom acts equally bizarre, when questioned about whether SHE attended the event.

“Ummm . . . ummmm . . . ummmm . . . I’m boinking your dad again, and have inexplicably decided to keep it a secret from you so that you will spend the entire first half of the episode worried that I found out about you having Hot Limo Sex with your much older teacher boyfriendI’m sorry.  Could you repeat the question?”

Aria is ultimately relieved to learn that her mom’s car broke down, thus making her, ultimately, unable to attend the museum art exhibit.  And yet, much to Hanna’s chagrin, Aria has caught Spencer’s Veronica Mars Disease, and is still intent on finding out why her parents have been acting so friggin bizarre lately.  And so, Aria and Hanna tail Aria’s dad’s car one night.  Of course, they are surprised, when he ends up parking it at their high school.

Hanna:  “Hey Aria, maybe your dad has lost his memory, and thinks he’s 16 years old again, and still looks like THIS . . .”

Oh yeah, that’s TOTALLY a pre-drugged out Charlie Sheen next to him, by the way.  It’s AMAZING what you can find on the internet! 

Still waiting in the car, Aria calls her mother from her cell phone.  As a result of that call, we are treated to this image . . .

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little . . .

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not that I’m ageist, or anything.  In fact, there are PLENTY of 40 and 50 somethings that I would be PERFECTLY cool with seeing hook up.  (For starters, I could watch George Clooney hump a TREE, and I’d still be happy!)  It’s not even that Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe are unattractive.  On the contrary, they are both VERY good looking people.  It’s just that these two have NO CHEMISTRY WHATSOEVER!  So watching them makeout, and rub up on eachother, is about as romantic as watching two slugs mate . . .

Anywhoo . . . Aria is concerned by her mom’s weirdness on the phone, and knows that her parents are DEFINITELY up to something.  (Oh, they are up to SOMETHING all right!)   After some cajoling and puppy-dog eye giving, Aria ultimately convinces Hanna to go into the school with her, so the pair can stalk Aria’s dad.  Good times!

Hanna’s and Aria’s investigation ultimately leads them to the library, where they encounter THIS . . .

Nope . . . still not sexy . . .

(Of course, the girls find OTHER things in the library too, which I will get to in just a bit, when we tackle Hanna’s storyline.) 

The next day, a now emotionally-scarred Aria gets a text from A, that says THIS . . .

Oh, HANNA!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

Hanna (temporarily) loses a friend . . . but gains a new boy toy and housemate

Welcome to The Dating Game, Hanna!  So far, we’ve met Bachelor Number One, Sean, and Bachelor Number Two, Lucas.  Allow us to introduce you to Bachelor Number 3, Caleb.  Caleb is homeless, has no family, and is probably a drug dealer.  But he’s very attractive, and can break into anything even your pants!  Needless to say, your mother will LOVE HIM!

Lucas has been gone for two whole weeks now, and Hanna seems to have a VERY short attention span.  For this reason, she spends most of the episode eye f*&king Resident Bad Boy Caleb.  You see, Hanna owes Caleb for that “little favor” he did for her, by wrecking Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t get to the museum where Aria and Fitzy were screwing enjoying their date.  And Caleb wants to COLLECT on this favor . . .

Now, if this were a show on ANY channel, aside from ABC Family, we all KNOW EXACTLY how Caleb would expect Hanna to “repay him” for the “favor” he did her.  (Hint:  It rhymes with “lex.”)  But this IS ABC Family, so Caleb merely wants Hanna to go on a “date” with him.  Caleb believes that dating a popular and “clean cut” girl like Hanna will give him the “Street Cred” he needs to push drugs and alcohol on Hanna’s rich friends.

Hanna kindly obliges, even going as far as to point out which of her friends are the wealthiest, sluttiest, and most drug addicted.  She does this, in exchange for information regarding Caleb’s Sick Sad Life as a foster child.   Once Caleb has enough gullible marks for his Con Artist game, him and Hanna attend Emily’s swim meet, and eye f*&k eachother some more . . .

That night, while she is stalking Aria’s parents, Hanna finds an air vent, filled with cell phones, dark clothing, and a wad of cash, all of which she immediately assumes belongs to “A.”  Hanna promptly pockets the cash, explaining to Aria, that “A” owes her for the medical bills she incurred when “A” ran her over with the car.  (Of course, she neglects to mention to Aria the whole “Felony Blackmail thing,” or that “A” also “owes Hanna” for doing her bidding, by trying to sabotage Aria’s date with Ezra.)

The moment Hanna steals  borrows takes an Unauthorized Loan of the cash,  however,  her and Aria are startled by a loud crash, and frightened by the sight of a dark figure looming before them, in the distance . . .

Aria and Hanna try to outrun their assailant, but he is WAY faster than them, and catches up quickly.  At one point, Hanna tries to put more space between her and Aria and their potential attacker, by overturning a trashcan in front of him.   But the dude leaps over it SO effortlessly, I start to wonder whether “A” (if that’s who he ends up being) might, in fact, be Spiderman . . .

Eventually, however, the hooded figure backs Aria and Hanna into a corner.  Out of options, Hanna cleverly improvizes, by spraying hairspray in her assailant’s face.  Blinded, he removes his mask.  And the girls’ assailant IS . . . (drum roll, please) . . . THIS GUY!

Yes, boys and girls, Caleb lives in the LIBRARY, where the books are free, and the nighttime teacher makeout sessions are a plenty!  He does this, because he doesn’t want to end up in yet another foster home.  Hearing this, understandably, makes Hanna and Aria feel guilty for complaining about their own, not nearly as crappy, lives.  So, Hanna reluctantly returns Caleb’s money.  Then, the girls leave the library, and let Caleb go back to reading Wuthering Heights for the 325th time . . .

The next day, school board officials find Caleb’s personal belongings stashed in the heating vent, and toss them in the trash.  “My Eviction Notice,” notes Caleb to Hanna morosely, as he digs his food-stained shirts out of a nearby garbage pail.

“Well, this place has very little closet space,” remarks Hanna,  trying to keep things light.

Recognizing how terrified her new Bad Boy Buddy is about returning to the foster care system, Hanna invites Caleb to live in her basement.  “My mom is so self-absorbed, and oblivious to every aspect of my life, she will NEVER EVEN KNOW YOU ARE THERE!”  Hanna says, more or less.  “Besides, she’s out hooking most of the night, and sleeps all day in a drug-induced stupor.”

In hindsight, it’s kind of a good thing that Hanna has a new housemate.  Because she’s going to need all the friends she can get, now!  When Aria first receives that cryptic text from “A” alluding to Hanna’s part in her almost getting caught with Fitzy by her mom, she immediately confronts Hanna with it, not believing the content of the message at all.  “A’s really gone off the deep end now.  She’s trying to turn us against eachother!  I can’t believe it,” insists Aria, infuriated.

(Well . . . that’s true, Aria.  Just not exactly in the way you think.)

Though Hanna could have just blown off the text message, thereby preserving her friendship with Aria, guilt ultimately overcomes her.   So, Hanna comes clean to her bestie, about sending Aria’s mother the museum tickets.  “A has something on ME,” Hanna insists, by way of explanation for her massive betrayal.

“A has something on ALL OF US,” argues Aria, “But nothing A said could make me do that to you!”

And, with that, a rightfully furious Aria stalks off, leaving a dejected Hanna alone to lick her wounds.

That night, Hanna is sobbing on the staircase, as she makes yet another apologetic phonecall to Aria that goes unanswered.  Caleb is there, talking about showers, and towels.  So, I start to think that maybe we will get to see him shirtless tonight . . .

We don’t . . .

But we do get to see him sit next to Hanna and sweetly comfort her, which is nice . . .

And yet . . .  given that Caleb has spent weeks living in the school library, I’m not entirely sure his decision to FORGO a much needed shower, for Hanna’s sake, is a particularly hygenic (or good-smelling) one.

Here, I would  like to note that the Lucas has not missed a single shower since he was two-years old.  Just sayin’

And finally, the storyline you’ve all been waiting for . . .

Spencer and Toby do French . . . but not in the way you think . . .

Last week, I mocked Spencer a bit, for the Indiana Jones costume she wore, while investigating Ali’s hot shirtless brother Jason out on the field.  This week, Spencer entertained us, by wearing yet another Halloween costume.  This time she dressed up like her favorite American Girl doll  . . .

Blue Beret sold separately!

Maintaining her French wardrobe theme for the evening, Spencer’s second ensemble was a cross between French Maid, French Clown, and French Poodle . . .

Given Spencer’s newfound love of French Couture, it was, perhaps, fitting that she had decided to tutor Creepy Toby (who was now being homeschooled, as a result of all the bullying he was receiving, on account of being the main police’s suspect in Ali’s murder) in French.

Spencer’s reasoning for deciding to tutor Toby is three-fold:  (1) She feels guilty for being TOTALLY convinced he murdered Ali, during the early months of her murder investigation.  And she sees this as a good an opportunity as any to apologize for being such a b*tch to him.  (2) Seeing as people keep blowing up his mailbox, there’s no way Toby’s ever going to get those Rosetta Stone CD’s he ordered from Amazon.com, in time for finals . . .

(3) Now that Spencer TOO has been somewhat accused of being responsible for Ali’s death (Remember that Crazy Bead Selling Lady, suggested that Spencer had ordered Ali’s Death Bracelet, last week?),  the Veronica Mars Disease in Spencer has somehow convinced her that Toby can be her Logan Echolls (or, at least, her Wallace).  Together, Spencer feels that she and Toby can figure out WHO is framing them and why.  And THIS, she figures, might actually lead them to “A” and Ali’s killer.

After taking the advertisement off the wall, so no one else could volunteer for the job not that anyone else would want it, Spencer nervously heads over to Boo Radley’s Creepy Toby’s and Blind Jenna’s house, after school . . .

When she eventually finds the courage to ring the doorbell, Creepy Toby answers.

 Toby is clearly leery of Spencer, and isn’t quite sure what her true intentions are.   He’s also concerned that, if Blind Jenna knows that Spencer is in the house with him, she will rape Toby again freak out.  Of course, Creepy Toby would absolutely LOVE to study with Spencer someplace away from home, where he would feel more comfortable (like a cemetery, or bat cave, perhaps), however his darn House Arrest Bracelet, won’t let him leave his property.  So, Spencer suggests that the pair study on the porch instead.  Toby reluctantly agrees . . .

Initially, Spencer tries to butter Toby up, by giving him a French version of a book she KNOWS he enjoys, namely, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Spencer wisely notes that reading a book in French that he has already read in English will help him become fluent in the language.  But Toby is not so easily bought.  He wants to know why Spencer is really there.

The two eventually warm to one another a bit, and get to talking, about how much it sucks to be framed for Ali’s murder.  Spencer wonders out loud how the jacket Toby gave Ali on the night of her murder, ended up back in his house, after she died. Before he can answer her question, however, Toby notices the rustling of a nearby window, and quickly bids Spencer adieu.  Obviously, Blind Jenna has come out to play! 

(OK.  If Jenna is BLIND why is she “LOOKING” out the window at Spencer and Toby?   Weird!)

That afternoon, Spencer already seems totally smitten with Toby, which is odd considering that she used to make out with SUPER HOT Wren that just a few episodes ago, she hated his guts.  “He seems . . . hornydifferent,” Spencer notes dreamily to Emily, as the latter tries not to laugh hysterically at her friend’s MAJOR change of heart.

*sigh*  “Creepy Toby is sooooo dreamy.   Do you think he likes me?  You know, when Toby and I get married, Blind Jenna will be my sister-in-law.  That’s going to suck SO BAD!”

When Spencer is not sleuthing, or dressing French, or dreaming about Toby, this week, she spends the rest of her time, glaring at her new brother-in-law Pedo Ian, and quitting the hockey team, because he’s it’s coach . . .

Ian feigns offense at Spencer’s obvious rejection of him.  He insists that he just wants to make peace with his wife’s little sister.  However, Spencer isn’t buying it.  Big Sis Meliss tries to intervene, and let Spencer know what a FABULOUS person Pedo Ian is . . .

“Is THAT why he’s hitting on a 13-year old now?  Because that’s what FABULOUS adults do?”  Spencer notes wryly (more or less), as she motions toward a little kiddy that Pedo Ian seems to be grooming for his special Lolita collection.  

Spencer insists that Melissa ask her new husband about his various rendezvouse with Ali before she died.  But Melissa retorts that, since Spencer has been spending time with Creepy Toby, he must be poisoning her little sister’s mind against her new husband.  “You just always want what I HAVE,” remarks Melissa.  “You need help!”

Correction, Melissa:  Spencer wants what you HAD . . . not HAVE.  There’s a BIG distinction.

Speaking of Wren, he gets a SHOUT OUT, in Melissa’s next line, “I’ve already lost one relationship because of you, you will not ruin my marriage too!”  Melissa huffs, before storming out. 

(Well, at least SOMEONE, besides me, remembers that Gorgeous Hunk of Man!)

Later, Melissa approaches Spencer again to apologize for her earlier behavior.  Apparently, Pedo Ian has finally come clean to his wife about making out with Spencer, while the pair were broken up, but she’s totally cool with it (NEVER MIND THAT SPENCER WAS 14, AT THE TIME).  Then, Melissa decides to drop a couple of bombshells on Spencer, by revealing (1) that SHE proposed to Pedo Ian, not the other way around; and (2) that she’s pregnant with Pedo Ian’s Evil Spawn!

For once, Spencer, that face is TOTALLY justified.

Later that day, Spencer comes back to visit Creepy Toby again, and is totally caught off guard, when he dumps her as his French tutor.  “This isn’t going to work out,” says Toby brusquely.  “We can’t help eachother.  You have to go,” he concludes, handing Spencer back her book, as he dashes back inside his Haunted House. 

(By the way, did you notice the DARK GLASSES on the outside table, during this scene? Do you think they were Blind Jenna’s?  If so, what exactly does that mean?)

You’ve got some ‘splaining to do, Blind Jenna!

When Spencer gets home from Creepy Toby’s house, and puts the French Catcher in the Rye book on her bed, a slip of paper falls out of it.  It’s a message from Creepy Toby . . .

“I found this in Jenna’s bedroom.   I think you may be right!”

Below Toby’s handwritten message is a pencil rubbing done of some characters, which were clearly typed in braille.  The question is:  What exactly does it SAY?

In the final moments of the episode, we are treated to the CREEPY sounds of a record (SERIOUSLY A RECORD?  What is this, 1975?), which boasts that it can teach a person French easily.  All they have to do is listen.  As the voice on the record repeatedly utters “Je Suis Un Amie,” the camera pans over a number of suspicious items:  (1) laptop, (2) a knife, (3) some rope, (4) a wrench, and (5) THIS . . .

What the F*&K is THAT supposed to be?

What exactly all this signifies is still a mystery . . . to me, anyway.  After all, TOBY would seem to be the most likely candidate to own a record like this.  After all, he needs to learn French, and he just ditched his tutor.  So, it would make sense for him to practice the language using an instructional record (possibly originally by one of his parents’)? 

And yet, up to this point, all signs have pointed to JENNA being the mysterious “A.”  Certainly, JENNA would have access to Toby’s room, during this scene.  She may even play his French record out of curiousity, and manipulate his belongings, in order to throw fans off track frame him for Ali’s murder. 

And yet, would the solution  that Blind Jenna is “A” be too obvious?  Could “A” have been Toby all along?  Or is the person featured at the end of this episode someone else entirely . . . one of Toby’s and Jenna’s parents, perhaps?

I guess we will have to wait until next week to find out . . . See you then!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

Well, THAT’S Convenient! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again”

SMILE!  You’re on a Creepy Stalker’s Camera!

Welcome back, my Pretties!  This was a pretty productive episode, wasn’t it?  We met a new enemy (specifically, Emily’s Swim Teammate, Paige, or as I like to call her, Little Orphan B*tchie).

Seriously?  That hair?  Those clothes?  No . . . just . . . no.

We got to know a new friend with benefits? a little bit better . . .

“Hi!  My name is Stereotypical Bad Boy Love Interest.  What’s yours?”

We welcomed back a new suspect (who’s been SERIOUSLY hitting the steroids HARD eating his Wheaties, since we saw him last).

A few couples heated things up (one of which we ACTUALLY cared about!).

Mmmm!  That looks like it tastes good . . .

Meh . . .

An old lady died (RIP Old Lady!).  And another Old Lady told SOMEONE (A?  Ali’s Killer?) that she (or he, though it definitely seemed more like a she) had nice eyes . . .

“Why thank you, Old Lady, and you have nice .  . . teacups.”

And finally, Spencer FINALLY revealed why she’s been acting so Cuckoo Bananas, everytime she gets anywhere near that picture of Ali that was taken the night she died . . .

But we still haven’t figured out why she always makes that weird face . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

Questionable Judgment (and even more questionable hats)

Clearly, all these months of being tortured by “A,” making out with inappropriate men (and women), and not sleeping, have started to take their toll on the girls.  We see the first signs of this, when the typically stylish Aria arrives at Spencer’s house inexplicably dressed like Where’s Waldo?

(Hanna, of course, had another analogy for Aria’s bizarro appearance.  She compared her to a Strung Out Powder Puff Girl.  This, to me, seemed kind of redundant, as the Powder Puff Girls ALWAYS look strung out, as far as I’m concerned . . .)

Sorry, Buttercup!

And yet, we can’t really blame Aria for not looking her best this morning.  After all, she’s been up all night, dreaming about the next public restroom she and Fitzy can screw in, McDonalds?  Wendy’s? studying Ali’s morbid final moments caught on film.  And during these hours of restless study, she has come to two conclusions: (1) there is a shadow of a second person in the film, who is clearly following Ali toward wherever she is going; (2) the photograph was taken from Ali’s bedroom window.  This new information causes Hanna and Emily to begin speculation as to who could possibly be the second person caught on film.  And it causes Spencer to . . . make That Face again . . .

Sometimes, my jaw and eyebrows get tired, just watching her do this . . . I’m starting to think she might have inadvertently swallowed her “ex”-boyfriend, Wren . . .

 . . . and Alex, for that matter . . .

In terms of who has taken the Extremely Morbid Picture, the girls rationally assume that it had to be Ali’s brother, Jason.  If you recall, Jason is the same creepy brother who TOTALLY took over Ali’s memorial service, and basically, accused all the girls (but, mostly, Spencer) of knowing more than they claimed about Ali’s death.  None of the girls seem to have any desire to talk to Jason again.  But Spencer JUMPS RIGHT ON THAT OPPORTUNITY!

Gee!  I wonder WHY?  (That Spencer . .. such a Maneater!)

Clad in her best approximation of an Indiana Jones Halloween costume (all she’s missing is the whip), Spencer heads off to the track to find Ali’s brother, Jason, sans shirt.  (Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the first shirtless male we’ve seen on PLL?  Thanks, ABC Fam!  It was much appreciated.  TRUST ME!) 

Of course, he HAS to be running stairs when we first see him!  Because, otherwise, there seems to be absolutely NO EXPLANATION as to how this guy nearly DOUBLED in size (and hotness), since we last saw him . . .

He also seems to have dyed his hair . . . not that I spent all that much time focusing on anything above his neck . . . 😉

Jason initially denies taking the picture.  When asked who he thinks might have taken it, he informs Spencer that it could have been anyone.  After all, plenty of  insensitive people have tried to send him fake photographs of Ali, since her untimely demise. 

All doubts aside, Jason takes the picture, anyway (not sure where he put it though . . . his pants, perhaps?), and promises to have his private investigator take a look at it.  Jason then apologizes for being such a douche to Spencer, during Ali’s memorial.  To this Spencer mumbles her assent unenthusiastically, and rushes off.  Now, I suspect our girl Spence would have been more gracious about accepting Jason’s apology, if she weren’t so mesmerized by his six pack and bulging sweaty chest . . .

See, in THIS context, The Face makes PERFECT SENSE!

But Jason isn’t the only one getting some exercise this morning.  Emily is in the pool, working on some strokes (no pun intended).

The Battle of the Breast(stroke)

If you recall, Emily was quite the swimmer, back in the day.  But after everything went down with Ali, she took some time off from the sport, to get her head together.  Now, Emily is back, and kicking butt!

But SOMEONE isn’t happy about it . . .

Little Orphan B*tchie doesn’t appear to be quite the swimming phenom that Emily is.  But what she lacks in talent, she makes up for in sheer annoyingness, and cheesiness.  This is evidenced by her deciding to use the team’s Locker Room Change Time to give everyone on the team dorky “Go Sharks” bracelets . . .

Does that Ugly Bracelet look familiar to you?  It sure looks familiar to EMILY!

Of course, Emily immediately assumes that the “friendship bracelets” they got from Ali, back when she was alive, the DUPLICATE one that “A” gave them, and the ones that Paige had made, all come from he same place.  (Really?  Because I’ve probably seen about 100 ugly friendship bracelets that look just like those, in my time.  You can usually buy them for 50 cents in those toy dispenser machines they keep in front of grocery stores . . .)

Paranoid Paige, who immediately assumes that Emily is back on the team, only to take the coveted Swim Team Captain job away from her, not-so-subtly threatens to “out” Emily to the rest of the team, should she compete against Paige for the position.

Paige does this by making an extremely unfunny Breast-stroke joke.  (Why do I have a feeling this is going to end up being a Kurt versus Karofsky from Glee situation, all over again?)

Emily holds her own, however.  She tells Paige, in no uncertain terms, that if she really wants to be Swim Team Captain, she should stop sucking so much at .  . . you know . . . swimming.  But Paige’s homophobic comments still irk Emily enough to complain about them to Aria and Spencer at lunch.  These complaints prompt Spencer, unbeknownst to Emily, to rat Paige out to the swim coach.  (This, by the way, eventually causes a pretty intense fight between Spencer and Emily.  But they make up by the end of the episode.  So, it didn’t really seem worth mentioning.)

The swim coach keeps Emily and Paige, after practice, to discuss Paige’s derogatory statements.  She even offers to throw Paige off the team, for what she said to Emily.  Emily, however, tells her that won’t be necessary.

Now, you would think that Emily’s act of EXTREME kindness, in the face of TOTAL douchebaggery, would merit some appreciation on Paige’s part.  But NO.  Paige instead tries to DROWN Emily in the pool . . .

Paige claims she did THIS, because she was pissed that she ended up being replaced by Emily on the relay team for an upcoming meet.  But I just think that BIATCH is CRA-ZY!

“Are YOU talkin’ to me?”

As for those ugly bracelets, the girls later did some investigation as to where they were purchased, and learned that they were made by some old lady, who worked out of her home.  When Spencer (of course, it would be SPENCER doing the investigating, AGAIN!) arrives at the lady’s house, however, the old biddy tells her that both Emily’s bracelet, and “A’s” bracelet, were both purchased by . . .  wait for it . . . SPENCER HASTINGS!

But just when I think that this was going to devolve into one of those Split Personality Lifetime-type movies . . . you know, the ones where the victim ALSO ends up being the torturer . . . we are treated to a final scene, in which an unknown person, who, apparently has NICE EYES, visits the old biddy.  And the Old Biddy says to HER, “I did exactly what you said [lie].”

That, of course, immediately made me think of THIS flashback  scene, from the episode “Please, Do Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”

And with that, “Blind” Jenna just moved up a notch on my Suspects List.  After all, we never did figure out how she was able to put on that lipstick using the MIRROR . . .

But enough about Little Miss Swimfan, and Blind Jenna’s “beautiful eyes,” let’s talk a bit about Aria and Fitzy, and their Hot Date . . .

NO!  Not that one . ..  the one at the MUSEUM!

Night at the Museum

(NOTE:  Animated GIFS in this section of the recap have been “borrowed” from the Aria and Ezra Tumblr.  So, special thanks to the folks over there!  Readers, if this is your “SHIP,” definitely check them out!)

Up until this point in their relationship, Aria’s and Ezra’s “dates” have included (1) a quickie in a public restroom; (2) some hot tongue action in cars; (3) blink and you’ll miss it, romps in Ezra’s Swingin’ Bachelor Pad; (4) school dances; (5) and a trip to the movies with Aria’s MOM.  So, you can imagine how THRILLED Aria was, when Spencer got her and her Secret Boyfriend tickets to an art opening at a museum in Philadelphia . . .

As Spencer put it, Aria was willing to give her TONGUE for those tickets.  (Hmmmm .  . . wonder how Emily would have felt about that.)  In Philadephia, Aria and Ezra will be FREE to swap spit in public!  YAY!  (Well . . . people will still probably notice that Ezra was macking an underage girl, but at least they won’t know she’s his HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.)

For me, the BEST part of the entire episode, was when Aria approached Ezra, while he was proctoring an exam, to give him the tickets (hidden in a writing notebook), and inform him that he should “dress formally” for their date . . .

For a second there, I was seriously concerned that Fitzy’s eyes were going to fall right out of his head!

Unfortunately, for Ezra (along with the two straight male fans of this show on the entire planet), Aria wasn’t exactly naked under there . . .

There are, of course, a lot of X-rated ways in which this “note” could be interpreted, but I’m pretty sure she’s just telling him to wear a tie . . . unfortunately.

That night, when Aria arrives at Ezra’s apartment for their date, he surprises her by picking her up in a stretch limo, Mr. Big from Sex and the City– style . . .

And in my dirty mind, on the WAY to the museum, the pair got it on, Chuck and Blair-style . . .

Even though the artist they were SUPPOSED to see ended up canceling the event, Aria and Ezra still had an amazing time . . .

 . . . which is a relief, considering how close they came to having the WORST TIME EVER!  (I’m looking at YOU, Hanna!)

If you are REALLY happy that some one died (because it will prevent you from going to prison), does that make you a bad person?

Probably . . . but we still love you, Hanna (and so does Lucas .  . . and maybe that Caleb guy too).

Hanna’s family hits yet another rough patch, when the old biddy who Hanna’s mom took the “unauthorized loan” from inexplicably made an appointment to meet with Hanna’s mom.  And although Mommy Felon tried to put a brave face on things, you could tell she knew she was TOTALLY up Sh*t’s Creek, without a paddle . . .

“I am SO f&*ked!”

Later that day, Hanna gets notice from “A” that she can make some extra cash, by ratting Aria out to her mom.   The note comes with a ticket to the museum event Aria and Ezra will be attending.  Obviously, this is a TOTALLY crappy thing to do to your supposed best friend.  But, then again, letting your mom get 15-to-life for trying to pay your medical bills is also a kind of crappy thing to do. 

So, Hanna leaves the tickets in an envelope in Aria’s mom’s mailbox at school (apparently, she teaches there, who knew?).  However, immediately after making the delivery, Hanna has second thoughts.  So, she tries to put a stop to things, by convincing Aria not to go on the date.

Whatchu talkin’ about, Girl Who’s NOT Dating a Hot 20-Something?”

But that doesn’t work.  Then she tries to talk Aria’s mom out of going to the museum . . . but that doesn’t work either.  Finally, she tries to steal back the envelope, but ends up getting detention for skipping gym class.  (I’m glad SOMEONE noticed that one week, Hanna had a CAST on from being RUN OVER BYA CAR.  And the next, she was dancing with Lucas for SIX HOURS at a school event.) 

In detention, the seemingly omnipresent Caleb starts flirting with Hanna, hardcore . . .

“Hey Hanna, I may be a Bad Boy, but I’m Real Good in the Sack . . .”

As for Hanna, she’s either so desperately in love with Lucas that she doesn’t notice any other boys (YAY!), or she has NO game, whatsoever.  Because Hanna actually responds to Caleb’s flirtation by . . . wait for it . . . talking about how much she loves Justin Bieber.

Hanna’s got the Bieber Fever.  Side Effects:  Never getting laid . . . EVER!

(OK . . . now, I GET that ABC Family was trying to do a whole Cross Promotional Thing with the Bieber Documentary Movie, but this whole scene was just lame, with a capital “L.”)

And yet, Bieberery Slips aside, Hanna apparently still charms the pants off Caleb.  Because the dude actually goes out and BREAKSAria’s mom’s car, so she can’t get to the museum.  Now, how’s THAT for dedication?

Hanna, of course, offers to PAY Caleb for his trouble.  But he doesn’t seem to want any money.  He’d much prefer to get inside Hanna’s pants . . .

Don’t you worry about it, Lucas!  He’s a strong contender.  But we still think you can take him!

But what about Hanna’s mom, and the felony??  Well . . . the good news is we aren’t going to have to worry about that for a little while at least, until the Old Crone’s will finishes going through probate, which could take months.  The bad news is, this is because the “unauthorized lender” . . . DIED.

Tears of sadness, or tears of joy?  You be the judge.

The Part About Aria’s Parents — Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

“Hey, Aria’s mom!  Just because I recently got under the hood of one of my students (Sound familiar?), doesn’t mean I can’t still pop YOUR hood?”

So, remember when I told you that Caleb broke Aria’s mom’s car, so she couldn’t go to the museum opening?  Well, it turns out she REALLY wanted to go.  So much so, in fact, that she was willing to call her Cheating Louse of Husband to fix the damage, which, of course, he couldn’t.  The pair bicker a bit, and it’s supposed to be cute, I guess.  But it isn’t, because we don’t really care about Aria’s parents (no offense), and the actors playing them have no chemistry with one another, whatsoever.

Long story – short, Aria’s dad ends up driving Aria’s mom to the museum in his car, and they end up making out in the front seat.  (Apparently, the “Making Out in Cars” gene runs in this family.)  Since we didn’t see what happened after the two started necking (THANK THE LORD!), we can’t be too sure, whether Aria’s mom, in fact, SAW Aria and Ezra on their “date.”  And yet, Aria’s mom is acting MIGHTY weird, when she tells Aria they need to “talk” the following day at school .  . .

“Why does SHE get to make out with the hot guy, and I get the Wanker?  Damn you, Aria!”

Personally, I’m pretty sure Aria’s mom DIDN’T see Aria and Ezra.  I’m thinking she wants to tell her daughter that “Mommy and Daddy are getting back together.”  After all, thinking about someone’s life, other than her own, doesn’t exactly seem to be Aria’s mom’s strong suit.  Then again, I could be wrong . . .

Spencer’s Big Secret

When Spencer arrives home from school that day, she is surprised to find that Hot Jason (now wearing clothes, unfortunately) has let himself into her house.

Clearly, not much for small talk, Jason spills a wealth of information to Spencer, in just a few short moments.  Here’s what Jason tells Spencer:  (1) The picture she gave him of Ali is Real.  (2) Jason may have taken it himself.  (3) Jason can’t remember whether he took the picture or not, because he was drugged out of his gourd the entire month before Ali died.  (Fortunately, Jason doesn’t drugs, anymore . . . well, aside from the steroids of course.) (4) Creepy Ian was Jason’s good pal, and a fellow drug addict.  He often spent time at Jason (and Ali’s house), and was probably there the night Ali died.  (That last part, of course, we already knew.)

This last bit of information prompts Spencer to recall the fight she had with Ali the night of her death.

During the fight, Ali (who, unbeknownst to Spencer, was boning Ian, and probably just wanted him for herself) threatened Spencer that if she didn’t tell her sister that she (Spencer) and Ian had kissed, Ali would spill the beans for her.  This prompted Spencer to tell Ali that she was done being friends with her.  And eventually, if she had her way,  the other PLL’s would ditch her ass too.  “You are dead to me already,” concludes Spencer

This outburst prompts the normally unflappable Ali to storm out of the house, and Spencer to sneakily follow after her.  (See, some things NEVER change!)

In Real Time, the rest of the PLL’s confort Spencer, as she tells them about the fight, and admits that SHE was the second shadow in the photograph of Ali sent to them by “A.”  The girl’s are very supportive of Spencer, and tell her, that she has nothing to feel guilty about.  The love fest is interrupted, however, when the girls spy Hot-But-Now-Seeming-Kind-of-Creepy-Again Jason leering at them from a nearby window.

“Damn him!  Why is he STILL wearing his shirt!”

And that’s all I’ve got, My Pretties!  SO, now it’s your turn!  Feel free to sound off in the comment section, and tell me what you thought of tonight’s PLL installment.  I’ll even leave you with some questions to get those wheels turning: 

Do you think “Blind” Jenna is behind those ugly bracelets? 

Did Aria’s mom see Aria and Fitzy getting up close in personal in front of the museum?  Or is all of this just about Aria’s SUPER BORING Dad? 

Are you Team Lucas or Team Caleb?  (Notice I’m completely leaving out Team Sean.  Because that’s not even an option as far as I’m concerned?)

What the heck is up with Jason’s new bod?

And, finally, do you understand “The Bieb” as well as Hanna does?

See ya, next time . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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A Dance With the Devil – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Careful What U Wish 4”

Welcome back, My Pretties!  This week, on Pretty Little Liars, each of our four favorite Rosewood High Students were forced to face down their own personal demons.  For Aria, that demon was the green-eyed monster, we all know her better as .  . . jealousy.

For Emily, the demon was a fear of abandonment.  Coincidentally, she found it at the bottom of a liquor flask.

Hanna had to cope with the guilt she felt over leading on someone who had romantic feelings for her.  But are you REALLY leading someone on, if you have romantic feelings for them, in return?

. . . and Spencer, well, her demon had a face (EVIL) . . . and a name (PSYCHO IAN) . . . and had just married her sister (DISTURBING).

Oh, and can SOMEONE tell me who the HECK this guy is?  Please!

So, now that you’ve met all the demons, what do you say we start “hunting them down?”  Shall we?

Aria Battles a Green-Eyed Monster Named Simone (with a Teddy Bear between her legs)

When Aria first learns that her childhood babysitter, Simone, is back in town from NYC, she is thrilled!  And the fact that Simone is a “published author” (something Aria has always strived to become), who has enough money to sponsor all four of the PLL girls for an upcoming dance-athon makes Aria even more excited to pick her brain.  (Clearly, none of the writers of Pretty Little Liars know anything about what “publishing short stories” actually pays, i.e. usually NOTHING.)  But when Simone starts making a play for Ezra Fitz, by meeting him for “coffee” . . .

“Lay a hand on my babysitter, and I will pour these lattes down your pants, Fitzy!”

 . . . following him to LAME school dances . . .

. . . offering to pass his VERY badly written “romantic” poetry on to publishers . . .

. . . and regaling him with embarrassing tale’s of Aria’s childhood, including one about a certain teddy bear that she used to keep between her legs . . .

Honestly, can you blame her?

 . . . Aria has just about had it with her “childhood friend” and so-called “role model.” 

When Aria confronts her mother about it being high time for Babysitter’s Club Reject Simone to skedaddle, the brilliant (and by “brilliant,” I mean “idiotic”) woman who raised her actually assumes that her daughter is jealous of FITZY for monopolizing SIMONE’S time!  “Good men are hard to find,” Aria’s mom suggests, in her defense of Simone’s aggressive man-stealing tactics.  “When you get a little older, you will understand.”  (Ummm .  . . how old exactly does this woman think her daughter is?  EIGHT?)

Then again, how much intellectual prowess can you expect from a woman who willingly chose to procreate with THIS LOSER . . .

Is he cute?  Absolutely!  Is he a catch?  Not so much . . .

Having received NO HELP AT ALL from her own mother, at one point during the school dance marathon, Aria becomes so enraged with jealousy, that she looks about ready to go all Jerry Springer Show on Simone’s ass!

“That biatch STOLE MY MAN!  I’m going to rip every single hair OUT OF HER HEAD .  . . with MY TEETH!”

Fortunately, Spencer is able to stop Aria, before she does something rash.  (Well, actually, it’s unfortunate, because an Aria Versus Babysitter Girl Fight for Fitzy’s affections would have been an absolute JOY to watch!)

“Heck yeah, it would!”

After the dance, a tearful Aria confronts Fitzy in the parking lot, wondering out loud whether Fitz might prefer dating Simone, someone REALLY ANNOYING!  his own age, who he could date in public, without any fear of consequences.

But, worry not, Ezria fans!  Because Fitzy quickly sets his girlifriend straight, by explaining to her, in no uncertain terms, that his heart belongs to Aria, and ONLY Aria.  (Awwww!)  They couldn’t make out in the parking lot, however . . . because someone might see them . . .

Emily Gets Swindled, Gets New Ringtones, and Gets TOTALLY Wasted!

Poor Emily!  Just when she finally gets up the courage to come out to her parents, and give her heart to another person, the woman of her dreams gets shipped off to a Creepy Religious Camp to be “scared straight.”  When the episode begins, Emily is just DYING to call Maya on her cell phone.  Unfortunately, once Maya got to Creepy Religious Camp, the Cult Leaders Counselors there blocked all of Emily’s calls!

But, worry not, Emily!  Random Rebel Phone Expert is here to rescue YOU . . .

 . . . provided you pay him a boatload of cash, of course.  (I repeat, where the HECK did this guy COME FROM?)

After nearly bilking Poor Lovesick Emily out of her life savings, Random Rebel Phone Expert does manage to somehow fix Emily’s phone so that she can successfully call Maya at Creepy Religious Camp.  (YAY!)

But when Emily finally DOES talk to Maya, her new Gal Friday seems WAY too perky for someone who was just shipped away to Creepy Religious Camp for carrying weed in an Altoids box . . .

MAYA (on phone):  “This one time . . . at Creepy Religious Camp . . . I stuck a flute up my . . .”

Instantly convinced that Maya either no longer loves her, or was lobotomized upon arrival at Creepy Religious Camp by her Cult Leaders Counselors, a very distraught Emily, goes through Hanna’s coat, and pulls out a large flask of liquor, the contents of which she promptly pours down her throat.  Within literally SECONDS, Emily is COMPLETED WASTED.  (Gotta love ABC Family and their exposition of the “Consequences of Underage Drinking!”  Next week, I bet Emily’s going to be a RAGING ALCOHOLIC!)

Drunk Emily, of course, decides that this is the PERFECT opportunity to tell all the PLL girls EXACTLY what she thinks of them.  She also pretty much publicly accuses Psycho Ian of killing Ali.  (Nice going, Em!)  Fortunately, Spencer and Hanna take her home, before she can do TOO much damage.  They even successfully prevent her from drunk dialing Maya.  (NOW, that’s friendship!)

Someone is going to have a PRETTY bad hangover, tomorrow morning!

Hanna Becomes A’s Prostitute

While Aria and Emily fret over matters of the heart, Hanna seems more concerned with Matters of the Wallet.  Specifically, Hanna’s Deadbeat Mom is broke AGAIN, because “A” STOLE her Stolen Cash Stash.  If you recall, for the past few weeks, “A” has been using the stolen money to make Hanna her unwitting slave, inflicting psychological torture on the poor girl, so that she can “earn”  the money back.  (Seriously, “A” DEFINITELY hates Hanna the most!  This is the THIRD week in a row, that she got the brunt of “A’s” torture, while the other girls got off virtually scot free!)

Hanna tries to wriggle out from “A’s” clutches, by getting a respectable job.  Unfortunately, however, her mom is such a deadbeat credit risk, that NO ONE WILL HIRE HER DAUGHTER!  And so, my favorite PLL is stuck doing “A’s” bidding AGAIN.  This week, her “bidding” involves ditching her Boring Ass Boyfriend Sean . . .

 . . . and dancing with Lucas, instead, in exchange for MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF CASH!  (I’m liking “A” more and more, every minute! 🙂 )

Though initially reluctant to dance with the girl who unwittingly stomped on his heart . . .

 . . . Lucas eventually complies, and the two spend most of the night in one another’s arms . . .

When it comes time for the Last Dance, Hanna dutifully returns to her Boring Ass Boyfriend.  But then she receives one final text from “A,” who makes her an offer she can’t refuse . . . $1,000 for one more dance with Lucas.

When Sean learns that Hanna will be ditching him for Lucas once again, he dumps her.  (YAY .  . . oops . . . I mean, POOR HANNA!)

Having witnessed the entire exchange, Lucas sweetly comforts a crying Hanna, during the last dance.  But a small glint in his eyes, suggests he might not be all that dissatisfied with how the evening turned out . . .

After the dance, Lucas sympathetically offers to drive Hanna home, but she declines, telling him that she needs to care for Drunk Emily.  Lucas understandably looks disappointed, but, being a good sport for a change, he gently embraces Hanna, before stalking off.  Once she is alone, Hanna finds a scarf in her pocket containing all of the money she “earned” inside. 

Now, I’m not sure WHY Hanna doesn’t IMMEDIATELY suspect Lucas of being “A.”  However, I’m sure many of us watching at home mentally moved him up a notch on our suspect list right at this moment.  After all, shortly after Lucas went back inside, SOMEONE retrieved “A’s” signature black jacket, and thick gloves from the coat check at the dance, and promptly departed the school dance.

It’s important to note that many of the other characters heretofore seen as suspects (Creepy Toby, Blind Jenna, Bushy Eyebrows Noel, and Maya) were nowhere to be found, during this episode.  Additionally, those who suspected Fitz of being “A” undoubtedly noted that HE had already left the party with Aria, by the time “A” arrived at the coat check.  In fact, the only other MAIN suspect unaccounted for at the time of the infamous “Coat and Glove Pickup” was Psycho Ian . . .

Snoopy Spencer Strikes Again . . .

There’s Spencer’s Signature Goofy Sleuthing Face again . . .

If you recall, when we last left our PLL Girls, they were at Spencer’s house, watching Dead Ali Snuff porn on Spencer’s laptop.  (By the way, kudos to the WISE Hanna for being the ONLY Pretty Little Liar to note that Ali’s “groans of pain” may have actually been “groans of pleasure,” if you catch my drift. ;))  After a bit of hemming and hawing, the girls ultimately decide that they should turn the incriminating video in to the police, the following day, during lunchtime.  As they are discussing this, who should enter, but Psycho Ian himself (of course)!

Woah . . . it’s a picture of Ian on my laptop, next to a picture of Ian on another laptop.  How very META!

Though Ian ACTS as though he has NO CLUE what the girls were up to when he first entered the room, it should come as no surprise to ANYONE watching the show, that Spencer’s laptop is “mysteriously” stolen from her gym locker at school, just moments before the girls planned to take it to the police . . .

It’s important to note here, of course, that the ONLY time Spencer had the elusive laptop out of her sight, was when it was in her GYM locker, the combination to which, aside from Spencer, only the school coaches know.  (IAN’S a Coach!  See where they are going with this?) 

At the dance, Snoopy Spencer notes the number on Ian’s coat check, surreptitiously takes it, and, with the help of Aria, manages to steal the keys to Ian’s desk drawer from his jacket pocket.  But when Spencer tries to break into the locked drawer, who should be conveniently lurking nearby, but THIS GUY!

OMG!  It’s Random Rebel Phone Expert!  Suddenly, HE’S EVERYWHERE!  (I hope that’s not because he’s “A.”  Because that would be totally out of the blue . . . not to mention REALLY lame.)  A now desperate Spencer offers to pay off Random Rebel Phone Expert to keep quiet about what he saw, but the dude who TOTALLY extorted the heck out of Emily for her “phone upgrade,” suddenly, doesn’t want a penny from Spencer.  Weird .  . .

It’s no matter though, because Spencer can’t get into the locked drawer, anyway.  So, she reluctantly returns to the dance.  Then, after Drunk Emily confronts Ian on the dance floor, slurring that she “knows what he did,” Ian forcefully grabs Spencer into a slow dance.  Once he has his arms around her neck, Psycho Ian demands to know exactly to what incident Drunk Emily is referring.  Thinking fast, Spencer claims Drunk Emily is merely referring to the time Pedo Ian made out with her then 14-year old ass (as opposed to that OTHER time, when he boinked, and possibly killed a then 15-year old Ali).  Ian threatens Spencer to keep their Grotesque Makeout Session a secret from now on.  Spencer nervously agrees to do so, undoubtedly wondering the whole time, whether Ian actually believed her little fib.

And yet, when Spencer arrives home from the dance, she finds her laptop has mysteriously returned . . .

Not surprisingly, the Ian- incriminating Dead Ali Snuff Porn video is no longer anywhere to be found in the computer’s memory.  However, “A” has conveniently left the girls a digital photograph in it’s place.  The photo is of Ali sneaking out of the farmhouse, where the girls had their sleepover, on the night she died.  The words “watch your back.  I didn’t,” are typed in yellow across the bottom photograph.  SPPPOOOOOOKKKY! 

And that was “Careful What U Wish 4” in a nutshell.  So, now I turn the discussion over to you, my Pretties?  Who do you think is “A”?  Who killed Ali?  And were you as happy to see Boring Ass Sean go bye-bye, as I was? 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Change Your Partner, Change the Game: A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Homecoming Hangover”

To call tonight’s installment of Pretty Little Liars a “game changer” is a bit of an overstatement . . . a very cliched overstatement.  And yet, in the most literal sense of the term, that’s what “Homecoming Hangover” was.  After all, this was the episode where everything  . . . CHANGED.  Formerly “hot” romances fizzled out  . . .

I still haven’t given up hope, Wren!  COME BACK!

. . . recently broken relationships were mended, new prospective couplings blossomed, and a MAJOR suspect may very well have been taken out of commission for good.

Now that you know all of the rules have changed, what do you say we start playing the game?

“I Was Hunted Down by Creepy Toby, and All I Got Was This Lame Wrist Brace . . .”

“Thank goodness for this stylish butterfly stitch on my forehead, or you might have never known I was recently in ‘GRAVE DANGER.'”

When the episode opens, Aria, Spencer, and Hanna are still at the Homecoming Dance, searching for Emily when they find her cell phone on the ground . . . along with some broken glass . . . and BLOOD!

“I TOLD Emily she should have never chosen the theme song from The Shining as her ringtone.  That’s just asking for trouble.”

But fear not, boys and girls.  Emily is not dead . . .

 . . . She’s just out for a romantic, late night car ride . . . except, she’s all bloody . . . and unconscious . . .  and Creepy Toby is behind the wheel . . .

Now, those of you who truly believed that Toby would chop up Emily into little bite-sized pieces, and eat them with french fries, have clearly never watched an ABC Family show.  Because in the next scene, Emily is chilling in her bedroom with no injuries at all, except for what appears to be a sprained wrist, and a small, very attractive, cut on her forehead.  Then again, maybe Emily suffered some  brain internal injuries, invisible to the human eye, because she was inexplicably on bedrest for two days. 

As it turns out, Creepy Toby . . .

“That’s ME!”

 . . . merely drove Emily’s unconscious body to the hospital, dumped it near the entranceway, and skipped town on his motorcycle, faster than you could say “raving lunatic.”

The next morning, cops swarmed upon Emily’s home, inquiring as to both Toby’s whereabouts and the location of his psychological records, which seemed to have gone missing that same night (because Hanna took them). 

“Oh yeah!  I’m one Bad Ass Chica!”

At some point during the evening (not sure if it was when Toby was chasing her around the school like a mad man, or dragging her, limp unconscious body into his car), Emily decides that Toby is a “totally sweet guy . . . just misunderstood.” What a moron!  So, she comes up with the brilliant idea to lie to the cops on his behalf, by claiming that her injuries were due merely to her own clumsiness, and nothing more. 

Unfortunately for Emily (and Creepy Toby), precisely NO ONE believes her story, particularly not Emily’s mom.  In fact, Mommy Dearest sees this as a BRILLIANT opportunity to lecture the recently beat up Emily for EMBARASSING her family, by having the NERVE to go to the prom with someone SO UNCOOL!

I don’t understand, Emily.  Why can’t you just date statutory rapists in their mid twenties, like your friends do?”

While Emily is resting up in bed with her barely there injuries, she receives some visitors.  First up are Spencer and Aria, who inform Emily about Toby’s whole “Sister Sex with Blind Jenna” Thing.  Emily who has always really wanted a hot brother to screw, is not quite sure what to do with this information.  Fortunately, My New Favorite Character, Hanna, arrives next, to put things into perspective . . . . She sweetly (and wisely) tells Emily that being a Lesbian is WAY better than dating a Sister F**ker who may very well also be a Stalker / Killer, like Creepy Toby.

Third on the guest list is Blind Jenna . . .

. . . who seems to have replaced her Cane of Destruction with a Hound from Hell.  Blind Jenna’s Guide Dog was so menacing and unstable looking, that if this was a different show, I would have sworn it was Creepy Toby in werewolf form . . .

Jenna also brings cookies, which she insists that Emily eat with milk because it helps the poison in them go down easier.

Fortunately, for Emily, she has seen Snow White enough times to know that taking food from Creepy People is a Bad Idea.  So, she leaves the cookies untouched.  Upon realizing that Emily knows about Creepy Toby’s missing psych file, Blind Jenna begs her for its safe return.  Emily promises Blind Jenna that she will do everything in her power to keep the latter’s Brother F*c*ing Secret safe, by retrieving the file.  However, when Emily texts the other Pretty Little Liars regarding said promise, they have already thrown the file in the LAKE, fully in tact.  

Riiiiiight . . . because NO ONE is going to find it THERE!  Haven’t these girls ever heard of a SHREDDER?

NO!  Not THAT Shredder!  THIS Shredder . . .

Only two can keep a secret, if one of them is SHRED . . .

During this episode, Emily also wins a car . . .

and decides to make a go of it with her lady crush, Maya . . .

 . . . which I would be excited about . . . if these two weren’t the most BORING lesbian couple on the entire planet  . . .

Hanna learns the joys of YouTube . . . and Lucas

“Hey, Hanna!  I found this GREAT video where they make fun of all the girls from Pretty Little Liars.  Wanna see?”

The next day at school, Hanna has to take a makeup picture, for the yearbook, wearing her Homecoming Queen crown. Hanna’s photographer is none other than THIS GUY  . . .

 . . . no . . . actually it’s not him. 

However, OUR guy, Lucas, looks and acts JUST LIKE Seth Cohen from The O.C., which undoubtedly has a lot to do with why I like him so much.  After initially getting adorably shy and flustered around Hanna, upon seeing her once again decked out in her homecoming finest, Lucas quickly develops an easy repoire with the Queen Bee, tossing cute jokes and sarcastic quips her way, as he hones in on her with his camera lens. 

Then, unfortunately, the Boring, Quite Possibly Gay, Sean has to come and ruin everything, with his bitchy attitude and his blubbering about how Hanna ditched him at the dance.    Boo Hoo, Rich Popular Jock Boy, the world’s smallest violin is performing an entire concert in your honor . . .

Beauty and the D-Bag.

Did I mention that this A-hole couldn’t even be bothered to put on a PAIR OF PANTS, before appearing in the photo shoot?  (Then again, Sean was probably just trying to hit on Lucas, by showing him his hot dog . . .)

It’s a tough job, but SOMEONE has to be Sean’s little weiner.

 Sean ultimately throws a temper tantrum, and storms out of the room, leaving Hanna and Lucas alone to flirt with eachother.

Later, Hanna and Lucas bond over the wonderful world of YouTube, and, in particular, a video involving a Snowboarding Turkey.

Not exactly the video I would have chosen to help land ME a date.  But it seemed to work prettyh well for Lucas.  So who am I to judge?

While enjoying their YouTube, Lucas and Hanna learned that they both had something else in common: both had a bad high school nickname bestowed upon them by none other than the Now Dead Ali . . .

Lucas’ was “Herme the Hermaphodite,” because Ali didn’t like his glasses (Huh?  I don’t get it.)  Hanna was “Hefty Hanna” (Now, that one I get, at least).  Wise Lucas then asks Hanna what many Pretty Little Liars fans have undoubtedly been thinking since the start of this show.  Namely, “Why the heck did you all hang out with Ali, if she was such a b*tch?”  (Well, put Seth Cohen Lucas!)

Hanna spouts off some nonsense about Ali having a way of “making people feel special.”  However, I suspect the REAL reason for their friendship was that Ali had a way of “making people popular.”

At the end of the episode, Hanna makes up with Sean, but soon learns that HE, unlike Lucas, has NO appreciation for Snowboarding YouTube Turkeys OR Loud Music (two things which should clearly signify the death knell for ANY high school relationship).  Worry not, Sean . . . you’ll always have Jesus . . .

First Wren Leaves, Now Fitzy, What is this show coming to?

Watch with a heavy heart, as those pasty twig legs and dweeby haircut ride off into the sunset  . . . alone.

But before I get to Fitzy, there’s something else you should know about Sean.  Aside from loving Jesus, and hating Snowboarding Turkeys, he’s also a two-timing bastard.  He taught us that, when he sent a huge bouquet of flowers to his girlfriend’s best friend, Aria, in hopes that doing so would help him to get into her pantalones, pronto.  (By the way, I’m not buying Sean’s whole “abstinence thing” for a minute.   Are you?)

Say what you want about Aria, but she KNOWS bullshit when she sees it.  Suspecting that Sean is only feigning interest her to get back at Hanna for her Homecoming Dance antics, Aria calls Sean out on his behavior, extracting a heartfelt apology from him, in the process.  Aria’ is lucky that this incident blew over fast, because she REALLY doesn’t have time for any more BS in her life.  She’s already chock full.  During this episode, Aria had to deal with the trial separation of her mother and father, AND her brother’s acting out in school . . .

To further complicate matters, overnight, her lover, Ezra a.k.a. Fitzy, seemed to have went the way of Wren and Creepy Toby — having disappeared into thin air overnight (They REALLY are dropping like flies, aren’t they?  It SURE doesn’t help your employment status to have a weiner on this show!). 

Desperate for answers, Aria heads to Fitzy’s apartment, and lets herself in using the hide-a-key he has left under his welcome mat. 

REALLY, Fitzy?  A HIDE-A-KEY?  Under a WELCOME MAT?  In an APARTMENT COMPLEX?  You might has well put a sign on your door that says, “Please Rob Me!”

Anyway, soon after Aria is safely inside Fitzy’s apartment, she hears a message on his answering machine from a nearby high school.  Apparently, Fitzy is applying for a job out of town.  Aria is crushed, though I’m not exactly sure why.  If Fitzy starts teaching elsewhere, Aria and him can bone without fear of repercusion for the whole “student / teacher thing.”  Then again . . . there’s still the whole “statutory rape” thing on the table.  Fitzy can’t exactly make that one disappear, now can he?

Spencer Shish-Kabobs and Salsas into Alex’s Heart

While Aria was LOSING her OLD man (emphasis on the OLD), Spencer was digging her claws into her NEW one.  With Wren seemingly no where to be found he’s probably off shooting a pilot episode somewhere, Spencer has devoted herself wholeheartedly to getting Alex’s pants. 

 Her campaign begins in the kitchen at the country club where Spencer plays and Alex works.  Spencer barges in to apologize for her bad behavior during the Homecoming Dance.  Clearly turned on by Spencer’s persistence and agression, Alex quickly forgives her and agrees to give her another chance, provided she let HIM pick the terms of the couple’s next date.  Spencer is overjoyed.

One – Love. (Two, if you count Wren, which I STILL DO!)

Just in case you forgot what he looks like . . .

Unfortunately, on the day of the Big Date, Alex calls Spencer to cancel, claiming he has to work.  Knowing the country club is closed that day, Spencer quickly becomes convinced that she has been stood up.   So, she does what any good stalker girlfriend would do, she heads to the country club, to catch him in a lie.  Except that, the jokes on her, because, HE’S WORKING AFTER ALL!

You’ve really gotta hand it to Spencer.  Rather than leave with her tail between her legs, she insists on sticking around to help Alex skewer shish kabobs.  She even wears a HAIR NET!  Now, if that’s not love, I don’t know what is . . .

Love means never having to get your hair in the mashed potatos.

And I have to say, despite a slight tiff involving a defaced photograph of Spencer hanging in the kitchen supply closet (someone who works there is apparently not a fan), these two made a mighty cute couple.   As the pair cooked and listened to the radio, an adorably booty shaking Alex (who has a really cute butt, by the way) commandeered Spencer to participate in a surprisingly spicy salsa dance.  And while it wasn’t quite enough to make me jump ship and switch to Team Alex, it WAS fun to watch . . .

At the end of the episode, two fairly important (and spooky) things happened:

(1) Creepy Toby’s Creepy Motorbike was found mangled in the woods.   He is now believed by authorities to be dead.  This prompted the Absent- for- NEARLY – An- ENTIRE Episode, A to, text the following message to Emily:  ‘Thank you for getting Toby out of the way for me;”

(2) That weird leather jacket-wearing, black-gloved person (who must be REALLY hot wearing all those layers, by the way, seeing as it always seems to be pretty sunny in the fictional town of Rosewood) retrieved Creepy Toby’s Creepy Sister F&*king Psych Evaluation from the lake.

So, there you have it.  “Homecoming Hangover” in a nutshell.  All in all, I thought it was a pretty solid, well acted, at times, even surprising, episode.  What did you think?

 

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