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Scarred for Life – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Furor”

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STILES: “You know, Derek.  I sure am going to miss spending all these magical moments with you, when this show goes on hiatus.”

DEREK: “I think your wallet is digging into my thigh.”

STILES: “My . . . wallet?”  *whistles uncomfortably*

Greetings Werebangers!  This week on Teen Wolf, we finally learned how the kanaima got his master, the wide world of Clueless Parents in Supernatural Teen Shows decreased by one, Allison went rogue (sort of), and the series’ most popular couple finally got up-close-and-personal with one another.  (Hint: I am NOT talking about Allison and Scott.)

“Don’t play coy with me, you sly little Recapper, you!

So slip on your favorite black hoodie, strap on your completely-obsolete-against-supernaturals bow and arrow set, and head on down to your local Police Department, because it’s time for another Hunter v. Kanaima v. Werewolf v. Stiles and his dad Grudge Match Beat-down (a.k.a as a Teen Wolf recap) . . .

[As always, special thanks to my blogging pal, Andre, for his weekly dose of screencapping awesomesauce.]

In which we finally figure out who’s been creeping around Jackson’s bedroom . . .

So, you guys all remember Jackson’s early season bid for the Unsexiest Sex Tape, Since that One Made by Screech from Saved by the Bell, right?

“Wow, this sex tape is looking pretty hot.”

“AHHHHH!  Worst . . . sex . . .  tape . .  . EVER!”

One of season 2’s first, and longest-running, mysteries, has always been the question of who edited that tape, and, perhaps, more importantly, how and why.  Within the first few minutes of “Furor,” we finally got some answers.  And, wouldn’t you know it?  For once on this show, the theory of Occam’s Razor, actually applies!  In short, the Creepy Camera Guy is guilty of doing the Creepy Camera Thing . . .

“Haha, FOOLED YOU!”

This, of course, makes the most sense, out of all possible solutions, which is probably why the answer to this mystery alluded us fans for so long.  Matt and his Technologically Savvy Night Stalking skills were literally right under our nose (and Jackson’s bed) the entire time!

“Seriously, though . . . you should vaccuum under your bed.  Soooo many dust bunnies.”

The episode begins with a flashback to that fateful night when Creepy Camera Guy Matt first stood on Jackson’s porch, and taught him how to take nudey pictures of himself, using nothing but the night vision settings on a portable camera, and a dream of wolfy glory.  So romantic!

After the encounter, we follow Matt back to his car, where he hacks into the soon-to-be-not-so-much-sleeping Jackson’s camera, because he SO obviously wants to ride that pony all the way to the finish line for completely “innocent” reasons, and unwittingly stumbles across the controversial footage that will forever be known amongst Teen Wolf Circles as Lizard-Gate.

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Cue the epiphany . . . the flashbacks . . . the longing looks of love, and through-the-window-pane-hand (and claw) holding . . . It’s the stuff romantic comedies starring emo psychopaths, and gross scary lizards are made of!

*cue the theme song from Titanic*

Meanwhile, over at the Hale House of Horrors and a Complete Lack of Internal Plumbing . . .

In which The Vet insults Derek’s prowess as an Alpha, and reminds us that, despite all evidence to the contrary, he is NOT a witch, no sir . . .

VET: “Wake up, Sleeping Beauty.  It’s time to smoulder and brood again.”

DEREK:  “I always considered myself more Beast from Beauty and the Beast.  Or maybe Aladdin.  He was kind of cool.”

Teen Wolf Fans Who Love to See an Undressed Tyler Hoechlin Derek Hale is having a dream that looks nothing like any dream I’ve ever had.  First of all, most people don’t see themselves in their dreams, because . . . well, they ARE themselves in their dreams.  (Does that make sense?)  I’ve also never had a dream where people called my name, while I stood, half-naked, looking sexy, in a field of white mist.  Then again, I don’t look like Tyler Hoechlin . . .

Perhaps, if I did, I’d objectify myself in my dreams all the time!  In fact, I’m quite certain, I would.

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What I’m trying to say is, thank you Teen Wolf writers, from the bottom of my heart, for this completely irrelevant, and yet, utterly satisfying dream sequence featuring Derek Hale.  It truly shows me, as a fan, how much you care . . . about my libido . . .

The Vet (who’s real name is “Deaton,” but who I will continue to call “The Vet” for all eternity, just like I will never call “Matt” anything but “Creepy Camera Guy”) awakens Derek from his sexy slumber  FAN COCKBLOCKER! to inform him that, yes, it’s true, the hot red-head chick actually did knock your extremely well-toned ass out, by blowing some blue glitter in your face, dragged you all the way to your decrepit house, and made you hold hands with your corpse, uncle, so that he could come back to life.  Oh, and P.S., “You suck as an Alpha.”

Talk about a rude awakening!  Next he’s going to tell him that he has to spend the rest of the episode paralyzed from the neck down, with Stiles laying on top of him, and that he’s about to find out that Scott betrayed him . . .errr . . . well, I guess we have to save some “surprises” for later, right?

Anyway, the good news is that contrary to popular fan belief, after last week’s episode, Derek is still, in fact, an Alpha . . .

The bad news is that Peter Hale is going to use every mentally manipulative trick in the book to take that title away from him . . .

But worry not, Derek, the Vet has some advice for you about how to keep your title.  You know, because he’s your witch doctor “wolf advisor,” and giving advice about the state of your Alpha-ness is what the Vet does best . .  .

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(Honestly, I’m not really sure what qualifies the Vet as an “Alpha Advisor,” given the fact that he is neither Alpha, nor wolf.  I mean, what do we know about this guy, really, aside from the fact that he gives good back rubs, and makes a mean Supernatural Repellant Powder?  Then again, the best consiglieries in Mob movies are rarely Italian.  So, I’m going to let all that slide, for now.  Just know that I’ve got my eye on you, VET!)

So, I bet, right about now, you’re wondering what brilliant pearls of wisdom our grand exalted advisor had for our favorite Alpha.  Here it comes: “Find Scott the guy who’s been betraying you at the police station, where he is currently being held at gunpoint by a lunatic, stalked by a lizard, and surrounded by a family of armed, and REALLY PISSED OFF ARGENTS instructed to KILL YOU FIRST.”

Yeah, because that’s a great idea!

Some advisor This Guy turned out to be . . .

In which 3 people not employed by the Beacon Hills PD, do its job for them . . . and pay the price . . .

Question:  How do you convince a rational adult that the reason you think one of your classmates is a serial killer is because, while hallucinating at a party, you happened to see him standing next to a life-sized lizard?

Answer: You don’t.  But it sure is fun to try!

Granted, Stiles’ proffered motive for Creepy Camera Guy murdering a sizable chunk of the 2006 high school swim team (“The swim team sucks!”) ended up not being much better than the killer’s actual motive.

“If you look really closely in my mouth, you can see the swim team . . . sucking.”

But still, the ex-Sheriff wasn’t quite buying it, and needed real tangible proof.  This entailed a road trip to the police office, where Sheriff Stilinski no longer works, but miraculously is still allowed to go and watch classified hospital surveillance videos.

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(Why is everyone trusting Scott in this episode?  NO ONE should trust Scott.  Scott is like the Beacon Hills swim team.  See analysis above)

The result?  A break in the case!  Thank goodness for Mama McCall and her vehement hatred for DIRTY SNEAKERS.  Otherwise, our fab crime fighting threesome would have never place Creepy Camera Guy, not only at the hospital at the time Used-to-be-Preggers lady bit it, but also, at nearly EVERY OTHER SINGLE MURDER SCENE,  where his big muddy footprints were found just inches away from the chalked outlines of dead bodies.

Dude!  That’s what welcome mats are for!

Silly Creepy Camera Guy!  Isn’t the whole point of having a Big Ugly Lizard to do all your dirty work, NOT having to be sloshing your muddy feet all over the crime scene?

Just sayin . . .

Clever killer or not, the secret’s out now . . . says the cop corpse at front desk, who’s just been murdered by . . . you  guessed it . . . Creepy Camera Guy is IN the building.

“If my death rattle is loud enough, you think I could still get my SAG card?”

And he’s not too thrilled without our Three Wolfketeers .  . .

“And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for Those Meddling Kids . . . and my dirty feet.”

Meanwhile, over in Argentland . . .

In which Allison engages in some much-needed room redecoration, and sort of / kind of becomes a completely different person . . .

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Poor Allison!  As if losing her mother to a Suicide-by-Werewolf wasn’t bad enough, now she’s got to sit and listen to her doddering grandpa just yap, yap, yapping away, about how he was never close to his mother, but if he was close to her, and she wrote him a letter then BLAH, BLAH, BLAH  . . .

You see, that’s the thing,  Mama Argent may have written a fake suicide note for the world, but, according to Gerard, she wrote a REAL one to Allison, one seemingly explicitly designed to make her go all Rambo on the town werewolves.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put it past a seriously scary lady like Mama Argent to convert a “Sweet Final Goodbye Letter” into a Roaring Battle Cry.  It’s just that I don’t think that was Mama Argent’s priority, in her final moments .  . .

In fact, I seem to specifically remember Mama Argent begging HER HUSBAND to tell Allison why she died, because she couldn’t bear to do it on her own.  My theory?  Eeeevvvil Gerard, who, from the looks of it, couldn’t give two wolf poops about Mama Argent,  wrote this letter to convince new family Matriarch, Allison to OK the systematic extermination of Derek and his entire wolf pack.  And, based on what we saw this episode, at least, his plan seemed to be remarkably successful . . .

ALLISON: “That’s weird.  Mom never dotted her eyes with hearts, or signed her name with a happy face.”

GERARD: *whistles uncomfortably*

What follows is this awesome sequence, in which a seriously pissed off Allison burns the telltale letter, and goes full-on demolition derby on her bedroom.

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Then she puts on the infamous Black Hoodie we saw in her hallucination last week, shoulders her now-trademark bow and arrow, and heads downstairs for an Argent Family Kill meeting.  And, just like that, Dark!Allison is born .  . . for real, this time.

At the kitchen table Gerard, has this total sh*t-eating grin that just makes you want to punch him in the face.  He waxes poetic about Allison knowing the difference between revenge and retribution (which, some would say, are actually synonyms, Mr. Shakespeare!)  He asks her whether or not the Argents should sentence Derek to death, as if the murder would be some sort of “War Strategy,” and not an emotional response to the part he played in Allison’s mother’s demise.

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Wait . . . that angry expression . . . those buggy eyes . . . I know that face from somewhere . . . I just can’t put my finger on . . .

AHHH!  It’s ALIVE . . . again!

Message sent and received.  Allison sentences Derek to death, with about as much emotion and concern as one would put into reciting a grocery list.  Even Papa Argent seems a bit appalled at his daughter’s new-found callousness.  He tries to tap into his daughter’s heartstrings, that reminding her that Lover Boy Scott, also played an unwitting role in her mother’s demise.

But Allison is not swayed.  She replies that Derek’s death is her “priority.”  In fact, it’s such a “priority” that she would willingly kill any of Derek pack members who got in the way of her mission . . . impliedly, this includes Scott . . .

*sniffle, sniffle*

Allison then receives a text message from Scott’s phone, and reveals the wolf pack’s location to her Nutbar family.

“Hey, check out this sext Scott sent me, Grandpa!”

It seems Peter Hale isn’t the only Big Bad from Season 1, who’s returning to the show.  Apparently, Kate Argent 2.0 is making an appearance as well . . .

“It’s like looking in a mirror.”

Speaking of becoming a completely different person . . .

Ahh Creepy Camera Guy Matt.    It wasn’t too long ago that this guy was just a mild-mannered, slightly un-interesting side character, who used to get off on taking Allison’s picture.  (And we’re still not 100% sure, why.)  That was before boyfriend decided to let his CRAZY out to play!  Now, he’s a gun toting, screaming, occasionally blubbering, hostage taker one who’s “Greatest Hits,” include murdering four innocent cops . . . just because, having Stiles’ dad chained to the wall, shooting the incredible skin regenerating Scott, in front of Mama Argent, and, perhaps most importantly, bringing two unrequited lovebirds together at last . .  .

“See?  I’m not all bad!”

In which Derek and Stiles take that nap together that they promised us . . .

A few weeks back, Tyler Hoechlin and Dylan O’Brien sat on a “ship,” their legs entwined, and promised us all that they would take “more naps” together.

Something tells me THIS is what they meant . . .

You know considering, the kanaima is supposed to ONLY murder killers, as part of some massive revenge plot, Jackson’s been getting a bit trigger happy, in the whole vengeance department.  Don’t you think?  I mean sure, he started out kind of clever,  avoiding killing a pregnant mother, because her child was an  innocent.  But now, he’s just offing cops, willy nilly, and paralyzing every cast member, in which he comes in contact.

More on this, in just a bit . . .

What’s important here is that Creepy Camera Guy Matt gives Kanaima Jackson the brilliant idea to paralyze Derek, and then paralyze Stiles, RIGHT ON TOP OF HIM!  Derek pretends to be annoyed, but we know he secretly loves it.  So, does Creepy Camera Guy Matt, who remarks on what a great match these two make . . . in other words, he’s a TOTAL Sterek shipper . . .

And so he creates the image that launches 1,000 fan fictions .  . .

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DEREK: “I think you just bit my nipple.”

STILES: “Did you like it?”

DEREK: “A little bit . . . yeah.”

But then he flips Stiles over and puts his foot in his neck, and the little regard I had for Creepy Camera Guy Matt is completely lost.

However, as it turns out, there’s a method to Creepy Camera Guy’s madness.  He wants a copy of the bestiary.  You all remember the bestiary, right?

It turns out, Creepy Camera Guy Matt has been suffering some “skin issues,” and hopes that the bestiary will explain them.  Later, during an office pillow talk session,  Derek muses that Matt is turning into the kanaima himself, as a result of being such a b*tch ass Master to Jackson, and repeatedly making him kill and maim, non-killers.  That’s pretty clever, Derek!

DEREK: “Dude seriously needs to moisturize.”

STILES: “Should I lend him some of our personal lotion stash.”

DEREK: “F*%k no!  He tried to cut off your head, with his foot.  He can get his own.”

You know what else is clever?  Your idea to stab yourself in the leg with your long fingernails to trigger your wolfy healing process, and, as a result, get that kanaima toxin out of your system more quickly than usual . . . gross . . .

.  . . but clever . . .

In which we finally find out Creepy Camera Guy’s Origin Story . . .

It’s around this point in the episode,  when we finally learn Creepy Camera Guy Matt’s whole “deal” with the 2006 swim team.  I think most of us fans correctly assumed that he drowned.  What we didn’t know, is that he Didn’t Actually Die, which means none of these people were actually killers.  It kind of undermines the whole “kanaima” motto, no?

Personal issues with Matt’s backstory aside, I kind of liked the twist that what put Matt at the Lahey’s house on that fateful night (when he was still rather young) was his friendship with Isaac of all people.  There’s something kind of circular in that, right?

“You mean to tell me, I’m actually friends with this Creepy Camera Douche?  WTF!”

I also find it interesting that, of all the people involved in Matt’s drowning, it was the two Lahey’s who were most culpable .  . . Isaac’s dad, for inviting these underage kids to his house to drink in the first place, and for silencing Matt about what had happened to him, and Camden, for actually throwing him in the pool.  Of course, Matt never actually got to kill Camden, because he had already died in combat.  Bummer!

But hey, at least he still got to kill Dawson Leery’s dad!

The rest of the kids seemed no more culpable than drunk obnoxious bystanders at a bar fight . . .

Given all that, on the surface, I found it pretty difficult to sympathize with Creepy Camera Guy Matt, and his  weak murder motives.  But Stephen Lunsford, actually managed to make this story work to his character’s advantage.  His portrayal of an innocent child, who raged silently for half of his life, and then, suddenly was giving an outlet for his anger, that eventually unhinged and completely consumed him .  . . turning him into a monster far worse than his torturers, and worse, even, than Kanaima Jackson . . . kind of worked for me, even though his story didn’t.

They say, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts, absolutely.”  Think about all the times, in a fit of anger, you’ve wished in your mind for terrible things to happen to people.  Now, imagine if you learned that the mere act of thinking those things made them come true . . .

Pretty frightening, right?

Meanwhile, outside the police station . . .

In which Gerard quotes Shakespeare (again), and Allison reenacts scenes from the movie Kill Bill . . .

Silly Gerard!  Trying to rally your illiterate troops with obscure Shakespeare quotes about love and the mist of sighs . . . . ZZZZZZ . . .

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Next time, stick with something they can understand like, “Let’s go shoot some sh*t.”

Anywhoo, the lights are out in the police station, and it’s all misty.  Allison runs into Scott, who immediately notices her black hoodie and game face, and undoubtedly thinks to himself.  “Woah . . . b*tch is pissed.”

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Allison coldly tells Scott to get out of her way, which makes Scott cry man tears.  (We’ve been getting a lot of those this season.)

Then,  Allison and her dad have a fierce encounter with the kanaima.  It attacks her father first, and Allison fights back, by shooting an arrow in it’s eye.

“Why do I suddenly have a really bad headache?”

Unfortunately, Kanaima just swats at the arrow, like it’s an annoying fly in its face, and out it goes.  Then, she does this kind of cool Matrix-y move, where she goes flying toward the lizard thing, knife in hand.

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“WEEEEEEEEE!  I’m flyinnnggggg!

But that moves lands her on the floor, experiencing the paralysis that pretty much every major cast member has suffered at the hands of the kanaima, this year.  Then, Matt pops by to rub it in Allison’s face, how she rejected him, and he got her on her back, anyway.  Now, that’s just cold!

Hey, Matt.  Take a hint . . .

In which Scott shows his “werewolf” to his mother . . . (He is SO grounded!)

I kind of loved the nerdy, blink and you’ll miss it scene, during which not-Sheriff Stilinski managed to break free from his handcuffs, and Mama McCall, who had been locked by Matt in a nearby cell, starting jumping up and down, and clapping like a giddy school girl.

She wasn’t clapping quite as much though, when Alpha Derek, and Kanaima Jackson started beating the crap out of one another in their respective supernatural forms.  The good news about that, is that Scott was there, to save the day . . .

The bad news, is that this means Mama McCall got a glimpse of his sideburns, and weird pointy wolf snout.  Talk about a face only a mother could love . . .

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“You must get most of your genes from your dad’s side of the family.”

It only took almost two seasons, but Mama McCall is finally slightly less clueless than she was before . . .

In which someone experiences an EXTREMELY ironic death, and someone else gets a new pet . . .

Speaking of Mama McCall, one of the big twists of the episode (and a nice bit of continuity on the writers part) was the reveal that Scott had been secretly working with Gerard, and feeding him information about Derek’s pack, ever since the old man threatened Scott with his mother’s life.

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Of course, Derek is around to hear this exchange, and he is NOT amused . . .

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*single manly tear*

There’s a lot of focus, in this scene on Gerard and those pills he’s always taking.  Needless to say, this isn’t the kind of guy,  who’s body could withstand a supernatural transformation.  And I’m going to go into why I think that’s important, in just a bit  .  . .

In the chilling, final scenes of the episode, we watched Gerard, drag Creepy Camera Guy Matt toward the water, and . . . you guessed it . . . drown him, WITH HIS BARE HANDS.  In the words of Alanis Morissette, “Isn’t it ironic?  Don’t ya think?”

“I’ll never take a creepy picture again! *sob, gurgle, gurgle, glug*”

The drowning scene was uncomfortably long.  And part of me was waiting for, (a) Creepy Camera Guy Matt to FINALLY turn kanaima, as it had been teased that he would earlier in the episode, and fight back; or (b) Kanaima Jackson to rescue his Master.

Neither of these things actually happened.  What did happen was that Gerard ended up being the one to play paddy cake with Jackson Kanaima, thereby making the Old Shakespeare Quoting, Pill-Popping, Asshat the lizard’s new Master.

Hand porn

My theory on this?  Gerard and his “Kill all werewolves” mentality will ultimately end up abusing the kanaima curse far worse than Matt ever did.  This will ultimately cause Gerard to turn into a kanaima, one who will either (a) die during transformation; or (b) end up being controlled himself by none other than Corpse Man, Peter Hale . . .

Oh, did I mention that Undead Man has been watching this entire thing from up on high?  Because he HAS been.  And he’s been looking good doing it.  Peter Hale, I say his in all honesty: “Death really does become you.”

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MOMMY LIKE!

Next week, on Teen Wolf . . .

See ya then, Werebangers!

[www.juliekushner.com] [ Fangirls Forever – Now with Team Stiles and Team Derek tees]

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Punch Drunk – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Party Guessed”

We all know Lydia is up to no good in this picture, because she is wearing the . . .  Black Eyeliner of EVVVVILLL!

I’ve said it before, Werebangers.  But this time, I really mean it.  “Party Guessed” will go down in history as my favorite Teen Wolf episode EVER!  The stellar acting, the solid writing, the character development, the twists, the numerous obligatory shots of Derek in his Tight Grey Tank Top . . .

We haven’t seen this much Glorious Derek, since that episode, where all he did was work out for the entire hour . . .

(Another favorite episode of mine, by the way . . .)

What more could a Teen Wolf fangirl (or fanboy) ask for?  Did I mention we might have finally pinned down our Kanaima Master?

Way to be a Psycho Svengali Serial Killer, Creepy Camera Guy Matt!

(By the way, remind me never to join the swim team at Beacon Hills High . . .)

“Breast stroke?  Don’t you mean DEATH STROKE?”

So, chug down a glass of that deliciously hallucinogenic pink punch, Werebangers, because it’s time for another Teen Wolfcap . . .

[Special thanks to Andre for sending over those kickass screencaps.]

Another Dream Date with Decaying Corpse Peter Hale . . .

When the episode begins, Lydia’s in the shower . . . again.  And we all know how well that worked out for her last time.

(I’m thinking girlfriend should start considering taking sponge baths, STAT.)

“You’re not fully clean unless your ZESTFULLY CLEAN!”

This time around, fortunately, there is no gross dirty Peter Hale Hand or gorilla hair in the tub with her.  Instead, she opens the curtain and finds herself on the football field.

By golly, it’s a NAKED DREAM!  We’ve all had those, haven’t we?  And as The Girl Who Ran Around the Forest Naked for Two Days, we think Lydia’s entitled to a Naked Dream or Two (preferably with Stiles or Derek in it).

Except, this isn’t actually a Naked Dream, after all.  In fact, Lydia is in the very same dress she wore to last year’s dance.  And she’s being cheered on by a crowd of high school students . . . well, except for one chick, who’s totally bawling her brains out for no reason, whatsoever.  (Party Pooper!)

“Dammit!  Why isn’t she NAKED?  How come everyone gets to see Lydia naked except for me?”

Actually, I’m still trying to figure out Crying Girl’s significance.  Is she one of the girls from the Swim Team (more on that later)?  Is she a member of the Hale family, who died in the fire?  Because she didn’t exactly look like Corpse Laura to me!

Whoever she is, I suspect we will see her again, before the season is out . . .

Anywhoo, back on the football field, Lydia is being dragged across the ground by . . . wait for it . . . Peter Hale.

(They’re just cheering, because from the back, he kind of looks like Justin Bieber.)

Lydia wakes up screaming (naturally).  But then, she calms down.  “It was all a dream!” She thinks to herself.  “I didn’t really shower in front of my classmates.  Phew!”

Except, now her bed is filled with a REAL mixture of blood and hair.  Signs of rough sex? And guess who’s lying next to her, eagerly awaiting their next Pillow Talk Session?

Peter Hale TOTALLY seems like a post-coital cuddler . . .

You got it . . . Peter Hale!  This dude is nothing, if not persistent.  And I hate to say it, but these two actually have some freaky twisted sexual chemistry going on . . .  (I think Stiles would be jealous, if he knew.)

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Also a cuddler . . .

Except, here’s the thing . . . now, maybe it’s because he’s been dead for a few months, and spent years before that pretending to be a vegetable   . . . whatever the reason, Peter’s kind of off his flirting game.  For starters, he bores Lydia with talk about the Worm Moon.  He also makes insects crawl all over her dirty feet, as part of his Seduction Technique.  (Total turn off!)

See, Lydia . . . maybe if you spent less time screaming in the shower, and more time actually washing yourself, you wouldn’t have this problem . . .

Peter also has this really annoying habit of referring to Lydia in the third person, when he talks to her about her.  “Lydia is smart and beautiful,” he says.  “Everyone wants to go to Lydia’s party.”  “Lydia is immune.”

“Dude!  She’s standing right next to you!

You know what else isn’t going to get you laid by the girl of your dreams?  Telling her she has to spike her punch bowl with hallucinogenic flowers, dig up your dirty corpse, and make it hold the hand of some hot guy, or else you will kill all her friends, while dressed in an oversized gorilla suit . .  .

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say that even the sluttiest of girls would consider that kind of a Deal Breaker . . .  unless, of course, you happen to be part of the “Furry” Community, in which case, more power to ya . . .

On Wolves Getting Their Periods, and Wearing Funny Hats . . .

Meanwhile, over at the Abandoned Bus  . . .

(By the way, is it just me, or does Derek Hale have the worst taste in real estate EVER?  First, it was the burnt decrepit house.  Then, that weird storage shed, and now a bus where ole Peter mauled some dude.  Hey Derek!  Give me a call, and I’ll set you up with a nice condo . . . one that comes with a cleaning lady, who won’t mind that you always leave teeth marks in the furniture . . .)

Derek is showing his baby wolves his Magic Trunk (I wish that was a euphemism for something fun.  Unfortunately, it’s not.)  Boyd notices that oh so familiar swirly symbol on it . . .

*wipes drool from side of mouth*

 Like the teacher’s pet he TOTALLY is, the Big Guy explains that it’s a Triskele, which symbolizes the “Power of Three.”

Derek looks impressed, and a little bit turned on.  Isaac looks like he wants to shove Boyd’s head in the toilet, and give him a swirly, for being such a TOTAL NERD!

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Derek notes that, for him, the Triskele represents Alphas, Betas and Omegas.  Specifically, it reminds the stud muffin how any of the three types of wolf can easily be converted into one another.  So, even if you’re the Alpha, you should never get too comfortable, or too cocky, because you could end up a Beta or Omega, at the drop of a hat (or the pinch of a wrist). And that, my friends, is what I like to call FORESHADOWING . . .

Anyway, it’s time to whip out the chains, and that hat from the Total Recall movie.

Derek must restrain his baby wolves, in preparation for the Full Moon.  (Yeah, because that’s worked SOO well, in the past.)  Erica notes boldly that because she had her period last week, she won’t be nearly as dangerous this week.

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 (Oh, Erica, haven’t you learned yet that talking about “your monthlies” is a Boy Repellant!)

Erica’s Period Faux Pas not withstanding, Derek gets major points with this female recapper for correctly noting that Erica, as a monthly bleeder / child birther has a higher tolerance for pain than her weiner-bearing companions.  That’s why she gets to wear the silly hat, and they don’t!  GIRL POWER!

“I feel pretty .  . . oh so pretty . . .”

But no amount of S&M accoutrements are going to help Derek keep his wolf cubs from ripping up all the seat cushions,  and peeing all over the house.  After all, these are some Really Bad Babies!

So, you can imagine Derek’s surprise when it ends up being NOT teacher’s pet Boyd, but rather, Leather Twin Isaac, who’s the first cub to find his “anchor,” and control his wolfy rage.

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(Now, if only his “anchor” could help him find his eyebrows.  . .)

Even more surprising?  The fact that Isaac’s anchor just so happens to be the same father who verbally, and physically abused him, while occasionally shoving him in a freezer.  As it turns out, Papa Lahey, actually used to be a pretty nice guy . . . before . . . well . . . more on that later  .  . .

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Let’s Get “Candid” with Creepy Camera Guy Matt!

Elsewhere, Allison’s finishing up her Awful Date with Creepy Camera Guy Matt . . .

“Can I please cop a feel?”

“No.”

“Just a little one?”

“No.”

“What if I go to unbuckle my seatbelt, and my hand accidentally / on purpose grazes your left boob and inner thigh?”

“GET OUT!”

Creepy Camera Guy Matt continues to not-so-subtly probe Allison with questions about the status of her relationship with Scott.  When “CCGM” (see above) realizes he probably isn’t getting anywhere, he exits the car, but not without accidentally / on purpose leaving his camera there, so that unrequited lady love can find his Eerie Homage to All Things Allison, Including Her Bedroom on the Second Floor of Her House . . .

“Wow.  Matt must be really tall . . .”

“Wanna see more?  The lens in my pants is on zoom, baby!  Check out my f-stop!”

Though Matt tries lamely to explain his icky actions, Allison speeds away in her car, so fast, she leaves skid marks on Creepy Camera Guy’s blue balls . . .

Meanwhile, over at the ex-sheriff’s house . . .

Stiles Stilinski – Super Sleuth

Just because Stilinski Squared isn’t employed by the Beacon Hills PD, anymore, doesn’t mean they aren’t still on the case.  Driven by his crushing guilt over the part he unwittingly played in his father’s firing, Stiles seems more determined than ever to crack the case of the serial-killing kanaima.  While the Sheriff notes that local pedo, Mr. Harris, has already been brought in for questioning, due to his car / lame bumper sticker being found at the sight of Every Single Murder . . .

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 . . . Stiles is still unconvinced “She’s 21” Guy actually did the crimes.  After all, like us, Stiles knows that TWO of the victims, Isaac’s dad and last week’s unfortunate rave chicky, have no relationship with Harris at all.  They do however have THIS relationship with one another . . .

That’s right, Werebangers!  In addition to beating his kid, and locking him a cooler, Mr. Lahey, also apparently used to enjoy teaching the butterfly to under-aged hard bodies, in his spare time.  Go figure!

So, remember, earlier I mentioned that Isaac alluded to the fact that his father wasn’t always a Grade A, asshole . . . thereby prompting me to wonder, what exactly made him change?

My theory?  It’s precisely, the same thing that made the kanaima want to kill all these peppy swimmers . . .

Could Mr. Lahey be somehow have been taking his guilt over what happened in 2006 out on his son?  It’s definitely a possibility . . .

You know, I actually spent a lot of time pouring over the screencaps for this scene, because I figured, we might be able to find our good pal Master Matt in the photograph.  (We know he couldn’t swim, but, perhap,s he was the Team Manager, or something?)  Oddly enough, the guy that looked most like Matt in the picture (check out the kid in the bottom row center), is actually, at least according to the team roster, Isaac Lahey’s brother, Camden.

I’m not exactly sure if that means anything.  But it certainly piqued my interest . . .

Why Mama Argent Will Never Again Sharpen a Pencil and Pretend It’s Scott’s Weiner . .  .

Memories .  . . like the corners of my mind.  Misty water colored memoriessssssss .  . .

When we last left Mama Argent, she was lying in Papa Argent’s arms, suffering from the Worst Hickey Ever!  (Then again, any gift from This Guy can’t be ALL bad, right?)

Now, Dame Victoria is sitting in the basement licking her own wounds (pun intended), while Grandpa and Papa Argent stage whisper about killing her, as if she’s not sitting literally 5 feet away from them.  (RUDE!)

“You know, becoming a werewolf actually IMPROVES your sense of hearing, a$$holes!”

De-nial isn’t just a river in Egypt, it’s also a gaping blind spot in Papa Argent’s vision, as he tells his father, “It doesn’t look so bad.”

Really, Papa Argent?  Because from where I’m sitting it looks like a PRETTY BIG F*&KING CHUNK of skin is missing from Victoria Argent’s chest plate.  Grandpa Argent clearly agrees, which is why he shows about as much sympathy for his daughter-in-law as an obese man would show for a Big Mac, telling Daddy-o, more or less says, “Kill the, B*tch.  Allison will get over it.”

“If you hurry up and kill her now, we may be able to make the 8 p.m. showing of Spiderman at the Multiplex.

“If you want an easier life, change your last name,” scolds Grandpa Argent.  “Just as long as you aren’t changing it to whatever Mama Argent’s maiden name is, because apparently that last name makes your life suck too.”

On a side note, many fans have speculated that the pills we regularly see Grandpa Argent popping on the show might actually be some kind of werewolf or lizard suppressant.  If that ends up being true, well, let’s just say Grandpa’s callous comments about Mama Argent being nothing more than a cocoon waiting to hatch a monster, will likely come back and bite him in the ass, by the end of the season . . . or, perhaps, I should say the chest plate.

“It’s like looking in a mirror. We’re both a little green and wrinkly.”

In a surprise show of maternal instinct, a slightly teary-eyed Mama Argent (I thought soulless vampires only cried blood tears?)  makes an attempt to confront her daughter about her impending wolficide.

“And while I’m describing to you, in detail, how I’m going to take my own life with a carving knife, I’ll bake you brownies, tell you a bedtime story, and even squeeze in a talk about the birds and the bees.”

Unfortunately, Allison Argent has better things to do than engage in Mommy/Daughter time . . . like for example, help Lydia perform ridiculously obvious product placement for Macy’s pick out outfits (plural!) for tonight’s “Big Party.”

“Peter Hale said I had to shop at Macy’s, or he would make me shower with him again.”

Eventually, Allison leaves for the party, having never gotten to say goodbye to Mama Argent.  Now, don’t get me wrong, this is super sad, and will undoubtedly, saddle poor Allison with years of unresolved guilt, and thousands of dollars in therapy bills.

Nevertheless, the way that Mama Argent decides to atone for this “lack of a Final Conversation” between Mother and Daughter can only be described as . . . morbid.


Now, I love a Super Poignant Dramatic, Tear-jerking TV Death as much as the next fan.  So, I TOTALLY understand Mama Argent’s decision (at least from the writer’s perspective) to go out with the Bang of a Stab Wound Inflicted in the Light of the Full Moon, just as “The Change” was occurring, as opposed to the Wimper of a pill overdose.  I’m just a bit iffy on her decision to do it ON HER DAUGHTER’S BED, so that she can “feel closer to her.”  I mean, first of all, “EW,” and second of all . . . no  . . . scratch that . . . . “EW” just about sums up my thoughts on that decision.

(I also hope Daddy changed the sheets, afterward.  Because, seriously.  That’s just unsanitary . . .)

There is some conversation between Mama and Papa Argent about playing off Victoria’s death as a suicide to the community, which kind of seems like adding insult to injury, at least as far as Allison’s concerned.  Mama Argent, in particular, seems distraught over the fact that the neighbors would likely disapprove of her coming to such a “cowardly end,” and deserting her family in that way.  (I would think that Mama Argent would be more concerned about the community thinking her family was a bunch of gun-toting lunatics . . . which, of course, they are.)  Papa Argent replies that Mama Argent is making a “brave sacrifice” for her family, by stabbing herself on her daughter’s bed, rather than sprout long nails, and a pointy face, once a month, and whenever else she gets really angry (which, let’s face it, is probably often).

I don’t know . . . to me, personally, if it looks like a wolficide, and it walks like a wolficide . . . well, you get the idea.  I still feel terrible for Allison that things had to go down this way.  But more on that, a bit later.

Because Stiles Keeps His Drag Queens on Speed Dial . . .

In somewhat less depressing news, Stiles has a problem to which many men, I suspect, can relate.  He has to get his HUGE BOX inside Lydia’s teeny tiny door . . .

Yeah, I went there . . .

Unfortunately, we never did get to find out what was actually in that box.  I have a few ideas, though.  Do you? 😉

When our Scooby Gang arrives at Lydia’s party, they find out that it’s not exactly the hip soiree the birthday girl was hoping for  (at least, not yet).  Allison and Stiles speculate that this might be because Lydia’s naked romps in the woods have christened her the “Town Wackjob.”  I don’t know, guys.  Personally, I would think Lydia’s new-found penchant for public nudity would make her VERY, VERY popular . . . at least with the boys.

Don’t you worry too much about Lydia, though.  Stiles, as always, is ripe and ready to rescue her.  All he has to do is call in a favor from all those new “friends” he met at the gay club a few weeks back.  (Nice continuity, writers!)

Personally, I kind of love the idea of Stiles having his very own entourage of Drag Queens, ready to do his bidding at a moment’s notice.  I mean, let’s face it, Derek and his wolf pack couldn’t stand a chance against all those high heels!

Don’t Drink the Punch, or You’ll End Up All WET!

Stiles’ Magical Drag Queen Summoning Powers (which are likely the same powers that enable him to move fairy dust with his mind) . . .

 . . . end up working wonders!  In what seems like only minutes, Lydia’s once nearly empty house (Where ARE your parents, girlfriend?) is just crawling with party people, who just can’t seem to get enough of Lydia’s Magical Punch.  And Lydia, ever the gracious host, is more than happy to quench the thirst of  all her guests.  In fact, she practically pours the stuff down all of their throats!

Of course, us viewers can tell right away that something is VERY wrong with that tasty drink, in the pretty stemless plastic wine glass.  For one thing, it’s got blue crap in it.  Gross!  For another, as I mentioned earlier, Lydia is serving it wearing her Black Eyeliner of EEEEEVVVVIILLLL!

Now, it’s not entirely clear WHY Peter Hale insisted on Lydia LSD-ing all her pals.  But I suspect it was done more as a diversion tactic from his holding hands with Derek “rebirth,” than anything else.  After all, had Scott, Stiles, Allison and Jackson not all been tripping that night, one or two of them might have noticed Lydia WANDERING AWAY FROM HER OWN PARTY, and possibly stopped her.  (I think it’s a pretty safe guess that she wasn’t heading off into the woods to watch The Notebook again.)

That said, it did sort of seem like our main cast members got a Bad Batch of Punch, because while everyone else was busy making out, rolling around on the floor and being happy drunks, our core four were experiencing some pretty disturbing hallucinations . . . hallucinations that ended up being highly insightful, in terms of who these individuals are, and what exactly drives them . . .

Let’s review the hallucination’s shall we?

Because Lizards Make the Best Lovers . . .

I’ll start with the most shallow hallucination first, which, not surprisingly belongs to Scott.

As we all know, Scott and Allison have been a bit “on the outs” of late, ever since Scott “casually” told his girlfriend to make out with Creepy Camera Guy Matt, and Allison ratted out Jackson’s kanaima status to her batsh*t crazy family, which Scott saw as an explicit betrayal of his trust.

But, of course, Scott’s still petrified of losing his brunette beauty, particularly to a monster that’s bigger and badder than he is . . . one that’s got a super long tongue that you could stick . . . anywhere.  And don’t even get me started on that BIG TAIL.  (Even Stiles’ “box” has nothing on that thing . . .)

*nom-nom, nom-nom . . . tastes like carcass*

Speaking of the kanaima . . .

Face Off – Starring Jackson Whitmore . . .

Poor Jackson!  The writers have somehow managed to make me feel bad for this douchebag probably because they are planning on killing him in the season finale, and want me, personally, to cry when it happens.  First, they did it with his crocodile tears, upon learning he had no friends a few week’s back.

And now, the writers are at it again, when Jackson pleads with Lydia not to invite him to her party, because, deep down, he knows his kanaima self is only going to turn Lydia’s dream birthday into a nightmare.

And yet, the kanaima master, isn’t exactly cool with Jackson sitting out on a party that could potentially be attended by another swim team member.  So, off to the party he goes.

“I’m sexy and I know it . . . LIZARD, LIZARD, LIZARD, LIZARD,LIZARD . .  . YEAH!”

And wouldn’t you know it, it’s actually Jackson who experiences the nightmare at Lydia’s hand.

Upon drinking that fateful punch, Jackson comes face-to-face with his REAL parents, only to find out that . . . wait for it . . . THEY  DON’T HAVE FACES AT ALL!  And, of course, neither does he . . . which makes sense, because, when you think about it, much of Jackson’s douchebagginess comes from his frustration over not having an identity . . . not being able to turn into the “manly wolf” he’s always wanted to be . . . having to share his position as captain of the Lacrosse Team with Scott . . . and, most importantly not truly knowing his own origins.

“I prayed for clear skin, during my teen years, but this is ridiculous.”

Props to Colton Haynes for somehow managing to warm my heart with his trademark Vulnerable Face . . . only to be used on special occasions like this one . . .

Speaking of vulnerable faces . . .

“You killed her.”

Poor Stiles.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize he’s taken his whole father losing his job because of him thing, really hard.  We see it in the determination with which Stiles attacks solving this kanaima murder case.  And we see it in Stiles’ anguish over his hallucination, which features a drunk Papa Stilinski, having just gotten back from Stiles’ mother’s funeral,  blaming Stiles for HER death, and the ruination of HIS life.

Unfortunately, we still have yet to learn what exactly killed Mama Stilinski, or why Stiles seems to blame himself for it happening.  But we do know that her absence has left a major hole in Stiles’ heart, one from which he’s never fully recovered.  Kudos to Dylan O’Brien for really tugging at our heartstrings with the raw emotion of this scene.

Speaking of kudos . . .

Dark Allison’s Revenge

Of all the actors on this show (with the exception of Tyler Posey) Crystal Reed probably gets the least to work with, in terms of juicy material, funny one liners, and powerful, character developing scenes.  Correction:  She GOT the least to work with, prior to this week, during which the actress showed her werebanging fans just how talented of an actress she truly is . . .

It all started with Allison kicking the crap out of that slimy Creepy Camera Guy, first for being a total stalker case, who takes “candid” pictures of her from her second floor bedroom window, and second for actually INSULTING her beauty, and calling her a dime a dozen.  I mean, seriously, if anyone deserves a knee in the nuts it’s Creepy Camera Guy Matt.

Now, at least, if his photography career fails, he can always sing Soprano in an all boys choir . . .

Except as it turns out, Matt isn’t exactly the enemy Allison needs to the fear the most.  THAT enemy, is wearing a black hood, stalking around the party, and shooting her in the stomach with a bow and arrow, while chastising her for being SO weak, and always playing the victim.  What’s interesting about this scene (apart, of course, from how cool Dark! Allison looked in it), is that it’s not entirely clear what Allison’s fear actually is?

Is she afraid of being weak . . . a perpetual victim, who constantly needs to be rescued by Scott and her family?  Or,  conversely, is Allison afraid of losing her soul, and becoming a single-minded, cold and calculating killer . . . like Dark!Allison . . . like the dearly departed Kate Argent . . . like her very own mother . . .

Speaking of Allison’s mother . . . how incredibly raw, and emotional was that hospital scene, in which Allison learns of her mother’s death from her father?  As someone who lost a parent at a young age, Allison’s pain and anguish really resonated with me, because no matter what kind of person Mama Argent was, she was still Allison’s mother.  And you never really get over a loss like that . . .

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On a much lighter note . . .

That Teen Wolf Contest Winner NEEDS to become a series regular . .  . no joke.

When we last left our plucky little Stilinski, he was drunk as a skunk, high as a kite, and still reeling over his faux father’s drunken outburst. But Scott needs his sidekick back STAT.  So, he turns to our Very Special Contest Winning Guest Star to pick up the pieces of Stiles fragile psyche, which she does by dunking his head in a pool of water.

Not only was this a hilarious moment, executed to perfection by a surprisingly talented amateur actress, it also gave us back Wet Stiles . . . an image we haven’t seen, since that fateful day, when he and Derek took a nice long romantic swim together, in the school pool . . .

Speaking of swimming . . .

THE KANAIMA REVEALED

After weeks of doing little more than lurking around looking suspicious, Creepy Camera Guy Matt finally revealed himself as the kanaima master, when he YELLED OUT TO THE ENTIRE PARTY that he can’t swim, upon being tossed into the pool (probably by some sh*tfaced drag queen).

Jackson rescued him, of course, which just screams “Master / Slave,” because we all know that under any other circumstance, Jackson would be the one THROWING the nerd into the pool, not pulling him out . . .

Then, as if we hadn’t been beat over the head with the “Matt as Kanaima” idea enough, we are given THIS image . . .

This reveal, of course, only leads to more questions . . . is Matt alive?  Is he the ghost of someone murdered by a bunch of swim teammate?  What led him to take on this quest for vengeance?  And how exactly did he know he could use Jackson to carry out his plan?

Ahh . . . the plot, it’s thickening . . .

Speaking of thick . . .

Derek Gets Glitter Bombed / Red Eye Reduced

What are you dreaming about, Derek?

Awww, Derek!  You big sexy hunk of man meat, you!  Of all the things that would end up bringing your seemingly invincible ass down, no one could have guessed that it would end up being the petite 105 pound red head, and a bunch of blue glitter in your face.  Honestly, it’s a little pathetic, but also kind of charming, in a way.

After week’s of speculation, we finally got to see why Peter Hale had been stalking Lydia, and using his teenage face to hit on her, make out with her, and give her flowers all these weeks.  It was also so Lydia could make Derek fondle Peter’s corpse at the first light of the worm moon, which somehow made Peter come back to life, and turned Derek’s eyes from Alpha Red, to Horny Green. 🙂

Yeah, it didn’t make sense to me either.  But, you have to admit, it was still a really cool ending.

Until next time, Werebangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever- Now with Teen Wolf tees!]

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The Baby Squirreling of Ezra Fitz – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “That Girl is Poison”

 

[Hey folks!  My Teen Wolf recap for “Raving” has been a bit delayed.  (Real life has intruded :(.)  But not to worry!  I will definitely try to have it up within the next 24 hours.]

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Hey there, my Pretties!  I know it’s been a while .  . .

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But coming to the party late, is better than not showing up at all, right?

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Anyway, this week’s episode of PLL was all about Fitzy’s nuts, Paige’s cupcakes, Police Boy Garrett’s flowers, and Lucas’ little blue pills.  (And we all know what little blue pills are REALLY for, don’t we?)

It all sounds a little dirty, when you put it that way, doesn’t it?  So put on your favorite black hoodie, take a big gulp from that skeevy old flask you’ve been hiding in your closet, and write a nice letter to that lady in the coma, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Fitzy finds his nuts, again!

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Poor, little Fitzy!  It sure is hard out their for unemployed teacher . . . forced by circumstances (sort of?) beyond his control to eat furry limes out of his fridge, and mooch off of his underage girlfriend.  And while Aria tries her best to be supportive . . .

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(Once again, a completely harmless sentence that sounds totally kinky, when taken out of context.)

Fitzy is still feeling a wee bit low.  And he will NOT, I repeat NOT eat that tasty sandwich Aria bought for him.  The man has PRIDE, after all . . .  and hairy limes.

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Aria doesn’t get it.  So, she wants to feed her man, every once in a while.  What’s the big deal?  But clever Spencer knows better.  She’s dated “The Poor” before.  Remember Alex?

(If not, that’s OK.  The writers don’t seem to remember him, either.)

Spencer accuses Aria of “baby squirreling” Fitzy, and consequently taking away his nuts . . .

Now, being baby squirreled is something that Aria can understand.  She didn’t like it very much when Fitzy did it to her . . .

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  So, how does she respond?  By, making Fitzy take her to her enemy Not-Blind-Anymore Jenna’s birthday party, of course!  You know, because nothing says “I feel like a grown man,” like attending a high school birthday party, where everyone is dressed up like characters from Alice in Wonderland!

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So, you can’t really blame Fitzy for overcompensating a bit, by forking over some serious cash he doesn’t have, on a massively expensive old school camera for Aria, who has suddenly become a real photography aficionado.  (First it’s writing, then pottery, now photography.  What’s next Aria, underwater basket weaving?)  Though, you can blame him for bad gift wrapping.  Come on, Fitzy!  A brown paper bag?  That’s what you use to “gift” the cheap malt liquor your 18-year old cousin with the mustache, bought with his fake ID . . . not an antique item that would have easily cost two months of your old teaching salary.  No wonder, Aria thought the darn camera fell off the back of some truck!

Aria tells Fitzy he doesn’t need to buy her fancy things, just to prove to her what big nuts he has.  She likes him just the way he is, unemployed and poor, but good enough looking that he may just get hired at the strip club, where Magic Mike was filmed . . .

That’s when Fitzy gives Aria the good news.  He’s a WORKING MAN, now . . . but not at the strip club, unfortunately for us . . .

That’s right, My Pretties, our main man Fitz is a real live “journalist.”  It makes sense.  I mean, someone has to cover all those murders that seem to happen around his girlfriend on a daily basis!  It might as well be Fitzy . . .

Everyone’s favorite former teacher wants to celebrate his re-entrance into the world of having health insurance with a nice romantic dinner.  (Ease up on the spending, buddy!  Journalists don’t get paid that much!)  But Aria has a better idea.  Why not leave Fitzy at the kiddie party, while she breaks into the photography studio, where the newly “EVIL” Lucas is hiding his not-so-secret cemetery porn pics, and blue roofies?

Oh girlfriend, you’re lucky that you’re pretty . . . that’s all I’ve gotta say . . .

But since we’re on the subject of Lucas . . .

Creepy!Lucas is creepy . . .

 Awww man!  Down the shame spiral my once second favorite male character on this show (second only to WREEENNNNNN!) continues to go.  Not only is he involved in shady online gambling activities, sneaking into people’s grandma’s houses uninvited, luring people out in shady-looking boats in the middle of the night, skulking around town in the middle of the night like a serial killer, and setting fires in school . . .

 .  . . now, he’s prospectively taking creepy pictures of the Pretty Little Liars, getting fired from photography studios for stealing, trying to break into said photography studios in the middle of the night (good thing Aria got there first!), and storing massive horse pill roofies that cause “temporary amnesia” in his backpack.  At this rate, in a few weeks, they are going to blame Lucas for the start of World Wars I and II.  Who cares if he wasn’t alive back then?

So, is Lucas as eeeevvvill as the writers seem dead set on making him out to be?  I’m going to take a wild guess and say, “No.”  Because really, at this point, having Lucas be the “new A” would be about as surprising as having Mona be the old one . . .

Oops!  Did I write that out loud?

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OK, so now we’ve covered Ezria and Lucas.  So, I guess we should talk about good ole’ Hanna Marin.

Sad!Hanna is sad . . .

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So, what happens this week with Hanna?  Not much . . . to be honest.  She’s been dumped, and she’s bummed . . .

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We’ve all been there.  And it sucks.  So, we can totally understand Hanna wanting to skip school, stay home, chow down on some Chubby Hubby Ice Cream, and listen to sad songs.  But the whole “not able to work a zipper” thing?  That’s something she really should get checked out.  It could be a medical condition . . .

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My lingering concerns about Hanna’s motor skills notwithstanding, I was annoyed at the rest of the characters (particularly her own mother) for repeatedly giving Hanna grief about her choice of outfit . .  .

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For the record, I thought she looked awesome!  It was one of my favorite outfits she’s worn on the show, actually.  (My own fashion tendencies, have always veered more toward Preppy!Spencer, and ComfyCasual! Emily, than their more fashion-forward counterparts, Aria and Hanna.)

Sorry, Hanna!

Anywhoo, when Mama Marin finds out that Hanna’s been skipping school, she forces her to work at some lame church clothes drive thingy . . .

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As bored as Hanna felt, being there, is how I felt watching it.  So, Hanna thumbed through, and made faces at some old clothes?  So, Mama Marin met some random dude who flirted with her?  BOOO-RRRRING . . .

Then again, from the looks of next week’s promo, it seems like the whole “church” thing is going to become increasingly important to the whole “A Team” story line, in the weeks to come.  So, maybe the writers will make me eat my words . . .

In slightly more relevant news . .  .

Police Boy Garrett has sloppy handwriting / bad taste in flowers . . .

Of all the various storylines this week, Spencer’s was he one that interested me the most . . . probably because it seems the most pertinent to the current mystery.  After seeing the Big Bad Hoodie lurking around Police Boy Garrett’s house, at the same time the latter’s mother was being pulled out in a stretcher . . .

the liars, well . . . really more Spencer, than anyone else . . . begin to suspect that the “A” team somehow orchestrated the Police Boy’s mommy’s COMA just to get him out of jail on temporary leave.

 I don’t know . . . that sounds a bit too awful to be believable to me . . . even for “A.”

Nevertheless, Super Sleuth Spencer heads to the hospital to check out what exactly the Police Boy actually does during his so-called “sympathy leave” from jail.  While there, Spencer has a run-in with Deputy Douchey . . .

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 . . . and makes snarky comments about the Police Boy’s choice in floral arrangements for the coma lady . . .

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You know what they say, Spencer.  If you make fun of someone’s flowers, you take away their nuts . . .just saying!

Spencer’s suspicion is instantly piqued when she sees Police Boy slip a card into the carnations for the coma lady.  I mean, that just seems like an insensitive thing to do, right?  That would be like writing a letter to Blind Jenna . . . oh wait . . . nevermind.

When uber-Shady Nate (more on him later) throws a little temper tantrum at the sight of Police Boy Garrett out of jail, Spencer sees an opportunity to get into Police Boy’s mom’s hospital room, and takes it.  Smart Girl!

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But when Spencer gets around to reading the card in the flowers, it actually contains a really sweet and poignant statement (though, I know toddlers with better handwriting than That Guy) . . . something about never giving up on his mother, because SHE never gave up on him, despite his possibly being a mass murderer of teenage girls.  Now, Spencer feels like crap, for doubting the mama’s boy, that is until she finds the piece of paper in Coma Lady’s hand . . .

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Yes, who is this mysterious “April Rose” who supposedly has proof of Police Boy Garrett’s innocence in the murders of Ali, and possibly Maya too?  And who wrote the note, because it sure as heck wasn’t Garrett’s mom!  Many have speculated on “April Rose” actually being some kind of code name for Aria . . . partly because of this . . .

April

Rose

Is

A

And partly because, as we learned in a previous episode “Rose” is Ella Montgomery’s maiden name.  However, I’m still not sure the writers of the show have the guts to make “A” one of the core four.  We all saw what happened last season, right?  So, as much as I’d love to see PLL veer off on this kind of original path, away from the books on which it was originally based.  I’m not getting my hopes up . . .

On the other hand, Maya’s death . . . now, that’s completely uncharted territory . . .

Roofied!Paige likes cupcakes, and why Nate sucks / might be a secret psycho killer . . .

Blah, blah, blah, Jenna’s Sight Birthday Party Blah!  What I wanted was another creepy party, where A tortures the girls.  What I got was a lot of really ugly hats, and Alice in Wonderland . . .

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You can’t use “blind” as an excuse anymore, Jenna!

Heck, half the PLL girls didn’t even attend the party.  And the other half, left long before it was over.  So, why was the party important?  Well, it basically comprised Emily’s storyline for the episode . . . a storyline that involved her attempting to rekindle relations with Paige through ridiculously obvious product placement the Katy Perry movie . . .

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 . . . and ended with Emily having to bail on Paige to work the event, and serve cupcakes.  We got to learn a little more about Paige, this week.   As it turns out, she’s not just the once-closeted gay girl, who tried to drown her crush.  She’s also the once-closeted gay girl, who drinks from old dirty flasks that secretly contain roofies, gorges on cupcakes at parties . . .

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Apparently, she also eats old pennies . . .

. .  . gets jealous when gay girls talk to straight boys, makes an ass of herself in public, and ends up in a hospital with alcohol poisoning.  But hey, at least her hair looks better now!

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Actually, I think the whole point of this storyline had much less to do with Paige and Emily as a couple, and more to do with the fact that SOMEONE had obviously roofied Emily’s flask, the night she wound up at the cemetery, moments after Ali’s corpse had just been dug up.  After all, Paige had (stupidly) drunk from the same flask, and look what happened to her?

In other news, I think Nate isn’t really Maya’s cousin.  In fact, I think he killed her.  Just sayin . . .

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Just hear me out here.  I get that Nate claims to be Maya’s “cousin” who “loved her” and is all “righteously indignant” about the fact that  Garrett got out of jail to see his mom, while Maya is (supposedly) dead?  But something just doesn’t ring true about him . . . like, for example, the way he didn’t know Maya’s parents’ address, something a COUSIN would surely know, particularly following the death of a family member.  For another, his whole story about Maya hanging out in the water with the rest of the “guys” sounds a lot less like a “family story” and a lot more like a “camp story.”  You know, as in “True North” camp?  The camp where Maya was STALKED by a guy, and chose to leave town rather than return?

He also talks about Maya as if she’s a lover, as opposed to a cousin.  And the way he was oozing about how “captivating” Jenna was?  This guy just screams stalker / psycho killer.  I’d like to be wrong.  But somehow, I don’t think I am.  I have one word of advice for you, Emily.  Take your roofied flask, and RUN from this guy . . . far and fast . . .

Until next time, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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“I LOVE YOUUUUU!” – A Recap of True Blood’s “Turn, Turn, Turn”

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Love.  There are so many ways to show you care.  Some people show they love you by cooking you a nice meal, or holding you, after you’ve had a rough day.

Others show they love you, by screwing you senseless, or taping mouth shut with duct tape, or crawling into a grave with you, while wearing a really ugly yellow Walmart sweat outfit.

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And then there are those who show they love you by eating your carcass, after you die.

It’s all kind of romantic, when you really think about it.

Yes, Fangbangers.  This week’s season five premiere of True Blood was just filled with the “L” word . . . and also a whole lot of blood, guts, and misplaced bodyparts.  Just how we like it.  Let’s review, shall we?

The Super Snatch of Sookie Stackhouse

We begin our story, literally seconds from where Season 4 ended.  Half of Tara’s brain is oozing out on the floor, as is one of Trailer Trash Debbie’s teeth, as well as other assorted bits of Trailer Trash Debbie.

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 In other words,  it’s a Body Part Smorgasboard . . . any vampire’s dream.

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Speaking of vampires, one has just made a house call.  It’s Pam, fresh off her rejection by her Maker, Eric.  (There are still bloody tears in her eyes.)

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Sookie’s ready to tell her to skedaddle. (After all, she has some deep kitchen cleaning to do . . . again.).  But Lafayette has other plans.  “Turn her!”  Lafayette demands, referring to the brainless wonder lying on the floor beneath him.

“But everybody hates Tara HATES vampires,” says Sookie and . . . well . . . everyone watching at home.

Nevertheless, if Lafayette has to choose between having a self-loathing vampire for a cousin, and worm food for a cousin, he’s going to choose the former.  And Sookie, who LOOOOOOOVES vampires, doesn’t take much convincing to follow suit.  “I’ll owe you one,” Sookie offers brightly.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you feel about Tara), Vampire Pam is desperate enough to get back into her Maker’s good graces to play Let’s Make a Deal.  The sassy vampire gets Sookie to promise to use her magical vaginal powers to smooth things over between Pam and Eric, as well as to perform for Pam an additional, as of yet, unmentioned favor at some unspecified time in the future.

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Sookie seems skeptical at first, but ultimately agrees . . . you know because “TARRRRRRAAAAA” is the most important person in her life right now . . . after “BEEEEEEEEEEEL,” and “ERRRRRRIIIIC” and “JASOOOOOOOON.”

Next thing you know, Vampire Pam is squatting in the dirt next to the highly odorous, Brain-Flaps-A Lot-Dead Tara.  I should note that the former is dressed in the ugliest sweatshirt I have ever seen in my entire life.  (I’m sincerely hoping that belonged to Grams, not Sookie.  But given some of the outfits we’ve seen Sookie wear these past few years, you can never be too sure.)

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Sookie thinks Vampire Pam and Head-Like-a-Half-Chewed-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie Tara should spoon in the grave, to instill maker-progeny bonding or something.  But Vampire Pam isn’t having it.  Wearing an ugly grandma sweatshirt, and becoming eternal mom to her mortal enemy is more than enough sacrifice for one day, as far as Pam is concerned.

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Shrugging it off, Sookie and Lafayette, take turns burying the pair.  Then, they return to Sookie’s house to wait . . .

In other Stackhouse news . . .

Almost Everybody Loves Jason Stackhouse . . . (even Steve F*&king Newlin)

It’s starting to seem like, on this show, the more you hate vampires, the more likely it is that you will eventually become one.  Such was the fate of former cult leader Steve Newlin, who, at the end of last season, found himself on Jason Stackhouse’s doorstep with a pair of pointy incisors, and an outfit that makes him look like he should be playing the uptight rich villain in an 80’s teen movie.

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At first, Vampire Newlin plays the vulnerability card, in order to gain access to the house of his follower turned nemesis.  He claims he has no where else to go, having already been shunned by both his minions, and vampires themselves due to his present condition, and past acts, respectively.  But Jason thinks Steve’s fangs look like big ole white hard-ons (a notion which ends up being rather prophetic), so he doesn’t trust them.  Steve, then, is forced to use a little of that good ole’ glamour power, in order to gain his invitation.

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As it turns out, Steve has a little confession to make.  And he doesn’t want Jason to interrupt him, until he’s said his piece.  So, of course, Steve does what any rational person would do in this situation, he tapes the mouth of his sole audience member — who just so happens to be conveniently shirtless — shut with duct tape.  It’s all very kinky, and 50 Shades of Grey-esque.

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And since it also happens to be my favorite scene in the entire episode, I’ll let you watch, and see for yourself . . .

Steve Newlin  . . . a religious nutbar / cult-leading, arms enthusiast, hate monger turned gay vampire American . . .

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 . . .  who’s head over heels in love with none other than THE Jason Stackhouse.  The reveal was probably the most shocking twist of True Blood’s season 5 premiere.

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 It was certainly one of the more aggressive departures from the book series we’ve seen so far.  And yet, as far as plot points go, this one actually seems to make a surprising amount of sense.  It definitely explains a lot of the weirdness between Steve and Jason during Season 2.

“You should really touch my gun.  It’s SOOO BIG!” 

And all that “murderous rage and whatnot,” it had to come from somewhere right?  Besides, it’s not exactly like falling in love with Jason Stackhouse is the most difficult thing in the world to do.

Considering he had just had his mouth taped shut, by the man who multiple times tried to kill him, Jason handled the profession of adoration quite well.  He even complimented Steve on his kind words.  But when it came right down to it, Jason’s dog just doesn’t bark that way . .

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And Steve F*&king Newlin doesn’t take too kindly to rejection.

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But don’t you worry Jason fans!  Little Red Riding Hood is about to tell that Big Gay Wolf where he can shove his big hard-on fangs.  Poor Steve.  Rejection is hard enough when you aren’t forced to fly backwards through someone’s front door, like a twig caught in the path of a leaf blower, because your home invitation was just rescinded.  Bad for Steve.  But very good for Jason and Jessica . . .

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Not everyone’s a Jason fan though.  He gets some serious cold shoulders from Hoyt and his former highway working crewmates over at Merlotte’s.

They call him G*rlfr*end F*&ker, which I guess is supposed to be insulting, but to me seems kind of like a compliment.  I mean, isn’t that what you’re SUPPOSED to do with your girlfriend.  Yeah, yeah . . . I know, Jason betrayed Hoyt by getting with Jess, and yadda, yadda, yadda.  But Bon Temps is just such a small town!  It’s probably really hard to hook up with someone who isn’t the ex girlfriend of SOMEONE you know . . . especially if you look like Jason Stackhouse . . .

Meanwhile, Jess is enjoying the perks of being temporary Queen of Louisianna, while Papa Bill is “otherwise engaged.”  And like any good Queen, Jess knows how to treat her subjects well . . . by throwing them a frat party, and laying down some fly tunes.

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Jason unintentionally crashes the party, thinking he’s in for another quickie, when Jess lays the “let’s just be friends with benefits speech on him.”  But don’t worry about Jason, looking like he does, he’s a welcome addition to any sorority girl’s daydreams, provided he slip out of that nerdy cop uniform, and into something “more comfortable.”

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For a moment there, it seems like Jason might hook up with a college coed just to make Jess jealous.  But in the end, he does the gentlemanly thing, and simply drives the lovestruck girl home.

Good lord!  Since when did Jason Stackouse, Resident Man Whore of Bon Temps become the Messiah of Boyfriends?

“Hey, I thought I was the Messiah of Boyfriends.” 

Speaking of loyal boyfriends . . .

Tastes Like Marcus

Sam gets accosted by some of deceased Werewolf Pack Leader Marcus’ followers, because they think the shapeshifter killed him.  So, Sam turns into a bird and flies away, rather than rat out Marcus’ real killer, Alcide.  Hey you know what I noticed about Sam?  Except for that cute dog from season 1, he always shift into rather lame creatures, like ugly birds, or flies, and such.  Not very manly.  He’s also probably naked more than any other character on this show.

Anywhoo, Sam eventually turns himself in to the nudist colony of werewolves, provided they promise not to harm his lover Luna and her kid.  Besides, all they really want to know is where Marcus was buried . . . you know, so his mom could like, eat him and stuff . . .

Eventually though, Alcide does the right thing by admitting to killing the Leader of the Pack.  As a result, he gets a pack of his own . . . I’d like to call them the “Non-Carcass Eaters.”

I rule with an iron fist and washboard abs.”

In other Alcide news, he pops by Sookie’s house to give her some home decorating tips . . .

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 . . .  and to invite her to be his roommate, so that he can have hardcore doggy sex with her protect her from Russell Edgington, who’s not-so-much dead, by the way.  Sookie declines, figuring that the whole “I just shot your ex-girlfriend in my kitchen, and you almost tripped over her tooth on the way in here” would make for awkward dinner table conversation.

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Speaking of dead bodies, apparently, someone stole Jesus . . .weird.

Burn it Down

Meanwhile, in what was clearly the least interesting storyline of the evening . . .

. . .  Noel from Felicity is making Terry VERRRRY ANGRY, probably because he keeps yammering on about “The War.”  No one talks to Terry about “The War” and gets away with it.  Also, apparently, someone’s been going around burning down the homes of all of Terry’s former comrades.  So, maybe that freaky lady ghost with the big pop out eyes didn’t burn down Terry’s house after all.  (I’m still trying to decide whether or not I care.)

Speaking of the Bellefleur’s Policeman Andy has a surprisingly nice ass, and a good set of abs, as we learn when we find him post-coitus in waitress Holly’s bed.  Who knew?

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 The two new lovebirds may have ended up in the bed, but they started on the couch, where Holly’s son typically slumbers.

Yikes.  It looks like someone’s going to need to invest in a sleeping bag, STAT.

But enough about those pesky humans.  We watch this show for the vampires, right?

Sibling Revelry

When we last left Vampire Eric and BEEEEL, they had just killed Tight Pants Nan of the Vampire AUTHORITAAYYYY.  In short, they are now in deep doo-doo.  While Lazy Beeel makes a few casual phone calls, Vampire Eric rolls up his sleeves, and starts cleaning Nan bits off the floor, like it’s his job.

I have to admit, watching him clean was a bit of a turn  on.  Then again, watching Vampire Eric do anything would probably be a turn on to me, even if it was something like picking his nose, or scratching his bum.

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Beeel notes that he has this FEELING that Sookie is in danger.  But Eric is unmoved.  “F*&K Sookie,” he says resolutely, which coincidentally, both of these vampires have done numerous times.

Unfortunately, Beel and Eric have little time to reminisce about all those screws in the dirt, shower boinks, and snowball hallucination sex they each had with the blonde waitress, because the AUTHORITAY has come to bring their asses to justice . . .

Riding trapped in the trunk of a car, with their faces so close they could kiss, new bromantic buddies Bill and Eric plot their escape, while their captors rock out to late 70’s era elevator music.  Ultimately, they opt to use an umbrella to access the car’s gas tank.  They then proceed to blow that sh*t up.  Ahh, the many benefits of being immortal, and having unlimited healing powers.  Lying on the ground, face burned to a crisp,  Bill twitches awkwardly, as Eric lifts him to safety.  “I won’t leave you,” whispers Eric in his former nemesis’ ear.

“I just can’t quit you.” 

How very Brokeback Mountain of the two men who, on more than one occasion almost killed one another over the Super Snatch of Sookie.

Their captor up too, and he’s raring for a fight, that is until his female companion shreds the bastard.

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 Turns out this is none other than Eric Northman’s “sister” . . . at least, in that they share the same maker.  So, they are blood related, but not “blood” related, if you catch my drift.  I’m only telling you this, because they end up screwing in some storage container moments later . . .

The Lannisters approve. 

 . . .  as poor Beeel, waits outside, listening, and suffering from a serious case of these . . .

And I have to say, it’s kind of hot . . . or at least as hot as two ridiculously attractive people engaging in sort of/kind of incest can be.  Then, Eric’s cell phone goes off, and the two start bickering.  “We fight like siblings, but we f*&k like champions,” Eric tells Bill conversationally.

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Of course, you do, Eric .  . . of course you do.

Later that night, Sister Nora leads Eric and Bill to a boat driven by someone who I guess is the equivalent of the vampire witness protection program.  You see, even though it looks like Nora has just betrayed her position in the AUTHORITAY, by helping Eric and Beel escape, it seems like there may be a bit of schism among the vampire politicos.  I smell a revolution!

Speaking of revolution, Eric and Bill never quite make it on to that boat, before they are ambushed, by a bunch of gun toting AUTHORITAY members. RUH-ROH!

Meanwhile, back in Bon Temps . .  .

Wakey, Wakey!

It’s time to dig up Tara and Pam.  The latter pops out looking bored, as usual, and more than a bit eager to change out of that ridiculous outfit.   But Tara seems a bit . . . unresponsive.  This of course, is not exactly surprising considering that Pam had suggested that the latters little “brain-flap” issue, might leave her at best a f*&ktarded vampire, and a worst, just a stinky corpse.  Sookie cries.  Lafayette cries.  Pam rolls her eyes.

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And then .  . . Tara RISES . . . and tries to EAT SOOKIE’S FACE . . . or maybe it’s her all powerful Fairy Super Snatch.  The screen fades to black, so it’s too early to tell . . .

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In the weeks to come on True Blood, Eric, BEEL and Hoyt (?) don leathery S&M gear, Tara tries to EAT EVERYONE, Sookie screams a lot, Steve Newlin and Jess square off once again for Jason’s affections, and that dude from Law and Order quotes scripture, while wearing a really snazzy suit.  And you can check out all of it, 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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“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!