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An Obvious Lack of Impulse Control: A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Jenna Thing”

“I SEE YOU!  Just kidding .  . . I can’t REALLY see you!  (Or can I?)”

Summer television watching is all about guilty pleasures.  And, in its own ABC Family-approved way, Pretty Little Liars has quickly proven itself to be both undeniably “pleasurable,” and as insanely “GUILTY” as its four main characters are currently feeling.  During this week’s installment of the series, the girls banded together to face a new enemy, just as an old one reentered their lives.  Oh, and did I mention that this was the episode where everybody started randomly MAKING OUT with one another?

“I was hungry.  So, I thought it might be a good idea to eat your face . . .”

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Deputy Douchey Strikes Back!

It’s only been two episodes, and I’ve already had just about all I can stomach of Deputy Douchey here.  (He has a real name, by the way.  I’ve just purposely chosen not to learn it.)  Seriously, how many cops do you know that would actually openly admit to screwing the mother of a murder suspect, just to get information on a case?

 Oh, and just so you know, Deputy Douchey, NO KIDS want to hear their mother being described as “HOT” in a sexual context!  And kids especially don’t want to hear this from a guy who is NOT their dad, but is still doing their mom, while the kids are sleeping under the same roof.

What’s with teen dramas always featuring these slimey, corrupt, and total inept cops?  As if repeatedly breaking up their keg parties wasn’t enough of a reason for teens to hate their “Friendly Neighborhood Policemen.”

I have a little proposition for you ABC Fam (I feel like the you and I are close enough now, that I can shorten your name, without fear of repercussion.)  Whoever the “big baddie” ends up being in this story, let’s have him or her KILL Deputy Douchey, PRONTO.  This way, I won’t have to see him on my screen anymore.  Then, the youth of America might have a bit less Cop Angst, as a result.  EVERYBODY WINS! 

So, anyway, Deputy Douchey stops by the school and gets our four main protagonists hauled down to the principal’s office.  This was kind of a big deal, as these don’t really seem like the type of girls used to spending extensive time in the High School equivalent of Maximum Security Prison.  Well, except maybe for Aria.  She did after all, used to have that “REBEL” pink stripe in her hair!  Oh, and Hanna, because she steals sunglasses from shopping malls.  Perhaps, it’s more accurate to say that Emily and Spencer don’t really seem like the type of girls used to spending extensive time in the principal’s office.

While the girls are headed toward their doom, they receive a text from the infamous “A.”  “Dead Girls Walking,” it says. 

Really A?  All that buildup, and you couldn’t come up with a better line than THAT?  You really HAVE been dead too long!

In the principal’s office, Deputy Douchey starts peppering the girls with accusatory questions.  And at this point, I’m just yelling at my television screen.  “LAWYER UP!  LAWYER UP!  Don’t say ANOTHER WORD! ”

Of the entire foursome, only Spencer is wise enough to at least inquire as to whether the girls should consider getting a lawyer.  And yet, after Douchey’s LAME assertion that this is “not an interrogation,” she just keeps right on answering his questions like everyone else.  It soon becomes pretty obvious that Douchey thinks the girls are at least accomplices, if not outright suspects, in Alli’s murder. 

Douchey subtly alludes to the fact that the girls were drinking alcohol the night of the accident, a fact they had kept from the police when they had initially given their statements the previous year.  He then not-so-subtly suggests that the girls’s stories sound rehearsed, and that they know someone who might have wanted Alli dead . . . This line of questioning causes the girls to immediately think about the infamous “Jenna Thing.”

Creepy Jenna and Her Insanely Loud “Cane of Destruction”

If you recall, during last week’s episode, the girls were shocked to find Jenna Cavanaugh in attendance at Alli’s funeral.  This week, we find out, her appearance wasn’t just a one time visit.  Apparently, she is back in town and attending high school with the girls.  Jenna had previously left school, upon becoming blind, over a year ago.  To make matters freakier, Jenna just keeps randomly popping up wherever the girls happen to be.

Did I mention she has the LOUDEST CANE EVER?  Two times, thanks to that massive cane, the girls HEARD Jenna coming, before they SAW her.  The first time, they were in a fairly empty diner, so it kind of made sense. 

But the second time, they were seated in a crowded and chatty HIGH SCHOOL LUNCHROOM.  But, man, was that cane LOUD!  Its sound was so INTENSE that it dwarfed any other sound within listening range, and rendered the world completely silent, in awe of it.  Understandably, every time the girls heard the Cane of Destruction, they noticeably panicked.  You know what the whole thing kind of reminded me of?  This . . .

Despite the girls’ obvious fear of Jenna and her Cane of Destruction, Aria decides to invite her to their lunchtable.  The problem is, everyone is too afraid that Jenna’s Cane will devour them whole, to actually talk to Jenna.  To Creepy Jenna’s credit, she prevents the scene from entering into silent movie territory, by carrying on an ENTIRE CONVERSATION WITH HERSELF.  “Everybody is so quiet.  This used to be the fun table.  What happened to you girls?”  Jenna inquires.

But no one answers her, so she continues talking.  “Alli visited me at the hospital once.  You know, everyone misunderstood Allison, but I knew exactly who she was.”

It’s Flashback Time Again . . .

Suddenly, we are flashed back to Emily’s room, a little over a year ago.  The girls are giggling and trying on clothes, when Alli suddenly goes apesh&t, convinced that some dude named Toby Cavanaugh (Jenna’s brother?) is ogling them in their undies through the bedroom window.  (I thought Emily’s room was on the second floor?)  The girls suggest going to the cops, but Alli has a better idea.  “Let’s light a stink bomb, and throw it in his garage hidey hole!”  She says, more or less.

By the way, am I the only one who NEVER learned how to make a stink bomb in high school?  How come this prissy biatch, Alli, immediately knew exactly how to do this, and I still can’t do it, to this day!  NO FAIR! 

Well, in all fairness, (1) Alli’s dead, so I shouldn’t really be envying HER at all; and (2) apparently, as it turns out, Alli was no stink bomb expert.  The “bomb” she made ended up blowing up Toby Cavanaugh’s hidey hole, apparently, while Jenna was inside of it.  As it was July 4th, and there were REAL fireworks going on outside, no one in town noticed or heard the explosion.   (Too bad Jenna’s Cane of Destruction wasn’t there at the time to warn them, because they DEFINITELY would have heard that. ) 

 Ultimately, the girls vowed to keep what happened a secret  forever.  Hence . . . “The Jenna Thing.”

Back in the present day, the girls are still silently not-at-all enjoying their lunch with Creepy Jenna, when “A” texts them the following, “I wish she could see the guilty looks on all of your faces.”  (OK “A,” that was a little funnier than “Dead Girls Walking” comment.  But not by much . . . Keep trying.)

Aria and Ezra Sitting in a Car.  Are They Kissing?  Yes They ARE!

Unlike some other teen dramas, the girls in Pretty Little Liars actually ATTEND classes, and we actually get to SEE THEM DO IT!

Shocking, I know!  Toward the beginning of the episode, Aria approaches Ezra / Mr. Fitz and asks him to sign a “Transfer Request” form.  She wants out of his English class.  Now, I should note that I was pleasantly surprised by Aria’s maturity and intelligence here.  SO MANY TIMES, I have watched films and shows featuring the student / teacher romance aspect.  And SO MANY TIMES I wondered why neither party to the affair thought to do this very same thing . . .

Yes, I’m looking at you Pacey Witter and Miss Jacobs! 

Mr. Fitz tries to convince Aria that they can both keep their emotions in check while in the classroom, but Aria’s not buying it, and neither are we.  Ultimately, Mr. Fitz relents and signs the Transfer Request.  And while I was applauding Aria for her righteous behavior, I couldn’t keep from wondering HOW exactly she planned to convince the administration to switch her to another English class, after only two short days.  Surely, “I’ve recently boned the teacher in a bar bathroom,” does not appear on the “Reasons for Transfer” portion of the request form . . .

That being said, it’s not exactly surprising that Aria’s Transfer Request is denied.  The sympathetic and loving looks Aria and Ezra silently share, after Aria passes him the declined request form and returns to her seat, are both beautiful and heartbreaking.  Brilliant performance here, on the part of both actors. 

That afternoon, Aria and her mother are heading to see the classic film It Happened One Night, when they run into, who else, but Mr. Fitz!

So, of course, Aria’s mom, in that humiliating way that only mom’s of teenagers can, invites Mr. Fitz to watch the movie with her and her daughter.  The awkwardness and sexual tension between soon-to-be-couple, Aria and Ezra, is palpable from the moment the lights dim and the film starts rolling.  The fact that these two don’t start screwing one another, right on top of Aria’s mother, is a pure miracle!

A few days later, Aria is walking home umbrella-less in the pouring rain when, who just so happens to drive by and see her?  Ezra Fitz of course!  (WOW, stalker much?) 

Ezra hesitates for a few seconds, before letting a wet Aria dash into his way-too-nice-to-be-bought-on-a young-teacher’s-salary car.  This time, the pair drop all appearances of “keeping their emotions in check” and go at it like bunnies.  The result is even hotter than you can imagine!

When Aria arrives home all wet (both inside and out), and smelling of New Car Sex, her father is there waiting for her.  “Something is going on with you,” he points out accusatorily.

But fear not!  Aria’s Daddy DID NOT figure out that Aria was boffing her English teacher in a car in the rain.  He simply wanted to talk about the only subject in which he has shown any actual interest since his first appearance on the show, namely, himself.

In a lame speech that sounded highly reminiscent of the mea culpas made by every politician who has ever screwed around SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME, Aria’s dad blabbed on and on, about how he still loves Aria’s mom, and how his brief indiscretion is over, and how he simply let his emotions get the best of him. 

 (Yeah, buddy, you let something get the best of you, all right.  But I honestly don’t think it was your “emotions.”  Unless you happen to be one of those rare and special men who hide your “emotions” between your legs.)

Fortunately, for Aria’s Daddy, Aria is still high on endorphins and massive Os, so she actually buys into his crap.  Then again, Teacher F*cker Girl is not exactly one to judge now, is she?  Toward the end of the episode, Aria joins her family for some bonding over Chinese Food.  After all, wontons and fortune cookies have the power to make everything all right with the world . . .

That is, of course, until Aria receives yet another cryptic text message from “A.”  It says:  “When students kiss teachers, someone gets hurt.  And that’s a promise I’ll KEEP!”

Wacking Balls, Overachieving, and Homewrecking . . . Just Another Day in the Life of Spencer.

Spencer’s is definitely that uptight snooty girl, about whom all the high school boys would say, “That b&tch needs to get laid.”

(Fortunately, based on what we’ve seen of her during this episode, it looks like she might soon get EXACTLY that.)

After wacking off some field hockey “balls,” Spencer heads to dinner with her family, where she is ignored by her father, demeaned by her sister, and shamelessly flirted with by her sister’s fiance, Wren.  Back at home, Wren comes to Spencer’s room to apologize to her, because she has the bad luck of being saddled with such a crappy family.  He then randomly picks up an architectural book, and makes some cheesy comment about “appreciating beauty.”  All the while, Wren is staring at Spencer like she’s a Tootsie Pop that he can’t wait to lick a few times, before really biting into . . .

Before you know it, these two are making out hardcore!

Surprisingly, it’s the much younger Spencer, who puts an end to the spit-swapping session.  “We can’t do this,”she cautions.

And Wren, who is cute, but obviously not exactly the “faithful type,” stops.  And yet, he doesn’t look at all guilty for the “whole cheating thing.”  Rather, he looks pissed at “Prude Spencer” for making him stop, before he could round second base.  It’s television moments like this that make me FEAR marriage . . .

Except, seeing as Wren’s fiance Melissa was outside the door witnessing this whole exchange, and Wren was seen leaving the residence the following morning with packed boxes, it doesn’t look like “marriage” is something we are going to have to worry about here . . .

Maya the Lesbianator (Everything She Touches Turns to Gay!)

Despite having a “boyfriend back home,” Maya seems pretty darn desperate to get into Emily’s pants!  As soon as she arrives on screen, she’s rubbing up against her at every opportunity, insisting that the two share hot cocoa, and spooning Emily in her sleep, while not-so-subtly grazing her boobs, in the middle of the night. 

Oh, that ‘s right, Maya is “sleeping over at Emily’s” for a few days, in an attempt to free herself from the depressing black hole that is the “Dead Girl’s home” her parents stupidly purchased (probably off some scam website).

But just when it seemed as though Emily was giving in to the Passions of the Maya, she received .  . . you guessed it . . .a text message from “A,” this one said: “Did you get a goodnight kiss?  Here’s one from me, XO.”  (You know, for a straight girl, Emily sure kisses a lot of ladies, not all of them necessarily still living.  Kinky!)

In the final moments of the episode, Spencer is out jogging, when she comes across Blind (?) Jenna, sitting on a park bench.  Apparently, Jenna is using a talk-to-text computer to deliver text messages to cell phones.  “Send text now,” commands Jenna, as she offers a sinister, if unseeing, look at Spencer.

Could Jenna be the mysterious “A” that has been torturing the girls for the past two episodes?

Tune in next week to find out . . . Until then, don’t let the Cane of Destruction hit you where the Good Lord split you . . .

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