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Don’t Cry Kanaima – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Frenemy”

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Greetings, Werebangers!  After last week’s game-changer of an episode, this week’s Teen Wolf shifted its focus away from Derek’s wolf pack, and towards its much scalier counterpart.  As a result, “Frenemy” was by far the “lizardiest” ((and, yes, I did just make up that word) episode to-date . . .  Keep this up, and we may have to change the series’ name to Teen Kanaima . . .

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Let’s review, shall we?

[As always, special thanks to Andre.  If there was an Academy Award for “Best Screencaps in a Supernatural TV Series,” he’d win it, in a heartbeat.]

We’re off to see the Lizard .  . .

So, remember Jackson’s “boring” solo sex tape?

Well, thanks to Danny and his tech savvy, it just got a lot more interesting . . .

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Of course, Danny doesn’t know that, because he DIDN’T WATCH IT?!

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OK . . . so, you guys are all my friends right, Werebangers?  Good, because I’ve got a confession to make.  If any of you give me a sex tape with you in it, and tell me not to watch it, I’m SOOOO WATCHING IT, ANYWAY.

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I don’t care who you are . . . gay, straight, fat, skinny, animal, vegetable, mineral.  Curiosity will eventually kill the Recapper, and I’ll get to see your junk on the small screen. Sorry, if that makes me a crappy friend.  But I’d counter that it also makes me human.

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See?  He gets it!

The fact that Danny didn’t watch is undoubtedly admirable.  And yet, arguably, also unrealistic . . .

I don’t know, Danny.  For someone who claims he didn’t watch the video, you sure look a heck of a lot like you’re watching it . . . 

Anywhoo, Danny drops the unwatched Paranormal Activity Porn tape off in the trunk of a car, as instructed, and heads out to a nearby nightclub with his conscience clear.  Meanwhile . . .

For all you comic book geeks out there, who just love pitting your favorite superheroes and villains against one another, to see how they’d fare in a fight, this opening sequence was definitely for you.  Kanaima .  . . versus . . . Alpha.  BRING IT ON!

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Then, Papa Argent randomly enters the fray.  Wait!  How did he get there?

And Grandpa Argent . . . and Scott . . . they are both there too.

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Who sent out e-vites to this battle?  It’s like a supernatural flash mob!

Now, of all of these aforementioned warriors, you would think that Grandpa Argent . . .  a.k.a. Mr. “I Cut Bodies In Half for Fun” would be the most bloodthirsty.  But, oddly enough, that’s not the case.  Instead, Not-John McCain and Lizard Thingy just stand around eye f*&king one another, until Scott intervenes, and cock blocks them both.  Weird . . .

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And just like that, the “Second Kanaima” / Master “Friend” of Kanaima betting pool just got one person larger . . .

Elsewhere, in Mushy Gushy Feelings Land . . .

. . . Allison informs Lydia that the reason she can’t tell her why the Really Hot Guy, and his three high-school age minions stalked her /seemed to want her dead is because . . . wait for it . . . she just LOOOOOOOOVES Scott too much.

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I’m with you, Lydia.  It pissed me off too.

A Lizard and a Werewolf walk into a Gay Bar . . .

Elsewhere, Scott and Stiles contemplate why, if Jackson is the Kanaima, he was still paralyzed by his own venom.

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Scott suggests that this is because, when Jackson is Jackson, he isn’t the Kanaima.  Wow!  That’s quite a deeply philosophical thought for the D student.  Color me impressed.

But now’s not the time to talk about ids, egos, and reptilian identity crises.   It’s time to go CLUBBING!  Can I get a fist pump?

Since Lizard Thingys are scent-free, Scott is forced to use another familiar scent to track down Were-Jackson . . . namely, the delectable odor of Best Friend Danny’s Armani cologne.

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Upon entering the club,  “Genius” Scott notices that something is amiss . . .

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Scott might very well be the “Alpha” of his own pack.  But here in Funkytown, it’s Stiles who’s wielding all the power . . .

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. . . that is until that pesky Lizard Thingy has to harsh on Stiles’ game, by literally eliminating all his prospective suitors from the picture.   (Well, that’s ONE way to get your man.)

Danny, who had just recently been making his ex-boyfriend VERY jealous, by grinding up against a hot piece of A, is now down for the count.  See, Danny?  That’s what you get for NOT watching sex tapes.  You brought this on yourself . . .

Oh, and Derek’s at the club too now.

I don’t know, Derek.  If you want to impress the gay guys, I’d probably go with a look that’s a bit more . . . natural . . .

Much better! 

And, suddenly, Jackson’s outside the club . . . back in human form . . . naked. 

My straight-girl Gay Guy Fantasy is now complete.  Well .  . . almost.

Sheriff Stilinski is on the scene now, which leads to an . . . awkward . . . conversation between father and son.  Apparently, Stiles’ dad doesn’t believe he’s gay, because of the way he dresses.

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Small towns lead to small minds, I guess . . . even in otherwise awesome dudes, like Daddy Stilinski.

Now, for the record, I think Stiles is an AWESOME dresser.  He always wears the coolest t-shirts.

But Daddy-o is right about one thing.  Stiles is NOT gay.  Anyone who’s watched the way he reacts to Lydia can see that . . .

Though . . . I guess he could be bi . . .

Anywhoo, Stiles and Scott manage to shove Jackson in the back of a police paddy wagon.  And off they ride into the night . . .

Never trust a man who steals your purse dog .  . .

Did you know Lydia has a “purse dog,” who she named after a company known for its high-quality purses.  Clever right?  But just because Prada is expensively named, doesn’t mean he’s immune to a man with beef jerky in his pockets or a werewolf with the power to mind control dogs, like we saw Scott do in the pilot episode  (Come on!  We all know that’s how he got the dog to run off, right?)

That’s right, Werebangers!  Creepy Dude from Outside the School Shrink’s Office strikes again.  And this time, he’s claiming to be Lydia’s “new neighbor.”   How convenient!

In the words of Gotye, Creepy Dude definitely looks like “Somebody that I Used to Know” . . .

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And as if the connection between Creepy Dude and Uncle Alpha wasn’t obvious enough, his cheesy methods of seduction involve a failed kiss . . .

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 . . . and . . . wait for it . . . a gift of wolfsbane . . .

The question is, what are Creepy Dude’s motives for wanting Lydia to carry wolfsbane around with her at all times.  Is it for protection from Derek’s pack?  Is the wolfsbane what keeps Lydia immune from the Kanaima’s venom?  Or does Creepy Dude have a more sinister reason for wanting to get under the red head’s skin.

Then again, he could always just be a horny teen looking to get laid . . .

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Up close and personal . . .

Over in Argent land, Grandpoppy suggests that the Kanaima could be useful in culling out, and eventually killing Derek and his Wolf Pack.

At first blush, I’d say that this really isn’t such a bright idea.  After all, the Devil You Know is always safer than the Devil you don’t.  And this Kanaima sure does seem a lot more dangerous and deadly than broody Derek and his pitiful wolf pups.  Unless, of course, the Kanaima IS the Devil that Grandpoppy knows better.  Once again, the notion that Grandpa Argent is somehow connected to the Kanaima is dangled tantalizingly in front of us fans . . .

Elsewhere, even though Jackson is technically Stiles’ hostage, that doesn’t mean he can’t be a good host, right.  After slipping Jackson into a pair of pants, while he was passed out (Now, THAT’S a deleted scene I hope they put on the DVD), Stiles kindly offers Jackson some gas station sandwiches and scintillating conversation . . .

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 . . . but no bathroom, which, after the sandwiches, could be a real problem . . .

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Speaking of Stiles’ hostage hosting skills, he’s even gone to the trouble of texting Jackson’s adoptive parents from his cell phone to let them know he’s OK.

This, of course, ends up backfiring big time, because Jackson never says anything nice to his parents . . . or anyone for that matter . . .  by text or otherwise.  So, now, Jackson’s dad is super suspicious, and decides to go to the cops.

Over at school, Principal Not-John McCain creepily fondles his granddaughter’s neck to determine if she’s lying about the missing Jackson’s whereabouts.  I bet he does that with all the girls . . .

“My, Allison what big boobs neck muscles you have!” 

How convenient that the Argents, despite having just moved into town a few months ago,  have such an influence on the Beacon Hills public school system.  Within a day, Grandpa has installed video cameras all over the school.  And I bet you will never guess who he hired as Allison’s new substitute teacher . . .

Out of all the Argents, I still think this one is the scariest of them all . . .

Oddly enough, like Principal Not John McCain, Mama Argent seems to be working at the school for no other reason than to torture Allison.  After class, Mama Argent praises her daughter for being “strong” and staying away from Scott.

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But Allison isn’t fooled, what might sound like praise coming from normal moms, is clearly a threat coming from this one.  In other words, “stop dating Scott, or he dies.”

Nothing much new here.  Though it did make me giggle a bit, when Mama Argent cleverly noted that Allison was exchanging quite a few text messages with “The Odd One” a.k.a. This Guy . . .

Speaking of Stiles, it seems his hostage-taking skills leave a bit to be desired.  For one thing, he’s forgotten about a little thing called “GPS” that police can use to TRACK THE CELL PHONES OF MISSING PEOPLE.

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Ruh-roh!

Speaking of technology, remember that sex tape that Danny shoved into the trunk of a car unwatched?  Well, feel free to check for it on YouTube next week because it’s GONE!

It’s not easy being green . . .

Outside the paddy wagon, Stiles, Scott and Allison argue over how next to proceed.  Arguing for the “Let’s not kill, Jackson” side is Scott, champion of all supernatural creatures, who wonders, as many fans have postulated, whether the Kanaima might only be target “bad people”  . . . like killers . . . and stuff.

But Stiles, who’s personally felt the wrath of the Kanaima on more than one occasion, is all, “Nah . . . he’s evil.  Let’s kill him!”

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Funny how quickly your tune changes, when you find out the Kanaima isn’t the hot red-head you LOOOVE, but, rather, the jock douchebag you hate, isn’t it Stiles?

Loyal Wolf Pup Scott isn’t convinced, however.   He claims that his Scooby Gang should feel obligated to save Jackson because nobody else likes him enough to do it for them (well . . . except maybe Danny).

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 Jackson overhears this, and gets depressed.  Cue the Single Manly Tear!

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Then, Stiles heads off to chat with Lydia, so that the two lovebirds can make out some more.  We’re treated to a “scintillating” conversation about how Allison wants to be with Scott FOREVVEEERRRR, despite the fact that they are only sophomores (?), and the fact that with Scott’s grades, he might not actually graduate high school until he’s 55.  More nuzzling and smooching ensue . . .

Gag!  Puke!  BLEEEHHH!

I don’t know.  Usually, I’m such a goopy girl romantic.  And Allison has really been growing on me as a character these past few weeks.  But there’s something about these two together that just bores me to tears.  Does anyone else feel the same way?

The only interesting part of this conversation, was the suggestion that perhaps Lydia’s “immunity” to werewolf bites could be used to cure Scott of his “condition.”  Well, they may have squeeze it out of her first . . .

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Wait,  I lied.  There was another interesting part of this conversation.  It was the one where Scott and Allison started boning.  And Jackson used that opportunity to turn into the Kanaima and escape.  Serves those horndogs right!

Now, completely out of options, Stiles decides to come clean to his dad about the town’s little “supernatural problem.”  Scott and his yellow eyes tag along to help make Stiles’ story a bit more “credible.”  Unfortunately, by the time they arrive at the sheriff’s office, a very smug looking “human” Jackson is already there with his lawyer dad.  And they’re ready to sue!

You know, because lawyers and law suits are so much scarier than getting your face ripped apart by a lizard thingy . . .

Allison’s ready to come clean to her parents too.  But before she can, she runs into Lydia, who, understandably, is desperate for answers.

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She’s also conveniently fluent in Archaic Latin.  It’s time to break out that trusty old Bestiary again . . .

Here’s an interesting twist.  Either that school counselor chick really sucks at Latin . . .

. . . or she’s hiding something, because her translation of the piece about the Kanaima was missing one very important piece of information.  Accoring to Lydia, the Kanaima isn’t looking for a “friend,” it’s looking for a “MASTER” to control it . . .

Ahh . . . the plot . . . it thickens!  Until next time, Werebangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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The Graveyard Shift – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Omega” and “Shape Shifted”

[I didn’t forget about you, my Pretties!  A recap for Pretty Little Liars’ “It Happened That Night” should be up within the next 24-hours.  I promise to try and make it extra special snarky, and screencappy, so that (hopefully) it will be worth the wait.]

 

Welcome back, Werebangers!  With a brand new, more than a bit porn-y, opening sequence . . .

. . .  and a slew of new characters on both sides of the werewolf / hunter divide, Teen Wolf’s actors and writers have promised that this season will be sexier, darker, gorier, and more frightening than the last. So, of course, this begs the question:  Did the first two episodes deliver?

Let’s review, shall we?

(As always, I’d like to offer a hearty were-banging thank you to my good pal Andre, for the awesome screencaps you see here . . . particularly the shirtless ones. ;))

-OMEGA-

Slippery When Wet

Jackson waits, while a school of female fish shove dollar bills in his underpants.

One thing can be said for the writers of Teen Wolf . . . they sure do know their audience.  Opening the episode with a wet, ripped-shirted Jackson, emerging from a river, in all his rippling pectoral glory, was an absolutely ingenious move.

 “Here’s the bite that I knew was there all along, but I’m going to pretend to be surprised about, so that you can look at my arm muscles, while I flex.”

In fact, I bet 98% of viewers were so aroused by the sight, they completely failed to realize that it had no significance to the plot, whatsoever.  Then again, lizards / shapeshifters enjoy the water . . . Like I said . . . brilliant.

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You know what was slightly less brilliant?  This . .  .

“Weeeeeeeeeee!”

Scott Receives an Ultimatum / Gets the Runs

Poor Scott!  Only you (and some REALLY bad CGI graphics) can make the sight of a wolf-in-heat, rushing to hump his prime mate,  look like a constipated crab on acid.

“Doh!”

On one hand, I truly appreciated the effort the producers put into this scene.  It would have been much easier for them to go with the tried and true “Superman Effect,” in attempting to illustrate that Scott . . . um . . . runs fast, now that he’s lupine.  But we’ve all seen that before.  I can guarantee that you’ve never seen this.  So, it was something new . . . new and unintentionally hilarious.  But new, nonetheless.

We interuppt this Constipated Crab Moment to bring you a flashback  . .  one that presumably takes place in the not-too-distant past, but definitely after the events of the season finale.  Scott and Alli are hard at work sucking face in Alli’s car.  (At least, I think it’s Alli’s.  Scott still doesn’t have his own wheels, right?)

ALLISON” “Uh, Scott?  I don’t know how to tell you this, but you kind of have dog breath.”

SCOTT:  “Sorry.  I ate a squirrel on the way over here.”

All of the suddden, Papa Arent rips Scott out of the car by his shirt, and pins him violently against the hood of the car, pressing the barrel of a gun right into his skin.

Foreplay?

My first instinct was to think that this was a really dumb move on Daddy’s part.  After all, threatening a horny werewolf like that is the surest way of getting your cajones chewed off.  Then, I remembered that getting Scott to lash out is precisely Papa Argent’s modus operandi, just as it was with Derek, last season . . .

“Make . . . my . . . day . . . White Fang!”

One show of fang from Scott, would be all it took to permit Daddy to blow the former’s brain’s out under his so called “Argent Family Code of Honor.”  But, Code or no Code, having a gun in your face, or in the face of your boyfriend .  .  . well .  . . it kind of sucks.  And I suspect it’s that generalized suckiness that prompts Allison to tearfully cut a deal with her father, while remind the latter that this not-so big, not-all-that-bad, wolf had actually saved both father and daughter’s life, in the not-so-distant past.

“I’ll never see [Scott] again,” promises the girl who goes to school with Scott, has a locker fairly close to his, and even, if I recall correctly, shares a couple of classes with him.

Papa Argent relucantly agrees to this compromise.  (Papa Argent is kind of a moron . . . but hot, in that scruffy, middle-aged, Poor Man’s George Clooney-kind-of-way.)  Once Daddy-o is safely out of the picture, Scott andd Allison share an angsty hug on the roof of the car, as Allison tries to politely ignore the fact that Scott recently peed himself . . .

Back in Present Day, Scott and his goofy crab legs sneak into Allison’s bedroom windo wfor an impromptu sex session.  (Well,  that didn’t take long .  . . and I mean that in more ways than one.)

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m all for watching attractive people hump one another on my television screen.  Who isn’t?

On the other hand, I feel like we get scenes like this, between Scott and Allison just about every other episode.  Not to mention the fact that THEY ALWAYS LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME!  The same location . . . (Allison’s room / bed) . . .  the same fumbling awkwardness to the tune of blaring pop music . . . the same . . .  choreography.  In fact, you could probably cut and paste any Sallison sex scene from any episode, into another episode, without anyone being any the wiser.

From Season 1 

Now, I get that, as far as teen sex goes, monotony and awkwardness, is actually rather realistic.  I just kind of wish that these two would change things up every once in a while . . . you know .  . . for the fans!  For example, have sex in Scott’s house sometimes (His mom DOES work the night shift at the hospital,  after all.), try out a couple of different sexual positions (doggy style?), some rap music (Snoop Dog), a little role playing (Little Red Riding Hood), maybe even some fun costumes (dog collar).

In the couple’s defense, they do happen to be kind of pressed for time.  Not two minutes into the pop song, Mama Argent comes back for where ever the heck she was prior to this moment, and barges into Allison’s room.

SCOTT:  “Do you think we should . . .  I don’t know . . . like invite her to join in?”

ALLISON: “Scott, that’s my MOM!”

SCOTT: “I know.  But I don’t want to be rude!”

To say Mommy Dearest is suspicious of her daughter’s recent behavior is the understatement of the century.

That Mama Argent . . . she sure is one scary b*tch.  From her severe, woman-discharged-from-the-Marines-for-beating-up-her-comrades haircut, to her monotone voice, to those big alien eyes, to the way she not-so-subtly thrashes about Allison’s room opening closets, peeking under beds, and just barely failing to locate the naked Scott, now-hiding on the rooftop . . .

Best Christmas Decoration EVER! 

 . . . I’m pretty sure this was the most frightening scene in the entire episode.  And if you recall, this was an episode where SOME GUY GOT CHOPPED IN HALF!

Nevertheless, Scott somehow manages to escape from the Argent household undetected by the parental units.   He always does!

Meanwhile, over in the hospital . . .

It could have been worse.  She could have opted for a bath . . .

It’s safe to say that less than a week has passed since the events of last season’s finale . . . otherwise, Stiles REALLY needs a shower.  According to Scott’s mom, my loveable little Yoda man has spent every waking minute (and more than a few sleeping ones) holding vigil at Lydia’s hospital bedside, as she recovers from the unfortunate “Alpha Mauling” she suffered, during her prom.

We find our hero, dozing on an uncomfortable chair, and engaging in a rather naughty conversation with some dream girl . . . or maybe boy.

“Oh Derek! You look so good wearing my t-shirt.  Now take it off.” 

“You’re SO dirty,” a sleeping Stiles muses, as a smile creeps across his lips.  “You first.  No, me first?  Well . . .”

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Needless to say, I would PAY to get inside that dream sequence.  As a groggy Stiles awakens to hit the vending machine, we turn our attention to Lydia, who rudely (but wisely . . . we all know what 75% of the parents are like on this show) rejects her father’s offer to help her into the shower.  As our heroine lathers herself,  we notice that the water beneath her feet is becoming increasingly tinged with black goo.  Not cool at all!

Rather than stepping out of the dirty shower and calling an attendant, like most normal people would do in this situation, “self-sufficient” Lydia decides to play plumber, digging into the disgusting drain with her bare hands.  Now, the black water is almost up to her knees.  She brings her hands upward to find piles and piles of  . . . HAIR.  Lydia cries in disgust, but she still doesn’t get out of the tub until SOME DEAD GUYS HAND GRABS AT HER FROM THE DRAIN . . .

Need a hand? 

Cue the screaming . . .

I find it interesting that everyone on the show, including Stiles and Scott (who at this point is miles away) recognizes Lydia’s trademark screams.  Stiles promptly abandons his happy reunion with the Reeses Pieces he freed from that stubborn vending machine, and rushes to his lady love’s side.  But when he and the doctor’s arrive . .  . wait for it . . . she’s gone!  Oh, and the water is sparkling clean and hair free.  Go figure!

Oh, P.S., in her haste to escape the Evil Man Hand, Lydia forgot something very important . . . her clothes.   Way to go, Lady Godiva!

Always the smartest kid in the room, Stiles cleverly snags Lydia’s hospital gown, so that his doggy friend can track down her scent.  Yoda then promptly reunites with Allison the Werewolf Slayer and Teen Wolf,  in hopes of finding Lydia before the Argents do.  The image of  Scott riding with his head out the window like a Golden Retriever, sniffing the wind, will likely stay etched in my memory forever.  In fact, I think it’s some of the best acting we’ve seen Tyler Posey do, since this show started.  No joke.

“It’s hard to smell Lydia in the middle of all this gasoline and roadkill.” 

Meanwhile, over at Kate Argent’s grave . . .

Pet Cemetery

Some teenager is operating a crane to dig the hole in the ground that will eventually include the body of Kate Argent.  We know this teenager is important, because he’s attractive.  And no attractive faces go to waste on this show.  (By the way, what kind of cemetery hires a 16-year old to operate heavy machinery like that in the middle of the night?  That’s just bad for business.)

“Child labor laws are for wimps.  My little brother delivers newspapers in his diapers.” 

Random Teen Who We Don’t Know Yet, hears a gross munching sound, and finds a werewolf munching on the liver of one of the deceased.

The werewolf notices the teen, and easily upends the crane.  Now, Random Teen We Don’t Know Yet is stuck under a crane in the grave he just dug for Kate Argent, just waiting to be eaten.  But worry not, Random Teen!  Derek is here to rescue you!

This almost makes getting buried alive worth it . . . 

Just hanging out . . .

Elsewhere, Scott’s cute little doggy nose has led his search party to the area outside Derek’s house, sight of . . . well . . . pretty much every bad thing that’s ever happened on this show ever . . . Then again, it’s also where we first got to see this . . .

Stiles finds something he thinks might be a clue.   “Hey!  Is this a trip wire?”  He exclaims excitedly.

And Stiles is supposed to be the Smart One . . . 

Whoops!  Next thing you know, Scott’s hanging from a tree.  Thus, proving that even Yoda makes mistakes.  The Argent hunters arrive shortly thereafter, and some threatening words are exchanged between Scott and Papa Argent.  The latter intimates that he suspects Lydia of being a newly turned werewolf, and if he finds her, he’ll chop her body in half.  What a swell guy!

 I actually think Lydia’s not a wolf, but, rather, a Banshee Death Alarm.  But hey, what do I know?

Jackson’s “Time of the Month”

The following morning, the cops are on the lookout for Lydia and the graverobber who attacked Random Teen and ate some corpse’s liver at a cemetery.  (Could the two be one in the same?)  Stiles dad the Sheriff (Remember him?)  questions Random Teen along with his father, a.k.a. The Guy who played Mitch Leery on Dawson’s Creek.  I swear, Dawson’s dad hasn’t aged a day.  He must be a vampire.

Or the Flash . . . same difference. 

Derek approaches Jackson for help finding Lydia, since (1) the three of them are presumably all part of the same were pack now; and (2) well, Jackson DID date the girl, after all.  But Jackson has no interest in becoming part of any pack OR helping his ex girlfriend not be chopped in half.  Jackson is clearly a total sociopath . . . one who’s mean to homeless hippy werewolves.

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He’s also bleeding profusely out of his nose and ears . . . black blood . . . kind of like the stuff Lydia found in her shower.

Ease up on the coke . . . man.

Some might say that getting a female period in your nose is the price you pay for being an asshat.  But Derek clearly has a bigger heart than I do.  He looks legitimately worried for Jackson, when he tells the latter that the excessive bleeding is a sign that his body is rejecting the werewolf bite.

Your face may be all f*&ked up.  But you’re ass is clearly open for business.”

This, of course, begs two questions: (1) Why is Jackson’s body rejecting the bite, when Scott’s didn’t?  (Is it simply because there’s still wolfsbane in his system, or is there a more interesting reason, like, for example something in Jackson’s lineage?), and (2) What are the repercussions of this for Jackson?  (Will he die?  Will he eventually turn into the so-called “Abomination” hinted at in the trailers for this season?  Will he need to constantly have tampons hanging out of his nose?)

Four Maulings and a Funeral

Back at school, we are reunited with some old characters . . . like that Creepy Chemistry Teacher everyone used to think was the Alpha, who REALLY has it in for Stiles, after the latter’s father tried to peg him for murder  . . .

No reason for this picture.  I just wanted to share with you the awesomeness that is Stiles’ t-shirt . . . and this is coming from someone who doesn’t ever want to have kids . . . 

. . . and everyone’s favorite Crackpot Lacrosse Coach .  . .

Separated at birth? 

We are also introduced to some new characters, like the weird (but, of course, still attractive) guy with the camera, who seems to have a real hard-on for Allison.  (Doesn’t everybody on this show?)

“I fulfill the show’s emo quotient.  I also might be a shapeshifter who takes pictures of people and thinks so I can assume their forms at a later time.

There’s also a sweet scene in which Scott comforts a distraught Allison, as she prepares to attend her aunt’s funeral . . . you know . . . if you are into that sort of thing . . .

. .  . sweet scenes, I mean, not funerals  . . . though, of course, you might be into those too.

At Kate’s funeral, the press and that creepy camera guy are all hounding the Argents.  Then this old  guy comes and breaks creepy camera guy’s film cartridge, after the former snaps some pictures of Allison.

“Dammit.  I knew I should have used my iPhone instead.” 

Turns out, this is her grandpa, and he’s one scary dude.  In fact, Grandpa Argent and his Crazy Eyes make Papa Argent look like Big Bird by comparison (Not Mama Argent though . . .  she’s still the scariest.)

Stiles and Scott watch these events unfold before them, as the pair hide behind and old gravestone.  Always trying to keep things positive,  Stiles suggests that possibly Gramps and the rest of the Argents are just here for the funeral.  But Scott knows better.  “They are reinforcements,” he says glumly.

“You know, Stiles’ dad is kinda buff.  Maybe’ HE’S the lizard.” 

Then Stiles’ dad finds the scheming pair, and drags them back to a squad car.  They aren’t there long though.  A call comes in about someone attack an ambulance and eating it’s already dead passenger.  Stiles and Scott, of course, immediately assume it’s Lydia doing the eating.  How rude!

As soon as the two can get away, they form their own search party in the woods.  “Just find her,” pleads Stiles, in regard to his lady love.  (Sigh!)

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Shortly thereafter, Scott smells wolf and takes off in the direction of the stench.  Turns out, it’s not Lydia at all.   It’s that dirty hippie wolf who’s been eating all the dead people.  Go figure!  The two tussle, but Scott eventually loses sight of the guy, until that is, the latter gets tripped up by, you guessed it, another trip wire.

Worst . . . gig . . . ever .  . . 

Enter the Argent Family . . .

He didn’t really need those pesky legs anyway . . .

Grandpa Argent has a big f*&king sword . . . I’m talking Medieval, Game of Thrones sh*t here.  As he waves around his surrogate weiner, Gramps waxes poetic about Omega wolves, who, for whatever reason, lack pack affiliation, and therefore are weak, and easily killed.  Dirty Hippie Wolf tries in vain to defend himself.  He was just looking for the Alpha, he swears!  He didn’t hurt anyone living . . . and therefore never ran afoul of the Argent’s precious Code.

Too bad for Wolfie, that Gramps doesn’t need no stinking Codes.  He slices through Dirty Hippie Wolf’s bottom half like it’s butter.  There’s this creepy moment where the wolf looks down at his now half-body with fascination, before bleeding to death.

“This is SO COOL!  Oh wait . . . no it’s not.  They cut off my balls too.” 

Scott, who’s watching from a distance is understandably horrified.

“Derek, this is really not the time to get handsy.”

Fortunately, Alpha Derek has arrived to comfort him . . . and give him a big ole man hug . . . which probably would have been a lot more appreciated, if he had actually lifted a finger to save Dirty Hippie Wolf.  He didn’t.  But hey.  You can’t blame a guy for wanting to literally save his own balls from being dismembered from the rest of his body.

Never one to give up a good teaching moment, Alpha Derek chooses this inopportune moment to remind Scott why it’s a REALLY good idea to be part of pack, if you don’t want to lose your legs.  “Look at them.   This is what they do,” Derek says fiercely, forcing Scott to look at the bloody corpse.  “This is a declaration of war.”

Apparently Gramps thinks so too, as he tells an admittedly freaked out Papa Argent, in no uncertain terms that the “Code” ceased to exist the minute Kate Argent croaked.  Weak wolves, new wolves, pansy wolves, naked chicks running around in the forest, Gramps wants to cut them all in half, just because he can.

“We’ll find them, and we’ll kill them.  We’ll kill them all,” Gramps declares ominously.

Elsewhere, a naked Lydia emerges from the forest looking for a coat.

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Stiles has never been so jealous of a coat in his life . . .

-SHAPE SHIFTED –

Nice knowing ya, Dawson’s Creek Dad (except . . . not really)

Now we’re at Random Teen’s house.  (I told you this guy was important.)  Apparently, his name is Issac and he’s getting a D in chemistry.  That’s all we know about the character at this point.  Oh yeah, and did I mention his dad’s a psychopath?

 As far as depictions of domestic abuse go, this one is pretty top notch.  You can feel the tension in Isaac’s body as he carefully evades his father’s seemingly harmless questions about his grades, like a soldier navigating his way through a field covered with landmines.  And man, is Dawson Leery’s dad terrifying . . . Sure, he’s saying all the right things . . . encouraging his son to be honest, and telling him it’s OK that his grades aren’t up to par.  But just below the surface there’s an undercurrent of viciousness, a killer’s instinct.  When Bad Dad starts tossing plates at his son, we know immediately that this is far from the first time.

“Dawson would never put up with this sh*t.” 

Then again, it IS probably the first time that Isaac has been able to HEAL himself from his father’s abuses.   That’s right boys and girls.  We have a new werewolf!

Upon realizing what has just occurred, Isaac escapes on his bike, with Bad Dad in hot pursuit.  Part of me was waiting for the character to get into a car accident, because he dropped his ice cream cone on the front seat of the car, and bent down, like a total moron to pick it up . . . which, some of you might recall is precisely how Bad Dad’s Alter Ego, Mitch Leery bit it on Dawson’s Creek.

But Bad Dad’s fate is much worse.  When he emerges from the car, he learns that something is watching him . . . and that something is definitely not a werewolf.

He kind of looks like This Guy . . .

 Does the fact that I cheered just a little bit when that Lizardy Thing mauled Bad Dad in his car make me a bad person?  That’s what you get for abusing hot twenty-somethings posing as teens . . . and, of course, spawning that turd, Dawson Leery . . .

New wolf Isaac rushes to his Alpha Derek for help, swearing up and down that he didn’t kill his father . . . though clearly, he can’t be too overwrought that the douchebag is dead.

Well, that’s one way to get a job, during the recession . . .

Elsewhere, Scott and Allison are making out again.  Snore . . .

Oddly enough, I’m much more interested in what Allison’s parental units are doing on their so-called date night.  Here’s a hint, it involves kidnapping Allison’s principal and sticking massively large guns in his face, until he promises to resign from his post.

“Coincidentally, this is also the size of my secret weiner.” 

Watch out Beacon Hills High!  Principal Gramps is coming to get you!

But she lost NINE POUNDS!

Poor Lydia.  Being known as “That Naked Chick” who ran around in the woods for a weekend isn’t exactly garnering her the popularity she thinks she deserves .  . . even though she did lose nine pounds!  (Banshee diet, I guess.)

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Her ex-boyfriend Jackson isn’t exactly offering her comfort either.  The asshat basically tells her that if he had it to do over again, he wouldn’t save her life.

Oh, and P.S., she should watch out for the Full Moon.  It’s not exactly a scene out of Lydia’s favorite movie, The Notebook.

Scratch and Sniff Lacrosse

Speaking of Full Moon preparations, Stiles knows exactly how to handle Scott’s “time of month” this time around . . .

Fifty Shades of Stiles?

Too bad it makes him look like an S&M fetishist in front of his coach . . .

In the locker room, Scott smells something aside from the usual B.O., dirt, and aftershave.  There’s another wolf on the premises.  The question is who?  Scott has a plan to figure it out,  one that involves playing goalie turning team practice, and rushing out of the goal to tackle and SNIFF all his teammates, until he finds the one that smells like dog.

Needless to say this is probably my favorite scene in the entire episode.

Coach Crackpot quickly asked Stiles what was wrong with his friend .  . .

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Weird Camera Guy passed the Scratch and Sniff test with flying colors.  As did Danny, who got bonus points for smelling awesome.  “It’s Armani . . . my cologne,” Danny exclaims proudly, as Scott fights off the urge to make love to him right there on the Lacrosse field.  (It’s the one time during this episode that I wished MTV had smellovision.)

Jackson noteably escaped from practice, before Scott could smell him, probably because he worried about what the latter might find in his scent . . .  wolf?   death?  Or something much worse?

Eventually, it’s Isaac’s turn to square off with Scott.  Cue the matching colored contacts.  It’s like love at first were-bite.  “Please don’t tell anyone,” Isaac pleads.

Unfortunately, this conversation is cut short by the cops, who take Isaac in for questioning about his dead dad.  Scott knows full well that the idea of a brand new wolf locked in a not particularly well-secured holding cell during a full moon isn’t good for anyone.  “You know how I said I no longer have the urge to kill?”  Scott muses to Stiles.  “He does,” Scott said of Isaac.

It was an interesting moment, one that intrigued me quite a bit about Isaac’s character, and what type of wolf he will become.  Clearly, this is someone who’s been abused and beaten down, emotionally and physically all his life.  That kind of persistent torture makes you feel weak and powerless.  It makes you vie for an escape, some avenue of control in your life.  Derek likely saw this in Isaac, and knew that, as a result, he would be amenable to undergoing the transformation.

Yet, Derek’s decision to turn Isaac might not have been completely altruistic  After all, he’s a packmaster at war, now.  And to fight a war, you need good soldiers.  I suspect that Derek also saw in Isaac exactly what Scott is seeing now . . . an untenable rage, bubbling just beneath the surface.  That rage could make Isaac an excellent warrior.  But it also makes him a potential loose cannon.

Nevertheless, Scott clearly feels a kinship with Isaac, that goes beyond mere pack membership.  He sees him as a man who’s been wrongly accused.  And he wants to help him, by breaking him out of the pokey . . . which, of course, means Stiles has to help him too.

Teen Wolf and Yoda to the Rescue

Back at school Stiles’ Sheriff dad is questioning Jackson, who also happens to be Isaac’s next-door neighbor.  Jackson callously admits that he knew Isaac was a victim of abuse, but that this was “not his problem.”

Ugh!  Jackson, you suck!  I don’t care how good you look in a wet t-shirt.  I hope your nose and ear bleed travels to your ass . . .

Back in chemistry class, Scott and Stiles are desperate to know what Jackson is telling the police about Isaac.  And the best way to figure that out is an impromptu trip to the principal’s office  . . .

Of course, Scott and Stiles haven’t yet been informed about the new principal at their school, but they are about to find out . . .

Principal Gramps clearly has done his homework on these too, especially Scott, who he notes is Allison’s “ex-boyfriend.”  It seems pretty obvious that Gramps knows Scott’s a wolf.  And yet, he doesn’t immediately chop him in half, like he did the Hippie Wolf.  The question is why.  I’m thinking it’s because he has bigger plans for Scott . . . plans that might just involve using him to locate the rest of his pack.

Ever the loyal friend, Stiles opts to take one for the team, by stewing in detention, while Scott dashes off to rescue Isaac, who has just been carted off to jail, just as he predicted.  Of course, Derek magically appears at this moment, to help with the “war effort.”  With his leather jacket, and dark glasses, Derek kind of looks like The Terminator . . . only hot  . . . and without the Austrian accent.

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Derek has something to show Scott . . . something that could seriously hurt Isaac’s murder defense, if the cops find it . . .

Elsewhere . . .

The Most Boring Sex Tape Ever

Jackson gets Weird Camera guy to lend him a video camera for 100 bucks so that he can make a solo sex tape.  Just kidding.  He wants to videotape his werewolf transformation.  He flexes for the camera a few times, before heading to sleep.  And that’s all that the camera catches . . . eight hours of Jackson . . . alone . . . in bed.

Needless to say, this tape won’t get as many hits on YouTube as the one Kim Kardashian made.

So, it appears Jackson is still 100% Grade A douchebag human . . . or is he?

The House of Hor-weres

The minute Derek alluded to Isaac having a worse motive to kill his father than run-of-the-mill battery, I thought the kid might have been sexually abused.  The writers don’t necessarily go that far with the character.  However, we do get to see Isaac’s dad’s unique idea of punishment, which, apparently, involved locking his son, in an icebox for extended period’s of time.  Oddly enough, this gives Scott an idea . . .

Back at the Argent’s, Gramps and Papa are also discussing Isaac’s case, and whether or not they have enough proof to chop him in half.  Allison tries to listen in, but they shut the door in her face, in a very Godfather-esque way.  Allison does learn part of her family’s plan however.  It involves a sheriff taking wolfsbane into Isaac’s cell, enough of which will kill him.

You know, I like you a lot better, when your tongue isn’t permanently attached to my best friend’s face.”

Allison calls Stiles (Nice to see these two teaming up for a change.), and together they devise a plan . . .

Those Meddling kids

You remember last season how solid Alli was with a crossbow, right?  Well,  this week she uses those skills to put a flat tire in the wolfsbane carrying cop’s car, and to shoot him in the leg.  I’ve never really been an Allison fan.  But even I’ve got to admit that’s pretty bad ass.

Gives new meaning to the term “woody.”

Allison then heads to Isaac’s house (Isn’t that a crime scene?  How are all these people just entering and leaving it, willy nilly?), while Stiles bounds off to jail to somehow save Isaac,  who’s undergoing his first wolf transformation, as we speak.

In the basement of Isaac’s house, Derek again pitches his “Be All That You Can Be In My Pack” speech to Scott, who lectures his new packmaster on his seeming need to turn every lost soul in Beacon Hills into a werewolf, without properly informing them of the risks.  “I can make you a better werewolf.  I can teach you to use ALL your senses . . . not just your nose,” Derek teases his new pal, before heading off to the jail, himself.

Enter Allison.  She and Scott share some kisses and more angst, before Scott finally convinces her to lock him in the icebox during his transformation.  She hesitates, but ultimately obeys.  Moments later, that THING arrives.  It’s the same one that killed Not-Mitch Leery.  It sidles toward Allison, and she screams, grabbing her teeny tiny knife for protection.  (Where’s her crossbow?)

Scott hears her terror, and breaks out of his icebox, half-wolfed out, just in time to see the THING sprout lizard legs,  crawl on the ceiling and exit stage left.

“What the heck is that?” We wonder.  My pal Andre has an idea.

Of course, the more pressing question, for purposes of the show, anyway, is WHO is that?  My early money is on Creepy Camera Guy, (1) because he already seems kind of obsessed with Allison; (2) because he’s on the same lacrosse team as Isaac, and probably knew about his home situation; and (3) because his appearance thus far in the series has been totally random and seemingly useless.  (I mean, honestly, couldn’t Jackson have bought his own camera?)

Anyway, that’s my theory.  What’s yours?

My Hero!

Meanwhile, at the jail, Derek and Stiles are shamelessly flirting with one another.  Derek brags that he can easily distract the female guard with his hotness, while Stiles rescues Isaac.   Stiles watches Derek charm the pants off of the lady cop, clearly jealous . . . though it is uncertain whether it’s Derek or the cop that are earning most of his jealousy.

“That boy is such a tease.  I’m not letting him borrow my shirts anymore.   That’s for sure.  Fool me once, big guy!”

By the time Stiles gets to Isaac’s cell, two important things have happened (1) Wolf Isaac broke out of his cage; (2) Limpy, the wolfsbane carrying cop, who Allison shot, has returned to the jail.  Isaac promptly attacks and disarms him, before turning his attention on a now-scared sh*tless Stiles.  Worry not though, it’s Derek and his ruby eyes to the rescue.

All he has to do is show his teeth to Wolf Isaac, and the latter starts cowering in the corner.   “How did you do that?” Stiles asks, breathlessly, passion in his eyes.  (Yes, I know I’m laying it on thick. ;))

“I’m the Alpha,” Derek says confidentally,  before exiting stage left.

I’m not sure if it’s that simple though . . . One could argue that Isaac submitted to Derek’s will, not because Derek is the Alpha, but because Isaac instinctively fears abuse from his parental figures.  Would Scott have yielded in this situation?  Or Jackson?  Or Lydia?  Only time will tell . . .

Stiles’ dad enters the jail, just in time to find Stiles standing awkwardly in a room filled with one unconscious werewolf, and one unconscious sheriff.  “He did it,” Stiles exclaims adorably, pointing at Isaac.

It’s a brilliantly understated ending to a well-written pair of premiere episodes.  Don’t you think?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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What’s hiding under YOUR hood? – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars “CTRL A”

“Now, what date would be so important to Caleb that it would merit an explanation point . . . I wonder . . .”

“OHHHH!”

Greetings, my Pretties!  This week on PLL, a lame secret was revealed, computers were remotely hacked,  a deal was struck, a crisis was averted, and a single doobie, once again, possessed the power to ruin an entire relationship.  (Don’t do drugs, kiddies!)  So, fire up your laptops, and smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, because it’s time to  “CTRL A” . . .

Swimming with Sharks

Thanks to shopaholic blackmailer / hacker Mona, Emily Fields is back in the pool.  This, of course, is great news for Emily and her swim team, but, perhaps, not such great news for her lady love, Maya, who’s starting to feel a wee bit left out of the fun.

“This is super uncomfortable.  I could really go for a joint, right about now .  . .”

Elsewhere, Techno Boy Toy Caleb finds himself in some hot water, when the police impound his laptop, on suspicion of it containing stolen school files on it.  You know, like the ones Mona accessed from the principal’s office, last week.  Golly gee, this wouldn’t have anything to do with the time Caleb fell asleep at school, and, like a moron, left his laptop out in the open, and ripe for the taking, now would it?  A smug and unfazed Caleb calmly proclaims his innocence, confident that no hack Police Boy is going to be able to crack the enigma that is his computer.

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Girlfriend, Hanna, however, is FRACKING FREAKING OUT.  She’s been through this with “A” and the Rosewood PD many times before.  And she knows that, as good as Caleb might be with computer hacking, “A” might just be a teeny tiny bit better . . .

Caleb tries to calm Hanna down, while simultaneously turning her on, by using sexy computer lingo like HOTSPOT, INTERFACING, and FIREWALL.

And though titilated by her boyfriend’s Dirty Nerd Talk, Hanna wishes to get down to business . . . and not in a fun way either.  Instantly suspecting that “A” has compromised Caleb’s harddrive by hiding incriminating material on it without Caleb’s knowledge, Hanna suggests he remotely hack the laptop, and erase the files in question, before the Useless Rosewood PD can find them.

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Caleb agrees, and some intimate discussions regarding Caleb’s computer passwords and logins ensue.  Unfortunately, however, Caleb can’t successfully hack his computer, while the police are keeping it offline.  Inconvenienced, but not defeated, Caleb decides to explore Hanna’s hotspots, instead . . .

The first rule of Fight Club, is don’t have a heart attack while in Fight Club . . .

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Some secrets are better kept as secrets, because the mystery is sexier than the reality.  Beard Boy Holden’s secret is definitely one of those secrets.  Like Lucas and his “big bad bookie problem,” before him, Holden joins the ranks of characters on PLL who’s plotlines ended up being MAJOR letdowns.  That’s right, my Pretties.  After all our jokes about Holden having bruises on his stomach, because he’s in Fight club, that’s exactly what he ended up being in.  Except, rather than being in an edgy, get-your-teeth-knocked-out-by-Ed-Norton-who-thinks-he’s-Brad-Pitt kind of Fight Club, Holden’s fight club looks a lot like your six-year old nephew’s karate class . . .

“Can we celebrate my victory with a McDonalds Happy Meal?” 

Relieved that her fake boyfriend isn’t the Drug Lord she suspected he was, Aria agrees to keep her fake date with him in Philly that night.  This way, Holden can attend his snoozeville super important fighting tournament, and Aria can eat French Vegan food with Fitzy, while the two discuss “their future.”

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Will everyone’s favorite English Teacher take Byron’s bait, thereby allowing himself to be shipped away to the land of Mardi Gras, and ladies who take their shirts off for plastic 50-cent necklaces?

Only time will tell . . .

Prior to her fake date, Aria’s mom not-so-subtly suggests that Aria should stop dating Beard Boy in Philly, and start boning her family friend closer to home.  This way, if the rough sex results in him collapsing from his heart condition, he can be cared for by Dr. Wren a.k.a. the-Only-Doctor-in-Rosewood, as opposed to those not-model-looking doctors in the City of Brotherly Love.

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“What?  Holden has a heart condition?”  Aria asks incredulously.

“Why yes, dear daughter.   I figured you would already know that, considering how you are out porking him for hours at a time, three or four times a week,” replies Aria’s mom, more or less.

“Oh yeah,  you’re right.  I totally knew about Holden’s lethal disease!  I was just kidding, Mom.  Haha!  Boy, I sure, got you!” Aria says.

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Meanwhile, Byron has just received a note on his car from “A,” offering him the location of Aria’s REAL date with Fitzy.

 

Am I the only one starting to get a strong sense of deja-vu, here?  Silly “A.”   For whatever reason, she never seems quite as creative when she’s messing with Aria, than when she’s messing with the other PLL girls.  I wonder why that is . . .

Instead of heading off to meet Fitzy, Aria follows Beard Boy to Fight Club.  “So, Holden, what’s this I hear about you joining Fight Club, when you have an exploding timebomb in your chest?”  Aria inquires.

“This isn’t just because we all thought you were gay, is it?” 

Holden makes a nice speech about living life to its fullest,  and about how people don’t always know what’s best for you.  This, of course, makes Aria think of her relationship to Fitzy . . . as most things do.  But, ultimately,  she decides to ditch out on Fitzy, so that she can watch Holden in Fight Club . . . you know, just to make sure he doesn’t . .  . like . . . die in stuff (which would TOTALLY ruin this nice Fake Date thing they have going on).

Aria cancels on Fitzy by text, without explanation, which, of course, is super inconsiderate.

But when Fitzy arrives at the site of their date and sees Papa Byron seated at one of the tables, he’s suddenly a lot less pissed, and a lot more relieved not to have walked into that lions den.

After Holden wins at Fight Club, Aria heads to congratulate him.  And suddenly Holden is looking a wee bit smitten with our littlest PLL girl.  (Ruh-roh, Fitzy!  I suggest you start practicing your moves, because there might just be a little Fight Club for Aria’s heart headed in your direction . . .)

Papa Byron phones Aria, and tries to slip her up, by asking to speak to Beard Boy.  So, of course, Aria calls his bluff by promptly  putting him on the phone, something she would never have been able to do, had she decided to leave Holden to die in Fight Club.  Well played, Miss Montgomery!

What am I going to doobie?

There is trouble lurking in paradise between Emily and Maya.  First we see Maya randomly hanging out with Facelift Vampire Jason, bringing the total number of major “A” suspects and NAT club members with whom the supposedly “loner” Maya associates to two.  To make matters worse, the big green monster of jealousy is clearly eating at Maya, during Emily’s swim team party, where her swim phenom girlfriend is the center of attention, while Maya is left alone holding the doobie.

“I have a confession to make.   I ate all your blue swim team cookies.  I couldn’t help it.  I have a serious case of the munchies.” 

That’s right, my Pretties, Maya confesses to Emily that her parents might have found an old “toke-n” of Maya’s affection in her bedroom.  Wow, these dirty hippies must REALLY not like pot, because they threaten to send her back to druggie camp AGAIN!

As it turns out, Maya was a bit coy with Emily about how exactly old that doobie was.  Emily assumed she meant “months,” but Maya actually meant “minutes.” 😉  Emily’s super pissed at Maya for not being honest with her.  And Maya is pissed at Emily for being more popular than she is, and for not wanting to run away to San Francisco with her, where the pair can smoke all the ganja they want.

I don’t know, my Pretties.  Something about Maya’s story stinks a bit to me, and it’s not just the pot I’m smelling . . .  I’d feel better about it being true, if we actually got to meet Maya’s supposedly crazy parents.  Your move, writers.

Oh bastard half-brother, where art thou?

Early on in the episode, the PLL girls get to meet Vivian Darkbloom’s “friend” Jonah, a cell phone geek, who she offered $2,000 to hack into phone records and find out who was sending threatening texts to her “friend” Alison.

The only average looking male in Rosewood . . .

(Of course, if “A” was using prepaid phones paid for with cash  . . . as evidence suggests that she is . . . that really wouldn’t help much, now would it, Jonah.)  Jonah’s uber pissed at Vivian, because doing this little task for the Rosewood Lolita cost him his job.  And then, to make matters worse, she never paid up . . . you know . . . because of the whole “dying” thing.

The rest of the girls want to pay Jonah, and immediately turn to moneybags Spencer for the dough.  The problem, of course, is that Spencer hasn’t exactly been on speaking terms with her parents, as a result of the whole “Facelift Vampire Jason is my half-brother” thing.  In fact, she’s spent the entire week hiding out at Aria’s house . . .

Spencer has been on speaking terms with Facelift Vampire Jason, though.  These two really do have an interesting dynamic with one another.  And by “interesting” I mean “slightly incestuous.”  Facelift Vampire Jason notes that Ali had $15,000 along with love letters between Spencer’s dad and Ali’s and Jason’s mom, in a box she kept under the floorboards.  This was how Jason found out about his paternity.  It’s also what led him to believe that Ali might have been blackmailing Spencer’s dad, in exchange for keeping quiet about what she knew.

“So, if you and I hooked up, what do you think would be the likelihood that our children were born with a tail, or three arms?” 

Hoping to snag the $2,000 she needs to pay off Jonah for the answer to the question of “Who was calling Alison, and, by extension, probably calling the girls as well,” Spencer heads back home for the first time, in a week.  Briefly mesmerized by her dad’s open checkbook in his briefcase, Spencer contemplates a little Grand Theft Checky.  But she quickly abandons the idea, when her father nearly walks in on her stealing it.

 

Spencer finally confronts her father about what she knows.  And he, more or less comes clean about everything that happened.  He swears, however, that he was never blackmailed by Alison.  And Spencer believes him.

“You are SO grounded, Mister!” 

The question is, who was blackmailed by Alison?  Was it Spencer’s mother, hoping to save the family?  Was it the members of the NAT club  (sans Jason), because of the tapes she had on all of them?  Or was it someone else entirely?

Facelift Vampire Jason still wants to believe it’s Papa Hastings, because that would make it easier to hate him.  But toward the end of the episode, Spencer finally opens his eyes to new possibilities .  . . and hits him up for that $2,000, of course.

On computer hacking, and sex in tents . . .

Caleb  isn’t the only one in hot water with the police.  Deputy Douchey finds more ammunition for torturing the PLL girls when a page of Ali’s autopsy winds up missing from EVERYWHERE, and the hospital security cameras turn up a picture of Hanna, Spencer, and Emily clad in candy striper outfits outside the morgue on the day of the theft.

Wait a second . . . shouldn’t it have been Hanna, Spencer and Aria?  Wasn’t Emily in the hospital as a patient at the time?

This is either an inconsistency on the writers part, or a fairly big hint that “A” is someone with not nearly as big of a grudge against Aria, as against the other three girls.  Could “A” have doctored this photograph?  Or am I just overthinking things?  What are your thoughts, my Pretties?

Anywhoo, following Hanna’s own encounter with Deputy Douchey (I guess he only called Hanna in, because he thought he might have another chance to screw her om), Caleb telephones her to let her know that he’s in a “Hot Spot” and needs her help.  There go those sexy computer terms again!

Apparently, Deputy Douchey and Police Boy have wised up, and are forcing Caleb to cooperate, by making him enter his own password into the computer for them.  The bad news about that, is now the cops will have access to whatever incriminating files “A” put on his hard drive (not to mention that “A” related files that are actually there).  The good news, however, is that now Caleb’s online a.k.a, in a hotspot.

Hanna calls “Smart Friend” Spencer over to help with the computer hacking festivities.  Spencer manages to get remote access to Caleb’s computer.  But it’s up to Hanna to input the password.  Hanna is explains to Spencer Caleb’s rationale for the letters he uses in his password.   Spencer is impressed, and more than a little bit turned on.  “That’s almost as complex as my computer password.”  ALMOST . . . ha . . . gotta love Spencer!

Hanna runs into a problem, however, when she can’t figure out the last four numbers of Caleb’s code, followed by the exclamation point.  And she only has three tries to get it right, or be locked out of Caleb’s computer FOREVER!  Spencer ultimately suggests that the numbers probably represent a date that was particularly important to  Caleb . . . a date that merits an exclamation point.

Suddenly, Hanna knows exactly what those last four digits are.  And they are in!

Hanna immediately finds the incriminating files located in a folder input on Caleb’s harddrive entitled “Hefty,” for “Hefty Hanna.”

“B*tch!” Hanna exclaims, over how “A” has managed to insult her, even in her hacking of Caleb’s computer.

Over at the police station, we see that Deputy Douchey has located the “Hefty” file too.  (Remember, he KNEW Hanna, back in the day. ;))  Now, it’s a race to see who can get to them first.  Hilarity ensues, when Hanna tries to delete each individual file, and finds that the process is taking too long.  “CTRL A” Spencer exclaims.

“That’s what I’m trying to do .  . . CONTROL A,” Hanna exclaims frustratedly.

But of course, Spencer’s talking about the keys, not the person . . .

In a moment of televised brilliance, Hanna manages to erase the files moments before Deputy Douchey can open any.  They disappear before his beady little eyes, and he’s completely flabbergasted.

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By the time Caleb leaves the station with his laptop, a happy Hanna is there to shower him with celebratory PDA.  Hanna has earned major points for saving Caleb’s ass.  And Caleb has earned major points for immortalizing the day he took Hanna’s virginity in his computer password.  Something tells me there’s going to be some major nookie going on in the Marin household tonight . . .

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In the final scene of the episode, we see Emily calling Maya to apologize for their fight, while SOMEONE watches Emily from her window.  Creepy!

Next week on PLL, Spencer SEDUCES WRENNNNNNN!

Oh, and I guess some other stuff happens too . . .

See you then, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Snitches, and Phonies, and Liars (Oh my!) – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Naked Truth”

Greetings, my Pretties!   And Happy Truth Up Day!  Considering how, most PLL episodes revolve around the lies various characters tell, and the secrets they keep, I thought it was kind of fitting to have an episode that focused on truth, for a change.  “The Naked Truth” was all about characters stripping down, spilling their guts, and coming clean.  So, open up your blacklight pen, and power up your photo shop, because it’s time for another Pretty Little Recap . . .

Change your attitude . . . Change your coat

Don’t you just hate it when someone uses your phone to take a naked picture of themselves someone else, and then sends that picture to the ENTIRE SCHOOL?

Maybe not . . . 

Our episode begins in the Principal’s Office, where Hanna and her mother are facing child pornography trafficking charges.  And yet our favorite blonde still can’t be bothered to put her cell phone on vibrate.  Awk-warrrrrd  . . .

*cell phone begins to play “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO*

HANNA and KATE: (in unison) “That’s not mine.”

PRINCIPAL: “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle YEAH!” 

Want even more awkward?  How about the fact that everyone in this room answers to the same last name?

Anywhoo . . . Evil Stepmonster Mommy thinks Hanna should be expelled for sending the nudie shot, in question, which, of course, Hanna denies taking, in the first place.  Through it all, Evil Stepsister Kate sits in silence crying crocodile tears, and wondering whether the principal is picturing her naked, while he’s talking to her.  (Yes, Kate.  He absolutely is!)

“I’ve already printed out a copy for my wallet!” 

Rather than expel Hanna for a crime she swears she didn’t commit, Mr. Principal decides instead that the two girls should air out their own differences, while in the same group at the school sponsored lock-in type event, “Truth Up Day.”

Meanwhile, back at Spencer’s house, the rest of the PLL girls are very confused about the Pretty Little Red Peacoat they retrieved using Ali’s old storage claim tag, under the pseudonym Vivian Darkbloom.

ARIA: “It’s only one color . . . and doesn’t come with any loud patterns.   Lame!”

SPENCER: “Where’s the matching hat?  I need my matching hat!”

EMILY: “I bet Maya would think I looked hot in that jacket . . .” 

Emily seems unusually tense about the whole situation.  “I feel like we are in a bad place,” she warns.

Spencer, of course, is having none of that.  “We are in my living room, Emily.  We are holding a coat,” she retorts . . .

Game, set, match, for Spencer, on that one . . .

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Since the peacoat in question is not really Ali’s style, the girls suspect that Ali used it to perpetuate her Vivian Darkbloom identity, in hopes of bringing down “A,” once and for all.

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While fondling the dead girl’s coat, the girls notice a slip of paper containing a telephone number, in one of the pockets.

“Who the heck writes down  telephone numbers, anymore?  That’s what cell phones are for!  Silly, Vivian Darkbloom!” 

The girls promptly dial the number, and leave a message, claiming to be “friends of Vivian’s,” which, isn’t a lie . . . at least, not exactly  . . .

From Boil-n-Baggies to Bags of Pills to Bad Intentions . . .

At school, everyone is looking at Hanna like she’s a TOTAL PERV!

Meanwhile, Emily is SUPER pissed at the principal, for keeping her off the swim team, based solely on that whole, the “PLL Girls Touched the Ali Murder Shovel” thing .  . .  Also at school,  Holden should really learn to keep his school bag closed, especially, if that’s where he wants to hide his drugs.

“Oh, hello there, Holden’s Drugs.  Fancy meeting you here!” 

“Doh!” 

“It only works, if you pull on the end,” says Holden to Aria, as the two tug on opposite ends of a ream of paper.  And my mind immediately goes to dirty places . . .

A few feet away, someone trips over Holden’s bag, sending the telltale pill bag flying out into the open.   “Oh Hol-den!  You have some ‘splaining to do!”

Upon seeing the pills, Aria gets that look on her face, that actresses tend to reserve for Lifetime Movies and After School Specials . . .

*insert dramatic, Drugs are BAAAAAAD, music here*

Meanwhile, Blind Jenna is canoodling with Bushy Eyebrows Noel  . . .

Please excuse me for a moment, while I go hurl . . . 

OK . . . I’m back now. 

Then, Spencer runs into Facelift Vampire Jason at the school, you know because he’s a diddler of teenagers “mentor” and stuff.   He tells Spencer that she should give her dad a “message” that he’s been awaiting his call.  But Facelift Vampire Jason says “message” like most of us would say threatening, scary things like, “knife through the throat,” “bullet wound to the head,” and, in Facelift Vampire Jason’s case, “bite on the neck.”  So, you really can’t blame Spencer for being a bit concerned, on her father’s behalf, douchey as said father might be . . .

“I want to suck your blood, chew off your face, and give your father a ‘message.'”

“Oh no!  Not a ‘message’ . . . anything but that!”

Then, Aria’s mom comes by to beg Facelift Vampire Jason to be a chaperone at Truth Up Day.  (Because that’s just what high schools need at their sleepover events, more bloodsucking vampire chaperones!)

That’s Aria’s mom, doing her best vampire impression . . . 

At first, Facelift Vampire Jason says “no dice.”  It’s really hard to suck on teenagers, with all those pesky chaperones around.  But when Aria’s mom casually notes that Spencer’s parents might be there, he promptly changes his mind.  Hey, maybe he will get the chance to deliver his “message” after all!

At Hanna’s house, Hanna’s mom confronts her about the whole pervy child porn picture thing. She reminds Hanna that she would crush anyone who tried to hurt her daughter.  But she needs to know who’s during the “hurting,” before she can start doing the “crushing.”

“I’ll give her a ‘message’ she’ll never forget.” 

Hanna looks genuinely distraught, but flawlessly so.  (As an ugly crier myself, I’m always seriously jealous of those people with a talent for “pretty crying.”  And Hanna is a Gorgeous Crier.)

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Hanna wants her mother to know that she didn’t do this totally awful thing.  Yet, if she spills the beans about “A,” she will be potentially putting yet another person she loves in danger.  And she definitely doesn’t want to do that.  So, instead, she continues to suffer in silence . . .

“Why not just skip the step, and jump out the window?”

Awkwardness abounds, as the students arrive at Rosewood, armed with sleeping bags, and cellphones that have been forcibly turned off.  A misty chill hangs in the air between Aria and Holden, now that Aria thinks Holden is a High School Drug Lord.  Glares are exchanged between Hanna and Evil Sister.  And Facelift Vampire Jason growls with fangy rage, when he learns that Spencer’s dad won’t be present at the event.  But, hey, at least he could deliver his “message” to Spencer’s mom!

“You and your messages better stay away from me.  I’m a lawyer!” 

Oh, an then there’s Blind Jenna creepily playing the piano in the music room.  First the flute, now the piano.  Is there any instrument in the world this girl doesn’t play?  Next, we will probably see her with a tambourine, or massive-sized harp . . .

“I guess Three Blind Mice would be an inappropriate song to request.” 

 Also in the group with Blind Jenna — and led by Spencer’s mom, and Facelift Vampire Jason — are Caleb and Aria.  It’s fun to get to see these two interact with one another, for a change.

I’d ship it, but I’m pretty sure Hanna would beat me up, if I did . . . 

Emily and Mona are in Hanna’s mom’s group.  And these two are saucy little duo.  When Mama Marin suggests the students take a step forward, if they don’t want to be “here”  . . .

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 . . .  Mona suggests this, instead . . .

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As for Emily, she decides to take multiple steps forward for every statement Mama Marin makes, because she thinks just one, is simply not enough . . .  (She’s also probably one of those girls, who always cheated at “Mother May I,” when she was a kid.  I HATED those girls.  I played “Mother May I” fair, dammit!)

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Emily’s real gripe, of course, is against the Principal for continuing to keep her off the swim team.  The fact that he happens to be there at the time, allows her to direct her dagger glare at his smug face.  “Message” sent . . . and received.

“I’m currently experiencing a pain where my heart is supposed to be.  Is this guilt, or just indigestion?” 

The Principal calls Emily over, and basically tells her she’s not on the swim team, because she’s a bad seed, sucks, and pretty much deserves everything she gets . . .  How’s that for making students feel “welcome” at their school!

“This is why, in high school horror movies, the principal always dies first.  Just sayin'” 

Mona watches this exchange from a far with interest.  You could just tell she’s cooking up a plan in that devious little mind of hers . . .

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Speaking of not feeling welcome, Aria conveniently forgets to turn off her phone, which allows her to get yet another text message from “A.”  This time, the target seems to be Aria’s “new friend.”

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So . . . who’s the friend?  Is it Beard Boy Holden, or Techno Boy Toy Caleb?  Always more questions . . .

The Blame Game

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In Hanna and Evil Stepsister Kate’s bouncy ball tossing group, Kate whines that people at her new school aren’t “nice people.”  (Yeah, Kate, because YOU’RE a real sweetheart!)  Bushy Eyebrows Noel takes opportunity to leer at Kate, and tell her how nice she looks, all “nekkid.” The Caterpillars that live above his eyeballs seem to agree . . .

The whole exchange causes Hanna to blow up, and ask her group whether they really think she’s a bully.  Ooh . . .here’s a hint, Hanna.  Don’t ask questions, if you REALLY don’t want to know their answers . . .

Fortunately, Caleb is waiting for her on the roof, with a hug, some words of encouragement, and a little tongue  . . .

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“Oh honey.  You are just too good in bed to be a bully!”

Oh, did I mention that Caleb put the smackdown on puss-faced Blind Jenna in group, after she started b*tching and complaining about how terribly SHE gets treated at school?

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It was pretty effing awesome, I’m not going to lie.  In fact, I haven’t had this much fun during a PLL episode, since Hanna slapped Jenna in the face . . .

 OK . . . so that might have seemed REALLY rude, back then.  But now we know the wench had it coming . . .

During a brief break, Emily takes the time to apologize to Mona for the way Ali used to bully her.  Mona claims she’s WAY past that “That was like, two personalities ago!” She exclaims, nonchalantly.

But the look on her face seems to suggest that Mona’s still holding on to quite a bit of baggage from her outcast days.  However, for now, she’s Emily’s greatest savior.  Why?  Because Mona happens to know that the Principal takes bribes from members of the football team, to keep them on the squad despite bad behavior.  And she’s got the mad hacker skills to prove it!

Viewers for whom Mona remains their chief “A” suspect, got a ton of clues, in their favor, this week.  For starters, she’s clearly computer savvy, as we already know “A” to be.  She has the motive of years of bullying.  And, as we heard in this episode, when Mona contacted Emily on the loud speaker, she’s pretty adept at disguising her voice, as necessary.

“Computers are my only friends . . .” 

Additionally, Mona’s previous job working in the Principals office clearly gave her access to a ton of information about all of the students of Rosewood High, most notably the PLL girls . . . not to mention all the additional scoop she must have dug up by being Hanna’s bestie.

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But does this make Mona too obvious of a choice?  I think so . . . a reveal of Mona as “A” would probably disappoint many fans, for that very reason.  But hey, she did manage to get Emily back on the swim team, with her scheming, blackmaily ways.  So, yay for that!

In slightly less positive news, Aria and Beard Holden broke up their faux-lationship . . . presumably, because of the whole “drugs thing.”

What a shame!  I was just starting to like their fake dates!  I really hope they fake make-up soon!

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Regarding the room where everybody anonymously wrote their secrets using a blacklight pen . . . a few of those secrets bear very special significance to our story . . .  (Also, it just looks really cool.  So, I’ve decided to share the picture with you.)

Well, we can be pretty sure none of the PLL girls wrote the “never been kissed,” secret.  But Aria might be the virgin!

 .  . . despite regular efforts to make it not so . . .

As for the “I’m afraid of my dad,” confession, my money’s on Holden.  It would certainly explain the bruise on his stomach, and why he never seems to want to go home.  It also might explain his actions at the end of the episode. 😉  As for the taunting, “I know who killed Alison Dilaurentis . . .” well, I’m going to go with Jenna or Mona for that one.  Both girls seem like such obvious “A” candidates that they just HAVE to know more than they are letting on . . . (assuming, of course, that neither is actually “A.”)

A Match Frowned Upon by the Gods

Upon overhearing her mother fighting with Facelift Vampire Jason about truth, justice, and the illegitimate bastard child way .  . . Spencer makes the Spencer Face . . .

Then, she remembers that time when Melissa and Facelift Vampire Jason got caught making out in their car, and Ali responded by making all these naughty incest jokes.

“A match frowned upon by the gods,” Ali quips.  “This is more interesting than the guy who kills and eats his dates.”

More interesting, indeed.  But, for the record, I happen to think that Facelift Vampire Jason does kill and eat his dates  . . . I mean, he is a vampire, after all . . .

Later that night, Spencer confronts Facelift Vampire Jason with the fact that they might very well be half siblings.  He doesn’t deny it . . .

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Spencer understandably feels hurt and betrayed about being left out of the loop on this.  After all, given the younger Hastings’ siblings penchant for dating older men, there’s a good chance that Spencer could have ended up doing a lot more than make out with Facelift Vampire Jason, if left to her own devices . . .

And though Spencer gave her mom a bit of a verbal smackdown, at the end of the episode,  it’s her father that really has some explaining to do . . .

Now, Spencer that’s no way to talk about the newest additions to your family tree . . . 

Speaking of “rotten fruit under the family tree” . . .

Busted by a Birthmark . . .

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One of the problems with using photoshop to improve the quality your sexts is that, eventually, the person to whom you sent the picture is going to actually have to see you naked.  Evil Stepsister Kate just never figured that the person seeing her naked was going to be the same girl she was trying to screw over . . .

Get thee to a dermatologist, STAT!

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I absolutely adored the scene where Hanna got Kate to admit that she was the one, who sent that naked picture of herself to the whole school on Hanna’s phone.  And when Emily and Aria emerged in unison from the bathroom stalls, smiling and holding out matching cell phones that had recorded the conversation, I’m not embarrassed to say I did a little dance of joy . . .

BUSTED! 

I also loved seeing the smug, and self-righteous look wiped right off of Mama Isabel’s face, when she found out from the principal exactly what her “sweet daughter” had done . . .

Where’s Caleb?  (And why is your hand on my leg?)

Now, that the whole “Porno Kate” situation has been properly handled, Hanna becomes concerned that Blind Jenna and Bushy Eyebrows Noel might be after Caleb, because (1) of what he said to Blind Jenna in group; (2) because they seem to be working for “A,” and he has their phone.  Though, admittedly, I’m not quite sure why she sent Aria to find him, as opposed to going herself . . .

“If we are playing hide-and-seek, Aria, you are very, very bad at this game . . .”

Walking right past Caleb, as he types away in front of an OPEN WINDOW, Aria finds herself on the creepy, windy rooftop, screaming Caleb’s name . . . and not in a sexy way, either . . .  The minute she walked past that heavy door, held open by a rock, I just knew she was going to get locked up there by “A.”  What I didn’t expect was for Bushy Eyebrows Noel to start yanking on her legs, while she climbed a ladder, like the villains always do, in those action flicks.

Then, this happened  . . .

Never has Beard Boy Holden looked hotter than when he drop-kicked Noel in the nuts, to rescue Aria from his clutches.  It was 100% awesome sauce!  In fact, I may have to stop calling him Beard Boy, and start calling him Fight Club!

But Aria’s on to him . . .”Did someone jump you like that?  Is that how you got the bruises?” She wonders out loud . . .

Well, Holden, I’m sorry that you probably have an abusive dad and/or regularly used to get your ass kicked by people who don’t approve of your choice of mate.  That sucks!  But hey, at least you have a better nickname, now!

In other news, at the end of the night,  Emily’s and Aria’s regular calls from “Vivian” and “Vivian’s friend” to the number in Ali’s peacoat seem to have paid off.  Though, at first, someone who sounded suspiciously like Mona told them to piss off, when they called.  This time, the person on the other end of the line actually agrees to meet with them.

The plot . . . it thickens.

Oh, and as for Techno Boy Toy Caleb, he may be great at cracking cell phones, playing hide-and-go-seek, and being Hanna’s savior, but he sure is crappy at guarding his personal items.  Boyfriend is dumb enough to fall asleep at the school, with his precious laptop exposed to the world.

Is it any wonder the damn thing gets stolen in the middle of the night?

 Next week, on Pretty Little Liars . . .

Until then, my Pretties!

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[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Benjamin Linus is My New TV Boyfriend! – A Recap of Lost’s “Mr. Linus”

Just look at that come hither stare . . .  Who knew history teachers could be so sexy?

WARNING: This recap might not be particularly snarky.  After all, I am in love (with Benjamin Linus!).  And one of the side effects of falling in love is a complete loss of one’s sense of humor . . .

Who would have thought that the most uplifting, feel-good, episode of the entire Lost series, thus far, would belong to a character that will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best television villians of all time?  For all those women out there (myself included) who have always dreamed of roping in and taming a bad boy, this episode was the ultimate fantasy come true.  If Michael Emerson does not win an Emmy for his performance in “Mr. Linus,” the entire Academy of Television Arts and Sciences deserves to suffer the wrath of Smokey!

And when it comes to the Emmys, Smokey does NOT mess around!

But in order to truly understand the full extent of Benjamin Linus’s current redemption, both in flash-sideways world, and in real time, we should probably go back and revisit the single worst moment in the character’s entire life: the death of his adoptive daughter, Alex Rousseau.

At the time, Benjamin Linus and his band of Others were living at the island Barracks.  Things were going peachy for Ben, until his nemesis, Charles Widmore, sent over his head minion, Army Drill Sergeant from Hell, Martin Keamy, to ensure Ben’s surrender and departure from the island.  By way of collateral, Keamy kidnapped Ben’s adoptive teenage daughter Alex, and brought her to Ben’s house with a gun to her head.  Keamy told Ben to either surrender immediately or watch his daughter die.  Ben thought Keamy was bluffing, and stayed put.  He wasn’t.

A Principal Without Principles . . .

Back in flash-sideways world, Ben and his father left the island, presumably before all the sh*t hit the fan down there.  Now Ben is a reluctant European History teacher at a high school, desperately seeking more excitement from his humdrum life.  In his opening scene, Ben teaches his students about Napoleon’s exhile to Elba, an obvious metaphor for Ben’s own meteoric rise and fall as “The Chosen” One on Lost island.  

I love when Lost gets all “literary” on us.  You can bet that this episode’s shout out to the above-referenced book (apparently the castaways on-Island library offers both this tome and porn), will send hard core Losties racing to their nearest bookstores in search of clues . . .

“Elba was where Napoleon faced his greatest test.  Exhile wasn’t the worst of his fate.  It was the truly devastating loss of power.  Sure, they allowed him to keep the title of emperor.  But without his power, everything was meaningless.  He might as well have been dead,”  Dr. Linus tellingly, instructs.

Flash Sideways Ben’s only joy comes from being able to run the school’s History Club, and tutor its student members, especially Alex Rousseau (who, in this timeline, is a precocious teen with aspirations to attend Yale).  That is until the school principal cancels the club, citing “budget cuts.”  (Really?  How “expensive” is some lame club where all students do is get together and talk about history?)

When Ben vents his frustrations to his colleagues, former Flight 815er Doc Arzt and new “Substitute” John Locke, the latter suggests that Ben take on the principal position for himself.    The opportunity to do this arises, when Alex admits to Ben that she saw the Principal engaged in illicit activity with one of the school nurses.  With Doc Arzt’s help, Ben hacks into the Principal’s computer and finds e-mails implicating the Principal in the aforementioned naughty conduct. 

Ben confronts the Principal with aims to blackmail him and usurp his position.  However, the Principal warns Ben that, if he does this, the former will take revenge on Alex (just as Keamy did — on a significantly smaller scale, of course) by single-handedly ruining the young girl’s chances of attending the principal’s alma mater, Yale.  This time, Ben chooses Alex.  As a result, he doesn’t get to be principal . . . but at least he gets his History Club back?

And thus, our Flash-Sideways World Ben has redeemed himself.  Something Flash-Sideways Sayid was unable to do last week . . .

Ben and Team Jacob, BFF (Best Friends Forever For Now)

If last week’s Lost episode focused on Smokey and his dastardly team of crazies, this week’s episode spotlighted the above-referenced opposing team, led by Ilana, the Candidate Bodyguard.

“And Iiiiiiiiii, eeeee iiiii, will always love Jacccob!” 

(Yeah, I’m not really a fan of Ilana’s, so far.  The character is a bit like the above song, only one-note, and a highly annoying one at that.)

When Miles “I Communicate with Dead People” (or, in this case, Dead Ash) Straum conveniently leaks to Ilana that Ben killed her “father figure” Jacob, she gets a little pissed off at our boy.  So pissed off, in fact, that she chains his leg to a stake and forces him to dig his own grave.

Speaking of death wishes, Richard Alpert, he of the guy liner and the never-aging face . . .

finds himself exhausted, from a life of serving Jacob, and always looking so damn pretty day in and day out.  His solution, therefore,  is to off himself, a la Bill Murrary in Groundhog Day.

Yeah, it didn’t work for him either . . .

Apparently, one of the rules of Lost island, is that, if you are Jacob’s candidate, you can’t end your own life.  Someone else has to do it for you.  I guess this would explain why former candidate Michael Dawson couldn’t shoot himself in the episode “Meet Kevin Johnson” but was able to die later when the submarine he was on exploded. 

Richard Alpert must have watched “Meet Kevin Johnson,” because he commandeers Jack and Hurley to light his ass on fire with a stick of dynamite.  Hurley bails on the plan, but Jack stays and sets the dynamite aflame.  Jack tells Richard that both of them are meant to be on this island . . . alive.  Therefore, he is certain that the stick of dynamite will not explode.  He is right . . .

Meet Jack Shephard – Man of Science  Man of Faith

While Jack and Richard are busy NOT blowing themselves to smithereens, Smokey is visiting Ben, offering him a means to escape Ilana’s clutches and join the Darkside.

Smokey tries to entice Ben, by offering him the opportunity to govern the island once again.  After all, just like Napoleon, Island Ben has always been a man driven by power.  Ben takes Locke’s advice and makes a break for it.  But he soon finds himself at a standoff with a Ilana. 

Instead of shooting her, as old Ben would likely have done without so much of a thought, a tearful Ben explains to Ilana how his anger over sacrificing his daughter to serve Jacob and the island, ultimately, caused him to kill Jacob, an action he deeply regrets.

When Ilana asks Ben why he has chosen Team Smokey, Ben admits that Smokey is “the only one who will have him.” 

The line is one of the most endearing of the evening, as it paints Ben as an outsider – one who, deep down, just wants to have friends.   Ilana must have agreed with me, because, instead of simply letting Ben go, she replies, “I’ll have you.” 

(Don’t you be taking Ben from me, Ilana!  He’s MINE now!  All MINE!)

At the episode’s conclusion, Jack, Hurley, and Richard, reunite with Ilana, Sun, Lapidus, Miles, and, of course, Ben.   And thus, Team Jacob is born.

Team Jacob is definitely the underdog in this matchup.  After all, there are no supernatural powers in this group (not aging is cool and all, but it doesn’t really help you in a fight, unless your opponent is one of the Golden Girls . . )

Yet, my money is still on Team Jacob.  I think they will be the Cinderella story of the season.  How about you?

Oh, and I almost forgot, in the last few seconds of the episode, something EVIL made its way through the ocean toward the Losties . . .

No, not that.  It was just Charles Widmore in a submarine.  Still, pretty scary, no?

Well, that’s all she wrote, Lost fans.  What did you think?  Are you ready to start the Michael Emerson Emmy campaign with me?  Is your money also on Team Jacob for winning the Lost ultimate showdown?  Do you think Charles Widmore will fight for Team Smokey, or does he have his own agenda to accomplish on Lost island?

Only time (travel) will tell . . .

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