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Creepy Boys and Their Creepy Toys – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ Mid-Season Premiere “Moments Later”

Welcome back, my Pretties!  Tonight, Pretty Little Liars  kicked off the second half of its first season, with some genuinely shocking plot twists, an “outing,” a surprise wedding, and enough new suspects to fill Hanna’s perpetually too crowded hospital room.  (Seriously!  Talk about LAX SECURITY!  I half expected Deputy Douchey — who was strangely absent this week —  to peek out from under Hanna’s bed, wearing nothing but a towel, and that smug expression that comes from being the WORST DETECTIVE ON THE PLANET.)

“Hey Hanna, I know YOU were really driving the car that ran you over!  Don’t lie to me!”

And as for who “A” is . . . well, I don’t know about you, but my money is on that Creepy Teddy Bear the camera kept randomly focusing in on, at completely awkward moments.

That silly Chucky doll’s got nothing on Teddy Bear Bundy!

But, before I get started on the proper recap, can I just get one thing out of the way?

Mean Girls 2:  Electric Boogaloo?  What . . . the . . . hell?  I thought they ran these b*tches over with a bus, at the end of the first movie?

OK . . . I feel better now.  On to the recap . . .

Scenes from a Car Crash . . .

“Sheesh!  Having your daughter get run over by a car requires a whole lot of emotion!  It kind of makes me wish I eased up on all those Merry Christmas Botox treatments.  Do I look upset?  Because I’m going for an ‘upset’ look, here . . .”

It’s super appropriate that the mid-season premiere episode of Pretty Little Liars was entitled “Moments Later,” because it literally began just moments after the summer season finale left off.  (And yet, during those “moments,” all the male characters seem to have completely grown out their hair.   Weird . . .)

(That’s Seth Cohen, in case you were curious . . .)

Hanna has just been run over by a car at Mona’s lame party, to which Hanna was not invited (Worst punishment for party crashing EVER!).

She is being taken away by an ambulence, having been knocked unconscious, and rendered completely immobile . . .

Aria glances at all the shocked onlookers, and spies Bushy Eyebrows Noel.

(who’s hair has been cut, and who’s eyebrows are slightly less bushy than before)

However, her loverboy Fitzy (who she was majorly macking with in the car, just seconds earlier) is seemingly no where to be found . . .

“Sayonara SUCKAS!”

Meanwhile, Hanna’s formerly cash-strapped Mommy Dearest is guiltily driving back home, after stealing a whole wad of cash that was conveniently left in a bank safe deposit box where she works, by a little old lady.  When the cops stop her, she fears the jig is up.  She’ll be locked up FOR LIFE!  And those orange jumpsuits are going to clash with her haircolor, something FIERCE!

But no . . . the cops simply want to warn her about that whole pesky “your daughter has been in a near fatal accident” thing .  . .

“PHEW . . . oops . . . I mean . . . OH NO, I sure hope my daughter is OK! (Was that convincing?)”

Studying Hanna’s Anatomy

By the end of the first commercial break, all of our Pretty Little Liars arrive at the hospital, having come directly from the scene of the crime.  They are all chatting on their cell phones in hushed tones, presumably telling their parents what happened.  As it turns out, Hanna got pretty darn banged up in the car accident, with a broken leg and ankle, bruised ribs and a ruptured spleen.

“Hope Mama’s got some REALLLLL good health insurance!”

Oddly enough, Hanna’s future boyfriend, the always adorable Super Seth Cohen-y, Lucas seems to have arrived at the hospital first.  It’s a bit odd that no one really thought to have asked him how he found out about the accident so fast, considering, he was most certainly not at Mona’s lame party . . .  (He hates that Evil Biatch!)

(I really do hate to suspect sweet Lucas for any of the crimes committed against our girls on this show.  But you have to admit, he was acting a bit strange this week . . .   And there’s still the issue of his having “dirty shoes,” the day after Ali’s Ugly Ass Memorial Fountain was destroyed in the park, this past summer . . .)

Dirty feet = a dirty mind?

The other girls worry for all of two minutes over whether Hanna will be safe in the hospital alone over night.  (You know .  . . because someone, like, tried to kill her, and stuff.)  However, ultimately, they decide to leave her there, in order to further their own respective plotlines get some rest. 

If you thought Lucas was acting weird this week, he had NOTHING on Spencer’s b*tchy older sister, Melissa, and her freakish old / new boyfriend, Ian, who — we know from flashbacks — apparently had a real THANG for under age teens and pedophillic sex tapes, back in the day.  (So far, we have been led to believe that Ian was the last guy to see Ali alive.  He also once made out with Spencer, as most of Melissa’s boyfriends tend to do.)

Come BACK, Wren!  COME BACK!

Was I the only one who found the whole exchange between Spencer and her sister weird?  There was just something about Torrey Devitto (the actress who play’s Melissa)’s line delivery.  It kind of sounded like she already knew what had happened to Hanna, but was pretending to be all shocked and concerned, for Spencer’s sake.  And then, as if right on cue, the shirtless Adonis, Ian pops in . . .

(If you recall from the previous episode, Ian and Melissa had just had their “first date,” after a long breakup, during which Melissa had met and become engaged to HOT WREN.)  Notice how when Ian inquires, “How is she?” Melissa responds only as to Spencer’s well being, not even thinking about Hanna’s.  Is the faux pas merely evidence of natural sisterly concern?  Or something more . . .

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time THIS actress played a bat-sh*t crazy killer . . .

Believe it or not, it is Ian that corrects Melissa, by inquiring specifically as to Hanna’s well being.  And yet, how did Ian know Hanna was hurt, if HE had supposedly been screwing Melissa the entire evening, and SHE claimed not to have even been aware that the accident occurred, until Spencer told her about it?  VERRRRRRRRRRY Interesting!

“Paging, Dr. McDreamy . . .”

Meanwhile, Aria and Professor Fitzy Ezra are getting their flirt on, and worrying a bit over the incredibly lame cryptic message drawn in dew on the back window of Ezra’s car the night of Mona’s party (back when the couple was screwing like bunny rabbits, in the front seat)

You GO, Aria and Ezra!

(Now, I’m certainly no scientist.  So, maybe someone who is can help me out here.   Is “dewy mirror finger painting” really THAT visible, on a sunny day, HOURS after it was written?  Because the hearts and happy faces, I used to “draw” on car windows, backwhen I was a kid, almost always faded to dull indecipherable scratch marks, within 10 minutes of my making them. 😦   Just saying . . .)

Anyway, Ezra . . . the only member of this couple who is old enough to have actually seen I Know What You Did Last Summer . . .

. . . becomes immediately convinced that the message is a threat from someone who saw Fitzy macking on his underage student at the party.  “It says ‘I See You,’ not ‘Wash Me,’ not ‘Go Sharks’ . . . It’s very specific,” snarks Fitzy. (Haha, “WASH ME”  Oh, that Fitzy!  He’s such a little joker!) 

Aria, on the other hand, is confident that the message is nothing but some kid’s idea of a silly prank . . . at least, until she speaks to Hanna, later that day.

Sometime in the afternoon, Hanna’s mom texts the girls to tell them to come play with her daughter at the hospital.  So “cool” is Mama Marin, that she even signs the text with her first name “Ashley” as opposed to “Hanna’s mom,” which is how most PLL fans probably know her, anyway.  I swear, after that scene where Emily got the text message, I spent about 2 minutes saying, “Who the heck is Ashley?”  (Then again, this is coming from a girl who has always called ALL of her friends’ moms by Mrs. [Insert Last Name], and STILL DO.)

“Some girl named ‘Ashley’ just texted us, and said you needed company.  We thought it was another SUPER SCARY message from ‘A,’ until we remembered that’s actually your mom’s name.”

As soon as the girls are alone, Hanna makes an announcement so triumphant, that I swear I heard someone banging piano keys dramatically in the background, while she spoke *DUN . . . DUN . . . DUNNNNN*  “BUSHY EYEBROWS NOEL KAHN is ‘A.'”

YIPPEE!  I just went from being the lamer part of a love triangle to being a REAL murder suspect!  I’M OFFICIALLY AWESOME!”

What’s Hanna’s PROOF, you ask?  Well . . . she saw Noel writing on Fitzy’s CAR!  (See what the writers did there?)  This revelation, of course, forces Aria to admit to the rest of her pals that she’s boning the English teacher.  All the girls pretend to be aghast by this, but you know they are all secretly turned on (well . . . maybe not . . . Emily ;)).  “Part of me thinks it’s self-destructive behavior, but most of me just thinks it’s really hot,” admits Spencer later . . .

Spencer just got about ten times cooler, in my estimation, for saying that hilarious line.  It almost makes me want to forgive her for dumping Wren for that Alex kid . . . almost.

Aria still doesn’t think Noel is “A” (or Ali’s killer for that matter).  He may have bushy eyebrows, and be the most possessive non-boyfriend on the planet, but he’s not a murderer, she argues.  And yet, the suspect count is dwindling, at least as far as the girls are concerned.  Creepy Toby was tucked safely away in jail, on the night in question . . .

And Slutty Ian was porking Spencer’s sister (or, at least, that’s what Spencer thinks). 

So, of course, Noel has to arrive at EXACTLY this moment, carrying the LARGEST Hospital Gift Basket I have EVER SEEN.  Geez!  For someone who claims to luuuuuuve Aria, this guy sure likes to buy stuff for Hanna!  Suffice it to say that I’ve purchased those gift baskets before.  And they are NOT CHEAP!  (I just wish I had a picture of this monstrosity to post here.  For one thing, I’m really curious as to whether it was Noel or Lucas who brought Hanna the EEEEEEEVILLL Teddy Bear.)

I’ve read that Noel is supposed to be viewed as a viable lovematch for Aria.  And he’s certainly pretty enough to be one.  But, honestly, I’m having trouble being anything but creeped out by the guy.   Observe the way he comes stalking into Hanna’s room unannounced, bearing extravagant gifts, his saucer-like eyes nearly bugging out of his head.  Aria doesn’t let him inside, fibbing that Hanna just fell asleep.  Then, when Aria asks Noel about his whereabouts the night of the party, he lies through his teeth, telling her he wasn’t there. 

When Aria doesn’t call Noel back, like he asks her to at the hospital, he seeks her out in an empty classroom.  It is there that she finally calls him out on his “Car Art.”  Noel then gets WAY TOO defensive, considering he’s only dated Aria once.  He immediately assumes Ezra has been pressuring Aria into sex, and seems completely intent on pummeling the lanky English teacher like a deflated punching bag.  When Aria, more or less, admits that their relationship is a mutual one, Noel refuses to believe it.  And starts STALKING Professor Fitzy in the dark, as a result .  . . SPOOKY!

Be afraid . . . be VERY afraid, Fitzy!

As for Aria and Ezra, they shared a sappy sweet conversation in an empty classroom too!  This one was about their relationship, which, unlike Aria’s and Noel’s is actually real.  They also talked about how they don’t regret screwing one another in that dirty barroom bathroom, during the pilot episode, even though the act gave Aria crabs technically made Fitzy guilty of statutory rape . . .

Speaking of boys who are sweet (like Fitzy), but a tad on the overbearing and possessive side (like Noel) . . . I thought it was pretty darn adorable that Lucas snuck into Hanna’s hospital room late at night, while she was supposedly fast asleep (again with the NO SECURITY!), looked at her lovingly for a few moments, and blessed her forehead with a delicate little butterfly kiss . . .

Fans of The Vampire Diaries probably loved this little scene just as much as I did, as it undoubtedly reminded them of ANOTHER sweet sleepy love moment between fan favorite couple, Damon and Elena . . .

Unlike Elena, however, who had no memory of Damon’s sweetness (Elena never seems to remember ANYTHING sweet that Damon does, DAMMIT!), Hanna DID remember Lucas kissing her, but thought the lip brush might have been nothing more than a figment of her imagination . . .

To everyone’s surprise, Lucas cops to the kiss willingly, claiming that he thought Hanna was awake when he did it, and tacitly approved.  Hanna gently reminds Lucas that she has a very Snoozy Boyfriend Named Sean (who was NO WHERE to be found, in this episode, by the way), and would prefer that her and Lucas stay friends.  Lucas argues that he feels like he’s been dumped, even though he and Hanna never officially went out.  He also believes that Hanna deserves a better boyfriend than Snoozy Sean (and I AGREE). 

What I didn’t agree with, was Lucas angrily storming off, like the jealous boyfriend, he isn’t (at least not yet)Don’t get me wrong.  Lucas has every right to be frustrated.  He and Hanna have more chemistry in their pinky fingers, than Hanna and Sean have in their entire bodies . . .  And I think, eventually, these two are going to make an amazing couple!

But, considering that Lucas has never explicitly made his romantic feelings plain to Hanna before today — and that he KNOWS Hanna and Sean are dating — I’m not quite sure how exactly he expected her to react to his sudden amorous nighttime advances.  Under the circumstances, I actually thought she handled the situation quite well  . . .

“Paging Nurse Ali (and Wench Mona)”

Honestly, I don’t know which female bedside meeting Hanna experienced was more disturbing:  “Ali” — dressed in a candy striper uniform, and bathed in flowing white light — leaving telltale lipstick on Hanna’s water glass (as “ghosts” tend to do), and telling her that lies are far preferable to truths . . . 

or Annoying Mona .. .

 . . . and her Extreme Hospital Makeover, her sorry excuse for an apology for lying about Hanna having weight loss surgery, and her nauseating story about how she “fell in love” with Hanna, when the latter puked on the trampoline at a party.  Man, I HATE that friggin Mona chick! 

Granted, Ali’s a real b*tch too.  But at least SHE’S fun about it!  (Like when she said, “I really should do something about “A.”  That b*tch is getting on my nerves.”  That was AWESOME!)

In Other News .  . .

Emily came out as being gay to her dad.  Surprisingly, he was not that big of a dick about it.  He then told Emily’s mom . . .

 . . . who was a TOTAL DICK about it, especially considering that SHE already knew about her daughter’s sexuality (thanks to some very explicit photos), and was simply in denial of it . . .

Emily also tried repeatedly to get to see Toby in jail this week, by phoning the police station, and inquiring as to his whereabouts.  So far, she’s been unsuccessful.  Blind Jenna found out about this, and called Emily out for screwing Toby over, by unwittingly leading the cops to bring him in as a suspect.   Emily responds to these accusations, by calling out Jenna on SCREWING Toby .  . . period (which made me like Emily, a heck of a lot more, as a result). 

“You, Blind Brother F*&ker!”

Also, Melissa randomly eloped with Creepy Ian . . .

And, at some point, Ian (or somebody who actually gives to craps about Ian) chopped down that very special tree in the park, (the one with the inscription “Alison & Ian” on it) and burned the part of the bark containing the inscription in a fireplace  (which seems like a lot of unnecessary work to me . .  . not to mention, the environmental implications).  I mean . . . all the tree needed was a little SHAVE, and all that incriminating evidence would be HISTORY!

Pretty Little Liars version of the Yule Log . . .

And, finally “A” (whoever the heck he or she is) left a little love note on Hanna’s cast, during one of the MANY times throughout the episode that Hanna was UNCONSCIOUS and had NO SECURITY WHATSOEVER around her hospital room . . .

Clearly, the people who write for Pretty Little Liars never watched last season’s finale of Grey’s Anatomy . . .

Here’s what “A” had to say this time . . .

“Sorry about losing my temper.  My BAD . . . Love -A”

And that’s all she wrote . . . Until next week, My Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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