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RATS, Foiled AGAIN! – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “The Badass Seed”

IAN:  “So Blind Jenna, how does it feel to be the Second Creepiest Character on this show?”

BLIND JENNA:  “Second creepiest?  PLEASE!  You may be a pedophillic woman beater / psycho killer.  But I talk like a Phone Sex Operator, dress (and sort of look) like I’m 45, even though I’m supposedly only 16ish, own a Cane of Destruction, and play the flute at inappropriate moments.  Did I mention I keep trying to seduce MY BROTHER?”

IAN:  “Ummmm . . . yeah, I guess you win.”

Confession Time!  I’m one of those weird people, who gets more upset when animals get hurt on television and in movies, than when people do.  That being said, I used to actually think “A” was kind of funny, with her clever texts, and her seemingly supernatural ability to make the girls’ lives miserable on a regular basis.  But the day she BASHED A RAT MOUSE NAMED SPENCER’S HEAD IN WITH A HIGH SCHOOL TROPHY was the day she COMPLETELY lost me, as a friend and fan.  Now, I hope she falls on something SHARP, after being dropped from a very high distance . . . on her head.

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Fitzy AGREES!

But enough about my newly murderous feelings toward “A”.  Let’s get on with this recap!

Fascinated by the nature of EVIL .  . . Disturbed by the nature of Blind Jenna

“I ate a Bad Seed once.  It gave me indigestion for a week.”

When the episode begins, the PLL girls are waiting outside the  school auditorium.  Both Hanna and Spencer will be auditioning for the upcoming school play, which Fitzy is directing and producing.  The school will be putting on a production of The Bad Seed, which, just based on what I learned about the play from Wikipedia, seems like an AWFUL and REALLY INAPPROPRIATE choice for a high school production.  What’s next?  Saw IV: The Musical? 

So, the girls are running lines together outside, when they get the great idea that Aria should also get involved in the play.  This would give our girl a marvelous opportunity to have sex with the director backstage!  After all, we already know she’s kinky like that . . .

Did you know that the dirtiest place in a public bathroom is actually the sink?  Think about it . . .

Aria, who at the time is dressed like a crossdressing Playboy Bunny, thinks this is a fabulous idea.  After all, she has never screwed on stage before.  And there is no time like the present to start doing so.  Fitzy isn’t getting any younger, after all!

Did seeing Aria in a tuxedo make anyone else subconsciously start picturing what Fitzy would look like in a wedding dress?   Or was that just me?

Speaking of wearing boy’s clothes, remember Aria’s FIRST foray into crossdressing?

Good TIMES!

Anyway, inside the auditorium Blind Jenna approaches Fitzy, and requests the opportunity to compose the music for the play.  Fitzy agrees to this, despite the fact that Blind Jenna only seems to know how to play the flute.  And everybody knows that an ALL FLUTE soundtrack to any play is guaranteed to be INCREDIBLY LAME.  Coincidentally, Blind Jenna also happens to be incredibly lame.  Blind Jenna then makes some oddball remarks about how fascinated she is by the “Nature of Evil.”  Fitzy looks extremely frightened.  He should be . . .

Please don’t kill me!  I want to live to see Aria turn legal . . .”

Nightmare on Spencer’s Street

Can somebody please explain to me why Spencer always goes to bed wearing braided pigtails?   Because, to me, it seems like a really uncomfortable way to sleep.  I also feel like they would get all knotted in the middle of the night.  Yet hers always look flawless, when she wakes up.  Perhaps, she has little birds that fly in through her window and braid her hair while she sleeps, like all the other Disney Princesses . . .

But I digress.  We see Spencer, in her trademark pigtail braids, and her toddler-esque floral onesie nightgown.  She hears the sound of a baby crying downstairs.  And since her sister hasn’t given birth to Ian’s Demon Spawn yet, she goes downstairs to investigate . . .

Spencer sees a cradle and heads toward it.  But when she arrives at the little bassinet, she notes to her confusion, that it is empty.  Suddenly, a hand reaches out and grabs her, muffling her screams.  Then she awakens.  It was just a dream . . . or was it?

*Sings*  “I was thinkin’ about her, thinkin’ bout me.  Thinkin’ bout us, what we gonna be?  Open my eyes, it was only just a dream . . .”

Spencer heads downstairs, for real this time.  Pedo Ian is in the living room, taping up boxes.  (Doesn’t it seem like the guy’s been “moving out” for over a month now?  Ship out now, or start paying rent, Buddy!)  The conversation starts off friendly enough, but as is typical with Ian and Spencer, things soon get heated. 

Ian knows that Spencer thinks he had something to do with Ali’s death.  He denies killing Ali, but then callously explains that the girl had it coming, because she was such a “Psycho Stalker.”  Ian insists his relationship with the then 14-year old could be characterized by two words “Get lost in my pants.”  Well . . . he’s right about the “lost” part, at least . . .

Hanna gets wet . . .

Back at La Casa de Hanna, Hanna’s mom is bitching, because Hanna has been consuming groceries faster than usual.  (Yeah, real nice, MOM!  Rank on the former BULLIMIC for how much she is EATING!)  Of course, we all know that HANNA hasn’t been the one consuming the food, Hobo Caleb HAS! 

Hanna explains as much to her mother, arguing that she’s been feeding the Bad Boy dinner lately, because he has such a messed up home life. Make that NO home life!  Hanna then asks her mom if Caleb can stay in the guest room for a few days.  Having no idea that Caleb is ALREADY a guest in the Marin Home, Hanna’s mom refuses, noting that Hanna has “bad judgment” when it comes to boys . . .

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, apparently . . .

Later, when her mom has SUPPOSEDLY left, Caleb hops into the shower, while Hanna is in the bathroom putting on her makeup.  Then suddenly, Hanna’s mom rushes the bathroom, having forgotten her phone in there.  Not wanting her new Boy Toy to be caught squatting, Hanna has to act fast.  She quickly jumps into the shower with Caleb, closing the curtain behind her, just seconds before her mom enters the bathroom.  Caleb is clearly turned on, and impressed by Hanna’s boldness . . .

Observe the Biting of the Lower Lip, a.k.a. Sexiness Incarnate.

Hanna’s impressed too . .  . by Caleb’s Hot Wet Bod, and the fact that he has a tattoo someplace naughty . . .

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But the virginal Hanna is not quite used to the “feelings” she is starting to get in her nether regions, everytime Caleb is near.  And so she responds, by keeping her distance.  (Undoubtedly, this makes Caleb question his decision to get the words “Hanna Banana” tattooed to his . . . banana.)

Fitzy is Rollin with the Homies . . .

Aria goes to visit Ezra at his apartment before school, as per usual.  Today, she is dressed as Jungle Safari Barbie.  Fitzy answers the door, fresh from a workout.  He is sweaty, tan, and surprisingly buff.  Gone are the days of the Pasty Toothpick Legs of yesteryear . . .

Goodbye!

Fitzy looks GOOOOOOOD.  Apparently, secret sex with 16-year olds is good for the soul AND the body of twenty-something English teachers.  Who knew?

Aria brings Fitzy his morning paper  This would be sweet, except he doesn’t subscribe.  (Apparently, Fitzy much prefers poems about Golden Falafels and “things that smell bad” to reading actual news.)  Aria cutely tosses the paper down the hall, so that Fitzy’s neighbors don’t realize she STOLE it from them.  She then tells Fitzy she wants to be his stage manager in the play.  This will give the couple a great opportunity to try having sex in places other than Fitzy’s apartment and dingy public bathrooms spend time together in public. 

Aria also wants Fitzy’s friends to like him.  Fitzy notes that Aria’s “homies” will absolutely like Fitzy, because all “homies” like Fitzy.  By using the word “homies,” Fitzy is unwittingly reminding Aria of his age.  (1995 called, Fitzy!  It wants the word “homies” back!)  But Aria doesn’t care, and decides to make out with Fitzy anyway.  And the moment is so adorable that it allows us to momentarily forget that Fitzy is probably still a bit odorous from his run . . .

Jungle Safari Barbie is clearly turned on by the “animal musk” emanating from Fitzy’s post workout body . . .

Blind Jenna’s Got a Brand New Bag . . .

At school, the girls spy Pedo Ian and Blind Jenna talking, and getting pretty cozy.  Pedo Ian hands Blind Jenna a Mysterious Green Bag.  None of the PLL girls can think of any logical reason Pedo Ian and Blind Jenna would have for communicating with one another.  After all, Pedo Ian is a coach, not a teacher.  “What sport does JENNA play?”  Spencer inquires, which is a funny question, but also REALLY MEAN, when you think about it . . .

Spencer suggests that she will work on getting some intel about Blind Jenna and Ian from Creepy Toby.  She plans to see him after school to drop off a book.  Emily asks if she can see him instead.  After all, it’s been a full week, since she’s been kissed by Little Orphan Butchy.  So, she is lonely, and in need of attention.  Spencer, who’s been in somewhat of a dry spell, since her SECOND boyfriend, Alex, dropped into the PLL Missing Mate Vortex (along with Wren, Scary Noel, “Ben,” Deputy Douchey, Maya, Sean, and Lucas)  reluctantly agrees to Emily’s request.

Later, while the girls are waiting for rehearsals to begin, Annoying Mona, who received a part in the play, along with Hanna and Spencer, actually says something that makes me laugh, for once, and not want to wring her neck . . .

There’s a first time for everything!

(By the way, why is Spencer dressed like Pocahantas?)

When questioning Hanna about her little rendezvous with Caleb in the shower, Mona notes that Hanna ought to ride that pony, and ride it hard and fast.  “Bad Boys only shower once a year,” she notes wryly.  (SEE!  That was FUNNY!)

(I wouldn’t note this comment at all, except for the fact that it illustrates that Mona KNOWS about Caleb staying with Hanna.  The jab at Caleb’s hygiene, or lack thereof, also reminds me a bit of “A’s” little joke last week, in which she (or he) referred to Caleb’s residence in Hanna’s basement as an “infestation.”  Does that mean that Mona is “A?”  Possibly . . . though I kind of hope not, because that would be a rather dull solution to the mystery, in my opinion.)

Speaking of Mona, wanna see her in a RIDICULOUS costume?

You know . . . this outfit looks really familiar.  I think Spencer wore it on the show once . . .

During the rehearsals, Ian randomly pops in, for no reason whatsoever.  This inspires Emily, who’s working in the play as “costume designer,” to remark, “He’s so creepy!”  (I HEAR THAT, SISTER!)

This prompts YET another, Ali flashback . . .

I hope she had good insurance . . .

Back when she was alive, Ali apparently scored the girls fake IDs and got them into a party at Ian’s frathouse.  (Timeline-wise, this sort of doesn’t make sense, as we were led to believe that Ian was already a coach at Spencer’s school, and therefore, a college graduate, when he kissed her, back when she was 14.)  Ali then promptly disappears, leaving the rest of the girls to their own devices.  Suddenly, a scream is heard, and a random girl tumbles down the steps.

The girls look up, and see Pedo Ian staring down at the unconscious girl, with a sinister expression on his face.

The police and ambulence are eventually called.  And the girl is pulled away on a stretcher.  Outside, Ali reunites with the girls, and gets them a ride home with one of the policemen, so they won’t look “suspicious.”  Needless to say, Ali looks EXTREMELY suspicious to both the PLL girls and us viewers.  Did she have something to do with the girl who was pushed down the stairs?  Did Ian?  Was Ali with Ian when the accident occurred?  Lo and behold, it’s YET ANOTHER unsolved mystery . . .

Speaking of looking SUSPICIOUS and getting IN TROUBLE, during rehearsals, Aria slips, and refers to Fitzy as “Ezra,” causing eyebrows to raise throughout the room.  Fitzy is clearly uncomfortable with the implications of Aria’s words . . .

Do that again, and I am throwing you to the lions, Jungle Safari Barbie!”

Speaking of people who secretly want to get into Fitzy’s pants . . .

Aria’s Dad Seduces Fitzy

“Drink up, Hot Stuff!  I just put a ruffie in your beer.”

Remember last week, when Aria’s dad called Fitzy, and asked him out for a date, after being a TOTAL DICK to him at the parent teacher conference.  My how things have changed!  These are the ACTUAL WORDS Aria’s dad said to Fitzy, when they went out for drinks, this week:  “My daughter thinks you are Hot Stuff, and I have to agree.  I think it is so bold of you, exposing yourself to your students like that.”

Wait . . . it gets WORSE!  At the bar, Aria’s dad wonders why Fitzy is “hiding out” at the high school, when he is clearly such a lousy talented writer.  He casually notes that Aria is already looking at colleges in California, and will soon “leave him behind,” like the rest of his students.  Papa Montgomery then offers to get Fitzy a job at HIS college, so they can screw!  where there are plenty of underage chippies for Fitzy to bang!  (And Aria’s dad would know . . .)

Interestingly enough, rather than cause Fitzy to worry that his girlfriend’s father is CRAZY, and has a WEIRD CRUSH on him (just like Aria’s mom) this date has the unexpected impact of making Fitzy MAD at Aria.  He becomes convinced that she’s going to leave anyway, so why bother with their relationship?  Fitzy starts talking to Aria about his taking the job at the college to “focus on his” really bad writing.  “My future and your future . . . may not be linked,” he says cryptically.

But Aria is not one for giving up.  She arrives once again at Fitzy’s house, and asks him “Can’t we just be happy with what we have now?” 

So he kisses her . . .

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“Good answer,” she replies.  (We think so too!)

Creepy Toby Love Square

Emily brings  Creepy Toby the book she promised Spencer that she would deliver.  She hasn’t really talked to him, since the whole “He Thought She Turned Him in to the Cops” thing.  Toby admits to Emily that he now knows that it was Blind Jenna who turned him in, and not her.  Emily thinks this is cause for celebration, and invites Creepy Toby for breakfast.  He agrees.

Unfortuntely, when the time comes for the fateful breakfast, Creepy Toby is nowhere to be found.  Blind Jenna is there, however.  “He left with Spencer,” Blind Jenna notes smugly.  “It sucks feeling like you are second choice, doesn’t it?”  She inquires.

OOOOOH BURRRRN!

Then Blind Jenna randomly starts playing the flute.  (It’s The Bad Seed Soundtrack!) 

Meanwhile, Spencer is trying to convince Toby to steal Blind Jenna’s phone, so the girls can determine if she’s been conspiring with Pedo Ian against them.  Toby is skeptical at first.  But Spencer reminds him that his nightmare will never end, until Ali’s killer is found.

It’s hard to take anything Spencer says seriously, when she is dressed like Hiawatha.

Spencer then asks Toby why he was spying on Ali and the girls, the night of the “firecracker” incident.    Toby tells her that he wasn’t.  Ali merely had something on Toby, and decided to use it against him. 

Spencer begins to consider the notion that Ali may have actually been targeting BLIND JENNA that night because of her involvement with Ian.  She also wonders whether Ali pushed the girl down the steps at the party for that same reason . . .

Toby agrees to get Spencer the phone, and the two share a sweet moment of Hand Fondling together.  Apparently, nothing bonds two people together, like a Dead B*tch and a Psycho Sexual Deviant Sister.

Time to “Throw Down”

Hanna hands off Blind Jenna’s phone to Caleb, so that he can break into it.  But Caleb finds the notion of breaking into a Blind Girl’s phone to be morally reprehensible.  (This, coming from the guy who BROKE ARIA’S MOM’S CAR ON PURPOSE, BROKE INTO THE SCHOOL MULTIPLE TIMES, FIXED EMILY’S PHONE SO SHE COULD CALL MAYA, DESPITE IT BEING FORBIDDEN, DEALT DRUGS TO HANNA’S FRIENDS and is SQUATTING IN HANNA’s BASEMENT!)  He’s also unable to do it, because the phone is too high tech, even for a hardcore criminal, like himself.

Hanna, who’s still feeling sort of uncomfortable around him, after the whole Shower Thing, promptly blows him off again, once he can’t “fix” the phone.  So, when Hanna arrives home, Caleb has packed his things and is ready to move out of Hanna’s basement.  But Hanna doesn’t want him to leave.  (Would YOU?  Have you SEEN that body of his?) 

Caleb then slyly offers to get his tattoo removed.  (HAHA!)  But Hanna doesn’t want him to do that either . . .

Finally, Caleb figures it out.  “You saw me in the shower . . . and now you think you have to throw down too,” he explains.

“What if I don’t want to?”  Hanna inquires.

“That’s OK,” Caleb replies.

“But what if I DO want to?”  Hanna asks seductively, building up the courage to do what she’s wanted to do to Caleb, ever since he made that Bieber comment, all those weeks ago.

“That’s OK too,” says Caleb, with a smirk.

They kiss . . . it’s SUPER HOT!

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Sorry Lucas!

Oh Rats!

Back at school, the girls find a trunk of “props,” for the play.  One of them just happens to be a trophy of Pedo Ian’s, covered in blood . . .

The girls are immediately convinced that it’s the murder weapon used to kill Ali.  However, us astute fans remember the trophy from it’s mysterious appearance at the conclusion of  the episode “Je Suis Un Amie,” a few episodes back . . .

So, we immediately know that the girls are being setup.   The most obvious assailant is Blind Jenna, as it appeared to be HER house featured in that scene at the end of “Je Suis Un Amie.”  If Jenna didn’t have the trophy then, it is also entirely possible that IAN gave it to her, in the bag he handed off to her earlier in THIS episode.

But the PLL girls don’t know any of this.  And they bring the trophy to the police for examination . . .

No good deed goes unpunished.  Because, the next day, the police track down the girls at school, and accuse them of obstructing justice.  Apparently, the blood on the trophy belonged to a RAT, not Ali (Though, honestly,  with that b*tch, is there really a difference?)  The girls are then asked to go down to the police station with the officer for questioning.  As they wait outside the policecar, they receive a text from “A.”  It says:  “Rat me out, your blood is next!”

SPOOKY!

The final scene of the episode features “A” passing her gloved hand over four rat (mouse?) cages.  Each cage is labeled with one of the PLL girls’ names . . .

But Spencer’s rat cage is different.  Because hers is . . . EMPTY!

UH OH, Spencer!  Time to hibernate!

And that’s all I’ve got.  See you next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

Hanna’s “Infestation Problem”

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

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

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

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

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

GOTCHA, Secret Hat Sharers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Strange Boy #1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aria’s Papa Don’t Teach

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

GO AWAY!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I have no idea what he’s talking about.

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

Anyway . . .

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

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

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

Emily Gets “Special Treatment”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then they hug . . .

*sniffle sniffle*

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

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

“I’m single!”

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

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

“W .  . . T . . . F!”

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

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

Spencer’s New Sidekick

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

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

This is the message she decodes . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Room 103?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOBY:  “Breath mint?”

“Hope you brought a helmet!”

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

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

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

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

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

TOBY:  “I can do that.”

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

“Ready or not, I’m coming in!”

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

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

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

See ya next week, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

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

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

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

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

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

Turning the Paige . . .

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

Sorry, Em!  But you KNOW it’s true!

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Yes, she SURE does!)

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

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

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

HUH?

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

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

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

“Fooled ya, didn’t I?”

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

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

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

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

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

Source

Aria’s Not So Shocking Discovery

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nope . . . still not sexy . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We don’t . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blue Beret sold separately!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For once, Spencer, that face is TOTALLY justified.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mmmm!  That looks like it tastes good . . .

Meh . . .

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

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

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

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

Let’s review, shall we?

Questionable Judgment (and even more questionable hats)

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

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

Sorry, Buttercup!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Battle of the Breast(stroke)

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

But SOMEONE isn’t happy about it . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are YOU talkin’ to me?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night at the Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I am SO f&*ked!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Part About Aria’s Parents — Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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

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

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

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

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

Spencer’s Big Secret

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See ya, next time . . .

[www.juliekushner.com]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honestly, can you blame her?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Heck yeah, it would!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hanna Becomes A’s Prostitute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Snoopy Spencer Strikes Again . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Pretty Little Liars

The Hand that Rocked the Video Camera – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Know Your Frenemies”

Oh, lighten up, girls!  The Jersey Shore isn’t THAT BAD!

Welcome back, my Pretties!   Well .  . . it seems we are one week closer to figuring out who A, and Ali’s killer, are.  (According to the PLL writers, the mysterious “A’s” identity should be revealed next week.)  Given the events of this week, we can now be pretty sure that “A” and Ali’s killer are two different people.  Inevitably, this begs the question of what, exactly, “A’s” motives are? 

After all, this week, for the first time, we witnessed “A” doing things that ostensibly seemed to help the girls, both in their personal relationships, and in their quest to solve the mystery of their friend’s murder. 

 

So, what’s the deal?  Is A seeking simply to seek vengeance against the girls, for wrongs they have purportedly committed against her (or him) in the past?  Or does she (or he) have more complex motives than that?  Let’s analyze, shall we?

A Whisper in the Dark

Is it just me, or does the fact that Spencer is wearing BRAIDED PIGTAILS make this scene seem much more ominious than it would otherwise?

With her boyfriend, Alex, pissed at her, Spencer is no longer getting laid. 

I know someone who could fix that for you, Spencer . . .

As a result, she’s got A LOT of time on her hands.  And what better way to spend your spare time, than stalking your recently-married sister, and her quite possibly sociopathic boyfriend?  When the episode begins, Spencer is eavesdropping in the stairwell of the basement where newlyweds, Melissa and Sociopath Ian, have formed their temporary Love Nest.  Conveniently, she overhears them both whispering incriminating things to one another like “No one can know.”  and “We are in this together.” 

When Spencer’s monstrously large feet creek on the steps, Melissa becomes paranoid, and rushes to investigate.  In doing so, she just misses Spencer, who dashes back to her bedroom, and shuts the door, just in time to escape detection.  And wouldn’t you know it?  The minute Spencer gets back to her computer, the ALL POWERFUL, ALL KNOWING, ALMOST GODLIKE “A” has left her an e-mail . . .

Married for love or an alibi? – A

Well, THANKYOU Captain Obvious!  (“A” maybe all-powerful, and all-knowing, but her messages seem to be getting lamer and less funny, with each passing week.  What gives, PLL writers?)

The next morning, Sociopath Ian finds Spencer in the kitchen, and starts threateningly asking her questions about what she may or may not have heard the night before.  Spencer claims she didn’t even know the Happy Couple was home.  But the Deer in Headlights expression on her face says differently . . .

Sociopath Ian informs Spencer that he and Melissa will not be sticking around Rosewood, as originally thought. Instead, they plan to move to Philly (on the lam?)  “We are family now,” Sociopath Ian tells Spencer menacingly, “I hope you start thinking of me that way.”  (Hey, Ian.  You know who else was really into family?  Norman Bates from Psycho . . .)

“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

Recalling the MYSTERIOUS GOLF TAG attached to Ian’s bags . . .

 . . . which were also attached to Alison’s bags on the night she died, Spencer asks Ian a few pointed questions about the resort and golf course.  When Ian refuses to take the bait, she decides to investigate the matter further . . .

The next day, the Oh-So-Clever Spencer contacts the resort, pretending she is Ian’s wife, who is interested in getting information about the room where he stayed.  (By doing this, Spencer hopes to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Ian HAD, in fact, gone away with Ali, the weekend before she died.)  Inexplicably, she makes the call using a Laughably Bad Southern Accent.  (Why the accent, Spencer?  Do you think they are going recognize your voice?   Not everyone who works at the Hilton Head watches Pretty Little Liars, you know?)

Of course, the good ole’ folks at Hilton Head confirm that Ian (who apparently wasn’t smart enough to use a pseudonym, when he checked into a hotel room with a girl who was OH SO OBVIOUSLY underage) had, in fact, stayed at the hotel with a “guest,” shortly before Ali was murdered.  Despite the fact that this would be a FABULOUS lead for the police to investigate, when the New Chief Detective on the case (a.k.a. NotDeputyDouchey) conveniently pops in on the girls, Spencer says nothing.

“Dammit, Spencer!  You couldn’t have said ONE SENTENCE to me about Sociopath Ian?  I was one line away from getting my SAG card!”

Back at home, while supposedly “studying,” Spencer embodies the Nosy Neighbor in every single Family Sitcom ever made, by snooping around in Ian’s moving boxes for clues.  Spencer’s search is interrupted, when her sister Melissa comes home, bearing groceries, and a Big Ole’ Pregnancy Test Ovulation Kit, that conveniently falls to the floor, so that Spencer can find it.  (Come on, Melissa!  You couldn’t have fit that in your purse?  What kind of Murder Suspect ARE YOU?)

When Spencer questions her sister about the kit (She’s just questioning EVERYBODY this week, isn’t she?), Melissa’s eyes glaze over like a Stepford Wife, as she explains how she no longer cares about having a successful career.  Instead, she would rather squeeze out lots of “Little Melissa’s and Ian’s,” and have a Big Sweet Sociopathic Family.

Spencer immediately begins searching Melissa’s ears for excess wires and computer parts.  Finding none, she becomes convinced that EVIL Ian has hypnotized her Big Sister into giving up her future.  During this enlightening conversation, a very Testosteroney (seriously, did he BULK UP since the last scene?) Sociopath Ian comes home.  Upon hearing that Melissa spilled the beans about the Happy Couple’s planned Baby Fest, Ian grunts and shoots a Roid Rage-induced sneer in his new wife’s direction . . .

This is probably what The Hulk looks like, about two seconds before his face turns green . . .  and he rips his shirt open . . . with his bear hands . . .

Though both Melissa and Spencer assure Ian that the couple’s “Baby Making Secret” (SO SCANDALOUS!) will remain under wraps until further notice, Ian doesn’t look at all convinced . . .

Emily’s and Maya’s Relationship Goes to Pot . . .

Unlike Spencer, Emily’s problems this week ostensibly had NOTHING to do with “A” or “Ali’s killer.”  Rather, her own MOM was the Big Bad Villain of her tale, this week . . .

It all started with Emily’s mom catching Emily and Maya getting a bit cuddly on Emily’s bed, while the two were studying eachother’s body parts.  Emily’s mom TOTALLY flips out, and kicks Maya out of the house.  Maya is so incredibly shocked by Emily’s mother’s rude and homophobic behavior that she leaves her bookbag in Emily’s room.  This, in hindsight, was the STUPIDEST thing Girlfriend could have done, under the circumstances.

Once Maya leaves, an Enraged Emily tells her mother that, for the first time in her life, she is ashamed to be her mother’s daughter . . .

Taking a page from Snoopy Spencer’s book, Emily’s mom creeps into Emily’s room, while the latter is at school, and rifles through Maya’s bag.  Inside the bag she finds a MIX TAPE (gasp!) and an ALTOIDS box (double gasp!).  Why Emily’s mom decided to open her daughter’s girlfriend’s Altoids Box remains a mystery to me.  (Perhaps, she has bad breath from all the SEAFOOD she has been eating lately, if you catch my drift. ;))  Whatever the reason, upon opening the ALTOIDS, Emily’s mom finds two delicately rolled joints embedded therein.

Maya is INTO THE REEFER! 

Emily’s mom speedily confronts Emily about what she found, before rushing off to rat Maya out to her parents.  The next day, we learn that, upon finding out that their daughter smokes Altoids, Maya’s parents have decided to ship their daughter off to some Religious Wackadoo Camp for BAD GIRLS!  (I’ve seen pornos that started this way . . .)

“I wanna be a BAD GIRL, because it hurts SO GOOD!”

By the way, did anyboy ELSE find it weird that Maya’s Hippy Dippy Parents, of the Permanent Marker Wedding Rings and the Getting Married AFTER having two kids, would freak out THIS MUCH over a little pot?  Riiiiiiight . . . as if those two weren’t High off their Asses, and rocking out to the Grateful Dead, when Maya was conceived!)

Emily is clearly heartbroken, when she informs her friends of the news, the next day.  But fear not, Emmaya Fans!  The Pretty Little Liars have a plan!  And when the foursome get together that night to search through more of Ian’s boxes study (No .  . . I’m serious.  This is the girls’ idea of fun) . . .

. . . they call upon Maya to surprise Emily, and give the Wounded Lover a nice final Goodbye Screw, before she leaves for Jesus Camp . . .

Remember, boys and girls, Maya eats EVERYTHING . . . but seafood.

Now, I have to admit, initially, I was skeptical of the Emmaya pairing, simply because I thought Maya was boring, and looked more like a 35-year old hooker, than a high school student.  But I must say, the farewell kiss and slow dance that Maya and Emily shared together this week was SUPER HOT!  (And this is coming from a Straight Girl.)

We’ll miss you, Emmaya!  Y’all come back now, you hear?

Note:  When Maya is leaving Spencer’s house, SOMEONE, presumably either “A” or Ali’s killer, is clearly watching the girls from outside the house.  The foursome gives that person chase, but SHE gets away, causing Hanna (I think) to remark, “That’s one fast, B*tch.”  Whichever of the two “villains” that stalker ends up being, it obviously isn’t Maya.  This is not to say, that if the stalker was “A,” Maya can’t end up being Ali’s killer, or vice versa.  It’s just some food for thought . . .

Poor Creepy Toby!

In other news, Spencer has been spying on Creepy Toby.

Seriously, is there anyone Spencer HASN’T been spying on?  I feel like she’s been making THAT FACE for the ENTIRE HOUR!

In spying, she learns that Creepy Toby, has been getting harassed at school, as a result of his being the main suspect in Ali’s murder investigation . . .

His face also, apparently, scares little kiddies . . .

This causes him to cry in dark alleyways . . .

We feel your pain, Creepy Toby!

A Strikes Back (Against Bushy Eyebrows Noel?)

Creepy Toby wasn’t the only PLL Guy having a rough episode this week.  Our favorite English Professor, Fitzy, was still dealing with the increasingly aggressive threats of Blackmailer and Professional Creepo, Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who “needed” Fitzy to change his grade on his English paper, so that he could compete in the “game” this week. 

(Note: I’m not entirely sure what sport Noel plays.  However, I imagine he’s probably not a swimmer.  Those massive eyebrows would DEFINITELY weigh him down, underwater.) 

Noel even goes so far as to hand Fitzy the same paper AGAIN to “re-evaluate.”  To show Fitzy and Aria that he means business, Noel then makes lewd and suggestive comments to Fitzy’s students about Aria being into “older guys.”  He also suggestively tells Aria’s brother that Fitzy is messing around with a “student.” 

Fitzy is clearly shaken by the threats, and considers changing Bushy Eyebrow’s grade.  However, ultimately, he decides that he cannot, in good conscience, do that. Upon coming to this important decision, Fitzy texts Aria, and invites her to his apartment.

Once she is there, Fitzy confirms his love for Aria, and tells her that he plans to resign from Rosewood High to protect his career, and save their relationship.  “How I feel about you is real,” Fitzy tells Aria.  “I will not change Noel’s grade.  And I will not let him hurt you . .  . I will not let him change this into something that feels wrong . . .  I love you.”

Lo and behold, Aria loves Fitzy too.  (AWWWWW!)

The two then share a long and sweet kiss . . .

Afterward, they head to the couch, for an extended dry hump cuddle session . . .

But just like the final rendezvous between Emily and Maya, there is an element of sadness here, as if the pair fear that, once Fitzy resigns, their relationship is doomed.

The next day, Fitzy packs up his classroom super slowly, as MAJORLY DRAMATIC MUSIC plays in the background.  (Dead Fitzy Walking.)

But, just when Fitzy is about to tender his resignation, he finds Noel in the hallway, getting busted by the principal for purportedly stealing exams . . .

The PLL’s, all of whom, except Spencer, have suspected Noel of being “A” for the past couple of weeks, are shocked by the recent development.  However, they are even more shocked to learn who was behind it.  Just seconds after Noel is publicly confronted for “stealing,” the girls all receive texts from the increasingly chatty “A.”

“A is for Alison, not Amateur.”

Now that “A,” who is clearly NOT Noel, has done Aria a solid, by saving her relationship with Fitzy from utter ruin, the future Miss Fitzy doesn’t know what to believe, anymore . . .

Hey look, Aria is wearing an “A” necklace!  Yes, I understand that her name begins with an A.  But still . . . weird . . .

Cupcake Torture

Seriously, how ADORABLE are these cupcakes?  And where can I buy myself one?

Of all the Pretty Little Liars, Hanna has probably been the one who has gotten the brunt of “A’s” torture.  I mean, the girl got RAN OVER BY A CAR!  It doesn’t get much worse than that.  This week, Hanna found herself at “A’s” mercy, as a result of the letter she found last week, instructing her that she had to follow “A’s” directions, in order to get her mom’s hard-earned  stolen money back.   In her locker at school, Hanna finds one of the many missing $100 bills . . .

The bill has a message taped to the back of it . . .

Go to 21 Main Street.  Ask for Hefty Hanna’s Order – A.

Suddenly, it’s flashback time!  We are treated to a shot of a still-skinny-but-pretending-to-be-fat Hanna, binging on an ENTIRE brownie tin . . .  In comes Ali to “rescue” Hanna, with her “helpful” tips on the Wonderful World of Bulimia.

“I can help you get rid of it [the food in your belly],” offers Flashback Ali seductively.

Back in the present day, Hanna is forced to order an entire box of Pig-Decorated Cupcakes.  She then receives another message from “A,” telling her that she must EAT THE WHOLE BOX of them!

Watching Hanna tearfully stuff her face with cupcakes, as football players “oink” at her, was a truly painful experience.  Arguably, baiting Hanna’s preexisting eating disorder is the WORST psychological torture “A” has inflicted on a member of the foursome thus far.  And when Hanna receives a text from “A,” echoing Ali’s earlier flashback words, “I know how you can get rid of it,” it starts to seem like things have been taken a bit too far . . .

Fortunately, Aria arrives to save the day.  She even blesses the oinking football players with the FUNNIEST line of the entire episode . . .  “Don’t you guys have practice?  Or have you lost your balls?”  the former Goth Girl snarks . . .

You GO, ABC Family!  There’s nothing like a good balls joke, to lift the crowd’s spirits after an uncomfortable moment . . .

While, not going as far as to tell Aria about the “unauthorized loan” her mom took out, Hanna does confide in her friend, about the nature of A’s threats, and her problems with bulimia.  Aria is supportive, without being judgmental.  And it is the support that enables Hanna to go to the bathroom, and NOT puke up those cupcakes . . .

She, does, however, wash and dry her hands, and is rewarded by “A” for doing so.  (Cleanliness is godliness, after all.)

Back at home, Hanna’s mom learns that Hanna has somehow gotten a portion of her “unauthorized loan” back.

And though she clearly realizes that Hanna probably had to do something VERY naughty to get that money, Ashley doesn’t really question it’s source.  This is because Hanna’s mom is kind of a terrible person. (But she is still way better than EMILY’S MOM!)

You know what they say about Idle Hands . . .

In the climactic last few moments of the episode, “A” sends the girls the same video the detectives had shown them last year, of Ali and her “boyfriend” on the night of Ali’s death.  The only difference now, is that this is the UNRATED and UNCUT version.  And, let me tell you, this puppy has SNUFF PORN written all over it!  First, we see Ali talking about how immature her friends are and how much she loves the person holding the video camera.  Then, she turns the camera on HIM . . .

Now, those of us who watched the show last year, already KNEW it was Ian on that tape.  What we didn’t know, was that his on-camera debut, was followed by: (1) the camera being dropped to the ground; (2) moans of pleasure from Ali;  (3) a scream of possibly pleasure, and possibly excruciating pain, on Ali’s part (though the horrified, mostly virginal, PLL’s obviously assume it’s the latter); (4) Ali’s hand grasping at dirt, and twitching; and, finally (5) and, Ali’s hand falling to the ground — completely immobile and lifeless.

Ladies and gentleman, what I just described to you was either the most sexually suggestive video EVER to appear on ABC Family, or one of the most horrifying murders-by-video-camera ever to be witnessed by a young adult audience, during prime time.  Either way, it’s some pretty intense stuff.

Honestly, there’s no telling where things are going to go from here.  And I, for one, can’t wait.  Until next week, My Pretties! 

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Looks Can Be Deceiving – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Salt Meets Wound”

Hanna got bored being home alone.  So, she decided to reenact a famous scene from that old movie, Rear Window.

Welcome back, my Pretties!  It’s time for another Pretty Little Recap.  Is it just me, or does this show keep getting better every week?  I mean, here we are two weeks away from the supposed reveal of “A’s” identity, and I still have NO CLUE who it is!  NONE!  And I suspect everybody . . . even YOU!

Let’s start reviewing the clues, shall we?

What do Jesus and Humpty Dumpty have in common?

When the episode begins, the Fabulous Foursome have just taken a wheelchair-bound Hanna home from the hospital.  Immediately, we see  Hanna fussing with a very large bumper sticker on her cast.  (I’m loving her flawless blue manicure, by the way.)

The bumper sticker says “Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed.”

“So TRUE!”

Of course, the nursery-rhyming sticker is meant to cover up a much more odious message, which “A” left on Hanna’s cast last week . . .

Aria snipes at Spencer for the inappropriate nature of the bumper sticker.  (Hey, at least it didn’t say “Humpty Dumpty was run over by a car.”  Because that would have just been rude!)

“Ya, think!”

(By the way, notice how Hanna has BLACK nailpolish in this scene, and LIGHT BLUE when she gets home from the hospital . . . just sayin’.)

Spencer defends her choice by saying, it was either the Humpty Dumpty bumper sticker or one that says, “Jesus is coming  .  . . look busy.”  Personally, I would have gone with Jesus . . .

With all the TOTAL crazies who are after these girls, they are going to need all the help from above they can get!

One of the girls (I can’t remember who) holds up a stuffed panda that Hanna brought home, and asks who gave it to her.  She tells the girls it’s from Lucas.  Emily thinks this is very sweet, but Hanna doesn’t seem to agree.   As for me, I just keep wondering about that EVIL bear that we saw by Hanna’s hospital bed, last week . . .

That bear is nowhere to be found.  I’m thinking it was from Sean.  So, Lucas’ panda probably ate it . . .

The Truth is in the CARBS!

Hanna sudddenly gets this MAJOR craving for Pop Tarts, which is kind of random . . . And if this was any other teen show, it would make me think she was pregnant.  So, when the rest of the girls leave the room for a second, she takes her crutch, and uses it to empty the contents of the Marin Family FORBIDDEN CARBS CABINET!  Unfortunately, Hanna never gets to eat her precious Pop Tarts, because she finds THIS on the floor . . .

It’s a box of lasagna . . . with HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS HIDDEN INSIDE!

Hanna’s not 100% sure where this money came from, but she’s thinks its probably bad news.  Us fans, on the other hand, KNOW its bad news, because we watched Hanna’s sticky fingers mother steal it from a little old lady, during the mid-season finale.  When the girls come back from wherever it was they conveniently ran off to for the last two minutes, Hanna kicks their asses out of the house.  They seem confused by her sudden rudeness, but chalk it up to her being tired, and, ultimately, leave.  Then, as if on cue, Hanna gets THIS text from “A.”

“Like Mommy, like daughter.  Can you run from the law on those legs? – A”

(I’m thinking this “clue” is going to be a pretty tough one for the writers to explain away.  I mean, any number of high school students could have learned about Hanna’s shoplifting arrest.  Teens do gossip, after all.  But for “A” to know that Ashley Marin stole that money, he or she would have had to have been in the bank with her WHILE she was doing it . . . or at least saw the wad of cash in her car, when she was driving away.  I don’t think too many of the suspects on this show had the opportunity to do either of those things.  The plot thickens!)

When Ashley Marin arrives home from a shopping spree, Hanna confronts her about the Lasagna Money.  (I sure hope they don’t end up eating those!  Who knows where that money has been?)

Rather then be embarrassed or apologetic about her behavior, Mama Marin copes with the situation, by getting extremely defensive with her daughter.  “I HID IT IN A BOX OF CARBS!  I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SAFE!”  She whines.

(Nice Mama Marin!  Way to make your daughter, WHO IS RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER, feel good about herself . . .) 

 Ever the wordsmith, Ashley describes the money as a five finger discount an “unauthorized loan,” one that she plans on paying back by the end of the year by turning tricks for Deputy Douchey and Aria’s dad.  Hanna, of course, thinks her mom’s excuse is a load of crap, as do I.  But she’s got way too much on her plate to deal with it right now . . .

“Maya eats everything!”

Sometimes, I have to wonder a bit about the writers of Pretty Little Liars, and just how purposeful their “dirty little jokes” are.  Take this scene for example, where Emily is having yet another awkward breakfast with her perpetual-stick-up-her-butt mom, and her way-nicer-than-I-thought-he-would-be military dad.  The family is discussing how Emily’s girlfriend, Maya, will be joining them for dinner that evening.  So, Emily mother asks if there is anything she should know about what Maya eats.  To this, Emily responds, “Maya eats EVERYTHING!”

I know, girls.  We can’t believe they wrote that into the script, either . . .

Source

(For those of you who don’t understand why that comment was risque, you are probably better off not knowing.) 

Anyway, the next day at school, Emily is VERY nervous about Maya coming over for dinner, and instructs her new lady love to wear a dress.  Maya jokes that she will tell Emily’s parents that she knit her dress, so as not to appear too “butch.” But Emily is not amused.  Apparently, Emily’s parents are NOT down with the gay jokes except the ones they accidentally make, involving “eating out”.  They even change the channel when Ellen comes on . . .

They must have something against dancing!

Aria, who is nearby at the time, tells Maya that if she decides to wear jeans, instead of a dress, she should definitely IRON THEM . . .

“Nice one, Aria!  Usually, Spencer and Hanna get all the funny lines, but that one was all YOU!”

Maya does end up wearing a dress to dinner, which scores her major points with Emily’s mom.  Those points disappear, however, when Maya tells Mrs. Fields (as in Emily’s mom, not the maker of the cookies) that she doesn’t eat fish seafood.

Yeah . . . I can’t defend them anymore.  The writers definitely knew what they were doing here.   That was one FISHY joke!

“But you said MAYA EATS EVERYTHING!”  Emily’s mom cries out way too loudly.  (Oh dear!  This is starting to make me feel uncomfortable.)

Maya loses more points, when she admits that her parents didn’t get married until AFTER she and her brother were born.  (GASP!)  They also used a FELT TIP MARKER to DRAW their wedding ring. (DOUBLE GASP!)  And one of them even has a TATTOO!  (OOOOHHHH NOOOO!)  Emily’s dad thinks Hippy Dippy Maya is just a plain old riot.  But Emily’s mom most certainly does not.  In fact, she leaves the room to do THIS . . .

While in the pantry, Emily’s mom spent so long, staring at jars of food, and bawling her eyes out, I half expected her to try and POISON Maya to death, by sneaking seafood into her meal.  To make matters worse, when Emily’s mom comes outside to give Maya some leftovers, she finds her and her daughter making out, HARD CORE!

I wouldn’t eat those leftovers, if I were you, Maya.  They seem . . . fishy.

After dinner, Emily’s sweet mom kindly tells Emily that (1) her dad’s leaving again at the end of the month; and (2) Emily’s relationship with Maya makes her sick to her stomach.  (Wow, the moms on this show are the BEST EVER!  One’s a thief, and the other’s a mean-spirited homophobe . . . If Aria’s mom ends up having killed Ali, I won’t be surprised.)

She is a witch, after all . . .

 Speaking of Aria . . .

She visits Fitzy, after class to tell him that it was Bushy Eyebrows Noel who “I SEE YOU””d his car, during the mid-season finale.

Aria assures Fitzy that Noel promised to keep their relationship a secret.  But Fitzy isn’t so sure . . .

His suspicions are confirmed, when Noel stops by the class later to complain about a “C” he got on his Great Gatsby paper . . .

Noel doesn’t think he deserves a “C.”  Not with all he .  . . KNOWS.  In fact, he thinks that he deserves an “A.”

Get it?  “A” . . . (hint, hint, wink wink)

Fitzy tells Aria that Bushy Eyebrows Noel is a TOTAL psycho, who is blackmailing him for grades.  Their discussion is interrupted by Super Scary Blind Jenna (more on her freakishness later), who needs Fitzy to sign something.  “Sorry to interrupt,” she snivels.

OK . . . PLL writers, the whole “Blind Girl Knows Everything” joke is getting a bit old . . .

Aria later confronts Noel about Fitzy’s allegations against him.  Noel completely denies it, assuring Aria that her illegal boyfriend is a Big Fat Liar.  What surprises me is that Aria actually considers this for a moment.  However, she then remembers a time when Ali got Noel’s girlfriend to dump him, so that he would be single for Aria (who was crushing on him at the time).

Check out “Goth” Aria, and Not-Actually-Chubby-But-Pretending-To-Be Hanna from Flashback World!

And look!  There’s Bushy Eyebrows Noel with an Elvis Presley Haircut that’s SO LAST YEAR!

“Is there some old grudge you’ve got against me and my friends?”  Aria asks, genuinely expecting an honest answer from this d-bag. 

Noel responds by . . . walking away . . . (Hmmmmm, interesting.)

 

But you know who CAN’T walk away?

Even though Creepy Toby is out on bail, he’s under house arrest.  This means he has to wear a police-locating anklet, just like Lindsay Lohan.  When Emily comes to visit him, he’s trying to CHOP IT OFF.  (Riiiight, because the cops would NEVER notice a thing like THAT!)  Emily promises that she’s not the one who turned Creepy Toby in to the cops last season.  Creepy Toby doesn’t seem to believe her, because Emily never showed any signs of believing Toby, when he promised her that he didn’t murder Ali.

After Emily leaves, Blind Jenna pops up (as she ALWAYS tends to do), thereby ensuring that this already creepy scene is about to get TEN TIMES CREEPIER!

Toby tells Jenna about how Emily said she wasn’t the one who turned him in to the cops.  “She didn’t.  I did,” says Jenna matter-of-factly.  “How did you expect to prove you were innocent, if you kept running around like a fugitive?”

Then . . . she KISSES . . . HER BROTHER . . . ON THE LIPS!

OK . . . I get that they aren’t supposed to be biologically related .  . . but STILL!

Toby makes me like him just a smidge more, when he rebuffs Blind Jenna’s advances.  (See, I didn’t even call him Creepy, this time.  Baby Steps.)  “You can chain me to this porch, and I still wouldn’t touch you again,” he growls.

Blind Jenna responds to this remark, by slapping Toby in the face, and running away.  But Toby’s got bigger fish to fry than a Scary Incest Loving Sister.  We learn toward the end of the episode, that the police found Ali’s blood on the ugly green sweater Toby lent her the night she died.  This will undoubtedly make Toby the prime suspect in Ali’s murder, in the eyes of the Rosewood Police.  In PLL viewers’ eyes though, the prospect of Toby’s being “A” and/or Ali’s murderer is becoming increasingly less likely.  (After all, he has a perfect alibi for when Hanna was hit by the car last season, seeing as he was IN JAIL at the time.)

 

“Point, Set, Match!”

Of all the Pretty Little Liars’ storylines tonight, Spencer’s was probably the least interesting.  Because Wren wasn’t in it.  BRING BACK WREN!  In her defense, she was looking ABSOLUTELY fabulous in her 1920’s inspired hat, and matching blouse.  She spent most of the episode making out with her new boyfriend notWren Alex . . .

 . . . who, though, supposedly “working class” inexplicably owns a REALLY nice sports car (see above). 

Spencer and Alex got into a bit of a fight over the fact that Alex had the opportunity to take on a fancy tennis internship  (He could GO PRO!), but prefers to stay at home and work for his uncle instead.  Over-achieving, Harvard-bound, Spencer thinks this is kind of lame.  And when Alex throws the internship application in the trash, she looks disappointed in him.

“I’m judging you.”

So, you could imagine BOTH their surprises, when Alex is notified by phone that his internship application has been submitted ELECTRONICALLY.  Alex automatically assumes Spencer went behind his back to do this, and storms off.  So, of course, precisely NO ONE is surprised when Spencer receives that Oh-So-Predictable text from “A” that says . . . wait for it . . . “Point, Set, Match . . .”

That’s OK, Hanna . . . we thought it was cheesy too.

Back at her mansion, Spencer finds all of her NEW brother-in-law, Ian’s stuff in her living room, and chats with her dad about what a huge jackass her sister decided to marry, and how bizarre the whole thing is.  (We think so too, Spencer!)  While she’s looking at Ian’s crap, she notices a set of golf clubs with a hotel tag on them Hilton Head, South Carolina . . .

She then conveniently recalls, via flashback, that Ali had the same tags on her suitcases when she returned from her “Grandma’s House” the day she died.  And since WE all know from that video tape from last season, that Ian may well have been the last person to see Ali alive . . . this all looks very suspicious, indeed .  . .

Happy “You Still Have a Spleen” Day, Hanna!

Annoying Mona decides to throw Hanna a “Welcome Back!  You are still hot, even though you don’t have a spleen” surprise party at the Marin household.  But Hanna still HAS her spleen, so Mona has to change the party’s name.  Name changes aside, Mona arrives at Hanna’s house, under the pretense of “getting her up to speed” on school.  She then acts shocked, when a random car pulls into Hanna’s driveway.  Hanna, of course, FREAKS out.  “CALL THE POLICE!”  She yelps.

“SURPRISE,” replies the ENTIRE student body of Rosewood High . . .

Hanna tries to be a good sport about this impromptu event, but it’s pretty clear she’s not having a good time.  For starters, random people (most notably BUSHY EYEBROWS NOEL) are raiding her CARBS CABINET, which, as you recall, contains her Stolen Lasagna Money.  Then there’s her lame as heck boyfriend, Sean, telling lame stories about Hanna to anybody who will listen, and making constipated monkey faces, like THIS . . .

Then there’s Lucas, who CLEARLY did not take Hanna’s gentle bedside rejection of his advances well AT ALL!  He’s getting belligerantly wasted on “jungle juice,” and making all sorts of snide (though admittedly VERY funny) comments at Boring Sean’s expense.  Eventually, Sean gets fed up, and starts to whale on the kid.  Fortunately, Bushy Eyebrows Noel breaks up the fight.  (I can’t believe I just used the words “fortunately” and “Noel” in the same sentence.) 

Hanna invites a very petulant Lucas outside to talk about his feelings . . .

“You came here to get back at me for what happened at the hospital,” Hanna tells Lucas, matter-of-factly.

“You are no different from the rest of them!” Lucas yells, despite the fact that Hanna has been NOTHING BUT NICE to him, through his hospital stalking, and recent bad behavior.  “Considering what that b*tch did to me, I should have done way worse to her!”

Hanna looks horrified.  “What did you do to Ali, Lucas?”  She asks.

Lucas then admits something we all have suspected, since last season.  He was the one who destroyed that UGLY ASS memorial fountain built in Ali’s honor.  “Dying doesn’t make you a saint,” Lucas says, by way of explanation.

But destroying this fountain makes YOU one, Lucas.  MAN, was that thing UGLY!

Lucas offers Hanna the opportunity to turn him in for his destruction of public property, but Hanna refuses.  “I’m not going to call the cops.  I think we can keep this between us,” replies Hanna.

“Please don’t make me like you.  It’s too hard,” pleaded Lucas sadly, before walking away.

(Please don’t make me like YOU, Lucas!  Because, despite everything you’ve done in the past two episodes, I still DO . . . VERY MUCH, actually!  And if you end up being “A” or Ali’s killer, that will make me REALLY upset!)

*Sigh* 

After Lucas leaves, Boring Sean comes outside to stick out his tongue and sing “Na-Na Na-Na Boo, Boo!”

But Hanna uses this opportunity to question him as to how well he really knows Bushy Eyebrows Noel, who she still suspects of being “A” and/or “Ali’s killer.”  The mere SUGGESTION that his Butt Buddy isn’t Mr. Perfect, freaks out Sean.  And he gets all huffy with Hanna.  So, Hanna, who is clearly tired of babysitting cranky baby boys, when SHE is the one nursing a serious leg injury, tells Sean to leave, and take the rest of her “party guests” with him.

While Hanna is cleaning up, she hears a noise in the house, and becomes convinced she is being attacked by “A” and/or Ali’s killer.  The poor girl is nearly in tears, when her mother gets home.  Mama Hypocrite is FURIOUS with Hanna for throwing a party (which she didn’t, by the way .  . . at least, not on purpose).  Hanna’s mom then becomes even MORE furious when she finds that someone has STOLEN her STOLEN MONEY from her!

Ashley Marin takes one of Hanna’s pain meds, before stomping off to bed.  But when Hanna opens the SAME medication, she finds a letter tucked inside . . .

“You will get your money back, if you do what I say. — Sweet Dreams, A”

In the last scene of the episode, we see a “mysterious gloved hand” (Aren’t they ALWAYS mysterious and gloved?) shoving those stolen $100 bills into an UGLY Clown Bank . . .

My prediction?  The next time we see this bank, it will be in episode 4.  And it will be THIS bank, that ultimately reveals to US (if not to the Pretty Little Liars themselves) A’s identity.

And, that was “Salt Meets Wound” in a nutshell.  Sweet Dreams!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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