“Hey! Watch where you’re putting those hands, Jason Di-Grabby Fingers! Who do you think we are, Toby and Jenna? I’ll be watching you.” – A
Last night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars was unusually thinky and philosophical, wasn’t it? In it, the girls discussed “deep” topics such as “immortality,” “aging,” and “leaving a legacy behind after death.” I bet you didn’t realize you were watching such a SMART show, did you?
“These discussions are nice and all, but I was kind of hoping we’d get to discuss more important things: like whether we like Fitzy’s new haircut!”
Yeah, see . . . here’s the thing. Pretty Little Liars is not a show I watch for “deep thoughts.” So, before I begin my recap, I have a little message for the writers. In the future, less waxing poetic about the meaning of life, and MORE snarky messages from A / sex with inappropriately-aged men, OK?
Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
Glad we got that straightened out. On with the recap . . .
Life’s a beach, and then you die . . .
“Does this insanely large ego, make me look fat?”
When the episode opens, our four main characters are making final preparations for Ali’s Memorial Service, which is set to occur that weekend. They roll out this big scary-looking wooden box . . . the kind that always carries a ferocious tiger, or massive gorilla, in the cartoons. Unfortunately, this box doesn’t contain anything so exciting . . . just this . . .
When the green packing noodles are the most interesting thing inside your box, you know you’ve made a bad purchase.
Despite this “Memorial Fountain” being hideously ugly, the girls marvel over its “sheer awesomeness.” Aria ruminates a bit about how, long after everyone has forgotten SHE existed, Ali will still be remembered as “the dead girl who had the lame fountain named after her.” Aria’s trying to be respectful of her long lost pal, but we all know she secretly wishes a monument could be erected in her honor – one that, for centuries to come, will be considered “home” by countless cigarette butts, gobs of drooly backwash, and piles of bird sh&t.
Aria’s Memorial Fountain
“That’s immortality, my darlings,” coos Spencer, in this weird whispery voice that kind of creeps me out. Suddenly, we are flashed back to the previous summer. The girls are hanging out at the local pool, looking pretty . . . except for Hanna, who’s wearing a t-shirt over her bathing suit . . . because she’s supposed to be FAT! Apparently t-shirt = Really Huge Heifer in Pretty Little Liar’s world.
“Don’t look at me! I’m hideous!”
Ever the philosopher, Flashback Aria wishes out loud that you could pick an age you want, and stay there forever. Riiiiiiight! Because 15-year olds ALWAYS worry constantly about growing old and aging. You know what age I wanted to be when I was 15? 21 . . . so I could drink legally, without having to worry about my fake ID getting confiscated, and someone ratting me out to my Mom.
Fortunately, Ali has a FABULOUS solution to Aria’s wrinkle and cellulite worries. Death!
“Die young. Leave a beautiful corpse,” Ali instructs Aria, as she relishes the thought of dying a mysterious death at an early age. (Be careful what you wish for!) “That’s immortality, my darlings,” Ali concludes, echoing Spencer’s earlier words.
Hey, Ali! You know who ELSE is really into perpetual youth and immortality? Evil Bloodsucking Vampires . . .
OK . . . OK. I’m pretty sure this show ISN’T going in that direction. But, COME ON! Wouldn’t that be a fabulous idea for a spinoff?
The girls are shaken out of their respective reveries by a reminder that they will be meeting with Ali’s long lost older brother, Jason, the following morning, to run through the Service itinerary. The crew take some time out of their busy Memorial preparations to diss on Ali’s Big Bro, wondering out loud how an Ivy League school could have possibly admitted a student like Jason, who listened to “LOUD MUSIC” and “DRESSED LIKE AN EMO!”
NO! Not ELMO! EMO!
And yet, when the girls reunite with Jason the following day, they find out, much to their surprise, that he isn’t EMO at all! Instead, Jason is a Poor Man’s Ryan Phillippe, circa Cruel Intentions.
Same pouty lips. Same “I just sucked on a lemon” face. Still pretty hot though . . .
Jason is also kind of a D-bag. Immediately upon arrival, he gives the girls an obnoxiously fake smile, and thanks them for all their hard work. He then proceeds to subtly crap on everything they’ve done, and completely take over. As if that isn’t bad enough, Jason adds a name to the list of Memorial Service Speakers. Bet you can’t guess who?
WORSE! Guess again . . .
Give up? It’s BLIND JENNA AND HER CANE OF DESTRUCTION!
. . . which she’s mysteriously stopped using, since the pilot episode. (NOW, how are we supposed to know when she’s coming?)
The Return of Deputy Douchey
Apparently, Blind Jenna wasn’t the only one Jason contacted prior to returning to town. He also got a hold of the one man on this show whose D-bag tendencies rival his own. It’s Deputy Douchey! Apparently, Jason is interested in re-opening the investigation into Alison’s murder, and is unhappy with the way the local PD has handled the matter, thus far. So, of course, Deputy Douchey immediately starts nosing around Hanna again, who he CLEARY has some creepy crush on.
Kudos to My New Favorite Character, Hanna, for calling Douchey out on his unethical (but strangely hot) shirtless behavior. “Exactly what evidence were you planning to uncover wandering around my kitchen wearing nothing but a towel?” She quips.
Funny, I think I once saw a porno that began with this exact same line . . .
All Aboard the Lanna Ship (a.k.a. Lucas and Hanna Together Forever)!
Awwww! I SO heart them!
Speaking of Hanna, things just seem to keep going from bad to worse in her life. When we first check in with her, she is complaining to her mother about the total embarrassment of having her credit card recently declined. Hanna’s mother explains that the family has been experiencing financial difficulties. “We’re a one paycheck family,” she explains morosely. “We can’t keep living a two paycheck life.”
By way of illustration, Hanna’s Mom opens the refrigerator, to show her just how bad things really are. (Conveniently enough, if you want to see a “before” picture of Hanna’s Fridge, simply scroll up to Deputy Douchey’s picture, above!)
“Now, honey, I know, in the books, you are supposed to be ‘bullimic,’ but do you think you can switch to anorexic for a little while? The ‘binge’ part of the ‘binge and purge’ cycle is just too pricey for us, right now.”
“Does this mean I have to go back to using the ‘Five Finger’ Discount, like I did in the Pilot Episode?”
But, guess what? Despite the obvious stress she’s under, Hanna doesn’t go back to STEALING!
Why, you ask? Because of THIS GUY!
While the Soon-To-Be Couple (Come on! It is SO obvious!) are working together on formatting the School Yearbook, Lucas unwittingly suggests that Hanna sell some of her old (probably stolen, let’s be honest) designer things on eBay to make some extra cash. Ever the helpful guy, Lucas is even willing to help her photograph the items and put them online.
Hanna makes a MINT! And even though she happens to be with her Snoozy Current Boyfriend, Sean, when Lucas gives Hanna her earnings, the two clearly share a moment, during the monetary exchange. (In yet another beach flashback, we see Ali making fun of Lucas and warning the Not-So-Hefty Hanna against hanging out with “losers.” We can’t help but notice, that Hanna seemed partial to the Nerd Cutie, EVEN THEN!)
Ultimately, Hanna does the selfless thing, by using her eBay earnings, to buy groceries for her mother. As if we couldn’t like this girl enough, already!
In Emily and Maya News . . .
Emily and Maya . . . . . ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz
Oops! Sorry! I must have dozed off for a second there! Emily and Maya went out on a date. They went to see what looked like a creepy old horror movie. It was VERY romantic, so they started to make out during it. Yeah . . . that’s about it.
Oh, and Emily’s Dad is coming home from the Armed Services, which is exciting, I guess . . . Except, I never knew he was gone in the first place . . . I imagine they probably mentioned it before on the show. Maybe I was sleeping . . .
Aria Has a New Guy?
OK. PLL, now you’re starting to make me MAD! First, you have Spencer COMPLETELY forget about Wren, and jump instantly into the arms of the Ball Boy . . .
“Hey, when you HAVE balls, you might as well USE them . . .”
. . . NOW you’ve got this random Noel dude, with big Bushy Caterpillar eyebrows, honing in on Fitzy’s girl? WTF?
“You better watch out, NOEL! I’ve got white pasty stick legs! And I’m not afraid to use them on your face!”
To Aria’s credit, she’s not NEARLY as ho-ish as Spencer, and at least hesitates a bit, before “moving on” to a new man.
Tired of Aria’s newfound mopey ways, Hanna decides to set her up on a double date. You see, Lame-O Sean got four concert tickets. Two of them will go to him and Hanna, of course. But Sean’s friend, Noel has dibs on the third one, and HE would really like to take Aria as his date. Recalling that Aria used to crush on Furry-Browed Noel, Hanna tries to convince her friend to go out with them. Aria initially declines, but ultimately, decides to go.
The problem is that Aria is still SERIOUSLY depressed about her parent’s separation and Fitzy’s sudden departure. So, during the date, she acts like someone just killed her best friend. (Oh . . . wait . . . someone DID!) Noel pulls Aria aside to ask what’s wrong, and, to all of our surprises, she opens up to him about her “ex boyfriend in Iceland” (a.k.a. Fitzy White Legs). Noel sees Aria’s misery, and figures it’s the PERFECT opportunity to ask her whether the two of them can starting making out. (Smooth move, Douche!)
Aria declines . . . but isn’t nearly as turned off by the randomness of the request as she should be. Damn those hot boys with Wild Overgrown Eyebrows! They get away with EVERYTHING!
And then there was Spencer . . .
Spencer was the only Pretty Little Liar who didn’t get any loving this week. Instead, she was pretty much abused, accused, and berated throughout the entire episode. First, Jenna informs her that during the last few months of her life, Ali didn’t TRUST Spencer. Ali apparently told Jenna this, while visiting her in the hospital.
Spencer later learns from Brother Jason that Ali told him all about the Jenna Thing. Except, instead of admitting HER part in setting off the fireworks that blinded Jenna, Ali told Jason that SPENCER was the mastermind behind it all!
Spencer is understandably hurt, and more than a little freaked out, by these revelations. Why would Ali say these things about her? Apparently, Spencer and Ali weren’t seeing eye-to-eye during those last few months before she disappeared. If this information gets out, will SPENCER become a suspect in Ali’s murder?
Possibly, but she won’t be the first. It was also revealed this week that Creepy Toby called Ali on the night she disappeared, and SOMEONE (either Ali or someone with Ali’s phone in hand) TOOK THE CALL!
“What? Did you think they would just STOP talking about me on the show, just because I disappeared? Who do you think I am? Wren?”
Before the Memorial Service, Spencer receives yet another cryptic message from A. “The Memorial Service is tomorrow. Do it right. I’ll be watching, just like Tom Sawyer.”
OK, ENOUGH with the High School English Literary References, PLL. First To Kill a Mockingbird, then Catcher in the Rye, NOW The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. We get it, Tom Sawyer attended his own funeral. Ho, ho, ho. So clever!
Do you really expect me to believe that a girl as stuck up and shallow, as Ali would make this kind of reference in a threatening text message? The Girl Who Never Met a Nerd She Couldn’t Abuse? Even if she READ the book (unlikely), I highly doubt she’d admit to doing it. Be reasonable, PLL Writers!
Here’s a scenario for you. You have this “friend” who is total b&tch during her lifetime, but ends up dying this totally tragic, untimely death.
You have to give her eulogy. What do you say? Do you lie, and make up nice stuff about her, even though you know it’s not true. Are you brutally honest, a la Jen Lindley eulogizing the sort of evil, but hilariously funny, Abby Morgan on Dawson’s Creek?
I WISH I could find that eulogy on YouTube so that I could show it to you. It remains, for me, one of the most uncomfortable moments on television, EVER!
Or do you do something in between. It seems, in this case, that the girls go for option three. Spencer discusses how much Ali would love all the attention of a Memorial Service in her honor. She also talks about how nice it was that she was able to constantly fight with Ali. (Not a smart admission, Spencer, seeing as you’re already a suspect in her murder.)
Hanna talks about how Ali “challenged” her (i.e. relentlessly berated her for being a chubby dork, and made her feel like crap on a regular basis). Emily and Aria say stuff too, but it is so boring and meaningless, that I can’t remember any of it.
At some point, during the ceremony, the Ex-Boyfriend of Spencer’s sister Melissa shows up.
“I come bearing flowers!”
NO! I’m not talking about Wren . . .
Her OTHER Ex-Boyfriend, Ian!
Played by the adorable Ryan Merriman, who, unfortunately, was wearing a shirt at the time.
No one can really figure out why he was there. But I’m sure we will find out in coming weeks . . .
Then Blind Jenna gets up to speak . . .
Surprisingly, she is kind of nice too! She speaks about Ali’s strength, which, I guess, like the rest of the “positive traits” mentioned at the service, could be interpreted as “bitchiness,” but, no matter. At least she doesn’t say anything crazy, like “I KNOW WHO KILLED ALI!”
After the ceremony, Jason approaches the girls with a gift . . .
It is THAT UGLY ASS BRACELET with Alison’s name on it! Supposedly, Alison was wearing it at the time of her death. BUT WAIT! The girls already HAVE that bracelet! They found it in the woods during the second episode . . .
This is when THE BEST PART OF THE EPISODE happens. As the credit begin to roll, we look upon Alison’s Memorial fountain, surrounded by tiles, and covered with candles. A figure in black approaches it. He or she sits silently, observing the memorial for a few moments. He or she then takes out a hatchet, and BASHES THE CRAP OUT OF IT! It is SO AWESOME! That scene makes the whole episode worthwhile, in my opinion!
So much for “remembering Ali forever!” They really should have went with Aria’s Memorial choice . . .
That’s all I’ve got for this episode. According to ABC Family there is only ONE EPISODE LEFT before the Season Finale. That’s CRAZY TALK! That would mean the whole season was just TEN EPISODES long, and I know for a fact that the channel ordered 22 episodes!
Whatever the situation is, there’s a PLL hiatus coming up soon, which means the next two episodes should be ACTION-PACKED! See you then!