Tag Archives: The New Normal

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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