This week’s PLL was SO scary and filled with many creepy twists and turns. Plus we got a reveAl, and Paige was cleared of all A-related business. Read on for our thoughts on the PLL summer finale.
Toby?! No! Wait really, do you think he is part of the A-team? Or is he playing Mona?
Sarah T: This reveal made me cackle out loud. And THAT is how you do a twist. I think it’s definitely possible that he’s a double agent who’s crossed over in order to bring down the A-team. He basically threatened to do as much earlier in the season when Spencer was stonewalling him. However, I hope that he’s in the Axis of Black Hoodie Evil for real — not because I want to see Spencer get hurt, but because that is so interesting if it’s true. It’s a total game-changer not just for his character and his relationship with Spencer, but for the entire series. It impacts what we think about his relationship with Jenna: What if she’s the innocent in this scenario? Or what if they’ve both been on the same side the whole time? It also has implications for what we know about the night Jenna got blinded and Ali’s argument with Toby in its aftermath. What if Toby really WAS spying on the PLLs the night of the Jenna Thing? What if Ali had something on him that was bigger than the step-incest intel? I like this plot development for the way it breaks the show open, so I hope it sticks.
Phoebe B: Oh my goodness so many good questions ST! Oh man I actually really hope that Toby is a double Agent and not part of the Axis of Black Hoodie Evil … Mostly I don’t want him to be evil and playing Spencer because they just slept together for the first time (right?) and I feel like it would be super messed up if he was then evil. I feel like if he was evil, then the show would be somehow punishing Spencer for sex and that would make me sad. BUT also, if Toby is indeed evil that would be an insane turn of events since then maybe he really was guilty back when he was accused. And Toby does randomly disappear a lot. Although remember when A-knocked him off that ladder/scaffolding situation at the Hastings? That seemed real and he seemed surprised. But maybe he was playing Jenna or was horrible to her? Rather than the other way around. Oh I don’t know anymore, I’m just so confused!
This week on PLL, lovers were scorned while Ella dated many men. Then Hanna got stabbed (by her own hand) and Wren sewed up her leg. Meanwhile, Aria and Ezra continued to squabble and Emily kissed Nate. Read on for our thoughts, musings, and suspicions regarding our favorite Pretty Little Liars.
These two don’t Clash.
Ella is having so much fun dating! What do you think of her choice in men?
Phoebe B: Oh man I’m so excited for her and the hot cafe owner! He is adorable and clearly so into her. Also, I thought his exchange with Aria was hilarious and awkward and I was pleased to find out that Ella was out and about dating up a storm. I really hope he isn’t terrible … the men on this show are so hard to trust! Interesting too that just as Aria and Fitz are starting to have trouble, Ella starts having a fun dating life. Lastly, there final wine filled date looked so fun and cute as did that amazing and delicious-looking picnic he brought her at school.
Sarah T: Aria’s protective warning to Zach—“If you hurt her, I’ll crush your scones”–is most definitely the line of the night. I don’t think Zach is going to be one of the bad apples (of which there are men aplenty on this show), but I do think that he was a little off his rocker bringing Prosecco to drink in the classroom in the middle of the school day! I guess maybe that’s proof that he’s been out of high school long enough to reasonably date Ella.
Good observation about Ella’s dating life picking up just as Aria and Ezra are hitting the rocks, Phoebes. I also think it’s interesting that the Montgomery clan seems to solely date outside their own age range: Aria’s parents date younger, Aria dates older. What will Mikey do? Does Mikey exist anymore? Only time will tell. (Where is Lucas, relatedly, and why isn’t anyone asking him why he had the pills that were used to drug Emily? My beloved show has more dropped plotlines than Bella Swan has dropped spaghetti sauce.)
So many scorned lovers this week. Are you worried about Paige and Wren betrAying the PLLs?
Phoebe B: I am so worried! I feel like Wren was being really nice and patient this episode, until that last moment plus awkward hand touch. But in fairness to him, Hanna is definitely sending some mixed signals. And where is Caleb? I’m super confused as I thought they got back together last episode rather than agreeing to avoid each other. And then Emily! NO! I pulled the blankets over my face when she and Nate started making out. What was she thinking?! Also, it was like the least sexy kiss ever as they have no chemistry. And I felt so bad for Paige … Do you think Emily is going to tell her? It seemed like perhaps that was afoot in pre-swim practice before they were called to go in the pool. But I feel like Paige is rightfully pissed (seriously!) and has been so awesome and supportive of Emily and she likes her so much. Thus, I most worried about her betrAying Emily. What do you think ST?
Sarah T: Yeah, I’m not super-enamored of Paige at this point (she’s just so intense!), but I did feel bad for her when she peeped Emily and Nate accidentally making out. I don’t think she or Wren will end up being the betrAyers, however. Neither seem very A-associated, although of course somebody could have a sudden memory relapse that reveals they were in Fashion Club with Ali the day before she went missing or what have you. On the Wren front, granted Hanna kissed him and there’s clearly an attraction there on both sides, because girl’s not blind. But she gave him two very reasonable reasons why they can’t date (his history with Spencer, her situation with Caleb), so he should listen to those reasons and not loom quite so pleadingly. And maybe try being attracted to girls his own age? Spencer and Hanna is seeming like an Ian-type pattern.
But speaking of betrAyals! My money’s on Toby. Here’s why: he’s super-frustrated with Spencer right now, he was sketchy at the end of the last season (remember how he seemed to be getting chummy with Jenna again and pretended to hate Spencer for confusing reasons? Maybe he’s pretending NOT to hate her!), and everyone keeps talking about how saintly he is (see also: the Dalai Lama comparison in today’s episode). My other top contenders are Lucas and Maya (post-humously).
What do you make of the video Noel sent Spencer? And Maya’s temporary accommodations at the creepy Kahn cabin?
Phoebe B: Scary all around! I can’t believe that Emily and Hanna went out there alone (and that Hanna stabbed herself) and got locked in the creepy cabin. Also, why was Maya staying there? So now we know this is where Maya was staying when she disappeared and that she never got on the bus (remember that episode where Em’s dad helped her look for Maya? Heartbreaking.). Perhaps she found the room when she was at one of Noel and his brother’s super creepy parties.
And that definitely seemed like A that took her near the end of the video, which we now know can’t be Jenna and/or Noel or at least they didn’t kill Maya. After all they might still be part of the A-team. Also, how did Noel know that was what Spencer was looking for? And also why haven’t they shown that video to the police? Is it because Jenna was trying to frame Garrett? Or rather A was trying to frame Garrett and they are part of the A-team? Also, what happened to Jenna’s short-lived terror abotu everyone finding out about her eyesight? I think she was faking it. But oh man, so many things were afoot this week!
Sarah T: First off, why does Noel think it’s hot that Spencer believes he’s capable of murder? I feel like only a murderer would think that! And I’m also not sure exactly why he sent her the video in the first place, except that perhaps he was getting annoyed by her sleuthing and locker-safe-cracking and thought the video would persuade her to bugger off. (Clearly he has no idea who he’s dealing with.) But moving beyond that, it seems like Noel was both Maya’s weed dealer (I buy that connection) and that perhaps he was also providing her with a place to crash whilst high, which would make sense since her parents had her on drug-related parole. Also, I guess Jenna was faking being blind with Noel in the video? I think, timeline-wise, that was after she’d gotten her vision back. Not sure what the significance there is, except that it makes me think they’re not both on the A-team. Unless perhaps the Red Queen keeps her A-team members unenlightened about the developments with the rest of the crew.
This week, our fab four split off for individual or pair-oriented adventures. Emily spent the entire episode watching videos from Maya’s vlog, and it was sad. Hanna made up/made out with Caleb, and he officially voiced his intentions to join Team A Take-Down. Spencer and Aria went to a post-collegiate-aged party and had a Noel/Jenna smack-down. A rented an apartment or something and it truthfully wasn’t as sinister as usual, which is maybe a nice break. Even murderer/stalker/blackmailer types need some downtime every once in a while. Read on for more ponderings on “The Kahn Game.”
Don’t mess with the (evil) best.
What was your take on the insanely high-stakes game of “Truth or Truth With a Stopwatch, Everybody Act Like This Is Intense Even Though There Are No Real Consequences”?
Sarah T: Here are my thoughts in numerical order. One, the Noel-Aria face-off was full of spite! Do you think he still resents Aria for kinda-dating him and then getting back together with Ezra? Two, the Jenna-Spencer face-off was full of simmering rage, but I was interested in that scene beforehand where Jenna’s telling Noel she won’t let Spencer bully her again. I’m curious about how true that reading of Spencer is, from Jenna’s perspective, and how much that comment was just damsel-in-distress misdirection. Three, what do you think Jenna and Noel talk about together? What kinds of activities do those two creepers get up to? Noel-Mona were about presenting the pretty polished surfaces, but Noel-Jenna seem to be about cobwebs and axes of evil and adopting pet snakes. They’re such a fun couple.
Phoebe B: Yes! Noel seems a tad bit pissed still about the Aria-Ezra situation. To Two: I was so intrigued by that exchange between Jenna and Noel and was trying really hard to remember whether Spencer had ever bullied Jenna. And then I thought perhaps Ali had told Jenna lies about Spencer or maybe there is a yet to be revealed moment of Spencer being mean to Jenna. Also, I imagine that Jenna and Noel talk about plotting evil A related things or just plotting evil in general. They are a great evil-power couple. Also, Truth with a stopwatch game. What is going on?! And what a contentious round between Spencer and Jenna? Oh my. And what is going on with Cece? I am so suspicious of her and I feel like she did not give Spencer’s application to the UPenn guy (I don’t even think he exists).
Is Caleb a brave white knight or a misguided one?
Sarah T: Misguided FTW! I mean, I totally get why he wants to help Hanna, and I get why he wants to go after A (especially given that he now knows A went after his mom). He should probably do those things, even though the more he gets involved in mystery-solving the more scared I get he’s going to get blown up. But what about the “You’re talking to a guy who just kidnapped his own girlfriend” line and the “I’m not asking for your permission” line? Both seem aimed at positioning him as the Take-Charge Guy, although he didn’t kidnap Hanna at all. He tricked her into meeting him outside a cafe and then she willingly got in the car with him. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with being take-charge guy, as long as he doesn’t think that means he is the ONLY person in charge or that he is in charge of anybody else. Hanna is in charge of herself. Ahh, feminism… Sometimes I just gaze off in the distance and think about how much I love it (not sarcasm).
Phoebe B: I think Caleb is perhaps a white knight but also maybe more like a equal partner white knight. I think it is great that he is on board! And not taking no for an answer. Mostly, because I think more people on the anti-A team, the better! And I feel like Caleb understands that he is not in charge of Hanna but that he wants to help and that he wants to be part of the team, rather than getting shut out. I think too, that for the PLLs, it might be an important lesson to ask for help or allow themselves to be helped.
This week on Pretty Little Liars, everybody kissed everybody, which was fun, or else they flirted about dry-cleaning, which was very wrong. In other news, Maya had a vlog full of secrets, Ezra has Old Money and a vengeful mom, and A has a pocketful of sunshine. (Pocketful of sunshine = mad cash.) Read on for more on “Stolen Kisses.”
Emily was with Paige on the night of the flask-driven wanderings that ended at Ali’s grave! Discuss.
Phoebe B: Oh my goodness! This was SUCH an interesting development and their KISS! SO amazing and such a long time coming. I felt like their conversation, including Emily’s reaction, about the night Emily was drugged was really interesting and seemed reasonable to me too. And then Paige’s apology to Emily was so heartfelt and sad and heartbreaking including her comment about how mad she was at whomever drugged Em. It became so clear to me in this episode how much Paige just adores Emily and is protective of her too. Then their kiss! And then the synchronized swimming!
Sarah T: I was also excited about their kiss and the metaphorical synchronized swimming, and I thought this plotline was often pretty hilarious. Like how Emily and Paige went on a run but really it looked like Emily was chasing Paige through the woods to try to get her to slow down and talk to her about That Night. It’s funny to me when people on TV set up a conversation explicitly to talk about something and then they don’t talk about it until, like, midway through the activity. Emily’s tiny hat was funny as well. She still looked amazing obviously because she’s Emily, but tiny hats are never not silly. Oh and then Paige’s speech to Emily was definitely heartfelt, but also so melodramatic (“It was like a dream… and then you were gone”). That’s just the way Paige rolls I think.
What are your thoughts on Fitz’s family? And his mean (yet super wealthy) mom?
Phoebe B: Ezra is secretly wealthy! And clearly the product of like serious East Coast prep school life! Madness. I did not see this coming at all but maybe it helps explain his random sock drawer full of rolled up bills in a giant ziplock bag. His mom also seems horrible and I couldn’t (and yet could) believe that she tried to buy Aria off. I did love Aria’s storming out (and her dress was SO beautiful) and her breakdown with her dad was also heartbreaking (so much emotion in this week’s episode). It was nice in some ways to see Byron be more supportive and present although I missed Ella and really wanted to know how her hot date with the cafe owner went!
Sarah T: This revelation about Ezra’s old money past makes soooo much sense, actually. That’s why he’s kind of generally dapper and uptight, and why he buys Aria expensive pinhole cameras, and why his version of struggling writer looks so elegantly scruffy — microbrews, Westerns, manly yet bohemian apartment decor. He practically has lightly worn elbow patches. Read the rest of this entry »
This week on PLL there were more scary dolls, mental institutions and crazy codes, ouija boards, and flashbacks aplenty. Read on for our thoughts on this week’s rather scary Pretty Little Liars.
What do you make of Cece? She seems scarily Ali-like.
Sarah T: OR IS ALI LIKE HER? Either way I think Ali is cooler. Cece’s got the long blonde curls and the willpower and the tendency to make crazed impulsive decisions that coerce others and freak out her friends, but she doesn’t have Ali’s… sociopathic charm? That certain je ne sais quoi that I look for in my totalitarian teen leaders. (Also how old is Cece supposed to be, because I feel like she’s got at least ten years on the PLLs.) Anywayyy, I do like the idea of an Ali doppelganger — someone who Ali even looked up to and emulated, based on that comment about how she was like “a broken doll.” (DOLLS. This show is obsessed with them. Much like Edith at the Hairpin.)
Phoebe B: Agreed on all counts. Cece appears to be just a tad too old for high school. So perhaps Ali is like her! And then there is the fact that she knows ALL the PLLs secrets. I don’t understand why Emily is hanging around her. I am hoping that it is to gather information, but I am a little worried that she actually likes Cece because Emily is reminded of Ali. But I am scared for the PLLs now that Cece is back in town.
Melissa: Phoebe, right!?!?!?! I totally got a flirty vibe from Cece, though I imagine like Ali she’s just toying with Emily. While I don’t trust Cece at all, I am intrigued by the notion that Ali might have modeled all her troubling behavior off of this woman’s ways. And that Ali made herself (and all her friends) vulnerable by confiding so much in Cece…whose involvement with Jason only deepens the mystery still forming around the good ol’ NAT club, doesn’t it? Was Cece somehow involved in the filming of girls? Was she drawing Ali into the dark surveillance world?
Let’s talk about Ella! What do you think of her date? And her awesome coffee shop owner flirtation?
Sarah T: Hahahahaa, this whole storyline made me really happy, from Ella asking Aria for date-outfit advice and then stopping herself with, “Wait, why am I asking you? You wear forks as earrings.” to her rockin’ chemistry with scruffy coffeeshop guy. (Zeke? Zach? He seems like a Z-name guy.) Ella is smoking and awesome and I love that toothy smile she does when she’s flattered/embarrassed. It’s another interesting addition PLL’s long line of inter-generational romances, but this is one that I can get behind — unlike Aria-Ezra, Spencer-Ian/Spencer-Wren, Aria’s dad-Meredith. Cougars all around! Also, Pastor Ted! He is playing the field, that one, with his boring stories and weird ice cream-eating habits.
Phoebe B: Oh my god, I LOVE this storyline! Forks as earrings! And her and Aria’s conversation about scarves … it was all so charming. That was an amazing line and rang so so true. Also, hot and scruffy coffee shop guy whose like “What’s wrong with your age?” is so amazing. Ella is smoking and the best and I loved how much she was NOT into Pastor Ted (also, I found him super sketchy on that date with his creepy ice cream swirling) who seems like a goober.
Melissa: I was SO happy that Ella ditched Pastor-Boy for CoffeeShopOwner, because I was (mainly) worried that her dating Ted would ruin her budding friendship with Ashley, and okay, I love their friendship so much. Their white-wine girl-date was one of my favorite moments of female friendship that I’ve seen on television, and I don’t want a creepy pastor playing the field to come between them. Also, Ella, go for the real sexual tension and the (no euphemism at all!) tasty baked goods! Ditch Pastor Awkwardpants! Who sets up a date at a coffee shop and then shames you for getting coffee just because he wants ice cream in the sun? Lordy.
This week on Pretty Little Liars, everyone dropped everything to flock to the white-hot heat of a church dance celebrating a rummage sale; a trap for A shockingly failed to ensnare the hooded top banana; Ezra is probably going to join the embezzler’s club (currently headed by Ashley); Garrett got off the hook for murder, and Spencer subsequently broke down. Intensities abound! Read on for our thoughts.
Just a totally regular interaction between two people hanging out normally.
This storyline was heavy on Spencer-Alison drama. Thoughts?
Sarah T: I love it whenever the show concentrates on Ali’s individual relationships with our PLLs. The friendship between her and Spencer has always been shown as the most tense and conflict-ridden, largely because she didn’t hold the same kind of power over Spencer as she did over the others. In the present day, she resents Ali more than the others do (but that also suggests she’s maybe hanging on to some things the others have let go of). But in this episode, the dynamic got a bit more textured when we see Spencer feeling hurt and frustrated because Ali bails whenever they make plans. And then Ali tries to reframe the conversation in terms of maturity, which is a total power play — she’s leaving to get them all fake IDs, so that “instead of languishing at the kiddie table, we’ll be mixing it up on futons with frat boys.”
But I also thought it was interesting that this episode highlighted the friendship between Hanna and Spencer in the present as a contrast to the Ali-Spencer relationship in the past, since Hanna’s storyline is partly about becoming Ali 2.0: Now Far More Benevolent. When Spencer confesses to Hanna that she fantasizes about what her life would have been like if she’d never met Ali, Hanna understands — and when Spencer adds, “But then I have to remind myself, if I hadn’t met Ali, I wouldn’t have been friends with you,” it’s clear she feels the same way. Spencer’s always needed the other PLLs the most, I think; in a lot of ways she’s the loneliest (because her family is uniformly made up of possible murderers and accessories to murderers).
Phoebe B: Yes and yes! I loved that part between Hanna and Spencer and appreciated the focus on both of them this episode as they are my favorites. But also I thought it was interesting to see Spencer looking at the anklet and on an A-related adventure with Jason, whom I am not sure I completely trust (despite that they are siblings). Also, how creepy was Spencer’s dad when he was watching her and Toby chat on the bench? Ugh I do not like him. Read the rest of this entry »
The Prettiest of the Little Liars are back and A is scarier than ever. Last season ended with a Psycho-esque turn. With Mona tucked away safely in a mental institution, the PLLs thought their A-related troubles were over. Sadly for them, but lucky for us, they were wrong. This season looks scarier than ever replete with empty graves, a new and more terrifying A, and much much more. Read on for GLG’s thoughts on this season’s opener.
“Mona played with dolls, I play with body parts”. -A
What do you think about the PLL’s individual states of being? Emily is understandably having a rough time…
Sarah T.: I’m glad they all had prototypical summer activities: Spencer was scholarly, Aria was artsy, Emily was a do-gooder and Hanna had fun with cooking classes and new vocabulary a la Cher from Clueless. (Maybe my favorite moment of the episode was her solemn attempt to comfort Aria by correctly yet oddly using the word “jubilation.”)
Spence and Hanna seem to be the most stable at the moment. It completely makes sense that Emily’s in heavy-drinking and mourning mode: she’s now lost two people she was close with (and with whom she had romantic relationships ranging from semi- to fully-realized). Shay Mitchell did good job of showing how Emily’s sullenness is a cover for the real pain she’s dealing with.
Aria seems more fragile than usual in the aftermath of the A-bathroom scare, which probably has as much to do with the fact that her parents are splitting up as it does how terrifying that hoodie person was. (What happened when the stall door swung open slowly? We never find out. Did she have a panic attack and black out the way Emily did, or was there no one there at that point?) I’ll be interested to see if A is finally going to start coming after her the way A has with the other three girls.
Phoebe: I totally agree about Emily and feel like her response is pretty reasonable. Although, I felt so sad for her when she felt guilty as if A basically abducting her and taking her to an empty grave (ie framing her) was her fault! Also, I thought it was weird that this episode the PLLs were apart so much. Like they were together initially at Spencer’s house and then the Lake house but then spent most of the episode in separate places, which made me anxious!
Also, Aria! So, while the episode totally set us up to believe that she has having a panic attack (what with her earlier bad dream at Ezra’s) I am not sure that she did have a panic attack. I wondered if perhaps A was in the bathroom and being extra scary. Since A seems to always know everything, maybe A knows and is cruelly playing on Aria’s panic attacks?
Lastly, I love that Spencer spent her summer sitting in the former A room at the former creepy motel and trying to reconstruct it from memory. (Although I am worried that her computer will be gone by next episode since she foolishly left it in the room when the PLLs went out to discover all the photos in Spence’s car.) But I love that she realized that there is more to A than Mona and that she decided to be proactive and detective like about it. Go Spencer!
This week’s prettiest little liars triumphed over house fires; pieced newspaper clues together; met a random pilot named Duncan; and perhaps found an ally in Jenna. Read on for more on this week’s PLL escapades.
Let's talk about these outfits.
Who do you think this Duncan character is? Can we trust him, and what did you think about his scenes with Aria?
Sarah T: Who? Ohhh Mark Wahlberg’s younger brother you mean? I trust him so far, since we haven’t been given any reason to believe he’d want to hurt Ali or anyone else. Going off of last week’s discussion of Aria becoming Vivian, I thought that scene with Aria in the plane was so illuminating–when Duncan tells her, “You want to understand your friend? What she was looking for? Take control.” Because now the show is really pulling together the ways the four PLLs are dealing with the loss of Ali, her complicated legacy, and the aftermath of her death.
Spencer is dealing by trying to solve the mystery and lay all the answers out in the open once and for all, so that the house she lives in isn’t always so dark and shadowy and filled with strangers. Hanna’s dealing by helping and/or befriending pretty much everyone Ali ever hurt — Lucas, Mona, now Jenna. She’s the new Ali, but she’s reinventing what the new Ali can be by harnessing her own inherent solar power and making amends for the past (particularly since she tacitly supported Ali’s bullying by not doing anything to stop her). Emily’s dealing by continuing to love Ali and remember her in her better moments, so that all the best parts of her live on. And now Aria–who was the most self-obsessed for a long time, and seemed to be dealing mostly by transferring all the pain and confusion and hurt into her secret relationship with Ezra–is finally dealing by becoming Ali/Vivian in order to understand her. She’s learning how to recognize the parts of herself that lived in Ali, and the parts of Ali that are still alive in her. And that is a rocky, bumpy, scary business, hence the plane and the turbulence, but it may be the key to making a breakthrough. You guys! I can’t even say how much I love this show.
Phoebe: Oh my, I think you said it all and best! But, I am a little less trusting of this Duncan fellow and the time up in the plane with him (with all those tight shots of the two of them) totally made me anxious and feel like he might be up to no good. However, I am excited by this new piece of the puzzle in which Ali returned to Rosewood hours before any of the girls knew. What did she get up to that afternoon? And what had she found out? I can’t wait to know! Also, I am intrigued by Spencer’s mom’s confession that she is the one who suspected Melissa … why didn’t Mr. Hastings reveal that to Spencer? So many lies in the Hastings house, but it was nice to see Mrs. Hastings and Jason chatting at the end of the episode.
Chelsea B: The scenes with him were good, though I agree with Phoebe that the airplane scene made me super anxious. I think this is probably just a personal problem, but I keep assuming that every new dudebro they write into the show is going to supplant Ezra (Holden, Jason, etc.). We’ll see if that actually happens with this one, or if I’m doomed to forever imagining romantic conspiracy theories involving Aria.