thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars Roundtable: “The Goodbye Look,” Season 2 Episode 2

In girl culture, Pretty Little Liars, teen soaps on June 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Each week, we’ll be sitting down to chat (or Gchat) about the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars. This week: Aria’s divisive fashion sense, no-good fathers, and why we don’t want A coming near any more puppies.

Friend Breakups and Make-ups

Sarah:  What are your thoughts on the enforced friend breakup on the recommendation of the therapist in this episode?

Phoebe:  Good question! I feel weird about it … I feel like don’t completely trust the therapist, although we have no clear reason not to yet. Although there was that one shot last week when she left her office as she was getting in her car that made her feel creepy. AND I feel like the parents are too on board or something.

Sarah:  Right! Also suspicious was the way Hanna kept saying you could tell a lot about a person by their shoes, and then seemed to imply that the therapist’s shoes were fake.

Phoebe:  I am guessing that the shoes are fake, therefore the therapist is fake.

Sarah: Totally—I trust Hanna’s instincts. Also, the recommendation that the girls not see each other doesn’t really make sense to me in any case even if the therapist was a legit human being. If the girls are suffering a terrible post-traumatic loss from the death of their friend, why would you rip away their support base?

Phoebe:  Exactly. I understand perhaps not all going to therapy together or even the same therapist. But splitting them up seems unwise.

Sarah:  I do think it will be interesting to see the fallout of the friend breakup. Of course, it’s not really working because they’re still meeting in secret (and I love how Hanna is the one who’s like, “You guys we don’t have to actually do what our parents/the therapist say, they are not dictators”).

Phoebe:  Me too. Especially now that they have decided to go against their parents. I feel like Hanna going back to Mona is weird. I do not trust that Mona character at all. Also, speaking of make-ups, that Aria and Fitz kiss was ridiculous!

Sarah:  You were not moved to tears by the sunlight streaming through the window and the swelling orchestra??

Mona Is Terrifying

Sarah: But yes, also Mona: how much do you think she knows?

Phoebe:  Too much I think. Her deal with Noel is still creeping me out.

Sarah: Yeah, and I definitely thought Mona asking Aria to pick out the Fitz goodbye present was sketchy. But the trick with Mona is that since her personality is naturally fake, you can’t tell when she’s being fake! Which is smart.

Phoebe:  She is too wily for my tastes.

Sarah:  Mona might be a genius. If she has a baby with Noel, that baby will take over the world with its dimples and tricks.

Phoebe:  Perhaps. But an evil genius.

Why So Vague, Melissa?

Sarah: Also speaking of babies, what do you think about Melissa and motherhood? I was thinking about it a lot in this episode, how her whole identity is Ian and the baby.

Phoebe:  I think bad things. I found myself wondering last night if the baby is even real, or if it is a fake pregnancy?! Like Terri on Glee. I realize it is super conspiracy theorist. But Melissa is super sketchy.

Sarah: But at the hospital did the nurses and doctors say something about the baby?

Phoebe:  Yes true. Okay so perhaps it is not a fake baby. But she is so shady.

Sarah:  I feel like she seems like she’s on anti-anxiety drugs constantly since Ian came back. Do you think Ian is drugging her? Or does motherhood make you kind of vague.

Cute Puppies and Floppy-Haired Brothers

Phoebe:  What about the dog at the end of the episode? And the return of Jason
and his ridiculous fence?

Sarah:  ACK okay let’s talk about the dog.

Phoebe:  I was so worried that they were going to hurt the dog, but A petting it was also super creepy.

Sarah: I feel like PLL was definitely playing on our emotions right there. But A seems to be a friend of the canines. Oh and Jason! What do you think of his recasting?

Phoebe:  SO confused is how I feel. I couldn’t figure out why I was so disoriented by him last night. I really dislike recasting mid-stream in general and this really threw me off. This guy is hotter but not as creepy as the last Jason.

Sarah:  Yeah, last Jason was like dark-side Brendan Fraser. This Jason is like Shawn Ryder from Boy Meets World. I’m not clear why he is so important yet. He’s looking for something Ali hid, and Ali hid everything because she was a power-hungry kleptomaniac.

We’ve All Known Alis

Phoebe:  My mom said upon encountering Ali and PLL for the first time “Why would anyone be her friend? She is terrible.”

Sarah: That is a question for the ages!

Phoebe:  I concur. I think we have all known Ali’s: that is, dynamic people you want to be friends with. And she wraps you up and makes you feel cool and good about yourself, but is also manipulative. She is the kid parents don’t want their kids to be friends with.

Sarah:  Yeah, she’s the person who makes life seem more exciting. Which you need when you live in a town like Rosewood.  The only moment we’ve seen her at all vulnerable is when she gives Emily the snow globe and says Emily’s the only one who understands her. She seems wistful when she says that, maybe because she likes how Emily sees her, since Emily sees the best in everyone. But at the same time that could be manipulation too. Ali’s like Mona in that way, where you can’t tell what’s real and what’s not.

Phoebe:  I concur.  I feel like you never see an Ali you can trust or even like.

Sarah:  It would be interesting if we did though…

Bad Dads and Final Thoughts

Sarah: Oh also, going back to something you brought up a while ago: Hanna’s dad is back! And I hate him.

Phoebe: I am pretty disturbed by Hanna’s dad returning. And I feel like he it is unclear to me why he is back and/or important to the plot. He appears to have no narrative relevance whatsoever … at least thus far.

Sarah:  I think his narrative relevance is making my blood boil, because you do not get to disappear from your daughter’s life and come back wily-nilly. I feel like he has no right to have any say in Hanna’s life right now. Her mom may be an embezzler, but at least she sticks around.

Sarah: Any final thoughts on this episode to share?

Phoebe:  Mostly, that this was not my favorite episode. But I am looking forward to next week. Final thoughts for you?

Sarah: Yeah I agree, it was a little low on action. My favorite part of the episode was when Spencer and Toby are looking down at the town, and Spencer says it’s just a town, and Toby says there are monsters in it.

Phoebe:  Oh that reminds me that my favorite parts were the random weather shots and some unusually dramatic shots of the girls. For example, Aria thinking about Fitz before she runs out to the parking lot to find him (in her ridiculous outfit).

Sarah: Aria should have a fashion advice column.

Phoebe:  Aria needs so much fashion advice. So much.

Sarah:  Nooo she should be writing the fashion advice column!

Phoebe:  Those socks were killing me. I feel that it is fair to say that I would only read that column in order to mock it.

Sarah:  People need to know how to wear one extremely long feather earring and Madonna gloves. The people need to know, Phoebs.

Phoebe:  Ugly! So ugly!

Sarah:  You can write a counterpoint fashion advice column co-authored with your new Modcloth purse.

Phoebe: Ha! I’m on it.

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  1. You ladies are my favorites, and I would just like to add: I WAS SO AFRAID FOR THAT DOG.

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