thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars Roundtable: “The Devil You Know” Season 2, Episode 5

In girl culture, Pretty Little Liars on July 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

This week on Pretty Little Liars: Questionable though fashion-forward funeral attire, infuriating interruptions and makeout music. Also, why A’s possible motivations are as numerous as jellyfish in the sea.

A Is Complex, and Ian Is Dead

Phoebe: So what are your first thoughts about last night’s PLL?

Sarah:  I thought this was a pretty strong episode overall – good plot developments with Ian’s funeral and Emily’s realization that A was sending the texts. And the scene at the end where we see that Ali was alive after the rock-kiss!

Phoebe:  Oh man that was so exciting! I feel like I have been waiting for that for a while now.

Sarah:  Also one of PLL’s scarier moments I thought, yeah? Our foursome was being so brave in looking for A.

Phoebe:  Oh yes I totally agree! And then it was weird to see A’s legs as we almost only get the creepy hands. But at least A was still recognizable all in black. Also, A must have had it out for Ian, which seems strange.

Sarah:  In what way do you think (that it is strange)?

Phoebe:  I mean since clearly A knew Ian was innocent, but was hell-bent on making his life terrible: leading the girls to believe that Ian was the killer (which he wasn’t clearly, but he is still creepy), killing him, and then revealing his innocence. It just seems like A must have not liked Ian very much.

Sarah: That’s a good point! So the reason A had it in for Ian was NOT because he was Ali’s killer, but for other as-yet-unknown reasons.

Girls, Interrupted (Over and Over)

Phoebe:  Also, I wonder what Melissa was going to confess to Spencer before the phone rang? Also, why do people immediately always jump to the craziest conclusion on this show?!

Sarah:  You are so right. It also infuriates me when that happens, and then the other person doesn’t ask them what they were going to say. Like I get that in this case Melissa’s so furious that Spencer can’t ask her to continue right then, but that also happened earlier in the episode where Spencer tried to tell Melissa about her ring.

Phoebe:  Right?!

Sarah:  And then the mom was like, “Help me with groceries?” And I guess Melissa was like, “Hmm whatever super important serious thing that Spencer was about to say must not have mattered.” I don’t even understand the point as a plot device because it’s just a feint at something happening that doesn’t actually happen. But they can’t trick me! Nothing still happened!

Phoebe:  Also, how is A everywhere? Like in Emily and Spencer’s room?

Sarah:  Maybe A is Mike! Since we know he’s into breaking and entering

Phoebe:  See I thought that too when we found out he has a bit of a robbery habit, but then I thought he was a red herring in that we are supposed to believe that, particularly in last week’s episode.

Sarah:  So true. But at this point every viable candidate is a red herring. So some of them must be actual regular-colored herrings.

Death and Romance

Sarah:  Another thing that we absolutely must discuss: Hanna and Caleb 2gether 4everrr. Your thoughts?

Phoebe:  Exactly. I love love them. They are the best.

Sarah:  Me too. Did I mention that I started swooning when the piano music kicked in, before he even knocked on the door? I was like, that is kissing reunion music right there!

Phoebe:  Yes! It was the best.

Sarah:  And, somewhat related, Hanna’s hat at the funeral was insane.

Phoebe:  Yes it was. But I also kind of liked it.

Sarah:  But in a brilliant way, like as a way of dancing on Ian’s grave without the red dress.

Phoebe: I also thought all their black dresses were very cute.

Sarah:  Me too! Though maybe a bit short for funeral-wear. And Spencer was sporting some mad cleavage. Which on one hand, go Spencer, but on the other hand, maybe save it for later?

Phoebe:  Perhaps. Also, Hanna’s cleavage was rocking

Sarah:  I suppose there was much cleavage on display at this serious murderer-funeral event.

Phoebe:  That there was. That there was.

Sarah:  I thought the shot of the four of them wiping their hands clean from the dirt was pretty cool. The camerawork always seems to be at its most interesting when the four of them are together.

Phoebe:  That was grand. As was the pouring of dirt one by one.

Messed-Up Families and Aria Turnarounds

Sarah:  Oh also: I felt like Emily’s speech about how Jason is a creep was uncharacteristically judgmental.

Phoebe:  I agree. She seemed a bit out of it this episode, like less level-headed than normal.

Sarah:  Perhaps she knows something about the stuff with Jason and Ali that the others don’t? Because Ali told her things I don’t think she told the others, so it would make sense.

Phoebe: Hmm you may very well be right. Also, maybe she is feeling on edge post-fake letter from the college. Also, the note that Jason had! And Aria and Jason’s chemistry post-Mr. Fitz leaving!

Sarah:  Yes! In the same handwriting as Ian’s note, right?

Phoebe:  Right?! Also, what’s up with the cop and Jenna? And paying off the dude at the shipping place. It made me feel more like they are A, but I feel like I can never trust my instincts on this show

Sarah:  Yeah, and I’m very curious about what their connection was with Ian. We still don’t know what was in the mysterious parcel Jenna and Ian were trading back in season 1. Oh and going back to Aria, I think she won me over this episode with how hilarious she was in the scene with Fitz’s ex. Her “yeah!” as Jackie took her leave was the perfect blend of uncomfortableness and fake-niceness.

Phoebe: I agree. That was fun!

Sarah: Here it is:  and right at :43. That is the very second that I was converted into an Aria fan.

Visions of Hair-Feathers and Microminis

Sarah: Also, what are your predictions for next episode?

Phoebe: I think and hope for more Caleb and Hanna. And I miss Toby, and Jenna for that matter. So I would like more of the step siblings, and feel like they might reappear next episode. What about you?

Sarah:  I think/hope that we’re going to get more development of Ali and Jason’s family situation, since Jason was making references to his parents thinking the wrong child had died. And since it is a fashion show episode (so exciting!), I predict many outfits for us to fawn over/mock accordingly.

Phoebe:  Oh that’s right! I am excited about the fashion show! Also, I want to know who is creepily living in Jason’s house … was it Ian? or someone else?

Sarah:  I hope there is a crazy relative in the attic.

Phoebe: Me too! A Bertha Mason stand-in … that would be grand.

  1. As a fellow Melissa, I have to conclude that Melissa is crazy! The way she flew at Spenser like a wild cat when she heard Ian’s phone ring…

    Okay, I’mma lay it on the line for you: I’m suspicious of Melissa. I have been for a while now. But I think she’s either involved with Allison’s death or with the whole A thing.

    In true sleuth fashion, here is my evidence:
    1. Marrying Ian and immediately getting knocked up was just a little too convenient. Unless she was trying to cover something up, why would anyone do something like that?

    2. In Season 1, Melissa seemed to be trying way too hard to make Spenser look guilty or crazy. And I don’t think it was just because she liked Ian so much. She was way too on Ian’s side and helping her whole family think that Spenser had a mental problem.

    3. While Melissa was upset when Ian went missing, I don’t think she was upset enough. If my husband/baby-daddy was accused of murder and then started texting me, demanding medicine, I would be skeptical. Okay, maybe I’m a b@*$&, but my response wouldn’t be, “Weep; weep; oh sure, honey; let me get my ex-fiance to help me steal medicine; weep; weep; my sister sure is crazy.” I wouldn’t keep denouncing my sister in public and playing really-bad-secretagent in my spare time.

    4. DID ANYONE ELSE NOTICE HER CREEPY CRAZY SMILE? The first time Spenser tried to tell her the big secret and they got interrupted by Mom, Melissa’s “I’m-so-crazy-and-vacant” face got this creepy little smile on it.

    Maybe I’m overanalyzing. This is why I got in trouble with LOST – because I thought every little thing was significant, because when I make TV shows, that’s just how I roll. But seriously. That creepy smile was something, guys.

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