thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

PLL Roundtable: Season 2 Episode 9, “Picture This”

In Pretty Little Liars on August 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

Just in time for this week’s new PLL (so excited!), we have last week’s recap. Read onto find out whether Jason is hot or creepy, why Fitz might be on the outs, why Em has poker problems, and what’s up with creepy camera situations.

Jason: Hot or Creepy? Or both? Or A?

Melissa: Soooooooooooo, PLLL (PLL lovers)…..who has a question for us to consider?

Sarah: I have one!

Melissa: 10 points to Gryffindor!

Sarah: It is this: it appears that Jason has definitely been taking those creepy pictures of Aria, right? There’s no way that was a set-up or that it was being done for some innocent reason. So, what are the implications of this discovery?

Phoebe: I think there is no way that was a set up, given that Jason cleaned his shit up afterward. Also, so creepy! The stalking lens and listening devices seemed, well, over the top.

Melissa: Yes, that’s true… but if it’s not a set-up, then how did A take the picture of Emily/Spencer? Because I don’t think Jason is A – it was too overtly being hinted at for that to be the case.

Sarah: I think A follows them everywhere. Like, if A was watching Em in her house, then A could def be prepared in the shed too.

Phoebe:  I concur that Jason is not A, especially because he does not remember that night, as Jenna and Garrett so nicely reminded us. I thought A might have been prepared in the shed, but also A cannot be Jenna at least alone, right? Because A presumably can see the picture that he/she just developed.

Melissa: Good sleuthing, Phoebe! Really, we always knew Jason was a creeper – isn’t that why he and Ian were buds? Because they window-stalked together?

Sarah: That’s true about him and Ian. I guess I thought Jason might just be into drugs (not stalking), especially because what Ian was into was spying on his sister, which seems like it would have a gross-out factor for Jason.

Melissa:  Maybe he just learned creepy tactics that he is now using on Aria? Or maybe he had a sexual thing with Ali – I always wondered about that, since the night Ali fled the house party at her place and came to Spence’s. And since sibling sexuality has already cropped up in this show with Tobey and Jenna.

Sarah: Oh yeah, she was so upset

Phoebe: She was soo upset … But it also seems like Jason and Ali had a super contentious relationship given that clip with the hockey stick.

Melissa: Oh yeah…could that be rage at him because he was being creepy to her? (I’ve been watching too much SVU).

PLL & The Order of Things

Phoebe: Also, is the night of the party the same night that Ali disappeared? Or well before? Sometimes my timeline gets SO confused.

Melissa: Great question…
Sarah: I think that night was before (though I don’t know by how much). I think that based on their outfits, though I suppose they could have all changed.

Melissa: I also think it was before, because Ali came back from Hilton Head the night of her disappearance…
Phoebe: Oh that’s right!

Melissa: There doesn’t seem time for a house party between Hilton Head and the sleepover.

Sarah: Oh good point. Although PLL is not known for its logic, given that somehow everyone lives next to everyone else. The houses must be just piled on top of each other like a Dr Seuss hat.

Phoebe: That would probably make the most sense.

Melissa: Let’s draw a picture.

Love Triangles Are So Confusing

Sarah: Speaking of inappropriate/questionable relationships: How did you guys feel about the Aria/Ezra hot and heavy scenes?


Phoebe: That was so sassy. Also, aren’t they not supposed to be having sex? Cause that looked like some serious foreplay to me.

Sarah: Yeah I guess they just had a makeout session on the couch? But I concur Phoebes

Melissa: I think sex was only in dreams, but hello skimpy black leotard made of lace thing.

Phoebe: Right?! And the ripping off his clothes in his office, and the asking if there was enough time for “this,” whatever this might be.
Sarah: It’s all so not hand-hold-y (which is like all they have ever done before basically)

Melissa: Hold hands and order takeout

Sarah: And wear bags on their heads

Phoebe: Exactly. Also, what about the Jason/Aria kiss? After all her hot dreams with Jason

Melissa: Sidebar: I thought Jason was seriously eclipsing Ezra in the sexy department.

Sarah: Aagh coming after the photo revelation though it was stressful

Phoebe: Jason = smoking hot pre photo revelation. Post photos, Jason = creeper with oddly good looks

Melissa: I know! I don’t know my film terms, but when Jason found the flashlight in the shed, they did that cut in thing that makes it all jerky – like they did when Spencer was in the car with Garrett – and I got all Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh and Haaaaaaaa at the same time.

Sarah: An accurate assessment

Phoebe: Hahahahaha that was my favorite part!

Melissa: You know what i mean? When the camera jumps in several discrete times?

Phoebe: My mom said at that exact moment, “he is creepy”

Melissa: And his eyes got all crazy looking?

Phoebe: Best part!

Sarah: That actor is really good at playing the line between creepy and hot. Which is hard to pull off.

Phoebe: I concur

Melissa: Like, he’s hotter and creepier than Tobey ever was, which makes him way more disturbing to me as a viewer. I’m thinking “oooooooooooh” and “oh noooooooo” simultaneously. Apparently I was just making lots of incoherent noises while watching this episode.

Phoebe: Nothing wrong with that! I loved when the girls broke back in (bad move) and found the flashlight sitting all by itself in the middle of the floor.  Amazing.

Melissa: Again, too many crime shows, but I was sure that the flashlight was going to be illuminating a scary thing – like a BODY or a FIELD HOCKEY STICK

PLL Award for Great Parent goes to …

Sarah: Ooh also: another Hanna’s mom is the coolest award in this episode for her chat with Emily! And I really liked her parenting approach of the same rules apply to Hanna and Emily, and Emily cutely saying she’ll let her know which are girlfriends and which are girl friends. Emily was so pleased.

Phoebe: Yes yes Hanna’s mom definitely the coolest.

Melissa: I thought she was soooooooooo cute, when she giggled and asked “But how will I know which is which?”  It was such a comfortable way to deal with Emily’s relationships, admitting that she doesn’t understand how to deal with lesbian relationships but not making it a huge thing.

Phoebe: Yeah I concur. Also, I feel like she is being really good with Hanna re: her dad, or at least as good as she can be

Melissa: I was so proud of her for turning him down last week.

Phoebe: Me too!

Melissa: Really, I want to be roommates with her.

Poker, Subterfuge, and Fake Numbers

Phoebe: Also, how creepy was A spying on Emily’s poker game?

Sarah: And, I think it’s interesting  that Zoey didn’t tell Samara Emily asked for her number

Phoebe: Right? Maybe, because Emily gave her a blank piece of paper and so she was confused?

Sarah: Oh it was blank??  I missed that.

Melissa: It was?????

Phoebe: I thought perhaps it was (I don’t know though)

Melissa: That would make sense

Phoebe: Since Em and Aria had talked about bluffing

Melissa: She did grab it quite abruptly.  And it would look to A like she gave her the number

Phoebe: So I thought that Em passing her number was bluffing and she didn’t really hand her anything. And if A was listening then A would also hear Em say she gave out her number

Melissa: Right….  I get why Samara’s upset, but I think she’s overreacting, given the crap she pulled with other girls

Phoebe: Me too. Plus like always on PLL, I wish people would just have a conversation and then get to the bottom of things … but then there would be no drama I suppose

Melissa: Poor, poor Em, but Samara is kinda pushy and not my fave. Samara just feels controlling, and I think A exploited that.

Sarah: That is Em’s type though

Phoebe: Yeah it is Em’s type I think

Melissa: Yeah, true

Melissa: Interesting – a lot of the girls have had relationships with pushy, manipulative people

Sarah: True! Which explains why they would have been attracted to Ali.

Melissa: Another reason why Hanna’s mom is so awesome for ditching him – she just said no to emotional manipulation!

Sarah: She is a smart cookie, that one.

Why is Mike so sad? And why does Aria’s family never eat dinner?

Sarah: Ooh also, what did you think about the Mike-family depression turn?

Melissa: Weird

Phoebe:  And random

Melissa: I’m just not buying the tension between Aria’s parents

Sarah: Because before, it hasn’t seemed like he was depressed so much as angry

Melissa: Exactly!

Phoebe: Yeah that seemed like a super weird and makes no sense turn.  Also,
now I feel like we know he is not A

Melissa: I mean, I get they almost split up; I get that’s he upset by it all; but all the fights just feel dumb. Like, get over it already and HAVE DINNER. All they do in that house is set the table, talk about having dinner, and then NOT HAVE DINNER. We could make a photomontage of all the times we’ve seen Aria’s dad unsetting the table.

Sarah: You are so right!

Phoebe: They do! They always set the table but then fail to eat!

Melissa: They fight about it; they play it; but they never eat!

Phoebe: It’s like the dad does it when he’s grumpy

Sarah: This must be a metaphor for something.

Melissa: Totally

Phoebe: They should eat, eating is delicious

PLL: Food for Thought

Sarah: Wait. Now that we’re on the subject, food is so interesting in PLL! There’s Hanna’s eating disorder…

Melissa: Yes. Cupcakes abound. And food as family tension!

Sarah: Aria’s family always talking about eating together and never doing it

Phoebe: And Spencer’s crazy caffeine addiction

Melissa: Hannah’s dad trying to get her to like him by getting her takeout, grocery arguments and hiding money in food in the Hannah house

Phoebe: And Hanna’s mom buying food the dad likes

Sarah: And Emily getting super-stressed and refusing a small glass of OJ because she needs to watch her sugar intake, and stressed-outedly not eating

Melissa: Emily’s family trying to have dinner with her girlfriend and getting mad when she can’t eat seafood

Sarah: The scene where Hanna’s mom is like, we need to cut back, but all there is in the fridge is orange juice and skim milk and how are they supposed to live off that

Melissa: So Hanna goes and buys like 400 dollars worth of groceries and sneaks them in, hahahahaha

Sarah: Hahahhaa. And Caleb as the wolf who’s always raiding the fridge. We should write a GLG post just about this! And it’s really interesting, given that it’s a teen girl show, all the stuff going on with food.

Melissa: I agree. Food becomes a channel for thinking about money, family tension, body image

Sarah: And in a show that’s all about A trying to wrest control of their lives, food as a means of them trying to take control/as another one of A’s weapons (in the Hanna cupcake scene).

Caleb takes a trip to Montecito. It is so sunny there!

Melissa: So…one thing we have not talked about is the Caleb development….

Phoebe: Ooh yes, very important. Also, seems so abrupt!

Melissa: Right?

Phoebe: But I felt like Hanna was being SO supportive

Sarah: yes, Hanna’s handling it so well. And that goodbye scene was so well-acted and sad I thought

Phoebe: So sad and sweet

Sarah: Especially the part where Caleb starts crying a little bit and takes a breath to try to steady his voice

Melissa: I agree. But….even though I love Caleb, I have been kinda over him lately. I know, sacrilege

Phoebe: Oh yeah?

Sarah: Neverrrr (but tell us why)

Melissa: But he’s been so moody and ugh and rude to Hannah and all “I gotta hustle phones on the street you don’t get it rich girl” that I’ve been like, “Please, get something together, dude.”

Phoebe: Hahahahaha

Melissa: I just feel like his personality shifted in the last two episodes and he was inexplicably furtive and grouchy

Sarah: Yeah, he has not been the sweetest to Hanna as of late it’s true

Phoebe: Nope not at all

Melissa: The goodbye scene was one of the first times it seemed like he was really hearing Hannah and talking to her, not looking past her for somebody with a phone

Phoebe: Yeah I concur, he seemed much more back to the old Caleb. So maybe he’ll go to Montecito and then come back relaxed and good at golf

Melissa: Like, when she saved him from the “cop” and he was all like, “Ugh, stop wearing a scarf silly.” But yes….I hope he comes back! And I hope that he is himself again, because he can be the sweetest!

Sarah: Right, also that outfit was amazing and deserved only sheer appreciation

Melissa: HILARIOUSLY AWESOME. I love Hanna’s melodrama

Phoebe: Me too! I love Hanna.

Sarah: Yeah and it’s this perfect combination of over-the-top and deadpan at all times

Phoebe: Yes, indeed

Love Recaps, Eye Surgery, PLL Fashion, and Random Final Thoughts

Sarah: any other things we need to cover? I thought Spencer’s long-sleeved dress with the belt was very cute. Oh and! I thought that scene with Jenna and Garrett watching Aria and Jason was interesting because it was the first time we’ve seen them really snappish and annoyed with each other

Phoebe: Yes! I thought that was weird and also the stuff about Jenna’s surgery is interesting

Melissa: I am also afraid of Jenna with sight

Phoebe: Maybe toying with people’s lives is taking a toll on Jenna and Garrett’s relationship?

Melissa: I just couldn’t understand how her corneas could be damaged and yet whenever she takes her glasses off she looks flawless. Like, where’s the scar tissue and stuff? How does a firework burn your eye without leaving a gory mark?

Phoebe: She wears great make up clearly. Or plastic surgery?

Melissa: Oohhhhhhhhhh, okay 🙂

Phoebe: Anything else we missed?

Melissa: Here’s my Love recap: I think Aria should dump Fitz and stop wearing Victoria’s Secret swimsuits; Hanna should love Caleb forever and he should come back happy; Samara should get over it or Emily should find someone awesomer; and Tobey should come back to the show and shovel more ditches so Spencer can swoon.

Phoebe: I missed Toby this week! And I am so on board with your love connections. Also, I would add Jenna and Garrett have more snappish scenes

Melissa: Oh, and Jason should stop being creepy and be awesome so maybe I could consider letting Aria date him.
Phoebe: YES!

Melissa: Because apparently I am Aria’s mom

Sarah: Ella’s awesome

Phoebe: She is. And she used to be a witch when she was younger. On Charmed
that is.

Sarah: Everyone in Rosewood has so many secrets.

  1. FOOD! yes.

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