thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars Recap, “Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares” (Season 2, Episode 14)

In girl culture, Pretty Little Liars, teen soaps on January 5, 2012 at 3:53 pm

This week we welcome back our favorite little liars in full force as they fake fights, sneak into scary greenhouses (alone!), tell parents their secrets, and much much more.

How do you feel about the Aria/Ezra reveal to Aria’s parents? (Also, isn’t Mike being super awesome?!)

Chelsea: I was so relieved that it finally happened. I mean, I couldn’t even deal with another season (or half-season) of stressful sneaking around and the puppy-dog eyes that guilty Aria makes. I also thought that Aria’s parents’ reaction was pretty realistic and reasonable, especially the bourbon. And yes, Mike is being super awesome! He’s finally realizing that other people exist, which I appreciate.

Phoebe: Me too! Relieved that is that they finally told. Plus, I was most excited about how great Mike is being (particularly when I realized he punched Ezra just to stop Aria’s dad in his tracks and then when he showed Aria his super secret way out of the house. Awesome!).

Sarah: Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing how their newly open relationship will allow for new plot lines besides “we have to hide our secret love but we have to tell everyone also but yet, hide.” And on a psych 101 level, I thought Ella was right on the money when she told to her husband that perhaps his own affair with a student and Aria’s relationship with a teacher are not two entirely unrelated events. I also loved the scene of Mike and Aria talking together on the sidewalk–it’s nice to see their sibling relationship on the up and up.

Were you worried that the PLLs were actually fighting? And what did you think of their super secret plan?

Chelsea: Even though they’ve totally pulled ploys like this one before, I was really worried that they were actually fighting. I was also worried at my own inability to remember what it was that Emily had done to deserve the shunning. As things became clearer, I grew increasingly concerned since, like the fighting, they’ve made other plans like this in the past that have failed. At least they’re persistent? I don’t know. I think that they should all figure out how to be on time or quit putting one friend in danger due to punctuality and parental problems.

Phoebe: I felt the same way! I kept waiting for a flashback to explain why the trio was so angry at Emily and could not come up with anything. I will say, that I was quite relieved and pleased to see that they were plotting away together. Yay PLLs!

Sarah: I fell for the fake-fights, and I was actually kind of into the idea of Emily vs. everyone — not that I don’t love the friends together! But Emily was hit so hard by A last season, and I liked seeing her standing alone and proud for a bit. And I concur, Chelsea, they are so bad at being where they say they are going to be even when one of them is in potentially mortal danger! At least Spencer and Aria were trying their best to get out of their houses and over to Emily, but Hanna (who remains my fave) was like dragging out the conversation with her dad and deciding she’d just bake a loaf of bread while she’s at it and delve into the Talmud and… she was not in a rush.

Who is A? He/She seemingly can’t be Jenna or just Jenna given the running through the woods situation, right?

Chelsea: I know we’re supposed to be super invested in the identity of A, but it’s honestly one the least compelling parts of the show to me. It seems like all the most likely possibilities (Jenna! Melissa! Toby!) continue to be ruled out for some reason or another. I’ll mostly just feel relieved when the big reveal is made so we can get back to the important stuff.

Phoebe: Oh man I SO want to know who A is (then again I do love a good mystery) and right now I am sticking to the multiple people theory, given that A ran through the woods and definitely can’t be Jenna alone. But I am also feeling the Ali’s super scary twin theory.

Who do you think would win in a real throw-down (not one staged for A’s benefit) between the PLLs?

Chelsea: This is such a hard question. Emily has the actual physical power and Hanna has the fire, but Spencer has some serious buried rage that I think could manifest into mean fighting skills. Aria doesn’t stand a chance (you’re my favorite, Aria!).

Phoebe: I think I agree that Spencer would win as she is scrappy despite that Emily is clearly the most physically fit of the four. Although, I also think Hanna might be scrappy too.

Sarah: I have to put in a third vote for Spencer. But if we open it up to the PLL cast beyond our core four, I think her big sister Melissa takes everyone down in a even bigger blaze of repressed fury and preppy sweaters.

What does Caleb’s return mean for Lucas and Hanna? And what’s on Lucas’s agenda?

Chelsea: I was more emotional about this than I would have expected. Mostly, I think, because Hanna and Caleb’s excessive PDA was gross. And rude. I just felt bad for Lucas who clearly felt out of place when he didn’t deserve to. This was just compounded by the weird conversation between Lucas and Caleb during the swim meet. It seemed like Caleb was trying to throw some swagger around, but just came off sort of condescending. Also, I didn’t like what this might indicate for the future of Lucas’s character. I predict a subversive lashing-out that will hurt Hanna someone he doesn’t intend.

Sarah: I agree that it seems like Lucas may not be entirely above-board now or in the near future, which is worrisome. I think Caleb’s return is going to make him realize that he hasn’t been as successful at suppressing his feelings for Hanna as he’d planned/hoped. I’m curious to see if Hanna will start feeling differently about Lucas too? He’s generally pretty awesome in his own right —  the Seth Cohen to Caleb’s Ryan Atwood

This episode seemed to be hinting that Toby’s character may take a darker turn (lots of shots of him grabbing Spencer’s arm and wrists to prevent her from leaving during their fight at her house). Did anyone else think this?

Chelsea: YES. Especially in conjunction with the Lucas scenes. There are some dark times ahead for the boys.

Phoebe: I concur. But then I thought PLL throws us SO many red herrings (all the time) that I am suspicious that if we are meant to think they are guilty, they must not be (if that makes sense). Thus, if they hint at Lucas and Toby … it can’t be them. Although, Toby would be an interesting twist, given his earlier suspiciousness (but oh I like him so much and don’t want him to be guilty).

What will happen next week to our favorite PLLs?

Chelsea: Spencer will do something dumb. Emily will get hurt. Hanna will get hurt. Aria, God love her, will clumsily stumble through unscathed.

Phoebe: Good predictions, Chels!

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