thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars Recap, “If These Dolls Could Talk” (Season 2, Episode 24)

In Pretty Little Liars, teen soaps, Television, Uncategorized on March 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

This week, our beloved show finally lost its mind, and it was amazing. Dolls came alive and murdered everybody; creepy psychic children ate lollipops while imagining what it’s like to be buried alive; Garrett was arrested; Jenna is not blind (what?!); and Ali sure gets around for being six feet under. Things fall apart, the center cannot hold, you get the drift. Read on for more of this week’s end-of-times-esque PLL adventures.

PLL is really pushing hard for the sheer skirt over short skirt trend these days.

Let’s talk creepy dolls. What did you hide behind (scarf, pillow, sweater, etc) during the “Follow me, end up like me” scene? And why are the grandmother and kid on A’s dole?

Phoebe: Oh my goodness, this scene was SO creepy. I most certainly hid behind my hands and the dog. And, then peeked out to see what I was missing. Between the creepy doll-voice and all the dolls falling on the PLLs, it was totally freaky. Also, I want to know how the creepy doll store owner and A knew that the girls would go back to the store and thus had the perfect set up to terrify the PLLs. Or, was A there and thus controlling the strings of the creepy dolls coming alive situation? But, also, that child! So terrifying. And, I cannot figure out what their relationship is to A, maybe the grandma owes A a favor? Or maybe they are related?

Sarah: I actually can’t remember the last time I was so freaked out by TV. I was totally edging back on my couch and looking wild-eyed at the door as if a tiny Ali doll was going to burst in bearing a butcher knife. But that image of the Ali doll parroting “Follow me, end up like me” half-buried in a mound of dirt is so powerful — it’s going to stay with me (terrifyingly!) for a while.

Good question on whether A was there at the of the flying shelves and cymbal-banging monkeys — I feel like either A or the grandmother must have been behind the doll attack, unless PLL is straight-up going the supernatural route. (But how would A or the grandmother make the dolls’ eyes snap open like that?? AGH they’re alive.) And also: how perfect that this show keeps coming back to creepy dolls. Every time we see dolls — normally a symbol of innocent girlhood — they’re always monstrous. Our core four don’t live in an innocent world.

Jenna. Can. See! Discuss.

Phoebe: So, I totally thought that she could see after she took off the eyepatch initially. I did not believe her fake blindness for one moment and thought her initial tears were tears of joy. But, what is afoot with her turning in Garrett? Is it to save herself and get on the PLLs side? And, is she still after the girls? I am so unbelievably confused. What will she do now that she can see? That final scene with the music and her face was SO amazing and perhaps one of my favorite (and so sort of old school noir) PLL moments ever.

Sarah: YES that was so, so well done. I swooned: Jenna was so triumphant. I can’t help but be happy that she can see — not just narratively (which is going to be very interesting!) but because of what that means about her character. She was so tearful and tragic for most of the episode, but the moment she swatted the fly she vaulted into classic awesome femme fatale status. I think her blindness has always been kind of a metaphor for the power that Ali tried to take away from her, and now she is back with a vengeance.

Do you think the Mona-Caleb setup is proof positive that Melissa is A? If not, what are some alternative explanations?

Phoebe: So, I feel like this is yet another red herring. And, I think Melissa is definitely bad news (what was up with her “I have been scaring my sister” since we were little. That was so creepy!) but not sure she is A. As, I feel like A is always one step ahead of the PLLs and so couldn’t A have been there as well as Melissa? Also, maybe Melissa was with Garrett and he saw it? Also, I feel like our suspicions re their suspicious relationship were confirmed this week. And also, what did Melissa tell Spencer?? After Spencer followed her out of the house. I want to know!

Sarah: I agree that it was too obvious to seal the deal, and — though it saddens me to admit it — I think that leaves Mona as the most likely candidate. After all, she’d know exactly when to text Hanna, and I thought she was acting pretty sketchy in the car with Caleb. Speaking of Melissa, I was confused about the video tape she threatened Spencer with. I’m guessing someone taped the liars the night of the Jenna Thing? That’s the only thing that would implicate all of them simultaneously, as far as we know.

What is up with Aria’s rage in this episode? Also, why is she never with the group when sh*t gets real? And: did she and Ezra have sex?

Phoebe: Good questions, all of them. I wondered what was going on with Aria’s being separate from the group this week. It seemed really strange. And, I certainly think her and Ezra finally had sex. Also, Aria’s dad is being insane it seems running Ezra out of town, but also Aria’s crazy threat to her mom seemed a bit much this week. Although, it did seem like something a teenager might do in terms of lashing out, but it was so mean to her mom. I felt really bad for Ella in this episode …

Sarah: In keeping with the Vivian Darkbloom transformation storyline, I thought her attitude with her mom and threats of blackmail were very reminiscent of Ali. It’s starting to seem like Aria’s separation from the other girls must be intentional in some way. Not that I think Aria’s A or anything like that, but the show pays enough attention to the details that I feel like there might be a purpose to having her elsewhere so frequently. Maybe something is going to go down with Ezra? (Oh man, what if Ezra is A and he was having an affair with Ali and that was the mysterious third party guy who was not Ian or Duncan who Ali was seeing?? I don’t really think this, but that would be nuts.) And I agree that it looks like she and Ezra did have sex. Which… I don’t know. Illegal? But I’ve pretty much stopped being squeamish about their relationship at this point out of sheer exhaustion, which is a point I predict Ella too will eventually hit.

Now Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have all hallucinated Ali. Or have they? What say you?

Phoebe: Something else Aria is left out of! Also, I am not convinced that Spencer dreamt Ali given that I am still holding on to some sense that Ali has some super secret and evil twin. Also, why was Spencer looking at those pills on the coffee table when she woke up?

Sarah: I think she was just looking at the pills because she’s taking them right now and they might be an explanation for her hallucination? But perhaps there’s something more ominous afoot.

Emily’s and Spencer’s visions of Ali may indeed have been real, though I think Hanna’s experience in the psychologist’s office was more about resolving old issues. And good point about Aria being excluded once again! Maybe since she is Vivian now, if she saw Ali they’d cause a break in the time-space continuum.

Poll results: Last week, we asked if Ezra should have taken the job in NOLA. Mostly, you said that love comes first and it was good he turned it down. But many of you thought (and rightly so perhaps) that as he has a BA, he is crazy-town to turn down a job that he could never ever get. And quite a few firmly believe he should have taken it so that he is no longer on the show and dating his former high school student.

Next week, we find out who A is. So, this week, who do you think will be revealed as A next week?

  1. So I knew this episode was going to be creepy (thanks for the heads-up, ladies) and I freaking HATE creepy dolls, so I was standing in the corner of my room with the laptop still on the desk, watching that scene out of the corner of my eye. Ewwwwwwwwww, creepy dolls are just the worst. I think the dolls are so interesting, too, given all the Internet chatter I saw re: the PLLs reinforcing certain normative visions of beauty. At times, they are like dolls themselves (as was reinforced by the creepy dolls that got sent to them), and they also have a dark center.

    I love your theory about Aria becoming Ali, and I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but when she threatened her mom, I liked her more than I ever liked her. I don’t know, I just don’t feel that bad for Ella right now. And you know I hate the Ezra/Aria relationship, but I think Aria had a point – everyone forgave her father for having an equally illicit relationship (okay, not statutory rape illegal, but still not-okay) – including Ella! And now Ella is threatening to ship Aria out of town, which never ends well – just look at missing Mia. I think her parents are being way too controlling, not because I think parents shouldn’t have control, but because her dad lost the right to tell her what to do in relationships until they all sit down and have a serious chat about how he was totally effed. But then I was back to ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww teacher/student relationships when they were hooking up. I totally think they had sex, and I want to be like, “Great, Professor. So you drove your daughter to illegal sex by forcing her hand. Excellent. Everyone’s certainly a winner here.

    I don’t think Melissa is A. Anytime they go to the cops, they’re wrong; so as soon as Hannah was like “Lock and load! It’s cop time!” I was almost 100% certain Melissa was not our culprit. I think she knows something and I think she’s totally bad-news-bears, but she certainly couldn’t be A alone; girl’s gettin’ hella pregnant, and I just can’t imagine her rigging up scaffolding to fall and cutting brake cables and flipping over boats and such.

    I think Spencer was looking at the pills when she woke up because in her “dream” Ali opened the bottle and took some pills out; when Spencer opens her eyes, the pills are open, which is another material clue that Ali’s presence might have been more than just a dream. Also, didn’t Ali-dream drag Emily from the barn back when she saw her? Because we’re starting to get a lot of clues that Ali might exist in some kind of physical form…

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