thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars, “Crazy” (Season 2, Episode 7)

In Pretty Little Liars, Uncategorized on July 26, 2012 at 7:12 pm

This week on PLL there were more scary dolls, mental institutions and crazy codes, ouija boards, and flashbacks aplenty. Read on for our thoughts on this week’s rather scary Pretty Little Liars.

What do you make of Cece? She seems scarily Ali-like.

Sarah T: OR IS ALI LIKE HER? Either way I think Ali is cooler. Cece’s got the long blonde curls and the willpower and the tendency to make crazed impulsive decisions that coerce others and freak out her friends, but she doesn’t have Ali’s… sociopathic charm? That certain je ne sais quoi that I look for in my totalitarian teen leaders. (Also how old is Cece supposed to be, because I feel like she’s got at least ten years on the PLLs.) Anywayyy, I do like the idea of an Ali doppelganger — someone who Ali even looked up to and emulated, based on that comment about how she was like “a broken doll.” (DOLLS. This show is obsessed with them. Much like Edith at the Hairpin.)

Phoebe B: Agreed on all counts. Cece appears to be just a tad too old for high school. So perhaps Ali is like her! And then there is the fact that she knows ALL the PLLs secrets. I don’t understand why Emily is hanging around her. I am hoping that it is to gather information, but I am a little worried that she actually likes Cece because Emily is reminded of Ali. But I am scared for the PLLs now that Cece is back in town.

Melissa: Phoebe, right!?!?!?! I totally got a flirty vibe from Cece, though I imagine like Ali she’s just toying with Emily. While I don’t trust Cece at all, I am intrigued by the notion that Ali might have modeled all her troubling behavior off of this woman’s ways. And that Ali made herself (and all her friends) vulnerable by confiding so much in Cece…whose involvement with Jason only deepens the mystery still forming around the good ol’ NAT club, doesn’t it? Was Cece somehow involved in the filming of girls? Was she drawing Ali into the dark surveillance world?

Let’s talk about Ella! What do you think of her date? And her awesome coffee shop owner flirtation?

Sarah T: Hahahahaa, this whole storyline made me really happy, from Ella asking Aria for date-outfit advice and then stopping herself with, “Wait, why am I asking you?  You wear forks as earrings.” to her rockin’ chemistry with scruffy coffeeshop guy. (Zeke? Zach? He seems like a Z-name guy.) Ella is smoking and awesome and I love that toothy smile she does when she’s flattered/embarrassed. It’s another interesting addition PLL’s long line of inter-generational romances, but this is one that I can get behind — unlike Aria-Ezra, Spencer-Ian/Spencer-Wren, Aria’s dad-Meredith. Cougars all around! Also, Pastor Ted! He is playing the field, that one, with his boring stories and weird ice cream-eating habits.

Phoebe B: Oh my god, I LOVE this storyline! Forks as earrings! And her and Aria’s conversation about scarves … it was all so charming. That was an amazing line and rang so so true. Also, hot and scruffy coffee shop guy whose like “What’s wrong with your age?” is so amazing. Ella is smoking and the best and I loved how much she was NOT into Pastor Ted (also, I found him super sketchy on that date with his creepy ice cream swirling) who seems like a goober.

Melissa: I was SO happy that Ella ditched Pastor-Boy for CoffeeShopOwner, because I was (mainly) worried that her dating Ted would ruin her budding friendship with Ashley, and okay, I love their friendship so much. Their white-wine girl-date was one of my favorite moments of female friendship that I’ve seen on television, and I don’t want a creepy pastor playing the field to come between them. Also, Ella, go for the real sexual tension and the (no euphemism at all!) tasty baked goods! Ditch Pastor Awkwardpants! Who sets up a date at a coffee shop and then shames you for getting coffee just because he wants ice cream in the sun? Lordy.

How do you feel about Hanna’s Ouija board experience? And Ali’s dad’s reaction?

Sarah T: It’s so hilarious how the PLLs had all this crazy important stuff happen years ago that they’ve conveniently forgotten to ever tell each other about. Why wouldn’t Hanna have told her pals that she thinks she saw Ali? No reason, just whatever. It doesn’t even bother me because this show is bananas and I have different expectations for it plot-wise (expectations: characters come and go mysteriously without us ever understanding what their purpose was or why they went away; nothing has to make any sense as long as it’s entertaining), but sheesh. I think Mona probably was moving the Ouija board. I should know: I used to be the one moving the Ouija board at sleepovers. But I also think Hanna probably did see somebody outside the window — maybe Ali, maybe Cece, maybe Vivian Darkbloom, who knows.

Also, I think Ali’s dad completely over-reacted, but I expect messed-up things from that family. You don’t get an Ali without some other craziness higher up in the family tree.

Phoebe B: Right?! It is so weird that they still have ALL these crazy secrets. I totally think Mona was the one moving the Ouija board but I agree that I do think Hanna saw someone outside. Maybe Cece?! Or Ali’s secret twin?! I also felt like Mona was surprised when Aria mentioned that the Ouija board had shown up at Hanna’s house … Lastly, I feel like Ali’s dad super over-reacted and also was REALLY mean to Hanna when she tried to apologize. I definitely concur that there is some craziness and meanness all over Ali’s family tree.

Melissa: Not much to add. Except that Ali’s dad seemed even TOO guilty to me. Like he knows too much and is creating a diversion…But the bananas-type-nature of the show does just make me suspicious of all strong emotions…

Probably it’s a good idea to abandon your car at the scene of a drunk driving accident in order to aid your clearly intoxicated secret half-brother, right?

Sarah T: Absolutely! Seriously, I know Spencer had to think fast but this girl is the smart one, there’s no way she wouldn’t have considered the fact that leaving her own car at the scene of the accident was going to bring the police a-knocking. Then again, maybe she’s still kind of off her game from the Garrett revelation last episode. Also I think the ax is going to fall on the Spencer-Toby relationship pretty soon. This is two episodes in a row of tension, and now he’s committed a felony by lying to the cops? Not solid ground.

Phoebe B: Oh my goodness! This was SO ridiculous. I was like, “Spencer, bad idea! Don’t do it!” Yeah I agree that Spencer and Toby are sadly on their way out. (Also, and unrelated Toby’s hair has been way too fluffy of late for my tastes.)

Melissa: I was so in love with Spencer and Toby being in love, but he needs to do something other than take his shirt off and clench his jaw, okay? Committing a felony for love might be a small step in the right direction  but I’m with you, Sarah. The axe is falling fast, but UGH all it would take is to save them from Caleb and Hanna type ruin is for Spencer to fess up! Remember when Leia told Han that Luke was her brother in Return of the Jedi and then everything was okay? Just tell Toby that Jason is your brother and you’re bonded through a thirst for Ali-justice, and all shall be well! Seriously. I know that Liars is in the show title, but sometimes I want to make a flow-chart to show these girls when lying makes things way, way, way worse. Finally, why is it that Aria and Fitz seem to be having the best relationship right now?!?!?!?! He is a twenty-something man with a sock drawer full of laundered or drug-related money and his own developing lying problems!!!!!! why?

What’s up with Nate and Jenna? What’s up with Nate and Emily? What’s up with Nate in general?

Sarah T: I think we’re being set up to think Jenna’ s playing Nate, which makes me think it is Nate who is playing Jenna. And Emily. Playing us all. (Sidenote, I loved how when Emily tried to explain the problem with Jenna to Nate, all she could come up with was, “She used to date Garrett.” The PLLs hate Jenna so passionately, but they really don’t have a ton of evidence to use against her.) I also thought it was real sketchy how he backtracked when he admitted that he recognized Maya’s earrings that Emily gave her just before she died.

Phoebe B: Okay that was SO creepy when he backtracked after admitting that he liked Maya’s earrings. And it made me feel like he is playing Jenna (or already knows Jenna) and Emily. Also, what was up with him being like he wouldn’t have to date Jenna if Emily was available or dated men. Ugh. And also, she was in love with his dead cousin … It just seemed SO odd, wrong, and awkward. Lastly, when Cece called Jenna to scare her off from the date with Nate, that was terrifying. And then also sad when we see him sitting alone in the restaurant waiting.

Melissa: SUSPICION!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, the fact that Emily bought Mona the earrings just days before “it” (the event? Maya’s death? her running away? Emily, there are so many crazy events in Rosewood that you have to be a little more specific in your ominous allusions) AND the fact that Nate saw these same earrings COMBINE to suggest that Nate saw Maya after Emily did. Perhaps saw her soon before her death? And hence…I think Nate knows more about Maya’s death than what he’s telling. That weird backtrack about the earrings, combined with the sudden appearance of a mystery-coded website about Maya, seems to suggest that there is wayyyyy more going on with the Maya story than I had previously expected. No matter who’s playing who, I think Nate is now on the Suspicious Characters list…though for my part, so is Maya…

How scared were you about the girls being trapped with Mona in the mental institution? And Mona’s scary poem/code?

Sarah: Totally the most scared I have been since the “follow me end up like me” doll last season. Anytime dolls come onscreen in this show, you know it’s Nightmare City, Population Everyone. I won’t even bother wondering why the mental institution would keep this abandoned, dusty, cordoned-off children’s area filled with terrifying porcelain dolls, because this is Rosewood we’re talking about. We’re just lucky there’s not a spooky old person or bizarre taxidermy enthusiast rocking back and forth in some dark corner .

Anyway, I love that Mona is back and that she seems to be trying to help out Hanna with the code (that’s our girl!). I’ve been fooled by Mona before so obviously I’m not the world’s most reliable judge when it comes to her, but I believe her when she says that her friendship with Hanna was real. Girl may be cracked, but I think she really doesn’t want Hanna to come in harm’s way. And obviously she was right on the money using the code, since we see in the A-tag that they were being recorded the whole time. I just hope A doesn’t know about She Lies Under Trees and the like…

Phoebe B: It was SO scary with all those horrifying dolls. But I was relieved that the creepy grandma and child from the last doll-filled location were nowhere to be seen. Also, it seemed like Mona went there often, no? But I agree about Mona! I think she is scared for Hanna and is genuinely trying to help her. And Maya knows! But what did Maya know? I want more Mona code … I feel like she’s going to start talking soon and I really want to know what she knows!

Melissa: I love Mona more and more, because her hatred for Aria was so undiluted and yet she still tried to help Hanna. Girlfriend is so complicated! I am also stoked that Mona is back. I love her so much, so Sarah, you have convinced me, despite Mona’s stint as A. Also, I hate dolls to begin with, and I hate dolls on this show so much! My question is…if Mona knew “NOT SAFE,” why did she lead the girls to the one part of the hospital with freaking doll-recorders? I love Mona but I still don’t trust her. Unrelatedly, I loved how the nurses were all like, “Oh, here you are, person under intense surveillance! Hanging out in the restricted, abandoned, creepy section of this weirdest of institutions!” Though Mona’s claim that “I missed my dolls” suggest they let her down there often during the day!?!?!?! Fun flashback times of fear and ominous toys for all the mental patients! Oh, Rosewood, you baffle me at times…

Best lines?

  • “Friends don’t let friends sneak into insane asylums alone.” – Aria
  • Ella: “What makes you think I would wear a scarf?”

Aria: “Because I’ve known you 100% of my life.”

  • Hanna: “What’s up with your mom?”
    Aria: “She’s a slut. Go to sleep.”

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