thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Pretty Little Liars Recap: “Dead to Me” (Season 3, Episode 18)

In Pretty Little Liars, Recaps on February 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm

This week’s Pretty Little Liars was a little slow on the action, but it was high on the emotions.  Spencer raged against the A-team and found an empty room while Toby stayed under the radar. Caleb and Hanna cleaned out a garage with Caleb’s uncle, who is maybe really his father. Or maybe Caleb’s his own grandpa, we don’t know anything about this family for sure. Meanwhile, Emily remembered killing Ali, then she remembered she actually didn’t do that, and instead she remembered the lady in red. And in a chilling development, Mona delivered a plant to the therapist’s office. (It doesn’t sound scary. But Mona can make even an innocent orchid pretty darn menacing.)

I don’t care if it’s Santa Claus, considered me creeped.

This week was very Emily-focused. Thoughts on her graveside memories, Ali flashback, and the lady in red?

Sarah: My favorite Emily moment by far was the flashback to her and Ali dreaming about their life in Paris and running away together. I’ve said this before, but it’s really interesting to me how Ali was at her sweetest and most genuine with Emily. (Which isn’t to say she wasn’t awful to Emily sometimes too, i.e. by leading her on and then punishing her for having feelings for her.) Seeing Ali wistful and warm in the flashback makes me think she did reciprocate Emily’s feelings to some degree, even if she couldn’t acknowledge it. Also, I think she was able to let her guard down with Emily because it was so clear that Emily loved her, which made Ali feel safe. Whereas with the guys in her life there was always the edge of danger that comes from the whole older-guy power dynamic, and the other PLLs she couldn’t quite count on to love her unconditionally–Spencer fought back, Aria was a little too independent, Hanna a little too unpredictable.

Phoebe B: I too thought that was really sweet … although I must say I am much more suspicious of Ali, I think. I felt like that flashback was sweet and Emily clearly remembered it fondly, but I always feel like Ali has some additional and scary motive for being sweet. Like I wondered too why Ali was wanting to run away at that moment. Was someone A-type already threatening her? Ali always just feels like she has a scary agenda to me. But in other news, I am so excited about the return of the lady in red!

Sarah: MEANWHILE HEEY now we’re getting somewhere with the lady in the red coat! Yeah she’s in charge, Emily, you go. And heck yeah to Hanna for raising the question of whether the lady in the red coat could be Ali. Here’s the thing about Hanna: the show wants you to think she’s a dumb blonde (a funny, loyal, warm-hearted dumb blonde, but still), but I think she’s the smartest character on PLL. She’s the smartest because she asks the questions that other people are afraid to admit have even crossed their minds–because she’s not afraid to sound dumb as long as she’s getting closer to the truth. More on this to come, I’m going to write a whole thing about it.

Phoebe: Yay Hanna! She spoke to my heart when she asked if the lady in the red coat could be Ali. I have long been on the what if it is Ali or Ali’s twin train. I too think Hanna is the best!

Spencer continued her downward spiral of anger, including interrupting Ali’s second memorial with an outburst. What do you think about her choice to keep the Toby-A revelation secret? Do you think she’ll start trusting the PLLs again?

Sarah: I think it is a baaaad move not to tell her friends about Toby-A, though very intriguing! I think she will eventually tell them the truth, but perhaps not until an A-related situation forces her hand. At which point, I think the PLLs would be well within their rights to be angry at her, though history shows the girls tend to be pretty forgiving of one another’s secrets and lies. I mean, they’re all liars, it’s right in the show’s title, so they tend not to throw stones at each other for long.

Phoebe B: Agreed. I want her to tell them A-SAP … Seriously, I feel like they should all know by now that secrets drive them apart and only give A fodder to mess with them all. I do undersand that Spencer currently trusts nobody, which is fair given that her boyfriend and her first love turned out to be evil.

In other Spencer-related news: What was the deal with the hydrangeas? And do you trust the P.I.?

Sarah: Okay I was really confused about what exactly Spencer was hoping she’d find in the Toby’s lair; maybe she was hoping he hadn’t left town? Or that he’d left some kind of message behind? And what was the secret she told the PI that she and Toby had together? I can’t think of what secret they were keeping between them that her friends wouldn’t have known about too. I think the deal with the hydrangeas was that she was hoping Toby had bought them for her and left them behind in the lair, but then they were on his mother’s grave, hence freakout number 407.

Phoebe B: Oh I did NOT catch that those were hydrangeas at his mom’s grave … Then again, I really don’t know what hydrangeas look like. But that now makes sense why Spencer freaked and scrawled his name with a key on his mom’s grave. That was a little creepy though. I totally did expect the room to be filled with flowers and though maybe like Spencer would do the “I love you, I love you not” game with one flower and it would tell her that Toby was secretly not evil. But basically, that conversation with the P.I. was extra confusing. Was the secret about flowers? I don’t know.

Sarah: I don’t trust the PI for a second. Mostly because he seems to into having heart to hearts with his weirdo teenage insomniac client with hair like a bird’s nest. (LU Spence, you still look gorgeous just strung out.) What normal private investigator would be like, “Hey girl, buttercups have an odd number of petals and I’ve never seen a creepy murderer buy hydrangeas before skipping town that means he loooves you?” I think he’s been bought out by the A team to intentionally lead Spencer astray, as a matter of fact.

Phoebe B: Agreed. Or are he and Spencer going to fall in love? Maybe. It would be a fitting and horrible choice but in line with PLL and inappropriate love choices (I;m looking at you Ezra and Aria).

Are Aria and Mini-Fitz going to knock boots (neon pleather platforms and leather ankle ones, respectively)?

Sarah T: Likely! I like him better than Fitz, but I like everybody better than Fitz. Also, how weird that Aria got judgey about him sleeping with a teacher? She is so amazingly un-self-aware, it’s come to be kind of a loveable quality. Like, “Oh there goes Aria again, not having an ounce of shame.”

Phoebe B: Agreed! Me too! Also, I totally thought he was sleeping with his biology teacher. That scene in the street with the husband of the bio teacher was ridiculous.

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