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This is it, people — The PLL summer season first half of season two first finale of the second season’s first half. Will we find out who “A” is? Doubtful. But I’m sure there will be plenty to excite, thrill, and annoy, so grab your huge cup of coffee (and I’ll grab my huge cup of vodka and Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry) and let’s get started!
We all open with the PLL gang sitting at a table, and they’re all quite dirty. Wait, Emily’s not there. Probably because Maya convinced her to seize the day and get high while skinny-dipping at a rock quarry or something ridiculous like that. God, I hate Maya. They’re in a police holding room, of course, and Garrett’s telling some dude that there’s probably a promotion in there somewhere — they’re all “guilty, and now we can prove it.” Who’s he talking to?
Oh, right. This guy. Okay, then, sure. By all means, bring him back, I guess.
Well, thanks, PLL. Thanks for bringing back someone we haven’t seen since the third episode and making a pretty little liar out of me. Please wait while I check Wikipedia for this character’s name, since it’s been about 35 episodes since he’s last been on the show. Here it is — Detective Darren Wilden. He’s played by Bryce Johnson, on whom I’ve had a crush since he was on the WB’s tragically short-lived “Popular.”
And he has just gotten yummier with age, people.
(That’s from an episode from last season, by the way. Suffice to say, I’m not entirely angry that Det. Wilden is back.) All the girls are surprised to see him, since they were almost positive that his ABC Family contract had lapsed. He says that the PLL gang is in big trouble because . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . murder is a capital offense in the state of Pennsylvania! Murder, what?! Also, I’m pretty sure murder is a big deal in other states as well. Just putting that out there. He’s all, You girls are going down! Oh, dip. You can’t eat cupcakes to get out of this one, Hannie Sue! Credits.
So, obviously what’s now happening has happened a couple days earlier or something, but it’s kind of dumb that PLL doesn’t have a “Two Days Earlier . . .” title card or something. Whatevs. The gals are all banging on the door of Dr. Anne’s house, trying to get a hold of her. Her voicemail says she has a family emergency. Oh, wait, okay NOW we have a caption with “12 hours earlier.” Thank you! See, that wasn’t so hard, my pretty little Pretty Little Liars writers, was it? Dr. Anne’s not at her house and she hasn’t checked her mail or picked up her papers. Em wants to call the police, but Hanna and Spencer are all, Don’t be an idiot, Emily, damn. Emily gets a call from Mutha Effin’ Maya and we cut to –
Maya hanging out with Emily and Hanna, with Hanna asking Maya all about her little stint at Camp NoTakeyTokey.
It was pretty much like Camp Anawanna, except with less Donkeylips and more beatings with Gideon’s bibles.
Those gilded edges sure can smart! Emily wants Hanna to leave because Em hasn’t had any “time with Maya all to [herself.]“ What? You guys JUST had a date at The Only Restaurant in Rosewood LAST DAMN NIGHT. Maya says that a lot has happened and she doesn’t know “this Emily” and wants to make sure she still likes her. Emily says she should have called Maya first and then they hold hands. Go away, Maya.
Toby’s on the phone with a mechanic who had to fix his truck because the brake fluid was low! OHMIGOD NOOOOOOOOO! NOT THE BRAKE FLUID ON HIS TRUCK!!!! You guys, this episode is already so suspenseful that I’m getting a stress ulcer!
Oh, I’m so sorry, Emily. That was unkind. Spencer’s like, How did that happen, you’re so good to your truck, you treat it like a baby! Tobes says that his brake line was severed and he probably just backed over something. Right, Toby. Like a midget lying down face up in the middle of the road and holding a pair of scissors. Oh, Toby. So clueless. And then, Toby utters the biggest, most random semi-non-sequitor on any television show I have ever heard in my entire damn life: “If we had a real baby, what would it look like?” Um, I’m sorry. What? What the hell? This is so strange that I’m having a hard time moving on from this, people. What the f**k? Spencer says’s she’s picturing a baby with a six-pack. Toby still creeps me out, people. Speaking of creeps, the two of them spy Jason across the way, taking the newspaper off his windows. Spencer closes her blinds so that Jason can’t see them, telling Toby that her dad didn’t tell her anything about why he was over at Jason’s last night (*cough* pancaking *cough*) and Toby’s totally concerned about Spencer who’s all, You don’t know my dad, bitch, so shut up! Spencer says she has no choice but to believer her dad, but she has no choice. Toby-Miyagi is all, “I feel we always have a choice.” My choice is to still find Toby really creepy.
Hanna’s still trying to get a hold of Dr. Anne, but her voicemail is full, darnit! There’s someone at the door and it turns out it’s Caleb! Yaaaayyyyy dammit he didn’t get a haircut. I take back my “Yaaaayyyyy” and replace it with a “meh.” Hanna thanks him for being there and tells him what’s going on with her dad and Kate and freaks out about her bridesmaid’s dress. Caleb kisses her, 40% because he wants to and 60% because it’ll probably stop her yappin’.
Ezra is on the couch in his office, pouring over a paper.
“‘And like the Washington pine trees, I felt drenched in a rain so delicate that I could feel the drops permeate my skin, until I realized, much to my surprise and dismay, that this was not rain; these were wet, stinging, violent tears of peacefulness.’ Oh, man, this is my best ‘Twilight’ fanfic submission EVER!!!”
All of a sudden, Jackee comes in with two coffees. Ezra asks her about her paper, which is getting published, and she talks about Ezra’s poems. And of course Aria shows up with two coffees, but she hides by the door so she can eavesdrop. She hears Ezra tell Jackee that he’s seeing someone, and Jackee says she realizes how much of a catch he is and wonders what would happen if the two of them were single. Ezra tells her that it’s better not to do that. Aria gets a text from “A” — it’s a photo of Dr. Anne holding up a newspaper — proof that it’s today’s date, which will be hard to do once print is dead. Is everyone just going to have to hold up their iPads? — with “A” saying that “She’s still alive.” Bitch, do NOT mess with Annabeth Gish or there will be words. And ass-kicking! Aria is distressed.
Hey, Aria, Candy Spelling called. She wants her damn door-knockers back.
So, it’s 10 hours earlier. A.K.A. two hours later. I think the PLL writers just flipped a coin because they had a hard time arguing over which phrase was more confusing. The girls all stand around a case that has the words “open or she dies” spray-painted on it. Um, girls, you don’t want to call the police AT ALL?! Someone is going to die! How hard would it be for the police to track down cell phone signals and, I don’t know, i.p. addresses to find out who the f**k “A” is? A person’s life is at stake and you’re risking it so no one finds out about the prank of your dead best friend?! Oy to the vey!
I’m sorry, I’m sorry about that. I should just go with it. From here on out, no complaints. Except about Aria’s outfits, because, honey, there is just no reason that the ensemble she has on now should exist. Even Gwen Stefani would reject it, and she dresses like an American 20 year-old dressing like a Japanese 14 year-old. Spencer says she found it in her house. Hanna says that Dr. Anne really helped her and the others agree, so they really need to try to save her. They open the box to find a note made from cut-out magazines (ah, the 80s . . .) that reads, “You have until 7pm to save her. These are my demands.” There are dolls in the box, each belonging to a different PLL gal. Aria pulls her doll’s string and it creepily/funnily says, “Make Jackee go away!” She finds a copy of Jackee’s paper along with a copy of an article from a French magazine or something — apparently Jackee plagiarized it. I think. Well, Spencer thinks, and she’s smart and usually right about these things. Except for when she’s not.
Hanna pulls the string of her doll — “Stop the wedding” the little doll says. You know, I give this show some crap sometimes (“Sometimes?!” you’re saying out loud right now), but this is actually a very interesting and thrilling plot development. I tip my hat to you, I. Marlene King. I tip my hat. Although, I’m disappointed that Aria’s doll didn’t say, “End the stupid Mike plot-line.” Spencer’s doll says, “Keep Toby safe.” She says that Toby’s accident was caused by “A.” I don’t get this. “A” wants Spencer to keep Toby safe why exactly? Or does it just mean that “A” will continue to be a threat to Toby so Spencer should keep an eye on Toby? I don’t know. Let’s move on. Emily doesn’t have a doll. Oh, poor Em. So left out. Aria says that she’s been “A’s” target for weeks anyway, and Hanna’s all, “Maybe “A’s” bored with you.” Aria’s concerned that since they told Dr. Anne about “A,” that she can get to anyone else they care about. Oh, Aria, I BEG YOU to tell Ezra, Jason, and Mike about “A”! Please! Mostly Jason. But mostly Mike. Spencer says it’s a brilliant plan — “A” forces them to get what they want, but only while ensuring that everything will turn to shit after they do it. Spencer says the only way to keep Toby safe is to stay away from him. Well, honestly, Spencer, that may not be a bad thing. Whatever happened to that nice boy you played tennis with? What’s he up to? I’m not saying you have to date him, okay, just maybe call him up and see if he wants to go for coffee or something, geez!
Okay, 5 hours earlier now. Emily’s getting ready for something, probably/maybe the wedding. She’s asking Hanna what she’s going to do about the wedding, and Hanna replies that she’s forgiven her dad and doesn’t want to hurt him, so she’s not sure. Okay then, Hanna. Just freaking KILL DR. ANNE, then. Mr. Marin comes in to see his daughter. She apologizes for last night (getting drunk and barfing) and he tells her that they can all get along and be a happy family. She tells him that he seemed so happy with her mom and is he sure that he wants to get married? I’m thinking no, since like 3 days before the wedding he cheated on his fiancee with his ex-wife. But hey, whatever floats your boat, Tommy. He tells her that Ashley made him realize his feelings for Isabelle — sometimes when he’s too happy, he can’t believe it so he does something to screw it up. He adds that Isabelle makes him happy. Conflicted Hanna!
Spencer and Toby are sitting in his truck and Toby tells Spencer that she’s scaring him because she’s sitting in silence and not saying anything to him. She tells him that when she tells him what she has to tell him, he won’t think of her in the same way any more. She tells him that there was more to the thing with her dad than she let on, but Toby doesn’t know why she lied to him — doesn’t she trust him? He thought they felt the same way about each other, but Spencer says that her secrets are causing everyone she cares about to get hurt and he deserves an honest person. And then Spencer runs out of the truck.
She runs to a tree and collapses, and starts crying big, heaving sobs of sadness. And of course, Wren just happens to have gotten a coffee — or tea, in his case — across the street or something, and he just happens to notice Spencer having a total meltdown under a tree.
Aria’s getting ready for the wedding and she’s actually wearing a pretty dress for once. Ella comes in and tells her that Mike’s counseling session went well. The doorbell rings and Aria runs off to answer it . . . It’s Jackee! She says she’s finishing what Aria started. Oooh, it is so on! Jackee’s all, “It’s scary, isn’t it? Playing with fire?” Jackee tells Aria she made a mistake when she let Ezra go, and if Aria shows anyone the plagiarized paper, then she’ll be forced to tell everyone about Ezra’s little Humbert Humbert-ness with Aria, and even though it will hurt Ezra more than Aria, Jackee’s willing to still go through with it. Jackee tells Aria that her dress is cute and then leaves.
“The worst part is that she didn’t compliment my awesome skull necklace thing.”
Are you sure that’s the WORST part, Aria? Because a.) that necklace is lame, b.) Jackee kind of said some worse stuff, and c.) you may want to save that necklace for the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration and not for, say, your friend’s dad’s wedding. (It *is* a skull, right people? Cuz that’s what it looks like to me, so I’m going with it.)
Back in quaint Rosewood old town, Em’s driving to Our Lady of Apparently Only Church In This Town when her car’s navigation system tells her to turn right . . . but the church is on the left. Emily’s all, “That’s weird.” Indeed, Em. Indeed. It says, “Make a sharp right turn.” Emily tries to fix it, but she can’t, and then she notices something in the back seat.
“Hi! I’m Susie Neverblinks! I’m here to suck out your soul through my lifeless eyes! You can also braid my hair! But mostly, that soul-sucking thing.”
And over on Wisteria Lane, Gabby Solis can’t finish watching this episode because of a horrific flashback caused by PTSD.
How many of you will get that joke? How many? You better bring the doll hate, Nikki. You better bring it!!
Yay, now Emily can feel like she belongs to the group! I mean, she’ll probably end up horrifically injured, arrested, and/or dead, but at least she belongs! The doll — which sounds like Brittany from The Chipmunks 80s TV cartoon — is all, “I’m taking you to her. Go alone.” Damn, “A” is pretty much a technological wizard. How the eff did he/she/they hack into Em’s car navigation system?
Back at the police station, where I’m assuming it’s . . . tomorrow . . . or November . . . or something . . . the cop Garrett was talking to tells reporters that it was an anonymous tip that led them to the suspects. The girls are still in the room by themselves. Spencer’s looking through the one-way mirror, glaring at Detective IAlreadyForgotHisName.
Four hours earlier. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS?! Wren is at Spencer’s house reminiscing about old times with her and telling her she looks pretty (which she does, since she’s dressed for the wedding). She thanks him for the ride home and for listening to her and giving her his handkerchief — she says she’s never known a guy who carried one. My dad carries a handkerchief to this day and to be perfectly honest, it grosses me out when he blows his nose into it. I mean, you have to put that back in your pocket! It’s so disgusting. There’s some really lame talk about Toby having to use a forklift to carry Spencer’s baggage and Wren making a “joke” about how he’s certified to use one, even though he’s not. Yeah, if this is British Humor, then I’m glad that the Puritans left for the New World. Oh no, it’s 6:10pm! Time for Spencer to go! Okay. So. If 6:00pm is 4 hours earlier, then that places the police-room time at 10pm. Which means that the episode started at 10am. You guys can figure out the rest to see if it matches up, because I still have like 20 minutes to recap.
Wren puts a shawl around Spencer and he tells her that he’s “desperate to kiss [her].” Oy. You know what? I just realized something: I do not like any of the PLL gang’s romantic interests. Not a one. Sure, Paige is my fave lesbian for Emily, but she pretty much wins by default. I ADORE Lucas, but he’s just not a romantic interest for anyone (EXCEPT FOR ME). I guess Caleb is my favorite, but he could go up a couple notches if he cut off that damn dirty hippie hair. Anyway, Spencer tells Wren that it’s not a good idea to kiss her, but he does it anyway. Spencer tells him he has terrible timing.
At the church, Aria and Spencer try to get a hold of Emily, but she’s not answering her phone. Hanna and Caleb are hanging out when Kate comes over to, you know, be a big frosty bitch. Hanna goes off to answer her phone and Kate sluttily tells Caleb that his suit is nice and Caleb’s all, “And that’s a very pretty dress . . . But you should know it gives you back fat.” Ha! Ahahahaha! Caleb FTW! Aw, I’m kind of sad that Caleb’s the one who’s given me the only real LOL this episode. It should have been Hanna, dammit! Hanna gets a text from “A” — “She’s about to run out of air.” No! Save Annabeth Gish, Hanna!
Emily pulls up to a red barn, with the navigation system telling her that she’s arrived at her destination. So, “A” is leading Emily to Dr. Anne, then? Hmmm, interesting.
Back at the wedding, the pastor is saying some lame stuff about being a couple but still having alone time or something, and Hanna’s running out of time. She finally interrupts the preacher — thank god — and is all, “Isabelle? Can I talk to you for a moment?” AAAA! This is so awkward! Her dad tells Hanna that it can wait, but she insists it can’t, so Isabelle tells her to meet her in the rectory. Spencer and Aria leave to help Hanna with her “getaway car.” Atta girls! Back in the rectory, Hanna tells Isabelle that her dad hooked up with Ashley when he came back to Rosewood. Isabelle’s all, “Is this true?” because Tom has entered the room now, and since he doesn’t answer and just stands there looking ashamed, Isabelle throws down her bouquet and runs out. Hanna apologizes to her dad, who leaves without saying a word.
“And . . . this is probably not the best time to bring this up, but . . . I canceled the wedding cake and ordered 200 cupcakes.”
Hanna gets a text from “A” telling her to go to 457 Grover Rd. Meanwhile, Emily enters the barn and finds a car with the engine running . . . but it’s locked. Much like the door to the barn which has just been slammed in Emily’s face! Holy carbon monoxide! You know what I’d do? I’d break the effing car windows, put that f**ker in reverse, and punch it!! But I guess I’m just good in a crisis.
Back in 10pm World, Toby wants to see Spencer, but the cop won’t let him. Some other cops are dragging Spencer away and Toby yells out that he loves her, but it’s not really too convincing. Back at the Red Barn of Nighty-Night, Emily is laying on the ground, asleep or passed out or something, when all of a sudden, the door opens and someone picks her up and drags her away. She wakes up with birds singing in a forest and crap, and I’m hoping against hope that Maya is not the one who rescued her. All of a sudden, Alison is there and she’s all, “It’s okay, you’re with me now.”
“Heaven is, like, so awesome. Yesterday I made Mother Teresa cry by telling her that her sari made her ass look fat. Oh, good times.”
Alison tells Emily to rest and also that Emily was always her favorite. “Nobody loved me as much as you did.” Meh, I kind of think you bullied her relentlessly for being a closeted lesbian, but you say tomato, Alison . . . I say selfish beyotch. Emily asks if this is what it feels like to die and Alison’s all, This is what “A” thinks you want — to be completely free of her. Emily asks Alison if she knows who “A” is, and Alison does, but she doesn’t think it’s a good idea to tell Emily who “A” really is, because “two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead.” Oh, clever, I. Marlene. Clever, clever. Alison tells Emily that she can stay on Earth, or she can go with Alison, and then Alison kisses Emily gently on the lips.
When Emily wakes up, she’s surrounded by the rest of the PLL gang, and she says, “I saw her, she’s still alive. I saw Alison,” which is probably really confusing for the rest of the girls.
Back in 10PM Land, Hanna has. Had. Enough!
“I knew I shouldn’t have used my one phone call to call Lucky Leon’s Cupcakes and ask them about tomorrow’s special!!!”
Finally, Emily shows up. Was the whole point of this to make us think that Emily was the one who died? Because, if so, I never thought that for one second. At all. Emily says she hasn’t said a word about anything to anyone. I guess she was at the doctor, who said she was fine. Meanwhile, Momma Hastings says that she wants to see her daughter. Now!
“Look, I just want to take her home so that I can ignore her and then leave her alone for days on end, okay?!”
The cop says she has to wait. Daddy Hastings is there too, and then Jason shows up out of nowhere with his new haircut, which is even less flattering than his last one, if I do say so myself. Jason says that Alison would want him there, but Peter (Daddy Hastings) is all, I did things to protect you that you don’t know about. Jason says that he knows about the will but he didn’t kill Alison. Peter says he never thought Jason did, and Garrett is, of course, trying to overhear their conversation. Peter is all, I told you everything last night because I thought it would help, but Jason says he didn’t give Peter a choice to tell him. “Why do you think I bought that house?” Jason asks. “I knew what I’d find.” He says Alison was great with keeping secrets but she was awesome at punishing people with the truth. So, my guess is either that Alison is either Peter’s daughter or, skeevier, Peter had an affair with Alison. Ew. Jason asks if Spencer’s mom knows and Peter says she doesn’t and she won’t find out tonight if he can help it. The camera shifts to first person perspective (“A’s” I guess), and Garrett’s all, “You shouldn’t be here.”
Back at The Barn of Near-Death Experiences With Lesbian Undertones, Emily sees a shovel against the barn wall and tells them that it wasn’t there before. Attached to the shovel are latitude and longitude coordinates (Spencer tells us this, of course). Hanna tells them that the text she got at the church said that Dr. Anne was running out of air. We cut to the girls walking in the dark forest, complaining about walking on heels, when Spencer tells them they’ve arrived at the location on the shovel (she’s using her cell phone to figure it out). They see a yellow tube sticking out of the ground, and Hanna gets a text that apparently says that Dr. Anne is still alive. The girls start digging frantically and dig out Dr. Anne’s boots . . . but when they reach her face, it’s just a mask! And then there’s a helicopter overhead! And the police come! And they realize that they’ve been set up! AAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
In 10AM-Ville, all the parents are huddled together when Ezra shows up. Ella says she’s going to go talk to him while the others talk amongst themselves. She tells Ezra that she knows why he’s there (remember, she thinks that he and Spencer are knockin’ boots statutory-style) and that people in a town this small will talk. Ezra tells Ella that he’s in love with her and Ella says that she’s going to give him one chance to walk away, “not because you deserve it, but because it’s the last thing we need to deal with right now. And when you go, you need to keep going, because if Spencer’s parents find out about this, they will ruin you.” Also, I think it’s just the angles and lighting, but Ezra does not look good in this scene — you could cut glass with his cheekbones.
Veronica (Spencer’s mom) is talking to the girls. She tells them that Detective Wilden was suspended, but reinstated and put back on their case and now he’s the chief officer in the case, since he has evidence that can be verified and backed up.
Meanwhile, Garrett and Jenna are in a private room and Garrett’s all, “We couldn’t have come up with a better plan.” Jenna tells Garrett that she wishes she could see those “bitches” right now and “I wish they could know that we’re doing this to them.” She asks Garrett if he’s ready to stop becoming a cop. He says he was waiting for “months to break into that storage room,” so he can wait a little longer to quit the force. She asks him if he’s still worried about Jason. Garrett: “He’s figured out that he didn’t kill her, but he has no idea we wrote that note.”
Jenna and Garrett as “A”? I don’t buy it. Too easy. More on that later.
Detective Last Episode Until Season 4 comes in and gets all tough with the girls, telling them that Alison was hit so hard that her skull had an indentation in it. He’s given the girls so many chances to be honest, but evidence doesn’t lie. What evidence, you ask?
A mutha f**kin’ shovel. WHAT?!
He says that they’ve always known it was a shovel, and tonight, they finally caught them with it.
Garrett gives Jenna a piece of paper and tells her to burn it. Oh, okay, Garrett. Give an important piece of paper to a blind girl and tell her to burn it. Of course that makes more sense than freaking doing it yourself. Jerkass. Jenna asks if the paper is Page 5 and Garrett says that now no one can connect them to “that night.” Jenna says that “she deserved to die like that.”
End Credits “A” Sequence: At some sort of diner, Dr. Anne sits alone in a booth. The Gloved One sits across from her and Dr. Anne says, “I’ve done everything you’ve asked.” The Gloved One hands her an envelope with writing on it, but I can’t see what it says. Dr. Anne takes the envelope, puts it in her purse, glares at The Gloved One, and leaves. The waitress comes up and is all, “How you doin’, pretty eyes? You want a piece of pie?” Oh, what a very, very subtle way of telling us that Jenna isn’t “A.” But yay — Dr. Anne is still alive! Annabeth Gish lives to see another day!
Yeah, so I never thought Jenna and Garrett were “A” (the actual “A” — The Gloved One). I have my theories, but I’ll either save them for the comments or for myself (I’m a bastard that way). This was a pretty good half-season, and I’m glad that we finally got a few answers, but there were still some bumps along the way (Mike much?!).
Well, kids, that’s it for a while. There WILL be a Halloween special, so I’ll totes be back to recap that. (The promo is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBoPT8Rebhs.) And in the meantime, if you’re seriously jonesing for a hilarious Hypnotoad recap, you can catch my recaps of the last season (*sniff*) of Desperate Housewives, a show that rivals PLL not only in it’s secrets, but it’s maddening lack of continuity. It starts on September 25th.
See you in the comments!!