It was announced this week that ABC Family ordered 12 more episodes of Pretty Little Liars, bringing their season one total up to 22 episodes. In light of this news, last night’s episode had a lot riding on it in my eyes. Intrigue took a backseat to emotional character development in most of the storylines. And while it wasn’t nearly as juicy as last week’s installment (lesbian lip lock!) it still packed quite a punch!
Congrats on the extra eps, ladies! You totes earned them!
A police car is parked in front of Blondie’s house. Mama Sydney is FURIOUS that she’s having to deal with the police AGAIN for another of Blondie’s misdemeanors. ”I can’t save you from this!” she bellows, then storms back inside of their gorgeous, palatial manse.
Wait, Blondie is rich?! When did this happen? And why am I not besties with her?!
In the town park, the girls decide to replace a busted, old wooden bench with a new one in Alison’s memory, then spruce up the place with flowers and art tiles. Hmmm. Sounds like a lot of effort for a girl they all kind of feared / loathed. Anyways, Schnoz decides that the best way to combat the nasty little texts from “A” is to block all unwanted calls on her phone, and promptly changes her phone’s settings on her laptop. One by one the girls follow suit. Just as they all heave a sigh of relief, a precocious little gust of wind sends an old-fashioned message their way via a piece of paper. It’s a missing person’s ad for Alison, on which someone has scribbled: “Ding dong the bitch is dead.” LOL! Seems “A” has managed to find clever, alternative ways to communicate with the girls…
Atleast “A” has a wicked sense of humor!
At school, Lezzy is gifted with some hideous coral scarf by Maya, then lies about where she got it when Blondie asks her about it. Blondie’s phone rings, and she’s terrified to answer. Not because it’s “A” but because it’s her long, lost father who walked out on her and her mom. He’s apparently back in town and wants to reconnect with her. Blondie feebly agrees to meet him for dinner.
Lezzy hopes the scarf still has the tag on it so she can exchange it.
Buggy stops by Mr. Fitz’s classroom for some awkward yet blatant flirting, which is highly inappropriate. Not because she’s a minor, mind you, but because both classroom doors are wide open and anyone walking by could hear them! Don’t they know how to carry on a proper affair?! Anyways, Mr. Fitz wants to talk to her in private, so he invites her over to his place for dinner that night. Talk about inapprops!
I wonder what Buggy did to earn those Mardi Gras beads?
The girls are walking down the hall when Schnoz is approached by her history professor, Mr. Sheldrake, who just can’t stop raving about her Russian Revolution essay (which she stole from her sister.) He loved it so much that he submitted it for the Golden Orchid, a national historical writing award. Schnoz rightfully freaks out and asks him to rescind the offer, but it’s too late.
You know, if you REALLY want that award, you’ll let me touch your sweet AAASS!!
Lezzy ditches her shiteous scarf in her locker and heads to chemistry, where her new classmate AND lab partner turns out to be Toby Cavannaugh. He comments on the fact that she was wearing a scarf earlier and that he thought it was pretty. Ok, stalker. Nice stalkin’ to ya! Lezzy opens up her Chemistry book, only to find the missing photo booth pics of her smooching Maya tucked inside the pages!
Wow! Now THAT’S chemistry!!
Buggy comes home to find her mom making dinner, then lies and tells her she can’t make it cuz she’s eating at Schnoz’s house. Then she has a flashback to when she and Alison caught her dad making out with Meredith, and Alison urging her to tell her mom the truth before she hears it from someone else and Buggy loses both of her parents forever. Ok, first of all, you’re being a tad dramatic there, Alison. Second, who else would tell the mom? Alison? And why is she giving such pushy, judgmental advice on the sitch? Cut back to reality, and Buggy calls out to her mom as if she’s about to tell her the truth. Really? Now?! But at the last second she instead asks for a carrot and scampers off.
What’s with the shiteous, pink hair clip-ins from Claire’s?! Not cute, B.
Schnoz tells Blondie the truth about her purloined paper (finally these girls are coming clean and sharing their secrets!) and says if she asks Sheldrake to pull the essay from the competition, he’ll know something’s up. Blondie then sneers, “What makes you think you’re even going to win?” HA! Touche. Score one for the ditz!
Lezzy finds Maya at her after-school job (she works at Lucky Leon’s Cupcakes) and pulls her aside to ask if she was the one who put the photos of them kissing in her Chemistry book. She wasn’t, but she’s totally put off by Lezzy’s fear and paranoia that someone out there knows the truth about her.
Blondie and Mama Sydney are primping in the mirror when the doorbell rings. Blondie greets her dad with a warm embrace, and he’s shocked at how little there’s left of her to hug. (Um, it actually all just went into her face.) Anyways, Sydney reaches for her purse, but Tom tells her she’s mistaken. The dinner invitation was only for Blondie. HA! She says she’s totally fine with it, but when they leave she takes her earrings off so slowly that you know she’s miffed.
Even though her face is pure botox, I know it screams heartache.
Over at Mr. Fitz’s apartment, Buggy laughs at her teacher for owning a typewriter, which he swears he only uses as a paper weight. When the topic of convo switches to her parents, Buggy laments not telling her mom the truth about her dad’s affair. Buggy gets annoyed when Mr. Fitz posits that maybe her mom isn’t as in the dark about everything, and that perhaps her parents have an “understanding.” When he says that they should work out their problems like adults, Buggy goes ape shit, and accuses Fitzy of calling her a child. He didn’t of course, but she proves herself to be completely immature as she throws a temper tantrum and storms out.
This is the face of a girl who’s not gonna be putting out tonight.
In English class, Blondie regales the girls with tales from her wonderful night spent with her dad at some memory-filled dumpy restaurant followed by a stroll down the boardwalk. (Where did he take her? The Jersey Shore?) Of course, she was swept off her feet (major daddy issues) and she’s thinking she may go visit him in Maryland more often. She’s going to talk to him more over dinner, since he said there’s something big he wants to tell her. (Uh oh! My guess is there’s a sultry, new step-mother in the works for Blondie!)
Mr. Fitz walks in, clearly distressed from his fight with Buggy, and asks the class their opinion about Atticus Finch’s “hypocrisy” at the end of To Kill A Mockingbird. He and Buggy get into a lively sparring match, (clearly subtext for their fight) and the whole class immediately feels awkward. Seems like teacher’s pet is suddenly in the doghouse! PS, kudos to the writers for having an English class read a book for longer than one episode! You could learn a few pointers, 90210!!
Blondie is enjoying dinner with her dad and gabbing about boy trouble. He asks her if maybe she could use a change of scenery to clear her head. Blondie of course thinks he’s gonna ask her to move to Maryland to be with him, and I’m suddenly nervous he’s gonna pull out a brochure for some rehab place for kleptomaniacs. But, alas! I was right the first time. Her dad gets up to introduce her to his new fiancee, Isabel! AND Isabel’s daughter, Kate, aka Blondie 2.0. Genius!
And this is the face of a girl whose heart just ripped in two.
Schnoz is alone in her manse (her parents took her sister Melissa to NYC for some retail therapy) when she hears a noise downstairs. Aha! It’s the cheap scare moment of the episode! Schnoz grabs a knife from the kitchen and calls out to the shadow of her would-be attacker. Not surprisingly, it’s Ren, who’s shown up drunk with a huge potted rosebush as a mea culpa. He says he tried calling first, but Schnoz blocked his number! (Oops!) Ren drunkenly drops the potted plant, and they nearly share a kiss while cleaning it up. Outside, someone is recording their every move on a camcorder!!
Someone’s been painting the roses red. And DRUNK!
Buggy storms into Fitzy’s apartment and calls HIM childish for his Atticus Finch rant in class because now the whole class knows there’s something weird going on between them. She also tells him not to presume to know anything about her. He tells her she’s right. He doesn’t know her. And with that, he closes the door. Presumably to get to know her better. Biblically, of course.
Ren apologizes to Schnoz for being a hot, drunken mess. He tries to leave, but she tells him he’s in no condition to drive back to his dumpy digs at the local motor lodge. She confiscates his keys, and leads him upstairs. (To whose bed is anybody’s guess! but she better be careful, what with TMZ lurking in the bushes with camcorders and all.)
Blondie is at dinner with her dad and the Step(ford) family. Blondie 2.0 is acting like a total kiss-up. Blondie’s dad then announces that he talked to Sean’s dad and paid for the damage she did to his car. Now all Blondie has to do is volunteer her time doing some clerical work in Sean’s mom’s dental office to pay off the remaining legal fees. Blondie manages to turn lemons into lemonade, and uses the opportunity to make a dig at Blondie 2.0′s plaque build-up on her veneers. Just then, she gets an S.O.S. text from Schnoz…
Why does Kate have a block head?! And why does she look like a dude in a wig?!
Lezzy rips up the photo booth pics of her and Maya, then dumps the scraps in the trash bin parked at the end of her driveway. Naturally, Toby just happens to be taking out his trash, too. They have a heart-to-heart, and I’m so confused by their budding relationship. Are the writers trying to hint at them becoming a couple? Isn’t she exploring her sexuality and becoming a lesbian? Is he just a back-burner boyfriend in case ABC Family gets too much hate mail about Lezzy’s antics?
There’s something kinda wrong with Toby’s face, too …
Buggy and Fitzy have apparently (kissed and) made up, and are now enjoying his pesto pasta and some “witty” banter. Buggy tells him that he was right about her. She’s a “fixer” which isn’t good, cuz it means she’s stuck in the past. And if her parents’ marriage is in trouble, they need to fix it themselves. I was just about proud of my little Bugster, but then she suddenly felt the overwhelming need to tell the truth, and jumped up to go run to her mother. What?! That scene just made no sense!!!
Schnoz escorts Ren to his flea-bag motel. He tells her that he was telling the truth when he said he picked the wrong sister. Blondie pulls up (she’s there to pick up Schnoz) just in time to see Ren plant a huge kiss on her bestie! Ren invites Schnoz in, but she wisely declines, so as not to keep Blondie waiting. Just then, the DJ on Blondie’s radio station announces that the next song, “I Don’t Need You Anymore” goes out to Hanna from her friend, “A”. HA! ”We’re so out of our league!” she moans to Schnoz. Well played, A!
Way to go, Schnoz!!
Lezzy meets up with Maya for some mutual apologies. Maya tells Lezzy she’s too concerned with labels and applying meaning to everything. Lezzy asks for some time to think and process, and Maya obliges, telling her she’ll wait. The scene is almost cute, except that Bianca Lawson, who plays Maya, keeps mean-muggin’ Lezzy. Sorry, hon, but you’re not on Buffy The Vampire Slayer anymore!!
Buggy races home to tell her mom all about her dad’s affair (NO!!!) but she’s too late. Her distraught mom hands her a letter and silently walks off. Buggy looks down at the letter, which tells everything about the affair. At the bottom it reads: “I know this is hard to hear, but it is the truth. If you don’t believe this about your husband, ask you daughter. She knows all about it. Sincerely, A.”
Whoever wrote this is a total rag and needs to get down off their moral high horse!!
Back at Schnoz’s house, Blondie is pissed because they tried to shut out “A” but it hasn’t seemed to work. Suddenly, they notice that the broken potted plant has been cleaned up, and they realize that someone’s been in the house! Schnoz runs upstairs to retrieve Alison’s friendship bracelet. Luckily, it is still in the drawer where she left it. But then she and Blondie turn around and gasp in horror!
Simultaneously the best AND worst acting of the episode!
Lezzy and Buggy get S.O.S. texts from Schnoz, and both come running over. There, scrawled on the mirror in Alison’s signature “Jungle Red” lipstick is a message: “It won’t be that easy, bitches! -A” This scene would have been the perfect ending, if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve NEVER seen Alison wearing this supposed signature color. And furthermore, no teenage girl has worn “Jungle Red” lipstick in about four decades. It does however, pack a bigger, more sinister punch than saying, “Is that Bubblegum Pink?”
The big kiss-off!
Oh, well. Personally, I thought Blondie’s dad, Lezzy’s sexual flip-flopping, and Buggy’s spat with Fitzy were kind of filler in an otherwise engaging episode that started to pick up some steam there at the end. Thoughts? Leave your comments!! And thanks for reading!!