“Pretty Little Liars” mini-cap (1.02): Alison may seem like your typical selfish, back-stabbing, slut-faced ho-bag

 
 

Jenna Cavanaugh, what is your deal? Why are you back? Why are you blind? Are you really blind? Are you “A”? Are you — as my best friend so desperately hopes — actually a robot? Please be either faking blindness or faking humanity. Or be Georgina Sparks dressed in a Jenna Cavanaugh costume made out of Jenna Cavanaugh.

So, the Pretty Little Liars (henceforth: PLLs) have retired to a cafe after Alison’s funeral and are asking the above questions — except the “Why is Jenna blind?” thing ’cause they totally know the answer to that one — and also wondering how “A” knows so much about them. It dawns on them that Alison hoarded their secrets like squirrels hoard nuts, but they didn’t know any of her secrets. Except Spencer, who knew a half-secret called: Ali was bonking an older guy — but who isn’t on this show?

They’re about to get gay about how much they miss one another, but then Tap! Tap! Tap! goes Jenna’s walking stick like The Tell-Tale Heart under the floorboards, and Harken! go the PLLs, and they bounce up out of there as stealthily as their stilettos will carry them. Jenna takes a seat in front of the window and either watches or doesn’t watch (depending on whether or not she’s really blind) as they scurry away into the night. (JennaBot gives her sunglasses a tap and they become heat-map night-vision goggles. She memorizes the way the PLLs move in the dark, for later.)

Morning. Hanna apologizes to her mother for turning her into a prostitute, but her mom says not to worry; they’ve seen the last of Detective Wilden. (Spoiler alert: no, they haven’t). Aria gets cranky/suspicious when her dad says he has to work late, but he just rolls his eyes and goes, “Oh, teenage girls, with their hormones and menstrual cycles lol!”

Emily has coffee on her front porch and her morning is already better than everyone else’s because Maya comes crawling up into her lap like when your cat is out of food, all, “I guess I could get my own cup of coffee, but I’d rather share yours, since we’ll be sharing lipstick soon anyway. Also, it’s creeping me out to sleep in my bedroom because of how they found your dead girlfriend in the yard and I keep finding her stuff in my closet.” (Seriously, who hired those movers?) Emily’s mom wanders up while Emily and Maya are embracing and literally goes, “You know, Maya, why don’t you just spend a few days with us? You can sleep in Emily’s room.”

And boy, is that Maya handsy! She’s just finding every single excuse to caress Emily. (Too bad she’s at the top of my could-be-”A” watchlist. Higher even than JennaBot.)

At Rosewood High, the PLLs are going about their own individual business because they’re not the Mean Girls anymore without Alison. Hanna’s boyfriend looks like a Ken doll (and may be equipped like one, actually), and Emily’s boyfriend looks like a member of Jacob Black’s wolf pack. I’ll bet you one million dollars that there’s a Quileute crest tattooed on his deltoid. Ben has a giggle about Maya sleeping over at Emily’s and wonders what kind of pajamas Maya wears.

Mr. Ezra “Gilbert Blythe” Fitz appears and is adorable, and I think I am supposed to be creeped out that Aria is having this affair with her teacher, but Lucy Hale actually looks older than Ian Harding, and I’m still hearing him go, “Anne, I’m sore-y!” so I’m not fussed about it. Aria is, though, so she asks Mr. Fitz to sign-off so she can change English classes. He says he can keep his feelings in check (which: no you can’t, if you’re begging her to stay in your class), and she says she can’t (which: again, who can blame her?). So he signs the paper and feels sad because they’re studying To Kill a Mockingbird now, but when you start teaching Shakespeare you can make all kinds of weird sex stuff seem normal.

There’s an announcement summoning all four PLLs to the office, and just as they’re closing ranks Aria gets a text from “A”: Dead girls walking

Detective Wilden wants to go over their stories one more time from the night of Ali’s disappearance. He says it’s weird that the details haven’t changed; it’s almost like they’ve been rehearsed. (Or almost like they were telling the truth! I hate you already, Wilden; you’re my new Snape!) Spencer asks if this is an interrogation and Wilden says it’s just a routine follow-up, which makes Spencer happy. She doesn’t like to play that Toaster Strudel card unless she absolutely has to.

Rosewood Cafeteria. The PLLs snip at each other about how they should have just told the truth about the night Alison disappeared and the night of the Jenna thing, but mostly they should have stopped Alison from doing whatever it was she did to Jenna in the first
place. Right on cue, Jenna comes Tap! Tap! Tapping! into the cafeteria, and Aria — full of guilt and awesomeness — rushes over and offers her a seat at their table. Once she’s settled, Spencer is like, “I thought you were at, um, visual impairment school.” And Jenna goes, “It’s OK to say ‘Blind Camp,’ Spencer.”

Flashback! Let’s unwrap the Jenna Thi— Holy sh-t, you guys! Alison threw a live bomb into Jenna’s shed because she thought a peeping Tom was inside! A vision-specific live bomb that caused no tissue damage to Jenna’s porcelain skin! And then they ran like little bitches and left her inside to burn to death! But she did not! She rose from the ashes to Tap! Tap! Tap! at them until they go insane!

Back in the present, there’s a blast from “A” and Jenna has to actually feel around on one of the tables to find Spencer’s phone to quell the beeping: If only you could see how guilty you look.

Aria’s application to transfer from Mr. Blythe’s class is inexplicably denied, and he is glad. And she is glad. Hanna is not glad because her boyfriend will not have sex (or even make out) with her because his dad is a pastor, so he’s “waiting.” Also, he’s seen The Secret Life of the American Teenager and he knows every time a preacher’s kid has sex, God kills the deflowered virgin’s mom or dad. (Ask me how I feel about the phrase “deflowered” some time, but make sure you have plenty of time and plenty of vodka because whooo boy.)

At the one Pad Thai place in town, Spencer tries to tell her dad she’d like to take an artsy “not for credit” class, but he blows her off, and she has to yoink her future brother-in-law’s vodka soda to make it through her family dinner. (That sounded way dirtier than I intended, but I’m leaving it.)

Emily’s room. Maya looks at a picture of the PLLs + Alison and notes that she’s always in the middle of the frame, the center of attention. She says she’s afraid of Queen Bees (and rightly so, because they would eat her alive as an appetizer). Emily says she doesn’t seem like she’d be scared of anything, and Maya non-sequiturs about which side of the bed Emily sleeps on. Emily says she sleeps in the middle, and guess what? So does Maya.

They get into bed and stare at the ceiling. Emily finally turns to her side, and Maya just rolls right on over into a full-on spoon with her hand on Emily’s hip. Emily barely has time to cover Maya’s hand and sigh a big lezzer sigh before her phone starts buzzing with a text from “A”: Did you get a goodnight kiss? Here’s one from me. XO…

(No. XO you, “A”! XOXOXO you to infinity!)

Ben picks up Emily and Maya for school and even though he’s been out all night looking for who/whatever killed those people down by the lake — It wasn’t a vampire, Ben! It was JennaBot! — he’s still got enough energy/audacity to ask “how they slept.” You can almost see the cartoon air quotes hanging around his ears. Maya says she slept like a baby, and that good girls don’t kiss and tell. Then she jumps out of the car and Emily snogs Ben’s face off because that is exactly what you do when your boyfriend is totally kidding but totally right that you’re totally gay. (It’s like I have a time machine and I am watching a way hotter past-me with a way more werewolf past-boyfriend.)

Hanna catches Emily on the way into school and says, “I never thought you were the kind of person who’d be comfortable with PDA.” And Emily goes, “Maybe I’m not the person everyone thinks I am.”

Emily’s mom finds her all pensive and staring out the window later that night and tells her she’s been missing Alison for a whole year, and that’s a lot to take on, but that things will be back to normal soon. Emily says, “I don’t know what normal feels like anymore.” And then, sweetly, beautifully, she goes, “I think there’s something wrong with me.” Her mom thinks she’s talking about Alison, and she is, kind of, but in an I-liked-to-make-out-with-her way. The same way she wants to make out with Maya. The exact opposite of how she feels about Team Jacob.

Aria and her mom go to an old-timey Stars Hollow theater to see It Happened One Night (because of course that’s Aria’s favorite movie), and Mr. Gilbert Blythe is there too. Aria’s mom does this whole thing about how Aria never said how young and cute Mr. Gilbert Blythe is, and Aria’s like, “Also: super soft lips.” But Aria’s mom invites him to sit with them anyway, and they brush hands are are super awkward in that way you always are when your bubble touches someone else’s bubble and you’re still pretending you’re not going to have all the sex with them.

Aria’s mom leaves in the middle of the movie or something and Aria finds herself walking home alone in the rain — until Mr. Gilbert Blythe drives his chivalrous steed (Honda) right up to the curb and pulls her inside for some heavy petting.

Everyone’s up to shenanigans tonight! Spencer decides to go ahead and make out with her sister’s fiance, and her sister catches them. Detective Snape fully stalks Hanna to the mall and lurks in the parking garage, telling her that her mom is a good lay, but not good enough to get him to drop murder charges.

At home, Aria decides to forgive her dad because she’s pretty sure that sometimes you just can’t help yourself. But as she’s humming her way up the stairs in loved-up bliss, “A” texts her: When students kiss teachers, someone gets HURT! That’s a promise I’ll keep.

About that time — somewhere else in Rosewood — Spencer is out for a jog and she runs up on Jenna, sitting on a park bench, talking into her phone. “Send text now,” she says into one device after pushing some buttons on another. Then she turns her head in her designer sunglasses and just stares at Spencer.

Man. That 42 minutes flew by! Thoughts on the second episode — Likes: Everything. Dislikes: None. I can’t wait to see how many times Maya touches Emily and how many people Flashback!Alison tries to murder next week!

 
 

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