Awesome. Man, what an awesome episode of TV. Plots moving forward, mysteries coming unraveled, unholier alliances being formed, romances facing real-life challenges, self-aware in-jokes, two high-stakes climactic scenes, and the funniest title gag this show has ever done. Joseph Dougherty, who is also responsible for some of the other most exciting episodes of this show (“Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares” for one), teamed up with newcomer Lijah J. Barasz on this one, and standing O for those guys; I think “CTRL + A” was the best episode of season 2B so far.
Rosewood High. After nudging/blackmailing Principal N00b into letting Emily back onto the swim team, Mona is nowhere to be found when the Sharks bring home their giant championship trophy this week. Emily wasn’t out of shape at all, I guess, even though she hasn’t been on the swim team since “A” poisoned her with Human Growth Hormone all those months ago. Must be all that cardio work she’s been doing running for her life. And the athletic making out with Maya, who is there with an adorable sign she crafted from poster board and glitter and markers and doobies.
Watch her face when Emily walks into the gym. She’s nervous, right, because this whole in-crowd/legalized extra-curricular activity thing just isn’t her scene. But also she’s like, “Hurrah!” And she made that poster. Emily is so glad to see her. But then, because it’s a day, her friends need to talk about the murder-mystery shenanigans they’ve got planned for the night and Officer Garrett has got bust up in there and arrest someone, or confiscate some student’s property, or return a trophy smeared with rat’s blood. And Maya just gets shuffled right back into the gym. Which will matter in a little while. Just you wait and see.
Other things of note: Spencer is sleeping over at Aria’s because of how her dad sired that X-Ray visioned voyeur from across the yard. Which: Obviously Spencer is just looking for an excuse to shack up with Aria. She didn’t have any problem living at home when her parents were housing known murderer/pedophile/sinister vegetable chopper Ian Thomas. Also, Caleb is still cracking the mystery of A’s phone until the cops take away his laptop, and if you love the way he’s been throwing around random computer words before, wait’ll you get a load of his dialogue this week.
To wit: Hanna’s like, “Dude, the cops taking your computer? That’s a problem.” And Caleb is all, “I’ve done an active-matrix biometric clean install, with gigaflop hard token hexadecimals. Plus, they’ll never get through my firewall.” It’s so funny how me and you are so well-versed in the ways of the PLL canon that we’re all just rolling our eyes and patting Caleb’s head and waiting for Hanna to explain to him (again) How Shit Works In Rosewood: “If Garrett touches a thing, it’s poisoned. If you push back against A, she’ll chop you into pieces and feed you to some ducks. If Detective Snape is on the case, exactly zero rules of reason or municipal law apply. And right now, all three of those things are happening in the vicinity of your laptop, which, may I remind you, contains like every porno Alison ever starred in and probably some new stuff A put on there for giggles.” So Caleb tries to remotely hack into his computer to erase whatever things whatever ghost planted on there, but he is locked out because it’s not online.
Aria and Holden have the following conversation, verbatim:
Aria: I can’t cover for you anymore unless I know why you’re a drug-pushing gay whose parents beat him in the ribs with a baseball bat.
Holden: Man, I hope no one’s life ever depends on your ability to solve a mystery.
Aria: I beg your pardon. I drive a van that is literally called The Mystery Machine.
Holden: I’m in a fight club, moron.
Aria: Dammit! Foiled again by logics!
She agrees to cover for him, then, since he’s not risking his life by selling drugs, but risking his life by brawling in underground lairs in Philadelphia in the middle of the night with other adorable/rabid hobbits.