Guys! Guys! GUESS WHAT TIME IT IS?!?! That's right, it's Pretty Little Liars time! The show is FINALLY back from its long fall hiatus for it's shorter winter run. The ads promise us that A will be revealed (which I guess means that Jenna and Garrett aren't A) and that SOMEONE WILL DIE. Hopefully Butthair.
I hope you all watched last night, because we need to discuss some things!!
It's been a month since the girls were arrested for killing Ali and our pretty little liars are doing community service - trash clean up. That's an awfully light sentence for murder! Except, it seems, the only thing that the cops could make stick is falsifying evidence (how?! The cops don't have any evidence that shows that the shovel is the murder weapon because that page of the report is missing! The judges in Rosewood are as fucking stupid as the cops!). So Ma Hastings got all the girls community service.
Strangely this part didn't show up on ABC Family's Style Story.
Nameless Troubled Teens exposit about the arrest, because they don't read these recaps. The girls don't seem to be getting along at all. Em wants to make a deal with A, because she thinks Spencer's mom will throw the rest of the girls under the bus if need be. Em and Spencer get into a brawl, which Garrett watches from his cop car with glee. And sunflower seeds. Listen, Garrett. I knew Fox Mulder. Fox Mulder was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Fox Mulder.
Credits. Necromancy. Family show!
Hanna's Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom is counselling Hanna to be nice to Emily. Meanwhile, Deadbeat Dad is still mad at Hanna for ruining his wedding (not his marriage though; it seems he and Isobel eloped shortly after the botched wedding) and Hanna stalks off when Emily comes downstairs. Prozzie Mom hopes wants Hanna and Emily to reconcile, but Emily is not hopeful. She gets a fax from someone (who gets faxes?),but we don't see the contents of same. Is A faxing people now? Next thing you know, she'll be dialing someone on the land line.
On The One Street in Rosewood, Aria and Mike are drinking coffee and discussing his new therapist, who is apparently better than Annabeth Gish. Well. Anyone would be. They run into Fitz on the street and it's hella awkward all around. Fitz and Aria talk around their feelings by discussing poetry until Mike leaves to throw away his coffee cup, at which point Aria apologizes for breaking up with him for his own good. Fitz does not find the irony of the 17 year old dumping her 30 year old boyfriend for his own good. Fitz is so fucking awful.
Isn't Pennsylvania supposed to be cold in the winter?
Garrett is on the phone, presumably with Jenna, and he seems pretty annoyed. Trouble in skeevy, gross Paradise? Spencer shows up to "say things to him like they're supposed to mean something." She hints that she knows Garrett is guilty and he plays dumb. Which is extremely easy for him. Also Butthair is nowhere to be found, which Spencer hints is Garrett and Jenna's doing.
At school, Emily's ulcer is all healed from her relaxing month of felony arrest and community service, but her swim coach is hesitant to let her rejoin the team, due to the whole arrest/community service part. Poor Em. It's always something. Now she's never going to get into that made up school!
English class. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is totally cold to Spencer, because of how Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, thinks that Spencer is being Fitzed. Oh, Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride. Look to your home, darling. Look to your home.Then Spencer and Emily bump into each other and start shoving again. I like Prison Yard Spencer and Emily. I want a spin off series where they get in fights a lot and then shank people. Pretty Little Liars, Oz edition.Both girls gather up their books which were dropped during the fight, but switch up their copies of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (really, Rosewood High?).So I'm assuming that this whole fighting thing is fake, and it's a way of exchanging secret messages with each other!
Then Em gets a text: "You were always my favorite. Want to make a deal? -A" Drink! Emily looks for a way to answer A, and so goes to the board and dramatically circles the 'yes' in a"To Be Able To Say Yes To Life" quote. Well, that was conveniently there!
Commercials! Daniel Radcliffe promises us a preview of his new movie, The Woman in Black. You know, I never thought I'd say this about that weird looking boymanrat hybrid, but he actually looks . . . kind of good. I mean, with the great coat and the sideburns and the floppy hair. Is that, like, an English Dude thing? Everyone looks better with sideburns and a great coat?
Hallways. Aria and Hanna are talking about Fitz. I think it's nice Hanna and Emily are still friends - it's a nice callback to the pilot episode. Emily, of course, isn't interested in seeing either of them and pushes past to check her locker. There's a note that says "10 Tonight" in her copy of Lonely Hunter. . . but the book is Spencer's. Em nods in confirmation. Ha! I WAS RIGHT!
Lucas has spent the last month trying to find all the photos of Hanna doing community service online so that he can remove them from virtual existence for her. He is SUCH a good friend! He flirts with Hanna in his Lucas way; I cheer for him and scare my cat. Lucas is probably A (he's hiding something shady on his laptop), but I love him. Plus he looks like he had a growth spurt this last month.
MAKE OUT ALREADY!
Hollis. Actor/Director Chad Lowe and Fitz are going to combine classes so that the college students can learn about architecture and Henry James. I am sure that their classes will be THRILLED. Also, who reads Henry James in freshman English class in college? That is what high school is for! I swear this show doesn't understand which books are taught at which level. Am I wrong? I didn't actually take the freshman English classes in college; the only English class I took was an upperclassman class called Race, Sex and Captivity, and we read a lot of Audre Lord and Assata Shakur. Best class EVER.
Anyhoo, Fitz and Actor/Director Chad Lowe's bromance continues unabated.
TOBY! A Toby spotting! He's waiting for Spencer. His hair has reached critical mass. I repeat: THE HAIR IS NOT GOOD. It's got a puffy mushroom look going on. Toby, I can only hope you have been growing it out to get it cut in a certain, way cuter, way!
How much do I love Spencer's coat, bee tee dubs?
Spencer's parents are in Philly with Melissa, who has an irregular heartbeat. I am unclear as to this development, since I'd assume it would be the fetus who had the irregular heartbeat. But who knows. Toby is trying to talk Prison Yard Spencer into being Regular Spencer who loves Emily again. He's so sweet, trying to fix her friendships! Also, he built her a rocking chair! It's all Arts and Crafts! The art movement, not an insult about using hot glue guns to make it. Spencer can't accept it! She tells Toby to stay away and go worry about Jenna instead. Spencer is sad when Toby drives away. As she should be. That's a nice chair.
HE MADE YOU A CHAIR, SPENCER!
Requisite Sara Shepard Creepy Greenhouse Set Not That Far Away From A Fancy Pennsylvania Mansion. Emily's there, skulking about. . . when Hanna, Spencer and Aria pop out. Aww! They were only faking hating each other to get A to take the bait! The note was from Spencer and the fight was on purpose! A took the bait! I celebrate being right!
Emily is going to pretend to give A some evidence as a way of tricking A (or Jenna and Garrett) and exposing them. It's all going to work, Spencer assures Hanna. Which means it clearly won't work at all.
Hanna's. She and Lucas walk in, joking about something, but UGH. Caleb is there to ruin everything with his gross hair and lack of being Lucas. Poor Lucas. Also, WHO KEEPS LETTING CALEB IN? Does he still have a key? For being poor, Prozzie Mom sure does let half of Hanna's peer group use her house.
GO AWAY, STUPID HEAD.
School. Emily's watching the swim meet forlornly when she spots Garrett purchasing a ticket. Toby, who has popped up behind her but which will not be offering any LEANY KISSES and therefore I don't care,says that Garrett follows Jenna around like a trained monkey. I really wish this show would spend more time focusing on the fact that Jenna RAPED HER STEPBROTHER. I feel like I'm the only one who cares that this happened. Anyway, Toby wants to know what's going on between Emily and Prison Yard Spencer! Emily just tells him that it's not a good time for anyone right now. Ain't that the truth, Emily. I'm still sick and I just want to sleep for a week. This isn't a good time to be awake.
Emily, he has a rocking chair you can have.
Hollis. Aria's come to return Fitz's book of poems to his desk and is debating whether to leave a card when Jackie shows up to be an evil cow again. Aria, why don't you just punch her in the fucking face? Oh! But then Fitz shows up, just in time to hear Jackie threaten Aria with exposure (but possibly late enough to misconstrue it).
Aria, do you ever leave the house with a normal amount of makeup on?
Commercials. The Woman in Black preview! It's mostly just a bunch of Radcliffe skulking around a decrepit house. And he has STUBBLE. And people speak ominously in British accents! And there is fog! And there are creepy ginger triplets! It's like a British Bingo of horror film aspects.
Hollis. Jackie has been kicked out of Fitz's office, which lets Aria confess to Fitz that she dumped him For His Own Good. She didn't want him to get hurt! Fitz isn't going to let Jackie destroy his beautiful relationship with his seventeen year old former student! There's something he and Aria need to do that afternoon! (Hey, here's a question. Remember when Fitz and Aria kissed in the parking lot of school and there were rainbows and sparkles and tiny unicorns frolicked upon the air, so delighted were they that the 30 year old and the 17 year old could finally bring their beautiful, special love out, since he no longer taught her? Didn't ANYONE talk about that with Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, at some point? I mean, a lot of people saw it. It was the school parking lot. Shit, I couldn't even have my period at school without half the graduating class knowing.)
Outside the swim meet, Caleb thanks Lucas for watering his Hanna plant while he was out of town. And then Lucas lets him stay at his house again. Oh, Lucas. If you continue at this rate, you are going to turn into a Nice Guy and I'm going to have to hate you. GROW A PAIR.
After the swim meet's over, the girls stage a loud fight about the "box of evidence" that they got from Jason. Lucas, Caleb, Garrett, Noel and numerous others are all watching (no sign of Mona, Ali or Jenna and Melissa's out of town, so I don't think A can be just one of those ladies). Emily claims loudly that she's making the deal and storms off . . . and two seconds later she gets a text. "See you tonight, BFF! - A" Drink!
Aria's House of Woodland Delights. Fitz is awkwardly explaining to Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, and Actor/Director Chad Lowe that he's in love with Aria. He wore his skinniest tie for the occasion. There's a lot of yelling and then Mike punches Fitz in the face. Well, Mike, you aren't totally useless, it seems.
"Sir, despite any indications of homosexuality from my clothing, mannerisms, and amount of hair product, I'd like to date your daughter."
Aria's House of Woodland Delights. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, and Actor/Director Chad Lowe are discussing the implications of their seventeen year old having sex with her teacher. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, however, sort of blames Actor/Director Chad Lowe, thinking Aria started dating her teacher because her dad was having sex with his toothy student with the bad feet. SERIOUSLY, lady? You will blame anything on that damn affair. Look, either forgive the guy or dump him. Don't stay with him just so that you can blame him for absolutely everything in your life.
Hollis. Fitz is chilling out in the office from which I gather he'll soon be evicted. Jackie comes by to slither all over the place with her awful face and, yet, drops some truth bombs about how, you know, HE IS A GROSS CRIMINAL.
Hanna's. Hanna and Spencer are separately on their way to the meet while talking on the phone (Spencer hilariously casing out her living room for weapons), but both get detained - Toby comes over to yell at Prison Yard Spencer about being a bitch, and Deadbeat Dad shows up to talk to Hanna and Prozzie Mom. Spencer tells Toby that she just needs one night and she can explain everything. Don't buy it, Toby. I fell for that line once several years agoand the bioradiation is still causing rage issues. Meanwhile, Deadbeat Dad announces that he's moving back to Rosewood, avec Isobel and awful Kate-who-we-call-Gertie. That ought to be fun for approximately no one.
Their being detained, plus Aria's grounding for schtupping her English teacher, leaves Emily all alone to face A.
Aria's trying to sneak out of the House of Woodland Delights when Mike stops her. He helps her sneak out, which is pretty nice for a dude who just slugged her brother. God, Aria's house. It even has interior shutters and inlaid wood on the walls. This house makes me want to make babies spontaneously. Mike apologizes for hitting Fitz - he figured it was better coming from him than from Actor/Director Chad Lowe. I guess Mike thinks it's weird that Fitz is sleeping with a student unless that student . . . is his sister?
Requisite Sara Shepard Creepy Greenhouse Set Not That Far Away From A Fancy Pennsylvania Mansion. A hooded figure (Gloved McEvilson, I guess, who I guess is 1/3 of A) shows up and Emily gives that person the box while monologuing like a Bond villain. She shows A/Gloved McEvilson that the box has nothing in it and is all "shouldn't believe everything you hear!" and then A goes POSTAL on her. Like, totally wails on her with a potting shovel. Why is it always Emily and Spencer that get in physical danger? Why can't Aria ever get hit by something?
Oh! But then Aria and Spencer show up! A has nowhere to go! So s/he throws a pot up in the windows and then crashes the glass to make a distraction. A runs out the door, just in time for Hanna to hit him/her with her car, which, ha! This slows A down enough to give the girls a bit of a chance, and they chase A through the Plot Development Woods, but to no avail. Spencer's very upset . . . until they find the cell phone that A must have dropped along the way. Ruh roh!
Credits. A/Gloved McEvilson realizes his/her phone is missing and violently freaks out, breaking his/her mirror. Man! S/he has such rage issues! Chill out, A.
That's it! I thought it was a pretty good start to the shorter half of the season. What'd you guys think? Sound off in the comments!