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Title: Pretty Little Liars S1.E05 “Reality Bites Me”
Released: 2010

We open on A’s letter to Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, being read aloud by Aria. Aria is explaining the letter to the rest of the girls at Spencer’s house, feeling all guilty and shizz. Spencer makes the valid point that, uh, actually it was Chad Lowe who was breaking his family commitments and tenderly boning Meredith Of All The Teeth (which I haven’t mentioned previously, but is Jody fromĀ Center Stage, and man, she never should have quit the American Ballet Academy and gone to be a principal dancer with stupid Cooper Nielson, cause she’s looking rough), and therefore the fault lies with him and him alone. Well. Spencer would know.

Aria lets the other girls know that only Alison knew the truth about Chad Lowe and Meredith of All The Teeth, and Hanna pipes in with a little slut- and body-shaming directed towards Meredith, because these are young ladies, and who is going to make life difficult for women except for other women? Oh yeah, like, EVERYONE ELSE. Anyway, Hanna feels that Chad Lowe should have better taste, and perhaps should tenderly bone someone hotter, and possibly even younger.

Aria is wearing the world’s most hideous shirt. AGAIN. Anyway, the other girls are thinking-but-not-saying that Chad Lowe will soon be moving out (clearly the girls have been spoiling themselves on Wikipedia), and then attention switches off Aria and onto Spencer, who thanks everyone for staying over. I guess she was a little spooked because someone picked up the broken houseplant and wrote on her mirror. I’m not judging, because remember in that amazing Julia Roberts’ film, Sleeping With the Enemy, when she gets home from her library job in her new town and finds all her bath towels straightened and the cans arranged correctly and she realizes her husband has FOUND HER and then he beats the hell out of her but then she gets the gun and calls 911 and is all, “I just killed an intruder” and then hangs up and Patrick Bergin’s face is all OH SHIZZ SON and then she totally shoots him, point blank, like four times.

And I’m sorry if I’ve spoiled the ending to the second greatest Julia Roberts film of all times (the first being Steel Magnolias, OBVS) but really, YOU SHOULD HAVE WATCHED THAT MOVIE ALREADY.

I MEAN LOOK AT HER SHIRT!

Anyway, show. All the girls go to clean up Spencer’s room . . . but then Hanna gets a text. “Ever wonder what goes on when your back is turned? . . . A” Hanna should text back, “not really.” There’s an attachment to the text message, which Hanna opens. It’s video of the girls the night before, discovering the mirror. Oh my God! It’s like someone has been spying on their every move and then sending them text messages implying that they know their secrets!!! I will act shocked about this, even though IT IS THE ENTIRE PLOT OF THE SHOW.

Aria’s all, “my shirt looks particularly bad from this angle.”

The girls go into Spencer’s closet to investigate if the filmer left anything behind. WHICH THEY DID. Jungle Red lipstick!!! Aria matches the lipstick by swiping some on her hand and then holding it up next to the mirror. Oh, Aria. Everyone knows that the only reason you put lipstick on your hand is to see how it looks on your face.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Now there is a commercial for that Charlie St Cloud movie with Zac Efron. Is that based on a Nicholas Sparks movie? It looks like it is, except no one is kissing in the rain. But maybe they edited out the kissing in the rain part to trick people into seeing it?

Show. Aria’s house. She’s putting on makeup, and her brother seems really interested in the process. He wants to know what’s up with Chad Lowe and Holly Marie Combs Child Bride. Aria blows him off, and then Aria’s brother (does he have a name?) comments on her makeup. He’s really interested in the process.

Downstairs, Chad Lowe and Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride B are WASP-fighting* about who’s going to pick up the kids and how he is a big Cheating Cheater who Cheats. Aria enters and it’s all very awkward, and then Aria lets slip to Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride that she’s known about the affair for a year. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride is not pleased. If she were back on the compound, Chad Lowe already would have taken 3 other wives, so I don’t know why she’s so sad.

*WASP-fighting does not involve raising voices or saying bad words. Usually it’s comprised of Person A telling Person B that Person B’s choices are making Person A feel several emotions, which are then listed in great detail. Then both Persons try to martyr themselves (ex: “I don’t mind leaving work early to run those errands for you, even though you have been sleeping with my sister”) and then usually there’s some talk of family therapy or couples counciling.

Streets, morning. How come everyone on this show fully eats breakfast/runserrands/etc in the morning before school/work? I am lucky if I remember to take a shower in the morning, and I stumble my way through everything until at least 9 am. Maybe it’s a Yankee thing. We Southerners are more suited to late afternoon/evening. Hanna bumps into Sean the PK. He tells her that he tried to take the fall for the car, but Hanna realizes it’s her responsibility, and is okay with working for his mom the dentist to pay for repairs. And then . . . Hanna asks him to Homecoming. Oh, Hanna. Way to make things awkward. Sean the PK hedges for a non-answer and then gets picked up by a blonde chick in a Nash Bridges convertible.

School, hallways. Aria floats the theory that Jenna and Toby are behind the lipstick stunt. Emily defends Toby, to the surprise/disdain of the other girls. Then a teacher comes by and hands Spencer an envelope that has CLEARLY BEEN OPENED, letting her know she won the essay contest on which she totally cheated by stealing Melissa’s paper. Spence is flustered. I would be flustered, too, Spence. Tampering with mail is a federal offense!

Science class. Emily and Toby are mixing chemicals in a beaker. Emily “tactfully” asks Toby where he was last night. He spent the night studying at The Grill. Toby asks if Emily spent the night at Maya the Vampire Slayer’s house. She didn’t, but they talk about Maya and how cool she is (I agree!).

Hot Teacher Hookup’s classroom. Aria walks in and flirts with him/begs him to do it with her so she doesn’t have to spend time at home. I am distracted by the wainscoating in this room. Anyway, Fitz can’t stay late or do anything after work . . . he has a “thing.” No, it’s not a date; he’s doing a reading of something he wrote. Aria invites herself along and they flirt some more.

THIS MAKES NO SENSE.

Sean the PK’s mom’s denstist office. Hanna is in an elevator when Jenna steps on. Jenna then looks in the reflective doors of the elevator and quite deliberately puts on some lipstick. Is that something blind people do? Anyway, Hanna looks pensive (in a positively hideous set of scrubs).

Spencer’s house. Spencer’s dad is home, and has brought her buttercreams. Hey, Spencer’s dad, I like you! Spencer thanks him and asks if he spoke to Wren. No, but he has heard about the essay contest, and is very pleased with his child. He asks Spencer to play tennis with him and a client the next day, and praises her essay some more. Oh, Spencer.

Dentist’s office. Hanna is skulking around corners, following Jenna. Hanna, she’s BLIND, not void of all senses! She knows you’re there! Anyway, Hanna tries to follow Jenna into an office. . . but it’s empty.

School. Science lab. Wait, they’re STILL THERE? School is over! Emily and Toby do more science stuff and Emily accidentally spills water on Toby’s notebook. They bond over some sort of band no one’s heard of, and then Toby offers to burn her a cd. Oh, MAN. Emily! TOBY WANTS TO PUT IT IN YOU! And then! Then! He asks her out. Well, to study at The Grille, but still. Oh, Emily.

Some horrible bar where they do poetry readings. Mercifully, we come in at the end of Hot Teacher Hookup’s reading. Thank you, show. Aria, who is there to support Fitz in his hour of emo, poetry-reading need, meets Fitz’s old college roommate, who has also come to see Fitz read his crappy poetry. And then Aria fangirls over Fitz , and then there are Humerous College Anecdotes, one about how Fitz’s roommate thought Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a Mexican porn. Clearly, they’ve never seen Cu – well, never mind. Family show!

Country club. Spencer is serving some tennis balls to no one. Oh my God, she’s practicing tennis to impress her father. Oh, Spencer. Girl, I just want to sit you down and talk to you about how at some point, you need to stop trying to win Daddy’s love, okay? Usually it takes a couple of one night stands and an ill-advised relationship with someone twice your age before it really sinks in that Daddy’s never gonna love you, though. Speaking of one night stands, a Country Club employee mildly flirts with Spencer.

Bar of Infinite Poetry. Fitz, Aria and Fitz’s ex-roomie are playing darts. The Roomie of Fitz is telling an inappropriate story about getting to second base while Fitz was sleep-laughing, or something. Aria bails to get some water, and ex-roomie calls him on his statuatory rapey ways. Fitz is all, “Whaa?” and Roomie is all, “But, no, dude, seriously, cut it out” and then Aria comes back and Roomie goes back to joking about college.

Hanna’s house. Prozzie Mom has brought home leftovers. Thanks, Prozzie Mom! Hanna is upset about Amber, who is presumably the girl who is now dating Sean the PK. Prozzie Mom is all, just cause she’s taking him for a ride doesn’t mean she’s riding him. Hanna lets it slip that her dad is marrying Isabelle. Prozzie Mom is not happy, at all. Sidney! Set fire to something!

Hanna gets an IM from A. (her name is “ThisisA” in case you want to add her to your buddy list.) “Now I know TWO secrets! Hanna got dissed . . .and Emily got kissed! -A” Oh, A, I find your rhyming to be twee and annoying. Hanna is all, “Who is this?” – in response, A sends Hanna the photo of Emily and Maya sucking face. Man, no one looks good in still photos of kissing, do they? I read a lot of wedding blogs, cause, like I said, I LOVE WEDDINGS, and people are always submitting their engagement photos, as if strangers care to look at two people they don’t know cuddling in a field of flowers, and they’re always kissing AND IT ALWAYS LOOKS BAD. Engaged people of the world: stop kissing each other on film, okay?

The One Restaurant in Rosewood (which I now can confirm is The Grill). Hanna and Spencer are discussing the Jenna/lipstick thing. Toby’s at another table, studying. Emily enters, and Hanna and Spencer call her over. Oh, burn, Emily totally disses Toby for the girls, and Toby is sad and leaves.

Hot Teacher Hookup’s apartment. Aria is flirty, but Fitz is distant. He’s realizing how wrong he is to continue dating her, but Aria’s all, “naw, it feels right, dude.” But Fitz is realizing that he can’t actually bring her around his friends. Aria’s all, “Let’s put our genitals together!” Fitz reluctantly agrees.

The Grill. Spencer is leaving to get some sleep before the tennis match tomorrow. A waitress drops something off for Emily – it’s the mix cd that Toby made her. Aw, he even drew her (not in a creepy way) on the cover. Oh, Toby! One day, after college, and several very bad breakups, you’re going to make some girl very happy. Hopefully. If you don’t turn into a serial killer or a Nice Guy before then.

Hanna tries, clumsily, to explain to Em without using words that the Emily/Maya thing is totally cool with her. Aw, Hanna.

Emily’s house. She’s lying in bed, looking at Toby’s mix cd. Man, he did artwork on the back, too! Toby, I’ll date you!

Commercials. There is an ABC Family original movie called Revenge of the Bridesmaids, which I will DEFINITELY be watching. Also there’s that commercial where the teenage boys are sitting in a diner and the one teenage boy declines “getting twisted” which I guess is young person talk for getting high on the marijuana cigarettes. Young people, with your slang! And anyway, then the one guy is all, “Nah, I gotta hit the books” and then his friends leave and the guy tries to pay for his meal but the diner owner is all, “it’s on the house because you said no to drugs.” Which, clearly, the ad genius behind this commercial has NEVER BEEN to an all-night diner, because it’s more like you would turn to pay your tab, but the diner owner would have disappeared round the back to take a couple hits before getting back to slinging burgers.

But if all I have to do to get free dinner is decline drugs, well, then, I should have gotten at least two free meals today!

Spencer’s house, morning. Spencer’s all ready to play tennis! Spencer’s dad wants her to “keep it friendly” on the court, i.e. actively suck. Throwing the game? Cheating? This goes against everything Spencer stands for when she isn’t stealing her sister’s essay!

Tennis courts. Spencer is fubbing the ball, as her father wanted. The Country Club employee with whom Spence flirted earlier looks concerned.

Dentist office. Hanna is investigating the office building in a sparkly top. She goes back to the empty office into whichshe had followed Jenna, and the door opens and a balding guy greets her as “Martha.” Hanna plays along and is given paperwork – turns out the guy is a therapist. Hilariously, Hanna whispers to herself, “You’re her therapist” (meaning that she’s figured out why Jenna was there) and the doc is all, “Martha, is there someone else joining us today?” Hanna beats a hasty retreat.

Aria’s house. Aria’s brother comes in and wants to talk about their parents’ fighting. Aria tells her brother they can go study in the library to stay out of the house.

Downstairs, Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride is pretty upset about how she’s going to have to see Meredith of All The Teeth all the time. She befriended this woman! Chad Lowe is all, “It’s over!” Chad Lowe tries to emotionally blackmail Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, all “If you want, we can move again.” Shut up, Chad Lowe! Although, good WASP-fighting move! Aria, overhearing, is sad.

Tennis Courts. Spencer keeps actively sucking; the Country Club employee is concerned and sad.After the game, he approaces her and asks why she threw the game. She explains about her father’s request. The Country Club employee attempts to be deep. Spencer asks him out. He looks TWELVE, Spencer.

Hanna’s house. Prozzie Mom wants to give Hanna some shoes to wear for Homecoming. Hanna’s not sure she’s going. She still hasn’t heard from Sean th PK, and is giving him space. Prozzie Mom is all “Don’t give him too much space! cling to yr man!” Prozzie Mom regrets that she didn’t try to stay with Hanna’s dad. Sidney! Set something on fire!

Hot Teacher Hookup’s apartment. Fitz opens the door and looks upset. Aria had left her phone there, and of course, A texted. “Lucky you, Aria! Other girls have to do their homework. You get to do the teacher . . . -A.” What is with A’s love of elipses? Are her thoughts always trailing off? Is she quoting a reference text but doesn’t need to quote the full sentence? If so, she should really be putting in the correct references after the quote.

Anyway, Fitz is all, “Who did you tell?” Um, Aria hasn’t told ANYONE, Fitz! YOU, on the other hand, blabbed to your college roomate, not to mention that everytime you see Aria at school you act like a twelve year old boy who’s just discovered what his penis can do. He kicks Aria out.

Truly fugsville scrubs, no?

Dentist office. Hanna attempts to steal the security guard’s keys (to get into Jenna’s therapy files), but Sean the PK shows up. He’s picking up insurance papers for his car. Hanna asks him if they’re breaking up. Au contraire, Sean the PK isn’t dating someone else; he’s been going to chastity club meetings. Aw, isn’t that cute? Anyway, he and Hanna are still together, just not in a humping way.

Spencer’s house. Her dad wants to celebrate their success at losing at tennis but winning a client. Apparently Spencer’s dad forgot to get reservations for lunch at the club (yeah, right) so he had to lie and say that the Country Club employee with whom Spencer was flirting (his name is Alex, btw), forgot the reservation. Spencer’s upset that Alex may get in trouble but her dad doesn’t care, as it got him the deal. Spencer, pissed, comes clean to her dad about stealing the essay, but chirps that “since {she’s} winning a big fat award,” her dad should be okay with that. Ha. Spencer, I love you best of all.

The Grill. Since this is the nice restaurant in town, maybe I should add an extra E to the name, to make it fancier. Thee Grille. That’s better. Toby’s in there, reading The Catcher in the Rye (of course he fucking is), and Emily joins him. She apologizes for ditching him, and then gives him a mix she made. Oh, you two.

Country club. Spencer is there to pick up Alex for their date. I presume the date will not be at Chuck E Cheese’s, no matter how young Alex looks.

Aria’s house. She and her brother are eating dinner in bed and watching an old movie. Chad Lowe has gone off somewhere; Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride is holed up in her room. The lighting director apparently doesn’t understand how to light Aria and her brother from the tv screen they’re watching, as the room brightens in ways that do not correspond to the tv. Maybe they’re being beamed up to another planet? That would make for an interesting twist.

Credits. This is the first week that we haven’t ended on a Shocking! Reveal! of some kind. I feel sort of bereft.

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Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.