Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E21 “Breaking the Code”
Released: 2012

Guys! It’s Pretty Little Liars time! Last week I erroneously assumed that this would be the penultimate episode of the season, because what season goes on for 25 episodes? That’s some early X-Files shizz there! Where is Agent Reyes when we don’t need her?

Also! Today is Fat Tuesday! EAT ALL THE PANCAKES AND DRINK ALL THE LIQUOR! Actually, really drink all the liquor in my case, because I’m giving up non-social drinking for Lent. SIGH. Although giving up non-social drinking for Lent just means that I’m giving up drinking alone. I reserve the right to drink with other people but scowl at them during it. Otherwise I’d never get through South by Southwest.

Show! The girls are at school, asking about Spencer’s plan to give the Mystery Guy the two grand. Aria tells Emily and Hanna that only she and Spencer are going to meet Mystery Guy (his name, I believe, is Jordan, but do we really care? No, we do not.), prompting Emily to be a little annoyed that she’s being left out of this little endeavor. I’m sure she has a point, but Aria is wearing a studded dog collar in this scene, so that is where my attention has naturally drifted. Aria, why? Why?

Mona pops up and leads Hanna away. They had plans to go shopping after school, which of course Hanna forgot about. Hanna is truly the worst friend ever, if Mona isn’t in fact A. If Mona is A, then Hanna is showing a keen sense of self-preservation. But, speaking of A, Mona gets a text: “Hanna’s Mommy saved her ass, who’s gonna save yours? -A” Mona brushes the text off but looks worried. OR looks like she’s pretending to look worried because she just send that text message to herself. Oh, Mona. You are a puzzle.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom is unloading the titular carbs (presumably procured with cash) when Jerky Detective shows up. He makes mildly threatening and/or suggestive remarks to Prozzie Mom and then tells Hanna to come see him at the station. I’m so glad that the show writers are revisiting the Jerky Detective/Prozzie Mom storyline whilst in the Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. These nicknames were starting to grow stale from lack of meaning.

Spencer’s. Spencer is telling Melissa the truth about Young Bobby. MELISSA!!!! WE NEED TO TALK, YOUNG LADY! WHY ARE YOU POINTING A GUN ON MY PRECIOUS PRESIDENT ALARIC?? Do you WANT to get cut? CAUSE I WILL CUT YOU! Melissa is upset to learn about Young Bobby but also tells Spencer to keep the whole story under wraps. She promises Spencer that they’ll get through the fact that their next-door neighbor is their brother and has a propensity towards having butthair. Melissa’s succubus baby is still enwombed, by the way. So for those of you who had “February Sweeps” in the baby pool, you’re out of luck.

At school, Emily is leaving the umpteenth voicemail for Maya. Maya has not yet called her back. But that’s okay!! BECAUSE KAT FROM 10 THINGS IS HERE AGAIN! And flirting with Em! KAAAAAAAAAAAT! Her hair, I am happy to report, has grown out a bit and she definitely looks like she’s had a tumble with Patrick Verona and borrowed his shirt. Lindsey Shaw, you are so lucky. You get to make out with all the hottest people on ABC Family shows. Kat from 10 Things invites Em out to help her sell newspaper ads. Oh, the old “help me sell newspaper ads” pickup line. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that one in journalism class. . .

Hanna’s. Mona is over, trying on clothes. When I have the show on pause, Mona looks ridiculously like Maya Rudolph. Lucky Mona. Hanna is a little disinterested in Mona’s clothes, until Mona’s phone goes off with another text. A sent a photo of Prozzie Mom and Jerky Detective doing it! Mona doesn’t seem to care too much, but Hanna’s freaking out. Mona is A, right? MONA WHY ARE YOU SO MYSTERIOUS?

Also, let’s talk about that dress.

Spencer and Aria are awaiting Mystery Guy. Aria’s pretty nervous. Not too nervous to ditch the dog collar, though. Aria and Spencer are the worst criminals ever. They hand over the cash to Mystery Guy. He gives them an address and starts to walk away . . . the text came from a burner phone and that was the address it triangulated to. Spencer’s not happy. She’s even less happy when she and Aria see Garrett spying on them from his totally low-key car.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom is cooking carbs. SHOW, YOU ARE MY FAVORITE. Hanna questions Prozzie Mom about Jerky Detective. She doesn’t want it to get out! Prozzie Mom could lose custody of Hanna if this story got out. Ugh, figures. All women hear about is how they have to sacrifice everything for their children, but the one time you have sex with a cop to get your daughter out of a shoplifting charge, suddenly you’re a shitty mother. DOUBLE STANDARDS.

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Fitz is fitzing Aria through the phone, fitzily. He’s in New Orleans, awaiting his interview for Ridiculous Position For Which He Is Neither Degreed Nor Otherwise Qualified. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, pops in, which gets Aria off the phone with a quickness. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, shows Aria the note left on Actor/Director Chad Lowe’s car. GUYS! Did you know that Chad Lowe and Rob Lowe are brothers? I mean, I guess that’s probably pretty obvious- Lowe isn’t the world’s most common name – but STILL. This is LITERALLY the most mind-blowing piece of celebrity news I’ve heard all week. Aaaanyhooskies, Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is slowly trying to put two and two together in the abacus that is her mind, and remembers that the letter she received last year about Meredith Who Is Secretly Jodie Sawyer was also signed by A. Aria looks concerned.

School! Em and Kat from 10 Things are discussing their ad-selling success. Kat from 10 Things came out to her parents! She looks so proud and happy! KAT FROM 10 THINGS, YOU MAKE ME SO HAPPY!! Kat from 10 Things thanks Emily – it was her braveness that gave Kat the strength! Then she hits on Emily again! Which Hanna ruins by sending Emily an S.O.S. text. HANNNAAAAA!

Spencer’s house. The girls are all gathered and Hanna is telling them about the origins of Prozzie Mom’s nickname. They all wonder why A suddenly has his/her sights set on Mona. Spencer thinks that the less Mona knows, the better. Also, apparently Garrett is now following Spencer around full time. Aaaand Aria comes clean about seeing Fitz still. Em understands but Spencer is kind of pissed (vis-à-vis the fact that Aria pretended to be heartbroken about losing Fitz while Spencer was heartbroken about Toby). Their argument is interrupted by Hanna – Caleb has sent her an email she must open immediately! In the email is more of the video from A’s phone. And it’s not Ali coming up those stairs . . . it’s a very irate Melissa!

Everyone wants to give this video to the cops, but Spencer objects. She’s not going to turn in her pregnant sister! Someone is watching them from outside, but that doesn’t stop the girls from yelling about their secrets loudly. Spencer asks for one night to talk to Melissa – meanwhile, the girls are going to try to find the address from which A was sending the texts.

The only bar in Rosewood. Spencer’s waiting for Melissa and drinking tequila. Wren shows up and flirts shamelessly. Spencer sees Melissa walking up . . . and then getting into Garrett’s car!! Melissa sends a blow-off text to Spencer, and Wren tells Spence that Garrett accompanied Melissa to her OB/GYN appointment last week. Ew. Don’t let Garrett around newborns. His naturally creepy musk will drift through the air and infect them. Spencer and Wren continue to drink. I continue to be grossed out.


Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Mona claims that A as dropped off Hanna’s police report for shoplifting and threatened her that if she doesn’t turn it in to the newspaper, Mona’s own shoplifting will come to light. Mona has to protect herself! Hanna tells Mona that she, too, receives texts from A. She promises to figure something out. Hanna’s on a deadline, though – A has sent Mona a text telling her that she has until 10 am tomorrow to publish the news. Drink!

Later, in Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash, Prozzie Mom finds the police report.

Time to find out where A was sending texts! The address that Mystery Guy supplied is the home of Froelich Williams and Lang law offices. The place is surrounded by a very high chain-link fence. The girls sans Spencer are looking around when Aria sees the face of an old man in the window! He screams and the security alarms go off! The girls run away. Seriously? Is THIS the danger Aria’s under? Just this?? Not cool, show. Not cool.

Commercials. I feel like that movie Gone is based on a YA novel.

Show. Oh god, BAD NEWS. Spencer is drunk at Wren’s apartment. Wren has a giant Union Jack tacked to his wall, in case he forgets some day that he’s British. The two flirt and then Spencer starts making out with Wren and UGH I CANNOT WATCH THIS. Why can’t this be happening with Toby instead?? Oh, yeah, because he’d never get Spencer drunk and then have sex with her. Oh, but it looks like Wren can’t either. All these Rosewood men. So noble. When they aren’t making out with the teenaged sisters of their former fiancées.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Hanna’s Googling the law firm, but it looks like the law firm has been closed down for months. Aria thinks that they got scammed.

At the Only Restaurant in Rosewood, Emily thinks she sees Maya, but it’s actually just the Only Other Black Person in Rosewood. Em gets upset and storms out . . . right into Kat from 10 Things!! Emily unloads about her problems, and Kat tells her that she needs someone to count on. Someone like Kat from 10 Things! Kat tries to kiss her, which freaks Em out. Poor Kat! I will kiss you, Kat! That mouth has touched Ethan Peck’s!

School. It’s 10:15, so it’s time to figure out what Mona did. Hanna apologizes for not being able to figure things out, and tells Mona that she understands that Mona had to do what she had to do . . . but Mona actually went to the jewelry store and confessed. She’s worked out a deal for community service, because she wasn’t going to turn in her “best friend and her mom.” Aww, Mona. I love you. Unless you’re A. In which case, well played.

Wren’s. Spencer wakes up late for school and Wren kisses her, even though she has morning breath and Morning After breath. Wren is brave. But he’s still no Toby.

School. Mona unwraps her apple (wrapped in plastic wrap – are we that germ phobic now?) to see a note from A. “You didn’t bite the first time but you will. -A” Drink! Mona looks around with worry while Hanna walks up. Hanna invites Mona to come eat with Emily and Aria. Aw, it’s a little circle of five! Except for how one of them is clearly A and is therefore trying to learn what the other four have on her!

Police station! Prozzie Mom stalks in to talk to Jerky Detective about the police report! He didn’t give it to Hanna . . . so who did? Ugh, FINALLY the adults on this show are starting to get it.

In the courtyard, Emily is calling Maya and leaving another sad, pathetic voicemail. GO KISS KAT!

Meanwhile, Aria and Fitz are fitzing. He was offered the job! And he’s going to take it! A sad cover of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” plays while Aria cries and cries. Her earrings are actually super cute in this scene, too, which makes the heartbreak even worse.


Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, wonders why Aria’s so upset. Aria tells Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, that Fitz is leaving. She’s so mad at her parents!

Show! Aria is at Fitz’s apartment, bitching about the job opportunity he didn’t actually earn. Then Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, shows up!! She wants to learn about the beauty of their relationship! Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, wants to understand Fitz’s sexual relationship with her underage child. The tea kettle screams with my pent-up rage.

Spencer’s! Melissa shows up and refuses to talk about things at the house. She can’t do it while Ma and Pa Hastings are around! Can Spencer go out with her? She gets Spencer to leave her cell phone and the video behind. Oh, Spencer.

Hanna’s. Prozzie Mom has returned home and sees the letter that Hanna had grabbed from the law firm. Well, that’s odd! FWL law firm represented Prozzie Mom in the divorce! She chose it because Melissa Hastings worked there as a summer intern a while ago! Dun dun dun!

Meanwhile, a cop shows up at the door, but this time for Emily – he needs to talk to her about Maya. Ruh roh.

Credits! Gloved McEvilson is loading and firing what looks to be a Smith and Wesson 9mm, though I can’t tell which series it is from my tv. Gloved McEvilson fires five shots – all of which hit the center of a paper target but none of which actually impress me. Aim for a tighter range, Gloved McEvilson. You aren’t even going to puncture a lung with that shot near the bottom of the bullseye. Anyway, I think we’re supposed to think that Gloved McEvilson is Garrett, but I’d assume that standard police issue is a .40, not a 9mm. I’m not convinced that this is a 9mm, but its barrel sure as heck doesn’t look like the .40s I’ve seen. Man, this is as confusing and interesting as Pretty Little Liars has been for me lately!

Anyway! In the previews, ABC Family promises us that A will finally be revealed!! In just three more episodes! But MORE importantly, Major Hot Dad will be back next week! Leave your thoughts in the comments!


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