Title: Pretty Little Liars S1.E16 “Je Suis Une Amie”
Released: 2011

You guys? For the first time in, like, sixteen episodes, Pretty Little Liars sort of creeped me out a little bit! Granted, I’m still high on cough syrup, so everything looms a bit larger than normal (in my dream last night, tiny garden gnome versions of past US Presidents wanted to start a Constitutional Congress in my living room but were upset because the cat wouldn’t ratify an amendment), but it was still creepy.

What about you guys? Did you miss Fitz? Are you over Caleb? Has Spencer started out-bad-dressing Aria? Read on to find out!

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna sabotaged Aria’s date with Fitz for money, Toby’s out on bail, Kat from 10 Things I Hate About You tried to drown Emily, Jason the Stoner told Spencer how much Ian likes to party, Caleb the Tech Druggie helped Hanna by keeping Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, away from Aria’s date, Mrs. Garrett from The Facts of Life told Spencer Hastings that Spencer Hastings purchased Ali’s friendship bracelets. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have, this kind of dumb show! This sort of dumb show! There’s a time you got to go and show you’re growing now and learning ’bout this kind of dumb show! This sort of dumb show! IF ABC FAM-LY NEVER SEEMS TO BE GIVING YOU THE NAKED BOYS OF YOUR DREAMS, suddenly you’re finding out that Vampire Diaries is where the nudity’s all about! But you! Youuuu (should still read this recap), yeah, look out you! We’ll still watch this kind of dumb show, though it doesn’t teach us the facts of life!

Nyquil, ladies and Brian! Let’s get to the show.

Toby’s house. His mailbox is open, and looks like something that a Younger Toby may have made in woodshop class. When he was 8. Then. IT EXPLODES. Holy crap, that was probably all of PLL‘s budget for this year. Man. Now we’re never going to get the musical episode!

The post office is not going to like this.

Aria’s house of woodland delight. She’s getting ready for school when Actor/Director Chad Lowe comes in to tell her he’ll be out tonight, and that her brother wants Sausage Heaven for dinner. Um. Is he going to be sent to the Scared Straight program too? Actor/Director Chad Lowe is busy tonight! Busy boning Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride! Aria needs his pledge for the danceathon, so goes into his coat pocked to find his checkbook. But instead she comes up with a ticket to the museum thing. Actor/Director Chad Lowe explains that Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, needed his car to get to the museum, but she was “definitely there.” Aria has just shat herself. Whimsically.

Emily’s house. Spencer expresses concern for Toby’s poor ‘splodey mailbox. Emily says this isn’t the first time this has happened. They both think that Toby was framed. Spencer owes Emily an apology for doubting Toby’s innocence! Actually, Spence owes Toby an apology for doubting Toby’s innocence.

School. Hanna’s in line at the coffee bar. Which apparently schools have, according to TV. Aria arrives and wonders about her mom showing up to the museum. Hanna tries to convince Aria it’s a coincidence, and then ditches her to talk to Caleb.

Caleb thinks Hanna owes him for the car incident. Hanna is annoyed, and then predictably gets a text from A. “Caleb’s quiet, but how R U gonna shut ME up? -A” Oh, A. I’ll shut you up if you continue to text in chatspeak. I’ll shut you up by shoving your phone down your throat.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Commercials. Oh. There’s some sort of extended talk show setup for I Am Number Four. PASS.

Show. Emily is swimming. She’s Swimily! It looks like she’s swimming well, or whatever. I don’t know anything about swimming that isn’t directly involved with Ian Thorpe and Michael Phelp’s abs.In the locker room, Kat from 10 Things is panicked because she and Swimily tied. Who gets to anchor the relay tomorrow?? The coach doesn’t know! There will have to be a swim-off! A MOTHERFUCKING SWIM OFF!

Hallways. Aria and Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, are chatting. Aria tries to hint about the musuem thing again. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, tells Aria that she actually skipped the exhibit. She went to “dinner” with “a friend.” Well, someone was eating something, but I doubt it was USDA approved.

Library. Hanna is nervous about, I dunno, being Hanna, I guess, and then skips off to follow Caleb. Caleb wants cash. But not from Hanna. He wants a date. Apparently Hanna’s magical prom queen breasts are popular enough to win Caleb new customers, who will then pay him to upgrade their phones. He’ll be attending the swim meet with her.

Hallway. Spencer is confused about the swim-off. I am too! Let’s let Swimily (no, not quite tired of that yet) explain it! Oh. Well, she doesn’t do that great of a job explaining it. Swim-off. Fastest swimmer gets anchor in the relay! One time I watched a snail travel all the way down my sidewalk. It was about this scintillating!

Anyway, then they both see an ad for a French tutor for Toby. Spencer wants to do it, mostly so she can sort out the whole A situation. And possibly help his French conjugations. I mean, that’d be nice.

Spencer arrives at Ian’s office to tell him that she can’t go to field hockey practice, because she has another commitment. Spencer is wearing a top that looks like someone pinned up a tablecloth on her chest. Ian’s annoyed that she’s flaking. Melissa shows up! And Ian totally tells Melissa that Spence is quitting field hockey! She tells them both that she’s tutoring Toby. They react with predictable shock and outrage.

What is this top I can’t even.

Cavanaugh house. Spencer has arrived for the tutoring. Aww. Toby’s mail is on the ground. It’s all dirty! Toby tells Spencer that she can’t come inside, because Jenna’s home. The porch it shall be! The porch of French tutoring!

Aria’s house of woodland delight. Hanna is telling Aria to stop freaking out about the whole museum thing. Then Aria overhears Actor/Director Chad Lowe on the phone, making a date with Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride (though he denies that part). Aria makes Hanna come with her to follow him on his date!

Le Porche des Etudes Francais! Spencer’s brought Toby a French copy of Catcher in the Rye. Jesus, poor Toby. The only thing worse than Holden Caulfield is a French Holden Caulfield. Toby wants to know why Spencer is helping him. She explains about how they’re both being framed. Then she apologizes for doubting him. They start to talk about how his sweater (that he loaned Alison, the night she died) could have gotten back in his house, but then Jenna, or some other Cavanaugh-adjacent person, lurks and scares Toby back inside.

Spencer and Emily are at Emily’s house. Emily is doing homework, while Spencer stares at the ceiling and wonders about Toby. I think Emily’s a little jealous, frankly, that Toby isn’t her special snowflake any longer.

Aria and Hanna have followed Actor/Director Chad Lowe to the high school. Hanna’s like, “Duh, idiot, your parents are DOING IT.” Aria calls Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, who lies and says she’s at home. Aria and Hanna decide to go inside to investigate. And they see Actor/Director Chad Lowe investigating Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride. WITH HIS MOUTH.

Meanwhile, Hanna spots an air vent . . . with a jacket sleeve hanging out of it. There’s a jacket inside! And a brown lunch bag! With a wad of cash in it! And phones! This is A!! Hanna takes the cash. Aria, dumbly, doesn’t care about any of this and just wants to leave.

Except, of course, they’re being spied upon by someone in a black hoodie. The girls run through the school! They’re being chased! This would be more exciting if this show didn’t constantly shoot scenes so dark I have to squint to see. GET OFF MY LAWN, KIDS!

Anyway, it’s Caleb, of course. Not A. Or maybe it IS A. Who knows! Hanna sprays hair spray in his face.

Caleb’s homeless and living in the school. Hanna returns the cash and the girls get concerned face.

Emily’s house. It’s raining outside! I love sleeping during a storm! She gets a text and goes to the door. It’s Kat from 10 Things! She’s soaking wet! And crying. Oh, Kat! Don’t cry! Patrick will come back! He has to! She apologizes to Emily and then leaves on her bike. Aww. Kat!

School. Next day. Locker room. The coach tells Emily that there won’t be a swim-off, since Kat had an accident while riding her bike. Aww.

Outside the swim meet, which seems to be happening . . . now, Caleb has Hanna pointing out the rich kids at school. She points out one rich person for every answer about Caleb’s past. No one cares but you, Hanna!

Swim meet! Swimily looks nervous!

Outside, Melissa is bitching at Spencer about not being nice to Ian. Spencer’s worried about Melissa! She tells her to ask Ian about Alison. Ooooh. Melissa is all, “Stay out of my mawwiage!” Spencer is wearing a stupid beret.

Seriously, what is this.

Swimming! Oh, you know what? I bet Kat dosed Emily somehow, so she’d get in trouble and kicked off the team. Meanwhile, Aria explains to Hanna and the viewing public how relays work. Then Kat shows up! Oh, I’m not sure about all this. Particularly since she looks totally healthy.

Swimily gets in the pool! There’s lots of slow-mo swimming stuff! Whatever! Here is a picture of Ian Thorpe’s abs. (Hum.min.a.)

Emily wins! Everyone’s super happy, including Kat. Oh, on closer look, she has a cut on her head. Okay, maybe she did actually get in an accident.

Outside the swim meet, Spencer is still wearing her stupid beret, and leaves to avoid Ian and Melissa. Meanwhile, Aria gets a text! “Almost got you busted. Wanna know how? Ask Hanna! -A” Here’s a question. Do they ever just reply to A’s texts? “Can’t talk now, getting manicure. Chat later, bye!”

Outside, Caleb has found all his clothes in the trash. I guess someone has found his stash. Hanna invites him to stay in her basement. Oh, Hanna.

Aria shows Hanna the text, and is gullibly like “That A! Trying to pit us against each other!” But Hanna confesses. Oh, Hanna, you stupid idiot. Aria is, you know. Pissed.

Pool! Emily and Kat are hanging around. Kat’s done with swimming, but Emily tells her to just start swimming for herself. And maybe, I dunno, get a vibrator? Just a suggestion?

So then they swim just for fun. Even though Kat’s got a concussion. And the swimming doesn’t look all that fun. I mean, it’s just back and forth. No volleyballs or beer rafts in sight.

Cavanaugh house. Spencer’s still wearing the beret. Toby doesn’t want Spencer to come over anymore and hands her back the copy of L’attrapeur dans seigle.

Aria’s house of woodland dreams. She’s furiously writing in her diary and ignoring Hanna’s call. Meanwhile, at Hanna’s house, Caleb comforts a sad and crying Hanna.

Don’t fall for him, Hanna!

Spencer’s house. Melissa wants to talk. About Spencer and Ian! Melissa knows they hooked up last year but tells Spencer she’s not going to hold it against her. Then she says she’s pregnant! Well, actually she says “We’re pregnant,” which I hate. “We” will not be losing sleep for at least six months and puking up half of what “we” eat and having swollen ankles and hamhock toes, Melissa. Spencer is shocked, and Melissa leaves, upset.

Then Spencer sees the note that Toby stuck in the book! It’s got some braille on a piece of paper, and a note from Toby that he found it in Jenna’s room. CURSES! Why can’t I read braille?!

“I found this in Jenna’s room. You may be right. -Toby”

Oh, wait! I can read the internet!! According to My Important Sources, this note reads {something} BAD. I can’t tell what the {something} is, since it doesn’t match up to any letter. It could bea J? So maybe this is just Jenna trying out some hip-hop and/or Jersey Shore names, and not indicative of any actual malice on her part. Oh! Wait!! It could be a # sign! In which case, it’s #214. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Credits! Our Gloved Someone is listening to French tutorial records, and jacking around with a trophy of some kind. I feel like I should know what this means, but I don’t. The record, creepily, gets stuck on French conjugations – “Je suis, I am. Je suis, I am. Je suis, I am.” Cree.pee.


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