Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E01 “It’s Alive”
Released: 2011

I’m so happy that Pretty Little Liars is back, you guys! I’m not being facetious, either! I’ve sort of missed those little jerks! And their insane clothing choices.

If you guys didn’t watch the marathon on ABC Family or didn’t read the recaps from last season or have lost important brain cells from alcohol abuse (who hasn’t?), you can find them all here.

Let’s get it!

From the Previouslies: The Liars see videos of themselves and also of Jenna raping Toby; Jenna and BabyCop!Garrett are in cahoots. Sexual cahoots; Fitz’s ex-girlfriend is in Rosewood; Hanna is pissed at Caleb, something Mona is helping along by throwing away his love letter; Emily may have to move to Texas; Spencer and Toby sittin’ in a tree; Ian is a crazy person who tries to murder Spencer, but then gets murdered instead; Ian’s body goes missing. Also, threats by A, as per uhz.

We’re still at the church! Em thinks that Ian’s body is on the way to the meat grinder. We should be so lucky, Em. BabyCop!Garrett tells the girls he has to drive them to the station. Yeah, I’m sure that’s going to happen.

And, indeed, he drives them to a deserted alley. Oh, BabyCop! I’d like to say you’ll face suspension for this, but who are we kidding? Cops who abuse their authority around teenage girls always walk!

Actually, Garrett seems to think it’s not safe to talk in the police car. Because part of our public funds are earmarked to ensure that all small-town police cars are fully equipped with the very latest in Echelon eavesdropping tools. It’s part of the reason the budget is so out of whack; that and the complimentary abortions that Planned Parenthood hands out at elementary schools.

Garrett tells the girls not to mention the whole blackmail thing, because it could get them all in trouble. Oh, and not to mention the video to the police. Garrett’s all, “I hate asking you to lie like this!” Uh huh. Meanwhile, Jenna’s standing in the shadows, overhearing – or overseeing? – everything.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Commercials! Hey! Pretty Little Liars is on DVD now! So you can go buy it and have a marathon! Invite me, okay! No one invites me to tv marathons, and they are my favorite thing! I’ll make you some sort of Pretty Little Liars-themed snack! Actually one time my friends and I had an Ultimate TV Show Marathon – we all brought our 3 favorite episodes from our favorite shows and had themed food. I brought The X-Files: “Post-Modern Prometheus”, the black and white episode, “Home”, the episode with the inbred family of killers, and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”, the episode with Alex Trebek and Jesse the Body Ventura. I made tiny pumpkin pies for “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space” (being based on Twin Peaks, Mulder eats a lot of pie), and Black and White Chocolate Martinis and Build Your Own Marshmallow Monsters for “Post-Modern Prometheus”! They were cute! We put marshmallows on skewers and then decorated them with licorice and jujubes and chocolate sauce. Argh!

In case you’re wondering, our other tv/food choices were: Arrested Development (with conversation heart cookies that spelled “Maebe Tonight,” and a big batch of Carl Weathers’ stew), Smallville (chicken and dumplings and the Martha Kent – a delicious libation!) and Twin Peaks (Butter and Brie Baguettes, which actually ARE the greatest sandwich I’ve ever put in my mouth! And Swedish Fish in the Percolator! And a cheese log for the Log Lady!). Basically it was the greatest day of my life, and I want it to happen again and again.

Spencer’s house (I think! It’s been a while). She feels like she owes her life to A, which is a weird position to be in. Em sort of wants to come clean about A, but of course that is met with scorn and derision as it always is, because otherwise we wouldn’t have a show. The girls decide to go down and make coffee and are greeted with an assembly of parents, all talking in Hushed Concerned Voices.

Spencer’s mom rattles off something about how they are all Persons of Interest now (because, uh, Ian tried to kill Spencer?), so the Parentals want the girls to go see a grief counselor. Hanna is not at all interested in going to a shrink, but Prozzie Mom convinces them all that it would be good for their image. Why does their image need sprucing, you ask? Well, it seems no one, not even the Parentals, believe the girls. Dead people don’t just get up and walk away! Unless they are on the set of a George A. Romero film! Or they are stunt people! Or it helps the plot!

Toby comes by to check on Spencer, but her dad is all, “Spencer is in trouble! She doesn’t need you butting in!” I like to think he’s just saying that, though, because Spencer is wearing ugly pyjama pants and her hair isn’t brushed. He’s just looking out for his girl and making sure she’s presentable. Like Cher’s dad in Clueless!

Toby says he would never do anything to hurt Spencer! Poor Spencer is thinking, “well, there go my chances at being devirginized.”

Nighttime! BabyCop!Garrett and Jenna are on a stakeout, which is a common activity for a blind person. They are wondering why Jason (Ali’s brother) has moved back in. “If anyone finds out about the Jason thing . . .” Garrett starts saying. “You won’t let that happen!” Jenna says. And then I think she gives him a hand job.

Commercials! The Art of Getting By comes out on Friday! Is anyone going to watch that?

At school, Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is asking Aria if she is ready to go back to school. They discuss the gross sexy affair that Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, and Actor/Director Chad Lowe are having. Holly Marie Combs is moving home! Finally! The sex will stop as soon as she moves back in!

In Fitz’s class, everyone who is not a pretty little liar is laughing at said liars. Also they were playing Hangman on the board before the girls got to class! That reminds me! Does anyone play Hanging with Friends? Let’s play that together, but you can’t laugh at me for sucking at it like I do Words with Friends. Fucking Words with Friends. It is my nemesis. My younger brother beats me and he has read exactly two books in his entire life. WHY WON’T YOU JUST GIVE ME ANOTHER ‘I’ SO I CAN MAKE QUIXOTIC, YOU STUPID GAME?

Fitz comes in and erase the board, and then Noel comes in and acts like an asshole! Oooh! Noel! Don’t think we’ve forgotten how much we hate you! Though he is looking cuter this season, even though technically only like two days have passed since we’ve seen him.

I want to punch you in your buttface, Noel.

Hanna’s walking down the halls, wearing a high-waisted skirt that nearly comes to her boobs. Look, Hanna. Some of us, i.e. me, were born extremely short waisted, so that our hips pretty much start where our ribs end. We HAVE to look like that. You do not. You can afford to have a long torso. Stop making fun of us by emulating our body flaws. Next thing I know, you’ll be shaving several inches of hair from your forehead so that you can try to rock mine and Tyra’s fivehead. Bitch.

Everyone is talking about the girls until Mona comes by to shut it down. Mona, by the way, has obviously taken up the bad clothing mantle from Aria, because she is dressed like a demented cross-dressing Elvis shooting the “Jailhouse Rock” video. I seriously have no idea, you guys. None. Mona and Hanna reminisce about last summer (before Hanna started hanging with “The Others”) and Hanna says she doesn’t want to have to think about things anymore. I hear ya, Hanna. Thinking is hard. It’s harder yet when you are fighting jetlag and an infection.

Why is this?

Spencer and Aria are discussing Noel and his popularity before Fitz calls Aria into his room to “speak about her essay,” which is sexy talk for “I’m an inappropriate old dude.” Aria really doesn’t want to talk to Fitz about her feelings or whatever, cause she’s still pissed about Jackie. Aria is wearing wind chimes on her ears, by the way. Fitz practically cries like a toddler because he thinks that maybe his inappropriately-aged teenage student girlfriend is dumping him.

I just want to point out Aria’s windchimes.

Toby’s house! Spencer knocks on the door and Jenna answers. She tells Spencer that her parents don’t want Toby to see Spencer anymore. Spencer is dejected.

At Emily’s house, she is watching the video of Brother!Rape in her bedroom. With the door open. Emily, you have strange taste in movies. She looks up to see a dude watching her from the doorway. Well! That’s not creepy at all!

Said Dude is Mr. Mendez, the realtor who will be showing the house. Have you ever noticed how all Mexican or Latino characters only ever interact with Emily’s family? Oh, I guess except for Alex. Man. I miss Alex. He was so cute.

The realtor pokes all around everything, telling Emily that she’ll need to put away her personal photos and telling Em’s mom they’ll have to paint over the marks on the wall indicating Emily’s growth. Mr. Mendez is totally a dick, yo. I think if I were buying a house, I would be charmed by those things. But I’ve never bought a house, nor do I have the intention of ever doing so (I can barely manage going to the mailbox every day; I’m supposed to be responsible for an entire house with, like, tax appraisals and shit? No thank you.), so what do I know? Em is sad.

At Spencer’s, Melissa and her parents are discussing with BabyCop all the places Ian might have gone. He has no siblings! His parents haven’t seen him! He doesn’t really have friends, because he’s a super jerk! Spencer comes in, but Melissa is not so happy to see her. Melissa, by the way, is wearing the Sweatpants of Miscarriage. Every person on tv who miscarries wears sweatpants afterward.

Oh, wait, she just mentioned the baby, so I guess she didn’t miscarry. Oh. Huh. Oops! Anyway, Melissa says that as soon as Ian comes back, they’ll be leaving, since Melissa doesn’t want Spencer anywhere near her baby. Oh, sure. Melissa says that now, but she’ll soon learn you never turn away a free babysitter. Spencer storms out, upset.

It’s therapy time! Everyone’s waiting on Hanna, who has not shown. I’m obsessed with the boots Emily is wearing. They look to be white leather go-go boots. Typical attire for a therapy appointment! Actually, all the girls are wearing boots. It’s summer, girls! Keep up!

Hanna finally arrives (wearing boots), toting shopping bags. Hanna was upset to learn that they waited for her, since she REALLY does not want to be there.

It’s Caleb! He’s back in town! And he’s being driven by Lucas! OH LUCAS STAY FOREVER! I LOVE YOU TOO MUCH! Lucas tells Caleb that he had better treat Hanna right. Caleb is all, “Message received, small person.”

You couldn’t have cut your hair while you were away?

At therapy, we’re learning about the girls’ friendships. They can’t really talk openly about things because, you know. They’re liars. It’s in the name. The doctor assures them that it’s a “safe space,” and just as they’re about to start talking, they get a text. But it’s not A! It’s just Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride.

Outside the doctors’ appointment, Spencer sees Toby waiting by a car. Aww! Toby has come to meet her! Oh, no. He’s taking Jenna on errands. Bummer.

Meanwhile, there is a newspaper out with the girls’ picture on it. Apparently the cops located Ian’s car with 10 grand in it. They think he skipped town and that the girls are making up the story to, uh, protect him? By accusing him of attempted murder? That part isn’t really clear.

Aaaand now we get our first text from A! Drink! “I spy a liar. -A”

Hanna’s house. Prozzie Mom is sitting alone and drinking. Which is how I roll. Hanna comes in, excited about the shopping she has done, to be greeted with Caleb’s presence. Hanna’s kind of pissed that Caleb has come back and is making moon eyes at her. “I didn’t leave without saying goodbye,” Caleb claims. He explains that he wrote Hanna a letter, explaining his precious feelings, and that he gave it to Mona. So now Hanna has been betrayed by both her boyfriend and her bestie! Caleb is all, “Give me a chaaaaance! I love you!” Hanna can’t forget the past, unfortch. Well, unfortch for Caleb, that is. Fortch for Lucas and fortch for her self-respect!! Caleb leaves. Hanna cries.

We should add a new rule to drink when Hanna cries. She does it a lot.

At The Only Restaurant in Rosewood, Mona’s sitting alone and texting someone when Hanna stalks in to yell at her about the letter. Mona just wanted to protect Hanna! But now Mona has hurt her too! And then . . . Noel shows up! And apologizes to Mona for being late! And then kisses her! WHAT? EW!

Spencer is trying on tops in front of the mirror, which is the first normal thing Spencer has ever done. Aww, Emily is trying to get Toby and Spencer together by letting them meet up at her house! Melissa comes in, wanting to talk to Spencer. She apologizes to Spencer about being rude to her earlier and then tells her the baby will be named Taylor, boy or girl. She wants to know exactly what Ian said at the church! Because Ian wouldn’t leave her!

At Emily’s, Toby is bummed that the realtor wants to paint over Em’s growth chart. So he takes out his pocket knife and pops off the door jam. Ha. I love Toby. Spencer texts Em – she can’t make it. Toby takes it well. And then he and Emily bond over friendship or something. It’s weird. I keep expecting these two to make out because they have really good chemistry together, even though I know that Emily is not interested in his parts.

At Fitz’s, he isn’t wearing a shirt. Nope. No shirt. Aria comes over and . . . yeah. Fitz is still not wearing a shirt. Just putting that out there. Fitz realizes Aria is still pissed, so they play Twenty Questions about his past love life. Jackie wasn’t ready to get married! Aria isn’t the rebound! But Fitz was still in love with Jackie when he met Aria! But he wasn’t thinking about his other girlfriend when he was with Aria! Then he says some bullshit about loving Saturdays because he can spend the whole day with Aria, but she doesn’t let that sway her, and therefore leaves. But she DOES get a text as she leaves . . . a picture of Fitz’s desk with a note: “Look Familiar? What’s missing? -A” Drink!

Aria goes running back to Fitz’s door to check if his extra key is still there . . . it isn’t. I believe this calls for a Ruh Roh.

At Emily’s, the girls are assembled, discussing the implications of the text. Emily wants to tell the therapist about A. The other girls decide it’s a good idea.

It’s the therapy appointment. They’re ready to spill the beans! Aria starts to talk about everything when Spencer spies a diploma on the wall . . . Fitz’s college diploma. Um . . . that’s not good! I guess that’s what was missing from the desk. A knows where they’re going to therapy!

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, and Actor/Director Chad Lowe come in to talk to Aria about therapy. The therapist recommends that the girls spend time apart, because their friendship isn’t healthy. And Aria’s parents agree with her! The girls are being broken up!

In the other homes, the same message is being delivered. Hanna looks like she’s thinking hard about something. Emily just looks sad.

Spencer’s. She sees someone outside the window! She runs around turning off lights and getting knives and hiding, and the door opens . . . . and it’s just Toby. Um, sneaking into Spencer’s house. Which is weird.

Downtown at the therapist’s office, she’s locking up when she begins to be followed by a shadowy figure. She climbs into her Product Placed car and drives away as someone stares at her.

At Spencer’s, Toby is saying goodbye and encourages her to lock up. Spencer does so and then hears a phone beeping. Oh! It’s Melissa’s phone! Which has fallen behind the couch cushions! It’s from a blocked number! “Melissa, I’m sorry but it’s not safe yet. I can’t tell you.” Spencer looks intrigued, but that could honestly be from Melissa’s midwife, talking about Melissa’s desire for whale songs during birth.

Spence sends the girls SOS texts and they gather in her greenhouse, arguing over the text. Is it from Ian? But Ian’s dead! Right? Right?? Hanna tells Spencer to send a reply from Melissa’s phone. Spencer texts “How do I know this is you?” and the mystery person responds with “Ask me anything.”

Spencer texts back, “what are we naming our baby?” The answer . . . Taylor. It’s Ian! OR THE MIDWIFE!

Credits! The Gloved Hand of Mystery is in Emily’s bedroom during the Open House. Deleting the video files from her laptop! OH NO!

That’s it for this week, you guys. What’d you think of the season opener? Has it got you intrigued?


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