Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E17 “The Blonde Leading the Blind”
Released: 2012

I like how sometimes instead of an episode description, my DVR will just give a basic description of the show’s premise: four former friends are forced to work together . . . which is where it usually cuts off. I like to think that there’s a whole community of Pretty Little Liars fans who tuned in originally because ATT Uverse’s guide led them to believe they’d be watching a show about cantankerous private detectives.

Tonight! On PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: SVU! A cut-and-dried case takes a sinister turn when Hastings and Montgomery discover an underground child prostitution ring in Rosewood; meanwhile, Emily Fields finds herself in trouble with IAD.

Eh, let’s get to the actual show.

Spencer’s. Hanna is reluctant to hand over the thumb drive of info that Caleb has recovered from A’s cellphone. Hanna’s all whiny because her boyfriend who technically lives in another state and was being paid, by A, to spy on her is getting too involved! She wants to protect him! Everyone else, meanwhile, is shooting around theories- since Lucas isn’t A, they’re betting heavily on Garrett again. Ugh, why are we still watching them talk about this? Guys, I like dramatic irony as much as the next high school freshman on the second day of school, but I cannot keep watching these girls go back on forth about Jenna and Garrett’s possible involvement, particularly when they were FRAMED WITH EVIDENCE STOLEN BY A POLICE LOCKER and THEIR NEIGHBOR IS A GIRL THEY BLINDED WHO OVERTLY HATES ALL OF THEM, RAPED HER BROTHER, AND IS/WAS DATING THE COP WHO STOLE THE EVIDENCE.

I’d hate to see how badly the Rosewood High UIL team fares at competition; that’s all I’m saying.

The info that Caleb managed to recover is a video that shows Alison’s bedroom with Ian futzing with the camera. It looks like he’s trying to conceal it and then Garrett and Jenna walk in. They talk about Jason being passed out (“a six pack of beer and some weed will do that to you,” Garrett recites, in his bid to become the school’s next D.A.R.E. officer. Also, it will? I thought it made you eat a pan full of brownies and then try to have fumbling sexual interactions with the first pimple-faced stranger you come across! Er, that’s what I’ve heard.), and then the three of them split up to try to find the videos Alison has of them. Well, Garrett and Ian split up. Jenna just sort of stands there. That girl always has an excuse for getting out of doing the hard work, doesn’t she?

On the video, Garrett finds the box of things Alison kept hidden in her bedroom and then the camera freezes. Because the writers have remembered that occasionally houseplants watch this show, they have Spencer recap what we know: Garrett, Ian and Jenna were in Alison’s bedroom . . . the night she died! Dun dun dun! This could also mean . . . they weren’t actually currently shoveling her to death! This theory, however, is not presented.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Upstairs, Spencer is showing Em a text she received from A (Drink!) that’s just a picture of her and Toby kissing with a note saying “I warned you!” They fret as they watch Toby drive up to Spencer’s house (he’s coming to pick up the rest of his tools). Toby calls and Spencer makes Emily answer. Emily tells Toby that it’s not him, but things are complicated. Toby looks so sad about being dumped by proxy (AND over the phone) that I can’t even make fun of his hair. Poor Toby.

At school, the girls are trying to cheer up Spencer. For about thirty seconds. Now it’s time for Aria to complain that her Inappropriately Aged Ex-Boyfriend isn’t calling her. Holden shows up nearby and all the girls try to convince her that he’s gay. Not with that haircut, he’s not.

“Guys! My 30 year old ex boyfriend isn’t spending time with me! I think he might be, like, paying taxes or having to work for a living! UGH!”

Aria and Holden discuss their symbiotic date night/bearding for the next night, and as Aria walks away she sees Holden checking out a girl’s butt. Told you!

The Only Street in Rosewood. Caleb is using his computer to depixelate more video from A’s phone – it looks like an angry Garrett arguing with someone. Caleb looks up to see, hey! Garrett! Conveniently sitting at the table next to him. (Damn, does he ever have to work?) Garrett makes his typical semi-threatening/ominous remarks and Caleb books it, his hair fluffily trailing out after him.

Oh! I just realized who Caleb looks like! Atreyu!! Only unlike Atreyu, he’s not a mighty warrior, he doesn’t have an awesome horse prone to dying from The Sadness, and he isn’t on a first name basis with Bastian, so CUT YOUR HAIR, CALEB, AND TAKE A SHOWER. What, did the Nothingness consume your ability to use hair product sparingly?

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. The girls are going over Ali’s box (not a euphemism) and Hanna segues from a plea to go to the police (drink!) to a conveniently timed metaphorical outburst about “closing the box, not opening it,” when the head from Alison’s doll pops off (not a euphemism), revealing paper inside!! The girls are intrigued! They fish out the notes and find all of Ali’s spooky notes from Halloween.

Flashback! Drink! Drink like three times, because we haven’t had one since this show picked back up! Lady Gaga Alison is leading her friends home to her house, but her porch is trashed! One of her pumpkins has a knife through it, which is attached to a note that reads “Next time it’ll be your face, not this pumpkin.” The threat is written on the back of one of Noel’s printed Halloween party invites. Ugh, he printed them? YOU ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL, NOEL.

In present day, Aria realizes that the note is signed by A! THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING! Well, this changes everything except for how we all already knew this and have just been waiting for these idiots to catch up!

School. Mona’s social stock has fallen somewhat since Noel’s dumped her, so Hanna pretends to be a good friend for .5 seconds. Mona grabs a necklace from her locker and somewhat valiantly tries to return it to Noel, and he is such an uber-douche. He actually throws the necklace away in front of everyone! FUCK YOU NOEL! I don’t even like Mona because she lies and says that Tresemme can make you have good hair like her but it can’t but FUCK YOU, NOEL.

You show me how that hairstyle can be achieved with just some body shampoo and super-fine mist hairspray. Can’t be done.

In the bathroom, Hanna goes to comfort a crying Mona, and Mona specifically calls out Noel’s eyes as being shining and bright and you believe everything he says when he looks at them, etc. You mean, like, he has pretty eyes? HELLO, GLOVED MCEVILSON! Hanna promises to take Mona out tonight and they both leave . . . Jenna, of course, is lurking in the stalls. She looks pensive. Or constipated. Really can’t tell!

In a classroom, Aria is sadly calling Fitz while wearing an unfortunate circus tent shirt thing. Oh, Aria. She leaves him one of her sad little voicemails asking him to meet her at the clock tower. Why? Does she have a plan to hit 88 mph and go Back In Time?

In Fitz’s office, his finger hovers around the voicemail delete button.

Spencer’s. Toby is there to take down the scaffolding around the garden shed. NOOOOOOOO. The bolt loosens and the scaffolding shakes and Toby falls and NOOOOOO! Spencer understands how I feel because she answers her phone in the middle of the hall and says the same thing. NOOOOO! TOOOOBBBYYYY!!

But, hey, because I work in an engineering and construction company, I’m going to take this time to give you guys a quick Safety Moment! (Sarah’s dad would be so proud of me right now, but he’s not allowed to read my posts because of the bad language.) When climbing an extension ladder, you should always tie yourself off to the ladder (something Toby failed to do with the scaffolding). However! You should also tie the ladder off to the building that it’s propped against! Here’s why! You can be nice and safely tied off to a ladder and then a strong gust of wind catches the ladder at just the right angle and the whole thing topples over on you. And lest you think this is not a big deal, a good family friend had this happen to him. He fell two stories. He crushed both legs. One leg has had to have multiple surgeries and the doctors inserted titanium plates into his ankle and foot to repair it. His body rejected the titanium. He has been in a wheelchair/halo for more than a year and will probably lose his leg. Don’t screw around with ladder safety, kids.

Anyway. Commercials. You guys!! ALL THREE A CINDERELLA STORY Movies will air on ABC Family on Wednesday! THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED! FOR A REASON. (Note to self: set DVR.)

Show. Hospital. Toby is fairly unharmed as things go. His arm is broken and he has a concussion. Toby has the unlucky position of having Wren as a doctor and watching him flirt with Spencer. Toby’s all, “is there something you want to tell me?” Spencer is about to answer when she gets a text: “Almost got him! Toby won’t be so lucky next time! – A.” Drink!

Also, it’s just occurred to me – A always comes up as Unknown. Why don’t they store every text they receive under A’s name in their phones, and every time it comes up with a different number, they’ll know that A’s using a different burner phone. Between the four girls they should be able to figure out how many numbers A has access to and then go around asking store owners if they’ve sold a lot of SIM cards recently.

Or they could just go to the police. Ha ha ha ha ha. NAH.

School. Aria, Em and Hanna are discussing whether Jenna could purposely hurt her own brother like that. YOU MEAN LIKE THAT TIME WHEN SHE RAPED HIM (PRESUMABLY) REPEATEDLY? YOU MEAN LIKE THAT? Em wonders, if it was Jenna, how she could have loosened the scaffolding without Garrett’s help (now that they’ve broken up). Aria thinks she’s found a replacement.

Hospital. Jenna’s lurking over Toby’s bed. Jenna’s all, “it’s not safe with those girls! Don’t ever go back to that house!” Ugh, and then she starts sexually harassing him again. This is making me really uncomfortable. I hate her so much. STAY AWAY FROM TOBY YOU RAPING RAPIST WHO RAPES.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Caleb’s figured out that all of this cell phone footage is related to Ali’s murder! Ladies and Brian, here’s the houseplant we’re writing for. Hanna doesn’t want him to know any more! She’s worried about him! As soon as she hears from Caleb that Garrett was watching him, she snatches the thumb drive from him and sticks it in the blender to destroy it. If only it were his actual thumb.

“Why are you being so secretive like I was the time I was accepting money from a stranger to spy on you?”

Hospital. Jenna’s just walking out of Toby’s room and Emily, who passes her, lets loose. Em tells her off and says she shouldn’t be talking to Toby. FINALLY. At least ONE person is acting like a good friend to Toby. Jenna tells her that she should have left him alone – that they all should have left him alone – since everyone around them gets hurt. Maniacal cackle, exit stage right.

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, inquires after Aria’s non-date with Holden. They’re “going” to “Philly” and Aria already has a good lie thought up for the name of the restaurant. A place called Michellis! Which is funny, since the Montgomerys and the . . . whatever the fuck Holden’s last name is ate there once on their way back from their lake cabin. (Does EVERYONE have a lake cabin in Pennsylvania?) Aria asks why they never went back to that cabin, only to find out that Actor/Director Chad Lowe hated it and vowed never to set foot in it again. Well! I smell a dusty, musty, inappropriately aged sexual rendezvous on someone’s uncomfortable lake house sofa! ROMANCE!

Hospital. Spencer’s staring in at Toby and motions Emily (who is sitting bedside – guys, it’s just a broken arm) to come outside. Jenna’s right, Spencer says! She’s putting Toby in danger! She needs Emily to do her a favor . . .

. . . so Emily goes in to Toby’s room to tell him that Spencer is cheating on him. Toby is so sad! He won’t believe it! He wants to know who it is. It’s Wren, of course! But it isn’t really, Toby! oh! Toby! Don’t be sad!

Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is dropping Aria and Holden off for their fake date. They wave goodbye. Aria wants to know what Holden’s secret is. He’s not gay, but will tell her nothing else. Aria wanders off to stand under the clock and wait for Fitz . . . who is currently having to listen to some student complain that he got a B in his class! He worked really hard! You know, there is not a lot in my life that I can look back on with complete pride, but one of the few is that I never tried to argue my grade up with a professor by telling him or her that I tried really hard and gave it my very best. Grow the fuck up, kid. This is college, not second grade.

Anyway, Fitz found this student’s story to be unbelievable – too romantic, not realistic enough. Fitz is all sad about his romantic life not working out, so his student drops a little literature on him: “Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Jesus, this kid just gets worse and worse. The student can’t remember who said the quote (because no one did – it’s a misquote that Cameron Crowe used in Almost Famous), but it presumably spurs Fitz on to action. Or to masturbation. Who knows.

Lonely, sad Aria waiting . . .

Lonely, sad Spencer crying . . .

Lonely, sad Fitz finally listening to Aria’s voicemail.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom wants to talk about Hanna’s fight with Caleb. Hanna asks if Prozzie Mom ever kept any secrets from Deadbeat Dad. Essentially, Prozzie Mom explains, you keep secrets to keep people from being hurt. Or because you’ve stolen a lot of money from an old lady who just died. Usually it’s one of those two reasons. Hanna leaves to go meet Mona.

Hospital. Wren’s on his rounds, so Toby asks him what’s up between him and Spencer. Wren tells the truth (that he kissed her but Spencer told him that she was in love with Toby) and Toby threatens to punch him. Spencer, JUST TELL HIM THE TRUTH. Now he’s sad AND confused! His hair’s only going to get bigger!!

Hanna and Mona are out for their girls’ night when they see Jenna and Noel eating dinner together. Mona’s hurt . . . or pissed. Or contemplative. Or constipated. I JUST CAN’T TELL.

Hospital. Toby is checking himself out against Doctor’s orders.

Aria, meanwhile, is sitting out in the rain like a miserable person, waiting for Fitz. He finally shows up and they kiss in the rain. And they, like, hold up traffic while doing so. Jesus, kids, move it along here.

I liked the whole “waiting to be kissed” thing better when it was Never Been Kissed and they were roughly the same age.

Philly! In Fitz’s car, they discuss their Inappropriately Aged Relationship. Fitz wants her to be sure this is what she wants. But how will they continue their illicit, illegal affair! Aria has an idea . . .

Spencer’s. Caleb is telling Spencer and Emily about Hanna destroying the flash drive. But he kept a copy of the files! As long as they keep it a secret from Hanna, he’ll keep working on the files. But he wants some answers, damnit! Finally, someone is talking like a cop show!

Philly. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, shows up early and wonders where Holden is . . . just in time for him to race up with FroYo, claiming that he went back for dessert. Maybe his secret is that he works at a FroYo place.

Spencer’s. All the girls but Hanna are in Spencer’s bedroom and are looking at Caleb’s files. It’s a continuation of the video from Alison’s bedroom – Garrett finds out that Ian’s been secretly taping them and Jenna hears Alison coming upstairs! Then the video cuts out again. That’s okay, though, cause Toby has shown up in Spencer’s driveway to provide a distraction!

The girls all walk outside to see Toby’s truck with no one in it . . . but there’s a note for Spencer. Toby’s giving his truck back and leaving town! NOOOOOOO!

Credits. Four photos of four liars kissing their boys or ladies. Gloved McEvilson’s so pervy. He takes the photo of Aria and Fitz down first, cuts it in half, then burns Fitz’s side. Next it’s Toby, then Caleb . . .

Thoughts? Ideas? What’d I miss? I am still liking the show – and at least they’re learning SOME things – but it feels like since Halloween, we’ve been waiting for the characters to catch up with us. I want to be the one learning things, damnit!


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