Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E24 “If These Dolls Could Talk”
Released: 2012

Good afternoon, ladies and Brian! It’s Tuesday, South By Southwest is calling my name (and my liver is responding with joy, because it’s bossy), and I’m not dead yet. Cause for celebration, I’d say.

Did you guys watch Pretty Little Liars last night? Can we please talk about the creepy dolls because OH MY GOD WHY.

Spencer’s house. She’s sleeping on the couch, painkillers handily by, when she hears someone rustling through Alison’s bag. She opens her eyes . . . and it’s Alison! In non-flashback lighting, that is to say, she isn’t lit beatifically from behind. Alison carries on as if it’s just an ordinary day in which Spencer has awoken to find her rummaging through the trash, whilst Spencer looks totally confused. Alison gives Spencer a few hints as to the secret of her disappearance, but then Spencer hears a sound. She shoves the bag under the bed . . . and then it’s morning. Melissa comes downstairs to wake Spencer up, and It Was All A Dream. Or was it, considering the door’s wide open and Spencer’s bottle of painkillers stands molested and depleted from Dream Alison’s rummaging through them?

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Show. Emily’s trying to convince Spencer that, indeed,It Was All a Dream. She recounts her own tale of her brush with The Ghost of Ali after being trapped in the barn during the mid-season finale. Emily thinks that Alison’s memory is just oppressing their rational minds. Well, I wouldn’t argue with that assessment, except I’m not sure that any of them ever possessed rational minds to begin with. Emily gets out of the car to walk over to her house to get something and gets a text- from Maya. She’s pissed that Emily told her parents that she wasn’t, in fact, dead on the side of the road. Oh, boo fucking hoo, Maya. You know, I’ve about had it up to here with Maya’s entire presence. And when I say “here,” imagine that I’m climbing a GIANT ladder, then walking on top of a house, climbing up its turret and sitting at the very top, and then raising my hand to mark a height somewhere north of my head. That’s how far I’ve had it up to.

Emily looks so smirky here.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom wants to know more about the fire at the DiLaurentis house, but is then interrupted by the ring of Hanna’s cell phone. Hanna’s cell phone that she isn’t supposed to have. Prozzie Mom answers, to the confusion of Caleb, who is calling, and then rightly gets pissed at Hanna. Hanna claims that it’s Mona’s phone and then, when Mona shows up, Prozzie Mom gives her back the phone. Oh, Prozzie Mom. You’re usually much smarter than this. Eat some carbs. They’re good for brain power.

Hollis. Oh, great, it’s time to spend precious seconds of our lives with Fitz and Aria. Fitz is all whiny that the Dean is “acting chilly” with him. Oh, wah! How dare the Dean give the brush off to an associate professor who’s sleeping with the underage daughter of a fellow tenured professor? Life is so hard! So is Fitz’s penis, cause Aria taunts him with her undeniable sexual power, honed from all sixteen years she’s been alive.

Jenna’s house. She’s taking off her eye bandage when Toby comes in. Jenna wants Toby’s face to be the first she sees! Why, because she enjoys thinking about the people she’s raped? Anyway, she takes the bandage off and starts crying. She can’t see after all! The surgery didn’t work! (Or at least that’s what Toby thinks.)

School. Spencer, ever our Girl Detective, has finally figured out what all the newspapers were for! Alison and A were corresponding through personal ads! In the NEWSPAPER? They couldn’t have even used Craigslist like all the other psychopaths in town? Alison was set to meet A on the street where the creepy doll hospital was!

Jenna and Toby walk in! Everyone wonders why she’s still wearing her shades when she walks over and sits down. Hanna, hilariously, cuts right to the chase. Jenna is still blind. But she sees clearly with her love spirit, or whatever! Hanna saved her life! And now it’s time for Jenna to apologize and to let go of all of her anger! Can they please move on? I’m making fun of this scene, but the actor playing Jenna is killing it in this scene. Jenna apologizes for holding a grudge against them and intimates that she knows that A exists, but that she isn’t her. Jenna walks off, leaving the girls gobsmacked.

Well, everyone but Emily, that is. She’s not buying it, and she thinks that Jenna set the fire. They trade other A theories: Garrett? Melissa? Spencer thinks they need to discover the truth! Again. Since they resolve to discover the truth every five minutes on this show.

Hallways. Mona got a text from A again! (uh huh.) “Break up Hanna and her hottie or you go back to being a junior high nottie. Don’t test me. -A” Here’s what I want to know: why does A use such poor word play? I mean, s/he’s been stalking people for a year now, and presumably killed at least two people that we know of (maybe). S/he can’t take a little time out to consult a thesaurus or figure out some new rhyming schemes? Perhaps a delightful limerick? Mona gives Hanna her phone back, and then Hanna not only drops her theory about Jenna being A, but also her plans to go to Brookhaven. Hanna, you so stupid. Caleb interrupts, which gives me a little time to think about how pretty Mona is. So pretty!

English class. Aria’s leaving a note for her mom when she sees an application for an all-girl boarding school on Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride’s, desk. Ha ha ha, oh, Actor/Director Chad Lowe. Like that’ll work. She’ll just find a washed up townie!

The girls are tromping along the mean streets of Brookhaven while Aria complains about her dad who is trying to usurp her precious love with Fitz, her former teacher. Aria, by the way, is wearing a black miniskirt. Underneath a see through pink cotton maxi skirt. So. That’s a thing that is happening. The girls try to find the correct address but they see an older, cantankerous lady entering the Creepy Doll Hospital, so Spencer stops to ask her if she keeps any records of the dolls she sells. The lady denies (cantankerously!) selling any such dolls, and the camera pans to all the creepy dolls, including the voodoo-esque one that Alison received from A, and then HOLY FREAKING CRAP THERE IS A CHILD STARING OUT THE WINDOW AND HE’S NOT MOVING AND WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?

Let’s distract ourselves from our fear by looking at Aria and Hanna’s clothes . . . oh, wait, that won’t work.

The cantankerous lady leads them inside and then the Creepy Kid tells them that another girl came in looking to find out the same info. The Creepy Kid’s name is Seth, but I’m going to call him Malachai, cause I’m getting a serious Children of the Corn vibe from him and his dead eyes. The girls question Malachai and he confirms that Alison-as-Vivien came in to the shop, looking to find out who sent her the doll. Malachai warned her away from looking, though, because a man and a woman wanted to do her harm! Which he knows because he SEES THINGS IN HIS MIND. Oh, lord, get me away from here, I’m dying; a Creepy Soothsayer Kid in a Creepy Shop full of Creepy Dolls. It’s fine. I didn’t need to sleep tonight.

Bring Him the blood of the Outlanders!

The girls question him about The Man and The Woman – they had dark hair, like Spencer’s, but no one had a cane or sunglasses. (Don’t really rule out Jenna.) Then he creepily tells them that it must have sucked for Alison, “breathing dirt into her lungs until she died.” GAH. GO AWAY MALACHAI.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Aria is offering to make some carbs. Love you, show!! All the other girls are freaked out and they argue back and forth until Spencer tells the truth about everything she’s been keeping bottled up: Young Bobby’s parentage, the Alison blackmail, the private investigator, and her suspicions about Melissa and Pa Hastings. She thinks A could be Melissa.

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Aria gets all uppity with Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, about the whole boarding school thing. Aria is such an awful little shit, down to threatening to tell the Dean at Hollis that Actor/Director Chad Lowe was once having sex with Jodie Sawyer, even though she doesn’t have good turnout. Ugh. I just want Aria to be hit by a car and killed on impact. Is that too much to ask?

Spencer’s. She arrives home to see Melissa filling out thank you notes from the baby shower that she (mercifully) had off screen. Melissa’s been in Spencer’s room and wonders whose bag is in Spencer’s room. Spencer decides to show Melissa the video that they recovered from A’s phone. Why, Spence? She’s UNHINGED. Don’t poke her! Melissa claims she was only looking for Ian, then threatens Spencer that she’ll unleash videos of Spence and her friends if Spencer takes the video to the cops. I just noticed this, but hilariously while every suspect is on screen, there’s a little hashtag at the bottom that says #Is____A. #IsMelissaA? No, probably not. A would never wear that sweater.

School. Spencer’s relating the story about the Melissa confrontation. Hanna wants to trick Melissa into sending a text to prove that she’s A. Which . . . she is now going to try to convince Caleb to help her with. He’s less than pleased.

English class. Aria shows up to be a shitty kid again. Aria won’t turn on Ezra! Holly Marie Combs, for her part, is totally over Aria and her awfulness. Join the crowd, HMC!

The Only Street In Rosewood? Emily’s on a stake out and sees Melissa go into a parcel store, presumably to mail the thank you notes. Mona and Caleb drive up soon after, as they’re both in on the plan. Mona hilariously tries to draw Caleb out. I love Mona. I really hope she doesn’t end up in the bottom of a quarry. Mona admits to being jealous of Hanna and her awesome boyfriend. Then it’s time to trap Melissa! Which hilariously involves Mona and Caleb making out in the car, in plain sight of Melissa. They seem to get into it, and Melissa definitely takes an interest.

Hanna’s. She and Spencer are waiting for a text that hasn’t yet come. But then! A text, from A! Drink! A saw Mona and Caleb kissing! Which is totally proof that it was Melissa and not the HUNDREDS OF OTHER PEOPLE IN THE PUBLIC SPACE IN WHICH MONA AND CALEB WERE MAKING OUT. Spencer looks crushed.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Hanna is ready and willing to go to the cops and turn in Melissa, but Spencer and Emily want to get more proof! And their proof is coming in the form of showing Malachai the video from Alison’s house to see if he can ID anyone from it. Scientific!

Ugh, Ezra’s apartment. Why are we still talking about this? We have other things to discuss! Fitz got fired, much to the surprise of ABSOLUTELY NO ONE.

Jenna’s. She’s reading (braille) when Toby comes in. He notices Garrett sitting outside the house. Jenna seems unconcerned, and then she gives Toby page 5 of Alison’s autopsy!! Page 5, you may remember, is the page that famously went missing and which explains Alison’s cause of death. Jenna claims that she has NO IDEA what it is, and just says that Garrett gave it to her to keep. And Toby gets his fingerprints all over it. OH JENNA I HATE YOU SO MUCH. Jenna wants to take the report to the police.

The Mean Streets of Brookhaven. The girls minus Aria walk into the Creepy Doll store, looking for Malachai. So many creepy dolls. I can’t watch this! There’s no sign of Malachai or the cantankerous old lady. The girls found a box of dolls similar to the one that A sent Alison, and then the lights cut off. AND THEN THE CREEPY VOICE STARTS. You guys, I cannot handle this. I have a delicate constitution and it cannot abide by creepy talking dolls. The voice is saying, I believe, “follow me, end up like me.” But I could be wrong on account of how I’ve got my ears covered with my hands, I’m loudly singing to drown out the tv, and I’m currently typing this with my feet.

The stupid, stupid girls follow the sound of the voice and open a cabinet where they see a blonde doll, dressed in a yellow sweater, with “blood” on its head and sitting in a pile of dirt. GAH. Then everything starts going crazy and the dolls start going off and Hanna (of course) nearly gets crushed by a bookshelf full of dolls and WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME.

Let’s change the topic from this interesting thing to be bored by Fitz and Aria some more. Fitz can’t teach in Rosewood any more, and it’s what he does when he’s not busy having sex with his teenaged student. They break up again, some more, for like the fifth time this season. Then they do it. Excellent! Pregnancy storyline in season three!

Spencer’s house. The girls minus Aria are packing up all the evidence to take it to the police. And then they hear a noise! And, ew!! Downstairs, Melissa is kissing Garrett! But then they hear a noise inside the house! But then someone knocks on the door! And it’s Jerky Detective! Coming to arrest Garrett for Alison’s murder!

Jenna’s house. She’s quite competently removing her makeup . . . and killing a fly. Then checking herself out in the mirror! Jenna, you crafty, crafty woman.

Credits. Cantankerous lady and Malachai are packing up their things . . . and Gloved McEvilson hands Cantankerous Lady an envelope of cash. And then gives Malachai a lollipop for his part in the deception. Ha ha ha. Malachai, you’re my FAVORITE.

Only one more episode left in the season, guys! It’s time for our final predictions: who is A, and why do you think so? Sound off below!


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