Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E09 “Picture This”
Released: 2011

Previously, on Erin’s Adventures in Russia: The internet goes down in the entire city three or four times a week and stays down for most of the day or night. People accept this as reality, instead of rioting in the streets like London youths (be safe, friends). Erin has to pay for Pretty Little Liars from iTunes, since nothing else will let her watch it, considering she’s technically a Russian right now. This leads Erin to also paying for not one, but two episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which she watches in bed while eating Bounty bars, which is possibly the lowest moment of her life so far.

And then the internet goes out when she’s writing up her PLL recap. Angered, she switches over to her good ol’ country girl accent to vent her rage. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

Previously on Pretty Little Liars: Toby done dug up himself a big ol’ Hastings Family hittin’ stick; Pa Hastin’ done throwed that stick in the fire on account of how he’s protectin’ his kids – or maybe himself; that feller Mike that don’t nobody like is sure gettin’ to be a pain in the behind, what with his thiefin’ and all; some guy’s been followin’ Caleb round yonder; that nice Lesbian Girl down the way got herself an ulcer but it turns out she’s been accidentally dopin’; Hanna’s Ma and Pa got a D-I-V-O-R-C-E; that dead girl Alison, well, Spencer reckons she was buried alive; and everyone seems to be real keen on that butthaired fella across the way, though if he cut his hair, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eatin’ crackers; part of that dead girl’s coroner report done gone missin’.

Alright, that’s enough of that. Show! Hoo boy! Fitz and Aria are actually having sex! Real, honest to god morning sex! Though frankly they seem to be going at it kinda hot and heavy for morning sex. I mean, give a girl some coffee first, you know? But then Fitz hits the alarm buzzer and he turns into . . . .Butthair? Oh. It’s a dream. Man, I should have realized no actual sex is ever going to happen on this show. I don’t count Hanna and Caleb in the woods because that is an uncomfortable and awkward place to have sex for the first time. Spencer and Toby are being stupidly chaste, too. Why can’t Emily even fingerbang some girl, damn.

In the Candystriper Subplot That Would Not End, Emily and Hanna are on lookout while Spencer searches in the ME’s office for the missing autopsy page. Do you think anyone at this hospital has realized that candy stripers haven’t existed since the 1950s? I’m just wondering.

Spencer, Hanna and Em all convo about Butthair the creepster, and how he probs killed Ali and then Ding! The elevator opens! And it’s Jenna walking with someone who is dressed like she actually works in a hospital from this century! Jenna’s talking about how she’s going to have surgery to correct her eyesight. Awesome. Then maybe she’ll learn to close the blinds before secksing up the junior deputy.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Hanna’s. She and Emily are in her bedroom, where Emily is systematically throwing away every lotion and cream in sight, like she’s training for a job as a TSA agent. Prozzie Mom pops in to tell Hanna that Deadbeat Dad called and wants Hanna to call him back, news which Hanna is whelmed to hear. Hanna tries to get Emily to eat breakfast – she hasn’t been eating – and then Hanna says they can’t let A control their lives like this. I always think it’s hilarious when writers put in a line like this, because of course if Hanna really meant it, there would be no show. We have to get off this island!

Emily, of course, immediately getsa text from A, with a picture of her lab results and a message: “Remember – I own you. -A” Drink!

School. Aria and Em are discussing said text before moving on to talk of Stupid Mike and his Stupid Plotline. Then Butthair appears – in slow-mo, no less – and waves at Aria. Em’s all, “ew, gross, he’s probably a killer and his hair looks like a butt!” Aria admits the details of her sex dream, which, bless her, Emily is deeply offended by, since Aria “already has Ezra.” It’s a sex dream, Em, not a Craigslist ad for a mistress. Aria feels like she and Fitz can’t go forward, and Emily just wants them to work it out, away from Butthair.

Bank of Easy Laundering. Prozzie Mom is telling Hanna to call her dad back, because she needs to arrange a fitting for her bridesmaid dress. Hanna’s not interested, but Prozzie Mom tells her that she can call her dad and tell him that herself.

Hanna stomps off past Jenna, sitting alone in the caf, to join the other girls, who are loudly talking about Jenna’s new surgery. She’s blind, ladies. Not deaf. Jenna is going to have corneal replacement surgery, if she matches certain criteria. The girls are all terrified of what an all-seeing Jenna might do to them.

Well, for a start, probably criticize what you’re wearing.

Spencer is skulking around the DiLaurentis house when she hears Butthair clearing brush and . . . oh, holy Mary, Mother of God. Spencer is wearing a freaking pony on her shirt. An actual pony. What is this? Have we regressed to second grade again? Why? What? I don’t . . . .just no. No.


Anyway, Spencer spies Butthair telling some contractor not to go into the garden shed and then sees Butthair lock said shed and put the key up on the door frame. Smart, Butthair. Those drugs really did a number on you, didn’t they?

Hanna’s. Samara has brought Emily some Carbs so that she fits in better. They kiss but quickly separate as Prozzie Mom walks in the door. I think I’m supposed to think Emily’s still unsure about engaging in ladylips-locking activities in public, but uh . . . it’s her friend’s mom who has known her since she was a kid. Who makes out with someone in front of their friend’s mom?

Anyway, some planned meetup at a friend of Samara’s can’t happen, so Prozzie Mom offers up her home instead. Then there’s this little banter about how Emily can’t have any girlfriends in her room, but she can have girl friends and, oh! How will Prozzie Mom know which is which? Same way you do with Hanna? If they look sad and desperate, it’s a pretty safe bet there’s no between the sheets action going on.

Hollis. Aria comes over for a booty call, and I have never laughed so hard at this show as I have at the sight of Fitz, gobsmacked at Aria’s initiative, standing there in his stupid dockers and tie like a boy playing dress-up with his grandpa’s old clothes. Amazing.

“Would you like a Werther’s Original, little lady?”

Also, apparently sixteen year olds enjoy wearing lacy teddies under their clothes. Does every single girl on this show shop at a roaming Fredericks of Hollywood trunk sale? Anyway, they have sex on the couch! Hooray! Finally someone listens! It had to be the gross(est) couple, though, didn’t it?

Spencer is on the phone with Hanna, relating her tale of Butthair and the shed. Hanna hangs up when she sees Caleb talking to the guy who’s been following him and, drink! We all guessed it! Caleb’s mom wants to find him.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Now with lesbians! It’s Lesbian Poker Night! But I hardly know ‘er! Anyway, Em’s cleaning up, while some Taylor Momsen-looking chick, who may in fact be Taylor Momsen, is totally semi-flirting with Emily. Well, you know. By that I mean she has seen someone who is clearly unavailable and therefore must pursue her. Ladies never change!

Samara is congratulating Emily on winning over her group of friends when Em gets a text: “If Zoey leaves without your digits, your lab results go viral. -A” Drink! Also, HOW WILL A KNOW? The sheer number of pies A has to have his or her finger in boggles the mind. Does she have an in with the cell companies too?

At Spencer’s, she’s telling her mom about the hockey stick burning. Ma Hastings sees Pa Hastings’ rationale for burning the stick, presuming that Ian perhaps planted it there to make her look guilty. Then she warns Spencer away from the DiLaurentis family. Including Jason! Um, I’d hope, considering there’s only a few members of the DiLaurentis family alive. Well, technically, that’s not true, but we’re not there yet.

Emily is on the phone with Aria, freaking out over what to do. Aria tells her she’s just going to have to give Zoey her number, because she can’t afford to be outed. Aria is still in Fitz’s office, by the way, arranging pre-packaged snacks on his desk. Emily hangs up to rejoin the girls downstairs.

Meanwhile, Fitz is back from teaching his class. Fitz is suspicious of Aria’s behavior, but she claims she’s just happy to be around him. Ah, the guilt of the cheater. Even though she hasn’t cheated.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash and Cupcakes. The girls are packing up to go when Em gets a text: “Tik-Tok, Em. -A” Drink! Also, maybe she was just recommending a song.

Emily gives Zoey her number, which that awful redhaired girl from the fashion show sees. She looks all judgy. I’m judgy about your hair, lady.

Meanwhile, Aria has another dream in which she has sex with Fitz and then Butthair shows up. Aria, I think the choice is plain to see. Threesome!

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. She and Caleb are internet-researching his mom. She’s loaded now! And owns some sort of tennis resort! And has two young boys. Caleb is upset.

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Emily is over, freaking out about having been spotted giving Zoey her number. Samara has called twice, but Emily can’t call her back. Um, Samara was the one who told you three weeks ago – right before you had to go to a public function in front of the entire town – that she just wanted to play it loose, Emily. You owe her nothing, even if she did bring you cupcakes.

Aria, meanwhile, confesses about her latest sex dream, but claims she doesn’t want Butthair.

Downstairs, Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, has decided to punish Mike by keeping him out of school for a few more days. Seriously, lady? She’s all guilty about being the reason her son is an asshole. Actor/Director Chad Lowe finally provides some tiny voice of reason in the Montgomery family and says that Mike is to blame for his behavior. I mean, seriously.

Upstairs, Actor/Director Chad Lowe tries to talk to Mike, but Mike is curled up in bed, only interested in perfecting his middle-distance stare. Actor/Director Chad Lowe doesn’t know how to reach him! I would suggest you use a long belt, but that’s just me. Okay, no, but seriously, Mike looks like he’s in the tail end of a depressive cycle.

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash and Lesbian Breakups. Samara can’t do this anymore! Good! Leave! Oh! She did! Wow, that was easy. Now! Someone fix me some soup!

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Aria skips downstairs to frolic with the squirrels, or something, and runs smack into Jason, who is there to give Aria a recommendation for a counselor for Mike. Uh, he could give Aria’s parents that recommendation, no? Aria gets super nervous and rushes him out the door.

A park. Caleb is sitting on the emo swings of despair when Hanna shows up. The lighting on this show is occasionally very good; this is one of those times. I think angels might be frolicking in the background. Caleb doesn’t know what to do about his mom, but Hanna suggests he call her, because knowing something is better than knowing nothing.

Spencer’s house. Emily is over, moping about Samara. Spencer, meanwhile, is trying to rush her mom out the door to Philly so she can snoop around Jason’s garden shed. Hee. Spencer’s little face is so cute when she’s impatient. Eventually, Ma Hastings leaves and Spencer drags Emily over to Jason’s yard.

Aria’s House of Woodland Delights. Actor/Director Chad Lowe is forlornly setting the table for supper when Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, walks in. He’s worried about Mike. Mike is reminding him of Scott, who is apparently Actor/Director Chad Lowe’s brother. Who clearly had some mental illness issues and possibly killed himself. Holly Marie Combs basically scoffs away that idea. Oh, yeah, lady. That’s a good idea. Scoff at the idea of your child having a mental illness. That’s probably going to go very well for you in the future.

Emily and Spencer break into Butthair’s garden shed and find a dark room! Full of photos of Aria’s face. Creepy! And they find tons of surveillance equipment and barely have time to wonder if Butthair is A before they hear him arrive. They run, but Emily accidentally leaves her flashlight behind. Jason knows someone broke in!So, what if Jason, Jenna and Garrett are all A? That could make sense, right? One peeps, one taunts, one has the connections to know everything legal. Maybe A is all of us.

Hanna’s. Caleb comes over. He took her advice and called his mom! And they bonded! And she wants to see him! So he’s flying out to California . . . tonight! They have a very long, tearful goodbye that seriously takes ten minutes. I packed up half my bath products in the time it took them to say goodbye, and if you have ever travelled with me, you’ll know what kind of time that takes. Jeez, get on with it, people!

Aria’s walking along a sidewalk when Butthair appears. He fishes to see if she was the one who broke into his shed, but I guess is convinced she’s not that bright. Then he hits on her . . . and Babycop!Garrett and Jenna are watching! Well, Jenna’s not watching, but, you know. If Butthair and Aria hook up, Butthair might remember “that night” and then tell Aria about it! What, sex is a hypnotherapy tool now? Garrett is super concerned about this!

This is not exactly a subtle stakeout car, Garrett.

Butthair makes his move on Aria and kisses her. She tells him she’s unavailable and runs away. Escape! Escape from the butthair!

Hanna’s. She sadly calls her dad and agrees to be a bridesmaid. Aw. Good girl.

Meanwhile, Spencer and Emily want to break back into Jason’s shed so they can convince Aria that he’s a creepy stalker. But when they get there, it’s completely cleaned out . . . except for the flashlight Emily left behind. Ruh roh.

Credits. A darkroom. Gloved McEvilson develops a photo . . . of Spencer and Emily spying in Jason’s shed. Oh noes!

Alright! Is Butthair really A? Is A only one person? Why is anyone that obsessed with Aria? Is Mike really depressed, or playing his parents? And when will I get out of Russia?


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