If I were the type of person who proclaimed that people should get awards then I would say “give Troian Bellisario all the awards.” Because, seriously. I don’t know what show that girl thinks she’s on, but her pretend show is a lot better than this actual one. Man, can you imagine what this girl could do with something with more gravitas? Because she is, at this point, the only bright and shining point of this show, and she’s just fearless in Spencer’s breakdown.
But! I learned long ago that you can only win an award if you are old or make yourself look ugly or star in insipid movies but are generally delightful (JLaw), so, sorry, Troian! No award for you! But I will give you a piece of my heart, like in that Janis Joplin song. Go on, take it.
Anyway, let’s discuss the actual show, shall we? Must we? Can we just ignore anything not Spencer-related?
I guess Fitz’s swinging bachelor lifestyle isn’t netting enough money to support his child, and he realizes that he’s going to have to get a real job again. How gauche. He mentions how good he was at teaching (debatable), which leads Aria to ask Actor/Director Chad Lowe to see if Fitz can get hired back on at Hollis. You know that scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby asks Jerry Orbach for money for Penny’s abortion, and Jerry Orbach is concerned that she needs the money for something illegal*? That scene has nothing to do with this; I just wanted to think about Jerry Orbach and Dirty Dancing for a while.
* The first few times I watched Dirty Dancing, I was still a kid and I didn’t realize that abortions WERE illegal at that time. Much of the movie’s drama was lost on me when I was a kid, I have to say. I didn’t get the whole Jewish/Gentile thing for YEARS.
Anyway, back to this show instead. So Chad Lowe and Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, conspire to actually find Fitz a job, figuring that between actually working for a living and having a kid, Fitz will not have time to further besmirch their child. Foolish, foolish parents.
Actor/Director Chad Lowe comes to visit Fitz, and puts his host hilariously ill at ease while telling him that there’s no room for him at the Hollis inn, but that he has another suggestion . . .
And just like that, Fitz is now a substitute teacher at Rosewood High again. WHAT. Even more hilariously, the Rosewood principal knows of Fitz and Aria’s affair, and asks her if it’s over, because they don’t want things to be below board. So, you’re fine with HIRING a teacher whom you know to have had an affair with his underage student as long as said affair is now over?
Honestly, how is this even an accredited school?
Emily Can Call Missy Franklin, Maybe
Random special guest! I love random special guests on teen shows so much! This time it’s Olympic champion and all-around American golden girl, Missy Franklin, who gets to hang out with Emily because, you know, swimming. It all goes down a little strangely – Shana, who Paige dated over the summer, introduces Em to Missy, who’s just chilling out in the Rear Window, because I guess that’s what she does? Doesn’t she have a Wheaties box she could be on?
Anyway, Missy acts super gracious to Emily and asks about her swimming team, and the whole scenario is weird enough and Missy is natural enough in front of the camera that for a while I thought they were actually just two regular people, having a chat. Emily doesn’t really have anything to do this week (except that Aria kind-of-cruelly reassures Emily that she isn’t the weak link after all), so enjoy this nice picture of Missy Franklin and some of the cast members wearing her Olympic golds. Not so sure I like that smirk on Ashley Benson’s face. Girl, you’ve got a GOLD MEDAL around your neck right now!
But About the Kitchen of Carbs and Cash . . .
Prozzie Mom has convinced herself that Jerk Detective is alive and well, and bemoans the lack of Carbs in the Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. The writers obviously read this site, y’all. (Sorry I sort of insult y’all a lot! I do really like the show!) But it turns out that carrots really DO help the eyesight, because guess what? Jerk Detective is BACK! And seemingly unbruised, even though he was just run over by a car. He shows up at the Church (where Prozzie Mom, Hanna and Father Ted are discussing the imminent bell-raising) and makes his usual delightfully cryptic comments.
Also, Prozzie Mom all of a sudden has a job offer in New York? Well, it’s like, she has to go to this conference and then she might be up for a promotion that would take her to New York. Father Ted is saddened by this news and doesn’t want her to move away. He offers to “take care of” anything that might be forcing her out of Rosewood, while looking darkly at the police station. I love these little hints that Father Ted is actually a violent BAMF, but at the same time, I don’t care enough about him to usually remember any character development.
A has a photo still from the video of Prozzie Mom running Jerk Detective over, and uses it to taunt Hanna, but Jerk Detective tells Hanna that all he wants is his car back! Hmm, I wonder just what else was in the police cruiser. Whatever it is, it probably won’t work under water, because according to Hanna, nothing does. It’s scientific!
And the Award Goes to . . .
Oh, Spence, you just break my little heart.
The Park Rangers have dropped Spencer – who is looking increasingly like something out of a Japanese horror flick – off at Radley, and she fakes amnesia for a while. Her orderly is a very personable (and cute!) guy named Eddie, who looks after Spencer a bit. She realizes that his is the badge that Toby used to get in and out of Radley and questions him fiercely. At first he wants to keep his mouth shut, but eventually relents enough to say that the problem wasn’t so much people getting IN as the people who were getting OUT, and hints that someone on staff was responsible. (Wren? Eddie himself? Or Dr Annabeth Gish?)
Because, that’s right! Annabeth Gish is a doctor on staff (apparently EVERYONE has to do a round at Radley. How many patients are there?) and recognizes Spencer! At least now poor Melissa knows where she is, because she seems to be legitimately worried for Spencer’s well-being. Could Melissa be on the side of the good, after all? (And what side is that, really?)
Spencer tells Dr. Annabeth Gish that she doesn’t have amnesia; she just wanted a few days of not being Spencer Hastings. Unfortch, that doesn’t really lend credence to Spencer’s sanity, so the 72-hour psych hold stays in effect.
Once Spencer realizes that she’s staying in Mona’s old room, she finds a desk into which Mona has carved the words, “Will the circle be unbroken?” Flashback time! It’s church, and pre-Ali-disappearance Mona is dorkily jamming along to the hymn. It’s actually super cute. But Ali doesn’t think so, and mocks Mona. Later, Ali tells Spencer that she has filled up several diaries full of secrets, and that those will be a gift to the girls.
In present day, Mona comes to visit Radley, ostensibly to deliver cookies to a nurse, but really to check on Spencer. The two have a heated exchange (not quite as heated as shouting “Die!” and choking each other, though) and Spencer brokenly asks Mona why she killed Toby. It almost looks for a moment like Mona is surprised to hear this news, so maybe this was Toby faking his death, rather than Mona and Toby faking Toby’s death? But then, Mona was the one shouting that Toby was dead . . .right? Mona is kind of blatantly honest with Spencer and says that all of this could have been avoided if Spencer had just joined the A team when Mona asked.
Eddie comes over to Spencer while she’s playing the piano and tells her quietly that he has only known one Toby Kavanaugh – a little boy who would come in to Radley to visit his mother. It’d be a strange coincidence if there were two Toby Kavanaugh’s running around Rosewood . . . (but okay, how long has Eddie worked there? He’s too awesome and pretty not to have advanced in his career over the years!)
And, at the close of the show, we see Spencer in group therapy with Dr. Annabeth Gish. Spencer realizes that she’s never going back to the preppy, perfect La Hastings that she was, and brokenly imagines herself telling her friends that they don’t know her anymore.
A’s buying tickets to a carnival or a burlesque show or an opera, or something! And then we see that the new A Lair is an RV! Awesomely practical for a stalker on the move!
Okay! Let’s gab! What’d you think of Spencer this episode? Will she try to stay in Radley and investigate more deeply? Is Eddie involved or is he a genuinely nice guy? Is Missy Franklin A? If she is A, that’d explain why nothing really bad happened over the summer for the girls. She was too busy winning things. Leave your theories and thoughts below!