Title: Pretty Little Liars S2.E13 “The First Secret”
Released: 2011

AHH I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S FINALLY COME BACK! YOU GUYS! I had NO IDEA how much I missed this show until I came home from dinner and saw it there, on my DVR, like it was waiting especially for me. (Which I suppose it was.) Oh, show about people who ACTUALLY tell lies! Never leave me again!!

What did you guys think about this episode? I LOVED it! It was crazy and just a little spooky and there were so many callbacks and new tangled webs weaved! Let’s talk about it in the comments!

House! All decked out for Halloween! A narrator is telling us about a story . . . a story of two blonde twins! The two blonde twins play with dolls, until one twin gets out a giant knife and . . .

And, it’s just Alison, LIVE! IN THE FLESH!, relating a ghost story to Hanna’s babysitting charge, much to Hanna’s dismay. Alison continues to relate the story about an evil twin killing the other twin in a murderous rage and then being locked up in a mental institution. HA HA HA. Oh, show. I love you so much. Even if this is the last reference you make to the plot of the books, you have made me happy.

Credits! Halloween necromancy! Blood dripping! Family show!

Hey! It’s 2006! That’s so long ago! The girls are all walking around, discussing their Halloween costumes. Spencer is wearing a jean skirt, so we can tell that Spencer’s terrible habit of dressing like a seven year old did not begin out of grief of Alison’s death. Noel drives by and invites the girls – as guests of Alison – to his Halloween party. Aria nearly orgasms there on the sidewalk. In fact, all the girls sans Alison are SUPER excited. Ugh. Thank god I met you ladies when you were already jaded 16 year olds.

Ooh! Someone’s been stealing the concept of the Requisite LJ Smith House of Disrepair Set Far Away In The Woods! Though this one is in the middle of a neighborhood in Pennsylvania. Well, we can’t all be The Vampire Diaries. Aria has capital-F-Feelings about this house, and as they walk by, we see a car with a Rosewood Sanitarium sign on it. Ooooh. Also, are they still called Sanitariums? I mean it’s 2008, not 1972.

AHH! TOBY!!!! TOBY IS THERE!! Emily walks up while Toby’s packing, or unpacking, from a moving truck! His dad’s just married Jenna’s mom! Ahh! SOMEONE SAVE TOBY, PLEASE. HE IS ABOUT TO GET RAPED BY HIS STEPSISTER!

Spencers Gift-type store, where Alison is checking out costumes. Then a masked man grabs her! But it’s just Noel, flirting with her. Ew. This is a combo I just do not want to think about. And then, oh! It’s Jenna! Fully-sighted! Alison’s going to the party as Lady Gaga, and encourages Jenna not to do the same. To say that the two girls do not hit it off would be an understatement.

And then! Alison gets a text! “I’m watching you.” She scans the store for clues, but when she turns out, she’s confronted by a creepy person in a CREEPY BABY MASK. Alison calls him/her a freak and stomps off. AHH. BABY MASK. NOT OKAY, SHOW. NOT EFFING OKAY.

Commercials! Man, I love ABC Family’s13 Days of Halloween. Hocus PocusThe Goonies!

Show. Alison is at Spencer’s house, flirting with Ian and making recordings on his brand new video camera. This is so gross. I mean, it was gross in flashbacks but it’s sort of even grosser when you realize they were doing this crap in the living room. Melissa and Spencer are coming downstairs, and Melissa is being so nice to Spencer! EVERYTHING IS SO TOPSY TURVY! Spencer has done something to earn some sort of award, or something? I bet it’s not for Best Posture – quit hunching, Spence. Oh, no, okay. Spencer’s running for Class President, and Ma and Pa Hastings and Melissa have already planned her victory party at the country club. Meanwhile, Melissa and Ian will be dressing up as Bonnie and Clyde for Halloween, which is frankly classier than the Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka I was expecting from them.

Hollis College! Aria hilariously randomly bumps into Fitz, still a student. He has a lot of hair. Like, A LOT of hair. Aria’s come to bring Actor/Director Chad Lowe his briefcase, but Meredith With All The Teeth (Jodi Sawyer!!!) is just chilling out on his couch. Actor/Director Chad Lowe plays it off as if he’s not schtupping his student. This is clearly pre-Aria finding out.

Hanna’s busy watching horror movies alone in her room when the phone rings. No one answers when she picks up! Then the lights start going off and on! Hanna! Don’t run up the stairs! Then Alison calls and asks if Hanna was behind the text she received. She wasn’t, obvs, but then Hanna hears the doorbell ring. And it’s Prozzie Mom!!! Who has had to be driven home – by a young Jerk Detective!!!! – because she had tee many martoonies. Guys, this may be my FAVORITE EPISODE EVER. SERIOUSLY. So many connections! Prozzie Mom’s pretty upset, since Deadbeat Dad just left her.

School! Apparently Ben’s been telling the whole school that he and Emily had sex. Aria and Hanna are all ready to get up in someone’s grill, yet Emily is remaining suspiciously silent and embarrassed. Then Mona appears, in her nerdy pre-shoplifting ensemble! Alison and everyone else ignore her. Not smart, ladies! Mona walks over to eat lunch with, AW, Lucas! Who is wearing the ugliest Cosby sweater EVS. They commiserate together about how awful Alison is.

Anyway, Emily tells the girls that she and Ben Did It. This is such a lie, Emily! But you’re also so pretty, which already makes you 66% more committed to your show’s title than those awful kids from The Lying Game.

Oh! And now it’s the scene where Aria and Alison come across Actor/Director Chad Lowe macking with Meredith! With Mona right behind them! I LOVE THIS EPISODE SO MUCH AHHHH.

Alison’s house. She’s reading in her room when Jason barges in. His hair is looking less butt-shaped, but we’re not out of the woods yet. They exchange some playful banter involving how much they hate each other, until Jason gives Alison a brown paper parcel all wrapped up with string, saying it was on the porch. Inside? A voodoo doll with a note: “Now it’s my turn to torture you.” WHY SO MANY DOLLS??

Alison hides the note in a box she has secreted away inside an air-conditioning grate. There’s also a creepy doll and a locket in said box! Look to see it next season!

Hanna’s Kitchen of Carbs and Cash. Prozzie Mom is looking for jobs and fortuitously circles the Branch Manager job. How the hell did she get that job on little-to-no experience? I’d always assumed that she’d always worked there. Jerky Detective drops by to clumsily hit on Prozzie Mom, and she shuts him down hard. So that’s where that anger comes from, huh?

At Spencer’s, she’s sewing something while wearing awful pants. Alison comes over and tells Spencer that she isn’t going to be winning Class President. Somehow, Alison turns this into an anti-Melissa rant. Spencer really needs to win, and Alison promises to help her. Spencer, by the way, is wearing a Lacoste headband. Thank god Ali died. (maybe.) At least it freed this poor child up from some of her bad wardrobe choices.

At Aria’s House of Woodland Delights, she and Actor/Director Chad Lowe are discussing that tiny mistake with regards to having an affair with a student. He claims things are over between him and Jodi Sawyer! Probably because she doesn’t have good feet! Aria is very upset about the whole thing, even more so when Actor/Director Chad Lowe asks her to keep it quiet. This family. I mean.

Alison and Emily are walking around and discussing birth control, which is almost awkward enough to distract me from Alison’s awful white-bleached jeggings. Almost. Emily confesses that she lied about doing it with Ben. Alison promises to keep it between them. Yeah, right.

School. Spencer, Em, Hanna, Aria and Alison are awaiting the Class President results when Lucas accidentally spills something on Alison. She is awful to him. I want to kill her. Especially because Lucas looks super cute with that hair. As Alison and the girls walk off, Lucas vows that one day Alison will get what’s coming to her. To whom? To Mona. THIS SHOW!!!

Meanwhile! Spencer has won Class President by two votes. She’s pretty sure that Alison has fixed the election.

Halloween! Everyone’s getting dressed in their costumes, except for Aria, who isn’t feeling the whole dress-up vibe. Then! The Creepy Baby Mask person is staring at the girls through the window! Ahh!

The other girls go to get pizza, while Alison tells Aria to get over the whole dad-having-an-affair thing. Then Alison basically blackmails Aria into going to Noel’s party. Dear Show, you aren’t showing me one good reason why anyone would be Alison’s friend. Seriously. Not one.

Noel’s party! He has a band and there are lots of people dressed in Slutty Occupation costumes. Noel comes over to skeeve on the girls. Spencer is dressed as Mary, Queen of Scots. She looks fucking spot on, too. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, SPENCE!!!

I wanna write Shakespearean sonnets about you, girl.

Jenna shows up dressed as Lady Gaga, which distracts everyone enough so that they don’t notice Creepy Baby Mask Person lurking behind them.

There’s so much wrong with this image.

Commercials. Is anyone else weirded out by the fact that the new Sims game lets people exercise their furry kinks? Just me? Okay.

Party. Mona’s dressed as Catwoman! But no one recognizes her! Alison and Jenna have a lot of Lady Gaga-related tension. Then Jenna and Mona meet up and make friends. RUH ROH.

Outside, Mary, Queen of Scots is trying to cheer up one of the Lady Gagas. Alison hands Spencer some of the Class President ballots (hilariously, they have BALLOT written over them in official font) and then intimates that one or all of Spencer’s friends didn’t vote for her.

Meanwhile! Aria and Hanna are stumbling off into the Plot Advancement woods to get a drink. And then they see what looks like Creepy Baby Mask person!!

Please allow me to use this picture to explain my reaction of AHHHHHHH.

Also meanwhile! Jenna’s doing some bizarre Lady Gaga dancing, which is getting Em all hot and bothered. Oh, come on, show. Emily’s a lesbian; she’s not insane. No one likes Jenna! Um, right? Alison lets Emily know that she’s on to her.

The party’s winding down and no one can find Alison. Then! They all get a text! From Ali – “I’m in trouble, come alone.” And! Then! Creepy Baby Mask Person! Aaah!

The girls follow the address Alison gave them . . . straight to the creepy house from earlier. They tiptoe inside but don’t see anything, including the person walking behind them! Creepy Baby Mask Person!!!! If I have nightmares tonight, I swear to God . . .

Commercials! HA HA HA HA HA HA. It’s the Twilight commercial. Oh man, I cannot wait for November. I need to start stocking up on my booze now.

Show. The girls are still creeping around the deserted house. Then they find Ali! She says someone brought her there to kill her. He has a knife! Alison bravely walks into the hall to find a cell phone signal. And then! Screams! They can’t get the door open! But they see Alison being stabbed from the peephole!

Alison sort of looks like Amanda Seyfried here. Wait. What has Harry Hamlin been up to lately?

The girls climb out of the house from the window and are running into the front door to find Alison. Alison, of course, is calmly rocking in a chair. She explains that she and Noel set things up to try to frighten them. WHY ARE YOU GUYS HER FRIENDS?! Alison claims that the girls passed her test – that now she knows they’ll be there for her whenever she needs them. Then she tells them to get back to the party. Ugh. ALISON YOU ARE THE WORST!

Back at the party, there are like ten people in Creepy Baby Masks! Aaaah! Am I . . . missing something here? I’m guessing this is something popular from 2008? To me it just looks like an Ewok wearing a child’s hockey mask. WAIT. Was there a movie about Ewoks playing with the Mighty Ducks and then killing them? WHY HAVEN’T I SEEN THAT?

Melissa and Ian are at the party, as well as Jerky Detective, who’s totally hitting on Jenna. Hmm. Wonder how Garrett would feel about that. Then! A person in a Creepy Baby Mask runs by, and rips off the mask to reveal that it’s Lucas! THEN! Noel comes by to apologize to Alison about not being able to show up for the prank. But, wait! If it wasn’t Noel in the house, who was it? Just then, Alison gets a text – “Dying to know who I am? You’ll find out soon. -A”

Credits! Someone rips off the Creepy Baby Mask . . . someone wearing gloves.

Well, SHIT. That was INTENSITY IN TEN CITIES!!!!! What did you guys think? Did you like the look back? Have you changed your mind about any of the many people who probably make up A? If Jerky Detective has been carrying a torch for Jenna for three years, do you think he’s in on Jenna and Garrett’s A scheme? What about Noel? And Lucas! And Mona! And Ali herself! And Melissa! And! And! AAAH!

Pretty Little Liars will be back in January, and I, for one, CAN’T WAIT.

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