Title: Pretty Little Liars S1.E09 “The Perfect Storm”
Released: 2010

Got a secret! Can you keep it? I actually . . . enjoyed last week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars? I know. I KNOW. DON’T MOCK ME.

Did you miss it? Want to catch up? Step inside!

Previously on Pretty Little Liars! Searchin’ Toby’s locker! Fitz is conflicted about boning his student! Lucas and Hanna want to doooo it. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride is leaving! Shovels destroying the Memenchication! Some other stuff!

Define “ham-fisted plot device”.

Spencer’s house. Spencer, Hanna and Aria are cramming for the SATs. This is something that people do all of a sudden! They never mention it before the day of. They certainly do not purchase books or tutoring in order to get a higher test score. These tests don’t even matter! Wake up and take them today, if you want!

Hanna’s stress-eating some bowtie pasta. And she really wants Aria to date Noel. There’s an obligatory Facebook shoutout, so that we know that these girls are hip, and then the actual phrase “scratch and sniff” is uttered by Hanna. Lovely. Meanwhile, Spencer is cagey about her relationship with Alex. It’s so good, she says!

Spencer’s mom comes home. She doesn’t know about Alex, Spencer confesses. Why? Probably because Spencer’s entire family are assholes?

Hey, where’s Emily?

Emily’s got a secret. Can you keep it? Swear this one you’ll save.

Emily is bursting into her room, all covered in dirt and hiding things. Emily! You look suspicious! Yet remarkably pretty! It’s almost as if you are a pretty person who is LYING in some way! Em gets a text from A: “There’s only so much you can bury, Emily. You aren’t done with me yet.” Em looks unhappy.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!School. Spencer’s mom and the girls sans Em are at school. Spencer’s mom is concerned the test might be cancelled because of the raging storm that has randomly appeared. Alex is there! He’s also taking the SATs at Rosewood. Spencer introduces him to her mom. It’s . . . awkward.

Why is The Jerky Detective hanging around??”

Spencer’s mom expresses concern that not all of the students will make it to the SATs, as they already saw a bridge down and one of the roads was closed. Jerky Detective takes this moment to walk up and chew some scenery about how the road is closed due to Alison’s memenchication being destroyed. Jerky Detective is chewing so much scenery in this scene that I expect he needs only a fedora and a trench coat to make his day complete.

Why is Jerky Detective at school? Why isn’t he investigating the memenchication thing? Or at least showing off his abs?

Jerky Detective approaches Em in the halls and tells her about the vandalization. He also tells her that Toby was spotted just a few days ago near town. So Toby’s . . . not dead? Okay? Then the camera pans down to see Emily’s dirty, muddy shoes. That couldn’t possibly be because of the storm and must in fact be because Emily is guilty.

God, Em, bathe much?

Girls avec Em backstory some about where she was the night before. Emily is evasive.

Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride appears. She’s a proctor for the exam, apparently. WHAT IS ARIA WEARING? This is the SATs, ARIA. You wear sweats! Maybe jeans and a tshirt!


Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is now a teacher, because she needs to make the bucks to support her new bachelorette lifestyle. Aria refuses to visit Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, at her new apartment. She’s not okay with her parents living apart! Aria stomps away. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, looks constipated. Or concerned. Can’t tell.

Hanna’s house. Prozzie Mom is paying bills the same way I do; i.e. look at them and cry. I feel ya, Prozzie Mom.

Byron, father of Aria, aka Chad Lowe, calls Prozzie Mom. His power is out and he needs to urgently fax something. On a Saturday. During a storm. Prozzie Mom says he can come over to use her fax. Is that what the old people are calling it these days?

So cute! I want to squish them!

School. All the kids are hanging in the library, waiting for the test to start. Lucas is busy texting away on his phone, and Hanna lets him know he didn’t miss anything. Lucas has gotten Hanna three hits (offers? bids?) on her leather jacket. Aww.

Ugh. Mona. She appears to drop some casual transphobic comments. Great. I’ve really missed you, Mona! Mona blows off Lucas, which Hanna lets her do. Hanna. We were doing so well.

It’s always weird when this show remembers that Hanna and Mona are supposed to be best friends. Mona is so hamfistedly shoved into the episodes. I’ve only read the summary of these books on WIKIPEDIA, okay, and I already know how to include Mona in better ways than they’ve been doing. WIKIPEDIA.

Mona probably idolizes Glenn Beck.

Over at the table of studying despair, Em gets a text from A. “Hey Em – you weren’t the only one with Great Expectations. Check it out. xoxo – A” I should add that all of A’s texts are in KANYE CAPS, only obviously lacking in the awesome subject matter. I was asking someone the other day whether Kanye’s joining Twitter was the best thing that ever happened to me, or the BEST THING that ever happened to me. I think it may be both.

(I must say, props to A for properly underlining a book title, in a text! She really does show very good texting grammar. A, you’re not so bad!)

Jerky Detective enters the library. He wants to open up the boy’s locker room. Alison’s brother has been breathing down his neck . . . and he thinks he’s going to find something there? Spencer thinks that if Jason were going to tell Jerky Detective Alison’s version of events, he would have done it already. Jerky Detective comes over to intimate to the girls that they had something to do with the memenchication destruction. The memenchicationruction. Emily lies and says that they were ALL over at Spencer’s, studying. The girls are all ?? Emily leaves to go to the restroom.

But really she goes over to the stacks to find the only copy of Great Expectations. In it, an envelope, addressed to Alison from Emily, over a year ago. I bet it is a letter confessing her love!

“Dear Alison, are you a crazy bitchface? Check yes or no.”

Table of Infininte Studying. Spencer gets a text – “Define ‘desertion.’ Seems like you’re about to lose Emily. Who’s next? – A” Desertion is actually a really simple word, Ali. You can’t think of anything harder than that? How about “memenchicationruction?” Spence shows the text to Aria and Hanna.

Library. Alex enters. Spencer wants to talk about what the heck went on between him and her mom, but Alex can’t talk about it now. Ooh! Maybe they had sex!

Mona and Hanna are studying, and Mona complains that Lucas is looking at her. It turns out Mona bought Hanna’s bag online. Mona tries to pass it off, like she meant to do it. She asks Hanna what’s going on. Is she, like, poor now? Mona is predictably bitchy.

Aria walks up to the librarian/test proctor. Aria. THAT DRESS. Anyway, Noel stops her and asks her to a basketball game. She turns him down. Then he invites her to another room in the school. Oooooh.

Noel is still interested in Aria, despite the fact that she showed up to the SATs in a dress.

Hanna’s house. Aria’s dad is trying to fax his son’s permission slip when the power goes out. Apparently things have been falling through the cracks now that his wife who did all the actual work around the house has left. Prozzie Mom tells him to cut himself some slack. Aria’s dad gets no such sympathy from me.

Oh, jeez. Noel has a guitar (why?) and is now playing it for Aria (why?). I have flashed back to freshman year in high school and that guy – whose name I can’t remember – and how he used to play “Blister in the Sun” on his guitar before geometry class started. Hear that, Noel! No one will remember your name in 14 years! Mostly because of alcohol!

And now . . . Aria’s singing. What.


Library stacks. Em thinks she hears someone laughing, and looks through the books to see the ghost of Alison. Flashback!! Drink! Alison is sitting on the floor, reading Great Expectations. Emily sits next to her and tells her that she had a dream about Jenna, that she could see again and forgave them. Alison reads her some romantic bits of Dickens and then. . . they kiss. Oh, Emily. This is not a good idea. That girl is, as an 80s song might say, pois-on.

Don’t let Dickens woo you, Em!

Current day. Emily reads the letter she’d written to Alison. It’s mostly about how they kissed but now Ali’s ignoring her and Em has a sad.

Aria and Noel. Aria’s still singing. I DON’T KNOW WHY. Now they’re leaning to make out – which is infinitely preferable to the kissing – except Fitz shows up!!

Fitz kicks Noel out in his typical passive aggressive manner. Aria wants to know where Fitz has been – he hasn’t been answering texts or emails. He has been working on his issues. Oh, blah, blah, now they’re all “I thought about you every second! But we can’t be together!” I actually just got a strain from rolling my eyes.

Hanna’s house. Prozzie Mom and Chad Lowe are now drinking wine by candlelight. Oh, that’s a good idea. Chad Lowe wants to know if Prozzie Mom knows why Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, left. She does, but she doesn’t take sides. I do! Now they’re discussing being single after so long. There’s some extended metaphor about how if you go to movies alone then you are a sad sack who will be eaten by your cats, but hello, there are plenty of reasons to see movies alone. Mostly pertaining to the fact that no one will see Mandy Moore movies with you. Chad Lowe and Prozzie Mom sort of half-ask each other on a date.

A BAD IDEA. (Except for the wine. Wine is always a good idea)

School. The librarian is herding all of the students into a windowless room, as apparently a tornado has been spotted. Man! No one ever herded us into windowless rooms and we had tornados all the time! Mona is being a dickface to Lucas some more, and FINALLY Hanna takes her aside to tell her to kiss it. Then Hanna comes to sit next to Lucas. Aww. Crazy kids! HOOK UP!!

Locker room. Spencer wants to know about her mom and Alex, but Alex says it’s up to her mom to tell her what happens.

Alex brings the tally of hot guys on this show to two.

Emily, library. Flashback! Drink! Locker room. Alison is flaunting her nakedness in front of Emily. Typically I would never say that about a woman who is choosing to walk around naked, cause HELLO, sometimes we’d like to be Skins in basketball (with good supportive exercise bras), but you can tell by Alison’s face. Emily is pretty excited about the nudity, as one would be. Alison asks Em to hook her bra for her. Emily kisses her on the neck, and Alison stops that behavior short. She’s into boys! So GTFO, Em! Emily is crestfallen.

Present day. The library’s going all Ghostbusters on Em – books falling out of the shelves at random intervels. Ugh, show. I know that the entire premise is that you are purporting that a dead girl is sending text messages, but A) we all know that Alison is not A, B) no dead person would ever use the medium of text message to haunt people, unless they were the lamest ghosts ever, and C) you’ve avoided all streaks of the supernatural so far, so don’t try to cram some in on the second-to-last episode of the season.

Emily goes to investigate the flying books, and someone steals her bag and her letter to Hanna.

Fitz is in a closet (heh), looking for supplies. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, comes in and asks him to find some food. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, is totally coming onto Fitz. Fitz is humorously nervous about this. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, asks if Fitz has noticed any changes in Aria in the last few weeks and explains that she and Chad Lowe have separated. Fitz is all, “Well, I’ve noticed that we’re not fucking as much, but either than that . . . ” I’m just kidding; he doesn’t say that at all. Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride, says that Aria puts up a good front, and that when she’s hurt, she shuts people out. Fitz has this look on his face like, “Oh noes! I dumped my underage girlfriend right when she was going through major family upheavel!” but he KNEW all this WEEKS ago!

Locker room. Noel and Aria are talking. He compliments her singing voice. Eh. I’ve heard better. Oh, this reminds me, my cousin is auditioning for American Idol today! Good luck, Alex!

Em enters the locker room. Hanna tells Emily that if she was hooking up with Maya last night, she can let the other girls know. Jerky Detective tells Emily he’s found something of hers. The girls follow them to the library.

Jerky Detective is all “You shouldn’t leave your bag in public places. You know what could happen?” Yes. Someone’s going to bomb Rosewood High School. Oh, actually, Jerky Detective means “cops will search them without a warrant or even probable cause.” Jerky Detective is going to end up being filmed “exercising lethal force” on an unarmed minority or child, just you wait. He’s definitely the type. Jerky Detective shows Emily photos of her from last night – sitting at the Memenchication and crying. Where did he get these photos? I believe they were sent to him by A. Jerky Detective has also stolen Emily’s letter, which he reads aloud for the class. And then he pulls out parts of the Memenchication (the sculpture of the girl) that Em has in her bag. Emily confesses; she went to the Memenchication to apologize to Alison. She loved Alison as more than a friend and was angry when she died, but she didn’t kill her. She took the sculpture because it was all that was left of the Memenchication by the time she got there.

Hanna is awesomely angry at Jerky Detective and calls him out for being a power-hungry douchelord who Jerry Orbach would have punched, had this been an episode of Law & Order. (that last bit was conjecture on my part)

Jerky Detective is being a dick some more, and then Spencer’s mom comes in, all “Are you questioning minors without an adult presence? Oh no you didn’t!” And then REAMS him. Go, Spencer’s mom!

Locker room. Aria approaches Em and tells her that Alison loved her – maybe not in the way she wanted, but she did love her. Aww. That sounds so hollow coming from a girl wearing a party dress to a standardized test.

Speaking of that test, the SATs are cancelled! Well, considering they’ve been waiting around for 4 hours, I WOULD HOPE SO. I took my SATs in a school that didn’t have AIR CONDITIONING. IN SEPTEMBER. (You people not from Texas may wonder what the big deal is with that, but those of us from below the Mason-Dixon know that the average daily temp in September is still 90 degrees. ALSO, it was the day after Homecoming, so I was totally hungov- uh, tired.)

Spencer’s mom and Spencer are leaving the school. Spencer asks what happened between her and Alex to cause all the awkwardness. Spencer’s mom is all, “Remember that weekend you and your sister and dad were gone? I spent that entire weekend drunk off my ass!” I knew I liked Spencer’s mom. Alex took care of her and made sure she got home safely. And let her spill her guts. About? Spencer’s mom had a lump removed from her breast just before the country club drinking experience. She made Alex promise not to ever say anything. Since then, she’s given up drinking too much. And she thinks Alex is a lovely kid, and a keeper. Aw, Spencer’s mom! She’s my second favorite!

Hanna’s house. The lights come back on. Chad Lowe backs out of the date, which works for Prozzie Mom, who also isn’t feeling it. Well, that was mercifully brief.

School. Aria sees Noel, and tells him that they should have a date. But she’ll be having dinner at her mom’s on Friday. Everyone’s makig friends!

Hallways. Spencer finds Alex and thanks him with her lips for taking care of her drunk mom.

Library. Emily picks up the copy of Great Expectations and reshelves it (incorrectly).

Hallway. Lucas goes up to Hanna – she got 96 bucks for her leather jacket. Lucas thanks Hanna for calling off Mona. He doesn’t have to thank her, Hanna replies. She’s his friend. Hanna walks off, as Lucas looks to tell her something romantical. The camera pans down . . . to see his very muddy shoes. Oh, Lucas. Well, that’s okay. In the end, it’s just a little memenchicationruction.

Credits. A video of Alison plays on a laptop. “I know you want to kiss me,” she’s saying to the camera-wielder. Our favorite gloved hands saves the video to a thumb drive and put it in a mailer for the Rosewood Police.The “From” address line? “A . . .nonymous.”

Tonight!! The last episode of Pretty Little Liars!! Don’t forget to watch AND drink!


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