Title: Pretty Little Liars S1.E06 “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”
Released: 2010

You guys! Finally some shizz is happening on this show! It only took HALF THE FREAKING SEASON!

So get dressed up in your finery, spike the punch, and dream about that hot guy who graduated last year, cause it’s Homecoming time!

Previously on Pretty Little Liarsnothing ever happened.

Sad Aria is sad; needs to wash hair.

Aria’s house. Aria’s laying in bed; she looks sad. Flashback (drink!) to like a day ago when she and Hot Teacher Hookup were still make out buddies. I remember that time like it was yesterday, Aria thinks to herself! Because it was yesterday! The girls arrive for an intervention, with take out Chinese. My kind of girls. I wonder if maybe the interventions on that show Intervention would go better if instead of everyone reading their letters, they just ate some dumplings. Probably. I’d be willing to do just about anything for dumplings, including go to rehab for some sort of non-dumpling-related addiction. I’m not addicted to dumplings. I can quit anytime. You don’t know me!

Anyway. The girls want Aria to do things like shower and wear clean clothes and generally not be a sludge. They all talk about Homecoming – Aria doesn’t want to go, because she doesn’t own a pair of pyjamas that are appropriate for a semi-formal dance. The girls of course think that Aria’s upset about her parents breaking up, because they do not know of her ill-fated love affair with their English teacher, and try to convince her that her parents will get back together. Even though Chad Lowe totally had an affair with a student, and Holly Marie Combs, Child Bride,has rightfully kicked his ass to the curb. We don’t want no scrubs!

More talk about Homecoming. Hanna wants to win homecoming queen! It’s always good to have a goal! Spencer is running the homecoming committee! And taking Alex as her date! I’m so excited by all of this; you can tell because every! sentence! ends! with an exclamation point! Em is going stag, as is Aria, who relents and decides to go, so Spencer says they should go together. “You’d make a cute couple!” “How did I go from wearing mom jeans to being Samantha Ronson,” asks Aria, in a desperate bid to seem hip and knowledgeable about the one lesbian in the 15-30 age bracket in America. Emily looks uncomfortable with this talk of lesbians and couples, and Hanna tries to tell Emily that she should go with Maya. Except, she doesn’t use the words “You should go with Maya” because Hanna isn’t supposed to know about the smooching. So she just hints to Emily that she should take “whoever,” and “not care what people think.” Em says she may want to go with someone, but doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea about her relationship with this person. Spence asks who mystery dude is; Hanna cutely covers with an “I’m starving!” and dives for the fortune cookies.

It’s cookie time!

The fortune cookies, of course, are from A: “Lions and tigers and bitches, oh my! There’s no place like homecoming. See you there. -A” Great! Now A works at a Chinese takeout place too? She better not have done anything to my dumplings! ALSO, I have to admit that this is still a better Fortune Cookie message than the one Duncan sent Veronica Mars.

Credits. Necromancy. Family show!

Show, classroom. Sean the PK’s parents are out of town this weekend, and he wants Unknown Addressee to stay over. He’s been doing a lot of thinking, and he thinks he’s ready (for your jelly). The camera pans back to find one of Sean’s Abstinence Club members, and she blahblahblahs about how she’s made a commitment to herself not to have orgasms until she’s older, or married, or whatever, because clearly wedding rings directly affect the quality of the orgasm (I wouldn’t know. I mean, because I’m not married. Not because I’ve never . . . I’ll shut up.). It is an “acting exercise” for Abstinence Club, in which they practice Just Saying No to learning about sex education. This way, when hormones overtake them, they can be completely unprepared and The Secret Life of the American Teenager can have another plotline (is EVERYONE on that show preggers?). Hanna is completely nonplussed.

Sexy and romantic scenario very much like real life.

Hanna is called on to be the “instigator” for the next exercise. Romantic! New character Lucas, who is like the Jonathan from Buffy of this show, only not suicidal or a master overlord or being killed by crazycakes Andrew yet, is her exercise partner. Hanna, in the tone of voice one saves for discussing differential equations, boredly asks Lucas, “So, you wanna come up to my room?” Lucas is all, “I can’t do this.” Hanna, monotone: “But you make me so hot.” Lucas objects; he can’t do this exercise with Hanna. Girls like Hanna do not approach guys like Lucas, unless they “have deep-seated self-esteem issues and a serious drinking problem.” Abstinence Coach is all, “Just do it, kid! Don’t you want your purity ring?” Lucas is all, “I don’t ever need to know how to rebuff the advances of hot chicks like Hanna; maybe I could try the ugly nerd edition?” Hanna is clearly charmed by Lucas (as am I – can’t resist nerds). They start the exercise again. Hanna, with a bit more interest, “So, you wanna come up to my room?” Lucas excitedly agrees. Ha. I love Lucas. Also, why is Lucas in Abstinence Club? I was also abstinent in high school; it was very easy because of my face (also: fashion sense). Maybe if there had been more blind kids at my school, then I might have needed to know how to say “True love waits,” but in a romantic way with some allusions to Jesus and Twilight. Instead I just went to college and learned that it doesn’t matter what you look like when you live in a co-op with 60 men: if you want to get some, you will.

Young teacher, the subject of schoolgirl fantasy.

Hallways. Aria really needs to talk to Hot Teacher Hookup. He blows her off and walks away.

Cafeteria. Emily is getting a drink from the vending machine, and Maya sees her. The two make awkward small talk about how they’ve been avoiding each other. Emily asks if Maya is going to homecoming; Maya declines, saying sheis not gaga for Gaga. I’m going to Gaga this weekend! Suck it, Maya! Maya and Emily make vague, noncommittal plans to catch up sometime.

Cafeteria. Hanna is applying lip gloss. Spencer rushes up to her with way too much emotion/effort/energy. Take some Xanax and chill, Spence; I’m exhausted just looking at you. Spencer wants Hanna to sneak into Jenna’s therapist office and steal her file. Hanna’s all, no way! That’s a violation of the Hippocratic Oath that I’ve never taken! Spencer convinces her, using Lots of Emotion Words. Hanna’s all, wtf with the panic, Jesse Spano? Well. You see, Toby, who’s never had a date in his life, just bought two tickets to homecoming. They deduce that he means to bring Jenna – “Well, A did say she’d see us there, right?” asks Spencer.

Mona of the Shoplifted Face barges in on their conversation. She is catty about Spencer’s date, (Alex, from the Country Club) who is poor and has a job. Quelle horror! Hanna’s all, “Knock it off, Discount Face” and then Mean Girls Mona into getting her some froyo, awesomely. I kind of love Hanna. Hanna is my favorite. Also I want some froyo. Spence is all “Why are you friends with that” but Hanna thinks Mona’s pretty cool, once you get to know her, and is “always there for {her}.” Noooooo comment.

The girls are then distracted by Toby’s entrance into the cafeteria. He pulls out his phone from his pocket and his shirt rides up. Toby has a tattoo on his stomach that says “901 Free At Last” in Olde English font. Toby is clearly a cheesehead. “What does that mean?” the girls wonder. Um, that he’s trashy? Just a suggestion.

“So, like, you wanna go out?”

Hallway. Toby approaches Emily, who is at her locker. He sort of talks around the idea of a date, then asks her to Homecoming. Em’s all “I didn’t think that was your scene.” Toby replies, “I didn’t think listening to The Smiths alone in my room was a scene.” Uh, of course it is, Tobester. It’s The Scene of every angsty teenager or 20-something (okay, or 30-something, sometimes, whatever, only Morrissey knows my pain!) EVER. Anyway, he is all “So you don’t want to go.” Emily, charmed by him, or maybe just distracted by thinking about Morrissey, agrees to be his date. Toby will pick her up tomorrow at nine. “But the dance starts at eight,” Emily reminds him. “Lame,” Toby responds, shaking his head.

Flirting over money

Art class? I . . . guess? Spencer and her minions are painting columns/preparing decorations/whatever it is people do in advance of Homecoming. We didn’t have Homecoming dances in my high school, because no one cared about them. All we cared about was the football game, and which secretly pregnant senior would be crowned Homecoming Queen. Rangers Forever! Alex, the Country Club employee, and Spencer’s date, shows up to the school, and tells Spence he wanted to time routes, ensure he had correct directions, etc. Spence is all, “You sound like me!” Yeah, but he’s joking, because no one is as anal as you are, Spencer. He’s actually there to see what Spence is wearing to the dance, so he can go get a suit that matches. Spencer’s all “Just wear whatever! I’ll match to you!” in an obvious excuse to keep Alex from spending money and sinking evermore into poverty (only poor people get after-school jobs! Never perfectly well-off people from middle-class backgrounds whose parents want to instill a good work ethic!). Then Alex tries to pay Spencer for the tickets. Spencer doesn’t want Alex spending his money on some dance, but he insists (by shoving money into the back pocket of her tiny shorts. that NEVER happens to me.).

Hallway. Hanna sees Maya, who’s got a cello (I think) strapped to her back. Maya’s in jazz band. Maya does not march. Hanna tries to “subtly” float the idea that Em would be excited to see Maya at the dance. Oh, Hanna. I seriously do love you, kid. Look at her, no judgement, no anger about her friend keeping something from her, just cute matchmaking and a prostitute mom.

That jacket is not okay, Jenna. even if you are blind.

Outside, Jenna is sitting on a bench. She has very good posture and perhaps the ugliest denim jacket I’ve ever seen. She’s also tightly rolling up a magazine. Nutso. Toby approaches. He apologizes for being late; Jenna wants to know if he was talking to Emily. “Once she finds out the truth about you, she’ll hate you.” Tobe’s all, “Who’s going to tell her?” They walk away together.

Ooh! Commercial for Step Up 3D! That’s not Andi! It’s a girl that looks just like her! That means there’s two hot girls with awesome abs who kick ass at dancing! I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE EEEEE.

Show. Office building. Hanna’s walking around in her terrible scrubs and tries to sneak into the therapist’s office. There are workmen in there, painting, so she can’t steal Jenna’s file. Hanna pushes in the door lock so she can get back in later.

Arias’s house. Hanna is there, trying on Aria’s jewelry. Aria is bummed. Hanna tries to cheer her up by telling her some friend of Sean the PK’s has a crush on her, but it doesn’t help since Aria is interested in someone else. Hanna jumps to her mat that says Conclusions on it, and thinks Aria’sinterested in someone from Iceland. Hanna tells her to get over it, as Aria and Mysterious Iceland Hockey Team Member (I’m just guessing) are in two different places right now. Aria’s all, “Hmm, maybe she’s right, only this applies to Hot Teacher Hookup, not villians from Disney’s Mighty Ducks II, and I guess I’ll go to the dance after all.” But that’s all, like, internally. But I can understand what she’s thinking. Her ugly clothes commune to me.

Dance. A band that reminds me of that band from the nineties, LFO, are performing. This reminds me that the other day, over burgers and cocktails with some friends,I was relaying the story of the infamous Rich Cronin “it’s just a fact” email from popular internet gossip site, Oh No They Didn’t. For those of you who’ve never heard of the Rich Cronin email, I’ve provided you a link. HOWEVER. Please do not click on that link and read that email if you object to any of the following things:

  • boy bands
  • bad grammar
  • detailed discussion about sexual acts
  • oral sex, anal sex or PIV sex
  • Chinese food
  • feeling people up, like ninth-grade style

Seriously. It’s hilarious, but not safe for life. It’s just a fact!

Anyway! The Homecoming Dance is a carnival theme! What? Under the Sea was taken?

Seriously. What?

Aria shows up to the dance looking like the Material Girl or a robot or a dominatrix from the future or a background vocalist for Lady Gaga. Not sure. Spencer and Hanna greet her warmly, while Mona, who I guess the producers realized was supposed to be in this show, is predictably bitchy. Hey Mona! That red dress you’ve got on does you no favors! You are NOT the type of lady Chris du Burgh would write a song about!

Spencer spies her awful sister, who is here as Former Homecoming Queen (filling in for some other old HC queen). Melissa is all “I read my essay on the Stupid Award Website!” Spencer says she already told their parents about the cheating,and that they thought a retraction would be more embarassing for the family. Melissa’s like, whatevs, and walks off. Oh, WASPs! Is there nothing you can’t be passive aggressive about!

Hanna and Mona are at the snack table (I knew I loved you, Hanna!) and Mona’s being snarky about someone. We get it, show. Mona’s a bitch. No need to keep shoving it down our pie holes! Lucas, the “nerd” from the Abstinence Club, approaches – he’s taking photos for the yearbook. (I should explain that Lucas is totally cute and would not be a nerd anywhere but in TV Land.) Hanna’s kind of pleased to see him. Mona, however, is bitchy towards him, because it’s been like 4.2 seconds since Mona insulted someone to their faces, and if she makes it past six seconds without being a bitch, an angel gets its wings. And we can’t have that. Hanna does not really come to Lucas’s defense. Weak sauce, HannaBobanna. Lucas leaves; Mona is all “Did you just engage in convo with Hermie, as Alison called him?” How do you know what Alison did or did not do, Mona??? Hmm? Mona’s all, “You didn’t bust your ass to become popular so that you could talk to lame hermaphrodites.” Lucas is a hermaphrodite? Cool! Anyway, Mona’s all “Don’t drag me down with you! I want to stay popular!” Then Sean the PK and Mona’s date arrive. Mona’s date looks like a cheesehead.

There is a Beanie Baby Toss booth? That’s a thing that happens? Aria is supposed to man the booth; Hot Teacher Hookup is there.

Clearly without anything important or fun to do, Melissa approaches Spencer and Alex and bitchily introduces herself to Alex. It is revealed that Alex goes to public school!! THE HORROR! In a rush to defend his poverty-stricken ways, Spencer of course makes it more awkward than it already was.

Beanie Baby Toss Booth. I can’t believe I keep typing those words together in a sentence. Hot Teacher Hookupis annoyed to be stuck with Aria. She didn’t plan this! He believes her, he says without enthusiasm. Aria didn’t tell anyone! Aria uses a lot of exclamatory words! To explain! That she is upset! And maybe also a little high-strung! Hot Teacher Hookup is just glad it ended before anyone got hurt. Aria’s all, “By the way? It wasn’t a friend who sent that text,” which gets Hot Teacher Hookup’s attention. “So, who’s A?” Aria tries to explain that A is messing with her, but can’t really explain why, because I guess she doesn’t want to get into the whole thing where she and her friends are being stalked by possibly a blind girl due to the fact that they blinded her. A teacher comes to the Beanie Baby Toss Booth to relieve someone – Fitz wants to stay (it looks like he’s warming back up to Aria!) but Aria’s had enough and walks off. Also she needs to have her batteries recharged before her hard drive crashes and she winds down like V.I.C.I. on Small Wonder.

School, outside. Toby and Emily are walking into the dance. Toby has really dressed up for the occassion – his white Hanes tshirt isn’t a crew neck! Toby’s now not all that excited about the dance and would like to bail; Emily tries to convince him it’ll be okay. They go inside. Literally the action on this show could be boiled down to 52 seconds every week.

Aria, having escaped the Beanie Baby Toss Booth, comes over to Hanna and Spencer, who are just hanging around. She wants someone to take her shift at the Beanie Baby Toss Booth – Spencer is all “Hanging out in a dark booth with Fitz? Every girl’s dream!” Awkward! Maya then approaches, looking lovely, and wants to know if anyone’s seen Emily. They haven’t, but just then Em walks in (holding Toby’s hand). The girls? Not pleased. (Maya for different reasons than the rest.) The soundtrack? Dramatic.

Toby and Em approach the girls; the girls greet Toby coldly. Taking lessons from Mona, I see. He goes to get her a drink, and the girls are all, predictably,WTFBBQSAUCE? Emily is all “He’s nice, you don’t know him!” (“He loves me; it’s not his fault, I antagonize him!” Oh, sorry, just filling in for Bella, if she were here.) Spencer and Aria leave, disgusted, and Emily’s all “Blah! You encouraged me to follow my feelings” to Hanna, who says yes, because she thought Emily was talking about Maya. Emily asks “Why would I take Maya?” Just then Toby comes back, so Hanna does not answer. I will answer for her. “Because you liiiiiiiiiike her! You want to kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss her!”

Alex is looking at the car that the school is raffling off. A CAR? WHAT? When did this become the mall? Melissa approaches, and tells Alex that Spencer is only dating him to piss her off their dad. Alex has a sad.

Spencer, Aria and Hanna have reconvened and are all “Toby?! When did that happen?” and then their dates approach. Some friend of Sean’s asks Aria to dance. Nothing ever happens on this show!!!!

Meanwhile, Maya is sad elsewhere.

People dance to more crappy music from whatever band it is that ABC Family is trying to make me care about. They’re horrible. I want to saw my own ears off to stop the music. STOOOP.

The girls are too upset about Toby to continue dancing, mostly because Spencer has finally figured out what Toby’s tattoo means. “901? Free at last? That’s September 1st!” Spencer exclaims. “The day Ali disappeared!” says Aria, who doubles as script supervisor for this show. Yes! That could definitely be it! Or maybe Toby’s just a big fan of MLK, Jr? Both scenarios seem equally likely, though from the short amount of time I’ve spent with Alison in flashback, even I want to get a tattoo celebrating her death. The girls really want Hanna to go get Jenna’s file from the therapist’s office, like now. Hanna agrees, but tells Aria to keep an eye on Sean for her, because apparently he’s a baby or a puppy.

Alex asks Spencer is she wants to go to the fortune teller’s booth. Spencer, intent on keeping an eye on Emily and Toby, distractedly agrees. Meanwhile, Aria tries to explain to Sean that Hanna’s gone without actually telling him that Hanna has left the building.

Hanna, outside, is calling for a cab. Lucas walks outside, having taken photos for the yearbook and having cast his vote for Hanna. She gets him to take her to the dentist office.

Inside, Fortune Teller Booth. Spencer is distracted, watching Toby and Emily hang out by the fucking Beanie Baby Toss Booth. There’s some typical fortune teller mumbo jumbo (I’m seeing a journey! You’re taking care of someone! Keep them from being hurt!) that gets Spencer’s attention.

Aria, still trying to distract Sean, leads him out to the dance floor. Emily sees Maya, so excuses herself from Toby and goes off to talk to her. Toby looks across the room and sees Jenna sitting alone. Doesn’t Jenna have any friends? Why is she always sitting alone?

Emily, having approached Maya,wants to know why Hanna thought Maya would be her date. Maya’s all,”Do I look like a mind reader to you? Go hang out with your date!” Em’s all, “I said I needed space!” Maya does the classic, “Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t want my bod!” Em can’t. No one has ever told me to look them in the eye and tell them that I: don’t want to be with them, do want to be with them, ate the last cupcake. Maybe this is because I’m either such a good liar that the “look me in the eye” business doesn’t phase me, or because I’m so damn loud-mouthed and opinionated that they know I’ll just vomit my feelings and secrets all over them within 20 seconds anyway. “Hey! Guess what! Today I decided I hated you and then I drank all the beer you left in the fridge and then I took a nap and felt better and now I love you again let’s make out!” I mean, that’s sort of what I tell people on a daily basis.

Dance floor. Fitz sees Aria and Sean dancing and is predictably jealous. Oh, suck it, Fitz. Aria watches Fitz leave and follows him.

Fortune Teller Booth. Alex and Spencer are STILL there.The Fortune Teller, who I will call Madame Mystery, is like “There’s a bad couple! There’s darkness in him! More vague predictions and stupid crap to make it sound like I’m talking about Toby and Emily!” Then she turns over a tarot card that says “Say bye bye to your B.F.F.” “Where did this come from?” gasps Madame Mystery. Jeez, Madame Mystery. Read the recaps. (Although, to be fair, A didn’t sign her name this time.)

Commercials, including that horrible State Farm one where the girls keep snapping their fingers and making guys appear on the car, while the insurance agent, who is just trying to do his damn job, looks on. I hate this fucking commercial.

Hallways. Aria stops Hot Teacher Hookup from leaving the dance like a fucking 12 year old. Aria can’t stand the idea of Fitz walking around and hating her. Fitz doesn’t hate her, only himself! She deserves a crappy high school boyfriend, not an adult boyfriend who cooks for her! Then he implies he got a haircut to impress her. I dunno. Can’t we get back to the lesbians or the abstinent nerd?

Dentist office. (hooray! thanks for listening, show!) Lucas if following Hanna down the halls. She slips into the therapist’s office and starts searching through the files. Oh. Well, that was quick.

Cafeteria. Toby’s following Em through the school. She’s upset; he’s hangdog. So, business as usual between these two. “Let’s go somewhere private,” Toby suggests. Your pants, Tobe? No? Just the science lab? Well, that’s still exciting! Erlenmeyer flasks get me hot. Anyway, Emily agrees to accompany him to the darkened science lab, upstairs and far away from all the other people in the building. Emily, have you ever read the book Listening to Fear? You should maybe read that book.

Back to the dance. Alex is all “You seem distracted” to Spencer. Maybe “his work for the night” is done, he suggests. Spencer’s like, “Quoi? The eff?” but then gets a phone call from Hanna. Ignored, Alex walks off. Hanna, in the therapist’s office,can’t find Jenna’s file. Spencer tells her to check under Cavenaugh, since maybe she’s changed her name after her mom married Toby’s dad. Hanna’s phone is dying, but she checks under the Cs. Of course, there is no file for Jenna. Only one for Toby. Dum dum dum! Oh man! It’s almost like we’ve just been told that there’s something going on with Toby! Which they’ve been talking about ALL EPISODE.

Science lab, which is Dark and Foreboding, with sexy Erlenmeyer flasks lining the walls. Too hotfor tv! Toby’s all “Do you want to talk about why you’re upset?” Someone’s been taking notes from his therapist! Toby asks if it’s Maya-related. “Emily, did you come with the wrong person to Homecoming?” Em’s, who doesn’t really want to answer that question, is like “Why are you so nice to me, when you know what we did?” Toby’s also done things he’s not proud of, he says, and then ominously shuts the door. Commercials.

Where’s the pig’s blood?

Show. Melissa, the 40 year old former Homecoming Queen, is presenting the Homecoming king and queen awards. Melissa is like this show’s Jerri Blank, only obviously not funny or awesome or worth more than 10 cents. The winners? Sean and Hanna! Hanna, however, has returned to the dance, and doesn’t particularly care about her crowning, and has pulled Spencer and Aria away to show them Toby’s file. What’s in there?

Flashback! (Drink!) It’s the night that Ali let off the flash bomb in the Cavenaugh garage, thus blinding Jenna. Alison and Toby are arguing. She’s not taking the blame for this thing that she did! Toby will! Or else she’ll tell everyone what she saw through the window before letting off the bomb – Toby and Jenna Doing It. Well! Toby! Who knew you had it in you? Also, are you and Jenna still doing it? How’s the sex life? Do you want to read Flowers in the Attic as a Do and Don’t guide? We have recaps if that helps!

The girls try to text Emily to warn her and then run offto find her. The camera pans around to find Jenna, whohas been eavesdropping in the shadows. Dum dum dum!

Back upstairs in The Science Lab Of Our Discontent, Toby tries to get Emily to stay and hear him out, but Emily has finally figured out that she’s hanging out in a darkened science lab witha crazy dude, and wants to leave. They argue and she pushes Toby into a rack of beakers. No! NOT THE BEAKERS! She runs; he chases her through the school and into the Hall of Mirrors. Emily trips and falls, and the screen goes black on her screams.

The “Welcome to Rosewood, Pop. 7988” sign appears onscreen. Someone with a gloved hand spray paints over the last number and changes the population to 7897. The soundtrack! It swells dramatically! Drama! Intrigue! Or something!


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