snark squad | where nostalgia comes to die

Pretty Little Liars S01 E04 – It’s not going to happen.

, and on May 24, 2013 · 27 comments in Pretty Little Liars,Season 1,TV

Previously: The Liars want to memorialize A and also make questionable decisions, considering they are being investigated for murder.

Can You Hear Me Now

Sweeney: Hanna is in lots of trouble with her mom partly for wrecking her boyfriend’s car, but mostly for the fact that there are cops at her house again and she can’t sex her way out of this one for Hanna. Poor Mama Marin. It seems like this is the first time she found a problem her vagina couldn’t solve.

The PLL’s are talking about the exciting new memorial bench the town is putting in and the flowers they’ll plant and BFF tiles they will all make for Alison. Hanna still has Alison’s bracelet and she is not happy about it. The other girls hesitate, but Spencer takes it and tells the girls to grow the fuck up.

Then she uses technology magic to instantly block all messages (email, text, phone calls) from people she does not know, via the Verizon website, because there are a lot of unsubtle Verizon plugs cropping up in this show. THIS EPISODE IS STRAIGHT UP NAMED AFTER A VERIZON CAMPAIGN. The other girls take turns performing this technological wizardry.

They spot Ezrafitz riding by on a bike and Aria gets real awkward while the other girls talk about how mega hot he is. They all want to bang him, but they don’t know that Aria’s already on it!

The PLL’s then get all proud of themselves for being internet magicians, now immune to their undead stalker. “Out of mind, out of sight,” is the cue for a piece of paper to blow at their feet. Aria picks it up and it’s Alison’s “MISSING” poster, with the words “Ding Dong the Bitch is Dead” written in red marker. They crumple up the paper and scurry off as the credits roll. Aria’s Big Eye Shh is really starting to annoy me and we’re only four episodes in.

ding dong the bitch is dead

Lorraine: This entire pre-credits opening made me straight up LOL. First, how awkward that they were all sitting at the bench finding convenient ways to update the audience on all the things going on! Second, the acting. Nothing more to say on that.

Sweeney: It’s really nice of them to keep the audience posted like that, though! Thanks girls!

At school, Maya bought Emily an excuse-to-touch-you-and-comment-on-your-hotness scarf. Emily is awkward, due to her not being ready to communicate those feelings via scarves in public.

In the cafeteria all the girls have Starbucks cups. Again I marvel at how insanely early these kids all start their day. Spencer didn’t get to go to Europe with her family but she doesn’t care because who wants to sit next Melissa on a seven hour flight? Hanna gets a phone call that makes her anxious, but it turns out to be her dad, who she hasn’t spoken to since he walked out on her.

Aria again plugs this weird “loop” thing that Verizon tried to make happen. It clearly failed.

Lor: stop trying to make fetch happen

Sweeney: Thank you.

Emily bumps into Creepy Toby and Aria goes all, OMG HE COULD BE A. Spencer gives no fucks.

Aria goes to see Ezrafitz and tell him about how her friends think he has hot legs, because that’s not awkward. Ezrafitz is all, “Well, what are the awkward circumstances?” which only adds to the smarm vibe I’m getting. To be fair, anything other than, “THIS WAS A BAD THING AND IT NEEDS TO STOP,” would add to the smarm factor. So he, of course, does the exact opposite and tells her to come over for dinner that night.

Sara: And they’re having this whole stupid conversation at school, in his room, with the classroom doors wide open so that anyone can eavesdrop on their pedobear relationship. 

Sweeney: HOW HAS HE NOT BEEN FIRED YET?

Hanna’s going to maybe see her dad that night, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up because parents on TV tend to err on the side of failure. Emily also rains on the parade by suggesting that he’s only there because she totaled her boyfriend’s car for not having sex with her. Awkward.

Spencer’s AP Russian History teacher randomly appears to tell her that he submitted the paper she plagiarized to a national essay contest. Weee!

Emily stuffs the love scarf in her locker before going into her science class where conveniently Toby is the only person already there, because he just transferred in. Creepy Toby creeps that her love scarf looked good on her.

Lor: I love how the scarf really did become a giant lesbian symbol. Stuffing it in the (closet) locker. Lesbianism looks good on you. Her friends ask her if the lesbian scarf is “new.” WARDROBE IS IMPORTANT, PEOPLE.

Sweeney: Toby is assigned to be Emily’s lab partner, because The Great Contrivance Spirit gets around Traumaland. She opens her book to find the missing photostrip from the party inside. Awkward. Also: that same chemistry book edition once ruined my life for the way less interesting reason that it simply was my chemistry book. Traumatic high school flashback.

Aria comes home and her mom, Piper from Charmed, is cooking, but Aria won’t be there because she’s “having dinner at Spencer’s.” Her brother will be out too, so PiperMom is stoked that she’ll have dinner with just Papa Cheater. We do the Dad’s Infidelity flashback again, only this time it continues so that we see Alison trying to get Aria to tell her mom. In the present day, she thinks about it, but chickens out.

Hanna is trying on clothes to impress her dad, with Spencer’s help. A jacket that is “so not Hanna” is chosen as ideal, since this is the first time he’ll be seeing her since she lost the weight. Hanna also gets reassurance from Spencer that they haven’t received any new messages from A.

Sara: WAIT. Hanna used to be fat?

Lor: NO WAY. When did they tell us this?

Sweeney: Never.

Emily confronts Maya at work about the pictures, and accuses her of being the one to hide them in her book. Maya didn’t do it and her reaction is generally, “NBD, yo! We look hot!” Emily’s not cool with this, though, because it means somebody else has seen the picture of them making out, so Maya awkwardly says she has to get back to work.

Hanna and her mother stand at the mirror in their entryway, prettying themselves up for her dad. They hug and guys did you know that Ashley Benson used to wear a fat suit? Fat Hanna references would be a great Snark Squad drinking game except that it would lead to actual death. Dad then kicks Mama Marin in the emotional gut by saying that he had meant for this dinner to be a father/daughter thing.

marin

Outside, she realizes that he lied to her and did come back because of her vehicular struggles. She’s angry and wants him to get the yelling-at-her thing over with now. He does manage an actual parent moment of how he’s there to get her through a rough spot, though he doesn’t hear me ask him how that seemed appropriate after he failed to communicate with her at all for however long, EVEN AS SHE WAS DEALING WITH THE DISAPPEARANCE/DEATH OF HER BEST FRIEND. Hanna is placated by this, though, and agrees to go to dinner with him.

In Ezrafitz’s apartment, Aria is marveling at his typewriter, so they can talk about how intellectual they are by acknowledging that books exist. E. L. James already taught us that if you want to write a smart character, they’re supposed to mention that they’ve seen a book at some point.

Lor: I have to mention that the song playing in the background has the lyrics, “when I’m 21, she’ll be 35.” And the song goes on to be about a weird younger man, older woman relationship. SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE?

Sweeney: SO CLEVER, SHOW.

Aria brings up her parents, and throws a temper tantrum when Ezrafitz mentions a possible explanation that she hasn’t considered before. It’s mentioned again that Aria’s a child, but Ezrafitz is all, “No, I don’t think you’re a child, because then it would be awkward that I want to be on you.” But Aria’s temper tantrum must run its course, so she storms out.

Lor: I really hate her in this scene. Just apart from the fact that she is a teen, she’s a bratty, selfish one at that.

Sweeney: Yup. I’m torn because Ezrafitz is absolutely the key inappropriate one here, but Aria’s general brattiness, coupled with her false conviction that she’s totes super mature is really irritating.

At school the next day, Hanna is gushing to the other PLLs about how much fun she had with her dad. She had the best time ever and he told her about some of what’s going on, which gets a bit of a look from the other girls. Hanna’s way excited about how perfect things are which my TV skillz tell me means that they are about to be very not good.

In class, Ezrafitz asks a provoking question about Atticus, to get the kids defensive. I think the writers heard me talking about characters who talk about books without ever actually reading them. Sorry, show, I forgot to  mention the caveat that characters do read some of the words in books when they are useful plot devices. Aria challenges Ezrafitz and they get into a whole back-and-forth that is ultimately cut off by a kid cough-laughing. When asked to elaborate, Cough Laugher makes a point that undermines Aria’s and Ezrafitz is inappropriately defensive of her. This whole scene just made me really uncomfortable.

Lor: Especially because the Cough Laugher keeps using the phrase, “get the kid off.” YES. WE UNDERSTAND. PEDO-BEAR STUFF.

Sweeney: In the halls, Emily goes to her locker and hears jocks laughing behind her. She turns around to see Creepy Toby opening his locker to overflowing shaving cream. Emily sadpandas for a hot second before deciding its his problem and she has no intention to speak to or acknowledge him.

That night, Hanna appears to be eating at the same restaurant that she ate with the other PLLs because dining options in Rosewood are limited. (S: And earlier in the episode, she told the PLLs her dad was taking her somewhere “really nice.” LOL.) Dad suggests that maybe Hanna was acting out in the car crash situation because of Alison. Before she even has an opportunity to respond, a woman and a teenage-ish girl enter — his fiancee and her daughter! Wow. We know a thing or two about how not to raise children, and even by Traumaland’s low standard, that’s some ferociously bad parenting. Like considering-naming-a-snark-award-after-you bad parenting.

Lor: The mom is a brunette and step-daughter is a blonde. Like, how much more obvious can he be about this substitute family?

Sweeney: It’s a little creepy.

Spencer is sitting on her bed with the lights out when she hears noises and runs downstairs. It’s stormy and she’s home alone. YOU TURN ALL THE LIGHTS ON WHEN THAT HAPPENS, GIRL. Are other people actual adults and not terrified of this scenario? (L: ME.)

Downstairs the noise, however, turns out to be Wren, who has drunkenly showed up with a flower that he took from their garden. He hasn’t stopped thinking about her and wants to make everything right for her and somehow showing up drunk seemed like the way to do that according to wronglogic. He drops the plant and when they both go down to pick it up, they almost kiss. Spencer is the one to shut this highly inappropriate situation down, though, winning her the highest of fives from me. I know it won’t last, and that’s all on the med student who hits on high schoolers, but snaps for you, girl.

summon your father

It’s not worth much, though, because the shot jumps to the bushes just outside, with the creepy red record frame. PLL’s undead stalker is filming this total nothing interaction.

Sara: Seriously, what is A going to say on the note with that video? “Look at Spencer and Wren! Standing! And uh…. well, just standing really closely to each other. SUSPICIOUS, EH?”

Sweeney: VERY SUSPICIOUS STANDING INDEED.

Aria pounds on Ezraftiz’s door and starts yelling at him for calling her immature and then embarrassing her in that totes awkward way that made everyone in class know they were hooking up. Sort of. Maybe I embellished a little. She adds that he needs to STFU about her parents because he doesn’t know them or her. He’s all, “You’re right; I don’t know you!” and shuts the door so they can “get to know each other.”

This whole, “We just met and now we’re in love and I totes KNOW YOUR SOUL except Oh Wait I Don’t Know You,” thing is all too familiar in the worst possible way.

Sara: My favorite part is when Aria is like, “Maybe my parents just have to work this out on their own,” like it’s some fucking revelation when EZRAFITZ JUST FREAKING SAID THAT TWO SCENES AGO. Just another reminder that no matter how old Aria believes her soul to be (32), she is still a teenager.

Sweeney: An annoying one, too.

Back at Spencer’s house, Wren is apologizing for ruining her life. Spencer also unconvincingly says that her dad isn’t so bad. She adds that she’s really sorry she hurt her sister because you don’t do that to family. Fair. Except that Melissa’s a megabitch who had it coming.

At Hanna’s Horrible Father Bonding Dinner, her future sister-in-law is bragging about her sailing skillz and the fiancee suggests that she give Hanna lessons! Dad decides to follow this up by discussing how she’s going to work off the damage to the car with her boyfriend’s dentist mother. It’s like he’s trying to be bad at this.

Because of reasons, Creepy Toby is taking out the trash at the same time that Emily goes out to the dumpster to tear up and throw away the I Kissed A Girl filmstrip. Creepy Toby confronts her about her reluctance to be lab partners. He’s pretty cool about it, even though Emily expresses general sadpandaness over his being tormented. He says that while it sucks, there’s not much he can do, so he just deals with it.

Emily asks him if he saw the IKAGfilmstrip in her book that day (in less detail) and he says that he assumed she didn’t want anyone to see it, which isn’t an answer, but she accepts it anyway. Creepy Toby then asks her about swimming and ties this all together by talking about how people will see whatever they want to see and gives her a whole YOU DO YOU pep talk before going back inside.

Sara: And if we’re playing How Creepy is Toby’s Face, on a scale of one to AHHHHH, I’d give it a ….Weird.

creepytoby

Lor: OKAY FINE. HIS FACE IS WEIRD.

Sweeney: Back at the Pedophilia-Gonna-Get-You-Fired Den, Ezra Fitz and Aria joke over food. Then Aria talks about her big controlling all the things dramz. Then she tells a weird story about her aunt’s stuffed cat that doesn’t really serve a purpose except to say that much like stuffing cats doesn’t bring them back to life, pretending things don’t change won’t fix them? I think that was maybe the point. Ezrafitz invites Aria to spend the night, but Aria’s gotta go because she’s a child with a bedtime.

Spencer is saying goodbye to Wren as Hanna shows up to take her home. Wren says he was telling the truth about wishing he met her first before kissing her. Oh, so you wish you had been hanging around 16-year-olds in between med school classes? K, cool.

Spencer tells him that she’s over her Bad Decisions quota, solidifying her status as my favorite. In my other favorite’s car, Hanna hears a radio dedication from “her best friend A” and it’s “I don’t need you any more.” Spencer gets in the car and wants to talk about the makeout situation, but Hanna’s focused on how their undead stalker managed to get around Verizon’s crack security.

Emily is out wandering the streets of Rosewood and conveniently runs into Maya, even though nobody but them is out and about. Maya sasses her a bit at first, but is on the whole pretty chill and understanding. Emily says that she needs time. Maya understands and they part ways.

Aria goes home and decides it’s time to tell her mom. Piper is sitting on the couch reading a letter. When Aria says she has something she needs to tell her, Piper hands Aria the letter and leaves the room. It’s a note from A about the infidelity, which adds that if she doubts any of it, she should just ask her daughter. Womp.

Lor: That is some legit bitchery. It takes A from a whole new level of threats and funny-for-me text messages to actually ruining their lives. Damn.

Sweeney: Hanna is freaking out about the A situation as they walk into Spencer’s place. They see that the potted plant that broke has been picked up and left on the table, meaning that somebody has been in the house. They run upstairs to check for Alison’s bracelet and gasp when they turn around and see something.

Before the big reveal, we cut to both Emily and Aria getting S.O.S. text messages from Spencer. Turns out that the words “It won’t be that easy bitches -A” have been written on Spencer’s mirror in lipstick, which the girls all immediately identify as Jungle Red, which was Alison’s color. True friends know the names and precise shades of each other’s lipstick colors? Except I don’t think Alison has ever been wearing lipstick in any of the flashbacks we’ve seen, so it was just her hypothetical color.

mirror

 

Next time on Pretty Little Liars: Ignoring A has it’s consequences but also, this is high school so the girls deal with boy drama in S01 E05 – Reality Bites Me.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. Now people pay me to edit YouTube videos. The circle of life. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.





Sara (all posts)

I'm a married old lady of 25 who is currently pregnant and eating all the things. ALL THE THINGS. I work full time and consider myself "in between" semesters of college, because that sounds better than, "I have 8 classes left and just can't force myself to finish." There's a whole lot of Internet out there, and I plan on reading all of it before I die.





Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.





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  • lev36

    This show truly is the Pedobears’ Picnic.

    Props to Maya for being cool – so far, she may be the only truly mature character on the show.

    • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

      Probably because she’s a vampire who is one thousand years old.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        You gain a little maturity when you’ve been a teenager for 20 years. You start to get it right.

    • Regina

      Pedobears’ Picnic – LOVE.

      • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

        New name for Rosewood? I think so.

  • http://twitter.com/WillieSun Wilhelmina Upton

    I’m pretty sure that Allison was actually a Slytheen and didn’t die and instead just found another skin suit, namely that of Ezra and he/she is out to ruin Aria by first making her fall in love with him/her.

    Until now I was able to look past Aria’s annoyingness because she is pretty but not anymore. http://24.media.tumblr.com/49d908a0eb0bfc4f2774d37f127f3977/tumblr_mm55czJRJ01qh2o7zo6_250.gif That was some really stupid stuff. Idk but in my head her mom is not that oblivious towards her husbands adventures. I just cannot care about that story line, sorry.

    There was not enough Emily/Kendra cuteness in this episode. Though it was appropriate, I missed them being all nice with each other. Even the scarf couldn’t mend things between them. “throw away the I Kissed A Girl filmstrip” Did you mean the I kissed a girl and I liked it filmstrip. LOL. Great title choice though. A+

    The thing that probably annoys me most about this episode is the fact that nothing surprised me. Of course Hanna’s father was getting married again. OF COURSE. Not an original story line AT ALL. And, you know, Ezra and Aria being stupid idiots didn’t help either.

    • http://www.saraswearsalot.blogspot.com/ Sara

      Aria really is SO PRETTY. I’ve tried to debate myself on which PLL I think is prettiest, and I never get anywhere. They’re all gorgeous in completely different ways, and I think the casting director did a fabulous job picking girls who stood out from each other.

      OMG IF ALI WAS EZRA. That would make up for this whole shit story line. And I could totally see Alison coming up with such an elaborate plan. Girlfriend is a bitch.

      • http://twitter.com/WillieSun Wilhelmina Upton

        YES! Why must they all be so pretty? I think Emily is my favourite though ( I always liked Sporty Spice the most so it seems appropriate).

        I mean, all we saw was a body bag, we didn’t see the actual corpse and I am still doubtful as to A actually being dead. I don’t think she is. There, I said it. Depending on the condition her remains were found in and the exceptional bad investigative skillz of the Traumaland PD everything is possible. Even a sex-change-body-swap.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          I go back and forth who I think is the prettiest and I agree with Sara- they did a phenomenal job picking four very different types of pretty. Emily tends to top my list as far as just straight looks. She is gorgeous and I love the olive skin/dark hair combination. HOWEVER. The actress is so bland and awkward to me and Emily is my least favorite character. Plus, they usually put her in such boring attire. The other girls get more opportunities to look pretty, if that makes sense.

          • Polge Clément

            Funny, for me Hannah is clear number one (especially in the opening), Spencer a close number two, and Arya/Emily tied at 4. Especially when you see Arya sideways, she has even more chin than Matt Smith, not sexy.

      • lev36

        Spencer definitely has my vote as the most beautiful. And, yes, Ezra, despite the wrongness of what he’s doing.

        • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

          The boys on the show are not to be overlooked. They are all adorable. Well, we’ve established the creepy Toby tends to have a creepy face, but otherwise.

  • Regina

    “Poor Mama Marin. It seems like this is the first time she found a problem her vagina couldn’t solve.” BEST.

    • http://thelatepartygirls.com Lorraine

      RIGHT? Sweeney is the best.

      • Regina

        Sweeney don’t ever change :)

  • Polge Clément

    I love the radio message in this, it seems so desperate… What are the odds that they’d hear it ?

    And for a stalker, going from “doing a random radio dedication” to “writing threatening stuff on your bedroom mirror”, at least A has a large panel of actions.

  • EmilyHornburg

    I don’t understand the Starbucks thing either. I mean, now that I’m an adult and have a full time job I start many days with Starbucks, but not every day. When I was in high school, IF I had coffee it was with the couple dollars my mom gave me and I would go across the street to 7-11 and get a $1 coffee thing.

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  • Meagan Malachite

    I’m going to continue processing my reaction to ageism as I go through the recaps here. I’ve been watching the show too. I talked with a friend of mine tonight about this and she used some great words to describe my issue with the languaging here. Calling Aria a child is insisting on this binary of adult/child. Life isn’t a binary just as there are not only men and women, but intersex people, or not only gay and straight people, but all varieties of queer including bisexual, pansexual, etc. Why do folks feel uncomfortable acknowledging the gradual transition to adulthood? Do people really think you magically transform from a child to an adult at midnight on your 18th birthday?

    Why can’t we talk about human development with more nuance and complexity than the adult/child binary? Is it because people think that is the *only* way to protect people from sexual exploitation?

    I can see issues and conflict emerging in Aria/Ezra’s relationship here, and age plays into it, but these issues come up in non-age difference relationships as well. Who hasn’t had someone try to give them unwanted advice about a situation they are observing from the outside? Why does Ezra think he is the expert on her parent’s lives? If it was a little more forceful I’d even call it mansplaining. I understand why she was upset. Even if he has a meaningful insight, she knows more about her family then he does.

    As for the classroom situation, that was horrible, and he should not have talked to the other student like that at all. But again I see that as primarily a result of the dual-relationship thing, rather than being any direct result of their age difference. The same thing could happen in a college class where both parties are over the legal majority, and the solution would be to transfer to a different class. As for the comparison with her dad, the primary problem there is that he cheated on his wife, moreso than that it was with a student.

    #consentisafeeling #ariahasagency (I never make hashtags, but these just came to me.)

    • http://mynameismarines.com/ Mari

      Spoiler alert: it’s not going to change. I mean, feel free to keep reading through and processing as you would like, obviously, but I hate Aria’s character, I hate Ezra Fitz even more, and this relationship makes me feel pukey and rage-y for a number of reasons. Those are the feelings that you will keep seeing on repeat-peat-peat up until the most recent recap we’ve posted.

      I quickly just put ‘child’ in Google. I mean, I tried to explain this in my first reply to you, but specifically here’s where I’m getting at: I don’t think that we are insisting on any binary adult/child thing. In fact, we call them teems like 3-4 times in this recap, so I assure you, we know they are teenagers. Two things on this front:

      1- The all powerful Google agrees with me that there is more to the meaning of “child” than just “below puberty.” I’d paste it all here, but the format is wonky and #effort. You are going through these recaps two years after they’ve been written and trying to back-apply your own, strict definition of what we mean when we call Aria a child. As I said previously, I think she’s bratty and immature, YMMV, etc. ALSO, it isn’t just a case of her being a bratty teen, but a badly written one? I think the actress does well, but something about her character misses for me. I’d take a whiny Dawn from Buffy, who we BIG TIME rooted for and loved, over Aria any day. Any. damn. day.

      2- We also call her a Gerber baby. Because it’s snarky. We also say Toby’s face is weird and does things “like a murderer.” We call Emily a lesbian, even though she may well be bisexual, or on any point of the spectrum that isn’t neatly quantified by a term. We use the term “pedo” a lot because it’s easy to tack on to other words for maximum snarky effect, even though what happens here is completely NOT pedophilia and we know that, swearsies. Etc, etc. We realize Aria isn’t actually a Geber baby, or any of these other things, but again, it’s, like, what we do.

      We saw this happen A LOT back in the Buffy days. People would come into a recap and thrash about in the comments about how MEAN we were to Spike, because we called him Ramen Noodle Head, or some other crap. I think it happened in one recap where we had also called Riley a dolt and Xander an idiot, but THAT was totally okay. No one said a word about that, just the time we insulted Spike because that was mean.

      All the other ways we use sarcasm are okay but calling Aria a baby when she’s being petulant isn’t? I don’t know how to even begin to navigate that.

      I just re-read this recap quickly here, and I can’t say we’ll be perfect going forward, but from what I remember and what I read here, we place the responsibility for any “wrongness” in this relationship on Ezra. To repeat something I think I already said, but this whole teenager girls played by 20/30 year olds in relationships with older men is something that tends to crop up in media frequently. You may not agree with statutory rape laws, I may not agree with them, but they are a thing that exist and that media likes to ignore a lot. Does Aria have agency? Of course! Does her fictional relationship set in a fictional town in PA break the real-life laws of statutory rape in that state? Yeeep. Feel about that as you may, but we call it out where we see it. A lot of that has to do with how this website started, and back when we were recapping books directed at children and adolescents.

      I will say about these kinds of laws, though, that they aren’t meant to govern the feelings of adolescents but the behavior of adults. I don’t think we’re telling Aria to not feel how she does toward Ezra. Ezra should not be acting the way that he does toward his student. Especially, especially in a position of power because this is where #consentisafeeling gets reaaal hairy and complicated. Ezra has power over Aria granted in a way outside of whatever their relationship is and that is just not okay with me and never will be.

      I don’t know how often I’ll pop in as you comment along, but I just wanted you to know that these were my feelings then, these are my feelings now and these will continue to be my feelings. All of these different things get wrapped up in snark and presented to you in recaps, but as far as I’m concerned:

      – Aria is childish and immature and self-centered a lot of the time.
      – Ezra Fitz should not have pursued a relationship with Aria. Some because of the age difference (which is never confirmed, because the writers have to keep it nice and vague to fully push this onto their audience of tweens and teens) but mostly because he is her teacher. He could lose his job for this. He could go to jail. He is using the time he is supposed to be teaching other students to engage with Aria about their personal issues. That is to say nothing spoiler-y about what we learn much later about his true motivations for seeking this relationship with Aria. Just, NO. FOREVER.
      – I don’t get what this show’s fascination is with putting the high school girls with non-high school boys. Why are all these men picking their dates from the high school? WHY?

      Sorry we don’t see eye to eye here! Figured I’d warn you though that if you aren’t “enjoying” these recaps now, there isn’t much hope of you getting there down the line. Of the four people who have recapped this show, I’m 100% sure 3 of them dislike Aria and haaate Ezra. I’ve never asked Jessica outright but I’d feel pretty comfortable saying she feels similarly.

      • Clément Polge

        Also, I’d kinda like to point out that, as far as age differences go, Buffy pretty much takes the win (Angel was about 250 years old, while Spike was a young spry fellow of about 100), but she didn’t took anywhere as much crap, because the awkward power dynamic of PLL wasn’t there.

        Also: “That is to say nothing spoiler-y about what we learn much later about his true motivations for seeking this relationship with Aria. Just, NO. FOREVER.”: I LAUGHED SO HARD HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Meagan Malachite

        Hi, yeah I figured that I’d continue to drive myself crazy by reading these and was wondering whether or not I want to continue. This is different from the Spike thing I think in that didn’t most of those people defending Spike come in as being already Buffy fans who had a thing for him before reading the recaps? I’m watching this show for the first time, and was turned onto it by this website. My point: It isn’t from a previous watch where I wasn’t using a critical lens and developed attachments to characters/relationships, my perspective is from my current watching where I am being offered your guys’ critical lens–which on other shows I’ve often found insightful and agreed with, but in this case, don’t.

        So, sorry if I’m driving you crazy with my comments, and I don’t expect you to reply to all/any of them unless you are called to. Someone else might come through at some point and it may be an interesting part of the discussion for them. (Which I am curious about, as someone who has followed along with some current recaps and also gone through old ones, how often do other people do that?)

        And, as I go through the show and see more problems emerge in Aria and Ezra’s dynamic, I have criticisms of many of their choices too. My response to how I think they should do it differently comes from a different lens that is mostly focused on the problem of their dual relationship, and also that Ezra doesn’t seem super aware-acknowledge-y of the power imbalance. I think that’s something that would be crucial to have a functional age difference relationship.

        As Clement pointed out here, Buffy didn’t get nearly as much flak about Angel or Spike, and I think this is both because they didn’t have a dual relationship, and because it takes places in a fantasy world where we are willing to suspend concern with mundane laws for vampires. But if they weren’t vampires, both of those men are still in their 20’s while she was a teenager (going from when they were turned). (Speaking of Buffy getting flak, this is part of my issue here too, that I see Aria taking a lot more snark than Ezra despite claims that he is the responsible one.)

        Last comment, in response to the thing about high school girls wanting to date older boys: This was a phenomenon I saw in my circle of friends around high school age, and I think it is a maturity/experience thing. Crucial to this I want to say that I think it is mostly SOCIAL, not biological–not trying to advocate gender essentialism here. Y’all may think Aria is really immature, but in general I think girls are socialized to mature earlier because in this culture we are assigned to take care of the emotional aspects of life, such as interpersonal communication, feeling awareness, etc. Boys, not being assigned to learn these things, have to learn by trial and error more, and thus an older one might have it a little more together. The same is true for sexual skill: Most teenage boys don’t know what the hell they are doing because we teach abstinence-only education in school, but an older guy might have a slightly better idea (sometimes very slightly) because of trial and error experience. When I was 16 high school boys did not feel like my peers. This is partly because I tested out of high school early, took a gap year, and then went to college at 16. So high school boys felt so much younger than me. I dated 18 and 19 year olds at 16, and they felt like my peers. I think many people in high school are ready to move out of the authoritarian K-12 system and would be happy to test out and take college classes of their choosing if they were supported in this by their parents/the social structure.

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