Previously: Emily came out and Mama Fields tried and failed to be OK with it, we learn that Ali had a secret older boyfriend, and Mama Marin proved to be really bad at picking money hiding places.
Know Your Frenemies
Sweeney: We begin the episode in the Hastings home. It’s late at night and Spencer’s creeping. She hears her sister and Ian having a whispered conversation, but runs back to her room when the stairs creek. As soon as she gets back, she has an email from A asking if they married for love or an alibi. Big eyes, Shhh. See, the show has Aria shush us after people do scandalous, sneaky shit.
Lorraine: A always has the best timing. Imagine if Spencer found that email after talking to her parents. Awkward!
Sweeney: The next morning, Spencer tip toes around the house and is all, “AAH YOU KILLED ALI!” when Ian enters the kitchen. She backs away from this potential murderer who is also an ex-boyfriend of hers as he tries to make small talk about his honeymoon and future place. Spencer tries to nonchalantly mention the place Ali went to where she probably saw Ian. It’s a little less stealth when she adds the “Ali disappeared the night she returned” bit. We see Ian still behind her, before shrugging off the bait.
At the Montgomery house, Aria is now wearing dead blue birds from her ears. Aria’s dead bird earring fetish runs too deep for us to Willow-badge her every single time she wears them.
Lor: The thing of it is that it’s pretty much an entire bird, and her face baby sized. The earrings are almost as tall as she is. Also, I hate her.
Sweeney: All excellent points. Maybe our season wrap-up can include a collage of all of Aria’s bird earrings.
Anyway, Papa Cheater tells them that he just learned that Piper Mom is dating other people. Mike is upset, and he brats/storms out.
Sitting outside The Grill (BEFORE SCHOOL. AGAIN WITH THE BEFORE SCHOOL HANGING OUT.) Spencer and Emily are getting breakfast. Spencer is on the phone with that hotel in South Carolina, putting a delightful fake southern accent trying to confirm that Ian and Ali were there at the same time. She’s surprised that Emily doesn’t buy into Spencer’s new Ian theory, since she expected Emily to be pro clearing-Toby’s-name. Spencer points out that Toby lied and Emily says that the are all PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. Not really. She says “If lying was a crime, then we’d all be in jail,” to offer the Ali investigation’s new FBI agent to appear at an inconvenient time.
Sweeney: Hanna arrives and is super apologetic to her mother about losing the badly hidden money. Mama Marin is irritated but tries not to be mad at her because she probably realizes that she chose the dumbest fucking hiding spot ever ever. We see Hanna walk up to the table because she has the quickest healing leg ever and also because liars in casts are less pretty.
FBI Agent tells them that she’s peacing out of Rosewood now that they have a suspect in custody; it’s time for her to go clear the pedophilia from her lungs. After she goes, Spencer informs the other girls that she straight Nancy Drewed that shit and Ian is totally the murderer, since he was at Hilton Head at the same time as Ali.
At school (in the cafeteria – LOL, class!) Hanna awesomes, “Agent Cooper’s not some small town cop whose gonna arrest Spencer’s brother-in-law because Ali carved his name into a tree.” It’s extra funny because Rosewood PD would totally call that sufficient detective work to arrest somebody.
Sara: Hell, Rosewood PD don’t even need the tree. “Someone said you had your name carved into the tree? Arrest this man!”
The girls speculate about Noel/A leading them to the Ali Hearts Ian Tree and what the hell Noel/A is even up to and how he knew about Ian and Ali. They stare at Noel through the window so that Aria can see that Noel is talking to her baby brother for no apparent reason. Spencer wants to get down to business and Hanna tries to update our Nancy Drew reference to Veronica Mars. I approve, Hanna, but Nancy’s a CT original.
Lor: Veronica Mars is on the Spreadsheet ‘o Dreams, though, so maybe one day.
Sweeney: Maya walks up so that she and Emily can be cute. The girls ask about their dating life and Emily tells a TMI joke that the girls don’t realize is a joke because they also don’t expect Emily to be interesting enough to tell jokes. (L: LOL.) (S: YEP.)
Ezrafitz is writing more generic TV class stuff about Gatsby on the board before class. Noel Kahn appears to smarm some more about changing his grade because he needs the grade to stay on the team. This is some borderline ELJ shit — adding layers of crap in order to turn this person who points out that something SERIOUSLY NOT OK is happening into a villain. Some jocks enter and contrivantly ask about Aria, allowing Noel to smarm some more about Aria being way into older guys. And then it gets real. fucking. ELJ., because now Ezrafitz is going to be basing all his decisions on protecting Aria, you see. Fuck everyone. He takes the paper and tells Noel he’ll read it later.
Sara: AND THIS IS ONE OF THE MANY REASONS WHY THIS ‘BANGING THE TEACHER’ THING IS NOT OKAY, TEENAGERS.
Sweeney: And teachers! Teachers, banging the students is not an acceptable thing to do! Less banging and more book learning for everyone on school property.
Hanna goes to her locker and finds another $100 bill with a post-it note taped to her locker. The note tells her to go to a bakery and order Hefty Hanna’s special order. Aria walks up and asks for an after school study date, but Hanna lies about having physical therapy. I’d pull a over that study date regardless of that secret A command, Hanna.
Emily comes up to tell them that Toby is on campus, just as we see Toby, escorted by cops, retrieving stuff from his locker. This bit is rough, because his locker has been tagged and kids are harassing him and what not. Now that we have reason to assume Toby is innocent, I get feels for him, even if the show did spend a dozen episodes convincing me that he’s creepy.
Lor: Plus, they’ve seemed to have added even more hair to his head for reasons that are beyond me. Poor Toby.
Sweeney: At Lucky Leon’s Cupcakes, Hanna is reading an A text message ordering her to eat all the cupcakes then and there in exchange for the money. We see Noel appear to meet some jock bros, just to add to all the misdirection about Noel being A. We see that she has six cupcakes with little pigs on them and sad music plays as she eats them and tears up as she gets laughed at by the table of jocks. Just for good measure, we add a Bulky Sweater Flashback, in which Hanna was eating a pie when Ali shows up to her house. Ali comforts her and tells her that she can show her how to get rid of it.
Lor: This shit is rough. I don’t think I’ve ever been this sad at someone eating cupcakes.
Sara: The worst. Hanna is arguably the most caring PLL, and it sucks seeing her be tormented, especially to cover a secret that isn’t even hers. LEAVE HANNA ALONE, A, YOU FUGLY BITCH.
Sweeney: YES. Hanna’s the one most likely to accept the torture for the sake of a secret that isn’t even hers, too.
Emily’s mom hears Emily and Maya laughing and she looks through the cracks to see the girls feet in the air. Mama Fields walks in and gets all accusatory and isn’t even remotely apologetic when she sees that they were studying. Maya leaves, but not without telling Emily that she did nothing wrong. Emily shows off some more of that backbone that makes me actually like her, saying, “For the first time in my life, I am ashamed that you’re my mother.” Burn. And also fist bump, girl.
Hanna’s reading A texts and has frosting on her face as Aria shows up with coffee, wanting to know why Hanna lied about the physical therapy. Aria’s sweet about it and even wipes the frosting off Hanna’s mouth. These are the moments that I try to remember that even though she’s whiny and bratty, she actually deserves none of my Ezria rage, because she’s the minor student in this inappropriate relationship. She still sucks, but the half dozen scenes we’ve now gotten where she acknowledges that people who aren’t Aria have feelings and problems are nice. More, please, Aria.
Lor: This, as well as the Maya/Emily scene at the cafeteria were super cute friend moments. I love these scenes that show us why these girls are friends.
Sweeney: Agreed. Their scenes together are generally so focused on moving the crazy ass plots forward that I love the occasional reminders that they are actual friends, rather than people who gather to tell the audience about plot developments.
Hanna confesses to Aria that A has something on her mom (though not the what). She also confesses that Ali once got Hanna to vomit after a binge. In the bathroom, she pulls out a paper towel to see “OINK OINK OINK” written on it. She pulls a new one, and finds three of the hundreds taped to it and three more and the next sheet. YAY monies, but this is also a weird ass place for money stashing. Rosewood’s long list of failures includes keeping track of their money.
Sara: I really wish that one day I would go to dry my hands and find stacks and stacks of hundred dolla bills in the paper towels. What a win that day would be!
Sweeney: At the Fields residence, Mama Fields sees that Maya left her backpack in Emily’s room (Emily is not there) so she decides to rummage through it. It seems like she’ll come up blank until she finds a container of Altoids that Maya uses to hide her weed. Having been too innocent a teenager to ever worry about these things, I am amused by the ingenuity of hiding it in such a pungent container. I’m sure the internet will tell me that everyone did this.
Noel Kahn comes to collect his paper. Ezrafitz hands it to him with the same grade. Noel angrily asks if Ezrafitz knows what it means and yes, he does. Noel Kahn makes Villain Face.
Spencer is out running and she sees Toby walking downtown. It doesn’t take long for him to get harassed, being an accused murderer and all. Probably should have seen that coming, Toby. He runs into an alley and Spencer creeps around the corner so that she can see Toby drop down and cry. Feels, Toby. Feels. He was raped by his stepsister (though, as a commenter pointed out, the show never calls this spade a spade), sent to some sort of juvie boarding school for a crime Ali committed, and is now having his life utterly decimated by being falsely accused of Ali’s murder. And he just spent the last dozen episodes being framed by the Zoomy Cameraman and Ominous Music Boombox Carrier! You’ve earned a large number of my feels, kid.
Mama Fields comes into Emily’s room to accuse Emily of doing drugs with Maya. Emily tries to ignore Mama Fields and slaps her hand when Mama Fields grabs Emily’s chin. Mama Fields tries to insist that this isn’t about the lesbian thing. Emily rightly calls bullshit: Mama Fields never would have gone through Maya’s things otherwise. Mama Fields is all, “Yeah, well, Maya’s being sent a way, so too fucking bad.” She also goes for the jugular, telling Emily that her father is just as disappointed in her as Emily is. This is probably only true if Mama Fields lied and said she caught Emily doing drugs with Maya. Snaps to the show for this believable portrayal, but those snaps are not extended to the character of Mama Fields who is a horrid bitch.
Lor: Ye…yeah. I was a little more forgiving of Mama Fields before, for her struggle to accept something so new to her, but this shit is too much. I’m not sure where this lady came up with the idea that smoking weed turns you into a lesbian.
Sara: I thought Maya’s parents were the cool, hip parents that let her do whatever she wanted? And they’re going to ship her off for this? That seems weird.
Sweeney: I meant to say something about that before I got distracted by my hatred of Mama Feels, but yes, agreed. This seems super weird.
At the Montgomery dinner table, Papa Cheater leaves the room so that Aria can grill Mike about Noel Kahn. Aria wants to know if Mike has ever told Noel anything about them, and adds that she shouldn’t trust him. Mike says that Noel was just telling him that Noel will be telling the principal tomorrow that he knows Ezrafitz is having a thing with a student. Papa Cheater enters just then so that he can ask Aria if she’s heard anything about it. Aria says, “Dad, I totally screwed up,” and Mike gets a self-satisfied grin. MIKE IS A!
LOL, but Aria’s not confessing. She says she forgot about a study date with Spencer and runs out. Naturally, after a Not Commercial Break we cut to her arriving at Ezrafitz’s Den of Pedophilia, wanting to know what’s going on. He’s drinking, because he knows he’s probably about to get arrested. He tells Aria how true their love is and he can’t change Noel’s grade or let Noel hurt Aria, so he’ll be resigning and leaving Rosewood tomorrow. ONE CAN ONLY HOPE. Then he adds, “Hey, even though this doesn’t look right, it has always felt right, and I will not let him change this into something that feels wrong.”
(1) I HATE HIM FOREVER. (2) You guys, I can’t take this. This is the kind of bullshit logic Ezria fans use to defend this, isn’t it? Well, Ezria fans, you will not find a safe home for your bullshit here, because we have spent the last year telling defenders of awful things to go fuck themselves. (3) Yes, Ezrafitz, sex feels super right, because biology is awesome that way. But your relationship with your 16-year-old student? IT’S SUPER FUCKING WRONG. (4) NO, whatever kind of douche Noel is for the grade-changing blackmail, he is NOT some dastardly villain who is responsible for making this relationship feel wrong. The only thing that Noel Kahn is doing, re: your relationship, is planning to tell some authorities about your illegal, inappropriate relationship. That, quite frankly, makes him the good guy! The fact that this show is shaming a teenager for coming forward about the illegal, inappropriate behavior of his teacher is FUCKING. AWFUL.
Lor: This message is approved by all of the Snark Ladies.
Sweeney: I’m glad my rage is shared. Excuse me while I punch something instead of watching the rest of this Ezria makeout scene.
Spencer Hastings is studying, because she’s the only one who actually goes to school (sometimes Emily and Maya too) and also suspiciously eyeing Ian’s boxes which probably hide murder proof. She is interrupted by Melissa’s return. Spencer goes to pick up a bag that Melissa dropped and it turns out to be a pharmacy bag containing an ovulation kit. Melissa swears Spencer to secrecy and confesses that she’s trying to get preggo. Spencer’s all DAFUQ? you’ve been together for 8 seconds, have never discussed wanting kids, and are also supposedly working on your MBA. When Melissa says being the best is no longer a big deal to her, Spencer awesomely reminds her that she wanted that shit last week and groans accordingly when Melissa gushes about the thought of a mini-Melissa or mini-Ian running around.
Ian returns to be annoyed that Melissa shared their secret. He agrees, though, that Spencer is an A+ secret-keeper. You know, because he once pedo dated her.
Lor: Ian is really messing with my memories of some A+ Disney Channel Original Movies. He sucks.
Sweeney: Aw, this is so sad but true. Rude, Ian.
Hanna stuffs the money back into the lasagna box as Mama Marin walks in. Mama Marin knows when Hanna tries to bullshit about what she was doing. Hanna confesses to finding it in the bathroom at Lucky Leon’s, which is technically true. Mama Marin pours herself some wine and tells Hanna to find a better place to hide the money. No shit.
Their conversation was also cute mother/daughter talk about knowing when Hanna’s lying, but refusing to tell Hanna what her tell is. Hanna then hilariously goes up to the hallway mirror and says, “I am still a virgin.” “I am not a virgin.” I died. For what it’s worth, I think she blinked a bit more the second time.
Den of Pedophilia. Ezria continue to suck and I have run out of fucks to give.
At school, Hanna jumps on the MELISSA PREGNANT IS AWFUL bandwagon, though she says Melissa’s too much of a badass to be manipulated by Ian. MELISSA IS A! (L: You’re so good at this.)
This interrupted by Emily’s arrival at school, telling them that Maya is now being sent off to Bad Kid Camp, and Emily didn’t even get to say goodbye. Poor thing.
Ezrafitz gets a dramatic music slow motion walk down the hall as he goes to accept his pedophilia fate. This is interrupted by Noel Kahn getting caught with stolen answers to three mid-terms. THE COPS ARE THERE FOR THIS. Hilarious. Better yet, the girls all get A-nonymous texts that say, “A is for Alison, not amateur.” LOL. I hate A for interrupting this much needed Ezrafitz take down, but I also appreciate what a snarky bitch A is. Snark Ladies have to know and respect other Snark Ladies when we see them.
At Spencer’s house, Aria’s gushing about how A saved her relationship and Hanna’s all, “Yeah, well, remember when A tried to kill me?” (S: BEST.) Spencer breaks it down for the girls and the audience, saying it was because A assumed Hanna knew A’s identity, when she actually did not. Hanna’s still got good reason to be pissed, girls; somehow that “Oops, my bad” doesn’t wipe off the attempted murder resentment. Melissa enters and they make small talk. Hanna awesomes some more about how her mom thought marriage was great until her dad turned into a cheater. Melissa smugly says that she’s sure Ian won’t look at other women. Aria gives Spencer, “Welp, that’s awkward!” face.
Melissa leaves and Emily arrives, still sad pandaing. The girls are all excited and tell her to go up to Spencer’s room. There, of course, she finds Maya, lighting a millionty candles. They have all the feels and are generally adorable, even if that candle count is a totally unnecessary fire hazard.
Sara: This is just the sweetest to me. Like Lor said earlier, I love seeing scenes that really show why these girls are friends. They’re all pretty awesome sometimes.
Sweeney: Truth. Super cute friend move.
Downstairs, the girls go through Ian’s boxes. Aria finds a news article about Ali, which Spencer insists that everyone kept. This town keeps getting weirder and weirder. We get more shaky-camera-lurking-outside shots to tell us that the girls are being watched. They hear music and giggles from Spencer’s room. We cut there and see more Maya/Emily being cute and dancing. Spencer’s a pretty damn good friend for offering up her bedroom for friend sexy times.
Lor: And not laying down plastic sheets every where.
Sweeney: Eventually, Maya’s gotta go, and they have a tearful goodbye that is watched by the bush lurker. Inside, Emily says that Maya is being sent to a place called True North which is apparently a Jesus Reform Camp of some sort. Spencer repacks the boxes, because they found nothing. Just then, they get an A text, telling them to turn on Emily’s computer. We once again watch the Ali-knows-you-want-to-kiss-her video. This time it gets even longer. We see the camera turn on Ian, telling Ali to come closer (the audience has seen this, though the girls haven’t) before Ali drops the camera. Then we hear gaspy noises and see Ali’s hand in the dirt, wearing her bracelet.
So, clearly the message the girls take is, “We just heard Ali get murdered and saw her dying hand.” As this is only 1×13 and we have a lot of show to go, I’m keeping “They were actually hooking up and the Ominous Boombox Carrier is trying to trick us,” as an option on the table.
The girls hear a noise outside. We see footsteps running through the woods, and then girls running and asking if anyone sees anything before giving up and turning back.
Sara: I can’t stop staring at that hair flip. It is magical.
Sweeney: Synchronized Hair Flipping is the best BFF super power ever.
Next time on Pretty Little Liars: Aria’s former babysitter tries to make a play for Ezra, because that isn’t weird at all, in S01 E14 – Careful What U Wish 4.