Blind Jenna. Reading braille. When she is not blind. Does it get any better? The Liars are across the school courtyard whispering “WTF OMG SOS BLIND” to each other, because they now know that Jenna is a manipulator and has eyeballs. Emily suddenly mentions that she felt safer when Mona wasn’t talking, which isn’t necessary in the moment — maybe Emily is drunk? Spencer says that Hanna has the “subtlety of a hand grenade” because Hanna wants to trip Jenna, and Hanna thinks Spencer has given her the best compliment ever. Emily’s hair looks really great today, but Hanna’s red knit cap does not; did she borrow that thing from Caleb? Jenna is the key to this episode slash the entire show.
Hanna finds Lucas after finishing up her whisper gossip meet-up over Jenna; Lucas is being yelled at by the principal and running away. Lucas is a bad boy now, meaning Hanna probably wants to bone him in a tent in the woods or something. Hanna rejected Lucas when she was confined to a bed in the hospital after flying over a car and the camera could only capture really bad angles of her neck… but now Hanna will want him? Just a sad theory: I like Cute Lil Lucas over Angry Jaded Lucas. Lucas lights a letter to his parents on fire. BAD BOY. Hanna tries to put out the fire by waving a magazine over the burning trashcan. It doesn’t work. Caleb brings water. That works.
Aria agrees to do the recital with Jenna! To get new information! Jenna has really nice fashion sense, especially since she was supposed to be blind. This entire episode I was just wondering who acted as personal shopper for Jenna, and wishing she would join the show as a potential new lesbian for Emily. Jenna makes a lot of double entendres about eyeballs this episode. Ugh. Be mine, Jenna.
Spencer is dressed in a giant belted maxi dress, which is cute, but who wears that to school? Aria is going to Jenna’s to practice for the recital, and mentions that she’s good at running in case it is a trap. This sets off a weird thing where Hanna and Spencer debate if Aria or Hanna knocked over a beehive. Emily revealing that she received a 94 percent on her English test (obviously impossible, because she didn’t finish maybe half of the questions) interrupts this incredibly important beehive debate. Hanna is mad because she doesn’t want Emily to “go all Spencer” on grades. Emily’s biggest concern is that someone is targeting her and that she needs to be paranoid. This is weird. If I were terrorizing a bunch of high school girls and threatening to murder them, I would not waste time boosting their GPAs. But to each their own when planning this sort of thing.
Lucas is doing after-school chem work when Caleb confronts him, which means that Lucas loses his bad boy status from the beginning of the episode. No naked Hanna for you, Lucas! Lucas threatens Caleb by making weird science remarks about icebergs turning over. I just wanted Caleb to call in Spencer as back-up — I’m sure Spencer knows a lot about icebergs. She at least knows more about icebergs than Caleb.
That day, at the Hastings residence, Melissa is sweeping up ashes in the fireplace, Mariska (Spencer’s Mom) reveals that she is Garrett’s pro-bono lawyer, and Spencer has not changed out of her giant dress to something more relaxing. If Law & Order was still on NBC, I have a strong feeling that the entire current season would be a crossover where Mariska defends Garrett. Spencer’s big threat to Mariska over defending Garrett is that he “killed the girl Emily was in love with,” and I didn’t realize was being using as a dramatic epitaph about Ali.
NEXT: To the hospital!Later, still with the Hastings, Melissa is drinking wine like an evil queen, Spencer is still in a fashion show. Melissa mentions that she has only had two glasses of wine after lunch, which means this could either be her third glass or her 87th. Melissa wants Spencer to stop using her imagination regarding Garrett, but Melissa clearly does not know her sister as well as I do: Spencer does not have an imagination, she thrives on facts. That’s it. I am uncomfortable when sisters fight.
Jenna clearly trusts Aria because Aria has the biggest eyeballs, and eyeballs are important to Jenna. Aria is not really playing the piano while practicing for the recital for Jenna, and Jenna is playing the flute into a mirror. Aria is trying to see a secret note about an appointment time, but she forgets she is playing the piano. Last week’s episode promised that Aria was getting smarter, but this episode it not supporting that theory, which makes me really sad. Aria gets the appointment information while Jenna goes to get cookies. At least Aria is successful at her mission, if not intelligent.
Emily mentions that this new A makes it like the Liars are “trying to read a book, but someone keeps ripping out the pages.” Emily! Do you even read? You would have passed your English exam if people didn’t stop ripping pages out of your books! This episode’s biggest non-A subplot is between Ezra and Aria’s Mom on fixing Emily’s exam. Everything is fine because Ezra lies for everyone and no one gets in trouble, but every single interaction had no promise of Ezra and Aria’s Mom sleeping together, so I kind of zoned out. I mean, I didn’t zone out, I just kept imagining Aria’s Mom seeing naked Ezra kissing her underage daughter. I’m really good at taking the romance out of Ezra-Aria (Ezraria? Ezria?). Sorry about that.
Hanna thinks that Garrett and Melissa are together. Her main clue? Garrett accompanied Melissa to the ultrasound. Hanna has started to learn how relationships work, and she has a keen eye on how to use others; Spencer is book smart but Hanna is street smart. I would love to see Hanna go undercover in a future episode, or get her own spin-off where she enters witness protection and opens a cupcake bakery that makes piggy cupcakes! Spencer calls the hospital where Melissa allegedly had her miscarriage, but they do not have medical records from Melissa’s alleged visit. I don’t think you can work at a hospital if you are willing to give up medical records that easily, but Spencer probably convinced the poor woman. Spencer confronts Mariska, and Mariska reveals that something happened to Melissa. Something happened to Melissa’s baby. I think the Hastings family is the most dysfunctional, even though Hanna’s Mom is missing from another episode.
Amidst all of this drama, Hanna is still visiting Mona regularly. Caleb hates this, but Caleb needs to move on and realize that Hanna is getting pretty smart. Mona starts making mental hospital friends by pointing at pictures of models in a fashion magazine, which seems like something Mona would do. Mona also delivers this gem: “I drink a lot of water. My mouth is always really dry. From the pills… It’s like a cleanse.” Mona gets honest with Hanna and says something along of the lines of their relationship having ups and downs and planned murders. Hanna should listen to Caleb. I was very wrong. Mona is so scary.
NEXT: Mona will jam you in the aorta.Mona is getting information from the outside. Lucas is visiting Mona, so he gets a little bit of his new bad boy credit back. Lucas plants the seed that maybe Mona is faking crazy? Hanna is willing to forgive Mona for trying to run her over, because that is no big deal, which is just what best friends do! Hanna also tells Caleb that untangling spaghetti is really hard, and that is how she ends an entire argument about visiting Mona. Hanna is a master orator; she has such a way with words.
Blind Jenna gets into a cab while Aria and Hanna stake out her house for her mystery appointment. Hanna and Aria followed Jenna to a medical building, but then notice Jenna driving away in her blue Emily-kidnapping Mustang. Jenna is using her eyeballs so everything becomes so serious. The Liars band together after noticing Jenna walk into a gun store. The Liars are wearing their craziest afternoon outfits (Aria has earrings made out of spikes and her blouse has weird holes cut from her blouse around the shoulders; Spencer is wearing a vest), and corner Jenna against a chain-link fence in some suburban alley. Does Rosewood have a quasi-alley? Hanna says Jenna is a “sight for sore eyes,” which is funny and amazing and rude and classic Hanna. Spencer is the Smart One, but Hanna is the Hilarious One. That makes Emily the Scared Lesbian and Aria shall be Big Eyes. If I had to pick a big theme for season three, it would definitely be EYEBALLS.
Jenna reveals that she could always see, that she pretended to be blind to protect herself. Jenna looks really pretty. Jenna starts to cry. Jenna rescued Emily instead of kidnapping her because Emily was really drunk. Emily got scared and jumped out of the car, running away from Not Blind Jenna. Jenna is confessing a lot. I wish Jenna could be THE FIFTH LIAR, but that will never happen.
Caleb finally visits Mona in the hospital, because he is sneaky. Mona talks about how much she loves card games, because she uses games to pass the time till everyone is dead!!! Caleb wants information, but Mona is a feisty bitch. She tells Caleb he is “a lousy kisser,” the ultimate insult from a teenager in a mental institute. This great slam is followed by MONA FREAKING OUT AND SCREAMING AND FLIPPING THE CARD TABLE, which might just become a classic PLL moment. The episode ends with Mona singing a sad-scary song in crazy bed and holding a queen of heats playing card. She is in control.
I would like to mention here, just as a little post-script, that Lucy Hale got a recording contract last week! Congrats, Lucy! Let’s just say that I could not be more excited because when a female television star releases an album, I follow. I mean, Hilary Duff ’s Metamorphosis album? Classic.
This episode wasn’t as quick and dirty as the previous two, but we are starting to enter the middle stretch of the season where things get a little more logical. That being said, Jenna and Mona are really bringing a lot of crazy to the table. The necessary “clue” at the end of the episode shows the parts needed for one of the necklace bracelets (lost in the toilet last episode), a glass of gin… aaand a body bag in a giant freezer. The season one “clues” were so innocent compared to this stuff. Does the gin give away the age of new A? Would a senior in high school drink gin on the rocks in a lowball glass? Will we ever see a catfight between Jenna and Mona? Could Hanna become the smartest Liar of them all? Will Emily ever be happy? (Follow-up: Has Emily been listening to too much Fiona Apple?) When will the PLL fashion director release her own line? Until next Tuesday, keep practicing your blind tactics in case you get trapped in a fire and need to pretend your eyeballs are broken to protect your life. Or have a cold glass of gin with a body bag. Good luck.
[Image Credit: ABC Family]
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Did you know there are scientifically documented cases of very young children who had spontaneous memories of things and people and places they could never possibly have known about? Apparently The Return’s screenwriter Adam Sussman discovered this phenomenon and created the character Joanna Mills (Sarah Michelle Gellar) a young woman who since she was 11-years-old has been having disjointed flashbacks of some horrible attack she never experienced herself. She flashes regularly on a dank bar paintings of seahorses and ends up hiding from a man who calls her "Sunshine.” And who knew hearing Patsy Cline on your radio would spell supernatural trouble? The best part is when Joanna has one of these episodes she ends up cutting herself. Needless to say the girl’s a tad screwed up. Eventually Joanna finds herself inexplicably drawn to La Salle Texas where she finally starts to piece together the murder mystery that has been plaguing her for so long. Thank god! Someone just needs to hand Sarah Michelle Gellar a Coke and a smile. Forget about being a scream queen Gellar has become the queen of depression with the two Grudges and now The Return under her belt. She has actually made an art form of sad teary-eyed stares in the mirror sinking onto a bed with head in hand and general malaise. She also plays scared pretty well but deep down you know at any moment Gellar can get all Buffy the Vampire Slayer on whoever is threatening her especially as the tough Joanna. But the actress has to be getting tired of all this despair so let’s hope she decides to move on. The other Return cast members really aren’t worth mentioning except for a brief appearance by Sam Shepherd as Joanna’s dad. One can only imagine he did this for some extra cash. The Return is one of those cases in which the trailer makes the movie look a hell of a lot scarier than it really is which is probably why the studio didn’t pre-screen it for critics. It’s a marketing ploy of course pitching a thriller with an established horror actress attached--except this time they are messing with their built-in audience. Reminiscent of the truly creepy What Lies Beneath The Return may have a few jumps and bumps here and there but as a ghost story there isn’t any oomph. Maybe it has something to do with the ultra-depressive main character who isn’t nearly developed enough. We aren’t invested in what happens to Joanna or the woman periodically possessing her so she can solve her murder. The Return doesn’t measure up to its expectations lulling us instead of thrilling us.