Apparently a lot has happened since we left Rosewood over the summer, so much in fact, that it took a little bit to catch up when Pretty Little Liars returned for the second half of its second season.
Previously: The girls believed Dr. Sullivan was kidnapped by A, who left them each with a doll that had an “assignment” for them. This led them to putting their hands on Alison’s murder weapon – a shovel. The police swarmed in, making them look very guilty. Aria broke up with Ezra and Spencer broke up with the Toby. The summer finale ended up with Jenna and Garrett saying Alison deserved to die and appearing as if they were the ones who set the girls up.
The basics: Spencer’s mother, the lawyer, was able to get the girls a plea bargain. Ezra and Aria haven’t seen each other, neither have Toby and Spencer. Hanna’s father got married, just at a courthouse. Mike’s parents have relented and he’s officially medicated. Jenna and Garrett are an out in the open couple. Jason and Dr. Sullivan have disappeared. Melissa is seeing a specialist for her heart, which is probably could because I’ve wondered if that thing actually has a beat.
The girls have agreed to make it appear as if they’re fighting to everyone outside of their foursome. Their parents and ex-boyfriends are worried about this feud, but they’re playing it up so well that even A believes it. Even I was fooled. I was also thankful because they were throwing some serious attitude at Emily, who always gets the short end of the stick. Alison treated her terribly and A targets her the most. The last thing she needs is her best friends giving her a hard time.
Score one for the girls and their plan because A believed they were on the outs and wants to make a deal. After staging a final argument about the box that Jason gave Spencer, A took the bait and asked Emily to meet at the greenhouse. Why Emily thought meeting A in the middle of nowhere was a good idea, I’ll never know. When has this worked out in the past? And this is basically like making a deal with the devil, so I was nervous from the start, especially when everything else started to crack around the girls.
First, Ezra (who sported some seriously hot suit vests during this episode) learned why Aria broke up with him and made the decision to go tell Aria’s parents the truth. This led to a lot of confusion, yelling, and an incredible punch from Mike. I adore Ezra a lot, but he’s dating a teenager girl, and he was trusted by her parents. Why did they think it would go well? (Am I the only one who found this moment totally uneventful? We’ve been teased with it for so long. I was totally underwhelmed. This moment needed more drama a la Life Unexpected’s Eric and Lux’s coming out.)
I guess the good thing is that it’s out in the open, even if they were so incredibly obvious throughout the past episodes. At least now everyone can stop being so blind. My heart wants these two together, but I don’t know if I can stand behind Aria’s parents being okay with this relationship. This is a messy situation, that while adorable and sexy, is very inappropriate.
Understandably, Aria is grounded, which almost keeps her from sneaking out to meet Emily at the greenhouse. Mike sneaking her out was probably a way for him to apologize for punching her older boyfriend without having to actually say he was sorry. He’s a good brother.
Meanwhile, Hanna is held up by her father’s arrival to town. Her parents seemed surprised that she wasn’t bursting with joy at the news of his father moving and Kate attending her high school. At least Caleb is back for the foreseeable future, so she has that going for her.
Spencer was caught up by Toby’s arrival as she was headed at the door. He demanded that she fix things with Emily and she begged him to stay out of it and to let her go. Props to Toby for calling her out on their games and how similar they are to Alison – if anyone knows, he does. Someone needs to point out how in over their heads and ridiculous they can get. I really wish he had followed her though because maybe he could have helped prevented the epic disaster that went down at the greenhouse.
This set up for the greenhouse had a lot of promise, but it also worked too easily in their favor. There was no way the girls were going to catch A in the premiere, which I get, but how long can the show expect us to wait for A’s identify to be revealed? (And yes, I know it happens this season, but I’ve surpassed the point of impatience with this.) I feel like we’ve already had versions of this episode in the past, so forgive me if I’m not exactly impressed.
And while it was brave of Emily to stand up to A, she still ended up powerless. A literally had her by throat and her friends couldn’t save her. 3 girls, a car, and some serious thick woods couldn’t stop A. These girls need to face the fact that going up against A is going into the big leagues, the really, really, epically sized big leagues, and that any school girl scheme they dream up isn’t going to be good enough.
And some other things:
Is it going to matter that Emily and Spencer switched books?
Will Spencer accept that adorable rocking chair her boyfriend made her?
Why is Hanna’s biggest concern that there are pictures of her in an orange jumpsuit?
Did Ezra drink that entire bottle of whiskey in his office? Get that man a cab.
Where in world is Jason DeLaurentis?
Is Lucas actually going to play nice with Caleb?
The episode ended with promise. After giving up on their A chase, the girls headed back to Hanna’s car where they found a cell phone – A’s cell phone. So not only did they set A up and hit her with a car, but they also have her phone and access to Caleb who can easily hack it, which means A is going to be very, very unhappy and come back at them even harder.
And A’s retaliation is exactly why I’ll be tuning in next week.