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Pretty Little Liars: Life Vest Anyone?


Color me unimpressed. While this episode was far better than the winter premiere, I’m still having issues with… nearly everything. I can’t decide what my problem is with this show. Have I gotten too used to their plot structure? Am I tired of the girls always going in the wrong direction? Has my impatience won over when it comes to waiting for A?

This week picked up right after the girls lost A at the greenhouse. Emily snapped about their absence, while each girl rolled their eyes. Spencer has Toby problems. Hanna has evil stepsister problems. And Aria has my-parents-just-found-out-I-was-dating-an-old-dude problems. Sorry if you’re a little low on the totem poll, Em. Although by now you should realize you pretty much always are. After playing hot potato with A’s phone as their culprit drove off into the night, they took the phone to Caleb, who attempted to retrieve the information. He promised to get what he could and the girls went back to their individual problems. As usual, they have a lot of them.

Let’s take this girl by girl.

Aria – Byron went to see Ezra, who was busy being hot on his leather sofa. Never interrupt the Fitz when he’s wallowing in beauty, B. Never. The first thing Ezra did was offer him a beer. ‘Cause you know, reminding someone’s teenager daughter that you’re old enough to buy beer is not good. Bryon explains that he gets their relationship. Ezra was there when her parents wouldn’t. He even admits to making the same mistake, though his student was older, but ultimately threatens Ezra with the police.

Byron is clearly the hard parent here, Ella the soft one. Don’t get me wrong. I love Ezra and Aria together, but at the end of the day, their relationship is morally and legally wrong. One of her parents is going to give approval so they can be together, and it kind of disgusts me.

It doesn’t matter that they love each other. It doesn’t matter the worst thing Ezra did was buy Aria classic American literature. It doesn’t matter that Aria’s dad slept with his student. What matters is this is wrong. Spoiler Alert (from the books): Ezra left town when this happened. I don’t want to see this happened, but I don’t see how I can back Aria’s parents allowing them to be together.

I also can’t back Aria going all crazy girlfriend on Ezra and calling him despite the fact that Ezra told her to stop calling him. Get it together, girl. And the last thing I can’t back is Aria hanging out with a teenage boy named Holden. Could that name be trying any harder?


First of all, I’m worried that Hanna can’t spell Louisiana.

Whether she realizes it or not, she’s having some problems Caleb. Constantly shutting your boyfriend out of your secret society, as he referred to it, is not good. He manages to uncover a single picture of four creepy dolls from A’s phone. That’s it. Nothing more. Again, I’m feeling unimpressed.

Dragging poor Lucas around by his collar isn’t nice either. She’s oblivious to how much she’s upsetting Caleb and how much Lucas loves her. I understand that she’s protecting Caleb from A, but she can only do it for so long.

More importantly, she gets the idea of having a surprise party for Caleb at the lakehouse. I find it rather endearing that all Hanna wants to do is forget about A and be a normal teenager. The girls need to take a cue from her. The party annoys Lucas, but he cares for Hanna and gets roped into helping. No wonder this guy is about to snap… but more on that later.


My heart grew three sizes when Spencer went to Toby to tell him she couldn’t be with him, which led to some front seat makeout. What else are trucks good for anyway? Their kissy time was interrupted by Garrett beating down the front door of Toby’s house. Jenna’s moved on and left her old boy toy in the dust. How awesome was it when Garrett looked over at the truck and Spencer ducked, but Toby glared on? He’s unafraid and over this nonsense. So are we, Tobs. So are we.

Later on, Toby had to deal with more of Garrett’s heartbroken antics when Jenna left town for her eye surgery in Boston. I’m too distracted by the fact that Jenna may eventually have sight back to care about Garrett crying. Remember how badass and bitchy she was in the Halloween special? Granted, she is a bitch now, but she had a little more flavor in the Halloween special. I wouldn’t mind having that back.

Spencer decides she wants to do some more Grade F snooping at Jason’s – face it, these girls are not Grade A snoopers and the only person she can get to do it is Hanna. She bribes her with access to her family lakehouse, even though Hanna and Caleb have been getting busy all over the place. It works though and before Spencer knows it, she’s planning a surprise party for Caleb. In the attic, she finds the place where the photo of the dolls was taken and is more scared of Lucas than she should ever be.


The most important thing plot point in this episode was Emily getting community service at a teen help hotline. Does anyone remember when Saved by the Bell did the hotline? It was so awesome. Unfortunately, Rosewood’s hotline is not as awesome and leads to a phone call Emily is positive is A. Or A’s helper. Or in some way related to their constant stalking.

Since she’s the nosiest of the girls, Spencer decides to volunteer alongside Emily, and they get to listen in on a call. It’s obvious as soon as the voice speaks that it’s Lucas and the girls immediately believe that he’s their culprit. Emily believes it even more when she stops by the hotline office and is forced to take a call from Lucas who is worried about hurting and losing someone forever.

And this is where I start wondering if these girls have brains.

These girls take straw grasping to a whole other level. If they find what they think is a piece of evidence, they run wild and crash into walls every single time. They never learn from what happens in the past. I don’t know about Hanna and Emily, but Spencer and Aria definitely read, so someone hand those girls a Nancy Drew book and show them how it’s done.

This leads us to Lucas “snapping.”

With the party in place at the lakehouse, Emily speeds over in rapid time to find Lucas eying Caleb’s cake. She tells him not to do something he’s going to regret and he gives her the side-eye. When Lucas leaves the room, Emily goes to Spencer and they rush to chase down Hanna, who is now on a boat and headed to the other side of the lake with Lucas to set up fireworks. Is it just me or do these teenagers move really, really quickly?

The boat setup is like a horror movie; fog, dog water, a creepy boy. Lucas starts rowing and then stops. She offers to row and he tells her to sit down, but Hanna is only concerned with the fireworks for her boyfriend and this has nothing to do with the fireworks. Like any rational girl, Hanna doesn’t hear him out, hitting him over the back with the oar and knocking him into the water instead.

Let’s break this down, shall we? It’s very apparent that Lucas regrets his decision to bring Caleb back into Hanna’s life. He adores this girl. He followed her around like a lost puppy in Caleb’s absence and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d eat the gum off the bottom of her shoe. With Caleb back, he’s losing their closeness.

So I’m going to say that Caleb was going to do one more of the following: A) tell Hanna how he feels B) tell Hanna that Caleb can’t live with him anymore or C) have a nervous-boy-in-love-breakdown where he lashed out and purposely hurt her feelings, so he didn’t have to deal with her anymore. If he is related to A in any way, I will gladly eat grow at a later date, but for now I’m sticking with this.

Hanna made swam back to shore, along with Noel and Mona who said they were swimming, and Caleb arrived unaware that he probably won’t get to blow out any birthday candles.

As for Lucas, we may never know since he went in the water and never came out.

See you next week!


Amber Cunigan
Amber Cunigan is a sarcastic mid-twenties undergrad, extreme book hoarder, Netflix addict, and reality TV aficionado. She enjoys excessive amounts of chocolate and caffeine, tweeting, and all things Ezra Fitz and Ryan Gosling. When it comes to TV, she expects to be thoroughly entertained and when not, she will slam and mock you, but still tune in next week. She's a glutton for punishment. Basically, she's awesome.

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