Note: The following contains spoilers if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 15 of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," entitled, "A Hot Piece Of 'A.'"
After Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Emily debate whether the alleged "A" was a "him," "her," or an "it" -- Emily's going with non-"him" due to running prowess, or lack thereof -- they get in a real fight that rivals their fake one from the previous episode.
They have to decide what to do with their tormentor's locked phone, but Hanna thinks it's an opportunity to talk about evil step-sister Kate moving to Rosewood. The others, Spencer and Emily in particular, are not having it and suggest they go to the only person in town who has hair as shiny as they do: hacker extraordinaire Caleb. Hanna doesn't like the idea and would rather call Pakistan for help, but Spencer, Emily are Aria don't listen. After some more glass mysteriously falls in the greenhouse, off to Hanna's boyfriend they go.
Caleb discovers the phone is chock-full-o-data. But as he's downloading it, the owner blocks him. He winds up with very little, or, potentially no, usable info from the totally-cracked-and-there-is-no-way-that-thing-functions mystery phone.
Meanwhile, Byron is still reeling over Ezria and he demands Aria change before school because her outfit isn't classroom-appropriate because of "who [she] might be dressing for." Did he forget that Ezra teaches at Hollis now? (Note: Sometimes I do, so that's fair.) She obeys, but in her anger, she finally calls her dad out on his hypocrisy to her mom, who doesn't approve. Did she forget that Byron cheated on her? Mothers just don't understand.
Mine, however, a big "Pretty Little Liars" fan, dislikes no TV character more than Ella Montgomery. And tonight, she was taking low blows. "She has looked preggers since the show started," she instant messaged me. (Note: These messages have not been altered from their original form and no, my mom is not 14 years old.)
As Caleb continues to try to crack the code to a phone he doesn't understand why he's trying to crack, he begs Hanna to spill because he likes "playing 'Mission Impossible' as much as the next guy," but he's starting to sense a lack of trust. Nevertheless, Hanna won't offer up anything.
While Canna grows distant, Spencer -- who is wearing a reverse-lapel blazer that my mom calls her "missionary getup," which is "killing" her -- cannot stay away from Toby. Do they make out anywhere besides that truck she got him? Soon, an enraged Officer Garrett pulls up to Toby's house and is yelling at Jenna on the phone. Tobey removes his eat-your-heart-out-Chord-Overstreet lips from Missionary Spencer's face and says, "It's been like 'Fight Club' since last night."
They listen as Garrett goes on about how he and Jenna made a mistake pulling "him" in. Missionary Spencer realizes they are not talking about an eye operation. She is an honors student.
At school, Aria calls Ezra and tells him her parents will come around. Less than 10 TV minutes later, Byron pays a shoe-less Ezra a visit and tells him to stay away from his daughter. My mom is Team Ezra: "ezra is in socks. presh. bryon is a tool." Two seconds later: "oh byron -- shut up." (My thoughts exactly, minus the championing of underage student-teacher relationships.) Later, Ezra tells Aria to stop calling. My reaction? "Good!" My mom's? ":("
Missionary Spencer finds her equally-frightened, slightly-less obsessive partner-in-crime-fighting Emily. She tells her she knows Jenna and Garrett have a "helper" and she thinks it's Jason (who did not appear in this episode at all, nor did Jenna).
Emily doesn't have time to help because she is starting the latter portion of her community service for kicking Orange Jumpsuit Spencer's ass last episode during the garbage-collecting community service portion. So Missionary Spencer tries to simultaneously earn Hanna's forgiveness and enlist her help.
While Lucas is helping Hanna learn how to spell a state far less complex than Mississippi -- An IM from my mom: "hahaha Hanna cant spell Louisiana." Follow up IM from my mom: "hahah love her" -- Missionary Spencer calls to offer up her parents' lake house for a cozy Canna evening. Instead, Hanna decides to throw Little Orphan Caleb a surprise birthday party.
For community service round two, Emily is answering phones at a community crisis hotline. When time comes for some role playing, Emily is asked to read the part of the counselor, while the counselor reads the caller's. The conversation sounds quite familiar and she realizes: It's a call from A about her and the liars!
She brings the transcript to show the others and Caleb interrupts to reveal the only data remnants of A's phone -- a picture of four liar-look-a-like dolls against a wall. Now, De-missionaried Spencer decides it's time to accompany Emily to the crisis center.
Of course, the caller from the transcript rings again while they're there and Emily and Spencer listen in. At first, it sounds like the voice is being disguised by a Talk Boy a la Kevin McAllister in "Home Alone 2." But instead of saying, "Credit card? You got it," he tells the counselor that there is "only one solution" to his problem "and it's not going to be pretty." Along with Emily and Spencer, we realize it sounds just like Lucas.
Of course, Hanna doesn't believe that Lucas could be A's "evil little elf" because "he's too easy of a target." After her dismissal, it's time to get ready: The lake house soiree is about to begin.
As Spencer rustles through the lake house attic for some tiki torches from her dad's 40th birthday, she realizes the wallpaper up there matches the background of the doll photo Caleb unearthed from A's phone. A monotone, robotic Lucas (henceforth, MRL) climbs up to the attic, looking for tools. Spencer gets out of there faster than you can say, "Saw VIII."
Emily is still in Rosewood, dropping off the transcript to the crisis counselor that she stole as proof. When she's there, of course, the phone rings, and extra credit of course, Emily has to answer it. When we see who's on the other end, it's MRL in the attic. He tells Emily that he "has to take care of this tonight" and knows "how hard it's going to be ... to lose her ... forever."
Meanwhile, back on Rosewood's singular commercial block, grounded Aria heads to dinner with her parents. Their No. 1 fan, my mom, wonders, "why doesnt lucas just kill byron and ella?" Of course, Ezra is at Apple Rose Grill because, as previously mentioned, there's only one restaurant in Rosewood.
When Byron sees him, he turns around and says, "There are other restaurants." Seriously, sir? On what will obviously be a very long walk to another eatery -- as Ella jokes, "Where do you want to go ... Delaware?!" (Touche) -- they run into old family friends: Aria-aged son Holden and his dad, Ron (who you may recognize as Mr. Turner, Shawn's dad/teacher on "Boy Meets World").
Now it's time for "Pretty Little Liars" to do some more time travel. Emily arrives at the lake house in the time it takes to travel a Rosewood block and finds a now super sweaty, monotone, robotic Luas (SSMRL) in the kitchen. They have a bizarre "I know that you know, but I'm not going to admit it" conversation. She leaves SSMRL looking at Caleb's birthday cake to find Spencer and in that time, SSMRL and Hanna are off in a row boat to set up birthday fireworks.
Slack-jawed Spencer and Emily look on, screaming after their blond friend. SSMRL stops mid-lake. "Do your arms hurt?" naive Hanna asks. "Switch with me. I'll row."
It's silent, dark and misty out by the lake house and it's clear that they are not in Rosewood anymore. (To illustrate the level of fear, here's an IM from me: "I'm seriously scared." And an IM from my mom: "me tiii.")
SSMRL refuses to row a now-frightened Hanna ashore and he starts spewing villainous cliches: "We're not going anywhere;" "Don't answer that;" "Dammit, Hanna!" He gets up, grabs a box behind him on the back of the boat, as Hanna hits him with an oar, pushing him into the lake.
But due to a stuck oar, she too falls in the water. Karma's a bitch and so is A.
Eventually, after what seems like enough minutes to drown, Hanna swims ashore into Emily and Spencer's embrace. A wet Mona and Noel, who I definitely did not remember were dating, emerge equally drenched. They "took a dip" because "it's a nice night for it." Of course. (An IM from my: "ew mona is gross.")
Caleb arrives for his birthday, which didn't quite turn out the way Hanna planned. "Surprise!" she says, as the boat floats by overturned.
Then, the credits roll and a singular Chuck Taylor-type black sneaker sits in the lake, until an oar, guided by that trusty black glove, guides it to land. Did Lucas have a change of clothes under the sea or is A blackmailing him too?
Ponder that while looking over the best quotes, worst looks and your tweets from Season 2, Episode 15, "A Hot Piece of 'A'" ...
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"Pretty Little Liars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family