Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Season 2, Episode 19 of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," titled "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted."
It's an odd day at Rosewood High. Not because one of the "Pretty Little Liars" has ditched school to play Hardy Girl, but a) because that "Pretty Little Liar" is former bookworm Spencer and b) because people (specifically the other three liars) are actually concerned about her absence. They're worried about Spencer and though Hanna thinks the best thing to do is leave Spencer alone (Chris Cocker-style), Aria says that's only landed her on "planet free fall." I imagine they play Tom Petty there all the time. Anyway, Emily says she's called TobAy but hasn't heard back -- probably because he's busy laundering a dozen black hoodies so he's ready for whatever Little Miss Riding Hood tells him to do next. If they want to know what happened, she surmises, they're going to have to get it out of Spencer. "Maybe I'll get some cupcakes and show up at her house later," Emily suggests, thinking Lucky Leo's could use some screen-time apparently.
Hanna and Aria agree and they say she needs to talk about the girl in the red jacket, who Hanna reveals she saw too, just before she went in for her interview with
Corin, "the hottest designer in Philly" a room full of white mannequins. But just before they can dissect, they see Spencer, wearing an awesome tiger/tribal cardigan that I covet talking to Andrew, who's been given "a dorky Rosewood haircut," my mom notes. And by talking, I mean ranting because she's been kicked off the academic decathlon team and she (obviously) points the finger at MonA.
"MonA, is there anything else that you want to take away from me," Spencer asks, getting up in the decathlon captain's face. Spence storms out of the courtyard, grabs her sunglasses from her locker and then realizes she can't see straight -- not only because she's losing it. Etched in the lenses is, "You rat out T, I take down 1 of your 3 -A." And with that, she's off. Screw the cupcakes, get this girl whatever she was kicking back in the Parentless Hastings Household the other night.
Creepy message aside, my mom can't get over Andrew's new look.
Mom: "Wait, so was that the same debate guy?"
Jaimie: "Yes! With the Rosewood haircut."
Mom: "What is wrong with their hairdresser? She hates the guys. She wants them all to look like losers."
Over at The Brew, Em is working for once and Hanna is busy "MapQuesting Amish Country" while Aria tries to figure out a way to get their "best friend ... chewing her elbows" a.k.a. Spencer back on the decathlon team. Aria tells Han that just because someone looks like their uncle it doesn't mean it's their dad. Wise words, Ms. Montgomery, but Caleb pretty much could not look less like Uncle Jamie. Their conversation get's interrupted when Aria's phone rings -- it's Ezra's mom. "Oh my god. Why is she calling me? We're not friends," Aria says in a hilarious panic. Turns out, Mrs. Fitz (who deserves another "f" name) just wants to know if Wes (a.k.a. Little Fitz) has been staying at Ezra's (a.k.a. Big Fitz) and like the title of this show suggests, she tells a pretty little lie. Speaking of lies, my mom insists "neither Fitz is big." It's all relative, Big Mama.
Suddenly, CeCe shows up and sees Emily. "OMG. I never text you back," CeCe says, using some awful grammar. She's worried about getting her store's website up when Emily asks if she knew Wilden, who they believe was in Cape May that summer. But CeCe doesn't think that's proof enough since there were also about "four million other Delta Phis and they all wanted to rush Ali." She dismisses Em's theory and then calls her "hun" because she is the new Paige Michaelchuck.
Meanwhile, at the Parentless Hastings House, Spence is making what some (a.k.a. I) might call the most disgusting smoothie ever.
Jaimie: "Ewwwww, Spencer. I love a good pickle, but what the fuck."
Mom: "Vomit. I love a good health shake, but that is gross."
Then, there's a knock on the door. Saved by the Decathlete. She challenges him to a academic trivia match. Edit: a stripping academic trivia match in which one wrong answer means one article of clothing removed. "And the match isn't over til one of us is butt-naked," she says. "You're out of control," Andrew replies. "Not yet," she teases.
Andrew is down to his boxers and Spencer has just pulled a "Flashdance" move when Emily comes a-knockin', cupcakes in hand. When she sees what's going on, a tongue-tied Emily can only ask, "Should I've brought more cupcakes?" Easily one of my favorite moments of the season. He leaves, clothes in a heap in hand, and Emily basically asks Spencer what the #$@% that was about. She explains that she was trying to get Andrew to let her back on the decathlon team by showing him "my cupcakes," she explains.
Jaimie: "Why has Spencer had multiple scenes where she's being overtly sexually/acting like a prostitute?"
Mom: "Spencer turned slut. Toby turned her into a slut."
Jaimie: "I think not. She's just running wild. Sidebar: I love that she's supposed to look like a mess and she's wearing what I wear to work everyday."
Emily takes the "cupcakes" comment as an opportunity to basically tear into Spencer: She wants to know what the hell happened with TobAy and why she's pushing all of them away. "You don't have a monopoly on pain," Em tells her. They don't want to watch her ... "Watch me what? Not be Spencer Hastings anymore? Because clearly, that's not working out for me," Spencer shouts before running up the stairs. "This is the new me!" I do miss the braids and riding boots.
Jaimie: "Emily is being a hard ass. A hard ass with cupcakes. Also, I'm really getting tired of them not knowing about TobAy."
Mom: "Emily's hair looks so pretty."
Jaimie: "Yes, she IS pretty."
Mom: "Me too. But in the sunglasses, it said if she tells, A will get one of them. She is protecting them."
Jaimie: "Yes, but she didn't get that message in the last two episodes."
Mom: "Emily has turned into the old Spencer."
Jaimie: "And stripping is the new studying."
Over at Ezra's, Wes has made a mess of the place -- because, my mom says, "rich boy doesnt know how to clean up" -- and he needs to jet now that his mother knows he's there. (She barged in on him.) But he's banished from prep school and his brother's apartment so he's taking some cereal and going to stay a friend's house in Philly. Just as they discuss his plans, CeCe calls Aria and asks if she "still work[s] for that photographer." What photographer? That hasn't been a thing since October? Oh, but wait. Guess what? CeCe's in luck, because Aria is still gainfully employed by Laurel, that Annie Leibovitz wannabe we haven't seen since JULY. She's desperate for a photographer since the other guy she hired was a hack. Aria's up for the gig ... as long as she can bring an assistant, Wes.
Jaimie: "She's still working for a photographer?! WHAT!?!?"
Mom: "That's INSULTING!"
Apparently, Hanna had two hours after school to drive to Uncle Jamie's Woodwork-a-palooza. In a matter of a minute, Hanna pretty bluntly calls him out on being Caleb's dad, he confirms and then she asks him to try to make things right with his
nephew son. He's game for coffee, but when she tells Caleb about it later that day, he is not exactly up for the caffeine-fueled idea, to say the least. "If it is true, that's even more reason for me not to meet him," Caleb says. She says she's doing this out of love and concern, but Caleb doesn't seem to care. "He had a lot of days where he could've made this choice, but he didn't," Caleb says sternly. "Instead, he let me grow up on my own. And that's where I am, I'm grown up and I'm on my own so I'm saying no."
Mom: "I don't get was Jamie with Caleb's aunt or mother. Or both."
Way to make this even creepier, Mom. Anyway, Emily has gone back to school because she just can't get away from her favorite space for learning. Just kidding. She goes to make things right with Jason, who's seemingly a full-fledged teacher now, but he's not buying Em's thought that Ali wasn't pregnant. Emily tells him about the photo and he remembers a collage that Ali gave Mr. DiLaurentis, which included a picture of Ali on a boat. Of course an older brother would remember the details of a collage his teenage sister made for their father. Anyway, he wonders, "Could be Wilden's?" The possibility is strong enough that he decides to bring Em to his dad's new office where the collage probably is.
Over at the Parentless Hastings House, there's a Hastings besides Spencer! Melissa has inexplicably appeared to make Spencer some broccoli with lemon juice while their parents are in London. Suddenly, there's another inexplicable arrival: Wren is knocking at their back door. Both Hastings girls seemed shocked to see him. Melissa decides she wants no part in this and wants to enjoy her citrusy greens in peace. "I think I'll dine out back," she says, before seemingly walking into the bathroom. But back to Wren, who tells Spence, "I got a call from someone who is concerned about your state of mind." Was it Emily? Nope. Did Emily tell Hanna? Not to Wren's knowledge: It wasn't "any of them." Could it really have been ... MonA? Spencer finally guesses and Wren can't deny it. She pretends to agree that it was "really thoughtful" of MonA to send him to check on her. But she doesn't want to talk -- she wants to get out of the PHH and suggests dinner and a movie. It's not a date though, Spencer clarifies. It's "a mental health outing" to a film festival by Bucknell, which is conveniently near Lewisburg, the same place that's hosting the academic decathlon. She goes upstairs to change as Wren smiles to himself about getting back in one Hasting's good graces.
At the Marin's, Hanna is about to head to her not-so-mentally-healthy outing with Jamie when Caleb walks in the door, hair tucked behind his ears and blue shirt buttoned all the way up to his neck.
Jaimie: "Caleb's hair is funny."
Mom: "His hair looks greasy. He's a sweetheart though. He got a haircut."
Jaimie: "It's like alternative meets classy."
Mom: "it's like he wants it to still be long in the back, but boy cut in the front."
Jaimie: "That's called a mullet!"
Mom: "Oh nooo! Not on Caleb."
"I don't know if I'm going to be able to deal with this," Caleb tells Hanna, taking her hand, "but I know it's going to be a lot easier if you're with me." And off the go for the most awkward date I can imagine. Turns out, Caleb, Hanna and Jamie's evening is not so awkward because Jamie hasn't even showed. Hanna suggests they wait five more minutes because she thinks "he's not the same person." "Really?" Caleb replies. "Well, you can tell that to the empty chair." They try to pass the time with cake and just as they decide to get it to go, Jamie shows up. He jokes about the "used cake," prompted Hanna to say, "I would get you another piece, but if I stand up again, I'm going to have to pee and I would rather do that in my pants than leave you two alone."
Mom: "Uncle Jamie and Caleb don't even look related."
Jaimie: "He's really bothering me."
Mom: "Me too."
Jaime: "He's like, 'I suck' and then says, 'But please stay and listen to me.'"
Mom: "Hahaha. Hanna isn't even wearing any pants."
Over at CeCe's store, there's red win flowing in paper cups like it's water. CeCe sends Wes downstairs for some props.
Mom: "Little Fitz sounds like he has a British accent he's trying to hide."
Jaimie: "Because he does! What kind of 'Wizards of Waverly Place' fan are you?!"
CeCe takes the opportunity to ask Aria, "Is Big Brother as yummy as Little Brother? Ugh, lucky girl. You got two-for-one." I did not miss CeCe. Aria tells her it's not like that and is ready to put her photography skills to the test on baby Budda's with jeweled necklaces. CeCe steps out to get dinner and Wes and Aria continue working. She asks for more overhead lights and when he brings over a large lamp, he knocks wine all over the store's white shag carpet, a very wise color for flooring in a store that people stomp around all day.
Mom: "Wayyyyyy to go, Lil Fitz."
When Wes jokes about sleeping on the carpet to hide the stain instead of in his car, Aria realizes that he doesn't have a friend in Philly who doesn't eat breakfast to stay with. "Stay at my place," she suggests, but before they can get into it, CeCe calls. She says she had a glass or two of wine while picking up their food from the bar and when she came back, her car had been towed. Silly me, I actually thought she was going to get penalized for drinking and driving. Anyway, CeCe is sitting in her car the entire time, so clearly she's lying, but why?
Meanwhile, Jason and Emily arrive at his house to get the keys to Mr. DiLaurentis' office, which his son would obviously have a copy of. As they walk up to the deck, they see his porch covered in bottles of whiskey and it's clear someone is watching them dumfoundedly stare at the display. While Jason's pouring out bottles of liquor as any normal twentysomething would do, Emily gets a text: "Better tell him to save a couple. He might need it. -A"
When they get to Mr. DiLaurentis' office, they're surrounded by boxes and Emily can't seem to get the apparently threatening whiskey exhibition out of her head. She asks Jason who would do such a thing and immediately, he says, "Honestly, Alison. But I don't think she's visiting us from beyond the grave."
Mom: "What does Jason's dad do?"
Jaimie: "Abandon his family. Wait ... is Jason fake being nice to MonA or is he lying to Emily?"
Mom: "I think he's being fake-nice to MonA."
Jaimie: "I don't know about that."
Conveniently enough, third box is the charm and Em finds the highly-sought-after collage. Jason explains that the art project was an "apology" from Ali (ever the modest one) to her dad. Jason immediately locates the picture and they see there's a hand on Ali's shoulder so they peel it back and look who it is: Wilden. What luck that the collage was not only so easily discovered, but that the pictures weren't even glued down. Oh, and there's another side of the photo being hidden and on the other side of Ali is none other than CeCe. CeCe the girl who didn't remember Wilden when Em asked her about him just hours ago.
Suddenly, memories start flooding back to Jason. "Maybe she planned on meeting up with him that night," he tells Emily. "The last night my sister was alive." Suddenly, we flash back to the night we've seen both fictional and nonfictional snippets of for weeks and this time Jason is stumbling out of the DiLaurentis house. He goes to grab some water from the hose and sees Ali talking to Melissa, who we recently discovered was there that night thanks to Byron's flashback. (This may be the only thing I will ever thank Byron for.) Anyway, Jason calls out to Ali and when she finally turns around, it's CeCe talking to Melissa in that same yellow ruffled tank top. When Jason takes a second look, no one's there and then he passes out on a lawn chair.
Why didn't he ever tell the police about this, Emily wonders. He didn't want to be a suspect.
Meanwhile, Spencer and Wren finally arrive Lewisburg. She asks him to get a table at the inn-type establishment they've stepped into while she barges in on Team Rosewood's academic decathlon practice. After telling Andrew and the team's advisor off, she approaches MonA. "I really wanna thank you for sending the good doctor to my rescue," Spencer says sassily. It's almost scary what a great batshit bitch she's become. She also tells MonA he gave her a case study about a deeply disturbed teenager, who Wren refers to as M. "We both know that this sociopath goes by other initials as well," she says in MonA's face and threatens to upload the entire case study to the internet with MonA's photo attached.
"And who's looking cray-cray now, Spencer. Have you completely lost it? Is that why TobAy left you?" MonA says calmly. "Do you still have any friends, Spencer?"
And with that, Spencer goes full "Mean Girls" animal world on her, jumping on our teenage blackmailer and screamingly wildly. And as if we couldn't see and/or hear it on own own, one of ABC Family's uber-ridiculous Twitter prompts comes up on the screen: #SpencerSnapped. Wren pulls Spence off of MonA and the decathloners come to her rescue. "It's OK. It's fine. She just snapped. I'm OK," she says. Snapped. We get it. Thanks.
Mom: "Spencer was back being very all, 'I'll outsmart Mona,' and then she attacked her?? I don't like that they are making Spencer seem like she is unraveling."
Jaimie: "She IS unraveling. She's unraveled. She snapped! Did you not see?!"
Mom: "I want to smack Mona. She is so irritating. She should get with Byron -- he's irritating too. She is hard to take."
Jaimie: "I feel like she's so together now. It's unrealistic. Unless she was faking crazy to get into Radley for some reason?"
Mom: "She is on a lot of meds for crazy ppl."
Jaimie: "True, but still."
Mom: "It's not believable."
After the father-son-girlfriend coffee date proves successful, Hanna suggests to Ashley that Pastor Ted hire her potential father-in-law to fix the bell tower at the church. Is that still broken from when Ian died? How does anyone in Rosewood know what time it is? Anyway, apparently Pastor Ted (who we haven't seen since Halloween) moves fast because he and Jamie meet that night while Hanna and Caleb are waiting in the pews. Caleb's worried about Jamie's recommendations since he "got paid for his last job in weed." Eventually, he admits that he and Jamie agree that Hanna did the right thing. "He thinks I'm the luckiest person ever," Caleb tells her, leading to a sweet kiss.
Ashley comes out in her blue chiffon top, perfect for wintertime, and tells them that Jamie got the job. Time for pizza and beer!
Jaimie: "PIZZA & BEER?!"
Mom: "It sounds like Ashley wants a foursome."
Ew. Anyway, Hanna, feeling moved by the non-Christmas miracle that she witness that night, puts a $5 bill marked with some dice in the donation box. The camera stays on the etchings for so long, it's clear we'll be seeing them later.
Mom: "Question: What were Jamie and Pastor actually doing together? Paper work? Is Jamie adopting his own son?"
Jaimie: "He's just fixing the bell tower. I think you're looking too much into this slash giving this show too much credit."
Mom: "Ooooh ... He's the hunchback of Notre Dame in disguise."
Meanwhile, Jason and Emily head out of Mr. DiLaurentis' office, mission completed. But, not quite. The elevator gets stuck. I will never trust you, Jason. Ever.
Over in an equally cramped space, Wren and Spencer are on their way home when Melissa calls. Wren answers and covers for Spencer and her brawl, saying she has a "gyppy tummy" (translation: "food poisoning") from their meal. What a guy. Another one I will never trust.
Mom: "Gyppy tummy?"
Jaimie: "I don't know. He's British. Whatever -- that's the least of my problems with this episode."
Mom: "I don't trust any guys on this show. I think Marlene King hates men."
Apparently, Byron's not home (or he is and decided to return to his old ways and stopped being a parent) so Aria is getting Wes ready for bed. They bond over books -- he can't fall asleep unless he reads -- and the literary chemistry is so strong that they're moved to kiss. How very "Vampire Diaries," "Pretty Little Liars." Not even two seconds later, Aria says, "We can't do this." "No, no we can't," Wes replies. They say their goodnights and this time, I gotta agree with the hashtags prompt: #TheWrongFitz is right.
Mom: "OHHH. Smack him! Soooooo inappropriate!"
Jaimie: "That was."
Mom: "He deserved a slap."
Jaimie: "I don't even get romantic vibes between them."
Back in the elevator -- a far cry from other legendary on-screen elevator disasters like Zach Morris delivering Mr. Belding's wife's baby on "Saved By The Bell" or the one that led Joe Fox to see the light and dump Patricia in "You've Got Mail" -- Emily is trying to escape through a small opening and eventually, she lands safely on the ground. She says she'll hold the door open for Jason to escape, but doesn't seem to try very hard to hand over the reins. Suddenly, the doors shut. The elevator and Jason plummet to what should be death and I say "should" due to my detesting Jason and the physics of situation.
Mom: "It looked like he wasn't even trying to get out."
Jaimie: "It seemed like he purposefully shut the doors."
Mom: "I know. I agree."
Jaimie: "But it could just be because he's a bad actor."
Mom: "Yes. A bad actor with bad hair and his lips are so pale."
In a far happier place, the Marins and the Calebs order pizza and when the deliver man arrives, Jamie offers to pay. As he pulls out his cash, Hanna notices a $5 bill with dice doodled on it. Coincidence? She thinks not.
But no time to lament over stealing money from churches -- Hanna, Aria and Spencer get an "S.O.S." text from Emily, who's standing beside Jason's hospital bed as he struggles to drink some water in his brand-new neck brace. Jason says she was right about the NAT club -- someone wants him gone. And not only that, but the photo evidence with Wilden, Ali and CeCe was lost in the accident. A 4 x 6 shiny piece of paper didn't survive a multiple-story elevator crash? I'm shocked. She closes the curtain and goes to get him more water when she sees Hanna, Aria and soon, Spencer.
Magically, the other three liars knew that "S.O.S." meant Jason fell down an elevator shaft and we're at the hospital so they show up. Spencer, who's now estranged from her friends, seems the most concerned and panicked, which isn't surprising considering Jason is her half-brother. She apologizes and so does Emily, but the kiss-and-make-up moment is interrupted when a nurse says, "Excuse me. Where's your friend?" They rush into his room and the only thing on the bed is wires and a neck brace. Jason's gone, but not in the way he should have been after an elevator accident.
Mom: "Oh come on. This is so stupid!"
Jaimie: "Sooooooo stupid."
Mom: "I'm starting to feel stupid for watching. That whole Jason thing was sooo lame."
As the credits roll, we see one pair of black gloves putting each of the girl's heads on bottles of whiskey. Then, another pair of gloves joins in to set up a game of spin the bottle. It lands on Spencer, they drink her whiskey (which sounds perverted) and then, they cheers their tumbler glasses. End scene. Is it supposed to be shocking that two members of the "A" Team were "seen" at once? Because we already know TobAy and MonA are members. If we saw five sets of gloves, that would have been something. But this?
Jaimie: "I feel like they tried to make it seem like it was this big surprise that there were two hoodies playing spin the bottle."
Mom: "Ummmm duh! Who could they be? I almost don't care."
Jaimie: "I know. This is frustrating me."
Mom: "So it seems like it was Mona and Toby bc we know they are A's. But now Melissa and Wren are in the picture and CeCe is weird as shit and the whole Jason thing is just ridiculous and insulting, not suspenseful at all. This better start to get better. I don't like to be played with two weeks in a row."
Also, despite the shower scene hinted in the promo for next week's "Pretty Little Liars," I'm not too worried about Spencer being targeted. After all, last week, we saw Hanna's bobble head get torched and all things considered, I think Hanna had a pretty good week. Speaking of the promo, I'm looking forward to Spencer finally telling the other liars about TobAy. After all, after the etching in her sunglasses, we really haven't be given a reason for her to conceal that fact.
Quotes of the Night
"I think we'd know if Spencer was here. People would be running for cover." -Hanna
"I'm pretty sure when you and Caleb broke up, you locked yourself in your bedroom for two weeks and all you ate was eskimo pies." -Aria
"They were Skinny Cows and it was four days." -Hanna
"Give her a riddle. She needs to get that part of her brain working again." -Aria
"Why are you MapQuesting Amish Country?" -Aria
"Our best friend is at home chewing her elbows and you're horse shopping?" -Aria
"Yeah. I was just about to put out a welcome mat that says, 'Go Away!'" -Spencer
"Hanna. You didn't drive two hours for a shoe fly pie." -Jamie
"Holy crap. It's Emily Fields." -Andrew
"Relax. You're not her type." -Spencer
"It's just a cup of coffee. You can throw it on him if you want." -Hanna
"Dammit. I was really hoping for some shock therapy, but maybe you could just wire me to a toaster and press 'Top Brown Only.'" -Spencer
"Amen. I see the spirit has moved out. How would you guys like to take this to a more secular setting?" -Ashley
"Pretty Little Liars" airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family.