Vivian Darkbloom, Truth Up, and Secret Siblings

Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episodes 17-19
Sasha Pieterse

When Alison visited Hanna in the hospital in Season 1, she told Hanna that the four of them combined knew more about what happened to her than they realized. So much of piecing together Ali’s mystery is putting their memories of her into context. There are multiple instances in these episodes of the girls remembering things that Ali said or did that they didn’t think much of at the time but now as they are diving deeper into her secrets, they are realizing all these things that were right in front of them. Ali was dramatic and loved to toy with them so they just wrote off a lot of her weird behavior. Hanna realizes that she knew about Ali’s alter ego, Vivian Darkbloom, and Spencer learns that Ali had told her about Jason and Peter, she just didn’t understand it.

These episodes are starting to get very jam packed and I realized I may need to scale back to two episodes per post otherwise these posts are going to get crazy long!

Caleb is Brought to the inner circle (kind of)

Tyler Blackburn, Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale

Hanna reluctantly agrees to allow Caleb to use his hacking skills to uncover what they can from A’s cellphone. The first video they find is from a hidden camera in Ali’s bedroom (that Ian planted) the night she died. Jenna and Garrett show up in Ali’s bedroom. They are looking for the videos Ali had. Garrett looks inside the box that Jason would later give Aria and just says “that’s weird”. This is enough to change Hanna’s mind and she tells Caleb to stop working on the cellphone. Caleb of course though wants to fix things for Hanna and thinks the best way to do that is to continue working on the videos behind her back.

He tells Spencer, Aria, and Emily that he will keep working on them if they will give him some answers. Spencer tells him that Jenna is trying to frame them for Alison’s murder and that Garrett is helping her. Also that Ian’s confession is likely fake. This makes Caleb the most informed non-Liar. Though he is not fully brought into the inner circle, he knows more than any other significant other. And later when Hanna tells him about Ashley “borrowing” money from the bank, he kind of learns about A too. Hanna doesn’t call A by name but says that someone is holding it over her and she doesn’t know who it is, but that it is their cellphone that he is working on. Caleb assumes that it is Jenna, since she is the one who hired him to investigate Hanna.

Vivian Darkbloom

Caleb is able to uncover a bit more of the video in Ali’s bedroom. Garrett hears someone coming and drops the box and its contents spill out. Caleb enhances that part of the video and reveals a fake ID of Alison’s in which she has dark hair. After Hanna finds out about them going behind her back, she tells Spencer about seeing Ali with dark hair once. They ended up at the same salon and Ali was wearing a wig. She tells Hanna that she is pretending to be someone else, just something she does when she is bored. The hair stylist calls her Vivian Darkbloom. At the time Hanna didn’t think much about it since Ali did weird stuff like this all the time. Spencer looks up Vivian Darkbloom and finds out that it is a pseudonym for Vladimir Nobokov (it totally makes sense that Ali would be into Lolita). Hanna stole Ali’s copy from her and never gave it back. Flipping through the book they find an old claim ticket.

This is one of those clues that could end up being absolutely meaningless or could be very revealing. Spencer calls on the off chance they still have whatever Ali checked and they actually do, and she checked it under Vivian Darkbloom. The item ends up being a red trench coat. They find a number in the pocket and call it leaving a message saying they were a friend of Vivian’s. At first they don’t get a call back so they call again and a woman answers who claims to not know anyone named Vivian. Later they get a call back from the number, this time a man asking what they want. They agree to meet up with him so that both sides can get some answers.

Truth Up Day

Ashley Benson

Episode 19 centers around Truth Up day, a school sanctioned overnight event designed for students to improve their communication and honesty. Hanna is forced to attend after the incident with Kate. In the previous episode, “A Kiss Before Lying”, Kate starts at Rosewood High and Spencer is convinced that she has seen her before. She obsesses over it until she remembers that they went to horse camp together years before. Melissa was a counselor and had Kate in her bunk. Kate had a really bad reaction to some bug bites while at camp and Melissa had a picture. Spencer isn’t going to say anything so long as Kate keeps the peace with Hanna. However, at the end of the episode the photo along with a nude photo of Kate in the locker room is sent to the entire school from Hanna’s phone. Hanna maintains her innocence but the vice principal wants her and Kate to attend Truth Up day to help settle their differences.

The other Liars join too but they are all put in different groups. This results in some fun pairings between characters that don’t get paired together much. First, Caleb and Aria are put in the same group along with Jenna. In their group discussion, Jenna talks about being mistreated and Caleb goes after her. He still thinks it is Jenna that is torturing Hanna. When Jenna brings up being slapped in the school bathroom (by Hanna) Caleb calls bullshit saying she threw the first punch. Though considering that that punch was using Caleb to spy on Hanna, he probably shouldn’t be throwing too much blame out.

Emily is put in a group with Mona who turns out to be a surprising ally. Emily is still upset about not being back on the swim team and is pretty sassy about it. Mr. Tamborelli, the vice principal, pulls her aside and tells her she is the one who caused her own problems. Mona overhears and offers to help get Emily back on the swim team using some blackmail. She used to work in the front office and knows a lot, including the fact that Tamborelli has often looked the other way when football players got into trouble. She and Emily sneak into his office and Mona goes through his computer and finds proof that he took bribes from football players to be reinstated. Mona uses this information to force Tamborelli to let her back on the team. Emily is surprised and impressed by all of Mona’s hidden skills.

Hanna and Kate are put in the same group and everyone thinks that Hanna really did send that picture. But during dinner, Hanna sees a birthmark on Kate’s stomach which was photoshopped out of the nude photo. Why would A improve her body if she was trying to embarrass her and Hanna? Hanna realizes it was Kate who sent the photos out. She gets Kate to confess while Aria hides in a bathroom stall and records the conversation. So Hanna is let off the hook and Kate is off to never been heard from again. I’m pretty sure this is the last episode she is ever in.

The Jason Thing

Drew Van Acker

Spencer too is at Truth Up day but in classic Spencer fashion she is kind of doing her own thing. We never see her in her group because she is too busy trying to figure out what is going on with Jason and Peter. Jason returns and Peter is still dodging his calls. Jason volunteers to help with Truth Up day when he finds out that the Hastings are volunteering too. However, Peter ends up not showing up. Spencer overhears Jason arguing with Veronica about how Peter’s whereabouts have always been his business, he just didn’t know. Hearing this, Spencer remembers one of her cryptic Ali conversations. Ali was at Spencer’s and they overhear her parents fighting about Jason and Melissa, who had been caught kissing each other. This made Peter really mad but Spencer didn’t know why. Ali tells her that it would be “a match frowned upon by the gods”. Now years later, Spencer finally understands what Ali was saying. Jason is Peter’s illegitimate son. This explains why Peter would be willing to change the will for Jason.

Romance

Lucy Hale and Ian Harding

Ezra still isn’t speaking to Aria and she is terrified that this is how things are going to end with them. The other Liars tell her she should give him some time and Aria is like “I already gave him a day. I need to know now”. Aria is still using Holden as her cover while she pursues Ezra. The other Liars think that Holden is gay, apparently it is the only explanation for why he has not hit on Aria. It couldn’t possibly be because Aria is insane and obviously using him to get to another guy. Holden is still not telling her what he is up to and she is keeping her side of things pretty quiet too. He knows she is seeing a guy she isn’t supposed to but she won’t say anything else. Which is probably best.

Aria leaves Ezra a message to meet her by a clock tower so they can talk about their relationship face to face. Ezra is unsure if he is going to actually meet her and almost doesn’t. But when he talks to a student about their story about a hopeless romantic, Ezra tells him it is unbelievable. He is trying to be realistic about the Aria situation and taking it out on this student. But then the student tells him to be bold and it convinces Ezra to go see Aria. After waiting most of the night they reunite, making out in the rain, holding up traffic. They decide to keep sneaking around, though it is going to be even trickier now that her parents are onto her. Luckily, she can just keep using Holden.

Just as Ezra thinks he is getting away with continuing to see Aria, Byron is working to get him sent out of the state in a way that allows everyone to save face. He puts Ezra up for an associate dean position at a Hollis satellite campus in New Orleans. A position he is completely unqualified for considering he has been teaching for less than a year. But apparently Byron holds a lot of power at Hollis and he is offered the position at a faculty party. Byron gives Ezra the best bitch face.

After kissing Toby, Spencer has to break up with him again, though this time she gets Emily to do it. Twice. Toby comes to take the scaffolding down by the barn, the one that A loosened in the last episode. He takes a pretty bad fall and ends up in the hospital. And who should be his doctor? Wren of course. He immediately picks up on the tension between Wren and Spencer and Spencer uses this as a way to break up with him for good. She gets Emily to tell him that she is in love with Wren and that they had been together before she and Toby got together. This is effective, Toby leaves town and Spencer is left struggling to cope. She is even wearing his t-shirt under her clothes at school.

Emily’s mom is coming home for a visit and she attempts to give Maya and Pam a second opportunity. Pam is actually great despite Maya’s horribleness to her. Pam seems to really regret the way she treated Maya, though she never really apologizes to Maya for it. Maya is still pretty pissed that Pam got her sent to True North and is being terrible to her the whole night. She has lines like “Nice work Pam, you say jump and they say how high huh?” when she like got a table at dinner. She also mentions that jazz musicians are known for toking and is therefore surprised that Pam would like Miles Davis. It is understandable that Maya would hold a grudge but she knows how important it is to Emily that she and Pam get along. She could fake it for a night. Maya makes it up to Emily though by turning her room into an art project to make it look like it is under water, because Emily has missed being on the swim team. This is actually a super cool project, it almost makes up for Maya being rude.

Hanna and Caleb are fighting about the videos and the fact that she can’t tell him things. She clearly wants to tell him but she can’t. When she finds out that he continued working on the videos behind her back she is pissed but instead of just being mad at him, she confides in him. He kind of finds about A and immediately is like “I can protect you”. I like that every time Caleb tries to fix Hanna’s problems for her, she calls him out on it and tells him that she doesn’t need him to do that. She needs him to support her and respect her decisions. Of course at this point he doesn’t know how deep in she is and that he has pretty much no chance at solving anything. However, assuming it is Jenna that is messing with Hanna he tries to confront her but she isn’t home. Instead he has to talk to Garrett who is still stalking Jenna.

Miscellaneous

  • A tags:
    • Episode 17: A has pictures of all the Liar’s making out with their significant others. They remove Aria and Ezra and cut the picture in half. Then do the same with Toby and Spencer. A seems to think that Aria and Ezra are broken up for real.
    • Episode 18: A takes a gun from Peter’s desk
    • Episode 19: A steals Caleb’s computer out of his backpack at Truth Up day
  • Veronica, Ella, and Ashley chat at Truth Up day about what has happened to their daughters. Ashley and Ella talk about how they have never really healed from Alison’s death and Veronica says that it was meeting Alison that changed them.
  • The Liars find all of the A notes that Ali had hidden in the doll’s head. Flashing back to the Halloween before Ali died, they remember that someone trashed Ali’s porch and all of her pumpkins. She found the note pinned to a pumpkin with a knife. Ali lied about it but they are now realizing it was an A note. Now the Liars know that A was after Ali too.
  • Noel and Jenna are dating now. They make a fantastic creepy duo.
  • Mona had some great lines in “Truth Up Day” including “People are toads” and when Emily apologizes to her for not standing up for her with Ali “oh honey that was like two personalities ago”.
  • Jenna plays the piano creepily in the Truth Up day episode. Is it the flute song from Season 1 that A played to trick Toby and Spencer about the motel room?
  • Ella just like dismisses Kate’s comment about there not being nice people at Rosewood. She just says that there are nice people there and she will find them. Instead of making Kate actually feel heard.
  • Aria starts to get suspicious of what Holden is up to when she sees a large bruise on his stomach. And then later at school a bag of pills falls out of his bag. She thinks he is a drug dealer or addict and that is what she is covering for. This makes her uncomfortable and she thinks about breaking their deal. While at Truth Up day he saves her from Noel who attacks her on the school roof by drop kicking him. Aria asks where he learned how to do that and he remains evasive.
  • The Truth Up day secret messages:
    • I’m still a virgin
    • My parents are illiterate
    • I hate my life
    • I’ve never been kissed
    • I’m afraid of my dad (they should probably be checking up on this one)

Fashion

As per usual almost all my insane fashion notes were Aria but Spencer’s is once again seen wearing a horrible hat for no reason in Episode 18. In Episode 17 Aria’s skirt pockets are coming out of the bottom of her skirt and a shirt with large black and white stripes. In Episode 19 she wears bright yellow shoes that look so uncomfortable, but they match her belt. And later she is seen with GIANT rings. How does she even use her hands properly?

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