Dysfunctional families, a doll hospital, and a not-blind Jenna

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS SEASON 2, EPISODES 22-24

The Liars and their secrets

One of the reasons that A has been so effective in going after the Liars is that they practically hand A all the ammunition they need. The Liars have made a lot of trouble for themselves (the Jenna thing, Aria’s affair with her teacher, stealing money from a bank, etc.). They also have incredibly shady families. The Hastings could carry their own show with the all of their secrets and just how much they have been wrapped up in Alison’s case.

A show that focused on the Montgomery’s would be more melodramatic with affairs and parents that can’t agree on much. And a tense father/daughter relationship that seems out to destroy each other. In “Father Knows Best”, Aria very reluctantly goes to the Father/Daughter Dance with Byron but she is cold to him the entire night. Byron wants to reminisce about his little girl and Aria is tired of being treated like the child she is. She tells him she is not his little girl anymore while proceeding to act like a little girl. They then get into a war to see who can make the other hurt more.

Emily’s family is mostly absent this season which definitely helps them to look better. Wayne returns for the dance and helps Emily to search for Maya. He is the lone dad without baggage. Hanna’s dad on the other hand seems to have skipped town again after the Kate incident, but luckily Hanna has a much more concerned mom. Though maybe too concerned for Hanna’s convenience. Wilden is still harassing the Marins and wants Ashley to give him Hanna’s cellphone so he can figure out who is torturing her. Though he is gross, he is actually kind of right. Whoever is torturing her is probably someone that she talks to. And she would be talking to her friends about them as well. Going through her texts would reveal a lot. At first Ashley doesn’t want to invade Hanna’s privacy like that but Hanna isn’t giving her a lot of options. Hanna actually throws her phone into the sink rather than hand it over to Wilden.

Hanna needs to get Ashley off the A trail and Mona comes up with a plan (“it’s going to require a really big lie and I’m terrible at that”). Aria, being deemed the best Liar, confesses to Ashley that she is the one who sent the police report to Hanna as a way to scare her from shoplifting anymore. Ashley doesn’t but it at all and calls a mom meeting with Ella to talk to her about the fact that A has been torturing their girls for a long time. Ashley wants to go to the police but Ella is concerned what might be revealed about Aria (her relationship with her teacher) if they do.

Considering all that the girls have gone through and all of the suspicions on them it is crazy that Ashley is the only one at this point who seems fully concerned that someone might be after her daughter. Ella is only like half-interested, she is too afraid that people will find out that Aria dated her teacher to actually protect her. Emily’s parents have been living in Texas and are like 100% clueless. Spencer’s family is too wound up in their own drama to notice.

Hastings Family Drama

Melissa thinks that Peter paid Ali money and maybe had something to do with her death. She doesn’t really believe that Ian killed Ali and something has felt off to her. She has been talking to Garrett about it which is obviously a mistake. She tells Spencer how relieved Peter looked after Ali died and that he and Veronica suddenly stopped fighting. Peter however thinks Melissa might have been the one to kill Ali. He knows she was sending Ali threatening texts and he and Veronica even hired a private investigator to find out if Melissa had something to do with it.

Spencer is caught in between Peter and Melissa, not really sure who to believe. Peter tries to buy Spencer’s love with a diamond necklace, hoping to distract her from the growing evidence against him. He brings her to the Father/Daughter Dance where he really tries but it is just too weird for Spencer. She wants to believe that her family isn’t as fucked up as they are, but they are making it really difficult.

The other Liars are convinced that Melissa is A but Spencer really doesn’t want to accept it. And at this point they don’t know what to do with the videos. They have been burned every time they have tried to go to the police. But also how can they not? Spencer for once asks her sister a direct question about the videos and Melissa says she was just in the house looking for Ian. Spencer is ready to turn the video into the police but Melissa threatens her that other videos could also surface, ones that make the Liars look bad. Spencer is too afraid to call her bluff.

Spencer needs more evidence. When Mona gets another A text, this time telling her to break up Hanna and Caleb, Hanna comes up with a plan to trap Melissa. She forces her boyfriend to make out with Mona, someone he really hates, in view of Melissa to see if they get an A message (would Melissa even know who Caleb and Mona are?). They do get a message and this is all the proof Hanna needs, despite the fact that they were making out in a very public place and A has surveillance everywhere. This is hardly bulletproof.

Alison’s Hunt for A

Jonah calls Aria and tells her that Ali was getting texts from more than one number, and the other one leads them to Brookhaven, a nearby town that is just the Rosewood set with a couple different shops. They aren’t able to get an exact address just a general area. They find a VERY creepy doll hospital that has dolls that look a lot like the ones that A sent them. While they are looking around Aria gets cold and puts on Ali’s red trench coat because it happened to be in the car. Immediately after she puts it on she gets mistaken for Vivian by a guy named Duncan.

Duncan knew Vivian/Ali and well enough to know that Alison was her real name. They spent a lot of time together the summer before she went missing. Duncan is a pilot and they would fly his tiny plane around. He tells Aria that Ali loved to fly the plane because it was the only time she really felt like she had full control. Duncan saw her the day she disappeared. He actually flew down to Hilton Head and brought her back to Philadelphia, meaning she arrived in town several hours earlier than she told the girls.

Jason gets a bag of Ali’s stuff from Maya’s parents and he gives it to Spencer. Initially when they go through it they don’t find anything other than junk. However, thanks to Hanna’s fashion knowledge (she recognized the blouse Michelle Obama was wearing in the newspaper and knows it was from two years ago), Spencer realizes that the newspaper is the real clue. They unfold all the newspaper that had been wrapping the items and find that sections of it are highlighted. There is also a circled Labor Day event in Rosewood, making them wonder if this is where she went when she was lying about being back.

Going through the newspapers, Spencer realizes that Ali and A were communicating through the classified ads and that A had agreed to meet up with Ali in Brookhaven not long before she disappeared. The Liars go the address which is near the creepy doll hospital. This time they meet the owners of the doll hospital, an old woman and a young kid, Seth Baby. Seth Baby is possibly one of my favorite minor characters on this show. Every now and then the show forays into the supernatural and he is an example of that. He looks like a vampire and he is also kind of a seer. He knows things about Alison that weren’t in the newspaper (like that she died of asphyxiation from being buried alive). He tells the Liars that a couple with dark hair (presumably Melissa and Ian) was after Ali.

The Liars return later to ask Seth Baby if Melissa was the one who was after Ali but when they get there, neither he or the old lady are there. As they are looking around they hear an automated voice like the ones from the dolls that A sent them in the mid-season finale. It leads them to a closet where there is an Ali doll, with a bloody head, who has been buried alive and is chanting “follow me, end up like me”. They then get attacked by all the creepy dolls. In the A-tag we learn that A paid the old lady and Seth to mess with the girls and scare them away from continuing to look into Ali’s disappearance/A’s identity. So all of the things that Seth knew were probably just things that A told him. But it sends a clear message to the Liars, if they continue down this trail, they will be killed just like Alison was.

What is Jenna Up to?

Jenna is back in Rosewood after her surgery and Toby is taking care of her. He seemingly has completely turned on the Liars and is suddenly sympathetic towards Jenna, telling them how it was them who ruined her life first. Which is not untrue. When Hanna goes over to retrieve Ali’s bag from Jason’s back porch, she realizes that the house is on fire and Jenna is inside. Hanna carries her out, saving her life. This obviously brings back some bad memories for Jenna and she is terrified. She is also shocked to learn that it was Hanna who saved her. The fire seems to have been intentionally set, and Jenna sent there, and the Liars suspect Garrett is behind it.

After Jenna takes the bandages off from her eye surgery, she tells Toby and every one else that the surgery didn’t work. But this is revealed to be a lie at the end of Episode 24 (“If These Doll’s Could Talk”). She is only pretending to be blind now. But that is not the only scheming that Jenna is up to. She tells the Liars she wants to make peace with them and that she is no longer interested in holding onto her hatred towards them. She also tells them that she was never the one they really needed to fear. This is at least the second time that Jenna has hinted to the Liars that she knows about A. She also gets Garrett arrested for Ali’s murder when she turns in page 5 of Ali’s autopsy report, telling Toby that Garrett gave it to her. She pretends that she doesn’t even know what it is. What exactly happened between Garrett and Jenna that made her turn on him so completely? Or was it her plan all along?

ROMANCE

Aria is still trying to save her relationship with Ezra, and she thinks Ella is on her side and will convince Byron to do the same. Ella has to remind both Aria and Ezra that she is not on their side, she just doesn’t see things as black and white as Byron does. Mike very fairly asks Aria if all of this drama is worth it to be with Ezra and she is like yes love is worth fighting for no matter what. Again Aria shows her naïveté when it comes to her adult relationship. Ezra stands up to Byron telling him that he won’t be taking the job. He doesn’t want to let Byron control him and he won’t run away in shame. He is feeling so good about himself after this triumph, but he has to know this will backfire. And it does. He ends up getting fired and Aria has to fend off boarding school threats from her parents by going absolutely nuclear. She threatens to turn Byron in for his own student-teacher relationship if they send her off. But Ezra getting fired is kind of the wake-up call Aria needed. He isn’t going to be able to stay in Rosewood and for once Aria is mature about it. But before he goes, they make sure to finally consummate their relationship.

Emily learns that Maya has run away from home but she still hasn’t heard from her. The uncertainty of where Maya is and where they stand is driving her crazy. Her dad helps her track Maya down to put her mind at ease. They go to the bus station and talk to a ticket agent who initially won’t help Emily because he is on a lunch break. But when Wayne flashes that US Army hat he changes his mind. He tells them that Maya bought a ticket to San Francisco but he isn’t sure if she got on or not. While waiting, someone in a car drove up to talk to her and he never saw if she got in the car or on the bus.

Later Emily gets a text from an unknown number, it is Maya telling her she is okay but not to tell anyone she heard from her. Emily is conflicted about whether she should tell Maya’s parents or not. They are worried sick and it would be wrong to keep this from them, and she ultimately decides that she has to tell them. Maya later sends her an email basically saying goodbye.

Toby returns and has zero interest in talking to Spencer. When Toby runs into Wren at the hospital he is very pissy with him. Wren is then of course at the hospital when Spencer comes in with Jenna after the fire. He is probing her about Toby being back and asks her if she wants to pretend like nothing happened between them. She tells him she wouldn’t take it back, which he is very satisfied with.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • After throwing her phone in the sink, Hanna is not getting another one. This is Ashley’s method of getting Hanna to talk to her about A. So Mona lends her one of her old phones. It’s ancient, like 6 months old.
  • Peter finds the gun in his desk is missing (A stole it several episodes ago). How has he not noticed? Also that is terrible gun safety.
  • Veronica is still very anti-Jason but starts to come around a little after Spencer calls her out for trying to pretend that their family isn’t forever changed by this revelation.
  • Mona: “What’s the point of doing something for someone if it doesn’t make you look good?”
  • Jenna: “I bet even a lie would sound good in that accent”. She also refers to Wren as Spencer’s “personal physician”.
  • Spencer gets her Ali “dream”. She wakes up in the middle of the night in her living room to find Ali going through the duffel bag they got from Jason. Spencer is on painkillers so this could be a dream… or could be real… But what is she even on painkillers for? Ali tells her not to get too caught up in the details and miss the big picture. The next morning Spencer wakes up again and finds that the door is open and so are her pills.
  • Garrett and Melissa are together now… gross.
  • A-tags
    • Episode 22 – A buys a newspaper with Maya reported as a missing person on the front page.
    • Episode 23 – A plants Garrett’s police badge in the fire wreckage.
    • Episode 24 – A paid the old lady and Seth Baby to mess with the girls. Seth gets paid in a lollipop.

FASHION

Aria wears a dress with fish on it in Episode 23. In the next episode she wears a pink sheer dress on top of a short black skirt. Meanwhile Spencer is dressed like a doll.

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