PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: “Love ShAck, Baby”
Read on for Crissy’s thoughts on Pretty Little Liars episode 4×15, aired Tuesday, January 14, 2014:
Creepy cabin times for the PLLs! I am enjoying the commitment to Ezra’s evil “A” status, and “Love ShAck, Baby” had the girls keeping secrets, both old and new, from each other whilst chasing down Alison and being chased down by Mr. Fitz.
Instead of telling the girls that she and Fitz hooked up, Aria keeps the secret, pretending that she’s creeping in Fitz’s classroom to return a pen (she was decidedly not), that the titular love shack is her uncle’s (not her teacher/lover’s), that she’s on the phone with Jake (not with creeptastic Ezra “I Love You, but Also Torment You” Fitz). Aria clearly does not learn from Hanna’s experience in this episode, or from her own past of secret-keeping eventually detonating. Once a liar, always a liar, I guess! [Editor's Note: Once again, the show's commitment to the promise of its title is impressive. Liars gonna lie.]
Meanwhile, Aria’s one true love Fitz is keeping a ginormous secret of his own, and his mission this episode is to get Ali’s “creative non-fiction with pseudonyms” diary back from the foursome. After a hilarious snoop through Hanna’s room while Ashley is diverted by a real estate emergency (was that a real real estate emergency?), Fitz finally gets the book back, with helpful post-it notes and explanations of the encoded stories. Mission accomplished. While Aria doesn’t realize that Fitz is at least a little bit evil, she does continue to make inspired sartorial selections. Like those pants. Or those other pants. All amazing.
As much as I hate to see Hanna suffer, I do kind of love it when she’s in a bad mood, and snarking at the girls when they try to be kind to her about the Caleb breakup — like that moment in the car with Emily was hilarious. And in an excellent nod to the Hanna-Mike Hastings relationship in the original book series, we discover that the reason Hanna didn’t want the girls reading Ali’s encoded diary, and specifically not Aria, is that she was caught by Ali hooking up with Aria’s baby bro Mike. Let’s not dwell too long on this, but if Hanna was about 15 when that happened, Mike would’ve barely been pubescent. A little weird, Han. Of course, the Queen of Mean, Alison DiLaurentis, makes Hanna feel one hundred times worse about her transgression than she should, and poor tear-streaked flashback Hanna begs her not to tell Aria, afraid that she would never be forgiven. In reality, Aria barely flinches. (As Mona said last week, He who is without sin…) Even though these girls lie to each other on the daily, their friendship is unbreakable. Love these moments where the girls reaffirm that they’ll always be there for each other. Warms my cold, cold heart.
But one friendship that is still being tested is that of formerly lovesick Emily and Ali. Was that really Ali who came to visit Em in the night? The diary was closed and in the spot Ali moved it to in the dream, but Em wasn’t wearing her bracelet … so was any of it real? Was all of it? And if it was, how interesting that Alison herself is conflicted about who she is: the shining star that Emily used to see, or a person capable of great cruelty to those supposed to be her friends. I’m a bit nervous that if Alison ever really does return to Rosewood, that some of the awesomeness of the character will be lost. We’ve had four seasons of Ali as the girls remember her, or Ali in dreams, but the real Alison? Who knows. (Apparently, not even Alison herself!)
Spencer’s dad continues to be super shady: he lies to Spence, to Toby, to his wife. Probably to his secretary too, for good measure. What is his deal with Mrs. DiLaurentis? Whatever it is, Spencer has had enough of “his roof, his rules” and shows up, suitcase in tow, at Toby’s at the end of the episode. (Toby, by that time of night, had decided to upgrade to a shirt with sleeves.) Those two seem pretty happy, so no doubt something awful will happen to them soon. Maybe Toby will fall off some scaffolding again.
- So did Alison actually leave that note for Emily or did “A”? Because Emily’s bracelet, which she left at the Kissing Rock, is in the cabin in the place of the journal — so did “A” write the note, or just follow Emily there hoping to see Ali?
- Was it definitely, 100% Ezra that went to the cabin and stole the diary? I think so …
- Who was the other patient at Radley who was on the roof with Toby’s mom when she “accidentally” fell off? A certain blonde-haired troubled teen, perhaps? How could anyone but that patient know for sure if it was murder or not?
- Will CeCe soon be apprehended and brought back to Rosewood in an orange jumpsuit? I hope so!
- What is Travis’s deal? Is he Hanna’s new love interest and do you (a) trust him, or (b) think he is suitable rebound material?
- Would you consider Spencer’s boyfriend jeans, loose-hanging suspenders, and striped top her most casual wear of all time? Is she undergoing a personal style renaissance?
- No offense to Ezra, but do you think he’s tech-savvy enough to hack into the backend system of a GPS system in order to reroute the PLLs with some faked traffic/construction on their route? Did he (or another “A” minion) also mess with Em’s car so it broke down? Or was that just dumb luck?
- Is Alison hiding out at the Bumble Bee Inn? [Editor's Note: Laughing forever at the name "Bumble Bee Inn." Also, it reminds me of that spectacular time when Aria's mom was trapped in a car full of bees, and omg this show is amazing.]
Crissy Calhoun has written a number of books about TV shows, including ROSEWOOD CONFIDENTIAL onPRETTY LITTLE LIARS (co-authored under the pseudonym Liv Spencer), and she’s currently working on the fifth volume in the LOVE YOU TO DEATH series (LoveYoutoDeathTVD.com) on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES with Heather Vee. She tweets @CrissyCalhoun (often) and blogs at CrissyCalhoun.com(rarely).