Texts from A: COOL. Glad another predatory guy is back!

A Pretty Little Liars Binge Watch

Pretty Little Liars 2.03

Hello, friends, and welcome back to Texts From A, where I’m watching Pretty Little Liars for the first time and telling you all about it! Today we’re discussing episodes 3 and 4 of season 2, in which Aria gets caught in more ways than one, Hanna becomes a matchmaker, Emily tries to do the right thing but A hecks it all up, and Spencer delves deep into the paranoid side of trauma.

Btw, the recap of episode 3 included Wren – Melissa’s ex-fiance who kissed Spencer? – so, COOL. Glad another predatory guy is back!

  • What a blessedly Fitz-light couple of episodes.
    • But also what little happened with him was, uh, big? Because he and Aria still seem to think that the problem with their relationship being public was him being her teacher, not her being underage, and they’re casually hanging out and making out on his new campus!
      • And also where his ex-fiancee, who knows her dad and knows Aria, works!
      • It’s the ex-fiancee, Jackie, who sees them.
      • That happened in episode 3, and it hasn’t come back yet, not in that one, not in episode 4. All she did was stare at them in confusion or shock, but it’s hard not to feel like I’m bracing for an explosion.
    • Aria is taking an extension course at Hollis in…pottery?
      • Jenna is there, too, and Aria seems to decide the right course of action is to be very quiet and give a fake name so that Jenna doesn’t know it’s her.
      • Predictably, this backfires, but it gives us a scene that makes me rethink the suspicion that Jenna is either faking her blindness or faking the extent of it.
        • I had no proof to begin with, it just seemed like something the show would do for the drama.
        • She and Aria (who Jenna thinks is Anita) share this moment where Jenna tells her about how much she misses seeing the sun glimmering on water, only to realize who Aria really is when she talks.
        • Jenna was super vulnerable during that story, and pissed when Aria got exposed, so I don’t think she knew it was really Aria.
        • Aria had kind of been trying to make things better with Jenna (at Fitz’s urging) but is pretty sure she just made it worse.
      • In better news, her mom is now a full time teacher at the school, taking over Fitz’s class!
      • In worse news, her brother has been lying about where he’s been going after school for months, is still in full rebellion-mode from their parents’ separation, and coerces Aria into lying for him.
      • Oh, there’s also this part where she’s looking for her brother at the park but finds Jason, Alison’s shady brother? He says all this stuff about how he always thought Aria was cool, and I can’t tell if he’s….flirting…….?
  • Hanna gets a whole emotional arc in these episodes!
  • Ever since she and Caleb broke up, her emotions have slanted more towards “angry” and “do what you want, everyone else will anyway”.
    • It’s not surprising that when you take that mood and add on separation from her best friends, Hanna’s been pretty resistant to going to therapy or actually talking to the therapist when she goes.
      • The therapist – who I’ve realized I recognize because she plays Elizabeth Bartlet on West Wing and yes, that is what I’ll be calling her from now on – wants Hanna to talk about Alison and her real feelings, but Hanna’s not there yet.
    • Hanna’s dad is still around. She doesn’t feel inclined to trust him, but he and her mom are getting along. They’re laughing about old times.
      • When Hanna feels betrayed by that, Ashley tells her that people can change and grow.
      • Her dad is also fighting with his fiancee. While I doubt she’d admit it, it seems like Ashley’s slowly getting her hopes up about a reconciliation. And slowly, slowly…so is Hanna.
      • Like, to the point that when a text comes in from said fiancee apologizing for their fight and telling him to call her, Hanna deletes it before her dad can see it.
    • Meanwhile, she’s also trying to get Lucas to be friends with her again.
      • Oh, and Caleb is living in his house.
      • Hanna works on matchmaking Lucas with a cute girl from yearbook (Danielle), and Caleb gets pulled in.
        • Why do I ship this ship so hard? I ship other ships on this show but nothing as much as I do Hanna and Caleb!
      • After Hanna’s hard work getting Lucas through a date with Danielle, he thanks her, and tells her that she’s grown an amazing amount since she was just part of Alison’s posse.
        • Past Hanna – Alison’s Hanna – wouldn’t have done this completely selfless thing that gave her nothing but made Lucas happy. Current Hanna is someone else.
      • This leads to my sweet sweet Hanna going into therapy and finally being able to say that she loved Alison, but she was her worst enemy. She’s ready to stop missing her.
        • She imagines Alison sitting there, and telling her that Hanna only has what Alison gave her. The others are going to move on without her and Alison is the only person who will ever always be there for her.
        • Hanna says, “Then I’d rather be alone,” and I AM SO PROUD OF MY DAUGHTER??
      • That was so heartwarming!
      • So of course A has to come ruin it!
        • Elizabeth Bartlet finds her office broken into and utterly trashed, with the words “NOSEY BITCHES DIE” written in red on the wall. This makes her call Hanna’s mom, wondering if there’s something Hanna knows that someone doesn’t want getting out.
        • But Hanna has no time for those questions, because, uh, well, she and the others are kind of stalking Spencer’s sister! More on that later!
  • Tbh, I kind of anticipated that Emily would fake a “yes” letter from the college scout to get her parents to stay in Rosewood. The “maybe” wasn’t going to be enough.
  • So I was really proud of her when she destroyed the fake letter! Because, yes, she totally made a fake letter, she’s desperate to stay, but then her mom said these very heartfelt things about how hard it had to be for Emily to hide who she was, and about how hard they’ve had to work to get to a place where Emily can trust her and be her honest self around her mother.
    • Mom Guilt always works. Emily ripped up the letter and threw it away.
    • It’s heartwarming, but, again, A hates heartwarming things.
  • That very same fake letter shows up on their doorstep, and Pam finds it first. She goes into full-celebration mode, because her daughter got a full ride to Danby!
    • Of course, A also left a little note for Emily in the trash where the ripped-up letter used to be – “You can’t play cat and mouse if the mouse moves to Texas. I need you here. Congrats, Em! – A”
  • Emily also gets a package of Danby gear from the “scout”, but the note in the box says “So happy to have you on our A-Team!”
    • Yeah, with the A underlined.
  • Obviously, Emily doesn’t feel like she can tell her very excited mother the truth about the fake letter or A, so she goes along with it.
    • She does confess the truth to Samara.
    • I really like Samara and Emily together. I mean, I’m still all the time going, “Where’s Maya?” but Samara and Emily are cute.
  • Pam invites Samara to celebrate with them – she’s trying so hard! I’m so happy! – and Samara totally uses the opportunity to give Emily more time and space to figure out what to do.
    • She advises Pam that Danby is only the start. Emily will be getting more offers from more colleges, especially next year, so acting too set on Danby by doing things like touring or calling the coach might make other colleges stay away.
    • A not totally inaccurate representation of How Things Work that also keeps Pam from finding out that the letter is a big, big lie!
  • Poor Spencer. She’s understandably still very shaken by Ian’s attempt on her life, especially since her family doesn’t fully believe it happened, and when Melissa flat-out says “Don’t make me choose between you and my husband” after Spencer asks for reassurance that Melissa would have her back if someone came after her.
    • Hard to feel safe and protected when the people closest to you and who you live with don’t believe there’s any danger to be protected from!
  • Her paranoia has resulted in her spying on both Melissa and Jason.
    • In her defense, Melissa is taking phone calls that she starts with things like “I’m not alone, let me get upstairs”, and Jason is doing things like saying there’s no one else in his house when we can distinctly see a shadow behind the curtains of an upstairs window, or saying he just cut himself when a pile of big bloody bandages fall out of his trash.
      • I’d be suspicious too! I AM, in fact, real suspicious!
    • So it doesn’t help when Toby gets a job building Jason’s fence. Toby needs the money so he can get a car that will allow him to travel farther (outside Rosewood, at least, where everyone still thinks “murderer” when they see him) for work.
      • Spencer begs him to quit, and when he won’t, she at least asks that he not go in the house.
    • We get to see how far Spencer’s paranoia is sending her when she finds Melissa’s wedding ring, which had gone missing and which Melissa has spent all of episode 3 frantically searching for…and pawns it.
      • Temporarily! She pawns it for cash to buy the truck Toby was looking at so that he can quit the job with Jason, and gets a receipt to return for it on Monday.
      • No, I don’t know where she got the money to pay the pawn shop guy back.
      • It doesn’t matter, anyway. “A” got to the ring first, telling the guy at the shop that it had been stolen.
      • When Spencer comes back for it, he gives her a…rusted horseshoe?
    • Remember how Wren was in the recap? That’s because he’s a doctor (or med student?) and Melissa is meeting with him in secret to get drugs that “””Ian””” is asking for.
      • I say “””Ian””” because while the show has started to make even me doubt that he’s dead, Melissa hasn’t seen him yet. Wren tells Spencer as much!
      • All she has is texts, and assurances that if she can get the medication he’s asking for (like painkillers), then he’ll tell her where he is.
    • Spencer convinces Wren to help her follow Melissa and track down Ian. He tells Melissa that he’s worried Ian will need more help than she can handle on her own, and that he won’t bring the drugs unless he can go with her to meet him.
      • When the time comes, he calls Spencer, and Spencer runs off to follow.
        • (This is also when Hanna runs off, because Spencer 911s the others, and they all follow together.)
      • Melissa drives out to some barn in the middle of nowhere. The girls carefully sneak towards the barn, until they hear Melissa screaming. Then it’s more like “heck secrecy, time to run!”
      • Ian is Melissa does find him, like the texts said she would!
        • It’s been staged to look like suicide by gunshot, with a note next to the body confessing to Alison’s murder.
      • The camera pans up to show us a horseshoe-shaped hole in the dust on the wall, clearly telling us that this is where A got the horseshoe to give to the pawn shop guy to give to Spencer.
        • I don’t know if the specific detail of “horseshoe from this barn” will come up later, or if it’s just meant to be confirmation that, yes, A did this?

Speaking of A, for some reason, Spencer left her freaking car window all the way down. This allows A to get into her purse and leave a cell phone.

I don’t know what the cell phone is, or whose it is. I briefly wondered if A was going to use it to track or listen to Spencer, but that’s nonsense, A is obviously already very good at tracking and listening. So is this a new way to frame her for something? I wish I knew if I was supposed to recognize that specific phone.

Hopefully we’ll find out in the next episodes. There’s a lot of dangling threads right now! Most prominent to me are that phone and Fitz’s ex-fiancee seeing him with Aria. Surely we can’t go too long without that blowing up, right?

Join me next week, and we’ll find out together!

Screenshots from: https://prettylittleliars.fandom.com

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