Welcome to another installment of Texts from A, in which I watch Pretty Little Liars for the first time and tell you about it. This week, we’re diving into episodes 2-4 of season 1.
At the beginning of episode two, “The Jenna Thing” I had two immediate reactions:
- Oh good! They’re not dragging out telling us about The Jenna Thing they kept teasing in the pilot!
- Oh god! Is it going to take 160 episodes to find out who A is? Where would they go after that if they did it earlier? What have I gotten myself into here?
True to the promise of the pilot, Pretty Little Liars is just “everything happens so much” in show form. I think the easiest way to get us both through this is going to be continuing to go by character. Trying to walk you through their stories in the way they’re presented would be a lot.
Let me first, though, introduce you to Jenna of The Jenna Thing.
- Jenna is blind, because of The Jenna Thing.
- She has one outfit and it’s all black.
- She doesn’t seem like great blind representation.
- Her main traits are “maybe evil” and “everyone pities her and talks about how tragic she is”.
- We always know when she’s approaching because of the loud, ominous tapping of her white cane.
- I’m also not convinced she’s actually blind.
- There’s no evidence for this, it’s just that Pretty Little Liars is a teen-focused soap opera on network prime time and any soap opera would give us a dramatic reveal that she was never blind or was only temporarily blind.
Oh, I should probably also tell you about The Jenna Thing, since it’s a pretty big deal that involves all of the girls.
- Jenna has a stepbrother named Toby. Alison claims to catch him spying on her and the other girls.
- We don’t see him and neither does anyone else and Alison is a creature of chaos so who knows if that’s true.
- They all run off to the garage that Toby spends all his time in, as weird teen boys do I guess, and Alison lights some stink bombs and throws them in.
- Idk exactly how stink bombs work but these cause a massive fire. Somehow. Can stink bombs do that?
- Toby wasn’t in the garage, but Jenna was!
- No details on her injuries as of episode 4, just that she’s blind now.
- Seriously, how did a stink-bomb caused fire make her blind?
- I’m sure there are ways for it to happen, just…what?
Now that you’re caught up on The Jenna Thing, let’s talk about how our girls fared in episodes 2-4.
Aria, of the raised eyebrow:
- Aria has two storylines
- Her dad had an affair that he’s making her hide
- She hooked up with Fitz, her English teacher, who I still wish would just GO AWAY.
- Fitz doesn’t go away.
- Let’s start with Fitz. Fitz thinks all of these things are a fine idea to do with his 16-year-old student that he’s attracted to:
- Hang out in the classroom with her, alone
- Invite her to his home, alone
- Invite her to his story reading, at a bar
- Kiss her
- Lecture her on how she’s handling her dad’s affair (though tbh he was right about this one thing, which is that it’s not on her to fix her parents’ marriage)
- Humiliate her in class the day after she angrily leaves his apartment
- What about her dad’s affair? Well! Aria meets the woman he had the affair with! Her name is Meredith, and Aria’s dad somehow thinks it’s fine for her to be around his wife and daughter??
- Meredith does not seem over Aria’s dad, either, idk if the affair is even actually done.
- Aria decides she’s going to tell her mom (Piper from Charmed) about the affair…
- …but A beats her to it.
Hanna, who is growing on me:
- Hanna has a hot mom, let’s not try to deny it.
- Hanna and her hot mom are underappreciated and mistreated by most of the men in their lives.
- Just like every other woman in
- The cop Hanna’s mom slept with to make Hanna’s shoplifting charge disappear takes his sweet sweet time holding up his end of the bargain.
- Instead he sticks around their house, spending the night many nights in a row.
- And uh interrogating Hanna about Alison’s death without her mom present.
- Don’t worry, Hanna’s mom DOES kick that creepy ass cop right out.
- But uh then Hanna sort of gets super drunk at a party after her boyfriend, Sean, won’t sleep with her.
- Sean is a religious boy waiting for marriage and Hanna is a formerly fat girl scared he’s not attracted to her because of said former fatness.
- She takes Sean’s car and wrecks it.
- Hanna’s dad contacts Hanna for the first time in awhile to invite her to dinner.
- He’s real cold to Hanna’s mom >:(
- He surprises Hanna at dinner with his new fiancee and his fiancee’s daughter because he is trash.
- Oh he also decides that this dinner with his new family is the time to tell Hanna that he handled the whole thing with her wrecking that car by making a deal with Sean’s mom for her to work at her dentist office to pay off the damage.
Emily, the Gay One:
- Yes okay so Hanna wrecked Sean’s car at that party but MORE IMPORTANTLY, EMILY AND MAYA KISSED IN A PHOTO BOOTH.
- IT WAS PERFECT.
- …But someone mysterious stole the photo strip that showed them kissing, which freaks Emily out, especially when she finds it in her chemistry book!
- We also see a mysterious gloved person making many, many copies of the photos, but that hasn’t come back yet.
- Maya and Emily have a small rift because of Emily being freaked out about the pictures being found, and they talk about the kiss, and Emily needs space, and Maya says she cares about her, and I am dying.
- There’s someone else coming into Emily’s life.
- Toby, Jenna’s stepbrother, who may or may not have peeped on her and her friends.
- He’s Emily’s new chemistry partner!
- Assuming Alison was lying, Toby might be one of the few decent guys in this show.
- Sean seems fine too.
- He defends Emily from shitty people, he’s nice to her.
- He seems kind of scared of Jenna, I think?
- I think I like him.
Spencer, who should probably be on anti-anxiety meds:
- Shocking NO ONE, her family of thin rich people have a casually terrible relationship with food and weight.
- So does everyone but hers makes a lot of those weird food moralizing comments.
- Spencer’s sister is engaged to a guy named Wren
- Wren, who is AN ADULT MAN, kisses Spencer, who is a TEENAGER.
- AND GUESS WHO HER SISTER BLAMES?
- Yes, it’s the teenager.
- Melissa (the sister) dumps Wren, is super shitty to Spencer the whole time.
- Wren later comes to the house, drunk, while Spencer is alone.
- AND KISSES HER AGAIN.
- [puts Fitz and Wren on my List]
- Spencer is totally overwhelmed by everything, and doesn’t finish a school paper in time.
- This is Unacceptable, so she finds and steals a paper Melissa wrote on the same topic when she was in high school.
- …Which Spencer’s teacher then nominates for a big essay award.
- That should end fine.
And what is going on with A, you may ask? Well, all of the girls blocked the original number on their phones. Which worked!
…Until episode 4. And then it didn’t work anymore. A got creative. A:
- dedicated a song to Hanna on the radio that was clearly about her tumultuous relationship with her dad.
- sent a letter to Aria’s mom about Aria’s dad’s affair.
- Say it with me friends: “all the men in Pretty Little Liars are trash”
- broke into Spencer’s house, created a grave out of a broken potted plant
- wrote “I WON’T BE THAT EASY BITCHES” on Spencer’s mirror, in the shade of lipstick Alison always wore.
A is obviously not going away anytime soon, and neither am I. I’m having way too much fun.