Hello and welcome back to Texts From A, where I’m watching Pretty Little Liars for the first time and telling you all about it! We’re getting into season 2 now. We still don’t know who A is or who killed Alison or why Fitz and Aria, the least subtle people on Earth, have managed to get away with their terrible relationship for this long. Will we have the answers by the end of the season?
For now, let’s talk episodes 1 and 2 of season 2.
Season 2 picks up right where season 1 left off – like, literally minutes later. Maybe less. The girls are still outside the church where Ian died (or did he? Because his body is gone!).
There’s a few major things that happen to the girls more as a group than anything else that we should get into first:
The guy who replaced Detective Creeper as the show’s terrible cop du jour – took a side trip into an alley on his way to taking the girls to the station.
Because that’s not weird at all!
He told them to lie to the cops about blackmailing Ian and about Garrett helping them blackmail Ian. That includes keeping the videos they were using as blackmail a secret.
Oh also Jenna totally overhears that entire conversation, but since she and Garrett are in on it together anyway, that’s not too scandalous.
I should also tell you that back in episode 21, I said a guy was watching them that I didn’t recognize. I went back and looked while writing this post, and…it was Garrett. I think. Listen, he’s in the shadows, I didn’t recognize him before, but I’m 90% sure now it was Garrett.
Jason, Alison’s brother, has moved back into their old house. Garrett and Jenna find this very concerning, because what if people find out about The Jason Thing?
The various parents finally step in and decide the girls need grief counseling.
Which…yes. One of their best friends was murdered. Therapy is a good idea.
They see the counselor as a group. She tells them that everything they say in that room will be a secret, and they actually seriously consider telling her about the videos and about A.
Do any of you know more about mandatory reporting than I do? Would “we are being stalked by someone who probably have killed at least one person and also this adult man – who is now missing, maybe murdered by the stalker – has been recording us in private since we were children, here are the videos” fall under mandatory reporting?
That’s just so many crimes.
In any case, they nearly tell the counselor in that first session – but then some texts come in and it spooks them. The texts were just from Aria and Emily’s mothers, but, still.
They decide finally to definitely tell her, but at the second session, they see something out of place on her bookshelves.
It’s Fitz’s college degree. His apartment was broken into, and Aria was sent a text from A with a picture of his desk asking what’s missing.
The girls are sure this means that A knows they’re seeing this counselor and that it’s a threat/reminder not to tell, so, they rush to leave.
After that disastrous second session where they all acted suspicious as hell, the counselor recommends to their parents that the girls take time apart. Their parents agree. Aria, Hanna, Emily, and Spencer are not to hang out until further notice.
I don’t know if this is a good choice or not. I can’t tell. I had something similar happen in middle school and being isolated from my best friends sure didn’t help my mental health.
Oh, also, the counselor is super being stalked by A, so I’m worried about her.
Now, onto the individual girls.
-Cue that scowling cat face for me. Aria’s storylines are as Fitz-heavy as ever.
-There’s a couple of other things, sure – her mom is moving back in, and Noel Kahn has returned from suspension. He’s already acting like a weird arrogant dick towards Aria.
-As someone who liked him and used him as an example that PLL’s teenage boys were better than its adult men, I take this as a personal insult.
-But primarily, her story is all Fitz.
-They’re still in kind of a weird place when the season kicks off. Fitz tries to get her to talk to him about the whole Ian debacle, but she doesn’t want to.
-He asks if they’re over, and she says she doesn’t know.
Fitz gives her a chance to ask him anything she wants about Jackie, and he’ll answer honestly. She learns that Jackie ended the engagement because she wasn’t ready for the commitment, that Fitz doesn’t consider Aria his rebound, and that he was still in love with Jackie when they met.
-That makes her go chilly again, and Fitz tries to assure her that she’s the only girl he thinks about, and god I am so bored???
-Fitz convinces her to come back to his place to talk about their relationship and their future.
-But he’s at a meeting with the new head of his department, and it runs late.
-Aria gives up, leaves him a note that says “Sorry we couldn’t make this work” and peaces out.
-After leaving Fitz’s, Aria goes over to Spencer’s, presumably for some kind of comfort – but the house has been broken into. She walks inside and calls out for Spencer, only to have a shadowy figure barrel down the stairs, push her into a table, and run off into the night.
-She’s fine, but they don’t figure out who it was.
-Finally we have Fitz’s last day at Rosewood High. He gives his English class this emotional speech about how they’ve changed his life and how much they mean to him and how much he’ll miss them and their faces.
-He spends most of it looking right at Aria.
-Seriously how haven’t they been caught yet?
-Well, it works on Aria. After school’s out, at the last minute, she decides to run to his classroom – only he’s gone.
But then she sees him in the parking lot, and, well, this ends with Aria and Fitz making out in the very public parking lot. We don’t see any people around but they’re literally standing in front of school buses.
-How is Fitz not in jail?
She’s SIXTEEN. Even if she had a birthday we weren’t told about, she’d still be SEVENTEEN.
-Mona is trying to win her way into my graces by defending Hanna against some shitty girls gossipping about what happened with Ian (the town consensus currently being that they all made the story up for attention).
-This may work on me. Defending my daughter goes a long way towards making me like someone.
-Unfortunately for Mona, Hanna gets a chance to talk to Caleb. He tells her about the letter and what it said, and tells her that he gave it to Mona.
-He tells Hanna that he loves her, and then Hanna tears out all of our collective hearts by saying that she believes him, but after what he did, she can’t trust him.
Caleb leaves. Again.
-Hanna confronts Mona, who says she threw away the letter to protect her from being hurt more by Caleb.
Hanna says that what Mona did hurt more than Caleb’s betrayal.
-Then Noel Kahn shows up because apparently he and Mona are on a date! Hanna leaves in disgust, Mona starts crying, I’m so mad that I’m starting to like Mona,
Hanna’s father – who she sees almost never – heard the news about the whole Ian thing, and decides to show up and be, idk, fatherly for a few days.
-Hanna is not impressed.
-Add him as possibly the first on the list of men Hanna doesn’t trust. During the divorce, he said he’d always be there, but then he wasn’t. He apologizes, but Hanna tells him she can’t trust his apologies.
-But it doesn’t end entirely on an unhappy “can’t trust anyone” note for Hanna, because by the end of episode 2, she forgives Mona.
-Listen. I still don’t know how much I trust her, but Mona seems to genuinely care for Hanna, so…that’s something.
-I’m assuming they’re going to find a way out of actually having Emily move to Texas for a year, because boy would that be awkward to juggle for the show, but for now, Pam has hired a realtor.
-He evaluates Emily’s room and is casually insulting about the size and paint and the height chart on the wall and he upsets Emily and I hate him.
-Emily and Toby spend some time together because she’s acting as a cover for him to see Spencer. He cuts the height chart off the wall so she can save it, and promises he’ll fix the wall up like new.
-They generally revive their friendship, and it’s real sweet. Emily’s worried that leaving Rosewood will mean leaving her friends, but Toby points out that after not hanging out for awhile, they’re still able to reconnect in a single conversation. It’ll be the same with her friends.
-(Spencer doesn’t show up, but we’ll deal with that later.)
-So, my boyfriend and I might not be renewing the lease on our apartment, and I’m very stressed out about the idea of our landlord touring it with potential tenants. I don’t want strangers around my stuff and my cats without me there.
-I mention this because the end of episode 1 sure doesn’t help my fear there.
-The realtor is giving a tour of Emily’s house to A!!
-Emily left her laptop out on her desk and apparently doesn’t password protect it (???) because A deletes the entire. Freaking. Hard drive.
-That laptop has copies of Ian’s videos. The original jump drive disappeared with his body, so all the girls had were the ones on Emily’s laptop.
-Why didn’t they make copies on all their laptops or a new jump drive? WHO KNOWS.
In happier news, Samara came to Emily’s swim meet, and they’re adorable.
-Samara asks Emily to go see a movie and Emily’s all nervous about starting something if she’s going to be moving, but agrees.
-Their date is super cute, too, like, Emily feels weird at first because it’s the same theater where she had her first date with Maya, but Samara is very chill about it.
-Samara tells Emily all about her first girlfriend, and I’m just a sucker for shows that are like “yes, people can discuss their past relationships with new partners without it being Big Jealous Drama”.
-And Emily gets scouted by a scout from what is apparently the college every high school swimmer wants to go to.
-He tells her that she’s a perfect candidate for a scholarship, but that he’s concerned about her moving away from Rosewood. -Apparently Rosewood is a very competitive swimming district, and anywhere else was bound to be a step down and would not look as great on her record.
-Naturally, Emily lies and tells him that her parents changed their minds and she’s not moving at all.
-Pam agrees that the scholarship opportunity is worth staying in Rosewood – but that they’d need a guarantee from the scout. They can’t put off moving for a “maybe”, it has to be a “yes”, in writing.
-…Which Emily can’t get. She was super sure she could, but the scout says that at this stage, he can’t give her a yes. He can talk to her parents and he absolutely can give her that “maybe” in writing, but not the yes.
-We do not know by the end of episode 2 if this is something her parents will go for.
-Uh, weird side note – someone broke into their garage and stole some winter and camping gear.
-Someone’s been stealing camping gear from various houses around the neighborhood.
-My #1 fear since the end of season one has been Spencer’s reunion with Melissa. I mean, Melissa blames Spencer for her grown-ass fiances kissing her teenage sister. How’s she gonna feel about Spencer saying Ian tried to kill her?
-NOT GREAT, basically.
-Their first interaction comes after Melissa talks to Garrett about everything the police are doing to try Ian (since no one believes the girls about him being dead).
(Throughout these episodes, the girls will kind of stop believing themselves about him being dead, but we’ll get there.)
-Melissa screams at Spencer that when Ian comes back, they’re leaving, because she’ll never allow Spencer to be near her baby.
-Why yes, I DID watch that entire scene on mute because I was so stressed.
-Spencer spends a lot of time trying to meet up with Toby, which is still difficult, since her parents don’t want her seeing him and his don’t want him seeing her.
-That’s why Emily was going to be their cover.
-But Spencer doesn’t show up because Melissa comes to her to apologize, and to say that she wants the whole story of what happened at the church.
-The newspapers are saying that the girls lied, and that Ian’s car was found at the train tracks, and $10,000 was taken from his account, so clearly he just ran off.
-Melissa says he’d never leave her. That’s why she’s ready to listen to Spencer.
-But then, later, Spencer picks up Melissa’s phone and finds a text from a blocked number. It says that it’s not safe yet, so they can’t tell Melissa anything.
-The girls are wondering if it really is Ian. Spencer texts the number back, asking the person on the other end to prove he’s Ian by telling them what Melissa and Ian were going to name their baby. -(Melissa had just told Spencer that afternoon.)
…And whoever it is gets it right.
-This is around when the girls start wondering if Ian really is dead. They’re sure that he was, but, his body did disappear, and it’s not like they’re experts on dead bodies, so…
-Remember how Jason’s back?
Melissa makes a comment about how Jason isn’t someone you can rely on, but won’t say anything else.
Spencer goes to see Jason with a plate of baked goods, under the guise of being neighborly.
-There’s a dog sniffing and scratching at a large patch of dirt in Jason’s front garden and that’s…probably fine.
-It’s also probably fine that the patch of dirt is, uh, slightly larger than you’d need for a grave.
-Jason – who has absolutely been re-cast – asks Spencer if Ian confessed to killing Alison.
She says yes, but Jason keeps pressing – did he say “I killed Alison”?
-And no, he didn’t.
-Spencer thinks that Ian trying to frame her for Alison’s murder was confession enough, but Jason doesn’t seem to think so (and neither do I).
-We get a flashback to Alison and Jason fighting, and Alison telling the girls, ““I have hiding places all over the house. The yard, too. When I hide something, it stays hid until I want it found.”
We’ll get back to Jason, but first, Toby and Spencer do finally see each other! Toby tells Spencer that he’s getting his GED, and that he got a full-time job with some great construction company in town. It’s really wonderful! He’ll make money and be able to get out of his family’s super toxic weird house.
-…Until Spencer sees him get fired on his first day. The man whose house they were working on threatened to cancel the project if Toby was on the crew.
-They also discuss if Spencer should tell the police about Ian texting Melissa, but Toby points out that the police haven’t done anything good for either of them.
-Remember Aria getting attacked in Spencer’s house?
They’re kind of wondering if it’s Ian. There have been other people breaking into houses around town to get camping gear, and who might need that? Maybe someone on the run, in hiding?
-And maybe that same someone would have a reason to break into Spencer’s house and be upstairs, where Spencer’s room is? You know, the girl Ian tried to kill?
God, now I’m wondering if he’s really dead.
-Back to Jason. The girls walk by his house at night, and the patch of dirt the dog had been so interested in is now covered by a tarp.
-That patch of dirt is absolutely grave-sized. I stand by that.
-He just moved back in and he’s already got a secret grave. -That’s dedication.
-Jason doesn’t comment on that, though. He just says he’s doing some yard work and putting up a fence to keep out all the nosy people.
-That actually seems legit to me. Alison’s murder was a fairly huge deal, and there are some obsessive people who are into murder and don’t understand boundaries.
-But the girls wonder who Jason’s really trying to keep out with that fence – or keep in.
Episode 2 ends on that dog sniffing around again at that grave-sized patch of dirt, until someone whistles for him. The dog runs up to the person and immediately goes into submissive, sitting, tail-wagging mode – as A reaches out a gloved hand to pet him.
Everyone is working for A, even the dogs.
Gosh. That was a lot. Every time I think I’m getting better at condensing the events of these episodes, I end up saying more. It’s time to stop for now, and I’ll see you back here next week for episodes 3 and 4.