Texts From A: Please, Hanna, My Daughter, Give Her A Break

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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. This post covers episodes 14 and 15 of season one, where a lot of characters act irrationally, a new character is introduced, and I keep yelling “GIVE HANNA A BREAK!”

Episode 14 starts with the girls watching that video again – the one of Ian and Alison on the night Alison died. Hanna, like me, kinda wonders if this largely ambiguous video is showing a murder or uh something else more…sex.

The others don’t agree with either of us, but whatever, I think it’s possible.

They pause the video ON IAN’S FACE and then just wander away from it, leaving it on the kitchen counter, in the house Ian lives in, so of course Ian just comes right in. He somehow doesn’t see the huge picture of his face on the laptop…or does he?

Let’s get into character breakdowns.

Aria:
  • You’ll be SO SHOCKED to know that most of Aria’s stuff is Fitz-related, and it’s extra annoying right now because tbh it’s making her anxious and temperamental and I hate it.
  • Ugh
  • First, Aria’s old babysitter comes to visit. Her name is Simone, she’s a writer living in New York, the details of her career that they sprinkle in don’t make…a lot of sense, but publishing on TV rarely does.
    • Aria’s mom – who I still call Piper, even in my notes – wants to set Simone up with Fitz.
      • On the one side, I do want Fitz to date someone his own age. On the other side, Simone deserves better than a grown-ass man who think it’s fine to date his 16-year-old student.
    • This leads to a lot of Aria being super jealous, because Fitz can do things like meet Simone out in public for coffee, or talk to her at the dance marathon.
      • Yeah, there’s a dance marathon. It’s a whole thing. They call it a dance-a-thon. It’s only six hours.
        • Cowards! My high school’s dance marathon was twelve hours!
      • Aria actually almost confronts Fitz and Simone at the dance-a-thon because she goes into a jealousy-rage-spiral or something. She only gets out of that mess because Spencer stops her.
    • Inspired by all that jealousy that Fitz can be out in public with Simone just because she’s closer to his age and their relationship wouldn’t be, uh, illegal, Aria gets Spencer to obtain two tickets to some museum exhibit out of town.
      • They go to it and it’s a whole date and they get to kiss in public and I hate it but Aria’s happy so that’s…nice?
      • Oh they also almost super get caught by Aria’s parents! More on that later.
    • Speaking of Aria’s parents, they’re big players in these episodes. They get a bunch of their own scenes!
      • One of which includes her mom thinking that Aria is acting weird about Simone and Fitz because Aria’s jealous that Simone isn’t spending more time with her.
        • Tbh it would be more natural for her to think Aria just has a crush on her hot English teacher.
        • It is very normal and fine for teens to have crushes on teachers, especially younger ones.
        • It’s just not normal or fine for the teacher to reciprocate and act on it.
        • ANYWAY, SORRY, BACK TO ARIA’S PARENTS.
      • They’re both at the dance-a-thon and some song plays that I think must be their song, and they dance to it, and it’s sweet.
      • Later, Piper’s car has broken down – well, it was sabotaged (more on that later – and Aria’s dad tries to fix it. He ends up offering to drive her to the museum exhibit she was on her way to.
        • Yes, that one.
        • But they end up making out in his car instead.
        • I hope they get back together.
My daughter, Hanna:
  • Sweet, sweet Hanna is on the hunt for a part-time job. Although she got some of the money back from A, she didn’t get all of it.
    • The hunt is not going well.
  • A texts her with the job offer of “heartbreaker” – $200 for every dance with Lucas at the dance-a-thon. Then it goes up to $500. Then up to $1000.
    • Hanna does it, but feels like shit because she knows she’s giving Lucas the wrong impression.
    • She ends up fighting with Emily over it (Emily is also drunk and…more on that later), where Emily tells her “Alison would be so proud of you”
    • Sean is not happy that Hanna’s been spending all night with Lucas.
    • He actually dumps her right there at the dance-a-thon.
      • Which Lucas witnesses and steps right in to try and take Sean’s place because…sure. You watch a girl get dumped by her longtime boyfriend and think “now she’s free to date me instantly!”
    • After the dance, Hanna finds a huge wad of money in her pocket.
  • Which is going to maybe come in handy, because that once-a-year customer her mom stole the money from?
    • Yeah, she wants an appointment. A much earlier appointment. The “this week” kind.
  • This is when A strikes a particularly hard blow – maybe not as hard as the “have a girl in recovery from an eating disorder publicly binge eat cupcakes”, but.
    • They offer Hanna money if she’ll show Aria’s parents when she’s been up to – and they include a ticket to the exhibit Aria and Fitz are going to.
  • Hanna is obviously pretty on the fence about this! Protect Aria, or her mom?
    • She gets home and finds her mother in a bad, bad place. She thinks she’s going to prison, after all. She tells Hanna, “I want you to know that no matter what happens, I’ll always find a way to take care of you.”
  • That seals the deal. Hanna puts the ticket in an envelope with Piper’s name on it, and writes a note as if it’s a thank you from the PTA. She leaves it in her mailbox at school.
    • Did I ever tell you guys that Piper’s a sub at the high school now? She is.
  • BUT THEN,
    • A convenient class discussion shows Hanna she was wrong to have given in to A, but she can’t get the envelope back from Piper.
    • She tries! First, she tries to get Aria to not go to the event at all – but that just leads to a fight between them where Aria claims Hanna is jealous.
      • Because of…reasons, I guess.
    • Then, Hanna tries to get the envelope back from Piper but she’s stopped by a gym teacher that gave her detention.

Let me do a quick interrupt here – the new character I mentioned is about to become important. His name is Caleb, and most of what we know about him is that he’s very good with technology and he’s kind of a bad boy. But, like, the charming kind. And the “bad boy” is less “actually harming people” and more “I’m very pretty, people pay me to hack things, and I smirk a lot”.

I like him so far, but I’m also afraid to trust a Pretty Little Liars man again.

  • Jumping back in – Hanna sits at detention right next to Caleb. She obviously can’t tell him the details of what’s going on, but she says that if Piper makes it to Philadelphia, people will get hurt.
  • (Caleb’s the one who sabotage’s Piper’s car.)
    • (He’s also kind of flirty with Hanna, in a lowkey sort of way. We’ll see how that goes.)
  • Aria and Fitz don’t end up getting caught, so Hanna’s off the hook.
  • Oh, and the client that her mother stole from?
  • Right before the appointment, they find out that client has died.
Emily!
  • Oh, Emily. Emily is missing Maya, whose phone has been totally locked down to only allow calls from her parents.
    • This is how Caleb was introduced – Hanna tells her that he can hack it to let her call Maya.
    • And he does! And she does! But Maya sounds off during the conversation.
    • Spencer suggests that, well, Maya is at a bootcamp and her counselor was probably watching her the whole time.
    • Emily insists that Maya was completely alone, and wonders if she’s just moved on.
      • I want to say she’s being overdramatic – and, well, she is – but I can’t really blame her. Handling those emotions is barely possible as an adult, much less a gay teenager separated by force from her first girlfriend.
    • That’s when Emily gets drunk at the dance-a-thon on the flask Hanna snuck in.
    • Then she fights with Hanna, and then she…makes a great drunk decision.
    • She decides to CONFRONT IAN.
    • YOU KNOW, THE ONE THEY THINK IS A MURDERER?
    • In the middle of the dance-a-thon, she runs up to him and says that she knows what he did, they all know what he did.
      • She gets dragged off by Aria, and Spencer is left to deal with the aftermath – we’ll get to that in her section.
    • Thankfully, after that, she copes by throwing herself into swimming.
      • (Emily is on the swim team.)
    • Less thankfully, she does so well that another girl on the team – Paige – decides that Emily is trying to beat her out for team captain.
      • Paige responds to this totally rationally, by just working harder so that she can match Emily in the pool.
      • HAHA NO SHE DOESN’T.
      • She makes gross homophobic comments to Emily in the locker room, and then pushes her head under water multiple times while Emily is practicing in the pool!
    • Spencer tries to help by telling the coach what Paige said to Emily – they have a zero-tolerance policy – but Emily claims nothing happened.
      • This leads to Paige thinking Emily was the one to rat her out, and that leads to the whole “half-attempting to drown her” thing.
      • It also leads to a fight between Emily and Spencer. Spencer feels she was just trying to protect a friend – Emily feels like she’s being treated like she can’t protect herself.
Speaking of Spencer:
  • Everyone else agrees that they should show the video of Alison and Ian to the police. Spencer isn’t so sure – she thinks A might have planted the video on her laptop as a set up.
    • …Except it was an email. It was an email attachment. That’s not planting a video, that’s just how email works.
  • She brings her laptop with her to school and towards the end of the day realizes that it’s no longer in her back. It was swapped out for a yearbook.
  • The only time she didn’t have the bag on her person was during PE – and it was in her locker then.
    • The only people with the combination are her and the coaches.
    • Guess who’s a coach at the school?
      • It’s Ian.
    • Spencer asks him if he has the laptop and obviously he denies it – not sure what she expected there.
      • Everyone is understandably pretty freaked out because if he is the killer and he does know they saw that video…that would suck. A lot!
    • An elaborate plan is hatched to break into his office desk during the dance-a-thon to see if the laptop is there.
      • Spencer never gets into the desk – but she is seen by Caleb. She tries to bribe him to stay quiet. He won’t take her money.
        • This is gonna come back, yeah?
      • They go through all that, and then she gets home and her laptop is on the coffee table.
        • The video, of course, has been deleted. But it’s also been replaced by something else.
          • A picture of Alison, taken without her knowledge on the night she disappeared. It’s overlaid with the text: “Watch your backs. I didn’t. -A”
          • There’s also a shadow from a person who appears to be following her.
            • Spencer claims she doesn’t know who the person is, but she does it with a kind of thousand-yard stare.
          • The girls agree the picture only could have been taken from one place – Alison’s room. That makes them wonder if her brother, Jason, took it.
          • Spencer takes the picture to Jason to find out. She gives him a copy without the creepy text.
            • He says it’s probably photoshopped – they got a lot of creepy, terrible photoshops from strangers when Alison went missing – but he’ll take it to a private investigator just in case.
            • He also apologizes for being a dick to Spencer during the whole memorial thing.
          • The next time Spencer sees him, he has some answers – first, that the picture is real.
            • He also thinks it is possible that he took it. He doesn’t remember.
            • It turns out that the summer Alison disappeared, Jason was kinda high 24/7. He was just holed up in his room partying with friends.
              • And who was he partying with, among others?
                • Confession: It has not gotten less weird to type that name so many times in the context of “creepy man who dates teenagers and maybe murdered one” when I’m dating an Ian.
              • Spencer seems to be largely in charge of A-related investigations, so, when Paige – creepy swim team girl? – gives everyone on the team beaded bracelets that look an awful lot like the bracelets they have and the fake Alison bracelet they were given by A, she decides to go find the person who made them.
                • It’s an older woman who just makes beaded things out of her home.
                • She searches her records, and says that the person who ordered the bracelets…was Spencer.
                  • Tbh, did we really think A wouldn’t give a fake name?
                • Back to this mysterious picture.
                • Spencer has a flashback to fighting with Alison the night she disappeared. Alison threatens to tell Melissa about Ian kissing Spencer if Spencer doesn’t do it first.
                  • This culminates in a huge fight where Alison threatens that since she made Spencer, she can ruin her,
                  • and Spencer saying that Alison wouldn’t be anything without people following her.
                  • Spencer says, “You’re dead to me already.” before Alison storms out. Spencer pauses, then follows.
                • Yeah, the shadow in the picture has been Spencer this entire time.
                • She was scared to tell them because part of her believed that her wishing Alison’s death made it come true.

So the girls are all in Spencer’s room, comforting her, when they see that someone is watching them. Someone is in Alison’s room, next door, watching them.

Jason.

Just…staring.

…This is fine.

The episodes often end with something from A – either seeing their gloved hands committing nefarious deeds or with a new text or picture. These two episodes, however, both end with A’s POV as they interact with other people.

The first, in episode 14, is them picking up their coat and signature gloves from the dance-a-thon coat check as Piper smiles and says she hopes they had a nice time. So, it’s someone who wasn’t out of place at the dance-a-thon – makes sense, A has managed to infiltrate basically everything.

In episode 15, A’s at the jewelry-maker’s house. I was nervous we were about to watch an old woman be murdered, but nope. She brings A tea, grins, and says,

“Don’t worry. I did exactly what you told me to do.”

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