A for Effort – Pretty Little Liars


Photo credit: ABC Family

Warning: Spoilers ahead

Another new episode of Pretty Little Liars, titled “Face Time” premiered on July 2nd.  This episode was definitely an improvement from last week’s dull fest.  Emily’s dad returned from Texas, but her reunion with him is brief as she has to head off to school.  At school, Caleb catches Hanna up regarding the conversation he had with Hanna’s dad.  Hanna tells Caleb to forget what he knows, as if he could do that.  Hanna immediately confronts Spencer about showing Melissa the mask of her face.  Hanna feels an urgency to figure all these mysteries out.  Maybe that will help these freaking plots to move along.

As the girls talk in front of school, they are watched by the state police.  Of course, they are being watched.  Everyone they know ends up dead.  The policewomen comments on their flirty outfits and wonders how those four pretty girls keep attracting corpses.

On a funny note, Hanna asks if Aria’s mom is still going to Austria with the Muffin Man.  Awesome.

In a rare scene, Spencer is having a conversation with her mom and her sister.  Veronica must have heard me diss her parenting skills, so she decided to show up.  (BTW, Veronica, your husband still sucks as a parent.  Where is he?)  Spencer finally admits that she was rejected from UPenn and you see why she kept quiet about it when her mom freaks out.  Melissa offers to help Spencer with applying for regular admission to UPenn.  Spencer says there are a few things she can learn from Melissa and everyone knows she’s not talking about college.

At Ashley’s job, Lieutenant Tanner and Officer Holbrook come into Ashley’s office to search Detective Wilden’s deposit box, which contains a lot of cash, 2 passports and a gun with the serial number filed off.  Classic criminal stuff.  The police ask Ashley if she is the only one at the bank to see the contents of the box.  Ashley and Hanna look like they might pee on the carpet and run out the room.  Lt. Tanner clarifies that she means this is Ashley’s first time seeing the contents, but she is clearly playing mind games.  Otherwise, she would not have opened the box in front of Hanna.

Emily returns to her Family Services calling doctor.  She tries to fix things, but make things worse by making the doctor think someone has coerced her into talking to him.  He lets her know of the results of her MRI.  Her rotator cuff is partially torn and this could mean the end of her swimming career.

Lt. Tanner and Hanna have a chat.  Hanna infers that Wilden could have been a part of the Russian mob.  Really Hanna?  That’s the best you can come up with?  Hanna tries to steer Lt. Tanner’s suspicions toward Melisa, but the lt. quickly turns the tables on her. Caleb intervenes and keeps Hanna from saying anything damaging.

I guess Spencer has temporarily given the Tippy thing a rest and she has tracked down the doctor of Toby’s mom.  Toby is going on his own to talk to him because he wants Spencer to handle the Melissa situation.  Everyone wants her to talk to Melissa, but Spencer is dragging her feet.  Aria sees Toby leaving and thinks he is going to look for the lair.  If only you knew, Aria.

While on a date with Jake, Aria runs into Malcolm, Ezra’s son.  Awkward.  Malcolm wants to know why Aria doesn’t come around anymore.  She gives him a lame excuse, while Jake looks confused.  Aria spills the whole Ezra saga to Jake and he doesn’t think Aria is over Ezra.  He uses a sports metaphor and asks if she is hurt or injured.  She doesn’t get what he is talking about, but I think she’s injured.  That means more Ezra drama to come.  I’ll be in the kitchen getting a snack when that occurs.

Toby has traveled to see his mom’s doctor, Dr. Palmer.  The doctor did not want to believe Marian committed suicide, but says the air weighs more for some people and Toby’s mom was one of those people.  Toby questions who could have driven his mother off the literal and proverbial edge.  The doctor continues talking about the weight of air and it is clear that Dr. Palmer is mentally unstable.  He tells Toby to tell his mother to stay away from that blonde girl.  Okay, we’re finally beginning to tie the stories together.  I guess we have to wait to dive further into the Ali / Marian saga.

In the Marin kitchen, Hanna and Ashley discuss how they thought life would be better with Wilden dead.  Ashley says that his death has made life worse.  Ashley promises that Hanna will not be touched by “this,” but doesn’t realize how Hanna has already been impacted.

In another kitchen, the Hastings’ this time, Melissa is being watched.  Team Sparia narrates from outside as Spencer films Melissa finding the mask in her suitcase.  Melissa thinks about it and hurries out of the house with Team Sparia on her tail.

Emily’s parents confront her about lying about her injury.  They ask her if what she has been going through is over and she yells that she doesn’t know.  She runs out the house and is as unhinged as she has ever been.  As my sister said, “Emily, you look crazy, girl.”

Hanna and Caleb discuss how guilty Ashley looks, at least to someone on the outside.  The state police show up at the door looking for Ashley.  Hanna and Caleb lie and say that she is not at home.

At Hector’s studio (the creepy mask maker), Melissa storms out dragging a heavy sack, which Spencer thinks might contain Hector.  Aria assures her otherwise.  Spencer follows Melissa and Aria, with her 3 martial arts lessons, goes into Hector’s studio.  Spencer sees Melissa breaking copies of her mask and throwing them into the water.  In Hector’s studio, Aria sees a number of Ali masks.  Hector admits that he didn’t have the heart to destroy the castings.  A flashback shows Ali arriving at Hector’s studio and demanding money. Hector gave her a little money and she left in a dark car with someone else.  Hector didn’t see who.

Spencer confronts Melissa and Melissa reveals several things, as Mona did on the first episode of this season.  Mona was wearing the Ali mask on the Halloween train.  Melissa thinks Ali might be alive.  Wilden tried to kill Spencer on the Halloween train.  Melissa says that she is protecting Spencer.  Wilden started the fire at the lodge.  Jenna and Shauna were sent to the lodge to see who the girls were meeting.  Whoa, okay.  Information overload.  This makes up for the lack of action on last week’s episode.

At the deserted school pool, Emily confesses to Paige her fears about not being able to swim.  She doesn’t know if she can sit in the stands and watch Paige win.  Paige comforts her and convinces Emily not to give up hope.  When Emily arrives at home, the police are there.  Someone (A) called the police after hearing the argument between Emily and her parents. Sorry, this is a weird storyline.  I don’t get where it’s going.

Back in the Hastings’ kitchen, Aria asks Spencer if she believes what Melissa told her.  Spencer seems shell-shocked.  Spencer receives a text that says that Melissa is not “A” material.  Okay, she’s not A, but I still don’t trust her.  Hanna shows up and says she thinks her mom killed Wilden and A knows it.  Yes, this is finally getting interesting.

In the final scene, it is shown that someone (Lucas maybe, judging by the shoes) fished Melissa’s masks out of the water and is gluing them back together.  Melissa should have better disposed of those.

I’m glad to see Pretty Little Liars is finally finding it’s rhythm this season.  I’m excited to watch Tuesday’s episode.


Pretty Little Maniac

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