Credit: Danny Feld / ABC Family    
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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 14 Recap: ”Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares”

Hang on to your cell phones, everyone! Yes, it was a wild return for Pretty Little Liars (Season 2, Episode 14: “Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares”), as Emily (Shay Mitchell) and “A” went mano-a-mano (watch out for that rake!); Ezra (Ian Harding) found out that the truth hurts; and we realized that the girls look good even in garbage-covered jumpsuits. Then again, is that last one really a surprise? We think not.

Wherein Spencer Boldly Confronts Garrett. (That’s Our Girl!)

Typically, no one would blame you for thinking of Spencer (Troian Bellisario) as ballsy — and we love her for it! — but this week she went the extra ballsy mile, questioning Garrett on campus about Jenna (Tammin Sursok)and the N.A.T. club, after he ends that incredibly cryptic phone conversation (presumably with Jenna). Face it, Garrett: There’s no way you’re gonna outwit this gal.

Would you ever turn down a guy who made you a freakin’ rocking chair? To be honest, we’re just happy if a guy even opens a folding chair for us, let alone makes a chair with his bare hands. And it’s a totally adorable gift, even if it suggests that Toby (Keegan Allen) may have forgotten that Spencer isn’t an 80-year-old grandmother — which we assume is the main demographic for rocking chairs. (What’s Toby gonna try next week? Offer to cut Spencer’s corn off of the cob for her?)

But we must say this: We think Spoby is getting back together soon. C’mon — it has to happen, right? We were practically tearing our hair out when they broke up (nooo!) in Season 2, Episode 12: “Over My Dead Body” (and this is a weird segue, but speaking of hair... we’re loving Toby’s ‘do this week!). Anyway, Toby’s obsessive persistent pursuit of Spencer this week — including that final visit that made Spence late to meet Em — makes us sure that they’ll be cuddling by the fireplace again in no time. (We hope.)

And in another classic Spencer move, Spencer is pissed when she thinks they let “A” slip out of their grasp — that is, until she realizes that a certain cell phone has slipped out of a certain someone’s pocket. This means the girls now have access to A’s phone records and contacts, which is crazy! And let’s hope that side-view mirror that “A” punched brings seven years’ bad luck. (We can dream, right?)

So finally, the girls get a break!

Credit: Danny Feld / ABC Family    

Wherein Emily Almost Suffers “Death By Garden Utensil”

Did anyone guess — when Spencer tossed that bag of trash onto Emily like it was a jug of Gatorade and Emily was a Super Bowl-winning coach — that it was actually all a ruse? Neither did we. But sure enough, Emily was just baiting “A” to arrange a little face time.

We’re a little worried that Emily might not be allowed back on the swim team anytime soon, but then again, Emily not being able to swim is about as unlikely as a Will Ferrell movie where he doesn’t run around naked. And we loved how the adorable Emily-Toby friendship is still alive, as we see them chat at the swim meet, right before Emily and Spencer’s big spat about the supposed “evidence” in Jason’s (Drew Van Acker) box.

We’re not sure how well the girls thought through their plan, however, since it doesn’t take long for “A” — upon arriving in Rosewood’s famous Creepy Greenhouse — to discover that the girls’ aforementioned evidence is as imaginary as an umbrella that doesn’t flip inside-out on a windy day. “A” isn’t in great spirits and is about to use a hand trowel for something other than planting a tree (namely, stabbing Em), when Spencer and Aria (Lucy Hale)bust in. And at this point we have to ask: how many times is a shovel going to be used as a weapon on this show?

But we did think it was clever for the girls to choose typically timid Emily as the one to confront “A.” And we’re proud of our Emily for standing up to “A,” even if we wish she had thought to bring a flashlight in her pocket to shine on A’s face. Oh, well.

Wherein Aria Learns That Little Brothers Pack a Big Punch

We first see Aria and Mike (Cody Christian) holding coffees as they walk through town — yes, they’re walking, since the only time anyone really uses a car on this show is to make out with someone. (Well, that or to run someone over — right, Hanna [Ashley Benson]?)

When they stumble upon Mr. Fitz, Aria’s decision to send Mike to the trash can to snag some alone time with Professor Dreamy couldn’t possibly make it clearer to Mike that something’s up. In other words, Mike doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to reach that conclusion (although we’d kinda like to see Mike holding a pipe while wearing a tweed jacket with patches on the sleeves).

Then Jackie shows up as Aria pops into Ezra’s office, and it’s now official that we are getting more and more sick of her. And why is it that Jackie spends all day just hanging around Ezra’s office? Doesn’t she have, uh, we don’t know... classes to teach? Given the teensy amount of work she seems to do, it’s no wonder that she had to plagiarize her thesis paper (as we learned in “Over My Dead Body”).

And, you know how you make resolutions every year but then blow them off after about a week? Well, we kept thinking Ezra’s promise to come clean to Aria’s parents was going to be similarly unfulfilled, but we were wrong (first time for everything!). Of course, whether he’s glad he opened his mouth is another story altogether.

Yes, we were pretty shocked when Mike looked less Montgomery than Tyson for a moment there — and it made us wonder if his devious behavior from earlier in the season was really behind him — but then Mike won us over again by helping his big sis escape through his magical window to join her friends as they tried to torment “A.” And call us sentimental, but we just love it when one sibling helps the other to stir up trouble. *Single tear.*

Credit: Danny Feld/ABC Family Channel © 2011 Disney ABC Television Group    

Wherein Hanna's Two Guys Start To Lock Horns

Doesn’t Hanna know that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too — or maybe we should say, “You can’t make out with your shaggy, bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold boyfriend, but spend all day with your nerdy bestie who’s not-so-secretly in love with you, and is willing to do whatever you ask him to.” (That new version just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?)

In fact, we get a glimpse of vintage Lucas (Brendan Robinson) this week, as he helped Hanna with a menial, computer-related task while getting zilch in return (much like when he sold her shoes online in Season 1). Then again, this week’s task does allow him to look at pictures of Hanna as he deletes them, so for him, that’s probably a pretty big victory.

Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) has returned from meeting his mom in California (although how someone would voluntarily leave sunny CA for not-quite-so-sunny PA in early January is beyond us), and we see him plant a sexy smooch on Hanna — as Lucas stands ten feet away and watches them as intently as a birdwatcher would watch a hawk feeding its young. Give ‘em some space, dude.

So is it any shock to see cracks in the foundation of Lucas and Caleb’s once-adorable bromance? Lucas now wants Caleb to disappear fast. And whatever happened to Danielle, the girl Hanna helped set Lucas up with in Season 2, Episode 4: “Blind Dates”? We’re worried that Lucas is as smooth with other women as he is with Hanna.

Hanna is late meeting her friends for the Great “A” Confrontation of 2012 because of the oh-so-delightful news from her dad that she and Kate will now be classmates. Can you imagine how awkward it’s going to be for the two of them to carpool together? Yikes.

And speaking of driving, we would say that putting a distracted-and-rushed Hanna behind the wheel of a vehicle is typically a terrible idea. However, for once in their lives, luck shined on the girls, and Hanna ran over “A” — who had done the same to her in Season 1. (Sorry, “A” — payback’s a bitch.) And may this be a lesson: Never keep your phone in your hoodie pocket, people!


- The biggest clue this week: What was up with that website that Lucas hid from Hanna as he opened his computer? We can’t quite figure out why he would be on an “online sportsbook” site, but he definitely did not want Hanna to know about it. (You can’t place bets on high school swim meets, right?)

- No Jenna this week, oddly, but Garrett was all over the place: Spying on them during community service; mentioning to Spencer that Jason and Dr. Sullivan were both missing; and then watching that fake argument at the swim meet.

- Among other audience members for that swim meet tete-a-tete were Lucas, Caleb, and Toby. Could one of these gents be “A” — or perhaps be supplying “A” with info? Or are they all just really big swimming fans?

- Were we given a clue about Ezra as a possible “A” suspect? Certainly, that heavy drinking was a sign that we may not know that guy as well as we think we do, not to mention his comment about waking a sleepwalker. Are we sensing inner demons?

Other Things That Need To Be Discussed:

- Does Jackie always wear this much lip gloss, or just around Ezra? Either way, girl needs an intervention, stat.

- Is it just us, or do there seem to be a disproportionate number of people getting hit by cars on this show? We’re thinking that the Rosewood DMV may be a tad too lenient during driving exams.

- This show loves itself some literary references, and this episode was no exception. Aria and Ezra discuss an author named Ivy Dunbar, Ella (Holly Marie Combs) mentions noted sci-fi novelist Kurt Vonnegut to her class, and Emily finds an “A” note in her copy of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, a novel about a main character who’s deaf. Could this somehow be a reference to Jenna’s blindness?

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