Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney    
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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 16 Recap: Lucas Returns, Spencer Investigates Jenna

Anybody thirsty? In this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (Season 2, Episode 16: “Let the Water Hold Me Down”), Lucas (Brendan Robinson) finds out that there’s a reason why nerds avoid sports; Aria (Lucy Hale) discovers the joy of two-timing; and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) learns that Jenna (Tammin Sursok) has at least one friend who isn’t a total creep.

Wherein Hanna Learns That There’s Actually a Beverage More Disgusting Than V8.

You know how all those water-bottle ads on TV advertise fresh mountain spring water? Well, we’re pretty sure that the lake water that “A” serves up for Hanna (Ashley Benson) is not exactly what those ads are referring to. Somebody pass the mouthwash!

This episode put Lucas once again front-and-center, as Hanna finally tells the girls that he was the one responsible for destroying Alison’s (Sasha Pieterse) memorial. (How was Hanna — of all people — able to keep a secret for this long?) And Hanna is so convinced that Lucas is working with “A” that she doesn’t want Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) to look for him around the lake. But Caleb continues to impress us, as his bromance with Lucas has become more adorable than Bert and Ernie’s on Sesame Street.

However, by the end of the episode, Lucas is about as popular as the flu, once he reveals that he lost Caleb’s money on the sports-gambling website that we saw him conceal from Hanna (in Season 2, Episode 14: "Through Many Dangers, Toils, and Snares" ). Lucas apparently thought that gambling would be a piece of cake, which makes us wonder if he got all excited by watching the movie 21 but then never saw the second half of it.

So at least we now know what Lucas was referring to when he called the crisis center last week. Our only quibble is that this explanation of Lucas’ behavior feels a tad lackluster — not to mention totally random. (Since when does Lucas care about hoops?) Then again, we still don’t know why Lucas would be in such desperate need of cash — although we’re guessing it wasn’t so that he could have money to join Mona on that shopping spree.

Wherein Emily Realizes That Maya Plays For Both Teams.

Will Emily (Shay Mitchell) ever be able to have a nice, drama-free relationship? The odds of that happening seem to be about as high as the odds of a celebrity giving their kid an actual name that’s used by other humans, as Emily gets suspicious of Maya’s (Bianca Lawson) constant secret texts, only to discover she’s still receiving texts from a previous flame, and it’s — wait for it! — a dude!

That said, we’re not about to form the “Maya Haters Club” just yet! Let’s face it: Maya is making every effort to be honest about her past relationship and doesn’t seem to be into that guy anymore, so we still think that Emily and Maya are about as cute as a dog sleeping in a suitcase. (Trust us — dogs in suitcases are really freakin’ cute.) Then again, we wouldn’t necessarily mind seeing Samara give Emily another chance — don’t hate us, Team Emaya!

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney    

Wherein Aria Decides That Two Shaggy-Haired Guys Are Better Than One.

Is it really curtains for Ezria? It’s starting to seem that way, as this episode comes and goes with almost no interaction between them, despite Aria’s not-so-subtle efforts to make Ezra (Ian Harding) jealous at the theater. (And we’re assuming that Ezra wasn’t trying to make Aria jealous, since we assume he could find someone a tad more appealing than Mrs. Welch.)

Then again, is anyone else starting to kinda-sorta have a crush on Aria’s newest boy-toy Holden? His gift of Gummi bears — apparently, Aria’s fave candy back in the day — is a totally cute twist on the idea of a guy bringing chocolates. And no, he’s not quite as intellectual as Ezra (c’mon — who is?), but Holden was willing to sit through a play on a first date, which is more than can be said for most guys.

Wherein Spencer Gives Advice to Mona By Channeling Her Inner Dr. Phil.

Apparently, Hanna may be the Shoplifting Queen on this show, but Spencer is proving to be a fan of the “five-finger discount” herself. Spencer had previously stolen Melissa’s (Torrey DeVitto) engagement ring and Ali’s autopsy report — not to mention a few of her sister’s boyfriends — and now you can add the sign-in book from the blindness rehab center to that list. We’re thinking Spence is practically Ocean’s Eleven material.

“A” is typically about a thousand steps ahead of everyone else, so we must admit our skepticism that “A” somehow just forgot about that receipt to Smitty’s that the girls find in the bag of cell phones from Spencer’s lake house. And then it’s hard to know what to make of Smitty’s, which turns out to be a magazine stand in Philly. (On the bright side, at least “A” — who apparently bought some magazines — is helping to keep the print industry alive.)

And is there some rule that any new guy appearing on this show is not allowed to have cut his hair since the last presidential election? If we had to guess, we’d say that Jenna’s erstwhile friend — whom Spencer meets at the rehab center — is himself apparently opting for the Carrot Top hairdo. (Let’s just hope that Jenna’s friend doesn’t also copy Carrot Top in other ways and start performing mediocre prop comedy.)

And then after swiping the sign-in book from the day before Ali disappeared — which reveals that Ali didn’t visit Jenna as Jenna had claimed, but that Garrett signed Jenna out and didn’t sign her back in — who should Spencer bump into but Mona, who’s doing a little retail therapy after her break-up with Noel (Brant Daugherty). So was Mona following Spencer? We just hope Mona (Janel Parrish) stops talking how she went skinny-dipping with Noel, since our stomachs are queasy enough after looking at all those earthworms.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney    


- Did this episode provide another clue that Ali will have a twin on the TV series? Spencer can’t find Ali’s name in the sign-in book despite Jenna’s claim that Ali visited her. So maybe the person just looked like Ali but was actually her twin, meaning she signed in under her own name (which, in the book series, is “Courtney”). Talk about creepy!

- Jenna is definitely an “A” suspect, considering how close her school for the blind is to the newsstand, but also emerging as a suspect is someone who’s been M.I.A. for some time: Melissa Hastings! Aria mentions that Melissa’s condo is only blocks from the Smitty’s, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a brainiac like Melissa were often in the mood for some reading material.

- Does Lucas’ gambling story mean that he wasn’t working with “A,” or is it still possible that he’s up to no good? Hearing that he stole the money from Caleb — not to mention that we’re suspicious as to why Lucas was so desperate to win that money — reminds us that Lucas definitely has a dark side (not unlike the characters in his beloved Star Wars).

- We’re constantly questioning Mona’s actions, and this week is no exception, as it’s awfully suspicious that she appears to have followed Spencer to the train station. And we’ve never fully trusted Mona and Noel together, so we’re wondering about the real circumstances for their break-up, especially since they were both so eager to attend the party at the lake house last week.

- We couldn’t help but raise our eyebrows when Maya asks Emily for a fake I.D., even if it was supposedly for that concert. It seems like the show wouldn’t have made quite such a big deal about Aria handing over her I.D. to Maya — given the possibility of identity fraud — if it weren’t going to become an issue in the future.

- What does Holden mean when he mentions that Aria isn’t the only person who’s hiding secrets from her parents? Don’t tell us we’ve got another bad-boy-with-a-shady-past on our hands!

- We know that Garrett and Jenna were somehow involved in Ali’s death, so the news that they left the rehab center together on the night before she disappeared gives us a fuller picture of what happened that night. And why exactly does Jenna know how to take people’s pulses when she shakes their hands? Could that be a clue of some kind, or just a nifty party trick?

Other Things That Need To Be Discussed:

- We usually appreciate Aria’s risk-taking sense of style, but that fuzzy red vest she wore when she and Spencer took their investigative trip to Philadelphia? Let’s just say we pity whichever Muppet had to give its life for that thing.

- Is it just us, or — when Hanna is shown washing out her water bottle in the sink from the lake water — did it probably take her so long to wash it because she has never actually washed a single dish before, and so she had no idea how to do it? (Let’s face it — the Marin women strike us as dishwasher people.)

- The play that Ezra, Aria, and Noel all attend is Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge, which is about an older man who develops feelings for a much younger woman. No wonder Ezra likes this play so much!

Be sure to tune in for the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Monday, January 23 at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC Family.

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