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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 20 Recap: Emily and Maya Fight, Caleb Narrowly Avoids Arrest

Anybody got an extra two grand? In this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (Season 2, Episode 20: “CTRL:A”), Hanna (Ashley Benson) learns that Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is a big fan of exclamation points; Maya (Bianca Lawson) is apparently on her way to a Pink Floyd laser light show; and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) is wasting no time in asking to borrow money from her new big bro.

Wherein Aria Meets a Guy Whom Even Steve Buscemi Would Refer To As “Creepy"

Is it just us, or is Holden’s (Shane Coffey) whole Karate Kid-esque plot twist kinda-sorta lame? We’re not even sure why PLL would even bother introducing Holden this late in the game if he doesn’t add anything to the Alison mystery or have some other deep, dark secret. Instead, all we get from Holden is some cheesy message about living life to the fullest. Even Mr. Miyagi had better advice than that.

Is Ezra (Ian Harding) headed to New Orleans? And at this point, do we really care? Don’t get us wrong, Ezria fanatics — we’re crazy about this couple! But lately the show isn’t giving Ezra much to do except almost get Aria (Lucy Hale) in trouble, so he’s getting a tad boring. And how can Aria be interested in both daredevil Holden and bookworm Ezra? Talk about not having a type! That’s sort of like not knowing if your favorite movie is Citizen Kane or Weekend at Bernie’s II.

Plus, how ridiculously sketchy is “Jonah,” who tells Aria that “Vivian” owes him $2K for figuring out who was texting her “friend,” Alison. (So many quotation marks in that sentence! That’s what happens when you dabble in fake names, people.) But how do we even know that this former cell-phone company employee even has the identity of the mysterious texter? And the bigger question is: How is Jonah possibly cool enough to have a girlfriend?

Wherein Emily Realizes Why There Have Been So Many Cheech and Chong Movies on Maya’s Netflix Queue Lately

Is Emily (Shay Mitchell) headed to the land of trolley cars and freezing-cold summers? She is if Maya has her way, as Maya is apparently moving west to not-so-sunny San Fran after getting busted for that joint, and she wants Em to join. (Uh, maybe Maya has glaucoma?) And between her parents in Texas and now this, why is it that everyone Emily loves ends up ditching her?

After Maya impressed us with those underwater decorations in her room two weeks ago, we’re suddenly quite suspicious of her. First, we see Maya talking to Jason (Drew Van Acker) briefly, which is never really explained. Then, Maya mentions looking through Ali’s old things, and she later tells Emily that she has trouble fitting in. Are these hints that Maya could be “A”? Then again, if “A” were a stoner, we’re guessing “A” would spend a lot less time stalking and a lot more time thinking about how, like, totally crazy it would be if dogs could talk.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC FAMILY    

Wherein Spencer and Her Dad Have a (Completely Awkward) Chat

What exactly was Ali doing with $15K in cash in three envelopes? Was she blackmailing someone — or perhaps three different people? At any rate, it appears that the money did not come from Mr. Hastings to keep Jason’s gene pool a secret, since Spencer’s dad convinces Spence that he never accepted money from the Dilaurentis family. Then again, Spencer’s dad has lied about plenty of things already, so what’s one more fib?

We must say that one of our favorite developments this week is seeing Spencer and Jason start to do some cute sibling bonding. Of course, we’re still not sure what else Jason might have found in Ali’s new box, but it looks like that $15K is about to become $13K. (That’s right — we did that math in our heads without even using a calculator! Stephen Hawking’s got nothing on us.)

Wherein Hanna Says Hello to Her Old Friend Officer Darren

We’re starting to think that even if our girls found a cure for cancer, Detective Wilden (Bryce Johnson) would still hate them with a passion. In fact, he keeps thinking they killed Ali, now that he has that photo of the girls dressed as candy stripers and he knows that the autopsy page is missing. Or maybe Darren just invited Hanna and her mom to the police station in order to try to get another shot at Hanna’s mom? You can’t say that the guy isn’t persistent.

By the way, Caleb has apparently been to more cities than the average circus performer, as we learn from his unbelievably complicated computer password. In fact, we’re a little shocked that Hanna got his password right, let alone that she and Spencer deleted all the incriminating files from that “Hefty” folder in time. And we can’t quite decide whether Caleb using the date of his and Hanna’s “first time” in his password is cute or pervy, but we’ll go ahead and say cute.


- Some of the bigger clues this week revolved around Ali’s old stuff. Jason mentions having found $15K in a box in their grandma’s floorboards, and Maya casually refers to her family having some of Ali’s old stuff. Could this have been what Maya and Jason were discussing when Spencer spots them?

- We can’t help but speculate as to who might have been lurking outside of Hanna’s house at the end of the episode as Emily called Maya. Is this perhaps a suggestion that Maya might be “A,” or maybe “A” is someone else who’s interested in Emily, like Paige?

- Usually, when we meet a new guy on this show, he’s a dreamboat with the kind of hair you want to run your fingers through all day long as you whisper sweet nothings to each other (or is that just us?). Such was not the case with Jonah, although he may help us in learning who “A” is. But why did Ali have to pretend to be Vivian when she contacted Jonah?

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC FAMILY    

- We saw that Jenna and Noel were not on Team Caleb last week, with Noel so desperate to find him that he grabbed Aria’s leg on that ladder, so it’s possible this is related to who stole Caleb’s computer. Or perhaps the thief in fact was Garrett, and he really did know what Caleb was up to while on his computer at that cafe a few weeks ago (Season 2, Episode 17: “The Blond Leading the Blind").

- A number of characters who are often mentioned as “A” suspects went M.I.A. this week — no Jenna, no Noel, no Mona — but a familiar face has just popped up that we may need to throw into the ring: Officer Wilden. Could he be an “A” suspect, since we know he’s been around since the beginning (and PLL producers have suggested that “A” was in the pilot)? Darren certainly seems determined to punish these girls, even if it’s the last thing he does.

- The odds of Holden being “A” or even working with “A” now appear to be about zilch, since Holden’s bruise — which recently had approximately the same square footage as the state of Alaska — is now but a distant, red-herring-esque memory. And it’s unlikely that Holden would have written that note for Byron to drop by the vegan French place and then not have done a better job of making sure that Aria gets there.

Other Things That Need To Be Discussed:

- How cute does Holden look with his new haircut? It’s just too bad he spent so much of the episode covering it up with that helmet!

- PLL is a show that never misses a literary allusion, so we wonder if the name “Jonah” has any significance — perhaps the Bible story of Jonah and the whale relates somehow? Or maybe the writer of this episode is just a big Jonah Hill fan. (C’mon — who didn’t like Superbad?)

- It was really nice of Hanna to throw Emily’s swim team party at her house, and the party looked like tons of fun. But did Hanna really think that a team of athletes were going to eat all those frosted cookies she was making? (Then again, that just means more for us, right?)

- It’s definitely odd that Caleb happens to reference “I Am the Walrus,” the Beatles song which has somewhat-indecipherable lyrics at the end that are sometimes interpreted as, “Smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot.” Maybe Maya is rubbing off on Caleb — or maybe there are some hippies on the PLL writing staff?

Be sure to tune in for the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Monday, February 20 at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC Family.

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