Credit: ABC Family

Anyone got a stamp? In this week’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (Season 2, Episode 22: “Father Knows Best”), Hanna (Ashley Benson) finds an unusual way to wash her cell phone; Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) dad realizes that a desk isn’t the best place to store your firearms; and Aria (Lucy Hale) makes the most surprising wardrobe choice since J.Lo’s dress at this weekend’s Oscars.

Wherein Aria Does What She Does Best: She Lies To People’s Parents.
Since when did Aria’s brother Mike become the most well-adjusted member of the Montgomery household? Suddenly, there was a time when Mike was the worst little brother since Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone, but no longer, as Mike tells Byron (Chad Lowe) to give Ezria a chance (and speaking of Home Alone, how cute is that scene where Mike learns to shave?).

Are the girls ever going to clue their moms into what “A” is all about? See, we have mixed feelings about Aria lying to Hanna’s mom about creating that police report, since it’s nice of Aria to help get Hanna’s mom off her back, but we still felt weird about Aria having to lie — especially since Ms. Marin didn’t even believe her! (And did Aria really need to list all the words that start with the letter “A”? We’re pretty sure Ms. Marin has mastered the alphabet.)

By the way, how could Mona (Janel Parrish) possibly keep a straight face when she says she doesn’t feel comfortable lying? She certainly seemed comfortable with lying when she threw out Caleb’s (Tyler Blackburn) letter to Hanna in Season 1! Mona saying that she never tells lies is like us saying that we never dip Oreos into Marshmallow Fluff for breakfast. (If you’ve never tried it, you can’t judge.)

And the girls finally get a solid piece of evidence to help them learn about Ali’s (Sasha Pieterse) secret life — a.k.a. Vivian’s red raincoat — and Aria decides to wear it while she’s at the “doll hospital”? If you ask us, that’s a little like getting chilly hands and then deciding to put on the gloves from the O.J. Simpson trial.

Credit: Adam Rose/ABC Family Channel © 2012 Disney ABC Television Group Photo: Spencer and Her Dad at the Dance in Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 22

Wherein Hanna Finds Herself in Hot Water — Or Rather, Her Phone Is In Hot Water.
How sad was it to see Hanna all by her lonesome as she watched Emily (Shay Mitchell) dance with her dad from afar? We haven’t seen someone get this depressed at a school dance since the movie Carrie. And how angry are you with Hanna’s dad? .

Detective Wilden (Bryce Johnson) really isn’t going away anytime soon, as he’s now managed to turn Hanna’s typically loyal mom against her. And we were shocked when Hanna threw her cell phone in with the dirty dishes, but maybe we should have guessed she might do that, considering she also blended up Caleb’s flash drive not too long ago. Hanna causes the destruction of more machinery than there was in the movie The Terminator.

Wherein Emily Realizes That There Are An Awful Lot of Dark-Colored Cars Out There.
Can no one on this show be on good terms with their dad? We were thinking that Emily would be the one Liar to have fun with hers at the father-daughter dance — that is, until she learned he was shipping out overseas yet again. And we’re not the only ones who found this dance kinda creepy, right? (It’s never a good sign when something conjures up memories of the bizarre “Motherboy” dance from the show Arrested Development.)

Why is it that Maya (Bianca Lawson) is harder to locate than Waldo is in those kids’ books? We’re still not even sure if Maya ended up in San Fran, as Em learns that Maya was chatting up someone in a dark car at the bus station and might have instead left with that person. Or was she kidnapped? Either way, how hard is it to empty out your voicemail? Talk about a major cell-phone faux pas. 

Credit: Adam Rose/ABC Family Channel © 2012 Disney ABC Television Group Photo: Aria and Her Dad on Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 22

Wherein Spencer Sees a Guy on a Motorcycle (Whom We’re 99% Sure Is Not The Ghost Rider).
Okay, so do we trust Melissa Hastings (Torrey DeVitto) or don’t we? She seems to genuinely support Spencer at times, and we’d like to believe that she didn’t have anything to do with Ian’s anti-Alison schemes. But the mere fact that Mr. Hastings hired a private investigator — because he suspected that Melissa played a role in Ali’s death — has us as suspicious as ever. 

Then again, we’re not saying that we really trust Mr. Hastings either. We still don’t really know why he keeps that gun in his desk (although if we lived in Rosewood, we would certainly want to be armed at all times). And we also don’t know what to make of Melissa’s claim that their dad was as giddy as a post-Oscars Meryl Streep upon learning of Ali’s disappearance. All we do know is, if someone wanted to buy us off with a diamond necklace, we would happily accept the gift and stop asking questions. (Who are we to turn down diamonds?)


- There weren’t many of the usual “A” suspects in attendance this week, but there was no shortage of clues. Possibly the biggest one was that Maya may have been kidnapped, and that she was last spotted talking to someone in a black or blue car. Could this have been Garrett (Yani Gellman), whom we know drives a black car (although the big red stripe on Garrett’s hood would have been pretty noticeable)? Other people whom we’ve seen driving previously on this show include Lucas (Brendan Robinson), Noel (Brant Daugherty), and Ezra (Ian Harding), although Ezra’s ride is silver.

- Who knew that Jonah might actually be an upstanding citizen after all? We were basically expecting the dude to take the money and run, so imagine our shock when he called to provide a new potential source for those texts. And how is it that a business called a “doll hospital” can survive in today’s recession?

- Just when we want to trust that Melissa had nothing to do with Ali’s demise or those “A” texts —  and that she in fact was only texting Ali to tell her to find her own man — we hear Spencer question Melissa’s claim that she was watching a show in the barn, since the TV is broken. Okay, so either Melissa was just caught in a lie, or she’s a big fan of Hulu Plus.

- Doesn’t it seem like Melissa was probably the one to snag her dad’s gun? She gave a knowing glance when Spencer left their dad’s office, as if Melissa knew that Mr. Hastings is just as capable of protecting himself as Dirty Harry is.

- How did Melissa not realize that regaling Garrett with her entire life story might be a bad idea? If Melissa is in fact telling Spencer the truth about what she told Garrett, then Melissa is truly the worst judge of character on the face of the earth.

Credit: ABC Family Photo: Pretty Little Liars Season 2, Episode 22: Aria Dances With Her Dad Byron

- Will we ever learn who that mystery guy (or gal) was who rode up to Spencer on a motorcycle outside the dance and then quickly peeled out? Spencer seemed to think it was Toby (Keegan Allen), but we wondered if it was someone else. Or maybe it was just Hanna’s dad showing up late to the dance while trying to recapture his youth, a la the old guys in the movie Wild Hogs.

- Are we about to meet yet another cute guy on the show? It appears that way, given that  a friend of Vivian’s apparently thinks she’s still alive and well — and that Aria is Vivian. We’re just hoping that the show doesn’t continue to add any more guys who actually have meaningless subplots (*cough* Holden *cough*).

Other Things That Need To Be Discussed:

- Is it just us, or did Spencer’s claim that she was searching for a “stamp” seem pretty phony? Not even a dedicated stamp-collector like Bert (of Sesame Street’s “Bert and Ernie” fame) cares that much about stamps. If we were Melissa, we would have been like, “Uh, it’s 2012 — maybe you’ve heard of email?” (And speaking of 2012, why doesn’t Mr. Hastings just do his banking online?)

- We tried to not think of the father-daughter dance as creepy, but did there really have to be giant plastic lollipops everywhere? Next year, they should nix the candy motif. And given that Lucas has been M.I.A. forever, we thought he might at least show up at the dance to snap a few yearbook shots. Come on, PLL — throw the guy a little screen time once in a while!

- We’re all about cheery clothing, but Emily’s yellow sunflower top — which she wore when she was first meeting with her dad — was a tad much. She looked like she was one of the superheroes from thatCaptain Planet cartoon show, as if she was about to summon up the power of plants. (And Emily’s mom is a competitive runner? Wow, this is one sporty family. We’re getting worn out just thinking about them.)

Catch an all-new Pretty Little Liars on Monday, March 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family. 

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