Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pretty Little Liars: "Hot For Teacher" (4x18)

The producers slowed it down a little bit this week, but still managed to make a pretty good episode. Bite Your Tongue might've had more action, but Hot For Teacher kept our story moving forward. No major answers, just a few more small details.
 

Alison
The episode opened with her talking to Shana on a payphone, asking for help. Later, we found out that Alison was running out of money. She had given Shana instructions to retrieve an envelope from the back of the french poster in her bedroom. When Shana was unsuccessful, Emily stepped in and helped. Shana was attacked before she could pick up the envelope from Emily and deliver it to Alison. She woke to Alison calling her cell phone, but quickly ended the connection when she saw the threatening message A left for her. Frustrated, and clearly upset, Alison boarded a bus with very little money left in her wallet.




Aria
At school, Ezra invited Aria for a weekend stay at his cabin. She was initially reluctant to go, but ultimately agreed. Later, while having coffee and discussing A at The Brew, Aria lied to her friends, claiming that she was taking some "me" time and hadn't spoken to Ezra in a while. Before she and Ezra left for the cabin, Aria talked with Jesse, the guidance counseler. She tried to open up to him, but couldn't do it, quickly making an excuse about Mike. As she exited Jesse's office, she didn't see Ezra, but he definitely noticed where she had just been.

At the cabin, Ezra's shady behavior continued, and Aria was starting to notice, but Ezra brushed off her concerns. At one point, she considered leaving, tired of lying to everyone and feeling guilty. Ezra mentioned that he should be the person Aria is closest to, manipulating the situation so she would agree with him and stay. It worked and she went off to take some pictures around the cabin. Later, Ezra claimed to be missing the key ingredient (a can of chickpeas) for a meal he was cooking, and Aria offered to go to the store and get it.


That night, Aria woke up alone in bed, a little freaked out that Ezra wasn't around. She started looking for him, and he ended up scaring her when he poppped up out of nowhere. She questioned his whereabouts, and he claimed he was checking to make sure the back door was locked. The two talked about trust, and Ezra told Aria he was glad she decided to stay.


Emily
We learned that Em's dad was okay, allowing the Liars one sigh of relief. While discussing A and Alison at The Brew, Emily was adamant about helping Alison. Later, she asked Shana what she could do to help Alison, also asking her to apologize to Alison for her. The apology seemed to work, as Shana came to Emily when she couldn't get past Mrs. DiLaurentis to get something from Alison's room.


Emily came up with a ruse about a lost earring, securing the envelope from the back of the poster in Alison's room. It contained contact information and 5K in cash. Emily hid it in a coffee bag at work, until Shana could come to pick it up and deliver it to Alison. After Shana was attacked, Emily told Hanna and Spencer about the money as they filled Emily in on what they learned.


Ezra
He continued his slide down the slippery slope towards evil with a capital E... We started off the episode with him telling Aria about the break-in at the cabin. That same day, he confronted Spencer at school, but he was ambiguous with his threats about sloppy work on a paper. Spencer shrugs off the conversation, saying that she'll just take the bad grade.


Ezra snooped in Spencer's file, finding a note for ADHD medication. As Ezra was reading, Jesse mistakenly walked in, meeting Ezra for the first time. The two exchanged pleasantries, and after Jesse left, Ezra took Spencer's file with him.


Later at the cabin, after sending Aria on an erroneous errand, Ezra grabbed the can of chickpeas and descended into his new lair. He caught up on the various happenings with the Liars, which were seemingly sent to his computer as "messages."




That evening, while Aria slept, Ezra was out in his car watching live surveillance of his apartment as Spencer and Hanna were about to break in. Spencer noticed the camera at just the right moment, and the two abandoned their scheme as Ezra looked on.



Hanna
In a super-cute scene with Detective Holbrook, Hanna finally gets all her heels back. She's especially overjoyed to be reunited with a pair of black Sam Edelman Pixie pumps. As the two talked, Holbrook mentioned behavior patterns and paying attention to small details. Later, at the Brew, Hanna was pretty determined to stay away from detective work, opting to wait until Alison contacted the girls again. Despite her efforts to give up crime novels and sleuthing, Holbrook's words stayed with her and she realized that something was going on with Spencer.


Hanna solicited help from Aria, but she dismissed Hanna's detective work, allowing Hanna to go it alone. Later, she convinced Emily to stakeout Spencer's house with her, proving that Spencer was lying about being at the library. Hanna tried to confront Spencer when she saw her alone, but Spencer blew up at her, right in front of Holbrook. 

Detective Hanna could've stopped there, but instead, she found out what Spencer had been researching. She met Spencer at Ezra's apartment, and begged her to give up her search, but ended up following Spencer into the building.


Spencer
Thanks to prescription pills, Spencer hadn't slept in a really long time, instead throwing herself full throttle into her investigation of Ezra. Exhausting Andrew's supply, she turned to another student, Brenda, to buy more pills. Immediately after making the deal, Ezra confronted her with ambiguous threats, but she shrugged them off.


Spencer's continued her investigation. At one point, she called Aria and was about to confess her suspicions, but ultimately decided against it. She decided to keep looking, and find concrete proof of Ezra as A before telling Aria. Her search led to Ezra's apartment.


Just as Spencer was about to head inside, Hanna arrived. She asked Spencer to give up her search, telling her that Ezra as A was just crazy. Spencer was adamant about finding proof, and Hanna followed into the building and up to Ezra's door.


Just as the two were about to enter his apartment, Spencer noticed that they were being watched. She quickly alerted Hanna about the camera in the vent, telling her to not act suspiciously. Spencer made up an excuse for her actions, and the two girls left. Later, Spencer and Hanna filled in Emily on Spencer's theory, as Emily told them about the money in Ali's room.



A/Black Hoodie
At the end, Black Hoodie was watching an old movie on a computer monitor with pictures of Aria and Alison on a board behind the computer. We watched Black Hoodie open an envelope full of empty script pads belonging to Wren Kingston, M.D. We heard the following audio from the movie, "Maybe you did it, maybe you didn't. Sam says you didn't kill her, and I've known Sam a long time. That's why I took this job. If I thought you were a professional killer, I wouldn't have any part of it."


My Thoughts

Black Hoodie/Uber A
Okay... first things first. What's with the Black Hoodie at the end having a totally different setup than Ezra's lair in the basement? Does A have two lairs... or is the person we see at the end Uber A...?


And what's with all the photos of Aria?


There's also a picture of Wilden and a picture of Spencer, in addition to a couple of the things we saw in Ezra's Ravenswood Lair. I'm not sure if the pics of Aria are supposed to make us think that it's Ezra, or someone else she was involved with, like Jake, Jason DiLaurentis, perhaps?


And then there were the scripts... Are we supposed to think that it's Wren? I mean... the producers have certainly been giving subtle hints here and there about Wren, but could he really be Uber A, or is he just another member of the A-Team?


And then there's Ezra... He's so shady, and he's definitely got a lot of surveillance going on. We know that he's an A, but is he the A? Or just another member of the A-Team?

Spencer's Secret
Spencer has been keeping a secret from the other girls about the night that Alison disappeared. We've all been thinking that she was witholding information intentionally, but what if she really has no idea that anything else happened that night. What if she has repressed those memories because they're stressful, or traumatic? It happened in the books, so why not twist it around and have something similar happen on the show? Anyway... here's what I posted on my tumblr, verbatim...

"So… I’ve been thinking… Spencer has been hiding a secret from the girls… A secret from the night Ali went missing… I think Spencer will remember something from that night… Something that she has repressed… But this isn’t the first time she did it… I think she and Alison fought that night, and Spencer pushed her, maybe even hit her… But I don’t think she dealt the blow what was meant to be the final blow… But in the moment of remembering that push… She will remember a similar altercation that happened on the roof of a building a couple years back… I don’t know that she realized she was doing it, or that she even meant to… But I think Spencer was the fragile patient on the roof… And I think she will remember bits and pieces of her repressed memories and start to think that she tried to kill Alison."

It would certainly explain a lot of Mr. Hastings' behavior. Burning the field hockey stick and wanting to shut down Radley. A lot of theories are suggesting that Spencer is the one with a twin, and while I don't hate the idea, I'm not exactly sure how that would play out. I feel like the Radley Thing has to be going somewhere, otherwise we wouldn't be spending so much time on it. You know? 

Aria
For someone who is supposed to be so strong and independent, she sure is buying everything Fitz is selling, hook, line, and sinker. I don't know if it's just because we know that Ezra is up to no good and she doesn't, but I can't be the only one who thinks she's suddenly lost her moxie. Like, all of it. Bunches and bunches. Maybe it's hard to watch because we know the fall is coming? I want her to know already. It's like I'm tired of keeping her secret, but we're not even friends. Sheesh.

Alison's Faked Death
I'm pretty sure that Alison didn't fake her own death. I just don't think she had the time. She had a lot of interactions that night, and I'm pretty sure more than one of those people had motive and opportunity. There are so many different scenarios...

1. Someone tried to kill Alison and that same person faked her death, in order to get an A-like person off their back.

2. Someone tried to kill Alison and that same person faked her death to keep her away from Rosewood, punishing her further and perhaps intending to eventually find her and kill her.

3. One person tried to kill Alison and another person accidentally killed a random thinking it was Alison.

We know for sure that someone tried to kill Alison and didn't succeed, as she was pulled out of the ground by Grunwald and taken to a hospital.What we don't know is if the other body was already in the gazebo hole, or if it was put in after Alison was pulled out. I think we're all assuming that the body was put in afterward, but could it have been buried before Alison?

Avery/Spencer's Twin
I wish I came up with this theory. It's really good. It's based on the idea that Sara Harvey's friend Avery is actually Spencer's twin AND the Black Widow, among other things. readReadREAD. So good, right?

Next week's episode is Shadow Play, the extravaganza that my inner film geek has been looking forward to since last fall. Spencer's pill addiction is going to alter her worldview, sending her straight into a world of black and white film noir. I'm not sure how the episode will work into the show's canon, considering it all happens inside Spencer's head. We'll just have to wait and see... :)

-S

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