Pretty Little Liars

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their beeping twirking chirping gadgets -- and I guess it could be somebody, but at some point you have to give in and just say to yourself, "It's because A is magic." That totally works for me, I've already convinced myself that Alison was sent from Heaven to punish sinners on Earth and correct their ways.

Touched By a Mean Girl.

Spencer doesn't understand the point of the tie-breaker swim-off between Emily and Paige. Wouldn't it be simpler to just engage in Contests of Will and Strength and determine who is the Greatest of All Time and then the victor could kill the loser so you'd never have to worry about it again? If Spencer were in charge things would be kind of horrible, but also kind of awesome. She assures Emily she'll rock it, but Em's having a crisis of confidence, because -- demonstrably -- murder-hair Paige "wants it" more.

"Emily. You want it more. And it is okay to admit that."

Magical, magical Spencer. They should issue you a Spencer when you get your period, just to follow you around saying awesome stuff like that.

Emily is warmed by the heat of Spencer's all-consuming fire, and then their attention turns to a tear-off poster advertising a tutor job for a homeschooled student in need of French lessons. Of course, this is for Toby, because only the Cavanaughs are creepy enough for homeschool. Spencer tears off a number without a second thought, of course, and Emily gets very worried for Toby, of course.

Spencer tells Emily she can tutor whoever she wants, and yeah, maybe she's just doing it to solve a murder, but French ain't gonna teach itself and if the person who (maybe) framed Toby is also the person/s who did all the other crap, then they have a duty to share intel. Emily assures her that Spencer -- as his self-declared nemesis -- is not going to gain Toby's trust, and in response Spencer flashes her the crazy eyes -- I will beat him into submission; his trust will be the first thing he gives up -- and takes off with the whole poster so as to manipulate the French-tutoring supply curve.

But Spencer is not done, no. She needs to head over to Ian Thomas's office -- lingering nervously in the doorway, since he's like her one Kryptonite thing -- and tell him she's skipping field hockey practice for awhile so she can diversify her college application portfolio through languages. (I don't know how sports work so maybe this conversation makes sense, but I didn't know you could just do sports and not do sports and do sports the way these girls constantly do.)

Ian understandably presumes this is yet another way for her to screw him -- "Gonna tell your parents you can't stand to be on the same field with me?" -- and kind of forces her into the office so he can close the door and be megacreepy some more, but since this actually has nothing to do with field hockey she finds it difficult to explain. I mean, in the larger sense she's trying to figure out what Ian had to do with Alison's death, but since she considers everybody a suspect, it's not as relevant as he might think.

She's in a standstill with her brother-in-law/coach, so of course Melissa appears out of nowhere full of kisses and "what are you doing now" faces; Spencer bounces immediately but Ian whines that she's quitting the team, which Melissa doesn't buy. No, silly, Spencer's just checking out for a sec so she can tutor a person. What person? Not that it matters, but Toby Cavanaugh. You know? Blue eyes, Joaquin face, sisterfucking next-door neighbor of everyone on this entire show? Killed that girl that time?

Of course, Melissa has reasons both obvious and possibly nefarious for buying the Rosewood scapegoating of Toby, so she goes off about what a dumb plan that is. "Don't tell me you're falling for that silent martyr crap," Ian spits, like she's some kind of Emily. "Toby Cavanaugh hasn't cornered the market on lying," Spence spits right back. "I better go."

What do you think Melissa and Ian talk about all the time? Your sister said fifteen pointedly weird, aggressive things to me today. "That's nothin', she plagiarized six of my school papers and watched you cook creepily for an hour and a half from the dumbwaiter. Then she triangulated the location of the Lindbergh baby and made two sophomores cry." Do you think she's on Adderall? "I think she invented Adderall. I think she produces it inside her body, like chlorophyll or adenosine triphosphate."

Like: Without even pausing -- between the Emily pep talk, Round XII with the Hastings-Thomases, and this new thing -- Spencer shows up at Toby's house. I guess now is a good time to describe her outfit, which is like: A cape that is also a shirt, over which she is wearing an actual cape with those little arm-slits down by your hips, and the whole thing is monochrome, and belted, and possibly made of velvet, and she's got this giant tight bun on top of her head that gradually falls apart until by the end of the day she looks deranged. It's a glorious mix of discothèque chic -- like something the X-Men would wear in the 1970s, as part of the Hellfire Club -- and Prince Edward Island schoolmarm. A sartorial triumph, even in Spencerian terms.

So guess what, Toby's totally freaky at the door and won't let her in, probably thinks she has a gun, because it's a freak-off, and she's like, "You have been notified of my arrival." Yeah, but why you specifically? A) Because she knows French because she is Spencer, and B) Because she volunteered. But don't go getting any bright ideas about her being nice about it. Just brisk and to the point: "Look. I have all your assignments together. I have created a schedule for the rest of the semester. We will meet for three times a week. You will succeed."

But no, Jenna's inside, bumping into things with her blind ass, so Toby comes out onto the porch looking scared, because no visitors is the rule, because Cavanaugh = Creepy. And he can't go anywhere else due to his ankle jewelry, so... Spencer just about stomps. "Well? Will Jenna mind if we sit out here on the porch?"

I'm sure she will. I sort of want a giant showdown between Jenna and Spencer because, as I see it, they are like soul sisters. Jenna is the dark half of Spencer because they are the only people who are ever on top of anything, just like Mona is the dark half of Hanna because obviously. (Aria's dark half: Everybody. Emily's dark half: Nobody. Aww.)

Of course Aria's still on the museum thing, which would be annoying enough if Hanna weren't implicated, so the hits keep on coming: "Don't look a giftcard in the mouth. The universe gave you a pass." Aria's universe is not like that, though: Old ladies don't just drop dead when she prays. Also, she is an existentialist. Hanna's like, "Maybe the universe got help from somebody. Somebody really, really sweet, who really loves you, who is super pretty with long pretty hair, that once got hit by a car."

Aria cannot care about that, because somehow this all might have to do with Fitz, so she Spidey-senses her dad having a secret conversation directly outside her bedroom door that goes, "I can pick you up! I can find you in the dark, I've done it before." Smooth. Byron Subtlety Montgomery. It's a family name. Aria jumps on him out of the sky and she's like, "Aren't you going to your department dinner? See above re: Sausage Heaven?" No, he's going on a date. With unnamed persons. Who are his wife.

Hanna continues to try and distract, but there's no way that's happening, and once Aria hears Byron get in the car things turn into a haphazard heist and they have to follow him all over town. Hanna -- again, because this is both annoying and a danger zone -- prepares to be stubborn, but awesomely Aria goes, "Han. My dad's about to have dinner with somebody in the dark. Move it."

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Pretty Little Liars

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