Pretty Little Liars

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 1 USERS: A+
The Big B.A.D. Wolf

And this story illustrates that beautifully, by having his homophobia be just a drive-by on the way to his GOP entitlement. You could substitute "Jew" or "cultural elite" or "multiculturalism" or "Aria" into his complaint and it would be and feel the same, because he's picked his pony, but there's no real ideology behind it, because he has none. He just hungers. Palin's Rosewood.

All of which, I think, Ezra and Ella know the second his horrible ass walks in. Ezra does this -- Ian Thomas really is a very talented man, and a very charismatic one out of character, regardless of the distracting distance between his eyes -- amazing kind of equestrian shushing of Nick the whole time he's ranting, like some kind of hostage negotiator specializing in dicks, and it's... Beautiful, is an appropriate word.

Facts as follows: Number one, don't you fucking touch Emily. Obviously. Fact two: Rarely do we see anybody in Rosewood besides the PLL close ranks the way the faculty and parents are doing here and will continue to do. Fact three: This has nothing to do with gay stuff and everything to do with Emily, because fact four: Emily is the heart of this show and absolutely must be protected, but fact five: Regardless, this is how we do. As people, this is how we do.

So Ezra sticks out his hand and gives a firm handshake, and then explains the fairness policy of Rosewood, all in this very even and respectful and even bright/friendly tone, and then tries to get Nick to the principal's office, which is where Nick flags the first semiotic sign of where we're headed -- the phrase "politically correct," which never meant anything but whose usage always and only means you're a bigot in 2011 -- and then right before Nick refers to Emily (who is a child, okay, and whom he doesn't know is sitting right there, with Hanna sort of stroking her elbow in horror) as a dyke...

"You're in a cafeteria, Mr. McCullers. Filled with kids. Trying to have lunch. I don't think that's the audience you want, is it?"

Reader, I married him. I am generally offended by shippers and shipping -- it's like judging a house's architecture based on the taste of the color when you lick the house -- but I can foresee myself being much more lenient with their gaywad relationship in the future, because that was hot in a West Wing way. The Aria part of me -- and I think we all know how gigantic that part secretly is based purely on how much I bitch about her -- responded to that shit like whoa. The actor and character both at once performing just an amazing job of what's going on.

Anyway, I know I'm super digressing this week and that wasn't really my plan, and after Valentine's Day I'm barely street-legal so I should be wrapping this shit up and not going on and on, but there's so much in this episode that really touched me, and it's funny because the homosexuality is, again I would stress, not the issue here: It's the way that everybody sees around the gay thing to the actual thing, and then they act like adults. Like a community, a family, of grownups.

I don't think of Emily as some unkickable puppy, I just think -- totally separate from her sexuality and its associated storylines -- she's one of the best things you could hope to be. Smart is handed to you, good is not. Everybody thinks Griffyndor is the goal, but really it's Hufflepuff, because that's the hardest thing to be. So as a smartypants -- which you obviously are, my darling, this readership is self-selecting -- it's our job to become strong in other ways. Being a bitch is easy; being Emily is very, very hard.

(And since you asked: Gryffindor is Aria, Spencer is Ravenclaw and the good side of Slytherin, Hanna is the bad side of Slytherin plus a lot of Hufflepuff -- unlike, thankfully, in the books where she was just gross, gross, gross. Jung tells us that four is the number of completion, which is why there are always four basic characters in every television show, but inevitably Slytherin gets shit on -- Blanche Devereux, Jackée, Santana -- which is why Hanna and Spencer are both such a breath of fresh air. They are actual real people for once, which in a world where Barney from HIMYM is the best we Slytherins can do, is a real damn accomplishment.)

Whew. This episode got to me, which is rare in a non-Buckley episode. So this total lizard man comes to see Ashley Marin at the bank, and she is truthin' or PLLing when she says she's not clear on what he's there for due to it being another assistant that made the appointment. What's James Leland there for? Why, to settle his [long story] great-aunt-by-marriage's accounts, GABM in question being, of course, Old Nasty Mrs. Potter.

Do you watch Syfy's Being Human? You really should, it's at least as good as this show. (And I say that as a person who was obsessed with the original BBC3 pilot and never really fell in love with the series, despite Russell Tovey who is like Britain's Noel Kahn as far as I'm concerned.) They had a priest character recently who reminded me of this lizard man. Blonde, tall. Lizardy is the only real word I can think of that's not totally hateful. Kissing the lipless. He's got a certain attractiveness.

So they do a whole back and forth and he clearly knows nothing about his great-aunt but all you care about is what Ashley cares about, which is basically OMG, and she's like, "Oh, you're an architect, oh, here are your documents you already have available, oh, I will pass these to the authorities but probably they will stall for awhile since that's my plan while I figure out what to do, oh, yeah I really couldn't say much about your distant relative besides the fact that she was a gross old bitch who showed up once a year, but oh, now you're asking me on a date. Well, this is familiar territory."

I always figured this show would be Ashley Marin Sleeps With Blonde Guys To Cover Up Various Crimes but it's kind of amazing that it's actually happening. So yeah, he'd like to see the contents of the safety deposit box, into which Ashley has recently deposited some bellybutton lint and some of Mike Montgomery's old Pogz. (Remember ALF? He's back!) It's a great scene, but only because of Ashley's total sketchy fear which I don't know if I can get it across. You don't know the guy himself is sketch at this point because of how this show makes you instantly hate and fear everybody, especially men. Which is its genius.

Paige comes running up to Emily about how this was not about her exactly, or Emily's gayness, but that he just "wanted to know how somebody could beat" her and whether she had somehow "slacked off," and then the total sadness of Paige: "But I didn't. You know I didn't. I told him we tied but you got the slot." Emily's all out and proud these days -- "Because I'm gay?" -- and Paige's jaw drops because how can you be talking in public about exactly what this is about? (I told you we'd love Pam and I told you we'd love Paige but I think it's stretching to say we'll ever love Nick, which is kinda sad if you think about it.)

Paige assures her she was not the bearer of that good news. It's just that her dad is awful, like the kind of awful where you show up at your rival/next girlfriend's house in the pouring rain looking like a kicked pony and act all weird and then drive your bike into a volcano to get out of life. Emily is remarkably diffident -- wrong word, but it's Emily, she's a quiet one when she hates you -- at this juncture, but I don't know how you could possibly play sympathetic to "Sorry about my dad's homophobic swears that I totally tossed your way two weeks ago."

Ella! And Byron! He's a little too busy recapitulating his daughter's ontogeny (oh I went there) to make it to every single one of Aria's parent-teacher conferences, but Ella's just like, "These are the two major ones: French, because Aria is precious to a grotesque degree; and Mr. Fitz because our daughter, and myself, and all those

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Pretty Little Liars




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