Pretty Little Liars 404: Facepalm Time

It’s that time of the week again! The time where we recount the trials and tribulations of four young girls without a care in the world. Except of course, their murdered friend and just exactly how to make enough time in the day to deep condition their hair. It’s the trials and tribulations of Pretty Little Liars.

We open this week on a bright shimmery day in Rosewood. 7am and no one’s murdered yet, it must be a good day! In fact, today is the day that Emily’s dad returns from his tour overseas because the Department of Family Services thinks Emily is being abused. But before anyone can say much of anything, Emily’s got to get to school. Nothing says teary-eyed reunion like Calculus class.

Thank you for coming home to celebrate the end of DOMA.

I know dad. I want to celebrate the repeal of DOMA too but it’s just so hard without across the board same-sex union recognition on the state level.

Outside the hallowed halls of Rosewood High, Caleb and Hanna have a big fight over what type of herbal tea they should have with breakfast. Caleb updates Hanna on his conversation last episode with Papa Marin. Caleb feels pretty damn sure that if Papa Marin’s gun is missing then Ashley took it. Hanna’s not so convinced. She reminds Caleb that a lot of people just use pistols to decorate elaborately themed western parlor rooms. It’s all the rage in Real Simple Magazine.

Caleb you can't keep bringing home kittens. I know they need good homes but twelve is too many!

Caleb you can’t keep bringing home kittens. I know they need good homes but twelve is too many!

Hanna: “Is this what you call helping?”
Caleb: “As a matter of fact, yes.”
Hanna: “Well it’s not. Next time just pick up the lube on your way home from school like I asked and stay out of my business.”

You're so bad at this. I'll just get my Hitachi.

You’re so bad at this. I’ll just get my Hitachi.

Hanna, all fired up from her rage fight with Caleb, tracks down Aria and Spencer on their way into school. Basically she just wants Spencer to nut the fuck up and ask Melissa about the mask. Unfortunately, Hanna goes a little aggro on her friends in the process. It’s okay though, at this point everyone is used to the occasional inappropriate outburst. Just then, Emily walks up and joins the gang. No one is happy. Everyone is sad.

Yeah, the doctor says I still can't fingerbang for another three weeks. It's been pretty hard.

Yeah, the doctor says he’ll let me know later today if I can go back to fingerbanging. It’s been pretty hard.

Little do the Liars know that Detective 2.0 and a brand new woman are watching them. It turns out that the woman is Detective 2.0’s boss/partner/sisterwife and she’s chosen him to figure out just exactly why the Liars can’t seem to make it six months without showing up at a crime scene. They’re also going to get to the bottom of just exactly what makes their hair so shiny. Top contenders include Maybe They’re Born With It and Maybe It’s Maybelline.

Do you think they're washing their hair with egg yolk? Because I've heard good things about egg yolk.

Do you think they’re washing their hair with egg yolk? Because I’ve heard good things about egg yolk.

I hope this becomes like Sailor Moon where each episode Detective 2.0 recruits a new Monster of the Week to help him take down the girls and each episode the Monster of the Week fails. Also, I think she’s maybe supposed to be Jewish? Or from New York? Or both? Should I be offended here? Fortunately she seems like kind of a badass.

Shalom motherfuckers.

Shalom motherfuckers.

At lunch, the Liars regroup and complain that Emily’s family wouldn’t be under investigation right now if only they’d told bigger better lies. Much much bigger lies. All of the big lies. Yeah guys, that’s the moral of the story here.

I would love to have this conversation right now, but there's a girl in a crop top on the other side of the courtyard.

I would love to have this conversation right now, but there’s a girl in a crop top on the other side of the courtyard.

An update on Aria reveals that her BDSM dom Sensei Hot Stuff is still “just fine” and that her mother is still flying off to Austria with Bakery Boy.

Because here I just thought he lived in in Drury Lane.

Because here I just thought he lived in in Drury Lane.

The fact that I didn’t think to call Bakery Boy the Muffin Man will be the largest regret of my life. I may not recover from this.

PLL404-00045

AP European History can really get you.

AP European History can really get you.

Later, at the Life Cafe, Ms. Hastings is back in town! It ‘s a good thing too. Pam, Ashley and Ella are already embroiled in drama, why not add Lady Veronica Uptight into the mix as well. Uptight, for the record, is Veronica’s maiden name.

This coffee tastes like piss.

This coffee tastes like piss.

As it turns out, Veronica is back in town to talk about how awesome Melissa’s new fantasy job in San Francisco and London is. FYI if anyone wants to give me a job where I commute between San Francisco and London I would be happy to take it. I even promise to find a chick on the side in both places.

Two countries. Two chicks. No problems.

Two countries. Two chicks. No problems.

Melissa also wants to talk about how cool it will be when Spencer goes off to UPenn. Except, oops! Spencer didn’t get in! Veronica decides to show off just how terrible her parenting skills really are by refusing to believe that Spencer got rejected. It was pretty sad.

And on my left you can see a fine example of a grade A one percenter. Sometimes known locally as a WASP.

And on my left you can see a fine example of a Grade A One Percenter. Sometimes known locally as a WASP.

Fortunately sister Melissa is all about helping Spencer scam her way in. I mean, UPenn is the best college in the world. Way better than Duke or Stanford or MIT or UChicago or Yale or Princeton or, I don’t fucking know, Harvard. Nope. None of those will do. Now that Spencer’s been rejected from UPenn the only thing to do is to go all Blair Waldorf and scheme her in.

f there's a UPenn, shouldn't there also be a MePenn? Don't I deserve a penn too?

If there’s a UPenn, shouldn’t there also be a MePenn? Don’t I deserve a penn too?

Across town Hanna and Ashley are having a less than ideal Take Your Daughter To Work Day. You know, the kind of day that involve the police showing up to your place of work. Fortunately, Detective 2.0 and  Detective Badass aren’t there to search through Ashley’s things. They’re checking out Wilden’s safety deposit box which Ashley just happens to be in charge of.

Now that we all have gloves on, let's pop open this box of toys and get this party started!

Now that we all have gloves on, let’s pop open this box of toys and get this party started!

Wilden’s box has got cash, a gun and most importantly, a Canadian Passport.

Shit We Learned This Episode
1. Wilden is Canadian

Wilden, Eh?

Wilden, Eh?

Wait. Did Wilden die just before Canada Day? He didn’t even get to celebrate Canada Day 2013?! Oh the humanity!

Later that night, Spencer and Emily talk on the phone. They decide to use Melissa’s mask as leverage to force Melissa to admit that her face is actually a permanent mask and underneath it she’s actually a crab-person.

You're so hot in your picture. I just can't wait to meet in real life.

You’re so hot in your picture. I just can’t wait to meet in real life.

Once they hang up, Spencer does a quick Google search for Dr. Louis Palmer who is maybe a pediatrician or maybe a family practice doc or maybe Wren’s alter ego. Emily on the other hand eavesdrops on her parents. They’re worried about her/the family/drug allegations/murders. You get the picture.

I'm so constipated, I don't even wanna leave the bathroom.

I’m so constipated, I don’t even wanna leave the bathroom.


The next morning Emily tries to deal with this problem head on. She goes straight from her Lesbian Camouflage Enthusiasts of America meeting straight to the doctor’s office to explain everything.

Tell it to me straight doc. What's my fingerbanging future looking like?

Tell it to me straight doc. What’s my fingerbanging future looking like?

It goes wonderfully and the doc calls Family Services and explains it was all just a big misunderstanding. Just kidding! She makes it worse! Now he really really thinks Emily is being abused and also she has a partial tear in one of her rotator cuff muscles and can’t swim anymore! She might even have to get surgery! With an unpredictable outcome! This is not Emily’s day.

Are you saying I might never be able to fingerbang again?!

Are you saying I might never be able to fingerbang again?!

Like ever?!

Like ever?!

Starsweep across town where Hanna has stalked Detective Badass all the way to one of Rosewood’s many fine benches. Detective Badass is reading a bunch of case files and wearing blue pumps. Reading the case files is significant as those files are probably totally confidential and shouldn’t be read in public. The blue pumps are significant because they’re cute and I want them.

Did you get those shoes at Payless? Because I heard they were, like, totally rebranding.

Did you get those shoes at Payless? Because I heard they were, like, totally rebranding.

Hanna sits down next to Detective Badass. I’ve decided she’s a total lezzie. Detective Lezzie Badass

Oh this? It's just a vegan flaxseed strawberry smoothie and a hand rolled cigarette.

Oh this? It’s just a vegan flaxseed strawberry smoothie and a hand rolled cigarette.

Hanna asks Detective Lezzie Badass a bunch of questions that seem posited exclusively to make her seem guilty. What’s with all of Wilden’s cash? What’s with his gun? What’s with the passports? Who killed Jenny?

Anal.

Anal.

Detective Lezzie Badass responds the way any perfect middle aged lesbian detective would. By being totally manipulative and digging for the truth.

Or is it more of an imperial period of Tsars around these parts?

Or is it more of an imperial period of Tsars around these parts?

She sort of oddly reminds me of a really effective lesbian high school vice principal  Is that a thing? Either way I sort of think she’s awesome. Am I falling in love with the bad guy? Someone stop me.

I'm going to love you forever.

I’m going to love you forever.

Caleb walks up and pulls Hanna away. You don’t ever let your girlfriend talk to another lesbian. Ever.

I can explain! We were just talking! You don't need to get so jealous.

I can explain! I really do like you! I’ve just liked him longer.

Starsweep across town where the Pretty Little Liars writing staff seems determined to make me stop watching this episode and just proceed to check out girls on OKCupid for an hour. In other words, it’s a TobAy’s mom scene. Dr. Louis Palmer turns out to be the doctor TobAY’s mom saw. He decides to drive up to see the doc that day. You know, because telephone is a nonexistent communication form on TV.

Why am I even still on this show?

Why am I even still on this show?

Spencer skips the drive and heads over to the Life Cafe to hang out with Aria and Emily and play a round of Veronica Mars.

Okay everyone look at my ass and tell me if I have panty lines.

Okay everyone look at my ass and tell me if I have panty lines.

Just as they’re discussing how to best present Melissa with the mask mold, Paige walks in. Praise the fucking lord. I would not have made it another week without some lezzie action.

This doesn't look like the Park Slope Coop. I must have taken a wrong turn.

This doesn’t look like the Park Slope Coop. I must have taken a wrong turn.

Emily tells Paige about her shoulder.She and Paige softly cry to one another while Paige strums “Landslide” on her guitar. Actually, Paige tries to cheer Emily up by joking about getting a competitive edge in swimming. It’s so cute. I could die. Alone. I probably really should scour OKCupid for another hour in the slim chance I find someone who makes me happy. Wait, what was I saying?

How'd the meeting go? What's the timeline on fingerbanging?

How’d the meeting go? What’s the timeline on fingerbanging?

Emily goes to ask Paige “What if I can’t swim anymore?” but ends up stopping herself short. I don’t think this is just about Stanford either. I think this is about Emily knowing that swimming is sort of their thing together. Maybe she’s scared if she loses swimming she’ll lose Paige too. I cry.

Listen, even if you never fingerbang another day in your life I'll still love you.

Listen, even if you never fingerbang another day in your life I’ll still love you.

Then they kiss. But not the way high school lesbians kiss. The way middled aged lesbians kiss when one of them just got home from dropping their oldest kid off at soccer but there are still another two kids at home. What I’m saying is high school lezzies use tongue. There, I said it.

It's okay for TV as long as no lips actually touch.

It’s okay for TV as long as no lips actually touch.

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 276 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. ….so what I got from Melissa’s confessions was that Paige totally threw Wilden across the carriage on the Halloween train? Which I completely approve of.

    (Psst, it also seems like we won’t get any Paige in the next 5 episodes, argh)

  2. “I must say, Spencer impersonating Melissa’s interior monologue as she filmed her was one of the true delights of the episode! Maybe even of my entire life.” – I agree. It totally seemed like something Troian adlibbed and they decided to keep.

    All the revelations!! I’m glad that Melissa and her insanely awesome clothing aren’t evil. I would totally watch a PLL version of Melissa+NAT Club people because maybe that would illuminate what the fuck is going on.

    Lots of facepalms, like Aria being an idiot and saying that Malcom is her teacher’s son (although revealing her whole entire relationship with Ezra immediately afterwards redeemed her a teensy-bit because her idiocy didn’t bite her in the ass as yet another lie to cover up), Toby’s entire meeting with Palmer, Hannah attacking Spencer for “protecting family” in order to protect her own family, and Emily’s insolent tantrum reminded me why I hate teenagers.

    The Paige scenes were cute though, especially since they didn’t break-up (which my gf was anticipating with the pool scene ugh that would’ve been brutal). Lezzie Bad Cop is the best. So excited for a competent and brilliantly manipulative cop on this show.

    • My roommate and I were just talking about wanting a Melissa POV pll show! I am sure that things have been just as effed up for her as for the liars, and she’s probably been through some shit that only exists in marlene’s head so far.

  3. Regrettably recognise Lezzie Bad Cop from Nip/Tuck, show #576879810 that I suffered through in order for some sapphic content 🙁

    Was for real waiting for this recap in order to confirm that we are indeed to believe that Wilden is indeed Canadian (bet he voted for Harper)

  4. Jeez, if screaming at your kid gets the cops called on you my family would all be in jail. People fight and parents yell. lol

    I’m starting to think you’ll never run out of fingerbanging jokes Lizz. I love it! 😀

    Oh and repeat after me Lizz, Paige never tried to drown Emily. It was not a murder attempt. LOL

  5. Can we just talk about Hanna’s shirt in the first few scenes? The one with the popsicles and ice cream all over it. Is this actually the sort of thing people are wearing these days and do I need to feel old/frumpy not to know that? Or can I just shoot an eye roll to the PLL costuming department?

  6. I think it’s also useful to point out that Mona told the truth about Melissa being one of the Queen of Hearts on the Halloween train. I really think Mona is on their side now and they can trust what she tells them.

    Clothing-wise: I usually do not like Hanna’s outfits, not my style at all, but that red jacket with the yellow tank when she confronted the female cop was amaaaaazing.

  7. Thank you for pointing out which masks were of what people. I have very poor facial recognition skills so every time they would do a dramatic reveal of a mask mold I had no idea what was going on. “Is that Allison? Wilden? The liars? Is that sexy Medusa mask of Emily anywhere around here?” It never even entered my mind that those were Melissa masks.

  8. 1) I loved the honesty from Aria and Melissa, usually two of Rosewood’s shadiest. Obviously this show thrives on lies and secrecy but it was refreshing to have some truth for a change.

    2) No one but me seems to have noticed this! So maybe I am imagining things! But I am 8320349% sure that Lady Cop bugged Ashley’s office when she “took a butterscotch”

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