Bad Boys & Bad Bets

Sutton’s ready for her triumphant return to her Magical Closet, so she challenges Emma to a game of tennis for the right to return to the Mercer home. Emma’s got the lead on Sutton until Mads shows up begging Emma to help Thayer, who is about to book it out of town after Alec is released from prison. Ethan’s got morning-after regret plus a bad case of being caught plagarizing. The latter is solved by a late night study session with Emma, the former is currently untreatable. And, in the most heartbreaking of plotlines, Laurel’s crushing hard on Jordan, but Jordan’s still after Mads – and Mads can’t resist the Bad Boy du Jour.



Emma kicks off the episode canoodling with Thayer and doing all of us at YKYLF a solid by showing off her killer heels.

Brave girl, drinking coffee while wearing all white. I love the shoes, but they seem a little bit much for the boho-hippie look of the crocheted dress. I feel like this needs espadrilles, not 5″ heels. But Emma’s never been one to shy away from the giant chunky heel, and given that she’s going to be locked in the cabin for the forseeable future, she’s got to get her daytime glamour kicks in now.




Particularly since Emma’s not one to bother with late night study session glamour – not that she needs to, since she’s got “warm night in the desert casual” down.

This is an episode full of shorts, worn with varying degrees of success. Emma’s getting an A for these day-glo shorts (with matching hair tie). I love when Emma dresses her age, mostly because she does it so well.


You’ve got to give the girl credit for accessorizing even when she’s just going to sit on a futon outside Ethan’s trailer. Check out the Mads-sized earrings and simple (but sizeable) pendant necklace.

Both the pieces are big and should be too much when combined, but since they’re all so delicate, everything flows together.


Emma shows off the spoils from her last trip to the Magical Ring Closet.

ABCFamily didn’t put up near as many promotional pictures for this episode, but I’d forgive them for it if they started just putting up pictures of the accessories. This ring holds promise, and I bet a clearer shot of it would leave me stomping my feet and yelling “I want it now” like an overgrown Veruca Salt.


Which is pretty much what I imagine Sutton was like as a child. Let’s head to the Cabin of Poor Decisions, shall we?

I am amazed that Hair and Makeup managed to give her perfect curls with bedhead on top. Just in case you thought that maybe Sutton had hopped out of bed and refreshed her curls from the night prior before waking up, like Kristen Wiig at the beginning of “Bridesmaids.” Nope. This is just how Sutton Mercer wakes up in the morning after a night of passion with Ethan.


It’s not surprising that Sutton wants her life back. She’s clearly going through Magic Closet Withdrawal Syndrome, as evidenced by her wearing denim shorts two weeks in a row.

Sutton gets a C for these, graded on a curve. I have to dock her for the fact that they’re denim shorts, but by the same token, she’s wearing them with a peplum top. A very familiar peplum top.


Looks like someone’s been digging through Mom’s Decidedly Less Magical Closet.

I’m sorry, but how can anyone see Sutton and not immediately say, “So, Rebecca’s your mom, right? And you’re both super crazy.”


Sutton’s even got her own version of the heart locket.

I’m honestly a little surprised to see something this giant and gaudy in Sutton’s wardrobe. It feels like something Char (pour one on the ground) would have given her for Sutton’s 13th birthday, and Sutton would kind of sneer and ask if Claire’s takes returns.


For the tennis match, Sutton and Emma put their wildly different styles on display. Sutton, during her brief visit to the Magical Closet, managed to snag a crisp all-white number. Emma, on the other hand, grabbed whatever was lying in her gym bag from last week.

C’mon, Emma. When you’re facing down your sister for the right to play tennis at Regionals, you have to step up your game a little. When you don’t try, it’s like you just don’t appreciate the glorious altar to fashion that is Sutton’s closet.


To reclaim her closet, Sutton rolls in wearing the evil twin version of Emma’s white dress.

Part of why I love this show: it’s not unreasonable to describe things with “evil twin version.” Because it’s not hyperbole, it’s just a statement of fact.

Another accessory misstep by Sutton, with this weird bead cluster bracelet thing.


Style must be hereditary, because Sutton certainly didn’t learn how to dress herself from Kristen.

Kristen’s very flustered that the sink is clogged! She was just on her way to the weekly Chambray Club meeting, and she doesn’t have time to fix it! It’s her turn to bring the refreshments!


I suggested this back in episode four, but now that Lily Rhodes van der Woodsen Mueller Bass Humphrey Bass van der Woodsen is free, can we repurpose her for a What Not to Wear-style makeover for TV moms? And can I nominate Kristen as our first candidate?

I can even hear the opening narration. “This Phoneix mom’s wardrobe is shapeless and blah. Can Lily take Kristen’s wardrobe from frump to fab? Find out on What Not to Wear: Gin in Tea Edition.


All I’m saying is, the woman needs help. Her hunky (albeit scuzzy, lying) husband is fixing the sink, and this is the best she can do:

Come on, Kristen. Where are those yogilates legs? Why are you not rocking the “I’m about to be single and going to date every one of your divorced friends from the country club” look?


Again: style must be hereditary, because here’s how much dress Laurel is wearing to school today.

I love her, but that’s a lot of peasant dress and it’s not 1997. However, she can totally interview me with a hairbrush about her bad dating decisions, because she is adorable and is my imaginary best friend.


And as my imaginary best friend, I will say this to her: it is very, very rare that anyone can wear a peasant sundress without a bra.

Do not try. Sorry. It’s not you, it’s the wildly unflattering Earth mother cut.


For her big date, Laurel finds just the right mix of youth and sexiness. I am crazy about this top and need it in my not-so-magical closet ASAP.

And she’s wearing a navy purse, for which I am very grateful because I never, ever know what purse to carry with my blue tops and dresses. Thanks for solving my style problem, imaginary best friend!


It’s very strange, as a fashion recapper, to watch a show set in a desert. I’m so used to characters (*coughSERENAcough*) not dressing for what is very clearly cold weather. Now, with all these characters wearing shorts and light tops, I immediately think “Wow, it must be a hell of a heat wave” before remembering, duh, Phoneix. Anyway. Laurel’s flowy top is perfect for a lazy day at home.

And I love that she’s wearing what appears to be a repeat of the tank that Ann loved from Unholy Matrimony. It’s practically a “Stars! They’re Just Like US!” moment.


Mads gets fewer costume changes than Kristen this week, which is a shame because it means she spends most of the episode in this fringe-hemmed dress.

And yes, that is Mads awkwardly fidgeting with her fringe while talking to the stepbrother she hooked up with. I forgive her for the fringe in this case, because I never know what to do with my hands in that situation.


Sidebar: Mads’s hair is even more amazing than usual this week, with randomly curled strands that give her total princess hair.

Kristen, this is how hard Mads tries for Precalc. Can’t you put in a little more effort than “haphazard bun?”


Mads shows us how to do layered tanks right (Rebecca will show us the “Miss” counterpart to Mads’s “Hit”).

Our wee little lollipop is so great at the casual edginess. The drapey tank combo does that sexy-casual thing so well, and as always, Mads toughens the look up with some chunky jewelry in the form of Native American-inspired necklaces and a huge (or maybe just huge on said wee little lollipop?) cuff. 


Hey Mads, can I borrow your purse?

It’s all kinds of amazing, and you’re clearly not storing near enough in there. I need a new laptop bag and this would be just perfect. If you want me to have it, just make out with your stepbrother in plain sight of your friend, okay?


Awesome, thanks! You’re the best!

I’d feel bad for Laurel, but I have a feeling she’s going to turn this into some great new LSwift material.


Rebecca spends most of her time wearing this layered top that may or may not be exercise gear.

I really don’t know. The seaming makes me think Lulu Lemon, and the amount of time she spends in it makes me think “laundry day.” I don’t get it, when you hire Charisma Carpenter to play the femme fatale crazy lady, how do you dress her like this?


A slight improvement when Rebecca tries to have a moment with Ted, only to be rebuffed by his sociopathic powers of denial.

I love this dress on her and wish we’d seen more of it. The pink’s a great color on her, and the gold accessories are understated but so flattering. More bright colors for Rebecca, please!


Thayer’s skipping town, and I have to say, I’m not sorry to see him go. He was always the boring earnest one. When he’s not in an episode, I forget he exists. Sometimes when he’s in an episode, I forget he exists.

In this scene where he finds out Emma tutored Ethan, I was all, “Wait, why is the wall talking? What is that bowl of oatmeal saying?” because he is so terribly boring and also completely blends in with the background.


I appreciate that Ethan compensates for Thayer’s blandness by taking us on a trip to the gratuitous male gun show.

I feel like this should be above May in a “Men of ABC Family” calendar.


It’s a good thing Kristen’s daughters don’t tell her anything significant about their lives, or the next meeting of the Chambray Club would be super awkward.

Can’t you see Kristen staring daggers at Jordan from across the multipurpose room of the local community center for taking out Laurel then making out with Mads? And Jordan would finally be like, “Do you have something to say to me?” and Kristen would be all, “You’re a disgrace to chambray.” And then Jordan would be like –


Wait, who’s that lurking in the curtains like the abusive ex-husband in a Lifetime Movie of the Week?

Hey Alec, welcome home! Glad you’re free and totally not planning on killing Rebecca to get revenge (!!!) on her for setting you up. Right? Because you can’t kill her off. She’s the closest thing I have to Georgina Sparks now that Gossip Girl is off the air.


I mean, look at this scheming face. You can’t kill a scheming face like this one.

No, like, you literally cannot. I’m pretty sure that, unless you decapitate her, Rebecca will come back, Bart Bass-style. She’s unstoppable.