Part 1 of 2: WHAT'S IN THE BARREL
Some seriously classic A plot lines this week as Caleb and Spencer break into a storage unit that's been rented in Hanna's name and probably, maybe find a body in a barrel. We have no idea because Caleb didn't think to leave the timer on long enough for them to open the damn thing. Now I have to wait a week to know if it's Holbrook or Mona or someone else being pickled. Aria's letter to Jackie is coming back to haunt her, which may be further evidence of why she wasn't a star candidate for colleges: if girlfriend hasn't learned that A can hack her email and torture her with it by now, is she really that bright? Hanna is dealing with the fact that her mom slept with Jason (at least this latest age-inappropriate relationship is legal) and Emily is channelling her feelings about Paige into coffee shop politics. Even the owner of the coffee shop barely cares — but then again, Ezra hasn't always been known for his professionalism.
Everyone, brace yourself for an episode of almost no costume changes.
I know ladies. It's rough. Blame the costume department.
I know we've all agreed to never speak the name of the Spinoff That Happened, but if we were going to entertain the idea of a spinoff, I've got a great suggestion.
I mean, that's just a working title, but I think it's got legs. We avoid any supernatural mumbo-jumbo and focus on Spencer's Sherlock-like deduction skills and Caleb could be her Watson with his mad hacking skills. Mull it over, ABC Family. You can make the check out to YKYLF and you can list us as a producer or something.
Of course, since Spencer only applied to schools where they wear flip flops to class and she's more of a peacoat college girl (which, please. We could have told her that), maybe giving up college to become a PI is a viable option.
Not that Toby the judgey #teencop would approve of this plan.
I just think it's aces though. She'd make an excellent detective and if Veronica Mars can do it, so can Spencer Hastings. Besides, Toby should check his morals and judgement at the door. He may be a #teencop now, but we all remember Gangsta Toby and Toby the A Team Member (#neverforget). And honestly, if he wants to give her a lecture on sleuthing, he should wear something more than grey plaid. His shirt probably put her to sleep.
While I was cheering Spence on to be a teen sleuth, I was also little bit worried about Spencer's khaki knitwear and matching khaki pants. It just couldn't be an attractive combo with a place outside of 1987. However, the shape of both saved it for me.
I mean, this isn't Spencer at her finest, but the cropped sweater with flared sleeves somehow make that knit palatable, even if it is a bit matchy matchy with the trousers. She's making it work for me.
You know who else is probably digging her pseudo-80s WASP vibe? New Cute Boy in the Barn.
"Oh, what's that Toby? Why ever would you be jealous of a Cute Boy in the Barn?" Serioulsy. Classic PLL. Right down to the unimaginative dude fashion. Although this one has some new quirks. Like digging in the trash to get supplies for painting.
He's lucky that the adult Hastingses are never around. My guess is they'd be properly horrified by this.
Also in Classic PLL form, we get text messages from the dead.
I'm just sad to see the girls have given up on the manicures. It added a little something extra to the phone close ups.
I had originally planned to knock Caleb for his choice of boring t-shirts, one of which seemed to be missing a collar to help with the layering, but then I realized it was a practical choice for crawling around in duct work.
I mean, why would you wear something nice into dusty storage locker ducts? You wouldn't. It's simple. Sleuthing calls for practical wear. Because you never know when you're going to find a barrel THAT PROBABLY HAS A DEAD HUMAN IN IT.
There was some early season suspense going on there and I loved it. More of this please, I.Marlene.
Aria also got some classic A trickery this episode, with a text message scavenger hunt across town to meet "H" (wrongly assumed to be Holbrook) and then getting an A errand in the form of flowers from Jason for Ashley. A used to love random errands that hurt family members at the worst possible moments. Fortunately, Hanna intercepted the flower delivery since she seems to remember A's history (unlike Aria). Aria even got the classic A cryptic message when you least expect it.
Well, a receipt isn't the most threatening means of delivering a message, but when it's in your boyfriend's POS system, I guess that's tricky enough.
All of this went down without the Nashville costume department noticing that Aria had raided their trailers and taken it back across the ABC lot.
Honestly. The cut-outs? The giant embellished belt? Even pairing it with cowboy boots?
Why, she's just some horrible hair extensions away from being the latest country ingenue on Nashville out to piss off Juliette Barnes and her hideous wig. Of course, being Aria, she needs to accessorize with feathers.
I think she can't leave the house without some kind of oversized feather. Birds everywhere must be terrified of her jewelry box.