Kids Are Into Santa, Right?: Part 1 of 2
Merry Christmas, YKYLFers! Draw a chair up to the fire and get cozy for our wholesome tale of horrifying masks, fabulous ghosts, home invaders with giant-ass knives, and Santa orgies. Happy Holidays from Rosewood!
Well, we’ve finally done it. After four and a half seasons of breezy, temperate Pennsylvania weather that requires nothing more than a light and stylish jacket, we have finally reached a Rosewood Christmas. Which means we'll finally find out how the PLLs dress for winter!
It’s...about how you would expect. Aria’s in leopard print and a skull scarf because of course she is, Hanna’s in rhinestone-embellished grunge, and Emily’s lifelong love affair with denim continues apace. But I have to admit I was most excited for Spencer’s winter wardrobe: traditionally winter's a good season for WASPs because it lends itself so well to layering, a practice at which they excel (see for example Ross, Nolan). And girl does not disappoint! I am drooling over her princess-cut wool coat and Outlander-esque cowl.
Hanna is still mourning Mona (us too, bb girl), so she stops for a brief flashback to the time they still were pastel-clad besties.
I have to say, I kind of miss Hanna’s pink princess sartorial phase. From a character standpoint it's fantastic that she no longer feels compelled to follow in Alison's footsteps, but from a fashion point of view the constant ripped fishnets are a bit of a downgrade.
So then the PLL are approached by a man that Spencer correctly identifies as a lawyer from twenty paces away by his pen, which instilled in me a deep and burning desire to see her team up with one of TV's many Sherlock Holmeses. Any one of ‘em, I’m not picky. Or all of them! It would be called Spencer and the Sherlocks, and they would just swan around staring at everyone’s accessories and then shouting their deductions out and high-fiving victoriously.
Anyway, the lawyer is the executor of Mona’s estate, because obviously she set up an elaborate will with a zillion instructions, like, we’re not dealing with an amateur here. She left Hanna a map of Alison’s house pinpointing out all of her five million hiding places, so the PLLs agree that they will break into Ali’s house while she is hosting her charity ball (as teenagers are wont to do), and surely they will find evidence implicating Alison in the murder of Bethany Young and clearing Spencer’s name.
But first! They decamp to canoodle with their significant others in various Christmas-y manners. Spencer and Toby have agreed not to give each other physical gifts since Spencer is still out on bail for murder, so she is taking a leaf out of Serena van der Woodsen’s playbook and giving him the gift of sex.
There’s a through line running across this whole episode that leads me to believe whoever wrote it was pretty sure that the deepest fantasy of the Youths of Today is to tongue-kiss Santa. Which...I mean, no judgment! Whatever floats your boat, Young People.
Speaking of Young People, Hanna and Caleb are supervising a whole bunch of them at a church, presumably because Hanna’s mom is still dating that minister.
Hanna’s actually kind of working that green velvet? It goes great with her lipstick. That does not make it any less startling when she decides to smack down a pint-sized baby mean girl by telling her, "In Rosewood, bitches get buried." Oh, Hanna. Are you being awesome or are you being insane? It’s often hard to tell with her. Remember when she smacked Jenna’s sunglasses right off her face?
Meanwhile, Paige and Emily canoodle adorably as they sing carols for the elderly.
Emily and her ladylove love them some T-shirts, and I have grown to accept this and expect nothing else from them. Regardless, they are working some fantastic hair together.
Anyway Sydney interrupts Emily to be like, "Hey, what’s up with you still hating Jenna? You’re the ones who blinded her and she’s literally never done anything to you except be creepy."
And instead of pointing out that Jenna raped her stepbrother, which is a pretty valid reason for hating Jenna but one the Liars always forget about, Emily’s just like, "Get this though: she’s a bitch," and Sydney’s like, "Well, I tried."
I’m not gonna lie, I kind of love Aria’s red with black-and-white stripes. It walks the thin line between cute and twee that she usually catapults right over.
She and Ezra are I guess dating publically now? Isn’t he still her English teacher? Isn’t that still illegal? Also I guess she just forgave him for stalking her for three years?
That night everyone meets up at the ball. Aria’s wearing a dress Ezra gave her, and I have to hand it to him: he has much better fashion sense than she does. You know if Aria was dressing herself she would have hot-glued swan feathers and faux diamonds. all over that dress, but since it was a gift she has to wear it as is, and it’s really lovely and fetching on her. Definitely the most restrained outfit she’s ever worn.
And Emily’s gown is gorgeous. She has a theme, and that theme is boobs, and it works for her.
Spencer looks elegant and willowy in her Grecian silhouette. Love that Lorde-red lipstick with the ice-blue gown.
I’m not totally sure about Hanna’s outfit, though. The white lace is a little bridal, and it doesn’t look like it fits her waist correctly.
Jenna and Sydney summon the Emily over to formally tell her that they are Team Alison, but only because Jenna would like to not lose any more of her senses, please and thank you.
And even the Emily's like, "Yeah, that’s legit." For a blind girl, Jenna’s pretty well-dressed though. That pale blue is lovely on her. Last time Jenna went blind she dressed in all black, so I’m going to choose to believe her newly-upgraded wardrobe is due to Sydney.
So Spencer and Hanna head off to break into Alison's house with Mona's map, and Aria and Emily stay at the ball to run interference on Alison, but obviously they lose her almost immediately and have to fall back on the PLL Significant Other Auxiliary.
Gotta hand it to Hanna, she put in some work on Caleb's makeover. Remember when he showed up in season one as a greasy little cyber werewolf? And now he’s in a well-cut bright blue suit. Ezra looks exactly Ezra always does, which is to say, perfectly fine, and like someone who madly adores sweater vests. But get Paige! She’s channeling the hell out of Jared Leto at the Oscars, and it totally works for her.
They think they’ve cornered Ali and her white-cloaked friend, but of course they haven’t:
Yes, of course you are looking at Alison's pet twins, wearing Alison wigs and holding Alison masks. Obviously. What show did you think you were watching?
Meanwhile, Spencer and Hanna go through Ali’s hiding places, which are all the most baroque and creepy hiding places imaginable, like old-fashioned bird cages with false bottoms and demonic jack-in-the-boxes and chests full of recordings of Ali’s voice threatening to chop off your head, and while they’re doing this A starts wandering around the house with a knife.
So then Spencer just straight up shatters a picture frame and grabs this enormous shard of glass and goes after A, like, girl does not play, and the whole time Toby’s frantically shooting flashbulbs at the window to warn Hanna like a spectacularly ineffective Jimmy Stewart. But by the time Spencer gets to A, the bitch is gone.
Hanna, however, has successfully found a letter proving that Ali was in contact with Bethany and lured her over to her house on the weekend she died. Because Rosewood has its own court system (tough on shovel-touching, soft on statutory rape), everyone agrees that this stolen property will surely be admissible evidence. And then everyone is snowed into Spencer’s enormous empty house, because her parents have apparently decided that while their daughter is out on bail for murder it’s a great time for them to leave her alone for Christmas.
And so they decide to celebrate with a wholesome Christmas orgy.
Everyone wants to tongue-kiss Santa, part the second. This is just...a thing this episode, I guess. Also, we’re going to briefly note that half-naked Ezra is still actively a teacher at the high school all of these teenagers attend (except for Toby, teen cop). We’re just gonna note it and move on.
Post-Christmas orgy, they all have a merry montage full of Christmas dinner and good cheer.
Look how happy Emily and Hanna are in their sleeveless tops, despite the fact that it is snowing outside. Rosewood, man. I’m not even gonna try.