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Saturday
Feb282015

Pretty Little Liars: Bloody Hell

Part 1 of 2: Trucks are lorries, sweaters are jumpers.

The A-team had their hands full this week, between Spencer jetting off to London (oh to be a Hastings), Aria’s near-death experience, and of course, "A" HIDING IN A HOSPITAL BED NEXT TO CYRUS. The cliff-notes version: Ali = innocent, Mona = probably not alive, Spencer = probably not getting into Oxford, Hanna = sass,  Aria = with Ezra (sort of), Emily = should have been a dancer not a swimmer, Ashley = engaged, and A = batshit crazy.

 

The girls finally visit (a very contrite) Ali in jail, apologizing for not believing her and filling her in on the Mona situation. Aria’s kooky outfit of the week is a neck/body suspender and a sheer white skirt that’s so sheer it’d be macaron-baring if it weren’t for her long black tunic. Appropriate for visiting your ex-best-friend/possible worst enemy in jail? Probably not.

 

At least Spencer looks cute. Her burgundy blazer and ruffled blouse are just fabulous. Especially loving the black ribbon detail.

 

From wispy white skirts to no skirt at all, Aria’s all about the macaron-baring this episode. Her black textured top is cute enough, but probably would’ve looked a lot better paired with jeans, rather than an impossibly short printed skort. But compared to some of her other crazypants outfits, this one is forgivable.

 

I can even forgive Emily for her awfully boring tanks this week.

 

Because her dance number? I think we need to start a petition for Shay Mitchell to have a dance number in every episode. Seriously. So. Good. Probably not appropriate for a pageant, but hey, this is Rosewood and anything goes.

Werk it, girl.

 

Em and Talia even shared this really sweet moment. Moral of all this? Emily needs to spend more time in the studio.

 

In love with her simple black leotard and wrap skirt. Less in love with Talia’s outfit. What happened to her simple, tailored outfits? Maybe this was all she could grab out of her closet before she left her husband? In any case, the floral sundress belongs more in Aria’s closet, or perhaps flashback-Ali’s. Points for the cute brown boots, but major points off for the leggings under her dress.

 

But even though her outfit wasn’t up to par this week, Talia really stepped it up for Em. Worried that Em’s friendship with Ali would put the pageant in jeopardy, Claire Handelman, contest coordinator of the pageant and purple lover, “encourages” Emily to drop out. In response, Talia “encourages” the pageant to cut Em a check. Go Talia. Claire may be hell on heels, but I'm digging her silky purple blouse. Very Ashley Marin.

 

Not so much love for the floral button-up and matronly black slacks. Very pageant-coordinator worthy, though, down to the coiffed hair. 

 

PS - in case you thought Em had given up sweats for good now that she’s no longer a Rosewood Shark…

...think again.

 

So because Veronica seems to be the only parent who cares that her daughter will be graduating soon (soon = 2 more seasons in PLL time), Spencer reluctantly hops on a plane across the Atlantic to nab a spot at Oxford. Instead of staying with Melissa and Wren, of course, she finds blue-eyed, blonde, sweater wearing Colin instead. He gives her a quick brief on Britain (flats, lorries, you know), but Spencer is apparently immune to his charms accent.

 

But let’s be real. Oxford would be perfect for Spence. She already dresses the part. Case in point: this gorgeous leather messenger.

 

Her navy cape would definitely not be out of place in Oxford…

 

…neither would her navy trench coat. Just look at the brass buttons. Sidenote: thanks PLL set designers for the explosion of UK flags in the background. We get it — Spencer’s in Britain.

 

Her interview outfit is, of course, all tweed and blazers and screams I AM PERFECT FOR OXFORD! I mean, look how well she fits in with the decor!

 

And then there's this guy. I wish I could have seen the casting call for this character, because he embodied stiff upper lip Brit down to his bowtie and sweater vest.

 

But as Spencer waxes on about her dream of attending Oxford, the prof notices something strange about her bag…

 

Because even halfway across the world, A can still find time to torment Spencer. Poor Spence rushes back to the flat to pack and get on the next flight to London — but not before ripping apart every inch of her suitcase to make sure A hasn’t stuck Mona’s pinkie in there. Or something. It’s a shame we won’t be seeing a spinoff of Spencer taking on Oxford, because her outfits are really perfect for the place. This cozy fisherman sweater jumper? She probably borrowed it right out of Colin’s closet.

 

Thankfully, Colin is there to calm Spencer down and use his patented "keep-the-kids-from-freaking-out" techniques on her. Seriously Spence, he works with kids, has a British accent, and is cute. #Teencop who?

Saturday
Feb282015

Pretty Little Liars: Bloody Hell

Part 2 of 2: The Mean Reds

While Spence is trying to clean blood off of her hands and Emily’s killing it in the studio, Aria and Hanna pay Cyrus a visit. With that bouquet and those innocent smiles, who wouldn’t believe they’re just there to visit their injured cousin?

 

Although he’s barely recognizable under all those bloody bandages. And of course there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind who’s behind this.

 

Cyrus hands the girls a paper with "carjack" written on it, which they later figure out reads "Varjack" as in "Paul Varjak" from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, aka Ali’s favorite movie.

 

Thinking that A might’ve referred to themselves as the Varjak to Ali’s Holly, Hanna and Aria attempt to press Cyrus for more info…only to be stopped by the most protective/sassy nurse in all of PA.

 

"Wear pants next time," she tells Hanna. And while I would normally agree that pants = a good thing, Hanna’s skort is fabulous and shows off her mile long legs. Probably not too appropriate to visit your recovering "cousin" in a hospital, though. Aria, take note — this is how you style a skort.

 

Aria’s plaid dress on the other hand, is the cutest thing she’s worn in a long time. Paired with an ornate brooch necklace, it’s just weird enough for Miss Montgomery.

 

And this week on boring mom lawyer outfits we have Veronica in a suit (le yawn)…

 

and surprise! some color in the form of a cute periwinkle blouse. What’s more interesting about Veronica is whatever she found in Ali’s file that made her call Spencer and tell her not to come back to the States. Um…what?!

 

Speaking of moms — Ashley never has a bad sartorial moment. Or bad hair. Seriously, I want some of whatever she’s taking. That being said, her outfits never wow me anymore, although what does wow me is her shiny new ring. Go Ted, the only normal* significant other on this show.

*For now.

 

Speaking of significant others, the girls’ boyfriends were mysteriously not around this week. Andrew continues to "tutor" Aria (who is still sort of with Ezra? Maybe?) I used to find him awkwardly adorable, but his obsession with the PLLs is bordering on creepy. Also his outfits are about as cookie-cutter as his personality.

 

Still, none of that stops this from happening.

 

But let’s back up for a second. Andrew’s offering his shoulder for Aria to cry on because she fell in an attempt to grab Mike’s schedule off of his dartboard. But this wasn’t just a usual Aria-in-distress moment. Turns out the bolts in Mike’s bench had been tampered with.

Ok, so maybe that is in fact a usual Aria-in-distress moment. Or a usual any-PLL-in-distress moment.

 

Per Andrew, Mike’s skull would’ve gotten crushed had he actually tried to bench a couple of weights. Just in case anyone needs more proof that this A is possibly definitely insane.

 

A isn’t just insane, A is literally everywhere. Ali finds a mysterious barrel can under her bed (in a prison with actual guards and real security) only to find a miniature Ali doll dressed in orange…

and this note:

Because we all know this A is a really big fan of barrels.

 

And vengeance. A is definitely all about the vengeance.

Wednesday
Feb252015

Pretty Little Liars: Bloody Hell

Ever have that panicky moment when you fear your time-of-the-month has gotten all over someone's fancy furniture? Yeah, that totally happened to Spencer's bag this week, when "A" went international and planted a vial of blood in said bag, just in time for Spence's interview with an Oxford prof. Meanwhile, Hanna and Aria visited Cyrus at the hospital (who may or may not have been burnt to a crisp by George Peppard), and Mrs. Hastings uttered the words we've all longed to say: "This series of poor choices ends today." If only.

 

Only in Rosewood

Is Emily's stripper-adjacent dance considered a viable entry for the pageant talent competition. Pretty confident you'll be going up against Chopin etudes and ballet en pointe numbers, honey

Return of a Minor Character
No random returns, but we were introduced to two new people: Evil Pageant Lady Claire, and Chipper London Flatmate Colin. I'm sure both will be back soon for overly convoluted plotlines.

Best outfit
Aria was adorbs in this retro inspired outfit with modern touches.

Best A Message
A's been making up for lost time with — count 'em— THREE messages this week! My favorite was "Mona told everything" written in a very dusty table at the prison laundry room. Which was a little odd because, like, aren't laundry rooms usually really clean?

Current A Team suspect
Andrew is still hanging around for deus ex machina-type purposes, but then this week he mumbled something about "getting creepy messages from a shadowy figure." And for the love of A, WHY IS TALIA STILL HERE?

 

Check back on Friday for Steph's recap!

Friday
Feb202015

Pretty Little Liars: Pretty Isn't the Point

Part 1 of 2: Break and Enter

Art theft. Tossing your sibling's room for clues. Dance offs to prepare for pageants. Open marriages with teenage girls. DIY blood collection to stage your own death to frame another teenage girl. Pretty much a normal day in Rosewood. Hanna is battling the ghost of step-sisters past as she tries to win her college tuition at a pageant, but according to the horrible pageant coach, pretty isn't enough to win. Emily's older lover is actually not in a loveless marriage, but an open marriage with a husband who figures this is just his wife's lesbian cougar phase. Mike is in a 'roid rage over his (maybe not) dead girlfriend's blood he's been hiding as a momento. And while her relationship with Toby seems on the rocks, Spencer decides that stealing art with the barn boy is the best idea. She's definitely serious about getting into Oxford. 

 

Another week, another sibling suspected of murder. This week everyone agrees with the YKYLF staff room that Useless Mike is up to no good lately. So naturally they get dressed up and rifle through his room. Hanna opts for some see-through sequins while she looks for vials of her blood in Mike's weights.

Sometimes I wonder how she's the one with all the college offers. The top is amazing, but it's possibly the least practical choice for searching a teenage boys' room. And I'm not sure you can hide evidence in the weights. Then again, it's Rosewood, so who knows.

 

Like all the Classic A texts lately, Spencer goes Classic Spencer with a belted white cardi. 

Her choice in belts is, as per usual, fantastic. I appreciate that this one isn't quite champion wrestler sized.  

 

Emily, like just about every other week doesn't bother to dress to impress anyone. This time it's a sleeveless tee paired with acid wash jeans. 

I feel like I'm constantly saying the same thing about her outfits: At least she has amazing hair. 

 

It's Aria who really brings it this week, which is only fitting since she suspects her own brother of handing her blood over to A. I am really into this blue zebra print. 

Usually, I'm not on board with her crazy animal prints, but I think that has more to do with the fact that she usually needs to wear all of them at the same time and add some feathers while she's at it. But this time it's one print, and instead of being overwhelming as a full dress, there's a subtle crop. Well done, Aria. Well done. 

 

Aria's study buddy Andrew is still bringing the gun show over to help with just about every class she's enrolled in and to follow her brother around, no questions asked. 

Are we all putting money down on how long before Andrew makes a move? And until Aria strings him along just until he either turns out to be a bad guy or she reunites with Ezra. Or both. In the meantime, she's bringing the cute hard this week with a graphic print top and adorable skirt. 

Unfortunately, Aria can't go 3 for 3 in one episode and I'm a little less impressed with her outfit for breaking into Mona's yard. 

The boots? Amazing. Like some mix of moto and riding boot. But the overflowing blouse? Less in love with that. Althought it's much better when a jacket is added. 


Actually, adding jackets to improve an outfit is a lesson the wardrobe department was really driving home this week. For example, without a jacket, Spencer looks like she's dressed like Han Solo. 

Toby Teencop is clearly not a Star Wars fan. Because maybe the outfit might have melted his heart. Then again, he's probably suspicious of our artiste in the barn. 

You can tell he's a sensitive artiste because of the hat and the bracelet.

The Han Solo outfit however? Vastly improved with a jacket. 

 

Digging through Mike's room and snooping around Mona's yard aren't only Break and Enter of the week. Since the Banksy wannabe from the barn had his art put into a gallery, he decides to steal it back. To show he's a rebel, he wears a Ramones tee. 

He probably got it at Urban Outfitters. Hardcore. He should probably stick to his art because B&E is not his strength. So it's a good thing he has Spencer.

Not her first time at this rodeo. She's got lock picking tools and whatever tool you use to cut art down. She's still going Classic Spence for her mini-Thomas Crown Affair. First with a plaid dress, tights and gorgeous boots. 

And then adding a slouchy hat and cardi for the actual art stealing. 

While I enjoyed the outfit, this wasn't her finest B&E. She didn't disable alarms and the police sent #teencop her way. So here's your gratuitous Toby in a uniform shot: 

He claims it's about Tanner, but the artiste in the barn is clearly bothering him since he only arrests him. Not that he's wrong about that flirtation. 

3 for 3 when it comes to kissing boys in the barn. This was probably her least interesting/swoony boy yet. 

 

Our final B&E plan of the week was actually all a set up by Mona. With a little DIY blood collection over a few weeks, you can apparently collect enough to fake a B&E and stage your own murder. 

Well played, Mona. Like all parents in Rosewood, her mother was completely clueless that her daughter kept a rubber hose, needles, and vials in her room. Or a fridge full of blood like she's on a crossover episode of Vampire Diaries. While I'm impressed with Mona's long term planning skills and happy she's maybe not actually dead, I'm a little disappointed in her casual wear. 

It's cute and all, but more fitting of pre-A Days Mona flashbacks than post-Ali flashbacks. 

 

Of course, A is also breaking in places.

But that's just normal type-A-team behavior. Also, snaps for getting in a workout while commiting crimes.

Friday
Feb202015

Pretty Little Liars: Pretty Isn't the Point

Part 2 of 2: Shake it Off

 

Honestly, both Emily and Hanna could use some solid Taylor Swift advice this week. Emily is less about the haters and more about the ladies who fail to mention all the details of their marriages, while Hanna is still dealing with the step-sister. 

Since Emily and Talia are starting to move towards a May-December romance, it seems that they've worked out Talia's issues with Emily's work wardrobe. Which is probably why Emily wears the shortest shorts possible to work.

I will give her props — not just for her hair this time — but for the studded tee. She usually bores me to death with her plain tees, but the bedazzling on this grey cotton takes it up a notch. And the short shorts winning Talia over makes sense once you meet the husband. 

He's a bit derpy, non? But he's also totally cool that his wife is dating a girl who hasn't graduated high school yet. Not because they have an understanding that she's not into dudes, but because they have an open marriage where she gets to have a fling and then come back to her loving, age-appropriate husband. #Awkward. 

 

Poor Ems decides she's going to nip this one in the bud and dumps her cougar girlfriend who is practically dressed like an actual cougar. 

Okay, so it's leopard. And while I loved Aria's earlier animal print, this is one print that's not working. It is, however, made better by the denim moto jacket. Again, the moral of the story (other than "don't date minors while married") is: A jacket makes everything better. 

 

Hanna is still on the pageant plan for paying for college. I think her move towards higher education has had a positive influence on her post-Ali grunge phase. She's still working the H-to-T black, but it's less 90s inspired. 

Even though it's leather leggings and a top that's artfully holey, the lines are much more feminine and remind me a bit of the girlier Hanna wardrobe we used to love so much. If she's not going to go back to that wardrobe, I hope this is the new normal. Although I think we'll all pass on this sheer blouse.

It's a few too many shades of Cher Horowitz's attempt to look her most competent for the driving test. And I think the bitchy pageant coach sees right through the act. 

If your mom is unemployed and you desperately need the cash, is a coach really the best way to spend your money? She looks pricey, what with wearing this moss green lace number for practice interviews. 

 

Have you ever watched an episode of PLL and thought to yourself, "you know what this show needs? More dance numbers!" No? Well, there's a reason for that. They're boring — even if it does mean Hanna dances out her feelings instead of following the choreography. But the dance does give us plenty to snark on.

Of course Emily dances for eight hours straight in her cut offs, tube socks and a lace bra. Of course she does. Look, I'm no dancer, but that cannot be comfortable workout wear. She's just wearing her work clothes to dance for hours on end (and not break a sweat or ruin her blowout). I'm more on board with Hanna's choice of a cropped sweat top and floral leggings. My only problem with her outfit? Misuse of French accents. 

Oh come on. We all know it should be garçon. Grade school French grammar aside, it's an almost practical choice for learning a brand new dance routine. Too bad the Pageant Bitch in her peacock print isn't feeling the anger. 

I'm feeling that print as much as she's feeling Hanna's chances of winning Miss Convenient Plot Device. She is, however, offering to help Emily win the cash. Apparently power of Emily's hair is too much for even the local pageant to resist.