*All of our episode recaps contain spoilers*
Episode two of the latest season deviated from the show’s typical dramatics, focusing instead on the psychological state and dissimilar coping mechanisms of the Liars. Entitled ‘Songs of Innocence’, it was in fact tunes of trauma the viewership heard, and my heart has yet to stop humming.
As luck would have it, the girls’ physical conditions were singing out of tune with their mental health, and so their time in the hospital was brief. When discharged, they were gifted with a rather large selection of pills, prescribed in an effort to achieve mental harmony. This struck the wrong chord in Mrs Hastings, who asked the hospital to refrain from giving Spencer anti-anxiety medication. It should come as no shock that mother and daughter got into a disagreement, with the latter pleading necessity and the former countering desire. It is the action of a fool to take on Spencer in a battle of words, and referencing her mother’s overbearing parenting style, she brought the conversation to a painful end. This was the beginning of a speedy growth in irritability, which was not helped by Ali’s naivety. Wearing love tainted googles, or hit by a stupid stick, Alison believed her father when he said there was no Charles DiLaurentis in the family. Putting it “as delicately as possible”, Spencer told Alison that her father was a liar. Sadly, her efforts to open Ali’s eyes were to no avail, as Ali shut them again, troubled by what she saw. Further aggravating her irritability was Toby, who expressed doubt about Andrew’s guilt. She was not willing to entertain his uncertainty and kept quiet, letting her silence speak instead. And I think her silence muttered something about pills? Later at Aria’s house, an opportunity arose to steal the anxiety medication she was lacking, and her will proved too weak. Now, before you silently judge her and don’t deny that is what you were going to do, she didn’t take any. Yes, it may have been because of her mother’s timely interruption, but who really cares about the little details?
I know you are going to say A, but let me stop you right there. Firstly, it was a rhetorical question, and secondly, perhaps A is not as meticulous as we have been led to believe. If he were so, would he have been caught by Toby so soon after the girls escape? This is assuming A is Andrew, which now seems unlikely following his arrest. Speaking of unlikely, it doesn’t appear as if the arrest will stick. Despite finding the prison van at his uncle’s farm, tracing all the electronic equipment to him, and finding diaries dedicated to his hatred of the girls, the case against Andrew is still too circumstantial. Oh, and they have a paper trail connecting him to the missile silo! If this whole thing didn’t smell of A, it would stink of bad policing- a stench much too familiar in the streets of Rosewood. What is needed, is a direct testimony placing Andrew at the scene of the crime, and Aria, sweet dumb Aria, decided to lend a helping hand.
Abetting her helping hand was her big mouth, and together the two of them pulled her down. So hard to swallow was the possibility of Andrew walking away, that Aria coughed up a lie and said that she saw his face whilst in the silo. Luckily her short fuse sparked during the lie and made the deception all too obvious. That was the second time it sparked, the first being during a conversation with Ezra. He mistakenly suggested that she write about the dollhouse, to which she responded “I don’t want to own it. I don’t want to memorialise it. I don’t want to think about it being in a diary somewhere in my room. I want a nice big wall between before and after”. Be careful Ezra; any more kind-hearted suggestions and you could end up on the wrong side of the wall.
While Aria resolved to construct a new wall, Hanna had to contend with the four she already had. As we know, A adopted the role of interior designer in the dollhouse, replicating the Liar’s bedrooms to a troubling degree of accuracy. Hanna’s return home was thus tainted by reminders of her imprisonment, and so home sweet home became home sweet hell. She stripped her walls bare and discarded all her old furniture, aided by a very confused Caleb. When questioned about her motives, she spoke in riddles, and so Ashley and Caleb remained in a state of ignorance. Eventually she opened up, revealing the games they were forced to play, such as ‘Truth or dare, ‘Who do you love more – me or her?’ and ‘Who deserves water today?’. Caleb helped in what ways he could; indulging her anger, easing her pain, and even imparting words of wisdom when she admitted she couldn’t look her friends in the eyes. “You’re going to get through this. You and your friends. That’s what people do, they mend. And sometimes you end up stronger at the broken places”.
Or, if you’re Emily, you end up stronger and gun-wielding. That’s right, say hello to badass Emily! But say it from a distance, because she is displaying quite the talent for shooting. After breaking into her father’s weapons safe, she visited the shooting range, hoping that it would help to take away some of the fear. “But it didn’t. It made it worse. It makes you the same as what you’re afraid of”. And what she is afraid of is not just A, but the abundance of bad people in society. One we have been introduced to through hearsay is Sara Harvey’s mother. Emily visited the peculiar Miss. Harvey during their time in the hospital, and was enlightened as to how she ended up in the silo. “I ran away. I was in a parking lot in Rosewood. I hit my head or someone hit me on the head. Then I was down there. Then I thought; well, now you know what happens to bad little girls”. New conspiracy theory – Sara is A/Charles! The last remark was definitely a warning, and it fell upon the ears of the nicest liar. When Sara later turned up at Emily’s house, and spun a story about how her mother enjoyed the attention that came from her disappearance, she was invited into the Field’s home – just as she planned, I suspect. What’s more, Sara questioned Emily about whether she was sure Andrew was guilty and made the seed of doubt bloom into a full grown flower. Whether she is the gardener or a helper, we are yet to find out, but one thing is for sure – she cannot be trusted.
I suppose it is worth mentioning Toby’s new partner Lorenzo, or should I refer to him as Alison’s new prey? Judging by his unwillingness to let Toby kick Andrew’s ass, he isn’t staying in Rosewood, but on a moral high ground not far away; or so I inferred from his attendance at the town’s church. As for Alison’s attendance, I am yet to form an opinion, but her unease was so apparent, that he promised her that he would keep her presence a secret. She admitted that she was embarrassed about what people may think. Her intentions are not something the inhabitants of Rosewood take at face value, but like us all, he must learn that the hard way. It feels as if a new relationship is looming; but with Haleb, Spoby and Ezria, I don’t think we have any space left on our plate!