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‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap: ‘The real teens of Rosewood High’

February 14, 2011 | 10:59 pm

122577_1467_pre Well, it’s about time. Not only did this week’s episode provide some much-needed relief from the saccharine kissy-kissy atmosphere of Valentine’s Day, it also revved up the action seriously on the A front. After the last two lackluster episodes, the appearance of Mrs. Potter’s nephew (or is he?) and Paige’s surprising confession added some intrigue back into this secret-infested town. Plus, am I imagining things, or did this week get seriously high-brow with the literary references?


The matter of Ashley’s little unauthorized loan seemed to be settled after Mrs. Potter’s untimely death, but this week a long lost grandnephew, James Leland—he of the thin lips and aggressively blond hair—arrived at the bank to take stock of his inheritance. Hanna and her mother are understandably freaked out about the possibility of being caught until Caleb (or “the Artful Dodger” as Spencer—who must have been brushing up on her Dickens—calls him) suggests that Leland might not be the man he claims to be. Turns out that the real James Leland died well before this dashing imposter came on the scene, and Ashley and Leland have an uneasy stand-off over the remains of the safe deposit box. The last scene of the show has A leaving flowers on Mrs. Potter’s grave, (inscribed, unfortunately, with the Shakespearean quote “To sleep, perchance to dream,” from a speech that isn’t exactly full of happy thoughts) so I’m guessing we haven’t heard the last of this particular financial dispute. But that isn’t even A’s most interesting activity.

Remember that note from last week? Well, Spencer’s been on the case, trying to translate the Braille message Toby left on the slip. With the help of the Internet she translates the characters to the word “bad,” a clue that she assumes is Toby’s jab at her and her mystery-embroiled gang. But not so: When Spencer returns to see Toby, it turns out that he’s been given a reprieve from Alison’s murder case thanks to some muddied evidence. Turns out that the Braille imprint Jenna made reads “214,” a number Toby assumes has some significance for Spencer. “You make her nervous,” Toby warns. Earlier in the episode we see Jenna trying on a black dress for a male suitor. Could J be in cahoots with A?


Of course, that’s not all the drama in Rosewood this week. After Aria and Hanna make up from their tiff last week, Aria has yet more Ezra-related drama. This time it’s with her dad, who assumes that all the cooing praise Ella’s been giving Ezra is an indication of Aria’s English teacher moving in on his wife. As has become standard with Aria-Ezra tension, the situation is quickly defused and everyone goes back to eating Chinese takeout (from the improbably named “Rose of Sharon,” as in Tom Joad’s sister in The Grapes of Wrath).


Emily’s situation, however, got a lot more interesting. After Paige’s dad came in to publicly complain that Emily was getting better treatment on the swim team because she’s gay, Pam finally stepped up to Emily’s defense. Finally! But after that long-awaited moment of emotional catharsis, PLL hits us with another punch: Paige steps into Emily’s car, kisses her, whispers “Don’t tell!” and flees into the night. What? As if Emily’s life wasn’t hard enough.

Do you think Jenna and A are collaborating? What's in motel room 214? What’s going on with Paige? And who on earth is Leonard Adams?

--Margaret Eby

 Photo: Spencer and Toby sneak into Jenna's room

Credit: ABC Family