Spoilers from the PLL premiere ahead.
The premiere takes place five months after the finale. Garrett is in jail because of Jenna and Mona is still in the crazy pen.
Leeard: God, I’ve missed this show. Thank GOODNESS Maya is dead.
Ern: Poor Emily though. I don’t like seeing her cry.
Leeard: Do you think the Liars know Jenna is blind?
Ern: No. Jenna will save that until the creepiest possible moment.
The girls are having a sleepover and filling us in on their summer doings. Aria got into photography (of course she did. That’s what all pretentious youngsters do when they go full-on hipster with no actual talent), Emily built houses in Haiti, Hanna took cooking classes (basically, she took it easy and stayed home to bang Caleb. No judgment at all.), and Spencer was a full-time student at Hollis college.
Leeard: ARIA'S HAIR!?!?! SPENCER'S HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!! HANNA'S HAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ern: They look great, as usual.
Leeard: For serious. I wish I could pull off Hanna’s hair.
Ern: I’ve tried. It was unsuccessful.
Leeard: Yeah, I know it wouldn’t work for me.
Ern: I’ve tried just about every haircut. Not the mullet. Guess which haircuts work on me? NONE OF THEM.
Leeard: Emily’s hair works for me. I just need to grow it out.
As the girls talk, it becomes clear that Emily is an alcoholic now.
Leeard: Aw, Ems. God, I hate sad Emily.
Ern: Me too. It’s bumming me out. Maya is NOT work becoming an alchy for.
Leeard: WORD. Emily is too good for this.
The Liars go to sleep and wake up later to find Emily gone. Emily is standing in front of Alison’s dug-up, empty grave with a shovel. It occurs to us that this is a great way to start season two. We are already into the action and it is indeed creepy.
Leeard: HA! I was seriously going to tell them to check the graveyard, but I thought she was just going to be sitting at Maya’s grave. That f***ing shovel. Whaaaaaat is Ems doing?
Emily appears to still be drunk and out of it. She doesn’t remember anything. She slumps down against a grave and goes to sleep. Spencer finds out that someone snuck into the house and called Emily on Spencer’s cell phone, possibly luring her outside. Hanna and Aria see Lucas running around. He gets in his car and drives away. The Liars wipe the prints off the shovel (and bury it) and get rid of Emily’s clothing. Spencer worries that they might have been seen and could be framed for body theft. We find out that Melissa is in Philadelphia and with that, the Liars wipe her off the suspect list.
Leeard: Ha. I like how “were there any witnesses?” is Spencer’s first question.
They briefly discuss going to the cops and telling them what happened, but the Liars decide to (surprise!) lie about that night if cops come sniffing around.
Ern: Yes, girls. Go to the cops.
Leeard: Meh. Whenever they went to the cops in season one, it bit them in the ass.
Ern: That’s true, but at this point, it would be the smart and likely thing to do, since A is gone.
Leeard: They know someone broke into the house and used Spence’s phone to call Emily and they know someone led Emily to the graveyard.
Ern: They don’t know this someone is as savvy as the old A though. The cops might be able to nip the copycat in the bud.
Leeard: Yeah, but they probably don’t really trust the cops so much.
Aria wakes up on Ezra’s couch. Ezra tells Aria that Maya had found some of Alison’s stuff. Ezra sets up an anniversary date.
Ern: Ugh, Ezra.
Leeard: Oh, his shorts. Maya was and continues to be the worst and she’s DEAD.
Ern: Aria seems older and more confident, and it's making this relationship less creepy.
Leeard: Mmhmm. It’s the hair.
Ern: It is. She could pull off any hair though.
Leeard: Ugh, that’s true.
Ern: Okay, enough making out. It’s still a little gross, show.
Ashley and Hanna are shopping together. Hanna puts on a large, chunky necklace and rejects her mom’s dress choice. Veronica Hastings and Ashley chat about the missing body, saying that the prosecution in Garrett’s case ordered the body exhumed before it was stolen. Spencer tells Hanna that Toby has been living in a loft and comes to Spencer’s every morning to shower. Lucky girl.
Leeard: Is Hanna still shoplifting?
Ern: I hope not. I hate that scheist.
Leeard: Um, hey Hanna, I could never pull off that look, but you are rocking it. Ditto Spencer.
Hanna tells Spencer that she has an appointment with Anne, the therapist and leaves the store, putting the chunky necklace back at the last second.
Leeard: WHY ARE YOU STILL SEEING DR. SULLIVAN?!?! Ha, good girl.
Ern: Yayyy, no shoplifting.
Hanna lied to Spencer and is actually visiting Zombie Mona, who just stares off into space the whole time Hanna talks about fashion or whatever.
Ern: Hanna is such a good friend. I would never visit Mona!
Leeard: She really is. And I hope this means she isn’t still seeing Anne.
Ern: I think it does.
We see Emily grieving Maya and her mother trying to comfort her, to no avail. Hanna tells Zombie Mona that she is there for herself, in order to understand why Zombie Mona could have come to hate her so much or something. Ummm, maybe because Zombie Mona is cray-cray? Who cares why she hated you, Hanna? We’d be more concerned if someone so unstable and evil liked you.
Leeard: I’m glad Hanna is doing this for herself.
Hanna exits Zombie Mona’s room and runs into Dr. Wren, certified British hottie and future love of Spencer’s life (sorry Toby). He is volunteering. We see Mona’s eyes, watching the two talk through the crack in the doorway.
Ern: WREN. I love you.
Leeard: Um, HEY CREEPY MONA. <3 you girl
Back at the Hastings home, Spencer is watching Toby get dressed. They kiss and she basically proposes sex, but Toby turns her around so that she can’t see his naked upper half. He knows that she normally wants to wait. God knows why. Someone calls Spencer and she ignores it, looking worried none-the-less.
Leeard: Oooooooh Toby.
Ern: Shirtless, as we like him.
Leeard: Mmmhmm, get it girl. No! Don’t put clothes on, Toby!
Ern: Aw, Toby is such a nice guy.
At school, Caleb and Hanna talk, adorably.
Leeard: They are so freaking adorable together.
Ern: This may be my favorite current TV romance.
Leeard: It’s definitely not mine, but I do love them.
Ern: What’s yours?
Leeard: There are a few.
Leeard: Well, there are a few I can’t tell you, because they’d be spoilers of shows you need to watch. But Jane/Brad from Happy Endings. Shawn/Juliet from Psych. Sam/Andy from Rookie Blue. Hanna and Caleb have a healthy teenage relationship though, and I really appreciate that.
Aria and Spencer discuss creepy Lucas, Jenna who is out of town, and the person dressed as Black Swan at the party last season. Aria goes to the bathroom, goes into a stall, tries to lock the malfunctioning lock, sees someone dressed the way A used to dress, and has a panic attack. Spencer and Hanna enter to comfort her. It’s not that scary, but the show acts like it’s scary.
Leeard: Oh, Aria.
Ern: She looked so young in that scene.
Leeard: The fear makes her look young. Man, I feel really bad for Aria.
Ern: I love Spencer.
Leeard: “Bitch crazy” cements my love for Spence.
Ern: She and Hanna have the best lines.
Leeard: They really do.
At the Hastings house, Spencer assures Veronica that Melissa will bounce back soon, because she is a Hastings. Spencer ignores another mysterious phone call and leaves the house. At the Montgomery house, Ella and Aria bond. We find out that the Montgomery parents have split, and one of the significant issues between the two was Ella’s acceptance of Ezra. Ella assures Aria that the divorce is not Aria’s fault. Aria thanks her mother for letting her be herself. Ern thinks that gives Ella the worst parent of the year award. Seriously. Leeard disagrees; at least one parent needs to be open to their relationship (if not supportive) or Aria would've done something drastic like run away with Ezra. At a coffee shop, Toby meets Emily and they talk.
Leeard: Awww, yay! Toby and Emily are still friends. He needs a haircut.
Ern: Yeah, his hair is hideous.
Spencer goes to Mona’s scary hotel and tromps around the woods for a while. Someone follows her. She goes into Mona’s old room, whips out a laptop, and starts working on something. When the phone rings, Spencer answers it, finally, and says, “I’m listening.” She sounds very bad ass. At the Marin house, Caleb asks Hanna about her therapy and describes their relationship as “intimate,” which Hanna thinks is kinda gay. Caleb spits out his version of “no homo” right before Hanna gets a call from someone named “R.S.” She tells Caleb it’s Spencer, but it turns out to be Wren, asking for Hanna’s Mona-visiting alias, Miss Rivers. He tells Hanna that Mona is showing progress due to Hanna’s visits.
Leeard: Watcha doin’ Spence?
Ern: Being weird, as usual. It wouldn't surprise me if she turns out to be the real A and all the crazy stuff that happens to HER is in her head as she torments the others
Leeard: That would be pretty awesome
Ern: I would hate it. It hate the "main character was crazy the whole time" plot twist. I think it's lazy and only marginally less disappointing than the "it was all a dream" explanation. It's been done to death by better things (Fight Club). They should end it.
Leeard: I mean, Spencer is arguably NOT the main character. She’s the BEST character. I think they could pull it off. I’m not saying I want them to, but I think that if they went there, they could find a way to make it satisfying.
Ern: Even if it was pulled off beyond perfectly, I would be sad.
Leeard: Me too, but if it was done well, I would be okay with it. I love the way Wren says “progress.”
The cops finally call and the Liars all stop by the station to lie. The cops buy it…for now. Ezra and Ella meet, and Ella is cold. She gives Ezra the face that we would give the entire relationship, and it is amazing. The expression says, “I actually hate you. I just don’t want my daughter to hate me.” The next day, Hanna visits Mona (who smiles and acts a little more responsive) and we see what Mona sees. Mona sees Alison sitting behind Hanna.
Leeard: Ha. I love you, Crazy Mona.
Spencer visits her mysterious caller, Garrett, in prison. He maintains that he was framed, asks Spencer to get Veronica to be his lawyer, and tells Spencer that he knows who took the body.
Ern: Do you believe Garrett? I think I do.
Leeard: Oh yeah, I believe him.
Emily is jogging when she sees a car. She has a memory of the trunk and convertible top opening and gets a text that says, “I bet you remember me.” The car drives away and Emily is clearly freaked out. That night, Emily remembers being in a convertible and tells the Liars.
Leeard: Wha da fa?
When the Liars wonder if A is back and out of the loony bin, Hanna confesses that she’s been visiting Mona in secret. Mona is still locked up, but it seems that things are starting again. Spencer takes the Liars back to Creepy Hotel and shows them her laptop where she has been recreating the contents of Mona’s lair from memory. The girls confess to Emily that they came back to the hotel room the morning after Maya’s death and found Mona’s lair completely cleaned out. Emily thinks the cops did it, but the girls note that if Mona’s stuff was found by the police, Ashley Marin would be in jail for stealing and Ezra would be in trouble for boinking children. They realize that someone helped A and suspect the Black Swan. The girls hear their vehicle alarm going off and run out of Mona’s room.
Leeard: Aaaaaaaand this is why they didn’t want to go to the police. Love you girls so much. F*ck, don’t leave the computer.
All the car doors are open, including the trunk door. Inside the car, covering the dash and seats, are pictures of the Liars standing at Alison’s empty grave. The Liars get a text: "Mona played with dolls, I play with body parts. Game on, bitches. - A" Oh, it’s on.
Leeard: Oh man. This show is the best show of all the shows.
Ern: It’s happening again. Muah haha.
LeearD: So, suspect No. 1: Lucas. Right?
Ern: You mean Red Herring No. 1. I think the real A this time is Melissa.
Leeard: Yeah, I mean that he is someone they will think is A this season, but he’s not the real one.
Ern: That was a good premiere. Grade?
Leeard: A. Maybe A-. But A.
Overall, there was a lot of clarification and exposition, and the middle was a little uneventful, but the episode moved swiftly, set a lot up, and entertained. This recap/review/chat took Ern, like, an hour to make and compile, so we hope you enjoyed it, lol.
Episode grade: A