I’ve been dreading writing about the fourth episode for a while now. I had actually been dreading watching it as well. Pretty Little Liars has been one teen show which has managed to do justice to its gay character by not choosing to portray her as a stereotype. Emily has been a role-model for girls and boys struggling to come out to their family and friends; and learning how to acccept themselves.
When news came that Maya’s cousin was going to visit Emily and the show-runners described the character as “someone so sexy, even Emily can’t help being attracted to him”, gay fans of the show every where reacted with the outrage such an ignorant statement deserved. IIt is so fundementally wrong to assume a gay person would be attracted to the opposite sex, especially by what a heterosexual person’s definition of “attractive” is. So very prejudicial and myopic in its view. Like a homosexual person saying a person of the same sex is so “attractive’ it’ll even turn a striaght person gay. I was tempted to say that would never happen on tv, but then I remembered that awful Adriana and Rumer Willis (yes I don’t want to look up the character’s name) storyline on 90210 and just how offensive and badly done that was, which basically reinforces the point I’m trying to make.
I did try and be optimistic about it. I hoped her cousin would be very efiminate looking, or at least have mannerisms very similar to Maya’s to make Em’s falling for him (in a very drunken state) slightly believable. Nope, turns out he’s muscular and good-looking in a heteronormative kind of way. He’s the opposite of Maya and when he uttered the words “Sounds like my kinda first date” (as opposed to Maya’s), I cringed at the hint of possibilities. Chances of him being an impostor are slim, he did have a personal gift for Emily from Maya and he knew stories from her childhood. But the hope that this man may be involved with Maya’s kidnapping and subsequent murder; and is now playing mind games with Emily is the only thing keeping me from falling into despair. This is PLL after all.
Which brings us to Hanna (I always though her name was spelt Hannah, like a palindrome). After Caleb’s visit to Mona leaves her confined to solitary and her visiting rights revoked, Hanna isn’t pleased with Caleb. Mona holds the clues to the identity of the new “A”, and getting her to talk is the only way the liars will be able to nail them. Caleb fails to understand the gravity of the situation, but you can’t blame him; people with only half the information are far more likely to make stupid decisions that people who are completely ignorant of the situation, and Hanna’s the one who’s been keeping him out of the loop. Protecting him means keeping secrets from him. Even though Aria convinces Hanna to come clean to Caleb, “A” has got a far more convincing argument for keeping him out of the loop. There’s nothing that Hanna wouldn’t do to keep those close to her safe, so keeping the truth from him, means alienating him. Caleb can’t handle the secrets anymore (amatuer) and my heart breaks as Hanna weeps for her loss.
Spencer having family problems is never news, but her step-brother’s back in town offering a reward of 50 grand for information regarding the whereabouts of the remains of his dead sister, Spencer’s best friend and her mother is representing the man who allegedly killed her. This means the girls’ secret is that much more closer to be revealed. Fifty thousand dollars and the opportunity to expose the girls as liars. This is what “A” would refer to as a win-win situation. The deadline to find out who is the new “A” has been expedited and the only other clue the girls have now is finding out if Melissa was really the girl in the Black Swan costume. The girls go to Philly, snoop around in her apartment and find a feather in her closet. Spencer confronts her and Melissa immediately admits to her part in the masquerade shenanigans (sorry this expression may be explained by a twitter over-dose of some sort). She claims she was being blackmailed by “A” about her fake pregnancy and had to do it to protect her secret. Is Melissa really that much of a light weight (heheh:pun) or is there more to this story too? Melissa is a master mainupulator with rage and entitlement issues, so I’m pretty confident it’s the latter.
Rounding up: Aria signs up her mother for a online dating site, then she and our favorite hot mama Ashley Marnin bond over the horrors of divorce and single living. Emily besides having to conform to idiotic ideas of how sexuality works also has had to take up a job at the local coffee shop (WHY? none of the other liars have to work! She’s an only child, her parents aren’t poor!!). Rosewood’s ONLY RESIDENT DOCTOR Wren may finally have someone new to be a pedo with (yay or nay?). “A” needs all the monetary support they can get, Mona’s in the loony bin and no longer able to finance them; those flights from Philly to Montecito and accident insurance for a rental car cannot be cheap; which is why Jason has written out a reward cheque already. Also the return of Officer Creepy (meh).
Shazia is part bionic, part crazy (parts not mutually exclusive), and would be happy conversing solely in TV quotes, forever hopeful she’ll be one-upped in her obscure TV references. She blogs here and microblogs here