Pretty Little Liars: New Years Fireworks

by d

NOTE: Hard to keep a secret in a photo booth.

Subterfuge reviews ABC Family‘s Pretty Little Liars, complete with actresses too old to be high schoolers. Season 2, episode 1, “Moments Later.”

It’s back, and they started with a bang! Technically, last season ended with a bang, too–Hannah being hit by a car.

Here is what is relevant for our feminist readers:

1) Emily told her father she’s gay.

Her father, who has been on active duty for ages and just returned home a few weeks ago, could be a hard-line military man. He goes in to ask her what’s bothering her, thinking it’s to do with a boy who’s gotten himself into trouble. Because he won’t leave her alone, gotta protect his little girl, he can see that she’s afraid of something… she tells him. He sits down on her bed, clearly shocked, and the scene cuts.

Later, her parents are talking about it. Loudly. First, shock. Then her mother–this is wrong. And then it’s an argument about morality.

This is an incredibly powerful scene, and for however long, you can see it at, in the last quarter or so.

Mom: How are we gonna fix this?!
Dad: Fix this? This is not like lying or braces. This is… who she is.
Mom: This is not who she is, this is what someone else is making her into.
Dad: Maybe she’s just experimenting…
Mom: This is wrong. This is completely wrong. And you know it!
Dad: Do you think I like this? I don’t. But when I went in there, I didn’t know what she was gonna tell me. I thought, ‘Sweet God, what is this? Drugs? This Toby kid get her pregnant? Let’s just… keep this in perspective.
Mom: What is your perspective on right and wrong?
Dad: She is struggling with this. I can see it.
Mom: And I can’t. (gets up to leave)
Dad: That’s not what I’m saying.
Mom: Well then what are you saying? Are you willing to just turn away from everything we ever wanted for her? Let her ruin her life so she can experiment!? What happened to you? What happened to your values? Did you just leave them out in the desert somewhere?
Dad: (stands angrily) I told you, I don’t like this. (sigh) But she is alive. And healthy. And after everything I’ve seen, alive and healthy counts for a lot, believe me.

Lets hope that those words resonate with people.

Aria & Ezra 1x06

EZRA: I think they know. ARIA: Ahmagod SHUT! UP!

2) Aria’s friends found out she’s seeing Mr. Fitz–and so did a guy at school.

And her friends are not happy. There was a lot of scolding: “Aria!!!” Genuine concern and shock from the friends, though they move off that pretty quickly to handle other matters (like who’s trying to kill Hannah with a car).

And then there is this moment of honesty, complete with mild disgust at self:

Spencer: I tell you, part of me thinks this is really self-destructive behavior. And most of me thinks it’s really hot…

I appreciate honesty. And I’ll appreciate it even more as long as the girls keep hammering Aria about what a bad, bad idea this is.

And that guy at school? He has/had a thing for Aria… and he might be A. Whoo!

Story-wise, I’m impressed by:

3) Ali may be alive… and she might not be A.

Hannah’s in the hospital with a broken leg and various other injuries, so she’s crammed with pain killers. In one of her semi-lucid moments, she opens her eyes to find… Ali, in a candy striper uniform. Hannah is dazed but tries to ask questions. Ali answers cryptically, but she heavily implies that she’s alive, that the others know what happened to here they just don’t want to put all the pieces together, and that she is in hiding right now because of what happened. She came to check on Hannah, because she was afraid she might die.

And then? “You know, I really should do something about A. That bitch is genuinely getting on my nerves.” And then she walks away and Hannah passes out again.


I’m in for another season. This show is actually driving toward a goal, unlike certain other, meandering shows I could link to.

It’s like a young adult book that isn’t written particularly well, but it’s good enough to keep going until the end. I wonder if the actual books are like that.

4 Comments to “Pretty Little Liars: New Years Fireworks”

  1. They aren’t. The books were underwhelming.
    However, the series seems to be an improvement. I look forward to what happens next.

  2. Hm. I haven’t seen this show, nor have I read the books. The thing that stands out prominently to me in this is the conversation between the mother and father over the daughter who has just revealed she is gay. I’m actually surprised that its the mother who is upset over it more than the father. Its usually the other way around. And how does experimenting ruin one’s life, exactly? I mean, being gay and experimenting aren’t the same things, but that was something the mother said. Do we let her ruin her life by experimenting. That makes no sense. Then again, homophobia in general makes no sense. I think the dialogue, however, might’ve been a little better on the mother’s part, but I like the exchange and I think its powerful, especially everything the father said. I would love to find that episode online or something somewhere and watch it, just for these depicted scenes.

    • It should be online at ABCFamily.con for a while.

      I just watched this week’s episode and it did a nice job of showing the mother’s very real pain. We have to remember that, while these people are being totally irrational, they are still experiencing pain, fear, disgust, etc. It’s hard to tell someone whose insides are turning inside out to just get over it.

      You’re right, the mom’s dialogue was pretty flat, basically just giving the dad an opportunity for his speech. But it was a good speech, and it’s clear that she is struggling with this and will continue to do so.

      • At least that girl has ONE parent on her side, though. In many situations, teens don’t have anyone on their side when they out themselves, or are outed involuntarily, even in their own homes among their parents — the ones who are supposed to be there for them no matter what.

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