Now that the liars who are still pretty and still little (though not so young...I mean, still young, like 23, but not as young as they were supposed to be for the first five seasons of this gloriously twisted show) are being tormented by a new cyber stalker person who, as of last week, ditched the ol' black hoodie first made fashionable by Mona Vanderwaal and signed his or her name as only a funky red devil emoji, the mystery-solving Scooby Doo crew is back in action. Who is this red devil (besides a person who really wants to know who killed Charlotte)? Any relation to the red devil in Ryan Murphy's Scream Queens? I saw a funny tweet (I'm sorry I can't give the tweeter credit, but I read so many #PLL tweets each week that I lose track, and I forgot to save the link or take a screenshot. I'll be better next time!) after last week's episode that claimed the red devil "A" person was the PLL overlords' way of saying "step off" to Ryan Murphy and the Scream Queens crew. Who knows what beefs lie where in Hollywoodland, but if that's even a little bit true, I support it.
Anyway, SG and I are watching PLL with the Knicks game on PIP again, because the basketball season is never-ending (trust me, that's not a complaint). So stay tuned for some probably superfluous Knicks commentary mixed in with the PLL lovefest.
Previously on PLL: the red devil action mentioned above; the red devil action in Spencer and Caleb's pants; the angriest Ezra Fitz that ever Ezra Fitz-ed yelled at the liars and yet Aria still kind of defended him and also is ghostwriting his sophomore novel for him without telling him or her boss (Ezra Fitz's editor) or her new boyfriend (who is coincidentally an Ezra Fitz fan-boy who changes clothes and possibly sleeps in his cubicle because #publishing). Oh, and Emily is giving some lucky couple the lucky gift of parenting a lucky child with Emily Fields genes and Lucas loaned Hanna a poorly-told alibi and a lofty loft. Onwards and upwards, my little lying/basketball enthusiasts (this blog is really for a niche audience, huh?)!
7:58 PM I change the channel to Freeform just in time to see the hardcore Caleb/Spencer couch gyration. It is then replayed in approximately 30 seconds during the "previously on" clips. As if anyone could forget last week's epically slow-burn hook-up!
7:59 PM SG asks about the odds of Ezra Fitz being A (or, red devil texter). I try to explain the "Ezra is A no wait he's just an investigatory journalist" debacle of season 4 but oh lord it's just too much to explain.
8:00 PM The Knicks were winning for the first half hour of the game but now that PLL is on they're losing. Hoo, boy. Methinks a worrisome PLL/Knicks curse is afoot.
8:01 PM Post-coital Spencer and Caleb! My eyes! Also, what the fuck, the Hastings' barn-loft is nicer than my apartment. And damn the cinematographer is killing it with the voyeurisitc camera angles this week (or at least, the first minute of this week). Someone is always watching in PLL land. Man, I love the brains behind this show.
8:02 PM ...And now Spencer's happy little post-sex bubble is totally popped. Red devil texter is such a buzzkill.
8:02 PM If you really felt guilty about Sara Harvey's hand electrocution which by the way was totally not your fault at all, Emily, you wouldn't constantly make fun of her inability to eat meat properly. You're a mean girl who is just being mean!
8:03 PM Aria thinks the red devil texter (that is getting really cumbersome to type, by the way. Why is this cyber stalker an emoji? Why can't we have a snappy initial nom de plume in #5YearsForward? The lack of one does not make PLL any easier to write about! And all the cyber stalking texts feel curiously open-ended and un-punctuated without a signature sign-off.) is Alison, Hanna thinks it's a techie at the phone company, Spencer and Emily think it's Sara Harvey.
8:03 PM Hanna's fashion biz boss throws things at her. Is her boss Naomi Campbell?
8:04 PM "If is a really big two letter word, Emily." OMG Aria I totally see now why you went into book publishing.
8:05 PM Okay, Byron and Ashley are totally doing it. You know, it. At the Radley. I bet SG $5 on it, and I better win. Thoughts?
8:05 PM Red devil text alert! Apparently the murder weapon was a 9 iron golf club. I ask SG if a 9 iron could really kill someone, because he plays golf (maybe he killed Charlotte?). He says yes but it would be brutal AF, you'd really have to beat them hard.
8:07 PM Was Spencer going to take time off anyway, before this Charlotte testimony/murder/funeral/questioning stuff happened, to help her mom with her campaign? She is like...officially working on Veronica's campaign. Isn't she a political lobbyist by profession? Isn't this a conflict of interest or something?
8:09 PM Oh things are so awkward between Spencer and Caleb over breakfast. How come Caleb always has sex with the liars he's already living with? Seems like maybe putting the cart before the horse, buddy.
8:09 PM "Is Jordan A?" - SG. He is really learning quickly to be suspicious of every male on this television program. Including ones with accents (ahem, Wren).
8:11 Whoa! I admit that the Toby-and-Yvonne (Veronica's competitor's daughter) thing totally took me by surprise. I didn't see that coming at all, and I'm usually pretty good at guessing what's going to happen on Pretty Little Liars. I think the time jump has thrown me off and caused me to lose some of my powers!
8:13 PM So Spencer cleared her so-and-so with Caleb with Hanna first, before acting on it, but Caleb waited until after the sex to talk to Toby? Ugh, these bros, man.
8:14 PM "I MISS SANITY, EMILY." Aria, when when when were you ever in control of your sanity?
8:15 PM "What if Aria really did do it?" - SG. That would be...something.
8:15 PM All this discussion of golf clubs reminds me of Ian and he and Ali's secret-not-secret trip to Hilton Head. What if Ian did it? Or the ghost of Ian, I guess? Or is Ian even really dead??????? #ThrowbackTheory
8:16 PM How did a state senate campaign team find out Toby's plans to propose to his girlfriend? This is like A-level stalkage here. For a STATE SENATE campaign.
8:17 PM We switch to the Knicks game during commercials. The Knicks are still losing.
8:19 PM We switch back to Freeform just in time for the Recovery Road commercial because I know how SG loves those.
8:20 PM SG is picking up major flirting vibes between Emily and Sabrina when Aria pimps Em out over coffee so that she can sneak into Ezra Fitz's apartment. He is probably right about those vibes.
8:22 Why why why would the state senate candidates' children debate? Why? I'm really focusing on the political stuff tonight, I know — I guess I got the Iowa caucus on my mind or something.
8:23 PM These red devil/new A texts are so awkwardly phrased. "He will never put a [ring emoji] on your finger." So stilted and formal...and yet informal, because of the copious emoji use.
8:27 During this commercial break, we forget to swap the PIP and instead are distracted by a friend of mine texting me about the deep, dark Instagram hole that is clicking on the Tulane University (where we all — SG, this friend, and I — went to college) geolocation tag. I am so glad there wasn't Instagram when I was in college.
8:28 PM Sabrina recommends weed to Aria (because homegirl needs to chill. out.). "ABC Family," comments SG. "Freeform," I remind him.
8:34 PM Caleb is doing some hardcore hacking nonsense to track down red devil. "And he's using these skills to work on a state senate campaign?" SG is not impressed with Caleb's life choices.
8:35 PM I thought this episode was called "New Guys, New Lies"? But it's all drama about the old guys — Caleb, Toby, Ezra, and even Byron, Snore.
8:37 PM #AriaFlashback! (Like #HulkSmash!) The fight Aria overhears between her parents proves that Ezra and Byron really are the same person. Aria, let's talk about your psychosis and your daddy issues. "Aria really hasn't aged much." - SG. No kidding. If only he could see the pink streaks days!
8:39 PM Hanna being swept up into this crazy corporate law world is just nuts. It's so logical, so cunning, so unlike PLL to deal with false accusations, suspicions, and the Rosewood PD in this way.
8:40 PM Between Spencer's hoe-down shirt and Toby's everything, I feel like I'm watching a Nicholas Sparks movie. And I'm ready for it to end.
8:45 PM I think they can stop saying, "Freeform: the new name for ABC Family" during commercials now. If you're watching the channel, I think you know.
8:48 PM Velma and Shaggy (I think Caleb would be Shaggy, don't you? Or maybe Fred, maybe, since he IS the only liar guy who actually helps get things done), on the case at yet another storage facility. It looks like the storage facility that Ali rented on her busy Labor Day weekend, the one with the flash drive from season 1, but instead of a flash drive with iSpy videos on it, this garage-type room contains a metal trash can with black hoodies and gloves and a cell phone. With A/red devil around, it's like every day is Christmas!
8:50 PM "Did Ashley bang someone at the security firm [for Hanna]?" - SG is getting how this show works. I'm not sure if she Wilden'd someone at the security firm, but she for sure stole the back-up Radley security videos. Put it in the lasagna box, Ashley!
8:54 PM I just remembered that a creepy old mailman was watching Emily through the window in Aria's living room. Who what where when why? Is the red devil actually Bernie Sanders?
8:56 PM Caleb is such a good hacker that he guessed Ashley's totally obvious password that Hanna could have guessed by herself because it is HER OWN BIRTHDAY.
8:57 PM Oh Emily calls red devil "not A." That's a good solution to this emoji problem. It still doesn't quite roll off the tongue...
8:58 PM Spencer explains the phenomenon of revertigo to Toby. Like she'd be a HIMYM fan. SG now thinks Toby is A/Not A/red devil.
8:59 PM Old mailman guy is now a bellhop at the Radley and is definitely wearing an old person mask. Is this old man mask more or less creepy than the porcelain mask of Ali's face? I am genuinely not sure. I hope A/Not A/red devil gets a new mask next week. I don't need Grandpa Bernie showing up on PLL, creeping around every week.
9:00 PM The Knicks are still losing. I notice that the benches players are all wearing warm-up t-shirts that say "Celebrate Black History Month." Go, NBA!
Publishing Accuracy Watch 2016: Nothing to report. There was no publishing to watch Aria do this week (though she is most def still writing Ezra's book on the sly).
In summary, I'm super ready for this new Not A to have a cool initial name and to stop using so many emoji (though I think my dreams will be dashed on at least one of those counts), and I'm still very much acclimating to this new #5YearsForward PLL world. But I like it. And it's growing on SG.