Pretty Little Liars Television series - Season Two

Jane Hoffman

The last time a blind person exhibited so much power was in the Book of Matthew.   In Season Two of Pretty Little Liars, Jenna Marshall, uses her white cane to calm and raise the seas and dismantle the lives of the four main characters further.   She also dates the rookie cop of the force, Garrett, who is an insider to the top murder suspects.  Jenna orchestrates planting evidence to get Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily to look guilty after she led them to a place to be busted with the murder weapon.   The murder weapon was in police custody and is suddenly out of the open again.  If you are more addicted the second season with the fresh mystery dead ringer, your palate will be hunger for more.   Alison’s posse still is keeping secrets from the police and their parents, but this time it may cost them social face and endanger them further.   Dr. Anne Sullivan is recommended to counsel the 4 teens in therapy since their lives have become so unmanageable after Alison’s death.   Most of the group’s crisis is still driven by “A,”   who sends death threats, sext distress all by text. In addition to Hanna’s near death experience, “A” induces hormone growth treatments with steroids through Emily’s tube of analgesic heat rub which she uses after swimming practice.   Emily’s life has become unguarded after her parents relocated to Texas due to the military.  She spends the rest of the school year with Hanna and her mom.  
Spencer cannot figure out why her dad, Peter Hastings, is involved in suspicious behavior.  He is seen twice leaving Jason DiLaurentis’ house (Alison’s brother).  When Spencer’s boyfriend, Toby, is doing yard work for Peter, he finds a broken field hockey stick that says “Hastings” on it.   Peter tells Toby to give it to him.  He plans to destroy it.   Mr. Hastings destroys it in the fire in his home just as Spencer asks for it back.   With Ian, his son-in-law dead, Peter states, “this family has been through enough.”  Spencer knows the buried stick now burned was the murder weapon used by Ian or possibly Jason.  Mr. Hastings said he kept going over the DiLaurentis house to put Jason back in the grandmother’s will in which Alison had made sure he was removed after she smeared his name.
Alison’s mother comes back to town and begs the 4 girls to wear Alison’s favorite dresses in a fashion fundraiser the town is having.  The town is making a tribute to Alison’s life.   The girls are reluctant but agree.  The fashion runway show goes off without a hitch until the end when Alison’s large facial image on the screen becomes devil like with red and gold fire burning around her hair and black burnt out eyes.  The big screen flashes “the bitch is dead.”  The music morphs from sentimental to eerie.  The town and audience are stunned and the show abruptly ends.   Spencer remembers Mona gave here a CD to hand to the DJ and now believes it should have been screened before playing.   
With Dr. Sullivan being the only human solace in which the girls have now confided the secret of “A” being an emotional terrorist, Dr. Sullivan disappears.  Dr. Sullivan beckons the girls to a group office visit but a note appears which says “The doctor is out.”   The doctor’s office has been tampered with on a previous episode when “A” put Ezra Fitz’s diploma up in her office.  “A” now puts a bounty on Dr. Sullivan’s life with time constraints.   Each girl has to complete a task to save her.    They each get a wind up doll with an audio message.  Aria must expose Jackie, a young professor who teaches with Ezra Fitz that Jackie plagiarized.   Spencer is told to break up with Toby.   Hanna must stop her father informing his soon-to-be wife about how he recently slept with her mother.  Emily is led to a barn in which she is trapped inside and almost dies of carbon monoxide poisoning.  A mysterious person pulls her out of the barn in her muddy light blue dress and she survives.
Emily imagines Alison in a dream.  She asks Alison, “Who is “A”?  Alison replies “Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.” This is foreshadowing that Ali may be playing a dual role between the living world and the after world.  Emily wakes up to find the other 3 girls beside her. Emily notices a shovel that hadn’t been present when she arrived at the barn. A message on the shovel reveals the coordinates of Dr. Sullivan’s location in the forest. The four assume that Dr. Sullivan was buried alive, but when they dig near coordinates they only find Dr. Sullivan’s boots and a theatrical mask.  Police helicopters appear, framing the girls into another would-be link to the murder.
After serving community service for being tricked to go to a barn, the girls take vengeance into their own hands.  They devise a scheme in which they can trick A.   They fake a fight in public between Emily and Spencer.   They trick “A” into believing that they know something secret that was hidden in a box that had been in Alison’s room seen on videotape.   Emily plans to meet “A” inside a greenhouse to reveal what is in the box.  “A” takes the bait.   Emily cries out “There is nothing in the box” and A, dressed in trademark black, attacks her.   Aria and Spencer show up and corner “A.”  He runs out and hits Hanna’s car.   He (or she) drops a phone.  Caleb, Hanna’s boyfriend, is able to unearth some of the secret videos stored in the phone.   It is revealed from Alison’s bedroom that Ian is manning the video camera.  Garrett leads Jenna in the room in where the wooden box was found hidden in the heater vent.   The video was taped the night Alison was murdered.
In summary, Season Two both strengthens and strains the bonds of the four core relationships.  It appears that Dr. Sullivan has even betrayed them, when she takes money from a black gloved black-mailer in a restaurant and leaves town while the girls have to perform 6 weeks of community service just for trying to save her.   Also, it should not have been necessary for Hanna to destroy her father’s wedding in the middle of the ceremony just to appease “A.”  “A” is a killer.   “A” has killed Ian in the church and attempted to kill Emily in the greenhouse and Hanna with his/her car.   The intensity of the mystery borders far-fetched as each episode ensues.   The only thing that keeps the season grounded is the B stories of Aria and Ezra’s love affair, Spencer and Toby’s sexual grip and Emily navigating the lesbian world.   The other interesting scenes are when Spencer deciphers clues to the death.  She discovers that Garrett, Ian and Jason were in a club named NAT, an acronym in Latin for “We see all.”  She suspects them as video voyeurs who carried out the murder of Alison.
The final episodes show that Lucas might be “A” when Spencer finds wallpaper in her parent’s cabin attic that matches the picture where the dolls were taken.   Lucas threatens Hanna on a canoe ride.  She launches a paddle at him and he falls in the water.  He is assumed drown but resurfaces 2 weeks later.  He tells Caleb and Hanna he spent all of Caleb’s savings gambling.   The final episode reveals that “A” was Mona, Hanna’s junior high friend who was a sub-mutant of their in-crowd but not quite in.  She falls off a cliff and lives.  The only thing more twisted than Mona being the psycho A stalker is a flashback scene where Alison dresses up in a brown sex trap wig, emulating the village ‘Lolita’ while carrying a copy of the famous book wherever she goes.   Spencer finds an old dry cleaning ticket in the book and picks up the dead girl’s red trench coat at the dry cleaners.   Maybe Joey Buttafuoco bought it for her.  
Season 2  Grade B