Recap of Pretty Little Liars – Episode 1-4: "Can You Hear Me Now?"

Aria Reads a Mysterious Letter in Season 1, Episode 4


Aria reads a mysterious letter. Hmm, any guesses?

CR: Courtesy of ABC Family

Where was the excitement in tonight’s episode? Maybe this show has spoiled us with all of the twists that were crammed into the first three episodes, but it’s not exactly a good sign when you consider that the only time that we really jumped out of our seats tonight was when Wren accidentally dropped a houseplant. It looks like the girls have bigger problems than finding Ali’s killer; they need to track down a Dustbuster, stat!

The Pretty Little Liars Spend the Day at the Park in Season 1, Episode 4


The pretty little liars spend a day lounging around at the park.

CR: Courtesy of ABC Family

The humdrum episode kicks off with a… well, whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t a “bang.” We see the aftermath of Hanna’s drunken car wreck, which consists solely of the town having to put a new bench in the park. (Seriously, that’s the only repercussion.) Thank God — homeless people will still have a place to sleep!

While in the park, Spencer encourages the girls to block any messages from unknown senders. (Again, it feels like a bad sign when the show is giving the girls a way to prevent exciting things from happening.) But who could pay attention to discovering the identity of “A” when there are much more pressing issues going on in the world, like… Mr. Fitz wearing shorts while riding a bike. (What — you thought they’d be discussing solutions for the oil spill?)

Okay, so the dorky teacher on his bike isn’t exactly going to be making Lance concerned about his chances at the upcoming Tour de France or anything, but the girls point out that at least Ezra is in better shape than Mr. Villardi. (Poor Mr. Villardi takes quite a few potshots in this scene.) And at least Mr. Fitz was spotted on a bike, and not something even more embarrassing, like roller blades or — God forbid — a Segway. Shudder to think.

Moments later, “A” drops by and tosses a threatening note to our heroines, in part to intimidate them and in part to prove to our nation’s schoolteachers that the proliferation of new media trends doesn’t mean that the written word is dead. The note says, “Ding-dong, the bitch is dead,” giving us a new clue about the identity of “A”: We now know that the culprit is apparently a huge fan of Judy Garland. But who can blame “A”? The woman had pipes.

At school, Maya gives Emily a red scarf as a gift, which makes Emily uncomfortable, either because Emily is unsure about their burgeoning relationship, or because she’s afraid that she won’t be able to do justice to fellow scarf-lover Audrey Hepburn. Once in class, Emily realizes that she and Toby will be lab partners. Wait — let us get this straight. The two people who don’t really like each other but appear to have pent-up sexual frustration towards each other, have been paired up to work on a class assignment together?! We’ve never seen that on a high school TV show before!

Hanna’s absentee dad drops by to pay her a visit, and the reason is to let Hanna know that he’s disappointed in her for the car accident, and then to introduce her to his fiancee, Isabel, and her daughter, Kate. It’s like, “Thanks, Dad!” Maybe the next time he visits, he can provide Hanna with other uplifting news, like telling her how many people die in Africa each year from AIDS, or telling her that a new sequel to Big Momma’s House is currently in the works.

Wren stops by to pay Spencer with the aforementioned geranium, which he drops on the ground. We then half-expected Wren to hear some noise off in the distance and say, “Do you hear something?” To which Emily would respond, “Oh, God! Wait — is that what I think it is? Yes — it’s Roomba, coming by to clean up the spill. Wait — where are you going, Roomba? You missed a spot!”

In fact, they both lean down to clean up the soil broken flower pot shards, when they get a little flirty. Because what’s more romantic than the smell of fertilizer? And wouldn’t you know it — someone is videotaping the two of them from afar. Looks like the neighborhood is full of budding Spielbergs.

Aria swings by Ezra’s place again, where they disagree about how involved Aria should get in her parents affairs, and so Ezra does what any responsible teacher would do: He embarrasses Aria in the classroom for something that happened in her personal life. And then Ezra takes out his anger on Aria’s fellow classmate Sperling. How could he do that to poor Sperling? (Sorry — what we meant to say was, “Who the hell is Sperling?”)

We wrap up the episode with Hanna’s dad getting her a job working for a dentist (that’s not exactly going to beat out “lifeguard” for the title of “Most Coveted Summer Job”); Aria and Ezra patching things up as they bond over a discussion of her aunts now-stuffed cat (what couple wouldn’t want to bond over a discussion of someone’s embalmed pet?); and Toby assures Emily that he didn’t put her photo booth pics in her chemistry book (we’re surprised that Toby even knows what a “photo” is; aren’t most pictures just on Facebook these days?).

Finally, it’s time for a little more “A” action. Hanna picks up Spencer after she “shares a snog” with Wren, but Hanna is shocked to hear that “A” has requested a soft rock song in her honor. (We know what Hanna is going through; soft rock can be really painful.) And Aria’s mom gets a letter from “A,” explaining about Byron’s infidelity. (No fair! Aria wanted to be the one to ruin her mom’s life!)

Finally, the girls gather at Spencer’s, where “A” has scrawled onto a message using lipstick. They deduce that it is written in Alison’s shade of lipstick (uh, how’d they recognize that?), but we were sort of waiting for one of the girls to be relieved and say, “At least she used Alison’s and didn’t waste my lipstick on some stupid message.”

All in all, not a particularly thrilling episode, so we’ll cross our fingers for next week. But in fairness, nothing on this show could possibly be scarier than the prospect of having to sit through yet another Big Momma’s House movie. The horror, the horror…


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