This entry will address any relevant laws that were broken in the premiere of season 4B also
The episode starts right where we left off last week. The girls yell at Hanna for hiding Alison’s journal from them, and Hanna’s excuse is that she hid it because of what Ali wrote in there. There were secrets about all of them and insulting comments. Eventually they agree to take turns reading the journal to figure out which stories were about them (Ali used fake names). Emily’s going first. Of COURSE the girls think it’s smart to trust the diary written by a girl who pretended to be dead for years.
Emily has a dream — at least it looked like a dream; we can never know for sure with this show — about Ali visiting her. In the dream they discuss the journal. Ali begs Emily to help her because Emily always saw the best in her. Emily pretty much tells Ali that she doesn’t see anything good about her now, even if Ali did save her life twice. They discuss a journal entry Ali wrote about the kissing rock, which was Emily and Ali’s meeting spot. Ali thought she was smart “locking everything in a journal” but she now realizes that “THEY” took it all. Emily asks Ali who’s after her but Ali says that she doesn’t know. The intense conversation is interrupted by Emily’s loud, awful, worst noise creator of an alarm clock. That thing is almost as bad as “A!”
Legal Note 1:
Although this seems like it should be absolutely illegal, the act of faking your own death is not a crime on its own. It depends on the REASON somebody faked their own death. Usually, people who have done this wind up getting arrested because they faked their death to avoid getting caught for a crime that they committed before the “death.” Until we know if that’s the case with Alison, her messed up behavior is not against the law.
Hanna and Ashley have a brief heart-to-heart regarding Caleb. Hanna puts on a brave face, but there’s no way she’s gotten over Caleb this quickly. It’s not like she can fall in love with a ghost overnight like Caleb can.
Spencer shows up at Toby’s house and learns that her father canceled his meeting with Toby about Radley. She suspects that her father has ulterior motives anyway, but Toby still wants to pursue his war against Radley. Spencer promises to call her dad for him. Oh yeah and Spencer can cook flan in case anyone wants some; she’s made it clear that she’s your girl!
Aria leaves a note for Ezra in his classroom. She gives Spencer a lame excuse about returning a pen, which leads to Spencer interrogating her, then informing her that she likes Jake, but LOVES Ezra. Score for #Ezria! Then she and Spencer join the other girls who are reading the infamous journal. Unbeknownst to them, Ezra is STARING at them the entire time looking like the creepiest person on earth.
Emily has been busy; she has color-coded the journal (one color for each girl and white if she doesn’t know who the story is about). Spencer attempts to take credit for Emily’s way of thinking, but Emily shoots back that she got that from her mama. When they decide who should get the journal next, Hanna actively prevents Aria from taking it & claims that her reasoning is that Spencer is “good with clues.” I guess Aria’s not so good at finding clues because she believes this. The girls also learn that Ali was a poet & they didn’t even know it. One of her poems is about the “Busy Bee Inn,” a reference that Aria recognizes even though Spencer’s supposed to be the detective here. The girls decide to check the place out later even though it has closed down. This all makes perfect sense in their minds because they always make the BEST decisions. Hanna also tells her friends that she & Caleb broke up. She claims it was a “clean break” and she’s “totally fine.” Everyone knows that when a girl says she’s “fine,” it’s a pretty little lie.
Aria goes into Ezra’s classroom to cancel their plans. She has bigger and better things to do tonight; she’s headed to a closed hotel! She uses Hanna’s breakup with Caleb as an excuse. During this scene, Ezra is working hard on something; he claims that it’s the end of a story that he’s writing. Aria is completely unsuspicious of Ezra, and she supplies him with all of the information he needs to spend the night as a sketchy spy. She tells him that she and all the girls will be out of town.
Ezra brings up their night at the cabin and pretty much says that them being together feels right and Jake doesn’t exist. When Aria leaves the room, Ezra puts on headphones and we hear Ali’s voice; she’s begging someone for help screaming that she needs to escape and find a way to “not be Alison DiLaurentis anymore.” Ezra loudly discusses his illegal relationship with a student and then listens to a recording of a girl who is supposed to be dead, a girl who he’s supposedly never met. Is he trying to get in trouble? It’s a good thing we like trouble in this blog; we can thank Ezra for:
Broken Law # 1 Alert (From Episode 4×15)This one should look familiar; we’ve been over this many times with Ezra and Aria! For example, it was discussed in my entry on episode 1×10 of Pretty Little Liars, “Keep Your Friends Close.” See broken law # 10 of that entry. Moving the same illicit behavior to a secluded cabin in the woods does not make it right!
18 Pa. C.S. § 3124.2(a.2) – Institutional sexual assault (in relevant part)
“A person who is a volunteer or an employee of a school or any other person who has direct contact with a student at a school commits a felony of the third degree when he engages in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse or indecent contact with a student of the school.”
Ezra, this is not what people mean when they say that teachers are supposed to teach their students lessons! This is a bit much for a one-on-one session with a student.
Emily, following the instructions of a note she received, heads to the kissing rock to meet Ali at “their spot.” On the kissing rock, we see a heart with the initials EF and AD inside. Presumably this is about Emily & Ali, judging by the way Emily is caressing the heart, but let’s not forget that Emily has the same initials as Ezra Fitz. Ali doesn’t show up. I wonder what excuse she’ll use this time; she probably shouldn’t play dead again. That’s getting old pretty quickly.
Spencer goes home to keep her promise to Toby and call her dad. She’s surprised to find her dad at home already speaking to Mistress… I mean Mrs. DiLaurentis. She overhears them discuss that Jason doesn’t know about something. When she confronts them, Mrs. D claims that they were referring to her divorce and that Peter was giving legal advice to her. When Mrs. D leaves, Spencer blows up in Peter’s face and demands why she can’t even indirectly speak to Jessica but he can have secret meetings with her. She’s furious and accuses him of canceling on Toby to see Mrs. D.
Peter tells Spencer that he canceled on Toby because he didn’t know how to tell him what he learned about Radley; apparently Toby’s mom’s death was an accident, and they covered it up because another “fragile” patient was present when Marion fell off of the roof. Peter’s a lawyer; he’s the perfect person to bring us to:
Broken Law # 2 Alert! This one may look somewhat familiar as well; we’ve discussed it before. An example can be found in my entry on episode 4×10, “The Mirror Has Three Faces (See the legal note after broken law 4).
Here, if Wilden were still alive, he could get in trouble for this, along with the owners of Radley.
Intimidation of witnesses or victims – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4952 (in relevant part)
It’s definitely a bad sign when you can’t trust the doctors and police officers in your town!
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits an offense if, with the intent to or with the knowledge that his conduct will obstruct, impede, impair, prevent or interfere with the administration of criminal justice, he intimidates or attempts to intimidate any witness or victim to:
(1) Refrain from informing or reporting to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge concerning any information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime.
(2) Give any false or misleading information or testimony relating to the commission of any crime to any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.
(3) Withhold any testimony, information, document or thing relating to the commission of a crime from any law enforcement officer, prosecuting official or judge.
(4) Give any false or misleading information or testimony or refrain from giving any testimony, information, document or thing, relating to the commission of a crime, to an attorney representing a criminal defendant.
Grading: (in relevant part)
” (1) The offense is a felony of the degree indicated in paragraphs (2) through (4) if: …
(ii) The actor offers any pecuniary or other benefit to the witness or victim or, with the requisite intent or knowledge, to any other person.
(iii) The actor’s conduct is in furtherance of a conspiracy to intimidate a witness or victim.
(iv) The actor accepts, agrees or solicits another to accept any pecuniary or other benefit to intimidate a witness or victim.
Hanna runs into Travis at The Brew where she went to find Emily. Emily’s not there, and she and Travis get into a conversation about CeCe. Apparently she has been spotted recently and the cops are actively trying to find her. When he implies that CeCe was paid to kill Wilden, Hanna questions him, and he explains that a lot of people wanted Wilden dead.
Legal Note 2:
If what Travis said about CeCe is true, we will discuss the illegality of her behavior.
Spencer, still fuming, hunts down Mrs. DiLaurentis and screams at her to find a lawyer who she hasn’t slept with and to stay away from her father. Something tells me that this was a TERRIBLE idea.
In a shocking turn of events for PLL, the girls set out on a journey in the dark, during a thunderstorm in a car that ends up breaking down leaving them stranded in the woods. Hanna contacts Travis for help with the car, but he needs 2 hours before he can get there. Aria suggests that the girls go to a nearby cabin that her “uncle” owns. Before the car broke down, the girls had been reading Ali’s journal, and Hanna kept blasting music to drown out a story about a “cradle robber.” Should we call him Ezra, Uncle Ezra or Mr. Fitz? This is getting confusing. Imagine if there was a drinking game for every time the girls were in danger, in the dark, in the woods with car trouble. Extra points if they also have no cell phone service, because that’s the situation here, and this is NOT their first rodeo in a scenario where their cell phones fail when they’re in extreme danger. **Note: I am NOT actually recommending that anyone play a drinking game like this; it would be incredibly dangerous, especially with this particular show.
The girls walk in the woods and the pouring rain to Aria’s fake Uncle’s cabin. Spencer badgers Hanna about missing pages from Ali’s journal and accuses her of taking them. Hanna denies this. Emily is astounded that Aria’s orthodontist uncle has such an impressive painting collection. Spencer suggests that Aria bring Jake to this cabin. I’m sure Ezra would be thrilled with that idea!
Aria is not only lying to her friends about who the cabin belongs to, but also using the cabin without Ezra’s permission. This leads us to:
Broken Law # 3 Alert! :
18 Pa.C.S. § 3503: Criminal trespass (in relevant part) :
Excellent behavior, Aria. You’re getting extra credit for that one!
|(a) Buildings and occupied structures.–|
|(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he:|
|(i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof; or|
|(ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.|
|(2) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the third degree, and an offense under subparagraph (1)(ii) is a felony of the second degree.|
|(3) As used in this subsection:|
|“Breaks into.” To gain entry by force, breaking, intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through an opening not designed for human access.|
Hanna confesses that the “Cradle Robber” story is about her hooking up with Mike Montgomery. Hanna has a flashback where Alison treats her like complete crap about this, and only agrees to keep the secret for the sake of Hanna and Aria’s friendship. How noble of her. Ali assures Hanna that she’ll find a guy who likes her for who she really is… it just might take her longer than the rest of the girls. Hanna once said it best; Alison was her best friend and her worst enemy.
The girls are surprised about Hanna’s story, but nobody, including Aria, gets mad at her. Emily asks Hanna again what happened with Caleb, and she says that Caleb met someone else and he left her. “A” is watching the girls through the window… What a surprise! Hanna and Emily go outside because they just love the woods so much, and Aria hides Ezra’s Hollis T-shirt so Spencer doesn’t figure out who her “uncle” really is. “A” locks Spencer and Aria in a room. This situation is pretty typical for the PLLs; Spencer and Aria are locked in a room while Hanna and Emily are in the woods with no cell service, too far out of earshot to hear their friends screaming for help. When Spencer and Aria hear something outside the door, they grab paddles as weapons. It turns out, Hanna and Emily are there and they open the door so Aria and Spencer can escape. The girls realize that Alison’s journal is gone (stolen).
The girls aren’t done with those paddles yet! There’s a knock at the door, and the girls grab various items including the paddles, under the assumption that “A” is at the door. They open the door to find Travis, there to help with their car trouble. Travis must be wondering why the Marins always seem armed and dangerous.
At the same time the girls are on their dangerous journey, Ezra takes it upon himself to show up at the Marin household. Apparently he has not received the memo that just because you dated one of your students doesn’t mean that you can show up at other students’ houses, completely uninvited because they might be “failing a class.” This is very Wilden-esque behavior, and it only gets worse. Ashley Marin receives a work-related phone call, during which Ezra claims he can “entertain himself.”
Ezra’s idea of entertaining himself entails rushing up the stairs, barging into Hanna’s room, looking through all of her stuff, pouring out all of the contents of Hanna’s purse onto her bed and looking at every object on Hanna’s dresser. Then, for the icing on the cake that Ezra always seems to be eating, he uses Hanna’s laptop without permission to do something presumably involving hacking and/or spying. When Ashley finally gets off the phone, Ezra claimed that he had been reading the entire time. Did he even clean up the mess he made in Hanna’s room? It turns out Ezra and Aria have a lot in common; he’s breaking the same exact law that she just did!
Broken Law # 4 Alert! [See broken law # 3 directly above– Ezra is guilty of the same thing]
Ezra is still in the lead though:
Broken Law # 5 Alert:
Computer trespass – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 7615 (in relevant part)
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits the offense of computer trespass if he knowingly and without authority or in excess of given authority uses a computer or computer network with the intent to: (1) temporarily or permanently remove computer data, computer programs or computer software from a computer or computer network; (2) cause a computer to malfunction, regardless of the amount of time the malfunction persists; (3) alter or erase any computer data, computer programs or computer software; (4) effect the creation or alteration of a financial instrument or of an electronic transfer of funds; or (5) cause physical injury to the property of another.
(b) Grading.–An offense under this section shall constitute a felony of the third degree.
While we don’t know Ezra’s exact motives with Hanna’s computer, he most likely fits in with one of the requirements for this offense.
I’m impressed that Ezra hasn’t landed himself in prison way before this!
When the girls finally return to Rosewood, Travis comforts Hanna — or at least watches her cry. I don’t know if that’s nice, creepy, or both. Aria talks to Ezra on the phone and they say “I love you,” which leads to Aria lying to Emily and saying she was talking to Jake. These girls cannot go 5 minutes without lying. Spencer has another blow-up fight with her dad when she hears him lie to her mom on the phone, and Peter flips out at Spencer for her behavior towards Jessica. He contends that if Spencer continues acting this way, she will destroy their family. Emily and Aria get an “A” text thanking them for “the tip.” Emily concludes that they gave Alison to “A” by investigating the journal. At the very end, “A” is typing on a computer, with an apple on his desk, teacher style. Whatever is happening on that computer is complicated, probably involves hacking, and means nothing good for the girls.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll have another update soon, since a new episode of “Pretty Little Liars” airs tonight, and I’m sure it will involve a lot of trouble!