Can You Hear Me Now? Or Are The Broken Laws Too Loud? (Pretty Little Liars Episode 4 recap + broken laws)

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This episode begins with a police car in front of Hanna’s house, and Hanna’s mother scolding her that she never wanted to see another police car in front of their house.  She can’t sleep Hanna’s way out of this one; Wilden’s too creepy, the other guys on the police force aren’t too attractive, AND some might frown upon such behavior as bad parenting.  Hanna doesn’t see why any of this is such a big deal; it’s not like she destroyed the car, she just damaged it!

The girls shockingly meet up at a park in broad daylight, breaking the routine of  their death trap meetings in the woods.  They discuss the memorial they plan on making for Ali, which will include a bench and art tiles, or little tombstones if you ask Hanna.  Hanna no longer wants the tremendous responsibility that comes with possessing Ali’s bracelet, so Spencer takes it from her.  Spencer comes up with the idea to block all anonymous incoming messages from any means of communication.  “Screw ‘A’!” she proclaims.  The girls follow her in this decision.  While the girls take turns using Spencer’s computer to block anonymous messages, Spencer spies, with her little eye, Mr. Fitz riding his bike past the park.  Aria is humiliated as her friends loudly admire her secret, teacher boyfriend’s legs.  In any event, the girls are relieved about blocking “A” from contacting them for all of two seconds, when the wind carries over one of the flyers from when Ali went missing.  It says “Ding, dong the bitch is dead!”  This clever little homage to “The Wizard of Oz” reminds the girls that there is no app to block flying pieces of paper from reaching them.

At school, Maya gives Emily a scarf as a present.  She briefly wears it, but gets embarrassed when her friends ask her about it.  She lies and says that the scarf isn’t new.  Hanna’s father, Tom, calls her and asks her to have dinner with him at 7:00.  Hanna has not seen Tom since he walked out on her family.  Emily bumps into Toby and the girls freak out that they just “bumped into ‘A’.” They decide that it would be best for them to continue to avoid Toby and Jenna.

Aria goes into Ezra’s classroom to discuss the bike incident.  She informs him that her friends think that he has nice legs, but he wants to know what Aria thinks of his legs.  Evidently she didn’t make her attraction to Ezra and his legs clear enough during their hookup at the bar.  They decide to discuss the circumstances of their relationship over dinner at 7:00.  Apparently all awkward dinners in Rosewood take place at 7:00.

In the hallway, Spencer’s history teacher approaches the girls and announces that he has submitted Spencer’s plagiarized essay to the Golden Orchid competition.  Hanna makes a joke about Spencer’s academic bling, but Spencer remains uneasy about the essay being entered into a contest.

Emily stashes her new scarf into her locker like she’s on Real Hoarders of Rosewood and if the scarf comes out of the locker, then she comes out of the closet.  Once she’s ditched the scarf, she goes to her chemistry class to find that Toby Cavanaugh is joining the class–and he already noticed that she had been wearing a scarf earlier.  Wow, he’s an observant one.  He thought the scarf looked good on Emily; Emily wants to pretend that the scarf and Toby both do not exist.  Unfortunately for her, Toby does exist, and not only did he see her scarf, but he is also her new lab partner.  Emily opens her chemistry book only to find that someone has strategically placed the pictures of her kissing Maya in between the pages.  She furiously slams the book shut; hiding the scarf in her locker was supposed to guarantee that nobody found out about her attraction to women!

Meanwhile, at Aria’s house, Ella is cooking dinner that Aria won’t be eating, because she has dinner plans at 7:00.  This means that her parents have the house to themselves.  Aria has a flashback to the day that she and Ali caught Byron cheating.  In this version of the flashback, we become privy to more information; Ali insisted that Aria tell Ella what Byron did immediately.  She animatedly pleaded with Aria, telling her that if she didn’t tell her mother what happened, somebody else would, then she’d lose both of them.  In present time, Aria is building up confidence.  She knows that she has to tell her mom, she knows that Ali was right and it seems as if the time has come.  “Mom?” she sputters.  We’re met with a suspenseful LONG… PAUSE… before Aria continues, “Can I have a carrot?”  A carrot?!? Seriously?  What a fake out!

Spencer helps Hanna choose an outfit for her dinner with her father.  Spencer also confides in Hanna about stealing Melissa’s essay.  At first, Hanna doesn’t understand why Spencer is so certain that she is going to win the contest, but then she remembers that the Hastings family uses the #winning hashtag more frequently than Charlie Sheen and all of his twitter followers.

Emily confronts Maya about the pictures and asks her if she was the one who put them in the chemistry book.  Maya doesn’t care if people know that she likes girls; they look hot in those pictures!  When she realizes how anxious Emily is about the situation, Maya angrily returns to work, leaving Emily to go back to hiding in the closet.

At Hanna’s house, her father arrives to pick her up for dinner.  As he remarks that there is barely enough left of Hanna to hug, he notices that Ashley has gotten dressed up for the occasion as well.  She thought that she was invited to this dinner too, but Tom clears up the misunderstanding.  Ashley acts like she doesn’t care that her ex husband doesn’t want to take her out on a date, but as soon as he leaves with Hanna, Ashley hurls her earring onto a table.  Hanna and Tom head to Jolly Rogers, a local amusement park.

It’s also time for Aria to go to Ezra’s apartment for what is supposed to be a pleasant dinner.  Instead, Aria brings up her parents, and Ezra suggests that they have some sort of agreement where they don’t care if they cheat on each other.  He explains that Aria’s parents need to work out their issues as adults. Aria takes this to mean that Ezra thinks that she is a child, and to prove him wrong, she throws a tantrum and storms out of his apartment.

The following day, Hanna tells her friends about her night with her father.  They went to an amusement park, but it’s not like she went on the tilt-a-whirl, so it’s not lame.  Her father wants to take her for a “real dinner” tonight.  I guess last night was fake dinner.

In the classroom, Ezra’s lesson plan is to use “To Kill A Mockingbird” to publicly humiliate Aria and yell at any student who disagrees with her opinion.  Mr. Sperling is still hiding from Ezra for fear of another English Teacher Attack.  Since Mr. Sperling has a different view than Aria’s, Ezra broadcasts to the class that he clearly had made no effort to read the book, and Aria had, since she’s a model student.

After class, we see Toby opening his locker to retrieve his books.  Instead, he is met with a mound of shaving cream pouring out of his locker and a group of laughing boys behind him.  Between Ezra’s teaching methods and the behavior displayed by these boys, it’s clearly Maturity Day at Rosewood High.  The immature boys bring us to (finally):

Broken Law # 1 Alert! : Harassment (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2709

 “(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person: (1) …  subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same…” 
I will interject here to explain that physical contact need not be direct, it can be done through a medium, shaving cream included.  
” Grading.– (1)  An offense under subsection (a)(1)… shall constitute a summary offense.”

Additionally, in light of the bullying epidemic, states including Pennsylvania have implemented laws against bullying, leading us to:

Broken Law # 2 Alert! : Pennsylvania Tit. No. 24 Pa. Cons. Stat. 
Ann. §13-1303. 1-A.
“Bullying: intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, or series of acts: (1) directed at another 
student(s); (2) which occurs in school setting; (3) that is severe, persistent or pervasive; AND (4) has the effect of: (i) substantially interfering with student‟s education; (ii) creating a threatening environment; or (iii) substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school. “School setting:” in school, on school grounds, in school vehicles, at school bus stop, or at school activity. School entity may define bullying to encompass acts occurring outside the school setting if the definition meets (1), (3) and (4).”

Most state schools have their own policies in terms of punishment for bullying.  Without spoiling too much, in a later episode of Pretty Little Liars, we learn that Rosewood has a zero tolerance for bullying, and behavior like this could get somebody suspended or expelled.  

Next, it’s time for Hanna’s “real dinner” with her father.  It turns out, Hanna is not the only person Tom invited to Real Dinner.  Within approximately two minutes of arriving at the restaurant, Tom introduces Hanna to Isabel, the woman for whom he left Hanna’s mother.  Isabel has a daughter named Kate, also present at dinner, and here’s the best part: Isabel is no longer just Tom’s girlfriend, but his fiancee.  Surprise!  

At the Hastings household, Spencer hears another one of this TV show’s infamous terrifying noises.  Someone is inside her house.  She grabs a knife, ready to stab this intruder.  Before she has to hurt anyone, she is greeted by a slurring, but familiar sounding british accent.  “Where the hell are you?!” Wren demands.  He spent his night getting drunk, driving to Spencer’s house, embarking on a scavenger hunt for the front door of the house, failing to find the front door, and eventually breaking in the house through the back door.  He did all of this all because he wanted Spencer to “summon her father” so that he could clear her name and tell Mr. Hastings “what really happened.”  In my book, what happened is that they kissed, and they are both to blame, but for some reason Spencer does not see it that way.  

Wren’s behavior tonight does not comply with Pennsylvania’s laws.  I’ll start by explaining that while he broke into the Hastings’ house, he is not guilty of burglary, because to be guilty of burglary, he would have had to go inside with the intent to commit a separate crime inside.  To my knowledge, he did not have the requisite intent.  But he is still guilty of something: 

Broken Law # 3 Alert! : Criminal trespass (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3503: “(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 paragraph (1)(ii) is a  felony of the second degree (b)  Defiant trespasser.– (1)  A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by: (i) actual communication to the actor; …  (v) actual communication to the actor to leave.”
(2)  Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it is a summary offense.”

While Spencer DID firmly tell Wren to leave in the beginning, her softening up and allowing Wren to stay and sober up would likely make this a summary offense rather than a misdemeanor.  

Additionally, we learn that Wren drove to the Hastings’ house while in an intoxicated enough state to be unable to locate the front door of the house, speak properly, or walk in anything resembling a straight line.  Spencer later confiscates Wren’s keys and drives his car for him, which is how we learn that he has driven drunk, a fact that brings us to:

Broken Law # 4 Alert! Pa. C.S. § 3802.  Driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance. (in relevant part) : “(a)  General impairment.–
(1)  An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the individual is rendered incapable of safely driving, operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(2)  An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.08% but less than 0.10% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle.
(b)  High rate of alcohol.–An individual may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual’s blood or breath is at least 0.10% but less than 0.16% within two hours after the individual has driven, operated or been in actual physical control of the movement of the vehicle…”

§ 3803.  Grading.
(a)  Basic offenses.–Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b):
(1)  An individual who violates section 3802(a) (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and has no more than one prior offense commits a misdemeanor for which the individual may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than six months and to pay a fine under section 3804 (relating to penalties).

(b)  Other offenses.–
(1)  An individual who violates… section 3802(b)… and who has no more than one prior offense commits a misdemeanor for which the individual may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than six months and to pay a fine under section 3804.”
(Nobody tested Wren’s BAC, but I believe it’s possible that he could fall into the “high rate of alcohol” subsection.  If not, he definitely at least falls into “general impairment”). 

§ 3804.  Penalties.
“(a)  General impairment.–… an individual who violates section 3802(a) (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) shall be sentenced as follows:(1)  For a first offense, to:
(i)  undergo a mandatory minimum term of six months’ probation; (ii)  pay a fine of $300;
iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and (iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements.”  

“(b)  High rate of blood alcohol: … an individual who violates section 3802(b) hall be sentenced as follows: (1)  For a first offense, to: (i)  undergo imprisonment of not less than 48 consecutive hours; (ii)  pay a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000; (iii)  attend an alcohol highway safety school approved by the department; and (iv)  comply with all drug and alcohol treatment requirements.” 

Don’t drink and drive!

While Wren is breaking the law and causing chaos, Aria bursts into Ezra’s apartment and explodes at Ezra for his ridiculous “To Kill A Mockingbird” lesson.  She tells him that if he was trying to teach her a lesson, she definitely does NOT need that from him.  In his defense, he IS her teacher and it’s his job to teach lessons, but I get her point.  

Spencer confiscates Wren’s keys and drives him to the hotel where he is staying.  At Hanna’s dinner, Kate tells a boring sailing story that would put sailing enthusiasts all over the world to sleep.  Hanna’s dad informs her that she’ll be paying for the damage to Sean’s car by working at his mother’s office.  She’s a dentist, and Hanna is suddenly fascinated by dentistry and plaque.  This invigorating conversation is interrupted by an SOS text from Spencer, who needs Hanna to pick her up from her sister’s ex fiance’s hotel room.  That’s completely normal.  

Emily runs into Toby while she’s throwing the pictures of her and Maya in the garbage.  They bond over the fact that they live in a town filled with idiots.  Toby actually seems pretty nice in this scene.  Ezra “makes really good leftovers” and he apologizes to Aria over a gourmet leftover meal.  Aria decides she has to tell her mother the truth about her father’s affair.  

As Spencer drops Wren off at his hotel room, they kiss, despite the fact that Spencer feels SO bad about their first kiss and she never wanted to hurt Melissa.  Hanna watches this from the car, but is distracted when her “BFF, ‘A'” dedicates the song “I don’t need you anymore” to her on the radio.  

Emily and Maya talk.  Emily needs time and space and Maya is willing to wait for her.  Aria goes home to speak to her mother, but “A” has already sent Ella a typewritten note about Byron’s affair.  Spencer and Hanna return to Spencer’s house, where Spencer can tell someone has been inside because the mess Wren made before has been cleaned up.  She barrels up the stairs immediately assuming thats somebody broke in to steal Alison’s bracelet, rather than the myriad of expensive items in the Hastings household.  Ali’s bracelet is still in Spencer’s drawer, and there is a terrifying note written on her bedroom mirror.  It says “It won’t be that easy bitches! -A”  The scariest part about this is that the note is written in JUNGLE RED, Alison’s signature lipstick color.  It looks like blocking electronic messages from “A” was not the best idea after all.  

PS: For a second there I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough material for this entry, so I’d like to thank Wren (Julian Morris) for his presence in this episode.

To Kill a Mocking Girl Who Mocks The Law (Pretty Little Liars Episode 3 Recap + Laws)

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From the first second of this episode, I KNEW to expect 45 glorious minutes of brilliant decision making by our favorite four girls.  How did I know that? These girls have suffered constant harassment by a mystery person who knows all of their secrets, and their first idea is to meet up… in the WOODS!  It’s totally understandable; I galavant the woods when I’m terrified, too.

They’re headings towards this nostalgic shed where they plan on making a memorial for Ali.  They’d probably be there already if the gnats would stop bombarding Hanna and her cloud of hair product and perfume. The girls are exactly 136 steps from their destination (Spencer is 100% sure of it; she remembers that tree) when the gnats finally stop their mission to invade Hanna’s mouth.  Now that she can finally speak, she announces that she does not believe that Ali is dead.  She has to be alive; she sent them all a text after her funeral!

While the other girls disagree, they do suddenly decide that having an anonymous stalker is creepy and perhaps the woods was not the best choice of venue.  Besides, try as she might, Spencer is not fooling anyone when she says that the scary noise they hear is a rabbit and NOT their stalker.  “A” seems to resent being called a rabbit, so the girls get a vengeful text: “Heads up BFFs, it’s open season on liars and I’m hunting.”  Time to leave the woods, girls!

The next morning, Wilden greets Hanna in the Marin’s kitchen.  He does not want to wear clothing and Hanna does not want to eat waffles. When Hanna’s mother tells Wilden to get dressed, it’s time for Hanna to lay down the law.  She demands for Ashley to stop “squeezing Wilden’s grapefruit.”  Hanna takes a firm stance; she does NOT want to have to shoplift a fathers’ day card for this detective.  Unfortunately, Ashley plans on squeezing all of the cop grapefruit she has to until Hanna’s shoplifting charges are dropped, and even more unfortunately, Wilden is eavesdropping on their entire conversation.

Meanwhile, Aria is having breakfast with her parents.  Byron asks her if she likes her English teacher, which briefly terrifies Aria until she realizes that he actually wants to know if she has a good English teacher.  She mumbles that he’s “ok,” and starts talking about “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  That conversation lasts all of three seconds before their very own real-life, less sympathetic Hester Prynne interrupts.  Aria gets to formally meet Meredith (Amanda Schull), the woman who nearly destroyed her family.

Legal Comment: While Byron insists he is not seeing Meredith that way anymore, if that’s a lie, NOW it wouldn’t be illegal.  While Meredith is still at Hollis, she’s no longer a student; she’s a teaching assistant.  Because she’s now a teaching assistant, Pennsylvania’s pesky institutional sexual assault law that we discussed in the pilot entry no longer would affect a sexual relationship between Byron and Meredith, unless Hollis has a policy against dating co-workers.  However, it seems like Meredith gets around, and now that she’s a teaching assistant, that law forbids her from sleeping with any Hollis students.  

While Aria’s breakfast definitely sucked because of Meredith, I’m not sure it compares to the Hastings horribleness that ensues when Spencer attempts to eat breakfast.  Veronica Hastings warns the girls that she cannot arbitrate on only one cup of coffee, but Melissa hates Spencer so much that she could not care less if her mother’s coffee was decaf.  Melissa laments about her abrupt changed Facebook relationship status and throws a ridiculously large pile of wedding magazines in the garbage.  Nobody reads that many wedding magazines; not even people preparing for a royal wedding. Spencer FEELS for Melissa, she truly does, but it’s “not her fault” that Wren kissed her and she kissed back.  Oh, and Melissa is not the only one who can abuse the garbage can; Spencer violently throws her muffin in there before making her dramatic exit.

I know that it seems like everyone has been abnormally well-behaved, but fear not.  The worst is yet to come… in a good way of course.

When the girls FINALLY arrive at school (does anybody else notice that their mornings seem to last an eternity?), Hanna and Mona are greeted by Sean and Noel Kahn (Brant Daughtery).  Noel’s party is on Friday and everyone’s excited, even Sean.  Nobody said that virgins who are waiting until marriage can’t party!  Mona thinks that Hanna NEEDS to have sex with Sean at the party though, otherwise they might not even really be a couple!

Hanna isn’t the only one not getting action from her boyfriend though; Emily actively avoids Ben’s attempts at kissing her.  Even without her current sexual orientation struggle, I wouldn’t blame her.  Every time he goes to kiss her, he looks like a terrifying monster.

In the hallway, Aria and Spencer come dangerously close to being victims of the avalanche of books flying out of Spencer’s locker.  Then we hear our favorite tapping noise, the two second warning that Jenna is approaching.  This time, her step brother Toby Cavanaugh (Keegan Allen) is escorting her to her classes.

We see a brief flashback of Toby rushing Jenna out of the burning garage.  Back in real time, everyone is staring at Toby like he’s Jeffery Dahmer, and Maya notices.  When she asks Emily who he is, Emily explains that Toby is Jenna’s step brother who was sent away to juvie for setting fire to his garage while his step sister was in it.  Now I’ve been watching this show very carefully, and I’m pretty sure Alison and her friends are the ones who did that, so Emily’s response is intriguing.

Apparently Wilden can’t get enough of Hanna at her house, so he comes to school and gets her excused from class so he can ask her more questions.  Her friends freak out because he’s asking her questions alone, then, tap tap tap, here comes Jenna with a creepy comment.  “Whisper, whisper whisper.  It almost feels like Alison is still here.”  Then she taps away without another word.

In the principal’s office, Wilden asks Hanna for dieting tips; she has lost SO much weight and it’s bizarre that he’s talking about it!  Hanna has a flashback from when she was still hefty, and Alison was pressuring her to ask Sean to Noel’s party.  Sean and Hanna’s were having a cringeworthy, awkward conversation, so Alison came to the rescue.  She knew that if she told Sean that SHE was going to the party then he’d obviously go.  Alison should win an award for giving the most sarcastic “sympathetic” glances in the world; that’s the best way I can describe the look that she gave Hanna.

In real time, skinny Hanna doesn’t really have much weight loss advice for Wilden, but Alison helped her make those changes, so if it turns out that she isn’t dead, perhaps she can help him.  In the meantime, his keg stand habit probably won’t help.  Wilden asks her about her “yearbook picture,” but it turns out the picture he’s talking about was never in the yearbook; he saw it in her living room.  Awkward much?  Good thing he’s seeking clues for his murder investigation during all this grapefruit squeezing.

Aria had such a great time seeing a movie with Ezra and her mother that she invites him to come to Ella’s art gallery.  Spencer pays a visit to Wren to beg him to tell her parents “the truth” about what happened.  Spencer, I hate to break it to you, but you were involved in that kiss, too!  When she leaves, Wren makes a smug comment about “the wretched place” she calls home.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been so wretched if you and Melissa didn’t steal Spencer’s loft, Wren.  Enjoy squatting on your friends couch.

Here come the crimes!  Back at Rosewood, Ben is in the girls’ locker room giving off a serial killer/rapist vibe while pinning Emily against the wall and ignoring her protests.  First of all, who invited him into the girls’ locker room? While the legality of his presence in there comes down to Rosewood’s school policy, it’s still time for:
Crime # 1 Alert! : Disorderly Conduct: 18 Pa.C.S. § 5503“(a) Offense defined.–A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, he: 
(1) engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; (2) makes unreasonable noise; (3) uses obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or (4) creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
(b) Grading.–An offense under this section is a misdemeanor of the third degree if the intent of the actor is to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, or if he persists in disorderly conduct after reasonable warning or request to desist. Otherwise disorderly conduct is a summary offense.”

Note: I’m going to go with the misdemeanor; no way that behavior is only a summary offense.
Also note: language in this statute clarifies that the use of the word “public” includes school.

Additionally, Ben’s attempt to force himself on Emily even when she screamed for him to stop leads us straight to:

Crime # 2 Alert! : Indecent Assault (in relevant part): 18 Pa.C.S. § 3126: 
“(a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person… and:
(1)  the person does so without the complainant’s consent;
(2)  the person does so by forcible compulsion;
(3)  the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution; …”
In terms of grading/ranking the crime, subsection (a)(1) would constitute a misdemeanor in the second degree, but (a)(2) and (a)(3) constitute a misdemeanor in the 1st degree.  You cannot be charged with both, and Ben would probably be charged with the 1st degree misdemeanor. 

Emily’s inability to escape from Ben does not last long; in swoops TOBY to save the day and bring us to:

Potential Crime # 3 Alert!: Aggravated Assault :  18 Pa.C.S. § 2702: 
“a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:  (1)  attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another,  or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the  value of human life;
(b)  Grading.–Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(1) and(2) is a felony of the first degree.”

Take note that I labeled this as a potential crime.  Certainly if Toby had done this without Emily in the equation, he’d be guilty.  However, in certain circumstances, Pennsylvania law allows for justification on the grounds of protection of another person.

Use of force for the protection of other persons (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 506: 
” (a) General rule.–The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable to protect a third person when: 
(1) the actor would be justified under section 505 of this title (relating to use of force in self-protection) in using such force to protect himself against the injury he believes to be threatened to the person whom he seeks to protect; 
(2) under the circumstances as the actor believes them to be, the person whom he seeks to protect would be justified in using such protective force; and 
(3) the actor believes that his intervention is necessary for the protection of such other person…”The justifications in section 505 (in relevant part) : “the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion…”

I believe that Toby would be successful with this justification. 

Aria brings desperately needed cups to Ella’s gallery and finds Meredith pretending to be Ella’s BFF. Ella has invited her to the gallery tonight and Aria angrily tells Meredith that she had better not come.

Hanna is leaving for Noel’s party and Wilden makes a stupid joke about driving her to the party in a squad car. “I won’t use the cuffs.” Because he’s saving them to use on Ashley in the bedroom later. This whole “relationship” is appalling already, so it’s a good thing Wilden screws it up.

As soon as Hanna is out of the house, Wilden invites himself into Hanna’s purse, removes her friendship bracelet from the bag and starts asking Ashley about it. When he reveals that he saw it earlier “during his day job” of harassing Hanna with ridiculous questions while she should be in class, Ashley gets pissed off very quickly. She demands to know why Hanna is the only one who got questioned for a second time. Wilden gives a BS excuse, leading Ashley to tell him that he will need a search warrant to go through Hanna’s purse.

Potential Crime # 4 Alert! Even though some might argue that Ashley allowed Wilden into the house and he believed that he had consent to search (although he probably did not even believe he had consent), the 4th amendment of the United States Constitution (U.S. Const. amend. IV) begs to differ. The 4th amendment guarantees privacy against unreasonable searches and seizures by government officials.  

The Supreme Court came up with a broad test for reasonableness in a case, Katz v. United States (389 U.S. 347). In that case, the Supreme Court expanded the 4th amendment protection to include any place where a person has a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” Although Ashley DID allow Wilden to enter her home, a reasonable person would still have a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the contents of a pocketbook inside the house.  paraphrased

Additionally, Hanna certainly had a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the contents of her bag which was at her house. The fact that her mother had this unfortunate and disturbing relationship with a police officer does not mean that Hanna should no longer have a reasonable expectation of privacy for her property in her home. A reasonable person would not expect a police officer to overstep his boundaries that way.  

Note: I labeled this as a potential crime because he did stop when he realized that he clearly did not have consent, and he stopped before anything (ie someone getting arrested) happened as a result of the search. Although his search did violate the 4th amendment, it’s doubtful that any legal action would happen under these circumstances.  BUT, he still broke a Pennsylvania law during his inappropriate investigation. 

Crime # 5 Alert! : Abuse of Power- Official Oppression (in relevant part): Pa. Stat. Ann. Title 18 § 5301:  
“A person acting or purporting to act in an official capacity or taking advantage of such actual or purported capacity commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, knowing that his conduct is illegal, he:
 (1)  subjects another to arrest, detention, search… or other infringement of personal or property rights…” 

What a terrible excuse for a police officer!  

While all of that is taking place at Hanna’s house, she’s partying! Actually, she’s bored out of her mind watching Sean play his 8 millionth fuse-ball game. I don’t even think she had one drink at the party, which is surprising considering that she brings her flask everywhere.

Emily arrives at the party with Maya and immediately insults Ben, adding salt to the ridiculous wound Toby left on his face. He definitely knows how to fight.

Spencer has not arrived at the party yet because she’s busy writing her history paper that’s due on Monday. Let me try that again. She’s busy plagiarizing her sister’s paper from six years ago. Before I comment on Spencer’s behavior, I just want to point out that Melissa’s paper was written in 2004, before Macbooks even existed. It was all about the iBook G4 in 2004. I’m not saying that Melissa didn’t just simply get a new computer, but isn’t she in graduate school at this point? Why would she feel the need to keep her high school homework on her desktop? Weird.

Moving on:

Crime # 6 Alert! : As strange as it is that Melissa had that paper on her desktop, Spencer was definitely not allowed to steal it. Congratulations Spencer, on violating federal law! : Infringement on Copyright: 17 USC § 501: This federal statute forbids anyone from distributing another person’s copyrighted work without getting the author’s permission to do so or properly citing the author’s work. Plagiarism is included in the federal law against copyright infringement.

Note that a work does not have to go through a formal process to become copyrighted material and it does not have to be published either. Any author’s original work is protected by copyright, and state schools are required to comply with federal law in terms of academic integrity.  


Melissa and Veronica come home from the club and almost catch Spencer in the act. They talk about eating pasta as if it’s the equivalent of eating 8 tons of crisco oil in one sitting.

After Spencer’s daunting copy and paste session, she makes her way to Noel’s party so that she can gossip with the girls about Toby being a terrible person. When Spencer brings up the time when “they” caught Toby spying on them, Emily is quick to remind her that Ali was the only person to see that happen. Spencer has a flashback of the night of “The Jenna Thing.” In the flashback, Spencer stood across the street while Ali screamed “I’ll make sure everybody knows!” in Toby’s ear. She was pretty loud for somebody who didn’t want any of her friends to hear her; perhaps she wanted to make Jenna go blind and Toby go deaf all in the same night.

Also in the flashback, Ali persuaded the girls to flea the crime scene. She dismissed Hanna’s suggestion to tell the police what had happened in the rudest way possible. She reminds her that this show is not called “Pretty Little Honest Girls” and that if Hanna wanted to tell the police, she could also go back to being a fat loser who eats chips and plays Dance Dance Revolution.
Of course, ignoring Hanna’s idea to behave like decent human beings, Ali and her posse bring us to:

Potential Crime # 8 Alert! : Flight to Avoid Apprehension, Trial or Punishment (in relevant part) Pa. Stat. Ann. Title 18 § 5126.: 

“(a)  Offense defined.–A person who willfully conceals himself or moves or travels within or outside this Commonwealth with the intent to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment commits a felony of the third degree when the crime which he has been charged with or has been convicted of is a felony and commits a misdemeanor of the second degree when the crime which he has been charged with or has been convicted of is a misdemeanor..”
Note that I put potential because the girls were neither charged with nor convicted of a crime, but they easily could have been if they stayed there for another second.

Back at the party, Hanna tries again and fails again at seducing her boyfriend who does not want to have sex with her. Emily and Maya take pictures of themselves kissing in a photo booth and somebody steals the pictures before they even have time to get out of the booth. It’s almost as if Emily has a stalker or something!

Aria makes an appearance at Ella’s gallery which Meredith attends despite Aria’s demand. Meredith wants Aria to know that she can have her father and there is absolutely nothing Aria can do about it. The next stunt Meredith pulls also symbolizes Aria’s powerlessness; she snatches Aria’s cup — the cup that SHE BOUGHT FOR HER MOTHER– silently telling Aria “I’m taking your dad and your drink. You can go now.”

Hanna receives a text from “A” that reads, “Heads up, hon. Hefty Hanna never gets the guy.” Hanna’s had enough for one night, so she does what any girl in that situation would do. She takes her boyfriend’s car without asking his permission. To make matters worse, she winds up crashing it, and crashing us right into:

Crime # 9 Alert! : Unauthorized use of automobiles and other vehicles (in relevant part): Pa. Stat. Ann. Title 18 § 3928 : 

(a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree if he operates the automobile… without consent of the owner.” 

Again, I did not see Hanna have anything to drink at the party, so I’m not going to jump to any drinking and driving conclusions. She’s done enough damage as it is; I don’t need to make it worse.

Emily goes to Toby’s front porch to thank him for beating the crap out of Ben. When Emily leaves, Jenna demands to know why Emily was thanking him, as if Toby’s her bitch.

Needless to say, the girls all have had a pretty horrible day, so the following day they make another smart decision. They meet up in the woods… AGAIN! Spencer finally discloses that Toby took the blame for “The Jenna Thing” because Ali “had something huge on him” and she blackmailed with it. Of course that means :

Crime # 10 Alert! (Don’t worry, this is finally the last one… for now at least). : Intimidation of Witnesses or Victims (in relevant part): Pa. Stat. Ann. Title 18 § 4952: 

“(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…
(b)  Grading.–
(1)  The offense is a felony of the degree indicated in [the above] paragraphs if: The actor employs force, violence or deception…upon the witness… 
(2)  The offense is a felony of the second degree if a felony of the second degree is the most serious offense charged in the case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness… 
(3)  The offense is a felony of the third degree in any other case in which the actor sought to influence or intimidate a witness or victim as specified in this subsection. (
4) Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.”

All in all, great job abiding by the law, everyone! I’ll give you an A+; you already have an A.

At least there’s a happy ending; after hearing a creepy noise and finding Ali’s bracelet on the ground, the girls LEAVE THE WOODS!

Thank you everyone for reading. I apologize for the delay in posting this; researching and writing this took me two full days, no exaggeration.

The Jenna Thing or The Euphemism of the Century (Pretty Little Liars Episode 2 Recap + Laws)

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This episode of Pretty Little Liars starts off with the girls having a paranoid conversation at the Apple Rose Grille.  Hanna is so worried that it’s driving her to drink… in public… out of her flask…again.  It’s only the second episode of the series, Hanna, you don’t want to be hungover before episode 3!  Oh and by the way, this leads into our first potentially broken law of the episode.  ALREADY, within 2 minutes of the episode starting.
(Potentially) Broken Law #1 Alert!: While Hanna wasn’t displaying completely obvious signs of being wasted, she had her flask out in the open long enough for a grumpy old man to notice and glare at her, so I’m including this.  Knowing how much the cops love her in this town already, they’d probably arrest her for the following crime, unless her mother ups her game in the bedroom: Public drunkenness and similar misconduct – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5505:   A person is guilty of a summary offense if he appears in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol.  Of course there is also zero tolerance for minors drinking underage. 

I would say that the girls should have a drinking game where each girl takes a shot when they commit a crime in Rosewood, and 2 shots if it’s within the beginning of the episode, but as I just explained, that would be promoting illegal behavior.

Moving on, the girls discuss Ali and her knowledge of everybody’s secrets.  They frantically whisper about the elusive Jenna “THING,” and we (at least those of us who have not read the books or searched online) want to know what the hell it is already!  We have been curious ever since the infamous flashback fight between Ali and Spencer in the previous episode.  These girls are in high school; what the hell could they have done?  Did they copy Jenna’s math homework?  Right when we think we’re about to find out what the Jenna “thing” is, BOOM!  We are interrupted by the loud sound of Jenna (Tammin Sursok) herself, smacking the floor with her walking stick as if she owns the place and wants to kill everyone inside.  The girls cannot stay and chat now!  Not with JENNA here.  Not after the THING that happened with her.  So all four of the girls leave and go in separate directions leaving us even more curious about the “thing” that they did.

Next, Hanna sees Wilden, our favorite police officer, on TV casually discussing her best friend’s death. There was blunt force trauma, but the actual cause of death was suffocation–then Hanna’s mother turns off the TV while her officer-with-benefits is mid-sentence.  Hanna and her mother have a short conversation that can pretty much be summarized this way:
Hanna: “sorry that you had to sleep with a cop to get me out of stealing sunglasses.”  Ashley: “I like your Amber Rose lipstick.”

Speaking of Hanna’s makeup, we move on to Aria and her mother gossiping about Hanna’s funeral dress.  She definitely didn’t get it at curvy girl!  Aria wants to chop her father’s head off because he says he might be home late from work “catching up on things” or screwing a certain former student.

Maya shows up at Emily’s house and lunges for Emily’s coffee; she hasn’t been getting much sleep because she doesn’t like living in a dead girl’s bedroom and looking out the window at her backyard AKA shrine to Alison DiLaurentis.  Emily’s mother eagerly invites Maya to spend a few nights sleeping in Emily’s room.  The girls are so excited for their upcoming sleepover.  Let’s just hope this sleepover is better than the one Emily had with Alison last summer.

Emily and Maya approach Spencer, who is further screwing up her bursa sac by fiercely practicing for field hockey.  Spencer would kill for a latte, but this is her only time to practice.  She’s got a shot at becoming team captain, and when a Hastings has a shot she takes a shot.  Maya immediately assumes that the Hastings taking a shot thing is a drinking game.  Spencer agrees that it should be.  These young girls sure do love their alcohol!

Aria wants to transfer out of Ezra’s — Mr. Fitz’s– class.  While he claims that he can keep his feelings in check, she cannot, and she does not want to sit in his classroom and call him “Mr. Fitz” every day.  He reluctantly agrees to sign her form to switch classes.

Ben (Steven Krueger) already seems like the creepiest boyfriend in the world.  He pretty much accosts Emily in the hallway.  If that is his idea of a loving kiss, I would hate to see him get angry.

All four girls are called into the principal’s office over the loudspeaker.  While the girls head over, Aria receives a text from “A,” that says “dead girls walking.”  That sounds promising.  The girls are probably wondering if they have detention or something, but, no.  They go to the office to find Detective Wilden there instead of the school principal.  He questions the girls about Ali’s disappearance and does not believe one word out of any of their mouths.

In the cafeteria, the girls guiltily discuss their lies to the cops.  Hanna takes on a nonchalant attitude.  Lying is not a crime and it was just DRINKING, guys.  The other girls remind her that they also didn’t tell the police about the Jenna THING and that they could have stopped Ali from doing the Jenna THING.  WHAT THING?!?!  Spencer also gives Hanna:

Crime # 2 Alert!: “Lying to the POLICE is a crime.  It’s called obstruction of justice,” she explains.
Hindering apprehension or prosecution (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5105(a)(5): “A person commits an offense if, with intent to hinder the apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another for crime or violation…he  provides false information to a law enforcement officer.”  
“The offense is a felony of the third degree if the conduct which the actor knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against the person aided would constitute a felony of the first or second degree. Otherwise it is a misdemeanor of the second degree.”

Not a good look, girls.

In walks Jenna, once again interrupting our chance to find out what exactly the Jenna THING is.  Aria invites her to sit with them for the most awkward lunch in the entire world.  Jenna notices that the girls’ odd behavior and comments that they used to be the fun table.  FINALLY, we see a flashback to the night of the Jenna thing.  The girls were hanging out at Emily’s house changing into all sorts of different outfits when Ali screamed and claimed that she saw that creep, Toby Cavanaugh (Keegan Allen) in the bushes spying on them.  Toby is Jenna’s stepbrother, and Ali decided that the girls should teach him a lesson instead of calling the police.  Apparently, Ali’s idea of teaching somebody a lesson is lighting a stink bomb and throwing it into somebody’s house.  Although the other girls are reluctant, eventually they all agree to help Ali with this plan.  The stink bomb Ali ignites and tosses into Jenna’s house somehow leads to Jenna’s entire garage going on fire.  As if “A” knows that this flashback is going on at this very moment, all 4 girls receive a polite reminder that they caused Jenna to go blind.  “If only she could see how guilty you all look. –A.”  “A” is correct; the girls are guilty of a myriad of potential crimes.

Crime # 3 Alert! There are a few possible crimes that the girls could be guilty of based upon the flashback that we finally got to see.  Let’s start with the basics.  Criminal trespass (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3503(b)(1)(ii): “A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place for the purpose of: starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises.” 

That’s not all, but the girls are 100% guilty of that crime.  What else?

Crime # 4 Alert!: Criminal mischief (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3304(a)(1) “A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:  damages tangible property of another intentionally, recklessly, or by negligence in the employment of fire, explosives, or other dangerous means…”  

Guilty as charged, again.

But wait, there’s more!  

Crime #5 Alert!  The Jenna Thing could possibly render the girls, especially the late Alison DiLaurentis, guilty of: Causing or risking catastrophe (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3302(a): A person who causes a catastrophe by explosion, fire…, or by any other means of causing potentially widespread injury or damage…commits a felony of the first degree if he does so intentionally or knowingly, or a felony of the second degree if he does so recklessly.”  Giving Ali the benefit of the doubt and assuming that this was indeed reckless and an accident, the crime would be a felony in the 2nd degree.

Next up,

Crime # 6 Alert! This one goes out to the girls besides Alison.  After all, remember, they did nothing to stop her.  Failure to prevent catastrophe (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3303(2)   A person who knowingly or recklessly fails to take reasonable measures to prevent or mitigate a catastrophe, when he can do so without substantial risk to himself, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if:  he did or assented to the act causing or threatening the catastrophe.”

Excellent work, girls.  

Crime # 7 Alert!  This one depends on whether one would determine that Alison deliberately started a fire/caused an explosion.  It’s possible one would find this way because she DID purposely light the stink bomb on fire and throw it in the house.  Some might consider that intent to cause a fire or start an explosion.   Arson and related offenses – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3301(c)(1): Arson Endangering Property (in relevant part): A person commits a felony of the second degree if he intentionally starts a fire or causes an explosion, whether on his own property or that of another… and if: (2): he thereby recklessly places an inhabited building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage or destruction.  

The reason I think the girls could get nailed for that one is because the only part that needs to be intentional is the starting a fire or causing an explosion.  Part 2 only requires recklessness. 

Either way, there is even more.

Crime # 8 Alert!  Arson and related offenses – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3301(d.1) Dangerous Burning:” A person commits a summary offense if he intentionally or recklessly starts a fire to endanger any person or property of another whether or not any damage to person or property actually occurs.”

You guessed it, I’m still not finished.

Crime # 9 Alert! Recklessly endangering another person – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2705: “A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.”  Ali claimed that she did not know anybody was inside the house, but she clearly wasn’t 100% sure of this, since it turns out Toby and Jenna were both inside.  This crime requires RECKLESSLY putting someone at risk of death or serious bodily injury, and what Alison did counts.  

Next up, 

Crime # 10 Alert! Aggravated Assault (in relevant part)- 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2702(a)(1): “A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

(b)  Grading.–“Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(1)… is a felony of the first degree.”

In regards to any of the above crimes that were INTENTIONAL:

Crime # 11 Alert!: Criminal conspiracy (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 903 (a) “A person is guilty of conspiracy with another person or persons to commit a crime if with the intent of promoting or facilitating its commission he: (1)  agrees with such other person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct which constitutes such crime or an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime; or (2)  agrees to aid such other person or persons in the planning or commission of such crime or of an attempt or solicitation to commit such crime.”

In Pennsylvania, conspiracy does not merge into the completed crime, so while the girls’ crimes were successfully completed, they are guilty of conspiracy as a separate offense.

Even though Alison is the one who did the dirty work, the girls were accomplices according to Pennsylvania law:

Liability for conduct of another; complicity (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 306(c)(1)(ii): A person is an accomplice of another person in the commission of an offense if: with the intent of promoting or facilitating the commission of the offense, he: aids or agrees or attempts to aid such other person in planning or committing it…”

And yes, accomplices get in trouble: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 306 (d) Culpability of accomplice.–“When causing a particular result is an element of an offense, an accomplice in the conduct causing such result is an accomplice… of that offense, if he acts with the kind of culpability, if any, with respect to that result that is sufficient for the commission of the offense.”

AND, even though Ali is dead now and never got in trouble for “The Jenna Thing,” if the statute of limitations has not run (in Pennsylvania, major felonies usually have a statute of limitations of 5 years, lesser felonies and misdemeanors usually have a statute of limitations of 2 years and summary offenses have a statute of limitations of 30 days (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 5551-5554)), the other four girls can STILL get in trouble for conspiracy.  

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 306 (g): Prosecution of accomplice only (in relevant part)–“An accomplice may be convicted on proof of the commission of the offense and of his complicity therein, though the person claimed to have committed the offense has not been prosecuted or convicted.”  

WHOA.  I need to take a deep breath after all of that.  There has got to be a better way to describe what the girls did to Jenna than “The Jenna Thing,” but I guess that euphemism helps them sleep better at night.

Moving back to the actual episode, after the awkward lunch with Jenna, we learn that Aria is not the only person who doesn’t want to sit in Ezra’s class and call him Mr. Fitz.  Mona walks into English class late and apologizes to the teacher, “Mr. Fritz,” which causes the class to laugh at her.  Yes, amidst to all of the craziness, this show does still have some moments of light humor.  Aria walks into the room and places her transfer form on Ezra’s desk.  It has the word “DECLINED” stamped on it in huge letters.  This is going to get interesting.  Despite Aria’s attempt to do the right thing, we are heading into a full on student-teacher relationship!

After school, during a study date, Hanna has tries to jump her virgin, son of a preacher, boyfriend, Sean (Chuck Hittinger).  Wilden comes over armed with Thai takeout.  Uh oh, Wilden and Ashley’s relationship must be getting serious if he’s already bringing Thai food.  Hanna’s meals certainly have been awkward and filled with unwanted guests throughout this episode.

Spencer is in for an interesting dinner herself.  Before Melissa and Wren arrive, she tells her father, Peter Hastings (Nolan North) that she plans on taking a class at Hollis college for fun.  Her father laughs at her because learning for fun is pointless in his eyes.  Melissa and Wren arrive, as does their waiter to take drink orders.  Spencer tries to order a vodka soda and is quickly interrupted by her appalled older sister who tells the waiter that Spencer was only kidding.  The joke is on Melissa though, because her fiance really does order a vodka soda and discreetly shares it with Spencer during the weird game of “High-Low” that the Hastings family plays at the dinner table.  The game pretty much consists of everyone bragging and competing to see who has the most impressive life.  Melissa talks about a boring school achievement, Peter talks about a boring work achievement, Spencer can’t think of anything, and Wren found a brilliant parking space right in front of the chem lab.  The bragging interaction between Melissa and her father is so nauseating that it almost seems like there is disgusting father-daughter flirting in the air.

At night, Emily and Maya share an affinity for sleeping in the middle of the bed, and “A” texts Emily to ask if she got a goodnight kiss.  The following morning, back at the Marin household, we find out that to Hanna’s dismay, Wilden spent the night and Ashley is pretending to be a breakfast-eating egg chef.

Ben drives Emily and Maya to school and behaves like a complete creep during the entire car ride.  Emily doesn’t want to be a lesbian, so she decides that the remedy is a very passionate and very public make out session with her weird boyfriend.

Ezra meets Aria’s mother.  Wow, this relationship is moving quickly!  No, actually, he runs into Aria and Ella at the movie theater.  Of course, they all came to see the same movie, and of course, Ella invites Ezra to sit with them in the theater!  Ezra and Aria are mortified, and a blissfully unaware Ella watches the movie with her daughter and the English teacher that Ella has deemed “really cute.”  I hope Byron doesn’t start cheating again, otherwise Ella might start flirting with her daughter’s secret boyfriend.

Emily cries in her room that night and tells her mom that she thinks something is wrong with her.  Meanwhile, Spencer’s Latin study session is interrupted by Wren, who shows off the one Latin phrase that he knows, “up yours.”  Then, they start making out.  That’s not inappropriate or anything.  Melissa may be a bitch, but who hooks up with their sister’s fiance?  Not cool, Spence.  Melissa catches them, and the next morning Wren is packing his bags and leaving the loft that he and Melissa stole from Spencer.

Wilden creeps on Hanna and Mona at the mall.  He thinks that Hanna and her friends know who killed Ali, and Hanna’s mom may be hot, but she’s not hot enough to make THAT go away.  Ew. The mood quickly turns romantic though, because it’s raining outside and pouring rain makes everything romantic.  And what do you know?  Aria is walking around drenched and Ezra just happens to drive by right in time to offer her a ride.  Obviously they start making out in his car.  Pouring rain is officially Ezria’s thing now, and Aria is going to get an “A” in English.

Emily has a flashback to Ali giving all of the girls friendship bracelets and secretly taunting Emily for being a lesbian.  Aria goes home, and father-of-the-year, Byron Montgomery tells her that sometimes the truth does more harm than good.  Excellent parenting.  Aria decides to finally spend some time with her family.  All is right with the world for two seconds before “A” texts her that when students kiss teachers, people get hurt.  Damn it, “A,” why do you care if Aria makes out with her teacher?  What difference does it make in your life?

Spencer goes for a run and is horrified to learn that even though Jenna is blind, technology gives her the ability to send text messages.  #FirstWorldProblems.  Is there another Jenna thing that the girls don’t know about?  I guess we’ll have to stay tuned!

Pretty Little Pilot Investigation

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The Pilot episode of Pretty Little Liars begins with five girls having the worst slumber party in the history of sleepovers worldwide.  Seriously, do not have sleepovers in the fictional town, Rosewood, Pennsylvania.  Only four of them have arrived at this end of the summer shindig, when Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario), Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson), Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), and Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) hear a spooky noise outside of Spencer’s barn, the scene of the sleepover and the first crime of the series.  The girls exchange frightened whispers, unsure if the noise is coming from the ominous storm outside or the boogeyman.  “Gotcha!” Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) interrupts the other four girls’ thoughts while simultaneously scaring the crap out of them.  Spencer shrieks that the joke was not funny, but Alison declares it hilarious, and clearly whatever Alison says goes.

Alison passes Aria an alcoholic beverage and Spencer jokingly warns her that if she drinks too much, she’ll tell the girls all of her secrets.  “Friends share secrets; that’s what keeps us close,” Alison quickly schools Spencer on friendship.  Aria proceeds to drink, and the girls (at least Aria, Hanna and Emily for sure) pass out.  It must have been a pretty strong drink, so lucky for Passed Out Aria, she cannot blurt out her secrets to her unconscious friends.  When Hanna, Aria and Emily wake up, Alison and Spencer are gone.  Spencer walks in and informs the other girls that Alison is missing, she has looked everywhere and she thinks that she heard a scream.

First Broken Law Alert!  During the sleepover, the girls violated a law that many high school students ignore.  They broke Pennsylvania’s law against underage drinking.  The actual law that was broken in relevant part: 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308 (a) A person has violated the law against underage drinking if she is under 21 years old, attempts to purchase, consumes, possesses OR knowingly or intentionally transports any liquor or malt beverages…For a first offense, this is a “summary offense,” the lowest level of crime in Pennsylvania.
Penalties: Fine of up to $500.00, but the maximum fine for a first offense is $300, License Suspension of 90 days (1st offense) (an occupational limited license may be available for a first offense). 

Good thing the girls didn’t get caught!

The next scene takes place a year after the aforementioned sleepover of doom.  Newspapers scattered all over Rosewood display an article about Ali and how she’s still missing.  Aria’s family has just returned to Rosewood after spending a year in Iceland for Aria’s father, Byron’s (Chad Lowe), sabbatical.  Aria talks to her mother, Ella (Holly Marie Combs) about how the media is treating Ali’s disappearance like a party. Aria doesn’t appreciate this, and it doesn’t sound like a “party” that I’d like to attend either, unless the DJ makes a really good remix of the PLL theme song by The Pierces.  Aria and her mother are abruptly interrupted when Aria’s brother Mike (Cody Christian) bursts into the room freaking out about needing a ride to lacrosse once he gets his lacrosse equipment out of the 100 boxes they’re currently in.  Aria offers to drive Mike to lacrosse, and before she leaves, she promises her father that she is still keeping his secret.  Good old suspense.

Aria drops Mike off for lacrosse tryouts and heads to a bar and grill to get food.  She gets more than food there; a guy sitting at the bar notices that she looks upset and he initiates a conversation.  He is Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) and he asks Aria if she’s ok.  She tells him that she has jet lag because she just got back from Iceland; Ezra responds that he’s been to Iceland before on his way to Amsterdam.  Aria asks him if he goes to the local college, Hollis; Ezra just graduated from Hollis and is about to start his first teaching job.  Aria informs him that she’d like to teach and loves to write, and when Ezra inquires about her major, she claims that she’s “leaning towards English.”  Funny, I didn’t know you could become an English major in high school, but then, this show IS called Pretty Little LIARS.  And wouldn’t you know it, Ezra’s first teaching job is for an English class. Then a song that Aria loves starts playing; it’s by B26 as Ezra points out.  Can’t you already feel the burning passion between them?  So begins what is widely known on the media as “Ezria.”

Let’s see what we know so far about these two: They both love to write, they both like the song playing at the bar, and they have both been to Europe.  BOOM.  Ezra wants to read some of Aria’s writing because she’s smart, has traveled and has a great taste in music.”  When Ezra tells Aria that he’d like to know more about her, the two decide that a great way to achieve that is to rush to the bar’s bathroom and start making out on the sink.  How cute!  Impressive moves there Aria, a random hookup on your first day back in America.

Legal Comment: Good news for Ezria fans! If the two of them have sex, it is NOT illegal in Pennsylvania because the age of consent there is 16 years old.

Next, we leave the bar and go to the Rosewood Mall, where Hanna appears to be shopping with her best friend, Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish).  It turns out the two girls are shoplifting, not shopping.  Hanna tries on a pair of sunglasses, boasting to Mona that they cost “free-50.”  She walks over to a different part of the mall (sunglasses still on top of her head) to briefly talk to Spencer, who is shopping for an outfit for when she meets her older sister, Melissa’s (Torrey DeVitto) new fiance.  He’s a medical student and everyone is thrilled.  Hanna scoffs at the outfit Spencer has chosen and puts it back on the rack.  She gives Spencer an outfit to wear that is obviously better than the occasion, they talk about Ali for 2 seconds, then she returns to Mona.  The salesman that allowed her to try the sunglasses on does not notice that the expensive shades are STILL ON HANNA’S HEAD, and Mona walks off with a scarf and without taking her wallet out of her purse.  As Hanna heads towards the mall’s exit, a security guard chases her down.  She waits with bated breath for him to rip the sunglasses off of her head and call the cops, but instead he politely returns the purse that Hanna had not realized that she left at the mall.  Mona “SO thought Hanna was busted.”

Second Broken Crime Alert! During their shopping spree, Hanna and Mona violated Pennsylvania’s law against retail theft.  The actual law that was broken in relevant part: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3929 (a)  A person is guilty of a retail theft if she (1) “takes possession of, carries away, transfers or caused to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale by any store… with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof.”  For our purpose here, I’m going to assume Hanna’s “free 50” remark was a pun about the glasses costing $300.00.  This means that Hanna’s retail theft is a misdemeanor in the first degree, defined as “when the

 offense is a first or second offense and the value of the merchandise is $150 or more.” 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3929 (b)(1)(ii).  The level of Mona’s offense depends on the value of her scarf.  

Hanna and Mona had better watch out; they wouldn’t appreciate getting into trouble of this kind.  

Next, Aria gets a ride to school from her dad who brings up the secret she’s keeping for him again.  Aria doesn’t want to be late for class, but before she goes, we see a flashback cluing us into this secret.  In Aria’s flashback, we see Mona (who at the time was a huge dork) chasing after Aria and Ali.  Ali leads Aria into an alley to avoid dorky Mona who needs to get a clue.  Of course this isn’t just any alley; it’s the alley where Aria’s father has parked his car to make out with a blonde girl who is definitely not Aria’s mother.  Ok, NOW it’s time to go to class.  Back in real time, Emily finds Aria.  They talk about how Aria no longer has a pink streak in her hair.  They also discuss the infamous newspaper with Ali on the cover; Emily comments that everyone knows that Ali is dead, and Aria is shocked to hear somebody say that out loud.  The two girls walk to class together and Emily gossips that she heard the new English teacher is really hot.  She and Aria briefly discuss that their old group of friends has lost touch, Hanna is now the “it girl”, and as Emily explains, “when there’s Hanna, there’s Mona.”  “Talk about a makeover,” a shocked Aria murmurs when she realizes Mona has ditched her sweaters for a more glamourous look.  

In walks the hot new English teacher, who also happens to be the guy Aria made out with at the bar.  Aria has nothing to worry about though, because Ezra, or Mr. Fitz, rather, is a professional and he’ll obviously be discreet.  “Holy crap,” he utters his first words to his students while he blatantly stares at Aria.  Way to make it completely awkward!  Now the whole class knows something bizarre is going on which means more drama and secrets for Aria.  A beep interrupts the awkward silence as Aria receives a strange text message signed by somebody named “A.”  The message contains an obnoxious quip that maybe Ezra fools around with all of his students and that Aria should just ask her father about it.  Somebody knows!  A confused Aria whispers, “Ali?”  Only Ali knew about her dad’s affair, right?  Who sent that creepy text message?!

Legal comment:  In Pennsylvania, adultery is not a crime, so Byron has not done anything illegal; he’s just a dirtbag. 

After school, Emily talks with her mom, Pam Fields (Nia Peeples) about the new family that bought the DiLaurentis house.  Aria gets brought up in the conversation, and Mrs. Fields bashes on her family.  She doesn’t understand how Aria’s parents could let her walk around with pink hair, behavior that she deems ok in Europe but not Rosewood.  Aria’s parents must just be terrible people.  

Emily brings a welcome basket for the new family that moved into Ali’s old house.  There, she meets Maya, a hyper girl with wild hair who wants to become Emily’s friend, NOW.  Maya asks a ton of questions as her method to get to know Emily.  That’s how she finds out that Emily and three other girls used to be very close friends with Ali, Emily is a swimmer and has a swimmer boyfriend named Ben.  Maya bets Emily is a great swimmer; she totally has the body for it, after all.  Maya wonders if Emily will kill her if she smokes some weed, since Emily is such a jock.  Emily looks shocked but promises not to murder Maya.  Maya even persuades Emily to try smoking weed for the first time.  Maybe Emily should dye her hair pink and move to Europe, too.  

Third Broken Law Alert!  Pennsylvania has a separate law against “possession of a small amount of marijuana,” which Maya and Emily broke while bonding and getting high.  The actual law: 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(31), defines possession of a “small amount” of marijuana to include: “the possession of a small amount of marijuana only for personal use; the possession of a small amount of marijuana with the intent to distribute it, but not to sell it; or the distribution of a small amount of marijuana, but not for sale” This law considers 30 grams of marijuana to be a “small amount,” and I’m going to assume Maya did not have more than that.  Penalty: Misdemeanor, up to 30 days in jail, maximum $500 fine, or both. 

Good thing Maya didn’t make Emily pay for the weed; then she would have been in more trouble.  That is, if either of the girls got caught in the first place.  Emily and Maya are too slick for that.

At this point, we get the pleasure of meeting Spencer’s older, pompous, bitch of a sister, Melissa.  Too judgmental?  Whoops, sorry about that.  Melissa pretty much walks outside, starts off with a condescending compliment about Spencer transforming the barn into a loft.  Then she stomps all over Spencer’s plan to move into that loft.  It doesn’t matter that Spencer’s parents promised it to her, she got the grades for it and worked hard at her internship for it; Melissa has a fiance and their a couple who NEED the private space.  Melissa’s fiance, Wren (Julian Morris), walks outside just in time to hear the end of the conversation between the sisters.  Melissa attempts at a guilt trip, whining that she had hoped Spencer would be happy for her.  Spencer retorts that hope breeds eternal misery and storms away.  Wren seems to feel bad for Spencer, but when he expresses this, Melissa brushes it off.  She assures him that Spencer will get over it and he shouldn’t worry about her.  Melissa clearly couldn’t care less about Spencer, so it makes sense that she wants her fiance to follow suit.  

Later in the evening, Spencer catches Wren sneaking a cigarette while she’s reading outside on the porch.  She makes a remark that Wren should know better because he’s a med student.  He calls her a smart ass, and Spencer decides that’s the nicest gesture any of Melissa’s boyfriends have ever made towards her.  According to Spencer, Wren is different from Melissa’s previous boyfriends because Spencer actually likes Wren.  That seems fair; Melissa likes Spencer’s loft and Spencer likes Melissa’s fiance.  They can both be home wreckers! 

The next day at school, Aria confronts Ezra, I mean Mr. Fitz, and claims that nothing between them has to change.  Ezra responds that the two of them cannot be together, but he doesn’t sound too convinced. Emily walks Maya home from school and they share this awkward kiss that’s somewhere in between a kiss on the lips and a kiss on the cheek.  What is going on?!  Then Emily goes to swim practice, where “A” has put a note in her locker that says “I’ve been replaced, you’ve found another friend to kiss!”  Just fantastic.  

Meanwhile, in the Hastings’ kitchen, Spencer sports a bikini and flirts with Wren.  She laments about the pain she has from field hockey, and “Dr. Wren,” med school student, insists that she must have “fluid in her bursa sac.”  Spencer jokes that Wren probably says that too all the girls, but she really hopes that he only talks to HER about fluid that way.  Wren, who is also wearing just a bathing suit (both of them had planned on going in the hot tub), gives Spencer a massage which she proclaims is awesome.  They hear Melissa coming in the kitchen, so Spencer jets outside to the hottub, and when Melissa asks, Wren claims he was not talking to anyone.  That’s cool, I like dating men who talk to themselves, too.  It’s a very good quality.  Right.

Aria’s parents have a conversation in which Byron acts unnecessarily sketchy.  Shut up about “things” coming in between your relationship with your wife.  She doesn’t suspect you of cheating yet!  Aria is keeping your secret!  Spencer hears Melissa and Wren talking and laughing and she looks out at them from her bedroom window.  BEEP.  Spencer has an incoming email from “A,” of course.  This is just normal.  The email reads, “poor Spencer, always wanting Melissa’s boyfriends… but remember, if you kiss, I tell.”  

It’s Spencer’s turn to have a flashback.  The girls (Ali included) are at Spencer’s house.  Ali rescues hefty Hanna from eating a cookie, because she’s just such a good friend.  Melissa and her boyfriend at the time, Ian (Ryan Merriman) walk in.  Ali blurts out that Spencer “needs to tell her sister,” but when Melissa inquires further, Spencer shrugs it off and says it’s nothing.  She then beckons Ali outside where the two of them argue.  Spencer insists that it was “just a kiss,” but Ali promises that Melissa will find out about this.  Again, she’s just such a good person and she wants to teach her friends to be just as good as she is.  Sure.  Spencer threatens Ali that if she says a word to Melissa, she will “tell everyone the truth about the Jenna thing.”  On that elusive note, we return to real time where Spencer looks out the window at Ali’s old house and thinks that she sees Ali walking around.  That’s not scary or anything.  Emily and Aria admit to each other that they’ve received notes from “A,” but the messages are too secret for either of them to reveal.

Hanna and her mother, Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) attempt to eat dinner.  I say attempt because after a brief conversation about Aria, the two are interrupted by phone calls and the doorbell ringing.  Detective Darren Wilden (Bryce Johnson) is there to arrest Hanna for shoplifting.  I guess Mona was right, Hanna is SO busted!  Wilden handcuffs her and she and her mother go to the police station.  Hanna is about to grab a snack, but “A” sends her a warning, “careful Hanna! I hear prison food makes you fat.”  Ashley Marin goes into Wilden’s office and they close the door to have a super secret conversation.  Ashley exits the room and tells Hanna that they’re leaving and that Hanna will deny that she has done anything wrong.  After all, her mother is “taking care of it,” whatever that means.  

Suddenly, we hear sirens and see a crowd developing at Maya’s house.  The four girls are convinced that their friend Ali might still be alive and sending these anonymous notes, but that concept quickly becomes difficult.  The police have found Ali’s body in the backyard of what is now Maya’s house.  If she’s really dead, who is sending the girls these messages?

At her house, Hanna eats ice cream and watches the news on TV when she hears a scary noise.  It sounds like the house is getting robbed, but it’s just her mother and Wilden hooking up, pressed against the wall.  Does that mean that Ashley bribed Wilden for sex in exchange for him not arresting Hanna, or vice versa?  I’m pretty sure that’s not legal.  

Fourth Broken Law Alert!: Wilden and Ashley have both violated laws involving bribery.  According to Pennsylvania’s law against bribery in official and political matters :18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4701(a)(3) in relevant part, A person is guilty of bribery, a felony of the third degree, if he offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another: any benefit as consideration for a violation of a known legal duty as public servant or party official.  According to legal definitions of bribery, one can be guilty for both, soliciting OR accepting a bribe, which would make Ashley and Wilden both guilty.  Penalty: felony of the third degree, maximum 7 years; $2,500-$15,000
Pennsylvania also follows the common law for police corruption, which is known as “a misuse of authority by a police officer for personal gain.”  The penalties for this vary, but Wilden definitely would no longer have a job on the police force if he gets caught for this.  
some is paraphrased. 

Ashley and Wilden are both completely screwed if anybody finds out about this, so let’s hope they can keep it a secret.

The girls, and seemingly the entire town of Rosewood including Mr. Fitz, show up at Ali’s funeral.  Maybe Aria was right about it being like a party; Hanna even has her flask with her in the front row of the church!  Aria and Ezra share a passionate kiss before the funeral begins.  His firm stance on not having a relationship with a student sure lasted a long time.


If a teacher has sex with a student of the school where he’s employed in Pennsylvania, it IS illegal.: 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.”

Earlier in this post, when Ezra and Aria FIRST met, I stated that if they had sex it wouldn’t be illegal because the age of consent is 16 in Pennsylvania.  That was before we found out Ezra is Aria’s teacher.  Now that we know that, if they do have sex, it IS a crime.

•  I AM AWARE THAT AS OF NOW EZRA AND ARIA HAVE NOT HAD SEX.  Consider the above mentioned law a warning for this couple. I have yet to find a law regarding student-teacher relationships when the couple has not had sex, so THAT is good news for the Ezria fans for the time being.  However, student-teacher relationships of any kind are, as Alan from “The Hangover” would say, “frowned upon like masturbating on an airplane.”  Additionally, most schools have provisions in their employment contracts forbidding any such relationship, so, even though they have not had sex, if their relationship went public, Ezra would most likely get fired.

At the funeral, the girls finally all admit to receiving messages from “A.”  They discuss how big of a scene the funeral is and that Ali would have loved it because she’s “popular in life and death.”  Then all of them get creeped out when a mysterious blind girl named Jenna walks into the church.  The same Jenna from “the Jenna thing” which we know nothing about?! That’s the one. 

After the service, outside the church, Wilden approaches the four girls.  He explains in an eerie and suspicious tone that he needs to talk to all four of the girls because this is “no longer a missing person investigation; it’s a murder.”  This is starting to sound like a CSI episode, but “A” interrupts that nonsense.  All four girls get a text at the same time which says, “I’m still here bitches, and I know everything. -A.”  

Stay tuned for my entry about the next episode, where I investigate “The Jenna Thing” (and we finally learn what the hell the Jenna thing is).  

**EDIT TO ADD ANOTHER BROKEN LAW, IN RESPONSE TO A QUESTION FROM ONE OF MY READERS, NICOLE DELFS. Aria was in violation of the Pennsylvania liquor code when she went to a bar, sat at a bar area and was not accompanied with someone who would lawfully allow her to be seated there.  Please see the “potential broken law #2 alert” section in my entry on episode 5 of Pretty Little Liars, “Reality Bites Me,” for more information on this subject! **