Cover For Me… Or Everyone Might Wind Up In Prison (Broken laws recap of PLL episode 4×22)

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With broken laws from 4×21, “She’s Come Undone” **

At the beginning of the episode, we learn that a sober Spencer has just returned from a 3 day stint at rehab. This is a big change from “She’s Come Undone” when she was taking adderall “prescribed” to her by “A.” Taking the medication that “A” gave her was not only an enormous lapse in judgment, considering it could have been poisoned, but also illegal! Spencer’s poor judgment brings us to:

Broken Law # 1 Alert! (from episode 4×21)

Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P. S. § §  780-101—780-144) (in relevant part)
“…Knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled or counterfeit substance by a person not registered under this act, or a practitioner not registered or licensed by the appropriate State board…”

Spencer has more of her terrifying flashbacks to the night that Alison disappeared. These flashbacks strongly indicate that Spencer hit Alison, or somebody who looks a lot like her, with a shovel…hard.

Legal Note # 1: 

If this is proven true, we will discuss it further. For now, do NOT get any crazy ideas; smacking somebody with a shovel is in no way legal. I repeat, do NOT hit people with shovels. 

Next, we see a very NOT sober Aria at a frat house making out with a guy we’ve never seen before. His name is Riley the Rebound, and neither he nor Aria are 21. This brings us to:

Broken Law # 2 Alert! 

We’ve discussed this one relatively recently, only this time it was about Aria’s brother. For a refresher, see broken law # 1 of my entry on PLL episode “Bite Your Tongue.” 

Underage Drinking (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).”

The following day, Spencer goes down to her kitchen searching for her car keys; she wants to get to school early. Instead, she finds her mother sitting with yet another guy we haven’t seen before. He’s Spencer’s babysitter/ drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Veronica demands that Spencer hand over all of her electronics; she has already confiscated Spencer’s car keys. Veronica also mentions that Spencer is currently not allowed to have friends. Sounds awesome! When Spencer asks Dean what she should do first, he hands her a take-home drug test.

Next, Aria talks on the phone with Emily. We learn that the frat party she attended is at Syracuse; Aria went there with her father to pretend she’s interested in touring the college. She’s really trying to rid herself of all things Ezra, and it looks like it’s working. Aria gets off the phone when she sees a hungover Riley approaching. They decide to ditch the tour to get pancakes and nurse their hangovers.

At school, Hanna and Emily discuss the situations with Aria and Spencer. Hanna reveals that she tried calling Spencer’s phone, but her mom answered and informed her that Spencer won’t be at school for awhile and is not allowed any visitors. Even Ashley Marin was allowed visitors when she was in prison! Emily mentions that Aria’s at Syracuse. Then, Emily informs Hanna that Ezra is back at school. This makes Hanna furious and gives her the motivation she needed to ditch class. Before Hanna leaves, she and Emily overhear a heated argument between Mona and Mike. They quickly realize that this argument is likely Ezra’s fault. As Emily says, it looks like “Ezra’s still pulling Mona’s strings.”

Although Hanna’s ditching class, Emily’s not leaving before she gets to confront Ezra. Emily goes into Ezra’s classroom before class starts. Ezra attempts to get Emily to give him a chance to explain himself and his behavior, but Emily doesn’t allow this. She rattles off a list of times Ezra helped her outside of the classroom and asks him what he got out of all of that. He doesn’t even have an answer for her, which is pretty pathetic. Emily turns in an assignment that’s due that day, explaining that she won’t be staying for the class. Before leaving, she pointedly requests that Ezra make sure a REAL teacher gets her work. Oh, burn! Sorry Ezra, but you deserved that one.

Hanna runs into Gabe/Detective Holbrook at the Brew. She apologizes for “accidentally running into [his] mouth,” something that most people refer to as kissing. Holbrook asks her to join him; he has something else to discuss with her. He wants to know what Hanna knows about the anonymous note he received claiming that Alison is alive. Particularly, he wants to know if Hanna wrote the note. Hanna denies knowing anything about the note, which at the moment is true. She asks if this means that the police will start searching for Alison, but Holbrook tells her that the note likely came from “another crackpot,” and it’s not likely to be pursued. Hanna makes an excuse to leave before getting herself into a conversation that she’s not prepared to have.

Meanwhile, at Syracuse, Aria wakes up in her motel room. Riley is there too, and they quickly realize that they’ve pretty much emptied the room’s entire mini bar. Aria also learns that Riley can play guitar and owns a guitar named Antonio. Apparently, this is some sort of magical guitar, since Riley claims that it named ITSELF Antonio. Aria and Riley’s hotel bar binge is on Byron’s dime; he’s staying in the room next door. Riley suggests that Aria tell her father that she had “the drunkies.” Somehow I don’t think this is a good idea, and it’s unlikely to make Byron excuse the fact that he now owes the hotel at least $100 extra dollars because of “the drunkies.”

Spencer heads to bed, but quickly discovers that half of her sheets are covered in dirt, courtesy of “A.” The dirt is accompanied by a note: “I know you dug her grave, now I’m digging yours. Kisses, A.” Excellent, that’s just what Spencer needs during her recovery process.

Outside the school the next day, Hanna fills Emily in on the latest scary information from Holbrook. Emily’s questions about this anonymous note suggest that she might suspect Paige. Travis approaches Hanna and they make plans for a date the next night. Emily questions this idea with a question along the lines of “Caleb just left PLL like 5 seconds ago, are you sure about this?”

At Spencer’s house, Dean prepares her a disgusting green drink and calls her out on doing her laundry at 2 in the morning. “Um, sorry I had to wash my sheets because you’re a crappy babysitter and allowed someone to get into my room and cover my sheets with dirt?,” she replies. Ok, she was more polite than that. When Dean asks Spencer about her withdrawal symptoms, she mentions the hallucinations she has been having. He suggests that this could be suppressed memories coming back as the drugs leave her system. Spencer excuses herself to take a shower, but she swipes the house phone first. Bad girl! She sneakily starts leaving Toby a voicemail, but is quickly interrupted by Dean; he doesn’t hear running water and he’s onto Spencer’s games.

Hanna runs into Detective Holbrook again, but this time he’s with his partner, Lieutenant Tanner. Tanner believes that Hanna is the one who wrote the note, and she’s ready to prove it with handwriting analysis. Hanna still adamantly insists that she didn’t write the note. Tanner tells Holbrook that she thinks Hanna is a “tough cookie.” She’s right about that, so she should stop messing with Hanna. Look at what happened to the last cop who bothered her!

Aria is still hanging out with Riley. They’re by the water discussing their real reasons for coming to Syracuse. Riley is expected to go there because his entire family went to Syracuse. He wants to study music at a different college. Aria explains that some jerk aka Ezra broke her heart into “thirty thousand million pieces.” Riley thinks that Ezra should be the one exiled from town, NOT Aria. I agree.

That night, Mrs. DiLaurentis shows up at Spencer’s house. She claims she’s there because she wants to know if they will be attending her bridal charity for starving children. When Veronica leaves the room to check their calendar, Mrs. D remarks that she’s likely writing a check in the other room. Spencer apologizes for her behavior in episode 4×21 where she violently grabbed Mrs. DiLaurentis’s arm and screamed at her. It’s a good thing Mrs. D is so forgiving, because Spencer’s stunt was not legal.

Broken Law # 3 Alert! (Episode 4×21)

Simple assault – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2701 (in relevant part)
“(a) Offense defined.–A person is guilty of assault if he:(1)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;…”
  “(b) Grading.–Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree…”

 Mrs. D emphasizes the good cause for her charity and makes an eerie remark that “no parent should ever have to watch their child die.” Spencer excuses herself, using her laundry as an excuse to go upstairs and go to bed. Before she leaves the room, Mrs. D makes an extraordinarily creepy comment: “Nothing beats a good night’s sleep on a set of fresh, clean sheets.” Spencer clearly wonders if that means that Mrs. D was the reason that she had to wash those fresh, clean sheets in the first place.

Riley and Aria say their goodbyes, and Riley leaves Aria with a “beat up a jerk card.” He notes, however, that he thinks Aria can handle this one on her own. Meanwhile, Mike shows up at The Brew and ambushes Emily. Mona broke up with him via text message, and he’s furious because he thinks that Aria is to blame. He tells Emily to tell Aria “thanks” for him. Emily defends Aria and offers to speak to Mona about this. Mike doesn’t buy into Emily’s claim that Aria had nothing to do with this, considering Aria and her friends can’t stand Mona.

Dean and Spencer run 3 miles, then Dean orders Spencer to take another lap because of her stunt with the house phone. They then start freestyling rhymes: “Why are you so mean, Dean?” “Because you make me tense, Spence.” This doesn’t stop them from running the 4th mile, but it makes for some comic relief. Spencer has more terrifying flashbacks, and this time in her flashback, she slams Alison (or somebody who looks a LOT like her and wears the same clothes) with the shovel hard, to the point that Spencer winds up with blood spatter on her face. We don’t know yet if this flashback is real, so as mentioned above, we will discuss it further if it turns out to be true.

When Dean asks Spencer what’s wrong, she tells him that she thinks she knows what she did. She explains that she’s been using other people’s memories of the night Ali disappeared to fill in the blanks in her own memory. Dean encourages her to look at this positively; perhaps she’s ready to accept some things that she’s done and make good on them. Spencer stops talking right before she accidentally reveals too much about what she thinks she did. Dean gives Spencer privacy to read a note from Toby, which is postmarked from LONDON. Toby seems like he’s always Out Of Town, and now he’s upgraded to Out Of Country.

Hanna and Travis go on what’s supposed to be a date, but Travis points out that Hanna’s phone is a lousy third-wheel. Jessica DiLaurentis interrupts their meal (seemingly politely) and then Hanna sees her go off to speak with Detective Holbrook. After she sees this, she’s all about texting. She’s almost sending as many texts as “A” would send. She informs Emily of what’s going on and speculates that the reason Mrs. D is speaking to the cops has to do with the anonymous note, which we know is from Paige.

Mona backs her car out of her driveway, but is quickly stopped when she realizes that someone is right behind her car; it’s Emily. I admire Emily’s courage, but I still think she should have thought this through a bit more. She knows that Mona had no problem running Hanna over with a car! Luckily, Mona does not do this to Emily. Emily tells Mona that she needs to talk to her, but Mona attempts to brush her off by saying that she has somewhere to be. Emily doesn’t allow this though; she shoots right back asking Mona if she’s heading to meet with Ezra Fitz. Mona realizes that she’s trapped and tells Emily to get in her car.

Aria shows up at the rubble known as Ezra’s apartment. As we know, in episode 4×21, Aria went into his apartment and broke nearly all of his possessions. This, of course, is not legal, which brings us to:

Broken Law # 4 Alert!

Burglary – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3502 (in relevant part) (Episode 4×21)

We discussed this one in my entry on PLL, “Hot For Teacher” 
See Broken Law 7.

“(a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of burglary if he enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, with intent to commit a crime therein…”
   (c)  Grading. :(1) … burglary is a felony of the first degree.”

Now, we don’t know Aria’s EXACT intentions were for entering Ezra’s apartment, but I’m pretty sure they didn’t involve legal conduct. We do know what she actually wound up doing in his apartment, which leads us to: 

Broken Law # 5 Alert!

Criminal mischief – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3304 (in relevant part) (Episode 4×21)

       ” (a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of criminal mischief if he:
            …(5)  intentionally damages real or personal property of another…”
        (b)  Grading.–Criminal mischief is a felony of the third degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $5,000, or a substantial interruption or impairment of public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service. It is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $1,000, or a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally or recklessly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500…(4). Otherwise criminal mischief is a summary offense.”

NOTE: Since I don’t know the value of Ezra’s belongings, I included most of the possibilities in the grading section above. Also,
NOTE: If Aria were to be charged with a crime, it would have to be either burglary or criminal mischief, not both. Here’s why: 
§ 3502.  Burglary.
(d)  Multiple convictions.–A person may not be convicted both for burglary and for the offense which it was his intent to commit after the burglarious entry or for an attempt to commit that offense, unless the additional offense constitutes a felony of the first or second degree.”
Note: At highest, criminal mischief is a felony in the THIRD degree, which does not fall into the situations where someone could be charged with both crimes. 

Back in episode 4×22, Ezra lets Aria into the apartment that she destroyed. Aria wants him to leave town for good. Ezra gives her his manuscript, which he says he is no longer publishing. He wants her to have it because he found out information that could help Aria and her friends.

Mona explains to Emily that when she found out about Ezra’s book, she realized that it contained information about her that could land her in jail. Ezra bribed her; if she gave him the information he requested, he’d omit the illegal things that Mona did from his book. Uh oh, that doesn’t sound right…

Broken Law # 6 Alert!

Since Ezra, at the time of his agreement with Mona, was still planning on publishing a TRUE crime novel, this behavior is not within the law. This is especially true because it is highly doubtful that Ezra had his publishing company’s permission to do this.

Commercial bribery and breach of duty to act disinterestedly – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4108

        “(a)  Corrupt employee, agent or fiduciary.–An employee, agent or fiduciary commits a misdemeanor of the second degree when, without the consent of his employer or principal, he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit from another person upon agreement or understanding that such benefit will influence his conduct in relation to the affairs of his employer or principal.
        (b)  Corrupt disinterested person.–A person who holds himself out to the public as being engaged in the business of making disinterested selection, appraisal, or criticism of commodities or services commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit to influence his selection, appraisal or criticism.
        (c)  Solicitation.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he confers, or offers or agrees to confer, any benefit the acceptance of which would be criminal under subsections (a) or (b) of this section.”

As if Ezra needs more crimes on his less than stellar resume. 

Mona explains to Emily that she tried to get out of the deal that she made with Ezra, but Ezra wouldn’t allow it. That’s why she broke up with Mike; she didn’t want to drag him into this mess. Mike DOES have enough drama involving Ezra already. Mona also tells Emily that Ezra thinks he knows who the person who “stole the game” from her is. At least she sort of got something out of the deal.

Aria begins reading Ezra’s manuscript. She finds something important, because the next thing we know, Spencer’s phone, which is locked in a drawer goes off. When Spencer gets the phone out, she has an “SOS” text from Aria. Hanna is still being the worst date in the world to Travis, when she gets a text from Emily to meet at her house. She leaves, but she promises Travis that she genuinely had a good time and that she’ll be a better date next time.

While the girls wait for Aria to arrive at Emily’s, Hanna notices a familiar-looking envelope hanging up in Emily’s room. It’s an exact match to the envelope that Holbrook showed her before. Hanna quickly puts two and two together, being the “tough cookie” that she is. Before she can say anything, Aria arrives. Emily fills Aria in on Mona breaking up with Mike and Mike thinking it’s Aria’s fault, even though Ezra’s the one to blame. Then Aria tells the girls that she went to Ezra’s and got the manuscript, and Ezra’s theory is that “A” is Alison’s mom. It seems as if Spencer agrees with Ezra on one thing at least, because she’s suspecting Mrs. D also. She fills the girls in on her dirty sheets and Mrs. D’s shady comment. She also tells them about CeCe and Mrs. D seeing her holding a shovel to Ali’s head on the night Ali disappeared. Hanna isn’t buying this though; Mrs. D is too old to text!

Hanna confronts Emily about telling Paige that Alison is alive, however she doesn’t yet reveal why she’s asking. The look on Emily’s face makes it obvious to Hanna that she’s correct about Paige. By the time Aria gets home, Mike has figured out that it wasn’t her fault that Mona broke up with him. They have a cute sibling moment.

When Spencer gets home, Veronica is furious that she snuck out. She goes through her texts and demands to know what SOS means. Really? Spencer tells her mom that she wants to know what really happened the night Alison disappeared, but her mother tells her to consider it a blessing that she can’t remember. Veronica suggests that Spencer go to bed. In her bedroom, we see JESSICA DILAURENTIS creeping behind Spencer. It’s a very scary scene. We don’t yet know why she’s in there, but we do know that nobody gave her permission to be there. Jessica’s weird walk next door brings us to:

Broken Law # 7 Alert!

Criminal trespass – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3503 (in relevant part) :  

“(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. (2)  An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the third degree.”

Spencer doesn’t notice Jessica, and Jessica gets the chance to escape unseen when Veronica comes into Spencer’s room. At the very end of the episode, we see “A” creepily messing around with a wedding dress, which is interesting because we know that Mrs. D. is holding a bridal charity event soon. I can’t wait to see what happens then! Next week’s episode should definitely be interesting, and I’ll be here with updates! Thank for reading! 🙂

The Homecoming Hangover… I Hope There’s Asprin In Prison (Pretty Little Liars Episode 7 Recap + Broken Laws)

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The beginning of this episode takes place approximately one second after the end of the previous episode.  We have departed from the creepy Rosewood population sign and returned to the high school where Spencer, Aria and Hanna frantically search for Emily.  They attempt to turn on the lights in the hallway, but of course, the lights have magically stopped working.  However, the music downstairs is still going full-blast — perfect for the ongoing murder movie theme of “Pretty Little Liars.”  Nobody downstairs heard any of the commotion; nobody heard the shattering glass in the chem lab, nobody heard Toby and Emily screaming on the top of their lungs, nobody heard Emily’s nosedive to the hallway floor, and now, nobody hears the girls bellowing “Emily?!” in hopes of finding their friend before Toby can murder her.

In another display of her above-average intelligence, Spencer suggests splitting up.  I demand an explanation for her smart girl reputation.  Hanna objects to Spencer’s splitting up idea, and the girls finally reach a compromise; they will split up together!  Conceptually, this makes absolutely no sense, but it somehow sounds better than the girls individually searching for their missing friend who they think is currently accompanied by a murderer.  Aria calls Emily’s phone which rings ominously outside the chem lab.  Toby and Emily have painted the chem lab floor red with what the girls assume is Emily’s blood.  Little do they know that it’s really Toby’s blood, an immediate result of Emily’s ninja attack on him.

It turns out, Toby is driving his car; Emily is in the backseat.  Both of them have matching bloody faces as if they’ve joined some off-screen gang, but Emily’s injury is worse; she’s unconscious.

The following day, there are cop cars in front of one of the girls’ houses, and for once, it’s not Hanna’s!    Emily has been released from the hospital, and the police are questioning her mother.  We learn that Toby dropped Emily off at the hospital, gave her to a nurse and then left.

Aria and Spencer visit Emily at home and barely ask her how she’s doing before firing at her with information about Toby’s file and Toby and Jenna’s relationship.  Emily is skeptical; she is alive and has just won a brand new car — a Toyota Corolla — in the Homecoming dance raffle.  If Toby wanted her dead, he could have both, had her in a body bag and gotten his next murder confession tattoo by now.  Homecoming, Free Again!

As a police officer and Pam Fields discusse the shadiness of Toby handing Emily off to a nurse and bolting, Pam blurts out that she thought Emily went to Homecoming with Ben.  She quickly covers this up with a non-convincing lie that she knew Emily went to Homecoming with Toby, but she “forgot.”  The police officer pretty much laughs in her face as he says that “everybody lies.” This especially applies to you, right now, Pam.  You clearly know NOTHING about your daughter’s love life.   Simultaneously, we see Emily tell Spencer and Aria that she lied to the police and said that she tripped and fell instead of telling them that Toby “attacked” her.  I admit that I’m a tad confused here; I did not see Toby attack Emily; I DID see her trip and fall on her face.  However, Emily’s mother has definitely lied to a police officer, and it appears she did so to prevent the officer from questioning Emily any further and potentially collecting some damning information from her.  She insists, “Whatever Emily told you is what happened,” as she creates a human barrier that blocks her front door from cops but allows Emily’s friends to enter.  Also, if Toby DID attack Emily in any way, then she has lied to the police as well.  I’m pretty sure the girls are getting well-versed in this one now, and we discussed it for the first time in my entry on The Jenna Thing.

Broken Law # 1 Alert!

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.”

Come on, Pam.  How do you expect to set a good example for your daughter if you commit the exact same crimes that she does?!  And you wonder why she’s lying to you… Seriously, if Pam continues this pattern, she’s going to be on Ashley Marin’s law breaking level in no time!

Toby has become public Rosewood suspect # 1 on all fronts.  The cops are suspicious about his late night motor-cycle ride after dropping Emily off at the hospital, AND, when Hanna attempts to return Toby’s file and cover up her theft, she sees the cops outside talking to Toby’s shrink.  They already know that the file has been stolen.  Now, Hanna has no choice but to stuff the enormous file into her bag where it doesn’t quite fit.  Conveniently, the part of the file sticking out is the part that reads, in enormous letters, “TOBY CAVANAUGH, CONFIDENTIAL.”  Seriously?  Hanna should be an expert at lying and breaking the law by now.  At least put the file in your bag upside down so those incriminating words are not sticking out for the entire world to see.

After her failed attempt at returning the file, Hanna arrives at Emily’s house and tells the girls the news about the cops searching for the file.  Aria and Spencer have insisted that Emily tell the police the truth now–but she has to leave out the information about the file!  So, by telling the police the truth, apparently they mean that Emily needs to lie to the police again.  Also, now that Hanna knows that the police are investigating Toby’s whereabouts and looking for his file, she clearly knows that returning the file would help their investigation.  However, it seems that she has decided that the file looks better as an unconventional handbag decoration, which leads us right into:

Broken Law # 2 Alert!

18 Pa. Cons. Stat . § 4104.  Tampering with records or identification (in relevant part):
(a) “Writings.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, knowing that he has no privilege to do so, he falsifies, destroys, removes or conceals any writing or record, or distinguishing mark or brand or other identification with intent to deceive or injure anyone or to conceal any wrongdoing.”

Hanna has both, removed the record with intent to deceive, and concealed it with intent to conceal any wrongdoing.  Great work, Hanna.  Another A+ for you.  It’s too bad breaking the law isn’t a class offered at Rosewood High.  Hanna would definitely do better in that class than she did in Real Love Waits club.

Spencer and Aria politely leave Emily’s house as soon as Hanna arrives.  Before the girls rush out the door, Hanna asks them for their advice on what to do with the file, because all of the girls clearly know  right from wrong in terms of obeying the law.  Aria tells her to just shove the file into her locker so that they can deal with it at a later time.  In legalese, there’s another term for what Aria told Hanna to do.  Considering that we have just discussed that concealing the file from the police is against the law, and Aria has told Hanna to continue doing just that, we’re ready for:

Broken Law # 3 Alert!

This is one that you might remember from my previous post on There’s No Place Like Homecoming, where it appeared as Broken Law # 1.  18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 902:  Criminal Solicitation: 
“(a)  Definition of solicitation.–A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if with the intent of promoting or facilitating its commission he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or an attempt to commit such crime or which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission.”
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 905: Grading (in relevant part): Grading of criminal attempt, solicitation and conspiracy.
(a) Grading.–Except as otherwise provided in this title,…  solicitation … [is a crime] of the same grade and degree as the most serious offense which is… solicited …”

Uh oh.  Aria is catching up to her friends in the crime game.  We’ll have another Pretty Little Felon before we know it!

Additionally, since Hanna is the one who stole the file and has now clearly made the decision to hold on to it, it’s time to discuss:

Broken Law # 4 Alert!

It’s common in Pennsylvania that when someone is charged with theft, they are also charged with: Receiving stolen property – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3925:   (a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of theft if he intentionally receives, retains, or disposes of movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it  has probably been stolen, unless the property is received,  retained, or disposed with intent to restore it to the owner. 
(b)  Definition.–As used in this section the word “receiving” means acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property.”  

I did not include this one in the previous post on “There’s No Place Like Homecoming,” because at the time Hanna stole the file in that episode, it appeared that she had received and retained the file with intent to restore it to it’s owner later; Spencer pretty much forced her to miss being crowned Homecoming queen to steal the file, and Hanna intended to return it as soon as possible.  Now, it is clear that Hanna no longer intends to return the file.

Now that Spencer and Aria have left Emily’s house, Hanna and Emily have time to have a private conversation about Emily’s karma.  Hanna is amazed that Emily managed to go to Homecoming with a so-called murderer, crack her head open, and win a new car in one night.  It is rather impressive, I must admit.  This chat about karma quickly turns into a full-blown conversation on Emily’s potential voyage out of the closet.  Emily asks Hanna why she thought that she would bring Maya as her date to Homecoming, and Hanna finally tells Emily that “A” sent her the picture of Emily and Maya kissing.  Hanna has a mature reaction to the situation.  She assures Emily that no matter who she decides to date, she’s not signing a contract, and that her friends will love her no matter what.  They loved her when she was Emily dating Ben, and they’ll love her if she’s Emily dating Maya.  So apparently, Emily’s friends will love her regardless of her love interest, unless her love interest is a stone cold killer like Toby.  In all seriousness though, Hanna’s conversation with Emily was refreshing.  There was no judgment and no sign of discrimination.  At least lying criminals can still be good friends, too!

Next, Spencer visits Alex in the kitchen of the club.  She insists that Melissa lied to him at Homecoming and asks for a do-over date.  While doing so, she pisses off Alex’s co-worker, Stephanie, because Spencer being in the kitchen is a complete violation of a million health-care codes.  Spencer insists that she is fully vaccinated and refuses to leave until Alex agrees to go on another date with her. This time she won’t completely ignore him, she promises.  Alex agrees to the date, but only if he gets to plan it from start to finish.  Spencer Hastings does not always get to run the show.

Aria is trying to reach Ezra on all of his phones, but she keeps getting his voicemail.  She receives a bouquet of flowers from Sean, because it’s perfectly normal for your best friend’s boyfriend to send you flowers in Rosewood.  A furious Mike rescues Aria from having to tell her mother who sent the flowers.  He is angry that Ella will not be attending his Lacrosse game.  Seriously, Ella?  Missing your son’s lacrosse game?  What will your neighbors think of you?!

Back at Emily’s house, Emily awakens from her deep slumber to the sound of the creepiest dog bark in the world.  Emily has another visitor; cracking her head open has made her the most popular girl in town!  Who is Emily’s visitor?  None other than Jenna Marshall… and her little seeing-eye-dog, too!  Jenna and her mother have baked cookies for Emily.  Jenna, in the scariest voice that she can muster, informs Pam that the cookies taste better with milk.  “You do have milk, don’t you?” scary Jenna asks Pam.  This is obviously code for “get out of Emily’s room and leave me alone with your daughter, even though you think that my step brother tried to kill her.”

Jenna sits down on Emily’s bed and asks “How are you feeling?”  Emily answers her with the most polite response she can come up with, “Why are you here?” And these girls wonder why Jenna, the girl that they blinded and the girl that they treat with the utmost respect at all time, could ever hate them.  Rude much, Emily?  I probably wouldn’t eat those cookies either though.  Jenna informs Emily that she’s worried about Toby.  After all, he’s troubled, and now that the police are looking for that file, Jenna does not know what Toby might do if the file falls into the wrong hands.  Emily’s confused; she tells Jenna that she thought that she’d be relieved that Toby was gone.  When Jenna realizes that Emily and all of her friends know about the file’s contents, Emily assures her that nobody will ever find out.  Jenna replies, “Secrets have a way of getting out, like the secret Ali shared with me at the hospital.”  Apparently Ali and Jenna’s secret is an exception to this rule about secrets having a way of getting out, because Jenna does not tell Emily anything more about it.  Instead, she demands that Emily get the file for her.  She does not want the police to find the file, and after all, Jenna has kept quiet about a lot.  The least Emily can do is get the file for Jenna; she owes her that much.  Jenna has managed to terrify Emily and the entire Pretty Little Liars audience, and bring us to:

Broken Law # 5 Alert!

Jenna may not be as guilty as Hanna is when it comes to this file, but she knows that the girls have it, she knows that the police are looking for it, yet she has requested that the girls return the file to HER.  She doesn’t tell the police anything that she knows about the file, even though this could help with their investigation about Toby’s whereabouts.  Does this sound legal to you?  No? That’s because it’s not.  Jenna could get in trouble for: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat . § 4910: Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence (in relevant part). “A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted, he: (1) alters, destroys, conceals or removes any record, document or thing with intent to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation…” (emphasis on conceals and availability added by me).

It looks like Jenna is not all that innocent, either.

Meanwhile, at school, Hanna arrives in the yearbook room where Lucas is going to do a makeup photo shoot so that she and Sean can have their Homecoming queen and king pictures in the yearbook.  While Lucas and Hanna wait for Sean to arrive, they make small-talk by joking about the custodian’s drinking problems and brain damage due to breathing in too much cleaning product.  Compelling stuff.  Toby’s file is still conspicuously sticking out of Hanna’s bag; seriously, is she going to keep it there forever?  Finally, Sean enters the room, and he is immediately rude.  Also, he couldn’t bother to wear pants to this photo shoot; he has to get to basketball immediately!  When Hanna’s phone rings, she has finally realized that she should perhaps, pay a tiny bit of attention to her boyfriend.  Because of this revelation, she conveniently misses Emily’s frantic phone call about Jenna.  Hanna keeps trying to apologize to Sean as they smile for the Rosewood high school peasants.  Sean angrily cuts the photo shoot short and attempts to scare Lucas with his alpha-male attitude, bro.

Emily’s mother confiscates her cell phone before she can call any of her other friends and tell them about Jenna and her poison cookies and scary dog.  Pam proceeds to flip out on Emily for going to Homecoming with Toby, giving her added stress, which I’m sure is doing wonders for Emily’s health conditions.  Pam spits out accusations about Toby blinding Jenna and trying to rape Emily.  Pam and Spencer would get along swimmingly, what with their tendencies to immediately assume the worst about everybody.

At Aria’s house, Byron and Aria discuss Mike’s lacrosse game and the Ella situation.  Aria wants to know if Byron is moving out; she’d prefer to hear it from him instead of finding out when she’s setting the dinner table and he doesn’t show up.  Byron assures Aria that he would never move out without telling Aria and Mike first; right, he’d just cheat on their mother, but he would NEVER move out without telling them.  He’s such a trustworthy father.

Next, Aria, Spencer and Hanna drive to their favorite place in the world: the woods!  Hanna wants to burn the file there — a brilliant idea if I’ve ever heard one.  Emily calls them to tell them NOT to destroy the file, but the girls miss her call.  Spencer and Aria remind Hanna that burning the file is a terrible idea.  Spencer wants to send the file to the police anonymously, and Aria believes that burning the file is a bad idea because the police could use the file to build a case against Toby — that evil murderer.  What a novel idea, Aria.  NOT hiding evidence from the police would definitely be a new activity for these girls.  Hanna explains that she absolutely CANNOT get caught with this file; it’d be her third strike after stealing sunglasses (GUCCI ONES), and Sean’s car.

Spencer snatches the file out of Hanna’s hands, which begins a game of tug-of-medical-file-war between the two girls.  Spencer screams that the police need to have the file because “The devil has a name, and it’s Toby!”  I knew that Keegan Allen and his 666 pack had a purpose on this show.  Spencer is 100% sure that Toby is “A,” but this is not enough for Hanna.  Hanna makes a remark that if she got caught with this file, she’d go to prison, but Spencer would probably just win another award like she did for stealing Melissa’s essay.  Aria is sick of this argument; she intervenes by throwing the file into the river.  The girls flea the woods, leaving Toby’s confidential medical files to drown.  Aria should know better by now.  This adventure in the woods has given us two more broken laws.

Broken Law # 6 Alert! 

SEE Broken Law # 3 of this entry:  18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 902:  Criminal Solicitation.  Now Hanna is the guilty one; she lured her friends into the woods attempting to get them to help her destroy Toby’s medical file.  She wanted to burn it, which isn’t exactly what wound up happening, but Aria managed to destroy the file in the water, bringing us to:

Broken Law # 7 Alert! 

SEE Broken Law # 2 of this entry**: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat . § 4104.  Tampering with records or identification.  Now Aria is the guilty one, as she has destroyed Toby’s medical records with the intent of concealing wrongdoing.  

How adorable, Aria and Hanna have played a game of trading crimes!

Back at school, Spencer and Emily discuss Jenna.  It’s a good thing that Emily didn’t eat those poison cookies.  What is going on here?  Apparently the Marshall-Cavanaugh family does not want Emily alive, if Spencer’s wild assumptions are correct.  Alex cancels his do-over date with Spencer.  Aria meets the author of the PLL book series; Sara Shepard is playing Ms. Shepard, the substitute teacher for Ezra’s English class.  Jenna confronts Emily about the file.  Emily tells her that she doesn’t have to worry about the file anymore; it’s gone for good.  Jenna brings back her signature scary voice and tells Emily, “I hope you’re not lying to me.”

Hanna goes to the yearbook room, responding to the message from the universe (which really was just a message on a post-it) that Lucas wanted to see her.  She chooses which royal photo she wants to appear in the yearbook.  At least Lucas probably is not “A.”  He communicates with post-it notes, not text messages.

Spencer stalks Alex at the club which is closed on most Mondays– but not today, because there’s a “breakfast thing” at the club tomorrow.  This show has a wide range of definitions for the word “thing.”  I hope that nobody goes blind at this one.  Alex’s boss says that Spencer can help Alex make melon balls — but only if she wears a hair net.  Spencer helps Alex with the fruit, leading Alex to comment, “Wow.  If your parents could see their little girl now…” doing actual work instead of just stealing someone else’s fruit kabobs!  Ok, we get it.  Spencer is too rich to have a job.  Then why do the Hastings sisters care so much about being at the top of all of their classes?  Spencer shrugs off this comment and tells Alex to move his melon balls.

Aria screams at Sean for sending her “Screw You Hanna Flowers.”  Their conversation about Hanna and her boring love for Sean is interrupted by Mike Montgomery beating each other up in the hallway. Mike is the one who started the fight.  It seems he’s taking after his older sister and her law breaking ways:

Broken Law # 8 Alert!

Simple assault (in relevant part) – 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2701: (a) Offense defined: — “A person is guilty of assault if he: (1) attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another…” 
(b)  Grading.–“Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree unless committed: (1)  in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a misdemeanor of the third degree.” 

I’m going to go with the second degree misdemeanor here, as it didn’t seem that Mike’s friend entered into this fight mutually.  He only got physical when he had to defend himself, and his actions were likely justified. Justification of self defense.  18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 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…”

That’s not all for Mike Montgomery.  The fact that this happened on school grounds does not help him.

Broken Law # 9 Alert!

As we discussed in my entry on “Reality Bites Me,” Pennsylvania has a law against bullying.  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).” As we discussed in the aforementioned entry on “Reality Bites Me,” most schools have their own policies regarding punishment for bullying, and we find out in a later episode that Rosewood has a zero tolerance policy for bullying.  

One more thing, Mike!

Broken Law # 10 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.”

I would say Mike’s behavior fits the description of Disorderly Conduct very well.  He definitely created a public inconvenience, engaged in fighting and violent behavior and made unreasonable noise.  Aria and Sean noticed the fight between Mike and his friend from all the way down the opposite end of the hallway.  Mike’s decision to bellow “Go to hell!” at his sister after the fight had broken up also does not help his cause.

Meanwhile, Hanna and Lucas watch videos of a cat playing ping pong and a turkey on a snowboard.  Lucas nervously confesses to Hanna that he used to be terrified of her and the rest of Alison’s posse.  He pretty much declares that Alison was the Wicked Witch of the West while perhaps Hanna was more of a Glinda the Good Witch.  We learn that Alison called Lucas “Hermie the Hermaphrodite” because she didn’t like his glasses.  Lucas believes that Alison was “straight up evil.”  Hanna attempts to lighten the mood by confessing that Alison had a nickname for her, too.  It was “Hefty Hanna.”  However, Hanna still contends that Alison made her feel special.

Back at the club, Spencer discovers a picture of herself in one of the kitchen’s cabinets.  Somebody has drawn horns on her head.  Apparently the kitchen staff at the club believes that the devil has a name and it’s Spencer, NOT Toby.  If I had to guess, I’d say the person who put that picture up was probably Stephanie, the girl that Spencer pissed off earlier in the episode.

Emily “warns” Maya that a lot of people are going to see their photo booth kissing pictures.  Maya doesn’t care.  Emily misses Maya and wants to “try a new thing called being honest with herself.”  Byron and Ella show up at the school — they’re here because Mike picked a fight and Aria has been skipping her classes.  Ella tells Byron that the kids are probably acting up because Ella and Byron have been behaving badly, AND she no longer wants Byron sleeping on the couch like some sort of drunk uncle.

Aria goes to Ezra’s apartment where she overhears a voicemail that says that Ezra is interviewing for a teaching job in New York.  Sean shows up at Hanna’s house; he brought her her English homework.  Apparently Aria was not the only liar who “wasn’t feeling” the substitute teacher in Ezra’s class; Hanna skipped English that day.  Sean thinks that the videos that Lucas showed Hanna are dumb and immature.

Alex/Diego Boneta dances with Spencer to his own song, “Siempre Tu.”  The couple is ballroom dancing in the kitchen; at least they’re finally dancing, seeing as they did not do much of that at Homecoming.  At least they get to dance during the Homecoming Hangover!

Emily drives passed a hysterically crying Jenna.  Jenna also has cops at their house.  The girls of Rosewood should be charging the police officers rent.  At the Montgomery household, Mike comes home and he’s still in a bad mood.  It turns out that Ella is moving out, and we see a very depressing Ella/Byron scene as she leaves.

Hanna, Spencer and Emily are at Emily’s house talking about Toby’s whereabouts and whether or not he’s still alive.  His bike is wrecked, and Emily didn’t ask Jenna if he had died.  The girls’ conversation consists of Spencer saying “Well I’m not going to cry about the devil’s death and neither should you!” and Hanna declaring that if Emily liked Toby she can cry about it.  Then there are apologies all around.  Emily receives a text message from “A” that reads, “Thanks for getting Toby out of my way.”  Spencer is stunned; she thought Toby WAS “A!”

At the ending of this episode, we see someone in black gloves digging up Toby’s drenched medical file.  Maybe it’s “A” digging the file up, maybe it’s one of Rosewood’s lovely police officers digging it up, or maybe “A” IS one fo Rosewood’s police officers!  Who knows anymore?  I DO know that we will definitely have a lot to discuss in my next post about Pretty Little Liars season 1, episode 8, “Please Do Talk About Me When I’m Gone.”  Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

There’s No Place Like Homecoming… To Dance Around The Law (Pretty Little Liars Episode 6 Recap + Broken Laws)

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This episode starts off with Aria asleep and having depressing dreams about Ezra.  Hey, at least she’s relaxing for once; it seems like the girls on this show don’t do much of that what with the murder mysteries and anonymous stalkers that consume their lives.  This fleeting moment of relaxation is interrupted when Aria’s friends barrel into her room for an intervention.  She has GOT to get out of her bed and take off those ugly sweatpants.  Just like in any intervention, each person takes turns expressing their concerns.  The girls are also armed with Chinese food and magazines in case their words aren’t convincing enough.  Spencer points out that that if Aria doesn’t remove those sweatpants immediately, they won’t be able to pick a homecoming dress for her.  Hanna needs Aria’s vote for homecoming queen.  She asks Aria to at least fill out an absentee ballot if she’s not going to go to homecoming.  Hanna quickly realizes that her comment won’t help Aria get out of bed, so she peppers in a comparison between Aria’s sweatpants and mom jeans and platform flip flops.  Emily comforts Aria about her parents.  “Things can seem over on Friday and on Monday all is forgiven,” she explains.  

The topic of conversation moves to the girls’ dates.  Hanna is bringing Sean, Spencer is bringing Alex, and Emily is going stag.  Aria agrees to go stag as well.  When Spencer jokes about Aria and Emily going to the dance as a couple, Hanna quickly interrupts.  The other girls don’t know about Emily and Maya’s scandalous photo booth pictures.  Aria reminds the girls that she’s not Samantha Ronson, and Hanna decides that Chinese food is the best way to get her friends to stop talking about lesbians.

It turns out, “A” has planned something even more distracting.  To the girls’ horror, when they open up their fortune cookies, they see that “A” has tampered with them.  Their fortune from “A” reads, “Lions and tigers and bitches, oh my!  There’s no place like homecoming.  See you there.”  How did “A” manage to pull that one off?  She is clearly sleeping with the owner of that restaurant.

At school, Hanna attends Sean’s dress rehearsal for rejecting sexual advances, otherwise known as “Real Love Waits.”  The members of this club practice hypothetical scenarios where one person instigates the other to have sex.  The person being provoked then practices saying no to sex.  Hanna is bored out of her mind.  Sean and Amber go first, then it’s Hanna’s turn to pretend to hit on someone.  Her partner is a nerdy guy named Lucas (Brendan Robinson).  Lucas protests that a girl like Hanna would never consider having sex with him; he doesn’t believe that Hanna is attracted to guys with the upper body strength of Screech.  His virginity is well protected, thank you very much.  One might wonder why he joined this club in that case, but I digress.  Hanna fake-instigates Lucas by asking, “So, do you want to come up to my room?”  “Yes!” Lucas exclaims.  Thankfully, Screech– I mean Lucas is saved by the bell.

In the hall, Aria attempts to speak to Ezra, but he runs away from her.  In the cafeteria, Emily learns that Maya does not plan on going to homecoming; she’s not really gaga for Gaga.  Hanna is sitting quietly in the cafeteria when all of a sudden, Spencer thunders in and badgers Hanna to steal Jenna’s medical records.  It’s imperative that the girls get that file, because “Toby Cavanaugh, who has never had a date in his life, bought two tickets to homecoming.”  I’m sure Jenna’s medical records will be filled with information about Toby’s evil agenda to bring a date to a school dance.  Spencer outburst makes her an outlaw:

Broken Law Alert # 1! : First of all, I am going to briefly stipulate that stealing medical records is a crime.  This will be further explained later in this post, but it’s necessary to point out that it’s a crime in order to explain what Spencer has done.  18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 902:  Criminal Solicitation: 
“(a)  Definition of solicitation.–A person is guilty of solicitation to commit a crime if with the intent of promoting or facilitating its commission he commands, encourages or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or an attempt to commit such crime or which would establish his complicity in its commission or attempted commission.”
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 905: Grading (in relevant part): Grading of criminal attempt, solicitation and conspiracy.

“(a)  Grading.–Except as otherwise provided in this title,…  solicitation … [is a crime] of the same grade and degree as the most serious offense which is… solicited …”

Mona approaches Hanna and Spencer and makes an obnoxious quip about Spencer bringing the country club’s towel boy to homecoming.  She refers to him as Spencer’s “Cinderfella.”  Apparently in Rosewood, having a job automatically makes you a lesser person.  Spencer abruptly hits Hanna to get her to look at her newest terrifying discovery about Toby; he has a TATTOO! Oh, no!  It says “901 Free At Last.”

Tattooed and armed with an extra homecoming ticket, Toby asks Emily to hang out as his homecoming date even though he thinks homecoming is lame.  Next, we see Spencer setting up for Homecoming– she’s head of the committee of course– and Alex comes and makes fun of her OCD.  When he informs Spencer that he is paying for the homecoming tickets and buying a new suit for the dance, she tries to stop him because he has a JOB and he works hard.  Hanna approaches Maya in the hallway and learns that Maya is voting for her for homecoming queen.  Hanna tells Maya that Emily really wants her to go to homecoming.  Too bad Hanna doesn’t know if that’s even true.  Hanna should win an award for being the worst Cupid ever.  

Jenna sits creepily on a bench outside of the school.  She is furious about Toby spending time with Emily.  She warns him, “once she finds out the truth about you, she’ll hate you.”  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, JENNA?!  Hanna goes to Jenna’s therapist’s office to get that file.  Even though her attempt to steal Jenna’s medical records is thwarted by a giant security guard, she manages to rig the door so she can return later.  This brings us to:

Broken Law Alert # 2! : I’m going to start off with a brief explanation which is necessary in determining which crimes the girls could actually be convicted for if they were to get caught.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 906:  “Multiple convictions of inchoate crimes barred.  A person may not be convicted of more than one of the inchoate crimes of criminal attempt, criminal solicitation or criminal conspiracy for conduct designed to commit or to culminate in the commission of the same crime.”

I am still going to cover these inchoate crimes, but understand that ultimately, the girls could only be convicted for one of them.  For example, here, I’m going to explain why Hanna and Spencer are now guilty of conspiracy, which means that Spencer would no longer be able to get convicted for the above-mentioned solicitation.  Additionally, I’ll discuss criminal attempt, because if Hanna was acting alone, it would apply in this situation.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 903: Conspiracy (in relevant part) : “(a)  Definition of conspiracy.–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.”
“(e)  Overt act.–No person may be convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime unless an overt act in pursuance of such conspiracy is alleged and proved to have been done by him or by a person with whom he conspired.”

Broken Law Alert # 3!:  Criminal Attempt: 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 901: “(a)  Definition of attempt.–A person commits an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific crime, he does any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that crime.”

Moving on, Hanna is at Aria’s house helping her pick out a dress to wear and going through her jewelry.  Hanna thinks that she has Aria all figured out; she must have a boyfriend back in Iceland!  Aria doesn’t correct Hanna’s assumption that she has an Icelandic viking. 

At homecoming, Mona doesn’t waste a minute before rubbing Aria’s lack of a date in her face.  “Oh how the mighty have fallen,” she says snidely.  To Spencer’s dismay, she spots Melissa at the dance; she’s there to present the crowns to the homecoming king and queen.  She also knows that Spencer stole her essay, and she’s pissed. 

While Melissa is telling Spencer how much she despises her, Mona and Hanna are gossiping by the punch.  Mona makes fun of the girls who she thinks are ugly.  She describes the appearance of one girl by saying, “it looks like her hair got into a fight with her face and they both lost.”  Lucas approaches them and he introduces himself to Mona.  She rudely replies, “Can you be Lucas over there?”  She doesn’t want him anywhere near her, but he needs to take pictures for the yearbook.  Hanna is friendly to him unlike her rude best friend.  When Lucas leaves, Mona gives Hanna a stern speech.  She scolds her for talking to “Hermie” aka “Shim,” her mean names for Lucas.  The two girls argue about the state of Lucas’ genitalia, which is a pretty strange argument to have at a high school dance.  Mona makes it clear that she’s going to be a popular queen bee forever, with or without Hanna.  

Melissa introduces herself to Alex.  If Spencer had a normal sister, this would be fine, but nothing good is going to come out of Melissa talking to Alex.  Spencer does her best to end the conversation as quickly as possible.  Melissa makes sure to mention that she’s met Alex at a club– yet another jab at him for having a job.  Meanwhile, Aria has the first shift at the beanbag toss, and guess which teacher is working there?  Of course, it’s Ezra– or is he Mr. Fitz to Aria again?  Aria compliments Ezra’s haircut and reiterates that “A” is not her friend, but somebody messing with her.  When Ezra asks why somebody would mess with her, Aria juggles between responses: “A knows what I did last summer,” and “It’s complicated.”  What is this, Facebook?  Finally she goes with the most informative response, “I don’t know.”  Great explanation!  Luckily for her, she doesn’t have to continue this awkward conversation because Mrs. Welch rescues her.  

Aria returns to her friends and Maya approaches them.  She asks Hanna where Emily is.  The girls realize that Emily is outside with Toby.  Toby’s nervous about the dance, but he still manages to make fun of the punch while Emily gives him dancing lessons.  When Emily walks in with Toby, the other girls all have identical expressions of doom on their faces as if Lord Voldemort just walked into Hogwarts and none of the witches and wizards have their wands.  Aria wishes she had never asked Hanna for wardrobe advice because she could have worn her invisibility cloak.

The girls all take turns screaming at Emily for bringing Toby to the dance.  Hanna’s opinion that Emily should bring someone who makes her happy to the dance only applied when she thought Emily would take Maya.  Melissa lies to Alex and says that Spencer is only dating him to piss off their dad.  During the dance, the girls also are dealing with the stealing medical records situation.  They continuously disappear on their boyfriends to strategize, and their go-to excuse for their absence is that they “have to get ice.”  Is that what they call it these days?

Spencer dances romantically with Alex when all at once she figures out what Toby’s tattoo means.  901 is the day that Ali went missing!  Spencer bolts to Hanna and bosses her around like a mother who doesn’t abide by the law– so actually exactly like Hanna’s mother!  “Young lady, you’re leaving the dance this instant and don’t come back until you have stolen Jenna’s medical records!”  Hanna asks Aria to babysit Sean while she’s gone.  She gets a ride to the office from Lucas, who is leaving the dance because he only came to take yearbook pictures and cast his vote for Hanna as homecoming queen.

Spencer and Alex go to the fortune teller.  Spencer ignores everything that the fortune teller is saying until she hears the word “hurt.”  Now the fortune teller has her attention!  The fortune teller discusses a relationship that’s a bad match.  “There’s darkness in him,” she insists.  She also describes him as violent and vengeful.  Spencer of course suddenly believes in fortune telling because obviously the fortune teller is talking about Toby!  Spencer asks the fortune teller what else the cards say.  When she flips the next one over, it has been doctored by “A.”  It says, “Kiss bye bye to your BFF!”  One thing’s for sure; these girls are NOT getting a proper fortune today.  “A” has a monopoly on fortunes in Rosewood.  The fortune teller also leads us to an unexpected broken law.

Broken Law # 4 Alert! : Fortune Telling (in relevant part): 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 7104: (a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree if he pretends for gain or lucre, to tell fortunes or predict future events, by cards…”

Lions and tigers and bitches, oh my!  Stop telling fortunes or an arrest may be in your future.

Emily confronts Maya and asks why Hanna thought that Emily was taking Maya to the dance.  Maya is furious about Emily’s firm stance in the closet.  Aria and Ezra loudly discuss their illicit relationship in the hallway.  Ezra leaves her hanging with a remark that he figured Aria would be at the dance and he “didn’t get his haircut to impress Mrs. Welch.”

Hanna opens the rigged door and rifles through peoples’ personal medical records like it’s no big deal.  When she can’t find Jenna’s file, she calls Spencer for help, but of course her phone dies.  The girls’ phones never die when “A” is harassing them, just when they actually need their cell phones.

Back at the school, Toby brings Emily to the chemistry lab and Alex leaves the dance, because he believed Melissa’s lie.  When Spencer asks Melissa where Alex went, her triumphant response is, “He left, do I have to tweet it to you?”  Spencer would probably just retweet it without giving Melissa any credit.  In the chem lab, Toby asks Emily about Maya, then says that he’s done some things that he’s not proud of, and everybody has secrets.  He closes the door to create a nice murder movie vibe.

Hanna returns with Toby’s file.  Let’s discuss what has happened:

Broken Law # 5 Alert!: It is not legal to steal or disclose an individual’s personal medical records.  45 CFR § 160.102: HIPAA Privacy Rule (Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information) : Basically, it is a HIPAA violation for a healthcare provider to disclose a patient’s personal health information.  For criminal charges, the disclosure has to be intentional, but for civil charges, the healthcare provider can be held liable if the disclosure is a result of willful neglect.  (42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6).  Under this statute, the maximum penalty for one instance of disclosure of private health information is $100.

Now, that’s only in regards to Toby’s doctor.  Hanna is in a lot of trouble too if she gets caught.

Broken Law # 6 Alert! Burglary (in relevant part) : 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3502: “(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits the offense of burglary if, with the intent to commit a crime therein, the person:

(3)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present; or (4)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense no person is present.”
Grading.–“(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), burglary is a felony of the first degree. (2)  An offense under subsection (a)(4) is a felony of the second degree.”
“(d)  Multiple convictions.–A person may not be sentenced both for burglary and for the offense which it was his intent to commit after the burglarious entry or for an attempt to commit that offense, unless the additional offense constitutes a felony of the first or second degree.”  Here, it would depend on the decision regarding the grading of the theft.  

ETA additionally, if Toby were to sue Hanna for what she has done, she could be found LIABLE for the TORT of INVASION OF PRIVACY.  Pennsylvania follows the second restatement of Torts. Intrusion on Seclusion (in relevant part): Restatement (Second) of Torts § 652B: “One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.”  

Broken Law # 7 Alert! : 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3921.  Theft by unlawful taking or disposition.
(a)  Movable property.–A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof.
(b)  Immovable property.–A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers, or exercises unlawful control over, immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.
The punishment would depend on the determination of the value of the medical records.  These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.  

I’m beginning to think that Hanna just enjoys getting arrested! 

The reason Hanna returned with TOBY’S file and not Jenna’s is because it turns out this was his doctor and Jenna only went there for one visit to talk about how she felt about Toby coming back home.  The file contains information about Toby and Jenna having an inappropriate step-sibling sexual relationship.  There’s a flashback to Ali screaming at Toby that she has looked through his window and “If you talk, I’ll make sure everybody knows you were doing it with her!”

Legal Note: Some states have anti-voyeurism statutes forbidding someone to look through a person’s window that way.  However, in order for Pennsylvania’s law to apply, the person must be looking through the window for her own sexual pleasure/gratification.  

I don’t know what type of things Ali’s into, but I don’t think that’s what she was doing.

ETA** but she could have been liable for the above mentioned tort of invasion of privacy in the same way that Hanna could be liable to Toby.  These girls just keep invading that boy’s privacy, but HE is supposed to be the creepy one?

Broken Law # 8 Alert: Intimidation of Witness or Victims (in relevant part): Pa. Stat. Ann. Title 18 § 4952: Click on that link for a reminder of our discussion of the illegality of Ali’s threatening Toby in the entry on “To Kill A Mocking Girl.” 

Back in real time, the girls, armed with only a stolen file and a tattoo as their “proof,” have deemed Toby a murderer.  He killed Ali, end of story, commence blowing up Emily’s phone.  Toby begs Emily not to answer her phone because he wants Emily to know what he did last summer.  Emily begins to get freaked out by Toby’s demeanor and behavior.  She gets even more afraid when she receives a text from one of the girls that reads, “You’re with Ali’s killer.  We have proof!”  

Emily turns to leave and Toby grabs Emily’s arm and tugs it, begging her to wait and listen.  Emily pounds Toby in the face and shoves him as hard as she can… into GLASS!  Hello there, broken law.

(Potential) Broken Law # 9 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…”  

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

**This is labeled as a potential broken law, because depending on how hard Toby grabbed her arm (I couldn’t really tell if he used a lot of force or not), she could have had a reasonable belief that she needed to use that amount of force to protect herself.  If so, Emily might have the justification of self defense.  18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 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…”

Of course if it were to be decided that Toby used enough force when he grabbed Emily’s arm, he could be found guilty of simple or aggravated assault.  We have finally reached a conclusion of the broken laws in this episode!

This is definitely not your typical homecoming dance.

Emily notices Toby’s tattoo and knocks a stool loudly onto the floor in a fit of horrified rage.  She runs away, and Toby chases her.  She’s terrified, but it doesn’t actually seem like Toby was chasing her in a threatening way.  Emily runs frantically while screeching, “get away from me” and “leave me alone!”  Then she falls flat on her face by no fault of Toby’s.

The episode ends with someone, presumably “A,” painting over the population sign in Rosewood indicating that there is one less person living in the town now.  

Alright, that’s all for now.  Thanks for your patience, this entry took a lot more research than I expected.  I’ll catch you next time for the Homecoming Hangover! 

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! **