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!



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