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! 

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