I've got a secret, can you keep it? "There's no place like homecoming" raised the bar for this intriguing drama and had me gasping for my breath in its closing moments. The episode title doesn't lie; in Rosewood there truly is no place like homecoming.
This week we finally got some answers about Toby Cavanaugh. What we know? Toby's deep dark secret involved a tryst with his stepsister Jenna. If that's what Alison had on him, I don't really think he has the motive to be A or Alison's killer. We all live in the post-Clueless generation. Sure, step-sibling relationships are creepy but they're not unheard of.
By the episode's gripping conclusion, we're led to believe that Toby is A's killer and that kindhearted Emily is his next victim. However, I smell a red herring. I think Toby's just a guy with a troubling past who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Of course, it begs the question, why does he have Ali's death date tattooed on his side? My guess is that it's for a completely unrelated reason. Wouldn't it be funny if 901 is just a band that Toby's into and their latest album is titled "free at last"?
But alas, we'll have to wait and see. Though the writers gave us a teaser this week, we can't expect everything to be answered right away. For now, I'm content with this excellent episode. It featured a cute-but-dorky newcomer named Lucas, some very witty lines and two of the creepiest moments of the series so far: Jenna's face popping up in the mirrored room, and an unknown person reducing the Rosewood population sign by one. I still have the creeps just thinking about it. I'll try and shake it off as I recount what happened to these girls individually.Hanna
: No-longer-hefty Hanna is delighted to finally have her shot at homecoming queen. Though she's completely obsessed with the title, Hanna has what other newly popular girl, Mona, lacks ... a kind heart.
We haven't seen much of Mona until this episode, and that's definitely a good thing. She's cruel to both our liars and to poor Lucas--or as she calls him "shim". Hanna is above Mona's pettiness, and treats Lucas with respect.
Speaking of Lucas, we met him at a celibacy club meeting. Within his first few moments of screen time he delivered one of my favorite lines of the episode "I have the upper body strength of Screech". Lucas is clearly enamored with Hanna, dubbing her a genetic splice between Barbie and Shakira. He proves especially helpful when he gives Hanna a lift to the hospital, where she gets her hands on Toby's file. I wonder if Hanna will be caught in a celibate love triangle?
Emily: Here's hoping this summary of Emily is not my last. Emily's struggling with her feelings for both Maya and Toby, Maya because she's a girl and Toby because her friends disapprove of that whole "he may be a killer and stalker" thing.
However, this unique love triangle is the least of Emily's problems right now. She accepted Toby's invitation to homecoming, which will certainly be a night to remember. Based on the end of the episode and next week's previews Emily might just be dead. Of course, she's not. It would be a seriously risky move to kill off a lead character on this kind of show, and I for one would be sad to see her go. Plus, I'm still certain that Toby is completely innocent. I really hope they can get past this, though if I were Toby I'd be pretty pissed.
Spencer: Spencer really grew on me this week, especially during her interactions with the adorable Alex.
Alex is from the wrong side of the tracks, but Spencer couldn't care less. Unfortunately for her she has a vengeful sister who convinces Alex otherwise at homecoming. Couple that with Spencer's secret attempts to keep her best friend alive and sure, she made a pretty lousy date. But, can you really blame her? I really like Spencer with Alex, and I think a little bit of an explanation might go a long way.
Aria: Poor Aria is brokenhearted from her fight with Mr. Fitz last week, so she's not in the best of spirits. Her friends think she's moping around because of her family situation, so they try their best to cheer her up.
Aria goes stag to homecoming, and ends up running a carnival booth with Mr. Fitz (I love that in TV land these things seem so natural.) They finally talk, and Aria almost tells him about A. He admits that he cut his hair to impress her (aww!), and that he hates that they can't have a normal relationship. Could he be any more adorable? Just transfer schools already, or something.
Bottom Line: Homecoming was a disaster, and right now poor Emily might be in danger. Also, I'm starting to think that Mona might just be a suspect. She's mean, she's under the radar and she has motive. Ponder that while you hold your breath waiting for next week's episode.
This week's messages from beyond:
-Fortune Cookie: Lions and Tigers and Bitches, Oh my! There's no place like homecoming. See you there- A. Crazy as A may be, this girl/guy has some serious stalker cred. Fortune cookies? What will they think of next?
-Tarot Card: Kiss bye bye to your B.F.F.
Juice Factor: (1-5)
-What happened to Emily at the end of the episode? Is she okay? Is Toby bad, or as good as I think he is? Juice Factor: 5+. I love Emily, and I'm hoping she's not a notch off of the Rosewood population sign.
-Will my favorite pairings of Spencer/Alex and Mr. Fitz/Aria make it through? Juice Factor: 4. They better! But, even if they don't, I trust these writers to keep me happy.
-How does A have so much access to everything and everyone surrounding our liars? What will she think of next? Juice Factor: 5. Let's face it: if you're not curious, you may as well stop watching.
(Image courtesy of ABC Family)