feminism & equality, pop culture, television

Veronica Mars: Iconic Feminist Show and Teen Girl Detective

Veronica Mars: Iconic Feminist Show and Teen Girl Detective

Veronica Mars is one of my favorite television shows, and the title character is a fantastic depiction of a smart, vulnerable, brave, fallible young woman. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend setting aside some time and watching the entire series. (If you’ve got Amazon Prime, it’s available for free there right now or it’s less than $20 per season.)

Below I analyze a few episodes from the first season of Veronica Mars, in relation to feminist theory (and just because I love it).

About the show

In Veronica Mars, the main character, Veronica, attends school while moonlighting as a private investigator. (If you haven’t seen it yet, you may want to come back later, unless you’re one of those people who love spoilers.) Set in a fictional, affluent town called Neptune, California, Veronica Mars frequently covers issues of race and class division, and feminism is addressed through the struggles and triumphs of Veronica and her friends.

Veronica is a cute, blonde, white girl from California who viewers may assume is more surfer girl or spoiled brat at first, rather than the snarky, tough, girl-detective she actually is. Season one starts after Veronica has experienced a major upheaval: the murder of her best friend and subsequent firing and loss of status of her Sheriff father. It also depicts her rape after being drugged and her attempt to discover what happened to her and who’s to blame. Through flashbacks we see how she transforms from the sweet, naïve girl she once was, to the street-wise, sleuth we meet at the start of the show.

“Pilot” – episode one

In the first episode (“Pilot”), Neptune High’s teenaged motorcycle gang is bullying Wallace, a new student. When Veronica tells the leader, Weevil, to leave Wallace alone, Weevil replies, “Sister, the only time I care what a woman has to say is when she’s riding my big ol’ hog and even then it’s not so much words as just a bunch of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs,’ you know?” Instead of responding to Veronica’s request or ignoring her to continue picking on the new guy, his instant reaction is to belittle her as a woman, although it has nothing to do with the ongoing conflict. Weevil’s instantaneous, reflex-like response points to a lack of understanding (or care?) as to why such a comment is not okay.

Veronica Mars Pilot, Wallace Snitch Flag Pole

Gender is tied to certain cultural beliefs and representations and these establish how relations between women and men are occur and are understood.1 Weevil’s immediate disrespect and gendered attack on Veronica expresses his belief, whether intentional or not, that men can and should hold power over women. The idea (and real force) of men having power over women exists throughout society, and here Weevil has clearly internalized the idea that power is based on gender, which tainted his interaction with Veronica as well. 2 (Don’t worry. He learns.)

“Meet John Smith” – episode three

In “Meet John Smith,” Justin, a fellow student at Neptune High, approaches Veronica with a made up case as a guise to spend time with her. He asks her to locate his father, who he believes to have died a decade before. Veronica finds him, to Justin’s surprise, and when Justin’s mother hears about it, she acknowledges that his father is actually alive but tells Justin to forget him.

In spite of his mother’s warnings, Veronica takes Justin to meet his father and they find out he is now a transwoman. When Justin was five-years-old, his mom learned of his dad’s wish to transition, and not only divorced him, but also told their son he was dead, rather than allowing father and son to continue their relationship. When Justin sees his father again for the first time in ten years, he recognizes her (his father) as the woman he frequently assists at the video rental store where he works, although it’s over an hour drive from her house.3

It’s no secret that heteronormativity and gender binarism,4 including the belief that people fall into two distinct and complementary genders with natural roles in life, exists throughout our patriarchal society. And due to their overall position of power over women, men have long used their power to control women’s lives, including through threats of separating them from their children.5 Here Justin’s mom used her power over Justin’s father to deny him access to his child when he expressed his true identity as a woman. Did giving up his manhood mean he, later she, became secondary in rank to Justin’s mother, a person recognized as a woman at birth? Would a court system have treated each of them equally and fairly, as two women and biological parents, regardless of their individual gender identities throughout each of their lives?

As often as we hear of LGBTQ equality in the news, until recently it had been quite rare to hear the ‘T’ within that group addressed specifically and purposefully in relation to acceptance and ensuring equal rights, so it’s not hard to imagine that a court system would favor Justin’s mother (the “real” woman) in a custody battle even now. In fact, there’s no need to imagine it. Google “transgender parent custody battle” and you’ll see pages of stories about trans parents losing their children simply for being trans. Not abuse or neglect. Just gender identity. Veronica Mars acknowledges this sad fact.

“Like a Virgin” – episode eight

The patriarchy influences what women wear, the food we eat, and how we care for our bodies. The woman of the nineteenth century was idealized for delicacy, agreeability, and sexual passivity, and the rules that instructed women’s daily lives were specifically addressed and put into words. These days the so-called rules are often less direct and are more likely to be conveyed through images throughout society that instruct us on acceptable body shape, facial expressions, beauty standards, and behaviors.6

Veronica Mars Purity Test Locker gifIn episode eight (“Like a Virgin”), an online Purity Test containing detailed questions about sexual experience makes the rounds at Neptune High. As one girl explains, “Anything under sixty is really slutty.” A boy sitting nearby replies, “Unless you’re a guy.” The lower a person scores below 100 on the test, the less pure they are. When Cole admits to having scored a 91, a friend cracks a joke that Snow White, a Disney princess, got a lower score. Right away it’s clear that the acceptable scores for boys and girls are different. (Veronica, a frequent target, got a fictitious 14.)

When the Purity Test website starts allowing people to buy the results of others to see their scores, numbers are painted on corresponding lockers and accusations fly. Cole’s girlfriend, Meg, gets a 43 painted on her locker, although she says she never took the test and has always claimed to be a virgin (an impossible feat if that score is true). To save face, Cole7 later tells their friends that Meg is “good at everything she does, and she does do everything.” Meg continues to protest the score, but no one listens to her (except our favorite girl-detective, Veronica) because Cole has managed to hit certain societal cues, such as all boys and men being highly sexually active and “good girls” trying to cover up their secret, slutty ways.

“M.A.D.” – episode twenty

Similarly, in a later episode (“M.A.D.”), a girl named Carmen tries to breakup with her longtime boyfriend, but he blackmails her instead. He forces her to continue dating him, including the continuation of the physical aspects of their relationship, by showing her that he has a video of her simulating a sex act on a popsicle while in a hot tub. She has no memory of the night it was filmed and had no idea anything was ever recorded until he uses it against her. His threat to post the video online and email it to her parents and classmates works because he’s reinforcing the idea that girls must behave a certain way or face the consequences when they don’t (even if, like Carmen, it’s due to being drugged and secretly filmed).

The modern day requirements of what it means to be a “lady” were not being met by Carmen in the hot tub and rather than knowing he shouldn’t have filmed her or threatened her with humiliation, he uses his power over her and her shame in being “unladylike” to get his way.

Veronica Mars with camera season 1

The trend continues…

In later seasons of the show, Veronica Mars continues to address serious issues head-on. The show’s real power comes in through Veronica, dedicated righter of wrongs, who takes on each of these issues, digs until she finds the truth, and saves the day. While it’s full of tough situations for Veronica, her continued perseverance and determination sees her through. The show allows her to confront issue after issue and provides an outcome in which the cute, teenage girl gets to come out on top.

Although many of the lessons are often at the expense of Veronica and other girls on the show, the reaction to them is what makes Veronica Mars particularly adept at dealing with them. (Plus she teaches her fair share of lessons through the cases she solves too.) Veronica and others may be victimized at times, but she never lets herself or anyone else be tossed aside as a nameless, faceless, powerless victim.8

Footnotes:
1: Joan Scott, “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference”
2: Charlotte Bunch, “Not by Degrees: Feminist Theory and Education”
3: Aww. She drives so far every week just to see her son!
4: Definition of gender binary
5: Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”
6: Susan Bordo, “The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity”
7: Ugh. Cole is such a weak, loser-dude. Own your score, bro!
8: Because she’s awesome.

pop culture, television

Watch The Mindy Project ASAP

Friends, have you subscribed to Hulu so you can watch The Mindy Project?

If not? WHY?

how-dare-youmindyproject

Because I canceled my account about two years ago, in a cable-login-required fury (nevermind that I have cable, it was the principle of the thing!) and only got it back when Mindy made the switch to Hulu-only. That annoyed me at first, but watching this one show is worth it, to be honest. (And I even pay for the no commercials upgrade. ILY, Mindy Kaling.)

What I’m saying is: The Mindy Project is worth the monthly price of Hulu all on its own. And then you can also watch other stuff if you feel like it.

But really just watch Mindy:

<3

pop culture, technology & web

Wintertime Tip: Up Your Netflix Game

Watch TV All Day gif

You’ve got Netflix, right? I know I’m not the only one who watches something on there basically every day. I should really offer to pay them more based solely on the number of times I’ve re-watched Buffy. It’s pretty straight-forward and easy to figure out, but there are a few adjustments that might make your viewing experience even better.

First, make sure you’re rating everything you can. That’s pretty obvious and I still forget to do it sometimes, but it really will make a difference and your recommendations will seriously improve. Once you’ve got your ratings situation down, up your game and try out some of the options listed below.

Seven Ways to Improve Your Netflix Experience:

  1. Add IMDB & Rotten Tomatoes ratings to your account with Chrome extension, Netflix Enhancer. In addition to ratings, it’ll link you to the matching page on each site for quickly checking out reviews.
  2. Make sure you’re really watching in HD! Click Your Account, then Playback Settings, then High. Done! (Ah, that’s better!)
  3. Change your subtitle settings if the default yellow ones just aren’t working out. Click Your Account, then Subtitle appearance, then change the color, font, and size to whatever works best for you or what you’re watching at the moment.
  4. Turn your smartphone or tablet into a remote control. If your Playstation & mobile device are both logged into the same WiFi network, many of them (including iPhone and iPad) will let you select something to watch then give you the option to watch through your PS3 or PS4, instead of just on your tiny screen. And if you have a Roku, they have an app that’ll let you play & pause, at least.
  5. Watch with faraway friends using rabb.it. Fire up a room, invite someone to join, and start watching. It’ll play on both ends, so you can watch together and be at the same spot in the video. (They can do more than Netflix too: there’s Hulu, HBOGo, YouTube videos, and more.)
  6. Delete stuff from your history. Go ahead and remove every trace of that time your niece watched Dora the Explorer on your profile constantly and totally ruined your recommendations. (Just me?) Click on Your Account, then Viewing activity, then hit the X next to anything you want to erase. While you’re adjusting settings, add a “Guest” profile for next time, too.
  7. Stop scrolling incessantly through your queue! Get a better grasp of what’s new and/or popular on InstantWatcher, and see what’s going away soon.

Now that your Netflix account is handled, what’re you going to watch?! Might I suggest Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls Religion Lifestyle gif

…or Friday Night Lights, because:

FNL coach taylor wink gif

THAT WINK, Y’ALL.

pop culture, television

Pretty Little Liars (Season Six) in Recaps

I’m a huge, TV loving nerd, so I’ve been recapping Pretty Little Liars all summer. And on Tuesday, we fiiiiiinally found out who ‘A’ is!

PLL-s6e10

Click the image above to see what happened in episode ten during the big ‘A’ reveal or click here to find recaps for the whole season.

Here’s a peek at season six:

Also:

pretty little liars tennis ball wearing a wig

pop culture

The Pretty Little Liars Meet ‘A’ [S06E10]

Soooooooo, the PLL mid-season finale was Tuesday, and well… that sure was an episode. Other than the ‘A’ reveal, it was so much talking, remembering, showing flashbacks, and explaining, that it felt basically like there was no action or tension. Not great. But still. Ridiculous + confusing + cute outfits, so I stayed glued to my TV. And I’m still sort of feeling the “holy shit” like I was on Tuesday.

Anyway, here’s what happened:

The girls left the dance, and went to the mystery scholarship office and guessed the code on a door keypad which ended up being “A’s brain” (secret lair) & it’s total high tech lab situation. There’s some CNN-style holographic bullshit screen in there! And it fired up a live feed of the room where Alison is trapped.

PLL-summerfinale

Mona continued to be a total boss:

Aria, about Clark: “You knew he was a cop?”
Mona: “Aria, maybe you always thought he was happy to see you, but I could never get past the bulge in his pants.”
(He had a gun. 😂)

She also wrote some code to access the PRIVATE CELLULAR NETWORK belonging to “Charles” (OH OKAY) and spared a moment to compliment his investment skills (because she totally hacked into his portfolio).

Time for the big ‘A’ reveal! 

After being taken from prom at the end of the last episode, Alison is locked in a room at Radley WITH ‘A’… AHH! Her dad & brother, Jason, are lying on the ground nearby and look totally dead (but who knows).

pll-cece-a
A is CeCe! What!

FYI: ‘A’ is CeCe Drake! Formerly Charles DiLaurentis, then Charlotte DiLaurentis, then ignored/pissed enough to create a fake identity, harass everyone for years, kill, and date her own secret-bro as part of a scheme. (DID THEY HAVE SEX?!)

hahahaha

So, back to the ‘A’ reveal… the villain is a mentally disturbed transgender person? Seems rude. And also, due to the timing, it seems questionable that they planned this from the beginning. Although they did have a bunch of twin hints throughout the show (but I thought they might just be referencing the books a bit to throw readers off).


I’d be really interested to know WHEN they decided who ‘A’ would be because this is definitely suspect… CeCe hasn’t been around in forever. Honestly, I had to look her up to even remember who she was.

Anyway! While they’re locked in the room in Radley together, ‘A’ (Charles/Charlotte/CeCe) explains lots of stuff to Alison while the girls watch on the live feed.

pll-two-dresses
Young Alison with two dresses!

Apparently, Mrs. D started buying Charles the same dresses she bought for Alison and bringing them to him at Radley. When Charles was around 12, he was friends with a fellow patient (Bethany!) who killed another patient by shoving her off the roof. (Why would mental patients have unsupervised access to the roof?!) Also, that patient was Toby’s mom, who was reported to have committed suicide, and Bethany threatened to blame it on Charles. And thus began whatever psychotic hold Bethany had on his life. Also, at some point, they held a funeral for Charles (allowing Mr. D to believe he’d actually died, but really celebrating Charles becoming Charlotte).

OH HEY BOOK MOMENT:

Meanwhile, in Radley, Alison is confused about why Charlotte/CeCe targeted her and her friends so ruthlessly.

Alison: “You almost froze Aria & Spencer to death.”
A: “Almost!”

Alison: “You drove a car through Emily’s house.”
A: “Yeah, and I almost cut her in half too, but is she hurt? No.”

So I guess she didn’t plan to actually kill them so it’s fine? She loves them! But she has a weird way of showing it, OKAY!

While they’re chatting in Radley more (zzzzzzz), we find out how Charles ended up being sent to Radley as a little kid in the first place: Baby Alison was crying and he said, “You know what makes me feel better?” sweetly and ran her a bath. He dropped her in, and since she was an infant, she went under the water and would’ve died if their dad hadn’t found them. I’m not sure what they were going for in this scene because he seemed like he was trying to take care of her (and even tried to get his mom’s attention when the crying started), but then he stared creepily when she was under the water and when their dad was saving her. So…
¯_(ツ)_/¯

In present time, Charlotte/CeCe says she never meant to hurt Alison and that their dad used it as an excuse to send her (Charles) away because Charles had started asking for dresses and their dad didn’t like it.

‘A’/Charlottte/CeCe goes on to explain how eventually she found a way to get to know her siblings… She got day passes out of Radley for attending classes, but instead met Jason and Alison (as CeCe, not their sister) and became close to both of them. (Remember the eps with flashbacks to Alison being BFFs with CeCe? Oooooh.) 

Meanwhile, Bethany was still murder-y and threatening them, so at some point Charlotte thought her mom’s life was at risk and found Bethany sneaking around outside of the DiLaurentis house and hit her over the head with a rock. Except, surprise! It was Alison (who I guess looks like Bethany from behind) and that’s what kicked off this whole big mystery! The night Alison went missing!

After Charlotte appeared to have killed Alison, their mom BURIED HER while Charlotte looked on asking for forgiveness. And girrrrrl, you should let your mom finish burying your sister before you ask her to get over it.

After they’ve buried Alison, Mrs. D paid off a police offer (future, awful cop Wilden!) to sneak Charlotte back into Radley so no one will know she was out to kill Ali. (Even though, surprise! Ali wasn’t actually dead. Check a pulse next time, ladies!)

So Wilden always knew CeCe was a DiLaurentis in disguise because he’d met her as Charlotte that night! And he screwed with the girls & tried to arrest them for things he knew they weren’t doing! What a jerk. Well, good for him, because Charlotte killed him later to keep him quiet.

Oh, and Mona killed Bethany with a shovel, thinking it was her former school bully, Alison. Lots of deadly teen girls around Rosewood!

Anyway, Charlotte/CeCe spent time with Mona when she was in Radley and super out of it. Drugged Mona unknowingly told CeCe a ton of info on the girls and kicked off the whole ‘A’ texting, stalking awful behavior.

And just when CeCe seems maybe less crazy and more a victim of circumstance & bad decisions, she says this stuff:

“I know you won’t believe me, but I love all of my dolls.(Dolls! Like when they were locked in that dollhouse bunker. NO THANKS!)

“I would never let anything really bad happen to them… it sucks to kill someone even when they deserve it.” (Oh, I bet.)

And Bunker-Sara, Emily’s ridiculous new love interest, is Red Coat! Remember that excessively veiled person at Weldon’s funeral? Also Bunker-Sara! With ‘A’/Charlotte/CeCe in the car waiting for confirmation that he was dead (so he wouldn’t be able to stop Alison from returning/being alive again.)

At present, she’s been directed to set a bomb at Radley to blow up the DiLaurentis family, including ‘A,’ post-reveal. First, DUH EMILY. SHE WAS SO OBVIOUSLY WEIRD AROUND YOU. And second, like Spencer can’t easily disarm a bomb and ruin your plans! 😂 The day is saved!

Next we fast forward to Labor Day and see the girls saying goodbye as they head off to college. Except Alison is staying home and looks like their sad, frumpy mother sending them away to school.

At the very end, we see our first glimpse of the time jump to five years in the future. Alison is in a classroom writing a name on the chalkboard. The rest of the girls run in and look worried/say some weird stuff: “He’s coming for you.” / “We have to go.” / “We came back for you, Alison, so move it!” / “Too late, he’s already here.” So basically: WTFFFFFFF!?

Oh, and the moms are still locked in the DiLaurentis basement from prom night as far as we know. If they didn’t get out before the time jump, they’re totally bones now.

pll-moms-in-basement

Check out the whole season so far in recaps on this Pretty Little Liars page. It’s been great. Remember the tennis ball wearing a wig? CLASSIC CECE.

pop culture

WTF, Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale!

Listen, y’all. I’m gonna need some TIME to ruminate on tonight’s episode of Pretty Little Liars (“Game Over, Charles,” S06E08).

Me, right now:

holy-shit

Because WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

For now, please bask in the glory of my favorite lines from this episode:

Alison: “You almost froze Aria & Spencer to death.”
A: “Almost!”
Alison: “You drove a car through Emily’s house.”
A: “Yeah, and I almost cut her in half too, but is she hurt? No.”

😂 THIS SHOW.

Swing back by on Thursday for the full recap. Until then, the recaps for episodes 1-9 can be found here.

pop culture

Pretty Little Liars & the Pity Prom [S06E09]

The girls are banned from prom, so Spencer’s mom says she’ll host a tiny one in their backyard barn. Sure, it’s a fancy, re-done barn (not for animals!) but still. How rude. Oh, and they’re also banned from attending graduation, which seems extra-rude, since they’re not even the ones causing the problems. (Although honestly, I can’t remember the last time they went to school and they were locked in that underground bunker for a few weeks at least, so how are they graduating on time anyway?)

Of course as soon as we know the foursome won’t be at prom, Alison gets a text from Charles luring her to the prom, so I guess she’ll ditch the girls when the time comes.

There’s some good news though! After last episode‘s traumatic moment in the art gallery (where Aria’s contest entry photos were replaced with creepy ones from the bunker), the contest judges looked at her real photos and she won! (Probably because they felt sorry for her because those creepy doll photos weren’t all that, but still! Yay!) She gets a cash prize and a summer internship in LA! While still in celebration mode, Ezra offers to go to barn-prom with Aria. Since there won’t be a bunch of “former students” there like regular prom, he thinks it’s less awkward… except Aria is his former student who he also did sex with, so that’s pretty awkward, especially since she’s Still! In! High! School!

I think Hanna forgot she told Caleb to give her space, because he’s being kind of cagey and it’s bugging her. She definitely wants LESS space right now. He says he’s going to visit his dad in NY, but seems pretty weird. What’s going on? (WHAT IF HE’S ‘A’ AND IT BREAKS MY HEARRRRRRRRRT?) Hanna thinks Caleb is going “all vigilante,” and he won’t answer his phone…so: WHAT IS HE UP TO?

Toby is suspended from the police force. Eating a whole bag of weed-gummies while on patrol will do that to you. 😂

And for some reason, Spencer meets with Alison’s (ex) boyfriend-cop to plead Ali’s case. She invites him to barn-prom to surprise/makeup with Alison, but… Um, HE’S A POLICE OFFICER! WHY WOULD HE GO TO ANY PROM EVER!

Pretty Little Liars - Barn Prom
Barn Prom is pretty lame.

Ezra photographs the girls in their dresses at Barn Prom… They still went full fairytale with their outfits, even though that theme is from the school’s prom. Then they all sit on the couch and look at photos being posted online from Actual Prom. (They’re really not even trying to make Barn Prom legit.) While they’re looking at photos, they see Alison. At Actual Prom! She was lured there by a text from Charles.

Meanwhile, across the property from the barn in the main house, Mom Prom is in full swing. Their moms are drinking wine and getting a little loose with the gossip. Spencer’s mom lets it slip that her husband is the bio-dad of Jason DiLaurentis (Alison’s brother, and also Spencer’s too!)… I had no idea that the other moms didn’t know about this, since it seems like their daughters have known FOREVER and Spencer has definitely tried to sibling-up with Jason some.

Uh oh! While the moms were distracted with the Jason dish, the girls snuck out of Barn Prom and went to Actual Prom to find Alison. Ezra & Toby go along to assist.

Aria finds Clark at prom, taking photos, and instantly asks him why he entered the abandoned doll factory where Rhys was (in last week’s episode). He basically has no reason and runs off.

And when Bunker-Sara shows up to dance with Emily, she says: “Whatever happens, you mean a lot to me,” which is a really weird thing to say to a girl who’s life is constantly in danger and who is currently at a prom from which she was banned.

Mom Prom!

Back to Mom Prom! My favorite of all of the Proms! Spencer’s mom reminds the other moms that they found Alison’s mom’s body in Spencer’s backyard. I suppose it is pretty uncool when the woman your husband cheated with ends up dead and buried in your backyard and you can’t get it out of your mind. She complains: “It wasn’t bad enough that this bitch tried to steal my husband…” Listen, Spencer’s mom is getting druuuuuunk. She’s overdue.

Mom Prom moves to the DiLaurentis house to confront Alison’s dad. I’m not exactly sure why, but I think wine is the reason. They go in the house uninvited and no one seems to be home. While they’re there, they open some mail and find a photo of two little boys… Jason and Charles! Then (gasp!) they turn around and see Rhys/Charles(?) standing there looking alarmingly like Jason. When he leaves, Aria’s mom says, “I think we just met Charles.” (Ahh!) While they’re still in the house, they hear noise in the basement so they all go charging down there, only to have the door slammed shut and locked behind them, because obviously they didn’t leave anyone up there to watch for that exact, obvious thing that ‘A’ would totally do. So now Mom Prom is trapped in the DiLaurentis basement.

PLL-fairytalepromtheme
SQUAD GOALS. Their fairytale prom outfits are on point.

Back at Actual Prom: Caleb has arrived! Hanna’s detached and won’t dance with him much. She’s really questioning what he’s been up to. He answers easily when asked that he was getting a job as an Information Risk Analyst. He tells her they’re moving to New York, “if that’s still your dream,” that his job will cover their expenses plus her tuition, and get them out of town & away from the crazy. #bestboyfriend

Later at prom, for a reason I’m not entirely sure of, Clark goes running off and the girls+boyfriends/Ezra catch him. And hey! He’s an undercover cop! Totally befriended Aria on purpose and he’s got investigating to do, so BYE.

PLL-fairytaleprom-alison
Belle-inspired Alison at Prom

They can’t find Alison anywhere at Actual Prom, so of course that means she’s wandered off to some odd indoor tree/empty frames/big mirrors maze that happens to be right off to the side of prom but NO ONE ELSE is in there. (Why does the prom even have that?!) While she’s looking for Charles, someone sneaks up, covers her mouth, and drags her away.

Moms are still trapped in the basement. (Insert ominous thunder!) They start talking about how their daughters have been through situations like this (and much worse!) so many times now and generally feeling bad. They left their wine upstairs.

Spencer, always the brains of every operation, finds the tree/mirror maze and sees Alison’s phone broken & dropped on the ground. DUN DUN DUNNNNNN.

Then we see Alison. She’s in a deserted hallway with a hooded-‘A’ and we watch her gasp! face as she finds out who ‘A’ is… but we have to wait another week.

See this Pretty Little Liars page for links to each recap for season six.