You gotta hand it to ABC Family. While a CW or Fox would blast the gossip pages with scoop about an on-screen girl-on-girl make-out session, the burgeoning net plays it low-key, letting it all play out without the fanfare.
Which is not to say that things didn't get really interesting on Episode 8 of my favorite new summer guilty pleasure, Pretty Little Liars. This week, our fear-filled foursome is busy, busy, busy planning the memorial for their dearly departed pal Alison. You know, the Gossip Girl from the grave who's been haunting them via text message, threatening to spill all their dirty little secrets.
Anyway, the programs are written, the speakers are planned, the little bench and nook in the park is finished -- a pristine, serene memorial to Alison. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans ....
The Liars are in the dark about why Jenna wants to speak at Alison's funeral.
Just when they think they've got it all sorted out, they've got to contend with the return of Alison's older brother Jason, who's totally not what they were expecting. Formerly an outcast goth kid, Jason is now "polished" and preppy -- and clearly on a mission to find out what happened to his sweet baby sister. And things just get crazier from there.
Jason's mission-mentality has the girls worried, because they've all got something to hide about the night Alison disappeared. And now, slimy detective Darren is on the trail again, this time prying open MIA outcast Toby's locker -- because apparently Toby called Alison the night she went missing, and Alison took the call.
Meanwhile, the girls continue to deal with their own dramas. Emily (Shay Mitchell) is getting closer to new girlfriend Maya (Bianca Lawson) while making out at the movies, taking their relationship public. But she's also worried about how her dad will react when he returns from Afghanistan next week.
Hanna (Ashley Benson) and her newly single mom (Laura Leighton) are facing money woes. So geeky Lucas helps her eBay some of her Gucci bags for quick cash, which makes Hanna's apparently on-again jock boyfriend jealous.
Aria (Lucy Hale) is still dealing with her parents' split and missing English-teacher-turned-secret-beau Fitz, who's left town after their little drama at Homecoming.
And Spencer (Troian Avery Bellisario) is freaking out because Alison told her brother about that night when the girls set the fire-crackers off at Jenna's (Tammin Sursok), leaving her blind. And Alison laid the blame squarely on Spencer's slender shoulders. So what does Jenna want to say at the memorial? Apparently, she and Alison got close before the Queen Bee died.
But while the girls are all (sort of) fondly remembering their dearly departed pal at the service, some sinister soul has smashed the memorial in the park to bits, stirring up the mystery anew! Can't wait for next week's big reveal!
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Image via ABC Family