Pretty Little Liars / Screen

This Is Why You Don’t Date Your Teachers: Pretty Little Liars ‘Hot For Teacher’ Review

I’m sure there are plenty of Pretty Little Liars‘ fans who are holding onto hope that Ezra isn’t actually A but that there’s an explanation for his shady behavior that will fall under the same category of some of the show’s other red herrings, but if “Hot For Teacher” did anything, it was assert that Ezra is exactly who we think he is.  A pill-popping Spencer threw herself into the investigation into Ezra against the wishes of the rest of the group who understandably wanted to lay low after A poked around in Hanna’s mouth.  With Hanna the only one concerned about Spencer’s weird behavior, she tried to turn the girls’ attention onto it but had to compete with Aria’s frustration with her many lies and Emily’s attempts to connect with Ali through Shana. 

With Spencer growing increasingly manic, buying pills from a classmate to help her stay up all night and scour the internet for any information on Ezra, Hanna stepped in as the determined and pushy investigative center of the group.  The girls are just as fun when they’re all on the same page as when they’re in conflict, and these last few episodes haven’t been short on that at all, and Hanna and Spencer’s reached a boiling point on the sidewalk where Spencer screamed at Hanna for continuing to push her.  Thankfully PLL has never thrown the girls into conflict just for the sake of it but has always pursued it organically, which makes it all the more satisfying when they eventually reconcile.

Just as persistent as Spencer would be, Hanna didn’t back down and figured out that Spencer was looking into Ezra and accompanied Spencer to Ezra’s front door where they planned to break in.  Even if one could interpret Ezra’s shady exchanges with the girls, like his threatening conversation with Spencer about a bad grade on a paper, as being only accidentally creepy, there’s no explaining his computer set up below the floors of the cabin or his accomplice stalking the Liars and sending him photos of them.  Not to mention the camera set up in the vent outside his door, spotted by Spencer and taken as proof of his guilt.

When Spencer brought Emily and Hanna into the fold, they were all on the same, disbelieving page, and to protect Aria’s feelings, they agreed not to tell her about it until they were totally sure.  Inevitably, it won’t go over very well with Aria, and recalling the reveal of Toby’s own A affiliated activities, this may unfold any more disastrously.  Though I loathe the way PLL backtracked on Toby’ s motives, he wasn’t totally malicious in his activities and wasn’t an actual, physical danger to the girls. But Ezra’s probably a harder A sell than Toby was considering how we’ve known him since the pilot, and of all the earliest characters, Ezra’s was the only one who never had any suspicion tacked on (which is interesting considering a relationship with one of his students should automatically make him suspicious, but I digress). In contrast, PLL went through an entire plotline of Toby’s guilt being weighed by the Liars before he was eventually determined to be innocent.  Now the instant disbelief associated with Ezra being A, plus his proximity to Aria and his ability to isolate and manipulate her, makes him especially frightening.

When Aria was starting to feel the pressure with her continuous lying to her friends about Ezra, she turned to Jesse and tried to talk to him about it before deciding against confiding in a member of the faculty about her relationship with another member of the faculty. Its hard to say what Ezra’s reaction to seeing her emerging from the office was, but it may have had something to do with Aria confiding in someone else about her problems.  Whatever level of Ezra’s affection for Aria, it’s definitely not healthy. Rather, it’s creepily fixated on her having a life outside of him, particularly a life that could lead her away from him.   Even if he wasn’t A, his little speech about Aria needing to distance herself from her friends and make him the person she’s closest to would have been a giant red flag. Even bigger and redder than his tendency to get involved in romantic relationships with underage girls (according to PLL). 

Whatever the future holds for Ezra, “Hot For Teacher” made clear we should definitely be worried about him and his plans now.

Shana certainly got a firsthand look at how scary A can be.  When Alison requested Shana get something for her from her house, Shana enlisted Emily’s help in retrieving it: five thousand dollars.  Before Shana could get it from Emily and deliver it to Alison, she was attacked in her car and woke up in front of the “You Are Now Leaving Rosewood” sign with a message not to return.  Whether it was Ezra or his accomplice who did it, the threat served its purpose and ran Shana out of town. With Alison left in the lurch, she tearily boarded a bus with her few remaining dollars.  If she wants more help, she’s going to have to find it herself, and lucky for her Emily’s more than willing to provide whatever help she needs.

Pretty Little Tidbits

  • Whatever PLL is trying to do with Hanna and Gabe, I hope they stop.  Right now it’s no worse than any of the other creepy, older guys who have spent a lot of time with our high school heroines, and hopefully it stays that way, with Gabe pointing Hanna in the right directions in her own investigations rather than going anywhere close to romantic. 
  • I’m going to be disappointed if Wes Ramsey disappears into minor character purgatory without sharing a scene with Holly Marie Combs, who played his mom on Charmed a million years ago.
  • Yes, children, do not date your teachers. They are A.

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