February 16th, 2011 by thetvchick
This TV Chick is on vacation, but I could never take a vacation from Pretty Little Liars. I was actually on set watching the filming of this episode, and it was great to see it come to life. “The New Normal” had a lot of interesting developments, and I loved that it actually didn’t involve too much of that pesky/bitchy A. A always has a hold over the girls but this episode focused more on solving the killer mystery and figuring out what Jenna was up to than making the girls do awful things so that their secrets won’t be revealed.
The episode starts with the girls talking about Melissa being pregnant. Aria seems strangely distant. I’m sure it’s just because she’s still mad at Hanna. The girls try and figure out the braille message that Toby gave Spencer. Apparently, the message says “bad.” Aria thinks Toby punked them. I know I’ve said this in the past, but I think Toby kind of gets a bad rap. He’s a bit shady, yes, but he has a lot to his past that we haven’t even found out yet. If he was Alison’s killer, it would be way too easy.
In any case, Hanna is dealing with her family issues, and Ashley Marin is going to put the money that is left back in Mrs. Potter’s safe deposit box. Hanna thinks they should give it to someone who needs it. And then there is a close call when Caleb comes out of the basement. They hear Hanna’s mom and they run. When Ashly gets to the bank, a grand nephew of Mrs. Potter shows up to meet with her. He wasn’t very close with his great aunt but came to get information and access to her account. He’s super flirty with her and asks her to dinner to hear about his great aunt. Oh boy, this won’t lead anywhere good.
At school, Aria sees Hanna with Caleb and tells her she doesn’t want to fight anymore. Hanna apologizes again. I’m so glad they are friends again. Yes, I feel invested in these people’s lives. Just accept it. Ella and Ezra are at school discussing an author, and a book signing. Another teacher convinces Ella to come with her and Ezra. Awkward.
And in more school drama, Paige’s dad shows up to ream out the swim coach and runs into Ezra first who stands up to him. Paige’s dad thinks Paige is the best swimmer on the team and has been overlooked, and that Emily gets special treatment because she’s gay. Paige talks to Emily and says she didn’t tell her dad that Emily was gay, he just was mad that someone could beat her.
Meanwhile, Ella and Byron are talking about parent/teacher conferences. Ella thinks the world of Ezra and thinks Byron should meet him. Oh man. Byron wants to pick up where they left off. Ella is going to the book signing on the night Byron asked her out. I sense a little jealousy here.
After school, Spencer confronts Toby about the message. He is going to the DA for something with his case. He tells her she is reading it wrong and to come back Saturday when Jenna’s away. The girls on the phone talking about what’s going on in their lives. Loved the montage of the two sets of girls talking to each other. Emily/Hanna talk and Spencer/Aria talk.
Later we see that Aria is in Mr. Fitz’s apartment. He’s getting takeout, Spencer jokes with her about her “hot teacher.” Ezra is a bit nervous about meeting Aria’s dad. Do you blame the guy? They are adorable together, by the way.
Caleb shows up out of the blue as Ashley is preparing for her “date.” Ashley of course also thinks he’s creepy (like I do sort of still) but Hanna convinces her to an extent that he’s not. Caleb doesn’t think the nephew is an architect because he had a crappy pen. Apparently, Hanna got a bad vibe from him too.
At the parent/teacher conference the next day, Byron is very upset about the book singing Ella and Ezra are going to. He is really aiming his anger at the wrong Montgomery here. haha Hanna comes clean about the A situation to the rest of the girls, and tells them that’s why she owes Caleb. The girls see Jenna shopping for a lace getup and she says that “he loves lace.” I’m guessing Toby. EW! So gross.
After the parent/teacher conferences that didn’t go so well, Aria and Ezra talk. Ezra is convinced that Byron hates him or he’s crazy. When Pam Fields shows up for parent/teacher conferences, Ella apologizes for Paige’s dad’s behavior. Naturally, she had no idea. She runs into him in the hallway and really stands up for Emily. I absolutely loved this. We already know Pam isn’t super accepting of Emily’s sexuality so it was really great to see her show her love and respect for her daughter.
Back in Rosewood, Spencer is still trying to figure out the Toby mystery and she enters Toby’s house and goes in Jenna’s room. Toby finds her and tells her that the DA is dropping the charges against him. Yay Toby! Spencer offers to take him down to the court houe and of course, Jenna shows up in a cab to take Toby there. She creepily says “I see” when he says he’s going with Spencer. I am not under the impression that Jenna can actually see but this was so ominous.
Later, in a move that makes me like him a little more, Caleb investigated James Leland, and found out he died years ago. Hanna tries to tell her mom about Leland. She kind of believes her but she doesn’t believe Caleb and doesn’t want to draw attention to the situation. James is unhappy with the money in Mrs. Potter’s box. Ashley tries to call him on his lie, but he just admits he thinks it was just a myth about his aunt. I feel like this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this guy.
And Aria confronts her dad about Mr. Fitz, and tries to convince him to like him. Aria, maybe just let it go? Byron obviously thinks that Ella was won over by Ezra’s charm. After, Aria and Ezra making out on his couch and things get hot and heavy. Yes, Ioved this. Whatever. Byron calls and leaves a message on Ezra’s machine apologizing. Way to ruin the mood, Byron.
Spencer and Toby talk as they drive around and go to the Rosewood border to show that he can cross it. Apparently, the message reads 214 not bad. But they don’t know what that stands for. Toby thinks Jenna is scared of the four girls. At the very end, we see that 214=hotel room number.
After her mom stood up for her, Emily goes to meet her at home and Page gets in her car to confront her. She then kisses Emily! AH! I gasped! Of course she then says don’t tell. I think there were some people predicting this and I kind of didn’t want the closeted gay girl to come out like this but I guess there had to be something behind her hatred of Emily. And not just homophobia. I enjoy that Caleb doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for now and last week, I was all creeped out by him but he seems to genuinely care for Hanna. And Hanna could really use someone on her side right now.
As for Spencer, I wonder if she’s starting to like Toby. It’s kind of hard to tell. I do like how invested she is in finding out what’s up with Jenna and more about Alison’s killer. But really, this episode featured some quality Aria and Ezra time and um, as I’ve said, I adore them. I also really love that Pam Fields is proving to be a great mom despite her differences with Emily. I can’t wait to see what next week brings. I’m sure something crazy, dramatic and mysterious.
Pretty Little Liars airs Monday nights at 8 pm on ABC Family.Tweet