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The Badass Seed

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"Rat" me out, your blood's next.
A
The Badass Seed
Season 1, Episode 18
18
Air date February 21, 2011
Written by Oliver Goldstick & Francesca Rollins
Directed by Paul Lazarus
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The Badass Seed (censored to The Bad Seed) is the eighteenth episode in Season 1. This episode aired on February 21st of 2011.

Synopsis

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As if Aria, Hanna, Spencer, and Emily don‘t have enough drama in their lives, Mr. Fitz decides to put on a school production of the award-winning play The Bad Seed, the story about a girl who wreaks havoc on her small town – eerily echoing our Pretty Little Liars’ own troubles. Aria goes to the tryouts at 4 PM to support Hanna and act opposite her, with no intention of joining the play herself. However, the girls urge Aria to be Ezra‘s stage manager for the production, so that she can spend more time with him. The other girls, in addition to Mona, are interested in getting parts in the play. Jenna enters the scene and offers to compose flute music for the play, letting Mr. Fitz know that she approves of his choice of play, because she oddly finds it "inspiring," and thereby annoying Aria.


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The next morning, Spencer has a dream that she is walking through her house at night. She hears a baby cry and descends the stairs into the living room, where a baby is lying in a bassinet. As she approaches the crib, someone sneaks up on her from behind and covers her mouth with his hand. Spencer wakes up with a start. She then hears ripping noises and goes downstairs to investigate. Ian is in the living room, using a tape gun to board up some boxes. A green Neufeld's bag is sitting at the bottom of the staircase. Ian is boarding up baseball gloves, yearbooks, and trophies to give to his mother to make room for baby gear. Ian asks Spencer for help in taping down one of the boxes, but Spencer flinches, and Ian takes note. He tries to reassure her that it's only a tape gun and that he's not dangerous; he declares that he never hurt Alison DiLaurentis and had nothing to do with her murder, though he adds that he's not surprised that she ended up the way she did. When pressed, he accuses Alison of having been a "psycho stalker who couldn't take no for an answer."


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"Can I come in?"

At the Marin household, Ashley grows increasingly suspicious of their lack of food, as Hanna has been secretly housing foster kid Caleb in their basement. Hanna admits to having Caleb over a couple of times for dinner, but even that bothers Ashley, as she doesn't completely trust Caleb. (Caleb overhears Ashley's words about him.)


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Then, Aria surprises Ezra in his apartment before school. There, Aria convinces Ezra that going for drinks with her father is a good idea, as it will allow him to appreciate the man in her life, even if he doesn't know the extent of it. She proposes the idea of being his stage manager, and he gives in to her request.


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Next, Hanna walks into the bathroom to grab something while Caleb is showering. Ashley enters as well, looking for her phone, which she has put in the charger there, prompting Hanna to jump in the shower fully clothed so that her mother won't realize it is Caleb showering, not Hanna. She holds her hand over his mouth so he won't make noise and makes an awkward situation even worse when he catches her sneaking a peek when he turns around.


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At school, Emily chats with Spencer at one of the outdoor tables. Spencer spots an incoming call from Paige McCullers on Emily's phone and wonders if Paige is harassing Emily again. But Emily assures her that the two have bonded over having something in common - relatives in the military. When Spencer mentions her plans for dropping off a French book at Toby's after school, Emily asks to drop it off instead, as she is looking for a chance to talk to him. Spencer hands it over, though a bit reluctantly. The two then spot Ian and Jenna standing talking to each other. Ian is holding the Neufeld's bag that had been at the foot of the stairs that morning and hands it to Jenna.


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Awkward working relationship

At play practice, Aria and Ezra prove to have an uncomfortable, awkward working relationship, namely Aria's slipping up by referring to Mr. Fitz as 'Ezra' while seated next to him.


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Mona and Hanna at play practice

All the girls are present, as well as Mona, who raises an eyebrow. Spencer and Hanna have been cast as main characters. Hanna and Mona also catch up at play practice; when Mona sees Caleb spying Hanna, she is inquisitive, and Hanna confides in Mona about her morning shower. Hanna does not make much eye contact with Caleb, as she is too sheepish about seeing him naked. Suddenly, Ian walks into the room, expressing surprise that he's in the wrong room for the varsity team practice. The girls huddle close together and comment on how creepy Ian is.


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Frat party

Spencer flashes back to a college party Alison had snuck them into with fake ID's, probably in an effort to spy on Ian. Ian had been flirting with a particularly tipsy girl and had gone off with her to one of the rooms upstairs. Looking back, the girls wish they had said something to Melissa sooner about Ian.


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After school, Emily goes to drop off Toby's French book. Toby is sitting on his porch working on his motorcycle. He lets Emily know that Jenna was the one who turned him in, putting Emily's fears to rest that Toby thinks she violated his trust. She asks him to go out sometime, and Toby is cautious, thinking she means in a romantic way, but Emily assures him that she means it only as friends, and the two plan a breakfast date.


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At Rosewood High, Byron passes Ezra in the hallway and is extra warm towards him, in contrast to the way he treated him a few days back. He commends Ezra for his work at school and reminds him about having drinks later that night.


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After school, Hanna sits in her kitchen, making a sandwich while practicing her lines for the play. Caleb walks in and tries to divert her attention, but Hanna is cool towards him, choosing to focus on anything except Caleb. Finally, Hanna walks away, leaving Caleb with her unfinished sandwich. He tries to directly ask her to help, but she refuses.


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At the Grille, Ezra and Byron finally meet. Byron is quick to encourage Ezra to quit his day job at Rosewood High in favor of a position as a college professor that will allow him to spend more time on his writing. Byron is complementary, calling Ezra gifted and offers to help him procure a job at Hollis College. During their conversation, Byron mentions that Aria is looking at "colleges in California," causing Ezra to contemplate their future together... or apart.


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Later that night, Toby and Spencer talk at her house to discuss Jenna's and Ian's meeting in school that day. Spencer demands that Toby steal Jenna's phone so that they can uncover what he's hiding. She convinces him that if he doesn't, he is liable to be framed for murder again.


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The next morning, Emily then approaches Toby's door, looking to meet up with Toby for their breakfast date, however, Jenna calls out to her and meanly lets her know that Toby has blown her off to have breakfast with Spencer instead. Emily is surprised and upset to be stood up like that, and Jenna is sure to rub it in. Wordlessly, Emily leaves, catching Jenna's flute playing before she goes, which she is probably composing for the school play.


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In her kitchen, Spencer makes Toby breakfast, and he hands her Jenna's phone, which he stole the night before; he is afraid of Jenna's reaction. Spencer uses the opportunity to ask Toby why Alison had been so sure that Toby was the one spying on them. Toby is firm that he never spied on anyone; the only thing he can make of Alison's assumptions is that she had something on him.


Screen Shot 2012-08-06 at 6.27.15 PM

Aria and Ezra talking

Later at school, Aria apologizes to Ezra for slipping up. It seems that more is bothering him than just the play; he was upset to hear Byron mention Aria applying to colleges in California. Aria reassures him that she imagines them with a future and that she only applied to a single college in California, and in Ezra's favorite city at that. However, Ezra is much more unsure of the possibility of their relationship working out, catching Aria by surprise.


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At the same time, Spencer enlists Caleb to help crack Jenna‘s phone for any secret messages she‘s been sending. Caleb mocks the girls for stealing a blind person's phone, guessing quite obviously that they have stolen Jenna's phone.


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Back at play practice, things get tense between Aria and Ezra, as the two blame each other for mistakes in scheduling. Aria calls for five, so that she can have a private conversation with Ezra to alleviate the tension. Meanwhile, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna review their lines and discuss the motives of their characters, no doubt finding parallels to their own lives. They catch sight of Ian hanging around close to where they are standing, prompting Emily to have a flashback to the night of the party. The girl that Ian had left with had suddenly taken a nasty tumble down the stairs in the middle of the party. They had all exchanged looks after her fall, although Ali had been no where in sight, but Ian had been at the top of the stairs. In hindsight, the girls are left to question whether Ian had pushed that girl.


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Caleb pulls Hanna aside from play practice to return Jenna's phone and let her know that he can't hack it. He tries to break Hanna's solid demeanor towards him, directly addressing the fact that they had been in the shower together and that Hanna's behavior has not been the same since.
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Back at play practice, Mona moans about not knowing which characters are naughty and which are evil. So, Ezra asks Spencer for her opinion, and she replies that some people are pure evil, prompting her to have another flashback to the same night of the party. While the girl had been taken away in an ambulance, the girls stood on the lawn talking, not knowing where Alison was.


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When Alison had shown up, she had seemed either oblivious to the girl's accident or indifferent. Later, when the police had come, the girls were afraid of being caught underage at a drinking party. Alison took charge of the situation, brazenly asking the police officer for a ride home in his car, not wanting to take the bus, claiming that she felt too tipsy to drive, when really she wasn't old enough to even have a license. The girls got into the car, and Ali and Ian exchanged looks from across the lawn.


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Spencer snaps back to play practice, where Mona is asking more questions about her character's motives. Frustrated, Mr. Fitz ends practice for the day, leaving Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily alone in the rehearsal room. While packing her costume away in the prop box, Spencer stumbles across a trophy with Ian Thomas' name on it. Spencer twirls it in her fingers, seeing dried blood at the base of the trophy. The trophy is from a tournament in Hilton Head which took place the weekend Ali disappeared. Spencer posits that it is the murder weapon Ian used to kill Alison and decides to hand it over to the police, along with the other Liars.


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As they leave the police station, the girls make plans to sleep at Emily's place, except Hanna who needs to go home to make sure Caleb doesn't accidentally scare her mom. Spencer is especially keen on this plan, as it will mean that she can avoid sleeping in the same residence as Ian for one night. Aria asks to make a stop on the way home. Before getting in the car, Spencer points out to Emily that they should alert Toby to what happened, but Emily shakes her head and lets Spencer know that she thinks she should be the one talking to him.


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Aria marches into Ezra's apartment and quickly states what's on her mind, not letting Ezra get a word in edge-wise until she's done. She lets him know that she's quitting as stage manager. She declares that worrying about the future shouldn't affect their relationship, as there are no guarantees in life anyway, but they should enjoy what they have while they have it. In response, Ezra kisses Aria, and the two make up.


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At home, Hanna also gets a chance to try to patch things up - with Caleb. Caleb sees that Hanna is ignoring him and so packs up his things, ready to leave her home. Hanna stops him, but when he brings up her poor treatment of him, she admits that seeing him naked caused her to avoid him. He lets her know that it doesn't mean that she has to "throw down too." It seems that Hanna was afraid of her feelings for Caleb, but isn't anymore. The two kiss for the first time.


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The next day at school, some police officers and a detective appear. The detective, Detective Breyer, approaches the Liars and asks for Spencer. In turns out that while failures to turn evidence into the police before were mistakes, in this instance, reporting to the police was the mistake. He lets them know that the trophy was proven to be a fake - there was no golf tournament in Hilton Head on that date, and the blood on it wasn't human; it was from a rat... The girls are then taken to the police precinct for questioning. On their way out from school, the girls get a text from "A," letting them know just who was responsible for the trophy set up. Reflecting again on the night of the frat party, Aria considers the possibility that Ali had been the one to push the girl, and Spencer concurs that it was possible that she had done it in a jealous rage because the girl had been with Ian. Aria vividly recalls that Alison had been nowhere to be found most of the night. Suddenly, the girls look up to see Ian close by, slouching in front of the school entrance, lazily watching them. Chilled, the girls turn away.


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Eerily, the last scene is presumably one of a room in A's house. There are four cages, each containing a white rat, animal feed, and a wheel. Each cage has one name of each of the girls taped to it. The cage labeled "Spencer," however, is missing the rat...

Notes

  • There were several flashbacks in this episode, all to different parts of the same frat party the girls attended with Ali.
  • The book Spencer is reading in bed is called Bloody Tantrums: Child Mysteries by Francesca Rollins. It is a made-up book and the author is the writer of the episode.
  • The title of this episode was Censored on Television and was renamed "The Bad Seed"

Title

  • The title is a modern twist on the classic play, "The Bad Seed," which the school performs in this episode. The play takes on more parallels with the girls' situation as the episode progresses. In both, there is a crime that is committed and a weapon in the shape on an award (trophy/medal). Thinking along the lines of the play, Spencer thinks that Ian had planted his trophy in an obvious spot, just like the guilty girl had, thinking that people would suspect less when things are in plain sight. (As Alison once said, "The bolder the move, the less anyone questions it.") But, Aria reminds Spencer that the girl had been eight years old, whereas Ian is more mature than that. Still, the crime had also been committed for reasons of jealousy and revenge.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Co-Starring

  • Josh Clark as Detective Breyer
  • Elizabeth J. Carlisle as Tipsy
  • Justin Giddings as Brad

Featured Music

  • "Party Girl" by McFly (Alison hands out fake IDs at frat party)
  • "A Party Song (The Walk of Shame)" by All Time Low (drunk girl falls down stairs)
  • "Message" by Kyle Puccia (Mr. Fitz talks to students during rehearsal)

Gallery

Promotional

Memorable Quotes

Hanna: I have to practice being drunk.

Caleb [to Hanna and Spencer]: What do you guys do on the weekends? Break old ladies' hips?

Spencer: Some people are pure evil.

Caleb [to Hanna]: Wanna share a towel too?

Spencer [to Emily, about Paige]: What brought you closer? Her trying to drown you?

Mona: What gives, Velma—did you have a nasty dream last night about Shaggy?

Aria: I'm not your gopher.
Mona: You sure bite like one.

Jenna [to Ezra]: I’m fascinated by the nature of evil.

Mona: I think my character is being totally selfish. I don’t even know how to play that.

Ian [to Spencer]: Your friend Alison was a psycho stalker who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Alison: I don’t know about you vestal virgins, but I’m here to make some memories.

Spencer [to Toby]: Once my sister threatened to break my thumbs if I used her hairbrush.

.
Alison: The bolder the move, the less anyone questions it.

Spencer [to Toby]: Until they find the real killer, your nightmare is never going to end.

Hanna [practicing her lines]: ...then push him out stage left.
Caleb: Can he have lunch first?
Hanna: I wasn't talking to you.
Caleb: Oh, you have someone crashing in your attic too?

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