|“||SEE HOW EASY IT IS FOR ME TO GET MY HANDS AROUND YOUR NECK.||”|
|Touched by an 'A'-ngel|
|Season 2, Episode 10|
|Air date||August 16, 2011|
|Written by||Maya Goldsmith & Charlie Craig|
|Directed by||Chad Lowe|
I Must Confess
SynopsisEmily is sitting in the school lunch room when Aria walks up. Emily says she's been trying to get in touch with her all night; they have to talk. Aria agrees and reveals to Emily that Jason kissed her last night. Emily is not happy to hear this and immediately tells Aria about the pictures Jason had of Aria sleeping (or drugged) in the woodshed, causing Aria to be "officially terrified." Spencer walks over at that moment, even more freaked out than Emily by the fact that Aria kissed Jason. They try to persuade her that he's dangerous, and Aria leaves not sure what to think. Spencer leaves too, to pack up Ian's stuff with Toby's help.
Emily then starts her lunch, her bowl of Alpha-Bits cereal. She pours it into her bowl and adds the milk. Before taking a bite, she realizes that this box has been doctored; all the cereal bits are the letter "A," as opposed to the normal mix of A-Z. Emily puts down her spoon and empties out the rest of the cereal box contents. Sure enough, she finds a scrolled up message in a capsule that would normally hold a toy, courtesy of "A," calling Emily the weakest link.
Ashley is in the kitchen when Hanna comes down for breakfast. Emily had left earlier that morning, apparently to watch swim practice, but not participate. The two comment on how high-strung she's been, so Ashley digs up a gift certificate for a free massage for Hanna to give to Emily. Hanna expresses benign jealousy, but agrees with her mother that Emily needs it. Ashley also finds a letter from Tom expressing his appreciation of Hanna agreeing to attend his wedding. Hanna shrugs it off, but Ashley assures her that she will be happy if Hanna is happy for her father. Ashley then realizes that Hanna is late for school, but Hanna explains she isn't going, as the college fair is that day, and attendance is optional. Ashley gives Hanna a look, and Hanna promises to go, but whether she means it is up for interpretation.
In school, Aria spots Jason, but instead of walking away from him, she approaches him and confronts him about the photographs her friends found. He is upset to hear that the perpetrators in his shed were Aria's friends, but Aria presses the point. He calls it typical Rosewood to always be suspicious of everyone to such an extent. He lets her know that Alison had taken those pictures; Jason had no idea what they were when he found the roll of film among Ali's stuff. He had only developed them to find out Alison had been something of a photographer. When he realized that they were of Aria, he planned to frame them and give them to her. Aria's expression softens, but she doesn't apologize. She tries to get Jason to admit it looks bad, but he just walks away. A glimpse of Jenna's cane is seen steps from where they were conversing.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Rosewood High's hallways, Ella spots Dr. Sullivan and asks to speak to her. The latter is there to meet with the principal about an upcoming school speaking engagement. Ella confides in Dr. Sullivan her issues with Mike and her fears about his withdrawal. Dr. Sullivan responds that she doesn't feel it is wise to have siblings see the same therapist, but she can give her some referrals all the same.
At the school fair, Aria happily spots Ezra setting up a table for Hollis, but before she can approach him, Jackie does. After Jackie puts some Hollis lanyards around Ezra's neck, Aria decides against approaching the touchy-feely ex-couple.
Hanna and Emily pass through the hallways to Emily's locker. Hanna gives her the body massage certificate before leaving school to join Mona in trying on her bridesmaid dress. Emily catches sight of her swim mates, chatting happily as they pass. She tries to open her locker, but the door is stuck, so she yanks at it, causing the books inside to spill out onto the floor. Agitated, Emily bends down to pick them up. Just then, Dr. Sullivan swoops in to help. She picks up on Emily's anxious vibes and offers to help her if Emily will just open up. With tears glistening in her eyes, Emily reveals that she and the other girls have been keeping secrets from Dr. Sullivan; Dr. Sullivan invites her to meet for an appointment later, and Emily appears to be considering the option.
In the Hastings' living room, Spencer and Toby sort through Ian's leftover belongings. Toby spots Ian's yearbook among a crate of his books. They open up to Ian's page; the caption under his picture reads: "Captain Lacrosse Team, Honors Society, Drama Club, N.A.T. Club." Spencer, who is sure she is familiar with every single club on campus, is befuddled. They flip through the yearbook index of clubs to check for a description of the club, but it is not listed, leading them to believe that it was some sort of prank. They do find two other members with similar captions, though: Garrett Reynolds and Jason DiLaurentis. Jason had even signed Ian's yearbook with a reference to being fellow club members.
At the school college fair, Aria is still turned off from Jackie and Ezra smiling at each other in such close proximity and so keeps her distance, checking out other colleges. Ezra spots her and tries to win her over by making allusions to their relationship by praising Hollis and her teachers for being "hands-on." Aria gives him a half-smile, then walks outside. Ezra follows her, and Jackie is all too-attentive. With some slightly greater measure of privacy, Aria tells him that she is worried that "outside forces" are threatening their relationship because it is a secret. She accuses Jackie of being all over him and Ezra being oblivious, though, naturally, he denies having feelings for her. She then lets slip her kiss with Jason. Jackie opportunely walks over at that moment and asks Ezra to get something from the car. Ticked off, he agrees and turns. When he is out of earshot, Jackie tells Aria that college will help her mature and become less naïve, no doubt trying to emphasize the age difference between Aria and Ezra.
At the bridal shop, Hanna tries on a brown gown, and Mona expresses her contempt for the garment. Hanna is annoyed, but intent on giving Isabel a chance. Mona calls her and her daughter hillbillies. Just then, Kate walks in with a matching brown gown. But Mona changes her tune about Kate when she sees how stylishly she is dressed. Hanna makes a joke, and Kate gives a half laugh. She then invites them along for lunch with her older cousins, and Mona accepts while Hanna refuses. Kate only seems to pick up on Mona's response though, and the three make plans for later. Hanna fumes, but Mona points out that Hanna did say she wanted to give her future step family a chance, silencing Hanna.
At the spa, the masseuse pours Emily a glass of cold water and coaches her to disrobe and wait underneath the sheets on the cot. She can sense Emily's anxiety, so she encourages her to relax, telling her not to worry about anything but the massage pressure.
Back in the Hastings' residence, Spencer obsesses over this new link between Garrett, Jason, and Ian. She then finds an old T-shirt of Ian's with the words "Nos Animadverto Totus" imprinted on the front. She immediately makes the N.A.T. connection and translates the Latin to mean "We See All." She interprets this to mean that all three of them were stalking and making videos of them and who knows who else, not Ian alone. Maybe Jason killed Ali for the same reason they had previously thought Ian was, to keep the videos from getting out. At the Grille, Aria is sitting texting Ezra, trying to explain. Jason approaches her and asks to sit.
The next scene cuts to the West Maple Riding Club, where riding horses are being led. Apparently, Mona's and Hanna's lunch plans fell through once Mona had falsely mentioned that she had attended equestrian camp. Kate had invited them to go riding, and the two are now standing, suited in riding gear. Kate and two of her friends arrive, leading horses. She asks Hanna and Mona to pass her friends their helmets, which read "Elizabeth" and "Margaux." The former goes by Bitsy, and Hanna cluelessly pronounces the "x" at the end of the latter's name, while Mona flashes her language skills, conversing momentarily with Margaux in French. Hanna reveals more ignorance when Kate asks her a question, and Mona saves the day, laughing as if Hanna intended her words as a joke. They all mount their horses, and only Hanna struggles. Kate piteously asks if Hanna would like to turn back, but Mona quickly assures her that they will be fine and that she will help Hanna learn the ropes. Mona wisely suggests that the other three head out first, while they trail behind.
Back at the spa, a figure dressed entirely in black steps back from the massage oils table to begin massaging Emily, whose face is comfortably resting in the head rest. Emily finally relaxes and enjoys the massage, blissfully closing her eyes.
At the Grille, Jason presents Aria with the framed pictures of her sleeping face. Aria then apologizes for her friends' actions, explaining that they have been through so much. Jason reveals that he found the roll of film after starting some renovations on Ali's room. He had found a box of her belongings hidden under the floor boards, and inside it, the roll of film. Aria expresses her curiosity as to the identity of the other objects, but Jason calls them insignificant girl things. Aria doubts that the objects are insignificant, if they were hidden, but Jason attributes it to Alison's secretive tendencies. He invites Aria to explore the box later if she is interested, and after easing Aria's tension with a joke, she accepts.
At that moment, Spencer and Toby walk past the Grille, takeout in hand, where Spencer spots Aria and Jason speaking intimately inside. Toby suggests stepping in, but Spencer thinks it's pointless. She doesn't believe Aria will listen to her, but she does know somebody to whom Aria will listen.
Next, Mona and Hanna are walking through some random woods, their faces stained with dirt. Apparently, Hanna's horse bit her ankle, and the girls managed to lose Kate's horses. Hanna gets Mona to admit that summer spent at equestrian camp never happened. Hanna snaps at Mona, accusing her of befriending Kate for selfish reasons, and Mona counters that Hanna has been bad-tempered ever since Caleb left.
At the spa, Emily's appointed masseuse returns and apologizes for keeping Emily waiting. Naked, Emily darts up, confused. She questions the massage therapist to find out that she was not the one giving Emily her massage. But, Emily adamantly lets her know that someone had been in the room; then, Emily sees it: the cold water pitcher has the letter 'A' etched into the condensation.
After the college fair, Ezra gets into his car, and stares bewildered as Spencer slides into the passenger seat. She nervously says she has to tell him something. She cuts to the chase and lets Ezra know that she is aware of Aria's romance with him. Ezra stammers a denial, but Spencer waves it off, even slipping in an "Ezra," alarming "Mr. Fitz" further. She lets Ezra know that she believes Aria to be in danger. As they are sitting in broad daylight during school hours in front of Rosewood High, Ella spots them while descending the steps. She doesn't look pleased.
After her literal brush with "A" at the spa, Emily contemplates dialing Dr. Sullivan, but hesitates after "A" sends her a text, alluding to the ease with which she could have strangled vulnerable Emily.
At Jason's house, Jason invites Aria to enter the woodshed, where he's stored the box. However, Aria's instincts tell her to be cautious, and she chooses to wait outside for him instead.
Back at the riding club, Mona and Hanna finally get a chance to sit down. Hanna apologizes to Mona for snapping earlier and expresses her frustration with having tried hard to make a good impression and befriend Kate and her friends. Mona tries to comfort her, but Hanna rails on about how she felt that Kate and her friends were giving her dirty looks and assuming she was clueless. When Mona suggests that Hanna hadn't tried hard enough, she recoils, calling Isabel, "Isahell, the skank" and Kate and her friends, bitches who can go to hell. Suddenly, Mona catches the sound of a gasp, and realizes that everything Hanna is saying is being amplified over a loud speaker attached to the building they are in. Mona alerts Hanna to what's happened and picks up her riding hat, which had clearly tripped the microphone switch when she set it down moments before. Hanna rushes outside to apologize, but Kate walks off miffed, her lackeys at her heels.
At the Hastings', Spencer descends the stairs to find Jenna sitting on her living room couch. After doing a double-take, Jenna accuses Spencer of somehow breaking their agreement. She cites Spencer's digging up information about Ian's death and mocks her for her curiosity. Spencer tries to show her the door, but before she leaves, Jenna sharply announces that she knows that Toby is assisting her and that he rifled through her room. She warns Spencer and Toby to back down. At the mention of Toby, Spencer mocks Jenna in return for the way that she "cares" about him. Before she leaves, Spencer pointedly tells her to say 'hi' to Garrett for her.
While Aria waits for Jason to return with the box, Ezra pulls into Jason's driveway. He reveals what Spencer told him and that he is here to 'rescue' Aria from Jason. Aria assures Ezra that Jason is not a threat in that way, but Ezra still does not like the situation for a different reason. Jason is a threat to their relationship, even if he isn't a threat to Aria's well-being, and Ezra wants to settle things by going public with their relationship, beginning with Aria's parents. Overjoyed to hear Ezra play this tune, she kisses him, and Jason finally comes back, just in time to witness the liplock. He gives Aria the box of belongings to keep and stares intently at her, acknowledging Aria's how Aria is "unavailable." He watches enviously as Aria enters Ezra's car.
Then, Jenna enters Garrett's car and fumingly informs him that Spencer knows about their relationship - and is looking at yearbooks. (How did Jenna know that part?) She is fearful that Spencer and Toby will decode their secret, and she tells Garrett it is time to talk to Jason.
At home, Hanna grabs for a chocolate pudding. Ashley steps in, and Hanna nervously asks her if Tom called. Ashley answers no and asks how the college fair was. Hanna reveals that she left school early to try on a dress, but only reveals that it wasn't a great fit, not disclosing the rest of the day's failed events. Suddenly, the phone rings, and Tom tells Ashley something that Hanna cannot hear, which makes Ashley respond, "No, I didn't know that." Hanna thinks she's in trouble, but is surprised when Ashley chirpily hands her the phone, telling her it is from Kate. Out of her mother's earshot, Hanna begins by thanking Kate, but the latter turns sinister and creepily warns Hanna that she will break her like a horse. ("A" 2.0?)
At home in her room, Aria inspects the contents Ali's secret box, silently agreeing with Jason that the objects are girly and insignificant. There are some costume jewelry pieces, some trinkets, and a tattered doll. Ella stops by Aria's room to talk. She honestly asks Aria if she knows anything about Mr. Fitz dating one of his past students. Frozen, Aria feels her mother out slowly. Ella reveals that she had always dismissed the rumors that he was conducting illicit behavior, but now that she saw Spencer and him together, she is no longer sure. Aria convincingly assures her mother that the two have nothing to do with each other, but is interested to see how her mother feels about Mr. Fitz having dated a student in general. Ella does not mince words, letting Aria know that it would be an abuse of his position and a disappointment. She heads for the door, then turns, and on second thought, tells Aria that it would be worse: a betrayal.
Later, Hanna and Spencer try to comfort Emily, who has told the other girls about her spa day gone wrong. Emily ignores an incoming call from Dr. Sullivan, not telling her friend who the caller is. After the doorbell rings, Spencer apprehensively goes to open the door for Aria, afraid that her friend will be angry with her. The two girls start speaking over each other. They slow down so that Aria can forgive Spencer for her bold move, and Spencer communicates her fears about Aria's welfare. Aria lets Spencer know that her move brought out the best in Ezra, who now wants to expose their secret... She also explains that the only problem is that her mother thinks that Spencer is the one that Ezra is hooking up with.
Garrett pulls up to Jason's house, who is quietly sitting on his porch steps. Jason greets Garrett casually, like they are old friends. Garrett offers Jason a can of beer, but when Jason gives him a look, he says "I forgot" and keeps it for himself. He makes himself comfortable, and Jason nonchalantly asks him what he's thinking about. Without bothering to look at him, Garrett says that he wants to know that their secret is still under wraps, as he is a cop, and his reputation is on the line. The two then sit, kicking back.
The last scene cuts to Dr. Sullivan's office. Dr. Sullivan enters and apologizes to her patient for the delay while she was on the phone with another patient. She then comments on the room being suddenly cold and grabs a sweater on the coat rack, beside a black hoodie... She then asks the patient what is on his or her mind. (Has Dr. Sullivan been treating "A" for long? Is that how he/she broke into Dr. Sullivan's office?)
- When Emily gets the phone call from Dr. Sullivan, she presses the "Decline Call" button, which should be a slide button. Also, when she clicks on it, a "Zoom In/Zoom Out" button appears, which only happens on pictures or while searching the web.
- In "The First Secret," we see Ali hide a note (from "A"?) and a necklace inside the doll and place it in the box. Aria examines the doll, but does not realize there is a hidden compartment.
- Jason says he found Ali's box under the floorboards, yet in "The First Secret," we see Ali hide the box in an air vent. Did she find a new secret hiding place?
- Lucas is revealed to be the one who gave Emily massage in "'A' is for A-l-i-v-e"
- The search engine Bing has a product placement in this episode when Spencer translates the Latin phrase on Ian 's shirt.
- The episode's doctored title, "Touched by an 'A'-ngel" is based on the title of a famous poem by Maya Angelou, "Touched by an Angel." The poem's motifs are courage and love. The last line of the poem characterizes the whole well: "Yet it is only love/which sets us free." (Aria and Emily never really seemed to buy "The truth will set you free," in "It's Alive" anyway.)
- Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
- Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin
- Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery
- Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
- Drew Van Acker as Jason DiLaurentis
- Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz
- Paloma Guzmán (II) as Jackie Molina
- Annabeth Gish as Anne Sullivan
- Holly Marie Combs as Ella Montgomery
- Janel Parrish as Mona Vanderwaal
- Natalie Hall as Kate Randall
- Keegan Allen as Toby Cavanaugh
- Tammin Sursok as Jenna Marshall
- Yani Gellman as Garrett Reynolds
- Helena Barrett as Elizabeth
- Danielle Taddei as Margaux
- Caroline Pho as Masseuse
- Marmee Cosico as Park Goers (uncredited)
- "Call it the Same" by Madi Diaz (when Spencer and Toby talk while packing up Ian's belongings)
- "Shot in the Dark" by Augustana (when Ezra and Aria talk at the college fair)
- "Don't You" by El May (when Hanna tries on the world's worst bridesmaid's dress)
- "Living In Twilight" by The Weepies (when Aria and Jason look through Ali's old pictures at the Grille)
- "Let Go of Her Hand" by Right the Stars (when Aria is looking through a box of Ali's old things)
Promotional & BTS
Spencer: You know the Hastings' motto: 'Why enjoy today when you can be worrying about tomorrow?'
Hanna [about Emily]: She grinds her teeth in her sleep now — it’s like lying next to a buzzsaw.
Hanna: I just think weddings are overrated in general. If it needs a tent, it's a circus.
Ashley: Says the girl that got up at four in the morning to watch the royal wedding.
Hanna: I had to pee.
Ashley: For three hours.
Toby: You speak Latin, right?
Spencer: Yeah, and I got a 5 on the AP, but I don't remember any of it.
Ezra [to Jackie about Hollis brochures]: Actually, I was just thinking we could put one down here and let the kids scavenge through them like hungry pigeons.
Ashley: Hanna, compassion.
Hanna: I have it, just not in the morning.
Mona [about Hanna’s bridesmaid dress]: Kate Moss would look like a water buffalo in that. All you’re missing is the cud.
Hanna: You are not starved! You just had a whole bowl of jellybeans.
Mona: They were complimentary.
Hanna: I need to make it up to them. If that means I'm standing up there like a sasquatch, so be it.
Spencer: Do you need to take another shower?
Emily: I think five is enough.
Hanna: If it weren't for Isahell the skank, my mom would be with my dad right now instead of home alone, so Kate, her mom and those little bitches can go to hell for all I care.
Toby: So this is weird, huh? Boxing up someone's life.
Spencer: This is Ian we're talking about. I think this just became my fondest memory of him.
Jenna [To Spencer]: "I thought we had an agreement, but you don't seem to care about that anymore. Ian's dead. Alisons murder has already been solved, but you keep digging--digging like the hungry little terrier you always reminded me of"