Coming hot off of the quick vindication of the Losers Club, which we will refer to the group of girls as from here on out, Episode 4 of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin “The Fe(Male) Gaze” ramps us right back up to an 11 with a highly engaging and high stakes episode. Mothers will be put in the crosshairs, and the lives of one of the Losers Club gets shoved directly in A’s path. Let’s take a ride.
Episode 4 “The Fe(Male) Gaze”
This episode starts with a flashback: Angela and Marjorie (Sarah-Anne Martinez), Noa’s mom, hang out outside of school smoking a cigarette. Well, Marjorie is smoking the cigarette but talks Angela into smoking it too. In a total Marjorie move, she hands the cigarette to Angela and has her take the blame. A pattern starts to form for Marjorie, showing that she is incapable of taking the blame for anything that she does, whether that’s her friend in the crosshair or her own daughter. In the present day we join Marjorie at work. There is a present on the desk in her office, inside a teddy bear that says “mother of the year,” of course the ‘A’ in the word year is red, with a pill bottle attached to it. All of this mirrors the teddy bear we see Marjorie give Angela in a flashback.
The Losers Club is in detention when Imogen gets a phone call, though the librarian, still reading smut, tells Imogen she can’t be on the phone. Using her pregnancy to her advantage, Imogen tells her it’s a doctor and she has to take the call. On the other end is a guy from her mother’s graduating class. Mr. Thompson gets quite defensive when Imogen brings up Angela, and the phone call quickly ends. After detention they all hang out in the yard out front of school when Noa briefly before Tabby says she has to go the A/V room to grab some equipment, though she actually goes to the boys locker room to get her hidden shower cam. Tyler and Greg burst in before Tabby can escape, which leads to her hiding in a bathroom stall while the two “men” brag about their, obviously exaggerated, sexual conquests.
A couple puts an offer in for Imogen’s house, this is just another layer of stress added to Imogen. The next day in film class, Mr. Smithee gives them an assignment to take a scene from one of the approved films and remake. In the ballet studio “Kelly” moves all of her belongings to Karen’s old locker, saying she’s doing it because the locker is bigger. Right away this feeds into Faran’s suspicion that Kelly is actually Karen. Also Faran is told by Madame Giry that she is to do one on one trainings with “Kelly” to get back up to speed with rehearsals. We find out that Noa used to be a great runner, and is trying to get back on the team. This brief character addition for Noa will come in handy for her later on.
Mouse and Ash have a cute scene together where Ash takes the lead and tries to make a date with her, he even goes so far as to say he’ll come over because of how overbearing her parents are. Mouse says she’ll just sneak and they will do something. Imogen is over at her house trying to get some affairs in order when she hears something in the basement. For some reason, Imogen goes down to check out the sound. Walking down the cliché creepy basement staircase we see A standing behind the stairs, watching Imogen. Thankfully, there is a noise that front door, drawing Imogen away from A’s murderous gaze. It turns out the buyers are on the front porch, which pisses Imogen off. This leads to Imogen asking the couple if they are familiar with what happened to her mother at the house. Ms. Hayworthe is pissed at Imogen for this because, not only did she lose a sale, Davie was in a ton of debt and selling the house would have settled (most of) it.
At the theatre, Tabby and Chip talk about what scene they are going to remake for class. Chip mentions the tree r*pe scene from Evil Dead. Tabby is not down for that and decides to shoot the shower scene from Psycho, though this time it will be told through the female gaze. With a film and scene in mind, it’s time to find actors. Tabby eventually talks Faran into it, and also lands on Greg being the man. Tabby even goes so far as to tell Greg he looks like Ryan Reynolds.
During Faran’s one-on-one time with “Kelly” they quickly go awry when “Kelly” says to Faran, “you just be you, girl,” which is exactly what Karen said to her in the past. Later on Henry and Faran chat in the hall. Henry tells Faran she has to be nicer to “Kelly,” and even says dancing with “Kelly” is like dancing with Karen, setting off a trigger in Faran’s head. Finally ready to pack everything up, Imogen starts going through things in the house and soon finds a Ouija board. Imogen talks the Losers Club into coming over and playing with the board to try and contact her mom. Faran goes back to “Kelly” and apologizes to her, but notices that she is wearing Karen’s leotard.
Later in the day, they all assemble at Imogen’s house to play with the Ouija board. Upon asking the first question, the planchette actually moves! Now we don’t know if it was an ideomotor thing or if was actually ghosts. Nevertheless, Imogen goes from being surprised to launching into a full monologue about how alone she is and that she hates her mom. It’s quite a powerful moment, and not the only deep emotional character moment of the episode. The other girls quickly comfort Imogen, with Tabby pulling the, “We’re friends til the end,” line from Chucky. To cap off this incredibly eventful day, Sheriff Beasley shows up at Noa’s apartment to do a random inspection, which apparently he is allowed to do as part of her probation, though this is his first time doing it. Throughout the whole search Marjorie clutches a bag to her chest, thankfully the Sheriff doesn’t see the bag because Noa will later go on to find drugs stolen from the hospital.
It’s time to (re)film Psycho! Tabby, Faran, and Greg meet Chip at the school afterhours, and they make their way to the guys locker room. Earlier Tabby made it abundantly clear that her set is a safe set, but Greg takes things way too far and takes his speedo off, waving his d*ck around. As it should, this pisses Tabby off more than anything and goes outside to cool off for a few minutes. Two beats are really important here: the first one is the look on Chip’s face when Tabby gives Greg his character motivation, saying imagine she slipped something into your drink, and the second is when Tabby steps outside she has another bonfire party flashback. So at this point it is leading us to believe there was a party somewhere and Tabby was drugged(?). My thought is it was Chip and he passed the blame onto someone else. Once Tabby comes back inside she notices the actors are gone…Chip finished the shoot. Tabby is even more pissed off now as this was supposed to be a story told by a female, and a male stepped in to finish filming.
Intercut with the filming scene is the unfortunate decision Noa has to make. Unknown texts Noa to tell her that she will be thrown under the bus by her mom, just like Angela was. Noa gets a message that the pizza she ordered has arrived, so she goes down to get it. Upon getting to the front door Noa sees the front window punched in and the pizza is strewn about. Noa heads back up to the apartment and sees A trying to break into her apartment. This leads to an all out chase where A chases Noa up a staircase and onto the roof of the building where she does a super badass jump between two buildings! The only thing is, since the ankle monitor was put back on that day, Noa is at the border of where her monitor will go off. A tells Noa she has to “punish the guilty.” Knowing what this means Noa calls the hospital and tells security her mother is stealing medication.
The final beat of the episode is Faran looking at photos on Facebook of Karen and Kelly, when she has a brain blast…Karen would have a scar on the bottom of her foot from the razor being put in her shoe. So if “Kelly” is who she says she is, then there would be no scar on her foot.
Noa’s arc, heh, in this episode was a strong one. She realizes that she is being put in a position, and will possibly continue to be put in them, as long as her mom has a drug problem. The call she makes to the hospital is raw and Maia Reficco absolutely gives that scene her all. The only issue I have is that was such a strong moment it was nearly undercut by Faran scrolling through Facebook looking at photos. They should have either put that scene earlier in the episode, or completely saved it for the beginning of Episode 5. It really takes away from the emotional impact. Otherwise the direction this show is going just gets better and better.