The Lying Game. You’re OK, in a First Wife Sort of Way.
Well, HELLO THERE underage drinking, I’m glad the writers finally woke up and wrote you in! (Not that I, or any of those affiliated with Off-Color TV condone underage drinking. But, let’s be honest—every teen drama has it.)
In last night’s episode of The Lying Game, gleefully titled “Never Have I Ever” (which is apparently also a title of one of the books in the series this show is based upon) there’s a lot of people trying to put puzzle pieces together, but not quite being able to figure out exactly how they fit. And also, Becky from Friday Night Lights, which made my little FNL-filled fangirl of a heart pitter-patter like whoa. Yes, it would have been more exciting if it had been, say, Riggins or Saracen or Coach (If this show can get Adrian Pasdar, surely they can wrangle Zach Gilford, right? Even for just one episode?) but apparently a sighting of any FNL alum on another show is enough to make me squeal loud enough that my roommates ask if I’m ok.
Anyway, onward with this recap!
Since the episode opened with Sutton, let’s start with her. At the very beginning, we see little Miss Sutton being booked in a juvenile detention center in Las Vegas. During her booking Thayer calls her, but her phone is already in one of those industrial strength ziplock baggies and the booking agent is not about to let Sutton answer the call. A little bit later, we see her sitting in a very charming cinder-block cell with a rickety-ass metal bed and she is wearing an actual orange jumpsuit. I have no idea how truthful having those in juvey wearing orange jumpsuits is, but I will not lie, I enjoyed every moment Sutton was in that ugly carrot-colored thing. Anyway, Sutton is talking to her case worker, who is completely baffled by the fact that Sutton (who he thinks is Emma, mind you) is demanding that he provide her with a pillow protector. I really loved this scene because Sutton acted like such a brat with her hilarious demands and insistence that her twin sister has stolen her identity. Which, of course, is totally true, but sounds so ludicrous that absolutely no one is going to believe her. It also begs the question, do juvey centers not fingerprint when they book? Because if they did, this case would be SOLVED.
But that did not happen, so instead we get a scene in which the case worker tells Sutton to stop talking about her secret identical twin and swears that if she just pleads guilty to the laundry list of petty crimes stacked up against Emma, she’ll get off easier. The rest of Sutton’s screen time in the episode is of her trying to make her one phone call. BTW, did any of you realize that if you make a call and just let the phone ring and don’t say any words (aka, no one picks up on the other end) that that doesn’t count as your phone call? Apparently you actually have to speak words for it to count. I love how I know absolutely nothing about the rules of juvey. Anyway, toward the end of the episode, Sutton finally gets Laurel on the phone, but of course Laurel has no idea what’s going on and just tells Sutton to come home (this will make sense in a bit.) and then abruptly hangs up. So Sutton’s one phone call is wasted and now she has to write regular, antiquated ol’ snail mail to relay her plea that her parents come pick her up from juvey in Vegas.
Now back over in Phoenix, things are a little more and less complicated.
Ted and Kristen are going out of town to Sedona for some sort of plastic surgery retreat/conference. I did not realize that Ted was a plastic surgeon, but I suppose that that is a lucrative industry and would make him the kind of money necessary to owning Mercer Manor. Also, Kristen doesn’t have a job, right? Anyway, with Ted and Kristen out of town, that means that Laurel, who has convinced her parents that she and Justin did not have sex, and Emma will throw a party!
But before the elder Mercers leave, Kristen wants to call the authorities and report Justin’s squatting and general runaway sitch to them, but Laurel and Emma talk her out of it by telling her about an awful “documentary” about the horribleness of foster families. I would have told her to watch It Takes Two, but that’s just me. Ted pulls a couple strings and finds Justin a place to live above the country club (I don’t understand that, either.) as well as some part-time work at the golf course. But this fancy, dorm-room sized apartment comes with a couple strings—first, Laurel is to NEVER be there and second, if Ted finds out that Justin and Laurel do (read: did) have sex, HE WILL KILL HIM. Ted actually said those words OUT LOUD and in a tone that was both serious and terrifying and made you straight up believe that he actually would kill the poor blonde boy. Then there was this whole thing about Ted grabbing a photo album of Justin’s and Justin FREAKING OUT ABOUT IT.
You best believe that comes back into play in this episode when Laurel (who is all kinds of using the “love” word A LOT and I’m now afraid she’s going to become preggers.) stays the night in his new digs and tries to go through the photo album. Justin is really touchy about it and actually says, “Don’t you remember what curiosity did to the cat?” I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON. But if Laurel gets hurt I will personally go to LA and find the writers of this show and like, do something bad to them. Turns out, Justin has a family photo of the Mercers. Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun. Oh, you should also know that Justin gives Laurel a bracelet that was his mother’s.
If you are astute Lying Gamers, you will remember that at the end of last week’s episode, pervy foster-brother Travis showed up in Mercer Manor and scared the bejeezus out of Emma. I’m not really sure exactly how he found Emma (I assume it had to do with her phone’s GPS), but he did and turns out, he “doesn’t give a crap about [her] Nancy Drew mystery”—he just wants to burgle Mercer Manor. Emma really doesn’t want him to, but she figures she can give him some of Sutton’s jewelry and he’d get off her back. Thinking he won’t know any better, she takes great pains (aka, makes Char identify the baubles from the rest) to give Travis only costume jewelry with the explicit instructions to not pawn it until he gets to Vegas. Travis then tells her he wants to knock over some of her friends places and she refuses, and then he decides to “seal the deal” by kissing her. It was really creepy and I don’t know if this is, like, some kind of thing that is normal with petty criminals, but I hated every second of it. But what’s more is that Ethan, whom Emma had had a sort of fight with earlier in the episode, saw the kiss. And he is NOT happy about it.
So, with the elder Mercers out of town Laurel and Emma throw the most low-key party in the history of teen drama TV-parties. There are no flyers handed out at school or spiked punch or raucous music or houses being toilet papered or kids puking on the lawn. It’s just Mads, Thayer, Char, Derek, Laurel, Justin, Emma, and later Ethan (who is summoned via text by Thayer after Thayer and Emma have a conversation about how much more Ethan likes Emma than Sutton) playing Never Have I Ever and drinking wine. Well, Char drinks cranberry and club soda and announces the fact that she’s drinking cran and club soda to everyone at the party. It is WEIRD. In any case, Emma feels totally uncomfortable playing this game with everyone because she doesn’t know what Sutton’s answers would be and because she is apparently such the Good Twin that she can’t lie.
For example, one of the Never Have I Evers is about shoplifting. Instead of just NOT taking a drink of her wine in a Solo cup, she waits until everyone else has already taken their drinks and then, like, eyes the crowd to make sure no one is watching her. Then when it’s Ethan’s turn to ask a question he OF COURSE uses it to try and passive-aggressively corner Emma by saying, “Never Have I Ever kissed someone in the past twenty-four hours.” And because Emma apparently can’t lie (I know, there’s so much irony here that it’s stupid.) she, like, jumps on top of Ethan and kisses him before drinking. And he is pissed at her for it.
At this point in the party, everyone is pretty wine-drunk and everyone leaves except for Emma and Ethan. Emma tries to talk Ethan into sleeping with her, but she’s WAY drunk and he’s WAY pissed at her, so he ends up carrying her to bed and chivalrously removing her shoes before leaving. (I really don’t know if he gets Pacey Points for this or not. Discuss in comments.) I’m pretty sure he went through the front door.
A little bit later there’s this total Scream moment where the land-line phone is ringing at Mercer Manor and Emma drunkenly gets out of bed and stumbles through the dark house looking for the phone. (It turns out it’s Sutton calling) But when the phone finally stops ringing, Emma gulps down a big glass of water before going back to bed. But when she gets to her room, TRAVIS is there and he is MAD because he realizes she’s given him costume jewelry. She tries to give him some nicer stuff, but he’s not having it and is instead implying that she should sleep with him and he starts chasing her and then from out nowhere Ethan rushes in and punches Travis. It is AWESOME and Pacey Points abound.
So to finish out this story arc, Ethan obviously finds out the truth about Travis being in town and emotionally terrorizing Emma. As they’re comically carrying his unconscious body out of Mercer Manor, Emma has this, actually really good, line: “All of a sudden we’re in a Coen Brothers movie.” I was impressed with that! And it’s an even BETTER line when you remember that one of the Coens is named Ethan! Anyway, the two of them (Emma and Ethan, not Joel and Ethan) also tell Thayer. And then Ethan goes all bad-ass and forces Travis to leave town and never come back OR ELSE. And Travis complies. We’ll see for how long.
Meanwhile, Ted and Kristen are at their fancy retreat and they run into Tom List, Cranio-Facial (that’s actually how he introduced himself) who remembers Ted from some crazy party that happened twenty years ago in Santa Barbara. Then, Tom List, Cranio-Facal, looks at Kristen and calls her Annie! WHAT. So, when the Mercers return to their Manor, Kristen is all kinds of weirded out by it and goes to the family photo album. When she discovers that weird, mustachioed picture of Ted and Adrian Padar and Annie “Sewell” (apparently that’s her real last name?) is gone, she asks Ted about it and he makes up some lame excuse. Then, when he sees Laurel’s bracelet (which she tells them she found in a vintage shop) he TOTALLY recognizes it. And now I’m concerned that Justin is Laurel’s half-brother. INCEST ALERT SIRENS ARE GO.
Which brings us to Adrian Pasdar. In this episode, Annie calls him FREAKING OUT about Sutton coming and telling her that Emma is alive and Adrian Pasdar insists that Sutton is schizo. But it now proves that he knows Sutton is actually elsewhere and Emma is pretending to be Sutton. Later in the episode he gives Thayer a check for $20,000 as proof that he loves him and wants him to succeed and then puts up the bail money to get Sutton out of juvey. As he’s watching Sutton walk out (I can only assume he was going to pick her up? I really don’t know though) BECKY FROM FNL drives up and talks about a mile a minute about how she can’t believe her best friend didn’t call her and tell her what was going on. Sutton just sits there. Oh, and Thayer uses his techno-spy skills to figure out that it was Sutton calling from Vegas juvey during the Scream scene. So they all know where she is. Which I guess will come into play in the NEXT episode.
And in case you were wondering, this episode featured the musical stylings of both Bush and Joe Jonas. Take that info and do what you will with it.
And that is the episode! There are many, many things for you to discuss in comments! So get to it, Lying Gamers. Provide me with your best theories and snark and reason as to why Ethan only ever wears blue and all the things I maybe forgot to add in this recap! The more comments, the happier the blogger. ;)
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