The Lying Game. You’re, Like, A Conjugation Wizard.

Y’all, this show is really weird. And kind of annoying. And last night’s episode, “Sex, Lies, and Hard Knocks High” basically typifies all the things I don’t like about this show. Yes, I realize it’s a teen drama and it’s supposed to be all melodramatic and angsty and the story lines are supposed to be drawn out to the point that you find yourself screaming at the TV for things to just HAPPEN ALREADY, but. I feel like this show makes it much harder to endure than other shows have in the past. Or maybe I’m just getting old. (I def had a Twitter conversation with a friend about how hot we find Jeremy Sisto on Suburgatory, and how weird we feel about that since he’s the dad on the show and not one of the teenagers. But. Seriously, that man is attractive.)

And, actually, there were some really great moments in last night’s misleadingly titled episode—namely the story line with Sutton and Lexi, in which Sutton got a taste of what it’s like to have to be another person, and met a highly attractive, magic card trick doing guy at the high school (that I assume is the “hard knocks high” the episode title refers to. It’s not scary. It’s a normal school. These writers need to stop watching Gossip Girl.) Emma goes to in Las Vegas. Mostly, I just like Lexi.

All right, so now I’ll bitch my way through the rest of the episode. Prepare yourselves for my violent outbursts. (They’re really violent.)

In perpetually sunny Phoenix, Emma and Ethan chat and scheme and disagree on stuff. They have a cute moment in which Emma apologizes for drunkenly propositioning him and let’s it slip that it would have been her first time. Ethan says “It’d be your first time?” and then Emma quickly whispers “Oh, awkward moment.” before changing the subject. It was a nicely done little moment for them. So huzzah for that. Then they overheard Ted and Kristen talking about how they need to stop hiding things from Sutton and tell her the truth! Ted is against it! Kristen is for it! No one is surprised!

Ted then calls The Lying Game Puppet-master Adrian Pasdar (I’m so pissed I’m JUST NOW coming up with this name for him.) and tells him that Kristen wants to tell Sutton the truth. Then they have SOME REALLY BIZARRE dialogue that goes like this:

Adrian Pasdar: “Kristen is an honest woman.”

Ted: “That’s why I love her.”

Adrian Pasdar: “Yeah, me too.”

I MEAN, REALLY?! WTF ALREADY. I swear to Ceiling Cat, if this whole connection between the “adults” on this show ends up being some sort of we-went-to-Burning Man-and-smoked-peyote-and-fucked-each other, and-have-no-clue-whose-babies-are-whose shit, I’m going to divorce myself from ABC Family and then move my ass to LA so I can write TV shows. Because. *throws hands in air* Although. If that is the explanation, I might have to high five the writers of this show for being so completely bonkers before excoriating them, Willow style.

Kristen ends up telling Emma what she knows, which is NOT THE TRUTH. At all. And then she tells Emma that she wants to help her in her search for the bio mom. Kristen has been in the dark this WHOLE TIME and I feel so bad for her because she’s been beating herself up over her “knowledge,” which isn’t even real! Ted is awful. Puppet-master Pasdar is awfuler. *harumph*

Anyway. Emma wants to talk to Puppet-master Pasdar about Annie and Ethan thinks that’s a horrible idea and that Emma should just give up on this whole stupid endeavor and let Sutton clean up this shit storm when she gets back to Phoenix. I have to say that I agree with Ethan. But Emma doesn’t. So she sets out to see Pasdar, at the country club (where else?) and runs into Thayer. Turns out that Puppet-master Pasdar has set up a meeting for him with some baby-faced venture capitalist who won’t stop ogling Mads.

But Puppet-master Pasdar sees Emma, whom he knows is Emma, and he insists she join them for dinner. It’s awkward and when Puppet-master Pasdar makes Emma ask him the “legal question” she’s been waiting to talk to him about, she finally asks about perjury and how one can tell if someone is lying. (These writers think they are soooo meta.) He tells her the tell-tale signs and she quickly calls him out for exhibiting all of them himself. It’s weird. This show is annoying.

Then Puppet-master Pasdar sees Char and Derek come in to the country club and we are told, I think by Mads, that they are celebrating their ten-day anniversary. I want to strangle them and their aggressive vapidity. Anyway, Puppet-master Pasdar is mad because he realizes that Derek is stupid enough to actually like Char, and he tells Derek that he must break up with her, OR ELSE. And Derek does it!! Char’s response? “But . . . I’m Char Chamberlin. Remember?” That is ACTUALLY what she says. These writers really need to be shot.

Ok, so on the Laurel/Justin front, Kristen finds a still-wrapped condom in the laundry and asks Laurel about it. Laurel is honest about having the sex with Justin and Kristen is really, really cool about the whole thing. Laurel, however, is not. She gets really defensive and yells at Kristen and acts like a normal teenage girl. Which is guess is what she is, so that’s fine I guess. Kristen tells Ted, who reacts like a typical dad would, and then insists that Ted talk to Justin about the sex. Ted says this: “That may be a little difficult without beating him to death with my putter.” *high five Ted* I guess the writer who wrote that line can live. Maybe. If I’m feeling nice. So Ted talks to Justin, and Justin TOTALLY manipulates the situation by telling Ted that he’s his role model and that he knows he’s a man who would never lie to his family. I really want to know what Justin knows. Because it’s something. I think perhaps Justin is The Key to all of this biz-nazz. Later on, Justin tells Laurel that he doesn’t think her dad isn’t as nice of a guy as everyone thinks he is.

Ok, what else. Oh!!!!! Annie Hobbs has ESCAPED. Puppet-master Pasdar is alerted to this and he is UNHAPPY. Annie calls Char and identifies herself as Char’s aunt (which we already knew thanks to the close captioning on Em’s TV from a couple weeks ago) and they chat for a moment before Char’s bitchfaced mom takes the phone. Annie refuses to speak to her sister and hangs up. Char asks what’s up with them and Bitchface explains that Annie made some really bad decisions that Bitchface just can’t forgive her for. Whatever. Get over yourself and off your moral high horse.

Also, you should know that Ethan wants to leave with Emma when she is forced to leave Phoenix. I guess that’s sweet. But these kids need to calm down and figure out that none of them will stay together when they all go to college.

ALRIGHT. Let’s get to the fun part of the episode.

In short, Sutton and Lexi hang out. And it’s awesome because Lexi is the best, and because Emma’s foster mom, Clarice, is a horrid bitch and yells at “Emma” for being such an ungrateful little bitch. (Clarice’s foster license has been revoked and she’s no longer getting checks.) Sutton TOTALLY stands up to her and threatens her and IT IS AWESOME. Like, raining Caroline Cash awesome.

So, Sutton stays with Lexi and her cocktail waitress mom at their place. There is a motherfucking montage of Sutton going through clothes and then taking scissors to a dress to improve it. Then she goes to high school and gets all kinds of attention from boys, specifically Kelvin (played by Travis Caldwell, WHO IS GORGEOUS), whose father owns a casino. He invites Sutton and Lexi to a casino party with a $100 buy in. Sutton gets Lexi to agree to go to the party so they can hustle the blackjack table and make enough cash for Sutton to get back to LA. The funny part is, Sutton has no idea how to play blackjack. Kelvin realizes this and asks the house dealer to step aside so he can deal for a bit. Then he TOTALLY allows Sutton and Lexi to win back the money they lost.

After Sutton has doubled her money, she privately calls Kelvin out for manipulating the deck in her favor. He smoothly deflects the accusation, but doesn’t tell her she’s wrong. Then he tries to get her to have a drink and perhaps stay with him at the casino, but Sutton blows him off. Which I’m sure was probably the right decision because Kelvin is sure to be a douchey playboy, but I kind of figured that’s Sutton’s thing. Although I guess if she was secretly seeing Ethan, then maybe not. Oh well. I can only hope Kelvin comes back at some point because OMG IS HE PRETTY.

At the end of the episode, Sutton learns from the hot male nurse guy that Annie has escaped and is probably looking for her. Sutton decides she should return to Phoenix. As she’s getting on the bus, Lexi lets her know that she totally knew she was Sutton, and not Emma, the entire time, thus earning herself a shit-ton of Caroline Cash. Then Sutton and Lexi hug and you can tell that Sutton is a little jealous of the friendship Emma has with this girl. I really hope this isn’t the end of Lexi on this show. She is hands-down my fave since Laurel has become a freaking love-sick puppy.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it for this episode. Next week is the Fall Finale episode, which I think is also going to be a birthday party for Sutton/Emma, so hopefully we will have some answers. But, going off of Pretty Little Liars‘ record, probably not.

So what did y’all think of this episode? Are you as annoyed with the parents as I am? What do you think Justin knows? How much shit do you think will go down once Sutton arrives back in Phoenix? WHY do the wardrobe people insist on dressing Emma like an ’80s business woman? Tell me all your theories and thoughts and wishes and dreams, in comments.

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  • http://twitter.com/onlymystory Melissa Leaman

    I haven’t watched the episode yet but since comments are like crack to all of us, I had to leave something. Yay for FNL alums on new shows. Hopefully this Lexi sticks around. :)

  • Em

    Aw, thanks for the shout out. :)

    I hope that the entire second half of the season takes place in Vegas because there is a lot of potential in creating more storylines with Lexi and or Kelvin.  I liked seeing Sutton in action and I was so glad that Lexi wasn’t fooled because Sutton was not very good at suppressing her natural self.

    I’m sure that something big is going to happen when Sutton comes back to AZ, but what I really want to know is:  What is Justin up to?

    I am annoyed by lots of things in this show, but it definitely has its moments and I still look forward to it each week.

  • http://twitter.com/phouse1964 Patty Housel

    This episode annoyed me too!  Everyone on this show is such a LIAR!!  Oh, wait…

    Lexi was great and I hope that Sutton realizes just HOW great.  Lexi knew she wasnt’ Emma from like, minute one, and yet all Sutton’s “friends” have been hanging out with Emma for months (weeks?  awhile at least) and nobody except Ethan figured it out.  And Ethan figured it out pretty fast.

    So we finally get a show with adults and they are all lying assholes, right?

    Also, Justin?  Yeah, we need to know what he knows pretty damn fast.

    I am more than a little sad that this show will be gone for awhile.  I assume it’s coming back at some point.  Right?

  • Tharealblksheep

    Haha I love how you called kelvin pretty…..he’s definatly just as beautiful off screen too…he’s my friend…travis would appreciate this.

  • Em

    I think it’s hilarious that Sutton’s friends and family haven’t caught on that Emma’s not Sutton just because they are all grateful that she’s so much nicer!  I think that they’ve collectively decided not to acknowledge it and hope that it lasts.

    The show will be back for 10 more episodes in 2012 sometime.

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