The Lying Game. It’s Like Our Moral Compass Just Snapped.
Y’all, I have been remiss. I was completely unprepared for the return of The Lying Game last week. I was so unprepared that I was actually on my way back from skiing and not even in my home, AND I didn’t set the DVR to record it. Yep. That is how completely unprepared I was. I’m sure you’re all just chomping at the bit for this recap. (That’s sarcasm, y’all. Promise.)
So let’s start things off with a teeny tiny recap of what happened in last week’s episode, “O Twin, Where Art Thou?”
- First and foremost, we should note that the perennially gorgeous Cordelia Chase (I know her real name is Charisma Carpenter. But she will always be Cordy to me.) has joined the cast as Annie “Rebecca” Sewell, who is Char’s aunt. Annie Sewell and Annie Hobbs are two different people, apparently.
- Cordy (Annie-Rebecca? WHAT SHOULD I CALL HER?! Perhaps we should have a poll…) and Phyllis do not get along at all.
- Adrian Pasdar/Ted/Cordy all talk a lot about how much they’ve changed and don’t want to re-hash anything.
- Thayer/Ethan/Emma trying to figure out where Sutton is. (Answer, to refresh your memory: at the bottom of the lake. Maybe.)
- The Mercers have come home from “Sutton”‘s birthday party and found out that someone (Sutton) stole the “extra” car. I really want these fictional people to pay off my grad school loans for me.
- The costume designer is really into those weird shirts that have slits down the arm. I dislike them. Well, maybe I feel ambivalent toward them. But I seriously disliked that both Char and Emma were wearing them in the same scene.
- The Mercer’s “extra” car is found in lake, but there no Sutton. Ethan/Emma arrested by his bitch-ass brother. Ethan/Emma/Thayer think Sutton is dead.
- There was a moment during this episode where I wasn’t paying attention to what was actually happening on screen (because Boyfriend who is now living in Singapore was texting me) and all of a sudden the score sounded a whole lot like the opening theme for BSG and I was seriously excited.
- Thayer thinks Ethan whacked Sutton.
- Annie-Rebecca/Cordy stopped by the Country Club to talk to Adrian Pasdar about Ted…and then we never got the end of that conversation. *kicks show*
- Laurel loses Justin’s mom’s bracelet . . . Ted finds it and acts SUPER CREEPY about it.
- Emma receives a present containing a piece of Sutton’s dress and a note that threatens her if she keeps pretending to be Sutton. DUN-DUN-DUN.
And now for last night’s episode, “When We Dead Awaken.” (Which, btw, is the title of the last play Henrik Ibsen wrote.)
So, on the whole, I felt like this episode was all over the freaking place. There was the mystery of where Sutton is, the what-is-happening-to-Char-now-that-her-mom-is-going-to-rehab business, the continuance of Ted being weird about Justin’s mom, the drama of Laurel and Justin, the explanation of why Dan and Adrian Pasdar are in cahoots, the reemergence of Derek, and, then on top of all of that, Emma going on an unofficial college visit. It was weird. And a lot to take in, especially considering that I couldn’t remember Justin’s name for about half the episode until someone (probs Laurel) finally said it aloud.
The episode actually picked right—literally in the same scene—that the last episode ended. Thayer, Ethan, and Emma are all standing in Sutton’s room talking about the cryptic present. Ethan and Thayer then together explain how the “present” is an exact replica of Sutton’s old lying games. (FINALLY THE EXPOSITION THAT EXPLAINS THE SHOW’S TITLE.) Sutton would pick someone to torture, then steal shit from them, then send them their shit wrapped in white paper and a black ribbon with a cryptic, threatening note, for no other reason than to fuck with other girls’ minds. So the three of them stand around puzzling over who could have sent the present, not really coming to any conclusions other than that Emma has to keep pretending to be Sutton.
After all of that, Emma and Mads go over to Char’s to clean up a mess that Phyllis made during a bender the night before, in which she fell asleep on a pool raft, which is a very weird premise for a scene because, if she was really that drunk, wouldn’t she have fallen off the raft and drowned? I mean, really. Anyway, the scene was all about them being concerned for Char, but I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of them cleaning a pool in their fancy, fancy dresses. When the girls are done there, they head off to school without Char, who is staying home to take care of her mom. When they get to school, they spy Derek peeking through the glass school doors. Emma goes after him and says stuff to him.
Then we have a scene with Kristen and Cordy/Rebecca/Annie, who is applying for membership at the country club so that she can meet people. Kristen tells her that she wants to do something special for Ted for . . . some reason (I think it was an anniversary?) and wants to book a place in California. She asks if Cordy/Rebecca/Annie knows of any good spots and she then names everywhere except Santa Barbara. So, Kristen pries a little and asks if Santa Barbara is nice. Cordy/Rebecca/Annie says that’s the one place she’s never been. Mhmmmmmmm.
Meanwhile, at tennis practice, there is a weird dude taking notes while watching Emma play. She’s obviously uncomfortable about the whole thing and ends up sort of asking him why he’s being creepy just as Ted is all, “IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN, ASSISTANT COACH OF THE TENNIS TEAM AT SUCH AND SUCH MADE UP COLLEGE, ISN’T IT SUTTON?!” Turns out, he’s been scouting Sutton for awhile and is the coach from the school Ted went to. Coach is all, “We should set up an unofficial visit for sometime in the near future,” and Emma is like, “THIS WEEK. LET’S DO IT THIS WEEK.” Because all of a sudden now that Sutton may be dead, Emma has the opportunity to legitimately steal her twin’s life, guilt-free, and go to college on a tennis scholarship. She is more excited about this than she is comfortable with. When Emma tells Ethan and Thayer about her college visit plan, they end up talking about Sutton and how she’d be an awesome sorority girl because she’s such a psycho-bitch, which makes me scream, HEY NOW. NOT ALL SORORITY GIRLS ARE PSYCHO-BITCHES. At least, not all the time.
After that, we see Justin and Ted playing golf. Things are tense, but that’s not abnormal for these two. Then Laurel bounces in, all excited that she has the Dead Mother’s Bracelet back. Justin reiterates that his Dead Mother was wearing it WHEN SHE DIED. Ted says something about how he knows she died in a car crash and Justin gets all weird and creepy. WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIM. SRSLY, SHOW. TELL ME.
Then we get a scene in which Cordy/Rebecca/Annie and Adrian Pasdar chat about putting Phyllis in mandatory rehab. They discuss what to do with Char and Adrian Pasdar suggests she stay with her dad even though they aren’t close. Cordy/Rebecca/Annie wants Char to stay with her, but Adrian Pasdar explains that courts won’t be ok with that.
Emma decides that she’s going to the police instead of going to the college visit after her chat with Laurel whilst painting her nails. She and Ethan pull up to his fancy, fancy trailer and see Adrian Pasdar and Dan arguing. Because Emma doesn’t trust Adrian Pasdar, she and Ethan decide that it’s maybe better that she doesn’t go to the cops. When they ask Thayer if he has any idea why Adrian Pasdar and Dan would be arguing, Thayer defends his dad and says that DAs and cops work together all the time. Which is very true. Then Ethan tries to talk to brother about it, and ends up getting the story of how Dan went to some rich girl’s party somewhere and how they were drinking and unbeknownst to him the rich girl was also popping pills and then DIED, and because he was poor he end up being charged for drug dealing and that Adrian Pasdar got him out of it. So, now Dan feels like he owes Adrian Pasdar everything. Now, here’s my question: How did Ethan not know this information about his brother and his dealing charges?! How many years apart are they? WHY DOESN’T THIS SHOW MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME?!
So after all of that weird, we get to go on the unofficial college visit with Ted and Emma. Because Emma decided to go after all. So, they’re strolling around campus and Emma wants to see the library. Ted is having nostalgia fever. Emma points out that Ted’s college years were the only time he was away from Adrian Pasdar. She says that sometimes he scares her. Ted is appalled by this. A little later, Emma and Ethan video chat while she stands in the middle of the college campus. The fact that she was standing struck me as weird. When I video chat, I sit down. Do people video chat standing up? Is this a thing that I don’t know about? Am I over-thinking this? (That answer is always.) Emma moons about the idea of college and how she’s so excited to go and how she wants Ethan to go too. Dan butts in and is Negative Ned about Ethan’s college prospects and Emma gets off the video chat really quickly. Then Ethan delivers this line, which is actually pretty awesome. “I still have hope, which is something you gave up when you became Alec’s [btw, that's Adrian Pasdar's character's name] bitch.”—Ethan to Dan.
Hey weird dream sequence! Emma has a nightmare about finding Sutton’s headstone. It’s very fog-machine heavy. She’s freaked out by it.
So, in the not-dream world, the tennis coach basically tells Emma, whom she thinks is Sutton, that she knows about her mean girl reputation and that she won’t put up with that shit on her team. I immediately like this lady. Then we have Mr. Assistant Coach who all of a sudden has a Southern accent (where is this college supposed to be located anyway?) talking to Ted about how stiff the competition is for a female athlete to get a tennis scholarship to that particular school. He’s a dick about it. After the tennis visit, Emma then goes to speak with an admissions counselor, and she basically tells the woman that she stole her twin sister’s life and is thrilled about it.
Back over in Rich People Land, Arizona, Justin forgets about his latte date with Laurel. Then he tries to duck out of it when she confronts him about it. Then he gets all defensive. And sounds a little Southern too. Which makes sense because he’s from Oklahoma. (And is 30. Just FYI.) Laurel asks Justin if he wants to break up . . . he sort of flounders with it and then says yes. Laurel cries (A LOT) while talking to Kristen and says that she wishes Sutton were there to talk to. Aweeeeee. When Ted and Emma gets back from the college visit, Kristen alerts Ted to the break up, which she is actually glad for. Ted says this, “That little bastard.” which actually gives him a couple Sandy Cohen Points in my book. Then we get to see Emma and Laurel chatting and learn that Laurel (probably correctly) thinks her break up has something to do with Ted since Justin had talked about how Ted isn’t exactly the guy everyone thinks he is. Which brings me back to, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH JUSTIN?!
In other news, CHAR IS MOVING AWAY. If I were a bettin’ lady, I would put money on that she comes back in the next episode. After she’s picked up by her not-seen-on-screen father, Cordy/Rebecca/Annie goes over to Mercer Manor to talk to Kristen about Char. Ted freaks out about the fact that Cordy/Rebecca/Annie is in his house and calls Adrian Pasdar. Adrian Pasdar tells him to man up and calm down.
Laurel then goes to talk to Justin about the break up, since she was given no reason for it, but he insinuates that he has someone up in his room, causing Laurel to turn on her heel and flee. (Nicely done, Laurel.) But, we find out that there isn’t anyone up there. Just that weird box and an autopsy report. (WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH JUSTIN?! Is he on a revenge mission? Did Ted kill his mom in a hit and run? Is he a spy? I NEED TO KNOW.)
So, apparently Thayer went away for part of this episode, and in his triumphant return he tells Emma and Ethan that he thinks Sutton is dead and that he knows who killed her—Annie Hobbs, who did indeed break out of the psych ward place in LA, but who is not the same person as Annie Sewell, Char’s aunt who was previously thought to be Emma/Sutton’s birth mother. All of this is really unsettling to Emma, who decides once and for all to go to Mercer Manor and tell the truth to the Mercers. GOOD DECISION, EMMA. But once the three of them get to Mercer Manor, no one else is home. Ethan and Thayer end up waxing poetic about how they weirdly loved Sutton even though she was an awful, psycho-bitch. Then Emma joins in about how she was so excited to speak to Sutton for the first time and how she knows that if they had known each other longer they would have been inseparable. Ugh.
Then we see Justin burning the contents of a box. Ted sees him do it. I have no idea why this scene happened since I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT JUSTIN’S DEAL IS.
THEN SUTTON WALKS IN THROUGH THE WEIRD GLASS BEDROOM DOOR LOOKING ALL SMUG. AND THAT IS THE END OF THE EPISODE.
Yep, this sucker was disjointed and weird. But hopefully this tied up some weird plot strings and the next few episodes will be more cohesive. SO! If you remembered to watch The Lying Game this week, tell me ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS in comments. And, also, vote in my poll on what to call Cordy/Rebecca/Annie.
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