So, let's get started with the Pilot!
The episode, and the show as a whole, begins with a flashback! Aria, Hanna, Emily, Spencer, and Alison are all hanging out in Spencer's barn. An indeterminate time later, Aria wakes up and discovers that both Spencer and Alison are not there. As the other girls wake up, Spencer walks back into the barn and says she "heard her scream."
- Not much clue-wise here that I can see, except that Ali definitely wants Aria to drink the drink. Did she drug them to sleep while she went out? Not sure.
- We see this later in another flashback when Aria and Ali see Byron (Aria's dad) kissing a mystery blonde in his car. It should be noted that Mona had been trying to hang out with them and may have seen the indiscretion, too.
- It's 5pm when she is there. She has to pick up Mike at 6pm. This isn't much of a clue, but I love when shows get their clocks correctly set.
- There is a Missing poster for Ali in the bar.
- Ezra says he "just graduated" from Hollis.
- They have a moment over the song playing: B26.
- Does anyone know what Ezra is reading while at the bar? I couldn't tell.
- Ezra says he "tried writing, but didn't get very far."
- Question: If Ezra had gone to Hollis, it seems like he would have heard about Alison.
It's very hot. They have A LOT of chemistry.
- It should be noted (?) that the camera pulls away and shows them kissing in the reflection. A reflection is often a symbol to show that someone has a different side to them. Is one of them more than who they're pretending to be? Are they both??
The following picture is from the opening credits and isn't a clue or even an alive person, but it really shows how amazing the makeup is on this show. I am constantly in awe at the perfection of it:
Elsewhere, Hanna and Mona are at the Rosewood Mall stealing things. (I did not like the glasses she got. I would've gone cat eye.) While there, Hanna sees Spencer, says hello, and ends up finding out that Melissa (Spencer's sister) has a new fiance. We also find out that Spencer is interning at the mayor's office, which I don't think is a clue, but is a great insight into the type of Spencer is: driven.
- "She's gone, but she's everywhere." This is what they say about Ali. I can't imagine losing a best friend; it would be haunting, for sure. Especially since her body has never been found.
It's the first day of school and it's pretty awkward for everyone. To Aria's surprise, which she learns from Emily, all of the girls have drifted apart. And Hanna and Mona, who both used to be fairly dumpy and unpopular, are now the queens of the school and BFF.
It's 8:30am (good job, show!) and all the girls get settled in their first class of the day...with, omg, Mr. Fitz! Ezra!
- "Holy crap," says Ezra when he looks up and sees Aria. Wouldn't he have checked his roster before class? Maybe not. But, for future reasons, he does seem genuinely surprised that she is in his class.
- I want to say there was one red pen in a cup full of black ones. That might mean nothing, but I noticed it.
- It should be noted that Ezra did NOT send this text, unless he scheduled it to send because he is currently standing in front of the class.
Over at Spencer Hasting's house, we get to meet Melissa and her new fiance, Wren, who is beyond cute and has an accent! Spencer likes, him, too. Ruh roh.
- We find out it's the girls' junior year.
- Spencer is reading To Kill a Mockingbird
- Wren smokes. Even though he is a doctor...and Melissa would kill him.
- Check out those two super large "A"s! Atticus. A-moral.
- To Kill a Mockingbird is on his desk.
- Graph paper
- Wren went to Oxford
- Wren rowed in college.
Now, this is explained in a flashback with Melissa's prior boyfriend, Ian. We don't find out (yet) what happened, but Ali says, in front of everyone, that Spencer needs to tell Melissa what happened. Spencer refuses and threatens Ali that she will tell everyone what really happened with the Jenna thing.
- Out of flashback mode, Spencer looks across the street and sees a blonde-haired girl in Alison's old home, which is now Maya's.
- This places Spencer and Maya as next door neighbors, which means Spencer and Alison were, too.
At Hanna's house we learn that her dad left in the last year and how it's just Hanna and her mom, Ashley. Spencer texts, but before Hanna can go over, the police show up to arrest her for stealing at the mall:
It's awkward at the police station and afterwards, because basically Ashley let's Detective Wilden bang her in order to let Hanna off the hook. I mean, they do go on a date first, but it's super creepy when they get home and Ashley pointedly looks at Hanna so she can know it was her fault. But, Mom of the Year Award for Ashley? Maybe.
While at the police station, Hanna gets her first "A" text:
While walking home (from Aria's?), Emily sees a bunch of sirens in front of Maya's house and runs up, expecting the worse. It's pretty bad, though, as Maya tells her they found Alison's body.
- Her body was found out by/under the gazebo, which had been built last summer, right around the time Ali went missing. Ew.
The pilot ends with the funeral for Alison, but a lot happens! Ezra kisses Aria!
- Detective Wilden is at the funeral.
- They all realize they've all been getting texts.
- Jenna is there!
- The case is back open...for MURDER!
Check out these outfits the girls wore to Ali's funeral.
Emily looks like she's not even wearing pants and Hanna looks ready to hit the club.
It should also be noted that each girl has AMAZING hair. I am seriously in love with their hair.
I remember when I watched this very first episode and thought that it was Ali's twin who was texting the girls. It was a popular theory based off the similar plot from the books, but since then it seems unlikely as it would be too easy for this to be the case. It should also be noted, that the show's creators and writers insist that they've known from the beginning who is "A" and that there are clues all over the place. I, honestly, am not too sure I believe that, but maybe I'll find some as I analyze!
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