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Pretty Little Liars: Surfing the Tangled Web

Pretty Little Liars S03E08: "Stolen Kisses"

Just because Maya’s dead doesn’t mean she’s stopped being a major presence in the Pretty Little Liars universe. "Stolen Kisses" placed her front and center—to the extent that Ali was almost a complete non-entity. Their murders may be linked, but Maya’s mystery is just as convoluted as Alison’s, and it’s a nice change of pace that we’re getting a new tangled mess to unravel.

It’s long been clear that there was more to Maya than met the eye—she was a noticeably enigmatic character on a series where everyone has secrets. I never really thought her relationship with Emily would work out, because as cute as they were together, you could tell that Maya was holding back. Her behavior was erratic and sometimes inexplicable, not even a little bit justified by the fact that she allegedly enjoyed a joint from time to time.

The reveal of Maya’s website, which seems to be some sort of online scrapbook, is a great way to let her communicate even in death. With Alison, we get flashbacks, but Maya’s relationship with the girls was more limited than that. I like the idea that she’s left these clues behind, whether intentionally or not, and it’s up to the girls who are still living to piece it all together. One of the recurring themes on Pretty Little Liars, perfectly reflected in Maya’s video diaries, is that the dead never shut up.

It was also convenient that Maya’s site brought Caleb back into the fold, as his hacking skills were once more required. Not sure how I feel about his friendship with Spencer—too many significant glances, if you ask me—but it was nice to again see an unlikely pair interacting. More to the point, Caleb is a useful ally: It seems silly not to employ his skills when none of the main girls are nearly as computer savvy.

Aside from the website, the presence of Maya’s cousin is also significant: After all, he’s our last remaining St. Germain. I’m still not sure what Nate is doing; I don’t buy that his only purpose is to hang out and glower in Garrett’s direction. And there’s something unsettling about him, not just because he paired so well with Jenna. He’s keeping Maya’s memory alive, sure, but he’s confused and angry and—something tells me—not to be trusted. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to let your guard down around someone who lurks like that.

The rest of the episode wasn’t nearly as strong. We were promised a big reveal about Ezra, but all we learned is that he comes from money. The news just doesn’t feel shocking or important: Ezra has purposely distanced himself from his family, so the fact that he was born into wealth doesn’t really change anything. Yeah, he and Aria were eating instant ramen and worrying about money when they could have been spending Ezra’s family fortune, but that clearly wasn’t an option for him. He wasn’t hiding anything from Aria so much as he was asserting his independence from the Fitzgeralds.

I also hated his mother, and not in the way we were supposed to hate her. Diane was just too cartoonish, even for a show as over-the-top as Pretty Little Liars—but mostly I loathed the way she was introduced to once again try to force some conflict into the series’ most stable relationship. I have no problem with conflict between Aria and Ezra, if it feels natural. Week after week, though, we get these non-issues. Diane trying to sabotage the relationship might be interesting if Ezra gave even the tiniest crap about what his mom thinks. As it stands, she’s easy to ignore.

In other relationship news, Emily and Paige are apparently a thing now. I don’t know. I don’t begrudge Emily moving on from Maya, but Paige still feels like the girl Emily goes for because she’s there. Paige and Emily made out when Emily was drugged, and that somehow helped Emily realize she was into Paige all along? Oh, well. With Maya’s presence hanging so heavily over everything, it’s nice Emily can get some breathing room at all.


QUESTIONS:

– Were Spencer and Caleb flirting, or am I imagining things?

– Does Nate have a hidden agenda?

– Has your opinion of Ezra changed now that you know more about him?

Comments (18)
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Until this episode, Hannah's been a timid whiner IMO. Even though the dr had to almost strong-arm her into speaking on Mona's behalf, I was proud of her. Hopefully that speech was a turning point for her character.
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spencer belongs to her boyfriend. and caleb can go to hell.maybe mona.

if nate has a hidden agenda.let's wait and see.maybe he is out for a revenge for what ever had happen to his cousin maya.

it doesn't change anything whatever is Ezra is. still a corruption of minor.
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As for the relationships, I'm really bored by Aria and Ezra, I'd like to see her paired up with Holden! Spencer and Caleb were definitely flirting, and I liked it! I'm tired of Spencer and Toby too. I think Emily and Paige are cute together, but like you said, Paige feels too much like the only girl casually being there for Emily to pick. And you didn't say anything about the Hanna-Wren kiss! That was weird, even if not unexpected. I'm still confused though.
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Spencer and Caleb gave each other some odd looks a few times. I didn't like it. It felt like a "connection" was happening. I love Hannah with Caleb!

I don't think that guy is really Maya's cousin. I just don't buy it.
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Spoby and Haleb FTW!!!
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Didn't Maya hooked up with a guy in the past, did she ever tell who he was?? Or am I confusing shows/characters? Cause if that's the case I think Nate might be that guy, I don't think he's really her cousin.



So I definitely don't trust him.
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- No, I do not think that Spencer and Caleb were flirting... she actually seems to have a more brotherly vibe with Caleb than she does with Jason... BUT seeing as they are my two favs on the show they are my dream pairing... but I do not see it happening!



- I DO think that Nate murdered Mya... I dunno know why but I just get that feeling. I do not trust that guy!



- Ezra is just as boring to me as ever... who cares that he has a rich family?



*** I did not like Toby being all upset with Spencer, but I can understand how frustrated he is that she is always hiding things from him (and I have to say Keegan angry= Keegan sexy!!!!) But, I have to say that my most OMG moment from this episode was the Hanna/Wren kiss... me likey! But I still want her back with Caleb!
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I need Caleb and Hanna to get back together, and Caleb to stop flirting with Spencer it just feels wrong. And can we ever get a break from the Aria/Ezra drama, so passionless and dull.
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whenever i see 2 people talking in a room, alone, I always assume that they're going to make out. So the minute I saw Hanna & Wren, I thought they would kiss and they did, sort of, and seeing Caleb & Spencer, yeah, they're going to make out
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So I totally predicted Wren and Hanna from day 1, I was waiting for that to happen. As much as I love Caleb and Hanna, Wren has always been too hot to kick off the show, (and that accent <3). So I see the intentional partner swapping, but maybe it'll be fun to mix things up a little. Also I don't trust Nate at all, like was he permanently glued to the hip of Maya or something, he just seems way too concerned about her town and life and friends. Go back to wherever you were from. Similarly I still don't see any chemistry between Emily and Paige, bring Samara back!



I found it hilarious that Ezra came from money, it's like we honestly don't know anything about these characters and out of the blue all this backstory suddenly appears. I did like the innocent father/daughter moment between Byron and Aria, it was pretty sweet considering their rocky relationship and Byron's hatred for Maya.



Good ep and I'm sure we'll get some answers in 10 episodes time hahaha
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I love Samara, but I love Rebecca on TVD more. I wonder if she would have the time for both...
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I got some flirty vibes from Spencer/Caleb but I don't think they'd go there. She loves Toby and Hanna and I don't see her hurting them like that. I'm excited to see where Hanna/Wren goes though.

I've never trusted Nate. Remember when he knew that Maya had some piece of jewelry that Emily bought for her just days before she died?
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Spencer and Caleb weren't flirting. But I do love that Caleb is willing to help the girls even though he's on the out's with Hanna.

I honestly don't even think that Nate is Maya's cousin. I think he's her stalker. Remember one of the first episodes he was in? Emily gave him a letter to send to Maya's parents, but I don't think he ever did. Everything's just fishy about him. I am NOT convinced that they're relatives.

I was SOOOOOO let down by Ezra's "big reveal". Isn't the fact that his parents are loaded something people had been speculating for a while? Everyone made it out to be such a huge deal, and to have it be something so miniscule/something we already knew...it just felt like we were being tricked :\



But aside from that, lovely episode! I love the way it ended, with Emily swimming with Paige without a care in the world. With what that girl's gone through in the past few months, she deserves it.
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I like the idea of Nate as Mayas stalker. When they were shopping for a present for Jenna he recognized a pair of Mayas earings that Emily had given her before she left and that he shouldn't have been able to now about.



I hate Hanna kissing Wren! That makes no sense when all other signs point to her really loving Caleb. Feels more like an assignment from "A" la season one!



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Remember the touted "big reveal" of A? It turned out to not only be the person people suspected all along but now there were several As and we just found out who the lowest rung one was. PLL is not a show that does big reveals well. They more-so reveal things and then later prove that reveal wasn't true.
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I felt a bit awkward with the Spencer/Caleb stuff too. I love Spencer and Toby too much for anything that happens there to be a good thing!

Nate is so creepy. I think he murdered Maya - what was with him recognising the earring Maya had only worn recently? Also last episode when he said to Emily he couldn't be with the hottest girl in the town aka her. That was creeeeeepy.

I still hate Ezra and think he's a skeeze, so no.
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Ezra will never be not trusted. He is too beautiful not to be!!
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Now if only they employed Caleb's hacking skills to figure out what blocked number A is using or to track down the GPS signal from A's phone. Too much to ask?



- Spencer and Caleb were flirting. It was just too obvious. What will happen in future episodes is Spencer+Caleb (Hanna's ex) and Hanna+Wren (Spencer's ex-fling). And hilarity ensues.

- So far there has been nothing to indicate that Nate would have an agenda. But on the other hand, this is PLL. It doesn't matter how normal a person seems, because soon he'll turn out to be a psychopath anyway. Maybe after a few episodes we find out that Nate has a kill room a la Dexter in his basement.

- No. I don't know how it should have. To me he is still the same guy as ever. But we haven't yet really had the time to explore the fallout of the revelation about his family. So maybe some new sides about him will turn up in the future.
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