Usually when I hear the words “previously on 'Pretty Little Liars,'” I get really, really excited, you guys. While last night’s episode was excellent -- it featured Toby in a do-rag! -- it was definitely hard to watch as Troian Bellisario’s Spencer battled her relationship demons. There were crying jags, a sketchy PI was hired…it wasn’t pretty.
Last week, we decoded the digital drama in Rosewood; this week it’s all about tackling toxic relationships. Keep reading for (spoiler alert!) a big reveal from Ali via flashback (don’t worry, we solve her drama too).
+ The End of Spoby: The Aftermath of a Toxic Relationship
Photo: Photo: (ABC Family)
In Rosewood: We watched as Spencer indulged in some day-drinking, cut class, lashed out at the other liars and destroyed a smiling picture of herself. As show runner I. Marlene King previewed, Spencer “almost goes through the stages of grief. First, it’s denial, then anger, then sadness and, in her odd way, acceptance.” Spencer’s relationship might be dunzo, but it’s clear the dramz isn’t.
In Reality: You realize the person you are with “isn’t listening to you, won’t respect your boundaries, or doesn’t stop when you say stop.” Realize that dating abuse comes in a lot of forms and that “unhealthy dynamics are about power and control, and controlling behavior becomes abusive.”
What to do? If you think you’re in a toxic relationship, talk to someone you can trust. Reach out to organizations like Love is Respect and RAINN which have 24 hour hotlines where volunteers are ready to take your call.
+ Ali Might Have Been Preggers
Photo: Photo: (ABC Family)
In Rosewood: Flashback! Ali (played by Sasha Pieterse) is alive, and -- surprise! -- she has a secret of her own: she could have been in Rosewood’s version of “16 and Pregnant.” Turns out Ali and the (possibly dangerous) “beach hottie” didn’t always use protection. Ooooof.
In Reality: You think you might be pregnant. You’re confused and scared about what to do.
What to do? First, find out for sure if you're pregnant -- take a home pregnancy test or make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. Another option: Planned Parenthood and health department clinics provide pregnancy testing for free or at low cost. If you are, consider your options. If you don’t know where to turn, It’s Your (Sex) Life has resources that can help you. If you’re not pregnant, learn more about how you can prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
Judging by next week’s previews, things are only going to get more complicated for our favorite Rosewood residents. Make sure you keep the drama on the small screen. You don’t have to put up with unhealthy relationships IRL.