Last month we talked about Project Runway‘s fashionable use of storage units, and this time we’re excited to talk about a show that’s had characters using storage since it began: Pretty Little Liars.
We all know that Pretty Little Liars fans have eagle eyes, and with the liars’ commitment to keeping things hidden, the question isn’t so much “did you see the storage unit?” as it is “…could that even happen?” That’s why we’re here to talk about self storage in Rosewood, PA.
Viewers won’t soon forget that season five paid a lot of lip service to a storage unit rented in Hanna Marin’s name, but we actually encounter a storage unit long before that–that’s right, season one! Do you remember it?
Alison’s Storage Unit
In Pretty Little Liars‘ first season, Emily discovers a key taped to the bottom of a snow globe that had been given to her by Ali, only hours before Alison’s disappearance. That key opens (you guessed it!) a storage unit which contains a single lunch box, and the lunchbox is home to a flash drive that’s chock-full of uber-creepy NAT Club videos. The flash drive puts the girls in a pretty great position as teen sleuths–they really think they know their stuff with it in hand.
In the end, as is always the way, the NAT videos answered a few questions and led to about a billion more (Is no one vetting future Rosewood police officers at all? Is Jenna the world’s largest creep and/or worst step-sister? Has Melissa ever aged? We may never know). But what we do know is how likely the use of this storage unit really was. To the rankings!
Believability: 3/5. I’m tempted to say, “there’s no way that a facility owner would rent a storage unit to a 16 year old girl,” but I think we can safely assume that Ali was killing the fake ID game at this point (and pretty much every other “teenager” in Rosewood is played by a 20-something), so we can let that part slide. What I’m not so sure I believe is the cash flow situation. Storage facilities expect rent to be paid like clockwork, and while it’s feasible that Ali could have prepaid for the unit, there’s pretty much no way for her to know how long she should have anticipated being gone. Plus, I just don’t necessarily believe that a girl who is spending every moment of Labor Day weekend drugging her friends and blackmailing Byron Montgomery (all in hopes of finding -A) is going to have that presence of mind. But who knows, maybe Noel Kahn picked up the tab.
Fairness: 4/5. If we accept that Alison was convincingly faking her age, and prepared to fund the unit indefinitely, the actual storage unit seems about right. It’s clean, easily accessed, and she’s not storing anything alive or illegal. As far as using storage units to keep secrets, this one’s not so bad.
Fun Factor: 3/5. This revelation of the NAT footage is definitely an important one, and even if it meant putting up with a flashback in which Emily tries to convince herself that Ali was ever a nice person, it’s pretty good stuff. I don’t know how “fun” it is to find videos that make pretty much everyone in your life a suspect as your tormentor, but this was definitely a creepy and worthwhile discovery–we’ll give it average fun credit.
Next time we’ll talk all about that season five storage unit–what’s really in the barrel?!– and maybe even talk about Mr. Fitz’s files. Stay tuned!