Time to get caught up on the most recent episodes before the premiere of Pretty Little Liars season 7B!
The #PLLEndGame is so close we can almost taste it. We’re getting ready for the end of Pretty Little Liars by taking a look back at the past seasons. We’ve already covered season 1, season 2, season 3, and season 4, season 5, and season 6, and now it’s time to look at the latest installment! We’ve been going back through every message the Liars received from A, the beginning of our favorite ships, every crazy theory, and even every seemingly meaningless moment, and we’re almost fully ready for the final 10 episodes.
Before Pretty Little Liars returns on April 18, read through our season 7A guideline to get refreshed on everything that happened, last summer!
Pretty Little Liars season 7 begins with a slight flash forward, in which Spencer, Aria and Emily are digging a grave. When the show returns to the present, everything is as it was at the end of season 6. Hanna is missing after her plan went horribly awry, and the other Liars and the boys are getting ready to report it to the police.
Who is A.D.?
The first A.D. text of Pretty Little Liars season 7 is received by everyone who waits outside of Rosewood PD. Hanna isn’t among them, as she’s been taken, so the first text is about her: A lie for a lie, an eye for an eye. The bell tolls for Hanna. Just as they receive this text, the church bell rings, so they abandon their quest for Rosewood’s finest and head to the church.
In the church, a terrifying sight awaits them. Hanna is suspended from the bell’s ropes, looking a little less than alive. When they cut her down, though, they realize that it’s just a doll wearing an absolutely ridiculously realistic mask. With this doll, A.D. makes their goal perfectly clear. A pull string lets them know that they have 24 hours to turn over Charlotte’s killer, or Hanna will die.
Nothing like a deadline to get the team working together! They decide to do an anonymous vote to determine who they think the killer is. The large majority of the votes go to Alison, although Spencer and Mona each receive votes as well. Great! It’s settled. The only problem is, they don’t have any evidence. Unless…
Remember when Aria and Ezra were absolutely sure that they saw Charlotte walking toward the church on the night that she died? Well, now they’re even more absolutely sure that it was actually Alison who they saw. Perfect. Somehow, that’s good enough for everyone except for good ole Emily, who decides to do the radical thing and actually talk to Alison about it.
After seeing some grotesque hallucinations (courtesy of her devoted husband and loving aunt) at the end of Pretty Little Liars season 6, Alison checked herself into Welby, which is the institution where Charlotte received her treatment. That’s where she is at the beginning of season 7, and where Emily goes to find her. Instead, she finds Elliot, who tells her that Alison’s condition is rapidly declining.
Emily’s seems to agree with Elliot when she actually gets into the room with Ali. When she asks Alison if she killed Charlotte, she takes her sleep-cry of “please forgive me,” as a confession. She initially lies to Aria about hearing it, but she eventually caves and tells everyone, on top of bringing Alison’s sweater, which Aria and Ezra had seen her wearing the night that Charlotte was killed. She wants to discuss the matter further, but Caleb takes the sweater and goes to deliver it to A.D.
The Liars were given a full 24 hours to save Hanna, but they probably could’ve hurried it up just a little bit, considering how she was being treated as a hostage. She was kept in a barn in her underwear, and was continuously beaten, burned and tased. When she eventually escapes, it isn’t even because of the Liars’ detective work.
Hanna has a strange dream in the barn which features a younger version of Spencer. Frankly, we’re still confused by it, but it leads to her finding a way out of the barn. Unfortunately, she escapes straight into the hands of the very suspicious Mary Drake, but she actually just brings her to Spencer’s, reuniting the Liars for the rest of Pretty Little Liars season 7A.
After the Liars turn Alison in, we see Elliot finally reveal his true intentions to his wife. He drops his fake American accent, tells her he knows she killed Charlotte, and injects her with something that we’re guessing doesn’t comply with her treatment regimen. After this, he bans anyone from visiting her. When Ali calls Emily begging for help, Emily obviously comes running. However, this just leads to Elliot moving Alison elsewhere.
Although Alison isn’t quite what she used to be, she still has a diabolical mastermind in her. As Elliot’s taking her away, she manages to text the girls her location. She’s able to escape his car, and when he jumps out to catch her, he’s met by Hanna’s bumper! This brings us back to the grave that the Liars were digging in the first episode of Pretty Little Liars season 7A. While Spencer, Emily and Aria dig, Hanna freaks out and Alison steals Elliot’s Welby badge.
After this, a lot of things come out about who “Elliot Rollins” really is. First of all, Toby finds a moving violation on the guy from 1958! In the DiLaurentis house, they find the latex recipe that was used to make the crazy Hanna mask, among others, drugs that he was using to make Ali seems insane, blue contacts, and some scary looking medical tools. They also trace one of his credit card statements to an Amish community, where they meet a little girl who tells them that he had an affair with Charlotte.
The girls can dig a grave no problem, but when it comes to a real cover up, they need a lot of help. Enter, Mona. Basically before the first shovel hits the ground she has Hanna’s car completely remodeled and has a plan to make it seem like Elliot skipped town. With Elliot’s car safely at the train station, everything is going well. That is, until Hanna realizes she left her bracelet in the car.
Luckily, when they go to find it, they also find Elliot’s burner phone! It seems that he’s even popular with the ladies from beyond the grave, because who calls but the recently returned, Jenna Marshall. Only, she’s not looking for Elliot Rollins, she’s looking for Archer Dunhill. A.D.??? Maybe, but we can’t close the case just as the girl that everyone loves to suspect comes back to town!
Anyway, the Liars continue to receive messages from A.D. pretty much immediately following Archer’s death, so either he’s secretly alive (and the police are still finding signs of this throughout the US), or he had accomplices. At the very least, we know that Jenna was involved in whatever he was doing, and she soon finds some accomplices of her own. She meets Sara Harvey at the Radley, and they soon team up with none other than Noel Kahn. The three ‘A’migos, or just the reject table?
So the whole suspect list has been updated, but A.D.’s motives remain the same: to determine who killed Charlotte. Ali tells the Liars that it wasn’t her, saying that she just went to talk to Charlotte that night because she was upset since Ali had told her about her relationship with Elliot. Ali thought she just didn’t like that her sister was dating her doctor, but obviously there was a lot more than that going on.
After that’s settled, of course A.D. decides it’s the perfect time to return Ali’s jacket to her, effectively letting her know that her friends betrayed her. Things don’t get any better for her when the Liars start receiving calls from Archer’s burner phone, in a voice that sounds suspiciously like his (aka it’s a british male…Wren?!). After Spencer and Hanna are warned that Ali isn’t safe at home, the police officer that she calls in to protect her ends up attacking her!
While Archer is making calls from the grave (which Spencer and Hanna stupidly dig up to ensure his presence there), Jenna and Sara are doing their devilish deeds from the Radley, drinks in hand. Luckily, Emily is now the employee who’s responsible for delivering those drinks. When she goes to deliver room service, she spies on Jenna’s computer. She notices a file that says Charlotte DiLaurentis, and a web browser open to a Baltimore car rental website. Suspicious, since the police recently “spotted” Archer Dunhill in Baltimore.
Sara catches Emily looking at the computer, and annoyingly starts making a big deal about how she was trying to protect Emily. Basically whatever Sara says, Jenna yells at her to shut up. Even though things are ultra heated and confusing, Jenna decides to just divulge everything to Emily, anyway…it’s all very strange.
Jenna tells her that she befriended Charlotte in Welby, and that she was the one who brought her together with Archer and helped him to get a new identity. She was also helping Charlotte track down her birth mother. Apparently, Jenna was like a celebrity to Charlotte because of everything Mona had told her. After this, things kind of seem like they’re turning around between the Liars and Jenna and Sara, but then Sara turns up dead in her bathtub, so everything’s confusing again!
In an attempt to get some answers, Spencer and Hanna break into her hotel room. They find a lockbox under the bed, which contains Mary Drake’s DNA sequence. While they’re in there, Noel walks in, talking to someone on the phone about running out of time and patience. He also adds a Mary Drake file that he stole from Toby’s Airstream to the lockbox, before he leaves.
Obviously Noel’s up to something, but Noel is always up to something. How do we know if he’s really on the bad side this time? If only there were a wise psychic to point us in the right direction! Cue Mrs. Grunwald, who comes to town to tell Hanna that she felt a “darkness” around her and Caleb. Noel is in the room when she says it’s nearby, so there really isn’t any turning back for Mr. Kahn, at this point. Also, we finally learn why he’s always mixed up with everyone! His secret is that he was the one who pushed the sorority girl down the stairs, when everyone thought it was Ian. His family paid off the girls’ parents, but he still doesn’t want the secret getting out.
Hanna’s convinced that Noel is A.D., but after years of Noel just being needlessly sketchy, nobody else is as certain. Hanna’s still so damaged from being tortured that she decides to take matters into her own hands. She tells everyone that she’s going to New York on business with Lucas, and goes out to trap Noel Kahn.
First, she trails him to a dumpster, where he’s disposing of Sara’s cell. She uses cell to lure Noel to meet her at a dive bar, where she tries to drug him. When he doesn’t fall for it, she uses a more forceful method, and just hits him over the head! She sets up a video to make him confess and steals some of his blood for a DNA test (see the next section for why).
Initially believing Hanna to be safe in New York, the other Liars do their own, less torturous, investigating. At Noel’s house, they find a box that has that mysterious symbol from Eric Kahn’s parties on it. The box contains a flashdrive, the flashdrive contains videos from the dollhouse, and the videos contain some very incriminating footage of Noel from said dollhouse! With that, they have everything they need to put him away, but of course, the flashdrive is stolen.
Hanna seems confident in her plan, but things start to unravel when she sees on the news that she’s been reported as a missing person. Her friends did get kind of worried when she didn’t turn up for a few days, and they started to question her New York story.
She calls Mona to help her out. Mona arrives, finds the flashdrive on Noel, and tells Hanna that there’s no need for her to hold Noel any longer. The videos aren’t enough for the still-bruised Hanna, though. She doesn’t just want Noel to pay for the dollhouse. She wants him to go down for everything. Unfortunately, her knots managed to hold Noel while he was unconscious, but when he wakes up, he prettily easily escapes. Also, he takes the camera that shows Hanna cutting Noel’s leg to get the blood sample.
The Liars get a text with an offer: the flashdrive for the camera. They’re instructed to meet at Jenna’s old school for the blind. They don’t see anyone when they get there, but Jenna soon makes her presence known over the intercom. The Liars are primed to escape when Emily realizes she left her phone upstairs. Ugh! Hanna and Emily go to retrieve it when Noel stops them and threatens them with an axe, because they “know too much.” A few weak karate moves and a dropped axe later, Noel’s head is rolling down the stairs…I know you all remember.
Meanwhile, the very blind Jenna is wielding a very real gun at Spencer, Aria and Alison. She’s saying crazy things like, “now you see what I see,” after shooting the lights out (she’s actually a decent shot in this moment) and “this is as much for me as it is for Charlotte.” During the chaos and random gun shots, Spencer gets hit with a possibly fatal wound! The season ends with her life hanging in the balance. Coincidentally, Toby and Yvonne are hanging right there with her, as they end the season with a seemingly fatal car crash.
Although it looks pretty likely that Jenna and Noel were Archer’s A.D. accomplices, that’s all blown up when we see Jenna lying on the floor of the school, asking a masked someone if they shot Spencer and questioning if they’re A.D. Ugh, back to the drawing board.
Mary Drake began bewildering us at the end of Pretty Little Liars season 6, when the Liars saw who they originally thought to be the very dead, Jessica DiLaurentis, running toward the Lost Woods Resort. When she appeared next to Detective Wilden/Elliot Rollins/Archer Dunhill, things didn’t get any clearer. Then, when the Liars found Mary Drake’s file at Radley and determined that she was Charlotte’s birth mother, some pieces finally came together.
Mary Drake makes her first appearance of Pretty Little Liars season 7 at the police station. She shows up to report a break in at the Lost Woods Resort, which apparently, she owns. Obviously everyone’s first instinct is not to trust her, so they start to do some investigative work.
Spencer and Toby search through her things at the Lost Woods Resort. They mostly just find books, but they also find a ticket which proves she got to Rosewood a week before Charlotte died. Then, Caleb and Mona spot her buying bleach, charcoal and vinegar, which apparently are the exact ingredients needed to cover up a murder…because who doesn’t know that.
Pretty Little Liars doesn’t waste any time before making the connection between Spencer and Mary Drake clear. Mary shows up at Spencer’s on one of her first nights in town, and tells Spencer all about her troubled past with her sister. She confesses that she moved away because Jessica turned everyone against her out of jealousy. She came back because she found out that Jessica was dead.
Throughout Pretty Little Liars season 7, Mary keeps being helpful when we expect her to harm the Liars. Things look bad when she picks Hanna up after her great escape, but she simply delivers her to Spencer’s. Even though she was working with Archer, she helps Emily get in to see Alison. We later find out that she was just in it for the Carissimi Group money, since she believed it rightfully belonged to Charlotte. Elliot was apparently in it to really make Charlotte’s killer pay.
After Elliot “disappears” and has taken all of Alison’s money, simultaneously emptying the Carissimi Group of its funds, Mary becomes Ali’s caretaker. Again, we’re conditioned to think that she’s trying to hurt her, but she actually takes Ali out of Welby and lets her go home. She starts talking to Ali and we find out that she helped because she assumed Ali was like her mom. She’s also overwhelmed when she finds out that Charlotte went by CeCe Drake, as she didn’t think she knew about her.
Just like the viewers, when Jason returns, he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding. He invites Aria to a family dinner to help Alison see the light, but all that comes out of it is that Mary divulges some key pieces of information. Jessica had told her that Charlotte was dead, and Jessica spent a lot of time in a storm cellar at their Aunt Carol’s.
Obviously, the Liars have to go check out the storm cellar now that they know this inherently creepy place exists. There, they find a kind of lair where Jessica kept files on all of them, and pictures of Alison. She was supposedly investigating her disappearance. They also find Mary Drake’s medical files, which contain information about a second child that Mary had, who would be the Liars’ age.
The girls attempt to find the doctor who signed the form from the child’s birth, Dr. Cochran, but they end up finding his daughter first. She tells them to stay far away from her father. When her office is ransacked, she mistakenly thinks it was the Liars, and calls them to let them know where they can find her dad. When they find him, the sketchy old drunk can only tell them that the baby was underweight, tenacious, and taken to family services. Thanks, Doc.
In a second attempt to determine the identity of the child, Aria and Jason try to locate the adoption records. They’re successful, but all of the important information is redacted. The only info available is the name of the judge: Steven Kahn. They start to believe that he adopted the child, and that Noel is Mary Drake’s second baby. Unfortunately, Hanna’s DNA test proves that that isn’t the case.
Never fear, because Mary Drake soon makes it clear who the mysterious, tenacious child is. She rushes to Spencer’s rescue after she’s shot, claiming that she’d never hurt her, because she’s her mother!
Alison’s pregnant with Archer’s baby! It didn’t seem to fit anywhere else.
For a refresher on the friendships and relationships in Pretty Little Liars season 7A, and every message from A, go to page 2.
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