Pretty Little Liars – Bedlam
By: Alex Steele
“Pretty Little Liars” continued their horror-like theme this week, with it hitting a new level and a different liar. The episode, titled Bedlam opens on Mary Drake and Hanna (Ashley Benson) driving in her car. Hanna understandably is confused as to who this lady is as she looks exactly like Jessica DiLaurentis. In Hanna’s current state, the fact that she isn’t Mrs. DiLaurentis just throws the traumatized liar through another loop. Hanna just wants to talk to her friends, and surprisingly, Mary (Andrea Parker) is able to deliver on this request. How can it be that easy? Really? She just returns Hanna her to the rest of the group just like that. There’s got to be a catch and they know it. Nonetheless, the group is relieved to have Hanna back with them; they encourage her to go to the hospital, but she reminds them if she does just that, she’ll have to answer questions. These questions will just add another layer of complication and drama that the group doesn’t need. Hanna still can’t quite wrap her head around whether Mary Drake is in fact real, but with all the information offered by Spencer (Troian Bellesario) and the others, she’s very much real. Hanna also can’t seem to understand why Mary Drake gave her back. If she’s been after them all along why would she give her back so easily? That’s when Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) reveals that they gave her exactly what she wanted, Charlotte’s killer.
This week it also seemed as though the Liars would be facing challenges of the heart. Early on, Caleb is seen returning Hanna’s engagement ring with an intrigued or somewhat jealous Spencer looking on. Meanwhile, Aria (Lucy Hale) continued to avoid Liam’s (Roberto Aguirre) attempts to reach out, which ended up being null and void when he showed up in Rosewood to consult on the book. Talk about awkward, but more of that later. While the team continue their reunion, there is a knock on the door which reveals an extravagant looking bunch of flowers. They are a thank you gift from “A.D.” just saying how they couldn’t have done it without the Liars help and that they are glad they are on the same team. Oh goodness, seems as though they’ve lost a little control over the whole situation.
Spencer, Caleb and Emily (Shay Mitchell) accompany Hanna back to her apartment to help her get settled in. Caleb and Hanna take this opportunity to discuss the events prior to her abduction and where that leaves them. It’s undeniable that they still have a connection, but the two decide that they just “slipped” back into old ways. Elsewhere, Spencer is found crying – she’s evidently a little upset about Caleb and Hanna seemingly returning to “relationship status” mode. She’s not given much time to herself, as Emily finds her and asks whether she think’s Alison (Sasha Pieterse) is safe. Spencer believes yes and before leaving encourages Emily to keep a close eye on Hanna – she has that “Dollhouse” look about her. Back at the barn, Caleb tries to get Spencer to sleep, but her avoidance techniques are on full alert. She’s more intuitive than I believe Caleb gives her credit for. She insists she’ll join him soon and as Caleb walks away he starts to realize something just isn’t right.
Cut back to Emily and she’s woken by a phone call from a frantic, terrified Alison. She begs Emily to help her, that she needs her. Emily listens closely as Alison screams and struggles that it becomes shockingly real that Alison may not in fact be as safe as first thought. The next day, Emily makes a visit to the hospital, but soon discovers that she isn’t able to see her since only family members are allowed to. Um, can anyone say weird? Add to that her discussion with Elliot (Huw Collins) reveals that it was his orders that are keeping Alison is isolation. Oh Elliot, you’re bad dude. When we check back in with Hanna, she has reunited with Lucas (Brendan Robinson) who has returned to get her answer regarding the business proposal. She’s still stalling and after the ordeal she’s just experienced, no wonder she just needs a minute. After having been met with a stonewall at the hospital, Emily is as determined as ever to get to the bottom of things, so much so she suggest to Spencer that maybe Mary Drake could be the way they get to Alison. Spencer obviously is completely against the idea, stating it could give “A.D.” even more of an advantage.
Aria and Ezra (Ian Harding) this week have their hands full with all things to do with the book. And Liam. Starting things off in probably the worst way possible, Aria breaks up with him stating that “unresolved things her life” are the reason for her decision. Sure Aria, it’s definitely not the fact you’re still completely in love with Ezra. Regardless, it makes the situation even more awkward when Liam breaks the news that he is now the head editor of their book. Talk about complicated. Speaking of relationships, Hannah is browsing the business contract when she has a flashback to the first time her and Jordan (David Coussins) met. He was charming, and she had attitude, but it started what has been a surprisingly healthy relationship for her. This flashback prompts a trip to New York; Hanna sits herself at Jordan’s desk, red dress, high heels and flirts with him so tenaciously when he walks in that he’s powerless to her charm. Does anyone get the sense she is trying her best to avoid the reality of what’s just happened to her?
Back in Rosewood, Spencer, Aria and Emily have joined forces to confront Elliot in regards to Alison. Strength in numbers, right? Wrong. Spencer calls him out with all the attitude and shade she can muster (Troian Bellesario) is dynamic when playing Spencer this way.) But even with said shade, Elliot doesn’t budge. Not only that, the all-seeing “A.D.” sends them a text stating “She’s mine now. No take backs.” The wording of which makes it sounds like it may be someone inside the hospital. Following an unsuccessful mission, Aria meets with Ezra to warn him of the new developments with Liam as well as get updates from Toby (Keegan Allen). Aria mentioned to Ezra that Elliot had spoken to Jason about Alison’s treatment. This seems odd to Ezra however, due to the fact that no one knows where Jason is, they can’t seem to get a hold of him and no one remembers Mary Drake. Weird. Ezra and Aria have seemingly returned to their old ways, their communication effortless and open. It all seems positive, but when the camera zooms out to reveal Liam looking on. The audience can sense drama is on the horizon. And the next scene is just that, dramatic, and full of tension.
Meeting in Ezra’s apartment, the two start what can only be described as a good old “pissing match.” Liam is hurt by the entire situation with Aria and he’s not dumb, he knows what the story is about. They throw shade back at one another, nothing too constructive in the criticism Liam gives Ezra, but more along the lines of personal attacks. The two; however, come to a tense resolution, but we all know that this is just the beginning. Meanwhile, Spencer and Mary run into one another again and this time it is with a little soft questioning from Spencer, Mary opens up about her past. She tells the story of the babysitting incident, but reveals that it wasn’t her at fault but Jessica’s fault. Jessica lied to the police and the parents at the time saying it was all Mary’s fault. This plot could not become anymore twisted, but it is so intoxicating. Speaking of intoxicating, Hanna and Jordan are on their way back to the place they first met – the bar – when they both realize it’s been demolished. This realisation is enough for Hanna to finally lose it. Can we blame her? After everything she’s been through, it’s understandable for her to be hating on the world right now. Even some kind words and support from Jordan aren’t enough though, and as silence falls we witness her hand back the engagement ring. Number two break up for the episode.
After her conversation with Spencer, Mary was curious to see what Radley looked like these days and when she arrives at the hotel, Emily takes the opportunity to have a conversation. A conversation that surprisingly leads to Mary offering to accompany Emily to the hospital to see Alison. Smooth move Emily, smooth. Lucas arrives back to get Hanna’s decision and much to his surprise she signs. This big decision signals the beginning of the end of the episode. Aria and Liam reconvene for another discussion. After his meeting with Ezra, Liam is annoyed. Angry even. He’s suspicious and when he states that he’s connected it all; that he believes Aria to have been seduced by her teacher, she doesn’t deny it. For the first time, she doesn’t lie. In fact, Aria delivers a rousing line, “I’m me because of what I’ve done, what has happened and who I love.” And that is enough for her.
Emily has successfully been able to see Alison, who I have to say is doing much worse for wear. She’s confused, traumatized and having trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy. When Mary Drake approaches the bed, Alison believes her to be her mother. Before Emily can get any information from Alison, Elliot bursts in angry and disgruntled. He orders them all out while Alison lies there screaming for Emily to stay. As they all move outside, Emily is left alone while Elliot requests a meeting with Mary Drake. Their exchange mentions money and the fact that Elliot has gone too far. Emily watches on through a matte window, unable to really hear anything but able to put together small pieces. She updates the others via text, identifying that Mary Drake and Elliot have to be in on something. While this is occurring, Caleb and Spencer share a heartbreaking conversation after she’s just been fired, by text. I have to preface this part of the review by saying all bad things happen in threes and this episode was accurate in that portrayal. Spencer, although not wanting to start the conversation, does so by asking about Hanna and the current situation with her and Caleb. She questions whether she and Caleb made a mistake, but he assures her it was all real. Spencer makes a good point asking why then is he talking in “past tense?”