Pretty Little Liars – Hit and Run, Run, Run
By: Alex Steele
After seven seasons of conspiracy, death and lies you’d think covering up a murder would be easy for our “Pretty Little Liars.” However, it turns out in the five years they’ve been away from Rosewood, they’ve somewhat healed and possibly even moved on. The dark reality of what occurred in the closing moments of last week’s episode (the death of Elliot at the hands of Hanna in her friends and Lucas’ car) is where we open to this week. In the episode titled Hit and Run, Run, Run we follow the group as they attempt to cover up the vehicular homicide of the terrifying Dr. Rollins (Huw Collins). In the early moments, we are given a familiar scene when we see Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Aria (Lucy Hale) digging a grave – his grave. They are understandably shaken and in shock, but the girls continue to dig through their tears. Each as inconsolable as the other, but it seems Spencer (in all her Spencer-ness) is remaining the most in control. She goes as far as to justify why it was they were burying him in the first place. Close by, Hanna and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) sit motionless until Hanna (Ashley Benson) joins the others to help. They each continue to lose it a little, devolving into a heated argument that only stops when Alison walks over. They were discussing how to get Alison back to Wellby without anyone noticing and Alison knows how. She falls to her knees, reaches into the grave and retrieves his access card. Oh “PLL,” you sure are terrifying us this season.
With the body taken care of and Lucas’ car abandoned, the Liars make their way back to Rosewood to solidify alibis. Much to their surprise, Elliot has no trace of Emojis on his phone, leading them all to devolve again into a myriad of panic and anger over the entire situation. Hanna is clinging to her sanity by threads, add to that the tension between her and Spencer and I predict a nervous breakdown is on our horizon. They remind themselves though that everyone whoever knew about Elliot is in the car. Um, not sure about that as they cut to Toby (Keegan Allen) still busily working his way through Elliot’s file and avoiding Yvonne’s message. This can’t be good, right?
Hanna has finished taking a shower, washing off the dirt and death, when she discovers one last piece of glass embedded in her head. The scene is all in all haunting with Ashley Benson doing some of her best work this season, at times unrecognizable. Exiting, her and Spencer are still not talking with utter shade being thrown Hanna’s way. To add fuel to the fire, Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) nearly rips the door open. What follows is possibly one of the most heartbreaking scenes “PLL” has delivered to date. This love triangle has evolved into something to complex that it’s hard to pick sides. There is so much undying love between them all. Caleb is there, fighting for Spencer to give him just a moment of her time. But with Hanna there, she knows it isn’t right. Caleb is unknowing and continues to tell the story of one their first nights together in DC. Ashley, Troian and Tyler are equal parts soul-crushing in these moment where the pain and the desire are palpable and gut-wrenching.
Elsewhere, Aria and Ali arrive back at Wellby but unfortunately things go a little awry when Ali disappears. You should know by now Aria never to take Ali at her word. Meanwhile, Spencer has arrived at Radley where she and Emily continue to go over their plan to solidify their alibi. Emily is a little off kilter still, but Spencer is controlled and methodical. Add to that a little bit of attitude and Troian Bellisario gives us the sarcastic Spencer we know and love. Emily attempts to broach the subject of the Spencer/Caleb/Hanna triangle, but Spencer isn’t budging. She’s hurt and there is no changing that. Seeing that she’s having no luck, Emily leaves, but not before a little death humor from Spencer. Odds of a nervous breakdown for me are swinging between Spencer and Hanna, either way is going to be full on.
Back at Wellby, Aria has thankfully found Ali huddled away in the corner, not wanting to go back to her room. With a little reassurance though, Aria gets her back in her room, but as she starts to strap Ali back in the panic reveals itself again. Aria calms Alison, promising to come back for her, but what’s most interesting is this exchange gives us important information regarding the night of Charlotte’s death. Ali reveals that her and Charlotte met at the church and argued about Elliot; after being asked to leave, Alison left Charlotte at the church – alive. It seems as though we’re still yet to find out who really killed Charlotte. Meanwhile at Radley, Spencer is innocently flirting with a patron named Marco (Nicholas Gonzalez) over olives and martinis. She’s grieving and evidently still in shock from everything, especially when the two end up making out passionately in the elevator. It heats up and the audience is waiting for it to progress to full blown sex, but after seeing her reflection Spencer stops it.
While Spencer deals with the feelings that follow this, Aria and Hanna are on their way to back burn the car. Before they even arrive, Hanna starts to lose it a little more. Bordering on a panic attack when they discover the car is missing, Aria can’t seem to calm her down. When the car reappears, the conspiracy deepens. Who is it? Don’t worry, it’s just Mona (Janel Parrish). She’s been tracking Elliot and pretty much worked out what had happened. She took the car though to replace the windshield and clean it. Oh Mona, you always think of everything. And luckily for the Liars someone is on the ball because when Emily gets a call from drunken Spencer it all seems lost. Their nearly perfect alibi could be damaged by Spencer’s carelessness and grief. Getting her safely back home, Emily takes the opportunity to read Spencer the riot act; demanding why she chose to do this tonight, to herself and to them. That’s when we get a Troian Bellesario acting masterclass. She confesses that she didn’t even flinch when Elliot died and that she was hoping that this kind of life was all over. She remembers, years after leaving Rosewood, how she was able to socialize and not worry every time sometime stared at her. The monologue is poignant and dark with Troian absolutely nailing each level.
The morning after sees them all – Mona included – trying to enjoy brunch. Or should I say, just strengthening their alibi a little more. Aria is paranoid about the cameras, Spencer is deathly hungover and Mona continues to remain the sanest. But when a familiar tap is heard, we are reunited with another member of Rosewood’s past. Jenna. It’s Jenna (Tammin Sursok). Weird right? Yes. And her knack for sarcasm and shade has not decreased over time. She’s in town for Toby’s engagement, which we later find out is untrue. She just couldn’t let the opportunity pass to run into them again. As Jenna leaves, Hanna again tries to break ground with Spencer. She’s trying to salvage their friendship, but Spencer needs more time. Surprisingly though, Hanna encourages her to go talk to Caleb. It’s noble yet heartbreaking. The entire situation is so complicated it makes my heart hurt.
Hanna and Mona are tasked with tapping into Elliot’s burner phone, the only piece of the puzzle needed to ensure their plan works. But when Mona is unable to do so, it gives the old friends a moment to catch up. Mona notices Hanna’s fake ring, while also admits to giving Spencer and Caleb her blessing. Mona notes how noble that is, but encourages Hanna not to hold onto that secret too much longer. In the meantime, Hanna has noticed her bracelet is missing. Really? Hanna, come on. They return to Elliot’s abandoned car, break in and find the bracelet. What they also find is Elliot’s burner phone. Elsewhere, Toby is at Wellby as his investigation into Dr. Rollins has led him there. He takes the Liars aside to inform them that Elliot Rollins died 15 years ago and whoever Alison married is a fraud. He’s also now missing. Of course Toby, they know that.
Closing out the episode, we learn that Caleb has cleaned out his stuff and left while Mary Drake (Andrea Parker) has taken over Ali’s care. Oh gosh, I think it’s about time Ali gets a break. Back with Hanna and Mona, the burner phone is ringing so of course they answer. Any guesses to who is on the other end? Jenna. It’s Jenna. And we also discover Elliot’s real name is Archer. Talk about conspiracy. It seems like they don’t actually know anything about the person they just killed.