Features

Pretty Little Liars – Tick-Tock, Bitches

By  | 

By: Alex Steele

“Pretty Little Liars” didn’t waste any time when their 7th (and possibly final) season premiered this week. The opening episode, titled Tick-Tock, Bitches, picks relatively moments after discovering that Hanna (Ashley Benson) is missing. Before this; however, we see Spencer (Troian Bellesario), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Aria (Lucy Hale) digging a grave while they argue and cry. Emily and Aria are inconsolable, but Spencer is trying to remain in control. The exchange between them is quite ambiguous as they are heard asking “how could we let this happen?” and then answers such as “this is what she wanted,” leaving it up to the audience to figure out what’s happened. The credits begin and when they finish we land four days earlier than the grave scene with the whole crew assembling in the town square. Tensions are running high, specifically Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) whose focus is simply to save Hanna. But when the group sees a familiar looking face walking into the police station, it seems the mystery goes even deeper. Toby, (Keegan Allen) as the police officer in the group, follows the woman inside and flashes his badge. What he discovers is that this woman, Mary Drake (Andrea Parker), is in fact Jessica DiLaurentis’ twin sister. In addition, she’s just bought the Lost Woods Resort and is there to report a break in. Uh-Oh.

After passing on this information to group, it seems pretty obvious that Mary Drake has something to do with Hanna’s disappearance. “Of course she does,” the audience thinks, especially seeing as she’s Charlotte’s biological mom. As the team bounces theories off one another, their phones ring all at once. Receiving a text message that states “the bell tolls for Hanna” they immediately set off to the bell tower at which the find Hanna hanging from the roof. She’s dead and the panic and grief is palpable as they get her down. But wait a minute; a few short moments later, they learn that it’s just another sick joke. It’s a mask, not Hanna. Talk about twisted! With this, they all receive another text – they’ve got 24 hours to give “AD” Charlotte’s “real” killer if they ever want to see Hanna again. Meanwhile, we see Hanna for the first time this season in a dilapidated barn, dirty, bloodied and wearing minimal clothes. It looks like she’s been put through hell. Back at Spencer’s house, the team have assembled to work out a plan; the majority of them all suspicious of Mary Drake and deciding that she must be working with someone. Right now, that’s besides the point as they need to work out who it was that truly killed Charlotte and let’s just say there is a resounding backing for a particular person. They decide to take a vote – somewhat impartial – and the results show the majority of them believe it be Alison (Sasha Pieterse) who killed Charlotte. There was one vote for Mona and for Spencer, but really, is that a surprise? Both of them also, potentially, could have been involved. With this, they all break into respective teams in the hope of finding Hanna.

Before they break up, this time they all receive a photo message including an image of a beaten down Hanna. This is enough for the Liars to jump into action. Mona (Janel Parrish), Caleb, Toby and Spencer make their way back to the Lost Woods Resort while Emily returns to the psychiatric hospital, solo, to visit Alison. When Caleb and Co. arrive at the Lost Woods Resort, they witness Mary unpacking boxes of items from her car. Then, she gets in her car to drive away and Caleb states that four people tailing one car is just too many. This suggestion, or rather and order, seems to rub Spencer the wrong way as her and Toby are left at the resort to go through the boxes Mary has left behind. After some impressive work with breaking into the hotel room, Toby and Spencer discover that the boxes Mary was seen unloading contain nothing but books and more books. Meanwhile, Emily has arrived at the hospital to see Alison, but sadly Elliott (Huw Collins) informs her that she’s suffered a complete psychotic break. Just as Emily receives this news, she witnesses a distressed screaming Alison having to be restrained and sedated. It’s nothing short of heartbreaking. Ezra (Ian Harding) and Aria were given the task of searching Alison’s house for any clues that could point them in the right direction. They’re in Alison’s room, having just found a securely locked chest when they hear the front door slam. Elliott is in the house. Luckily, the closets are big enough to hide them both and from their vantage point they are able to watch Elliot remove a black backpack and hoodie and his medical kit. Totally suspect, right? You would think so, but it doesn’t seem to ring any alarm bells.

Spencer calls Caleb to update him on what they found and to also see if they need any food. No sooner had she made this offer is she cut off abruptly. I’m definitely predicting somewhat of an awkward situation between Spencer/Caleb/Hanna if they all make it out of this alive. Speaking of Hanna, “Pretty Little Liars” gives us shocking scene – through night vision goggles – of her being sprayed with water and then tortured with an electric rod. It’s terrifying and this scene communicates just how evil this new evil is. Back with Spencer, she answers a knock at her door (before she’s read a text from Caleb to warn her) to find Mary Drake. This can’t be good, but we all know how inquisitive Spencer can be – a fact Mary Drake picks up on immediately. The conversation between the two doesn’t give much away; however, it provides us a little insight into the psychology of Mary Drake and her relationship with her sister.

After their close call at the DiLaurentis’ house, Ezra is urging Aria to rest yet the conflicted Liar is having difficulty understanding what they are. They haven’t spoken since they hooked up and Aria is just not sure or ready to work it all out. She leaves and on her way back home runs into a grief-stricken Emily. Obviously upset after witnessing Ali in the hospital, Aria asks what she found out. To put it simply, Emily lies, still trying her hardest to believe the best in Ali. Aria seems suspicious, but takes her at her word. While this was happening, Mona and Caleb were able to pinpoint the location of someone who has been communicating with Mary Drake – a British/Australian man at Snookers (a bar) – and forwards the information on to Aria. Elsewhere, Hanna has entered into a dream like trance where she is now seeing Spencer. Troian and Ashley deliver a beautiful scene in which Hanna expresses her view that this “A” is a lot smarter than the others. It’s obvious she’s just about to give in, but with the reassurance of Spencer staying with her and a little sage advice, Hanna drifts back to sleep. And while we’re on the topic of dream like states, Emily has broken into Ali’s house and is seen reminiscing about the better times. It is through this sequence we learn just how deep her feelings for Ali run, how much she wants to believe her nearest and dearest friend. Unfortunately, she is broken out of her memories by the discovery of a damning piece of evidence – the red jacket either Ali/Charlotte was wearing the night of the murder.

With the episode drawing to a close, (and time close to running out) the Liars are scrambling for any last piece of evidence that could prove who killed Charlotte. Spencer explains to the group that Mary was in an incident involving a child while she babysitting, which landed her in Radley until she was 18 years old. This information is important, but doesn’t really help them in their plight to find Hanna. However, when Emily returns from her search of Alison’s house, she comes clean about lying and not wanting to believe that Alison could in fact be guilty. She pulls out the red jacket she found and it seems as though they’ve got enough now to get Hanna back. They discuss how they are going to make the exchange, but whilst doing so Caleb takes it upon himself to grab the jacket and leave. It definitely seems like a #Haleb reunion is on the cards. Unfortunately, in the meantime, Hanna has woken up from her deep sleep and on the back of the sage advice from “dream Spencer,” escapes and is seen running through the woods. She makes it to the road and when she’s standing in the middle starts screaming and flagging down a car, giving the audience some hope. That is until we see the driver, it’s Mary Drake and you can hear the audience scream “don’t get in the car.” From this scene, we move to a more haunting scene which sees a twisted Elliott, with a big needle, express to Alison that he’s going to make sure she lives a long life, rotting away in the pysch hospital. It’s scary, let’s be honest, and it doesn’t seem like Alison has any hope of getting away.

 

Other key notes:

  • It seems as though all the original couples are banding together – could there be reunions on the horizon?
  • Ezra and Aria are back on (possibly).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *