Pretty Little Liars “Bedlam” Review (Season 7 Episode 2)

GWEN HOLLOWAY, HUW J. COLLINS

On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” we found out Hanna’s fate, more light was shed on Mary Drake and her motivations, and the girls worked overtime to try and help Alison, in “Bedlam.” The title could refer simply to the word itself, meaning “chaos or madness,” which was in turn inspired by the London hospital of the same name, which was the first to specialize in housing the mentally ill, but knowing this show, it’s just as likely inspired by the old movie with Boris “Frankenstein” Karloff.

Whatever the case, it was aptly-titled, as much of the episode revolved around the struggles, both past and present, of the various characters on the show with hospitals of that sort, including Ali’s present predicament and both Spencer and Mary’s time at Radley- to say nothing of the curiously absent Mona, who also did her fair share of time there.

We picked up right where we left off, with Hanna being caught red-handed by Mary in the road, but instead of trying to apprehend her and take her back from whence she came, Mary simply gave her a ride home, or rather, back to Spencer’s.

Later, she would admit to not insisting on taking her to the hospital instead because of her own troubles there and the fact that she’d been forced to go there more than a few times herself, albeit not to the same sort of hospital, but rather Radley, of course. She figures out that Hanna knows Ali from the way she’s staring at her, and tells her who she is and that “families have secrets, and sometimes some of them are actual people.” But not anymore, obviously.

Upon her arrival, the girls compare notes, as well as try to figure out why Mary didn’t try to kill Hanna, if she thought she was involved in her daughter’s death. No sooner than Hanna arrives than flowers are delivered, with a note from AD: “Couldn’t have done it without you. Glad we’re on the same team.”

TYLER BLACKBURN, TROIAN BELLISARIO

Caleb returns Hanna’s engagement ring, before he and Spencer drop her and Emily off at Lucas’ loft, where a package from him is waiting for her- the papers to make their mutual business venture a reality. Caleb thinks Hanna should go for it, but Hanna remains wary- just as Spencer is wary of all this interaction between Caleb and Hanna and what it means for them as a couple.

The two chalk their kiss off to being caught up in the moment and falling back into old habits, more or less, but Spencer has her doubts. She tells Emily to look after Hanna, worried that she has that “Dollhouse” look, which can’t be good. Emily says she will, but is also worried sick about Ali’s well-being, even at the hospital, after what they did to betray her.

Afterwards, Spencer and Caleb talk, but it’s clear things aren’t quite the same between them, despite Caleb’s attempts to try and pick up where they left off. On Hanna, he wisely says she’s “like an aircraft carrier- a lot of firepower, but pretty difficult to maneuver.” Ultimately, though, Spencer opts to stay up, rebuffing Caleb’s advances and request for her to come to bed, and crying when he leaves the room.

Emily gets a frantic call from Ali, who begs for her and tells Emily she needs her. Emily rushes to the hospital, but is unable to gain access to see Ali, on orders from Elliott, who has forbidden anyone but family from seeing her. Em talks to Elliott, who assures her it’s for the best, and that he will make sure that Mary is added to the list of people not allowed to see her, even though she’s family, too, technically.

Lucas returns, asking after Ali, having somehow heard about it (hmm), then asks Hanna if she signed the papers he sent. (Although he seems to know about Ali, it does not seem like he knew about Hanna’s kidnapping, for the record- though he might well have been downplaying it, if he was involved, for obvious reasons.)

BRENDAN ROBINSON

It’s obvious that Hanna is doubting herself, but Lucas begs to differ and says that he believes in her, but that they also need to move soon on the business if they want to keep the place and the tax credits. She looks over the papers and we get a flashback of how she and Jordan met and fell for one another.

Emily decides she wants to ask Mary for help getting into to see Ali, thinking that if they move fast, they can get to her before Elliott thinks to add her to the list of people not allowed to see her, if he hasn’t already. Everyone else is understandably dubious of this idea, though Emily points out to Spencer that she could use the fact that both were in Radley to their advantage.

Liam returns with “big news,” but Aria jumps the gun a little and dumps him, saying she needs time to herself to figure out what her next move will be. Unfortunately, his news is that he’s officially been hired on to help her and Ezra finish the book as editor. Awkward! Although she doesn’t tell him that she and Ezra are involved again, he swears he can still cooperate with them and do his job, but she understandably seems wary.

The girls, sans Hanna, all team up to go down to the hospital to confront Elliott and insist on seeing Ali, but aren’t exactly cool-headed about it- imagine that! Elliott stands firm, saying that he even got the okay from Jason to handle it as he saw fit, which is interesting, given that no one else can seem to locate Jason. He promises once again to not let Mary anywhere near Ali.

Elliott gets a phone call, and the girls get a text while he’s on the phone, so it can’t be him…or maybe he’s just a really good actor/liar. But really, unless he pre-programmed it to send at that exact moment, it would have been hard to pull off. Whatever the case, it says: “She’s mine now. No take backs. No do-overs.”- AD

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Hanna puts on a smoking hot red dress and goes to visit Jordan, with the intent of doubling-down on their relationship. As part of that, she wants them to “start over,” beginning with a trip to the place they first met. Jordan agrees, but when they arrive, the place is no longer there, having been sold off and in the process of being remodeled by someone else, which Hanna takes as a bad sign.

This prompts her to return Jordan’s ring and call the wedding off altogether, which seems a bit unfair, but then, those two were always a bit of a meh match, anyway, so maybe it’s for the best. On the plus side, she does opt to sign Lucas’ papers and go into business with him, though I’m not sure I liked the way he was looking at her after- though it might have been the dress, or the fact that she was no longer sporting her engagement ring. Either way, Lucas seems shady AF.

Ezra promises Aria he’ll make it work with Liam, but he’s speaking too soon, as Liam spots the two holding hands and is understandably upset by this revelation. Shortly thereafter, we finally get the scene a certain contingent has been waiting for from the jump, as Liam not-so-subtly calls out Ezra for his dubious relationship with Aria under the guise of criticizing his book.

Liam says that Ezra’s main protagonist comes off a bit too much like a “predator” and notes the similarities between the scenario and that of the famed Nabokov novel “Lolita.” Ezra tries to play it off, saying that he’d be doing good to be Nicholas Sparks, but Liam points out that even Sparks manages to make the dubious palatable to the masses- which Ezra has not with his side of the book. Ouch! Not sure what’s worse, Liam basically saying that Ezra is a child predator- or that he’s no Nicholas Sparks, lol.

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Mary comes by to talk to Spencer of her own volition, and we get some juicy information- assuming it’s true, that is. According to her, it was actually her sister, Jessica, that killed the baby, Teddy Carver, because it wouldn’t stop crying when she was babysitting when the girls were 14. Realizing what she’d done, she called Mary to take over, telling her that she’d finally gotten the kid to sleep and then asking her to take over for the rest of the night so that she could hook up with a boy, Matt Brooks.

When the Carvers got home, Mary, completely unaware of what had gone down, covered for her sister, only to be left holding the bag when the child’s mother discovered him dead. Mary insisted Teddy was fine when she last checked him, but the parents don’t believe her, siding with Jessica, as she was “the warm one,” which is a frightening thought, if you think about it. Given a choice between prison and Radley, she chose Radley, and ended up spending years there.

Ezra relays what happened with him and Liam to Aria, wondering what exactly he knew about them and what she’d told him. She says she’ll talk to him and does end up confronting him about it. She all but admits she and Ezra first got together when she was a student and he was her teacher, but that “it’s not as bad as it sounds.” (Cue a whole lot of people- most of them parents- going: “Yes it is!”)

Aria says that she used to wonder if she could reset time and not have to go through all she had over the last few years, would she do it? In the end, she had decided that she wouldn’t because those experiences, good and bad, made her the person she was today, and she wouldn’t change that for anything in the world. She likes who she is, in spite of all the craziness. Way to justify those actions there, Aria!

Emily goes to Radley and fills out a job application (!), then is surprised to see Mary Drake come in. She admits she was wary to come there, but wanted to see what they’d done with the place. She says, in spite of her unpleasant experiences there, she had nonetheless found some light in the darkness that kept her going- possibly a reference to her having giving birth to Charlotte there, or possibly a reference to someone else she met while there, or both, hard to say. (She had to have gotten pregnant somehow, obviously.)

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Em tells Mary how she tried to get into to see Ali, but couldn’t and Mary says she also tried to, but got the same results. Emily admits she was the one who took her there, because of the way she’d been acting, but wasn’t sure if she’d done the right thing or not. Mary says maybe they should try again, this time together.

It works, possibly because the nurse on duty wasn’t informed about the hold against Mary yet, and the two actually get in to see Ali. She thinks she’s in Radley at first and is relieved when Em tells her she isn’t. She strangely says “We’re gonna miss our flight,” and Em tells her they’ll book another one.

Ali sees Mary there and once again mistakes her for her mother, asking her why she left her “in the ground” and that it was “so cold.” This leaves Mary visibly shaken, even more so when Ali admonishes her for Elliott: “You were wrong about him. It’s not like what you said at all.” Speak of the devil, and he appears- Elliott thunders in, turning on the lights and running everyone off.

Ali freaks out, screaming, and Elliott has her sedated while asking Mary for a word. The two fight in a nearby office room, as Emily takes note that the two obviously know each other. Elliott gets onto her for coming by, saying that this was “not what we agreed to.” Mary wants to know why he’s been ignoring her calls for the last two days. She says what he’s doing to Ali is going too far, and this was not “part of the plan.”

Elliott tells her she got her money, so what was the problem? Mary says, actually she doesn’t have the money yet, and that was part of the problem. He tells her to stop wasting his time, and more fighting ensues, but that’s all we hear of it, though Emily can tell it’s heated between them. Is it possible that Mary isn’t as involved with Elliott’s plans as we thought? It sure seems that way.

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Spencer is fired from her job for “choosing partisan interests over the greater good,” and for “abusing the generosity of this organization,” which she allows to be true. She tells Caleb that she deserved to be fired and contemplates staying on with her mom’s transitional team and possibly going to Harrisburg with them, but admits she’s wary of leaving, under the circumstances.

Caleb tells her that Hanna went to New York to be with Jordan and Spencer asks him if they were a “mistake.” He says they weren’t, but she asks him why he keeps referring to their relationship in the past tense, to which he has no answer. She gets a text from Emily, alerting her that Ali’s worse and that there’s something going on between Mary and Elliott. She also wonders if Elliott is actually in charge or not.

We see a music box open, playing a tune, as someone injects Ali’s IV with some sort of drug and then wheels her out of her room. We see a bright light and Ali looking confused as she’s pushed into it, and that’s where we leave things this week.

So, some interesting developments overall. If what Mary says is true, it’s actually her sister Jessica that was the “crazy one” and she’s been maligned all this time for no good reason. Further, while she entered into some sort of agreement with Elliott, it would seem that she’s having second thoughts about it now that she’s seen the repercussions of her actions, noting the similarities from what was done to her and what was now being done to Ali.

If all of this is true, will she end up helping the girls out to bring down Elliott? Could be. As it stands, she certainly seems to be on the level, if her actions of late are any indication. After all, if she were really in cahoots with Elliott, would she have let Hanna go? Or it could be that she did because she was told they already had the culprit responsible for Charlotte’s death and it was Ali?

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Hard to say, but it does seem that she’s having second thoughts, at the very least, from what we heard of her conversation with Elliott. Either way, someone has taken matters into their own hands, if that bit at the end was any indication. Might Ali be headed to a “Dollhouse” of her very own? We shall see.

The scenes with Ezra, Aria and Liam were also especially gratifying, as they both addressed some concerns that certain viewers had, as well as finally attempt to justify some of it, for better or worse. I think most people determined where they stood on this issue long ago, and it would be hard to change either side’s mind at this point, but I do congratulate the show for finally acknowledging the concerns some had about it, as they were certainly justified, given how Ezra and Aria came together.

Lest we forget, he knew exactly who Aria was when they met, having known Ali before then, and, at first at least, used Aria to find out more about Ali and her disappearance. He did this to ostensibly research a book, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the two got romantically involved, even though he knew full damn well she was a minor, which is all kinds of icky.

It’s high time someone called him out on it, and that we got to hear Aria’s side of things, for that matter. I don’t know if she entirely justified it, but at least we know now that she knows it was dubious at best and that Ezra wasn’t entirely blameless in that. What that means for Aria and Ezra moving forward, we’ll just have to see, but good on the writers for finally going there- better late than never.

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So, definitely more of a transitional episode, with the mission being more to shed light on certain things rather than move the plot forward in any significant way. While episodes like this can often be meh, this one wasn’t, simply because the information that we did get was so juicy and the acting was rock solid across the board. Pretty much everyone in the main cast got a chance to shine, each getting their own moment at some point, which was nice, so I can’t complain.

What did you think about the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Do you believe Mary is telling the truth about her past? How involved is she with Elliott and how much of the plan is his, not hers? Is he AD? If not, who is? Will Mary end up helping the girls with Ali? Who took Ali at the end? What will they do with her? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next time!