Pretty Little Liars “The Talented Mr. Rollins” Review (Season 7 Episode 3)

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On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” Hanna continued to suffer the aftereffects of her kidnapping, while the girls ratcheted up their investigation of Dr. Rollins (Huw Collins) and what connection he might have with Mary Drake (Andrea Parker) and Emily and Sabrina (Lulu Brud) finally made a love connection, in the wryly-titled “The Talented Mr. Rollins.”

The title is, of course, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the book/movie, “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” by Patricia Highsmith, who also wrote another book/movie the show has referenced previously, “Strangers on a Train.” It revolves around a con man/sociopath that takes advantage of a bunch of people by lying to scam his way into their lives and make himself rich, and involves stealing one person’s identity after killing them and later inheriting their fortune by forging documents.

Naturally, Dr. Rollins has any number of things in common with the character, not in the least the fact that he also stole someone’s identity and tried to scam his way into getting rich through decidedly shady means. There’s still a lot we don’t know, but one thing seems fairly certain: he’s probably the one the girls were burying at the beginning of the season.

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We began with Aria getting some sense of how much Hanna suffered at the hands of her kidnapper, as she sees the bruises and scars on her back, which were caused by a cattle prod, of all things. As the show goes on, we will see that my prediction that it was, in fact, Dr. Rollins that kidnapped and tortured Hanna is the most likely scenario, given the facts at hand.

The girls meet up and compare notes about Mary and Dr. Rollins, while discussing what is to be done about Ali. Hanna, Aria and Emily head to the hospital to talk to the man in charge, Dr. Freedman (Troy Vincent, “American Sniper”), while Spencer goes to talk to Toby to see if he can dig anything up using his police connections.

Ali attacks Elliott and almost gets the better of him, but alas, he finally overpowers her and injects her once again with whatever it is he’s been giving her. He then puts a bizarre face mask on her, making her look like a weird female version of Dr. Hannibal Lecter!

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After a hilariously gratuitous plug of Sara Shepard’s new book, “The Amateurs,” in Ezra’s coffee shop, Emily, who just landed the Radley job as a bartender, runs into Sabrina and thanks her for being there for her recently. Emily asks her out, but Sabrina flatly refuses, saying that the whole experience with Emily and Aria stealing Ezra’s key still bothered her and she wasn’t over it yet.

Spencer goes to Toby’s trailer and runs into Yvonne (Kara Royster), who is sporting a brand spanking new engagement ring, and indicates that Toby finally popped the question. He isn’t there at the moment and the two have an engagement party planned for later, so Spencer, a little taken aback, simply tells Yvonne to tell him she came by and would get in touch at a later date.

Aria, Emily and Hanna go over Dr. Rollins’ head and talk to his superior, Dr. Freedman, threatening to report them both if he doesn’t let them see Alison to make sure she’s okay. He does, but all appears well, with Ali seemingly comfortably sedated and the records indicating no foul play. The straps and mask are conspicuously absent, however, and Elliott, joining them, glares at the girls.

TROIAN BELLISARIO

Spencer confronts Caleb about his actions with Hanna lately and the disrespect he’s been showing her overall over the last few days. He admits the two kissed, but swears that’s as far as it went and that they were just caught up in the moment. Spencer asks him if he still has feelings for Hanna and he says nothing, but his silence speaks volumes.

Spencer finally hears from Jason, who is still out of the country. He says he didn’t know anything about Ali being in the hospital and that Dr. Rollins lied about his signing off on it. He’ll be there soon, but not for a few days, so getting Ali out that way won’t work in the short term, so the girls decide to check out Ali’s house again, in hopes of finding some dirt on Dr. Rollins that way.

Emily, who has to report to work at the Radley, gives them the key to Ali’s house and the girls head there, with Hanna and Spencer serving as lookouts while Aria goes inside and finds the hidden key in the lamp and looks in the mysterious locked trunk at the foot of the bed we saw last week.

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Aria finds a host of shady stuff, including various bottled drugs, syringes, weird tools, antihistamine tablets, colored contacts, and what appears to be a recipe for something. She takes photos of everything, as well as some credit card statements on the dresser, just getting out of there before Dr. Rollins returns.

He sees Aria leaving out through the fence as he goes inside and checks the bedroom. While nothing is missing, Aria has put the key to the trunk into the wrong lamp and the items are somewhat in disarray, so it’s clear Elliott knows that something is afoot, as he looks angrily out the window at the girls.

Spencer confronts Hanna about the kiss and she insists that it meant nothing and that the two of them are not getting back together and that she’s still with Jordan. The girls go back to Spencer’s to investigate Aria’s photos and can’t make heads or tails out of it at first glance.

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However, they do spot a bill for a stay at an Amish Bed & Breakfast (!) and Aria and Hanna head there to see if they can find anything out, suspecting that Elliott’s family might be from the area, as the dates coincide with the period when he and Ali were supposed to be visiting their farm. Spencer hangs back to further investigate the stuff in the photos.

Sabrina shows up at the Radley and Emily spots her and apologizes for the key thing, saying that there was more to it than she knew and that they only did it because they were concerned about Ezra’s well-being. Sabrina seems on edge about it, but we see that it has nothing to do with that- she’s meeting with a girl there, who comes in as Emily finishes her spiel.

Aria tells Hanna she broke up with Liam and that she and Ezra are more or less back together and Hanna continues to lie about still being with Jordan, though it does not go unnoticed by her that Aria has fallen back in with her old boyfriend, reminding Hanna that she may also still have feelings for her own ex.

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Spencer finds out that the recipe is not for food, but for making latex, which is often used in making masks. Together with the contacts and the knowledge of Ali’s freak-out that led to her going into the hospital in the first place, Spencer realizes that Elliott was gas-lighting Ali, posing as Wilden to upset her and make her think she was going crazy, using drugs to make her that much more susceptible to suggestion and paranoia.

Hanna and Aria strike out at first in Amish country, finding no evidence of Elliott or anyone who knew him and his family or any indication that he was from there, but a little girl spots them and follows them into a barn that sells furniture and the like. She says that Hanna and Aria look just like the dolls that Charlotte gave her, which certainly gets their attention.

The girl shows them the dolls in question, and sure enough, it’s the same dolls we saw before that “A” used once upon a time, with a doll for each of the girls. The girl confirms that she saw Charlotte and Elliott there together and that she spotted them kissing.

Hanna also spots a cattle prod hanging on a fence, which gives her flashbacks and she confesses to Aria that it was what Rollins used to torture her with, much to Aria’s horror. The two leave after a gruff Amish man tells them they ought to, as they have no business there.

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Sabrina approaches Emily and tells her that the girl who showed up was her ex, but that there was nothing going on between them anymore. She says she was impressed by Emily’s impassioned speech and asks her out on a date, because of course she does because Emily can’t be without a girlfriend for too long because she’s Emily.

Caleb tells Spencer he still has feelings for Hanna but that it’s over and she’s back with Jordan now, so what difference does it make? He says he wants to be with her now, but Spencer sees through it, saying that he obviously still loves Hanna and merely likes her. Caleb asks for a second chance, but Spencer isn’t having it, understandably.

Emily crashes Toby’s engagement party and tells him about the whole Elliott and Mary Drake connection and gives him Mary’s files and asks him for help finding out more about them. He agrees to help but says it might be a while, but she stresses that time is of the essence, given Ali’s situation.

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Elliott, knowing that the girls are onto him, packs up his stuff, and heads to the hospital, where he grabs Ali and tells her there’s been a “change of plans.” Apparently, this must be the least guarded hospital in all of America, as he can just come and go as he pleases with Ali whenever he wants to. And you thought Radley was bad, lol.

The girls get a text that lets them know of Ali’s current location and they see that she’s headed away from the hospital. But did she send it, or did Rollins? The girls know enough to know it might be a trap but decide to follow Rollins anyway, fearing for Ali’s safety if they don’t. We see that Ali is out of it, but conscious, unbeknownst to Elliott.

Yvonne slinks out of Toby’s trailer and comes on to him and he says he’ll be there soon, as he has some “police business” to take care of. Not exactly a great way to start out one’s engagement phase, but Yvonne takes it in relative stride, even though she must know it had something to do with the girls coming by several times.

Toby discovers that Elliott has only one bad mark on his record: a speeding ticket- but it’s back in 1958! Obviously, Elliott is not who he claims to be, but whoever he’s posing as is way too old to actually be him, if not outright dead, which seems more likely.

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Ali grabs Elliott’s head and slams it into the car window, causing him to pull off to the side of the road. Ali jumps out and runs for her life, as Elliott gives chase. The girls catch up just in time to see Ali run right in front of them, as they swerve to avoid her, in shock.

Unfortunately for them, Hanna swerves right into Elliott, killing him instantly, his face embedded in the windshield, blood dripping down on Hanna, who’s horrified. Ali walks up, rejoining the girls, seeing what happened and that is where we end things for now.

So, Elliott is dunzo by Benzo, and it would seem that he would be the one that the girls were frantically burying at the beginning of the season. Not sure why the girls chose to cover it up, as they could have easily explained what had happened- Ali texted them with her location, indicating she was in trouble, the girls rushed to her aid and they unexpectedly ran Elliott down when he came out of nowhere chasing her.

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Granted, it would look bad at first blush, but once it got out that Elliott was not who he says he was and that he was drugging Ali and after her money, I think Hanna and the girls would have been okay. Also, there’s the fact that he kidnapped Hanna, which she has some evidence of, in the form of her bruises. Plus, she can probably lead them to where she was held, I’m guessing.

But when have these girls ever done anything logical? So, it’s cover-up time, and that will probably not end well for anyone, as there’s too much to cover up for them to likely get away with it- or is there? I mean, Elliott was lying about his identity, so when he goes missing, it will be hard to discern who he really was in the first place.

My main concern is the car, though, which I assume was Hanna’s. What will the girls do with it to keep this incident from coming back to bite Hanna in the ass? We shall see. But it doesn’t look good, that’s for sure. On the plus side, Elliott won’t be around to torture Ali anymore, so there’s that.

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I assume it’s only a matter of time before she gets better now, which is good, because crazy Ali was sort of a thankless role for Sasha Pieterse, though she did her best with it. Maybe we can get devious Ali back once she figures out what was going on. I miss old-school Ali- don’t you? It will also be interesting to see the ripple effect Elliott’s death has on whatever was going on with him and Mary.

All in all, on okay episode, mostly redeemed by that ending. Not a whole lot of forward momentum beyond that- we already knew Elliott wasn’t what he seemed to be and was probably lying about who he really was, and that he was up to something with Ali. There was an insane moment where I wondered if maybe he would be unmasked and revealed as actually being Dr. Wren, which would have been suitably batsh*t crazy, but no such luck.

What did you think of the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Are you glad to be rid of Elliott? Was he AD? Was he indeed the one who kidnapped Hanna? (I think so, personally, on both counts.) What was he planning to do with Ali before the girls brought him down? Was he working for anyone besides Mary? How will Mary react to his disappearance?

ANDREA PARKER

I’m assuming Elliott wasn’t “Uber A”- so who is? And lest we forget, “Emoji A” is still on the loose- and probably “Shower Harvey.” Speaking of which, where is she and what is she up to in all this time? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next week!