Pretty Little Liars “Along Comes Mary” Review (Season 7 Episode 5)

ANDREA PARKER

In the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” Ali was finally released from the hospital, but into the “care” of Mary Drake, while the girls followed-up on what was going on with Elliott Rollins, aka Archer Dunhill and Jenna continued to stir up trouble by allying herself with someone else in town, in “Along Comes Mary.”

As with last week, I’m going to try and sum things up in more efficient fashion, so we can get down to what we’re all really interested in- puzzling out what’s really going on and who’s involved with what. Let’s start with Ali and what’s up with her.

Alas, despite signs that Ali might be reconnecting with her inner liar again, she was still clearly rattled by recent events, leading her to show her hand in way O.G. Ali never would have. While she didn’t have much choice in terms of the whole Mary Drake taking temporary custody of her thing, she absolutely didn’t have to screw up the upper hand that the girls had on Jenna, but boy, did she blow it royally.

When a typically cagey Jenna showed up and damn near just walked into Ali’s house, thinking it to be empty, what with Ali still in the hospital, she was a little taken aback by Ali answering the door, having been freed earlier than Jenna clearly expected.

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Instead of using this to her advantage, Ali promptly blew it, first acknowledging that they already knew Elliott’s “real” name, Archer, before even the cops did, and then that she knew that he and Jenna were in cahoots to boot. Ali told her that her biggest mistake was telling Elliott/Archer that it was Ali who killed Charlotte, but really, she was the one making mistakes left and right here.

She did recover just enough to manage to save her hide a bit by telling Jenna to tell Elliott/Archer to “go to hell,” but, as ever, Jenna remained cool under pressure and didn’t show her own hand, aside from not-so-cryptically saying, in reply to this, “Maybe he’s already there,” which would seem to implicate that she knows, or at least suspects that he’s already dead.

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Of course, even there, in doing so, Ali likely made Jenna think that the girls might have had something to do with Elliot/Archer’s disappearance. What’s more she basically spoon-fed everything the girls knew at this point to Jenna, thus giving her all she needed to know to make her next move, which proved to be forming an alliance with the at-long-last-returning Sara Harvey (Dre Davis).

Proving the old adage of the whole “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Jenna wasted no time in cornering Sara at the Radley and telling her that the two should talk, as they had similar things to contend with- or rather, obstacles. “What an unfortunate thing for us to have in common,” said Sara, without missing a beat.

Nor did they even attempt to hide the new team-up, cropping up at the Brew together and even going so far as to allude to Emily’s test, which she had missed taking earlier, only to have A.D. send her an IM message saying that he/she took the test for her and to “Thank me later, ungrateful bitch.” Hey, at least A.D. scored a 92% on it, so there’s that.

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So, why in the world would A.D. do Emily a solid, least of all after both tormenting her earlier in the season and likely knowing a fair amount of what the girls already knew? Perhaps so she’ll owe him/her/them? We’ll just have to wait and see- but it’s clear Jenna, at the very least, knew about Emily having to take the test, so she could have had someone take it for her- but who?

This would seem to have been before she introduced herself to Sara- though Sara could have still been keeping tabs on the girls and have taken the test for Emily before all that. But if Sara is A.D. then why didn’t she already know Jenna, who was definitely in cahoots with Elliott/Archer? Unless, of course, A.D. doesn’t stand for Archer Dunhill at all, but someone/something else, which is entirely possible.

Factor in message number two from A.D.- which Ali received, via a printed note this time, along with her red jacket, which was dry cleaned! This time, A.D. did Ali a solid, telling her that “Your friends gave me your dirty jacket…but I couldn’t find a shred of evidence.” Clearly, A.D. is trying to turn Ali against the girls, which she almost should be, given that they fingered her for the crime of killing Charlotte- by a ballot vote, no less- with next-to-no evidence.

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Meanwhile, Aria and Emily went to a location secured by Mona after looking into Elliott/Archer’s burner phone. Aside from his typical calls from the car, it was the location he called the most from, so the girls naturally threw caution to the wind and went to investigate, despite knowing that the cops had already found Elliott/Archer’s abandoned car and would likely find this place soon as well, which proved to indeed be the case.

Nonetheless, the search proved fruitful, as they found further evidence that Elliott/Archer had constructed a mask of Wilden via a mannequin head and various photos of the man himself, clearly used as a point of reference in its construction. They also found a ledger with detailed payments, many made out to M.D. (Mary Drake) and J.M. (Jenna Marshall), thus confirming that all concerned were involved with one another.

Finally, most puzzlingly, they found a copy of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” with an inscription for Archer Dunhill, thus confirming that alias (or possibly Elliott’s real name) and heavily underlined passages throughout. One read: “Kill what I love?- To spite a raven’s heart with a dove.”

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Side note: the play is about a woman who falls in love with another woman who she believes to be a man, as she is disguised as one at the time and is able to fool everyone into thinking she actually is a man. Whether this has any impact on the plot of the show is debatable, but it wouldn’t be the first time the show has “borrowed” elements of other movies/books, i.e. “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” most recently, so you never know.

My guess would be that it’s meant to be a tweaking, to a certain degree, of some of the more insane plot twists on the show, such as Charlotte turning out to be a male who had a sex change or Elliott/Archer’s disguising himself as Wilden. But you never know, it could mean something more.

For a hot minute, I thought that maybe the underlined passage was an admission of guilt that he was actually the one who killed Charlotte, but then I remembered that he not only was actively looking for her killer, but flat-out told Ali he had loved Charlotte when he had Ali held captive at the hospital, so that doesn’t add up. I do think Elliott/Archer really loved Charlotte, as he had no reason to lie at that point to Ali, essentially having “won”- or so he thought.

So, the underlined stuff and even the play could just be a fake-out, but I doubt it, because, if so, why hide it? Obviously, it’s a clue of some kind, and likely hidden in some sort of code within the book that will have to be figured out.

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Unfortunately, the girls were busted by Toby at the scene, which, while halfway a good thing, as he gave them a heads-up that the rest of the cops would be headed there soon, still meant that they had to leave all the evidence they found behind. If I had been them, I’d have left everything but that book behind and left the rest for the cops. There’s enough there to keep them occupied while the girls figured out what was up with it.

As it stands, though, it should be more than enough to prove that Elliott is actually Archer, and that he had partners and was planning on splitting town, as evidenced by the passports and the ledger. Further, it proves that he was imitating Wilden to intimidate Ali and drive her crazy, thus causing her to turn herself into the hospital so that he could get ahold of her money, so some good will definitely come of it.

On the negative side, the girls touched all sorts of things and probably left DNA all over the place, so that can’t be good. Maybe Officer Toby will be able to clean things up a bit on their behalf. They certainly better hope so. Also, as we find out elsewhere in the episode, someone, if not Archer himself, did in fact manage to get ahold of Ali’s money successfully, both draining her accounts and getting control of her interests in the Carissimi Group, which isn’t good.

Further, someone took the girls’ ball and ran with it, not only purchasing a train ticket to Baltimore, but also renting a car, using the card in Elliott’s name to do so, giving the cops a clear lead on him- except that he’s actually way dead, so it must actually be one of his cohorts and/or A.D.- or possibly even “Uber A.” This means that someone clearly knows what the girls were up to and was finishing what they started.

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Although, it might well be either Mona, who also knew about it, and/or someone in cahoots with Mona that she got to do it on her behalf while she continued to investigate back in Rosewood. As we never actually saw her in the episode, she could have easily done what she did via phone, since all their contact was over the phone anyway, I do believe. Leave it to Mona to get the job done, right?

Other stuff: Mary reinforced her claim that she didn’t really know what Elliott/Archer was up to and was only complicit in trying to get ahold of Ali’s money, not put her in the hospital and torture her. For this reason, having been there herself, she swore up and down to help Ali any way she could to recover her money, realizing at the very least, she’d been double-crossed by him, not to mention that he wasn’t even really a doctor!

ANDREA PARKER

Hard to say if Mary is trustworthy, but I do genuinely think that she felt bad for Ali, having been in her shoes before, and was looking to avenge Charlotte, not torment her niece, and once she realized that was what was going on, she immediately started having reservations about it all. We also found out she had been in London, which was where she got involved with Elliott. (Who else is in London that we know of? Hmm…hello there, Melissa and Dr. Wren!)

Now that she knows that Elliott/Archer was lying about nearly everything, and the prospect of getting Ali’s money is done, she really has no reason to continue to go after Ali…I think, and seems to want to bond with what little family she has left. Then again, she could be nuttier than a fruitcake. That song she was singing about the sparrow was certainly pretty freaky. (It took a bit of Googling before I figured out where I’d heard it before- it’s also a Dolly Parton song, though many have covered it, as it is originally an old Appalachian folk song.)

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Ezra returned, having gone to visit Nicole’s parents, mostly to get their blessing on his reconnecting with Aria, which seems like a pretty odd thing to do, but okay. While he was off doing errands, his phone rang, with the ID revealing it was…none other than Nicole! However, when Aria answered the phone, no one said anything, which was kind of ominous.

Is it really Nicole, or someone pretending to be her, looking into Ezra about her disappearance? Might it be the culprit behind her kidnapping and/or murder? Hard to say, but I’m guessing this isn’t the last we’ve heard about all this. After all, “femicide is rising”!

Whatever the case, Aria has kept the information to herself for the time being, not exactly helped by the proposal that Ezra laid on her shortly thereafter, before she’d even had a chance to decide what to do about it in the first place. As many predicted, it would seem that Ezria would be the ones that are going to be married, though the show ended before Aria could give her answer.

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Another potential clue: there was a prominently placed poster of “Mississippi Mermaid” on Ezra’s wall. The film is about a man who marries a woman under false pretenses, on both ends. He lies about being wealthy (just like Ezra did once upon a time) and she lies about her real identity (she sends him a picture of her that isn’t actually her, claiming she wanted to know if his intentions were “pure”).

However, inconsistencies arise between what she said in her letters and what she says in real life, leading him to wonder if she is who she claims to be. This is proved to be the case, when he gets home one day to find her gone and his bank account drained, and the woman he was supposed to meet in the first place proves to be missing, as confirmed by her sister, who comes looking for her.

The two hire a private eye to find her, with the man eventually seeing the “fake” one on TV and tracking her down, where she confesses that a con man coerced her into doing it and that she really loved him, but the con man killed the sister and forced her to go through with it or he’d kill her, too.

Upon getting the money, he took off with it, leaving her high and dry. The two reconcile and things go from there, with other twists and turns along the way. (If this sounds at all familiar, it was remade as “Original Sin,” with Angelina Jolie.) You can read more about it here, but definitely an interesting choice for Ezra to hang on his wall, which might be noteworthy on down the line.

ANDREA PARKER

Mona also found a text on Elliott’s burner phone that revealed that he also knew that Ali wasn’t Charlotte’s killer, which meant that he had taken Ali out of the hospital not to kill her as they suspected, but for other reasons. But what? Obviously, Ali thought he was going to do the same, hence her escape from the car, but what the hell was he up to if he wasn’t going to kill her? And who was the text intended for? Mary? Jenna? Someone else?

Also, someone else appeared to be watching when Aria and Emily went to Elliott/Archer’s apartment, and saw them with Toby from the window. This might be because Emily texted someone from his burner phone, wanting them to meet them, to which they said, “The usual spot?” Assuming it to be the apartment, the girls went there, but didn’t see anyone else…but someone appears to have seen them.

Spencer searched in vain for Caleb, to no avail, but Toby knew where he was and said she should leave him be for now. This led to the line of the evening: “Help me Toby Wan-Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Lol. Leave it to Spencer to sell such a dorky joke. (Runner-up: when Sara said to Jenna, upon meeting her: “Are you a sour girl?” in reference to her drink choice, and Jenna, in the understatement of the episode, said: “I can be.”)

Spencer also actively encouraged Hanna to figure out her true feelings for Caleb sooner than later before any more damage could be done and discovered that her elevator near-hookup was with the new detective on the Elliott/Archer case. Whoops! Thankfully, he covered up the surprise for the both of them when Toby introduced the two, with decidedly awkward results.

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Finally, there was another, less gratuitous sighting of “The Amateurs”- perhaps to make up for how blatant the last one was, lol- in Aria’s proposal scene, and we learned that her middle name was Marie, which I don’t think we knew, though it could have been in the books, which I admittedly haven’t read. The episode ended with Sara and Jenna meeting for drinks at the Radley with none other than Noel Kahn– long time no see!

Given that Noel was in cahoots with Ali last time we saw him, I suspect he, like Jenna, is looking for a bit of revenge himself, as he revealed he was being blackmailed by Ali at one point later on, though to the best of my knowledge, we never found out what Ali had on him. He was last seen in Season 5 Episode 9: “March of Crimes,” in which he was desperately looking for something to leverage against Ali for her blackmail of him, for the record.

That was about it, but that was plenty, right? Yes, it was mostly about filling in some blanks from the last few episodes, and not everything we found out was necessarily hard facts- notably anything that came out of Mary’s mouth- but still, a fair amount of interesting developments, notably the Jenna/Sara alliance, which I already thought was a thing, anyway. Well, it certainly is now, and now, with added Kahn! (Can’t wait for the episode entitled “The Wrath of Kahn,” which is just fantastic.)

SASHA PIETERSE

What did you think of the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars”? Any theories on who Archer’s partner was? Is that partner actually A.D. or is that someone else entirely? Are A.D. and “Uber A” one and the same? Are any of them related to “Emoji A”? Will the girls’ dubious actions come back to haunt them? What will Team Jenna get up to? List your craziest theories down below and see you next time!