Pretty Little Liars “Wanted: Dead or Alive” Review (Season 7 Episode 6)

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On the latest episode of “Pretty Little Liars,” the girls scrambled to do damage control on both the Elliott/Archer situation and with Ali, as well as their own love lives in certain cases; and we had yet another casualty, in the aptly-titled “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” (Perhaps needless to say, spoilers will abound, so beware, those not caught up!)

Hanna, flipping out about recent developments, is convinced that Archer is still alive, given the latest info from the cops, while the more levelheaded Spencer thinks it’s much more likely that it’s the partner of the faux doctor formerly-known-as-Elliott messing with them. Guess who was right?

Aria posits it could be Jenna, working in tandem with new recruit Sara, while some of the others remain suspicious of Mary Drake. Ali comes in, sporting the newly-infamous red jacket version 2.0, suspicious of everyone, understandably, telling them Elliott/Archer gave it to her.

Spencer breaks everything down to her, as well she should, as these other girls are all pretty clueless, as we soon shall see ample evidence of. In the meantime, we have this priceless bit of “No sh*t, Sherlock” dialogue from Aria: “We’ve really got to stop group texting each other.” You think?

Detective Marco (Nicholas Gonzalez) is waiting for Ali and Spencer when they arrive at her place, with an update on Elliott. He confirms that Elliott is actually Archer Dunhill, from Wales, who is currently already wanted in the UK for several instances of petty theft and fraud. Toby is on the case with the traffic cam footage- not sure if that’s reassuring or not- and the police think the rental car and train ticket were diversions to take attention from what really happened.

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Factor in the fact that Archer used his Elliott credit card numerous times, and they think it’s all meant to take the local police’s eye off the ball- imagine that! To that end, they think he might actually still be lying low in town and intends to come after Ali again, so enhanced security is added- read: one cop is installed outside her house. Way to step it up, Rosewood P.D.! (He said sarcastically.)

Spencer takes Marco aside and says that perhaps they should back off for now, in light of everything that’s going on- not to mention her involvement in it. That Spencer is a savvy one. She also tells him that she thinks Ali has told them everything she knows. Would be that she was wrong, but sadly, OG Ali has seemingly left the building long ago. I miss her, don’t you?

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As Aria, who clearly didn’t give Ezra an answer to his proposal, stresses over that, Hanna goes into flip-out mode again when “Archer” calls his own burner phone, which she’s been babysitting, lest his partner Jenna (or whoever) call again. “Next time you bury someone, make sure they’re dead,” he says, sinisterly echoing the show’s theme song.

Aria reiterates that she thinks it’s Jenna or Sara messing with them, while, right on cue, Emily spots the latter, headed up to Jenna’s room with a wrapped gift. Overhearing a drink order to Jenna’s room, she inserts herself into things and delivers the drink to Jenna, using the stolen moment to take a glance at her laptop, where she spots a webpage for a Baltimore rental car company- one of the places Archer was last spotted.

There’s also a folder with Charlotte’s name on it, but before she can investigate further, Sara comes in and narcs on her. Oh, and did I mention we had a return of the flute? That completely mental, David Lynchian moment from early on in the series where she last played it was easily one of my all-time fave moments of the entire series, so it was nice seeing a return of it here.

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It also made sense, given the possible/probable “Twin Peaks” homage we get later on- a sort-of foreshadowing of things to come, perhaps? Either way, leave it to Jenna to make the flute, arguably one of the least intimidating instruments ever, super-creepy. You gotta love it.

Emily being Emily, she admits the girls think that Jenna is stalking them and is cahoots with Sara. Sara is adamant that she’s actually trying to protect Emily and they’re looking for the same thing the girls are, but Jenna shuts her up. Emily threatens to go to the cops with what she knows, prompting Jenna to come clean about a few, no doubt carefully curated things.

Jenna says that she was the one who got Archer the passport and set him up with the doctor job, using a connection of hers- possibly Dr. Wren? She connected with Charlotte after her internment in the hospital and the two struck up a friendship, with Jenna and Archer teaming up to try and get Charlotte out of the hospital by involving Ali in things.

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Jenna suggests that Archer suck up to Ali- flattery will get him everywhere with her, she says. Obviously, he went the extra mile with that one, given what we know now, which could explain why he romanced her, despite being in love with Charlotte, which is confirmed here, as we see them in full-on cuddle mode in a flashback, with Charlotte dubbing him “Archie,” so she was obviously in on that much.

Jenna tells them that she’s looking far and wide for Mary Drake to help, but to no avail, as of yet, hence their need to get Ali involved. Since we already know that Mary came in from England shortly before Charlotte’s death, is it possible that Jenna and/or Archer set Mary upon Ali, and, seeing as she didn’t really know what she looked like, she killed Charlotte by mistake, thinking it was Ali, with Jenna in particular no doubt having told Mary how evil Ali was?

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Could be, and it would certainly account for Mary’s flaky behavior ever since, though I’ve no doubt she’s got more than a couple of screws loose anyway. Seeing as she was in on it to a certain extent with Archer, and she clearly thinks he’s still alive and might be after her to eliminate loose ends, as we see in the scene with Spencer taking a look around at the Lost Woods Resort where she nearly attacks her.

It could be that what’s really set her on edge is knowing that she was the one who really killed Charlotte. If so, no wonder she’s constantly on guard- she knows she’s the one who really did it, and is racked with guilt because of it, and knows that if Archer found out, he’d kill her. As she says to Spencer, he’s prone to violence. Of course, Mary has no idea Archer is already dead, so there’s that.

Charlotte’s death was also supposedly what brought Jenna back to Rosewood, and she’d been determined to find her killer since. So, imagine her surprise when she called Archer’s phone, only to have the girls answer- although technically they didn’t say anything. Still, Ali spilled those beans when she got into a shouting match with Jenna in the last episode, so it makes sense that Jenna would put two-and-two together.

Given that the girls seem to be the last ones to talk to Archer alive, Jenna points out that, if anything, she had more reason to call the cops on them than the other way around. Not too sure about that, given that she roped in a con man and helped him falsify information to get him into the country, and was likely in on the plan to fleece Ali for her money- which she probably has already- but given what the girls did, point taken.

Still, if that’s all there is to the story, I’ve got a patch of land in Ravenswood I’d like to sell you. Clearly, Jenna is hiding something, because this is Jenna we’re talking about. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if she was the one we see at the end of the episode, but I digress.

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Whatever the case, Sara sees Emily out and tells her and the girls to stay away from them, but not because of Jenna, but because of…she never gets a chance to say who she means, as Jenna calls her back to the room. Given what happens later, chances are, this willingness to try and tell Emily something she shouldn’t have is likely what causes it.

Aria, after calming down a frantic Hanna, finally comes clean about Ezra’s proposal and her hesitancy to say yes: “Ezra wants a marriage, a wife. Not conjugal visits.” Lol. Hanna also comes clean about the faux rings she’s wearing and the fact that she and Jordan broke up some time ago and she’s been lying about it ever since, mostly because of Spaleb. We see a creeper cop watching over them nearby, with some telltale black gloves on…

Caleb returns, admitting that he nearly left town altogether to Ezra, who is fruitlessly trying to finish his novel, while stressing over the whole Aria thing. Caleb says that he thinks there’s more to what’s going on than what the girls are telling them- you think? Ezra tells him he should go and talk to them and find out.

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Caleb tracks down Spencer first and admits he’s still confused, which is Bro Code for “I’m still in love with my ex,” for all my female readers out there. Spencer says the same, which is Girl Code for “I know you’re totally still in love with your ex, but I’m not about to admit it.” She does allow that he is the first serious relationship she had since Toby and that she’s glad they at least tried, which is basically Spencer Code for “Buh-bye, we’re dunzo.”

Ali catches Mary packing up a bunch of her mother’s stuff, which Mary claims was hers in the first place, but Jessica, her sister, stole it from her when they were kids. Ali asks her why Charlotte called herself CeCe Drake when they met, if she didn’t already know who Mary was.

Mary seems legit surprised by this revelation, but claims they never even met in the first place, and that Charles was straight-up taken from her the minute she was born by Jessica, yet another thing she “stole” from her. This lends credence to my Mary killed Charlotte by mistake theory, I think, as it confirms she might not have known what she looked like.

Perhaps Jenna, or even an unwitting Archer set her up to kill Ali, and she killed the wrong girl by mistake, given that they were both at the church at roughly the same time, you know? Realizing her mistake later, she played dumb after, but then had second thoughts after Archer started tormenting both Ali in the hospital and probably Hanna as well- though that has yet to really be confirmed- and switched sides, opting to help Ali instead of plot against her.

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Well, at least once she found out that the depths Archer was willing to sink- putting Ali in the mental hospital and torturing her, kidnapping Hanna and doing the same- coupled with the fact that he double-crossed her and took the money. Of course, chances are he didn’t do the latter, being dead and all, though I suppose he could have done it before. My money’s on Jenna, though. Don’t know how, but she’s a wily one.

Option #2: I noticed that Janel Parish was listed in the credits, even though she wasn’t in the episode- but is that true? Perhaps she was the one we saw in disguise. After all, she has the smarts and the inside knowledge to pull something like this, being a former “A” herself, and Lord knows, she’s been one step ahead of the girls every step of the way.

Also note that she stayed behind in that mission control center that Charlotte was using at that building she was planning to blow up with her father and Jason inside before the girls thwarted her plan by taking out Sara. No telling what she found out there- maybe she decided to take back control of the “A” game. Either way, Mona’s always up to something, right?

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Aria goes over to Ezra’s, and to the delight of Ezaria fans everywhere, finally accepts his proposal, but not before she tells him…everything? We never hear exactly what she tells him, but I’m willing to bet she left out a few key details along the way.

But was it about the whole Archer thing- or the Nicole thing? Or both? Who knows? Either way, rejoice Ezaria fans, your creepy dream has come to pass! That is, if Ezra or Aria don’t end up dead and/or in jail before then.

Speaking of ‘ships: Emison shippers, unite! The two were in full snuggle mode, possibly as the direct result of an intervention on Emily’s part for Ali’s seemingly complete reversal of any sort of fashion sense altogether. Bella, my ass.

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Okay, it was actually because Ali was convinced that Charlotte and Archer had both hoodwinked her and their relationships were both contrived and a lie, which is certainly true on the former count, if not Charlotte’s. Emily also apologized for ratting Ali out and Ali seemed accepting, if that close hug was any indication. Watch your back, Sabrina the teenage barista! Emison lives!

Hanna tells Spencer about the Jordan thing finally, and Spencer is understanding, though hurt she didn’t come clean sooner, what with everything going on with them and Caleb. Hanna also tells her about the convincingly real dream she had while kidnapped, in which Spencer paid her a visit and told her to pick herself up and get out of there.

But was it a dream? A popular theory online has Spencer as “A” and Hanna’s potential real captor- and tormentor. A little far-fetched, but I’d love it if it were true, as Spencer actually has the smarts to pull off some crazy “A”-type stuff, to be sure. I’m not sure the show will go there with one of the girls, though, but we’ll see. Lord knows crazier things have happened on this show.

Hanna gets another call on the Archer hotline from not-Elliott, who says: “First you turn her in, then you leave her alone. Stupid bitches.” How rude! Hanna calls Ali to warn her, but Ali reassures her that the cop is still outside watching over her. But naturally, it’s creepy cop from earlier, who Ali wastes no time in inviting inside, because of course she does.

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No sooner has she done so than he disappears and Ali goes into her bedroom and sees “Honey, I’m home” written in red spray paint on her wall. The “cop” attacks her from behind and Ali struggles, managing to rip his (or her) mask partially off, though not enough to see who it is, of course.

It’s here we get the “Peaks” moment, which I don’t want to go into too much for those of you who haven’t seen it, but suffice it to say, someone also had a close encounter of the mirror-in-the-face kind on that show, too, and it didn’t end so well for them. Ali gets luckier, as the cops, for once, arrive just in time to save someone, just as the “cop” pulls out a cudgel to stop her struggling before he/she can finish her off.

Ali’s essentially okay, and this time they have some actual evidence, thanks to the piece of mask her attacker left behind, which surely has some DNA on it, right? Mary Drake albis out, so it wasn’t her. Emily returns for more cuddling and Ali tells her she thinks that Archer planted the red jacket because he knew the girls would turn on her, and she doesn’t blame them, given all that she’d been up to before.

We see Sara scrambling to pack up her stuff and GTFO of Dodge while the getting’s good, but alas, the shower tolls for poor much-maligned Ms. Harvey, who ends up bludgeoned to death and left for dead, to be found soon after by a maid cleaning up in- where else?- the tub, as the shower runs one last time for the hygienically-obsessed waif.

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I may be one of the few- along with the “Bros Watch PLL, too” guys- who might actually miss her, but whatever the case, stop bitching, haters, she’s dead! She and her metal-studded gloves will be missed, at least by me. I suspect we’ll get some flashbacks out of Dre Davis yet, though, so don’t go prematurely rejoicing just yet, Shower Harvey bashers- we haven’t seen the last of her yet, I think.

Hanna and Spencer, who should both know better at this point- especially Spencer- go off into the woods to check that Archer is still there where they left him, which, of course, he is. Alas, someone is watching and no doubt recording, and that someone has to be Jenna- or maybe Mona, right? Or not. Who knows at this point? It’ll be a miracle if they wrap half of this up by the end of the season.

We end with a pan shot of the watcher’s lair, as we see a host of masks, including the old man one, which blows my initial theory that it was Sara because of the gloves- but it could still be Jenna, who also shares Sara’s fondness for the apparel. Well, that and the fact that, you know, Sara’s dead and all- though I suppose she could have still been involved with all that.

We also catch sight of several boxes, including one labeled “Charlotte’s books” and another labeled “Letters from AD,” so whoever it is obviously has a connection to the two. Some have also suggested that Charlotte isn’t even dead, which would be something, but that seems a bit far-fetched, even for this show. Besides, they’ve been there, done that, with Ali already, not to mention Mona.

Of course, one could argue the same for my “Mona is ‘A’ again” theory, but I’d just be more satisfied with that over anything else they could come up with beyond my long-vaunted “Melissa and Dr. Wren are in on it together and really Uber-A” theory, which is the one I’ve maintained the longest. We’ll see, I guess.

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All in all, a decent enough episode, with lots of shipper bait and a major death that I think most of us saw coming a mile away. Still, at least they’re taking people out for once- that’s three already and the season’s not even half over! I don’t know about you, but I’ll take it. What say you? Sound off down below, as always, and see you next week!