Pretty Little Liars moves at a breakneck pace. One minute, the Liars are on a mission to save Hanna before she becomes Uber A's latest plaything; the next, they need to save Ali before she becomes Dr. Rollins's personal plaything. Are you sensing a pattern here? In Rosewood, men think of young women as property. When Elliot Rollins looks into Ali's eyes, does he even see a person? Or is she nothing more than a doll that he can poke and prod and strap down? Pretty Little Liars has always been a show about a group of young women rising above the shit that the patriarchy throws at them, and Tuesday night's episode, "Bedlam," was no exception.
Even Mary Drake, at 14, was a victim like Charlotte before her. According to Mary, she was blamed for the death of an infant Jessica had been babysitting. When she tried to explain the situation to her parents, Jessica claimed that Baby Teddy had been alive when she left him with Mary. "Everyone always believed Jessica," Mary laments to Spencer. "She was the warm one." Their parents allegedly thought Mary would be safer in Radley than in prison. Little did they know the two institutions are basically one and the same in Rosewood.
What happened to Mary Drake and Charlotte — who was locked up in Radley because her father didn't understand her — is happening to Ali. She's being held in Welby against her will, where Dr. Rollins is taking advantage of her and pumping her bloodstream with countless drugs and medications. It makes perfect sense that Ali, in a lucid state, would desperately reach out to Emily, her only hope in all of this. Ali's current state has even inspired an alliance between Emily and Mary Drake, who's clearly not down with Elliot's extreme treatments.
Meanwhile, Hanna is recovering from her 24 hours in hell with A.D. She, too, has been victimized by someone who gets off on treating women like things. The experience leaves Hanna in flux. She tells Caleb that what happened between them that night at the Lost Woods Resort — the night they kissed — was a visceral reaction more than anything. It felt safe; he felt safe.
"In that room at the resort, before all the lights went off and someone pushed me down a hole, I was scared," Hanna began. (Aside: I still can't believe Hanna got pushed down a hole.) "But you were there. I always felt safe around you. Even when we weren’t getting along, you made me feel safe. Maybe that’s why what happened happened with us."
Hanna tries to atone for her guilt by surprising her fiancé Jordan at work in her sexiest red dress. She convinces him to go on an impromptu date to the bar where they first met. It's a nice idea, despite the fact that it's clearly one in the afternoon and Hanna ambushed him at work.
Alas, he agrees. Upon discovering that the bar had been torn down, however, she falls apart. She has a total meltdown in the middle of New York City, and I honestly never felt spiritually closer to Hanna Marin. Take it from someone who's publicly cried on every block south of Houston Street — sometimes you just need to let it all out. Realizing that things can never go back to how they used to be, Hanna ends her engagement in the middle of a grimy street, and again, I am so proud of her.
Jordan and Hanna were never going to make it work. Hanna's been running from Rosewood since she graduated high school. She buried herself in her work because it was a distraction. She entertained the idea of marrying Jordan without ever making concrete plans. Her heart had never been in it — but there's a silver lining to all of the heartbreak. Hanna decides to take Lucas up on his offer to open up a boutique for her in Rosewood. It's nice to see Hanna's ambition be put to good use. Hanna Marin is officially the Brooke Davis of Pretty Little Liars, and I only have three words: clothes before bros.
Hanna's decision to break off her engagement will undoubtedly affect Spencer and Caleb's fledgling relationship. Spencer's already feeling vulnerable about all of the attention Caleb has been paying Hanna. And when she asks him point-blank, "Did we make a mistake?" his response is less than encouraging. "It was real," he says. Yikes.
One relationship that's not on the rocks, however, is Ezria. These two crazy lovebirds are flying high, especially now that Aria has broken things off with poor, sweet Liam. Unfortunately for them, Liam is the one editing Aria and Ezra's book, and yes, that's all kinds of awkward. Despite promising to remain civil, Liam wastes no time comparing Ezria to Lolita. (Is it just me, or are the writers of this show speaking to all of the Ezria haters through Liam?)
"I think you were seduced by your English teacher when you were in high school," he tells Aria. Where is the lie, though?
As for A.D., there weren't really any new clues to decipher in "Bedlam," which I guess makes this a pretty boring episode by PLL standards. Even the Liars seem bored with A's antics at this point. Oh, you're going to kidnap another one of our friends and transport her to an undisclosed location? Cool. A.D. just doesn't have the range.