So far, the most exciting thing to happen on Pretty Little Liars this season has been Liam telling off Aria in textbook English-major-fuckboy fashion: "I think you were seduced by your English teacher when you were in high school." (It was a subtle, yet effective, burn.) Needless to say, in its seventh season, PLL is finally starting to show its age — and frankly, it's been a bit of a snooze.
That is, until the final moments of tonight's "The Talented Mr. Rollins," when Pretty Little Liars killed off its dead weight in a delightfully bloody spectacle. After two false starts, this season has officially kicked it into gear. More importantly, PLL is finally back to its familiar tricks: secrets, lies, and murder.
Remember that grave the Liars were digging during that brief flash-forward in the premiere episode? Tonight's hour confirmed that the body the Liars were seen burying is in fact Dr. Elliot Rollins. (To be fair, he really overstayed his welcome.) Charlotte's ex-lover was mowed down by Hanna as she and the Liars were trailing a GPS signal planted by Ali, who had just escaped from her husband's clutches in the middle of the woods. Of course, the Liars found more than they bargained for when Elliot's face came crashing through Hanna's windshield.
Sure, Pretty Little Liars will never rank among the great prestige dramas of our time, nor does it have to, but there’s something to be said about the show's certain brand of kitschy, macabre entertainment. This scene in particular was a return to form.
(If you've been keeping score, this means both Aria and Hanna have blood on their hands. Emily and Spencer better catch up before the season's over.)
Elliot's death wasn't all that surprisingly. He was the most dispensable character, especially after the Liars caught on to his little act. Over the span of 42 minutes, the Liars not only figured out that Elliot was pretending to be Detective Wilden to mess with Ali's head — Spencer legitimately put that together in 30 seconds after finding blue contacts and silicone in his possession — and that he had been injecting her with hallucinogenic drugs, but they also pieced together his romantic history with Charlotte thanks to Hanna's maternal need to strike up innocuous conversations with creepy children. Not to mention the fact that his whole "torture Alison" plot line was wearing thin.
Now the Liars have yet another murder (well, technically, vehicular manslaughter) to cover up. But that's what these girls are good at: covering things up.
Fresh off her New York City meltdown, Hanna purchased a $40 cubic zirconia "engagement ring" from Target because she apparently didn't want anyone to know that she broke things off with Jordan. Despite the fact that everything in her life had fallen apart, Hanna wasn't going to let her perfect, blonde façade crack. But Hanna was hiding more than just a false engagement; her wounds were still fresh. Hanna refused to talk about what happened to her in A.D.'s torture shed. She didn't want to talk about it. Not with Aria. Not with Spencer. Not with Caleb. She preferred to stew in her own trauma out of fear that she'll "never stop crying."
Meanwhile, Spencer confronted Caleb about what really happened in that motel room the night of Hanna's disappearance. Caleb came clean about the kiss -- and in doing so, he inadvertently revealed his true feelings for Hanna to Spencer. Despite telling her that a part of him will always love Hanna, Spencer saw the truth. It's not that Caleb didn't love Spencer; he did. But he wasn't in love with her the way that she was in love with him. He wants to be in love with her. He wants her to be the first thing he thinks about in the morning and the last thing he thinks about before bed, but he just can't. And Spencer is too smart to give her heart to a man who won't give her his in return.
Poor Spencer. Not only does she have to deal with Caleb's "feelings," but she also has to smile and pretend to be happy for Toby and Yvonne's engagement when she really just wants to scream inside.
As for Emily's ongoing flirtation with Sabrina, Em made things official when she asked Sabrina out on a date. Although things were a bit of a mess at first when it looked like Sabrina might have a girlfriend (it was actually her ex), Emily eventually spilled her feelings and was rewarded with a date. Honestly, Emily deserves this. She constantly falls in love with people who hurt her — Alison, Paige, and Sara all betrayed her trust at one point or another — so this feels like a fresh start for Em.
However, this episode's MVP was undoubtedly Aria, who not only royally fucked things up by putting Elliot's keys back into the wrong sconce — YOU HAD ONE JOB, ARIA — but also managed to say all the wrong things to Hanna, including, "I know how you feel." Sigh.
Aria is totally that friend that turns every conversation back to her and her problems. Damn it, Aria. You make it really hard to root for you.