Pretty Little Liars: Bedlam – All Roads Lead to Radley…Again (Review)

ANDREA PARKER, SHAY MITCHELL, GWEN HOLLOWAY

You have to  love all the Pretty Little Liars with their tendency to point fingers at nearly everyone as suspect when things go pear shaped (wrong).  Last week saw A.D. texting out testily to the Liars and “Beldam” sees all roads leading to Radley, again.  In season six it seemed everyone who went to school with the Liars spent time the the town’s asylum. Now it appears that it may be a prerequisite for most,  if not all, of  Rosewood’s denizens to have spent time there.

Back to Emily:  In the previous episode she jumped to the conclusion that Ali killed Charlotte based on her friend’s delirious call to the Almighty after she questioned her. Now she thinks she could be wrong. Especially after getting the “midnight” phone call from Alison begging her for help.

Rollins, the secret Brit, who must be A.D. (if he is not he certainly seems to have a vested interest in torturing his wife Ali for no apparent reason,) changes the visiting rules. Only family are allowed in to see DiLaurentis, although that is not a firm and fast rule as he throws “Aunty” Mary Drake (aka Jessica DiLaurentis) out with Emily.

Drake has angry words with Rollins afterward and Em watches with interest through the glazed opaque glass wall.  Even the silhouettes look angry so it is easy to tell that someone is having a falling out.

Aria and Ezra’s book effort hits a stumbling block when Liam (who volunteered to help on their co-authored book) lets his green-eyed monster out of the bag. He pretty much accuses Ezra, Aria’s former English teacher,  of being Humbert Humbert from “Lolita.” Liam also demands that chapters be re-written so the rest of the world will not see a “Lolita” connection. Ezra is not pleased and sees through Liam’s anger dressed as constructive criticism.

Hanna, who has returned from captivity with the help of Mary Drake, has flashbacks of  meeting cute with her ex fiancé Jordan.  Hanna also has another  memory; her  breakup. with Jordan. She remembers what happened  when she  discovers that the bar where they met has been torn down. Poor Hanna reacts badly.

Spencer’s mother fires her for being unfocussed and spending too much time on her friends.  Mary Drake is working her way through the Liars, meeting them individually and, apparently, trying to befriend them all.

Jessica DiLaurentis’ twin sister trots out her own sad backstory, which manages to pin the death of an infant on her dead sibling, that ends with Mary in Radley. Lucas, Hanna’s savior with a multi-million dollar deal looks as trustworthy as a snake with a switchblade. He also looks a bit off…

Pretty Little Liars ends with Ali being drugged via her intravenous drip and having her gurney moved out of her solitary confinement space and down the hall.  As Alison looks on fearfully the double doors at the end of the hallway open to reveal a bright white light.

Season seven of the series has allowed the girls to grow up. It is, after all, five years (plus) later.  This has been a mixed blessing as the characters can now dress like grown women but still suffer from a “high school” mentality when it comes to their impression of the Scooby Gang.

In term of performances, all bring much to the table. They have had six seasons to really learn their characters and it shows.  Sadly, this last trip to Rosewood may be a little contrived (As if the first six seasons were not?).  It will, however,  be interesting to see who made those Mission Impossible type masks and  learn just who Rollins really is.

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays on Freeform.

Cast:

Pretty Little Liars: FrAmed (recap and review)

Ali drinking coffee in Pretty Little Liars
Last week in Pretty Little Liars, Charles/A was very nearly caught, Toby got high on Spencer’s treats, Lorenzo was injured and Sara lets Emily know where she is at, FrAmed takes the girls one step closer to the Charles resolution. Hanna continues to be the voice of reason as well as derision not being Mr. DiLaurentis’ biggest fan, she has no real sympathy for Alison’s decision to feel compassion for her dangerous brother.

Aria gets her doll photos displayed at the gallery and Clark is happy for her. Toby, who was not best pleased with Spencer last week, is now texting her. “Win,” says Spencer when the girls are discussing Charles. Clark asks Aria about just what they thought they would do if Charles was at the arcade and she asks him to change the subject. Ezra listens as they talk about both the arcade and the gallery. Aria teases him about eavesdropping.

Ezra offers to be a personal bodyguard in order for Aria to attend the viewing at the gallery and she realizes that Tanner can help make the event safer with a police presence. Alison visits the injured Lorenzo, bearing soup, and she insists upon a little tender loving care to thank him. The two kiss.

Hanna complains about her mother’s inactivity over the Carissimi Group tuition check to Spencer. Spencer realizes that if they give the money back they can investigate the organization. Ella and Aria talk to Tanner about the viewing and she sorts out police protection. Reluctantly, Aria’s mother agrees to let Aria attend.

Two hooded figures monitor the gallery’s security cameras and the one in red is clearly female. Charles and his accomplice, obviously, especially considering later events.

Em helps Aria to pick an outfit out for the prom and tells her about Sara. It looks like Emily will ask Sara to the prom, in a group, and Aria is now at a loose end for a date, her original plan was for Em to be her “prom buddy.”

Hanna and Spencer meet Rhys Matthews at the Carissimi Group and he is clearly a DiLaurentis. Later, when Emily sees a picture of the executive she thinks it is Jason. Before then, the two meet with Matthews who is evasive about answering any question. He takes the $30,000 and while refusing to pass information on to his boss, Hanna takes the picture that Emily sees later.

Lorenzo tells Ali that Tanner is taping the sessions with her father and she learns that Tanner has called in a profiler. Alison offers to stick around and do some chores for Lorenzo. As she finishes folding his laundry, Ali takes his card key and leaves.

Ezra and Aria talk at the Rowitz Fine Art Gallery showing and she asks him if he would go to prom with her. As she stumbles over her words, Nicole shows up and makes things even more awkward and she goes to speak with Clark. As the two talk, some things about Clark do not add up.

The representative for the Cardillo Arts Fellowship opens the finalist viewing and Aria Montgomery’s display is in the center. The four pictures on the wall are not of Aira’s work but the “morgue” photos of the four girls taken in the doll house.

As Tanner takes the title card from under the pictures, Ella asks if they are meant to solve Charles’ riddles. The detective reads off the card. “No son Linda” which she says is Spanish for “they aren’t pretty” but it can also mean “they aren’t Linda’s” as in Linda Tanner. Meaning that the police cannot protect the girls from him.

Ali uses Lorenzo’s card to get into the evidence room at the Lakewood Police station. She is looking for things about her brother Charles. Tanner catches Alison and tells her that she has overstepped the line. The two talk about the man and the cop reveals that what Ali sees as sentimental keepsakes are in reality trophies of his abduction of the girls. She takes Lorenzo’s card.

Aria talks to Ezra outside the gallery. She reveals that since the morgue photo, she feels icy cold all the time. Lorenzo is angry with Alison and tells her he wishes she had just asked. Ella visits with Hanna’s mother and she tells her that they are going to have to tell the girls about the school not them at the prom. She also says that the police are not doing enough.

Outside the Marin kitchen, the red hoodie figure is watching the two women talk. Emily, Hanna and Spencer who saw Rhys Matthews go into the deserted doll factory, followed by Clark, stop by to tell Aria that Clark may not be a friend after all.

At the end of the show, Tanner sees Rhys on the security camera arranging wrapped pictures at the gallery. The episode’s final shot is set against James Brown’s Lost Someone. Gloved hands are putting together a kidnapping kit; six syringes in a case,a rope, a tuxedo and two prom tickets. The black hooded figure in in the back of a limousine and the red hooded figure is in the front.

Charles is ready.

Right up to this point, Pretty Little Liars kept the face of Charles hidden. That Rhys Matthews is a DiLaurentis is obvious. What is not, however, is just who his accomplish might be. Clark may look like a good suspect, but that red hoodie houses a shorter female form. Where he fits in is not clear but Clark cannot be aiding Charles.

Lucy Hale as Aria knocks it out of the park this week. Kudos also go to Ian Harding and, as usual, Ashley Benson as Hanna. This actress is so convincing as the less than overly astute “liar” whose mother is desperate to send her to college, although goodness knows why.

There are only two more episodes left and this build up to the season finale is pumping things up nicely. It is not long now till the exciting conclusion of this story. Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays on ABC Family. With only two weeks remaining, binging should be done in a hurry. Cracking TV.