Pretty Little Liars Season 7, Episode 14 Recap: "Power Play"

There were some reveals tonight! Below are the answers to some of the biggest questions we've had — Is Sydney (Chloe Bridges) playing the game with Jenna (Tammin Sursok) or A.D.? Who is Charlotte's (Vanessa Ray) dad? Who killed Jessica DiLaurentis (Andrea Parker)? Where has Mary been hiding? What has Mr. Hasting's (Nolan North) been doing this whole time?
"Solve the puzzle and get away with murder, or fail and go directly to jail."
Liar's Lament, Pretty Little Liars' latest torture invention, really upped the ante this week. Turns out if you finish your turn, and therefore sabotage your life, you are rewarded with some random puzzle piece. But, if you miss your turn, like Hanna (Ashley Benson) did last week, body parts are involved. Because Hanna rushed to the hospital to be with Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) instead of showing up in a culturally insensitive dress to present her clothing line to the investors like A.D. had requested of her, A.D. sent Archer's/Eliott's (Huw Collins) finger to the police.
That was all the evidence that Detective Marco (Nicholas Gonzalez) needed to change Archer's missing person case to a homicide case. Also, it was all the motivation he needed to surprise Spencer (Troian Beliisario) at her home and sleep with her for the first time. Is it a coincidence that he slept with Spencer right around the time he started suspecting either her friends or her biological mother to be a murderer? Seems unlikely. I really want to like Marco because on paper it's an actual adult relationship. It's not an adult hooking up with a teenager, and it's not someone who was keeping secrets because they are helping A...or at least I hope so, on that last one.
A.D. wanted the girls to find their own truths before the cops figured out who killed Archer. (Refresher: Hanna killed Archer with a car in self defence, and then all of the Liars helped bury him. Oh, and A.D. has video footage of it all). Ali (Sasha Pieterse) is sent to a baby store to find her puzzle piece. Honestly, this challenge felt like one of the meanest ones in a long time, similar to when A made Hanna eat a dozen cupcakes and throw up it up to bring up Hanna's body insecurities and eating disorder in season two. In this case, Ali was sent to pick out baby registry items days after she decided she was going to get an abortion.
"A.D. stopped playing games and started playing god"
Ali made the decision to have an abortion because she "wants to be in control, and wants her life back." Yet, A.D. makes it clear that just like she had no say in getting pregnant, she won't have a say in how her pregnancy goes. Honestly, between this storyline and watching The Handmaid's Tale, plots about women who have no control of their bodies are haunting me. To make matters worse, Ali finally learned the origins of the baby — the popular fan theories Ali was implanted with the eggs Emily donated were correct.
Aria (Lucy Hale) was sent on her own wild goose chase, and actually talked directly to A.D. (via video chat) several times in this week's episode. A.D. let her know in a video that they have Aria's file, and the information in it would make Ezra (Ian Harding) pick Nicole (Rebecca Breeds) over Aria. Since Aria puts her relationship above everything else, she tries to leave the game...even if it means betraying her friends. Eventually this leads Aria to one of A.D.'s helpers in an abandoned car. Sydney (Chloe Bridges) once again made an appearance, and confirms that she is helping A.D. because "it's not fun being on the losing team." Not only that but Aria is given an opportunity to join A.D. and the winning team. Aria doesn't say yes, but she also doesn't say no. Turns out our worries about Aria really losing it were valid.
Because Aria is spending time cozying up with A.D.'s team, she is not there for the Liars as they learn the truth about Ali's and Emily's baby. Ali cancels her abortion appointment and the girls all fall into despair. The girls are already mad at Aria for not being there for them, but then when the board game skips Aria's turn and has Hanna play again, cracks really start to begin to form in the foundation of their friendship. What happens if Aria does turn on the Liars and plays the game? What if she puts herself above the friendships that have gotten her this far already?
Unsurprisingly, nobody questions Aria's lie that she was helping Ezra and Nicole. It makes sense since her storyline almost always involves her romantic life over the life or death situations that every once else faces. In this week's edition of "Aria's Heartbreak," Nicole escaped whatever facility she was in and caught a cab to Ezra's place. I know Nicole lived in Ezra's apartment before, so it would feel like home, but it really looked to me like she was coming to tell Aria something. Going to your ex-lover's apartment he now shares with another woman doesn't seem comforting -- more like torture. More importantly though, how did Nicole have so much money that she was able to take a "really expensive" cab from New York to Pennsylvania? Crossing state lines in a cab is not only expensive, but near impossible. Ezra returns and talks to Nicole, but right when she is coming to peace with his and Aria's relationship, she finds the manuscript Ezra wrote about the two of them. The fact he immortalised his love story with Nicole just causes Nicole more confusion, and Nicole and Ezra are both back to NYC again to meet with her therapist.
"Are you sure? But they're sisters...twins?"
Now on to the confusing family tree, otherwise known as all the answers we could ever expect in one episode.
Mary Drake (Andrea Parker) murdered Jessica! Jessica (Andrea Parker) told Mary that Charles was dead, when really Charles had transitioned to Charlotte. Once Mary learned that her child was alive after all, she wanted revenge on her sister. She asked Peter Hastings (Nolan North) to help kill Jessica. But Peter wasn't willing to kill the mother of one of his children, even if he was being asked by the mother of one of his other children. (Whew, this show can be complicated). When Peter wouldn't help Mary, she killed Jessica herself and framed Peter. She even buried Jessica in Peter's front yard to haunt him even more. Guys, episodes with Peter in them are always just so juicy!
To make this family tree even more confusing, we learned the identity of Charlotte's dad! Charlotte's dad is Pastor Ted (Edward Kerr)! Yes, the man that helped raise Hanna (kind of) and almost married Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) had a relationship with Mary in college. This resulted in Charlotte, whom Ted only knew as Charles. While Charles was in Radley, he was given out patient rights to go to camp, and Ted was his counsellor. The kicker here though? Charles had a best friend. That best friend just so happens to be the one and only Lucas (Brendan Robinson). So let's run through this all really quickly: Charlotte and Lucas were best friends in elementary school, and then once Charlotte disappeared, Lucas was alone and ended up getting bullied by the meanest girl in school, Ali, Charlotte's cousin. Later he ends up falling for and become best friends with Hanna. Hanna just so happens to be friends with Ali and friends with Charlotte's sister, Spencer, while being blackmailed by Charlotte, and pseudo-raised by Charlotte's dad. Complicated much?
And in unrelated news that no one cares about — Paige (Lindsey Shaw) and Emily seem to be dating again. Once Paige realised that Emily and Ali's secret wasn't that they were hooking up again but that Ali was pregnant with her dead ex-husband/con-man's baby, she decided to give Emily another shot. But what is she going to think when she learns that Ali is actually having Emily's baby? Will Paige be able to put her rage aside and co-raise a baby with both Emily and Ali? Considering that Paige once tried to drown Emily because of jealousy, I'm going to say no.
Back to all of my new questions — what's in Aria's file that would make Ezra fall out of love with her? Did Lucas know that Charlotte was his childhood friend, Charles? Was Lucas helping Charlotte all along? How did Mary Drake escape Radley long enough to have a RELATIONSHIP with Ted while he was in college? Is Marco sleeping with Spencer just to get answers? What is Hanna going to have to do next week in her do-over turn?

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