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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Midseason Premiere Recap: A.D. Returns, Spencer’s Family Secret Revealed!

The end gAme has finally begun. After waiting seven months, two weeks and three days after Pretty Little Liars’ shocking cliffhanger season 7A finale (but, uh, who’s counting?), the Freeform drama finally returned for its final 10 episodes — and wasted no time revealing Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) and Toby’s (Keegan Allen) fates, where major characters’ romantic relationships stand and übervillain A’s disturbing final method of torment. Here are nine shocking moments from the season 7B premiere.

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1. Spencer and Toby are alive.

OK, maybe this wasn’t so shocking, but still, after knowing that Spencer and Toby could be dead after being shot and in a car accident, respectively, learning they were alive early on in the episode was a relief. Unfortunately, though, while Spencer and Toby escaped their accidents with injuries that would recover quickly, Yvonne was still in a coma from the accident.

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2. A.D. is still out there.

In the hospital, Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Ali (Sasha Pieterse) and Hanna (Ashley Benson) discussed the fact that their tormentor, A.D., could no longer hurt them. “Noel was A.D.,” Aria recalled of their onetime classmate, who attempted to blackmail and kill them but then ended up decapitating himself. (Simple plotline, really.) “Noel is dead.”

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Emily, still unsure, nervously responded: “Don’t say it out loud. Not yet.” You know what they say: The first rule of killing A.D. is you do not talk about killing A.D.

Detective Furey (Nicholas Gonzalez) told Spencer that the gun found at the crime scene was different from the one Spencer was shot with, meaning that someone else shot at her besides Jenna (‎Tammin Sursok).

3. Ezra came home, but Aria worried about their relationship.

Ezra (Ian Harding) returned from seeing his ex Nicole (Rebecca Breeds), who had just been found years after being abducted. He noticed that Aria had packed a bag; as she explained, “I wasn’t sure if I should stay.” Ezra picked up her bag and moved it away from the door. (Cue our collective sigh of relief.)

Aria later told Hanna she suspected that Nicole didn’t know about their relationship, or about her. Still, Aria and Hanna went to look at wedding venues, where they ran into Holden (Shane Coffey), her fake boyfriend from season 2. Perfect timing, Holden, really. As they were catching up, Ezra appeared and told Aria he was going to New York to see Nicole. So, uh, everything is fine, right?

4. Hanna and Caleb may have finally figured it out.

It only took years of lying to each other, a devastating breakup and Hanna’s failed engagement, but #Haleb may finally be (dare we say it?) #Happy. The couple lay in bed together making out, but when Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) insinuated that he wanted to have sex, Hanna responded, “Or we can use that energy to track down Jenna.” To each his own, but we think it’s safe to say that your girlfriend telling you she would rather find the girl who tormented her for years than sleep with you might qualify as a mood killer. 

Anyway, back to the sweetness: Caleb pulled out Hanna’s sketchbook as he told her to get back to designing clothes so he could worry about Jenna. Get you a man who can do both: Encourage you to live your dreams and help you end your stalker’s life.

5. Ali was not. Here. For. Paige.

At the end of season 7A, exes Emily and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) were competing for the same job as Rosewood’s swim coach. Plot twist: They both got hired! Ali, already dealing with the fact that she’s pregnant with a con man’s baby and that she kissed Emily in the finale, realized that the three of them would be working together and stormed out of the room.

After a heated argument between Ali and Paige, Emily confronted Ali and asked her if she kissed her “because you wanted to or because you didn’t want me to leave?”

Ali responded: “I don’t know.” Emily said, “Please don’t kiss me again. … Not until you know.”

6. Mona may be up to her old ways.

Mona (Janel Parrish) told Hanna that she had a plan to get her noticed as a designer. “Do you trust me?” Mona asked.

Hanna responded: “Sometimes.” But, like, did we all just forget about that time that Mona was the original “A”? This was only five seasons ago, you guys. But, sure, we trust her sometimes. Why not?

Still, Mona delivered on her promise and gave Hanna’s designs to a senator’s daughter. However, the woman revealed that Mona told her that Mona was Hanna’s boss, so Hanna immediately assumed that Mona was trying to take her label. When Hannah later confronted Mona, she denied any wrongdoing. “I’m trying to help your business grow,” Mona explained. “There is no other motive.”

7. Mary Drake is actually Spencer’s mother.

Veronica Hastings (Lesley Fera) returned from wherever it is the Liars’ parents go to for episodes on end (like, do they have a communal beach house or something?) and demanded to know what Mary Drake (Andrea Parker) said to Spencer. When Spencer told her that Mary Drake revealed that she was her biological mother, she hoped Veronica would deny the claim. Instead, she responded: “Mary Drake is clinically insane.” Spencer sadly retorted, “That’s not a denial.” Veronica then explained that Spencer’s father had cheated with Mary Drake and that he and Veronica decided to raise Spencer.

Shay Mitchell, Lucy Hale and Troian Bellisario

8. The end game began.

Inside a black box with a red bow, the girls discovered a “Liars Lament” board game designed to look exactly like Rosewood, with action figures of each Liar. Essentially, they were just gifted Monopoly for sociopaths.

Going against their pact, Spencer decided to play the game. The phone directed her to pick between truth or dare. Her dare, appearing alongside a photo of Toby: Visit a sick friend. Get a reward.

Spencer went to see him, and they had an emotional visit with some mild flirtation, which was awkward because, well, Yvonne, but it did give us some hope that Toby may not leave Rosewood (read: Spencer) so quickly after all.

Spencer then went home to find her reward: a note from Mary Drake. Among other things in the lengthy letter, it read: “I did what I did because people like my sister, and the Hastings deserved to be punished.”

The girls, angry with Spencer for playing the game, gathered to decide their next move. The phone then lit up and showed footage of the Liars digging up Rollins, as they quickly realized that A.D. knew they killed the con man.

9. Jenna is back.

Though we’re still not exactly sure of her role in the “A”/Uber “A”/A.D. saga, Jenna appeared in the last few seconds of the episode — a slot usually reserved for a creepy shot of “A” doing something creepy set to creepy music. After getting a binder from someone off camera, she smiled and declared, “End game.”

Pretty Little Liars airs on Freeform Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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