|“||A lie for a lie, an eye for an eye. The bell tolls for Hanna.||”|
|Season 7, Episode 1|
|Air date||June 21, 2016|
|Written by||I. Marlene King|
|Directed by||Ron Lagomarsino|
Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars
The episode begins with Spencer, Aria, and Emily digging a grave. Aria asks how they let this happen, and adds "Poor Hanna" before Spencer says that it's what she would want. Emily says that she doesn't know if she can live with this and that there has to be another way, causing Spencer to say that there is no other way: "It was a well thought out plan. When it ends up like this, it's called first degree murder".
Four days prior, we see: Aria, Spencer, Emily, Mona, Ezra, Toby and Caleb walking towards the Rosewood Police Department. Caleb says that Toby should do the talking, since he's a cop and Spencer reminds Toby that his job is on the line before asking if he really wants to be a part of this. Caleb asks Spencer if she's serious, then reminds her that Hanna's life is on the line. Toby says that he's all in, prompting Caleb to say that they're wasting time. Mona tells them to wait as they see a woman resembling Jessica DiLaurentis walking past a police car into the Rosewood Police Department. The group is shocked at the resemblance and Caleb says that this woman was at the Lost Woods Resort. He adds that, if she's part of this, then she knows where Hanna is and he will beat the truth out of her. Toby stops him from following her and offers to get information from her as a cop.
Toby walks into the station and introduces himself to the woman, before asking how he can help her. She claims that she's the owner of the Lost Woods Resort and wants to report a break-in. Toby says that she is a dead-ringer for Jessica and the woman reveals that she's Jessica's sister, but doesn't give her name. Toby soon reveals this information to the group and Mona realizes that she's Mary Drake - Charlotte's biological mother. Caleb asks why they're still standing there: Mary thinks that Hanna killed Charlotte, so she must be A.D. Toby adds that she's reporting a break in and their phones all ring with a text from A.D.: "A lie for a lie, An eye for an eye, The bell tolls for Hanna". The group hears the church bell chime and they rush inside the building. Once inside, they look around before spotting what appears to be Hanna hanging from the ropes. They immediately run over and bring the body to safety, sobbing at the thought of losing Hanna. However, Caleb sees a flap and realizes that it's just a mask of Hanna's face as a doll head is under the mask. Emily sees a string coming out of the doll and pulls it. The group hears a creepy voice say: "You've got 24 hours to give me Charlotte's real killer or Hanna dies. Tick-tock, Bitches".
With 23 hours remaining, we see the group at Spencer's house while Spencer texts presumably A.D. how they know Hanna is still alive. Ezra says that they've been trying to figure out who killed Charlotte since she died; and asks if they really think that they can solve the mystery in less than 24 hours. Caleb insists that they will because they have to; Mona says that this is the first time that they're all working together, so it's different now. Emily says that Mary has to be A.D. because there is no bigger motive, while Mona adds that Mary has to be working with someone. Spencer agrees with Mona saying "All of us working together knew what happened to Alison. All of us together can find out who killed Charlotte". Mona says that she's sure all of them have some idea as to who killed Charlotte. Meanwhile, in an abandoned barn, we see a half dressed and beaten Hanna asking if there's someone out there and pleading for someone to open the door. After getting no response, she breaks down crying.
The scene cuts to Mona taking out names from a bowl, revealing their possible suspects: Alison, "No Name", Spencer, and Mona. Ezra says that most of them believe that Alison killed Charlotte, prompting Toby to say that now they need to prove that she had the motive and opportunity to murder Charlotte. Aria says that, while she doesn't know about motive, Alison had the opportunity and reveals that they saw Alison the night Charlotte died.
In a flashback of that night, Aria and Ezra are standing near the Church. Aria says that she should go, as it's late but before she can leave, she spots a blonde wearing a red sweater. She asks Ezra if that's Alison, but he thinks it's Charlotte. Back in the present, Aria says that they thought it was Charlotte but maybe it was Alison. Emily asks how they're sure it wasn't Charlotte, prompting Toby to say that Charlotte wasn't wearing a red jacket and she didn't drive Alison's car home. Emily says that Alison loved Charlotte and stayed in Rosewood to take care of her, then asks why she'd do that just to kill her after she got out: there's no motive. Toby says that she's been on her best behavior since she got back, but they can't pretend that the Alison who blinded Jenna never existed. Mona says that it's possible her goody two shoes act was too much for her and she snapped. Spencer tries to reason with them that maybe it was self defense and Charlotte was the one who snapped again. Caleb says that he doesn't care why she did it, he just wants to prove that she did do it so they can get Hanna back. Mona and Caleb team up to try to cover Mary, while the others try to get the jacket which they believe will have Charlotte's blood on it. Their phones all ring with a picture from A.D. of a beaten and scared Hanna and they vow that they need to find her. Just before leaving for Welby, Emily leaves Alison's house keys on the table and says that Ali has to tell her the truth.
We later see Mona, Caleb, Toby and Spencer watching Mary from behind some bushes outside the Lost Woods. After seeing her walk away with two heavy bags, Caleb asks what's in them. A couple seconds later, Mary comes back without the bags and drives away with the four of them walking back to the car to tail her. Caleb stops Spencer and Toby from joining them, saying there's no need for all four of them to go. Toby agrees and he and Spencer go back to the hotel to try and get some answers. Spencer is impressed with how much better he is at picking locks, and the duo enter the room.
At Welby, Elliott tells Emily that it's strange that Alison didn't know that her mom had a twin prompting Emily to say that almost everything about the family is strange. Elliott asks how she's sure that Mary is Charlotte's mom, prompting Emily to say "CeCe Drake...Mary Drake. I just put two and two together". Elliott says that he's glad Emily confided in him, but it's not enough to help Alison. Emily says that Ali thought she was seeing dead people, but this is proof that she wasn't. Elliott says that, since Emily's last visit, Alison's condition has rapidly declined and she suffered a psychotic break. After Emily says that she doesn't understand, Elliott says he doesn't either. He adds that Alison feels a lot of shame for, what he believes, a tragic event that she feels responsible for. He asks if Emily knows what that event might be, right before "Code White" is called and we hear Alison screaming. Emily follows them to outside her room and we see Alison thrashing around on the bed before Elliott sedates her.
With 18 hours remaining, we see Toby and Spencer opening the bags that Mary brought in. They are surprised to see that it's just books; Toby reads the title of a German book and Spencer says that it's "Advanced Concepts of Chemistry" and he asks if she speaks German, prompting her to tell him about an app on her phone. After Toby looks at her passport, they discover that she was in town a week before Charlotte was killed which Spencer believes was enough time for her to become A.D.
Meanwhile, Aria and Ezra walk into Alison's house and search Alison's room. Ezra finds an ottoman that is locked, but Aria hears a door open and the two hide in a closet. Elliott walks into the room and grabs the key under the sconce before unlocking the ottoman. He pulls out a bag and a dark jacket before locking it, then walks past the closet where Aria and Ezra are. Elliott then grabs another bag and opens the closet. Aria and Ezra have escaped and are crouching below the window, as Elliott angrily looks out the window.
At Spencer's house, Spencer calls Caleb asking if she could bring them lunch and he says that food is the last thing on his mind. She says that she'll look over the Mary Drake file again, but Caleb dismisses her saying "Great" and hangs up. Meanwhile, with Mona and Caleb, we can hear Mary say on the phone that she has everything they need. Caleb asks who she's talking to, prompting Mona to say that she can only hear her side; she needs to wait a little longer to hear the other person, but Mary ends the call before they can find out. Caleb notices people helping Mary get bleach, charcoal and vinegar into her car. Mona says that that's everything you need to cover up a murder: the charcoal absorbs the smell of death. Caleb says that Hanna is still alive, prompting Mona to ask how he's so sure. Caleb says that they aren't going to use the tarp after the fact; she'll lead them to Hanna. Mona says "Yeah. Because she's on her way to kill her".
Meanwhile, Hanna wakes up after seeing that water is pooling by her feet and gets up. She is then sprayed by a hose, begs the person to stop, and is then shocked with a tazer by A.D. Later that night, Caleb and Mona are still following Mary around. Mona says that she must be lost, prompting Caleb to say that she might know they're following her so she's jerking them around. After Mary makes a left, they believe that she's leading them to Alison's house. However, Mona soon realizes that she's going to Spencer's instead. Caleb sends a text to Spencer saying not to answer the door as it's Mary Drake. Spencer hears her phone go off after hearing a knock on the door. She doesn't get a chance to check her phone before Mary knocks again. After opening the door, Mary asks if she's Spencer or Melissa. Spencer says that she knows that she must be Jessica's sister, but asks if they've met. Mary says that they did a long time ago, but she wouldn't remember before asking if her parent's are home. After Spencer says that they aren't, Mary says she'll come back another time. Before she can leave, however, Spencer asks if they know each other and Mary says that they used to have a lot in common. Spencer asks if she'd like to come in for some tea and Mary accepts the invitation before looking around the room.
At Welby, Emily tells Aria on the phone that Elliott isn't there but the nurse said that she can see Alison for a few minutes. Aria says that she hopes Alison tells her the truth because they're running out of time, then Emily tells her that she can go inside now and hangs up. Emily walks into the room and sees Alison sleeping. She tries to wake her up, but then tells Alison that Hanna is in trouble and they need to know what happened to Charlotte. After directly asking if she killed Charlotte, Alison jerks awake and says "Oh God, help me. Please forgive me" and Emily takes this to mean that Alison killed Charlotte.
With almost eight hours remaining, we see Mary looking at a picture of Melissa and Spencer commenting on how they look so alike - almost like twins. Spencer says that people said that a lot when they were younger, before asking when the last time Mary saw her parents was. After Mary gives her a look, Spencer adds that she only asks because they didn't mention her. Mary says that she knows enough about her family to know that they're excellent secret keepers, prompting Spencer to ask why they'd keep her a secret before taking a sip of her tea. Mary snidely says that she certainly is inquisitive, causing Spencer to say that she was just making conversation and Mary apologizes for being overly sensitive. Mary reveals that she and Jessica weren't close; she moved away because Jessica turned everyone against her. Spencer wonders why she'd do that, causing Mary to say that she was born first and Jessica was born jealous. Spencer asks why she's come back now and Mary says it's because she found out her sister was dead, then thanks Spencer for the tea. Spencer asks if she's at the Lost Woods all by herself, then asks if she has any children. Mary says that it's just her but, before leaving, asks how Spencer knew that's where she's staying. Spencer says that it's a small town and her ex-boyfriend told her about the break-in. Mary says that she's a lucky young woman as she can't stay friends with any of her ex-lovers. Just before leaving, Mary says that Spencer should lock the door: these days you're not safe anywhere and smiles.
Meanwhile, at Ezra's apartment, Aria looks at the picture of Hanna and remarks on how scared she looks. Ezra grabs her phone and says that she hasn't slept for over 36 hours and that she should try to rest. Aria agrees and Ezra sets the alarm and goes to get a t-shirt for her; Aria quickly says that maybe she should just go home, prompting him to ask if she's sure. She admits that she's not sure of anything: she and Liam haven't talked in days and she and Ezra haven't talked about what happened between them. She wants to know if it was just a slip, if they're friends with benefits, or if there is a "we" again. Aria feels that she needs to think about it before they talk about it.
At The Brew, Emily is seen waiting by the counter and Aria walks downstairs to ask how it went with Alison. Emily lies, saying that they wouldn't let her in and asks if Aria still has the key that she gave her. Aria gives her the key and asks if she wants her to go with her, but Emily simply says that she'll call her if she goes. Sabrina asks if Emily is okay and, when Emily says she is, says "Again with the lies?". Emily apologizes, causing Sabrina to say that it was a joke and smiles. Almost in tears, Emily admits that she's afraid that someone she cares deeply about did a very bad thing and another friend is paying the price. Sabrina walks over the door and locks it, before turning off the "open" sign and tells Emily to come on.
Meanwhile, at the Lost Woods Resort, Caleb and Mona are watching Mary pace back and forth. Caleb says that the two of them can take her, prompting Mona to remind him that she have about six hours left to get Charlotte's killer and then say that Mary's phone is ringing. Mona is able to hear a man's voice and says that he definitely has an accent; Caleb is able to track the location of the caller and they're calling from Snookers bar. After getting this information from Spencer, Aria says that she and Ezra used to go there and that she'll be there soon. Spencer tells her to be careful.
In the abandoned barn, we hear Spencer's voice saying "Hanna". Hanna wakes up to see a younger Spencer who tells her that she has this and that she'll be okay. Spencer promises Hanna that she won't let her die in there, prompting Hanna to say that this is a dream and that she can't help her. Spencer tells her that a dream is an experience and that an experience is real. A distraught Hanna says that she should have listened to Spencer and that maybe it's a good thing that they don't know who killed Charlotte because she would tell if she did. Spencer tells her that she can escape and that she'll always be there for her.
At Snookers, we see Aria walking in and tells the bartender she's looking for a guy who's British before ordering a beer. She gets a call from Liam but declines it, then sees a man ending a phone call. B-26 starts to play on the jukebox and Aria reminisces about her relationship with Ezra. We then see Aria showing up at Ezra's saying that she doesn't need to know what they are tonight, she just needs to be with him. They embrace and the church bells chime outside.
At the DiLaurentis house, Emily quietly walks around and spots Elliott sleeping on the couch before going into Alison's bedroom. She spots the broken music box on the floor and reminisces about her friendship with Alison and the night that they hooked up. Emily then spots some boxes for Goodwill and, upon opening one, spots the red sweater from the night Charlotte was killed. Emily quietly says "Oh Ali, what did you do?". Meanwhile, at the barn, Hanna wakes up and says that there is a way out and goes looking for an exit.
With 38 minutes remaining, Spencer and the group discuss how Mary was in Radley for a large part of her life. Caleb gets a text from Mona saying that Mary just left the Lost Woods and needs back up. Before they can leave, Emily walks into Spencer's kitchen and says that she lied to Aria earlier: she did see Alison and she's pretty sure that Alison admitted to killing Charlotte. Caleb says that the clock is ticking and they can't prove that it was her, prompting Emily to say that Alison was packing up some stuff for Goodwill. She says she had a hunch and pulls out the red sweater. Emily asks if they can go over this one more time before they give the sweater to A.D: they're about to hand over one of their own for another. Aria says that it's different because Hanna is innocent, whereas Alison isn't. Spencer says that Alison is a manipulator but doesn't believe that she's a cold-blooded killer, adding on that she was protecting herself but she still killed Charlotte. Toby says that they don't have time to debate this because Alison is safe at Welby whereas Hanna's life is on the line. In the midst of their conversation, Caleb has grabbed the sweater and Spencer's phone and walks out shocking the group.
At the Lost Woods Resort, with less than a minute remaining, we see Caleb on the phone asking Mona where she is. She says they lost Mary and he says not to worry: he has what he needs to get Hanna back. He drops the sweater underneath the Lost Woods sign and sends a text to A.D. saying that Alison did it and their proof is at the Lost Woods Resort before driving away. We soon see a figure walking into the now empty barn as Hanna watches them from a vent. We see her running through the woods trying to find the street when she sees car headlights. She screams for them to help her, but the car drives off only to return soon after. Hanna tries to stop the car and is shocked to see Mary behind the driver's seat. Meanwhile, the figure grabs the red sweater and places it into a plastic bag.
Back at Spencer's house, Caleb asks if they've heard anything and they haven't. Emily says that one of them should go to Welby to check on Alison, prompting Aria to say that they did the right thing and she's in a safe place. Meanwhile, at Welby, we see a figure walking into Alison's room. The figure, revealed to be Elliott, manages to wake Alison up and asks how she's feeling. He pulls out a syringe and doesn't wait for a response before saying "Maybe a little crazy?". He tells Alison not to worry, as he will take care of her. In a British accent, Elliott says that he's going to make sure she lives a long life rotting away in there. A surprised Alison looks at him, as Elliott crouches by her bedside and says that he knows that she killed Charlotte just before injecting her. He adds that, like her, karma can be a bitch.
- The Liars find "Hanna" hanging from the bell tower at The Church, but this was later revealed to be a doll with a realistic Hanna latex mask.
- Hanna was not killed by Uber A, but she is kept captive in an abandoned barn by them. She escapes at the end of the episode.
- As seen in the first scene, The Liars make the biggest mistake of their lives later in the season and it marks the beginning of "A.D."s last game.
- The group realize that the person Aria and Ezra saw outside The Church was not Charlotte, but someone wearing a red sweater who had followed her in there.
- The Liars believe that Alison killed Charlotte since the red sweater was found at her home; they leave it as evidence to Uber A to prove it, which Uber A takes.
- There is a callback to the first scene of Aria and Ezra from the "Pilot".
- Hanna has a hallucination of Spencer, in which Spencer tells her she can escape and that she'll always be there for her. Hanna dreams of a younger Spencer, having her high school hairstyle and clothes.
Title and Background
- The title refers to the message A.D. sends to the Liars, telling they only have 24 hours to save Hanna — and "the clock is ticking". The Hanna doll also says "Tick-Tock bitches" at the end of the recording.
- Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings
- Ashley Benson as Hanna Marin
- Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery
- Shay Mitchell as Emily Fields
- Janel Parrish as Mona Vanderwaal
- Sasha Pieterse as Alison DiLaurentis
- Tyler Blackburn as Caleb Rivers
- Ian Harding as Ezra Fitz
- Andrea Parker as Mary Drake
- Keegan Allen as Toby Cavanaugh
- Huw Collins as Elliott Rollins
- Lulu Brud as Sabrina
- Ray Fonseca as Bartender
- March 30th, 2016 was the official first day of pre-production for Season 7.
- The table read was on April 4th, 2016.
- Filming for this episode began on April 8th, 2016, and wrapped on April 18th, 2016.
- The intro in this episode features Hanna doing the 'Shhh'.
- As of "Tick-Tock, Bitches", series regular Laura Leighton only appears in the opening credits of episodes she's in.
- The episode was watched live by 1.43 million viewers.
- "I Won't Fight It" by Andrew Belle - (Ezra tells Aria she needs sleep; Aria runs into Emily in The Brew as she heads home; Emily confides to Sabrina that she thinks a friend may have done something very bad)
- "Hush, Little Baby (feat. Troian Bellisario)" by Pretty Little Liars Cast - (Hanna's hallucination) "Spencer" sings to Hanna as falls asleep in her lap in A.D.'s barn)
- "Nowhere to Run" by My Brothers And I - (Aria arrives at Snookers Bar, she searches for a British accented man that could possibly be talking with Mary as questions for the bartender then orders a beer)
- "Happiness" by The Fray - (A bar goer at Snookers changes the song on the jukebox, the song strikes a chord in Aria; Aria rushes to Ezra's apartment and tells him she needs to be with him)
- "Every Breath You Take (Re:Imagined)" by Denmark + Winter - (As she searches through Alison room for clues Emily begins to flashback to a tender moment between the two of them; (Flashback) Alison and Emily make out in Alison bed)