What's the "endgame" in 'Pretty Little Liars'? Episode 11 reveals a major secret

Source: Freeform
Source: Freeform

The final 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars kicked off on Tuesday with "Playtime," an action-packed installment that asked plenty of new questions but didn't answer many that were lingering from previous seasons. 

(Editor's note: Spoilers ahead for season 7, episode 11 of Pretty Little Liars.)

What we did find out is that Spencer and Toby are both alive. Yvonne, Toby's fiancé, was not as fortunate: she's in a medically induced coma after the car accident. (Who wants to bet that she doesn't wake up until Spencer and Toby have reunited romantically?) Aria and Ezra are still uncertain, but Hanna and Caleb are most definitely on. Haleb shippers can rejoice. 

"Endgame" has been used to describe the romantic pairings on Pretty Little Liars, but the word took on a darker connotation in this episode, which ominously foreshadowed the conclusion of the Liars' torture — possibly through death. 

No fun and games

As the Liars — who seem remarkably calm despite the fact they had just witnessed their former classmate being decapitated, among other things — resume their lives in Rosewood, they receive an unexpected gift: an elaborate board game. The game is titled "Liar's Lament" and features figurines of the girls surrounding a landscape of Rosewood. So this is Jumanji, Pretty Little Liars-style? A phone attached to the game flashes the word: "Endgame."

"It means that there's only a few pieces left to play, then it's all over," Spencer tells the group.

Staring at the table in fear, the girls decide not to play. As usual, Hanna has the best idea: "Throw it in the fireplace, pour some brandy over it and flambé the thing." Later in the episode, she continues to be the only one with any common sense when she tries to stab the game with a knife. In retaliation, the phone attached to the game plays a video of the Liars burying Elliot Rollins' dead body. It's clear that blackmail is going to be a key player in this game. 

Spencer's Mommy Dearest drama 

Based on what happens at the House of Hastings, the Liars' families are going to be key players in this game, for better or worse. Spencer confronts who she thought was her mother about what Mary Drake said and, to her distress, she's told the true story. Apparently Spencer's father, whose affair with Jessica DiLaurentis resulted in his son Jason growing up next door, also slept with Jessica's sister, Mary — who had pretended to be Jessica to get Mr. Hastings in bed. Jessica told Veronica Hastings about the baby, whom she was worried about being born inside a mental hospital. (Are you keeping up?) So Mr. and Mrs. Hastings adopted Spencer, who was apparently born in a 1940s film noir — based on the flashback video of Veronica being handed a swaddled baby by a man in a trench coat and fedora — and raised her as their own daughter. 

After talking with Mrs. Hastings, Spencer tries to drown her sorrows with a bottle of wine (she must not be on any painkillers despite being shot in the shoulder, if she's drinking), and she starts playing the game. The game's phone offers her the choice of "truth or dare." She chooses "dare" and a picture of Toby's face flashes across the screen. "Visit a sick friend," the card reads. "Get a reward."

Troian Bellisario is an incredibly strong actor and her performance here is no exception. As she stares at the game, it's clear she's thinking: "What do I have to lose?" Knowing what A.D. has done to them so far, the answer will probably be a lot.

The reward after visiting Toby at the hospital is a letter from Mary Drake. In the letter, Mary tells her infant daughter: "It wasn't supposed to be this way," and she did what she did because the Hastings "deserve to be punished". (For what?) The envelope also contains a puzzle piece that fits into the game. 

How is Jenna involved?

Jenna, who has held grudges against the Liars for years (justifiably, given that they blinded her), was last seen being kidnapped by the villainous A.D., implying that she was not involved in the most recent torture the girls have endured. 

The final moments of the episode show Jenna sitting in some sort of endless dark room, sipping tea. Based on the floral print cup and saucer she was holding, Jenna is being held captive inside a Victorian novel. "You said you'd tell me today, about the game," she says calmly before being handed a binder filled with pages of Braille by someone dressed in a medical uniform. After reading, Jenna smiles and whispers, "endgame."

Based on how happy Jenna looks, it's going to be a busy season for the Liars. 

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Carey Purcell

Carey is an arts writer based in New York who focuses on diversity and gender parity in her work. She has been published in Vice, Playbill, Politico, The Nation, The Village Voice, Salon, Elle and Glamour, among others. She can be reached at Carey@mic.com. Twitter: @CareyPurcell

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