What You Need To Know About 'PLL's Mary Drake

by Rosie Narasaki

In all the finale hubbub and the ensuing hiatus, it's tough to keep up with all the plots (and plotting) going on in Rosewood. I think it's safe to say we could all use a bit of a Pretty Little Liars Mary Drake refresher course. What exactly has she done again? What do we suspect her of plotting? And what's her new role within the very complicated Pretty Little Liars canon?

Well, first off, she's a shocking addition to the already-complex DiLaurentis family tree — after months of speculation, she was introduced as Jessica DiLaurentis' twin and Charlotte's biological mother (which, yes, would make Charlotte and Ali cousins, as opposed to sisters). In the Season 6 finale, we learned that she was colluding with Ali's new husband, the secretly-British Dr. Elliot Rollins, to trick Ali into signing herself into a mental hospital (thus signing away her shares of the Carissimi Group). It turns out that Mary was a long-time Radley patient, who's now teamed up with her daughter's paramour (yep, Dr. Rollins and Charlotte were in love) to solve said daughter's murder, and, in her words, take back "what was supposed to be mine." It's a lot to take in, and worth taking a second to recall before heading into Season 7.

So, what's in store for Mary? It's worth noting that whichever way the story ends up going, Andrea Parker was bumped up from recurring character to series regular, so we can expect to see a lot of her this season. The promo images from the season indicate that the Spencer will have some sort of tête-à-tête with Mary (over tea, no less), so perhaps they might find themselves working together? Then again, a new sneak peek clip from the premiere shows their first encounter with the villain, and it has them all positive that she's the mysterious A.D. that's been making their lives a living hell (not to mention kidnapping Hanna).

With all that in mind, it's tough to say exactly what role Mary will be taking as we return to Rosewood — in Parker's own words to The Hollywood Reporter, "'AD' is 'Uber A.' My initials are not 'AD.' Mary is not 'Uber A,' but Mary is working with 'Uber A.'" So, that seems fairly definitive, but you never know with this show — and there's something decidedly riddle-ish about her phrasing. She also implies that Mary is involved in Hanna's kidnapping, and describes her as a "puppet master."

Mary Drake's existence is a wonderful nod to Ali's perhaps-even-more convoluted evil twin plot from the books, and no matter how the chips fall, Pretty Little Liars is sure to be as deliciously plot-twisty as ever.

Images: Eric McCandless/Freeform; midnightcoffeecravings/Tumblr