A Suspicious 'Pretty Little Liars' Character Returns To Rosewood

by Caitlin Flynn
Eric McCandless/Freeform

A good slogan for the town of Rosewood would be "people come and go so quickly here!" Sure, this is largely because an astounding number of characters on Pretty Little Liars are either murdered or go missing — but then there are the people who are inexplicably forgotten by showrunners. (I. Marlene King, I beg you — please tell us Beach Hottie's identity before the series finale.) A character who hasn't been seen since Season 3, but is prominently featured in the trailers and promo photos for the Season 7B premiere has raised a lot of questions. So, in preparation for the April 18 premiere, let's talk about Holden on Pretty Little Liars — because it's been a really long time since he graced our small screens.

Viewers were first introduced to Holden Strauss in Season 2, when he and his dad returned to Rosewood after a year of living abroad in Portugal. He and Aria were childhood friends, and they rekindle their friendship upon his return. Holden agrees to let Aria pretend they're dating so she can sneak out on dates with Ezra (because, you know, he's her teacher and this sort of relationship is both frowned upon and illegal). Aria eventually ends the arrangement because she's concerned about bruises she's noticed on Holden's body, along with a massive amount of pills she spots in his bag.

Eric McCandless/Freeform

As it turns out, the pills are for a heart condition and Holden's bruises are from martial arts — an activity that he keeps secret from his parents because they don't approve of it. He eventually tells Aria that he has an abdominal aortic aneurysm and it could rupture at any time, so he'd prefer to be out doing what he loves rather than sitting at home "spending his life in front of the TV."

The last time Holden appeared on Pretty Little Liars was for one episode in the middle of Season 3. Emily meets him at a party and notices an eye tattoo on his wrist — it matches what she remembers from flashbacks to the night she was drugged and brought to Ali's grave.


Holden tells her that it's actually an erasable stamp from a club he frequents, and that he used to see Maya there. When she asks him questions about Maya, Holden books it. Understandably, the whole exchange leaves Emily feeling seriously suspicious — and it's the last viewers see of Holden until the Season 7B premiere. It was never explained where he went or what he's been up to after his conversation with Emily, but he was definitely hiding something — and I really hope we get some clues STAT once Season 7B kicks off.