Fan Art & Theories

PLL Theory: Could Spencer Very Well Be Mary Drake’s Secret Child?

Is Spencer Mary Drake's secret daughter on Pretty Little Liars?

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There’s no denying that we are obsessed with Spencer Hastings and her beautiful, complex mind. However, as much as we appreciate her sophisticated outfits and razor-sharp wit, there’s always been something off-putting about this Pretty Little Liars character. She’s never quite fit in with the rest of her family, has interesting ties to Radley Sanitarium, and her past is shrouded in mystery. Moreover, her dreams and hallucinations — which usually involve dangerous film noir worlds, and/or ghost children dancing on dirty bathtubs  —  are not only super creepy, but they also offer interesting insight on her dark, complex nature.

recap for Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 3

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That being said, could she possibly be related to Jessica DiLaurentis’ long-lost twin, Mary Drake? While this certainly sounds like a far-fetched (or too obvious) theory, a lot of fans seem suspicious that Spencer is indeed the newcomer’s other secret biological child — and here are all the reasons as to why she very well could be!

1.) They Look A Lot Alike

Spencer and Mary

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Mary obviously looks a lot like her sister Jessica. but the family resemblances don’t end there. Spencer and Mary Drake share the same hair color, face shape and even have similar mouths. These two could easily be mother and daughter —  just look at them! Another plus? Mary’s long-lost child would be around the same age as Spencer.

2.) Let's not forget about the time Peter Hastings has an affair that really shook up family dynamics in Rosewood....

We already know Peter Hastings had an affair with Jessica that resulted in the birth of a baby (we’ll never be able to thank Peter and Mrs. D enough for giving us Jason #swoon). Is it really too outlandish to think he’d have another one? Or mistake Mary for Jessica and accidentally spend the night with the wrong sister? Given the Hastings and the DiLaurentis families, probably not. Furthermore, this is Rosewood, PA we’re talking about — land of the never-ending soapy drama. The people in this town sure appreciate a juicy scandal as much as the next person!

3.) A Familiar Presence in the Dollhouse

Spencer- Charles

When the liars were trapped by Charlotte in the Dollhouse, there was that hella eeier scene where Charlotte (in a terrifying mask) crept up right behind Spence. When describing the experience later, Spencer comments that “there was something really familiar about [Charlote], like when you meet someone you knew when you were really little. Perhaps Charlotte wasn’t a distant relative, but rather an estranged sibling?

That certainly could help explain why Spencer was the only Liar to wake up with blood splattered all over her shirt. Although she immediately thought A forced her into hurting someone, this could have been Charlotte’s twisted way of telling her they share the same DNA.

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Freeform

 

4.) Spencer Has Always Been the Black Sheep of Her Family

the-hastings-family

Spencer has always been a little different than the rest of the Hastings clan. Although she has the same competitive drive as Melissa or Peter, she always feels like she’s forcing herself to be something or someone she’s not. The pressure the rest of her family sees as encouragement or helpful often leads to Spencer having a (totally appropriate and understandable) breakdown. She’s also the only one in the family that actually hates having secrets. Spencer’s misdeeds haunt her whereas the rest of the family seems to thrive on covering up affairs, possible murders, illnesses, and pretty much any other secret you could possibly think of. It would make sense that the reason Spence never felt truly at home in her own house because she isn’t actually a Hastings (or at least not all Hastings).

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5.) Mary and Spencer Share Similar Interests

Mary Drake in Pretty Little Liars episode 705

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We’re not just talking about being incredibly intimidating when it’s called for, or a tendency to get inappropriately involved with sinister British men, either. They both love foreign languages and seem to know a lot of them. They both never turn down a fresh cup of coffee. They both think the most appropriate response to a suspicious noise outside an abandoned motel is a crowbar and not calling the police. They both know what’s it’s like to grow up in the shadow of a more beloved, slightly sociopathic sister, and they both know what it’s like to be treated like they’re crazy.

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Freeform

Additionally, the fact that Mary warns Spencer to lock her door at the beginning of season 7a could be interpreted a protective maternal gesture.

Like mother...like daughter?

Like mother…like daughter?

6.) Mary Has a Connection to the Hastings Family

When Mary shows up at the Hastings residence for what wold become the most unsettling spot of tea ever, she tells Spencer she’s there to see her parents. Veronica and Peter were on a victory cruise (they’ve been on that cruise for a really, really long time. Should we be worried?) so Spence took the invite Mary in for tea and to question her. When Spencer asks how Mary knows her mom and dad, Mary (cryptically, of course) says they used to have a lot in common. Like a child, perhaps? The Hastings adopting Mary’s baby definitely would establish  a connection between them — and would explain all the cryptic references, like when Spencer handed all her friends necklaces to symbolize that they’re a “dysfunctional family.”

7.) All roads lead back to Radley Sanitarium.

Spencer sure seems to have a minor obsession with the Radley, doesn’t she? She often says all roads lead back there and she’s always up for exploring and snooping there even now that it’s a hotel. She’s also had nightmares/flashbacks about the place (the Ghostly Child Dancer, portrayed by Maddie Ziegler, still gives us chills), which many viewers have brushed off as a manifestation of Spencer’s subconscious. However, could this be an implication that Spencer feels a strong pull to the former psychiatric hospital/current bachelorette party hot spot  purely because she was born there? She’s also the only Liar who willing checked herself there and felt so at home she didn’t want to leave.

Oh, and lest we forget, her father, Peter Hastings, was adamant about shutting down the place. The Hastings go to great lengths to bury their secrets so we wouldn’t put it past them to try to take down an entire institution in order to do so.

8) Jessica may have loved Emily, but she loathed Spencer.

Alison’s mom was never the warm and fuzzy type, but she was especially cold when it came to Spencer. She never liked that her daughter was friends with the youngest Hastings, and essentially accused her of murder. Oh, and remember the time she broke into the Hastings abode and crept around her bedroom? You could say she hated Spence as a by-product of her affair with Peter, but we never saw her treat Melissa that way even when Melissa and Jason were caught making out. Why would she only treat one of Peter’s other children like the enemy and not both? Could it be because she always knew Spencer was Mary’s child?

“The truth is my sister and I didn’t get along. I moved away because she turned everyone against me. My friends. My family,” Mary reveals in season 7a. She also makes it a point to commend Spencer on maintaining a cordial relationship with Toby because she could never “seem to be friends” with any of her “ex-lovers.” Jessica obviously wasn’t fond of her identical sibling, so it would make sense that if her twin did betray her in such a way, she would transfer those negative feelings over to poor Spence.

Interestingly enough, Peter is far from being trustworthy himself. He seemed especially nervous in episode PLL 5×25, when tried to cut open a box containing pivotal files and Ezra commented, “Your secrets are in there, too, and if you decide to open them, you have to be prepared for them to come out.” Peter hesitated big time, but Veronica grabbed the knife from his hands and uttered, “No more secrets.” Then, in episode 4×16, when he drops by Toby’s apartment to talk with Spencer, he says, “I’m not lying [to your mother], I’m just not sharing everything.” Well, okay then…

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9) Spencer and Mary Apparently Have Met Before

Radley File

During the terrifying tea time in episode 7×02 Mary tells Spencer they’ve met before. She says it was a really long time ago and Spencer wouldn’t remember. This could be Mary’s sly way of saying they met when Mary gave birth to her at Radley. Mary almost always speaks in riddles and cryptic half-truths so this wouldn’t be too hard to believe. In what other context would they have met? It doesn’t really seem like Mary would be hanging out at back-yard BBQs with the Hastings, right?

 

10) They Both Have a Dark Side

spencer-attacks-mona

Okay, so Mary is pretty much all Dark Side with a few, brief, flashes of light every once in a while. Spencer on the other hand, definitely has a a few different aspects to her personality. There’s sleuth Spencer, caring Spencer, studious Spencer, protective Spencer, and the side of Spencer that prompted her to launch herself over a table and attack Mona. All facets of Spence are fascinating and badass, but that last one is definitely the scariest. That’s also the one that brought Spencer to the point where she was digging through trash cans for pills and joining the A-Team to get revenge and justice. It would make sense that she got that part of her from her biological mother. Joining a plot to slowly drive someone crazy is a lot more sinister and scary than hiding your affair. Spence’s previous transgressions are much more serious and intense than anything we’ve seen from the rest of the Hastings.

Source: Freeform

Source: Freeform

11.) An Interesting Choice of Words

Another thing to note: Dr. Cochran, who revealed that he delivered both of Mary Drake’s babies, described her second child — the one who almost died — as strong. “That baby was a fighter,” he said, “Underweight, but tenacious.” If you recall, in episode 7×07, Toby makes it a point to tell Spencer he’s always admired this one amazing thing about her: her “tenacity.”

Hm.

12.) The Winter's Tale

PLL is rife with literary references and viewers usually discover many intriguing clues when they take the time to analyze a painting, book, or set design. In this case, it surely is no coincidence that the writers had Alison discuss Shakespeare’s Winter Tale with her English class on her first day back at Rosewood High, in the same episode in which Dr. Cochran is putting together a puzzle of Thomas Le Clear’s painting “Interior with Portraits”.

Here’s some backstory on the painting in question: Both children featured in it were painted posthumously from family photos, which caused quite a stir. Apparently artists at the time didn’t consider photography a proper means of creative expression, so the use of it to draw the kids was frowned upon and the painting alludes to this heated debate. The photographer is also included — but his face is obscured, much like the identity of Charlotte and her mysterious sibling’s biological father.

Pretty Little Liars episode 7x08

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And what, exactly, is the “comedic” psychological drama about? Oh, you know — your run-of-the-mill story about a king who finds out that his wife had become pregnant with another man’s child. Feeling angry and betrayed, he banishes the child to an isolated area, where she is rescued and raised by a kind shepherd. While we can’t even begin to wrap our minds around who these characters would represent in the PLL universe, the main theme is pretty blatant: adoption.

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Perhaps Spencer was adopted by the Hastings family — much like the DiLaurentis family took in Charlotte  — but the sketchy details surrounding her birth were kept on the lowdown? Hopefully we will find out the truth soon enough!

13.) The Photo Album

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Freeform

 

While leafing through a “Family Memories” album at the end of PLL episode 7×08 — the same one in which Dr. Cochran confirms that Mary gave birth to another child while she was a patient at Radley — Spencer experiences some sort of epiphany. What do you think she noticed? Judging by her reaction, it appears as though she’s stumbled upon an important detail.

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So who do you think is Mary Drake’s other child? The clues definitely are piling up in Spencer’s favor, but it could be anyone at this point. Share your theory with us in a comment below!

About the author: Jenn loves PLL and TVD almost as much as sweatpants, ice cream, and her super cute husband. Her hobbies include watching scary movies even though she’s a big baby, finding new and exciting ways to be even more awkward that she thought possible, and naps. She would love it if you tweeted at her and followed her on Instagram @jennmaher7.

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