Well, the good news is we finally know who killed Charlotte. (Yes, she is ACTUALLY dead.)
The bad news? This episode of Pretty Little Liars was by far the most ridiculous of the season and we’re still no closer to finding out who A.D is. In fact, the girls seem to think that it’s “all finally over” and don’t even care to figure out who has been tormenting them this whole time. How many times have they just assumed it was over, only to get sucked back in, the same way Mona did.
But there, I said it – the finale episode before the 2-hour finale was ridiculous and it kind of sucked and it didn’t really provide us with any answers, just the usual floating question marks.
When the episode kicked off, it seemed like Tanner was confident that she was finally going to arrest the girls. If there was anyone more sure of the #endgame, it was her. Over in the liar’s corner, it didn’t look any better with Aria trying to weasel her way away from a cop with Dunhill’s dead and fingerless body lying right there in her trunk. A.D’s little game has gotten much messier mainly because the liars have actually committed a crime.
You can see that the liars are finally starting to cave in under all the pressure. As Ezra politely pointed out, they allowed A.D to break up their friendship and they pushed Aria to the curb for doing something out of fear, which they’ve all done. Their one advantage against this monster is their ability to forgive and stick together and they just haven’t done that for their most loyal friend. And it’s taken a toll on her. Aria tries to keep it together but when we see her literally TALKING to a thudding corpse in her trunk, you can’t help but think she’s the next Radley patient. Oh wait, this crazy town got rid of its only mental hospital and turned it into a swanky bar… nevermind.
Caleb breaks the news to the rest of the girls – Mona is A.D. Obviously us viewers know that’s not the case since we still have a 2-hour finale ahead of us and that would just be too simple. I’m actually surprised Caleb so willingly jumped on the crucify Mona train, knowing all he does about A.D and manipulation. They decide to stalk Mona – who gets a note on Two Crows Diner stationary saying “time for pie, be there – and despite Hanna’s objections, Caleb confronts her. She’s obviously not willing to talk but you can tell something is really off with her. She’s scared, fidgeting and keeps blaming Hanna for pulling her back in. She’s not even enjoying any of her pie, which may or may not be a hint at Ezra being A.D. Who else eats pie on this show? Literally, no one ever.
Before Caleb can get any more out of her, she receives a note that reads “Leave Now” and makes her big escape through a TRAP DOOR in the ladies room. Oh, Rosewood and it’s conveniently placed trapped doors that lead into tunnels that Caleb and Spencer willingly go into.
The time in the tunnel was very telling for shippers of the Spaleb friendship. First, he admits that he doesn’t think Mona is A.D anymore, then he informs Spencer that he married Hanna earlier that night, then he apologizes for pursuing her to which she FLIRTILY replies “don’t apologize and don’t forget cause I won’t.” Okay, I see you, Spencer… I’d be flirting with my friend’s husband in a dark tunnel as well since you know, you might not make it out alive.
They do make it out alive because the tunnel conveniently leads to the bell tower, where they arrive just in time to save Hannah, who climbed up there to confront a delusional Mona, rocking pigtails, glasses and a sweater circa pre-season 1. The whole scene is purposefully confusing but serves to show just how much of an impact these games have on Mona that she’s retracted back to her safe place where the only trouble she had to deal with was Ali’s bullying. Mona believes she’s seeing Charlotte the night of her murder then proceeds to tell Hannah exactly what went down; she confronted Charlotte to tell her that she’d been watching her for five years and saw how she played everyone, even her sister.
“You’re going to start hurting people again,” Mona said to which Charlotte responded, “Who’s gonna stop me? You?” She then continued to taunt Mona, gloating about how she ruined these girls and their perceptions of themselves, which forced Mona to go to extremes, pressing a screwdriver to her back and threatening to push her off the bell tower if she didn’t jump herself. It was a tense moment as you wondered if Mona had the guts to actually kill someone that probably would have deserved it.
Mona might be deranged and crave control but she’s not a killer. At least not intentionally. She DID kill Charlotte but it was a complete accident, self-defense. And it seems like she kind of regrets not being able to do this one thing correctly. As sad as it is to see, I prefer this Mona than black-hoodie-vengeful Mona. She did what she needed to help the liars, not even considering how much it would set her back in her mental progress.
While all of this is happening, Spencer gets one final wine bottle note from Mary Drake and meets her at the Lost Woods. As a goodbye gift, Mary tells Spencer that she’s signing over the motel to her and Alison because she knows that they’ll need the money for lawyers. And she’s not wrong – the cops are closing in and Tanner has signed warrants for each of them.
Ezra is finally able to locate Aria, who is making her way to the Rosewood police station after getting approval from a dead guy. He convinces her not to turn herself in and then assures her they need to get out of town. But first, they have to get rid of the body in her trunk and he’s got a plan because he has a “master’s degree in American literature.” Honestly, corniest joke ever. How did we never realize Ezra is SUCH A DORK?! When they get outside, the body is missing from the trunk. How someone moved a goddamn body and no one saw a thing. As for the “Ezra is A.D theory,” I guess I could see how he’d be willing to help Aria cover up a murder if he knew that the body was already taken care of.
In the midst of all this action, we return from a commercial break to Alison writing her name on the chalkboard. It is THAT scene from season 6’s cliffhanger, the one we were all so curious about because the girls ran into the classroom yelling “he’s coming.” Turns out…. it was a DREAM SEQUENCE. We waited SO LONG to find out it was an irrelevant DREAM that Emily had with Rollin’s coming after Ali with a monster arm. I swear Marlene…. I’ll come to your house.
When Ems wakes up from her nightmare, she realizes reality is even worse. While they were knocked out, A.D snuck the board game into the house and a video of young Ali saying “we don’t have a lot of time” plays on replay. You can say that again.
All the liars meet at the Lost Woods motel, where they put together the final pieces on the board game. The image reveals a creepy looking face, which I’m not even going to make sense of. The phone reveals that their grand prize is Rollins’ body and they use the phone to scan the board game to reveal an augmented reality app, which leads them to where the body’s buried. Turns out, he’s at Alison’s Aunt Carol’s house. I don’t know if we ever met Aunt Carol or whether she was nice. She could be A.D for all I know….
The girls make their way out there, figuring that Dunhill is in Charlotte’s fake grave. They’re about to get their hands dirty when Aria has a moment of clarity – why do they keep falling into A.D’s traps? Do they really think that by doing all the crazy things, they’ll stop it and get off scotch free? I mean, the whole point of the game is for them to lose. At first, none of the girls agree but then Spencer is like “homegirl is right,” and everyone walks away. Except see… it WAS A TRAP because they are caught red handed, at the scene of the crime by Tanner and a bunch of cops, who came equipped with a bulldozer. See, A.D should have provided the proper tools for these girls.
So here they are in the final hour with no other choice but, tell the truth. What else can they do? No one will believe them about A.D. The boys are back at the cabin with Mona, who is too out of it to make any statements. Then, something happens – Tanner tells them to get comfortable while she interrogates Mary Drake sitting in the next room for the girls to see.
After saying goodbye to Spencer, Mary pulled an Aria and turned herself in for both Dunhill’s murder and her sisters. Tanner is pleased with the confession, telling the girls they are free to go. Spencer can’t accept that her mother is taking the fall and asks if Tanner believes that she killed Archer. “What I believe and what I can prove are two different things,” she responds. Then she basically tells them to take the break and run with it because Mary Drake’s story checks out on all accounts, providing a perfect alibi for all of them. Say what you want about Mary Mr. Hastings but she’s pretty selfless.
“Go home. You’re not criminals, not really. Try and remember that,” she tells them revealing that she’s always known there was more than meets the eye here. Mary then exits the room, doing the “shh” sign to the girls. Looks like she’s been in on this cool thing we’ve been doing since day 1.
As the sun comes up, it seems like peace is finally on the menu for the liars. Mona confessing to Charlotte’s murder and Mary Drake taking the fall for Dunhill’s death seem to have ended the game once and for all. The girls stare at it with a blank expression, not sure where to go from here. They don’t have much right now but they have each other. For a moment, it really feels like the end of a chapter, a clean slate. If they knew what was good for them, they’d leave Rosewood in a heartbeat. But then, there’s still the question of who made it their life’s mission to torture them and carry on Charlotte’s games?
We then see A.D literally driving off into the sunset and I’m hoping he’s headed to Rosewood and not away. He may not have much leverage on the girls anymore but something tells me, he has a few more tricks up his sleeve.
Aside from figuring out who Emily’s baby daddy is, I guess the big question is who is A.D. I cannot believe that it has been like 5 years and we STILL HAVE NO IDEA. I do have a few educated guesses and people that we cannot rule out.
Ezra because it seems like there are many theories that say, he could be up to no good. Toby because he hasn’t been around much. Spencer’s twin because there have been moments where it sure seems like there’s two of her. Wren because we didn’t just randomly see him at an airport. Plus there’s next week’s preview that shows him SHOOTING someone. Jason because he’s been gone for too long and could have had reason to get revenge for his sister. Melissa because who the hell knows what her deal has been this whole time. Sidney because she’s working with A.D, obviously. Jenna because she’s blind and constantly shady AF, even revealing on multiple occasions that she’s been in cahoots with A.D. And of course, Lucas. I want to believe his innocence but I don’t think it’s possible.
Then my most shocking suspect – Mary Drake herself. She singlehandedly ended the game and saved the liars. Maybe she really is crazy and wanted to get close to her daughter to kill her because she truly hates that she’s a Hastings. It would definitely be an unexpected turn of events now that we (and the liars) began trusting her.
What’s your A.D theory?!
Here’s a trailer from next week’s finale to hold you over.
We Don’t Need a ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Reboot
Pretty Little Liars, which premiered in 2010 on ABC Family (now Freeform), took fans on a rollercoaster ride. The twists and turns were so dramatic and exaggerated, halfway through the show’s 7 season run, many fans began to taper off.
Dedicated fans, however, stuck it out despite the fact that the show was rapidly going off the rails. Why? Because they desperately needed to know the identity of “A,” and later, “AD,” once and for all.
And the glorious day came on June 27, 2017. As we sat huddled up in front of our TV screens, we were filled with a mix of emotions ranging from confused, misled, and finally, relieved.
“Relief” is a strange emotion to feel when a show ends. Most fans tend to feel a sadness wash over them when the curtain falls, but with PLL, the finale was a sign that the madness was officially over.
The journey with the liars is one we’ll never forget, but let’s face it – most fans are not clamoring for more, especially not a mere three years after the finale. Heck, some of us are still trying to piece that ending together in a way that makes any rational sense.
We’re living in a time where reboots are hailed by TV executives as a sound and sure-fire idea. There’s plenty of examples of success: Dynasty, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Charmed, and Roswell, New Mexico. Even revivals that have honed a place in society with shows like The Conners and Fuller House both leading the pack.
But the one thing that these reboots have in common is that the original shows aired a decade or more ago. The key to a successful reboot is nostalgia; they aim to hook the original fans while also appealing to a brand new generation.
Reboots may either reimagine a familiar story with a modern spin and new characters or reunite fans with characters years later a la catching up with friends years after college.
It’s obvious that PLL does not fall into the category of a show that warrants a reboot. Not yet, at least. There’s no sound argument when one could argue that enough time has passed to try to take a stab at this overly complex teen mystery drama once again.
One of my biggest gripes with the PLL reboot, which was officially announced as an HBO Max original, is that it doesn’t center around the original liars.
I’m firm in my belief that had it not been for the popularity, relatability, and dynamic of Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Troian Belissario, Sasha Pieterse and Shay Mitchell, the show wouldn’t have found a cult-like following or lasted as long as it did. The ladies made the show worth watching and managed to sell us on every single outrageous storyline.
Many of us stuck with the series because of our love for the liars. But the reboot, billed as “set miles away from Rosewood” in a new town, with a new set of characters, strips the very identity of PLL.
How can you have a show without any involvement from Aria, Emily, Hannah, Spencer, and Alison? They are the pretty little liars. There is no show without them. No one is interested in watching a new generations of teens get tormented by threatening cyber-stalker who knows too much about their life, which was fun to watch partially because it paralleled the rise of technology and the fears surrounding privacy that came along with the emergence of social media.
Even if the ladies considered (and I use that term loosely — they are over here working on their careers and expanding their families, after all) returning for a reboot, not enough time has passed for a proper reunion.
There’s been talk of a potential movie sequel involving the original liars, and truthfully, that’s an idea fans of the original could get behind. It would be a one-time thing, it wouldn’t overstay its welcome or feel forced, and it would hopefully gives fans the follow-up they’ve been dying for.
Earlier this year, Hale said she wouldn’t “rule anything out” but ultimately, they’d “need a little more time to pass.”
“I feel like we would get more out of it if we were, like, 10 years down the road,” she explained to Entertainment Tonight, adding that she’s protective of the show. Hale worked with Roberto Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa on the short-lived Katy Keene, so I’m truly curious to see what she thinks about this upcoming reboot. Note: none of those involved with the original have weighed in or commented yet.
Honestly, much of the pushback that I’ve seen about this rumored reboot is for that very reason — fans, even the ones who thought the finale came out of left-field and was a total dumpster fire — are also super protective of it. We don’t want anything or anyone to taint the show’s legacy.
We also cannot ignore there’s the fact that PLL’s Marlene King attempted her own reboot of sorts shortly after the series concluded and even centered the storyline around two familiar faces, Alison DiLaurentis (Pieterse) and Mona Vaderwaal (Janel Parish), to drum up support and interest from the core fandom. That didn’t work.
PLL: Perfectionists lasted a whole ten episodes before Freeform pulled the plug leaving any fans that submitted themselves to yet another A-like mystery in the dark. It’s a shame the series wasn’t give a real chance because it had potential if it stayed true to the books and veered away from trying to make it so much like it’s predecessor. In this case, a complete overhaul could’ve worked if done right.
And it’s probably better if I don’t mention Ravesnwood, the second PLL spinoff that centered around Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn), which saw a lot of people seeing dead people in the neighboring town. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the show’s ten-episode run, but it’s yet another example of the franchise trying to reinvent the wheel and failing miserably.
If King couldn’t make these shows work while PLL was at its height, maybe it’s because the audience needed to take a break from the world of A?
Which brings me to my next point… Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa. You may not know the name, but if you love teen dramas, you’re familiar with his work. He’s the brains behind The CW’s successful and oftentimes disturbing teen thriller Riverdale.
One fan on Reddit noted that “PLL walked so Riverdale could run,” and let’s be honest, plenty of fans (and critics) have called the show a hot mess. However, that’s what we’ve come to love about Riverdale; it’s wacky, weird, and only tolerable when you suspend all disbelief.
He’s also proven himself in the reboot-realm with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. CAOS is an entirely different ballgame; it’s a dark twist on the 90s sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch that pulls much of its inspiration from the Archie comics. It offers up an entirely new world featuring new takes on some beloved characters. Not to mention Sabrina wrapped its run in 1996 meaning enough time has passed; the world was ready for the Spellman’s once again.
As I mentioned, CAOS is ending with its upcoming season while Aguierre-Sacasa’s other series, Katy Keene, was cancelled after just a season at The CW.
I’m not questioning Aguierre-Sacasa’s qualifications — I’m a fan of his shows — but I don’t think jumping into and revamping a still-fresh franchise is necessary right now.
Apparently, neither does Twitter. One person commented that he should “stick to one show and make that good.” I’d prefer HBO Max gave Katy Keene another try rather than investing into this PLL reboot.
The reboot seems to be hoping to capitalize on the the original fandom (the brief teaser features the same imagery as the original right down to the logo), but the fandom has opposed a reboot from the start. And they’ll be further alienated with the reboot’s description of a “horror-tinged, coming-of-rage” version.
Aguierre-Sacasa’s strength lies within creating shows permeated with twisted mysteries that have a campy, horror vibe, which is tonally different than the psychological mind games we’ve come to expect from PLL.
There’s room for another teen thriller, obviously, but maybe it would be best to leave the franchise alone and call the show, which is shaping up to be its own entity anyway, something else entirely? “Original Sin” minus the “Pretty Little Liars” would have given the series a fresh-slate without any comparisons.
Here’s the show’s description so you can decide for yourself: “Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago. as well as their own.”
I’ll watch merely out of curiosity and because I’ve made television my job, but man, I haven’t even had time to miss PLL yet.
If you really need to feel the PLL-void in your life, the best thing to do is just stream the original episodes, because I think we can all agree that some things are better off left alone… at least until enough time has passed to revisit them through a new lens.
‘Pretty Little Liars’ Cast Reunites for a Podcast that Involves Drinking and Rewatching Episodes!
The moms of Rosewood got out of the basement just in time to start their own podcast!
All jokes aside, Holly Marie Comb (Aria’s mom Ella), Lesley Fera (Spencer’s mom Veronica) and Nia Peeples (Emily’s mom Pam) are reuniting to rewatch episodes together and offer some commentary.
Honestly, I’ve always wanted to know what the moms of Rosewood thought about what their daughters were up to/involved in, especially since half the time, it didn’t seem like the liars even had parents!
The podcast, titled “Pretty Little Wine Moms” (yes, ladies!) means that they will be sitting down with their favorite drinks and breaking down one episode at a time. Since they were a part of the production, they’ll be able to add in behind-the-scene tidbits.
Here’s where things get super fun — each week’s episode will have a new special guest that joins in for the chat.
According to Digital Spy, guests will range from other cast members, writers, directors, and producers.
This month alone the podcast will feature Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields), Brant Daugherty (heads-will-roll Noel Kahn), and Torrey DeVitto (Melissa Hastings).
In September, the lineup includes costume designer Mandi Line, writer/producer Bryan M. Holdman, Ashley Benson (Hannah Marin), Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery), Sasha Pieterse (Alison DiLaurentis) and Tyler Blackburn (Caleb Rivers).
I love how much support the moms are getting from the cast and that the cast is finding new ways to keep this fun and twisted show alive!
Of course, we cannot wait for the mom-circle to be completed with a guest appearance by Laura Leighton (Hannah’s mom Ashley)!
The idea for the podcast came to Lesley where she was bored at home during COVID. She invited her co-stars to appear on her podcast with her husband, Ned Mochel, and fans were so thrilled that the moms were back together again, they figured why not roll with it?
We’re so glad they did.
And we cannot wait for the mom’s to spill some tea! Maybe they’ll finally tell us how they got out of that basement…
Here’s a snippet of how I envision this podcast in my mind:
The Cast of Pretty Little Liars Is Reuniting & Fans Can Join In LIVE – Get All The Details
This isn’t a secret, Rosewood’s finest are coming together again for a good cause.
The cast of Pretty Little Liars will be reuniting for a virtual reunion.
All your favorites will be tapping in including Troian Bellisario (Spencer Hastings), Ashley Benson (Hannah Marni), Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields), Sasha Pieterse (Alison DiLaurentis), Lucy Hale (Aria Montgomery), Ian Harding (Ezra Fitz), Janel Parrish (Mona Vanderwaal), Tyler Blackburn (Caleb Rivers) and creator I. Marlene King.
So, what’s on tap for the live event?
A panel with the cast likely catching up on what’s happened since the show went off air three years ago and reminiscing about best moments. There will also be a fan Q+A portion and one-on-one video chats with each cast member and King.
Those who wish to join in on the fun can do so by purchasing a ticket for $15.
All one-one-one chats with the cast are currently sold out. A chat with King costs $95. Tickets can be purchased at Cast4Good’s website.
All proceeds benefit Feeding America. The reunion will take place on Friday, May 15 at 12pm ET and can be watched on the Looped app. It’s being led by Cast4Good, a fundraising platform, which aims to help those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
So, grab your black hoodie and pretend its 2017 all over again.
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