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Last night’s series finale of Pretty Little Liars mostly delivered on its promise to answer the questions fans have been asking for the past seven seasons. Actually, we really just wanted questions answered from the past two seasons, since Cece Drakes’ reveal at the end of Season 5 pretty much wrapped up everything until then.
The goodbye to Rosewood, the town of incredible mask-makers and people who love running hotels that used to be psychiatric hospitals/creepy resorts where people die, did not disappoint on the ‘whaaaaaat?’ level we’ve come to expect post-PLL Season 3.
Pretty Little Liars has always been a series that has loved the twin angle and last night’s reveal that A.D. was in fact Alex Drake, the long-lost twin sister of Spencer and daughter of Mary Drake, put the show’s twin quota over the edge. Sure, it was a pretty shocking reveal and definitely high on the sinister single white female angle, but for loyal fans who have diligently watch the series and all of its twists and turns, some that made sense and some that did not, A.D.’s reveal as a character we’ve never met is a little frustrating. The big bad is someone who has been built up for two seasons, but we only got to know them for half an hour. Still, there was some relief in getting an explanation for Spencer’s creepy request for a kiss from Toby. So creepy.
The two-hour finale was jam packed with story development and reveals, kicking off one year after Mary Drake went to jail for killing Archer Dunhill and Mona confessed to Charlotte’s murder. The time jump seemed somewhat unnecessary, aside from giving Alison time to deliver twin girls that definitely do not share any DNA with Emily. When we meet the Liars again, everyone is still falling ass backwards into success, but as always, happiness evades them.
Hanna’s sass towards Caleb over their lack of a wedding and honeymoon was beyond annoying considering she could’ve easily planned one after they got married at the courthouse. We won’t even begin to ask why Hanna had to take Mona in and not Mona’s mother, the woman who justifiably slapped Alison at Mona’s funeral.
Aria’s infertility provided a moment of realness, while Emily and Alison’s struggle with raising twins would have been more believable if they didn’t wake up with fake eyelashes on. Even ugly pug sweaters can’t distract us from their expert contouring at midnight.
Then there was the wedding and Aria’s sad wedding dress. Not since Pretty in Pink have we been so disappointed in an ill-fitting smock. Wearing a barely-there skirt for her eventual church ceremony wasn’t much better. Find an in-between point, Aria. We also weren’t impressed by Ezra’s mother and her outright hostility towards Ella. This woman should really do some math and realize the person she’s being rude to could’ve easily had her son thrown in jail many times. Speaking of, PLL devoted an entire scene in the final episode to justifying Ezra one last time by enlisting the help of Aria’s father, Byron. Parents on this show have never really cared about their kids, so why should we expect anything different in the finale?
Then there were the bad, like PLL’s love of terrible wigs. Did Cece really need to wear a Halloween store monstrosity to remind viewers we were watching a flashback? The confusing timelines continued confusing us, with Mary Drake looking like she was delivering her now 24-year-old twins in the 1950s. Speaking of people in their mid-20s, why is everyone so concerned with starting a family immediately? Does the biological clock on top of the church tower in Rosewood ring earlier than the rest of the world?
When it came time to quickly wrap up two seasons worth of story lines in 20 minutes, Jenna’s keen sense of smell and a bashful horse were the ones to uncover Spencer’s true identity as Alex. In all fairness, why would Toby think he was sleeping with someone other than Spencer? But in alllllll fairness, why would anyone stay in Rosewood when there’s always a chance they could be having sex with someone’s evil twin? Also, since Toby isn’t a cop anymore, are we to assume him packing heat was a deeper comment on gun laws in America? Just a character oversight? Cool.
And what was up with the final scene showing the new mean girl Addison, a name literally only one letter away from Alison, going missing? Is there going to be a spin-off of the exact same show? Too soon, PLL. Too soon.
Ending the series with Mona exacting the ultimate revenge and keeping Alex and Mary in a dollhouse would have been the perfect sendoff to the often sinister series and a final high-five to Mona, who let’s admit, has been treated the worst on the show. The ‘cop’ she called was totally a fake who took Alex and Mary on a one-way plane trip to Paris, right? Mona is and always has been the smartest of the group and not just because she is the only person to have the sense to leave Rosewood, although there is that as well.
Still, our biggest question lies in the Dollhouse 2.0. Alex’s reveal as a lonely orphan focused on a character who was looking for love, but not just any love. Wren was able to love her even with a terrible fake accent, but it wasn’t enough to replace her desire to torture people. Having the love of her mother, Mary Drake, was also not enough. Friendships for the win!
Kidnapping Spencer in a final step to take over her life made sense for Alex, who was ready to go full Man In The Iron Mask. What we don’t understand though is why she also went to the trouble of kidnapping Ezra?
Was he just another step in Alex’s ongoing torture plan? Was she going to continue being A.D. after locking up Spencer? And if she wanted the love of the Liars so badly, why continue torturing them now that she has completed her transition, gunshot and all, to Spencer Hastings? A simple line explaining that Ezra seeing Alex and Wren at the airport made him a liability would’ve justified his kidnapping as well, but all Ezra’s disappearance did was raise suspicion and ensure that Alex would not get to be Spencer on Aria’s wedding day, the ultimate BFF moment.
Much like the mom’s escape from the basement, we may never know why Ezra was also kidnapped or how a very tall but very petite woman managed to knock out a grown man in public and drag him into her underground lair. Two can keep a secret if one of them doesn’t make sense.