Have you heard the tale of the “twisted sister?”
Doesn’t ring a bell? Think hard…. it’s a story you’ve been hearing about for roughly 7 years, masked under the nickname A.D.
The final round of A.D’s game reached it’s end on Tuesday night, leaving even the strongest of fans a hot mess.
This was the last time that the liars would solve mysteries in Rosewood and you know that the writers and Marlene would “go big or go home.” How could you expect anything less? The pressure was really on for Pretty Little Liars to impress a fandom waited several year’s to find out the identity their tormentor.
After the reveal, negative comments began swarming in about how they were disappointed with the outcome but realistically, despite their best efforts, any “A” revelation was going to be a letdown simply because it was so hyped up…. we’ve imagined it in our minds on so many occasion. I’v heard complaints that it was far fetched but if you think that, you must not have been paying attention the past few years. This is the same show that blows up telephones, that had the liars trapped in a doll house with exact replicas of their bedrooms, that had a board game dictating their every move. When has anything ever been REALISTIC in Rosewood? Last time I checked, the definition of Rosewood was “batshit crazy” so really, when it came to the finale, it was best to leave expectations at the door and strap in for a wonderfully bonkers ride. No one comes to Rosewood for realism, we come for the crazy and the twisted and in that regard, the finale delivered.
Charlotte’s death marked the end of A and the beginning of A.D and while the tricks and torments may seem the same, they aren’t the same person, nor do they have quite the same motive. But they are connected by blood because as it turns out, every motive that A, Uber A or A.D ever had was motivated by a dysfunctional family.
Without further ado… A.D is….
Never heard of her? We don’t blame you. Up until a few hours ago, we hadn’t either. You might not recognize her name but you’ll definitely recognize her face because it’s Spencer Hastings. Well, her evil twin.
Let’s backtrack a bit though shall we?
Last weeks strange episode saw “A.D” driving off into the sunset as the liars figured they’d finally beaten Liars Lament when Mona confessed to killing Charlotte. Even though they didn’t really know who A.D was, they just assumed it was #endgame and that was the last they’d hear from him/her… but that was naive. A.D has a way of sneaking up on you and showing up at the most innoportune of times, in this case, a year later when everyone was happy and Aria and Ezra were about to exchange “I do’s.”
When we catch up with the liars, you realize what a difference a year can make. Emily and Alison became parents to beautiful TWIN girls (definitely foreshadowing here), Spencer’s working as a paralegal at her mother’s firm and finishing up law school, and Toby is returning from a soul-searching trip to Africa.
The strongest couple on the show, Caleb and Hanna, found their marriage strained when Hannah allowed Mona to come stay with them following her release from Welby. “She has no one else,” she kept telling her friends and family, but that wasn’t enough for Caleb, who felt like a passenger in the relationship and wanted to focus more on having that baby. He’s always been the wisest of the group and knew that there was no way they could trust Mona after all that she’s put them through.
It seemed like Spencer and Melissa were finally getting along since she returned from London but then she had to go and ruin that by donning a black hoodie and snooping on the girls. Then, in the most PLL-like twist, Melissa removed her mask revealing that it was actually Mona doing all of A.D’s bidding once again. Trust your gut Caleb, trust your gut. I really will miss these realistic (and impossible) masks.
Tricking the fans into thinking that Spencer’s sister was the ringleader in charge was slick, especially because it was Spencer’s sister… just not Melissa. After being knocked out by Mona, Spencer woke up in a cell to find a TWIN SISTER staring back at her. The moment that Alex revealed hersellf was equally as eerie as it was insane. For a moment, I had to ask whether my eyes were deceiving me and I’m sure Spencer thought those sedatives did a number on her.
The British half of Spencer, had a terrible English accent and was borderline insane, but you probably could have guessed that considering her mother is Mary Drake and she was born in Radley. The phrase “all roads lead to Radley” has literally never been clearer.
It didn’t take long for Alex Drake to open up to Spencer and give her the backstory as to how she got there. She was given up for adoption when she was an infant but once she began showing troubling signs, the family gave her up to an orphanage. Wren discovered her in a bar at London and filled her in on this whole family that she literally never knew she had, including half-sister Charlotte, who became the only family she’d ever known. She loved Charlotte, she was loyal to her, she became her friend and then, when she was killed, she channeled that anger on the liars.
So yes, the game was started by Mona, stolen from her by Charlotte and when she died, taken by Alex, who wanted NOTHING more than to get revenge on her “dolls” for killing her sister. But despite being a villain, she also had a soul and she was jealous of Spencer and her friends for having everything she never did. She quickly realized that despite everything that A threw at them, they were always going to be friends, always going to stick up for each other, always going to be there for each other. And she wanted that, so she devised a plan to infiltrate the group by assuming Spencer’s identity. She wanted her life and she wanted Toby.
Literally, every scene where you thought “that’s unlike Spencer” was your gut telling you that it is in fact Alex. That hallucination Hannah had after being kidnapped and tortured – Alex. Kissing Toby before he left with Yvonne – Alex. Sleeping with Toby in the cabin – Alex. Running into Ezra at the airport – Alex. If you caught on, go tell your friends you told ’em so.
Now that we knew Alex’s big secret, seeing her around the girls pretending to be Spencer was a boatload of dramatic irony that I wasn’t equipped to handle. Knowing when the liars didn’t was giving me a stress headache, especially when they let her handle the baby. Even worse was that Alex knew the wedding would never happen because she also kidnapped Ezra after he figured it out and allowed Aria to believe that he got cold feet after she told him about her infertility diagnosis.
If I was Spencer, I’d be pissed that none of my friends figured out that some imposter was pretending to be me. I mean, Alex was good at nailing Spencer’s talk, walk, and character to a tee but she wasn’t Spence. How did no one pick up on that? But crazy always starts showing and soon enough, Jenna, who knew all along that Charlotte had a sister, caught on and informed Toby, who was also skeptical after seeing Spencer’s beloved horse get hostile around her.
After that, he pieced it together – the book she gave him before he drove off with Yvonne didn’t have any notes in it, which was unlike her. It was also unlike her to kiss him when he was engaged or to pounce him after his wife passed. “What if twins run in the family,” he told the liars. “That would give A.D motive,” Caleb retorted.
Before you know it, they had located Spencer’s phone and surprisingly, it was at Toby’s old house. This CRAZY person bought the house Toby built for Spencer, keeping her and Ezra prisoners smack dab in the middle of Rosewood. Spencer’s craftiness came in handy and she was able to break them both out using a bobby pin she pulled out of Mary Drake’s hair when they embraced.
If we learned anything from the dollhouse it’s that escaping a psycho with unlimited funds is virtually impossible. When they ran outdoors, they found themselves trapped inside a huge underground dome that was built to mimic Rosewood and an axe-wielding Alex right behind them. Literally, you could see the crazy in here eyes.
As a sister fight ensued, Ezra was knocked to the ground. Thankfully, the liars along with Caleb and Toby found them just in time and came face to face with a set of identical twins dressed exactly the same. Which Spencer was the real Spencer? Easy, Toby simply asked for Spencer’s favorite poem from the book, which the real Spence gladly recited. Toby asked them both for real Spencer’s favorite poem and just like that, they figured it out.
Mona, who was accused of once again conspiring with A.D, revealed that she was always playing the game simply to help them this whole time. It’s definitely a redeeming moment for her and while it’s normal that the liars had their reservations, it speaks volumes to Hannah for always sticking by her friend and defending her, even though she tried to kill her multiple times.
With their tormentor finally gone for good, the girls were ready to start their next chapters. They took their final walk around Rosewood, a town that for once could enjoy some peace and quiet. Aria and Ezra were gearing up for their honeymoon in the South of France, Emily and Alison were just enjoying being parents to beautiful daughters Lily and Grace, whose biological father turned out to be Alex’s ex-Wren. She admitted to killing him when she decided to fully go through with her plan to assume Spencer’s identity and kept his ashes close to her in a diamond because “diamonds are forever.” (RIP Wren, you didn’t deserve this, although I was always convinced you did.) I don’t think Alison and Emily ever found out who the biological father was and I guess it’s for the better.
Spencer and Toby finally found their way back to each other after he stepped up to save her. Toby sat much of season 7 out and wasn’t really involved in the AD madness, at least not that he knew of. It was nice to see him brought back into the loop the way Caleb and Ezra have always been.
And thankfully, things for Hannah and Caleb worked out because she revealed that she was expecting a little baby Haleb. Not to jinx it but it seems like everyone got their happy ending.
“It feels like the end of something,” Alison admitted and I’d have to agree… it’s the end of A.D, of the games, of the threatening text messages and constantly living in fear. It’s the end of our relationship with the liars as we know it. But there’s beauty in the end because it also opens the door for a new beginning, which these girls needly BADLY. We can leave Rosewood knowing that their friendships will weather any storms… I mean, they all survived AD!
As for Mona, she got an ending that only she deserved. She moved to France, began dating some Robert Pattison lookalike cop who was completely unaware that she had split personalities and was holding both Mary Drake and Alex Drake hostage in the basement of her doll shop while forcing them to partake in “afternoon tea” parties. Literally, MONA TOOK THE GAME BACK! “She can’t keep us here forever,” Mary exclaimed. “Yes she can, she’s Mona,” Alex said while rolling her eyes. Game recognizes game. I could totally see a spinoff with Mona and Alex taking on the game together.
To me, that was a fitting ending but for some reason Marlene decided to assure us that even without AD and without the liars, the mythology of Rosewood continues. The last scene sees the mini-me liars recreating the very first scene in the barn. Addison goes missing, the other mini-liars wake up and it all begins again. Throughout the season, they kept teasing that these girls would be the next liars, with Maya’s niece even finding a stabbed doll in her locker. Sure, it comes full circle but are we really to believe that history would once again repeat itself? It felt too pushy.
- The moms are goals. I want to join their mom club and drink with them. Kudos to them for acknowledging that they too were too drunk to remember how they got out of the basement.
- Alison’s proposal to Emily while wearing a pug hoodie was everything. I’m glad Emison got their happily ever after, even if it was forced by someone impregnating Ali against her will. Although I think this town has seen enough twins..
- Turns out, Archer Dunhill was never actually involved with Alex’s plan. He loved Charlotte so much that after she was killed, decided to get his own revenge on Alison and her friends. Turns out creepy is as creepy hangs out with.
- I’m surprised that Alex, Charlotte, Wren and Archer “hung out” all the time in Rosewood yet no one ever saw anything. This town needs better law enforcement I swear.
- I feel a bit jipped when it comes to seeing the liars’ stories play out, specifically Hannah telling Caleb that she was pregnant. I definitely wish we would have seen his reaction. I wish we would have also seen the girls address the twin theory and how it felt to finally be free.
- Sidney was just a pawn as was Sara Harvey, which was kind of a let down.
- Maybe I missed this but was Spencer’s relationship with Caleb and Marco actually her or was that all Alex?
Saying goodbye to these girls was hard. I watch a lot of shows and haven’t formed such a bond with other characters as I did with Aria, Spencer, Hannah, Emily and Alison. It felt like I was watching my friends grow up, start new lives and finally free themselves from a cyber bully that took it too far. It’s bittersweet but like they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
And to echo Spencer, how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?
What a crazy ride. Are you glad it’s over? Was it everything you wanted it to be? Did you want more closure? Let me know what you’re thinking.