A.D. Was Finally Revealed During Tonight’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Finale
Well, it’s over. Pretty Little Liars came to a dramatic (and very satisfying) end tonight. A.D. was unmasked (more on that later), and all your favorite characters found resolutions. It was shocking, emotional, heartwarming, and devastating all at the same time. Full disclosure: I’m crying. I didn’t realize how much this show—this ridiculous effing show—meant to me. Writing this recap was hard. But let’s dive in…
Mona is back at Radley and fantasizing about the liars having completely normal, A-free lives. Her hallucination is interrupted by A.D. (I think), who walks into Mona’s hospital room and stares at her ominously. Mona asks A.D. point-blank, “Are you here to kill me?” A.D. doesn’t answer, of course—and he/she isn’t revealed, either. Come on. Did you really think it’d be that easy?
Aria and Ezra’s book is getting turned into a movie, and they’re stoked about it (naturally). They’re also stoked about their wedding, which is apparently happening later this week. They kiss. It’s cute. I never thought I’d say that.
Meanwhile, Emily is feeding her and Alison’s baby, but plot twist number one: There are two children! Twin girls! Ali and Emily actually had twins named Lily and Grace!
Alison meets Emily’s mom, Pam, for a secret chat. The exact topic is a mystery, but it seems like Pam is telling Alison she’s going to die (???). Alison remains calm, though, and assures Pam she will always be there for Emily.
Melissa is back too! She and Spencer are brushing a horse and being friendly when (beardless) Toby shows up. (He was apparently in Africa—again???—but came back for Ezria’s wedding.) Spencer and Toby pet the horse and stare into each other’s eyes, which would be sexy if Toby still had the beard.
Alison is teaching her English class. That Addison girl from a few episodes ago is back and acting awful (and a little terrifying). Alison and Addison share some vague, eerie dialogue about “wars” and “burying” people, which is obviously table setting for some Addison/A.D. shenanigans later.
A new student named Claire finds a stabbed doll in her locker. Alison and Emily think Addison is bullying her, which is probably happening. Jenna is walking around the school too! What. Is. Going. On? Why does Rosewood High School let random alumni roam the halls?
“I may not be able to see, but I can smell a bitch from a mile away.” —Jenna, on Addison
Caleb and Hanna have apparently relocated to Rosewood to look after Mona, who is back to normal and staying with them. Mona says her meds are making her feel better, but she’s about to be alone for the night while the liars are at Aria’s bachelor/bachelorette party. In other words, expect trouble.
Spencer and Alison have renovated the Lost Woods Resort, and they’ve turned it into the location of Aria’s bachelorette party. We switch back to Mona, who has left Hanna’s apartment and is now MIA. Melissa—yes, Spencer’s half-sister Melissa—is lurking outside the Lost Woods Resort…in a black hoodie. She can’t be A.D., right? It’s too early in the episode for that reveal!
The gang is drinking and talking about Aria and Ezra’s wedding plans. Spencer and Hanna share a sketchy look and go off to have a secret conversation. Hanna tells Spencer that Mona is living with her and Caleb, and Spencer is pissed about it. She compares Mona to “hell” and tells Hanna that once you escape “hell,” you don’t look back. Way harsh, Tai. All the couples pair off to bang, except Spencer and Toby, who have a sexy conversation before going back to Toby’s room. I’m mad Toby’s beard is gone. In their room, Spencer raves about her great relationship with Melissa, but little does she know Melissa was just creeping in the woods wearing a black hoodie!
Obligatory sex montage. Alison kills the mood by implying to Emily that her mother is dying. Caleb kills the mood by berating Hanna about taking in Mona. (Also, Hanna is trying to get pregnant?! Why is I. Marlene King dropping so many random-ass facts in this episode?)
Aria gets an urgent phone call from an anonymous person, and Melissa hovers outside her room and grins devilishly. BUT PLOT TWIST NUMBER TWO: It’s not Melissa! It’s Mona wearing a Melissa mask! So does this mean Mona is A.D.?! Again, it’s too early for that reveal. Isn’t it?
Aria is having a full-on breakdown about marrying Ezra. She says she can’t go through with her wedding, but we don’t know why. (Theory: Ezra probably did something lame.) A.D. (wearing a Mona mask, so many masks) FaceTimes IRL Mona with some unclear, evil directions. Mona asks A.D. who she/he is, which inadvertently confirms that he/she isn’t Mona.
Aria tells Ezra she can’t have kids, and that’s why she doesn’t want to marry him. Ezra assures Aria they’ll do whatever it takes to have a family: adoption, surrogacy, etc. It’s a warm, nice moment.
Spencer goes to visit Mary Drake in prison (remember, she confessed to killing Archer Dunhill) and asks for her help. We don’t know why, though, but we’ll find out soon enough, I’m sure.
Hanna brings Mona to Aria’s rehearsal dinner, and the liars are understandably pressed about it. Aria’s father and Ezra gush about Aria for 30 seconds, which I fully support.
“It’s hard to find a babysitter for someone in their midtwenties.” —Hanna, on Mona
Emily catches on to the fact that Alison and Pam are hiding something from her. Instead of confronting them, though, she interrogates two Rosewood students at the rehearsal dinner about why they hang out with Addison. The girls look genuinely shaken up and say you just “don’t say no” to Addison. If you couldn’t tell, this girl is bad news (and serving major teenage Ali vibes).
“Sometimes I wish we were still in the basement.” —Ella Montgomery
“Oh my God, do you remember how we got out of there?” —Veronica Hastings (the greatest line from this episode, hands down)
Ashley drunkenly tells Hanna to stay away from Mona. Hanna obviously won’t listen to this advice. Spencer and Toby share a sexy but also awkward moment that makes me think it wasn’t really Spencer talking. This show is making me lose my mind.
Aria tells Ezra she’s known about her infertility for months now. She was scared to tell him. Ezra flips out at this and accuses Aria of not having faith in him. He’s out of line, and this quote from Aria explains why:
“It wasn’t about you. It was about me. Can you understand that?” Damn straight.
They go to bed angry. The night before their wedding.
Emily asks Alison what she and Pam were whispering about at the party. Turns out Pam isn’t dying: Alison just wants to propose to Emily! They get engaged in their sweatpants. I’m tearing up.
“You make me a better woman because you searched for one. Do you promise to do that every day for the rest of our lives?” —Alison, to Emily
Hanna agrees to kick Mona out of her and Caleb’s apartment the next day. The two of them have sex to celebrate this decision.
“How much damage can she do in one night?” —Caleb, on Mona
Speaking of sex: Spencer and Toby bang again! But is it Spencer? Is it Spencer’s twin?! Does Spencer have a twin? I just don’t know anymore. We’re 54 minutes into this finale and nothing has happened!
Postsex, Spencer hears weird piano sounds coming from the other room. It’s Mona, wearing a black hoodie—and she knocks Spencer out cold!
“Deja vu, bitch,” Mona, before knocking out Spencer/Spencer’s twin/Someone in a Spencer mask
Spencer wakes up to find Mary Drake AND HER EVIL TWIN. Yes, guys, it’s real. Plot twist number three: SPENCER HAS AN EVIL TWIN, AND HER FIRST LINE IS “BOO.” SHE IS A.D. Mary Drake sticks Spencer with a syringe, and Spencer’s twin goes out into the real world pretending to be her.
Spencer wakes up chained to a bed and has a conversation with her (British) evil twin. Her name is Alex; she was a bartender working in the U.K. and had no knowledge of Mary Drake, Charlotte, Spencer—nothing. Wren, Melissa’s diabolical ex with an ax to grind with the liars, randomly bumped into Alex and told her everything. That’s why she became invested in this story. It motivated her to get revenge on Charlotte and the liars. Alex says that after Charlotte died, she wanted closure on her own terms. In a montage we see all the places Alex was instead of Spencer. Alex had sex with Bearded Toby last week—not Spencer. Alex was in the airport from episode 15—not Spencer. This clears everything up.
But revenge wasn’t enough for Alex: She became jealous of the life Spencer had and wanted to become her. That’s when things get nuts: In a flashback Alex asks Wren to shoot her, but she ends up killing him. Mind. Blown. Alex leaves Spencer chained up and goes to Aria’s wedding—as Spencer.
“Spencer got everything, and I got nothing” —Alex
We’re at Aria’s wedding now. The liars are freaking out about Mary Drake escaping from jail, but Alex/Spencer tells them they shouldn’t worry about it until after the wedding.
Mary Drake and Spencer have “lunch” inside Spencer’s PRISON. It’s clear from their conversation that Alex calls the shots—Mary Drake is even afraid of her. Mary Drake reveals she sold Alex to a rich couple in order to buy herself out of Radley. The couple was awful to Alex and dumped her in an orphanage, which she ran away from. I…kind of understand why Alex is so pissed now.
Ezra. Isn’t. At. The. Wedding. He texted Aria and straight-up said he wasn’t coming. Plot twist number four: Alex kidnapped Ezra too. He’s in the same holding center as Spencer. This is all so dumb and yet so thrilling.
“It’s my wedding day, Spencer, and we’re trapped in some do-it-yourself dungeon.” —Ezra
Alex tells Spencer she’s going to keep her imprisoned for life so she can be with Toby. She explains away everything—Sara Harvey’s involvement, Noel Kahn’s role, Archer Dunhill’s murder, and how she met Charlotte. Charlotte and Alex essentially became scheming partners—with Alex taking a backseat so the liars wouldn’t find out her identity. Essentially, this was all done out of jealousy and hatred for Spencer. They wanted the life Spencer ultimately ended up having.
Alex/Spencer and Toby make plans to ride horses the next day, but the horse knows Alex isn’t Spencer, so they bail on that plan. The liars are still looking for Ezra and not having any luck…because he’s imprisoned.
Jenna and Alex have a brief conversation outside of Veronica’s law office, and Jenna immediately picks up on the fact she isn’t Spencer. Jenna calls Toby and tells her about Alex—and Toby tells the liars. They’re incredulous, obviously, and Mona is eavesdropping on their conversation. Her involvement in all of this is still unknown.
Alex wants to kill Ezra. Mary Drake tries to stop her, but Alex ends up punching her in the face. Spencer and Ezra manage to escape their holding cells, but Alex is lurking with an ax.
Yo, Alex really was planning on keeping Spencer in this jail forever. She created a mock, underground house that looks just like the Hastings residence. What. The. Hell?!
Mona tells the liars her motivation is to beat Alex—and she leads the liars to Alex’s creepy lair. They break in and try to find Spencer, who is (at this point) having a full-on fist fight with Alex.
The gang breaks in, and Toby points a gun at Spencer and Alex. However, he can’t tell them apart—that is, until he asks an obscure question that only the real Spencer can answer. That clears everything up. Everyone is safe now! Alex is taken away in handcuffs, and Spencer and Toby embrace.
Aria and Ezra have a makeup wedding, which gets interrupted by a harmless cameo by I. Marlene King. Whatever.
The final scene with all the liars is truly beautiful. The girls hug and talk about how happy they all are. Hanna announces she’s pregnant! They send Aria off on her honeymoon and cry together. The girls are inadvertently breaking the fourth wall here: We all know they’re actually crying because this was the last scene they shot together. And I’m totally OK with that.
We cut to Mona for one last scene. She’s living in France and has a hot French boyfriend, but she’s still playing with a creepy doll house. Turns out, this doll house has a real-life counterpart—and Alex and Mary Drake are inside. Mona is keeping them imprisoned.
I.M.K. ends things with a spin-off hint. Remember those teen girls from Aria’s rehearsal dinner? Well, the two of them, Addison, and a third girl have a sleepover in an eerily familiar barn. One of them wakes up to find Addison missing—which is exactly what happened to Alison in season one. It’s all happening again—well, potentially.
Alright, time to take a 16-hour nap. Thanks for this wild final chapter, PLL. It was one hell of a ride.
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