Pretty Little Liars Finale Recap: What The Heck Just Happened?
Before I get into the emotional roller coaster that was the Pretty Little Liars series finale last night, let me preface my reaction by saying that I have been hate watching this show for the past 2 years. I've been a fan since day 1, but I truly believe that this show needed to end after season 5, and I have just been watching to figure out who the heck A and A.D. were. People that haven't been hate watching and have actually enjoyed the last two seasons of the show may disagree with my opinions on what can only be described as a clusterfuck of sloppy writing and couples bickering, but I stand by my reaction.
I went into this finale episode expecting to be somewhat disappointed, if only mainly because when you wait 7 years for a show to finally reveal a major plot mystery, it will probably never leave you as fully satisfied as compared to if you only waited, say, 5 years. (Seriously, why didn't this show end at season 5?)
The first hour and a half of the episode was extremely hard to get through, because I was filled with anticipation to find out who A.D. was and what their motives were, but the writers made everyone sitting through a bunch of PLL couples arguing and banging each other, with no major plot developments at all besides learning more boring details about the ill-fated Ezria wedding. The only saving graces of the entire hour and a half were tap dancing Lucas (which, that was his only appearance in the episode at all. They literally just brought him back to tap dance awkwardly off camera in a top hat.) and the drunk PLL moms stumbling about and trolling the audience by talking about being locked in the basement in season 6, a sore spot for PLL fans because the writers forgot to address how the moms got out of the DiLaurentis basement, where they were locked up and never heard from again for at least a season.
Sprinkled among the Haleb bickering and Lucas tap dancing, there were little bits of A.D. reveal plot that seemed random and unappealing. First we saw Melissa, who turned out to be Mona in a mask, who turned out to be working for A.D., but not really working for A.D., and it just seemed like they were killing time until the last second to really get to the stuff people wanted to see. Say what you want about the original A reveal in season 5, but at least we had an entire episode to learn about why Charlotte did what she did an what her backstory was. This felt like we had about 20 minutes with A.D. before ultimately settling for a nonsensical, disappointing ending. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Then, after Mona knocks out Spencer, we finally get to some good content. Spencer finding herself locked in a bunker with her birth mother Mary Drake and shocker of all shockers, her British twin sister, Alex Drake, who is revealed as A.D. These scenes with Alex and Spencer were, in my opinion, truly great, with Troian Bellisario giving an absolutely amazing performance (and a British accent questioned by some), but it was buried under even more Ezria wedding nonsense, which was made even more ridiculous by adding an infertility plot line into it, which seemed rushed and wasteful during the last hour of the show.
My problem here isn't that Spencer had a twin who was introduced in the last episode and pronounced as A.D. I actually liked the Sci-Fi thriller vibes that these scenes gave off.
My problem is that we didn't have enough time with this plot. There was hardly any time to process what was happening, and the explanation of how Alex pulled off her stunts and why she was being A.D. seemed rushed and like if the writers spent a little more time fleshing out the dialogue here and less time scripting Ezria wedding nonsense, the audience could have really been captivated by this plot line. Instead, we got a rushed and sloppy explanation, and and even more rushed and sloppier conclusion.
There is no way that Jenna smelling Alex on the street would lead her to believe that she was Spencer's twin. There was no way that Toby getting a book with no notes in it led him to believe that Spencer had a twin. It just felt like the writers ran out of time to flesh out the whole story, but they knew that the rest of the liars had to find Spencer somehow, so they just made Toby do all of the leg work off screen and just fill them in later on. Then we had Ezra and Spencer escape the dungeon and be chased by Alex, which, why the fuck was Ezra even there? I mean, I know that it was to make the liars all sad and give Alex a chance to bond with them while pretending to be Spencer, but it just seemed stupid.
The face off between Spencer, Alex, and a gun-wielding Toby was great, but ending anti-climatically when one lonely Rosewood PD cop came in and arrested Alex. (Like, seriously Rosewood PD? One cop?) She didn't have a grand final moment as the villain. She was just arrested and that was that, cue Ezria wedding.
Overall, I'm not shocked that the finale left me disappointed, and there were definitely some great, interesting parts, but it seemed disorganized and sloppy. Which, to be fair, is how I would describe seasons 6 and 7, so I guess it really was fitting after all.
Main Photo Courtesy of E Online