Thoughts on the ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Finale

This is going to be quite an unstructured blog post, but it’s going to be a very spoiler-y one. So please do not read if you’re yet to watch the last ever episode of Pretty Little Liars and don’t want the ending to be spoiled.

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Pretty Little Liars is one of those TV series I hate to love. There are so many things that irritate me about the series: I’m tired of how long they’ve spun out the story for, and how many red herrings they’ve thrown me, but for some reason, this hasn’t stopped me watching all seven seasons. What can I say: it’s easy-to-watch, I’m a sucker for some scandal, and I’d invested far too much time in this series to miss the big reveal. Pretty Little Liars has been my biggest guilty pleasure since it started, and now that the big reveal has happened, I’m not sure I feel satisfied.

In my opinion, the best reveal came when Mona was revealed to be ‘A’ in the season two finale.  And whilst the dollhouse episode at the end of fifth season was shocking and creepy and clever, everything since has just felt like another way to keep the series going just a little bit longer. The idea of there being a third ‘A’ (or, as it is now, ‘A.D.’) after both Mona and Charlotte makes it feel like the show has been pushing its luck, so I was glad to hear that the series would finally be calling it a day at the end of season seven (although, admittedly a little sad that I’d have to say goodbye to my favourite guilty pleasure).

As for the episode itself, it was crazy, and unexpected, and all kind of ridiculous. First of all, there’s the big twist, the fact that Spencer has a sinister identical twin who grew up in England and who has been hell-bent on avenging Charlotte’s death since season six. Subtle hints towards this had been dropped throughout the season, including Spencer’s appearance at the airport with Wren, her out-of-character kiss with Toby before he left Rosewood, and her dream-like appearance to Hanna when she’d been kidnapped. I completely missed all these clues, putting them down to inconsistency and red herrings designed to lead viewers astray. I did not think for a moment that Spencer had a twin.

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This was kind of a crazy reveal, and whilst I appreciate the shock factor, it did feel a little too ridiculous, especially following on from all the other family-related revelations that have happened over the seasons, including Jason being Spencer’s half-brother, Charlotte being Alison’s sister, Mrs Dilaurentis having a twin, and Spencer being adopted. At what point can we say that there are too many secret siblings in this show? Crazier still was Troian Bellisario’s terrible English accent, which was genuinely grating to hear.

The other thing that has left me feeling a little weird about the finale is how it wrapped up each of the liars’ storylines. Specifically, the fact that they each ended up with their high school sweethearts and lived happily ever after. Aria, Hanna, Emily and Ali all ended the series married (or soon-to-be-married), each with children already in existence, or in the pipeline. I found this really intense, and if I’m honest, the fact that all these women in their mid-twenties were obsessed with settling down and having children was really weird. I could understand if maybe one or two of the characters did this, but for this to be the endgame for so many of them was disappointing, and as someone who’s only a couple of years younger than the liars at this point, completely unrelatable.

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Then, the last few minutes of the episode didn’t ease up on the craziness. First, we learnt that Mona is keeping Mary and Alex Drake as her own personal dolls, presumably forced to suffer through tea parties for eternity. Then, we saw the cycle begin to repeat itself, when a new set of liars awoke to find mean girl Addison missing. There was something quite cool and satisfying about both these scenes, and I really liked how they were done, so they made an atmospheric ending that fit the show well. At the same time, I can’t help but worry that these leave room for a spin-off.

I realise this blog post has been very negative and critical, which is unusual for me, so I’ll try to finish it on some of the positives:

  • Aria and Ezra ended up together, which I’m genuinely happy about, because I’ve liked this couple from the start, despite all the strange and twisted storylines involving Ezra a few seasons ago.
  • The finale actually wrapped things up, and A.D.’s motivations actually made sense.
  • Mona’s scene at the end was so intriguing and creepy, and very Mona. I knew she wouldn’t go out quietly.
  • This season had some good moments, including Aria’s betrayal.
  • The finale was genuinely shocking.
  • We finally know who was tormenting the liars, and I can now walk away from this series for good.

These seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars have been a rollercoaster. I judge the show harshly, and maybe that’s because – as much as I’d hate to admit it – I’ve somehow become invested.

If you watched the Pretty Little Liars finale, let me know your thoughts below, especially if you disagree. I’d love to discuss all the craziness of these past seven seasons.

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