Hey guys! It’s the PLL summer finale, so I hope you’ve got a sufficient supply of booze. I’m going to do this recap in chronological order rather than by character because the girls spent most of the episode together.
The liars are watching a news report about the eyewitness (Travis) to Wilden’s murder that came forward and Hanna wonders why the police want her mom to come in for a lineup if Travis told the truth. She’s worried that A got to him, but the other girls think he’s on the level and Aria thinks that he’s cute. Relevant, Aria.
Spencer goes to answer the doorbell and comes back with a package addressed to all of them. Inside are four Magic 8 balls that form a message from A that says “If your mom goes free, you’ll be hearing from me.” Emily’s just like “Fine, maybe CeCe will stop going after our parents and go back to coming after us. “ Spencer, on the other hand, thinks CeCe just declared World War A. That’s not a thing, Spence.
I know this just caught Aria mid-expression, but I like to think she’s giving an epic eyeroll to show how sick she is of A’s prop comedy.
Travis is watching the lineup and says he doesn’t know if he can do this.
The liars are at their fourth or fifth English class of the day and Ezra’s talkin’ Shakespeare. Specifically, the Tempest and how Miranda and Ferdinand’s love is a “Force of nature.” Aria’s loving it, but when he thanks her for being there for him after class, she specifies that she’s glad she could be there as a friend. She gets a call from Jake who shoots down her date idea of a poetry reading. Oh, Aria.
Caleb and Hanna are with Ashley at the police station and Caleb and Ashley have a nice moment where she thanks him for being there for Hanna and he praises her for being fearless. The DA comes over to tell Ashley that all the charges have been dropped. Yay, maybe now Hanna will stop yelling at everybody all the time!
Paige tells Emily that she’s thrilled about Ashley being free but worried about A retaliating and would feel better if they knew where CeCe was. She says that Emily will stay with her until they find CeCe. Where the hell is Pam? Is she still in Harrisburg? Is she stuck topping off Mrs. DiLaurentis’ Bloody Mary glass?
Spencer calls Toby for the fourth or fifth time and tells him to at least let Emily or Caleb know that he’s okay.
Later, the girls are all at the Marins’. Ashley comes downstairs dressed for a date with Pastor Ted, where she will probably drink Rosewood’s entire supply of chardonnay. After she leaves the girls dig into all the food on the Marins’ counter.
What do you think all the cards say? “So happy you’re not a cop killer!”?
The girls get another package from A, a child-sized coffin with a Mona doll. The text from A says “Hanna won, so Mona loses. Find her before the cops or they’ll think you killed her.” Guys? This would be a great text to show to the police. A little later the girls are watching the news and the police have released a sketch of CeCe as the suspect in Wilden’s murderer. So when Travis was talking to Hanna he could only tell that the person running away was a girl who was probably blonde but he later he could describe CeCe’s face in detail?
Hanna calls Radley to try to find Mona, but they tell her she isn’t a patient there anymore and whether she was released or moved is privileged information. Spencer goes to find Wren and kiss the privileged information right out him. Hanna’s worried about Mona and Caleb’s worried that Mona’s the one screwing with them. Spencer doesn’t find Wren at his house and when she looks in the windows she sees that he’s all packed. Jenna’s blue Mustang is outside and Shana is hiding at Wren’s.
Emily and Paige go to the school’s French Club to see if anyone there has seen Mona, but the girl who greets them is like every French teacher everyone’s ever had and won’t speak English. Emily says that she picked up some French in Haiti, but she uses her phone to translate her question into French and then absolutely BUTCHERS it, so no, Emily, you did not pick up any French in Haiti. The girl finally speaks English and tells them that Mona was supposed to come today and she was surprised that she didn’t show because it was Mona’s welcome back party.
Toby has a sad moment looking through a box of his mom’s stuff and ignoring Spencer’s texts. He goes down to the Brew and sees Shana dropping a paper as she leaves. It’s a shipping label from Wren, to Wren, care of one Melissa Hastings in London! This finally prompts him to call Spencer.
The news plays in the background – they’ve identified CeCe as the suspect. Spencer wonders what Shana’s connection to Wren is and if Wren is moving in with Melissa, why are they hiding it? Toby keeps huffily insisting it’s because Wren is Spencer’s ex. Uh, yeah, there’s a word for when an ADULT DOCTOR pops out of the woodwork to make out with a teenaged girl every time she’s emotionally vulnerable, but I don’t think it’s “ex.” They start arguing about how people who were fake murdered can’t just go no contact every time they’re in a snit. Toby eventually agrees and also says he’s going to stop following A’s clues about his mom.
Aria and Jake are having ANOTHER black and white movie night. Let Jake pick the movie, Aria. The movie looks familiar, but I can’t place it. Anyone know what it is? Jake, obviously, is asleep. He wakes up and leaves to get more sleep. All of this is clearly to show how little they have in common, but Aria is in high school. You don’t need to have things in common! That’s what hormones are for. The only thing my high school boyfriend and I had in common was that we were both humans.
Caleb and Hanna stakeout Mona’s house. Caleb insists that it isn’t Hanna’s fault if Mona is really in trouble.
Paige and Emily are in Paige’s room (With the door open, Mrs. McCullers insists). Em’s also worried about Mona, which Paige has a hard time understanding since Mona tried to kill her. Emily insists that they created the Mona Beast. Paige says no, Ali did and Emily says yes, but the girls let her.
Aria goes to the Brew, I guess to catch the end of the poetry reading, and Ezra’s obviously there. He says one of the poems reminded him of a story she wrote that turned out to be about Ali. Aria says that she always has trouble writing a good story before she can think her way out of it. Fitz knows what she means, he wants to know the ending but still wants to be surprised. Hmm. They settle in for a long talk about their feelings.
There’s a little montage of all the couples-Hanna’s asleep on Caleb’s shoulder outside Mona’s, Em’s asleep on Paige, Spencer and Toby are cuddling, Aria kisses Ezra as an unseen blonde in a hoodie watches.
The next day the girls are trying to figure out A’s game. They get another package, which is a trick box with a saw that pops out when you turn the knob at the top. Spencer’s the one to figure this out, clearly, because her magic act won her first prize at performing arts camp. I love you, Spencer.
Toby takes over the stakeout for Caleb. Caleb mentions that Hanna’s convinced it’s A, but he still thinks this is all Mona.
The girls are trying to find magic-related things on the internet and find an ad for a magic show going on that afternoon in Ravenswood. She’s talking to Toby on the phone when Jenna’s car races by with Shana at the wheel. Toby follows her.
Back to the town that saturation forgot. Grunwald is there! The magician is this… boundary-ignoring mime/clown who is basically my idea of hell. He badgers Aria into being his assistant for the disappearing act.
NOPE. Nope, nope, nope.
Aria’s understandably not happy about it on account of that time she got locked in a crate with a dead cop and almost pushed off a train, but the trick occurs without incident and Hanna is kind of hilariously delighted. They look around and Emily is gone. A text from A reveals that the trick was a distraction so A could grab Hanna, because A OBVIOUSLY wasn’t gonna take Aria.
Emily’s trapped in a box that still gets better cell service than I get in my apartment. Aria calls her and Emily tells her she hears a loud saw. Spencer remembers that Grunwald lived on Sawmill Road and figures out that the mill is basically right there. Emily is in a locked box on a giant conveyer belt, heading straight towards sawville. Spencer tries to cut the lock but Red Coat is the only one who tries to actually turn the power off and succeeds. There are two Red Coats! Spencer runs after one and Aria runs after the other.
Aria must’ve picked up some skills in those two classes she had, because she pulls some martial arts moves on her Red Coat, who turns out to be CeCe. CeCe tries to escape via rope, but it breaks. Aria grabs her and tries to pull her up but the sleeve of her coat rips and she falls.
“Should we check her pulse?” “Eh.”
The girls comfort Aria and ignore CeCe’s twitching fingers. They turn around and she’s gone. Spencer says that she thinks the Red Coat she was chasing was Ali. She stopped to let Spencer follow her because she wanted to show her yet another lair. There’s a timeline of absolutely everything, a locked journal that Hanna swipes, and computer screens that are monitoring the Rosewood PD, the alarm systems in the girls’ houses and any cameras on the streets.
Toby break! Toby tracks Shana to a bed and breakfast where Mona is alive and well. Mona asks Shana if ‘she’s’ sure she’s okay with this. Shana replies that ‘she’ (Jenna? Melissa?) doesn’t have a choice.
Back in the lair, Hanna’s on the phone with Caleb trying to hack the passwords. He says he’ll get on the next bus to Ravenswood to help them. Spencer found A’s bank account and notes payments to CeCe. Maybe A was paying her to pose as Red Coat? Hanna sees men’s suits in the closet and says she thinks A is a guy. Every time we’ve seen A we’ve seen a hoodie and gloves, so I’m not sure what all the nice suits are for. Spencer says all roads lead back to Board Shorts. There’s a letter where Ali mentions him and says he thought she was 18 when they met. Hey, that sounds familiar! It’s not Wren, because A’s been following him. Aria notes that A has also been tracking Red Coat, who he thinks is Ali, and thinks she’ll be at a party in Ravenswood tonight.
They leave to go find Ali and run into Grunwald. Grunwald pretended she never knew Ali to protect her. Also, she’s apparently psychic and was helping Ali that summer and had a bad feeling. She’s the one who pulled Ali out of the dirt. She took her to a hospital and went in to get help. When she came back, Ali was gone and she hasn’t seen her since. She won’t reveal herself until she knows who she can trust. The girls are like “Uh, we had eight funerals for her! That means she can trust us!” Grunwald tells them to leave Ravenswood because “he” is hoping they’ll lead him to Ali.
Caleb’s bus finally arrives. It took a long time, because it’s from the freakin’ ’50s.
The girls decide to crash the party to find Ali before A does. A man in a hat watches them and then goes up to his lair, which he angrily realizes has been discovered. That man is…
- Is Ezra really A? It would explain why nothing bad happens to Aria, and you can argue that he wasn’t the one who decided to have her pushed off the train. If he was blackmailing Wilden, Wilden could have done it to make him back off. But even if he were Board Shorts, the only reason he’d have to torture the other girls would be to draw Ali out. Or, I guess, because he’s trying to write the Great American Novel about harassing teenaged girls. There’s such a strong contingent of “Ezria” shippers, especially among the younger views, that I feel like the writers are gonna retcon this somehow.
- If he is A, how long has that been going on? Mona was A for at least the first two seasons. Was he just hiring CeCe to play Red Coat and controlling her moves the whole time? CeCe was spying on him for a reason. And, I’m sorry, I will buy Dan Humphries as Gossip Girl, because Gossip Girl was an idiot, but A’s machinations can only have been created by a girl who lived through middle school.
- Are you sad about Caleb leaving for Ravenswood? Are you wondering how they’re going to justify him not being around Rosewood all the time even though the two towns are apparently so close that Ezra can have a lair in Ravenswood that he uses constantly while still being at the Brew ALL THE TIME?
- Did Mona join forces with Jenna/Shana/Melissa/Wren? What’s their game?
- Is CeCe actually working with Ali?
Let me know in the comments!
About the Contributor:
This post was written by Caroline.