Alison lies in a hospital bed surrounded by flowers


Title: Pretty Little Liars S6.E19 “Did You Miss Me?”


Hanna’s confession that she….murdered Charlotte!


…that Hanna’s confession was totally fake. It’s barely even the first act of emoji-A’s booze-fueled terror spree—no way we’re getting an answer this big and this shocking THIS early. Well, unless Hanna is the #TwinOnPLL, and is making a power play for the two things Teen!Hanna always coveted most: Hannily babies and a Haleb honeymoon. 


My two favorite things in the world are eating ice cream outside year round, and Halloween-themed anything, so I was like YAAAAASSSSS FIIIIIIIRRRREEE when the girls and I were driving through Rosewood last weekend on our way out to wine country and saw the ice cream truck parked on Main Street with that V V V creepy, pale MANnequin slowly licking a drumstick outside of it. TOTALLY my costume this year. Chill inducing on every level WUT 20/10 I’m buying this for my backyard Gibsihana-style. – Ilana G., 2016


Francisco Goya’s El Perro, from the Pinturas Negras collection that Goya painted directly onto the walls of his house and never intended for public viewing and now Caleb and a million other modern goobers have taken home on flimsy postcards from Madrid’s El Prado Museum. 

From Robert Hughes’ 2003 biography of the artist:

We want to think of Goya as a liberal, a critic of absolutist systems, a foe of imperialism, relentlessly satirising superstition, exalting reason.

A thoroughly modern Goya.

But he was more modern than we know – more modern, more disillusioned, less enchanted by the phantom of progress.


The Black Paintings obey no perceptible narrative. But they sum up certain obsessional themes of his art – pilgrims on the march, dances, demonic events -but now pushed to the orgiastic limit, and rendered in terms of the broadest, quickest gestures of the brush. Sly, autistic, crazy, leering, howling, glaring . . . a world of moral chaos, evoked in radical slashes and alla prima daubs of paint.

Or as Pretty Little Liars would chorus in with us if it, as a complete artistic work, were personified: IT ME. 

Yes, we WANT to think of the show as a liberal critic of absolutist systems, a foe of patriarchy, relentlessly satirising toxic masculinity, exalting the power of female friendship—a thoroughly modern PLL. But the show increasingly has no perceptible narrative, and we are all more modern than the show’s creators know, completely disillusioned, not taken in by any hallucination of any progress at all. Still, we can and should remember to value the show’s obsessional themes and its radical slash depiction of a world of moral, misogynistic chaos. With the central mystery so wholly off the rails, that chaotic art is literally all we have.


We were going to say Em’s video chat spying on Mona and MANnequin, but then Hanna’s scheme confession flitted into 1s and 0s and turned the kicker into PLL: Cyber so, obviously that.


Tanner thought Aria was pretty enough to be the “attractive brunette” who called Charlotte from the Two Crows diner the night she was killed, so they made her stand in a Brunette Hottie line-up. Ezra mandled the little problem of Aria saving his ass when he was being a drunken, sad manbaby by making her a co-writer on his new book. Sara “BBQ Hands” Harvey was living in the Radley, Hanna was living in Lucas’ loft, Spaleb Spalebed, Ali and Elliott Please got married, Aria got exploded, someone tried to run over Emily when she found the maybe-murder weapon outside of the Two Crows diner, while the girls’ other new stalker, emoji-A threatened to…kill?…all the Liars if they didnt hand over Charlotte’s killer by the night of Veronica’s state senate election.


Summit of the Attractive Brunettes 

Open on: Rosewood’s only street, dark and shadowed like the souls of most of its inhabitants (they should really just put “You’ll probably die here, tbh” on the Welcome to Rosewood sign). Emily and Mona have moved their argument from semi-privacy of Hanna’s flamed out bridal shower to a dubiously wide-open alleyway, lit up by the headlights of a Beautiful Toyota the inside of which almost certainly would be safer to have such a sensitive discussion.

Emily finally gets Mona to admit that, yes, she was the one who called Charlotte from the divey Two Crows the night Charlotte was killed: They were going to meet up, but even after two hours nursing a cooling cup of coffee, Mona claims, Charlotte never showed. Also she wasn’t the one who tried to run down Emily those billions of times the previous Friday night. Then Mona was still employed by Veronica’s opposition, with a dozen witnesses to back her.

“You wanted Charlotte released,” Emily reminds Mona (and us), spitting venom, “that’s why you had a change of heart during the hearing; you wanted her out in the world where it would be easy for you to get to her!” Emily’s reasoning for this accusation is (explicitly) that Mona was the one who suffered most in Charlotte’s dollhouse/pit and (implicitly) that Mona is still a conniving psychopath always scheming in one way or another.  

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, Em, but Mona was out to “get” anyone. She just was the only Liar who realized that Charlotte A) had every secret the Liars ever held, from innocent to illegal, and B) that she had never once in her five years locked up in the mental hospital/prison used even one of those secrets to get the girls in some kind of legal trouble, too. And Mona, reasonably, wanted to know why, and what Charlotte’s plans were now that she was a freewheeling ticking time bomb.

What a Mona response! Smarter and more empathetic than any of the Liars, while still managing to dodge the initial attack. Because, you will notice, Mona does NOT account for the reason why, having come to the conclusion about Charlotte’s best kept secrets as long ago as she must have, she did have a “change of heart” during Charlotte’s release hearing. Emily COULD be right, that Mona has something up her sleeve. But just as possibly, Mona COULD have been telling the truth this whole time: she really did feel for Charlotte and wish her freedom, and really DOES want to live a life free of scheming against anyone, especially the Liars. WHO KNOWS.

“What would you have done if Charlotte HAD shown?” Emily demands. “What if she had told you she was planning to spread our secrets everywhere?”

Mona’s rebuttal? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ “And what if it had been YOU who’d met up with her, Em?” Mona follows up. “What then?” Before this stickiest point in their argument can be resolved, though, a cat meows and they both jump. Fair. Probably even Rosewood cats are working for A.

The next day, Emily relays this info/implied confession to a hypothetical crime to Spencer and Aria. “Innoncent because the victim didn’t show??” Spencer scoffs. “Setting the bar pretty low, these days.” Yep! Still… “We should tell Tanner about Mona making the call to get me off the suspect list of attractive brunettes who might have killed Charlotte,” Aria, barely a brunette in this ‘do declares, to two attractive brunettes who might have killed Charlotte. Seriously, the eyewitness must have had SOME other detail to give the police, to have Tanner haul in just 1/4 of the total Brunette Liar Brigade. Regardless, Spencer puts the kibosh on that plan—Mona (she thinks) will lead them to the killer if she thinks they believe her, and so they do believe her…enough.

Honey, Mourning/Honeymorning

Across town, having heard about his (ahem, engaged) damsel in distress, Lucas has rushed home to fiddle with his house tablet doo-dad and make sure that either NO other Liars (ahem, Hanna) or else ALL other Liars (ahem, Hanna) get blown up in his apartment. Hanna’s there too, on the phone with Jordan, who is begging her to leave that torture chamber of a town and come back to NYC. But she can’t just leave when Aria’s arm is bandaged! What kind of friend do you think she is, Jordan?! She hangs up and thanks Lucas—who was smirking victoriously behind Hanna’s back as she and Jordan argued—for coming back to help. And like, yeah, Lucas *would* have done that anyway, but also there was something a bit more valuable in the visit for him than Hanna’s gift of “GrrAnimals for Grownups” dress-by-post-it fashion ties and an invite to the wedding that she is definitely going to have. To wit: his accountants think he has too much money (quel cauchemar) so he’s looking into buying some old factories by the lake of 10,000 masks to fix up for tax breaks/the town economy or w/e, nbd, #richpeopleproblems.

Now, this show demands a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but expecting us to believe that basically all but one of these 22-year-olds have “too much money” is getting offensive. Someone really owes us an apology.

Meanwhile, Ali and Elliot, Please are honeymooning at a bed and breakfast, which, according to the bucolic establishing aerial shot that shows more than one single road in the whole town, is definitely not in Rosewood. If it is NOT the Busy Bee B&B in Killingsworth, PA, then this Ali FOR CERTAIN, 100% is NOT the Alison DiLaurentis of the Liars’ youths. We’re watching you, Ali D!

Alliot, Please comes out of their room looking, uh, refreshed, but before Ali can have more than three consecutive moments of happiness, her precariously high heel catches on the carpeted top stair of a steep staircase and she tumbles alllllll the way down, landing with her neck at a frightening angle on the ground floor below. She’s rushed to the hospital, where Elliot, Please expects her to stay awhile because she has a concussion/he said so. Continuing to make us doubt that she is the Ali we first came to know and hate, Adult!Ali tears up, thinking of how happy she’d been the moment before she fell. “I wonder if that’s why,” she muses, with melancholy instead of the mild sociopathic scientific interest her old self might have shown. “Maybe every good thing has to be paid for by a bad thing.” 

Back in the real Murderseville, PA, after Lucas and Hanna bond over how small towns are for more than just “getting out of” and maybe Rosewood—ROSEWOOD—deserves a “second chance,” Hanna heads over to BrrrewAnimals for Bro-Nopes to meet up with the other girls and LiarLogic™ the shit out of alllllllll of this.

POINT ONE: Ali says her fall down the stairs was an accident, but that’s 2/5 Liars in the ER as of late (plus Emily’s eggs #RIP) and odds aren’t going to get better as they get closer to election night. Hanna wants to go check on Ali, and Spencer recommends that Ali stay away till after the election.

POINT TWO: What about Mona? They decide to keep a close eye on her. Hanna, despite having given her the “you’re guilty, bitch” cold shoulder at her bridal shower not a week earlier, protests that Mona just physically could NOT have killed Charlotte and really has reinvented herself. The other Liars still think it’s possible—she’s got as much motive as anyone, and her past isn’t exactly squeaky clean. At this point, as Spencer points out, Mona probably doesn’t even know who Mona is.

So Hanna heads to (fingers still crossed) Killingsworth to visit Ali in the hospital. After commiserating with Ali over how shitty it is to have a whole building turn on you and try to break all your bones, Hanna finally takes notice of the flower-shaped elephant in the room. “Who threw YOU a Rose Parade??” she asks, literally racking her brain to think of a single person in Rosewood who might have sent Alison DiLaurentis any sign of goodwill. Elliot, Please comes in with a thousandth bouquet just as Ali informs Hanna that they are all from him, and it isn’t a sign of a creeperdom at all. 

“Oh,” Elliot, Please exclaims, seeing Hanna fingering the many cards he tucked in among the many flowers all lined up under the window, “you’re still here?” And Ali really must have a concussion, because her response to this is to smile winningly and proclaim, “oh, we stick together! You’ll figure that out sooner or later,” which is, like, the MOST demonstrably false thing that #5YearsForward has tried to make us believe.

How demonstrably false? Hanna spies a suspicious card with a silhouette of a steep staircase on the front, which, when she opens it, reveals five cartoon versions of the Liars (sans Mona), with three of their faces X-ed out, and instead of immediately sharing this news with Ali so that one of the Liars in danger might protect herself, instead folds it in half and slips it into her purse.

Okay, real talk: emoji-A is the WEAKEST. SAUCE. for the Liars to be this self-destructive over. First of all, emoji-A has positioned the BitLiars as though Ali is still their Queen Bee. Like, has emoji-A been living in the dollhouse since Ali disappeared in sophomore year? That is intel so outdated that the spies who had to be rescued from a mud pit by the government they were spying on would be embarassed to see it in use. And this emoji-A, the Liars are ruining their psychic well-being and careers over??

Beyond that, not one of the three Liars whose faces are crossed out is mortally injured, physically or by reputation. Em’s egg situation is serious, but Aria has one bandaged arm, and Ali—who one time stabbed her own leg deep enough to scar horribly all in order to enact a complex scheme more a year later—has a bonked head and a doctor husband. In fact, of the three Liars whose faces are crossed out, at least two have *benefitted* from their extended stay in Rosewood—Aria by gaining the dumb book deal, Ali by gaining the dumb husband. We mean, yes, the benefits of both of those events could be argued, but for now, Aria and Ali are both pretty pleased with their state of affairs. 

In conclusion, this season is dumb.

For Whom the Snapchat Tolls

Back in Rosewood, Spencer gets a video chat from Emily, who turns the camera around to show her Mona sitting in broad daylight on a park bench, talking to Shower Harvey’s handler—the guy who led her into Charlotte’s funeral and signed for her at The Radley and who, presumably, has been her hands-man all these years her hands have been to fried to function. Naturally, Spencer’s there in four minutes flat, and she and Emily wait outside City Hall, where Harvey’s Man Handler has gone inside. He comes out moments later carrying a tube, which is obviously a very suspicious thing to carry, and so they follow him down the street.

When he goes into a shop after feeding his meter, the girls concoct a literally harebrained scheme, and when comes out a few minutes later we see that Emily has rear-ended (bumper-tapped) his car with her own. She and Spencer put on quite a show, telling him how bad they feel and bombarding him to check for damage. While Emily talks faster than she has in her whole life, Spencer frees him of his parcels so he can “get a better look,” then pulls the papers out of the tube while his back is turned.

Looks like floor plans for The Radley! An assumption quickly proven when a room key for suite 193 falls out. Spence packs everything back up and hands it back to him, Man Handler being none the wiser. After he leaves, Spencer turns right around to go see if she can get a copy of her own map and suite key at City Hall. You know. The logical place to get both those things.

While Spencer is thus engaged, Emily watches Man Handler eat ice cream, dead-eyed, in front of an ice cream truck surrounded by children. In a normal town, this would be cause for concern. But because it’s Rosewood, someone’s probably already shipping him with a six-year-old on Tumblr. ANYWAY a car drives by and he not-so-covertly throws the tube through it’s open window. Emily sees that the driver of said car is none other than Shower Harvey, obviously unburned hands at the 10-and-2 positions. Is anyone shocked? No. Does anyone care what lurking Sarah is doing at The Radley? Again? 


In Which A Woman is Blamed for Her Power Over a Man Who Should Know Better

Post-summit, Aria, for her part, went straight upstairs to Ezrugh’s. There he was on the phone with Aria’s boss, Jillian, who is in town and wants to have dinner with them at The Radley, to “see what she’s buying” (them). Ezrugh assured Aria that she would be great, because she is perfect and he is garbage. Which is true, but him saying so makes us nervous for WHY. Which is: see this thing he wrote in this one chapter? He needs to fix it, it is all wrong, he set it up all wrong. Aria was like “I mean? Okay? You’re being weird and it’s fine but I guess…figure out why you feel that way?” So he excused himself into a quiet room to get his Hemingway on.

Later, dumb manuscript “fixed,” Aria reads over it while Ezrugh watches from (literally) over her shoulder. That’s, like, a metaphor for their relationship, almost as trite as his bridge metaphor in the manuscript itself last week. Aria is reading an argument between the characters inspired by Ezra and Nicole, and they appear in a corner of the room. He really wants (wanted?) to take Nicole to the coast for Sex in A Building With Walls, but she has to do humanitarian stuff or w/e, so they spend four whole pages arguing about it. This book sounds terrible, honestly. Not that Aria thinks so. As she’s reading, absorbing the new scene with evident feeling, Ezra, not surprisingly, throws a mantrum and storms out. When he finally returns, he admits to Aria that that’s how things really happened: he fought with Nicole and then he never saw her again. “You’re a bad influence on me,” Ezra says to Aria. “You make me want to be honest.”

~*~*~*~wWWwOoooOOooooOOowWww ~~**~

Here is where we’d insert a gif to illustrate this scene. The official PLL tumblr, though, kept pushing for #EZRIA, and you know what?


At their co-author meet-and-greet lunch at The Radley, Jillian asks Aria and Ezra “how it works with you two” (ew), and Aria says they’re still figuring it out. Jillian’s like, okay cool cool but I need a draft soon. Which is code for: You two are about to spend a whole lot of time together. Get used to it. As they leave, Jillian asks to speak with Aria alone. She wants to communicate directly with Aria from now on, and give Liam some space. Obvi everyone knew they were in a relaishe and, conveniently, she’d like them to chill on that until this book thing is a-go. “You and your ex-teacher are in for quite a ride,” she says, verbatim. UGHHHH. We miss Liam already.

Ezra and Aria have tea at the Brew-brew-bee-doop, but Aria can’t look him in the eye. When he calls her out on it, she finally comes clean with him about the lamemachinations of the weird new emoji-A, and the maybe-related fact that Ali’s in the hospital. 

ONLY Hanna Knows What Hanna Means

When she gets back from the hospital, Hanna calls Caleb to meet her at LucasLoft. She has a plan, somehow inspired by the dumb card from Ali’s hospital room, and she needs his help. The only way to keep the rest of the Liars out of danger is to call emoji-A’s bluff and tell them they’re finally ready to turn over Charlotte’s killer. What’s the plan? Don’t ask us! Lazy writing dictates that we be shut out from the Liar-omniscient POV we’ve had for 6 seasons, just so that the TWIST will pack a bigger punch (lest you worry we are being too harsh on these authors, this “device” is a sin even JK Rowling is guilty of in each one of her otherwise stupendous pseudonymous Cormoran Strike novels).

Part One of the twist? Well, let Spencer show you: when she gets home from City Hall, she finds Hanna and Caleb standing in the barn’s living room, presenting a united front. She doesn’t say so, but it’s obvious she thinks they’ve gotten back together and are here to break the news to her. “You need to listen to Hanna,” Caleb tells her. Hanna tells Spencer with tears in her eyes that the night Charlotte died, she left the hotel room, followed Aria and Ezra to the square, then saw Charlotte go in the church. She followed her inside, picked up a candlestick, and stabbed her in the neck with it, then threw her from the belltower. She didn’t erase the video because Aria was on it, she erased it because SHE was on it. She murdered Charlotte.

Spencer is shocked. We are shocked. THE WORLD IS SHOCKED. Then Hanna turns to Caleb and says, “See? Totes believable!” Hanna’s plan, whatever it is, will totally work!

Hanna and Caleb fill Emily in on their plan, while Spencer chugs wine in a corner. Emily isn’t on board, but Spencer, plumb out of fucks, is like, “If we don’t back them up they’re just going to do it by themselves.” And apparently they really are because when Spencer says this, Hanna grabs Caleb’s hand? And like, holds it? Caleb seems as perplexed as we are. Like, even if you’re a hardcore Haleb shipper…this was weird.

“It’s their plan,” Spencer whispers to Emily later. “What do you want me to do, wedge myself between them on the sofa?” YES PLZ.

Emily calls Aria in a desperate attempt to get someone on her side re: this whole Hanna plan. As she tells Aria to fill Ezra in on this, Spencer is quietly washing her wine glass and wishing it was still full. As Hanna and Caleb leave, Spencer flashes back to her and Caleb’s time in Spain, complete with her in a flamenco dress and plucky guitar music wafting up from the street below. She and Caleb are in his hotel room, getting ready to go to dinner. She leans out on the balcony and he watches her, and like all Spaleb #5YearsForward moments, it is way sexy. After a long and lovely story about how Goya’s El Perro dog has been with him throughout his whole itinerant, foster kid life, Caleb says maybe he’ll go to Morrocco next, and tries to get her to come too. She’s tempted, and they are definitely about to kiss, but then the Rosewood cat’s Spanish dog cousin barks and totally ruins the moment.

What Dreams May Come

Caleb drops Hanna off at LucasLoft where, after virtually sending a wall of flame at them as “a test,” Lucas asks Caleb about “lunching” sometime. After Caleb leaves, Lucas shows Hanna pics of the factory he’s buying and how fancy it will be when he’s finished. Then offers it to her, straight up. He’ll loan her millions of dollars to start her own fashion line. He can give her something no one else can. And as if this isn’t creepy enough, good old Freeform is there with a lame hashtag. #SugarDaddyLucas ::shiver::

In the hospital, Ali wakes to a a shadowy figure, looming over her in the dark. She’s frightened and confused, which is ridiculous because being shadows looming in the dark is literally in her family’s blood. And yep, the shadow is Jessica!

“Don’t be afraid,” Ghost?Jessica says, “I don’t want to scare you.”

Despite the fact that this is a move out of her own actual teen playbook, Ali assumes it’s the drugs or the concussion making her see her dead mother as Jessica sits next to her and promises her that Elliott, Please will take care of her. Hearing her emotionally abusive mother figure assure her that the last decent male figure in her life will solve all her problems for her, Ali falls contentedly asleep, and Jessica slips out of the room.

When Ali next wakes, it is to Elliot, PLEASE STOP petting her in the dark. DEAR GOD THE CREEPS ON THIS SHOW.

Back in the one alley in Rosweood, Mona is walking to her car when Shower Harvey glimmers into focus. Oh, wait, she didn’t glimmer, those are just sequins. What she DID do was slide into the light out of where she had been a shadowy figure looming in the dark like she was some sort of missing DiLaurentis.

“You can’t get reparations from a corpse,” Mona says, the moment she recognizes Sara. “You can if you know where to dig,” Shower No Hands/Can’t Dig Harvey says. Mona tries a different tack, reminding Sara that, in spite of what decency should demand, no one blames her for what Charlotte made her do to Mona and the Liars, “but what you do now, that’s all yours.”

No luck. Sara is convinced scheming and conniving is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and she will be damned if the Highest Saint of that religion, one Mona Vanderwaal, isn’t still just as devout. 


The Liars+Caleb (plus *grumblegrumble* Ezrugh) gather in Spencer’s barn, and Hanna and Caleb fill them in the on the plan. Still not us, though! We get to find out next week during what is sure to be a drama-filled finale. Caleb tells them this isn’t a democracy, no one is voting. He and Hanna are doing this and they can’t stop them. This apparently requires him to touch Hanna a lot, which requires Spencer to work the hardest she ever has to keep from exploding in to flames. Decision made, Hanna sends a text to emoji-A. “Leave my friends alone, I killed Charlotte.”

Lots of zeros and ones float around in space and computer land, and, after making a quick trip over to CSI: Cyber, travel all the way to a computer with Veronica’s Senate campaign photo as a screen saver, and emoji-A waiting with latex-gloved hands…


It’s the 6B finale! Maybe something will FINALLY happen! We mean, they’re promoing #TwinOnPLL real hard, so probably it won’t be that, but surely SOMETHING will happen. If nothing else, the Hateful Eight bracket will go up on Tuesday before the finale airs. See you there!


A(lexis, Catie, and Rosemary)

About the Contributor:

Alexis Gunderson is a TV critic and audiobibliophile. A Wyoming expat, she now lives in Maryland, where she runs the DC chapter of the FYA Book Club. She can be found talking about Teen TV on Twitter, and her longform criticism can be found on Authory.


This post was written by a guest writer or former contributor for Forever Young Adult.