"Pretty Little Liars" series finale recap
Freeform/Eric McCandless(LOS ANGELES) — Who is A.D., who got married, who’s pregnant?
“For some reason this feels like the end of something,” Alison DiLaurentis says in the last episode ever of Pretty Little Liars.
In a lot of ways, Tuesday’s two-hour series finale was the end of a seven-season long mystery, but it also brought the beginning of new mysteries and questions in the fictional town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania. (And I guess we’ll never find out how the moms got out of that basement.)
But most importantly, we learned that ultimate villain A.D. — the mysterious figure who has been torturing the liars Alison, Spencer Hastings, Hanna Marin, Aria Montgomery and Emily Fields after Charlotte Drake died — is none other than Alex Drake, Spencer’s twin sister.
When we last left the liars, they won the game, and A.D. was riding off in the sunset as Harry Nilsson’s “Without You” played on the soundtrack. And one year later, the girls are thriving.
Aria and her fiancé, Ezra Fitz, learn that their book, Then and Now, will be made into a movie, and are about to finally get married. Emily and Alison are happily raising their daughters Grace and Lilly together. Spencer and her sister Melissa Hastings are getting along, and Spencer is also reunited with her ex-boyfriend, Toby Cavanaugh, with the two still clearly sharing feelings for each other. Even Jenna has found her calling as Rosewood High School’s life skills teacher.
Though Hanna’s fashion designs are taking off and her husband, Caleb Rivers, sold software to their friend Lucas Gottesman, the couple are in a fight about Mona Vanderwaal, who has completed her treatment and come to live with Hanna and Caleb in the loft they bought from Lucas. Caleb doesn’t trust Mona and believes Hanna is making decisions without thinking about how they affect their relationship.
Later, at the Lost Woods resort, the gang comes together to surprise Aria and Ezra with a party before their wedding. Meanwhile, Mona disappears from Hanna and Caleb’s apartment, and Melissa, wearing a black hoodie synonymous with the A-Team, is watching Spencer, Toby, Emily, Alison, Aria, Ezra, Hanna and Caleb from afar.
As the couples retire to their rooms, Spencer, who has been going to law school full time, and Toby find themselves alone. They end up playing Scrabble in Toby’s room, and after Toby falls asleep, Spencer finishes their game.
In their room, Hanna and Caleb are arguing and reveal that they’ve been trying to have a baby. Aria receives a phone call and cries to her friends that she can’t have children.
Melissa, who has been watching through the resort’s windows this whole time, takes off her mask and reveals that she is actually Mona. She communicates with someone over the phone that we assume is A.D., and it’s clear Mona has no idea who it is.
Aria eventually tells Ezra she can’t have children, and Ezra says they’ll do whatever they have to in order to have kids. In another scene, Spencer visits her birth mother, Mary Drake, in prison and asks her for help.
At Aria and Ezra’s rehearsal dinner, Hanna and Caleb continue to fight because they brought Mona to the party, and Byron gives Ezra his blessing for his marriage to Aria.
At the bar, Aria’s mom Ella Montgomery, Hanna’s mom Ashley Marin, and Spencer’s mom Veronica Hastings share a bottle of wine at the party and reminisce about the time they were trapped in the basement.
“Sometimes I wish we were still in the basement,” Ella says. “At least there was peace and quiet.”
“Oh my god, do you remember how we get out of there?” says Veronica.
“You know Pam [Emily’s mom] didn’t drink for a year after that?” says Ashley.
The moms don’t reveal how they ever broke out of the basement in which they were locked, but they do leave together, wasted.
Outside, Toby catches Spencer before she takes the drunk moms home. He tells her he knows she finished their game of Scrabble with the word “remembrance,” which is a type of unrequited love. And Ezra leaves Aria, upset because Aria admits she knew for a while she couldn’t have children.
At their home, Emily confronts Alison because she saw her mom give her something secretly. It turns out Emily’s mom gave Alison her grandmother’s ring to propose to her with. “You loved me when I was an ugly human being,” Alison tells Emily. “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?”
Spencer finds Toby in his hotel room wearing nothing but a towel. The towel comes off and they find themselves in bed. Afterwards, Spencer hears a piano being played as she gets out of the shower. Mona, dressed in a black hoodie, steps out from behind her and knocks her out.
Spencer wakes up locked in a room and encounters her identical twin, as Emily and Alison learn that Mary Drake escaped from prison. Mary appears and injects Spencer with something to make her sleep. As she awakens, Spencer, chained to the floor, meets her twin, Alex Drake, who has an English accent and the initials A.D.
Wren met Alex in London while she was working as a bartender and told her about Spencer. Wren and Alex quickly began a relationship, and Alex reveals that she took over the game as uber A when Charlotte, Spencer’s half-sister, died. “I needed the closure,” she tells Spencer. “On my own terms.”
Alex has been studying Spencer’s life, including her family photos. She’s also the one who comforted Hanna when she was being tortured and hooked up with Toby before he moved away. When the game was over, Alex returned to London but she couldn’t stop thinking about the liars, even though Wren tried to dissuade her.
“Spencer has got everything and I got nothing,” Alex told Wren in a flashback. Alex wanted to know what it felt like to have friends like Spencer’s who love each other no matter what happened. Wren implores Alex to give up the game and tell the girls the truth, but she convinces him that she needs to become Spencer. She even has Wren shoot her so that she has the same gunshot scar as Spencer.
Alex says the plan was to become Spencer, but Wren only wanted her as Alex. She implies to Spencer that Wren is dead and that she had his ashes made into the eternity stone she wears on her necklace.
Alex assumes Spencer’s identity and meets the other girls at Aria’s wedding, where she reveals that the father of Alison’s daughters is Wren. And back in her prison, Spencer talks to Mary, who tells her that she sold Alex, who ended up at an orphanage in England. Mary comes in to comfort Spencer, who takes a bobby pin from her hair.
At her wedding, Aria is crying, having received a text from Ezra who said he wasn’t coming. It turns out that Alex knocked Ezra out when he asked her too many difficult questions and that he is being held in the same place as Spencer.
Alex returns to explain that she wants Toby. She also says that Sydney Driscoll was only helping her because Alex caught her stealing. Charlotte left her money to Alex, who used some of the money to pay for Jenna Marshall’s surgery to help her see again. In exchange, Jenna helped her with the game.
In a flashback, Alex shares that Charlotte met Archer Dunhill, also known as Dr. Elliot Rollins, on a flight to Paris, and the two fell in love. In fact, Archer was acting on his own when he tricked Alison into marrying him and convinced Mary that it was what Charlotte would have wanted. In Paris, Wren helped Charlotte and Alex meet for the first time. Wren, Alex, Charlotte and Archer did everything together. And just before she left London, Charlotte gifted Alex with a record of Patsy Cline’s greatest hits. But Alex never saw Charlotte again, and she reveals that she is going to kill Ezra.
Back at Aria and Ezra’s apartment, the girls are looking for any clue as to what happened to Ezra. They’re convinced he planned to marry Aria, especially after a hot air balloon surprise for the couple appears. Jenna also senses that something is wrong when she encounters Spencer and notices she has a different scent. She calls Toby and tells him, “I know this may sound weird, but I don’t think Spencer’s Spencer.”
Caleb, Hanna, Aria, Emily and Alison are gathered at the loft when Toby enters and reveals that he believes Spencer is possibly being impersonated by a twin. He says there’s no way the book Spencer gifted him before he moved was hers because there weren’t any notes in it. The scene pans out and shows Mona watching the events unfold at the Brew cafe. She calls A.D. and demands that she tell her who and where she is.
Mona reveals to the gang that she is playing the game to beat A.D., and they realize that Spencer’s twin must have bought the house that Toby built. As soon as they arrive to the house, they find furniture identical to the tables and chairs in Spencer’s own home. They then find a passage underground.
Alex hits Mary with an axe, but before she can kill them, Spencer and Ezra break out of their cells. Alex eventually corners the two, and Spencer jumps on her before she can kill Ezra. At this moment, Caleb, Hanna, Emily, Aria, Alison and Toby find them. Spencer and Alex both try to get the group to believe they are the real Spencer, but it’s Toby who figures it out:
“Tell me your favorite poem from the book you gave me,” Toby whispers into one of the twin’s ears.
The real Spencer responds with a line from the poem in French. And police arrive to take Alex away. “I called 911,” Mona calls out.
In a happy ending, Ezra and Aria are finally married. (Their ceremony is interrupted by the ring of executive producer I. Marlene King’s cell phone in a surprise cameo.) Aria tells her friends that she and Ezra plan to look into adoption after their honeymoon. Spencer says that Toby is staying in the area to help veterans, and Hanna says she is pregnant.
Mona works in a toy store in France and has a handsome French boyfriend. As she promises to meet him later, she walks downstairs to find her dolls Alex and Mary Drake, whom she is keeping prisoner.
The final scene is of Alison and Emily’s students who find themselves in a very similar scenario to the first episode of Pretty Little Liars.
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