Pretty Little Liars -- A is...
When Allison visited Spencer and said this was really messed up, she wasn't kidding. I still don't think that was a dream. I think Allison is in hiding and still alive. Duncan Albert told Aria that the last day he saw Allison she was different. He thought maybe she found out something. But what if the Allison he was with was really her twin sister? In the Pretty Little Liars' Halloween episode Allison told a story about one twin killing the other; maybe Allison didn't kill her twin, after all. Maybe she got her twin to pretend to be her that day and it was her twin that got murdered instead of Allison.
Anyway, a week has passed since Garrett has been arrested. Garrett's arrest stopped the Pills from going to the police with what they knew. With what is revealed later, was that the real reason Jenna handed out page 5 of Allison's autopsy report? So Garrett would be arrested for Allison's death and the Pills would be stopped from handing over all the evidence they had? Garrett isn't coping to the blame for the crime and is pleading not guilty.
Melissa slithers into the room smug as a bug in a rug saying she always knew Ian hadn't killed Allison. And she knew the Pills hadn't killed Allison, because while they're good at keep secrets, they're not killers. So if Garrett did kill Allison it's because of what she did to Jenna. The Pills feel she's pretty much admitted she is A. After Melissa slithers back out, they all get a text from A demanding her phone back or else. The else is one of them will be taken out in a body bag by midnight the night of the masquerade party. A also sends the four girls invitations to the masquerade party.
Spencer vows to give A what she wants and says they have until the deadline to figure out who A is. After ditching Mona, they head over to Ezra's apartment to go through the contents of Allison's bag, again, and Spencer finds a pen. It leads them to figuring out where the torn postcard in Allison's bag came from. It was from The Lost Woods Resort and the 1 on the card was the room number Allison stayed in while she was there. A better name would be the Bates Motel. The innkeeper there is named Harold, but he could be a brother to Norman Bates.
On the way to the motel, someone or something zips in front of Spencer's car. She says it must have been a deer, but it looked like a man in black. The same figure is later seen zipping across the courtyard of the motel. Spencer and the girls check into room #1 and look around for any clues Allison might have left behind, but they don't find anything but an intact postcard that's an exact replica to the one she had amongst her things. While Spencer and Aria go sneak into the office once Harold is gone, Hanna [who fell in the mud on the way to the room] decides to take a shower.
Emily gets a call from Maya while Hanna is in the shower and goes out in the rain to try and get a signal on her cell phone. Someone sneaks in room #1 and is standing outside of the shower while Hanna is showering. We don't know what they planned to do, because Hanna here's a cell phone ringing and comes out of the shower and the person seems to vanish sight unseen.
Spencer learns Vivian Darkbloom checked in to room #1 two times. The first time when she was supposed to meet A in Brookhaven and the second the morning before she went missing. None of the girls realize their being spied on from room #2. A hears Hanna saying she's going to Juliet to the masquerade and is bummed out Caleb won't be able to go with her as Romeo. Emily agrees to go, but refuses to dress like a dude.
The girls head home. Spencer has an encounter with Toby at Jason's house as he's cleaning up from the fire. Spencer asks if Toby will ever forgive her and he's still cold to her. After she leaves. Toby gets a call from Dr. Sullivan, the shrink that went missing and was last seen having a chat with A in a diner.
Meanwhile, Jenna is meeting someone we don't see. She hands the person what looks like it might be a sweater. It's hard to tell since it's all bunched up. She says she didn't think she's ever see them again and that they'll all be at the party and that the person knows what to do.
The Pills arrive at the masquerade splitting up to try and figure out who A might be. Hanna gets distracted from her A hunt when Caleb surprises her dressed as Romeo, courtesy of Mona. This was the first clue that Mona was A. Mona had been the one listening to Hanna talking about going to the party as Juliet and Caleb not being able to come with her as Romeo.
As they start dancing, Spencer says she knows how Mona really is. But she just means it as underneath the act Mona puts on she's a true friend to Hanna. That's when Mona brings up that she took Caleb shopping in this little shop in Brookhaven and that a week before Ally disappeared she ran into her there. Cue flashback. Mona runs into Ally and Ally is watching someone and wants to get rid of Mona but fast. Mona says she wants to be popular, so Ally writes a number on the postcard and rips off the edge [the explanation for how the postcard got ripped]. Mona says she called the number but no one ever answered. From this Spencer realizes A wasn't following Ally, but Ally was following A and that's why she dressed up like Vivian Darkbloom. Later, we'll wonder if the flashback was a lie or if that's what really happened.
Spencer heads back to Lost Woods Resort with Mona at her side. While Spencer distracts Harold, Mona steals the key to room #2. Spencer realized that room #2 must have been booked and that's where A's lair is.
Meanwhile, back at the party, Jenna arrives and she's following Aria, until Ezra surprises Aria and they share a dance. Ezra gets Aria to remove their masks and he kisses her in front of everyone. Ezra's suddenly gotten very bold and cocky. Teaching thing aside, a grown man kissing a under-aged teen in public is a dangerous thing to do. One has to wonder if he's become a member of the A-Team or if he's always been a member.
Emily also has a little luck in the romance department. Paige from her swim team comes up to her at the party and says she'd like a chance with Emily and will settle for friendship for now.
Back at A's lair at the Lost Woods Resort, the room is beyond creepy. There's newspaper clippings about Allison. There's all sorts of paraphernalia. It seems only a disturbed mind could be comfortable staying in that room. Spencer finds Allison's diary and Mona finds a sketch of what A is going to be wearing at the masquerade: a black swan costume. When Spencer turns a page of Allison's diary, she finds a gum wrapper as a bookmark. Minutes before that Mona had offered her a piece of gum. Spencer finally realizes Mona is A and Mona realizes Spencer knows and knocks her out. One question though. I need to rewatch the episode to be sure, but did Mona offer Spencer a piece of gum before or after Spencer started looking at Allison's diary? If it was after, then Mona may have done it on purpose so Spencer would realize she was A.
Back at the party the Black Swan arrives and she's seen having a conversation with Jenna and Lucas. During the Pretty Little Liars' marathon before the big A episode, I rewatched and took notes on anything that might have slipped by me before. What Lucas said on the crisis hotline did not really gel with the gambling story he told. I think it was Lucas in the greenhouse that night who dropped the phone while escaping. The question is what would he have really done to Hanna if Caleb hadn't rushed into her room when he had?
Emily, Hanna and Aria give chase to the Black Swan, who neatly escapes, leaving only a black feather behind. They decide to call Spencer and it's at that point Hanna realizes her phone is set to record all her phone calls. Meanwhile Spencer wakes up in Mona's car and Mona's driving dangerously fast. Spencer manages to use her phone to call alert the Pills she's in danger and that Mona is A. The girls watch in horror as Mona spills her guts about all she's done. Hanna is shocked to her core that her friend Mona has been the one tormenting her.
Mona explains that she wanted them all to pay for stealing Hanna from her. That all the bad things she did to Hanna was because you can forgive your enemies for stabbing you in the back better than you can your friends. Then she tells Spencer she's going to give her a choice: becoming a member of the A-Team or dying. And it's at this point you know there's more to this story. But there was no way Mona could have done all she did on her own. She had to have help.
The girls arrive and Mona ends up falling off a cliff. Dr. Sullivan suddenly shows up and reveals Mona threatened her son and that's why she left town. Me, I'm not buying this, at all. I don't have the Winter Finale taped, but didn't A give Sullivan money? And really, if some teen was threatening your son, wouldn't you just go to the police for protection, instead of going along w/her faking your disappearance to set up four of your patients? Sorry, so not buying what Sullivan was shoveling. Which also makes me leery of Toby, who Sullivan claims talked her into facing her fears and coming back. Only, she only came back once A was history.
Just as the girls are breathing a sigh of relief that it's finally all over, comes a paramedic saying that Mona isn't dead. At the bottom of the cliff Mona's watch starts beeping. It's midnight and the deadline has arrived without A getting her phone back. I swear, Mona must be made of rubber. Not only has she survived her fall off the cliff, she doesn't even look like she's injured. In fact, she's sitting up in the psych ward.
While Sullivan is claiming Mona is catatonic and that with therapy and drugs she should get better, Mona's having a little chat inside her head. She knows she's being watched and revels that the Pills think this is all over. She says that's what we want them to think. We want them to sleep with their doors locked and their windows open thinking their safe.
Anyway, Toby and Spencer kiss and make-up and I'm wondering just how much he's involved in this mess. Jenna hired Caleb to spy on Hanna only get quit. All this time could Toby been doing the same to Spencer? Is he a member of this A-Team?
The girls finally head home feeling a moments peace of finally being freed from their tormentor when an ambulance rushes by. As they walk towards their neighborhood they're greeted with all the lookie-loos [amongst them is little Miss Melissa] standing around behind barricades that always indicates some kind of tragedy has taken place, as well as several police cars with flashing light. Emily's mother Pam comes into view and tells Emily they found a dead body and they think it's Maya. They didn't give A back her phone by midnight and someone is being taken away in a body bag.
The question is just when was Maya killed? Did she really send Emily those that email? Just whose car did she get into that night at the bus station? Who was the man Maya got involved with who kept calling her? Could Paige have killed her because she wanted Emily? Or did the same person that killed Allison [or whomever] kill Maya, too?
I've seen a lot of PLL fans complaining about Mona being A, but if they'd looked at all the evidence, it's who it all pointed to. Frankly, I give the writers credit for taking the A reveal and creating an even bigger mystery with so many questions to ponder. Who all is involved in The A-Team? Who is the Black Swan? What exactly did Allison stumble upon when she decided to find out who A was? And why was this A-Team helping Mona to terrorize Hanna, Emily, Spencer and Aria? Just why are they after them?
This is what a finale should do. It should make you have a bunch of questions so you can't wait until the next season begins. Well done, Pretty Little Liars.