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Pretty Little Liars Review: The Big BetrAyal

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OMG! Or should I say O...M... A?!?

If you haven't seen the summer finale of Pretty Little Liars, stop reading and watch it right now! I guess it goes without saying, but SPOILERS AHEAD!

"The Lady Killer" was the kind of finale we deserved at the end of last season. It had just the right amount of mystery, suspense and revelations. The episode might have left us scratching our head and contemplating some new questions for the winter season, but it gave us some unprecedented access into the world of A.

A Kiss for Spencer

First off, let's deal with the big reveals! While many of us anticipated some of these events, it was still amazing to watch them unfold onscreen.

Emily was isolated from the start of the episode. From all the press surrounding Garrett's trial and her disagreement with the other liars, it seemed like all these forces united to make her vulnerable. But why on earth would she go to a cabin with Nate?!? Given his odd reaction to their kiss (and the fact that they kissed to begin with), it seems unusual that Emily would turn to him for some alone time in the woods.

Honestly, this was as bad a decision as Spencer's in the last finale. Isolating yourself from your friends and being alone with someone you barely trust (like Nate or Mona) when someone is out to get you is not smart. Naturally, in the spooky remote cabin in the woods, Emily figured out who Nate really is: Linden James, former True North boyfriend of Maya, as well as a creepy stalker and murderer. Were you surprised?

How scary was Nate when he popped out of nowhere? Emily said he scared her half to death. To which he replied: "Not really, but I will." *Chills* His plan to kill Paige as punishment for Emily stealing Maya away didn't come to fruition, but his untimely death did release Garrett from prison finally.

Garrett's release was particularly important because it seems like that was part of A(s)'s plan. Paige was suppose to be set up for Maya's murder, but she never made it to that cemetery. No doubt the girls would have totally believed Paige was guilty since they had already decided that she was A. The plan the As came up with would have worked if not for Nate. So it's up to Mona and ...TOBY!... to figure out how to get Maya's phone back from Paige because they still have a lot of work to do and a lot of evidence to cover up.

That's right, Toby is the other A! Shocked? Angry? Confused? Or some combination of the three?

Some of us might have seen it coming for weeks, but I didn't really want to believe it was possible until I saw this episode. Spencer's reunion with Toby was quite the romantic scene. There was so much attention paid to their love scenes, highlighting the importance of their first time (some may say it wasn't their first time, but it's the first time it's been onscreen) and the love between them, that I couldn't help but feel that she (and we) were being set up for a big betrAyal.

The whole thing was oddly reminiscent of Scream - a girl sleeps with her boyfriend only to find out he's the psycho who's been terrorizing her. This revelation also kind of explains why there hasn't been as much A damage directed towards Spencer.

This big revelation will definitely send most of us running back to the earlier episodes to really pay attention to Toby. The scenes between Mona and Toby were really important because we finally got some insight into A's plans. We know how they intended to set up Paige and why. We just don't understand the motives yet. And we know where A's next target is going to be, the Halloween train.

Oh, and equally shocking but also expected was poor Caleb getting shot. I'm still not sure exactly how it happened (we didn't really get any information about it), but once he brought that gun into the episode, it was evident that trouble was afoot. Coupled with the earlier scenes of a hysterical Hanna made it easy to guess that Caleb would be the victim. I applaud him for trying to protect himself and Hanna, but the gun was not a smart move and leaving it unattended was even more ridiculous.

In the midst of all this exciting drama, Ezra and Aria managed to suck out the suspense in the episode by returning to the Maggie situation. It's not that I don't care about Ezra's love child, but it's really frustrating to watch Aria react to the situation.

When Maggie showed up at Ezra's (an event which our very own Leigh Raines predicted in our Pretty Little Liars Round Table), Aria wasn't worried about the fallout for Ezra but for herself. She doesn't want to get in trouble for having lied in the first place and seeking out Maggie. Maggie is in a very difficult position, but she's not lying for selfish reasons like Aria; she's trying to do what's best for her child. The whole thing made we want to yell, "Grow up, Aria!"

The finale was satisfying, but it did leave us with some big questions:

  • Why did A warn Emily in that cabin?
  • Why do the As care if Garrett is released? Is this for Jenna's benefit? Is Garrett guilty of some other crime?
  • Why would Toby work for the A team? 
  • How was Mona able to escape so easily? Where did she get that access card?
  • What's in Maya's bag that's so important?
  • How did Caleb get shot? Did Nate briefly return to life for one last scare or do we dare suspect that Emily might have had something to do with it?

And it looks like we have some great thrills to look forward to with this year's Halloween special. Can't wait for October!

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (197 Votes)
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@Tati - "What was Mona referring to, when she said she was disappointed that she didn't get to, '...make that phonecall...'?? What phonecall and to whom?" She mentioned that they planted Maya's phone on Paige. Paige was supposed to be at the cemetery when the PLLs were there as well. I assume they were going to call Maya's phone, thus implicating Paige

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Whoever the A mastermind is, is seriously psychotic, no doubt. It's just that his/her cohorts aren't aware of it. The only evidence you need of psychosis is that motel room with all the props and pix of the girls. (It appears to be a motel room, due to the pricing plaque on the back of the room's front door). So, Maya being killed had NOTHING to do with A--it was all about the-stalker-known-as-Nate being jealous. Nice red herring, though! That means Paige is NOT off the hook--she got caught up in Nate's plot to kill Emily, which--again--has nothing to do with A's motivations. Caleb wouldn't have shot himself--and if he did, he wouldn't give himself a gut wound. What was Mona referring to, when she said she was disappointed that she didn't get to, '...make that phonecall...'?? What phonecall and to whom? Ezra and Aria--be done with this already, and let him leave the show.

Danielle50

Then again, I am with some people here and think Toby is A to help Spencer. In order to beat them then you have to join them which Toby did.

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@Nikki6
*Caleb was acting weird the whole episode, how did he know Emily was in the light house? There were two inns with the name Emily told Hannah. The girls went to one of them and Caleb to the other. The girls went to the wrong one. Caleb went to he right one. Nate saw him from the window. That moment Emily ran out. Nate followed her. Then I guess Caleb saw Emily run and Nate behind her and followed them. Or Paige pointed him in the right direction. After all it was a rock with an inn and a lighthouse. Not a lot of places to go. I don't think Caleb was acting weird in this episode. He was just trying to protect Hannah and the girls. And I think Toby is with Mona for the same reason. To help.

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I also got serious chills from Toby in this episode. When he said to Spencer that he "knows exactly who she is", it just made me think even more that she might have had something to do with it. I think maybe Toby's own involvement in the A team and his relationship with Spencer, coupled with the fact that he knows all of the horrible things Alison did, would make him sympathetic to her.

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I really can't shake the feeling that Spencer had something to do with Ali's death. I just find it strange that considering she is supposed to be the sharpest of the girls, she keeps springing from one suspect to another, absolutely convinced every single time that they are A or Ali's killer. When she had that breakdown about Garrett being released on the charges of Ali's murder, it just made me think that she desperately wants someone to take the blame for it so that she can be off the hook. I'm not necessarily saying that she did it, but I do think there's more to her involvement in it.

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I just have one thing to say about last night's episode... OMFG!

Danielle50

I hate that they broke my Spiny heart but I am kinds not surprised. If you think from the beginning then Toby was a likely choice. We all knew Nate was the creepy stalked boyfriend so no surprise there. I still think Paige is hiding something.

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OMG OMG was pretty much all I could say the entire night. When Mona was leaving back into the looney bin and they showed the person in the hoodie, I was like "you beeter turn around and show the face or I am gonna be pissed' but did not expect Toby, i was like HOLY SH*T. My heart was racing the whole time, BEST EPISODE. Cause it still has be guessing:
*Caleb was acting weird the whole episode, how did he know Emily was in the light house?
*How did Caleb get shot? Did Emily shoot him, was "Nate" not dead yet and he shot him?
*Is Toby really part of team A or just trying to help or get info? My girlfriend has a theory that actually makes me go HMMMMM. At the end of the episode before the finale we saw that there was at least 2 more A's besides Mona. She came up with the thought, what if there is an A for each of the girls?? Things that make you go HMMMMMM

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i think garret is the other A. i mean A called emily told her "i owe you one" wasn't it emily's discovery of maya's real killer the reason garrett got ou of jail. maybe that's what A meant. i was shocked as hell when i saw toby in that hoodie. i love spencer and him together.:(