Cece Drake is Charles, y'all!
Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 10 gave us the biggest reveals to some of the most burning questions, but did they live up to the tremendous hype?
Below, TV Fanatics Paul Dailly, Winston Rice, Shahbaz Malik and Rachel Miller are joined by super fan, Meaghan to discuss the big reveal, the time jump and what will happen when the show returns...
Cece is A and Sara is Red Coat/Black Swan. REACT!.
Meaghan: When they revealed Cece as Charles I literally yelled at my TV I was so mad. However, throughout the episode, mostly due to Vanessa Ray's fantastic acting in this episode that came out of left field, I became OK with that reveal. I don't love it, but I can deal with it. The Sara reveal, though, yeah I can't get behind that. Red Coat/Black Veil has been implied as an extremely important character, even stated by Marlene to be PLL endgame. I figured they would be the final A. Guess not. Such a waste of what could have been an awesome final enemy. Also can someone please tell the PLL writers that no one cares about Sara Harvey?
Winston: Livid. That’s the one word I would use to describe my reaction to both Cece as ChArles and Sara as Red Coat/Black Widow. Cece’s motive for going after the girls was weak at best, and Sara didn’t even have one. Why was she so angry with them? Why was she willing to do Cece’s bidding? What was in it for her? And why did she have to dress up as Black Widow anyway? None of the girls knew her at that point in time. Plus, we just met Sara; we, as well as the girls, practically have no history with her. It’s a total cop-out to have her be not just one, but two important characters in PLL mythology. I highly enjoyed the moment where Emily hit Sara in the face. I’ve been wanting to do that to Sara for the past 10 episodes!
Like Meaghan said, no one cares about Sara Harvey. As far as Cece as A is concerned, while I definitely didn’t see that reveal coming, I still don’t feel like all the pieces of the puzzle fit together (Meaghan mentions a few of the plot holes in her answer to question #5 below). And I’m not a huge fan of how they represented the transgender community, especially considering the fact that Charlotte dressed up as Charles when she was in the dollhouse. Didn’t she bury the Charles identity? And why would the writers want to make their only trans character a psychotic killer? Overall, really disappointed.
Rachel: I somewhat had a suspicion that CeCe was involved when we saw her in a black hoodie in Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 11, ‘Bring Down the Hoe’ We also saw her wearing a Red Coat and Ali mask in Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Episode 12, ‘Now You See Me, Now You Don’t.’ I’d never thought that she would be Charles DiLaurentis who eventually turned into Charlotte DiLaurantis/CeCe Drake. My assumption was that CeCe Drake’s reasoning for becoming A was because she was mad at Alison as well as the four Liars for getting her kicked out of UPenn.
Sara Harvey being Red Coat/Black Swan was totally unexpected. She’s only been a physical character for majority of the sixth season, and for her to be revealed as such a pivotal character blew my mind. Why would Sara agree to torture girls she’s never even met before? Part of me always wanted Melissa Hastings to be Black Swan and CeCe Drake to be Red Coat.
Shahbaz: I knew it! Well, when Pretty Little Liars Season 5 came to an end and Charles name was revealed I discovered the theory from a fan that CeCe is Charles. Perhaps this was the fan Marlene pointed out to have only guessed it correctly? Anyway despite me kind of expecting it, I thought it was excellent to make her A as it just fit so well with the history. As for Red Coat/Black Swan, I'm still not so sure about it, yes Sara was shady, and the minute she decided not to join the girls in the high-tech vault, it was made clear she was a baddie. We still don't know her motives just yet though.
Paul: I really liked it. They got me. I know I'm probably in the minority, but it fit really well and I'm sure if it was Wren, I'd be disappointed. Sure, there were some plot holes which I realized after it, but it was still a really good reveal and the flashbacks were really good. I was a bit peeved that Sara was in on it, but that was to be expected.
What were your thoughts on the five year time jump?
Meaghan: I am genuinely excited for this. I think it can bring some life back into the show if done right. Let's just hope that it doesn't just end up with the characters completely the same just in more mature clothes though. The Liars better come back more mature and smarter this time. After all, they only have one and a half seasons to take down this new A. They need to be on their game.
Winston: It would have been nice to get a little bit more of the five year time jump, but I am still excited to see where the show goes from here. I can’t wait to see where everyone ended up and what they are doing now. Most importantly, I’m eager to see who is still dating who, and whether or not this HE they are referring to is Uber A. I’m also wondering why Alison needed all of the girls to come back to Rosewood. At this point, the five year time jump couldn’t have come at a better time, because I desperately need a fresh start with the show.
Rachel: I’m looking forward to the five year time jump. The Liars can’t attend Rosewood High forever. It will be interesting to see how much the characters have developed after the time jump. The ending of the season finale showed that there will be someone new after the girls and a whole new mystery to solve, so that’s exciting as well.
Shahbaz: How amazing did the girls look?! It's nice to see the girls ditch their high-school selves, and look their own age. I think this will help the show reboot itself and make way for fresh storylines. I already want to know what that whole coffuddle was about in those closing scenes.
Paul: The gals looked pretty amazing, right? I think Alison looked way more mature than she has done. It's weird that even with the time jump, Sasha Pieterse is still playing someone older than her! It's not the norm on teen dramas. I think the mystery looks like it is going to be really interesting and I can't wait to see more!
Is Emily going to be forever single?
Meaghan: Poor Emily. This girl needs to start buying herself some cats and taking up knitting because she is destined to be alone. Although, I do still foresee an Emison reunion in the future. Marlene loves Emison and we have barely seen them together lately. I think they are an inevitable end game couple, just like Ezria.
Winston: Doubtful. She probably found some hottie in Malibu. And if not, we all know Paige is probably still pining after her.
Rachel: I don’t think Emily will be single forever. She just needs some time to figure out who she is a person and find out how to be by herself for a while. Dear writers: It’s perfectly okay for Emily to, for once, not have a love interest. Give the girl a break already.
Shahbaz: I don't think Emily will stay single forever, maybe she will be riding solo for a bit when we return though. Or perhaps she'll spark up a new romance at college.. My bet is that she will get back with Sara, after she reveals her reasons (she does come face-to-face with her in the promo, too).
Paul: Unless she starts checking if her potential girlfriend has a criminal record, yes.
How would you grade the episode?
Meaghan: C. There was a level of cheesiness to the whole hologram thing and Cece speaking directly to the girls, plus the Sara with a bomb thing. I couldn't get over those. There was also way too much exposition for my liking. The episode should have been two hours, that way Cece could tell her story and there could still be some action. PLL always seem to have trouble finding the balance between action taking place and giving us answers.
Winston: D. Disappointing reveals aside, the episode felt rushed. And I wasn’t a fan of the hokey live feed hologram either, Meaghan. Having the girls locked away in a room for pretty much the entire episode took all the suspense out of the hour. It would’ve been far more entertaining had the girls tracked down Ali and Cece at Radley themselves, rather than watching it all unfold at the Carissimi Group. Plus, don’t even get me started on the freezing serum. And I still find it extremely hard to believe Mona wouldn’t have known Cece was A based off the story Cece gave.
Rachel: ‘Game Over, Charles’ wasn’t as exciting as I hoped it would be. Yes, we found out A/Charles’ identity, but it still felt like there was something missing from the episode. There were many questions that were still left unanswered and some plot holes along the way. I’d give ‘Game Over, Charles’ a C-. The episode needed to be longer than the standard one hour to truly give the audience answers they desperately needed.
Shahbaz: I would give the episode a solid A (how ironic, right?). It was nice for the show to finally give us some major and real answers that actually made sense (As pointed out in Paul's episode review). It treated us to all the backstory we craved for years and allowed the show to move towards a fresh new start. I feel quite satisfied with this finale; it could even have been a series finale, and I would have been perfectly fine by it.
Paul: I'll give it a B+. Sure, it was decent and all, but I expected a fast pace and what we got was a rather information dump.
Do you feel like they managed to wrap up the current timeline well?
Meaghan: Marlene promised we would have no more questions going into the new timeline, yet there are still many. Marlene has answered some in interviews (for instance, fun tidbit, according to her, Ian actually did kill himself, despite having absolutely no reason to, and Mona just staged the scene and the letter) but there are still a lot up in the air. Also, there were just annoying plot holes in the reveal that shouldn't have been there if Marlene had actually planned this as long as she said she has (i.e., Toby and Ali being teens in a scene with his mom but Bethany killing her when her and Charles were kids; Wilden helping to cover up Toby's mom's death, yet he is only a little older than Cece, so he would have been a kid or teenager tops and definitely not a cop at that time; Cece suddenly not being the one Jason saw talking to Melissa despite the fact that she said she went there to see Melissa about the tapes, etc.). I'm willing to give the show a clean slate at this point, though, and just pretend the past five and a half seasons never happened.
Winston: Marlene and the writers focused the entire hour on giving answers to the A storyline, but they neglected tons of other storylines that needed to be wrapped up before jumping ahead five years. Like how did all of the girls say goodbye to their boyfriends? Did the moms get out of the basement? And I’m really upset we didn’t get to see the girls actually graduate. After spending five years watching the girls struggle to balance school with the mysteries of A, it would’ve been fulfilling to see them walk across that stage in their caps and gowns.
Rachel: The writers promised us the Summer of Answers, instead it seemed like it was the Summer of More Questions. Some of the timelines in the show doesn’t add up. How did Bethany kill Toby’s mom when she and Charles were kids, but in Pretty Little Liars Season 4 episode 1, ‘A is for A-L-I-V-E’ we saw a flashback of teenagers Toby and Alison WITH Marion Cavanaugh. How is that possible, when according to the finale, she was already dead before Toby and Ali became teens? Also, how could Wilden cover up Marion’s murder if he’s actually the same age as Charles/Charlotte/Cece? It doesn’t make sense. Another thing, Mona said that she hit/killed Bethany Young because she thought it was Alison. But wasn’t Mona the person that helped Alison get away by taking her to the Lost Wood Resorts? Hopefully some of this will be cleared up the 6B season. After five years and six seasons it would've been nice to see the girls finally graduate. What happened to the moms; are they still stuck in the basement? Also, what happened to CeCe; was she arrested for everything she put the town of Rosewood through?
Shahbaz: I think they did do a great job in wrapping it up, despite them not showing us the moms get out of their basement entrapment. It gave fans what they needed to know, while preserving some details and mysteries for the future. I mean who killed Mrs. D, and could Bethany possibly be alive?
Paul: Yes. Some things just aren't meant to be answered, and I feel we got the most relevant reveals.
What do you want to happen in Season 6B?
Meaghan: I hope that we get a new mystery introduced that actually makes fans excited for the show again. Also please writers, do not make Wren A at this point. If you didn't make him A right now, please don't make him be the final reveal we get on this show. I just want them to manage to shock us, in a good way.
Winston: A Haleb wedding. More Mona. More Melissa. More Jenna. I pretty much miss the old cast of characters. I’m tired of all these newbies walking in and becoming super important as if they’ve been part of the story from the beginning (I’m looking at you Shana…Sara Harvey…etc.). And if I’m being really honest, it probably wouldn’t happen in 6B, but I hope the real A hasn’t been revealed yet, and Cece is just one of A’s minions who was ordered to play the scapegoat as the cops zeroed in. Clearly, I'm still not ready to accept Cece as A.
Rachel: I would hope that whatever the new mystery is, it wouldn’t be the same as A. There needs to be something new, exciting and worth watching. For season 6B, I hope that the writers don’t create empty plot lines that are never revealed on the show. It would be nice to actually see the answers in an episode than to later have to find out by reading an interview.
Shahbaz: For the girls to have evolved/or evolve and grow into more mature women like Meaghan said. Please writers, do not delve down anymore A-type story arcs in the future. I mean if Bethany is alive, how corny would it be to have B stalk them?I just hope we get something fresh and unlike PLL has done before. While saying this, I do hope the first few episodes clarify all of Season 6A's revelations a bit more and put unanswered questions to rest. Judging by the final cliffhanger, I think we can expect great things (if executed well)!
Paul: I want the pace to kick up a few gears to give us a suspenseful thrill ride from start to finish. I want to see these characters at a very different stage in life in order to peel back more layers on them.
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Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.