The mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars (PLL) just aired over in the US, and by golly it was a good’un.
But that’s no surprise because every single episode is so brilliant. I have honestly not watched a programme where I couldn’t guess what was going to happen at the end of it. PLL is one of those shows that has me hooked, and I’m going to go ahead and say better than Gossip Girl (that’ll no doubt come and bite me in the ass).
For those unfamiliar with it, PLL is a show based on a series of books by author Sara Shepard the first published way back in 2006 and the most recent in July of this year. It’s set in the fictional town of Rosewood, featuring a clique of girls who drift apart after the disappearance of their ‘leader’ Alison. They come together again when an omnipresent character ‘A’ begins to taunt the girls, Hanna, Aria, Emily and Spencer, about all of their secrets. And trouble soon follows.
The show follows the same vein, and in it’s second season has viewers hooked on finding out who ‘A’ really is. There are so many possibilities it makes for some exhilarating television. Each episode ends with a scene whilst the credits are rolling showing you what ‘A’ is doing, half the time I’m sure it’s a guy but then the storyline beckons to ‘A’ being a girl, it’s nowhere near possible to tell!
For the mid season finale it begins where it will end showing three of the girls in a police holding room after being caught, what it appears, red-handed (or dirt-handed if you so will). The drama builds as we return to the previous hours leading upto the girls’ incarceration. We see the girls each receive a doll with instructions on what they should do if they wish to see their therapist Dr Sullivan alive again, as in the previous episode ‘A’ led them to believe the doctor was dead or at least heading that way with a text stating “the doctor is out – A”.
But as Spencer points out it’s a genius plan, each of the tasks the girls must complete are their deepest darkest desires, although no reason appears as to why Spencer really wants to end her relationship with Toby… Aria must get rid of her teacher-boyfriend’s stalky ex Jacqui, Hanna must ruin her Dad’s wedding even though she has only just rekindled their relationship and Emily, well she doesn’t get anything. Yet.
It seems simple enough for Aria and Spencer to carry out their tasks, and a teeny bit awkward for Hanna who halts the wedding mid-ceremony. Emily’s task meanwhile has surfaced, as she was driving to the ceremony her satnav starts to play up, noticing the doll on her backseat it claims it will take Emily “to her”. Who are we thinking? Logically the doctor, deep down, Alison… We see Emily turn up at a barn with a car running inside, and you immediately sense the danger she’s in after the barn door closes shut but does she take her STILETTO heel off her foot and smash the window to turn off the engine? No she does nothing of the sort, she passes out and just when you she’s going to be the next victim she gets dragged out by ‘A’.
Now this is the part that I think has a reveal in it and probably always has (in the title song), it’s a bit Harry Potter-ish too. As Emily is passed out, well we’re led to believe she is anyway, she sees Alison who tells Emily she always favoured her blah blah and when Emily asks if she knows who ‘A’ is Alison’s reply is “two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead”. So tell me if I’m reading into this too much or in the wrong manner but is Alison saying she isn’t dead but someone else is, and that’s how she is keeping the “secret” or is she still dead and the other person that is actually ‘A’ the person who killed Alison… I’m confusing myself.
Meanwhile the girls have completed their missions and have received an address, the same address where Emily is and find her and wake her up. A shovel is leant against the barn along with a note that says “You will need this” along with some coordinates that must be the location of Dr Sullivan. Only it isn’t, it’s a trap, the girls were set up by ‘A’ and cornered by the police with their hands on the shovel that is revealed to be the weapon that killed Alison. If we go back to about episode eight where Spencer finds (oh so easily) Alison’s postmortem report we see that page five was missing, and noone knows what’s on it but duh-du-duuhhh Jenna and Garrett do.
What’s that you say? Jenna and Garrett are the ones behind this. Oh, yeah I knew that all along, she hates them for making her blind of course it’s them that set the girls up and got them arrested. But wait no that’s way too easy. I reckon they’re acting alone on this part, they were there on the night of Alison’s murder and tried to set Jason up but they didn’t kill her they just moved the body… that’s why they wanted page five’s trace evidence reports destroyed so noone would think it’s them and no way have they been keeping tabs on the girls’ all this time they’re not THE ‘A’ just one of many. **
I mean how does the return of Detective Wilden fit back into this, as Spencer’s Mum points out he has some strong evidence against them, something apart from the shovel? Either that or he’s another NAT member and helped out Garrett and Jenna, maybe that’s what Garrett refers to when he says “this will get you a promotion”… And as another thought on Garrett, he says that Jason’s worked out that he didn’t kill Alison but that he doesn’t know they wrote the note. He doesn’t actually say anything about the killing. (But then again if Garrett waited months to get into the storage room, I’m assuming it was for the shovel, so the police already had it as evidence because Det Wilden even says “We’ve known all along what the murder weapon was”, so they had it and haven’t realised it was taken out of the evidence storage room and the girls were using it? Huh?)
The fact that the usual ‘A’ scene rolls at the credits tells us that Garrett and Jenna can’t be the only ‘A’, when ‘A’ has Dr Sullivan at some sort of roadside diner and the doctor replies with “I’ve done what you asked me to do” and then receives an envelope from ‘A’. At first it seems like money, but Dr Sullivan surely wouldn’t be motivated to do something for money in return, and ‘A’ so easily lets her go she must have something substantial on her that would warrant Dr Sullivan to lie about where she was to the girls and for her not to return to tell them what she had found out.
And then comes the killer hook, as the waitress comes over to fill ‘A’s coffee cup she comments: “How you doing tonight pretty eyes?”. Now if I’m going to read right into this, the way the waitress speaks to ‘A’ it has to be someone younger than herself and it has to be a girl. What person would say that to a guy? Hmm. But then it goes back to the books because if you like to spoil yourself and want answers ahead of the game they state that Mona is the first ‘A’, it fits, but like Marlene King show executive says more than one ‘A’ is a “plausible theory“.
** I’ve just realised Jenna says “she deserved to die like that” which kind of implicates them in Alison’s death…