March 22nd, 2011 by thetvchick
There has been so much anticipation leading up to the big Pretty Little Liars season finale that I was sitting on the edge of my seat as soon as it began. I have been reading that some feel it was a let down because the episodes leading up to it were so amazing or because we don’t find out who A is or because really not a lot of our questions have been answered. I have to say, I was not disappointed. I understand the criticism, and I, too, wish A had been revealed. However, fans of the book will note the brilliant subtleties and similarities with the Bell Tower scene (more on that later) and Officer Garrett Reynolds being just like Darren Wilden. The fact is, if they gave us the answer to who A is at the end of season one, that doesn’t give the show a lot of longevity. Of course, the A answer in the books isn’t the definitive answer as to who A is but I just think it will be more of a season two thing and as much as I don’t want to be patient, I think the payoff will be entirely worth it. But onto last night’s gasp-worthy, very well-paced season finale.
The episode starts with the girls watching the video they found in the storage locker. Jenna is trying to get some action from Toby, while threatening him. Toby says it’s wrong. The girls conclude that it’s Ian who was making these videos. Spencer thinks they can use the videos to incriminate him. She wants to go to Jenna to see what she knows, but the other girls don’t want to mess with that. They eventually come around and reluctantly agree.
The next morning, Byron and Ella talk about splitting up the kids. Byron wants her to go to the faculty mixer at the house. Aria gets texts from Ezra about needing to talk and that a cop was there. Trouble in paradise? She tells her mom to make up her mind about her dad. At the Marin house, Hanna wants to spend the rest of her life in bed. Ashley asks about Caleb’s letter. Hanna says she never got a letter. Ashley is playing the role of caring mom, which is nice to see. At the Hastings household, Melissa is planning the christening. At the Fields residence, Emily is getting emails from Samara (potential romance here?). Emily’s mom comes in to talk to her and apparently they extended her dad’s assignment, and she wants them to come to Texas for a year. Emily is just starting to feel like she belongs in Rosewood. NOOO!
Aria and Ezra meet in the hallway of school before class. He gave in his resignation because Hollis College offered him the job. Ezra is psyched because she won’t be her teacher anymore. So it’s hot Professor Fitz now. Meanwhile, Mona is trying to cheer up Hanna. Ew, go away Mona. Lucas is still pissed at Han, but he proves to be a real friend later in the episode. And here comes creepy Jenna walking down the hallways as the girls look on. They follow after her and find her in the music room. They confront her about the video. They want the truth from her.
Jenna tells the girls that the day before Ali went missing, Ali found the video and played it for Jenna. The guy Ali liked apparently also liked to make movies. He got off watching all the girls next door. Ali said if Jenna kept their secret (the whole blinding thing), the video will stay under lock and key. She tells Jenna if she ever comes back to Rosewood, she’ll bury her. The girls tell Jenna they will make sure the video will stay in safe place. Creepy Jenna tells them that they’ve all made mistakes and she’s still paying for theirs. She’s clearly not being entirely honest here.
The girls continue to theorize about Ali and her murderer. Spencer got a prepaid cell phone to text Ian. It says “I have Ali’s video.” Ian looks disturbed when he gets the text. Ian texts the phone back and asks what they want. Oh boy. Hanna tells him to bring money and come alone. Hanna leaves her phone behind by accident at the lunch table and Caleb calls. Life ruiner Mona answers and tells Caleb all lies. Lucas realizes what Mona did re: Caleb’s letter. She bribes him. Will he take the bait?
Meanwhile, Jenna calls someone and tells them they’ve seen the video. It’s Ian, who says he’s taking care of it. AHHH CREPPY! Officer Reynolds talks to Emily outside her house. He tells her off the record that Spencer wouldn’t have done anything to Ali. He kinda of asks her out…or to hang out. It was bizarre. Hanna is waiting for Emily at her house. They both don’t want to be alone. AWWW. Love. I love when the two girls split off and hang out. I like to see all the girls’ different dynamics together.
Meanwhile, Spencer and Toby are reading/studying in her room. He asks if she wants to talk about that night (Ian confrontation and all). He opens the window and they sit together peacefully. The calm before the storm. While this nice moment happens, Jenna is talking to Garrett Reynolds about the video getting out and how they will lose everything if it does. They make out. I gasp. Holy crap! I knew he’d be similar to Darren Wilden but MY GOODNESS. Apparently it wasn’t Ian on the other end of Jenna’s phone call, it was Garrett.
That night is the big faculty mixer at the Montgomery household. Jackie (Ezra’s ex) shows up to the mixer. Ummm Ezra…you have some explaining to do. Apparently she teaches at Hollis and was a TA when they dated. Ezra goes up to Aria’s room and she is understandably pissed about Jackie. He claims Jackie is not part of his life anymore and apologizes. She walks out. Aw. Sigh.
At the Hastings house, Spencer fell asleep in Toby’s room and then gets a text from Melissa for church. Toby tells her if she needs anything, he’ll be there for her. They kiss a little. As this transpires, Hanna is all sad and looks at her phone. She deletes Caleb in her contacts. AW don’t cry Han. But what Hanna doesn’t know is that Lucas is driving Caleb back into town. He says Hanna deserves to be happy. Yes, she does! Lucas, I am very impressed with you for doing the right thing and not falling trap to whore-ish Mona and her false apologies. I hope Hanna appreciates what you did and I am sure she will because she’s clearly not over Caleb.
Spencer is driving Melissa home and she’s freaked out that she hasn’t heard from Ian. Then there’s a crazy CAR ACCIDENT! HOLY SHIT! Melissa’s baby might be lost. I kind of saw this coming. And I also kind of hope she doesn’t have the baby. We need to find out what is really going on between Melissa and Ian before they foray into parenthood.
As Spencer is with her family, the girls are waiting in the park for the money exchange. Aria gets a text from A “Buckle up, bitches. Nothing is at it seems.” Spencer gets her stuff back from the car accident and sees Aria’s messages. Garrett Reynolds shows up to the park and tells the girls to trust him. I do not trust him. Garrett searches the woods a little and says if Ian shows, they’ll see him coming. Spencer goes to the church to recover Melissa’s phone. Talk about creeptastic. Spencer goes to get Melissa’s phone and the door closes and Ian is there. AHHH!
A car pulls up to the park. It’s not Ian. The guy who shows up at the park turns out to be someone who got paid on the Internet to do this. Oh man.
Back at the church, Ian talks about the text message he received earlier that day and calls the number and it rings in Spencer’s purse. He says Melissa wants him to take care of “this.” Spencer confronts him about the home movies, throws the jump drive and runs up to the bell tower. Oh no Spencer don’t go up there! She calls Emily but her phone drops. She’s trapped. Ian runs after her. Emily answers the phone and they hear Spencer struggling. Hanna calls 911.
Ian tries to frame Spencer. He concocts a story about how Ali hit her head and never woke up. The guilt was too much for her so she decided to commit suicide. UGH IAN. Ian tries to push her down the bell tower while the girls listen on. Someone pushes Ian down and we don’t see his face. Ian says “what are you doing here?” Was it Garrett Reynolds? Was it Toby? The girls run up the bell tower stairs. Ian got hung. Gasp. All Spencer saw was a black hoodie. They all hug her and say it’s over. But it’s SO NOT OVER. Apparently there was no one else in the church so when the girls walk out, the officer tells them to come with them. Ian is not “hung” on the ropes anymore. He vanished! This is just like the woods scene in the book! So clever. People are whispering. There’s Noel Kahn again. WTF. The girls get a text from A “It’s not over until I say it is. Sleep tight, while you still can bitches.”
CHILLS! Seriously! What a clever way to end the season. There are of course a lot more questions. Ian might be gone for now but he’s not gone. I don’t think Reynolds is a good guy — but is he a murderer? Why is he with Jenna? What’s now going to happen with Ezria? Is Hanna going to go running back into Caleb’s arms? As I said earlier, I wanted to know who A is (even though I feel like I basically know already from the books), but I understand the need to keep the audience guessing. If I had to speculate, I would say we find out who A is at the mid-season finale of next season. Maybe earlier who knows. Maybe the season premiere? This finale brought a lot more questions (as I expected) and set the girls up to really be the “little liars.” But the audience knows they didn’t lie so how will the town of Rosewood come to believe that as well. I’m very curious to see if Emily will move to Texas and if that storyline will coincide with the one in the book where they sent her away to not be gay anymore. I kind of doubt it but who knows?
I think as frustrating as cliffhangers can be, this was a good one. It set up a really great season two because there are so many ways that a lot of stories can go, with all of the girls and their families. Will Byron and Ella reunite? Will Ashley Marin get a love interest? Will Ezria last? My guess is for the moment, it won’t. So while I share in the feeling of “dammit, tell us who A is already!” I still think this finale was full of wonderful moments that lays the groundwork for a fabulous season two.
Pretty Little Liars returns with all new episodes on Tuesday, June 14th on ABC Family.Tweet