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Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Finale Review: AlreAdy AscertAined Answers AbrAcAdAbrA

Pretty Little Liars S03E24: "A dAngerous gAme"

Did you get the feeling that this finale was mostly for the people who hadn't caught on by now?

All these reveals started happening and I got this strange yet familiar feeling, this satisfaction mixed with frustration. I would never compare the quality of these two shows but it reminded me of Lost, how I got answers to questions I already basically knew the answers to while collecting more questions like trading cards.

But before we get into that, let's handle some business. Like how Spencer's arc basically belly-flopped. Bad Spencer showed so much promise! Let's reminisce about good ol' days when she tried to seduce Andrew because she could or when she finally had the ovaries to choke Mona in front of witnesses. That Spencer evaporated too quickly and left behind a sad, sickly version of the toughest Liar this side of Hanna. You could only pray she would rebuild herself and take down the A Team while she was on the inside. Instead, it turned out she was just being a silly little girl.

Maybe that's what we should've expected. Maybe it's giving the Liars superpowers (despite how often they show incredible weakness of both spirit and deduction) to think that one of them would mount a full-scale assault on the A Team if only she could get mad enough. If only one of them could Hulk out. But then they do stuff like Aria did last week, when she realized that "someone else" picking up Malcolm could only be A and clammed up like doofus. Spencer was our last hope for that kind of calculated attack. But, instead, we got her sappiest and had to rely on the Other Liars Brain Trust for ideas.

Spencer's plan is basically indefensible. I understand she was a broken woman and Mona dangled a carrot for her, but nothing in Troian Bellisario's hard-as-nails performances indicated that she was so malleable that she would surrender her friends so she could have her boyfriend back. The show has been trying to subtly hint at the Faustian deal for a few episodes now, but I don't buy Spencer tossing her sisters-in-arms, the only true friends she could trust and count on, just so she could maybe possibly Mona-lies-a-lot-but-you're-saying-there's-a-chance see Toby again. Hoes before bros. Chicks before dicks. There's no version of that that isn't offensive to women, is there? Sisters before misters? That's awful.

Ezra and Aria talk about his interview at Rosewood

Lucky for Spencer, the Other Liars Brain Trust put together a foolish little plan to trap Spencer. It was almost impressive how quickly they put together that Spencer must be A. In fact, I'm pretty sure she'd be hurt to hear Aria find that spot on the Jump to Conclusions mat so soon. But not only did they figure out she was A, they immediately undercut the theory by taking it to their logical conclusion: that Spencer must be held hostage by Mona for something.

I know these episodes were shot a long time ago (and may just be lifting from the book series), but I like the idea that the PLL is playing with fan theories, that Red Coat could be any blonde on the show, from CeCe to even Hanna. What the Other Liars surmised from Spencer following Red Coat, though, was just about silly—and there's a good reason that the bathroom scene, once we came back from break, felt like it was on fast forward.

All of their evidence for being able to trust their clique and their strategizing of each other's motivations was almost a farce. "Let's just get through this real quick before anyone notices." Spencer following Red Coat means nothing. It doesn't mean that she doesn't know Red Coat. It could just mean that she thought Red Coat was there and they could hang. Nothing was proved by the trap. And then Spencer sending Hanna the picture so she could show it to Malcolm and then they would know that Spencer was innocent? Tomfoolery. Shenanigans. Hogwash.

But Spencer's time as A did shed light on things you already knew were there in the dark but that you were still feeling around for. Toby never died (soap opera rules, kids). Toby had been doing this for Spencer all along (maybe). Mona was the Hand of the Red Coat (despite never actually knowing who she is). And Spencer was not going to pass up a chance to get down on some brooding make-up sex.

Toby and Spencer make up

We had to endure another scheme from the Other Liars Brain Trust (which was basically to corner Mona and say, "Ha! Gotcha!"), but it elicited more answers we already knew but didn't know know. Mona's just as trapped as everyone else. Red Coat looks just like Ali. And the mystery surrounding all of this is looking more and more pointless and purely for theater's sake. When Mona yelled out,"You don't see!" when the Liars surprised her, whose fault was that, really? Why was there so much secrecy for something that means nothing? That's my only real question. Everything else is just petty details.

Now the only meaning to anything seems to be contained in the remains of the NAT club plus Jenna (remember her?), Melissa, and Shana. Wilden being spirited away by these lady agents. A stuff still happening even though Mona and Toby are now, officially, inducted back into the Liars clique. Who are the "bitches" that Melissa keeps referring to? Our Liars? Why do our protagonists only flash back to the times where they were subject to Alison or only subtly cold to others, and not to the time where they gained a reputation? Our narrative perspective is unreliable.

In any case, you might have come away thinking you got some answers, but my guess is that you are just as enlightened as you were when you started the episode. The cliffhanger just before the credits may have left you wondering something, but mostly you're just getting pulled through because of this mysterious superstructure. Most of what you thought has just been confirmed. Now you're left with the question, "So why are we here?"

Not a terrible episode of PLL, but not a surprising or revealing one, either.

The Liars and Mona discover whats in Wildens trunk


NOTES

– Ezria didn't really put up too much of a fight for their relationship on either side. Aria has said she doesn't want what they have post-Malcolm for two episodes and Ezra pretty much said, "Yeah, okay. I'm going to take this job, then." They made sure to put a button the break-up by matching the kiss in the stairwell with the one that began their relationship but, as far as how important this relationship is to so many people, it was a fairly anticlimactic separation. He probably doesn't want to be tied down anyway now that he has a whole new crop of young ladies at his disposal. Welcome back to Rosewood High, Teach!

– It's important to note that A Farewell to Arms was mentioned, as was the quote, "All things truly wicked start from innocence." Hemingway is known for employing an unreliable narrator who only gives credence to things seen and heard, and not necessarily to gossip or assumption. Frederic Henry is a boozer and an admitted liar, but we're left to have to trust his account of how things are perceived. When examining the mystery of "Why are we here?" we have to also assume that our narrative perspective (primarily via the Liars) is just as unreliable. That selective memory is the only thing keeping them innocent.

– I haven't read the books. Some of you have, and I appreciate that (most of) you have kept the conversation here to just the show without tying in the direction of the book series with regard to how the television show is shaping up. But it seems like the first Halloween special ("The First Secret") basically told us who we need to look out for. Even at the time the episode aired I was uncertain that it was canon, because it revealed so much. But the girl who "looks like Ali" might be the sister in Ali's ghost story. I just want to throw that theory out there in case anyone rebukes the people addressing it as something that happens in the book. We poor souls who've only watched the series have had a whiff of that future ourselves.

– Shana was probably just consoling Jenna at that picnic table, but she seems to exude sex; pretty much every time she's around any girl it looks like she's flirting. Paige, Emily, Jenna, even Hanna (though Hanna claims Shana was never attracted to her). If Shana isn't on a mission from A, it's probably a mission to entice a bunch of young women to at least consider a trip to Girlytown.

– The babysitting interview. Why must Ezra make everything in life so very awkward? Suddenly he can't catch a joke now? He probably would've gotten it if Hanna was a sophomore. I'm just saying.

– Hey, do you guys remember Duncan Albert, the guy who flew Alison from Hilton Head to Philadelphia? Whatever happened to that guy?

– Sorry, internet. You're not going to fool me into thinking that the Ezria hand touch scenes are anything nearly as powerful as the Mad Men ones. Don't be ridiculous.

Don Draper removing Peggy Olsens hand in The Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Mad Men Don Draper grabbing Peggy Olsens hand in The Suitcase Mad Men

– What do you think the macguffin in the trunk could be?

Comments (76)
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I see your point about not really getting any answers, but the most frustrating part for me was all the stupid things that happened. Did not care about Toby reuniting with Spencer, would've been more fun if he stayed evil. Also stupid - him picking up the lighter after being knocked out in the woods, which was obviously meant to frame him as the fire starter at the lodge. And anyone else think that Toby might have something to do with the coming PLL spinoff? With that map on the lighter and the two shows needing some kind of a link, I think Toby might be the one to go to that new town to get some answers.

Another thing - it's been maybe five episodes since Emily found that list of buyers for the Queen of Hearts costume and it was established that Caleb would look into who those bank accounts belong to, but it wasn't even mentioned since. I don't think Caleb is on the A team, and I get that he must've been distracted with all the father stuff, but for someone so determined to help Hanna and bring down Mona I find his inaction even more frustrating. Guess the writers didn't want to reveal too much (like that's even possible).

Last thing, and I really hope this isn't true, but I think they found Jason's body in the trunk of Wilden's car. It could also be something else equally incriminating, because that would explain him wanting the car back so badly. It's possible he kidnapped Jason and was on his way to meet Melissa/Jenna/Shana.
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I also want to know WHY there is an A-Team. I mean if Alison has been stalked by "A" and now works with "A" that is something I can understand. But what's the point of trying to kill Aria, Hanna, Spencer or Emily because of their secrets? They blinded Jenna but that must mean Jenna is the big A and wanted revenge. If that's not it then it's hard to imagine that someone wants these "kids" tortured for some secrets like dating a teacher or shoplifting. Those secrets are not even secrets anymore and there are no other major secrets that are worth being killed or tortured for...

And about Ali being Red Coat and Red Coat being in Charge. Ali might be in a Red Coat but I don't think she's in charge. Playing tricks on somebody is one thing but that's more than a game she's playing there.
First burning down a house and then saving them? Or somebody else burned down the house and when she saw it was on fire she saved the girls.
Like the real "A" burned down the house. If "A had so much power over Ali she couldn't overpower him and become the leader of everything A has planned for a long time...
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I am one of those who want to know why this revenge started in the first place. Why is A terrorizing the Liars in the first place? Alison seems to know a lot of secrets about the people living in this town. How did she gather so much information? Didn't she have anything better to do than to dig up dirt about her neighbors, friends, classmates etc? Is she using all that she knows for blackmail?
How can the Liars be so loyal to Alison, a girl they didn't know at all. Alison knew everything about their lives but they don't seem to know anything about her. Can someone be friends with someone else and be so blind to everything surrounding that person? It appears surreal to me.
Not even the CIA is as equipped as the A-team. Where does all the funding coming from? And ultimately why such intricate plans for a few high-school girls? Are all the parents unconcerned with the lying, cheating, snicking? Are they as afraid of this unseen force?
I am really curious about Wilden and Wren. Why didn't Wilden arrest Ashely for almost killing him? Why is he playing the creepy game in stead of doing his job. He must have a lot of secrets as well as the others. And what bout Wren? What is his role and connection to Mona?
Doesn't anyone know anything about Alison? No secret? No dirt at all? Where are the journals field with secrets? Mona has them. Now that she is on *the run* as well maybe we get to read a few pages.
Questions, questions and more questions.
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Finally! Guess I'm not alone out there feeling cheated by TV shows like this. The other day, when I heard a famous radio host saying on the radio that "PPL is such a good show coz I love mysteries", I couldn't help asking one question: what makes a mystery a good mystery? By making it extremly twisted, creepy and addictive? The answer could be a YES only if all the mysterious points raised earlier could be, somehow, reasonably explained later. I highly doubt whether this show is able to do that... I totally agree that the whole story doesn't even have a point to start. What kind of horrible crime could the 4 teenagers have done to someone (no matter it's Ali, Jenna or someone else) to make his or her willing to go through all those extremely complicated schemes, using so much time and resources, even commiting murdering and house burning, just to get a revenge. It's almost like telling a story of an FBI team trying to capture a group of international terrorists. How can a group of ordinary people monitoring many ppl's every single move, sending msgs to them so timely, knowing everyone's secrets? Digging up a body (or a person) under the ground without anybody seeing? Pulling a sunk police out of the river and moving it to somewhere while the whole police department failed to do so?

Several seasons later, viewers may alraedy forget what happned previously, especially all those little details that used to addict us. The produce may or may not forget the questions, but it won't matter any more, coz for them the seasons have been booked and the money has earned. Job done. We've already seen what answer Gossip Girl gave to who GG really was? Lame and non-sense at all. Most likely PLL is going to end in the same fashion.

Guess it's not hard to create an addictive mystery after all, not when you can careless about common sense and logics, like producing a multi-year show on TV.
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I don't think the writers even remember half the questions they've asked much less have answers to them and that's what has me frustrated with the show. The feeling THEY don't know where they're going and that makes me think we'll never have sufficient answers to the questions we want answered.
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Anyone notice that when Toby walked into the restaurant to meet Spencer, the waitress called him "Pretty Eyes"...which is what she said in the season when "A" was meeting with Dr. Sullivan at a restaurant. So that would mean Toby has been on the "A Team" a lot longer than we maybe thought...and before it was supposedly for Spencer's "benefit"...But I sure do hope he is on the Liars' side!
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Pretty Eyes was also mentioned before, I don't remember the episode, but somewhere closer to the beginning of the show. A lady who made the name bracelets all the liars had called it the person who payed her to lie to Spencer (I think) about who bought them.
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Not sure about the body in the trunk because I suspected last week that the body in the woods that was supposedly Toby, was in fact, Jason. Because he literally just disappeared into thin air from the hospital, and nobody gave him a second thought afterward. That was quite strange. So now I cant think of any other character that would get a throwaway death like that without it being built up before hand.
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I think this show just got too convoluted and ridiculous for me. For 3 seasons they've teased and teased us without actually giving us anything. Yeah we know a few of the players within the "A" team but that doesn't tell us anything, the real question is why. Why this overarching master plan to ruin the lives of 4 teenage girls? 3 seasons in and no one can give a definitive answer, can't even come close. Why does there exists a seemingly omnipotent and ridiculously well funded (enough to rent planes, hotel rooms, RV's at will and surveillance equipment too judging by the amount of private conversations "A" has been privy to) organization of adults and various teens that seeks to destroy these 4 girls. There are countries that don't gather intelligence as well as this "A" organization does on the Liars. This organization that is willing to kill and has on multiple occasions and we don't even know why that is (remember when the show was seemingly going somewhere when they were finding out why Allison was killed?) We haven't come close to a coherent or plausible explanation as to why the "A" team is doing this. And as long as they focus on who's in the "A" team and not why they're doing this in the first place we'll never know. Investigating who's on the "A" team is the equivalent of the show narratively spinning it's wheels. It gives you a nice reveal but it still tells you nothing. I don't believe an explanation has even been attempted. I know it's just a teen "guilty pleasure" soap but even those have to give answers once in a while or even just attempt them. I'm close to jumping off this crazy train to convoluted town populated with non answers and empty reveals.
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Well, the writers did cop out with the lamest excuse ever --- "Toby joined A to protect Spencer"....as for why Mona is doing this, I have no idea. Perhaps she is just crazy and she is hellbent on destroying the lifes of the girls because they were Ali's friends. Despite the fact that she said something along the lines of "I'm so over Ali" ....whatever that may mean.

I still agree, we are faced with a million questions that have never been answered and I'm losing patience. Like who killed Ian/Garret and why(If the above is indeed true, than may be Toby killed Ian in order to protect Spencer?) ? Is Jason alive? Whatever happened to CeCe? Who tried to kill Aria and why? What's Melissa involvement in all of this? And tons more.....

If Season 4's premiere episode is as bad as Season 3's finale I think I'm done with this show.
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Why's Mona doing it? better yet why's the person that's giving Mona her orders doing it? and how does that person find so many people willing to kill and fu*# with the Liars? The show has never said what they've done to deserve such intricate revenge besides being Ali's friends. That's what blows my mind. There seems to be an endless array of people they've pissed off enough for them to join the "A" team but we're never told what's fueling it. Why they're despised so much. And make no mistake they are despised. Someone has recruited almost a dozen people, (and growing) spent thousands of dollars, broken countless laws, murdered and attempted to murder several people all in the name of torturing the Liars and we're 3 seasons/71 episodes in and we still don't know why. We can't even fathom a guess which tells you just how little information they've really given us and it's pathetic.
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I would have to agree with DwightWeather. It's all backing to the big question of what kind of unforgivable things the Liars could have done to trigger A's master plan of revenge? It's not about whether the show should have given more answers to the viwers up to this point. When something is not logical at all, searching for answers just becomes pointless and pathetic. And that's us, the viewers that's got so hung up and addictive to the show, believing one day all questions will have a clever answer. If this was a show about an international organization, or something like Nikkita, I would be totally fine with all the ridiculous twists.

Well, it's after all everybody's own choice to tune in or not. If we can't conquor our own addiction, then let's think less and continue watching just to get the curiosity curbed.
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I'm going to play a little devil's advocate since I also think that PLL is the Lucille Bluth of television right now (It gets off on being withholding) but I tend to see the point of such a gambit.

The "why" reason is clearly the show's ace to keep the audience engaged Expecting it to reveal that answer is like asking Lost to tell us about Jacob and the Man in Black by the end of season 3. It's not going to happen. Once that secret is clearly revealed, there's no turning back for the show. It either has to find its ending quick or create a new drama that'll make the series feel like a zombie continuance.

What it's doing now is trying to separate what A was in the beginning of the series with what the A team is now. There's an operating theory that Mona's A project in the first two seasons was conflated with the revenge against the NAT club and, when Red Coat visited Mona at Radley, that's when the two were combined into a single, heartless operation. Red Coat escalated the game beyond anything Mona or Lucas could ask for.

There's also the unreliable narrator. We only see the past through the Liars' eyes, or, when it's a parent, we don't see the Liars at all. It seems like, when they flashback, they're even surprised at their own memories. So we don't know the awful things they've done, what reputation they had while they were under Ali's thumb. Were they bullies? Were they villains purely by association? Possibly.

The new season should bring a different dynamic to the series since (1) the inner-workings of the A Team has been revealed to one of the Liars, (2) Mona, by all appearances (particularly with the Macguffin shot), has been reintroduced into the clique, and (3) the Red Coat cabal extends beyond the petty, pithy texts of Mona's team (see the wood-working front that Emily stumbled upon).

I'm not saying that we're going to be satisfied with any of this but I also don't necessarily think the show is in a holding pattern either. We'll get some movement.
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I'd argue we're already there.
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Season 3 DID bring a different dynamic to the series. A was much more macabre, the threats were more intense, and Mona being introduced as, ostensibly, a red herring to the mastermind of the A cabal, changed the game. The conflation of the NAT club took a back seat and it became less about finding Alison's killer than it did about suffering the abuses of a more violent bully. If Red Coat didn't come until the end of season 2, you have to wonder if Mona's tenure of running the A Team can be blamed for things like Ian's death or if that was the shadowy organization that swallowed Mona's venture.

Maybe it's not that complicated. But Mona saying that she didn't know Red Coat until she came to Radley and that she changed the game inspires a new line of thinking. Whether they do anything with that or not for season 4, now that Mona is shown to be terrorized, too, maybe differently than the Liars, is up for debate. It depends on how much you can trust the show.

Spencer going out of the season with a whimper was discouraging as was all of the secret spilling being secrets we already knew. But, no matter where you land on trusting the show's creators, Mona being reintroduced to the clique and the possibility of exploiting the grunt level of what might be a much more complex conspiracy in order to gain answers is new for the show and should bring a new dynamic.

To reveal everything would mean half a season for the Liars to get revenge. If they made a show out of that, if they decided to make the show about the Liars exacting a large-scale, meticulously-planned counter to the years of bullying, and if that lasted for more than haf a season, we'd tread into jump the shark/zombie continuance territory.
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"The new season should bring a different dynamic to the series" I remember that being said at the beginning of season 3. Fool me once.. I don't think it would ruin the show if they told us why this is happening to the girls in fact I think it would give the audience some much needed answers and reinvigorate peoples interest in their fight against "A". Once they know why they can start to understand and mount a decent offence/defense to the beast that is "A" and there is a lot of story that can be told from after that point. There's only so long this can go on before it stops looking like a carefully planned story and starts looking like they're just stringing the audience along and they don't know the answer to "Why?" either.
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I hope Ezra-Aria thing burn down together with season 3. I liked this season better than the previous ones and seems like Aria got it easy this season without 'A' trying to murder her and all... Anyway, I'm glad Jena and Melissa is back since in the first place they are the two strong people that has enough beef with the Liars to start with...
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Season three was a hell of a ride and the best season so far. It was dark and full of mystery – but in the end the finale let me down. It didn't feel like an episode, more like a collection of scenes with "answers". And it is really a pity that the Spencer storyline closed so soon. I would have loved to see her working in the shadows and lying to her friends.

So, the red coat lady looks like Ali. If she is the one who is behind everything, why did she save the liars and Mona? And who was the arsonist? Maybe there are more A-teams at work, that interfere themselves and have a war on their own. I don't know.

I loved the pacing in season three, it was quicker than the other seasons. The first seasons seemed so empty and nothing really happened. In the end, nothing happens at all. We got answers we already knew and new secrets, that felt awkward.
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The best way to watch this show is to not try and figure out whats happening but just enjoy the ride. It's much more enjoyable that way.

Personally I loved the finale, I never expected questions to be answered because it took 2 seasons to give us Mona so they aren't going to give up Redcoat after one season. Well, they gave us answers but they were more like confirmations of what we already expected/knew to be true. For example: Toby being alive, Toby's allegiance to the Liars, Spencers allegiance to the Liars etc. I did enjoy the reveal that Mona is in over her head, Mona is smart and twisted and even she is scared of Redcoat which makes Redcoat that little bit scarier.

As for the girls seeing Alison, I don't know if it was Ali, her twin, a sister, a hallucination or what. I think it's easier to just enjoy the ride.

I'm glad Toby and Spencer reunited but Toby is clearly going to be blamed for the fire next season and I just can't be bothered to sit through half a season of everyone believing Toby did it.

When it comes to S4, I have ONE wish:
- Aria remains single for the entire season, she can date but no serious relationship please. Aria is the only Liar that has never had chance to grow as an independent character, literally from the Pilot it has been Aria and Ezra.
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As far as Ezria goes - Aria and Ezra - welcome to an adult relationship! adults have kids and jobs and expenses. . . deal with it. It just proves how immature this character is and why she needs a boyfriend that has a curfew.
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It's not really Aria being immature. A 7-8 year age difference isn't that big a deal when we're talking people in their 30s or 40s. But when one of the parties is 17, it does have a huge effect. Aria hasn't gotten to live. She hasn't experienced college, or traveled, or gotten to do the things that someone in their early 20s should get to do before they settle down. I mean if you'd told me at 17 that I was suddenly going to be a stepmother to a kid that was only 10 years younger than me, I would have said, no thanks. Not from a lack of maturity but just the standpoint of wanting to make my own way in the world and go to school and better my future before I have the responsibility of a child. Aria was actually the mature one in this case. She is letting Ezra go so he can be the responsible parent and provide for his child in a way that he wouldn't be able to do if he was still with Aria.
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She's not immature, though. She's just the right maturity level for her age. Ezra is the one who's immature, and a bit of a pedofile. It's very realistic that a high schooler would freak out about her boyfriend having a kid, and I'm glad that she reacted that way. It would have been a major downer if she was super comfortable with the step mother role.
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Let me start off by saying that I LOVE this show. I am a HUGE fan of this show. And that being said, I need to say that I am soooo FRUSTRATED by this show right now. Last night's episode did not feel like a season finale at all. I feel like we (the audience) are being jerked around at this point. I don't care about the Wilden subplot! It was interesting, but not interesting enough! I thought we were going to find out who Ali's killer was... I know that she probably didn't die, but I still would have liked to have found out who TRIED to kill her.

Of course, I can't wait til season 4, but come on! I wish they would have given me something new to work with! Anyone who is a fan of the show was not surprised at anything in the finale episode... although I did the all the Spoby scenes! Keegan Allen ROCKS!!! and Troian Bellasario is a CRAZY talented actress (and my fav liar). I am totally happy that Ezria is over, that relationship had gotten really stale.

So, until June 11th I will stew a bit in my frustration with this episode and I just desperately hope that season 4 gives me the answers that I want.
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So disappointed in this finale. It felt as though everything happened, yet at the same time nothing really happened to move the story forward, because let's face it, PLL has taken a turn for the worst this season. It feels like the writers don't really understand where they are even going to take the story, they're just enjoying the ride as they go along. It's frustrating to have characters introduced only to have them taken from us a few episodes later, then all of a sudden they pop up again. Yes Jenna I'm referring to you. Noel, Melissa, Jason, Spencers dad. What the hell are they all doing? By the way where the hell is Mike? Did I miss something there or has he just gone AWOL?

So glad to finally see Ezria split up. Hopefully now we can finally see some of Aria's true character that we all know she has.

I was thoroughly enjoying bad-ass Spencer. Bad move on the writers part. Spencer was ready to crack this and she just suddenly gave up because Toby is back. Whatever. I just, I just don't even know what to say. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see that Toby is back and all good guy again (?) but really, what was the point of Spencer staying in Radley if ultimately she was going to go all soft again.
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sisters before misters lol
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I was very disappointed...was expecting something in return for all those episodes that left me wondering 'hmmm, wats new?'. PLL is getting old with all these secrets and the lame ass reasons why they exist. kmt!
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I think the episode had some good parts but it didn't feel like a finale for all the reasons Nick mentionned. However I like how Mona's role seems to be changing and how the last scene integrates her in the girls-team. It will certainly change the dynamic of the group (and of the show) in the next season.
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I was very disappointed by the finale. Not one question was answered. Instead the writers keep going in circle. At this point, I doubt that they will be able to identify why exactly all this tormenting is happening? What is the point?
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Nick, since PLL is over till summer, is there any chance you could review.... Vikings? It's a great show. (one of two best of 2013 - the other one is The Americans) I can't belive tv.com is not reviewing it on weekly basis.
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I know Cory said he was watching that. . .
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Yeah Vikings are awsome!
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This underlying theme in this episode seemed to be a discussion on how far away from normal high school students the Liars have really become. There is this huge gap between their young high school selves (who we do still see, especially in Hanna and Caleb's relationship, and Emily's swim meet friends/drama) and their Anti-A Team selves. This was perfectly illustrated by the very adult break up between Ezra and Aria (and I dont mean that it seemed at all healthy, just that Aria was portrayed as being the in-control and mature party...it wasn't played as a high school breakup) juxtaposed with Ezra then becoming her teacher once more. Spencer and Toby's sex scene also seemed extremely mature for this show, and they are both so clearly over high school (I mean do we honestly think Spencer can still go Ivy League?) and focused entirely on the mystery of Red Coat. This show is fast changing its perspective from a show about silly high school students to a show about young, maturing women. Hanna is the odd man out, generally seeming to get stuck in the drama of high school, but we'll see how this Weldon situation changes her (nothing makes you grow up fast like parenting your parents).
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So let me see what I understood from this episode

Ever since that Halloween episode we knew that ali wanted to stage her death , that's why when garrett hit that tree with the hockey stick in front of jenna she wanted jenna to believe he killed her and there's been plenty of other hints as well like all those flashbacks with the liars , so what I basically got from this episode and what we suspected all along is that ali just wanted everyone to think she's dead because…well a lot of people wanted her dead so in a way this plan keeps her safe and she's protecting the liars as well. all those times they thought they imagined her it was really ali . what I don't get is if mona was really helping ali all this time, wouldn't she see her .I mean who visited her in radley in that red coat and also are we suppose to believe toby is good again that doesn't make sense than who locked spencer in the steam room after she kissed wern plus that waitress called him pretty eyes does that mean he was the one meeting dr. sullivan that time all this just doesn't make sense. and now there's the who is really A question is it jenna who set fire of the house the liars were in at least I think it was her at first I thought it made sense because hey revenge ! but then I remembered didn't Hanna pulled her out of a burning house that one time and totally saved her life, and other than jenna that puts pretty much everyone else who lives in this town in the suspect list so I'm not going to name them . All and all this episode left me quite confused. plus I'm really hoping this is the end for ezria because there drama this episode made me gag a few times plus the all kiss in the stairway was so staged the way he caught her arm and she turned that scene totally looked soapy to me and I really don't get why everyone like them so much, aria is a much better character without him she even made me laugh this episode with "this is even crazier" joke which happens like never. in conclusion I have no idea how and if the writers will manage to wrap this up because at this point when this show will end eventually they will just seat and stare at their story board all puzzled by the mass they made and scratch their heads.
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I stopped trying to figure out this show a long time ago. Now I'm just along for the ride...bound and blindfolded in the boot of the car with no idea where it's going. I guess it's the nature of a show like this, but all the contradictions do bug me out. The bad/good things that some character did in the past do not make any sense when his or her true nature is revealed. Someone might be the victim of very real bad deeds, but then when she is suddenly revealed to be part of the group that did the bad things, all that happened to her is suddenly forgotten. And the many, many detours in the story do not fit the grand narrative when you consider their relevance afterwards.

Despite all this, I guess PLL is one of those shows that you have to watch until the end. If not for anything else, then at least so that you really have the right to complain about it. A thing that I only found out today is that the webisodes for this show, "Pretty Dirty Secrets", apparently contained a lot of significant information. Can someone confirm this? Because I think it sucks if important clues about character relationships are given outside the actual TV show.
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The only thing the webisodes really confirm is Shana's involvement. Everything else is, more or less, emphasis on what you already know about the relationships between Rosewood's suspicious characters (not necessarily answers, just emphasis).
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So, is it safe to believe that Toby, Mona and red coat (Ali?) are the only ones that make up the A team? Cause in one of the interviews for the finale it was implied that we would see everyone who was in the A team.
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The meeting ... you forgot about that :P
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Yeah but they still obstructed the As responsible for the cabin fire. If they were all revealed, there'd be no reason to hide their identities.
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I thought it was Shauna, Jenna and Melissa who started the fire. As a payback for them blinding Jenna, and seeing as how we now know her surgery is not a permanent cure, this seems most likely. And of course they pinned it on Toby in the end, by leaving him there with the lighter. Not sure why Melissa is helping with that, but I guess Jenna decided to get over Garrett by dipping a toe in the pool of ladylove with Shauna. Guess thats where she's been all this time, off scissoring with the flirtiest lesbian in town.
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Should put this out there, the tv show is very different from the book. There's barely any similarities between the books and the tv show other than the characters' personalities and their general backstories. Mona was also A in the book but thats the only other similarity. The plot is pretty different and has diverged a lot from the novels.

Simply from watching the show and not taking anything from the books, I was thinking that the ghost girl from the second halloween special also could have been one of the sisters, maybe even Ali herself but a younger version. Its possible that the Ali lookalike could be one of the sisters as well, though the end tag for this episode implies Ali could have faked her death?
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yeah that what i think also, maybe ali had to fake her death so the one who wanted to kill her didnt. But the bullying to the liars doesnt make a lot of sense unless it was the "alis" sick way of saying im alive!
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I thought so too, but Ali too was stalked by A in the beginning, so they can't be same can they?
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i know, first we have Ali been stalked and killed by A who i thought was her sister, and then continue to stalk her friends in all ways possible. but then we have what apears to be that ali faked her death and her sister helped wichs means she wasnt the A who was trying to kill her. but then why would they stalk the liars pretending to be A and wheres the real A?
That's why it doesnt make a lot of sense for ali to be alive, but lets see how the writers fill that big plot hole if they go for that story.
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I really hope some sense will come into place XD
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I think it's Jason . Unsatisfying season finale . No answers delivered at all , just more questions , it's starting to get messy . This looks like Lost in one way : when they have to wrap up the show we will be left with a lot of questions and they will probably give a stupid excuse of a finale . I think Pretty Little Liars has some serious issues with season finales , none of the 3 were really good at all and it is dissapointing to keep fans on the edge of their seats a whole season and deliver an anticlimatic and predictive conclusion . This show needs and end date ASAP make it one year from now o three , I don't care but it's the only way for writers to concentrate and take the story somewhere instead of introducing more and more characters and silly plotlines.
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I've actually enjoyed all of the season finale up until now. This one was a complete and total mess. It made no sense at all. Nothing that happened made sense. Mona is A and yet she has never seen the girl in the red coat, and if she just partnered up with her recently, why would Mona take orders from someone she doesn't know ? Sigh...the stupidity in this show surprises me every time..
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What i hate most is that the writers seem to know where they are going but totally screw up the finales , so all the hipe they build is useless . They seem to be very good creating mistery , but they fail when it comes to closing some storylines . Another issue is Jenna . She is being missing for five or six episodes and suddenly appears in the finale out of nowhere as a huge part of a plot with Shana ( ??? ) and Melissa who is also being missing most of the second part of the season . I don't know , doesn't make sense to me . For all we know the person in the trunk can be alive , that would surely piss me off
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okay so....... I didn't get it

Were toby and mona working "for the good side" and then there's the others like the one who set the fire and the one who hit toby (ezra), and then there's ali... I DON'T GET IT.. why must you be so confusing show???
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I don't think there's anything to get. They just like having lots of twists and turns, and they periodically reveal things when they've boxed themselves into a corner and have to reveal them. Don't think there's a real "plan".
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Also Shona nonsense is too much. Now I'm supposed to believe she is the one Jenna met at the night of the masquerade ball...and they are secretly gay together? What?

Does anyone care about Shona? Personally, I don't give a flying duck. The whole episode was complete waste of time. Also Shona (who we met 2 episodes ago) is involved with Wilden, and Jenna who have been on the show since the very beginning...yeah okay, very plausible storyline PLL writers!!@ Kudos!
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Seeing Jenna in the finale reminded me how long it's been since I've actually seen her doing something. I forgot I'd missed her. I was so thankful when Ezra and Aria broke up; he really was just a creepy tumor on her character development. I hated the way they tied Spencer up with a 'plan' to sell her friends out to Toby; the ones she's known since long before she even dated him. That was deeply offensive. Emily is so-so as usual; the main thing I've been wondering about in her direction is why Paige has seemingly disappeared from the show. Weren't they dating? Hanna's fun as usual and she shined nicely with Caleb off somewhere else. Knowing Mona as a pawn, I'm interested to see more interactions between her and the liars. I'll probably get over being peeved about Spencer's wasted potential; I may have preferred that the show actually kill Toby and take the risks it could have but, I'll take what I can get. Particularly, the revelation of Red Hood's identity. Supposedly The Liar Staff had a lot of fun with the season 4 premiere, so I'm looking forward to seeing how that shakes out. I'll stick with it. :)
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That's the problem with this show. In three seasons none of these characters have developed. Aria is the same girl who defines herself with boys, Hanna is a queen bee who just shoplifts less and Spencer's character development this year completely circled back. Emily's probably had the most with her coming out and maybe being a little more ballsy but her development has just made her impulsive and even more stupid.
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Either the writers are are a little bit TOO dedicated to uniform consistency on the characters (or worse), maybe relationships are actually how the writers of this show DEFINE character development. o_O
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Very dissapointing, considering all the revelations they promised, it's ok if they give us more questions and mistery but they also need to give us ACTUAL answers to the old ones, otherwise it's just frustrating and hard to keep up
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Well, Pretty Little Liars has a reputation for throwing more questions than answering what we've long suspected was the real deal, so asking for more would've been just silly.
Now, last week I had a lot of trouble actually buying Spencer joining the A despite Troian Bellisario's flawless acting. Spencer's always been too loyal to her friends to just do that so, no surprise on the double-crossing Team A, and even though I understand why she did it, COME ON SPENCE, CHICKS BEFORE DICKS.
So, no surprise on Toby being alive either, thanks to soap opera rules. Also, said rule applies to Red Coat: How long have we been saying it's Alison all along? Didn't see the corpse, don't buy she's dead. However, and not having read the books myself, I've had the same hesitation regarding the Hallowing Special #1 and a certain picture of the DiLaurentis children that was online with one Jason and two Alisons. Does Ali have a twin sister nobody ever met? That would open the gate for a whole lot of new questions that would probably remain unanswer for so many seasons...
It's interesting to think that if Red Coat is actually Ali and the one who saved the Liars plus Mona (which to me makes a lot of sense), and Jenna and Shenna or whoever being the ones who set the fire and the actual Evil Team A, Melissa is clearly on it too and probably part of the same people who sent the last -A text, which would mean that Red Coat is not trying to hurt the Liars and would rule them out as leader of Team A, right?
Was Mona Team A #1 and Jenna and Co. Team A #2? That's got me confused...
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I had to watch this episode twice (well most of it twice) cause I definitely got distracted by some abs the first time around... And the peanut gallery of my fiancee mocking the show the whole time.

So I'm kinda in the same point. We were promised "answers" and what we got was essentially a quasi-confirmation of what we've already figured out, and a lot of stuff that leaves me scratching my head.

I'm buying into the theory that there's essentially 2 groups happening right now. Now whether they're actually connected or they're a side faction, or competing definitely remains to be seen. But based on Red Coat's (still not gonna definitively call her Ali) look of worry, I really don't think she had anything to do with ordering that fire.

And I'm still worried about Toby. The writers made this big stink after his reveal that yes he's evil and yes he wanted to hurt the girls, but now he's suddenly just another double agent? Which if so, that's fine. I have missed my eye candy. But why go to such great lengths to make us really believe he's evil, just to have it not be the case. You can say, oh yeah they just wanted to steer people off track, but they are aware their viewing audience is smart.

I am very curious to see what they do with Mona next season. She's obviously feeling someone's wrath right now since she got the text, but she didn't tell them the completely truth about her encountering Red Coat, so how much can she actually be trusted?

And is it a law that if you're in the black hoodie, you hair must be straightened? Cause both Mona and Spencer had curls and waves to die for all episode except for when they're in the hoodie.

And hey, Ezria broke up. Again. Or did they? Oh wait they did. But not 100% explicitly. Just sigh.
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1. Spencer is back to her usual self. I liked crazy, evil Spencer, but to be honest I'm glad they concluded her arc. I hope to see more great acting by Troian Bellisario in season 4. Spencer and Hannah are my two favorite characters of PLL.

2. Spencer - Toby make up sex. It was very nice scene with a great music background. However, it was too short. Ok, I know it's show for teenagers, but still...

3. Mona is now basically 5-th Liar. I doubt she will go back to the A Team.

4. Now there are 3 groups in this show: Liars (Spencer, Aria, Emily, Hannah, Mona and Toby), the A Team (Red Coat and Caleb) and Anti-Ali / NAT (Jenna, Mellissa, Cece, Shana, Creeperson). I guess season 4 will focus on Liars vs Anti-Ali since the A Team is now in retreat. Also Anti-Ali tried to kill both Liars and the A Team. So Liars and the A Team have a common enemy. Also Liars are now Red Coat minions.

5. Did anyone notice the computer wiz hoodie? I think it was Caleb - he's the only known hacker in PLL.

6. "All things truly wicked start from innocence." - that's like Ezra's motto. He's a sick, twisted man.

7. I think Aly staged her death and then diged herslef out from the grave in Buffy season 6 style. My money is that her twin sister (Courtney) helped her. Why would Aly stage her death? I guess she was scared that Anti-Aly will kill her.

8. I thought this season final was supposed to last 2 hours?

9. Shana is "a kitty tease". She compliments all the girls and flirts with them, but she never calls you, not to mention taking you to a date.

10. I think the proper term is: "Gals before Guys".

It was ok-ish episode, but for season final I've expected something better.

Thanks for review, Nick!
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I thought the hoodie computer whiz was Spencer. Wasn't that how she met Toby at the diner?
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Haha, again with Caleb. :) Hahaha.
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Madelynn, they are not even trying to hide his involvement anymore. "Hey look, I'm hacking into a computer! Guess, who can do it besides me? No one!". At this point Caleb could just turn around and smile into the camera, wearing his hoodie.

Really, who else could it be?
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I'm sure you're right, I just think I never really pay close attention on PLL. I don't even really remember anyone being on a computer. . . :)
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"Oh well, not long until the next season starts in June" was my only thought after this finale. We didn't get any answers, we only got more questions and I have already given up on season finales when it comes to solving the mystery.
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I must say (and I was wracking my brain about the rest of Farewell to Arms and then saying what is with these shows lately referencing mandatory reading material..Arrow's Island scenes are all about the Odyssey and then there is basically the whole original plot of Revenge which is either the Count of Monte Cristo or Don Quixote I forget)I was sitting there actually thinking, holy crap they are going to tell us everything!! I didn't even entirely mind the whole Spencer thing basically because I began to believe she was 50/50 faking and needing her stay in Radley, so she didn't know who to trust and was vaguely convinced Mona was everywhere. I am curious if Mona knew what was going to happen at the lodge house since she was leaving. While I totally understand the feelings she might have toward Spencer, Aria and Emily, I never get why she is so willing to hurt Hanna. But that stupid car and this 'B' team...seriously.

Okay, um, Toby? Yes, I did soap opera logic, so I wasn't surprised. I am wondering though...did he kill Ian?
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Count of Monte Cristo
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Personally, I hated everything about the finale. The whole thing felt super rushed, and it made 0 sense to me.

We still don't know who the girl in the red coat is, someone who looked like Ali...well okay. That answers alot...*sarcasm*

The whole Spencer plot just crashed and burned...

The only thing I'm coming back for next season is that Mona is now one of the liars and she gets to be tortured by A << XD Talk about character development XD
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You're just baiting the Ezria people at this point, Nick. This is not a criticism.
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They're super gross. I guess it's teenage viewers vs the rest of us on that. 'Cause the rest of us think jumping minors is nasty.
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Because it's funny and Ezria's gross.
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I agree with your review., The conclusion in the ladies room when Spencer followed the Red Coat was really silly. And the finale was really not that mind-blowing and didn't bring real answers. What a pity, with all the hype. And the big reveal of Red Coat was weird and wishy washy and seemed like another hallucination to me.
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I think Aria and Ezra are yet again back together. After that kiss in the stairwell(WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM) in school,I think they made some plan,that only again those 2 knew,that they are still together. And they will play it "smart" for these 7 months until Aria graduates.

Finale was so-so. Had some moments.
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I want her to hook it up with his brother again. :) Forget that old pedophile, and move on!
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Aria flat-out said she couldn't wait the 7 months.
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Yeah,but she said many things many times and done just opposite thing and she is still a teen. Those tend to change their minds on hourly bases.
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yeh but the problem wasnt that he was her teacher again it was that he has a kid now and she doesnt want to be a 17 stepmother
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I concur with you, Vesta. Teenage girls that age shouldn't be encouraged to needlessly take on the burdens of people far older than them.
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Didn't you watch episode,where she went pick up Malcolm? :D And she went there only to PICK him up. She being a step-mother to that kid...LOL :D She would have lost him and not care in first 10min,he would be left alone with her.
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