Pretty Little Liars Season 6A Finale Review: The Lying and Crying Game

Pretty Little Liars S06E10: "Game Over, Charles"

Let it be known that I am a human who can admit when he is wrong.

On YouTube and in the TV.com podcast, I've repeatedly claimed that this season finale will not contain the all the answers for which the audience clamors. Despite Marlene King claiming that #ItsNoLie and that we'll know who Charles, A, Black Widow and all the supporting cast for their doings are by the end of this episode, I remained highly skeptical. It wasn't in a cynical way, just as a good consumer. I didn't want to set myself up for disaster. And looking at past trends (EzrA, the "Mona is Dead" media relationship), it made sense to try to read between the lines. As is often the case with how this show projects itself, both diegetically and post-episode, examining what it's careful not to say is almost just as important as what it actually is saying.

But I didn't need to do that here. Marlene King and the Pretty Little Liars staff seemed very interested in closing the book on the high school story, which meant divesting itself of all its secrets. Well, most of them anyway. The big stuff, as it turned out.

I'll also be clear in saying of all the myriad options for who A could've been, Cece wouldn't have been my first choice. That goes to all of the Liars clandestinely playing each other after Mona was committed because they needed the A game in their lives (come on, how great would that have been?). But Cece being A is a solution that fits.

It fits more than Noel Kahn or Jenna or even Shana, Cece is the better option as a person that's been close to the Liars and has been in and out of the story enough for dollhouse creation to be a good excuse for her absences. She makes sense. At least it wasn't Ashley or Melissa or Pastor Ted using "Charles" for a set of principles for the game. Although Pastor Ted as A would've been amazing.

They walked a fine transphobic line with the gender swap but I'm choosing to believe they were leaning toward the more culturally-aware trans-positive side. The show seemed to be saying that Charles/Charlotte was transgender and that created the rift between father and son that would eventually lead to years of psychological trauma in institutes and denial of identity, even by the people she thought loved her most. I mean, her mother claimed that she was dead all these years. There is no more grave a denial than that.

That's an important distinction since it might be perceived that Charles's gender identity was just another symptom of her being a whacked-out, sociopathic kookypants. Like I said, I'm choosing the more progressive, open-minded version.

So Cece started life as Charles and then, with a funeral ceremony that was supposed to be a liberating ritual (that Jessica used to deny her existence), became Charlotte and then became Cece (get it? C-C?). The reason for the Drake surname is unclear. I'm guessing it was because she was playing a lot of Uncharted on her Xbox.

Cece wanting to continue the game at first because of how much closer the Liars were to her little dolly Alison than she was, and then because the Liars seemed to not care about Alison's disappearance also added up. Mostly. Cece embedding herself in the friend circle is good stuff. And while some people might have been skeeved out with Cece dating her half-brother, by that time, she was already broken. She had an extraordinary familial distance: Alison was an object, Ken was an enemy, Jason was a memory. Jessica represented her only family. That she would have a kissing cousin makes sense, particularly since it never crossed a certain line. Though you do question if that line was never trespassed because of consanguineous relations or because of a possible sensitivity to her body.

Sara Harvey being Red Coat (when Alison and Cece weren't) also added up beautifully even if it was a complete rejection of past theories, given that Sara is basically brand new to us. It confirmed what we already knew in our heart of hearts: Sara is a broken woman who was always teamed up with the bad guys. Blonde women in the Rosewood Metro area were all just conspiring with each other at some point or another to escape from or be part of the A syndicate. Well, except Hanna. But that's only because she stands for truth and justice.

So, all in all, it was an episode that fulfilled its promises. And if you want to keep that satisfied feeling of knowing all the answers and the relief like a chapter has been successfully closed, you can probably stop reading now.

Because this episode was also pretty wack.

The conceit of the episode, with the Liars watching Cece confess her story much in the same way A has been watching them for years, is tainted by the fact that the Liars, in their prom gowns, were watching from what seemed like the Star Trek bridge. I know that time has always been an issue with Pretty Little Liars (and we'll get into that mess in a little bit) but they stepped from the 2010s to the 2260s in a flash. It's an audience-throwing moment that is very similar to introducing Mrs. Grunwald the Unblinking Psychic into the canon. A has always been technology-forward but does sci-fi belong on this show?

Then it was a lot of information furiously given, so much so that, while the episode was airing, it may have been tough to analyze. While you were in the moment, maybe you didn't immediately bristle at the number of decoys Cece sent out that patch plot holes. Or the fact that Mona killed Bethany Young in a fit of rage but doesn't explain why she was there in the first place. Or the number of unnatural reactions some of these characters have throughout the episode, particularly Jessica DiLaurentis. How she reacted to one of her daughters being killed (allegedly) by the other made me seriously consider if this story was concocted for the Liars' benefit.

Then there was the emotional whiplash of everyone involved while Cece spilled her guts. Here the Liars were, looking at the person that escalated the game so violently from when Mona was A, one that got them arrested as accessories to murder, one that stripped them of their clothes and implanted chips into their necks while imprisoning them for weeks, and one that was addicted to torturing them. And they heard how the villain became a villain and they all turned to mush (except for one stiff outcry from Hanna).

True enough, Cece had a hard life and it was mostly undeserved up to the point where she started playing mind games with her family and the people of Rosewood. Did her stolen childhood, her being a part-time orphan, and her dissonance with the outside world provide enough empathetic evidence to justify the years of torture she placed on all these women based on faulty presumptions? How were they so willing to let Cece slide? They were ready to light Andrew Campbell on fire even after they saw the Soul Room. They wouldn't have shed a tear if Rhys had been outed as Charles, even though they all knew that Charles was an escaped Radley patient denied his family for decades. Why is it special for Cece?

It's that main question that kept me on the outside for of most of this episode. Answers were washing over me fast and furious but the reactions by the Liars to Cece vacillating between hatred of them and loving them as her dolls made little sense. Cece even tried to blow Alison up in one of the cheesiest end games this show has produced. But when she threatened to jump off a building after the failed explosion, the only reason I could think of for Alison trying to talk Cece down was for a basic inclination to preserve human life, not for any emotional connection. Sure, Alison and Cece had been friends for years, but Cece was the reason Alison's life was destroyed. And the Liars talked themselves out of hating the enemy that tortured them for a year (yeah, it's only been one Rosewood school year with Cece as A) within a half hour's time.

What was probably the most disappointing part about the finale is that it was a flashback to cornier times. This season was a much more mature series of episodes, both in content and in execution. This is a series that has come into its own, is able to reflect on its mythology, and now allows itself time for the characters to react, grow, and show dimension in ways that the pacing of previous seasons wouldn't allow. How the game ended felt like a relic. It's an artifact, which makes it probably the greatest evidence that this solution has been set for some time.

Not every question was answered, either, which is what I expected, though the remaining questions aren't nearly as big as the ones addressed. The biggest one to stand out is, if Cece didn't kill Mrs. D, who did? And who was using Mrs. D's body to torture the girls? Was that Sara Harvey? Did Grunwald take another spin around the DiLaurentis house to save Bethany Young only for another blonde girl to buried alive in the hole? Or was Cece so disturbed that she distanced herself from the death enough so that she could use it as part of the game?

So the verdict is that the show backed up its promise by giving us answers, but they never said we had to be happy about how the answers were given to us or whether or not we'd even like the answers. Those tricky, tricky show creators.

Lastly, we should look at the #5YearsForward, where 6x11 will pick up the future with a new threat. The biggest stories here are, of course, Spencer's bangs, Alison calling herself Mrs. Rollins (or at least writing it on the blackboard), and where the time jump puts us in actual time. Does that mean we're in 2020? Are we in 2016 and was 6A in 2011? Or is time a flat circle, the Liars titans made of star stuff, and their years marked in a way that is foreign to our inferior brains? The only thing that makes complete sense is that there seems to be a brand new threat for the adult Liars to handle and it doesn't seem like their first indication is to call the police. Maybe Lorenzo, sick on Alison pheromone withdrawal, has gone full crazy? I guess we'll know in a few months.

See you in January!



PRETTY LITTLE NOTES

– This guy doing the "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" on the dance floor.

– Did anyone let the drunk moms out? They weren't around for the tearful goodbye on Labor Day. Did they die in that basement? I wouldn't mind a hiatus episode where the moms sit around in the basement, spilling all their secrets while eating Jessica's preserves for sustenance.

– There were a number of disappointing things about revelations: Tanner was on the take, Rhys was a decoy, the ret-conning about how Mona looked dead in the trunk (Cece is also some kind of chemist), Cece as the "wolf of Wall Street," that green screen at the Brew, etc.

– Can we please have a round of applause for how great Mona was in this episode, even when she was admitting things I wish weren't canon? M: "I'm a self-taught eidetiker." S: "That's not a learned skill. That's a phenomenon." M: *raised eyebrows in that "try me" area Mona lives in*

– What would Toby be like if he knew his mother hadn't died of a suicide but because Bethany Young be crazy? Would he have craven for justice? Would he be the antihero we didn't want but always needed instead of the bumbling cop no one asked for?

– Intermittent Explosive Disorder does not sound like a brain thing. It sounds like a poop thing.

– See, Emily? This is what you get when you don't ask follow-up questions. You get surprised about your girlfriend being evil while standing in Tomorrowland. But good on Em for slugging Sara.

– Spencer quoting Winnie-the-Pooh then calling Hanna "Hanna Banana." Can't Hanna go to school near Washington, too, so their PI business can take off?

– Ah, the return of our old friend Nathaniel Hawthorne on the chalkboard. Have we not seen the last of the scarlet letters in this show?

– That line about "Everyone with a penis is a suspect" seems pretty crass now, doesn't it?

– If you want to revel/wallow more in the Season 6A finale, there's also a (slightly different) YouTube version of this review: Warm Fuzzy Version | Dark Complainy Version

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Oct 11, 2015
I did really love this ep, I was not disappointed at all.
people would have become disappointed however it ended.

frokentv
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Sep 05, 2015
One very clever fan predicted that cece would be A and I sort of knew that the writers would go with cece so wasn't surprised much about the reveal..although I hoped that they would surprise me..the thing that surprised me the most though was whether they were continuing with the transgender storyline and they did...and created some HUGE plot holes that now that I think of makes the finale pretty sloppy..
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Aug 17, 2015
I've only got one thing to say (because I'm torn in half about this episode, and don't know what to say about it):

Through seasons 1 to 5,5, the Liars have looked liked teens-in-their-far-twenties. Now, 5 years later, they're supposed to play 22/23 yo girls (still younger than they actually are, except Sasha), and they manage to give them a in-their-30s-look?! Wow.
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Aug 17, 2015
I hated this episode that I thought was completely ridiculous! They should have make things easier and more believable with Cece just being Ali's sister! What the hell was that transgender story? It wasn't logic at all and there were a lot of incoherences! However I liked the fact that they finally answered all the major questions even though I still have some like why the hell did Sarah team up with Cece in the first place? And how the hell could Mona kill Bethany thinking it was Alison and then help Alison get away a few minutes later? or was it earlier? I still don't understand the shovel story: so Spencer fought with Alison while holding the shovel, she then left with the shovel and Mona took it and hit Bethany? So confusing!
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Aug 15, 2015
"What was probably the most disappointing part about the finale is that it was a flashback to cornier times. This season was a much more mature series of episodes, both in content and in execution."


The gummy bears would disagree

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Aug 15, 2015
"That goes to all of the Liars clandestinely playing each other after Mona was committed because they needed the A game in their lives (come on, how great would that have been?)"

That genuinely sounds like the worst idea ever
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Aug 17, 2015
Aw, come on. There are FAR worse ideas. Emily's dad being A. Lucas being A. Aria being A. In fact, I'm not sure that there's an A reveal that isn't the worst, Wren included ("Oh, do you guys remember this character that hasn't been around in two years and has only been briefly mentioned in passing because of Melissa? It's him. That's your dude.").

The Liars all being A to each other would at least fit with the torture scheme CeCe put them through in the dollhouse.
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Aug 22, 2015
I used to really want Aria to be A, though I admit that the last couples seasons made it kind of impossible. It was a really good theory, toward the beginning. Plus, I just wanted it to be very personal, not just some rando (like Wren, for example). Actually, I would have enjoyed your idea with them playing off of each other.

As it is, they picked just about the best person I can think of, considering all we know. Still, CeCe doesn't give the impression of being as smart as Mona or Spencer to me, so it's a bit hard to believe her as A. But the motivation is pretty good, compared to who else might have had enough motivation to torture the girls.
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Aug 18, 2015
I know the CeCe reveal created so many plot holes but i think having the Liars being A just because they couldn't let it go would double the chances of plot holes - it would a diabolical reveal and systematically ruin the series for a lot of people (even more so than the CeCe reveal)

As for
"Wren included ("Oh, do you guys remember this character that hasn't been around in two years and has only been briefly mentioned in passing because of Melissa? It's him. That's your dude.")"

You are very brave for saying that my friend - the major backlash towards the finale was not because of the gazillion plot holes (although they DID contribute) it was the fact that Wren was not A
You go on the IMDb boards and say that and they would rip your insides out, i am not kidding
The "Wren is A" theorists are effing crazy - going so far as creating a petition for Marlene to redo the finale were Wren is A (Melissa is Black Widow and CeCe is Red Coat also)



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Aug 22, 2015
Haha, I'm glad the only place I talk to people about tv is here. :)
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Aug 18, 2015

Yeah, that's what I'm reading, too. There are some people who thought Wren was A and are slightly disappointed to be wrong and then there are some "Wren Is Definitely A" theorists that can't let go and are ready to march on Washington. It's a fandom that's ready to burn the whole thing to the ground.

I did a dramatic reading on YouTube of one of the comments on that petition. It's out of control, kev. People want to burn the whole thing down.

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Aug 18, 2015
I'm a fan of the show no matter what - yes i was disappointed in the reveal but i still love PLL - if you disagree with the crazy wren theorists - they call you an idiot for liking the show after the finale :O
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Aug 14, 2015
The A reveal was underwhelming but I didn't hate it, I think the episode would work out better if they divided it in 2 parts instead of cramming everything in 40 minute. I was LOLing so hard with "A's" futuristic lair, it didn't make sense at all.

I'm more excited for the #5yearsforward stuff than for the actual A reveal, I'm intrigued what the new mystery will be and also for Spencer's bangs...

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Aug 17, 2015
Yeah, it seems like everyone, including the people running the show, are more excited about what happened next than in the A reveal. It was like the writers were already so over this secret and just wanted to get it out of the way.
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Aug 17, 2015
oh yeah the part where Mona got a knife out of her heel was hilarious!
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Aug 14, 2015
I was pretty much like "thanks i guess for answering questions but yeah it was alright." But then Spencer quoted Winny the Pooh and got emotional and said Hanna Banana and damn if I didnt tear up. But yes Spencer, Hanna and Caleb; their Detective Agency is what I want, Ney! It is what I NEED!!!!
Iam really looking forward to the next part, and not just because of Spencer's bangs but I really want to see adult women fight these threats with everything they will now have at their disposal.
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Aug 13, 2015
So I've been processing this all in my head since Tuesday night and I still can't make heads or tails of what I actually think about how this all ended.

On the one hand, they made it fit fairly well into the story although it sometimes felt like a quick band-aid slap and the whole Jason thing just still leaves me a bit squeamish.

And, CeCe does fit into things better than some of the other -A suspects would have, although having one of the other girls as -A would have been the more fun option.

However, I can't say I'm satisfied with it. Granted, I don't know that I would have been fully satisfied with any option at this point.

I have a hard time buying that this uber A has been planned out since season 3. I can maybe buy the few inconsistencies that existed with all of the pre-show and even through season 2 info that we got. But, as I said above, a lot of the answers/explanations we got felt like band-aids being slapped over gaping plot holes and ridiculously convenient throwaways. I could maybe even buy that they had the idea of Charles as -A for a long time but they clearly didn't fully plan out how they were going to get there. Which leads me to horribly wonder if having CeCe be transgender was ultimately a ratings ploy. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with CeCe being transgender (in fact, props to the show for going there) but the timing is just too convenient right now for me not to be suspicious about it and I hate that I feel that way about it.

And freaking Sara Harvey as Red Coat AND Black Widow???? Give me a fricking break. That I will forever be pissed off about.

Honestly, I think part of my frustration with the episode stems from the fact that there was just too much exposition in this episode for approximately 45 minutes of screen time. I appreciate that we needed answers, but they seriously couldn't have extended the episode a bit? I felt like everything was coming at me so fast that I couldn't really absorb one thing before the next was flying at me. And maybe it would have allowed for a little more care to be provided to the girls' reaction to things. This season has been so strong in taking the time to really give us some emotional depth (which is why I won't go so far as to really call any episode complete filler) and show how much this has all affected them and then in the span of 3 minutes of actually seeing their faces and reactions to things, they're suddenly all cool? I definitely would have appreciated a little more after-the-fact action, not just them leaving for college.
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Aug 22, 2015
Exactly, I had already realized that no A reveal could live up to all the twists and turns and clues over the course of many seasons, so I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but I think they picked one of the best options.
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Aug 13, 2015

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Aug 13, 2015
Tanner wasn't in on it - Sara never called Tanner.

LOL at the writers for not picking up on Wilde being a CHILD when Bethany killed Mrs. Cavanagh and blamed Cece. He was at oldest in junior high.

What a let down episode. I was sooo hoping it would be Wren, and that Melissa was Red Coat.

Cece was just too obvious and a stupid choice imo. What a waste of 5 years. Plus the episode felt really rushed, and not a typical PPL episode.

Oh well, the previous episode was AWESOME, so this HAD to be a let down. Kind of excited for season 6B, though. Could be interesting.

PS: I also missed seing the moms. And are Jason and Mr. D dead?

PS 2: Emily really got around these past 2 (?) years: She had a boyfriend in the beginning of season 1. Then there was Maya. Then Paige. Then she slept with Alison. Then there was the girl from Ezra's book store. And finally Sara Harvey.

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Aug 13, 2015
The more I think about it the more I'm convinced that Wren / Melissa was the original idea for the team A. And they changed it after the reddit leakage.

I suspect the Liars' Moms all starved to death and they're now haunting DiLaurentis' basement. The wine bottles mysteriously disappear each night.

Jason is probably alive. Ken - who knows?

IMO the biggest rotfl moment of the episode was Liars crying while they were listening to CeCe's story. Seriously?! CeCe kidnapped you all and held you in captivity for 3 weeks. Also she tried to kill all of you on numerous occasions. If you feel sorry for her girls then you need a shrink.

Also we have no idea what happened to CeCe and Sarah afterwards? Were they sent to prison / asylum? Did they escape from prison / asylum? Is CeCe drinking champagne in Paris and tormenting French teenagers? Is Sarah a regular at Rosewood's famous lesbian bar?
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Aug 15, 2015
The very first episode Cece appears in, she knows about Hanna's shoplifting habit, despite that starting after Alison disappears. She also referred to Alison as a 'broken doll' language that is a hallmark of A. To add some symbolism to it, her debut is the same episode that is Kennth's.

Looking back, the signs were there from the beginning, Cece was always supposed to be A.
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Aug 14, 2015
I agree. I think Wren/Melissa was the original plan too.
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Aug 13, 2015
Odd ep.

I feel that some of the answers came last minute. Also, they never explained things like the involvement of Jenna, Melissa, and a bunch of other characters. Emily punching Stockholm Sara was nice, though.

Alison stayed in town, why again?
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Aug 13, 2015
Tanner being dirty wasn't proven, it was just a theory they threw out when they still believed Sara was innocent.
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Aug 13, 2015
Some of that times the girls met A in a black hoodie, A sure was taller, quicker and stronger than what either Sara or CeCe are.
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Aug 13, 2015
Yeah and when Spenccer was in that room and she went "Charles?", Charles was taller then Spencer. Just another f u to the fans and people watching this show for 5 years.
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Aug 13, 2015
Well,they waited so long to reveal,who A is and told us,that it's not like in the books,where there's evil twin...so we get a sibling as boy,turned into girl...wow...just wow.

Honestly after getting to know,who A is,closing this whole chapter of A , I got the closure from Pretty Little Liars and I just might bail on this show.If there's nothing on tv,I might check next episode,but given how weak this episode was and how weak reveal was....we'll see.
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Aug 13, 2015
After this episode I started thinking about how much the ratings will drop when the show returns. There's a good chance that a large number of people will stop watching the show. Many people have been waiting for five and a half years for this reveal, just so that they can move on. And the more time has gone by, the more the lack of answers have increased their frustration, and the more it has strengthened people's resolve to jump ship when the time comes. The answer to the biggest question on the show will surely have such a cathartic effect on people that they feel no need to return to watching it in January. Many of the fans have also grown up during these years so that while the show appealed to them in 2010, they don't have the interest for it any more, and it makes their decision to quit watching easier.
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Aug 13, 2015
The problem is the curiosity they might want stop watching but they can't it like someone who been on drugs for 5 years you can't expect them to quit cold turkey. I quit this series 2 years ago as soon as they revealed Alison was alive my curiosity was satisfied as when i start watching this mystery was who killed Alison?. The A mystery wasn't main concern.
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Aug 13, 2015
I know that's the case for me. I can't quit a show once I've begun watching it. I'm loyal like that. I will go all the way with PLL too. But if there's something I've learned here on TV.com, it's that many people are able to quit shows. I've noticed that a lot of people here stop watching shows, even after years of watching them, and that must apply to the rest of the population too. Apparently not all people are addictive personalities.
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Aug 22, 2015
I'm one of those who can quit shows. But I intend to keep watching PLLs. For me its this weird guilty pleasure, and I can't even figure out why I like it, but it's certainly not just because I wanted to find out who A was. I always knew it would be underwhelming. I think part of it is how much I like the characters of Spencer, Hannah, and Mona.

I quit The Walking Dead, for example, and I really don't care what happens. I think it's especially easy for me to quit when I don't care about the characters. Like, why do I care what happens if it doesn't matter to me if a single one of them lives or dies?
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Aug 13, 2015
If you can find something else to watch instead of this it makes it easier.
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Aug 13, 2015
I can see why there'd be a lot of hate for this reveal online, but honestly, it was kind of the only thing that made sense at this point. The books went with the deranged twin theory, and Marlene stated very early on that she wasn't going to do that with the show, so this was the next most plausible thing. A secret sibling, locked away and never spoken about. You can kind of even see the whole gender thing as a motivation to torture Ali, but I don't get the hate for the girls, and I definitely don't get the whole "I missed the game, it was so addictive" motivation. I also thought it was a bit odd that they were all willing to forgive her so easily and talk her down from the ledge. You'd think that after all the shit they'd been through, and all the near death experiences, that they'd all feel safer if A was dead for real.

So, now there's a new mystery involving Ali? Who's coming for her? Jason? Ken? EzrA? The person who killed Mrs D?
Ali's a teacher? Really? The girl missed what three years of High School? And we're to believe in 5 years she caught up with that and went to college and qualified as a teacher? AND got married?
Shennanigans!
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Aug 13, 2015
And still, she's only 19.
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Aug 13, 2015
We as an audience were never going to be entirely satisfied with any A reveal but I do think this was one of the better choices.

Yes there are timeline inconsistencies but when it comes to motivations, I accept that Cece is simply a very disturbed person with a warped will view and everything she did doesn't have to make logical sense on every level to us.

For me the last 5 seasons were not a waste of time. PLL was never a completely reasonable and realistic show and it was entertaining all the way.

I'm just glad that they are finally done with the whole high school era and the show can move on.
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Aug 13, 2015
Y U HAD NO PLAN, PLL WRITERS?

Once again, we see a show that has a plot line (hell, the MAIN plot line of the show) developing through years and years, and yet you (writers) don't have the answer to that plot lone until the very end. And that's why we see inconsistencies all over the place! Everything was so confusing, and tangled, and twisted, and difficult to understand (and not in a cool, surprising, breath-taking, jaw-dropping way, writers). Everything was a mess, because YOU HAD NO PLAN UNTIL THE VERY END, WRITERS. You didn't plan who 'A' was going to be until the very end (And don't get me started on the Red Coat Girl Sarah... urg)

However, I asked myself: If not CeCe, who would have been a better choice? This show made sure that The Liars and us suspected of basically EVERYONE in that town... Main characters, supportive characters... even the extras. WE SUSPECTED EVERYONE AT SOME POINT. And, when something like that happens... when you basically thought that even Pastor Ted could be 'A', then there aren't a lot of options left that can be surprising, yet "obvious", and fulfilling, and that made everything make sense (again, that happens when you -writers- don't have a plan from the beginning). So, taking that in consideration, I'd say that CeCe was the best option. She was a character that was in and out of The Liars lives. A character that the writers took a little of their time to develop. A character that we loved and hated through the seasons. Someone who, at the end, had a little significance to us, and to the story. So, well, sure, CeCe/Charles/Charlotte was 'A'. (At least that was MUCH BETTER than Dan Humphrey being Gossip Girl, something that made NO SENSE AT ALL).

Personally, I would have ended the show at EzrA. He was the right choice for 'A'. It was surprising, and breath-taking, and jaw-dropping, and, once we heard his story of obsession for Allison and that stuff, it made sense. He was a beloved character and none of us (at least, not me) saw coming that he could be 'A'. It was painful to watch, yet amazing. Anyways...

Am I satisfied? Not really. Am I hating the writers and breaking up with the show? Absolutely no. Could had been worse. We have seen worse. And also, I have invested six years of my life on this, and I'm not backing up now. I want to see how it ends.

I also need to see a special episode that shows how the moms got out of the basement, and how was the party in there.

Ok, so, the girls graduated from high school at 18 years old (I assume). And then there's the 5 year flashforward. So, they are now, what? Around 22-23 years old? So, is it me or they looked a lot older than 22-23 year-old girls? Just saying...

Ok, bye.

PS. Vanessa Ray (CeCe Drake) was AMAZING. Excellent performance.
PS2. Mona was amazing.
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Aug 13, 2015
Honestly, show became so convulted, contradictory and nonsensical anybody could be A with minimal explanation needed. and we'd swallow it and go "Ooooh, that makes perfect sense"

Hell, if it turned out it's Tanner because reasons we'd just nod and say "Figures". If it was janitor from RHS we'd go "Hah, good one, I didn't see that one coming"
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Aug 13, 2015
Biggest plot hole was definitely the fact that Cece said Bethany killed Marion Cavanaugh (Toby's mom) when he/she was a kid. However Allison as a teenager (and us the audience) meets her when Allison is a teenager. The timings just don't match up. Not to mention that the Rosewood Highschool yearbook from Jason's year says that Cece was both Prom Queen and on the Debate team. There are a good amount more inconsistencies. All in all very poor writing. There were a plethora of better choices in my opinion, this was just a twist for the sake of a twist.
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Aug 13, 2015
Oh dear, this was quite possibly the worst episode in the history of the show.

So, my takeaway, besides Jessica and Ken being the worst parents on the planet (but we already knew that), and the fact that everyone who ever worked at Radley should probably get arrested for being so bad at their jobs of diagnosing (and apparently performing gender re-assignment surgeries?), was that the writers were very drunk when they pulled this all-nighter out of their asses.

My biggest questions never got answered, like: How did she find the time? Whilst locked in Radley, attending college and a High School she wasn't enrolled in. The funding! What about the funding?Where did she pick up her technological know-how? She lived at Radley practically her whole life, and we know all they have there is moldy monopoly games with the pieces missing...

I never cared who A was, it was always the why.... basically I would have let Cece jump, because what a jerk! I just love you so much, here, have some psychological torture! It would have made more sense to make it a revenge scenario for Allison living the life she never got to have.

On top of that, the format and pacing was flat out terrible. But, I'm actually really looking forward to 2020 Spencer Bangs. As long as Cece is in prison and not hanging with the gang five years from now.... fingers crossed. I realize hope is futile.

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Aug 13, 2015
I disagree that this episode proved they'd been planning this reveal for quite some time considering that two major characters in PLL mythology were passed off on Sara Harvey, a character just introduced. They did not introduce those characters seasons ago with her in mind. There was also so much retconning and ignoring inconsistencies required to make that endgame fit (just like Gossip Girl, this is what happens you create a mystery with no ending in mind and then force the pieces to fit). And while I'm no PLL expert other people have said that it's been stated in the past that Toby's mother killed herself when he was a teenager yet Cece is considerably older than him. Ultimately I'm just disappointed it's Cece as she felt like the most obvious choice (just like Mona as A) but I guess it's better than someone really dumb. And hey, it's not Aria...
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Aug 13, 2015
I wasted 5 years for this? Really? I need to ccheck in to Radley... Way 2 many plot holes 4 this disApointment...
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Aug 15, 2015
No, you 'wasted' three. Seasons one and two were Mona's.
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Aug 19, 2015
at least i liked the "mona is A" storyline...but after the cece joke...i am done....i dont know if i am going to watch it again!
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Aug 13, 2015
Honestly, this felt like something that was done by hungover writers approaching deadline with no idea what to write about.

There are plot holes you could drive a truck through, stuff that contradicts earlier stuff and so on. I agree that it's possible that actual ending was leaked and it was rewritten in alst minute.

OK, kudos (I guess) for shoiw showing us who a was and not some cheap cop-out like "Charles is A but you don't get to know who Charles is"
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Aug 13, 2015
I'm in two minds on the reveal and answers - when i was watching the episode, i LOVED it but the more i thought about it, the more i read peoples (HATEFUL) feelings towards it, the more plot holes begin to surface

there are hundreds of things connecting CeCe to the reveal which makes sense

THEN

there are hundreds of things contradicting CeCe (& Sara)

But because the show is 5 and 1/2 years into it's run, there is definitely NO WAY that an A reveal could NOT lead to plot holes - Marlene and the writing crew ain't very smart or bright

All the 'Wren is A' theorists are actually going ape shit about this - they are actually convinced that when Marlene found out about the leaks from a reddit user (whom said Wren was A) she re-wrote and re-filmed the CeCe stuff, and now there is a petition going around for them to film an entirely new episode were Wren is A
the main reason for them thinking this (other than being utterly disgusted by the episode) was because the episode looked cheaply made with very few actors, very few sets and terrible writing - how crazy are these people? really? they make CeCe look sane at this point

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Aug 15, 2015
The whole re-film thing makes no sense. That would require renegotiating contracts with actors, since they're all set for a certain amount of time per episode, and this would essentially be an entire new episode. Then there's the time factor, they probably wouldn't even have had enough time to refill it. Then there's special effects, make-up, everything. They'd be going an entire episode over budget, and tv shows don't exactly have an unlimited amount of money. Logistically, ergonomically, it makes no sense.

And quite a few of the 'facts' that reddit thing had were wrong. So the 'Wren is A' theorists are just trying to cause trouble.
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Staff
Aug 17, 2015
This is absolutely correct. The ending wasn't reshot after Drunkgate. It'd be a logistical nightmare to reconvene the writers and recreate some of these sets (I'm sure the spaceship bridge they were using for A's Brain was struck immediately after so that no one had to think about it anymore), along with the actors and crew. By the time Drunkgate came out, they were already shooting the time jump episodes.

To play Devil's Advocate, there's the possibility that they shot multiple endings at the same time, which is something shows and movies do to avoid leaks. They might've doubled everything up with CeCe and [insert your favorite suspect here] and then went with the option they always wanted. Or recut it based on the leaks. This is doubtful but that's the kind of thing that fueling the misguided hopes of the furiously disappointed.

Whatever it is, there's not a chance in this universe that anyone would admit that that happened unless there was some statute of limitations or they were dying. It might happen in other universes. But not in this one.
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Aug 15, 2015
I 100% agree, i think it is a ridiculous statement for those Wren is A theorists and they are clearly grasping at straws
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Aug 13, 2015
What does 'Tanner on the take' mean - that she was part of it? if that is what you mean then you really got the wrong end of the stick - Sara was the one who claimed she phoned Tanner - when they didn't show up, the Liars thought Tanner was working for A - unbeknownst to them that Sara never actually called Tanner
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Staff
Aug 17, 2015
I just watched it again and you're right. Sara didn't call Tanner so that's the reason the calvary didn't show up (even though the calvary was showing up earlier?) and I guess I missed Spencer making it obvious to me. But it also doesn't clear up why Tanner does have really nice shoes or why she didn't show up with the cops at the end. Maybe Tanner is the real A?

Kidding.
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Aug 18, 2015
Haha Tanner as A? imagine how bad that would be

And i agree that although it is specifically stated that Sara lied, i'd love to know how the cops knew exactly were they were - did i miss some kind of plot point there?
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Aug 13, 2015
also didn't like how it ended with Cece not jumping off the roof and she jumped down and saying game over, so after five years of hell Cece managed to terrorize the girls and then manipulate them into forgiving her enough not to want to see her dead; even Hannah. That got the total side eye, so I guess in the end A won the game.

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Aug 13, 2015
I can't really complain about this episode because it gave us more answers in 40 minutes than the show gave us in these 6 seasons. Though why couldn't this have been a 2 hour episode? For all the major plot reveals, you'd think they'd make it more 'special'...and also for the fact that it was just rapid fire of answers with CeCe just spilling the beans on everything. One thing that is really bugging me is why Sara would work with CeCe...what are her motives? We have no idea at all. Was she even kidnapped? Why would she care about harming these girls? But then she told Emily she was 'trying to protect her'. And WHAT ABOUT THE WINE MOMS??

Still, it was a decent episode, and I think *most* of the reveals worked out fine and covered all the bases. If you went back and rewatched the series, yeah I know that there will be some plot holes, but when you stretch out this kind of premise as long as you did by throwing in so many twists, turns and secret conversations, It's bound to end up backfiring occasionally.
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Aug 13, 2015
You do realize that you cannot actually find out who the real person is yet right?
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Staff
Aug 17, 2015
?
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Aug 19, 2015
Once the central mystery is over what is the point of watching the show? Hint-- There isn't one.
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Staff
Aug 19, 2015
Oh. Yeah, that was what I maintained, too. We'll see what they do with 6B. If there's some one bigger than A pulling strings then I think we're both right. But it seems like there's going to be someone new, which is interesting and comes dangerously close to shark-jumping. It'll be interesting what they do.
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Aug 13, 2015
I wasn't happy with Cece as A, I was hoping one of the boyfriends like Toby would be Charles, Cece just seemed like an easy cop out; after all these years of waiting, it would have been nice for a major character to have been A that's been around all 5 seasons. The explanations seemed forced, yes some of it made sense but a lot of it seemed like they just wanted to get the A story line over and move on to the next threat. I'm glad we have the time jump because another year of high school or the college years would have been stretching the imagination like 90210 all over again, Most of the girls stopped looking like High School kids 2 years ago, so the time jump should be a refreshing starting point, lastly the parents have always been basically extras but it be nice to see them get out of the basement or for the father and brother to be rescued from paralysis. Oh well, lets see what next year brings.
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Aug 13, 2015
I have mixed feelings about "Game over Charles"

1. I'm glad we finally found out who is A and why. I'm ok with A being CeCe (it could have been worse - at least it's not Aria) It doesn't make much sense, but it's PLL so whatever.

2. I'm totally not ok with Sara being Red Coat. We know almost nothing about her. When did she come to the Dollhouse? Has she ever been a prisoner there? Did CeCe and Sara meet at the internet site for psychos? (like in Scream 2?) We knew CeCe from previous seasons. Sara showed up in the last episode of season 5 - way too late for such an important character. IMO Red Coat should have been someone we knew - like Paige or Maya.

3. There was no Melissa. Why?

4. This should have been the last episode of PLL. Why are they starting a new story that happens 5 years later? Are they planning another 6 seasons?

5. CeCe's tv screen from the future was weird and crazy.

Thanks for Season 6A reviews, Nick!
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Aug 13, 2015
the only question i have: is allison married to seth rollins?
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Staff
Aug 17, 2015
Liked for the reference. Liked for the profile icon.
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Aug 13, 2015
You win, I can't. Best comment, from a fellow WWE fan to another. Well fricking done.
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Aug 13, 2015
It was never going to make any sense imo . Not after way too many years of build up and the way they literally made A omnipotent and omniscient early on ... even when knowing A delegated some work . Either they would take a familiar figure of the girl's entourage , and build some nonsense about her being A , at the anger of everyone (Remember Red John and the Mentalist ?) or they'd go for someone "Meh" and truly peripheral to the whole serie . Oh well at least we can move one from that aspect and finally end the story
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Aug 13, 2015
Cece being A/Charles make no sense. A boy feeling like a girl is one thing, developing the anatomy & build of a girl while in a sanitarium is another. Cece leaving Radley in her late teens and becoming a prom queen & belle of the ball makes no sense. Cece leaving Radley with the ability to make one great investment decision after another in order to fund her 'A'ctivies makes no sense. How did she learn hacking & advanced phone skills while in Radley? Her motivation for torturing the Liars because of what Mona said about them being glad Ali is gone is ridiculous given how 'A'/Cece apparently want to torture & harm Ali. The Liars quickly forgiving A/Cece for torturing them for the last several years makes no sense. Making Sara & Bethany such huge pieces of the puzzle is just stupid. So much of Cece's story was obviously retconned be Marlene King and her minions painted themselves into a corner and wasted so much time on deadline storylines and red herrings.

Furthermore, of course Mona knew more than she ever reveal. The Liars should have waterboarded her for information a long time ago.
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Aug 13, 2015
Marlene said that they purposefully left the question of whether Cece transitioned or not ambiguous because she didn't want to be too controversial. On that account, I think she's being honest.
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Aug 15, 2015
Yeah but speaking of controversial, since his/her brother was "into" Cece, it makes the whole thing really messy & disturbing: we don't want the answer to that. The whole thing is quite incestuous, whether they're related or not, & Cece being focused on Ali from birth is bat shit cray as well. I'm not sure the writers were too clever about what Cece being A implies!!!
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