Pretty Little Liars' Summer Finale: Something Old, Something New

Pretty Little Liars

Leave it to Pretty Little Liars to knock one out of the park just before going on hiatus. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised: This is a show that does finales well, so Tuesday night's conclusion to the first half of the second season was bound to be a doozy. While it didn’t exactly tie up any loose ends, the episode was full of breakdowns, confrontations, and—oh, yes—big secrets.

For me, the real success of Pretty Little Liars’ summer finale was that it regained the feel of the solid first season while still moving the plot forward. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed Season 2—it’s more that the series has been forced to drag its stylish heels a bit. Only in the last few episodes have we gotten a real sense of where this is going. But the finale earned bonus points for bringing back sleazy Detective Wilden, the tough cop who abused his power to make his way into Ashley’s bedroom last season. It also looks like we’ll be seeing more of Maya, who is frankly just more interesting than any of the other girls Emily’s been dating, and Wren, who kissed Spencer approximately two minutes after she broke up with Toby.

The episode featured a great self-contained story (insofar as any story on this show can be self-contained), with A screwing with each of the liars in supremely sadistic ways. As Spencer pointed out, A is the ultimate frenemy, forcing the girls to get what they want even though it’s bound to bite them in the ass. I love the idea that A’s plans are really just a twisted reflection of our heroes’ desires.

Aria was forced to confront Jackie with her plagiarism—which is actually, you know, fair. But by cornering Ezra’s ex-fiancee, Aria revealed Jackie’s true colors. Surprise, she’s kind of a villain! On any other show—True Blood, for example—I’d say the writers were overdoing it with antagonists. But Pretty Little Liars thrives on the conflict between the core four and everyone around them. Now that Jackie is threatening to expose Ezra’s student-teacher romance, it looks like Aria might have to bend to her will. Especially since Ella has been thrown off the scent by her belief that Ezra and Spencer are the real taboo couple.

Spencer was told to keep Toby safe, so she dumped him. I doubt this will last, and it seemed pretty contrived. But hey, whatever it takes to bring Wren the pretty Brit back into the picture.

In my mind, Hanna had it the worst, as she was compelled to ruin her dad’s wedding. I don’t know why she waited until the ceremony was actually taking place, but it was bound to be horrible regardless. And yes, it was awful to watch, though her revelation that her dad and mom slept together (er, recently) is at least partly her dad’s responsibility. You don’t get to dabble in ex sex when you’re about to get married, Mr. Marin.

But okay, perhaps Emily actually had it the worst, since A almost killed her. Whatever. She got a nifty hallucination, featuring the most compelling return of Alison yet. “Two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead,” Ali said, alluding to Pretty Little Liars’ opening titles. And then she planted one on Emily, who's been getting a whole lot of action this week! I’m mixed on Alison flashbacks, because they generally don’t give us much new information, but I loved the way she appeared in the finale. There is something more to her than manipulative sociopath, and maybe she did actually have feelings for Emily at some point. Or perhaps Emily just has a vivid, car exhaust-inspired imagination.

And I still haven’t touched on the elephant in the room: the reveal that Jenna and Garrett almost definitely had something to do with Alison’s murder. At the very least, they know who did it, and tried to trick Jason into thinking he was guilty. To be fair, Pretty Little Liars is all about false leads, and the show could just be screwing with us. But I think it’s about time we got a clearer sense of who the real villains are, and Jenna and Garrett are as good an answer as any. I thought Jenna’s “She deserved to die like that” line was particularly chilling. Was the “surprise” obvious? Sure—it’s not like we thought these two were up to anything good. But there are still other players involved, and more potential for complications on the horizon.

Any guesses as to who “pretty eyes” is? Because while Jenna and Garrett were involved in Ali’s death, they’re not the ones who kidnapped Dr. Sullivan. I can think of lots of pretty-eyed characters on this show, but I want to hear what you think. One of us is bound to unmask A. Maybe.

Comments (19)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
maybe its just me but i think Maya can be A. she has pretty eyes. she comes out of nowhere and stays in Ali's room then the messages come. its also very possible that she's dr. sullivan's patient. i remember the A file said hidden anger or something. :)
Reply
Flag
I have always thought that Jenna was pretending to be blind to make the foursome feel guilty and to be the unsuspecting A: the blind girl who sees everything. Even though the splicing of the scenes makes it feel like Jenna couldn't be the kidnapper, that might be a diversion. Pretty eyes could be Jenna as she reveals her eyes to Dr. Sullivan who has figured out that Jenna can see.
Reply
Flag
awesome finale ever!!!! wow, a perplexing question "who have "pretty eyes"? maybe Noel Kaln, "beautiful eyes"?, no. he's amateur (A told the girls)...Jason Dilaurentis, he has feelings for Aria so he would do no harm to her...how about Gren, don't underestimate this guy. he's out of nowhere seeing Spence crying out? or he's staking her? i'm sure it's not Jenna. She's blind! i guess it's a girl, Mellisa Hasting, Spence's sister?!
Reply
Flag
great finale, it was so suspenseful and those dolls were so creepy, and definately hanna had it the worst. I mean having to pretty much ruin your relationship with your dad and talk about embarrasing
Reply
Flag
my guess, Melissa Hastings is A :D
Reply
Flag
I just want to see more girls kissing each other, the rest is a waste!
Reply
Flag
spoiler alert



Yup heard it's actually ali's crazy twin courtney that got killed by ali herself. but it is said that the show doesn't follow the books, if it does, A is mona at first followed by ali herself next
Reply
Flag
I read somewhere that A is Ali's twin, is that true?
Reply
Flag
you mean the books are more boring than this?
Reply
Flag
I have to admit the summer finale really disappointed me. I have watched this show since the day it premiered and I was expecting a lot more. I mean, anyone who watches the show knows that Jenna is a villian. It was not much of a shock to find out that she had something to do with Ali's death. I love the fact that the show has completely veered off the path of the books though... It makes it much more interesting.
Reply
Flag
This show is so much about nothing! Except for the eye candy, there really isn't much suspense and some of it is downright silly!
Reply
Flag
I am from Holland, and I love this show!! Too bad non of the Dutch channels have yet contracted PLL..! The summer finale was awesome! I have a theory that Maya is A. Maybe she was the one having a secret relation with Alison? And therefor she knew the girls secrets. Maya thinks that the girls killed Alison and that is why she wants to ruin their lives! I don't think that Maya was really at the juvie camp.. She suddenly is back, and then the girls are trapped with ali's murderwappon! Uhm, how convenient..! Well, this is a short version of my 'Maya theory'!! What are your thoughts?! What do you think of mine?!
Reply
Flag
I thought for a while that it could be Mya (y'know Emilys first girlfriend) afterall she did move into Alisons hosue to begin with, mabey Alison wrote down all the secrets and hid them in the house somewhere and then Mya found them - just a thought. Also the new boots Mya had on in the mid season finale were the ones --A purchased online a few episodes back right at the very end!
Reply
Flag
My only concern is, how does "A" know everything so quickly? For example the second the wedding was broken up, Hanna got a text from A. You would think if someone WAS stalking them it would at least take them a little longer. Anyways back to A. I thought it was a boy for a while but then i thought, "What boy would wear those black leather gloves?" But then again the lady at the end said, "Pretty eyes." and maybe its just me but i dont think she'd say that to a girl. But just some thought.
Reply
Flag
Spyware technology is an amazing and scary thing
Reply
Flag
And there was that one teddy bear with a camera. I think that there are lots and lots of hidden bugs and cameras on the girls, in their homes, in Dr. Sullivan's office, and perhaps in their phones.
Reply
Flag
I still find Mona's character - what would be the right word - intriguing. She has somehow hung around so far, she is kind of close with Hanna and she sometimes does some mischievous things. Who is she? What is the point of her character unless it has some purpose for the plot? I completely understand if she isn't involved in mystery, and I doubt she could be A doing all that running around town. But why does her character exist? She is not central to the plot but has stuck around so far. Since she isn't strong enough to do the physical stuff A has done so far, she could be a part of A, if A is a team. I find it disappointing if A turns out to be someone who hasn't played a role in the show so far. But honestly, the options for people who could be A are running out. That would point to the conclusion that A has to be someone not yet introduced in the show.
Reply
Flag
I thought it was a really good episode. The season dragged a little bit but picked right back up after awhile. It was definitely creepy with those talking dolls. Ehhh.
Reply
Flag
The character that is --A they say have ben on the backround and well be on the second falf of season 2. Digging on the blogs of the Official Photograph and on all the Pll oficial pages I found one that could be Pretty Eyes (--A) Her name is Lana and haves blue like really blue eyes. you can find the photo on http://www.facebook.com/pages/TeamPrettyLittleLiars/147824435287450
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook