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Pretty Little Liars S05E12: "Taking This One to the Grave"


I feel like I was just George-R.R.-Martin’d and there wasn’t even a wedding.

For a full week, the episode promo for "Taking This One to the Grave" had teased us that someone would die. We’re all fully aware of how this show likes to raise its stakes to the stratosphere during finales. Series creator Marlene King even posted the dictionary definitions of “fatal” and "finale" to her Instagram, in case we needed a refresher. But I’m not sure I was ready for this. I definitely wasn’t ready to see the body.

We're used to seeing these kinds of teases and assuming that whoever bites it will someone who doesn't show up very often or isn’t integral to the show. You know, someone like Byron—who, beyond his recently blocked fedora showing, has been around as much as a Rosewood winter. Or Travis, who PLL decided wasn’t needed anymore after Ravenswood was canceled and dispensed of, like, so fast. Or even one or both of those weird twins from Alison’s first stop on her high school apology tour; though they have just as much right to claim A as anyone else, this show likes to creep people out, and few things are creepier than dead twins. But it wasn’t any of them.


"Taking This One to the Grave" administered a heavy dose of Mona’s perspective. For most of the series, she’s been the inscrutable beacon of death stares and accusations (some of them just), but this finale focused on her humanity, maybe even her mortality. First we saw her with her francophile showing, reading a book (Le Grand Meaulnes) while listening to a French songstress sing from a record player. Sure, she was surrounded by her creepshow dolls, but otherwise it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. This reformed villain was simply enjoying a quiet evening at home.

The rest of the hour gave the impression that the only reason she was involving herself in any of PLL's shenanigans was that the Liars were sucking her in. The episode had a “one last job” feel to it: Collect the evidence you need to connect Bethany Young and Alison DiLaurentis and find out where the Liars stand after Ali’s lie detector session. She risked herself for these women who didn't really include her in the group when they were expressing their solidarity for the police’s interest shifting to Spencer. She provided them with key information despite their outward distrust in her. She let her mom serve them cookies. Yes. Mona has a mother. How sick is that?


It was another point of emphasis on the “the Liars have it all wrong” rule, though PLL has purposefully maintained that enigmatic presence throughout the series as one of dozens of red herrings. We haven’t seen an episode struggle so hard to humanize, an episode so determined to redeem, since Paige and Queen Wilden of Hearts tussled on the Halloween train lo those days ago (two seasons, by our reckoning). To my head and heart, "Taking This One to the Grave" was successful enough in this regard to make the ending of the episode that much more horrifying. The writers' attempts to show Alison as a human haven’t been nearly as on-the-mark.

The Ali lookalike (I’m assuming it wasn’t Alison, because the show refused to reveal the hoodie’s face but was very keen on having us note the blond hair) stalked Mona like prey, and it felt off. It was troubling to see all that blood and the aftermath of a ruckus in the living room. It was bemusing to listen to Holbrook explain to the press that this was a homicide (BEFORE sitting down with Mona's mother to tell her one-on-one; bad form, old chap) except with no body. But none of that seemed as dire until the Moment of A scenes.


We’ve talked about Soap Opera Rules before and how they especially apply to Pretty Little Liars. Not seeing Alison’s body was, perhaps, the best example for how everyone one is alive until it's proven to the audience beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are dead. It turned out that Alison was alive the whole time. Shocker. Seeing Mona’s body crumpled up in the back of that hoodie’s car sure was a disconcerting instance of the other side of the Soap Opera Rules coin. And not just because she was lying with the Baby Jesus.

This is a show that skirts the undeniable truth so often that I've come to expect some kind of vagary in every major event, a way for the writers to back out. But her body was in that trunk, that face staring back toward the audience in that unfocused way that connotes someone is 21 grams lighter—yet I still waited for her to blink. The camera zoomed in on her eyes and I checked to make sure they were the same color as Mona's eyes. She didn't move. She didn't speak. She was cold and lifeless and dead, and it was almost as if the show wanted to tell us, “We know you’re onto us about not showing bodies and bringing people back. Well, now we’re going the other way. This is the body. No tricks. No smoke. Deal with the loss.”


It’s interesting that Mona was reading Le Grand Meaulnes. The inciting event of that story is a chateau party where the teens are free to do as they please. They can play, make mistakes, get involved with one another, follow their hearts with complete freedom. They get to play adult for a short time, engage in adult things, and be foolish without punishment for as long as the festivities last. The namesake character is this romantic idealist who is constantly trying to get back to that party, desperate to find the chateau again and to reunitewith lost loves. He wants to return to the place where he acted like an adult with the heart of a child. It’s very “not a girl, not yet a woman.”

Rosewood is basically a massive chateau party, allowing the Liars to do foolish things that should fall beyond the concept of children. Some of their behavior is a result of their own decision-making, but most of it a byproduct of A's puppeteering. Mona in a Bathroom Conversation detailed her theories about the game, how the Liars fit as pieces on the board, and who was controlling them (Alison). It was the set-up that Spencer had been so desperate to see, though at the time, neither she nor Mona had evidence that it was actually like Mona said. These girls are guests at a chateau party of A’s design, where the only person for whom there are no consequences is A.

With Mona in that trunk and Spencer arrested for the murder of Bethany Young, things are a little more intense heading into Pretty Little Liars' upcoming Christmas special—which is replacing the show's annual Halloween event this year in terms of new footage/story; the Halloween outing will be a look-back clip show. So, we’ll have to wait a little bit longer than usual to get some answers. Time finally marched on as Alison and A enacted their plans, and the show hinted at a page on the calendar that hasn't been visited during our watch of the series. It may feel like we have a long way to go before seeing what happens to Spencer, whether the show can back out of this Mona thing, or what Alison or A will do next. But fear not. Winter is coming.



NOTES

– It appears that, while Holbrook was away, he enrolled in the Creepshow School for Gifted Rosewood Males. He's a lot scarier when he’s not playing good cop to Tanner’s bad cop. Secret talks with Alison. Third degrees for everyone else. Not waiting for Tanner, which seems important. If he ends up dating Alison, I’m leaving.

– Mona: “Have you ever been so focused on something that it takes over everything else? Turns you into someone that you’re not?” The line marked the second time in two weeks that the characters tried to pithily distill what PLL is all about. That’s, like, the opening sentence of a pitch document.

– Much as I loved the Mona character, I didn’t like when she was fed language that’s supposedly used by teens. I don’t want to believe that anyone actually says someone’s “gone full socio” or abbreviates “hurry the hell up” as “hthu.” Call me old-fashioned.


– Cindy and Mindy are on Alison’s side now, and everyone was calling Mona “Crazy Mona.” Seems like one of those inspired names that Ali comes up with to not only diminish her opponents with modifiers, but also to demoralize them by not even taking the time to come up with a moniker that requires any amount of creativity.

– As Mona detailed the Liars as game pieces: Spencer is Smart, Emily is Loyal, Hanna is Admiring, and Aria is Compassionate... unless you’re a bird or a boy not named Ezra.

– OMG Alison and a new set of Bizarro Liars:


 I’m exhausted by PLL's efforts to make Ezria legitimate. The Montgomerys invited him over to dinner? Is he not still a teacher? Is she not still a student?

– Harrisburg must have some bang-up police academy for Toby to be a cop in a week. Or six minutes. I don’t know how long it’s been since he and Spencer had that conversation. 


– Hanna: “Read her boobs. The girl loves Christmas.” In another instance of the Liars playing grown-ups (what teenagers do you know who take the reins on decorating for the holiday?), there was a cute scene with Emily orchestrating lights, snowmen, and a nativity scene. While this is something of a new thing for us to learn about Emily after knowing her for four and a half seasons, it's not like we've really had the opportunity before. I’ll allow it.


– I'd almost forgotten that the nurses at Radley wear outfits that suggest they’re either straight out of 1950s or tending to crazy people on American Horror Story:


– Hanna can’t even spell SAT and she did well on the test? I like her optimism that she wants to attend Stanford and the Ivy League despite the impression that her grades are in the crapper. Admissions officers only look at test scores, right? Although Hanna certainly has the material for one heck of an essay. All the Liars do.

– The big find is that Mrs. D was having an affair with Bethany’s father. Word's still out on how Bethany’s father fits into everything, but since he’s probably a man who lives in Rosewood, my spidey sense tells me he’s probably so creepy.

– Ali is building an army at an abandoned farm? Who has time to scout all these locations in Rosewood? The recession must’ve hit suburban Pennsylvania hard.

– When Holbrook came to arrest Spencer, couldn’t she have given him a pocket watch or insisted that she just has some bad habits? It seemed to work on Toby.


– After two season of being afraid of timelines, we have them all over the place now. It’s Thanksgiving, which means everything that’s happened to the Liars in the last two seasons has officially occurred over the course of the one month since Halloween. Toby will be out with a broken leg for a month, which will hobble him until Christmas. OMG can Toby please have been in that car accident just so he can be Tiny Tim during the December special? I can’t wait.


– Your Moment of A: Hoodie walked up to Emily’s nativity scene and replaced the Baby Jesus with a Mona doll (then rested the Baby Jesus doll atop Mona’s dead body). The implication is that she was martyred, sacrificed for the sake of the others. Maybe a rallying cry for the Liars to move on from #WorldWarA and embark on some A Crusades (#ACrusades)? She was the girl who knew too much. But now we’re left with the question of whether she actually knew how to connect Alison to A, or whether she was just on the right track and had to be smoted before she knew all of it. Or maybe someone really did go “socio” and was itching to kill again.

– Your Moment of A, Part 2: A is crafting again, this time with a snow globe of the Liars. I’m assuming that’s just a nod to the Christmas special and not some kind of Citizen Kane reference.


What'd you think of "Taking This One to the Grave"? What's your take on Mona's death?


Next Episode

AIRS ON 8/30/2016

Season 7 : Episode 10

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Goodbye, Mona. You were the best. Well, or maybe tied with Spencer. We lost one of the two characters smart enough to match wits with A, and an amazing actress, as well!
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Here's my opinion, I don't think any theory so far is right, because PPL can't be decoded...
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I have been looking into this and I believe that Aria is possibly A. I watched this video and it really creeped me out. The biggest scare of all was when someone asked Marlene King for a clue on who is A and she responded "#bigA." The next episode Mona calls Aria "big A." A coincidence? I have also had discussions with people and they believe that Spencer's Dad or Mum could possibly be A. They are never at home and when they are there is always drama that occurs.
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1) I've loved the idea of Alison being A since forever, but if that's the case who attacked her during the halloween before she disappeared? When she was getting texts from "A"?

2) Could it be that Holbrook is in cahoots with A and was able to take Mona's body away?
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I just batch watched the last few episodes of this season, so this post may or may not include comments from previous episodes. Finally the liars are back to ditching Ali, I always wondered why they bothered with her in the first place. Anyway, my questions and comments.

What will happen to Mike? He was absent most of the season except when they showed him a couple of times with Mona, R.I.P. He was noticeably absent from the final shot of the house. Mona was his girlfriend, for the love of Grunwald.

Since TPTB are trying paint Ezra in not so creepy colors, is that why they made Zack so pervy? Yay Caleb for punching him.

Since Ella is no longer with Zack, is she going to get back with her husband? Is she staying in Rosewood? Will Zack be banished to Ravenswood?

Why are the cops still questioning the girls without their parents? Thank you Mr. Montgomery for bringing that up.

Was Melissa's video confession to Spencer used to arrest her? Was her arrest lawful?

Bad thought:

Who would be Spencer's bunkmate if she were transferred to OITNB?

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OK, silly question. How did all that blood get in living room? And how did living room get trashed? I mean homicidal hoodie confronted Mona in her bedroom. As she entered through the door Mona could only escape through window and as unlikely as that is she would go back to living room.

As for Mona getting killed I'll just repeat mantra of liars on this show "Curses, foiled again!" Every time they come up with a workable plan, spring a trap or are the brink of discovery something comes up that prevents that. So obviously when Mona "figured it out" something was bound to prevent her sharing the discovery.
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Great episode. Nice review!
Poor Mona!! She was such an interesting and helpful character, that was a really sad and shocking ending.
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Guys, I have a crucial question!
So Melissa basically buried Bethany Young thinking it was Alison and that Spencer had killed her hitting her at the head with a shovel
And, according to Alison, the night she got away, someone hit her in the head and Mrs D. buried her thinking she was dead
And Alison and Bethany wore the exact same outfit
HOW THE HELL IS THIS POSSIBLE??? How could 2 people bury 2 girls at the supposedly same spot? Or were Melissa and Mrs D. like a few feet away from each other, burying the girl and getting away??! That's weird right! I hope they'll explain it!!
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My hypothesis for a timeline (and, let me emphasize, time on this show is the loosest of constructs) is that Alison got hit, Mrs D buried her, Grunwald saved Alison, Melissa finds Bethany (also knocked out), Melissa buries Bethany in the hole Alison left behind. That's not concrete or authoritative. That's my working theory.
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Works for me.
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Thx for your theory! I lately remembered that there was a moment where they said that Cece showed up there that night wearing Alison's outfit as well!! Unbelievable!
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Thanks for clarifying what hthu meant. At 31 I must be old.

I didn't care about the SATs, but I still knew they were called the SATs. It's only 3 letters, Hanna.
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Ok, i really likeD this serie a lot...somehow i keep watching it, but i notice more and more that i am also checking my phone or mails or doing something else while i am watching...

The series should end after this season. They were first searching for Ali for 4 freaking seasons...now she is back and seems that she was A all the time and has her own minions she took over from Mona...
So this can go on and on and on forever...when will be enough...
How many lies we can keep hearing from the girls, before they all end up dead or in a lunatic house..???

beside my commment above, i am sad to see the only favorite character i had in the series Mona, died...but she is coming back next part of the season as in flashbacks...
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Did they put Mona's body in Paige's car at end? Mona(actress) couldn't keep her eyes still at end...you can see them moving,only time they still,when camera is really focused on her eye.
And that blonde hoodie,looked to me,that if was that blond girl Paige went on date with and is the blond one,where Ali is hanging out with wanna PLL and only blond girls face is hidden.
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I think Cece and Bethany were twins and Alli is there half sister, or even that Ali and Bethany were twin sisters and Cece was the half sister, bethany could have come after Ali to take over her life or Cece could be getting revenge for the mental anguish and eventual death of Bethany caused by Mrs D and Ali.


Mona's murder scene there were two blonde girls in the house, the hair lengths didn't match in the staircase shot and when she opened the door...
who is
this?
Any guess who the other girl was? Could it be the blonde in Ali's new group of girls?


Toby's accident will have something to do with A, even if its him finding important information for the girls due to his feeling useless and obsessing over the facts, or an A not inside the cast...

Also could whatever Mona's mum said to the principle be some of the reason she is now dead? could Mona's mother know more then any other parent in Rosewood (honestly like that's hard) and Ali be backed into a corner forcing her to do the poly and kill mona?
ALi?
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Ali's not EVIL!
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And yet I still can't stand her.
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I thought it was a great episode even though I saw Mona's death coming from a mile away from the start. I like to think that Alison might have killed Mona, it would be totally crazy of her but she's not that stupid. Her smile when Emily lied to her to stall was priceless and kinda confirmed her bad intentions, I hope they keep on with it :)

Yeah, it was funny how Toby graduated like 2 days after enrolling the police academy! And those espionnage moments with Hanna and the bluetooth mic and the girls in Radley was hilarious!
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So since the halloween train:
Mona is released from Radley, Meredith returns and poisons aria, they all think Byron killed Alison, they find out Wilden was in cape may and Ali was pregnant, Alis second memorial service, Ezra gets a son, Spencer figures out Tobys working for A, Ashley hits Wilden with her car,Jason falls down an elevator shaft, Toby "dies", Spencer breaks down and goes to Radley and dances with a ghost, finds out Wren helped Cece sneak in, crap with Calebs dad, Red coat shenanigans, Spencer joins the A team, the lodge fire, Mona was on their side all along, dead Wilden, Ezria break up, Emily breaks her shoulder, Tippi the bird, car drives through Emilys living room, weird house of masks, college applications, Hanna arrested for burying the murder weapon, Jenna nearly drowns, karate Jake, Tobys mum bullshit, Malcolms not Ezras son after all, Emily moves into Alis old bedroom, Ravenswood bullshit, Alis alive, Ashley is arrested, Haleb break up, Ezria get back together, Alis diary, Spencer figures Ezra out, Spencer starts having another breakdown this time involving drugs, Aria finds out Ezra had a thing with Ali, true crime novel, Spencer gets a drug counselor who then gets fired, Mrs D is creepy, Paily break up, Ali tells all, Ezra gets shot, Shana is A, Aria kills Shana, Ali tells a bullshit kidnap story, Ezria get back together, Hanna has an identity crisis, Bethany Young, Emison sleep together, Mona builds an army, Caleb comes back, Aria spies at Radley, Ali appears to be evil, the liars cut ties with her, Cyrus Petrillo, Mona murdered.
All of that happend in less than 30 days?
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Awesome recap. Our chains have been yanked for so long by this show, I forget half the stuff that has happened.
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Thank you so much, even though I now know that I cannot understand anything that is happening on this show. How would this Bethany stuff and Ian's stuff from season 1 add up?
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Thank you for this, I had completely forgotten about all of those many many twists and turns :)
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I thought so too but now I think the Halloween train was last year which gives a year where all of theses things you perfectly resumed happens
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Season 3A starts the beginning of their collective senior year. The train episode was Halloween of that season. And now we just finished Thanksgiving of their senior year. Unfortunately, I think the events of the "dark ride" play sequentially with 3B so it can't be displaced. It's just been a crazy month for the Liars.
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What about the Ravenswood backdoor pilot episode? Wasn't it during Halloween as well?
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it was the ravenswood founders day ball
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That wasn't clear. There were no dates on anything in that episode to indicate it was Halloween. Ravenswood is just the kind of spookular town that would have creepy masquerades at the drop off a hat.
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Yep.
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somehow it didn't shock me that Mona was killed.
Only thing I know is that I don't like Alison but I have never liked her.
And even if it's obvious she must be psychotic and be A or something like that because she looked way too pleased when she saw the press conference and watched everyone breaking down/crying.
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Best episode since a LONG time, and I see a lot of people agree on that :) That's nice to see.

I have a feeling I haven't had with PLL in a long, long time: I'm actually upset the first half of the season is done and we'll have to wait for like half a year for more.

And since I'm totally done with red herrings, and have feeling the writers are too in some ways, I actually believe Alison has been A all along (or well, since Mona stopped being A), and Alison killed Mona. Because if she's mentally able to trick the police into thinking Spencer killed Bethany (which isn't a weird thing to think, from the police's perspective), she really doesn't like the Liars, and she might actually be a sociopath.

From now on (I hope) it might be more of a question how to stop Alison, how to proof she's the one doing all those bad things.


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This show still has 2 and a half seasons left, they are aren't going to be done with red herrings until the final season at the earliest. That's just the way mystery shows work. The show will likely spend all of season 5B trying to convince the audience how evil Alison is, and then in the finale all of her actions will be justified with some lame explanation. Same thing happened with Ezra last season, and Toby the season before.
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Because of the stories with Toby and Ezra (especially Ezra), I hope they'll go another way with Aliso. I know this might be wishful thinking, but one can hope, right? I would like to keep psycho Ali around, she's pretty scary.
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Oh, and it totally makes sense now how a town like Rosewood ends up with such bad cops: they've only been trained for like... a week. At most. No wonder they got some better trained cops from somewhere else.

And Mona's death was sad... GOT-style indeed: make people care about the character, then kill them off. Winter is Coming, indeed.
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This episode was actually really good, like good.... I'm surprised.

Poor Mona I felt really really bad that they killed her off, this episode make me really like Mona A LOT, smart people are not allowed to live in this show. I would love to see more Mona interactions with the liars.

I might be crazy but it makes me think since Melissa thought that was Alison she was burying and the police thought it was Alison the one buried can it be that:

a)Bethany was her twin or at least like a doppelganger

b)Or that Ali did infact died and the one that is in Rosewood right now is Bethany?
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If Bethany were Alison's (monozygotic) twin, it would explain why the DNA sample from Bethany's corpse directed to Alison. In the end she was identified using dental records, right? But I don't know, would they really take that road, sort of the same as in the books? Though it would also explain why Jessica DiLaurentis spent so much time with Bethany.
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Though if Bethany were a product of Ms. DiLaurentis and Bethany's father, her DNA would not have been identical to Alison's, but it would have been a partial match. And since the corpse was already quite old, that may have led the police to think it was Alison. Makes better sense than the twin-story. Since we know from the tapes Ms. DiLaurentis was sleeping around quite a bit.
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I really enjoyed this episode. I knew Mona was going to die. I just felt it. Of course, they made it even more evident when I saw Mona's mother and it just seemed like a Mona-centric episode. Her last hurrah !!

1. I cannot stand Alison. I wish she would just GO AWAY !!!! UGH !

2. When Emily left her room WITHOUT HER PHONE, I wanted to slap her. Like what? Emily already grates my nerves and this just made me more pissed !!

3. Hanna will always be AWESOME and well as HALEB !! I love her and them.

4. Aria should decide if she wants Ezra or not. The game she is playing is old. Unless... a "time-jump" happened

5. I hope Spencer's (my second favorite) story-line of being in jail does not take forever. I mean who is going to be curious and noisy about everything for no reason. Ha.
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Spencer can't be in jail for long. How will she be ready for the choir recital they've suddenly been practicing for?

And as far was Ezria's is concerned: https://twitter.com/imarleneking/status/504426327664254977
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After having seen this episode. Mona did not deserve to die ='(
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loved this ep...rip mona!!!
i think alison killed mona cause she knew many things and she was the one who send the A text....but she is not A
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I loved this episode. As stated below I don't really care about the timeline (Officer Toby the time traveling Po Po) . I actually love the idea of Ali being A because it would turn the entire show into one big elaborate (and deadly) game. It is already cannon that Ali loves those slighly over the line games but what if she decided to test the girls loyalty with a full tilt game of life and death? It actually make the show make sense in a weird and demented way this show has of making things make kinda sense.....if you don't think about it too hard.
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There was a lot I didn't like about this episode but the main thing that I noticed that no one else has mentioned is how no one went to comfort Mona's mom. They were all paired up and just kind of watching her breakdown. At least Hanna should have gone to her!
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Wasn't Officer Barry with her?
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No he was talking to the press. She was standing all alone and in fact when he said that they were calling it a homicide, they flashed on everyone just looking at her as she slumped against the car.
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I'm so confused with the new status of Mrs. D. I mean... she had a husband, two kids, two affairs (Bethany Young's father and Mr. H), a close relationship with Bethany herself and also have the time to take care of two unstable and psychopathic kids like Ali and her brother Jason. No, no... something is not true there.

I know some hate when I say something like: that one could be "A", detail that sounds so small know. I took my bets from Aria to Bethany now. You see, I believed Cece and Bethany were the twins in Ali's Halloween Story. Were the three of them sisters? (Like A is for Ali, B is for Bethany and C is for Cece XD) We all know Cece Drake was around the Di Laurentis House the night began the series, dressed like Alison. And if Melissa believes she was the one barried Bethany, is a coincidence she was also wearing a yellow top like the other two? One is A-live and well (but cuckoo-crazy) and the other one is six feet under.


Anyway, I will miss Mona. Even with all her psychological issues, and all those special creppy things. I've learned to love her... even more than the liars sometimes. Goodbye socio :(
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Your still try to keep the timeline straight? Silly silly recapper. Just sit back and enjoy the mayhem. And join the rest of us each Tuesday as we break Twitter.
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So the timeline is even more f-ed up now. Marlene was questioned on Twitter about how Ezria went from fighting to couply and Toby got through the academy so fast and she called it a "mini time jump". So when you're trying to make us believe that only a month has passed since the Halloween episode in season 3, you're gonna pull a TIME JUMP card??? I just can't even deal with that right now. Not that I expect any different but I'm so freaking annoyed by that.

Very, very bummed about Mona. She was my favorite (next to Spencer). I know she'll be in flashbacks and all that, but it's not the same. I had an inkling it would be her before the episode (she made the most sense to have an impact on the Liars, cause we know none of them are dying any time soon) and it was cemented during the cold open. But I love that she went out with a fight (and somewhat redeemed).

I'm on board with Ali being a sociopath (I'm surprised it took someone 5 seasons to go there) but I'm not 100% on board with Ali as -A (too obvious and too many blondes/wigs on this show) nor her being the one to off Mona (maybe she ordered the hit, but I don't see her getting her hands dirty herself).

And last time I checked, didn't parents get to know their child died before the press? Holbrook has definitely defected to the skeezy, suspicious male clique of Rosewood so we obviously know there's more going on there. *sigh*
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About that last part: what I found REALLY weird, is that they find blood, a lot of blood, no corpse, and they just asume it´s Mona. Okay, off course that would be the most logical explanation (and we've seen the corpse, so we know for sure), but what if like, as an example, someone got inside Mona's house, and Mona was the one to kill the intruder and run off. They did not have time to do a DNA test. So I find it weird they first talk to the press about Mona's murder, without proper investigation, and without talking to her mom. Again, sloppy police work ;)
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Exactly. And if i'm not mistaken, isn't it true that it can't be ruled a homicide if there is no body?
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Wikipedia says it is possible, but not likely and hard to prove. :P If there's like 4 liters of blood it's a possible homocide, but the blood could also be cow's blood or something. Or from more than 1 person. So I'm at least pretty sure they can't state it's a homocide, and obviously they can't state to the press that Mona had been murdered, while there hasn't been done DNA testing yet. Big bug, if you ask me.
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By that first sentence I meant a murder conviction without a body.
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The time compression is getting ridiculous. After the Christmas special, they won't feel like they have to stay within the confines of the fall/winter and they it can be less absurd. Emphasis: less.
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How crazy is it that of all the ridiculous things that happen on this show, the thing that seems to bother us fans the most is the nonsensical timeline? lol
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Ha. Right? Everything other ridiculous thing has been set up by the story world. Most of the things on the list of what's happened from Seasons 3B-5A has been told in a way that's justified by a certain level of disbelief suspension. But them all occurring in less than 30 days is one leap too many. Every fandom has a line in the sand and the time thing seems to be one of them for PLL.
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I didn't even pay much attention to the weird time line, until your recent post about the curious timeline. I knew it was at least a little screwed up, but I expected the show to be in spring or something by now. The announcement of a Christmas special was the thing that really "shocked" me, and even more when this episode turned out to be about Thanksgiving! Now I have no idea when Thanksgiving actually is (second half of November, right? Google will be my best friend, again), being European, but still, I knew it was not right. AT. ALL. Almost like watching a scifi show, though we might've accepted the weird timeline if it had been...
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Mona is NOT dead. She was injected with some type of drug that simulates death. "A" will now take Mona to a secret location and keep her as a prisoner. If she was really dead why not just leave the dead body where it was? "A" could have stolen blood from a blood bank or hospital. If the DNA is checked out they will learn that it is not Mona's blood.

Maybe I'm in denial...I really liked Mona.
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That was something that I'd considered, too, before they showed the body in the trunk. All that blood and a newly-shady detective that's quick to pronounce Mona dead smacks of set-up, particularly for this show. My theory faltered a little when the show made a big deal of showing the body with multiple angles, from different distances, and for an considerable amount of time. The show wants us to see Mona in that trunk.

Now, that being said, PLL is certainly capable of pulling that kind of soapy move by spiriting Mona out of Rosewood to save her from an onslaught of A and/or Alison after figuring some things out. But I think I'd lose a little respect for the show if they backed out of this. The fact that they didn't show what happened to Mona, how she got back downstairs (bloody handprint on the wall), and time is elided between Aria getting the phone call and the free Liars showing up at the house means that they left it open to retconning. Much as I loved Mona, though, I had to hand it to them that they pulled the trigger on something pretty major. I'll be disappointed if it's anything else.
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After that episode, I believe A could be Alison's dad or maybe even, her whole family. How many times did Spencer's father, tell her not to trust any of Ali's family? Ali's dad was having an affair with Bethany. Ali's mom told someone she couldn't protect them anymore. Jason always gets there after a catastrophic event happens or is MIA. Ali is a backstabber, has been hiding things among other things. They may be in it all together... I dont think Mona would have freaked out, the way she did, if it was Ali that entered her room. Plus, the person was just bigger in general and had the same style hair as Ali, but not the same cut. I think it was either her dad or Jason wearing a wig...
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"Game changer"

Now that was A GOOD EPISODE.

1.) Mona's body in a trunk reminded me of "The Killing". If only they added rain to the scene. Where are Linden and Holden when we need them? (let's assume they're still working in police) They would catch A in one season.

2.) I'm sorry, but Toby in a police uniform looked like some cheap male striptease artist.

3.) Next time we'll find out that Holbrook's real family name is McCreeperson.

4.) So Alison is officially a sociopath now. I didn't see that coming.

5.) I'll miss Crazy Mona. Although I have never liked her character - she was part of the show from beginning.

6.) So is Spencer getting her own prison spin-off? Or will she join OITNB? (I know that won't happen - but I can dream right?)

Also I would love to see Troian as Nurse Ratched one day. She looks great in the nurse uniform.

7.) "Read her boobs. The girl loves Christmas" - Hanna is just awesome :)

I can't wait to see what happens next.

Thanks for summer reviews of PLL, Nick! See you in winter!
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I thought of The Killing in that scene too!! haha nice reference :)
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Ah, yes. Holbrook is actually Detective Smiles McCreeperson of the House McCreeperson along with his cousin Stalky "Wilden" McCreeperson. You'd think they'd get a name change by now.
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I KNEW it! That explains EVERYTHING! :)
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Given how the RPD had a crooked detective who was later murdered, had another cop who was murdered who they may not know was at least somewhat crooked, never excavated under the newly built gazebo in the backyard in the missing girl, and has several unsolved murders/deaths piling up, how are they not under some sort of state or federal review? At what point does the chief resign? They know Ian, Garrett, Wilden, Mrs. D, Maya, Nate, Ali Bethany, and Mona all lead to the Liars & are tied together to some extent, so so shouldn't there be a task force or special prosecutor? It warrants Rosewood being on an episode of City Confidential too.
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We definitely need Investigation Discovery on the case.
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Woah. That was unexpected! I had a feeling from all the Mona we were getting that she would be the one to die, but I'll admit, I thought that when A replaced Jesus with a Mona doll, that meant Mona'd be resurrecting next season on a new A team. But then they just smacked me upside the head with that little body-in-the-boot thing at the end. I was devastated! Mona is was a great character, she'll be sorely missed.

Eh, get ready to be standing in the dole queue in the morning Holbrook, I'm not in law enforcement and even I know you don't announce on TV that someone's been murdered before informing next of kin. Hell I'd say noobie cop Toby probably even knows that, and he graduated cop school in ~5-7 days!

Hanna continues to be so awesome. I love that she aced her SAT exams. We've seen evidence before in the show that Hanna is a lot smarter than she lets on, and if she actually applied herself/had time for school cos she wasn't being psychologically tortured, she could probably have brilliant grades and get into a great university. In Ireland we get into University based on the grades we get in one State Exam taken in 7 subjects at age 17/18. It seems plausible that Rosewood High is adopting this kind of system, seeing as it places no emphasis on attendance.

Alison almost certainly isn't A, but she sure isn't innocent either. I think that was her we saw sneaking into Mona's house. She probably wanted to scare/rough up Mona a little, and maybe take whatever evidence Mona had on the Ali and Bethany connection. The real A came afterwards, and killed Mona before she could get on the road to follow her mother.

Holbrook became super creepy on his little holiday. Where's Tanner?

I burst out laughing at Toby in the cop outfit and the ensuing innuendo-laden scene. I wondered how Troian and Keegan could actually film that and hold a straight face. Must have taken a hundred tries. It was cringe-inducing.

Ali and her creepy band of anti-Liars. What is her deal?!

Cindy and Mindy. Really? Really?? There are parents who make up names for their kids, but these two get names that rhyme. And not even nice names. Bummer.

Christmas in August makes me uncomfortable.
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This has nothing to do with PLL but I'm just saying, in the US at least, a high school doesn't get to decide how its students are admitted into college. It's up to each individual college what their standards are and 99% of them look at grades as well as standardized tests not just the tests. Also there's no way Hanna could do well enough on the SATs to be considering applying to Stanford but not even know what they're called.
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Guys, this is a show that claims Mona got into Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth (which, of the three, DOES have an early process that is binding) before Thanksgiving. Spencer heard from Penn in, what, September? Unless they applied rolling (and none of those schools has rolling admission), none of these girls would actually find out until mid-December. And everyone is harping on about Hanna's SAT scores. No, she's not going to get into any of those schools if her grades don't match, but this show doesn't seem that concerned with realistic depiction of the college process.
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Never thought that maybe Ali had entered Mona's house and the real A came after Ali left and killed Mona. I'm still suspicious of the possibility there are two Alison's...i.e. a twin. Since Mrs. D slept around maybe Ali isn't Mr. D's real daughter and is clueless to it? Perhaps Mrs. D did have twins (as per the book) and one was bad and the other...not as bad. But Ali may not be A but I believe she knows who A is and it's someone very close to her. Just some thoughts running through my head. :)
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Well holy crap thanks PLL for having a midseason finale make me be like "Holy Crap! They killed Mona, she's gone! I knew someone was gonna die but Mona, I thought it would be Paige!!" Well done and a bonus I got a little upset seeing Hanna so upset.

Oh and yeah Holbrook hen did you become a creeper and where is Tanner?
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i wish if they made mona dissapear for a while but not dead :( i really liked her character and her friendship with hannah
But i LOVE that caleb is back to his old self taking care of hannah &3
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Poll

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I voted Cece only because we saw the hair and they interchanged Cece and Ali in the past as Redcoat. Plus you could say the one thing we know is that Cece left town, or did she? Dun. Dun. Dun.
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1. So is everyone in Rosewood cool with Aria casually dating her English teacher? Like is that an acceptable thing now?
2. I would pay to see an episode where admissions counselors from Harvard and Yale read the Liars' college essays.
-Hanna: "7 Years of Bad Thoughts: Or Why I am Not Yet An Alcoholic"
-Emily: "Loving a Sociopath and Finding a Backbone"
-Aria: "Finding Love in the Strangest of Places: When You Love Your Teacher"
-Spencer: "Prison vs. Insane Asylums: A Comprehensive Study"
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^ This. :)

Great idea!!
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So...I think Mona was likely right that Alison is A now and she's correct about everything else, but my other thought was, well, that's probably CeCe right? My other thought was, its so sad, Mona was probably right to call Aria when she knew Spencer was unavailable. She probably is the next smartest one and, of course, she has ready access to a technical adult who is in the know.

I mean there was a whole scene earlier this season where it was clear she was leaving town, so obviously she came back.
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Alison is not A. Why? Because they all think that she is A, and they had no real evidence until the end with the tapes. Horrible that Mona is dead, though. She was the most complex character on the show.
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It was obvious that Mona was going to die:the mini redemption arc,the 'i'm sorry' speech,the fact that we finally met her mom...I'm upset about Mona dying but I will be really pissed if the girl in the hoodie turns out not to be Alison!It's a mystery show,there are going to be red herrings,but I feel like the show is depending on them too much,like it's creating/manipulating storylines to sell the red herrings instead of building up a coherent story with a few mysteries along the way to spice things up and in the end they're gonna say 'this and this happened,bye'.They have done it before with Mona explaining what really happened in previous seasons in 4x01 or 4x02.Was that interesting?Not really.So much telling,not enough showing.By series end,who is going to remember even half of the mysteries theyre trying to set up?The most obvious example is Melissa,the most cagey character on the show.I haven't seen a comment anywhere 'Oh my God,Melissa killed Bethany',because nobody cares about Melissa.She never had a storyline or personality to speak of.She's just there to be creepy.And Emily,can she get even more stupid?She lets the cell phone out there like that?Making a character dumb for the convenience of the plot is always a bad idea.And yeah,I was expecting det.Sexy to be more sensitivetowards Mona's mom.
I know I focused on the things I didn't like.It's not that I didn't like the episode.It was a good episode.Just not good enough for a summer finale.
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I'll be really pissed if they make Ali evil or A.
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Ali is already evil.As for 'who's A' ,I think it's Ali,but i don't really care.I care more about where the girls will end up.
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Poll


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How about all of the above.
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I pretty much have all of those going on.
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next person to die---Lucas, why?? he probably know as much as Mona and might be the only one who could help the liars solve the mystery....
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Oh no don't say that!!! I love that little weirdo!!!
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LOL, yeah he is a little weirdo.
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REALLY DISTURBING
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It kinda sucked seeing this on facebook before I saw the episode. Kinda ruined the surprise for me, since I didn't have time to watch the episode on Tuesday. But still, disturbing indeed.
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yes, that's why I avoid using social networking sites, because spoilers are everywhere. Especially when it comes to PLL, it always trend when there's a certain revelation.
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Yep, now I know I should never again visit facebook before I've seen the new episodes of all my favorite shows :P
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Uhm, many :P Arrow, Person of Interest, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, PLL, Rizzoli & Isles, NCIS, South park, The Big Bang Theory, The 100, Elementary, Melissa & Joey, Bones, The Walking Dead, and some that are not airing anymore, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Desperate Housewives, Alphas, Heroes, etc. etc. :P
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what are your fave shows?
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Super disturbing.
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Murder in broad daylight? While Mona probably screamed a little? And no one saw the mysterious hooded person skulking in front of Mona's house? A sure is sneaky.
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its someone Mona doesnt know....if its Allison she wont scream....
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"Read her boobs" Hanna always gets the best lines :D

Also what kind of Police department informs someone thier child is dead on live TV? But given that they give new recruits about 3 weeks instruction, maybe we shouldn't surprised by the lack of sensitivity training.
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This episode finally explained why Hanna is so verbally gifted. She is super smart!

True about the police. They announced Mona's death just based on the amount of blood, without a body. Had they had time to test that it was Mona's blood?
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I'm not sure whether they're intentionally making Holbrook that shady or if that's just the actor/character doing his best Tanner impression though Tanner came off as someone searching for the truth while Holbrook seems like he's having his strings pulled. The one-on-one with Ali, taking so many actions after being specifically told that Tanner should be with him, the dispensing of police procedure -- they're all antithetical to our previous understanding. The Shadening of Holbrook is something we'll have to watch.
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Well it wasn't Ali who killed Mona at the end cause you see her her and its a lot shorter than alis was.
Also ezra pissed me off, why was he just not arsed that arias best friend was arrested for murder. He was LITERALLY more concerned with pumpkin pie. What a bastard.
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I caught that, too. Ezra was just like, "She'll get out but what about my pies? I really want to make a good impression on your parents so we can continue this societally reprehensible relationship with your worn-down parents' blessing." My first instinct was that Ezra looked like he'd been reassured that Spencer wouldn't spend much time in the clink, like he was part of a plan. But that just be because I trust Ezra about as much as I trust a hungry dog alone in a butcher shop.
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Sooo.... if it's already "reveald" that Ali is A, why the f**K are they still not showing A's face at the end of the episode?!

Meaning: I don't believe Ali is A. Why would they continue a show for 2 more seasons if the biggest secret, the main plot of the show, is already revealed?! Not buying it, PLL.

And it wouldn't surprise me if Mona would come back from the dead somehow (like she's not really dead, but paralyzed or something). Since Ravenswood came to Rosewood, why not as a ghost?! :P

Question: Is it even legitimate to pronounce someone dead if there's no body???
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People can be pronounced legally dead if they go missing for long enough and it is possible to charge and convinct people of murder even if there are no remains.
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No, he couldnt pronounce them dead without a body. And from the looks of it, that was the first monas mum heard about it so he should definitely have been fired
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I think they should have taken Mona's mum aside and told her personally that she was murdered instead of hearing the detective in front of everyone. Out of respect! Can't believe she died. Sad as she was just doing some good. If Alison is not A it has to be someone that looks like her or has the same hair!
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I had been SO SURE that Mona was planning on faking her own death (the fainting and bandage on her arm) her mentioning death lately, being nicer to people. The fact that the promos said there was no body.. then that final scene. OH MY GOD.
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who is A the fucking wuzz?
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Well, when detective said "We didn't find the body" I was expecting more crap like "deads that are not really dead" and similar, so, although I like the character of Mona, I'm glad they close this death. One answer for the million of questions the viewers have.
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How the hell did toby graduated so fast from the police academy, didn't he decided to be a cop like two episodes ago, cause that will explain a lot about Rosewood police crime solving ratio, cause they can basically turn anyone into a cop in a matter of two days whether he is qualified or not or I don't know just a high school kid (seriously how old is toby? )It's probably one of those timeline mystery, maybe Rosewood is stuck on a hell dimension, 100 years pass there in like a day on earth,like the one Buffy was.



Why was mona calling aria to tell her about Bethany young? why was she calling aria when spencer would have been clearly the first choice to share this kind of information but since she was taken to the police, she would have probably called hanna who was her closest friend once , so why aria?(aria is A theories )



Toby crashing his car while talking on the phone was the most cliché scene ever.



Why kill mona, one of the best characters on this show when there is so much to choose from, page for example ?



"Read the boobs " oh hanna



"you know the test they make you take the S.E.T …." Oh hanna 2



Oh and Alison is A… I don't buy this for one second not with the history of this show.



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Yeah, maybe she was telling Aria that because of other evidence... Hmm
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They killed one of the few interesting characters left on the show. They better have some good stuff lined up for when the show returns or it wont be wotrh wathing.
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