“Pretty Little Liars” has always seemed to exist in some magical plane, where crazy things keep happening to a group of four girls and someone code-named A always seems to know what they’re up to. But on the summer season finale “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” -- which aired August 27 -- everything started to make sense, kind of, even if the final moments were crazy and shocking.
Before the final “PLL” moment goes down, the girls are being taunted -- again. They get package after package taunting them about making Mona (Janel Parrish) disappear and the girls taking the blame. Appropriately, all of the packages -- other than the creepy Mona doll in a casket -- are magic related. But it’s Spencer’s (Troian Bellisario) comment about the magic that is the most foreboding: “People want to believe something they know can’t be true.”
Is she referring to Ali (Sasha Pieterse) being alive? Or that Mona isn’t involved in her random disappearance? Or that all signs have been pointing to Cece (Vanessa Ray) as A, despite her lack of motivation? Because all signs really are pointing to Cece Drake, and “Pretty Little Liars” isn’t the kind of show to hand over such a big reveal like that without some major fanfare.
But the fanfare is just starting on the “PLL” summer finale “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t.” Toby (Keegan Allen) finds a shipping label from the suspicious Wren to Melissa. Ezra (Ian Harding) and Aria (Lucy Hale) run into each other, bond yet again over writing, and even kiss. And then Toby follows Shauna in Jenna’s car to a bed and breakfast, where he sees Mona.
So Mona is safe, and that storyline is over, at least for now -- even if fans still don’t know what Mona’s game is and why she’s talking to Shana.
That’s because the focus of “Pretty Little Liars” turns to Ravenswood, where the girls are finally getting some answers. Someone kidnaps Emily (Shay Mitchell) during a Great Charlemagne magic show and puts her in a casket that is about to be sawed in half through a sawmill. She, naturally, is saved just in time, but her savior is surprising: a girl dressed in a red coat. But, wait, it gets more confusing, because there's actually two red coats there.
One is Cece Drake, who Aria takes down with some karate moves -- and Cece falls to her death. Except she doesn’t. Because in the magical world of “PLL," Cece survives and disappears yet again.
That “death” is forgotten too, and the story moves on to something more important: yet another lair, which the other red coat -- possibly Ali -- led Spencer to.
But before fans keep wondering about why A has yet another lair, it quickly becomes obvious that this one is different. Ali may be the second red coat -- at least according to Carla Grunwald -- but she’s not A. Someone else is, because whoever is tracking them is also tracking Red Coat/Alison. Plus, they find men’s clothes and accounting books that show payments to Cece. So is A really “board shorts,” the older guy Alison dated before she went missing?
Carla Grunwald seems to think so, and she warns the girls to stay away from tracking Alison. That's because their “best friend” is looking for someone to trust as she searches to protect herself from whomever has been threatening her for years.
And then a dark figure steps into the lair, the camera pans around, and it’s Ezra Fitz. Aria’s teacher and lover. Could it really be? Could Ezra be A?
It’s a shocking, mind blowing moment, but as “PLL” executive producer I. Marlene King tweeted after the finale, “Take a moment. Catch your breath.” And really, just think about it.
There have been clues in the past, like Ezra’s stash of money from supposedly selling his car to Ezra randomly appearing on the Halloween train. But could the guy who claims to love Aria really be out to destroy Alison and her friends, including Aria?
It’s a hard pill to swallow, but that's what makes the ending of the "Pretty Little Liars" summer season all that more interesting. If there's anything the ABC Family knows how to do, it's surprise with huge revelations like this. And now, unfortunately, fans will have to wait for the Halloween episode for more answers.
© Elizabeth SanFilippo 2013
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