UPDATED with after-show comments Showrunner I. Marlene King says she’s known for a couple years where Pretty Little Liars was headed, at least with regard to the identity of the mysterious A.D. And at least one cast member knew: Troian Bellisario said during the one-hour PLL aftershow on Freeform tonight that she asked King for the solution two years ago.
Bellisario also disclosed a major influence on her portrayal of new character Alex Drake: punk rocker Sid Vicious. “Be a mess and just, like, spit,” said Bellisario about how she wanted to play the British nasty, Alex.
Asked about the possibility of a reunion “in 10 years,” Bellisario and co-stars Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse said they’d be open to the idea, but, as Bellisario said, “I think a reunion would have to be pretty special, to do it justice.”
PREVIOUS, 7:01 PM: After a slew of pretty little false starts — including a St. Elsewhere snow globe reverie and a preposterous Scooby-Doo-style rubber mask fake-reveal — Pretty Little Liars finally got around to solving its central mystery: The identity of the blackmailing villain known as “A.D.”
Stop reading here if you haven’t watched tonight’s series finale.
Turns out, that season-long Internet rumor about Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) having an evil twin was…spot on. Bellisario, taking on a convincing British accent, pulled double-duty tonight as “Alex Drake,” Spencer’s heretofore unknown dead ringer.
Having learned of Spencer’s existence through a chance meeting with Wren Kingston (Julian Morris), Alex apparently sneaked her way into the lives of the Liars months ago (seems she was envious of Spencer’s devoted friendships, not to mention all those sexual opportunities with Keegan Allen’s hunky Toby).
The finale gathered together all the Liars, their romantic partners, parents and other characters who’ve passed through the series via that soap opera staple: the big wedding. Lucy Hale’s Aria was all set to marry Ian Harding’s Ezra, despite some last-minute bumps and hesitations, but then got stood up after Alex kidnapped the groom.
The episode was loaded with flashbacks and replays of scenes from prior episodes (which we now see in a new light after realizing they featured Alex, not Spencer, Sixth Sense-ish).
In fact, the finale, titled “Till Death Do Us Part,” was heavy on references to any number of thrillers, from The Shining to Netflix’s The O.A. As one of the Liars says late in the episode, “Out of all the insane theories we’ve jumped to, Spencer having an evil twin has to be the most insane.”
In a brief coda, the storyline shifted to a new group of high school girls who face a missing persons mystery of their own, just like the original gang of Liars. Odder yet was the penultimate scene, a short fantasy-like sequence set in Paris that at first seemed to suggest the story was all in crazy Mona’s mind. Or maybe she really did have the two evil Drakes locked up somewhere. Game, set, match?
The episode was directed by exec producer I. Marlene King, who wrote the teleplay with Maya Goldsmith and the story with Kyle Bown.