Heading into the Pretty Little Liars series finale, I was nervous. I’d been nervous ever since Season 7B began. How do you take a show with such complicated mythology and a string of unapologetic plot holes and wrap it up with a nice little bow? It seemed impossible that the show’s ending would satisfy me, but it did.
I was still nervous watching, waiting for A.D. to be revealed. I’d believed in Twincer for a while now. When I initially read the fan theory, I thought it was just plain cool. An evil twin slipping in and out of the Liars’ lives undetected seemed like a genius solution to the problem of answering the series’ big A.D. question. And after thinking on it and searching for clues in every new episode, I was convinced only Twincer could be A.D.
So when the finale revealed Alex Drake to us, I wasn’t exactly shocked, but I was thrilled. As I listened to her unravel her complex backstory in that jarring English accent, I was impressed. Her motives made sense to me. The way she’d carried out the game all added up. Did I still have questions? Sure. But that’s a point in and of itself.
Pretty Little Liars will never answer all your questions. It’s not in the show’s DNA to make total and complete sense of everything that’s happened. And if you haven’t accepted that by now, nothing the show could’ve done in its series finale would’ve suited you.
PLL’s executive producer Marlene King has mentioned in interviews following the finale that she considered making Wren or Melissa A.D. For the fans who’ve spent years crafting intricate theories about how it could only be one (or both) of these characters, it’s probably a letdown to learn that the actors’ availability was what stood in the way of outfitting them in the final black hoodie.
I would argue, though, that having a character like Wren or Melissa be A.D. would make less sense than taking the identical twin route. Melissa and Wren are average suspects in a nowhere-close-to-average game. Why not have a show that’s been filled with insane twists and turns end with the most insane twist of all?
Apparently, there are still people who wanted one of the Liars or their beaus to be A.D. That would have been more surprising than the Alex Drake reveal, but it also would’ve shattered the very ground this show was built upon. As someone who watched How I Met Your Mother’s series finale upend the framework of the show and explain to viewers that we’d been watching an entirely different show than we assumed, I was not up for watching that happen on PLL.
Not only did we get a satisfying conclusion to the A.D. arc, but we also saw the Liars moving on with their lives. Ezra and Aria finally tied the knot (after the groom sustained double head injuries). Hanna and Caleb were expecting a baby. With the help of a one-year time jump, Emily and Alison earned their happy ending—twins, engagement and all. And Spencer was well on her way to reconnecting with Toby, and her Hastings family ties seemed stronger than ever. Individually and as friends, the Liars got what they deserved.
Only in Rosewood, do you fear getting a new text message or being stalked by "A." This town, these girls, this unconditional friendship has been our home for the past 7 years, 7 seasons, and 160 episodes. Every dead body, dug up grave, new suspect, scream, relationship, and heartbreak led us to last night. Thank you, family, for being there for every "A" message and every step of the way. Tuesdays will never be the same. The game may be over, but we'll always have Rosewood. #PrettyLittleLiars
And perhaps best of all, Mona, who started the A game, came out on top, winning once and for all by locking Alex and Mary Drake in a living dollhouse of her own construction—much nicer than the one Charlotte built, I might add.
There were little things here and there I would’ve changed (like revealing Alex earlier in the season or having the Liars take even a sec to hash everything out after they found Spencer), but I don’t think there’s such a thing as a perfect ending in the world of television. When you’ve walked alongside characters through every step of their lives for seven years, you’re bound to want more. But for the crazy world Pretty Little Liars concocted, this series finale couldn’t have gotten closer to perfect.