'Pretty Little Liars' Summer Finale: You Won't Believe A's Lair—Or Who Shows Up There
The PLL writers' room must be scraping the bottom of the menacing-gifts-from-A barrel, because each Liar receives a Magic 8-Ball with her name inscribed on it in gold glitter paint pen. Maybe a third-grade brownie troop has joined the A-Team. The exposed faces of the dice spell out a message (the ladies just happen to read them aloud in the correct order): "If she goes free / You'll hear from me." Maybe Red Coat has been financing her exploits by writing all those terrible rhyming clues from Whodunnit.
Travis is called into the police station to identify Ashley Marin. The group of middle-aged, pantsuited women the officers have assembled looks more like a Talbots ad than a lineup of hardened criminals. The charges are dropped. She's free to go!
Aria may have a boyf, but the newly childless Ezra wants her back. He moonily lectures his class—while, as always, uncomfortably maintaining direct eye contact with her the entire time—about The Tempest and its depiction of true, transformative love. How many more classic works of literature must we desecrate in the name of weakly allegorizing the undying passion of Ezria?
Jake has the audacity to doze off during one of the black-and-white films Aria routinely subjects her manfriends to, thereby proving that he just doesn't get her, you know? She finds her way to the coffeeshop, where she ends up chatting—and smoochin'—with Mr. Fitz. Red Coat observes them through a window. Girlfriend likes to watch.
Just as Ashley sets off for a long night of thrillingly chaste hand-holding with Pastor Ted, a package arrives. It contains a child's coffin, because of course it does. Inside lies what I thought was a Molly American Girl doll, but apparently it's actually supposed to be Mona. Uh-oh. The girls discover that the prettiest, littlest liar has checked out of Radley, and that the police are on the hunt for CeCe.
The next day, the mail brings a saw. "Watch me make a girl disappear," the spooky inscription warns. I don't want to be a total B, A, but you don't make somebody disappear with a saw. You cut them in half. Maybe stick to a bunny in a hat next time?
From this, the friends deduce that A is putting on a magic show (I don't know), hopefully in collaboration with Tony Wonder and/or the Alliance. Via an Internet Google web dot com search, the Liars discover that a magician, the Great Charlemagne, is performing that very day. Where?
Where else? Ravenswood.
The Great Charlemagne, whose mime makeup kind of undercuts the town's otherwise stiflingly creepy grayscale atmosphere, recruits a reluctant Aria for a trick—I mean, an illusion. But this is only a distraction. When the applause dies down, it's Emily who's nowhere to be found.
A panicked phone call reveals that she's trapped in a coffin (this one's for free, R. Kelly), terrified by the sound of a sawmill. Hanna, Spencer and Aria find Em in a warehouse on the conveniently named Sawmill Road, her casket on a conveyor belt headed for a James Bond villain-style circular saw.
They save her—and spot not one, but two Red Coats on the premises.
Aria follows one to a catwalk high above the warehouse floor, and kicks her a bunch of times (thanks for all that martial arts instruction, Jake!). Her mask flies off. It's CeCe. With one false step, she ends up dangling over the catwalk's edge, with Aria holding her up only by the sleeve of her coat. The fabric tears. She falls to her apparent death.
Buuuuuuut not really, of course. She manages to slip away, despite her presumably massive internal bleeding. The other Red Coat leads Spencer to a nearby apartment: A's lair. Inside, bulletin boards feature elaborate timelines of each girl's life—Ali's among them, including recent events! Will this woman never die?
There's also a massive surveillance system, a closet full of unambiguously masculine suit jackets, and a discarded bank statement that shows Red Coat has formed a corporation, with CeCe paid as an employee.
On the street, the Liars bump into sorority mother Carla Grunwald, who belatedly owns up to a secret friendship with Alison. In fact, on the "last" night of Ali's life, Mrs. G discovered her buried alive in the DiLaurentis family's backyard. Grunwald pulled her out of the soil to safety, but she disappeared when Mrs. G left her alone to seek medical attention.
Pretty crazy, right? Wrong. That's not crazy. You don't even know what the word "crazy" means. Crazy is who turns up in A's lair after they leave: MR. FITZ.
...I know, right?
Xoxox, bitches. See you in October.
Image via ABC Family