First, it was Mona. Then, Toby? Wait, no, that was a trick. Oh, and remember when everybody thought Ezra was on the A team? Finally, it was revealed that Charlotte (aka CeCe) was the evil mastermind — only to be replaced by the even more deceptive A.D. The series' final reveal is only one week away, but here's the cold, hard truth: You won't be happy with who A.D. is on Pretty Little Liars, no matter what.
Before you accuse me of being cynical, I should explain. I mean that regardless of what happens, you'll probably find a few plot holes, or argue that it doesn't measure up to the theories in your head. Essentially, there's always going to be something to complain about, because that's just the kind of conversations this show fosters. PLL has kept fans guessing since day one, that's half the beauty of it. And for that reason, you're always going to be left wanting more.
When it was first revealed that Mona was A at the end of Season 2, fans complained that the TV show was too closely following Sara Shepard's book series. And I had that same initial annoyance. Like ugh, couldn't they have done something more original?
Why did they make Mona "A"? They didnt change it up from the books! They should have changed it up a bit.. Like wow..— Alexxxx (@AlexXStalteri15) March 22, 2012
remember when Marlene was like "A is not the same person it was in the books!" and then Mona was A and everyone was so pissed— natasha (@jacesherondales) August 11, 2015
But then, before fans knew it, Toby was A — or so it seemed. When he was shown in that black hoodie in Season 3, I legit remember pacing around my apartment in disbelief. Unlike the Mona reaction bringing frustration, this one brought heartbreak for some, rage for others. (These wound up being very short-lived feelings, since he was just pretending, but still.)
Remember when Toby was on the a team and spencer thought he was dead. Omg 😩— Hanna Marin-Drake. (@OfFemmeFatale) June 14, 2017
nothing in PLL made me more mad than when Toby was on the a team and when Ezra was a lying bastard— laura (@laurably_) March 2, 2017
And remember that Ezra insanity? There was the double frustration: First, coping with the belief that he joined the A team and, as a result, sobbing like Aria in the iconic scene below.
I feel like the most gut wrenching season finale there was for this show was when Ezra was revealed in the black hoodie. That was awful.— Kenzie Shaleefoo (@DAPAdele) August 12, 2015
Before you could even finished fully processing that reveal, there was the double betrayal of Ezra not being A; he was just writing a book about Alison. And for as much as people didn't want Ezra to be evil, this explanation felt like a cop-out, so fans were not satisfied yet again.
I'm still not convinced that Ezra did all that just to be like, "oh I was writing a book 📚 " 😂😂 nah he's sketchy #PLLMemoryLane— Jocelynn Richter (@JocelynnRichter) March 23, 2017
I wish that Ezra was A rather than that horrendous 'writing a book' storyline— Ami Follos (@amifollos) January 27, 2017
Cece/Charlotte being A made no sense to me to start with and now it makes even less sense lmao— Abbie (@dorothylintott) August 31, 2016
and the whole thing with Charles/Charlotte being A still makes no sense to me and shouldn't of happened it should of been wren or aria— cat 🇨🇦 (@canucksedins) August 29, 2016
Meanwhile, others claimed they knew all along. There was that scene where CeCe was outside Ezra's apartment in a hoodie, but wasn't that a little too obvious?
Ever since we saw cece in the black hoodie at Ezra's I think that ruined it for me.. @imarleneking— krista (@_kristaxo) August 12, 2015
Why do we see Cece with a red coat then her listening to Ezra and Aria in a black hoodie but it just seems way to obvious :/— Mmm Keegan (@ABCPLLL) August 21, 2013
Now that we took that collective trip down Rosewood's memory lane, did all the feelings of frustration and dissatisfaction come rushing back? Because they sure did on my end. As much as I hope the PLL finale will blow me out of the water, I also am trying to temper my feelings. Yes, it will probably be a shock, but my mind will likely wander, wondering why the creators didn't go in another direction and wishing they did.
If you don't believe me, think about the massive outrage at How I Met Your Mother's big reveal. So many fans were frustrated about how it ended. Or what about when Gossip Girl's identity was unveiled and people were pissed about who the mystery blogger was all along? Basically, these sorts of TV reveals set themselves up for failure, in some ways. There's never a picture-perfect solution that will please everybody. If anything, the best part is the guessing — not finding out the actual result.
So, I rest my case: You probably won't be satisfied with the A.D. reveal, but maybe that doesn't really matter. Over the course of seven seasons, Pretty Little Liars kept fans guessing, intrigued, and OK, more than a little frustrated. Yet you still kept tuning in, and so did I. Even if the chances are high that you won't be happy with A, that's OK. It's more about the experience, isn't it?
Plus, now you can go back and rewatch for clues. Whether you find plot holes or answers, being that invested in the show is just a testament to the true power of PLL.