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?
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.)
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.
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.
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?
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.