Pretty Little Liars Season 6 Episode 10 – TV Review
The Dan revelation was disappointing, but it was kind of just chucked in there. And did it really matter who was Gossip Girl?
In Pretty Little Liars, on the other hand, the identity of A is everything. Does anyone really care if Aria’s going to end up banging her teacher ever after?
Which makes this mid-season finale’s ass-pull even that ass-pullier.
TL;DR Cece is Charles/A; Sara is Red Coat and her accomplice; the episode consists mainly of Cece explaining a bunch of A-related occurrences that you’ve forgotten about and/or don’t care about anymore, anyway.
And what happened to the mums? Are they still in the Dilaurentis basement?
The Liars basically spend most of the episode offscreen and listening to Cece rabbit on, so we’ll eschew the Liar-by-Liar plot breakdown. So Alison’s been kidnapped from prom. The Liars plus Sara meet up with Mona, who has been skulking about and tracking Alison in hope of getting a lead on A/Charles. By their powers combined, the six ladies make their way into the password protected Carissimi Group room, wherein a spaceship-style command console, complete with holographic screen projector, awaits (Sara gets spooked and doesn’t go in, though. You’ll see why). The Liars and Mona watch a surveillance feed of Alison being talked at by Charles, who is revealed to be… Cece. Long story short, Cece used to be a boy named Charles. Twist? Yes. Satisfying? No. She goes on about what happened to her in Radley, and fills in some of the blanks left by A and Red Coat mysteries of the past. Sara is also Red Coat and was her accomplice or something, by the way. In the end, Cece tries to blow herself, Alison, Jason, and Papa D up, but the Liars foil her. The episode ends with the Liars going their separate ways in life, and then there’s a five year time jump for a final, pointless, vague cliffhanger.
Because what would a PLL season finale be without one?
I’ll admit, I was excited to see a good ol’ answer montage. Haven’t had one of those since the season 4 finale.
But Cece as Charles and as the A mastermind behind everything took the wind out of my sails. As soon as I saw her face, I lost interest (the characters, conversely, wildly oversell their shocked reactions). Who gives a fuck about Cece? She hasn’t mattered for, like, two seasons. We haven’t seen her since her cameo in the season 5 Christmas episode (I was totally right about her being the one who attacked Mona, though).
Cece’s always been a goofy satellite character in this show. As retarded as the reveal of Ezra supposedly being A (and the even more retarded way PLL tried to explain that away), at least Ezra has been a relevant character for the show’s entire run.
It feels like PLL just needed someone disposable. And given the way Cece has only intermittently appeared on this show, that’s exactly what she is.
Why I hate this episode:
Even more disposable is Sara, who gets upgraded to the mystery Red Coat. I suppose her whole “I was held prisoner for two years” thing was all an act, then? I don’t even care. Sara better not show up again from here on out.
A lot of the stuff Cece recounts, particularly explanations for old A and Red Coat stuff, is, like, whatever. Ever since the epic ass-pull of Alison being alive, I’ve given up on there being any satisfaction in hanging onto unexplained mysteries in PLL. The Red Coat/Alison muddle from the season 3 finale always stuck in my mind, and we do get the explanation for it here, but it didn’t make me happy. Sara was the decoy Red Coat. Wow. Thanks for making a character we’ve only known during season 6 so important for something you never explained from season 3. I’m sure that was totally planned, right?
Sara is a tool, both figuratively and literally. Her character only exists to fill gaps in the “Cece is A har har har” explanation. But good God, I hope PLL doesn’t spend any time for the remainder of its run fleshing Sara out. It’s done. It’s over. Let’s move on.
The reason for Cece’s imprisonment in Radley is flimsy. Cece tries to spruik herself by saying that the “I almost drowned baby Alison in a boiling bathtub” incident was actually just an accident (she was just trying to calm down a crying Alison with a bath. Because baths are soothing). Cece reckons that Papa D could see early signs of her being transgendered, so pushed for the move to Radley. Like, what? The episode doesn’t clarify this, either. Cece just kind of dumps it on Alison and then forges ahead with the rest of her flashbacks.
In yet another display of dissatisfaction, Cece explains that the reason she came back to keep fucking around with Alison and the Liars after she got away at the start of season 5 was because she just felt like it. Wow! What an epic, diabolical master plan!
Her explanation for her choice to mess with the Liars, as opposed to just the Dilaurentis family, is that she was upset that the Liars enjoyed living in a world where Alison was supposedly dead. Again, what amazing motivation! You can totally see the foreshadowing and payoff. Incredible!
Cece dated Jason, her brother. Gross. I knew PLL was always down for a May-December romance, but now incest is on the table. Cute. She claims she never fucked Jason, but I don’t take Jason as the kind of boy to call someone his girlfriend without at least the odd pash. You can really see that PLL planned for this Cece as A reveal from the beginning, like, so much.
The control room at Carissimi is embarrassing. Even for PLL standards. First, Mona determines that Charles has their own fucking cell network, which leads the gang to Carissimi. Then they find a spaceship room inside a hidden room behind a coded panel that is only unlocked when Sara offers a date she “remembered” from the bunker (Cece’s birthday?). Then there’s a high tech control panel that would make that glass table thing from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 blush. And then, just to really show that PLL doesn’t give a fuuuuck, the screen for the control panel isn’t just any old screen. It’s a fucking holographic projection. PLL really rubs it in by having Hanna put her hand through it in wonderment. Like, really?
Rhys turns out to be simply a guy who resembled Jason, and Cece hired him to Carissimi as a decoy.
We still don’t know who killed Jessica.
The end of the episode sees Alison working as a teacher (not using Dilaurentis as her surname, though), and the Liars rushing in to warn her that “he” is coming. They use the vaguest words possible, so who gives a shit? I’m betting it’s the day of Alison’s wedding or something and it’ll all be a hilarious fake-out. We love those, don’t we, PLL viewers?
Oh, and we don’t get to see what happened to the Drunk Mum Initiative from last episode. What a fucking ripoff.
But it’s not all bad:
The episode is a nice trip down Memory Lane. Or, as it’s called on PLL, Shit We Never Answered So We Could Scribble In Whatever We Felt Like At The Last Moment Because The Show’s Ending Lane.
The juiciest revelation from Cece is that she was friends with Bethany when they were younger. Bethany was a confidant to her crossdressing. One night, Toby’s mum came up on the rooftop while Cece and Bethany were up there. Cece was terrified to be seen dressed as a girl, so Bethany distracted Toby’s mum. By pushing her off the roof. Cece was horrified, and Bethany claimed Cece is the one who did it, so that answers that. Jessica then bribed Wilden to cover it up as a suicide. Remember the whole Toby’s mum mystery? Wasn’t that fun?
I appreciated that the show didn’t make a big deal out of Cece being transgendered. I suspect some professional umbridge takers out there will decry a transgendered person being a villain. But hey, why not? Are you saying that transgendered people aren’t allowed to be villains? Because that’s discrimination, baby.
Emily punches Sara in the face after the Liars disarm the bomb she sets for Cece to blow up Radley. We need more of this from you, Em.
Jessica was quite a good mum to Charles/Cece. Despite the whole Radley lock-up thing.
Cece bashed Alison in the back of the head on the night she disappeared only because she thought she was Bethany. She knew Bethany planned to kill Jessica, and was trying to stop her. Mona also tells the Liars that she’s the one who hit Bethany with the shovel that night, thinking she was Alison (did we know that already?). Oh, the wacky hijinks. Bonus points that Mona thinks she killed Bethany, and Spencer doesn’t correct her that Melissa actually sealed Bethany’s fate by burying her alive. I lol’d.
Everyone except Spencer has better hair and styling in the five year jump.
Oh, and I couldn’t end this post without revisiting that highpoint of realism: the hologram screen. If you weren’t sure whether PLL was parody or not, well, now you know.