Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 20 – TV Review
There are only three possible explanations for how Pretty Little Liars turned out:
1) I. Marlene King is clinically insane;
2) I. Marlene King is the greatest troll of the decade; or
3) I. Marlene King is just an incompetent, egomaniacal dickhead.
Don’t you wish it was anything but number 3? Sigh.
TL;DR PLL slumps to its long-overdue death with another tired, evil twin reveal, another super bunker, and another reprise of the Mission Impossible masks. You know. All the good things that got us hooked on the show back in the day.
Also, it’s a fucking double episode. Jesus Christ, Marlene.
We’ll get to the Liar-by-Liar for the epilogues. Because, although it’s a double episode, the plot is so thin on the ground it’s a joke. The first half of the episode is mostly a shoring up of all our endgame OTPs one year on from last episode, as Alison and Emily get engaged, Hanna and Caleb work through some minor Mona drama (Hanna is, like, babysitting after her release from the asylum, and Caleb thinks it’s ew), Spencer jumps back on Toby’s dick, and Aria and Ezra prepare for their wedding. There’s a bizarre hiccup when Aria tries to back out of the wedding after finding out she’s infertile, but it’s over soon enough.
But then Spencer gets abducted, and Pretty Little Liars finally reveals who the big, bad AD is: Spencer’s evil, British twin who we never heard about until now. PLL tries to pat itself on the back by pretending earlier scenes in the season where Spencer acted fishy were foreshadowing, but in a show where the writing is this inconsistent, nah, cunt. Alex Drake rabbits on, in her terrible Cockney accent, about how Wren bumped into her by chance, and then she found out about everything and became Wren’s lover and Cece’s best friend/sister. She sent Wren to kill Mona after finding out she killed Cece, but Mona bargained helping to jailbreak Mary for her life (which they do, but then Alex abducts Mary, so whatever). Alex then killed Wren when he got sick of her shit, and now her big plan is to impersonate Spencer forever so she can have everything of which she was deprived. Real original, bitch. She abducts Ezra, too, ruining the wedding. But by the power of Jenna’s sense of smell, the gang figures out what’s going on, and they descend on Alex’s super bunker. At the end of the day, Toby wins the game of “No, I’m the real Spencer,” Alex and Mary are arrested, and PLL ends on a hilariously unearned “full circle” moment where Baby JoJo and her friends enact the scene from the pilot where Alison goes missing. The journey continues, although nobody asked for it.
Liar-by-Liar epilogues include:
Alison and Emily raising the twins, who we discover were fathered by Wren’s sperm.
Hanna gets pregnant with Caleb.
Aria and Ezra get married uneventfully.
Spencer and Toby are back together.
And Mona ends up owning and operating a doll shop in France, where she has built yet another super bunker in the basement to house a kidnapped Mary and Alex. Mona also gets a superfluous subplot during the episode where she’s helping AD, and wears a Melissa mask.
Because if we’re trotting out evil twin reveals and multiple super bunkers, the party wouldn’t be complete without a crazy mask that turns you into a different actor.
I mean, what more is there to say about the utter lack of quality in Pretty Little Liars?
This show started out as a surprisingly tantalising primetime teen soap, with actual stakes. Remember the Season 3 mid-season finale? God, that was good.
And it ended up as… this.
Good God, Riverdale. Don’t let this happen to you.
Why I hate this episode:
Not a lot insults me about PLL these days. But I do take offence to the writers applauding themselves for apparently inserting in the foreshadowing of Alex’s reveal. Uh, I think the fuck not. This show has been such a tumultuous dumpster fire of inconsistency that you can’t play the “it was there all along” card. No, honey. No.
And the evil twin reveal is so lazy. Not only because PLL itself already used it, but it’s the lamest trick in the daytime soap book. Add in that horrendous accent, and you didn’t stick the landing, show. As hard as Troian tries.
Also, holy shit, Peter Hastings has another child?
Why exactly did Cece and Alex go after Aria and Hanna and Emily? If Alison and Spencer were really the only ones involved in this clusterfuck of family bullshit, what was the point?
The fact that Alison, originally the centrepiece of the show, is superfluous to the finale is pretty egregious.
The way that Alex is foiled is set up decently with Spencer’s horse reacting negatively towards her. Which could have been a good clue to snowball into the gang figuring it out. But nope, Jenna’s Matt Murdoch-level sense of smell (which Alex somehow didn’t predict) and a fucking book that we haven’t seen for half a season are the smoking guns. For fuck’s sake.
Why on Earth was Baby JoJo brought back to be the Alison of Pretty Little Liars: The Next Generation? Maybe if you hadn’t filled the finale with so much shit, show, then it wouldn’t have needed to be a double episode.
The episode begins with a dream sequence that is just weird enough to be annoying, but not weird enough to justify having a dream sequence. Poor Lucas. That is his farewell? Yikes.
Aria and Ezra have a dual bachelor/bachelorette party that is simply all the main characters having a tasteful dinner at the Lost Woods (which Spencer and Alison have restored). Yawn.
Aria’s wedding dress doesn’t fit. Who does she think she is? Aja?
One of Baby JoJo’s friends is Maya’s niece? What the fuck?
Jason doesn’t appear in the episode, so we don’t get one last look at his beauty. Nor Mike, who you would think would attend his sister’s wedding.
Cece’s wig in the flashback she’s in is appalling. Same with Alison’s in the present, which they somehow made worse.
Oh, and the Drunk Mum Initiative gets back together (and gets drunk) at the wedding rehearsal dinner, but Pam is excised. Which is odd, because Pam is in the episode. It’s probably a scheduling thing, but fuck you, show. If we’re doing the Drunk Mums, then do it right.
But it’s not all bad:
Apart from Pam’s absence, they mostly do. Ella, Ashley, and Veronica get on that wine like they never even left the basement.
In fact, they make a meta reference to that, with Veronica earning the episode’s best line after Ella brings it up: “Oh my God, do you remember how we got out of there.” This is followed by silence, and then forgotten. Just like PLL has done to so many subplots. I appreciate the (very) momentary self-awareness.
Alex is a wacky-ass disaster, but Troian Bellisario really went for it. You know, if it wasn’t for the accent, she might have pulled it off. Look at Elena and Katherine from TVD. They have the same accent, but are hugely distinct from one another. Maybe the show didn’t have faith in Troian’s acting?
The wackiest moment of the episode is when Alex, clearly admitting the show didn’t have Julian Morris long enough to film a death scene, farts out that she killed Wren and turned his ashes into an eternity stone, which she wears on a necklace. It’s meme-able.
Oh, and despite the tacky “full circle” moment at the end, I have faith that, after the catastrophe of Ravenswood, I. Marlene King knows better than to try another spin-off. So long, and fuck off forever, PLL. I’ll miss hating on you.