By Lizzy Buczak

We’re at the end of the road with Pretty Little Liars and believe it or not, the series is more frustrating than ever. If there’s one thing the show is good at, it’s making me wonder “what absurd thing will happen next” every single episode. I just can’t seem to crack it the mystery that is A.D.

This season premiere of the final season had me feeling like I was watching a modern day Jumanji. We knew Uber A or A.D or whatever is tech savvy but come on, a board game that’s being controlled by him is an impossible creation. Do you know how many algorithms and bluetooth’s and other things I know nothing about, you would need to have this thing properly run and even pick out the correct evidence to hand the Liars. Alright whatever, I’ll go with it. This isn’t the craziest thing our mystery man/woman/thing has done.  (Can we buy that game at our local Target or….?)

The board game, which consisted of a an exact mini replica of Rosewood and character pieces of all the liars, was a literal representation of what the girls have been going through for 7 seasons… playing A’s little game. It’s a nice touch really… at this point, A.D is just taunting them and they’re taking the bait because you know what happens if they don’t – heads will roll, cars will crash, people get shot, etc. etc. etc.

Hanna summed it up best honestly – he wants to play with us. And in order to have even a slight chance at winning, they have to play back. The first one to play his little game is surprisingly Spencer, which makes sense as the episode because there’s now reason for her to want to go further down the rabbit hole and drag her friends. Heck, maybe she’ll be their salvation too because it seems like A.D isn’t asking the girls to play, he’s forcing them.

Spence has been at the forefront of this battle with A.D for quite some time without even knowing it, mainly because she’s knee-deep in the drama, much like Alison. Her mother Veronica – who came back a WEEK after her daughter was shot mind you – confirmed that Mary Drake was in fact her mother. Mary might be crazy but she’s never lied to her… the same thing can’t be said for Veronica. (Did anyone else find it hard to believe that Spencer healed so quickly after being shot? Same.)

The story goes a little something like this: Mary seduced Peter, Spencer’s father, into thinking that he was sleeping with Jessica. Apparently, he didn’t learn the first time after sleeping with the neighbor and fathering Jason. When Mary became pregnant, she informed Jessica, who reached out to Veronica, who just knew she couldn’t abandon this baby. She reached out to Judge Kahn, which is the Noel connection, and formalized everything, therefore, legally becoming Spencer’s mother. Understandably, Spencer needs some time to process everything, including the fact that her dad is pretty much the biggest tool we’ve ever seen.

Also, there was mention of Mary having a second baby but Veronica admitted they didn’t know who the father was. The baby she’s most likely referring to is Charlotte…. at least I hope so. See how twisted sleeping with other people’s husbands becomes?

After all that, Spencer plays the game and it/he dares her to visit a “sick friend” so she mans up and checks up on Toby, who is healing after his accident. His fiancee Yvonne on the other hand is in a medically induced coma aka she’s seen better days. When Ezra said that Toby and Yvonne were almost killed because of a deer, I burst out laughing. Even Toby knows that this happened because he wanted to finally leave town and A.D isn’t fond of his little game pieces trying to run away. If there’s one thing we all know is that you don’t just leave a town like Rosewood. Nevertheless, Spencer tries to cheer him up by promising they’ll all get out unscathed one day. Yeah okay…. It really is too bad Yvonne became collateral damage in A.D’s little game.

As a prize for completing the “dare,” the board game (so fancy) spits out a letter that Mary wrote to Spencer when she was at Radley. “You came out of a hateful act, but that doesn’t make you hateful” the note reads, asking Spencer for forgiveness “someday.” No wonder Spence is numbing all her pain with amounts of wine that even Olivia Pope wouldn’t guzzle down. Sip Spence, sip!

Back at the high school, Alison has reverted to her mean girl ways because that’s what she does best. I’d give her the benefit of the doubt considering she’s pregnant, broke and was just conned by a man she never even knew but as Paige puts it, some people love to play the victim. Alison is one of those girls. Although if we’re being honest, I still like Alison more than I like Paige. There’s something about her that just rubs me the wrong way. Why is she so set on staying in Rosewood and being near Ems?

Regardless of personal feelings towards Emily’s ex, Alison’s actions were completely out of line during their teacher meeting. They may be in high school but their no longer students and should act accordingly. The tension only continues back at home with Ali admitting that she’s not really sure why she kissed Emily the night before. Ems then realizes it’s all still a game to Ali and leaves her with a plea – “Please don’t kiss me again. Not until you know.” Rocky road for these two – will they figure it out before the season ends? I know there’s so many Emison shippers here but really, Alison is toxic for Emily and in turn, Emily seems to enjoy treating Alison like her charity case. Paige had it all right.

Also, seeing how many times Alison said that the pregnancy was NOT Emily’s problem makes it pretty clear that it will 100% be Emily’s problem and I’m sticking by my theory that those Emily’s eggs that A.D stole were somehow implanted in Alison (logic does not apply) and she’s pregnant with Emily’s baby thus forcing Emison to be endgame.

Haleb were finally in a happy place which allowed Hanna to focus on her fashion line. How does anyone have time to design clothes while being tormented by A.D? I’ll never know. Hanna and Mona teamed up, not to kidnap an ex-boyfriend, but to get Hanna’s designs some primetime exposure. Mona phoned in a favor with the daughter of New York senator who agreed to rock one of Han’s dresses. Of course, when she realized that Katie though Hanna worked for Mona, she freaked out but Mona swore she was doing it strictly to help a friend out. Can we believe her? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Aria and Ezra’s relationship conitnues to be rocky even after he returns from saving Nicole from guerrillas in South America.  Aria doubted even going through with the wedding but optimistic Hannah (easy for her, she got Caleb back) assured her that Ezra would definitely part ways with Nicole once and for all. Wishful thinking it seems. As Aria heads to look for venues alone, she bumps into Holden, who has taken up wedding planning at his sister’s business. He immediately senses that somethings up, especially when they run into Ezra, who blurts out that he’s on his way to visit Nicole in New York. “Who is Nicole,” he asks as Aria awkwardly chuckles trying to find a way to explain that despite knowing better, she’s letting her fiancee run around with his ex because she was kidnapped. When it comes to their relationship, these two lack all common sense and communication, which is absurd since their both writers with a knack for words. As for Holden, he hits her with the phrases that we all wish we could say including, “who said high school sweethearts don’t last.” Ugh, so much cringing, so little time.

And seriously, poor Nicole. As she was left in South America, she probably kept it together by envisioning that one day, she would be back in the arms of the man she loved. But that’s not the case unless Ezra doesn’t actually plan on telling her the truth that he resorted back to his previous hearts desires while she was “away.”

The end scene shows Jenna who is still “temporarily unaccounted for” but a suspect in Spencer’s shooting. At least one of them – Marco did say there were most likely two shooters and the gun that shot Spencer is still missing. Jenna is sitting in a black room of death sipping on tea – physically and metaphorically. Someone with medical gloves (Radley?) hands her a book and as she begins reading the braille she mumbles “Endgame” and smiles mischievously. Wait… so IS she involved in the bigger picture… the Uber A?

We’re down to 9 episodes now and we still have SO many unanswered questions and open story-lines. Who is A.D? What’s his motive with messing with the Liars for so long? Does he want to teach them a lesson like Mona did? Does he want to make them pay like Cece did? How does Mary Drake fit in? Who killed Charlotte?

 You know what would be the perfect, most satisfying endgame? That the Liars finally break free the grip of Rosewood, a town filled with misery and lunacy.
And if the finale doesn’t wrap everything up in a boxed bow of answers, the internet will literally explode with angry fans… keep that in mind.

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