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Pretty Little Liars - Farewell, My Lovely - Review: "And Charlotte's Killer Is..."


7.19 - "FAREWELL, MY LOVELY"
Directed by Joseph Dougherty
Written by Joseph Dougherty
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE





'FAREWELL, MY LOVELY' REVIEW

And so it's come to this. After 29 episodes since Charlotte was first revealed to be dead, the answer was finally revealed in the show's penultimate episode. I don't know about you guys, but I would say the promos and photos from this episode made it fairly obvious who the killer is. While I had a feeling there would be more to the scene, I don't think I was disappointed with the reveal. While I would have preferred something a little more shocking, the scene played out the way I would have imagined. I guess it should get points for making sense, though. Other than the reveal of the killer, another important thing happened in this episode - the girls getting away with murder, and the game board is over. No reveal of A.D. just yet. But can I just make a point that I made when I reviewed the very first episode of the show's final season? The premiere opened with the girls burying a body after killing Archer. The final season of Desperate Housewives had the same opening. The penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars has the girls go off scot free because someone else takes the blame. The penultimate episode of Desperate Housewives have the women go off scot free because someone else took the blame. So many similarities.

AND THE KILLER IS...

'None of you are certain of who you are - I did that. I took that away from you, the same way everything was stolen from me.'

You guessed it - Mona! And even if you didn't guess it, you can't deny that there were some big, flashy signs pointing to her lately (especially in the promotional material released for the episode). I am relieved that she isn't A.D., and I never thought she was, but I was worried they would go that route. As always, the girls accuse Mona of being A.D. at the start of the episode and are proven wrong (obviously). But no denying that Mona has taken a very steep tumble, from that over-confident Mona a few episodes back to the retreated old Mona that has now resurfaced. It breaks my heart to see the condition she has found herself in now - and she did warn Hanna that it could happen. I always felt like she was so under-valued by the girls and they don't realise how much she has done for them in the past few years. Who can really forgive her for beginning the A game, but I think committing murder for the girls to protect them sort of makes up for it?

The flashbacks were nice to have, and to see the return of Charlotte. While I wanted to see more of her as soon as she got free in the 6B premiere, I like that we got a sense that she wasn't going to change. It was a sweet touch to have Mona just looking out for Hanna and the others (despite them really not deserving it - Hanna, maybe Spencer, but the others?). The way Charlotte belittled Mona really fit with the reverting of Mona to her old self lately. Charlotte gave up a lot of information to Mona a little too freely, especially if she was planning big things for the girls. Why did she tell Mona what she was planning to do? I think the girls would have most definitely believed Mona since at that time, they had reservations about Charlotte herself. Only Alison really saw a change in her at first. So it made no sense for Charlotte to confess everything since she didn't know she was going to die. Mona didn't either since it turned out to be an accident. I did love the ultimatum Mona gave her, 'jump or I'll push you', and that she instilled in Charlotte that she had some control. The fight was a good one too - that steeple has housed some great scenes. I will miss it. My heart goes out to Mona, especially when she said to Hanna 'but you needed me, you don't know what that felt like.' I hope the girls don't give up on her.

THE RE-SHOT CLASSROOM SCENE

Okay - this got me a little p*ssed and it felt like a huge cop-out, but that scene that became the big cliffhanger for the end of 6A turned out to be a bad dream? Really? Waited 30 episodes to see it become some nightmare situation induced by a gas pipe that wasn't even explored in this episode? It was supposed to be exciting but it felt so anti-climactic. It makes me think that the writers just wanted some kind of cliffhanger for 6A, wrote this without knowing what the hell it was leading to, then forgot about it, then realised they even did it and threw it in here last minute. Not only that, but when Emily and Alison wake up, Alison says 'What do you mean, how did we both fall asleep?' Really? She doesn't know that closing your eyes makes you fall asleep and more than one person can do it at the same time? It just felt extremely silly and I would have preferred for them to have never revisited this scene again if they weren't going to do anything worthwhile with it.

THE SACRIFICE OF MARY DRAKE

'She did this for you. Don't ask her to explain.'

What a woman. I have grown to love her so much over the course of this season, and while I thought we had seen the last of her, I am over the moon we got her back one final time. She just keeps on surprising me and showing us that there are some genuinely good people in Rosewood (despite her making some evil decisions, like murdering her own sister). Firstly, passing on the Lost Woods to Spencer and Alison was poignant and that itself was such a great move to help the girls. The goodbye with Spencer again had me quite emotional, especially when Mary told her 'I owe you so much more. I owe you an entire life.' No story is quite as tragic as Mary Drake's in PLL. But the ultimate scene was when we see her confessing to Tanner that she murdered Archer Dunhill. Incredible scene, and proves the incredible parent she turned out to be. The reactions from the girls behind the screen, especially Alison when she hears that Mary killed her mother, made for some intense viewing. It does remind me of Karen McCluskey in Desperate Housewives - so I can't help but compare. What I also love is Tanner - she isn't stupid, and I saw her telling Mary to correct any mistakes in her statement as an acknowledgement that she doesn't believe the Archer story, and she's allowing the girls to walk away. She's proven to be a competent detective, and this move shows that she's willing to let it go so the girls can move on. I loved it. In fact, I preferred this over the revelation of Charlotte's killer.

THE FORGIVING KIND

Ezra had no idea what he was talking about when he first snapped at the girls for shutting Aria out. While he had a point that they've all made mistakes, the one thing that bothers me is that the girls rarely pay for their mistakes and Aria made a big mistake. She did betray the girls (and she acknowledges that herself) so it was reasonable that the girls reacted the way they did. In fact, I was expecting a lot worse and I'm surprised they forgave her as easily as they did (I'm sure we're missing a scene where they should have talked it out together and made sense of it, as it felt like that was skipped). I like that Aria was trying to make things right, but all of a sudden they're a team again. I was expecting something that would have taken more talking out and longer to process. Having said that, I did enjoy one part of Ezra's speech about how the girls have the edge over A.D. because they have the ability to forgive. I am glad they forgave Aria and to see them stand strong together, but it felt too easy and that I was missing something. Ezra had no right, that's all I'm saying. I just wish there was a scene of Aria explaining her motives more and how sorry she was and some kind of confrontation like that. I did like the exchange in the car with Alison, though, that banishing her from the group is 'something I would have done in high school.' In 7 seasons, they have to show growth. That line shows that they can acknowledge their mistakes.

I haven't been particularly happy with the Caleb/Hanna shenanigans lately only because of Spencer, and while the show has sort of addressed in in teeny tiny bits here and there, it was nice to have a head-on talk between Spencer and Caleb. It felt much-needed, even if Caleb's initial outburst that he married Hanna felt a little callous, the moving on sort of helped me with my feelings with this whole mess. Spencer's - 'Don't you dare apologise for being with me, and don't you dare forget it. Any of it. Cause I won't.' - was something I needed to hear myself. It's such a sticky situation but I, like Spencer, have to move on. I did find Caleb slightly annoying in this episode, just because he acted too hastily when he stormed into Two Crows when Mona was there. I'm here to see the girls take charge, not their men.

EPISODE VERDICT

The best characters in this episode turned out not to be any of the five liars; Mona turned out to have killed Charlotte in an effort to protect the girls, Mary Drake took the fall for Archer's death, and even Tanner displayed signs that she was effectively helping the girls by allowing Mary Drake to take the fall for them. As a penultimate episode, I enjoyed that we got some answers, even if that classroom scene was a big disappointment. Charlotte's death was good though I wish the marketing and promotional team didn't make it so obvious that it was Mona. I loved the scenes with Mary Drake the most, I have to say she was an incredible addition to the cast. I just cannot get over the fact that there is only one episode left, and I have no idea how it's going to end. I hope it shows the girls with more agency over their own lives and that they show that they can save themselves, rather than someone else swooping in to save the day.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: Mona, for looking out for the girls when she didn't have to.

Boyfriend Material: None - I didn't like the decisions both Caleb and Ezra made in this episode.

Biggest Asshole: Charlotte DiLaurentis - she proves that she didn't change.

Most Sympathetic Character: Mary Drake - she made the ultimate sacrifice.

Favourite Episode Pairing: The girls together.

Best Line: Alison: 'Guys, what are we gonna do?' Spencer: 'Tell the truth.' Hanna: 'How will the truth now get us off?' Spencer: 'We're not getting off.'
Runner-up: Mona: 'But you needed me, you don't know what that felt like.'

Funniest Line: None.

Best Moment: The girls watch as Mary Drake confesses to the murder of Archer Dunhill and Jessica DiLaurentis, leading to Tanner letting them go free.

Saddest Moment: Mary Drake being taken away by the police.

Creepiest Moment: Mona and Charlotte's confrontation.

Shadiest Moment: Every time Charlotte opened her mouth.

Funniest Moment: None.

Damned Disappointment: That classroom scene.

Biggest Question Mark Award: How is the show going to end?

Biggest ReveAl: Mona's flashbacks to the night of Charlotte's accidental death.

What did you think of the penultimate episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and make sure you tune into the FINAL EPISODE EVAAAHHH, airing June 27th on Freeform!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
SpoilerTV Senior Staff Writer and award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and, as of 2016-17, reviews Pretty Little Liars and Salem. Previously, he reviewed 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, Mistresses and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin also writes special anniversary articles, most recently for Charmed and Desperate Housewives. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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