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Pretty Little Liars - Till DeAth Do Us PArt (Series Finale) - Review: "Goodbye, Liars"


7.20 - "TILL DEATH DO US PART"
Directed by I. Marlene King
Written by I. Marlene King and Maya Goldsmith
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington

SEASON GUIDE





'TILL DEATH DO US PART' REVIEW

Well that was it, the final ever episode of Pretty Little Liars. I still can't quite believe it and I'm sitting a little in disbelief the fact that it's ended. I get that with every series finale, where I'm in a bit of a stupor thinking 'did I enjoy that'? Considering the show fell down a rabbit hole long ago, it was hard for me to believe that I would be 100% satisfied with the final ever episode. For what it's worth, for sheer entertainment, I enjoyed this finale. I felt satisfied with a lot of it and the wrapping up of certain storylines that I feel like I can just move on with my life now. Bare in mind, this show has been a part of my life for 7 years - a very rocky 7 years - but now it's just gone and I can't help but feel both happy and disappointed with the ending. I can't imagine how else I would feel about it to be honest. I came into this finale knowing I would be disappointed no matter what, and that helped me walk away from this show a little happy with what unfolded. I started unsure, especially when the finale began with a silly dream sequence of Lucas tap-dancing and Jenna on a horse. Talk about weird.

THE EVIL TWIN IS A.D.

My eyes were opened to this theory a few episodes back when 'Spencer' met Wren at the airport, and then it was solidified further when Spencer slept with Toby. So Spencer has an evil twin (it really does run in the family), and I might have been more surprised had the show not made it obvious - the cutaway from Spencer sleeping with Toby to then going straight to Spencer at the barn - way to be subtle. I was unsure if this is the route they would go for A.D., though, especially when Melissa started to show her face - until we have that unrealistically-real Scooby-Doo mask reveal that Mona is Melissa. Was that the only way they would incorporate Melissa into the finale? I'm a little disappointed with that, but it did make for some worrying moments when I thought that Mona was back at it with the A game (but of course, in Mona fashion, she made me love her even more by the end). So yeah - the reflection reveal of Spencer having the twin after being taken to another underground bunker was actually well done, and I enjoyed that.

I wasn't surprised by a couple of the reveals in the flashbacks - of when Alex was playing Spencer - but boy was I surprised that it was Alex who gave the goodbye kiss to Toby. I mean, it did seem like a weird ask at the time, but at the same time, I just didn't think anything too deeply of it. A lot of the reveals came through talking (much like the CeCe reveal was just a lot of standing around and talking), so it was easy to sort of lose track of all the things that Alex was saying and what happened with Wren, Archer and CeCe. One thing I was also really surprised about - was that Alex killed Wren. Poor Wren, even though it's basically all his fault that A.D. was born by introducing Alex to CeCe and the Liars, and for helping Alex become addicted with being Spencer. It was still ruthless, but it set the stakes for the eventual confrontation.

At first I was so disappointed that Mary seemed to be in on it, and she kinda was, but not in the way I condemned her for to begin with. When she gave Spencer the hairpin, I was happy because it meant the progression of her character was still there and they didn't just go back on all the emotional stuff that happened before. It helped Spencer escape, and also with Ezra, who was kidnapped before he could say his vows with Aria. The chase scene could have been longer and more exciting, but it was a nice touch to an episode that was mostly filled with chit-chat. I like that it took Toby's knowledge of Spencer to differentiate between the two, though I would have loved it even more had it been the girls who solved it instead, to really emphasise the power of friendship since the show is supposed to be about the five main characters.

THE ENDGAMES

The finale built towards the wedding of Aria and Ezra, and I was kinda hoping they would get it out of the way in the first half (since the first half - until Spencer was kidnapped - was kinda filler). Instead, they had to stall it to the final moments. I don't mind it so much as it allows a chance for everyone to get together, as the party beforehand allowed. It allowed us to see the parents, or more importantly, the mothers, at their drunken best. It made me wish that the mothers had been in it way more than they were lately. They didn't address how they got out of that basement head on, but it allows for funny theories that we can forever debate over. Oh how I've missed these mums. Anyway, Aria and Ezra - I'm one of the people who acknowledges the problems with their relationship, but I'm not vocal about opposing them. I don't oppose them. I just want Aria to be happy, and I'm happy knowing that she is going to be happy. It was sad that we found out she can't have children, and that added an extra layer of emotion to her story in this episode.

I am, however, a big fan of Emison. I enjoyed that their story was entirely involved with each other, and we still got some of those high school scenes with the return of that Addison whom I loathe. I especially loved the fact that it was Jenna who stood up to her, and delivered one of the best lines of the finale. I also especially enjoyed the reveal that Alison had twins too, but I really hope one of them isn't evil. Not every twin in the world has an evil other half! I liked that Pam seemed quite close to Alison and it was so poignant to have her give over Emily's grandmother's ring for Alison to propose with. It was so touching, though totally overshadowed by everything else. It was also weird with some of the exchanges between Alison and Pam - is Pam sick? Did I miss something? If I recall correctly, it was Veronica who had cancer, right? Not sure what's going on here but I hope things in Rosewood stay happy, at least for a little bit.

What I loved about Hanna in this episode is how much she wanted to help Mona. She feels extremely guilty about making Mona go down a dark path and it's nice to see a liar face the truth and repent somewhat. It meant that things were strained for Haleb as they had some bickerings as a couple - as they also try to get pregnant (and congrats, they eventually do!). It was nice to see Spencer notice those issues and talk to Hanna about it, as well as Ashley saying she will always be on Hanna's side even when she's wrong. Well Hanna wasn't wrong at all about Mona, which I'm glad about because it would have undermined any kind of character development for Hanna over the years. She had to have a win, and trusting Mona and being right about her wanting to help the girls meant that Hanna has grown since day one. If she had been wrong - then what kind of change would Hanna have made in judging people?

MONA'S END GAME

Look at Mona, stealing the game (and arguably the finale). After I worried she had flipped sides again, she proves just how multi-dimensional she is. I thought, after pulling that Melissa mask off and knocking Spencer out, that she wasn't going to be redeemed. Fortunately, she proved just how smart she is by playing Alex at her own game. She also proves how vital she is to the liars when she finds out the co-ordinates of Spencer's whereabouts, and managed to get one step ahead. I thought she was also very smart for being the one to call the cops - until it turns out she may not have called them at all. The end Mona scene, when the guy comes to kiss her, was actually the cop who took Alex away. And, gasp, Mona is playing with Alex AND Mary Drake like dolls. I lived for this scene - Mona hasn't really changed in her obsession with playing with dolls (and people), and it was just beautiful justice here. No more loser Mona. She won this one.

I didn't care much for the deja-vu ending. I might have, if it had of been played a little better. Instead, it felt like they were trying too hard to replicate the beginning of Pretty Little Liars. Of course, that's what they were trying to do (duh), but it felt way too forced, like a literal carbon-copy and I didn't enjoy it. It does leave things open a little (kind of like Desperate Housewives when a new housewife comes to the lane with a secret box), and it gives the idea that the secrets and scandals in Rosewood just keep on rolling, and that nothing ever really changes. I hope Addison suffered, to be fair, I do want to know that much. But other than that, I'm very happy to wash my hands with them. Nice try at coming full circle.

GOODBYE, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

Oh man, it does still hit me in the feels when characters say goodbye for the last time. While I wish this moment was focused on more, and was longer, I still found myself getting emotional at it. You can really tell the actresses felt every word and emotion in this scene, and it feels so surreal knowing it's the last time we will see Spencer, Aria, Hanna, Emily and Alison ever again (unless they make a movie - which they really shouldn't do). Still, I am going to miss these characters so much as I do really love them. They've made so many mistakes in the past, but they made them together, and there's nothing more beautiful than a strong friendship that stands the test of time and overcomes countless villains to arrive to this moment. It's been a fun and stressful ride Pretty Little Liars, but I love you.

Don't forget to check out my series review here. I do want to say a huge thank you to every single person who followed my reviews for the past 2 and a half years. It feels like it's gone by so quickly and I'm going to miss reviewing this show weekly. You guys have been incredible and I appreciate very single read and comment since I joined. Thank you all.


EPISODE AWARDS

Prettiest Little Liar: The final winner has to go to Spencer - she took up double the screen time than the other liars, and not just because of her evil twin.

Boyfriend Material: Toby.

Biggest Asshole: Alex, she went really off the rails.

Most Sympathetic Character: Wren, bless his soul.

Favourite Episode Pairing: Spencer and Alex.

Best Line: Mary: 'She can't keep us here forever.' Alex: 'Of course she can - she's Mona.'

Funniest Line: Jenna: 'I may not be able to see but I can smell a bitch from a mile away.'

Best Moment: The reflection reveal that Spencer has a twin. Also the fight at the end.

Saddest Moment: The girls saying goodbye.

Creepiest Moment: The fact that Alex was raping Toby.

Shadiest Moment: Addison in the classroom.

Funniest Moment: Instant karma for Alex being turned into Mona's doll.

Damned Disappointment: The other liars took a bit of a step back, and their goodbye was a bit too short.

Biggest Question Mark Award: What's Mona's end game with Mary and Alex?

Biggest ReveAl: Spencer has a twin - I loved the reflection reveal, even if I've known for weeks that Spencer has a twin.

What did you think of the final ever episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments - there are NO MORE NEW EPISODES! This is the final ever review, so thank you all who have followed my reviews since I began. So long!

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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