Mona is crying, back in the room. “I killed Bethany,” she says. “I’d been sending Ali threats. I didn’t want to hurt her, just scare her…” Emily says, “You hated Ali so much that you wanted to kill her?” It’s all a jumble of yellow tops and blonde hair and blood, but here’s another ANSWER ALERT: Mona killed Bethany. And there’s one more tidbit: Mrs. D paid Wilden off, so he claims he wasn’t in Rosewood that night, and neither was Ali.
“I thought it would take a long time for Mom to forgive me,” CeCe says. “It never occurred to me that she never totally would.”
In the Lair, another ANSWER ALERT: How does ‘A’ have so much money? “CeCe’s the real Wolf of Wall Street,” Mona says, looking through a stock portfolio. “She never made a bad investment.” Okay, weirdly, and easily believable. Stocks! Oh, and Rhys Matthews? Just a decoy—he legitimately thinks he works at The Carimissi Group. Poor dude.
Now, CeCe’s Radley tale begins to mix with Mona’s: She was alone again at Radley until an even crazier girl (Big M) showed up. “She was so drugged up at the beginning, she thought I was you,” CeCe tells Ali. This is where CeCe got her information on all the Liars from Mona, and where Mona actually met Big A and got into the “Game.”
“I could never trust her,” CeCe tells Ali. “She was Hanna’s legit friend, and she ran her over with a car. Where’s the loyalty in that?” (To which Mona only gives Hanna a tearful “I really am sorry!”) CeCe let Mona continue the ‘A’ game if Mona helped her escape from Radley, which she did. Next thing we know, CeCe is meeting the girls at The Brew (or whatever it was called before Ezra owned it), and the rest is history. Her hatred of the Liars seems to take hold here. “Those girls were supposed to be your friends,” CeCe tells Ali. “They got what they deserved.”
Now the story comes to Fire Night: CeCe says, “I knew if you were alive, you’d show up if the girls were in trouble.” She sent a decoy—Red Coat—to distract them. And here we find out Red Coat’s identity. ANSWER ALERT: Sara Stupid Harvey is Red Coat, or was, CeCe explains, “When I needed her to be.” She was supposed to distract Mona while CeCe trapped the girls in the fire, but “Shana showed up, and all hell broke loose.”
Ali interrupts CeCe. “If you really cared about me, why did you keep playing the game?” CeCe says, “When your friends thought they killed ‘A’ in New York, it was the perfect time to end it. I left the country thinking it was over. But the game… it’s like a drug. And I was really good at playing it.”
This scene was my favorite bit of banter between Ali and CeCe:
Ali: “You attacked me in my own living room.”
CeCe: “I was going to lose you!”
Ali: “You almost froze Emily and Spencer to death.”
CeCe: “Yeah and I almost cut Emily in half, too—but is she hurt?”
She explains that she only got mad at Ali when Ali didn’t listen to her. “I know you won’t believe me, but I love all of my dolls,” CeCe says turning to the camera and facing the Liars. “That’s why you’re still alive. I would never let anything… really bad happen to them.”
Flash to Wilden’s funeral, where CeCe sends Black Widow—again, freaking Sara Harvey—inside to ensure that he’s dead. “He found out you were alive,” she tells Ali. “He was never going to let you come back and tell your story.” ANSWER ALERT: CeCe killed Wilden to protect Ali.
CeCe faces the camera and says, “Sorry, Emily. But not really.” All of her lines are so good. I love CeCe as ‘A’! I love it!
Emily is panicking—obviously. Everyone she’s ever loved is dead or evil, except Paige, who was boring. And Ali, who has other issues. The girls realize this is why the cops aren’t here: Sara never called them, because she is freaking evil. They look for an alternate escape route from the room, find one, and then Mona pulls off the heel of her shoe to reveal a spike (UM… WHAT?! This happened way too fast to fully take in how awesome and ridiculous it was. Are you kidding me? Why haven’t they all been wearing spiked heels this whole freaking time?!)
CeCe sneaked home to say goodbye to Mom, she says, but when she got there, Mrs. D was lying dead on the grass. UNANSWERED QUESTION: Who killed Mrs. D? We don’t know. “Mom was the only person who ever really loved me,” she cries.
The girls, meanwhile, are running to Radley to save Ali. Of course, they find Sara first. “Get out of here! All of you!” she says. She’s a horrible actress. Or maybe I just hate her. Or both. She’s pulling all the alarms, and then we see CeCe with a red button in her hand. She really is about to blow the place up. She presses the button and…. “Damn it,” she curses. Nothing happens—because Spencer has already stopped the bomb. CeCe runs to the roof, while Ali gathers the rest of the Liars to head there, too.
BEST PART OF THE WHOLE EPISODE ALERT: Sara says to Emily: “Hey, I tried to keep you safe.” Emily’s response? SMACKING SARA ACROSS THE FACE. Oh that felt GOOD!!!!!!! Are we still saying #ByeFelicia? Can we just say it this one time?
We’re back on the roof at the beginning scene, but CeCe doesn’t jump. Instead, she jumps right back onto the roof. Game over.
And now for two really quick, kind of awkward fast-forwards (this episode probably could have warranted two hours. If the freaking Bachelor gets two hours for a normal episode, the biggest episode in PLL history could have had more. Come on).
The Liars are setting up for the next five years. Emily is going to Pepperdine, Hanna is off to New York, Spencer is going to Georgetown, and Aria to Savannah College of Art and Design. Ali, meanwhile, is staying in Rosewood.
FIVE YEARS LATER:
Ali is writing a name on the board of a classroom: “Mrs. Rollins.” Is she MARRIED!? Is this a false identity? What is Lorenzo’s last name?!?! The Liars rush in with their new, grown-up hairstyles (Spencer should not have bangs, please let this be short-lived). Aria says, “He’s coming for you.” The girls say, “We came back here for you, Ali, so move it.”
“It’s too late… he’s already here.”
We could ask questions about the next season and the next mystery, but I don’t really care right now. I’m still stuck on CECE! And I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, too.
Things that probably should have been considered: The moms are still in the basement. The moms. Are still. In the basement. Who killed Mrs. D? I expected Melissa to factor into the finale, too. And what about when there were other people on the ‘A’ team? I might need to watch the whole series again… but I’m not sure I can stomach it. (Especially because, even though this tied up pretty well in my book, I imagine the earlier seasons will be chock-full of inconsistencies given the CeCe news.)
Be sure to check out Marlene King’s answers to some of our questions before you go, and comment away!