Pretty Little Liars Episode 714 Recap: After This, And So Much More?

Previously on Pretty Little Liars, Aria almost stabbed Ezra’s other fiancée to death because she broke out of the hospital after they broke all her bones after she was resurrected from a jungle kidnapping. Spencer went on a date with the guy investigating her shooting and also investigating the whereabouts of her birth mother (who didn’t shoot Spencer, okay, but did kill her twin sister who was Spencer’s dad’s longtime mistress and the mother of Spencer’s half-brother who made out with Spencer’s sister and half-cousin who Spencer waltzed with as a ghost). Emily and Paige and Ali scrambled together to form a last second love triangle. Hanna did an operation on a lifesize doll with her own personal face stitched onto its head, and then missed an important business meeting due to that doll trying to murder her boyfriend. And wherever Mona was, it was paradise by virtue of her presence.

There are about fifty million reasons why you shouldn’t make the big bad of your perpetual murder mystery a trans woman, and one of those fifty million reasons is you’re going to end up misnaming and misgendering her repeatedly as you try to explain her involvement and connections to the other bad guys on the show. And as you misname and misgender her repeatedly, you’re going to reinforce the lies that trans women are just men in disguise and trans women are unhinged and it’s fine to call them dudes and etc. and so on. Your argument is, I guess, “We have to call her by her birth name and give her the pronouns she was assigned at birth to explain this twisty tangled mystery in a way that satisfies the audience.” To which I say, “Hey, guess what, you’ve had years to figure this out and you should have thought through all the ways to sidestep contributing to a culture that relies on pervasive stereotypes to dehumanize and persecute trans women before you decided to make a trans woman your main villain.”

Are you here to ask me to marry you and Spencer?

It’s Emily I’m in love with; Spencer’s with Aria.

To wit: This this week Hanna and Spencer go on a deep dive to the suburbs looking for Mary Drake and what they find is Pastor Ted. He’s harboring Mary Drake on his couch. Why? Well, because he’s Charlotte’s birth father, of course. One time he was in love with Mary and then Mary got carted away to Radley and she never told him about Charlotte but then Charlotte showed up at church camp with her best friend Lucas Gottesman and Pastor Ted was like, “Hey, she looks like me and Mary Drake smashed together and, like her mother, seems to favor poison as a murder weapon” and that’s when he knew. Peter also knew, years before the Liars found out Charlotte existed. It’s some really good reveals. I think I would have enjoyed them quite a lot, a gasping amount even, if I hadn’t needed to keep pausing the TV to glower at it due to everyone misnaming and misgendering Charlotte the whole time they were talking about her.

Spencer also spends a fair amount of time glowering at her father, who insists that he and Veronica love her and are her real parents and, you know, maybe over the course of her teenage years they made a couple of mistakes in not revealing that Peter sired all of her friends and neighbors and she has a genetic predisposition for Radley-style machinations and so did Peter’s other kids who kept traipsing back and forth across the yard walloping everyone with shovels and burying them in Veronica’s hydrangea patch. And, yes, that was one small series of perpetual mistakes that did, in fact, lead to Spencer and her friends getting held hostage in an underground lair. But Peter is determined not to make that same mistake twice. He’s been out there looking for Mary Darke. He’s gonna find her and make sure she never messes with Spencer again. It didn’t work out last time he tried it, when Mary sneaked into their house to stare at Spencer from the shadows in the middle of the night, but this time it’ll stick, he’s sure of it.

Do you think Spencer only slept with me to trick me into trusting her so she could steal your ex-husband’s decaying body parts?


Detective Furey is also looking for Mary Drake, and also the murderer(s) of Archer Dunhill. After Spencer takes him as her lover, he awakens to a call that the severed finger he got in the mail the other day is Archer’s, so he skedaddles out of Spencer’s sun-dapped bed and over to Rosewood High School to menace Alison about her dead husband who pretended to be a psychiatrist, drugged her, strapped her to a bed, and impregnated her. She’s like, “Yes, motherfucker, a lot of people probably wanted him dead. He was a fake psychiatrist who tortured his patients.” Furey is mostly interested in how much Alison, specifically, wanted him dead, but his accusations are not her main concern today. For today is her day to play The Game!

Ali has decided to go ahead and have an abortion and the show handles that decision and explanation with so much candor and elegance it makes the dumb stuff even dumber. You can do it when you want to, writers. You can write a good fun story and also be responsible. Ali tells Emily that she’s decided to terminate her pregnancy and then explains the procedure, which includes taking one pill at the clinic and one pill at home. None of this “ripping babies from the womb in the ninth month” nonsense the President of the United States of America terrorized everyone with in during his campaign. Emily understands and supports Ali fully and offers to drive her to the clinic. Ali graciously and immediately accepts her offer.

I think I hear a trash can calling my name.

Ali’s abortion pamphlet peeps its way out of her bag in the teacher’s lounge and catches Paige’s eyes, which she is lucky to be possession of, to be honest with you; she nearly rolled them right out of her head when she told Emily she was leaving for a job in Iowa and Emily started to beg her to stay but turned her attention to Alison as soon as she walked into the room. Ali catches Paige with the abortion leaflet and yells at her and then takes ten hilarious minutes to gather all her things from the table and storm out.

What A.D. wants Ali to do is go shopping for baby clothes. Easy enough. Register for ten items and then back to babysitting Aria. Ali points the beepy-clicker at any old thing in the baby store, remembering the whole time about being drugged and wheeled through the hospital to get inseminated. When she turns the beepy-clicker in at the register, the lady gives her a little wrapped package for “the donor.” You know, the donor. The donor of the egg now fertilized inside Ali’s womb. Ali opens up the bag and inside is a brilliant callback: It’s a necklace with some beads that spell out EMILY because Ali’s baby is Emily’s baby. Ali rips herself out of the frame over this news, hollers at the baby store lady to give her the puzzle piece, and ransacks the shop until she finds it attached to a hanging mural.


At least it’s not made of teeth.

While Ali is coming to grips with this information, Emily is out and about dragging Paige’s heart over broken glass again. First of all she tells Paige it’s a bummer she’s gonna take that job in Iowa because she thought they’d have a chance again when Paige showed back up in Rosewood. Paige is like, “Yeah me too, obviously; it’s literally the only reason I’m here.” They go out for pizza and exposit all the things they said and did, all the adventures and had and all donuts they ate, all their big decisions about their majors and first apartments, this romance they shared and life they lived together, with each other, OFF-SCREEN DURING THE TIME JUMP.

What a waste. What an infuriating, maddening waste.

Paige McCullers has always been Pretty Little Liars‘ favorite rorschach. Your Patronus or your Boggart depending on what was going on in your brain and heart and all the personal experiences you brought with you into her story. A three-episode guest star who grew into redemption personified.

Sounds like a pretty cool show we were on the five years we weren’t on this show.

Yeah. It was.

You get the feeling in all these Pretty Little Liars exit interviews and memoirs from the cast that the network and the studio had their hands all over every scene in every script of this TV show. It was about the tweets and the Tumblr gif sets and the Teen Choice surfboards and the NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE. It’s why Ezra’s not dead or in jail, why he’ll end up riding off into the sunset with Aria. And it’s also why the other Liars got cardboard cut out replacement love interests during the time jump, so they could inevitably dump them and be reunited with their most significant love interests on-screen. And why for Emily, it was the opposite.

The criticism of Paige McCullers, even from professional TV critics, to this day, drips with barely masked disdain for the ways she’s not feminine enough, not gentle enough, not apologetic enough. The way she doesn’t fit the mold of culturally acceptable womanhood. Her hair, her button-downs, her muscle t’s. The way she walks and the way she talks. And the only reason those same people have loosened up on Ali is because she was punished, and thoroughly. She didn’t apologize for who she was, for what she knew, and so suffered to atone.

This whole time, these whole seven years, I always come back to T.S. Eliot when I think of Paige and Emily and Ali. Always and always in my head:

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

What a story it could have been if Paige had been given the same care and attention as the male love interests on this show, if she’d grown organically on-screen, and if Alison had been written with consistency and courage. What a story to see Emily choose between her first love and her most significant relationship here in these final episodes, to know that either one would be a radical decision. The queer Dead Blonde Girl, resurrected. Or the self-harming kid in the closet who came out on TV during an epidemic of gay teen suicides in real life, and who lived and lived and lived and loved and got the girl. My heart should have been broken by the beauty of this mess, the glorious breathtaking jumble of impossibility; one of the longest running lesbian characters on television choosing between two complicated, polarizing, unapologetic women. Women who devastated and undid her and helped her and healed her, each in their way, hating themselves and each other and, in loving her, finding themselves made whole.

What if Paige and Ali had been given the same mandate as Ezra? What if any ferocious woman anywhere was ever given the same mandate as her dime-a-dozen white male counterpart? It haunts me. (It haunts all of us now, whether we acknowledge it or not.)

Anyway, Paige and Emily decide to race bikes to see if Paige will stay in Rosewood. But Paige is just joking. She’s already made up her mind not to go. She pedals and pedals and hops off and smooches Emily on the lips and Emily smooches her back. The camera spins around them and the music tries to feed you a bite of chocolate and call it a meal for your soul.

Emily goes goes home to find out Ali’s pregnant with her fertilized egg. This is obviously the first step in the landslide toward Emily and Ali’s #ENDGAME but in the meantime Spencer points out that they both have been violated, which is good, because they absolutely have been. Three out of five happily ever afters as a result of a sexual violation isn’t really where I was hoping this show would end. Wouldn’t it have been something else if this seven-year story about all the ways men take away women’s agency and violate their bodies and their boundaries had given Emily and Alison or Emily and Paige the latitude to really choose each other?

What’s wrong?

Some people have real problems, Emily.

Aria meets up with Sydney in the back of some limo. They take the “scenic route” around Rosewood while Sydney makes the case for Aria joining “the winning team.” Somebody’s feeding her lines in an earpiece, which Aria realizes, but she stays in the car and listens to the pitch anyway. It’s better than going back home to find Nicole shuffling around the house in Aria’s wedding dress reading Ezra’s true crime novels about both of their miserable lives. When Aria finally shows up at Ali’s, the Liars yell at her and fill her in on Ali’s pregnancy. The Game winds itself up and lands again on Hanna.

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1718 articles for us.


  1. sobbing as I read this because it is so, so real. I never loved Paige as a character due to my own experience in which I had someone hold me under water and it was just traumatizing, but it’s so infuriating and heartbreaking that she never got the same chances that Ezra, Toby, and Caleb got. It’s sad that for a show that could have been an unyielding feminist hit, it’s become almost the polar opposite.

  2. Great recap, Heather.

    I never ardently shipped Emily with any of one of her girlfriends in particular, but if I had to pick, Paige was my favorite. Probably because it was her longest relationship, and probably because I liked the ways in which Paige transformed from a self-loathing bully into a brave, kind-hearted, and supportive girlfriend, and most definitely because I will always and forever adore their scenes in Shadow Play.

    I also thought that the first Ali-Emily-Paige love-triangle storyline was really well done and compelling. Back when Ali was still an actual real character with a personality, flawed and amoral as she might have been, and the show-runners, social media, and even the actors weren’t blatantly trying to push one relationship over the other. But watching Paige and Emily kiss last night left me cold and disappointed.

    I mean, we know #Emison is endgame, right? Check Shay Mitchell’s Twitter account if you weren’t sure. So what’s the point of this? Honestly the best case scenario for salvaging Paige as a character is for Emily to break up with her as soon as possible and for her to move to Iowa and never look back. Because her staying to me means one of two things is extremely likely.

    1. She’s part of the AD team in some fashion.
    2. She dies.

    So that’d be another queer character either morphed into a villain, or killed. Or maybe both. Great.

    Also this:

    ” It was about the tweets and the Tumblr gif sets and the Teen Choice surfboards and the NOISE NOISE NOISE NOISE.”

    I was nodding my head so much at this because honestly the social media and commercial success PLL has had has really destroyed so much of what I used to appreciate about the show, and held it back from being layered and complex.

    Like you said, Ali got tortured and now has the pure soul of a well-meaning, small town English teacher, because God forbid she remained a complicated, unapologetic female force.

    Then you have #Emison #Haleb #Spoby #Ezria all with heart eyes and gif sets because let’s not leave any ambiguity as to who they might end up with, nor question the fact that one of those heart eyed, gift set couples is literally a sexual predator and the underage girl he preyed upon, and another shoved together in the last remaining episodes because of a forced pregnancy….

    The wild success of PLL as a teen drama meant it could no longer continue to subvert a lot of the teen drama cliches it had in earlier seasons. And it bums me out because I feel like (at least some) of the actors and writers know it, and it could’ve been such a better show than what it’s turned into, which is a sometimes fun, but fairly predictable teen drama that traded nuance and complicated characters for likes and retweets.

  3. Forcing a pregnant woman to go shopping for baby clothes before getting an abortion sounds like some new abortion law in Texas or Oklahoma.

  4. Maybe I wasn’t paying that close attention when Hanna and Pastor Ted were discussing Charles/Charlotte But I didn’t hear them misnaming and misgendering her. He took out the picture and said “back then I knew her as Charles” and then spoke about Charles at the camp not Charlotte. Yes I know they are the same person but Pastor Ted never knew Charlotte he only knew Charles. But I think the bigger twist was the reveal that Lucas and Charles were besties at the camp.

    Which makes it interesting because didn’t Alison torment him by calling Lucas like “hermie” or something? Then later in the limo Sydney said “leaving Ali and coming here” which kind of solidifies my theory about who is behind everything. AD is not after the girls but rather they are collateral damage because the other PLL welcomed Alison back into the fold. As I have been saying, Mona has a grudge now that she is odd man out with Alison back in with the girls, Lucas now does have a grudge against them because he was Charlotte (when she was Charles’) best friend and Sydney is team Jenna because Alison blinded her. And also Lucas probably has the smarts and means to build that game with Mona of course.

    Aside from that, I just wanted to point out that Hanna and Spencer found out where Mary was hiding (with the help of a PI) before Rosewood PD and Detective Furey proving once again how incompetent Rosewood cops are.

    Aria switching sides, she was always useless and only looked out for herself.

    Onto the pregnancy thing, why do the eggs being Emily’s change anything for Alison to have an abortion? Emily gave up those eggs and wasn’t going to know if they became a baby or not. Once they were out of her they were no longer her problem. So why should it bother Alison to still have the abortion, isn’t even more devastating to go through the pregnancy knowing the kind of violation that was on both her and Emily. That being said, I wonder if this is all a hoax. I mean the timing was convenient, Emily and Paige got back together and Alison gets the message she is pregnant with Emily’s egg. it’s the biggest way to have that push and pull between Alison and Paige over Emily and with Emily and Paige getting some what of a happy ending they couldn’t be pawns in the game with Alison being thrown in as a wrench from time to time. It’s like how Mark and Arizona were when Callie was pregnant on Greys.

    I didn’t think I would have this much opinion on the episode seeing as my brain shut down when Emily and Paige reunited. Can the show end right there, please. I don’t think I can take them getting put back together and then in the finale being ripped apart from some dumbass excuse. I mean it was bad enough I was fearing for them when they rode their bikes, I mean they were just too blissful that it seemed a garbage truck was going to come out of nowhere and flatten one of them right? But alas they made it and hopefully stay together until the end.

    • You see how you’re calling Charlotte by her birth name and repeatedly referring to her as “him” in this comment? That’s misnaming and misgendering. This is going to sound like an attack on you, but it’s not. You’re actually a perfect example of why Heather keeps hammering on this point. I remember a couple of months ago seeing you comment on a post and say you don’t watch the news because it’s too boring. You said you get your news from late night talk shows like Seth Myers. And the only things I see you comment on here on Autostraddle are TV articles. So it sounds like you take your cues about what’s right and wrong from what you see on television.

      Instead of reading what Heather said and asking for clarification or doing a simple bit of Google research, you jumped in to defend the show, and in doing so continued the misnaming and misgendering. FTR, when you’re speaking about a trans person at any stage of life, you should refer to that person by the pronouns that match their gender identity, not the pronouns that match the gender they were assigned at birth, and you should always refer to them by their chosen name, not the name they were assigned at birth. GLAAD has made this information easily accessible and readily available in a bullet pointed list in their media reference guide.

      • i looked back and actually Cyclone doesn’t misgender in their comment. Not saying I agree with them either but I think you are wrong here. Cyclone is talking about Ted and Lucas when they say ‘he’ or ‘him’. Cyclone only refers to Charlotte as ‘her’.

      • I wasn’t defending the show, I was just saying that I didn’t watch the scenes as closely and didn’t understand (my ignorance on the subject) how that was misgendering.

      • “I remember a couple of months ago seeing you comment on a post and say you don’t watch the news because it’s too boring. You said you get your news from late night talk shows like Seth Myers. And the only things I see you comment on here on Autostraddle are TV articles. So it sounds like you take your cues about what’s right and wrong from what you see on television.”

        No no no dude this is so judgemental and gross

    • “I don’t think I can take them getting put back together and then in the finale being ripped apart from some dumbass excuse.”

      I think Paige is gonna be gone sooner than that. She’ll likely be on the first plane/bike to Iowa as soon as she finds out about Ali being impregnated with Emily’s eggs.

      • Well actually I’m hoping that Paige will be a bigger person than that. She’s shown so much growth, why stop now. I mean when she was in the loop about A she never backed down and I don’t think this is any different. She’ll be there for Emily.

        • But she made it quite clear in episode 9 or 10 that she wanted Emily to cut all ties with Ali, and this screwed up situation is likely gonna lead to Paige giving up and moving on. I also read somewhere that next episode in Lindsey’s last, but of course that could be a false spoiler.

    • I agree with Cyclone, both Hanna (when talking to Pastor Ted) and Spencer (with her Dad) kept referring to Charlotte as Charlotte and using correct pronouns. I was confused to see Heather criticize them for misgendering her. Of course, nothing could salvage that particular storyline, it all seems too little, too late at this point.

      Also, Andrei’s comment definitely reads like a personal attack on Cyclone. And one that’s been in the making for a long time, it seems.

    • Didn’t Peter and Ted keep referring to Charlotte as Charles and using “he” to talk about her? Yeah, I just rewatched that scene with Ted: “Charles came to my camp. He was soft spoken and sweet.” Hanna says “The other boy in this photo.” Peter calls her Charles. That’s misnaming and misgendering, right?

      • I’m trying to learn from this, when Pastor Ted was talking about the “boy” he knew at the camp, that’s misgendering? But he only knew her as Charles and not to mention he just learned like 5 minutes earlier that Charlotte was Charles and his kid, so does Pastor Ted get a pass for slipping a he or him in there when it should have been her?
        I’m not defending him using the wrong pronouns or being ignorant on the situation so please don’t take offense to my questions, I think I’m just looking at the scene from a different perspective.
        Thank you for making me understand.

        • Hi ya, Cyclone! Yeah, I think it’s really complicated, but I’m glad we can talk about it openly here and work through the tough questions. According to GLAAD and to all the trans people I know, trans people prefer for you to use the pronouns that match their gender identity and use their chosen name when you’re talking about them, even when you’re talking about them before they came out. Because trans women aren’t boys who become girls; they’re girls who don’t yet have the language and ability to explain and express that they were assigned the wrong gender at birth. So, in my opinion, having Hanna say “the other boy” and having Ted and Peter use Charlotte’s birth name and male pronouns for her reinforces the incorrect idea that trans girls are are really boys. (Which feeds the stereotypes conservatives use when they scapegoat these women with bathroom bills and when they choose to stop protecting trans teens with federal regulations; and those things, of course, lead to a culture where trans women’s lives are in even more danger just by virtue of being out.)

          I understand that it’s hard to explain Charlotte’s connection to the other characters without continuing to use her birth name and wrong pronouns, which is why this storyline is so frustrating to me. There are so many repercussions for making a trans woman a villain like this, and those repercussions sprawl out when you have to make her past a part of the present story. But these writers have had years and endless resources at their disposal to make sure they’re putting the right words into these characters’ mouths. I feel like there’s no excuse for them not to know better by now, you know?

          • Hey Heather. Thanks for taking the time to explain this. See, I didn’t even realize it was the line “the other boy” that was problematic.
            On a similar separate note, this whole story line twist was a mess when they decided to roll with it. I mean this was a hail Mary (no pun intended) on the writers part or else they knowingly had CeCe date her own cousin.

  5. i cannot get behind the emily & paige pairing because i can’t forget the almost drowning. like wtf. also, alison is a fucking nut stay away from her jesus. people that manipulative and mean can’t change. of course, i would like emily to get her happily ever after like the hetero characters but not if she is going to end up with either one of them.

    • “people that manipulative and mean can’t change.”

      Sure they can. Question is, has Ali? Hard to say.

    • i mean i think paige was just really losing her shit at that point, the other liars have certainly done similarly disturbing things under durress

  6. Nooooooooooooo, the pic is a big spoiler! I signed on to Autostraddle for the articles! Wait, no…tell me everything…

  7. That bike race/kissing thing was like the gayest moment ever. At least it made up a bit from the complete absence of gayness the last episode

    There was also a moment in which Paige was in their staff room thing at a counter but a little out of focus, and as she turns round and walks over to the table where the abortion leaflet is, she looks so much like Olivia Benson I did a double take!!

    Your writing about what could have been if they’d developed Paige’s character properly is really really amazing Heather and I completely agree. I was never a fan of Paige in the beginning but she’s grown on me as she grew up and developed (apparently off screen) and I like her for not conforming to any stereotype and just being her own, more organic character.

    I don’t know how I feel about this Alison/Emily insemination thing. Apart from the fact it’s a huge violation and really fucked up.Sure Emily gave those eggs up for donation but it’s kinda different when they’re suddenly implanted into your best friend without consent. That was not how I was hoping it would turn out in my “Emily lives happily ever after and has lots of babies” fantasy. I really hope it’s just a hoax. Plus it raises more questions about AD – they need to have an IVF specialist on their books….

  8. I so agree about Paige – there was always so much potential there, this amazing queer character around the edges that you could see when you squinted but they never made it text. What a waste, indeed.

    This whole forced insemination blah blah blah is like a terrible fanfic plot and it’s a weirdly heteronormative way to bring the queer couple together – nuclear family and they are all biologically connected somehow, of course. Gay representation is still so often stuck in this ‘aggressively normal’ mode and it is so boring. Can’t we move past this already? I can’t wait until tv realizes that representation can be used for narrative purposes, too – gay people have access to a whole different set of stories and spaces, namely gay ones (forever example: Barrow on Downton Abbey could’ve been used to go into the thriving underground gay scene in England at the time, which as the only gay character he’d be alone in having access to. Instead they go with ‘aggressively normal’ aka Barrow is sad he’s not straight so when you see him suffering you realize as we, the magnanimous tv people, do that he is a human. Congrats to all of us, what a high bar! Homophobia conquered!No need for anything gay to happen).
    I really wish they’d gone for something more interesting.

    Sidenote: I know that T.S.Eliot poem is supposed to be sad but it’s always felt all warm and fuzzy to me and ‘I grow old… I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled’ is my favorite birthday greeting.

    • i’m just in it for the recaps (not watching the show anymore) but when Heather mentioned the Emily-Ali-Paige triangle for a moment I believed they were a throuple and oh, how radical would that have been ! Make Emily poly, and let her keep BOTH girlfriends !

  9. So, I’ve never watched this. Tbh, didn’t like the title. Also because of the high soap quotient. Is there some kind of ep guide somewhere that just rates each one based on its gayness level? I know the plot must’ve become hopelessly convoluted, it won’t make any sense & that’s okay. I just want girls in love. My hockey team got eliminated, so I’m going to bingewatch Supergirl, Sense8, etc. Should I go here? Is this like starting a smack habit? Is the queerness quotient high enough? Did they run out of real ideas a couple of seasons ago?

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    • You won’t get just “girls in love” here if you watch full episodes, the other stuff will be too frustrating and overshadowing. My suggestion is to find one of the channels on YouTube that edited Emily’s story love or otherwise and watch that. It won’t be perfect but it will be a lot better than getting sucked into this whole vortex.

  10. I have a question as someone who quit this somewhere around season 4 (and was very confused by this recap): are they still in high school?

    • Nope, when they graduated halfway through season 6 they did a 5 year time jump, so some have graduated college and some have pursued other careers. But the show or the characters still aren’t that much different.

    • Emily is now the swim coach at the high school, Paige is the athletic supervisor, and Ali is an English teacher.

  11. ugh you’re so right about what emily and paige could’ve been and how intense the love triangle and the final decision between ali and paige could’ve been. i can’t even imagine a world in which those stories would take up a significant portion of an episode, like everybody else’s has.

    • Right? Emily’s scenes with Paige and Alison are all leaving me cold. She’s never convinced me that she’s really into Paige – always a bit hesitant, always a bit distant, always ready to ditch her for literally anyone or anything else. And Alison’s never convinced me that she’s capable of loving Emily in the way that Emily loves her. Their moments together just seem forced and I can’t enjoy them. And now with the non-consensual insemination storyline??? No! This is awful! WHY MARLENE

        • *Sung by Dexy’s Midnight Runners*
          Come on Marlene,
          You’re writing like Ilene,
          This doesn’t make sense,
          I hate eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeverything

  12. Paige as the PLL Rorschache is so true. A lot of people can’t get over the ‘drowning’ or love dunk as Paily shippers think of it!! Emily’s a champion swimmer, and kids dunk each other all the time – hardly a serious attempt on her life. (Yes. I’m a Paige apologist!)

    However I just do NOT get Emison as a ship! For a start Ali does not convince as bi. She ruthlessly manipulated all the Liars horribly, and was a nasty selfish bully. Her liaisons with Em just seem like her using Emily time and again and Em never able to get over her crush. It is not a healthy relationship at all and I don’t get the way it has been presented as this OTP fans want. (Then again statutory rapist Ezra creeps me out too!)

    Paige has not had any status as anything than an obstacle for ages. While PLL producer Joseph Dougherty was clearly a supporter and fanfic writer, Marlene and the other writers seem to be on the Emison ship, and like you Heather, I hope they don’t kill her or turn her evil

    • YES! Like when Alison kissed Emily just to keep her from leaving to go see Sabrina or Paige (I can’t remember which). I don’t get how people want Emily and Alison to be endgame either but you’re right they romanticized Ezra and Aria they can get people to see anything.

  13. I can’t believe you quoted “Prufrock” in your recap – my lifelong favorite poem. Just when I thought your recaps couldn’t get any better :)

    Please don’t say Alison & Emily are endgame though, no offense to anyone but I’ve just never seen it!

  14. Honestly, the thing that makes me think the most is that all the peron creating this show is a queer woman and she wasted such good starting materials for the sake of what? teenagers in love with the predatory teacher?! It was a revolutionary show once upon a time.. they ripped all the liars off their choices and not to make a point, but as a turning point which will lead them to their happiness, this is wrong in so many ways and the worst, I repeat myself, is that all of this is done under a queer woman direction.. she should know better what representation means and how it should be done.. not to talk about how they write Cece.. I do not even wnat to start with this topic or I will never stop. Young girls, women, womein of color, queer women and trans women deserve much better than this!

  15. My soul weeps for your writing!!!! Cried actual tears from my face reading the chunk about Paige to my gf. You are a blessing.

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