Pretty Little Liars Episode 719 Recap: You Know What They Say About Hope

You gotta hand it to the Pretty Little Liars creative team. It takes some next level disregard for the power of your own story to: make your big bad a trans woman, murder her, digest the cultural backlash, and then decide your final move is to rewrite her psychosis and duplicity to be even worse than you previously revealed while also holding her responsible for her own death. And, as an added bonus, stripping away the agency of the best, most complicated, most kickass woman on your show until she’s a blubbering mess of incomprehensibility dressed as a literal child. That’s Charlotte: Dead by her own deceitful hand. Mona: locked away in some asylum again. Alison: Redeemed through torture. And Ezra and Caleb over here pushing and pulling Hanna and Aria, talking about, “You’re not going to do this or that, young lady. You’re not going here, little miss; you’re not going there.”

When I wrote my recap for the BIG REVEAL that Charlotte DiLaurentis was A, I got about a hundred emails and texts and social media messages from people who work on this show; even the wife of a guy who drives a golf cart on the Warner Brothers backlot wrote to me. “Thank you so much for explaining why writing trans characters like this is so harmful. Thank you for continuing to hold us accountable for the way we write lesbian and bisexual women. Thank you for not backing down on your feminist critique. It means so much to us. We’ve learned so much from you.”

Now here we are — two years, 30 episodes, and one Donald Trump presidency later — and Pretty Little Liars has responded to the knowledge that they were actively putting harmful stories into the world by … putting more harmful stories into the world. 50 trans women have been murdered since I wrote that recap. The Trump administration has rolled back Obama’s Title IX protections for trans students, causing SCOTUS to punt Gavin Grimm’s case. State legislatures around the country have introduced “bathroom bills” to keep trans people out of public facilities that match their gender identity, as well as bills to make it impossible for trans people to access their vital records. North Carolina has lied repeatedly about repealing HB2. The two Conservative forces that have caused the most harm to trans women, Breitbart and the Family Research Council, are in the president’s ear all day every day. We have written almost twice as many trans obituaries as Pretty Little Liars recaps since that midseason finale back in 2015.

I’ve said it a billion times before and I’ll keep saying it until the day I die: There is no such thing as “just a TV show.” There is no such thing as “just a story.” Nothing, nothing, nothing ever has or ever will change and sustain our individual lives and our culture like stories. Fiction shapes our religions, our politics, our beliefs, our ethics, our behaviors, our relationships with ourselves and with each other. All major religious texts are made up mostly of stories. The Bible is 80 percent narrative. Lists of rules and consequences mean nothing to us; they’re as easily forgotten as a chance encounter with no one on the street. Stories move us. They teach us. They warn us. They reward us. They get stuck inside our brains and hearts and we never forget them. Stories are a primitive need. We project ourselves into and onto stories, mentally acting out our place in the world, without anyone ever teaching us how to do it. It is an instinct we develop as tiny children and it never goes away.

I could tell you one thousand times that trans women are not psychotic, that they’re not deceitful, that they’re women just trying to live their lives at the intersection of a culture steeped in misogyny and transphobia. You could hear me. You could nod along. But you will never remember my words the way you’ll remember Charlotte DiLaurentis torturing Aria and Emily and Spencer and Hanna and Mona.

PLL’s defense of the Charlotte reveal back when it happened was that they humanized her, that they showed her as complicated woman capable of doing great harm but also capable of great love. They’ve unraveled that defense in every way this season. Repeatedly misgendering and misnaming her. Memories of her catfishing Lucas. Memories of her revealing to Mona that she had used her trickery to re-trick her psychiatrists into thinking she was “better” so she could get out of the mental hospital and start torturing her sister and her friends again.

It’s one thing to write a story you don’t know is harmful. It’s another thing to know a story is harmful, to acknowledge it, and to write it anyway.

Anyway, here’s the plot. It is the penultimate episode of a seven-year mystery, after all:

Caleb and Ezra rush to tell the Liars that Mona’s got the game. They saw her through the wall with their infrared x-ray app. Problem is, by the time Mona gets back to her apartment with takeout for dinner, the game is gone and a note is in its place. So Mona goes to meet the person who left the note at the same diner where she met Charlotte the night she was murdered, Hanna and Caleb and Spencer peeping her from the middle of the parking lot while she pushes a piece of pie around on her plate. What this mystery has been missing all these years is men taking charge, so Caleb pushes past Spencer and Hanna and invites himself to dinner with Mona. He menaces her and she bounces through a secret passage in the bathroom wall that leads to the Rosewood Presbyterian Church where everyone gets married and also hanged.

Charlotte died here also, you’ll remember, and it was her death that made up one of the main three mysteries Pretty Little Liars promised to answer after the time jump. Well, how it happened was that she was just up here looking out at the city the night she got released from the mental hospital and Mona brought her some flowers. But like some joke flowers. She knew Charlotte wasn’t done being bananas. Mona was like, “I’ve been watching you five years; I know you’re re-plotting a doll house scenario.”

And Charlotte was like, “Mwahaha! Mwahahahaha! I will continue tying everyone to the train tracks and robbing sacks of money from the bank!” She stroked her evil cartoon cat, called Mona “the smart one,” and dismantled Mona’s sanity by reminding her the Liars still never did like her very much. Mona thought about killing Charlotte by kicking her out the window or stabbing her with a screwdriver, but then Charlotte pushed Mona and Mona pushed Charlotte and they wrestled for a minute while Charlotte continued to taunt Mona about being a nerd. Ultimately, Mona shoved Charlotte into the wall where there was an exposed pipe and when Charlotte slammed into it she died.

These flowers are to help you mourn the show you loved so much. I should have brought them at the end of season five.

Mona remembers that she’ll never be popular and so she goes catatonic and dresses like a small child and rocks back and forth on a couch at The Lost Woods Resort. Why The Lost Woods Resort, you ask? Well obviously because Mary Drake bought this place then signed it over to Alison and Spencer and so this is where they all live now.

Another thing Mary Drake does is turn herself in for the murder of Archer Dunhill. She does it to save her daughter and her niece from going to jail for all eternity. Because Archer Dunhill’s body has been found. It has been found in Charlotte’s old grave, where it was moved after someone stashed it in Aria’s car trunk and then stole it from Aria’s car trunk. The Liars go there to dig it up and then decide the only way to stop being the Liars is is if they stop lying to themselves about how they’re not perpetually committing felonies — but too little, too late: Tanner got a hot tip they’d be at the grave and so she shows up with the entire police force and a bulldozer that hilariously comes crashing through the trees as the Liars are making up their minds to stop gravedigging.

Whatever, though, Mary Drake takes the fall.

Thank you for spending five minutes on screen with me. It’s way more than Veronica ever managed.

The second mystery Pretty Little Liars promised to solve was the mystery of the opening scene after the time jump. Alison’s a teacher and she’s writing “Mrs. Rollins” on the chalkboard and the Liars rush in talking about, “He’s coming, we’ve got to go!” Okay, well that was just a dream. See, there’s a gas leak in Emily and Alison’s house and it knocks them out and while they’re knocked out Emily dreams that flash-forward but with more zombies coming through the wall. They wake up and don’t fix the gas leak or figure out about the gas leak, which bodes well for their future life together as a couple of living humans in this house.

The third mystery Pretty Little Liars promised to solve was the mystery of whether Ezra Fitz was ever going to be held accountable for being a predator and a statutory rapist. Rather than just ignoring that question, the show brought it up a hundred times this season, reminding us of the various ways he preyed on Aria and the Liars and the various ways Aria almost turned him into the authorities. In the end, Aria betrayed her friends to keep Ezra out of jail. Now that they’re mad at her for that, Ezra says they are not very good friends and don’t deserve her. He yells that at them and at Aria. “We’ve all done rude things,” he says, remembering how rude it was for him to seduce a child and video her every move for the next several years while writing a book about her dead friend.

The Liars and Aria work it out, though. While they wait for the padded wagon to come haul Mona off, they say they love and trust each other and they’re best friends forever.

We were the best characters on this show. You deserved so much better.

I’m just kidding about that being the third mystery. There was never any question about who was going to get punished in Rosewood. Women only, and especially queer women. Ezra Fitz was always going to be fine. Just like real life! You want to know what I learned from seven seasons of watching Pretty Little Liars? The best you can hope for as a woman in this world is to make yourself boring and docile and helpless enough that a man will ultimately intervene and save you from interesting women, and also from yourself.

The real third mystery is the mystery of Pretty Little Liars is Who is A.D. and I guess we’ll find that out next week in the series finale.

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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. I’ve been wondering if you’d be able to bear writing this recap. You say what needed to be said, with your usual extraordinary passion and eloquence. HOW could the PLL writers compound their egregious errors around Charlotte last year by doing THIS?!?! Making the trans character even *more* deceitful, even *more* heartless, even *more* “deserving” of her fate … is that what we’re meant to take from this? And, like you pointed out, demolishing the sanity and agency of Mona in one fell swoop in a way that, frankly, didn’t make a lot of sense. Mona has gone through so much physical *and* psychological torment – and it’s *this* that causes her latest psychotic break? I just don’t buy it. (I was wondering if that high-school Mona was a twin, but it doesn’t seem like it.)

    Also on point: your analysis of Alison DiLaurentis. She is nothing like the character who was so compelling for the first 4 seasons; she’s been literally and disgustingly domesticated (married off to a criminal psycho and involuntarily impregnated), and yes, “redeemed” as the good girl now worthy of romantic happiness because of that suffering. UGH.

    I am watching this show to the bitter end, but still can’t believe how poorly it’s evolved when it had so much potential to tell new kinds of empowered female stories.

  2. Yeah, I heard this episode was gonna Do Mona Wrong and so I haven’t seen it because I know when to love myself.

    Thank you for your service, Heather. I’m sorry you had to deal with this.

  3. I fucking hate this show. I honestly dread watching it every week and then sit there watching through my hands at the cringey mess its become. The only reason I still watch is because I invested so many years into it and it used to be so good that i feel the need to see it throught to the end. I dont think its been decent since season three. During seasons 4 and 5 it had become a shambles with the most hilariously appalling levels of retconning I have ever seen. It had started to establish a family tree and a timeline that was (and is) literally impossible to keep up with. But despite all this it still had good episodes, great moments and the silly charm of the previous seasons. But then season 6 came along and it was like an entirely different show. It became clear they were never ever going to adress the ezra problem, every episode revealed some new mystery that would end up having a ridiculous non-answer, we were bombarded with new characters we didnt give a shit about and we were left with no charm, no moments of its former glory, nothing but pure shit. I feel like instead of tuning in every week i could have just rolled around in some dog shit and it would have had the same effect. AND I SWEAR TO GOD THE HATRED IN MY SOUL IS EZRA FITZ’S FAULT!

  4. Heather – Thank you for saying that TV shows aren’t just TV shows and stories have power. Your piece made me think of a quote from “Biloxi Blues”, a play written by Neil Simon. The main character, Eugene, is an army recruit who keeps a journal and yearns to be a writer. When his fellow recruits steal the journal and begin to read it aloud, it is revealed that Eugene thinks of his closest friends in the army might be gay. The others, because of the journal, begin to think the same thing and tension builds in the barracks. Here is what Eugene observes, “People believe whatever they read. Something magical happens when it’s down on paper. They figure no one would go to the trouble of writing it down if it wasn’t the truth.”

    We tend to be a little more sophisticated about blindly believing television and movies, but we still believe there are strands of truth there. And if you see the same strands of truth again and again, your perceptions will shift. Most of us aren’t close to our neighbors and families tend to live miles apart. So where, beyond television and movies do we have an opportunity to try and assess what is “normal”. Beyond this, it takes no effort, no creativity and no courage to make an already discriminated against group the “bad guy”. It’s the equivalent of seeing a person being bullied by 20 people and then joining in. Hollywood can try and justify it in whatever way they like but what they’ve done, regardless of reason, is become part of the pain and the hatred.

    At times Heather, it may seem that you are shouting truth into a vast cavern where it echoes and fades away. But it’s more like this: your are planting seeds in a barren place with only a few trees. Some seeds may not grow, but that’s okay. The ones that do – and you never know when that will happen – will be mighty. Keep up the good work.

  5. This episode made me feel like something horrible was happening right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The scene between Mona and Charlotte was painful to watch, and seeing Mona in the outfit that she wore before she stopped giving a fuck and emerged as a queen was heartbreaking. It seems like they’re trying to wrap it all up in a neat little bow but don’t have enough time for actual storytelling, so it’s just a jumbled mess. Nothing felt genuine and I’m actually dreading the last episode, so let’s just pin it all on Spencer’s twin we’ve never heard of before and call it a day.

    Thank you, Heather, for being loud and outspoken about these issues. As a previous comment said, I’m sure it sometimes feels like your voice fades away, however these recaps made me see things from a different perspective and I’ve given so much more thought to queer representation and issues because of them. I can honestly say that I’m a better person for it, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  6. I kinda hope Ezra is A.D. because if he is one of the ‘goood guys’ I’m just gonna call in sick tomorrow.

  7. The takeaway: all the toughest, smartest women are inherently dangerous and should be locked away, forcefully domesticated or just plain murdered. What a horrendous message from the show that once pretended to be feminist – or was that only ever in the brilliant, passionate fanfiction you provided over the years? I don’t even know anymore.

    I couldn’t stand to watch Aria defend her seducer over and over again, or Caleb telling Hanna what she could and could not do now they were married (and Spencer being all “well of course, you’re married, so that makes sense!”). And Emison, oh wow, how thoroughly they ruined what could have been such a memorable, important story. Everything sucked.

    One of the things that annoyed me on top of everything you already mentioned was how self-abnegating Mary Drake had to be; how this sense of her having failed as a mother by giving the baby up for adoption (while in a mental institution!) was amplified and repeatedly blasted at us. Yup, if you get pregnant, you owe the child your life, as simple as that, and certainly not the other way around. She was made to radiate regret, shame and self-recrimination every moment she was on screen. Her punishment: prison. This show has done more to domesticate the girls watching it than I thought possible at this day and age.

    But one thing’s for sure: I will remember *your* story, Heather, your beautiful, soaring song. That will be the story I’ll hold onto. It was authentic, gorgeous and it mattered – it changed everything and I’ll never forget it.

  8. I really look forward to the day when the people involved in this show can speak freely about everything that’s gone down. I often think about that interview with Troian Bellisario where she calls out that morning show host for implying that an underage girl is at fault for the older male predators in her life and I want to hear her thoughts on the absolute garbage fire this show turned out to be.

    I wish I knew more about why things are done the way they are in television and to better understand the power balances at play with a show like this. I wish I knew how we got from point A to point B and how they are SO MANY miles apart. Mostly I want to know WHY. I just want to feel less helpless watching these shows that once meant so much and were so important (looking at you too, OITNB) and understand how they have become so unrecognizable from their original message.

    I mean, I know the answer lies probably somewhere between an absolute refusal to recognize privilege and the affect it has on storytelling and the influence of hashtag trending culture on the business of television making, but I just want to hear someone say ANYTHING real. For any responsibility to be taken.

    And also, thank you thank you thank you for continuing to call out everything wrong with this show when it feels like no one else is. Thank you for continuing to hold the people in charge accountable. I wish I had better words right now to express everything I’m feeling but I am so TIRED. I don’t know how you do it. You are invaluable, Heather.

    • Out of everyone involved with this show, I’m most interested to hear what Troian has to say about things once we get a bit down the road. I might be projecting a bit on to her, but there have been a few quotes and insinuations throughout the years (like the radio interview you brought up), not to mention her activism outside of PLL, that leads me to believe she can’t be entirely thrilled with the direction the show has taken.

  9. Ugh this show…seriously?! I agree with everything you’ve said Heather. PLL could have been so good in these last two seasons, but it’s really been THE PITS! It’s felt like the writers had a limited amount of time to cram in all of the answers we the fans have been waiting for…and then they sniffed glue or something and decided to completely F with everything important that made sense! My partner and I can’t believe how much of a mess it’s become…why we’ve suffered this last season…I don’t know!
    Your screen caps under Mona’s photo – the best! Poor Mona, why they’ve decided to destroy her kick-ass character, beats me. She’s been one of the best on this show for such a long time. She deserved a better ending, one where the girls valued her contributions and her clever wit.
    And WTF Emison bullshit have we had to endure…there is zero chemistry, zero anything decent about this b.s storyline. I wish they’d left Emily with Paige – flaws and all, she actually loved her and wanted to be with her. Emison is such a forced, fake, poorly written piece of * to suck up to the teen fans – nothing about their story shows real love. Nothing! (Yes, tiny rant…apologies).
    Thanks for your recaps Heather…they make more sense than this flippin show!

  10. Maaaaaaaaaaaan am I glad I checked out in season 4. All of this sounds like the absolute worst.

  11. I’m not trying to argue, I’m just curious, but is there scientific data that backs up the claim that fiction is so important for creating our perception of groups of people? Because for me, I’ve never been able to identify with that. In my life, real life examples are worth tons more than fictional ones. Maybe that has something to do with the authority figures in my life (parents, teachers, relatives) who told me for as long as I remember that what you see on TV isn’t real. So no matter how many African villains I saw on TV, it didn’t affect my perception of Africans because the ones I knew in real life were nice people. And most of my friends have the same impression that I do. That real life has been much more important than fiction to create our perception. So like I said, I’m not trying to argue, I’m just curious if science has studied how important fiction is in this matter…

    • Prepare yourself for a ludicrously long reply….
      I looked this up on my uni database and didnt really find many studies, but there was one on the effect of fiction on prejudice against arab-muslims, and the general conclusion was:

      “In two studies, indirect out-group contact via narrative fiction was shown to foster empathic growth and reduce prejudice. Participants read an excerpt from a fictional novel about a counter stereotypical Arab-Muslim woman. Individuals who were more transported into the story rated Arab-Muslims significantly lower in stereotypical negative traits (Study 1, N = 67) and exhibited significantly lower negative attitudes toward Arab-Muslims (Study 2, N = 102) post-reading than individuals who were less transported into the story. These effects persisted after construing for baseline Arab-Muslim prejudice, reading-induced mood change, and demand characteristics. Affective empathy for Arab-Muslims and intrinsic motivation to reduce prejudice were also significantly increased by the story and each provided independent explanatory mechanisms for transportation’s association with prejudice reduction. Narrative fiction offers a safe and rich context in which exposure and understanding of an out-group can occur and can easily be incorporated in educational and applied settings.”

      There were also a couple of dissertations on the subject but only the abstracts were available so, here you go:
      In everyday life, people are often confronted with narrative representations of different social groups, some of which are accurate reflections of how these social groups actually behave (nonfiction) while others are simply fictitious. The current investigation sought to determine what sources people tend to rely on when forming and changing their beliefs about social groups, and by what cognitive processes they do so. Based on a variety of research on social cognition, social judgment, and social influence, it was predicted that reading about a particular member of a social group (either a French Canadian or a lesbian) would influence subsequently reported beliefs about the relevant group, particularly if the passage presented ostensibly ‘real’ (i.e., nonfictional) rather than fictional information. Furthermore, it was predicted that cognitively busy readers would not be able to distinguish between fictional and nonfictional information because the extra demands placed on their cognitive capacity would interfere with the presumably effortful process of ‘unbelieving’ the fictional representations (e.g., Gilbert, 1991). Lastly, readers’ preexisting attitudes were predicted to moderate the influence of the presented passages, but only when the attitudes were relatively well-established; the perceived plausibility of the passages was also expected to alter their influence. A total of 425 male and female readers with varying levels of preexisting prejudice toward the target social groups read a passage represented to be fictional or nonfictional that featured either a French Canadian, lesbian, or rural American (control) while they were cognitively busy or not. Results unexpectedly indicated that non-busy participants were not differentially affected by fictional vs. nonfictional passages; consequently, many of the hypotheses of the present research were not supported. Regardless of the passages’ putative source, most participants who read passages about French Canadians (relative to the control passages) expressed attitudes and beliefs that were more consistent with the content of the passages. Additionally, the most prejudiced readers of the pro-lesbian passages subsequently expressed more favorable attitudes and beliefs, but only if they had been cognitively busy while reading the passages. Discussion centered on the conditions under which readers will differentiate between fictional and nonfictional sources of information.

      2)Identification refers to the imaginative process of assuming the perspective and identity of a character in a work of fiction, which leads individuals to experience, through simulation, the events of a narrative as if they were a particular character and to take on that character’s thoughts, emotions, behaviors, goals, and traits, while in the story world. In this dissertation, I seek to redress the paucity of empirical research on identification by presenting eight studies investigating several of its fundamental antecedents and consequences for readers of literary fiction. In Chapter 1, results from two studies showed that versions of short stories that utilized first-person (versus third-person) narration, included references to a main character’s thoughts and feelings in response to story events, and featured a main character who shared a relevant group membership with readers, compared to versions of stories that lacked one or more of these elements, evoked higher levels of identification and greater adoption of a character’s intentions and behaviors. In Chapter 2, four studies investigated how readers’ level of self-concept accessibility impacts the extent to which they experience identification. Three studies demonstrated that a chronically or temporarily lowered state of self-concept accessibility increased, and a heightened state of self-concept accessibility decreased, readers’ levels of identification and incorporation of a character’s trait into their self-concepts. A fourth study revealed that if participants were placed in a negative state of self-reflection prior to reading a narrative, however, they reported higher levels of identification with a protagonist, perhaps stemming from the desire to escape the self. In Chapter 4, two studies explored the possibility that encouraging identification with characters who are members of stigmatized groups could be an effective means of reducing stereotypes and prejudice. Specifically, these studies showed that disclosing the stigmatized group membership of a character later, versus earlier, in a story led to comparatively higher levels of identification as well as lower levels of stereotype reliance in readers’ evaluations of the character and lower levels of prejudice toward the character’s group. In Chapter 5, I discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the findings, differentiate identification from perspective-taking more generally, and propose a model of readers’ potentially dynamic responses to characters in literary fiction.

    • Yeah, definitely! You should check out GLAAD’s Where We Are on TV studies, especially the ones around 2008-2010 when they discovered that Americans were becoming more accepting of marriage equality as more gay characters landed on primetime TV. When GLAAD asked these people why they were changing their minds, they discovered that knowing a gay character on TV was tantamount to knowing a gay person in real life. (And knowing a gay person in real life means you’re less likely to want to persecute and oppress gay people as a whole.)

      Jonathan Gottschall’s The Storytelling Animal is a comprehensive look at how stories affect individuals and the larger culture. His research covers a variety of fields: neuroscience, social psychology, anthropology. It’s very readable and jam packed full of information.

      You might also hit up my piece on how Fox News brainwashes its viewers. I talk a lot in it about how pop culture stereotypes inform the way conservative pundits twist the truth to manipulate their listeners and viewers. It’s also a great springboard for resources about how stereotypes found in stories have been used to persecute minorities for, well, ever. Marja Vuorinen’s Enemy Images in War Propaganda is a good book for exploring that concept, as well as David L. Altheide’s Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis, and Ian Haney Lopez’s Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class.

      The research is endless and fascinating.

      • I am such a story nerd and this list of links has made my heart very happy. As has the fantastic critical analysis and recaps you and the rest of Autostraddle do. Thank you for everything.

      • Thank you for your reply. So obviously there is merit to the theory that fictional examples have a great impact on how we percieve groups of people, even if I personally can’t identify with it. Real life examples are worth much more to me than fictional ones, but obviously that’s not true for everyone.

  12. So, I know that you’ve been very vocal about the rampant misgendering, but now we can’t even use the name ‘Charles’ in reference to the grave? It makes no sense to me to call it ‘Charlotte’s old grave’.

    • Most trans people prefer for you to use their chosen name and correct gender — as opposed to their birth name and the gender they were assigned at birth — even when referring to them before they came out. That’s also what GLAAD recommends in their Media Reference Guide.

      What puzzles me about your comment is “now we can’t even…” as if there’s been a long litany of behaviors I’ve asked the PLL writers/fandom to stop engaging in. It seems pretty simple: Don’t misname trans people, don’t misgender them, don’t lean into harmful narrative stereotypes that hurt them in real life. If you feel put out by doing those very simple, very respectful things, you might ask yourself what’s going on there. Typing two extra letters to write out a person’s name doesn’t seem like much of a burden to me. If it costs you literally nothing to do no harm, why would you not just do no harm?

  13. Thank you Heather for still finding the power in you to write about this show. I’m glad that you still call them out and even in the end ask for accountability. You and the Bros are what helped keep me going til the finale.

    I feel like the time jump has been a big waste. They could have done so much with it but seemed like they wanted to torch everything to the ground. I know that when shows know they are ending they want to pay some lip service to fans for sticking around, but it has gotten ridiculous. So much of it is rushed and cringe worthy. What happened to character growth and continuity?

  14. As a reader/commenter who gave you a hard time over the decision to continue recapping Pretty Little Liars, I want to say thank you for your work over the past few seasons. I was mistaken and think you have brought important analysis and commentary to these increasingly terrible narrative decisions.

  15. Fuck this shit. Heather Hogan I am so sorry you have to continue to subject yourself to this bullcrap.

  16. Perfect summary Heather “That’s Charlotte: Dead by her own deceitful hand. Mona: locked away in some asylum again. Alison: Redeemed through torture. And Ezra and Caleb over here pushing and pulling Hanna and Aria, talking about, “You’re not going to do this or that, young lady. You’re not going here, little miss; you’re not going there.””

    We can all agree that Greys Anatomy went to shit when they decided to do that plane crash right? What was that, season 8? Why am I bringing up Greys you ask because some shows don’t know when to end.

    I was looking at some old clips and I realized this show was so much better when Alison’s disappearance was the main mystery and what happened on her endless last night. After they brought Alison back (stupid move) they came up with all these other mysteries that in the end they couldn’t figure out how to connect the dots without completely destroying everything about this show.

    Also maybe it’s me because I am not a huge Alison fan (but I respect people who are) I just don’t think Alison fits with the core 4. I mean they’ll all be sitting there (and this is not even on the show but in interviews with the actresses) and someone will be like remember when A did this and Alison/Sasha will be like yeah and I’m like, you weren’t even around. I guess it’s because I liked it better when Alison was just this mystery link.

    We all know about Ezra, you’ve written it Heather, I want to talk about the annoyance with Caleb. Hanna told him about the game and he immediately went over to the barn to examine it with a stethoscope…a fucking stethoscope (smh). And then he fucked up and got himself gassed which caused Hanna to miss her meeting with Lucas and the investors (but i guess there were no investors now or something, i really didn’t pay attention to all that). Then when Hanna was like, no I don’t think Mona is AD he was like lalalala, I think she is and my instincts are great when it comes to this, but again he was wrong. and now this time at the diner Hanna was like no let’s hang back and just watch Mona because she’s not AD and he’s all nope I’m going in and because of that AD got spooked and Mona hightailed it out of there. Also Caleb eats pie weird.

    Next week is like a 3 hour finale, no thank you. That’s definitely going to wait until the weekend to watch and most likely frustratingly comment on. Hopefully Alison was smashed in the skull with the field hockey stick and she’s been in a coma this whole time and it was all a stupid dream/nightmare.

    • In the midst of all these important discussions I just want to take a second to acknowledge the Community ‘gas leak’-reference you snuck into this recap. Made me laugh.

  17. I seriously used to love your recaps, now it’s all shade and snark and it sucks. The only good thing about PLL ending is that I no longer have to witness you butchering my favorite show. most of the people here aren’t even the target audience for this show. But still everytime I’m on this site there go a bunch of grown ass women bashing a show who actually helped a lot of TEENS like me with there issues. It’s kinda sad

  18. I don’t watch this show anymore, but if I did I could never see Mary Drake as anyone else but my eternal crush, Miss Parker

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