Mona (Janel Parrish) summed up tonight's episode of Pretty Little Liars with one question: "Why build a dollhouse when you can turn the whole town into a dollhouse?" So even though the pawn pieces on Liar's Lament didn't move this week, the Liars feel like they have less agency than ever.
Last week's episode gave credence to three long-term fan theories — Emily's (Shay Mitchell) eggs were implanted in Ali (Sasha Pieterse) by A.D., Lucas (Brendan Robinson) is involved with the A-Team, and Aria (Lucy Hale) is a member of the A-Team.
Aria's storyline didn't verify Aria is actually A, something fans have created blogs about since the first season. But as the show comes to an end, it's nice to give the fans who stuck around for seven years a shout-out (proof the writers have been following the internet black hole created by PLL fans). To be honest? That is all I think it is. I don't think Aria is going to hurt her friends. Or at least I hope not. This show has always seemed like a dramatic, over-the-top love story to high school female friendship and how a group of young women can fight the patriarchy. Aria actually betraying her friends — especially to protect a man who spends half his time with his ex — doesn't fit that narrative.
Aria has no problem handing over information, though. Once upon a time she was considered the Liar best at keeping secrets. We watched her keep her relationship with Ezra (Ian Harding) secret twice. We've seen her fool the world by using Holden as her age-appropriate boyfriend, and Ali still doesn't know Aria and her brother shacked up after college. It's weird that all of a sudden she can't keep any secrets from A.D. And we did learn A.D. is not as many steps ahead of the Liars as we've been led to believe. We're almost at the end, and everyone — including A.D. — is looking for the same answers.
The craziest pregnancy TV show twist of all time became even more complicated this week. A blood test confirmed that the eggs are in fact Emily's. However, it also confirmed the baby is not Archer Dunhill's (Huw Collins). So whose child is it? The current theory is Lucas because of his newfound connection to Charlotte (Vanessa Ray). A.D. forcing a family on Emily and Ali is truly uncomfortable to watch. It reminds you what is at stake for women everywhere right now. A has always taken away some of the girls' agency by blackmailing them and threatening their lives and family, but this brings it all closer to home with Emily and Ali feeling like they can't terminate their unwanted, unplanned pregnancy. They feel powerless in a way women all over the world (and in our own backyard) have felt before.
After learning that Charlotte and Lucas once knew each other, Emily and Hanna (Ashley Benson) search his place. They find a comic book written by Charlotte and Lucas in his belongings. In the book a woman, who also happens to be a shapeshifter, goes around and gets revenge for a boy who has been bullied by his family and friends. Sounds a bit familiar, eh? It sure sounds familiar to the Liars. Lucas once again becomes the top A.D. suspect, and a real possibility as the father of Ali and Emily's baby. The backstory, plus the recent revelation of Spencer's birth mother, also helps Emily come to a decision. She asks Ali to keep the baby. Eventually, she agrees.
As Ali and Emily decide to raise the child together, Emily has to say goodbye to a different path in life. Emily and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) break up, for good this time. Finally, Paige realises that she is not what Emily needs. I think this was clear when Paige tried to drown Emily. Or the time that Paige kissed Emily right after Maya (Bianca Lawson) died. Or the time Paige went to the police to reveal Ali was alive, betraying Emily. Yet it apparently took Emily asking Paige to raise a child with her and Ali for them to finally get it. I never thought I would be sad about Paige and Emily breaking up, as my hatred for Paige is pretty strong, but this was done really well. Watching Emily mourn her freedom to choose, watching Paige mourn Emily, and watching Ali finally admit she loves Emily was worth the wait.
Another relationship also came to an end tonight. For the first time in Rosewood history, there is a truly competent police officer. Unfortunately, that's not a good thing for the Liars. Marco (Nicholas Gonzalez) is able to put together the pieces of Archer Dunhill's death, and decides all roads point to Spencer (Troian Bellisario). He hasn't figured out that she's covering up for the actual murderer (Hanna, but he's close enough). The Liar responsible for coming up with all the plans made a big mistake with this one. The night Spencer met Marco and bought them a round, she used Archer's credit card and signed her name. Marco is going to find literal receipts proving Spencer and A's feud has left no one with clean hands.
What I wish he would realise, though, is that while many roads lead to Spencer, all roads lead to Radley. The receipt was signed in the Radley hotel, Spencer was born in Radley sanitarium, Charlotte and Mary Drake (Andrea Parker) grew up in Radley, Mona was checked into Radley, and according to Mona, A.D. is bound to have something to do with Radley as well.
The girls weren't forced to touch the game board once tonight though. It is Hanna's turn to play Liar's Lament next, and she'll do anything not to play. After her last turn when she lost the game, lost her company's financial security, and almost lost Caleb (Tyler Blackburn), she's not moving her piece without a fight. She turns to the original A, the person the game was stolen from, Mona. To no one's surprise, Mona was impressed with the game, and perhaps even more so impressed with the fact she couldn't hack into it. The only way to end the game is to play the game. Hanna asks Mona to play with her. Mona declines mentioning her past and says "playing with someone's life like this is an addiction." She says the mastermind is sick. This seems like the writers are once again mixing up evil behavior and mental illness in a way that doesn't sit right with me, and the truth behind A.D.'s backstory will once again take us to Radley. (Like I said, all roads lead to Radley.)
Tonight everything felt important, but the shortest, least explained, and weirdest scene felt most important of all. While Ezra was at the airport waiting for a flight to NYC, he spots Spencer having a heated conversation with some man. That man turns out to be Wren (Julian Morris). Spencer introduces Wren and Ezra because somehow the two have never met. I guess there wasn't a secret statutory rape club in Rosewood after all. She then asks Ezra to not tell anyone she was with Wren. Why won't she tell the girls Wren is back? How did Spencer suddenly end up at the airport? Maybe it wasn't Spencer after all. Perhaps we were seeing Spencer's twin, a character present in a lot of fan theories? That would put all the pieces together. She wouldn't want Ezra to tell The Liars, she wouldn't want Spencer to know there is another Spencer running around, she wouldn't want people to learn of her sidekick, Wren, and she wouldn't want Aria to stop passing along information before the game was done.
The reveal of Spencer having a twin would be a perfect alibi to keep Spencer out of jail, something that looks imminent in the previews. The previews also show Lucas claiming everything A did to the girls was because of him. Looks like Lucas' turn as a red herring will be pretty short lived after all.
Some remaining questions:
How is Ezra "one document away from going to prison?" Shouldn't Aria, at some point between her rash decision making, decide to figure out what Ezra did?
Why is Hanna thinking about having babies with her boyfriend right now? Her life is constantly in danger.
Who is the father of Emily and Ali's baby? Honestly, Lucas hated Ali for years. He wouldn't want to impregnate her. Maybe Hanna?
Why was Caleb not in this episode? Considering the writers want us to think Caleb is going to die, we deserve some more time with his beautiful face.