Warning: This story contains spoilers for the penultimate episode of Pretty Little Liars.
The end is truly nigh for Pretty Little Liars. Last night’s season 7B installment, "Farewell, My Lovely," officially marked the penultimate episode of Freeform’s biggest hit. In celebration of the occasion, PLL answered one huge question plaguing the series since the 2016 winter premiere, "Of Late I Think Of Rosewood": who actually killed CeCe Drake-slash-Charlotte DiLaurentis (Vanessa Ray)? The answer is none other than Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish). Although finding out the original "A" ended up murdering another “A” isn’t all that shocking, the events that led to CeCe’s death are totally unexpected.
In "Farewell" flashbacks, viewers go back to the night CeCe died by plunging from the Rosewood bell tower. Although Mona claimed she was supposed to meet her former kidnapper at Two Birds diner that evening, it’s revealed they both ended up at the steeple instead. With CeCe freshly out of Welby Psychiatric Hospital, Mona had figured out the so-called reformed puppet master planned to start torturing the Liars all over again. Absolutely nothing had changed after five years of treatment. CeCe confirms as much in the flashback, telling Mona, "Now I’m back. And everything that happened before… that’s gonna feel like a picnic." In fact, the torment had already began, as CeCe taunts Mona, "Do you still see her when you look in the mirror? The loser with the pigtails and the frumpy sweaters? Because I still see her… None of you are sure when you look in the mirror. None of you are really certain who you are. I did that. I took that away from you."
Mona attempts to prove she knows who she is by pointing a random screwdriver at CeCe as a threat. When that in no way seems scary, she turns her frenemy towards the gigantic open window and holds the weapon to her back. "People will think you committed suicide on your first night home. How sad," she says, holding CeCe at the very edge of the floor. "Jump. Jump or I’ll push you." After a brief return to present day Rosewood, “Farewell” gets back to the flashback, picking up with the screwdriver digging into CeCe’s back. As Alison DiLaurentis’ sister begs for her life, Mona says, "Now you know what it’s like to be really afraid. The way you made us feel. Say goodnight to the world, bully." But, instead of pushing CeCe out of the tower, Mona tosses her inside, holds the screw driver over her neck, and says, "That taste in your mouth? That’s what dying tastes like."
Despite all of Mona’s big talk, CeCe isn’t afraid anymore. She whacks Mona with a piece of wood — why are there so many stray weapons in this bell tower? — and whispers at her, "They’ll never love you." The young women tussle and hit each other, until Mona throws CeCe against a wall. The move wasn’t meant to kill CeCe…but it does. There was a stray piece of metal sticking out of the wall and it stabbed CeCe directly in the neck, killing her by way of a freak accident. In present day, a regressed Mona explains, "The reason the police never found a murder weapon is because they were looking for something hidden. It wasn’t hidden. It was right there, all the time. In the steeple. Waiting for Charlotte to come."
Although we’ve finally figured out how CeCe died, that knowledge comes with a price. As we said, Mona is now totally regressed. At the end of "Farewell," the former bullying victim’s stylish transformation is gone. The pigtails and frumpy sweaters CeCe mocked in her final moments are back, along with wireframe glasses to boot. The smartest Liar around seems childlike and not totally there. At least, Mona's therapist Dr. Sullivan (Annabeth Gish) is on the way to save her. After all of this, is there anyone without blood on their hands in Rosewood?