Strangers see you the way you want them to see you. You can’t fool friends, that’s what makes them friends.
~ Sara Shepard
~ Sara Shepard
Veronica Calls Out Wilden – On the day of the S.A.Ts, there is a storm, thus leaving the students of Rosewood locked in until further notice. During this time Wilden gets Emily alone, and eventually all the Liars when they go looking for her. Wilden then accuses Emily of not only trashing Alison’s memory bit of her murder; followed by him essentially out Emily by telling the Liars about a letter she had written to Alison. As things begin to escalate Veronica walks in and is instantly outraged about the fact that the girls isolated and being questioned alone. Learning about the situation Veronica stepped further up and warned Wilden of the laws he was sidelining and that she was going to get him off the case. I love this moment for two reasons; first, how all the girls stuck together even with two shocks all that mattered to them was staying on the same side. Most of all I loved Mrs. Hastings going full-on mama bear against Wilden, no questions asked, to protect her daughter and her friends.
Pam Confronts McCullers – Because his daughter wasn’t the anchor during a swim meet, Paige’s dad comes to the school and makes a sense, suggesting Emily was getting special treatment because she’s gay. When Pam finds this out she first pulls Emily aside to find out why she never told her but Emily gets defensive, assuming her mother would have sided with McCullers. When Pam spots McCullers across the room she confronts him, giving him a piece of her mind and threatens him to drop the issue or she will show him what an agenda looks like. I thought that was a really strong scene, ever since she was outed Emily and her mom seemed so separate but then when her daughter’s skill and integrate was brought into question in a very outrageous manner everything just seemed to fall together. It was the moment that fixed things for the Fields family and personally, I think it was done beautifully.
Helping Mike – During a time of ups and downs for the Montgomery family, a change in Mike goes unnoticed that is until he has completely fallen off. When the family finally does notice the way to help him is debated but eventually, they have to stop lying and hiding and deal with reality. This isn’t just one scene but rather a storyline being built up during the first half of season 2 but I really like and wanted to mention it. I feel like it was done subtly so it may have not seemed like a huge moment but I think it was. I mean the Liars deal with this big obvious threat that sometimes the more mundane things aren’t noticed to be as serious but it is and that’s how it was treated. Also, I think it was a significant moment in the development of their family, which I think is important to note too.
Hanna Confronts the Past – The morning after a double date to help Lucas with a girl he likes turns into a success Lucas comes to Hanna’s to express his thanks. He didn’t want to thank her for the date though it was because what she did was selfless, it was just about helping him and was nothing about her gain. When he mentioned that what she did made her nothing like Alison something resonated with Hanna and sent her to Dr. Sullivan. She tells Sullivan about how she really felt about Alison and after an exercise, Hanna is able to let go of Ali’s ghost and move on. I really love Lucas and Hanna’s friendship but that’s not why I love this moment. It feels like it was a big stepping stone in Hanna’s character development. For all the Liars Alison kept them in a certain way and in Hanna’s case, her admiring made her do stuff she wasn’t always sure of and insecure about her own decision. But between Lucas’s words and her session with Dr. Sullivan she was able to put all that away and move forward.
The Liars Tell Sullivan – Having finally reached their breaking point the Liars decide to finally reach out to someone. After realizing how bad Emily has really been pushed, even wondering if she ran away, the rest of the girls go where they think they might find her, Dr. Sullivan. When Emily arrives the Liars discuss being threatened and not sure, but then Sullivan asks who they’re talking about. That’s when told her about A, how the threats began just before Alison funeral, about their suspicions, being framed and being wrong many times. After all this the Liars all feel relieved even a bit empowered but worried. And they were right to, by the end of the episode Dr. Sullivan figured out who A was but by the time the Liars got to her office A had taken her. This was a very significant moment if you ask me, I mean for them to all trust someone enough to tell them the whole truth. Plus the fact that once they finally did that person was taken. They are left not knowing if she is dead or alive, that person who went out of her to help them, the person who they all learned to trust opening was now gone. It really magnified A to another scary level.
Hanna Pretends as Red Coat – Now suspicious of Spencer’s involvement with Mona and A the rest of the Liars make a plan to figure out the truth. During the swim meet Spencer spots someone dressed in a red trench coat and follows her. After temperarily losing her Spencer finally corners the red coat in the girl’s bathroom, but when she turns her around it’s not what she expected. It was Hanna dressed in the red trench, meanwhile Emily and Aria were hiding in the stalls, testing to see whether or not Spencer was really on the A-team; her following met she was still one of them. Spencer then explains how she joined, that Mona was no longer in charge and how the party was actually a setup to get them all together. Now that the truth was out the Liars finally felt like they had the adventure and were going to finally know who Red Coat is. The reason I like this moment is that even when they had proof of Spencer being against them the Lairs still had faith that there had to be more to it. It really proved that no matter what they were not only going to stick together but they were always going to be on the same side, no matter how hard A tried to pull them apart.
Mona Shows Video of Alison – Feeling paranoid about a black car she thinks is following her Alison flees into the church and after sending out an S.O.S Alison turns to find Mona behind her. The two talk and Alison tells Mona who she is not afraid of her to which Mona responds
Article About their Families – After being trapped in the Dollhouse for weeks Charles finally lets the Liars — This moment really broke my heart, I mean the whole Dollhouse scenario is just really emotional and extreme but just hearing Hanna talk about her mom and hearing about the isolation for the first time was just incredibly emotional and hard.
Mom’s on Prom Night – While chaperoning their daughters and their dates on prom night they decide to enjoy themselves a little too. — Honestly, I love this so much because it is really funny but also kind of emotional. I mean the moms of the show have gone through so much emotionally and I feel like this showed how they that affected them. The Liars have each other to deal with everything thrown at them but the parents don’t. They’re moms that don’t know who to help their daughters; I kind of wish there were more moments like this.
Spencer Reads Mary’s Letter – Having found out the truth about her lineage, that she was, in fact, the child of Mary Drake, Spencer begins to question her existence. — I’m actually surprised by how much I ended up actually being interested in Mary and Spencer’s relationship. I mean I was expecting it to feel like Cece and Ali but this feels like so much more and it all started with that letter. As much as I like Veronica Hastings and how bad I feel for her I can’t deny that I’ve liked watching Spencer and Mary’s heart-to-heart moments.
~ Troian Bellisario
2. Post Unmasking – After the fallout of finding out Mona is A the authorities and with them Dr. Sullivan, to the surprise of the Lairs, who though she was dead. Dr. Sullivan provides comfort and some insight to the girls who after the events of the night were still in shock and shaken up. Once they all returned to Rosewood Dr. Sullivan diagnosed Mona with a personality disorder but it also discovers via Mona’s thoughts that ‘everything went according to their plan.’ After discussing Mona, Sullivan explains how it was thanks to their friend that she was able to return and that friend turned out to be Toby; he was waiting outside shared a passionate kiss with Spencer. The girls decide to spend the night together and head to Emily’s house but when they arrive they see emergency officers waiting. Emily’s mother informs them that they found a body, and they think it’s Maya. The news causes Emily to become distraught as she falls into her friends arms as they try to comfort her.
Maybe this should count as part of Mona being revealed as A but I like for different reasons and recognize it as a separate moment so I figured it works better this way. This episode was about to be the closest thing to a happy ending but before it actually ended everything came crashing down. A new murder, a new mystery, a new heartbreak. Very classic Pretty Little Liars at that point and I as frustrating as it can be at times it is one of the things that make it quite addicting at times. Also as a bit of a bonus, this is one of my favorite Spoby moments, between the slap attempt, the smiling kiss and Toby saying that ‘pretending not to love Spencer was the hardest thing he ever did.’ Overall this had to have been my favorite finale, maybe tied with season 5, and this moment was just emotionally wrenching. I feeling like this was the moment where it became really clear that there was never just one thing to fear but at the same that the only way they can make it is by not just sticking together but sometimes have faith in the people they love.
~ Janel Parrish
3. Mona is A – During the Masquerade Ball, Spencer puts together why Alison was at the Lost Woods Resort, with the help of Mona; Ali wasn’t hiding as Vivian but in fact she was watching A. Desperate to finally be able to out maneuver A, Spencer leaves the Masquerade Ball for the Lost Woods with Mona. With Spencer piecing everything together, her and Mona enter the room next to the one Ali was in; it was filled with photos of the Liars, newspaper clippings, dolls, maps, and blueprints. They had discovered A’s Lair. While digging through A’s belongs Spencer finally figures it out, Mona is A. Mona returns just in time, in her black hoodie uniform and knocks Spencer unconscious. Spencer comes to, terrified in the seat next to Mona recklessly driving to Look Out Point. Spencer manages to get a call out a call out to the other Liars, informing them that Mona is A and that she is taking her to Look Out Point. As the Liars race up to cut Mona off, Spencer gets answers; Mona became A not because of Alison’s bullying but rather because the girls stole Hanna from her.
This was quite the reveal and the way everything played out from beginning to end was incredibly intense and emotional. I just feel like the reveal was just unbelievable shocking not to mention the lair being beyond creepy but also super amazing. Between her reasoning and just how well she hid being suspicious I mean yeah if you considered her past but then you’d think Ali being gone would be enough. I think the most twisted part is just the fact that she wanted to be accepted and she wanted Hanna back and somehow that just turned into her wanting control really. Mona will always be the greatest A to me, at least I think so, not sure how I’ll feel after the series finale but I guess that will depend on how it all plays out.
~ Ashely Benson