Pretty Little Liars “Fatal Finale” Recap: SPOILER Dies and SPOILER Arrested!
“Pretty Little Liars” aired its “fATal finale” on Tuesday, and what a finale it was! The midseason conclusion, called “Taking This One To The Grave” in a nod to the theme song lyrics, ended the fifth season’s first batch of 12 episodes with a MAJOR DEATH and a MAJOR ARREST.
It all began with a fast-forward to Thanksgiving Day, where Emily comforted a distraught Hanna and Ezra held Aria outside of a home. A stunned Aria said, “You saw all the blood in there. There’s no way anyone could have lived through that.” A cop wanted to speak to Hanna, but she refused, not wanting to relive what she saw inside the house. Then came the message from A — It’s all your fault.
Now going back to 36 hours prior, Alison was at the police station taking a lie detector test under Detective Holbrook’s supervision. Then, for the first time ever, the show took us into Mona’s bedroom, where her mom — never before seen on camera — told her she had “company” — Hanna, Aria, Emily and Spencer. “Why the grim faces? Did somebody die?” asked Mona. Hanna said they needed her “help” because Ali was talking to the cops, and they needed to know what “story” she was telling them, believing Alison herself wouldn’t tell her friends what was really said as she could no longer be trusted.
Mona pointed out that Ali “stole” her life when she crowned her “Rosewood’s biggest loser,” and acknowledged that while she owes the girls, she believes she’s still “number one on Ali’s hit list” and is too afraid to help. “I took all of my Ali anger out on you guys,” said Mona. “And I’m sorry for that.” Hanna candidly told Mona’s concerned mom that she’s no longer friends with Ali, and admitted they are both “afraid.” And as soon as the girls left, Mona called someone and declared, “Send out a code A. She’s plotting something big.”
Mona arrived at the café in a panic, where she found Lucas… and no one else from their anti-Ali army. “Alison got to them. They’re convinced that she’s the saint and you’re… crazy Mona,” he revealed. Mona asked, “Do you think you can be crazy and not know it? I’m talking about Alison. I think she’s gone full on socio.” Spencer, meanwhile, worried about how to handle her sister Melissa’s admission that she buried Bethany Young alive, knowing that the story — in the best case scenario — made her an “accessory” to the murder as she seemingly hit Bethany with the shovel first.
The next day at school, Mona informed the girls that Ali volunteered to take the lie detector test “because she’s not having fun anymore.” “She can’t play with her dolls if you won’t let her. She’s ending the game,” Mona explained, revealing she thinks Ali is the new A, having “assembled the perfect group” to mess with. A disturbed Emily declared, “She never loved me,” and Aria pointed out, “She never loved any of us.” Spencer realized that if Alison came clean to the cops, that makes them the “guilty party” for telling the fake kidnapping story. Mona explained that she was now willing to help them because she was looking ahead to college, but no one could know “including your bed buddies.”
Emily then ran into Paige, and the two had a “moment” where Paige revealed her recent date “didn’t fit”… and then gave Em a big smooch. Mona was surprised to see her mother in school, supposedly dropping something off, and then spotted a smiling Ali with her army members just as Alison was called to the principal’s office. At Ezra’s, he was on “pie duty” having been invited to Aria’s family Thanksgiving for the first time, as her parents wanted to make sure he’s “worth a second look” now that they’re spending time together again. And at Spencer’s, as she went through a photo album Ali had gifted her, Toby made his debut in his police uniform, seducing Spence as they played cop and bad girl before going into a full-on makeout. Having completed the Police Academy with the graduation set for that night, Spencer surprised him with a gold pocket watch, with an inscription reading, “You are my once upon a time. — S”
Meanwhile, at the police station, Lucas feigned wanting to join a liaison committee as he got a supervisor away from the desk, allowing Mona, secretly in the bathroom, to hack into the computer and steal the files. At Emily’s, Hanna and Paige started decorating early for Christmas, but Hanna was preoccupied by the current drama, even though Caleb was there helping, too. Hanna walked off saying she got a call from her mother, but Caleb saw right through the story. “Hanna, I know when you’re lying to me,” he told her.
Later on, the girls and Mona watched the footage obtained from Alison’s lie detector test, in which she partially retold the story of that fateful night at the barn, calling herself the “unofficial” leader of the group. Asked about Spencer being at her house, Ali said, “It was my fault. I pushed her to that place… She was angry.” Ali recounted finding out Spence was on pills, calling her “emotional,” but said they “never discussed it again.” And then came the declaration: “I didn’t have anything to do with Bethany Young’s murder.” The girls initially didn’t think it was all that incriminating, until Mona pointed out that all the questions and answers pointed the finger at Spencer’s involvement.
Caleb showed up and joined them with his computer research, revealing that Hanna had clued him in and Mona also enlisted his help. They uncovered an affidavit sent to the district attorney that read, “Spencer Hastings murdered Bethany Young to gain favor with the group’s leader.” Spencer started to panic, but the girls swore to stand by her, as Mona suggested they get documents from Radley to find out Bethany’s connection to Ali once and for all. The show then cut to Ali’s, where Detective Holbrook said he wanted to tell her something in person without Detective Tanner. What was said was never revealed.
Now Mona and Spencer, despite being expected at Toby’s ceremony, dressed as nurses to sneak into the psychiatric facility, with Caleb and Hanna in the car hacking into the security system and communicating with them via hidden audio equipment. Emily feigned being sick to get out of seeing Paige so she could help with the plan… when Ali suddenly showed up in her room, at Em’s request, with Em pretending she wanted to make up.
Aria was volunteering in the Radley art group, and purposefully broke a glass to distract the head nurse, allowing Mona and Spencer to swipe some keys. The pair got into the file room just as Holbrook showed up, and told Aria, “You made quite a mess of things.” Holbrook expressed surprise that Aria was there, and asked her whether she started volunteering before or after Bethany’s body was found — and if it was Spencer’s idea, to which she emphatically stated no.
Back at Emily’s, Ali told her, “There’s no way they’re going to let you be friends with me, if that’s what you want.” She then got Emily to turn her back and snatched her phone, finding Em’s text message with Hanna about keeping her busy and believing she’s A. “That was quite the performance, Em. Bravo,” Ali said before storming out and making her way to a waiting car with her two new minion members — just as Paige arrived, and then took off after them.
In the car, Caleb found Hanna’s list of dream “brainiac” schools, making him all smiley, and as they sorted through materials, Mona and Spencer also made small talk about colleges. They then played a specific tape — recorded during a therapy session — in which Bethany spoke about Mrs. DiLaurentis, who was apparently having an affair with Bethany’s father. Bethany complained that she couldn’t trust Ali’s mom, having been played, and wondered if it was “like mother, like daughter,” further making Mona and Spencer wonder if Bethany and Ali knew each other. As they made her exit, Spencer was on the phone with Toby swearing she was on her way, but as he was distracted by the phone a car COLLIDED right into his vehicle… and it cut to commercial.
Now back on Thanksgiving Day, Emily was working at the café, where Toby sat with a broken leg, and a guilt-ridden Spencer admitted to the girls that she told him “everything.” Paige then showed up, revealing she followed Ali the night before, and discovered she and the minions went to an empty farm where there were a ton of cars — her new “army.” Just then, Detective Holbrooke entered and declared, “Spencer Hastings, you’re under the arrest for the murder of Bethany Young.” While being taken into custody, Spencer yelled that she didn’t do anything, as all the girls panicked and echoed the same thing, and poor Toby was helpless in a wheelchair.
Now at Mona’s, she saw her mom off for their Thanksgiving trip and went back inside after seemingly hearing something in the bushes. Unbeknownst to her, outside stood a hooded figure with blonde hair. At Aria’s, Ezra arrived with the pies and Aria announced that Spencer is still getting processed at the jail. Mona, now in her bedroom, called Aria to reveal her new findings from the Radley documents — Ali lured Bethany to Rosewood that night, having found out about the affair and being upset about Mrs. D’s friendship with her. “Alison set her up. She was jealous, and she wanted Bethany dead,” Mona declared. “Aria, Alison is A. And now I can prove it.” Aria abruptly hung up and set off with Ezra to go to Mona’s.
At that same time, the mysterious hooded figure broke into Mona’s house and bedroom, and Mona looked startled when she turned around and saw the person. The show abruptly cut to Aria, Ezra, Emily and Hanna arriving to find the house a mess and blood everywhere. Then it skipped to everyone outside, now with Caleb holding Hanna, and Paige comforting Emily, as cops stood with Mona’s mom. Detective Holbrook told the media, “The investigation is ongoing. But we have ruled this a homicide. Although we did not find a body, the amount of blood found in the home would indicate the wounds were fatal. Mona Vanderwaal was murdered.”
As Mona’s mom let out a hysterical scream, we saw Alison was there — looking on at the scene, but hidden by all the cars and people. The episode then cut to the baby Jesus outside of Emily’s home being replaced with a Mona look-alike doll. Then Mona herself was shown dead with her eyes open, and the baby Jesus placed alongside her. And then we saw that hooded figure shaking a snow globe with a photo inside of Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna. It all ended with a #RIPMONA. We have no words — but you better shAre your thoughts below!