‘Pretty Little Liars’ season 5, episode 12 review: A Janel Parrish – Mona shocker

Pretty Little Liars -We’re going to do something different when it comes to reviewing Tuesday night’s “Pretty Little Liars” finale … we’re doing it in real time! This will give the better impression of where our head is at throughout the entire episode! Plus, it could be fun to follow along with.

So refresh this episode review as time goes by, since we’ll have some further updates on it through what is truly a live account of one writer, a “Fatal Finale,” and plenty of surprises along the way. Stay tuned…

Before the theme song – Is Spencer Hastings dead? That was our first reaction, which basically put us into a near-hyperventilating mess before the theme even played out. There’s a part of us that feels like the show really would do something this crazy as to write out Troian Bellisario … but this also feels like possible misdirection. Maybe Spencer wasn’t outside for a different reason, and one of her other family members is dead.

Mona’s mom – She’s a cookie expert! Next to Marquel on “The Bachelorette,” she’s at the top of the list. We learned here that Ali is starting up a “game,” and Mona is starting to spread a conspiracy theory that Alison DiLaurentis may be “A.” She assembled a “team,” and then began to wreck some havoc.

Toby in a cop costume – Well, this got interesting quickly … now did it? Toby’s apparently gotten himself through police school quickly, which hopefully means that he will be a bigger part of the second half of the season … if he survives.

Computer hacking on a toilet – This is also apparently a thing in Mona’s world. Maybe she can be hired for season 2 of “Halt and Catch Fire” after her latest move in the police station to undo whatever Ali did.

Christmas spirit – We really liked this whole scene with Emily decorating her house, and with Caleb realizing that Hanna was lying to him. It was just nice to actually see the holiday season on this show for a change. Christmas in August!

The secrets revealed – Through Ali’s tape with the police, there were a few subtle details through this … including that she got herself off the hook for killing Bethany, while Spencer is not primary suspect #1.

Break-in – Why would Spencer and Mona break into Radley, given they they are recognizable faces? The other big drama here is that Spencer could miss the police ceremony for Toby! Anyway, it’s no surprise Radley makes an appearance in the finale.

Unfortunately for Aria, she had a very awkward encounter with Holbrook, who is clearly very suspicious about whether or not she signed up for volunteer work at Spencer’s request.

Paige the spy – Never underestimate Paige! She is the only one who did some serious spying, and found out that Ali has some friends after an awkward encounter with Emily.

Two huge reveals? – At around the 45 minute mark, we started to think that it was Toby who actually died in a cell phone-while-driving incident. Meanwhile, it was revealed that Ali’s mother may be the tie between her and Bethany Young! It’s getting crazy now…

Good news – Toby’s not actually dead. He just had a nasty accident.

Really bad news – Alison is building her own army, and Spencer was arrested for Bethany’s murder thanks to some unknown evidence. The silver lining? Maybe Spencer wasn’t present at the start because she was still at the station.

The shocking news – We had to change the title. Mona is gone. She was the one murdered, and right at the moment she claimed to have the information necessary to put away Ali as “A” for good. Did Ali murder her? We never saw her face, and maybe the blonde wig is a red herring. Ali was at the scene afterwards … but we’ll have to see.

For now, we’re floored. Mona is a huge loss to this show, and there were enough twists in here that we didn’t really see her death coming. At least she got to end her story as somewhat of a hero, which we didn’t think was possible a couple of seasons ago. A great, shocking way to say goodbye for the summer as a whole. Grade: A.

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Photo: ABC Family

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