Anticipation for tonight's episode has been growing since the series premiered. In my excitement for the big reveal, I invited some fellow fans over for a Pretty Little Liars viewing party, and I'm pretty sure many others did the same.
"UnmAsked," as the title suggests, was meant to shock us all with the unveiling of A's real identity. But did we get what we were promised?
To avoid further delay - *Spoiler Alert* - Mona is A. Yes, the frustration of losing Hanna to her former BFFs at the start of the series apparently drove her to start sending harassing text messages to each of them. But it was those very same messages that brought the girls closer together. When Mona showed up in the black hoodie, the collective reaction of this viewing group was: "Ummm... okay."
The buildup to this big reveal had the girls finding a secret hotel not far from the secluded landing strip that Ali used when she returned from Hilton Head. Once the girls arrived at the Lost Woods Resort, the show paid a not so subtle nod to Psycho. From the creepy owner to the taxidermy and the spooky photo of dear old mom, it was hard to miss the references. When Hanna got into that shower, we all got pretty nervous.
But the girls didn't have to worry about the hotel owner; it was Mona who delivered the final creepy monologue while sitting in the police station. Now, Mona being A was not such a surprising turn of events. Remember when she used her superior computing and deception skills to help Emily during the lock-in? Or how about last week when she had the perfect opportunity to send Hanna a message about making out with Caleb?
She's been present for a lot of key plot developments and manipulated her way into the group by pretending to get messages from A as well.
While her involvement makes sense, it was definitely a disappointing reveal. From the start of the series, we've been told that the show would follow a different A storyline. Lucy Hale even once said: "We're doing it completely different on the show."
So, what's different about Mona being A?
Perhaps it's the fact that Mona doesn't seem to be working alone. Despite Dr. Sullivan's (yep, she's finally back!) assertion that Mona's hyper-intelligence could give her the appearance of omnipresence, no one in my little viewing party thought that Mona could do it alone.
Plus, we saw Jenna meeting up with someone, possibly Mona, and revealing that she could see again. And then there was the strange gathering of Jenna, Lucas, and the mystery woman in the black swan outfit. On top of that, Melissa was acting all sorts of scary/threatening when she told the girls that she didn't believe Ian killed Alison, but that Garrett probably thought Ali deserved to die after blinding Jenna.
Mona asked Spencer to join team A, but who else is on that team? Mona even told her mystery visitor in the mental hospital that she had done what she asked to do. Is Mona just a puppet or was she the only A?
The parts of the finale that were satisfying and a little shocking didn't really involve A. We got confirmation that Aria and Ezra did take a big step in their physical relationship, and at the masquerade ball, Ezria finally went public. He removed Aria's mask to kiss her in front of all the attendees. I guess he figures he's done in Rosewood anyway so there aren't any remaining obstacles to their relationship. Except her parents.
Spoby also reunited, as Dr. Sullivan revealed that it was Toby who convinced her to return to Rosewood and face Mona. Toby confirmed that he was only pretending to hate Spencer.
And... Maya's dead? Emily's been getting messages and phone calls from Maya, but the police found Maya's body at Emily's home. Has she been dead all this time? If so, who's been contacting Emily? Was she the black swan at the masquerade? And more importantly, who killed her?
Sound off now, PLL fans: Were you happy with the reveal of A?