When the Pretty Little Liars season finale "The Lady Killer" opens, Emily (Shay Mitchell) is in shock, and Hanna (Ashley Benson) is in tears. But why? For that, the PLL finale backs up to reveal just what went down... and it isn't what fans expected.
Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Hanna, and Aria (Lucy Hale) are staging an intervention for Emily, who refuses to believe that Paige (Lindsey Shaw) is A or Maya's killer. But all signs have pointed to Paige for some time. Still, as Emily says, couldn't A have put Aria's earring in Paige's purse?
Of course, there's also the tangent storyline of Ezra (Ian Harding) and Aria, and Maggie visiting to say hi to Ezra. But that's definitely a story for the PLL winter season, because all that happens in Ezra's apartment is Maggie asking Aria to keep her secret, at least for now.
Pretty Little Liars "The Lady Killer" is all about who really killed Maya, and who A is. Early on, more signs point to Paige when she gets a text from A asking to meet at the cemetery on Saturday at 10 pm. Is Paige working with A?
But then Spencer, Hanna, and Aria get the same message, and A asks them to bring Maya's bag. The plot thickens some more when Mona (Janel Parrish) escapes from the mental institution dressed as a nurse.
But the girls have someone else on their side to help them out: Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) is going to the graveyard, too, and he's got a gun.
Through all this, the trial against Garrett is heating up. Since the trial is all about Maya's murder, the spotlight is shining heavily on Emily. So she gets out of town with Maya's "cousin," Nate (Sterling Sulieman). Meanwhile, Mona and the other A meet to plot.
And then a montage starts. Toby (Keegan Allen) and Spencer reunite and have sex for the first time. Nate covers up a napping Emily. Hanna grabs Maya's bag to prepare for the nightÂ—and Caleb grabs his gun despite Hanna asking him not to.
The girls are ready for this to be over, but then no one shows up at the graveyard. After all, nothing is ever that easy on PLL. Mona declares that there's a change of plans to the other A, and then suddenly Emily gets woken up with a call. "You have one minuteÂ—GET OUT!" a distorted voice says.
But she doesn't. Instead, she goes through Nate's bag and sees an old envelope with her return address. Then Nate returns with some firewood. Something clearly isn't right. And when Emily notices the yellow paint on Nate's shoes, she starts putting the pieces together. She flips through her phone's photos and finds one of Maya at Tru North camp, a yellow-painted boot in the shot.
As this happens, Caleb and the girls split up in search of Emily, thinking Paige never meant to meet themÂ—which is exactly the truth, because Nate has her bound and gagged in the closet.
Nate was Maya's stalker and killer, and he wants to take someone away from Emily like she took Maya away from him. But just as he's threatening Paige's neck with a knife, someone shows up outside the door.
Emily escapes, running to find some cell service. She and Nate fight in the lighthouse until Emily gets ahold of his knife and stabs him. Just then Caleb shows up, puts his knife down to hug Emily, and the camera pans away. The gun then goes off.
Caleb has been shot, and the girls are back to where "The Lady Killer" began. Hanna is in tears, and Emily is in shock. But Emily doesn't go running to a disheveled Paige but a mourning Hanna.
Yet, it's not over there. The girls are at the hospital, waiting for news about Caleb. Garrett (Yani Gellman) gets released and gives them all a smug creepy smile.
And through all this, what happened to Mona and the other A? What part did they play in all this? They have Emily to thank for getting Nate out of the way. But they still need to get Maya's cell phone back, something Paige apparently has but doesn't know.
Mona returns to her insane asylum, and just then the other A turns around. Toby is A. Toby! And he looks angrier and more vicious than he ever has before. Poor, poor Spencer, who most definitely never saw this coming.
Could this really be? Has Toby really played Spencer this much since the beginning? Or is this his way of trying to keep her safe?
Fans don't want to really believe Toby is truly A, but this reveal won't get any further explanation until Pretty Little Liars season three returns for the Halloween Special and later this winter. What did you think of the crazy finale with all its twists and turns?
Â© 2012 Elizabeth SanFilippo