I haven’t written a PLL recap in quite some time, but in honor of the biggest reveal in PLL history, and finally getting an answer to the biggest television question since who shot JR, I decided to bring it on back and recap this craziness.
A lot has led up to this, but let’s dive right in and imagine I’ve been recapping for the past 2 seasons I’ve been absent from the literal game:
The mystery is over, but, in typical PLL fashion, a new mystery has begun–but first, let’s talk about how we got there!
Well, let’s just get it out of the way right now–CeCe Drake is Charlotte is Charles. Yes, you read that correctly, Charles transitioned into a female named Charlotte, but once she was out and about in Rosewood, she rebranded herself as CeCe.
So, what did we learn? Here are the tentpoles:
a) Charles never meant to hurt Ali, he was just drawing a toddler bath for his infant sister and dropped his sister into the tub because his toddler arms couldn’t support her weight, plus, water is slippery, you guys! Mr. D came in to save Ali from the water and of course deemed Charles a monster from this day forward.
b) Charles befriended Bethany (remember that bitch?) in Radley and confided in her about his gender dysphoria. Mrs. D knew about Charles’ preference in wearing dresses and playing with dolls and, since she was the only member of the family to really ever visit Charles, helped him transition into the girl he always knew he was.
c) Bethany pushed Toby’s mom off the roof of Radley to protect Charles’ new identity as a girl named Charlotte, but then blamed it on Charles because, how does that song go? Oh right–that’s what friends are forrrrrrrr! So then Mrs. D paid off Wilden to deem Mrs. Cavanaugh’s death as a suicide, leaving poor Toby to think his mother would rather die than be a mother to her son all of those years. So, now the doctors all thought Charlotte was a lunatic and they diagnosed her with this and put her on that drug and this drug and then she almost literally drowned in her own drool–her words, not mine. Years later, Mrs. D planned a funeral for Charles to officially confirm his death and the birth of Charlotte. Charlotte was allowed to leave Radley for the “funeral” and then this set off a long chain of Charlotte being able to leave Radley whenever she wanted to, essentially, but also only to attend school at UPenn which I’m pretty sure never actually happened because we know she called in a bomb threat at least once. One night when she was out she hit who she thought was Bethany with a rock–because she thought she was out to hurt Ali–and then it ended up being Alison, and well, 6 seasons later there’s no reason to tell that story all over again because if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been around to see it all unfold from that single moment. And to think, it was a simple misunderstanding of mistaken identity…that being said, Mona realized she killed Bethany because she hit some blonde girl that night with a shovel and since Ali was standing right in front of her via live feed, it had to have been Bethany. I mean, good riddance.
d) Charlotte stepped out into the world as CeCe because she had to see her family–and what better way to do exactly that then to date your biological brother?! So then CeCe and Jason were a thing, but they never had sex because 1) ew 2) gender re-assignment surgery was never covered in this episode so perhaps Jason would have figured something was going on 3) she made it clear how sexually frustrated Jason had become. I laughed at this, because it was funny. In any event, CeCe ended up going away to Cape May that summer with the entire DiLaurentis clan and, to only Mrs. D’s knowledge, the family was back together again and Ali had the bestest summer everrrrrrrrrrrr…until she ended up in a ditch shortly afterwards, of course.
e) While in Radley, Charlotte (CeCe? Both? Ugh, WHATEVER SHE IS JUST CECE NOW)…CeCe befriended a VERY drowsy Mona and visited her often for story time where she’d learn all about Ali’s friends and the game Mona had played with them. It sounded to CeCe like the girls were happy Ali was gone, probably because that’s what druggy Mona told her, and this made CeCe angry, so CeCe continued the game for Mona, without Mona ever knowing who it was, via riddles and other fun DIY projects sent to Radley anonymously! Games! Crafts! Crazies unite! But in present day, CeCe was all like, well none of your friends are actually dead, Ali, so what’s the big deal, Ali, you can’t be mad, Ali–they were happy you were dead, ALI!!!!! Yada yada.
f) Sara was a decoy used by CeCe to wear a red coat and also attend other on-the-ground-events such as Wilden’s funeral (remember mysterious black veil woman/possible Lady Gaga “Bad Romance” back up dancer (or simply the Black Widow) who got into the limo after the funeral? Yup, that was Sara. CeCe killed Wilden BTW…because he knew Ali was alive and she had to protect her lil sis! D’aw!!!!! (I think?) She’s also the one who flew that plane that one time and saved the liars from that fire. Cool, I guess. She wore a red coat. RED COAT. But let’s really dive into what’s bothering me about this–POOR. FUCKING. EMILY. FIELDS. Girl comes out as a lesbian, is loud and proud and courageous as shit and all of her girlfriends either die or move away or end up being fucked up bitches who try to assist CeCe in a murder/suicide–family style! Oh yeah, that happened too but Spencer stepped in just in time to debunk the bomb that was about to blow Radley to smithereens with Ali, CeCe, Jason and Mr. D all inside! You know what they say, the family that dies in an abandoned looney bin by way of homemade bomb via the trigger of your thought-to-be-dead son who actually is still alive but transitioned into a woman–wait, what’s the saying again? I lost track. But it doesn’t matter, because it didn’t happen thanks to Spencer’s smarts and then Emily punched Sara in the face and it was just pure awesome. Cue up the Icona Pop because I LOVE IT.
g) CeCe didn’t kill her mom! Not really sure what happened there, but, CeCe didn’t do it! She just found her dead in the garden.
So, those are the major points that clear up essentially all of the burning questions we’ve all had as loyal fans of the show for the past 5.5 seasons. Also, how did CeCe afford all of this? Apparently by way of stocks. Investments. Girl was good.
By the way, all of these answers are told via CeCe spilling all the deets to Ali in a cell at Radley with drugged Mr. D and Jason lying motionless just outside of the cell. How did the girls hear this story you ask? Well, they found a way into CeCe’s server/control room smack in the middle of the Carissimi Group offices (Rhys was a legit person, guys!!!). Once the liars + Mona (even though I guess she’s the biggest liar of them all) got into the room, Mona started touching a giant iPad that projected a holographic screen into mid-air that played a live-feed (complete with audio!) of all that was going down in Radley.
When the bomb plan failed, CeCe ran to the roof where she was about to jump from which would have been poetic because it was from that very same roof that Bethany pushed Mrs. Cavanaugh and basically started this whole mess. But, the girls followed her and were all like NOOOO DON’T WE HATE YOU BUT WE GET IT! YOU’VE HAD A SHITTY LIFE! So, she doesn’t jump, she declares “game over” and we fast forward to Labor Day weekend where all the liars, except for Ali who wants to be home, are heading off to college and saying a heartfelt and tearful goodbye.
Spencer: Georgetown (this breaks my heart because I went to Syracuse and GEORGETOWN SUCKS)
Emily: Pepperdine (does this mean possible reconciliation for her and Paige??!?!?! PAILY FO EVAAAAA!!!!!!!)
Aria: Savannah arts whatever
Hanna: Um, a school.
Then, FIVE YEARS LATER…
Ali is a TEACHER writing “Mrs. Rollins” on the chalkboard in whimsical cursive…so, in that timespan she obviously gets married to the upcoming psychologist character Dr. Rollins.
BUT THEN ALL OF THE GROWN UP/NEW HAIR/NEW CLOTHES/FULL MATRICULATED LIARS COME RUSHING IN WARNING ALI THAT “HE’S COMING” AND THEY NEED TO GTFO OF THERE PRONTO!
CUT TO BLACK.
WUTTTTTTTTTTTTT. AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK IN THE ROSEWOOD.
GAME ON–well, sort of–JANUARY 2016.
But wait, what happened to all the moms?
For answers to more specific questions, check out this Q&A EW did with Marlene King here!