Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pretty Little Liars - Welcome to the Dollhouse

As expected, the Pretty Little Liars season finale "Big A Reveal" wasn't what fans were expecting, but that doesn't mean serious ground wasn't made in the final episode of the show's Fifth Season. There were three reveals to discuss. The first, that someone connected to the DiLarentis family named Charles is likely A raises more questions than it answers (and could quite easily be nothing more than the show's latest red herring). The second involves the surprise return of another character from the dead. It's the third, however, which is the important reveal as Peter (Nolan North) and Veronica Hastings (Lesley Fera) and Linda Tanner (Roma Maffia) all learn of the existence of A and get a good look at the horror the Liars' nemesis has put the girls through. Although the season ends on a cliffhanger with the fate of Mona (Janel Parrish) and all the Liars in doubt, the army against A has grown considerably over the course of a single episode.

"Welcome to the Dollhouse" begins with the abduction of Emily (Shay Mitchell), Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) by A on their way to join Alison (Sasha Pieterse) in prison. Awakening in separate bedrooms of an underground dollhouse where Mona has been forced to play the role of Alison since her disappearance, the Liars struggle to understand A's latest bizarre game and begin to plan their escape. Meanwhile the police continue under the assumption that the girls escaped while Alison tells Spencer's parents the truth aligning them with Ezra (Ian Harding), Toby (Keegan Allen), and Caleb's (Tyler Blackburn) search for real answers leading them to the kind of proof even the incompetent Rosewood Police can't ignore.

Those looking for the unmasking of A may be disappointed, but even if "Charles" turns out not to be A's real name there are several clues to the Liars nemesis you can glean from the season finale. The first is several characters are accounted for during A's abduction of the Liars ruling them out as suspects (unless the A we see is only a subordinate, but that doesn't seem to be the case). The second all but confirms A is likely 5-8 years older than the Liars (likely eliminating Andrew as a serious contender) and has an obsession not only with Alison but Rosewood High School's senior prom seven years ago (which A forces the girls to reenact). This narrows the suspect pool a bit putting Jason (Drew Van Acker) and Melissa (Torrey DeVitto), whose prom A is obsessed with, near the top of the list if "Charles" should be revealed to be a character we've already seen. Of course there's always the odd twist angle that Mona is behind it all, trapping the Liars with her in the dollhouse to live out the life of Alison (which is all she's ever really wanted). And there is the possibility that Charles is a completely new character, but that doesn't offer us much room to speculate until the show returns this summer, does it?

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