The long awaited Season 5 Finale arrived on our Netflix screens today. A has been revealed. Someone has (yet again) come back from the dead, but I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the reveal. If you haven't seen the episode (or series) yet and don't want to be spoiled, don't read any further. Just know that this finale was the best and creepiest PLL episode yet.
So, the episode starts off with all four girls in prison uniforms travelling in a van. Not surprisingly, the van is hijacked and the girls are kidnapped - a twist that we all could have seen coming, but it was a good way to get into the events of the rest of the episode. When the girls wake up, they're in creepy rooms in what we later discover is A's Dollhouse, hence the title of the episode "Welcome to the Dollhouse." Fast forward slightly and we see a girl with blonde hair and a mask playing the piano - the mask is lifted to reveal Mona. Wait, what?! So, we're used to characters coming back from the dead but I was genuinely in shock when I saw Mona's blond-haired face staring back at me from the screen. It only gets creepier when Mona starts pretending to be Alison - so that explains the hair, but it doesn't make much sense apart from to add an unease to the girls and the viewers.
I was so happy Spencer's intelligent career-driven parents finally took control of the situation and found out that A is still present and ruining the girls lives. The two team up with Ezra, Toby and Caleb and begin to research A's actions so far in order to uncover the truth. I couldn't be happier that Toby has joined the right side finally, for a while I was thinking he would be strictly police-business only and would turn on Spencer. Although adding to the creepy vibe, Spencer's dream doesn't make much sense. She discovered A's name through a dream of a child's alphabet blocks - how?!
The creepy atmosphere builds as the girls are forced to design then attend their own prom, a remake of a previous prom which Melissa apparently went to. The creepy dolls attending the prom weren't surprising after the doll theme of the whole series, but they did give me goosebumps. "Unspoken" by Natasha Beddingfield was the first song the girls heard at prom and whilst I don't yet understand the significance, I know this was a huge hint dropped by the PLL producers. The girls call out for "Charles" to come forward and this is the real point where we realise that Charles is definitely big A.
I'm so glad this episode was the one where the woman police detective finally uncovered the CCTV footage of the dollhouse and stopped being such a bitch. I understand she has just been trying to do her job and has no idea that A exists or what A is capable of, but it's infuriating seeing a character so against the girls when the viewers know it's not their fault. Another huge hint came when Spencer entered a room and saw a home video of Alison's mom holding a baby, surrounded by two twin boys. The baby is referred to as the boys' sister, which implies the baby is Alison and Charles is, in fact, Jason's twin. Surrounded by family memorabilia, Spencer turns to see Mona, who claims "A has a soul." I understand the sentiment here, but I must disagree.
The ending of the episode was just excellent and rounded off the finale and the series perfectly. The girls are trapped in an outside area surrounded by a high electric fence and A's quintessential creepy music plays. It ends with a zoom-out shot that left me wanting to know more, but pleased at having watched such an excellently done episode. This is by far one of the best episodes of PLL I have ever seen and I cannot wait to see where the series is going to go next.