August 29th, 2012
12:05 PM ET
[This post contains spoilers to the August 28 summer finale of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars." If you don't want to know, skip it till you've watched and then come back!]
The summer finale for “Pretty Little Liars” took a page right out of its own book.
The episode mimicked the non-linear format of the last mid-season finale, beginning with a body bag being loaded into an ambulance. Viewers barely had enough time to use context clues, as Hanna sobbed from behind the caution tape, before the ABC Family series rewound to two days prior. Intense.
The girls were planning an intervention for Emily. They wanted to warn her about Paige, seeing as Spencer found the earring Aria buried with Alison in her bag. (For the record, I’m not so sure about Spencer. Her “Basic Instinct” alibi reference made me feel like she might be up to something.)
Meanwhile, Emily told Paige that there’s another A out to get her. And, wouldn’t you know it, Paige then received a text from a blocked number almost instantaneously. (When will these girls learn? A IS EVERYWHERE.) The message told Paige to meet at 10 p.m., or else.
The girls, minus Emily, received a similar request: “Let’s settle this. Alison’s grave. 10 p.m. Bring Maya’s bag.” Along with the text are photos of them at the site the night Ali’s body was removed – Emily was conveniently absent.
Then, a few reunions happened:
Toby returned, which meant about five minutes of last night’s episode were dedicated to him and Spencer running toward each other in slow motion and kissing passionately as the camera circled around them … giving me a minor headache. I'm guessing other viewers were more enthused, because the hashtag #TobyIsBack appeared in the left corner of my screen as soon as he showed up.
Maggie (a.k.a. Alex Mack) and Fitz reunited, too. Maggie, (who, when not being referred to as Alex Mack, is known as "the former English teacher’s baby mama"), asked Aria not to tell Fitz about his son, Malcolm. Aria obliged because, well, the girl can’t resist a good lie.
And then there’s Mona, who reunited with the outside world. Wearing a white nurse’s uniform, she walked right out the front door of the insane asylum. We later saw her on the phone with someone in A’s lair wearing a black hoodie.
Caleb agreed to accompany the girls to the cemetery that evening, but insisted on bringing a gun, to Hanna’s dismay. If that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is.
Emily, still unaware of the girls' plans to meet A at 10 p.m., was spending a relaxing evening with Nate, Maya’s cousin, at the Lighthouse Inn. Except her evening wasn't relaxing at all because this is “Pretty Little Liars” and that would be boring.
Em got a phone call warning her that she had one minute to get out before Nate returned to the cabin. She, of course, did not follow instructions.
Nate is actually Lyndon James, Maya’s True North stalker. (Just saying - all this could have been avoided with a simple Google search.) He made Emily watch a video of Maya, in which she said she was staying at Noel’s cabin to avoid her stalker. (So that’s what Jenna meant when she told Emily be careful who you spend time with. She really should have been more specific.)
Lyndon/Nate said he’s going to take something away from Emily, just like she took Maya away from him. And there’s Paige, sitting in the closet with her mouth taped.
Caleb called the girls to tell them he thinks the meeting at Ali’s grave was a hoax, and suggested they split up to find Emily. Though the girls headed to a deserted cabin, Caleb eventually made it to Emily – right after she stabbed Lyndon/Nate with his own knife. Thatagirl.
Thinking he was dead, Caleb put his gun down and embraced a shaken-up Emily. Then … BOOM!
We didn’t see what went down, but I’m thinking the dying imposter pulled the trigger right before reaching the bright white light. And now we know why Hanna was crying.
Back in the present, the girls waited at the hospital while Caleb was in surgery. Garrett was released from police custody and Spencer’s mom said Emily helped free an innocent victim. But the dirty cop’s smirk kind of made you think otherwise, didn't it?
After all, we don’t know that Lyndon/Nate killed Maya. He only said she was taken away from him, so her killer might still be on the loose.
And then, a text from A: “Emily, I owe you one.” Looks like A wanted Maya’s faux cousin out of the way.
The episode ended with Mona heading back to the asylum clad in the white uniform: “If I knew Nate was gonna get Garrett out, I would have stayed in tonight. You have to get Maya's cell phone back. It shouldn't be too difficult. Paige won't even know she has it.”
Who was she talking to? A black-hooded Toby, of course.
What did you think of last night's summer finale? Share your predictions below!
From around the web
About this blog
Our daily cheat-sheet for breaking celebrity news, Hollywood buzz and your pop-culture obsessions.