In the finale of Pretty Little Liars, we finally meet the criminal mastermind who tortured Spencer, Hanna, Aria, Ali, Emily, and Mona for an agonizing seven seasons.
While the big reveal may not be completely believable, it’s certainly a twist most people didn’t see coming. Spoilers, of course, ahead.
It turns out that Spencer is an identical twin — and things didn’t turn out so well for her look-alike sibling.
While Spencer went to live an upper class life with the Hastings, Alex was sold to a wealthy couple in London.
What Mary Drake hoped would be a happy ending for her daughter wasn’t to be.
Alex, who is clearly a psychopath as an adult, apparently wasn’t a great kid, either.
Her adoptive parents dumped her at an orphanage, where she led a not-so-charmed life.
Though A.D. has been established to be an equal criminal mastermind to her half-sister Charlotte, who was A before her, Alex apparently picked up her considerable skills as a bartender.
Let’s overlook that glaring problem, because otherwise the show comes up with some clever ways to incorporate Alex into the plot.
Alex was accidentally discovered tending bar by the British doctor Wren Kingston, who once volunteered at Radley and, yes, dated Spencer.
Wren falls for Alex and helpfully fills her in on all things Spencer and Liar related. He also helps her meet Charlotte.
We also learn Charlotte and Archer Dunhill (another evil A.D.) met on a plane between the U.S. and London, and fell madly in love.
Though Alex’s determination to take over Spencer’s life doesn’t entirely make sense (she wants to have true friends who will always care about her and thus wants to take over Spencer’s life, but it certainly seems like she has wonderful friends in Charlotte and Archer), it does provide a great opportunity.
Troian Bellisario gets to tread lightly in Tatiana Maslany’s shoes, playing an evil doppleganger with a mostly credible London accent.
Alex also reveals (while talking to herself and holding one of Emily’s chubby infants) that the gestational father of Emily and Alison’s twins is Wren.
Unfortunately, we also learn Alex turned Wren into a manufactured diamond. Well, she did that to his ashes after she killed him.
Truly, even for a two hour finale, there was a lot of information to digest.
Luckily, A.D. remained consistent. While she may look like Spencer, she’s just as crazy as we’d come to expect.
Thanks to Mona, Jenna and Toby, Alex’s last evil plan is thwarted.
She had planned to keep Spencer in captivity forever (a deal made with Mary Drake in exchange for her help) while also thwarting Aria’s wedding to Ezra by capturing and ultimately killing him.
When Spencer tries to convince her friends she is whom she appears to be while Alex tries to con them, it is Toby who figures out a way to discover the real Spencer by asking her to name her favorite poem from a book she often read.
Because this is Pretty Little Liars, Alex can’t just go to jail (even after a policeman arrive to arrest her).
Somehow, Mona packs up both Mary Drake and Alex, takes them to France, and makes them act as human dolls for, apparently, eternity.
Alex may not have been an A.D. we expected (or even one that entirely made sense), but it was definitely a wild ride.
And no one should be terribly sad that the show has ended — because it seems to have set up a spin-off starring the teenagers who attend the school where Alison teaches (and was once herself a bully).
Pretty Little Liars 2.0? Don’t rule it out.