Till Death Do Us Part (Pretty Little Liars)

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"Till Death Do Us Part"
Pretty Little Liars episode
Pretty Little Liars 720.jpg
The Liars saying a brief goodbye to each other during the episode's final moments. From left to right: Alison, Aria, Hanna, Emily and Spencer.
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 20
Directed byI. Marlene King
Story byI. Marlene King &
Kyle Bown
Teleplay byI. Marlene King &
Maya Goldsmith
Produced byHynndie Wali
Cinematography byJill D'Agnenica
Editing byLarry Reibman
Production code2M7220
Original air dateJune 27, 2017 (2017-06-27)
Running time89 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Farewell, My Lovely"
Next →
Pretty Little Liars (season 7)
List of Pretty Little Liars episodes

"Till Death Do Us Part" is the series finale of Pretty Little Liars, which premiered on the Freeform network in the United States on June 27, 2017. The twentieth episode of the seventh season and the 160th overall, it was directed by showrunner I. Marlene King, who also co-wrote the episode alongside Kyle Bown and Maya Goldsmith. Shortly after the two-hour final episode, a special titled "A-List Wrap Party" was aired, in which the main cast and King talked about the show's end and behind-the-scenes exclusives.

In this episode, the Liars finally find peace of mind and discover the identity of their tormentor. Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) and Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) are both working at Rosewood High and living a family life together. Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) and Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) finally married, Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) and Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn) move with their husband-and-wife life and Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) discovers she has an identical twin sister named Alex Drake who is revealed to be the evil "A.D." wanting to avenge Charlotte's death and physically replace Spencer's life as a impersonator due to her jealousy of the upbringing that her sister had.

The episode opened to lukewarm reviews from critics. Alex Drake's introduction and subsequent reveal as the series' final antagonist was met with a deeply polarizing response. Many viewers expressed considerable dissatisfaction in regards to Alex's backstory and motives. Moreover, Troian Bellisario's performance also faced mixed reviews, with her attempt at a British accent being singled out for criticism. However, Janel Parrish's performance was unanimously praised, with most raving the conclusion to Mona Vanderwaal's character arc. Upon its initial airing, the episode was viewed by 1.41 million Americans and garnered a 0.7/2 Nielsen rating/share in the 18–49 demographic. The total viewership and ratings for this episode were slightly up in comparison to the previous episode and the sixth-season finale a year ago.

Plot[edit]

At night, the Liars are shown at an establishment discussing the fact that the truth about who was behind Uber A's mask never came out. Lucas appears in a white tuxedo tap dancing, while Jenna is riding a horse. The girls begin to talk about random and funny things until snow starts to fall from the sky and it is revealed that the previous scenes were the product of Mona's imagination, who is holding a snow globe in an unknown room at the Welby State Hospital. An "A.D." then appears and Mona drops the globe, breaking it instantly, as she gets surprised when she realizes who's there.

In 2018, one year after the events of "Farewell, My Lovely". Ezra and Aria are discussing their book and its soon to be film adaptation in the Warner Bros. Television backlot. Now famous due to their book's worldwide success, they kiss and are photographed by a bunch of fans in a cart (staff writers of PLL in a group cameo). The scene then jumps to the DiLaurentis house, where Emily and her high school sweetheart Alison are living a family life, taking care of the recently born Lily and Grace. Alison tells Emily she is going to a meeting, but instead she goes to the Radley to talk with Emily's mother, Pam, about their relationship and how both Alison and Pam are happy about it. Spencer and Melissa have a sisterly moment together as Spencer sees Toby approaching her pickup truck which used to be Toby's pickup. They talk about his return to Rosewood after he left to travel around countries with Alison's half-brother Jason. At the school, Alison discusses with Addison, who jokes about Alison's friend Aria. While leaving the room, Addison is pressed down by Alison, who threatens her. After, Alison observes Addison's clique while Emily approaches and the two ask student Claire if Addison was bullying her, which she denies. Jenna then approaches Addison, who jokes about her blindness, and Jenna argues with her, saying she can smell a bitch a mile away. Addison's clique leaves and Jenna passes by Alison and Emily, who smile to her in joy. After Mona was released from the psychiatric hospital, she is accepted by Hanna in her loft, which jeopardizes Hanna's relationship with Caleb, who thinks Hanna has done enough for Mona. Hanna and Caleb leave Mona in the apartment to go to a surprise dinner planned by Spencer, who remodeled the Lost Woods Resort into a modern establishment. There, they eat and have fun remembering good times in their lives. The camera soon shows someone in a black hoodie watching them. The person turns around and is revealed to be Melissa. However, she walks in the forest and it is revealed that "Melissa" is a mask, revealing the person underneath to be Mona, who is back on the A Team. The couples, meanwhile, retire to their rooms. Later, Spencer finds Aria crying in the living room, who reveals to the Liars that she is sterile. In the woods, Mona, who overheard Aria's news, starts talking with A.D. through FaceTime and tries to convince them to use the information against Aria. A.D. refuses to use the information and also refuses to divulge their identity to Mona at that time. The next morning, Hanna and Caleb arrive home and find Mona gone only to have her appear from the bathroom, claiming to have been in the shower. Meanwhile, Aria reveals her condition to Ezra.

In the jail, Spencer visits Mary and asks her for help. Later, in Aria's rehearsal dinner, Hanna takes Mona with her, and the Liars — and Hanna's mother — condemn it. Hanna manages to convince her friends to give Mona a chance. Ezra and Byron talk about Ezra's marriage with Aria, and Byron gives him his blessing. Later, Alison proposes to Emily who accepts.

Spencer shows up at Toby's room at the Radley and they have sex. Right after, she is at the Barn and is knocked down by Mona. She then wakes up on the floor of a modern strange room which resembles the one from "Game Over, Charles". She looks at herself in a supposed mirror and puts her hand on her head. However, her "reflection" lifts down her hand and scares her, revealing that it is not a mirror. Mary Drake then appears and injects a sedative into Spencer, while she looks on in shock at the woman who looks exactly like her. Spencer soon awakens and comes face to face with her long lost identical twin sister named Alex Drake who is also revealed to be their tormentor known as "A.D." and the third daughter of Mary Drake who was given up for adoption by her mother to get out of Radley. She lived in London on the streets where she came across Wren Kingston whom she dated and learned about her twin sister and her family. She soon met her half sister Charlotte and the two instantly connected as well as befriending Archer Dunhill who had met Charlotte on the plane after she left Rosewood to get away from being arrested for killing Wilden. Once Charlotte left, Alex soon came to Rosewood and learned about her half sister's fateful death which triggered her to become A.D. and also she was jealous of the life that Spencer lived. She also posed as Spencer multiple times when she kissed Toby in "The Darkest Knight" and had sex with him in "Choose or Lose" and appeared to Hanna when she was being held by Alex in her dream sequence for confessing to killing Charlotte. Alex also shot Spencer in the blind school and got Wren to shoot her in the shoulder so she would be like her twin sister and soon re-formed the A Team, now consisting of Jenna, Sydney, Aria, Wren and eventually Mona and Mary and reveals some of their motives. Jenna offered to help Alex without knowing who she was in exchange for Alex to pay for her eyesight and Sydney was stealing from her bank and Alex blackmailed her into acting as A.D. because she fit the hoodie. She also reveals that she killed Wren because he wouldn't view her as Spencer and she subsequently turned his ashes into a diamond necklace.

Alex goes to the Liars posing as her sister where Ezra is missing. Aria begins to worry that she will be ditched at the altar because of her infertility. Alex holds Emily and Alison's babies and secretly reveals to no one listening that Wren Kingston is their biological father and she impregnated Alison when she was at Welby. Ezra is also locked up with Spencer after he discovered about Alex's existence. The Liars soon find out about Alex Drake and discover that Mona is "A" again with Alex and she broke Mary out of prison because Wren visited her in Welby and was intent on killing her but she offered her help. Mona then tells them the location of the lair which is underneath Toby's house that he built. Ezra and Spencer escape but find that they are still being held underground just as Alex, wielding an axe, appears and knocks out Ezra and attempts to kill Spencer. The Liars, as well as Toby, arrive in time to come face to face with the identical twins. Toby struggles to decide which one of them to arrest until he asks Alex what her favourite poem is but Spencer instead gives the answer thus confirming the identity of the two and Alex is arrested by a cop along with Mary. Aria finally marries Ezra soon afterwards.

The Liars are seen in the town square exchanging goodbyes, as Aria prepares to leave for her honeymoon with Ezra and Hanna reveals that she is pregnant. In France, Mona is seen running a doll shop and it is revealed that the "cop" who arrested Mary and Alex is her boyfriend and Mona now has them held captive in her personal dollhouse thus revealing that Mona has won the A game that she created. Back in Rosewood, a new group of Liars are at a sleepover and one of them is Hadley St. Germain, Maya St. Germain's niece. They notice that their leader, Addison Derringer, is missing. The series ends with a girl named Willa revealing to Hadley, "I think that I heard a scream".

Development[edit]

The story was drafted by series creator I. Marlene King and Kyle Bown,[1] while its teleplay was composed by King and executive producer Maya Goldsmith. This is the only season finale not entirely written solely by King. The episode was aired as a two-hour special event.[2] Directed by King, it was filmed in October 2016 in and around Los Angeles, California, mostly on the backlot of the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank. Filming started in October 5[3] and wrapped in October 26, marking it the last day of filming for Pretty Little Liars ever.[4] Scenes at the set for the fictional Lost Woods Resort were filmed.[5]

On August 29, 2016, King and the principal cast of the series announced that Pretty Little Liars was ending after the seventh season. King also announced that it would start airing the second half of the season later than usual, in April 2017 and that the series finale would be a two-hour episode event.[6] On October 26, 2016, it was reported that a tell-all special would be aired after the series finale, during which the main roaster and King would talk about the show with behind-the-scenes exclusives.[7][8]

Casting[edit]

Torrey DeVitto (left) and Julian Morris (right) returned for the series' final episode, making it DeVitto's first appearance in the season, and Morris' second.

"Till Death Do Us Part" saw the returns of some recurring characters. Credited in the special guest section, veterans Holly Marie Combs and Chad Lowe portrayed Aria's parents Ella and Byron Montgomery. Mary Page Keller returned for the series finale portraying Ezra's reckless mother Dianne Fitzgerald.[9] Torrey DeVitto played Spencer' half-sister Melissa Hastings.[10] Julian Morris acted as Melissa and Spencer's British ex-boyfriend Wren Kingston. Keegan Allen played Rosewood resident and carpentry professional Toby Cavanaugh. Lesley Fera portrayed Spencer's adopted mother and Melissa's biological mother Veronica Hastings. Vanessa Ray played Charlotte Drake, former "A" and biological daughter of Mary Drake and Ted Wilson. Brendan Robinson and Huw Collins guest starred as Lucas Gottesman and Archer Dunhill, respectively. Jim Titus acted as policeman Barry Maple. Ava Allan portrayed high school student Addison Derringer, and Rosewood High's new queen bee. Tammin Sursok and Nia Peeples portrayed blind woman and former member of the A Team, Jenna Marshall and Emily's mother Pam Fields, respectively. The episode also features the addition of teen actress Sydney Sweeney, who portrayed high school student Willa, a friend of Addison whose personality and characterization are similar to those of Spencer.

Non-credited appearances include Celesse Rivera as Hadley St. Germain, Maya St. Germain's niece; Raquel McPeek as Claire, one of Addison's friends; and Dalton Cyr as Luke, a student. Showrunner I. Marlene King, her wife Shari Rosenthal, and their sons Atticus and Emerson had cameos in the episode.[11][12]

Reception[edit]

Janel Parrish's (pictured) character Mona was highly praised by critics.

Critical response[edit]

Jessica Goldstein of Vulture gave the episode a 3 out of 5 stars rating, writing a mixed review for it.[13] Gavin Hetherington highlighted some lines of the episode, praising Mona's triumph over "A.D.", commenting: "Mona hasn't really changed in her obsession with playing with dolls (and people), and it was just beautiful justice here. No more loser Mona. She won this one."[14]

Carolina Preece of Den of Geek disliked the episode, but praised the show as a whole, writing, "At it's best, Pretty Little Liars was a Taylor Swift song, a Hitchcock movie, a philosophy lecture and a soap opera all at once. It was somehow about fluid identities, self-actualisation and how the patriarchy is crushing us all at the same time as being about fashion and dating." She also glorified Mona character, titling it "the best thing the show ever did."[15]

Some television critics were welcoming towards the introduction of Spencer's identical twin sister. Gavin Hetherington of SpoilerTV enjoyed Alex's reveal as "A.D." and her connection to Spencer, stating it was "actually well done."[16] Yana Grebenyuk of TVFanatic echoes the same sentiments of praise, writing that "Alex delivered above and beyond what a Spencer twin could have actually turned out to be. She was truly everything A.D. should have been, including ruthless and ready to kill anyone in her way." [17]

However, several other critics shared opinions similar to most target audience members. Isabella Biedenharn of Entertainment Weekly was unhappy towards some of Alex's characteristics, asking herself: "did she really need to have a Cockney accent?! Couldn’t she just be regular British, if she had to be British at all?"[18] While writing for Vulture, Goldstein gave the character introduction an unfavorable review, saying: "For me, it came way too late in the game to pack any punch, except for the punch she used to knock Spencer out. The idea that Alex wants to single white female Spencer because she’s jealous that Spencer won the parent lottery — which is really saying something about that lousy orphanage, considering Mr. Hastings’s whole deal — is not exactly all that original or exciting of a concept."[19]

Ratings[edit]

"Till Death Do Us Part" was viewed by 1.41 million viewers upon its first broadcast, acquiring a 0.7 Nielsen rating/share among the 18–49 demographic.[20] It was second most watched episode of the season, and was slightly up from the sixth-season finale a year ago. This episode is rated TV-14.

The "A-List Wrap Party" special was watched by 0.62 million viewers.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (June 28, 2017). "Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 20 "Till Death Do Us Part" Script Tease (Series Finale)". SpoilersGuide. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 29, 2016). "It's Official: 'Pretty Little Liars' to End With Season 7". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Cochran-Neilan, Lisa (October 6, 2016). "It also started today!#pll #seriesfinale @imarleneking @larryreibman next three week will bring us home!!". Instagram. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Instagram post by Pretty Little Liars". October 27, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  5. ^ "That's a wrap at Lost Woods Resort! #PLL 7x20 #PLLFinale". Twitter. October 21, 2016. Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 29, 2016). "It's Official: 'Pretty Little Liars' to End With Season 7". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  7. ^ Gelman, Vlada (October 26, 2016). "TVLine Items: Pretty Little Liars Tell All, Saving Hope's Final Season and More". TVLine. Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  8. ^ Smith, Clarissa (October 26, 2016). "PRETTY LITTLE LIARS: Freeform to Air Tell-All Special After Series Finale". Retrieved October 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Keller, Mary Page (6 October 2016). "It was indeed a tear-filled table read. So proud to be a part of the finale of this amazing series #EzrasMom @PLLTVSeries". Twitter. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  10. ^ Highfill, Samantha (October 20, 2016). "'Pretty Little Liars': Torrey DeVitto Says Goodbye to Melissa Hastings". EW.com. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  11. ^ @imarleneking (October 14, 2016). "Filming my first and only PLL cameo today" (Tweet). Retrieved June 22, 2017 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ King, I. Marlene (October 27, 2016). "It's a family affair. Atti's last PLL cameo and Shari's first and last. Love is love. #pllforever #pllseriesfinale #PLLFamily #familyiseverything". Instagram. Facebook, Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (June 28, 2017). "Pretty Little Liars Series-Finale Recap: Two Can Keep a Secret". Vulture. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  14. ^ Hetherington, Gavin (June 28, 2017). "Pretty Little Liars - Till DeAth Do Us PArt (Series Finale) - Review: "Goodbye, Liars"". SpoilerTV. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  15. ^ Preece, Carolina (June 29, 2017). "Pretty Little Liars season 7 episode 20 review: 'Til Death Do Us Part". Den of Geek. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  16. ^ Hetherington, Gavin (28 June 2017). "Pretty Little Liars - Till DeAth Do Us PArt (Series Finale) - Review: "Goodbye, Liars"". SpoilerTV. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  17. ^ Grebenyuk, Yana (28 June 2017). "Pretty Little Liars Season 7 Episode 20 Review: Til deAth Do Us pArt". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  18. ^ Biedenharn, Isabella (28 June 2017). "'Pretty Little Liars' Series Finale Recap: A.D. Is Finally, Finally Revealed". EW.com. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  19. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (28 June 2017). "Pretty Little Liars Finale Recap: Till Death Do Us Part". Vulture. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  20. ^ a b Welch, Alex (June 28, 2017). "Tuesday cable ratings: 'Pretty Little Liars' series finale scores high". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 28, 2017.

External links[edit]