Pretty Little Liars' series finale was shocking, to say the least.
After seven seasons, the ABC Family series came to an end by revealing that the true A is actually the long lost twin sister of... Spencer (Troian Bellisario). Spencer and this mystery sibling, named Alex Drake, were separated at birth, setting off a truly unpredictable chain of events.
It's a story that's honestly too insane to understand, but here's the short of it: Mary Drake (Andrea Parker), the twin sister of Jessica DeLaurentis, Alison's mom, gave birth to Alex and Spencer in the Radley Sanitorium. Spencer was placed with her biological father Mark Hastings, while Alex was sent to live with a rich family in the United Kingdom.
While Spencer had a privileged upbringing, Alex, who was mentally ill, was abandoned by her adopted family. She later meets friend of the liars Wren (Julian Morris), who tells her about this long lost sibling in Rosewood. It's at this point that Alex begins to resent her sister.
But this doesn't come into play until season seven, so let's go back to the beginning.
It all starts with Mona (Janel Parrish), the Original A, who was relentlessly bullied by Alison (Sasha Pieterse). She blackmailed and scared them until season two, when the liars discover her revenge plot.
She later meets Charles Drake, Jessica DeLaurentis' biological son-turned-daughter, who transitioned into Charlotte Drake (Vanessa Ray) while at Radley Sanitorium. Charlotte bonded with Mona while at Radley and became A 2.0 after the liars blew Mona's cover.
For seasons two through four, Charlotte is A. But at the end of season four, Charlotte is arrested and admits to knowing Alison is still alive.
In season six, Charlotte kidnaps the liars, including Alison, who's unaware they're related. She tortures them for no apparent reason, other than to be mean. The liars find out that Charlotte and Alison are related, and that she's Big A. Obviously, Charlotte is arrested again for needlessly harassing the liars.
Fast forward five years later, Alison is advocating for Charlotte to be released into her care, having gotten to know her during her time in treatment. Alison convinces the other girls to testify that they're no longer traumatized, which they agree to. Charlotte is released and murdered that same night.
It turns out, Mona, now-repentant, knew Charlotte was going to go back to her old ways, so she killed her during a struggle.
This is where Alex Drake comes into the picture. She wants to know who killed Charlotte, so she becomes A in season seven. But her identity is uncovered when the liars realize that Spencer isn't being normal. They eventually realize that Spencer's twin sister is playing her, prompting them to report her to the police.
Except, it turns out, Alex was never arrested. In the series finale, Mona locks Alex and her mom Mary in the house where Charlotte held the liars capture in season six. So yeah, that's how it all ended.
And now, Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is reimagining this truly complicated revenge tale in HBO Max's Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Described as a "dark, coming-of-age, horror-tinged drama," this new series will follow a new group of teens being harassed by a masked assailant. See how it all unfolds when the first three episodes premiere July 28 on HBO Max.
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