Pretty Little Liars “Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars” Review (Season 6 Episode 20)

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On the season finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” the show finally completed its transition from “Nancy Drew” to “Scooby Doo,” complete with an unmasking reveal at the end- albeit minus the happy ending- in “Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars.” If a show could manage to be engaging and ridiculous at the same time, this was certainly it, and I enjoyed every minute of it in spite of myself.

We began, appropriately enough, with a series of terse text messages, picking up where we left off, as Hanna texted what would soon be given the apt, why-didn’t-we-think-of-that-before moniker of “Amoji” and waited for the reply. It came soon enough, and it might have been chilling in a sort of neo-“Scream” sort of way if there hadn’t been, you guessed it, emojis involved.

“If you’re lying,” wrote “Amoji,” “I shoot (gun emoji) all of you.” Hanna shot back, “I’ll call the cops.” Sayeth the “Amoji”: “No cops (pig emoji). This is between you and me.” Hanna: “I need one more day.” “Amoji”: “It will be your last.” And we’re in credit-land, where Aria is once again instilled as the head “shusher,” as it should be.

As Elliot seemingly made one more last ditch effort to stay home with Ali and forgo his alleged conference, she insisted he leave, saying she’d be fine and waiting for him when he returned. Meanwhile, Spencer finally filled Toby in on what was going on, showing him how she picked a room directly above the basement for easy access and how they want him to block her entrance while they look for whatever it is she’s trying to find.

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Toby comes up with a plan to seal the entrance while Sara meets with Hanna, aka who they all think is “Amoji.” However, he notices something that he doesn’t think Sara has: there’s a hidden room off to the side of the basement, which might well be where whatever it is that Sara’s looking for might be.

Caleb and Spencer go over their end of the plan, which involves the now-abandoned Lost Woods Resort. The plan is to build an electric fence around the perimeter of the place, with the intent to shock Sara into submission, so that they could abscond with her and get Hanna out of there without Sara causing her any harm. To keep up appearances, Hanna goes to the Radley to say “goodbye” to her mom.

Ezra finishes his final chapter of the book, and thanks Aria for pushing him to do so, and she reads over it while an impatient Ezra waits anxiously to see what she thinks. Back at Ali’s she conks out watching an Elizabeth Taylor movie- I believe it was “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, as it’s been a hot minute since I saw it.

Then she’s suddenly awoken when she hears a music box playing from her room. She goes there to investigate and hears a noise behind her, where she is stunned to see her dead mother once again standing there, only decidedly less welcoming that before- not to mention quite zombie-esque.

The phone rings, and Ali answers, only to hear her mother’s voice, intoning the title of a previous episode this season: “Did you miss me?” Mortified, she calls Emily, who rushes over and commiserates, blaming Ali’s medication, and mentioning how she also saw her dad one time after he died as well.

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All of this stuff between the two was clearly Emison fodder, and it only got better for the ‘shippers as Emily agreed to stay by Ali’s side and watch over her until she got so much-needed rest. However, someone else was watching from outside who clearly had other plans for that.

Toby and Yvonne prepared for her mother’s Election Day shindig, as he admits that he’s been helping out Spencer and will need to go after. Yvonne is not happy and eventually storms out, leaving a dejected Toby behind to mope.

Mona pays a visit to Spencer’s mother’s campaign headquarters, where, much to Spencer’s chagrin, she volunteers her services to help out. “Hi,” she says to Spencer. “You must be,” Spencer shoots back, “Because I can’t think of another reason you’d be crazy enough to show up here.” Burn!

Mona reminds Spencer not to casually toss around the dreaded “C”-word, as both of them have done their share of time in Radley, and not when it was a hotel. Begrudgingly, Spencer gives her a phone list and lets Mona start cold-calling folks on her mother’s behalf.

Caleb and Hanna, reunited and it feels so good- for now, at least- get set up at the Lost Woods Resort, with Caleb building the electric fence, along with installing motion sensors and cameras, all the better to capture an image of whoever “Amoji” really is.

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Aria joins Emily in babysitting Ali, where she shows Em the results of the book she wrote with Ezra. Em is blown away by it, but Aria frets that she drew too much from her own past instead of trying to write from Nicole’s perspective like she was supposed to. Em says not to worry too much about it- what else was she going to draw on?

In the next room, we get an unexpected surprise when yet another long gone apparition from Ali’s past makes an appearance, as none other than Wilden (Bryce Johnson) pops up, snuggling next to her in bed! Needless to say, she freaks out, and this time Emily calls Elliot and begs him to return, which he says he will.

Back at the Spencer compound, Spencer and Caleb hook up once again- sorry, Spaleb haters, but hang in there, as you Haleb lovers will get your wishes granted soon enough. Either way, we get some typically gratuitous shots of a shirtless Caleb, as per usual, coupled with a surprising one of Spencer’s near bare backside as Caleb leers from the next room, in a quite frankly kind of icky way.

Hate to burst your bubbles, Spencer lovers, but ten to one that was NOT Troian Bellisario, but a hired body double doppelganger doing that particular bit of business, as whoever that was had decidedly more back than Spencer does, even on a good day.

Caleb makes a comment about how he’s surprised Spencer can wear panties with the outfit she chooses, and Spencer retorts: “I’m glad you care enough to be worried about my panties.” I’m sorry, but as much as I love this pairing, to quote Jimmy Fallon’s popular sketch of the same name: Eeew.

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Caleb expresses a bit of concern for how Toby will react to said dress, but Spencer assures him she’s got more appropriate attire for their basement doings. Then Peter arrives outside her door and the party is over for now. She stalls for time, but tells Caleb she loves him for the first time I’m aware of. He, perhaps tellingly, does not say it back as he leaves.

Ali talks to Elliot, who confirms he will be back by tonight, but is miffed when he hears that Emily has left Ali alone again- or so he says. That worry is justified, as shortly thereafter, Ali sees both her dead mother and Wilden again, looking much worse for wear, with Wilden bleeding profusely from two gunshot wounds.

Toby heads to Spencer’s shindig at the Radley, calling Yvonne to try and apologize, but she ignores his calls, so he’s forced to leave a message instead. As he stands outside, he helps an older woman onto a bus and we get a nice call-back to seasons past, as she refers to Toby as “pretty eyes.”

Jillian calls Ezra and says she loves the book, and the two celebrate. That celebration leads to Aria kissing Ezra and the two end up hooking up for the first time since Aria’s return to Rosewood. Old habits die hard and all that.

Speaking of which, we next get a scene with Hanna and Caleb in a hotel room at the Lost Woods Resort, as Caleb gives the room a once over to make sure Hanna will be safe. He even drops a timely “Miss Peregrine” reference to boot.

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Hanna has a flashback to unhappier times, as we finally see what led her and Caleb to break-up once and for all. She was going to a party and Caleb had had enough and told her if she left, he might not be there when she returned, wanting to go on their long-planned trek across Europe sooner than later. Hanna leaves, and that’s that- for now.

Elliot calls Ali to check back in, but she doesn’t answer. Instead, a returned Emily picks up the phone and tells him Ali’s not there. It turns out she’s missing and Emily vows to find her, frantically trying to think where Ali would go under these circumstances, which turns out to be the very church where Charlotte lost her life.

At the Election party, the results are neck-and-neck between Veronica and Kristine, literally: 49% to 49%. Melissa calls to get an update, but it’s too close to call just yet. Peter toasts to the lovely ladies in his life, saying that no matter what the outcome, all concerned did a fine job in the campaign. Toby calls to let Spencer know he’s taking care of business elsewhere at the Radley.

Aria and Ezra arrive at the Lost Woods Resort, taking a look around to test the lights and cameras. Caleb reassures a nervous Hanna, and she finally tells him something she never had before. It seems that on the night they split up, she had second thoughts and went back to their place to go with him to Europe after all, but when she got there, he was already gone. Hanna admits she never stopped loving him and they kiss. You’re welcome, Haleb ‘shippers! Alas, Aria and Ezra return to break up the smooching prematurely. I. Marlene King giveth, then she taketh away- literally, as we’ll find out soon enough.

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Spencer counts the steps to what would be the door to the secret room they’re looking for, which is now walled up, naturally, so she and Toby set about tearing down the wall. Hanna sets the plan into motion, texting “Amoji” with her location and saying that she’s alone. Emily catches up with Ali at the church, where it’s clear Ali is rattled and thinks she’s going insane, claiming that she’s in Hell for all the bad things she’s done over the years.

Someone creeps up on Toby and Spencer as they close in on getting into the secret room and Toby pulls out his gun to warn them. It’s none other than Mona, who has followed them down there. Turnabout is fair play, I guess. They all go into the room, and the only thing there is an old file, which Spencer takes a look at.

It’s for a patient named Mary Drake, who is described as introverted, anti-social and given to violent outbursts, often lashing out and throwing things. No parents or age is listed, but the file dates back some 25 years ago. While she was there at Radley, it seems that Mary had a child by the name of…Charles!

Yep, it’s none other than the little boy later to be known as Cece, then Charlotte, who would go on to be adopted by none other than Kenneth and Jessica DiLaurentis. Mona suspects that Charlotte didn’t leave this file here, but Mary herself and it’s noted that Charles and Jason are right around the same age.

I will also note the surname of Drake here as well, as in the Drake farm, which was once “A.” HQ, and which I presume makes Andrew Charlotte’s little brother, right? Hence his helping her out with her crazy “Dollhouse” scheme. So, there’s another piece of the puzzle for you all.

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Aria, Ezra and Caleb all keep close watch on Hanna alone in the motel room, as they wait for “Amoji” to arrive. Sure enough, someone approaches soon enough, and they rush to that location, but no one’s there. But there’s no way “Amoji” can get out of the room Hanna’s in, so they all rush there, only to find…that there’s a way to get out of the room Hanna’s in, because of course there is.

Meanwhile, a distraught Ali voluntarily checks herself into the same institution that Charlotte was interred in, despite Emily’s pleas to the contrary, saying she should really wait until Elliot returns. But Ali insists and signs the appropriate paperwork, despite being told that they can keep her there if they see fit once she does.

Back at the Election party, the winner is announced…and it’s Veronica by the skin of her teeth! Toby congratulates Spencer, when she gets a call informing her about Hanna’s disappearance. Toby and Spencer rush there, with Mona following them unbeknownst to them, which does not go over well with a distraught Caleb.

It turns out there was a hole in the floorboards of the motel room, and that was how “Amoji” was able to escape with Hanna. Oops! Caleb is beside himself for missing it, and they go to the video to see if the cameras caught anything. They did, and everyone concerned is shocked to see a captured image of none other than the late Mrs. DiLaurentis- or so it would seem.

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But we, of course, find out it’s none other than Mary Drake (also Andrea Parker), aka Jessica’s twin sister! Things go full “Scooby Doo” as we see Elliot take off his “Wilden” mask and inform Mary that Ali is in the hospital and that she signed the official papers, meaning that Elliot now has controlling interest in the Carissimi Group.

We also discover that he’s actually a Brit in disguise as well- might he be related somehow to Wren? Further, it also turns out he was in love with Charlotte and that Mary fully supported them as a couple. Mary says they’ve taken back what was rightfully theirs, and that’s all she wrote for these two this episode.

Back at the motel, the Scooby Gang gets yet another text from “Amoji,” thanking them for “giving me Hanna” and telling them “You’re free to go.” At this point, they still believe it to be Mrs. D. but I’m sure they’ll figure things out eventually. We end with a shot at the church, as an unseen figure drags Hanna across the floor, with flowers cradled in her hands, and blood on her mouth, looking mighty worse for the wear.

So, that’s where we leave things, and all in all, it was a decent finale. Though we never confirmed who “Amoji” was- I’m still inclined to think it was Sara- we did get some solid reveals about the rest of the enemies, which I was at least half right about, as seen in my extensive article I wrote earlier this week. I called the fact that Elliot was indeed gaslighting Ali, likely to get a hold of her money, and that her “hallucinations” were in fact staged.

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However, others were right in that it was Mrs. D. who had the twin after all, which made sense, even if it was a little disappointing. While it might have been more fun for it to have been one of the girls or boyfriends, the whole Mary Drake thing does line up a lot of what we know of what has happened so far, shedding light on other things in the process, like why the DiLaurentises adopted Charles in the first place, and what the connection to Andrew was, without spelling it out for us viewers, which was nice.

Yes, the ending was all a bit “Scooby Doo,” and the mask stuff was a bit silly, but even there we had a precedent, as we know there’s a mask maker outside of town that makes eerily life-like masks. I’m not sure how “Amoji” knew about that hole in the floor of the Lost Woods motel room, but hopefully, we’ll get to that eventually as well. Maybe “Amoji” followed some of them there and knew about it already.

But was it really Mary that snagged Hanna, or did she bolt once the lights flashed and she knew she was caught and someone else did the job, i.e. Sara? We will have to wait and see on that one, I guess. That said, overall, I enjoyed the episode, and appreciated that much of it lined up with what we already knew from past seasons. Granted, some viewers might be mad that some of this was fairly easy to guess, but at least it’s all logical for once, within reason.

I don’t know about you, though, but the final season can’t get here fast enough! Truth be told, we already know that Hanna and Ali get out of their respective predicaments, as seen in the initial flash-forward at the beginning of the half-season, so we know that Ali isn’t long for the institution and that Hanna isn’t really dead, not that I really would have thought that to be the case in either respect, anyway. But I can see where some might grumble that they ruined their own twist by revealing all of this already.

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As for me, I’m essentially good with it. I was right about some things, wrong about others, which is fine by me. It would have sucked more if I’d been right about everything. I do think that it was Elliot who threatened to blackmail Melissa and that there’s a connection between him and Wren, but we’ll have to wait and see about that one. Perhaps Elliot is Wren’s brother? That would make sense, given what we know- both work as doctors, both deal expressly with mental patients, both are British, etc.

So, what did you think of the big finale of “Pretty Little Liars”? Were you happy with it, too? Or disappointed? Did you figure out everything, or, like me, did you get some things wrong and others right? What do you think will happen next? Did you pick up on any other read-between-the-lines type clues I missed, a la the Andrew thing? Let me know what you thought down below in the comments section, and see you next season!