“Pretty Little Liars” recap (6.10): The One Where We Find Out Who A Is

Ali chases CeCe to the roof, and begs the Liars to help her. Sara tries to join the chase, but Emily is like, “No fucking way.” Sara claims that she was trying to keep Emily safe (LOLOL) and Emily punches her right in her overly-washed face. Ka-blam!

punch

The Liars chase Ali and CeCe up to the roof, and we are back at the opening of the episode. They beg CeCe not to jump, and CeCe steps back onto the roof. She says, “Game over,” and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.38.23 PMOkay…NOW I’m done.

FLASH FORWARD! It’s Labor Day weekend, and the Liars are all packed up and heading off to college! Emily is off to Pepperdine, Aria is off to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Spencer is off to Georgetown, and Hanna is off to fictional New York School with Caleb.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.38.51 PMOveralls AND a baseball tee? Are you majoring in lesbianism at Georgetown?

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.38.59 PMIf only, am I right shippers?

Alison is staying in Rosewood, presumably because she is A) tired of running and B) legit missed all of high school. Everyone hugs and gets teary-eyed and Spencer quotes Winnie the Pooh. The Liars drive off, leaving Ali all alone.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.40.00 PMAnd Aria, I’ll miss you least of all

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.40.55 PM Okay guys, see you at break. Unless CeCe hacked our GPS, in which case I guess I’ll meet y’all at an abandoned magic shoppe in Eerie PA?

FLASH MORE FORWARD! Like five years forward. Ali is in an empty classroom, writing “Mrs. Rollins” on the board. (Apparently she’s a teacher now?) The Liars rush in, all in different wigs, and shout at Ali to come with them because “he” is already here! We see a panicked look on Ali’s face and the episode ends.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.42.00 PMDo you like my bangs?

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.41.22 PMNO!

So, there it is, a bushel full of answers from CeCe Drake. But how does Sara Harvey fit into all this? Was she brainwashed by CeCe? Is Bethany really dead?

But the question to beat all questions is this: why did the writers decide to make A a trans person? Haven’t trans characters been villainized enough in popular culture?  I saw many people on Twitter who were disappointed to see this plot twist from a show (and a network) known for queer-friendly content. Queerness has always been an integral part of PLL, and the show has never shied away from that. So to have the ultimate villain be another “crazy trans person” feels like a slap in the face.

But isn’t CeCe just another victim of the Rosewood patriarchy? Hasn’t she had her agency, her power, her freedom stripped from her by white men of authority? I feel like the real villain of this piece is Kenneth DiLaurentis, who used Charles’s gender dysphoria as an excuse to lock them up in Radley, along with all the doctors, lawyers, and cops who allowed this to take place.

For that matter, I don’t believe that the creators and writers of PLL are saying that CeCe is crazy because she is trans. CeCe is crazy because she was rejected by the family that was supposed to love her and locked in solitary confinement in a mental institution for most of her life. Her trans identity is never referred to as part of her “illness.” It’s simply another facet of her complex character. And complex characters are the lifeblood of television.

Finally, this isn’t Orange is the New Black or Transparent. This is Pretty Little Liars, a night-time soap that, in the great tradition of soaps before it (Melrose Place, Dynasty, Dallas) lives on zany plot twists and arch characters. Are we really demanding realism from a show where psychics pull girls out of shallow graves and birds tweet secret phone numbers?

I guess, if I have a final thought, it is this: Fuck Shower Harvey. Girl, you don’t even go here.

What did you think of the CeCe as A reveal? Tweet me your giant feelings @chelseaprocrast

A massive thanks as always to Nicole @PLLBigA for her screengrabs…she is the Red Coat to my Black Hoodie.