Pretty Little Liars Summer Finale Recap: Death Becomes Her

Pretty Little Liars Finale

Pretty Little Liars has been promising a “fatal” summer finale for weeks, and on Tuesday, it finally delivered — big time.

RELATED Pretty Little Liars Post Mortem: Latest Victim Reveals Her Ghostly Return, Revenge Plans for Alison and More

The victim, as many suspected, ended up being poor Mona Vanderwaal, who was brutally murdered at her home by a mysterious (and seemingly blonde) assailant. Fortunately, Mona was able to call Aria first to inform her that Alison lured Bethany to Rosewood in the first place.

But let’s back up a bit…

The nail-biting hour began with a massive switcheroo: Not only did the girls join Team Mona, but Alison convinced all of Mona’s cronies to join her social army. After learning that Spencer is now the prime suspect in Bethany’s murder, Team Mona paid one last trip to Radley Sanitarium, where it all began.

RELATED | Pretty Little Liars Renewed for Season 6 and Season 7 By ABC Family

Even with Hanna at the helm — she’s probably the last person I’d put on computer duty — Operation: Radley was proceeding according to plan… until Detective Hottie Holbrook showed up with plenty of questions for Aria.

Meanwhile, Mona and Spencer discovered that Mrs. DiLaurentis was having an affair with Bethany’s father and Alison knew Bethany. And while this discovery was a major coup for Team Mona, the gang barely had time to celebrate because Toby got into a car accident! (This finale, I swear.)

The good times kept a-comin’ the next day at the café when Paige revealed that Alison was building army and Spencer was arrested for Bethany’s murder!

PAILY | “Tired of talking,” Paige and Emily decided to bury the hatchet — and they sealed their reunion with a kiss! They continued their newly rekindled flirtationship by hanging Christmas decorations at Emily’s house, where we learned that Christmas is Emily’s favorite holiday. (Let’s see if she still feels that way after “A” plays Bad Santa this December.)

EZRIA | Another seemingly back-together couple was Aria and Ezra, who cooked up some very sexy pies following Ezra’s invitation to Thanksgiving at Chez Montgomery.

Were you shocked by Mona’s (apparent) death? Who do you think is responsible? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the “fatal finale” below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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120 Comments
  1. Caitlin says:

    Just as Mona got really interesting, they killed her. And Paige is still alive. Ugh.

    • ChrisGa says:

      Yeah, shame that one. Let’s keep possibly the most disposable character in the show’s history around and kill off one of the show’s most interesting and complex, not to mention one of the most entertainingly-acted–big shout out to the sublime Janel Parrish.

      • DL says:

        That’s fair, yet at the same time the show has a habit of killing off characters who either don’t impact much, or who we’re happy to see go. While I’ll miss Mona (she was one of my favorite characters on the show), I was glad to see PLL finally pull the trigger and off someone really major who had a large effect on what was going on in the show’s universe at any given time.

        • Caitlin says:

          The show should stop killing people off and deal with some of the questions that they refuse to answer. The writers seem to think that they need to kill someone almost every finale (summer and winter) and yet they never actually deal with any of the murders (Maya excluded.) I agree that killing Mona was major because she was so involved in the overall story but they could have teamed up the Liars and Mona for more than an episode to explore the story. Now one of the few people with answers is dead and they can successfully drag out every story line for another two seasons.

          • DL says:

            What can I say, it’s TV. As long as the ratings hold up, they’ll drag it out as long as the network wants them to remain on the air.
            The really bold choice would be to wrap up “A” and then introduce a new arc and mystery, but clearly that’s not the way they’ll go with things.

          • Brandy says:

            They said the Liars will find A’s indemnity this season, but viewers wont

    • Brandon says:

      Such a bummer. Mona’s been one of my favs since the beginning.

    • Kira says:

      Seriously. Mona is such a big part of PLL to me. Good or bad, love her and I’m so sad she’s gone; although I guess that’s why they finally pulled the trigger and got rid of a beloved character rather than someone irrelevant like Paige. And what was up with that quick, contrived Paige and Emily reunion? That relationship was done 2 seasons ago and it’s about as interesting as watching paint dry on the wall. Not sure where they are going with Ali but I’d still rather see Ali and Emily because at least they are entertaining/complicated and don’t just come across as a relationship that is there simply out of convenience or lack of any better option for Emily.
      I wonder why they cut out the Aria and Ezra reunion though….

  2. Tran says:

    RIP Mona

  3. Cobra says:

    Mona’s death: predicted it
    Spencer arrested: has been being set up for weeks now
    Toby’s accident: actially didnt see that one coming.

    • Michelle says:

      I hated that when Mona got murdered by someone blonde, maybe Alison or cece or one of the Alison’s army.
      Spencer’s arrested: was set up by someone or Alison. i hope she gets out of jail soon.
      Toby’s accident: i didn’t like that. glad hes ok though?
      #R.I.P.MONA- You are one of my favorite characters and you are very good villain, hope u come back.

  4. Matt C. says:

    I had a feeling Mona was going to die from the start of the episode, but the actual death and the aftermath was one of the best endings the show has ever done. I don’t think Ali killed Mona, they made it seem too obvious without actually showing her face. It was either CeCe or one of Ali’s “army”. The twin theory of Bethany/Ali is starting to become really clear. Bethany’s voice on the tape even sounded like Ali’s.

    • Jamie says:

      Matt C, I agree with your theory about the killer being one of Allison’s army. I am still livid about Mona being the one to die, but sadly she knew too much and had to take the secret to the grave. I didn’t want to believe Mona was the one to die, but when I saw that it was a Mona centric episode and then she apologized to the girls and in the end when she figured everything out, I knew she was done for. I don’t think Ali is A, but she is nobody’s victim, that’s for sure. I will miss Mona. #RipMona

    • DL says:

      Yeah, definitely not Ali. They made sure to show clear shots of the killer’s hair, and while still blonde, it was absolutely different than Alison’s. I think one of Ali’s army would be too easy though; hoping for something a little bit more twisty and surprising.

    • surie says:

      If you look closely at mona’s killer as she walked into her house you can tell her body resembles ali’s very much. She has ali’s low set shoulders.

      • Me says:

        No, I think that both Ali and Cece were in Mona’s house. The girl walking up the stairs looked like Ali, and the girl who was in Mona’s bedroom looked like Cece.

  5. Alison built an*** Army

  6. Jamie says:

    I am so hurt by this. I adore Janel Parrish!! This is not Okay!!! I need time to recover.

  7. -A says:

    I’m not sure that Mona was killed… I think she was simply knocked out with a simple cut below her left eye. And as far as the blood on the wall….. I can’t explain but I think she is still alive.

    • Alison says:

      The Jesus and Mona doll switch was just creepy though….

    • Harley says:

      Grey skin vacant eyes… she looked pretty damn dead to me.

    • Hannah says:

      Her actress said she was dead and will show up again in flashbacks. She was pretty direct so I believe she is dead.

    • Curly Girly says:

      Ummmmm… you did see her in the end, where she was laid out in the trunk of the car and all gray and dead eyes, right???

    • mystery luver says:

      I agree. Although she looked dead there is a drug that can stop your blood and make it seen like you are dead which is why she looks like that. Also actor are not told how the whole story ends they get what they have on the script they are given. Just an assumption of mine. Also why would A take take the body if Mona was dead? Which is a another reason to believe she is alive but all the blood on those walks makes you think she was done for.

      • mystery luver says:

        On the walls I mean

      • Ritoo says:

        In an interview Janell gave to Cosmo before the finale, she assured that someone was going to die and will stay dead, so as much of a twist it would be for Mona to be alive, I am afraid she is not comming back. (Bummer I loved her– she is even more interesting than the rest of liars)

    • Asia says:

      She was pale. Ur only pale when u lose a lot of blood. So maybe she didn’t die maybe she did

    • her eyes were desiccated which means the mositure in her eyes had dried up hence saying she had been dead for morew than 24hrs in that boot of the car
      so sad i loved mona

  8. KB says:

    I hate that Mona was killed off. Parrish did a great job playing a very interesting character. Hopefully PPL does some flashbacks or something to give Mona fans closure.

    • BT says:

      Parrish said she will come back for flashbacks on the characters. It was the same way with Ian and Garrett after they were killed off.

  9. ek says:

    Can’t wait to see what all of the Alison defenders say about this episode. I wonder if they can still argue that Emily is better with Ali than Paige.

  10. Shannon Mast says:

    Wow! Jaw dropped to the ground!

  11. royalty104 says:

    Rip.mona! She will be missed! Just as I was beginning to really like the girl. ….and I think she was right bout ali being a sociopath….that would explain alot!

  12. Nicole Lambert says:

    i hate paily so much emison is end game

  13. Tre says:

    In the books, Mona dies and Ali has a twin… So maybe they are trying to get closer to the book story line!

  14. alistaircrane says:

    It was time to kill off Allison, yet she continues to live. Ugh. I hate that b***h!

  15. alistaircrane says:

    And LOL that PLL wants us to believe ALL of Season 3, ALL of Season 4, and the first half of Season 5 all take place between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Actually, because of the 2012 Halloween episode, they’re saying the second half of Season 3, all of Season 4 and the first half of Season 3 took place between Halloween and Thanksgiving. That’s 45 episodes in less than a month! Give me a break, PLL! Fix your ridiculous timeline!

    • iamjsm says:

      Lol I totally agree. This show has the worst timeline. This has been one very long senior year. They better graduate in 5B.

    • right?!!? I was thinking the same thing!!! They do this all the time and it is so annoying!!! I get that obviously once they get to college you can’t do much but it could have at least been Christmas. So dumb. Also the twin thing needs to happen soon so then hopefully they can follow the books a little better and get 2 more seasons out of the stuff they have.

      • alistaircrane says:

        The funny thing is it would be very easy to have them all go to the local college! “A” could manipulate their college applications so they only get accepted to Hollis.

        • Brandy says:

          But then viewers would complain “how stupid it is that A followed them to college & stalked/harassed them for 2-3 or more years”(just like on Gossip Girl fans complained how implausible it was for Gossip Girl to follow the group to college & still be holding on a grudge) or say ” they’re in college yet can’t figure out who A is?Howd they get into college?”It’s also annoying to viewers when a group of friends magically -unrealisticlally-get accepted to and go to the same college-BH90210,GG,90210,OC for examples.

    • Lucy says:

      The worst part of the timeline is when you track the B story lines. Somehow in those 5 months Melissa got pregnant, was rather advanced (sizable bump), lost the baby, went away for a while, came back, moved to London…
      Riiiiiiight.

  16. Emmy says:

    I don’t think Mona is really dead. She could be drugged and kidnapped. Blood could belong to someone else, or an animal. Not leaving the body at the house leaves the storyline open for her to be alive.

  17. Cate53 says:

    Love that Paily is back! Hate they killed Mona. However, she was just too clever in this episode, she sealed her own fate by starting to find out answers. No one does that for long on PLL!!! :D

  18. Ichigo says:

    This show has a habit of keeping everyone on edge. Making things seem as if they are a certain way but in reality they are not. I feel that Mona is to important of a character at this point in the story to kill her off. We really don’t know if she is dead. It just appears that way, and what we are suppose to think. Spencer we all saw coming that is been in the works for awhile now. As for Toby so didn’t see that coming. But at this point in time I would guess that Mona is alive just hanging on by a tread and poor Toby is dead. But that is just my thoughts on it.

    • Kalee says:

      Mona is dead dead.. Not coming back. She was interviewed by Cosmo magazine and said that this time “the person who dies” is for real gone. It’s too bad, I liked Mona from the start, but I know something bigger is coming from her death.

    • Missy says:

      Toby is not dead. They showed him after his wreck. He had a broken leg and was sitting in a wheelchair. Janell Parrish said the person who died would be dead and not come back. She is going to be be back in flashbacks that is all. Mona is dead dead, that much was obvious by her gray body in the trunk of the car…I just want to know what happened to all the stuff from Radley…

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  20. Kalle says:

    Cece Drake killed Mona.

    • skylar says:

      How do you know? For everyone saying mona isn’t dead…SHES DEAD!! DEAD DEAD never coming back dead. Shell be back in flashbacks but shes dead. Janel parish said it in an interview. She was shocked Mona died and will be missed but mona is dead and shes staying dead.

      • Chuck says:

        See the blonde hair didn’t look like Ali’s. And if you examine the hair of the person who puts Mona’s dolling replace of Jesus, the person has BROWN HAIR. Earlier in the series A was obsessed with looking like Ali (masks, wigs), maybe A is back with it with the blonde wig when A killed Mona?

        This is what I think
        :3.
        LOVE YOU MONA <3

  21. Kristina says:

    Clearly whoever does wardrobe for this show has never even been to Pensylvania in November.

    Also where is Mona’s Paris themed bedspread from! I want one!

    • emster says:

      Thank you! When they were decorating Emily’s house, I was like “This is PA in late November! Why is Emily wearing 3/4 sleeves with no coat?” Though of course, I loved her shirt. “Read her boobs,” Hanna says. LOL

  22. LuisG says:

    Did anyone notice the different hairstyles of the people in Mona’s home? The blonde outside while Mona was walking in had Alison’s curls as well as the one walking up the stairs. However, the person in Mona’s room was a short hair blonde… So the question is could there have been two A’s? Is one of them Alison?

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  24. Emmi says:

    I’m so crying! Loved Mona <3

  25. Rachel says:

    There’s nothing “apparent” about Mona’s death. We saw the body. Her face was pale and she had blood on her face and a glazed look in her eyes. She’s dead. Which is a shame, because she was getting to the point where she was a likeable character.

  26. Erin2 says:

    So we can all agree that Alison is not “A”…. but they are trying very hard to make us believe that she is!! I’m predicting that it was Paige in a blonde who killed Mona.. also note that the trunk that Mona was in looked a lot like the blue car we saw Paige driving earlier!

    • Big Mike says:

      Well I slowed it down at the end and brightened my screen and noticed that Mona is in the back of a blue Ford Taurus. I worked as a tire express guy so I know my cars. But there was know License plate. The other blue car was a Toyota that Paige drove. And there trunk isn’t that big.Detective Holbrook’s car is a blue Ford Taurus but when he was parked at the mental institution he had a License plate on it. So who else has a blue Ford Taurus?

  27. justme says:

    I’m not trusting Lucas right now. He told Mona that her own army had jumped ship, but maybe he never passed along her message to rally the troops. Also, who is his mystery girlfriend that supposedly lives in Philly?

  28. Its Alison - A says:

    does anyone know a good website to watch pretty little liars on?

  29. Kelly says:

    Overall I was disappointed in it. I’m so tired of the cloak and dagger stuff. Just show us the bad guys already. I think it would have been more interesting and helped the story progress if they kept Mona working with the other liars against Ali.

  30. Chuck says:

    Anyone notice the Paris connection between Ali, Mona, and CeCe (CeCe went to Paris)?!

  31. Kiz says:

    I’m not sure how you can call Mona’s death “apparent” when they showed her freaking body.

  32. aron says:

    It will be so funny if PLL continues to follow teen slasher genre twist that the boyfriend did it. All the girls have crazy parents and they are pretty liars themselves. I think Caleb and Paige are A’s followers. Caleb is perfect killer cause he left town for a fail show. The supernatural about Ravenwood was all in his head. He is bitter and made up everything. His alcohol problem is B.S. He lives in the middle of nowhere is perfect for planing evil stuff. Has anyone saw Sorority Row, it is never a good ideas to share your secrets with any boyfriend. It makes all the dude turn psycho. Maybe it was too obvious but Caleb and Mona’s interaction in this episode was weird. Paige follows Allison and know all that information out of nowhere. Where are Emily’s neighbor? They did not see a stranger in front of her house stealing baby Jesus. Anyway, I gotta agree that the show is entertaining.

  33. Shell says:

    Mona was a great anti hero, sad to see her go. I think it would be a mistake to bring her back, because it would be an awkward fit to the storyline and will end up like Vampire Diaries, but at the same time I hope they do. I think it’s Ali, she’s always seemed like the person to blame, after all the problems the girls face are all because of Ali. She loured the girls to NY, she had no problem hiding before if she didn’t want to be found she wouldn’t have. She planned to incriminate Spencer and Aria, I believe the rest of the girls are next. It’s possible Ali’ may be working for someone.

  34. Big Mike says:

    Well I slowed it down at the end and brightened my screen and noticed that Mona is in the back of a blue Ford Taurus. I worked as a tire express guy so I know my cars. But there was know License plate. The other blue car was a Toyota. And there trunk isn’t that big.Detective Holbrook’s car is a blue Ford Taurus but when he was parked at the mental institution he had a License plate on it. So who else has a blue Ford Taurus?

  35. Chloe h says:

    I think Mona will come back as ghost, if you watch the tv series ‘Ravenswood’, which is a tv series that is connected to PLL somewhat, one of the main characters, Miranda, was a ghost and Caleb and his mates could see her perfectly clear! And in the episode before Mona dies, we see the ouija board ( I’m pretty sure I spelt that wrong) moving, as well as those bugs Caleb talked about! So somehow they are going to make this show into supernatural one, and probably will bring Mona back as a ghost, where they will find out more bits and pieces.

    I haven’t seen this episode, I have only seen 10 minutes of it so if I’ve missed something sorry!

  36. sophie says:

    its so hitchcock, mona was not killed by ali, she was killed by Jason in a wig, a la psycho. We already know they love hitchcock on the series and now we know theres someone else with a motive for revenge, bethanys mum and any siblings she may have. Also Jason if he though mrs de laurentis was breaking up their happy home. Of course Jason could be bethany’s sibling, if you go with the whole ali is bethany scenario. I’m still on the fence on that one as its the most likely and i’ve been watching from the start and apart from tonight with mona, pretty little liars never goes for the most likely scenario. Is ali A – yes, but she is not the only a, she’s the puppet master, manipulating others into doing stuff for her. Paige i dont think she would have followed ali to be besties, so i doubt she would have killed the only person who could expose her to emily once and for all. I still don’t trust lucas, notorious double agent already, nothing to say he didnt betray mona. The a at the end always has dainty fingers which show its a woman, but the murderer had too broad shoulders and obviously false hair for ali, so i say definately a man acting for her.

  37. jordyn says:

    Am I suprised at that mona died. I was but then I wasnt ali’s target was always on mona. But It was sad. I miss mona I was starting to like her. Who do I think that did itbit was ali. Becuz when the girl walked up the stairs she had that im going to enjoy this walk. Then when everybody got there like police and the girls ali was smiling the whole time so that lets ne know that ali did this. She’s a psychopath. She knows and so do the girls. The other question is who is Ali going to come for now. Since who she calls loser mona is dead. MISS YOU MONA. I LOVE YOU. R.I.P MONA VANDERWAAL

  38. Sara says:

    It was very obvious from the first 5 minutes or so into the show that Mona was going to be killed. She was being very helpful and she was talking about her future plans….cue her death.
    What made me laugh out loud is how Spencer gets arrested and the next day Emily is all cheery decorating her house for Christmas.

    • Anthony says:

      DId you miss the timeline? Emily was decorating her house BEFORE thanksgiving. Mona was killed and Spencer was arrested ON thanksgiving.

    • Jen says:

      Did you (or anyone else! :) notice that at the end of the episode “A” was making a snow globe at a table full of Christmas decorations!? Emily was the only one to have decorated for Christmas.

      • JB says:

        That means nothing, just because we saw Emily decorating doesn’t mean someone else hadn’t already. In fact I know tons of people who decorate at Thanksgiving(for Christmas) including my family. It’s a tradition.

        This show is all about throwing shade, you can never read into actions too much because there’s always something or someone else doing similar. Also, the fact that Mona stayed alive this long is impressive. Those who question her dying & people dying during cliffhangers obviously never read the books. Heck, at least three main characters currently still alive died in the first 3-5 books.

  39. Kelsey says:

    Mona was who I suspected they would kill off, but it’s a shame she had to go so soon. Not only was she one of my favorite characters because of her wit and sass, but they created this new storyline of her working with the girls (also, her and Caleb make a phemenomal team!), and it seemed like they ended things before that story could be told. Her character was just starting to be redeemed too, but then she was murdered before we saw it to fruition. I’m bummed.

  40. desirae hoyle says:

    very sad to see mona go !! She was one of my favorite characters.. I think Ali and Bethany were sisters and one of them is evil. I don’t think Ali killed her but was involved somehow.
    she just didn’t do the dirty work..The girls need to watch out ..

  41. Peggy says:

    Yes shocked, thought for sure it would be Melissa. What will happen now?

  42. Peggy says:

    Could the wig A be a guy? Jason? Noel Kahn? Hmmmm Mona’s exes

  43. slrate42 says:

    I do wish that they would’ve reunited Mona with the girls sooner so we could see them work together because it was one of the most interesting plot lines for me. I started to like Mona again because she wasn’t so crazy…Parrish did a great job playing her! I’m wondering if they’re going to go closer to the books a little with the twin plot line and I hope they do! I agree with Mona that Ali is a sociopath…did you see that look on her face right before she turned around to look at Emily with puppy dog eyes? Dang! I actually think the actress for her (Sasha Petierse..sp?) is doing a much better job playing this side of Ali than when she was all nice and woe is me. I didn’t believe that for a second! :p

    Who do you all think is A and killed Mona?

  44. Bri says:

    Nope, not shocked at all since the official PLL social media totally gave up the one who died at 10 eastern! What the heck?!?

    Anyway, whoever killed Mona walked like Ali, but the hair shown looked like a wig. IDK if they just have someone random play A or if we can really trust our eyes.

  45. Chey says:

    I do not believe that Ali killed Mona. Ali has dirty blonde hair, that almost looks grey. Where whoever killed Mona had bright bright blonde hair. And Ali had long curly hair and this A figures hair was cut straight across at about mid breast length. People have said that it could be Ali cus Ali has curly hair and so on. But Ali’s curling her hair makes it shorter. If it were to be straight he hair would be longer. It also fair to say that maybe Ali recruited Cece into her group and has Cece doing her dirty work. Remember Ali and Cece were alit closer then anyone knew. But then there is the possibility of a wig which seems to be probably the most logical suggestion. Considering the hair on A as she was going up the stair didnt look real. And for some reason they wanted everyone to see the hair this time. So everyone could point fingers at Ali. Never have we been given any hints as to whom was under that hoodie until now. But the hair doesnt match Ali. Im beginning to wonder if its a guy wearing a wig because if you rewatch the episode the body is too large to be a females. But the blonde hair is what throughs everything off.

  46. Vanessa Sobotka says:

    It’s Allison for sure , because she was watching the 4 girls in front of Mona’s house after the murder . and plus the long blonde hair that they showed us when she entered Mona’s house.

  47. Emily Brown says:

    It makes no sense that Ali would be A and Im pretty sure she wouldebt kill her own mom or Mona so people are being raly stupid if they think Ali is A

  48. Dynasty Crystal says:

    I wasn’t shocked by the Fatal Finally! But I think CeCe Drake Killed mona since it couldn’t have been Allison and her hair isn’t that blonde, but if Allison was out there what other blonde would be willing to do such a thing for her other than CeCe ..

  49. Nohariz says:

    I utterly hate the thought of Mona being dead, but am super happy to know she won’t be totally out (flashbacks) of next season’s. She was a major character too smart for her own good…of course she had to die!
    On another note, I’d like to add…where in the heck was Tanner? When supposed “Alison “or blonde in black who murdered Mona was shown, that fat ass and big stomach are unmistakable, it was Alison, or Tanner!? Lol

  50. Asia says:

    I hope u all know that that wasn’t Alison! It was cece! Alison doesn’t have hair that short and dry looking. It was cece

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