Alex Drake (Pretty Little Liars)

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Alex Drake
Pretty Little Liars character
Alex Drake PLL.jpg
Alex eavesdropping on a conversation between Veronica Hastings and Jenna Marshall, taking place outside the Hastings and Hastings law firm.
First appearance
Last appearance
Created by I. Marlene King
Portrayed by Troian Bellisario
Information
Full name Alexandra Drake
Alias Spencer Hastings [b]
Nickname "A"[c]
A-moji[d]
Big Bad[e]
"Not A"[f]
The Stalker
Uber A
Waldo[g]
Title "A.D."
Occupation
  • A.D. (formerly)
  • Bartender (formerly)
Affiliation The A-Team (formerly)
Residence
Status Alive

Alex Drake is a fictional character created by I. Marlene King and portrayed by Troian Bellisario on the American television series Pretty Little Liars. She was officially introduced in the episode "Till Death Do Us Part," revealed to be Spencer Hastings' identical twin sister as well as the elusive "A.D." Alex believed the Liars knew who was accountable for Charlotte Drake's murder and also she impersonates Spencer due to being jealous of the upbringing that she was able to have. She was adopted by a wealthy British family that later abandoned her, forcing Alex to bounce around foster homes and orphanages for a large portion of her childhood. She is considered to be the deadliest antagonist of the series.

Her character pays tribute to Alison and Courtney DiLaurentis, characters of the Pretty Little Liars book series.

Development

Troian Bellisario portrayed both Alex and Spencer.

Bellisario was cast as Spencer Hastings, in November 2009.[1] Alex is Spencer's identical twin sister, whose existence was unknown until the series' final episode. During an interview to Elle, Bellisario disclosed that Marlene King, the show's creator, was planning to introduce Spencer's twin since 2014, when the show's fifth season began airing. She also commented that King was initially doubtful towards the storyline since Freeform wasn't decided if the show was going further forward. However, by the end of the sixth season, Marlene warned Bellisario they were staying true to the plan, so they began working on the character's history and characteristics.[2]

According to Bellisario, the difference between Alex and Spencer is that "Spencer approaches things with her head and her heart, and Alex approaches things with her head and her groin. That's not to say she doesn't have a heart or feelings, but she's gotten really good at putting a thick coat of armor over her heart."[2] Referred to as the series' "ultimate villain,"[2] Alex is an "Essex girl"[3] whose portrayal was influenced by late singer Sid Vicious.[4] She is a manipulative woman who can easily disguise and pass herself off as Spencer. Alex was desperate to take over her twin sister's life since Spencer had a supportive cycle of friends and family, while Alex was twice abandoned and forced to live on her own terms.

Background

Alex is the third and last child born to Mary Drake. Mary had walked into a restaurant and ran into Peter Hastings. She took advantage of the moment to pose as her sister Jessica DiLaurentis, whom Peter previously had an affair with. Mary ended up seducing him and their brief sexual encounter resulted in a pregnancy. Afterwards, Mary gave birth to identical twins at Radley Sanitarium, a mental institution she had been re-admitted to several times. The oldest child Spencer Hastings, was taken from her much like her first born Charlotte was and placed in the care of their biological father, along with his wife, Veronica Hastings.

Alex's existence was unbeknownst to Peter and Veronica since she was born minutes after Spencer was given to them post-partum.[5] Mary, desperate to escape Radley, allowed Doctor Cochran to arrange Alex's adoption in exchange for $500,000 and a resignation from the psychiatric hospital. Alex was later adopted by a wealthy British couple. However, she started to develop mental health problems at an early age, and the family that fostered her refused to tarnish their reputation. Alex was stripped off of her adoptive name and placed into an orphanage. She bounced around foster homes and orphanages for a large portion of her childhood. On her tenth birthday, Alex ran away from the Ambrose Home for Wayward Children, a year before Mary discovered she was there.

She later obtained a job bartending where she met Wren Kingston, who originally mistook her for Spencer. The two began a romantic relationship, and Wren told Alex about her blood relations to the Hastings and DiLaurentis. Alex even met Charlotte prior to her death, when the latter flew from a transatlantic flight to Paris to meet her. Both of them grew extremely close within the little time they spent together. Kingston had already assisted Charlotte's schemes during her reign as "A" and preceded to work for Alex when she decided to take over the game and avenge her maternal half-sister's homicide.

Physical appearance

Like Spencer, Alex has a very slim face complimented with high cheekbones, thin lips, and almond-shaped eyes. She also has a peach and cream complexion and long medium brown hair usually worn down in waves. She eventually styles her hair with bangs to mimic her sister's. While impersonating Spencer, Alex is seen dressed very similarly to her sister. However, when she is dressed as herself (as evidenced in flashbacks) she wears heavy makeup and dark clothing in a tomboy style.

Storylines

Season 6

By the end of the "Of Late I Think of Rosewood," Alex makes her first appearance as the new "Big Bad," although she only appears behind the car window glass during the aftermath of Charlotte's funeral. Whilst inside her limo, she listens to Patsy Cline's "Crazy."

During the closing scene of "Charlotte's Web," a mourning Alex places flowers on her half-sister's fresh grave next to Jessica DiLaurentis' and walks over to a black vehicle. Before stepping inside, her chauffeur expresses his condolences.[6][7]

Alex officially commences the newest "A" game in "The Gloves Are On," after gaining possession of Charlotte's former belongings. She sends the Liars (minus Alison) a text message, threatening them to expose Charlotte's assailant. Afterwards, she cuts open a bin containing A's signature black hoodie and dumps it into a garbage pail, but not before going on the internet to search for "UNIFORMS."[8]

In "New Guys, New Lies," Alex takes pictures of Spencer sitting outside The Brew - a coffee shop owned by Ezra Fitz. Later that day, costumed as a mailman, she watches Emily sitting inside the Montgomery household from the window. In the episode's final moment, Alex, dressed as an old hotel concierge, makes her way into a black limousine to remove her disguise, further indicating that she sports latex masks to hide in plain sight whilst stalking the girls.[9]

Throughout "Do Not Disturb," she continues to blackmail the Liars and signs her messages with emojis, leading them to nickname her "A-moji." Alex instructs Hanna to hand her over the backup drive from The Radley. She watches her from inside a black vehicle as she leaves the drive in a garbage can. When she plugs it into her laptop, Caleb appears on the screen delivering a video message before a virus that corrupts her files is spread across the computer.

At the end of "Where Somebody Waits For Me," she is seen cleaning off an electric switchboard at The Radley's secret basement whilst listening to "Whistle While You Work" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[10][11]

While Hanna, Emily, and Alison enter Sara's hotel room closet in "We've All Got Baggage,” Alex, dressed as a maid, walks into another room. As the Liars escape, she walks back into the room after having heard them making noise, and removes her disguise. Still wearing the maid gloves during the episode's concluding sequence, Alex reads a manual to a universal remote control. Next to them, is a slice of white wedding cake meaning they likely attended Byron and Ella's wedding.

In "Did You Miss Me?" Hanna Marin lies to Alex via text stating that she is responsible for Charlotte's murder, which culminates on the events of the following episode.

Throughout "Hush, Hush, Sweet Liars," Mary and Charlotte's former psychiatrist Elliott, dress up as Jessica and Detective Darren Wilden in order to drive Alison insane and trick her into checking herself at the Welby State Psychiatric Hospital. Footage of Mary near the fence Caleb built outside the Lost Woods Resort is later captured. However, the Liars were unaware of Mary's existence and mistook her for Jessica instead. As they left the forest, Mary returned to the DiLaurentis' house where she met Elliott. There, she asks if Alison "signed the papers." Elliott confirms, stating that 51% of the Carissimi Group shares were diverted at the time Alison signed her entry to the psychiatric hospital. Mary reveals that she is plotting revenge against the deceased Jessica. She then tenderly glances at a picture of Charlotte in a frame and states that she would've approved her malicious agenda. In the meantime, Hanna is abducted by Alex and begins using the alias A.D.[12]

Season 7

During "Tick-Tock, Bitches," Alex holds Hanna under captivity and tortures her. Alex sends a photo of a severely abused Hanna, alerting that they only have 24 hours to find Charlotte's killer in exchange for Hanna's safety. The Liars and the others admit to believing that Alison killed Charlotte and they set out to find proof. Aria and Ezra search the DiLaurentis residence, and are almost caught by Elliott. At the psychiatric hospital, Alison, in a drugged state-of-mind, seemingly admits to Emily that she killed Charlotte. After Aria recalls to have seen someone with a red jacket follow Charlotte the night she was murdered, Emily finds the jacket at Alison's house. Caleb hands the proof to Alex in order to rescue Hanna. Alex also makes her first onscreen appearance during the episode. She poses as Spencer and Hanna deduces their interaction is a dream. Their conversation culminates in Hanna managing to escape captivity, being later found in the woods by Mary.[13]

In "Bedlam," Mary drives Hanna safe and sound to Spencer's house. Someones knocks at the door and Ezra opens it. He finds a jar of flowers with a message from "A.D." Aria, Emily and Spencer meet up with Elliott in order to gain the opportunity to visit Alison, as he continues to deny it. While Elliott is talking with someone over the phone, the girls receive a new text message from A.D. and they realize that they are not as far away as they think. Mary opens up to Spencer about the reason why she was committed to Radley as an adolescent. Jessica was babysitting an infant Teddy Carver, when she phoned Mary to replace her so she could go on a date with a boy named Matt Brooks. The baby died under Mary's care and she was sent to Radley Sanitarium as a result. Mary told the baby's parents she hadn't even touched the boy and that it was her sister's fault, but no one believed her due to Jessica manipulating people into thinking she was volatile.[14] The episode ends with Alison being drugged by Alex and taken to a surgery room, where she implants Alison with Emily's eggs, thus impregnating her with Emily's offsprings.[5]

During "The Talented Mr. Rollins" and "Hit and Run, Run, Run," the Liars attempt to rescue Alison from Welby to protect her from A.D.'s threats. She manages to escape Elliott, who chases her in the woods, where a distracted Hanna hits him with her car and kills him.[15] The girls bury Elliott's lifeless body in the forest and with Mona's help hide the evidence that links them to him. At the psychiatric hospital, Alison finally comes clean to Aria about the night Charlotte died. She followed her into the church and up the bell tower, where they argued about Elliott's romantic involvement with Alison. Alison left the church after Charlotte accused her of merely visiting her to get closer to Elliott.

Mona intervenes with a cover-up plan to help the girls, for better or worse. Jenna comes back to Rosewood and is revealed to be in Elliott's payroll for undisclosed reasons. Whilst Hanna and Mona are looking for Hanna's golden bracelet on Elliott's car, they find the item and subsequently, Elliott's burner phone begins ringing. Mona answers the call, and the individual on the other end is revealed to be Jenna, who refers to Elliott as Archer.[16]

In "Along Comes Mary," Alison is released from Welby into the care of a relative, leaving her with Mary. She discloses to Alison that Archer contacted her in London to inform her that Charlotte died just hours after her release from the hospital. Archer also voices his suspicions that Alison was responsible for Charlotte's murder. Mary admits that at first she believed Alison was responsible for her daughter's murder, presuming she had inherited Jessica's ruthless nature but claims she stopped assisting Archer's schemes once he revealed his true colors.

Whilst searching through Archer's secret apartment, Emily and Aria discover that Mary and Jenna were under his payroll for unknown reasons. Alison later discovers through a message from Alex that the girls gave her up as Charlotte's killer in order to rescue Hanna.[17]

During "Wanted: Dead or Alive," it is revealed through flashbacks that Charlotte enlisted Jenna's help to find her birth mother and have Archer assume the identity of Elliott Rollins - a doctor who had been dead for several years - in order to purposely meet Alison and take advantage of her good intentions for Charlotte’s eventual release. At the end of the episode, Alex watches on her computer footage of Hanna and Spencer digging up Archer's grave. Boxes labelled "Charlotte's books" and "Letters from A.D" can be seen, this indicates that Alex and Charlotte wrote to each other after Charlotte was institutionalised. [18]

In "Original G'A'ngsters," the Liars discover new information about Mary and Jessica, leading them to a secret storm cellar at the house of Carol Ward - Alison's aunt who has since passed away. Inside, they learn that Jessica was investigating their lives and Alison's disappearance. Jessica also kept files of each Liar (minus Aria) as well as Mary's medical history. Within Mary's file, Spencer discovers that Jessica was in charge of Mary's mental health treatments and that she had authorized electroshock therapy. In another file, Emily discovers that Mary had a second child while she was in Radley, and that this child would be in the same age range as them. They then begin suspecting that this person may be their latest tormentor. The cellar explodes right after they exit, and someone writes "I see you" on the rear window of their car. Meanwhile, Alex walks into her lair with Aria and Noel's files. She proceeds to drink a shot of whiskey before lighting a match to burn Noel's file.[19]

During "Exes and OMGs," Spencer and Aria team up to find Dr. Cochran, and discover that he delivered both Mary Drake's children when she was hospitalized at Radley. Alex makes her second on-screen appearance whilst looking at a Hastings family photo album. She stops on a page of baby pictures presumed to be of Spencer, and stares at them for a few seconds before looking away irritably.[5] After not getting any help from the Liars in obtaining answers, Hanna goes rogue and decides to work alone in an unknown plan to discover A.D.'s identity.[20]

In "The Wrath of Kahn," Jason and Aria band together to gather more information on Mary's background and discover that Steven Kahn, Noel's father, was the judge who arranged her second child's adoption. At the end of the episode, Hanna knocks out Noel from behind after failing to obtain information from him.[21]

During "The DArkest Knight," Alex poses as Spencer and gives Toby a book as a parting gift and asks if she can kiss him one last time. They kiss before Alex leaves. Meanwhile, Hanna holds Noel hostage in an attempt to obtain a confession from him that proves he's their tormentor, but he doesn't regain consciousness. Impatient, she instead ends up slashing one of his legs with a knife in order to compare his DNA to Mary's and see if they are mother and son. The results later come back negative and Noel ends up escaping. Mona and Caleb manage to bug Jenna's cell phone and eavesdrop a voice message she left for Noel after he failed to return any of her calls. Afterwards, Hanna contacts Mona to help her return to Rosewood with a convincing narrative after having abducted Noel.

Once Hanna successfully fabricates a story to the police on how she went to Hollybrook to track down the girl Noel pushed down a flight of stairs at a frat party, Mona purposely bumps into Jenna Marshall at The Radley. Jenna is given an ultimatum to conspire with the Liars, after Mona implies that Jenna's partnership with Noel would send both of them to prison. Jenna initially gives in to Mona's coercion, seeing as her and Caleb later await for Jenna at the Radley's bar. Nonetheless, Jenna manages to trick them after hiring Sydney Driscoll to pose as a decoy and serve them coffee in order to buy Jenna sufficient time to track down the Liars at gunpoint at an abandoned school for blind students.

The Liars all get a text message ordering them to head over to 1465 Elm Street. Once the girls arrive, they make their way inside an abandoned school for blind students where they're held hostage by Noel and Jenna, with the latter tracking down the Liars at gunpoint. During the cat-and-mouse chase, Emily and Hanna end up fighting Noel which causes him to trip over an axe that decapitates him. Spencer is subsequently shot in the shoulder by an unknown shooter, giving Jenna the leverage to finish her off. Soon after, Mary emerges from behind and knocks out Jenna before she could do anything else. Whilst A.D. drags Jenna away out of the abandoned school, the Liars stumble upon a wounded Spencer in Mary's arms. Assuming that Mary is responsible for Spencer's gunshot wound, Mary swears she'd never harm Spencer and tearfully admits to being her biological mother.

Meanwhile, A.D. places Jenna in their van and gives her back her glasses. She questions who they are and they hand her a mask of an old man. She feels the mask and immediately realizes she is with A.D.[22][23][24]

In "Playtime," it's revealed that Mary ran off from the abandoned school before the authorities and paramedics showed up at the scene to aid Spencer. A week later, Veronica Hastings arrives back in Rosewood, finally concluding the victory cruise she embarked on shortly after being elected State Senator of Pennsylvania. Spencer discloses to Veronica what Mary had told her and demands answers. After initially resisting to her daughter's confrontation, Veronica proceeds to explain that one day she was working in her living room when Jessica DiLaurentis knocked on the door to have a discussion. Veronica avoided her neighbor at the time, due to Jason being a product of an affair with her husband Peter. Jessica presented to Veronica a rundown of her troubled history with Mary. Veronica was initially puzzled as to why Jessica was telling her about a secret relative with "emotional problems" until she revealed that Mary was pregnant. Unlike her previous pregnancy, the medical staff at Radley knew who the child's father was because Mary identified him. Mary had posed as Jessica at a restaurant where Peter was dining and seduced him. The purpose of Jessica's visit was not only to come clean about her sister carrying on her affair but to also provide Veronica the option to adopt the baby. Veronica was distressed when she discovered that her husband had been unfaithful again, but couldn't stand the thought of Spencer being born at a psychiatric hospital and ultimately abandoned. Shortly after Mary gave birth, Veronica and Peter made arrangements with Judge Steven Kahn in order to adopt Spencer.

According to Veronica, caring for Spencer as if she were her own was the key to forgiving Peter's infidelity. Emotional because of Veronica's revelation, Spencer decides to distance herself from Veronica. At the same time, A.D. delivers an interactive board game named Liar's Lament, which shows a map of Rosewood and figurines of the Liars. They decide not to play the game, but later in the episode, A.D. challenges Spencer to a truth or dare game, instructing her to pay a visit to Toby in order to gather a reward. After doing so, A.D. gifts Spencer with an old letter Mary wrote to her before she was born, stating that just because she's the outcome of a hateful act, doesn't make her hateful.[25][26]

During the episode's closing moments, Hanna attempts to break the board, but a phone in the center of the game plays a video of the Liars burying Archer's body. The final scene of the episode shows Jenna seated in A.D.'s lair, sipping tea. She thanks the unidentified individual for the drink and reminds them of their promise to update her on the "game." Dressed in a nurse's uniform, Alex drops a binder on Jenna's lap with pages of information written in braille. After Jenna reads a paragraph, she mutters the word "endgame" and grins in delight.

Emily decides to play the game in "These Boots Are Made for Stalking," and following the triumph of the mission delivered to her, she wins a piece of the board puzzle. Spencer realizes that through the junction of the pieces, a map that will lead to something or someone will be revealed.[27]

Later, Jenna walks into the police station in order to come clean about her actions and interrupts a conversation between Spencer and Detective Marco Furey. Jenna reports that she kept a low profile after the events that took place at the abandoned school to avoid being harmed by Noel. According to Jenna, Noel was Sara Harvey's killer and she feared she would be next. Noel recruited Jenna with the assumption that Charlotte left enough money in her will to afford Jenna another eye surgery. Nevertheless, Jenna suspected Noel of plotting to steal the money and keep it for himself since his parents had financially cut him off. In an attempt to defend herself, Jenna brought a gun to the abandoned school and pretended to hold a grudge against the Liars.

After Jenna tells her side of the story, Furey instructs one of his officers to escort Jenna to a conference room so she can make an official statement. As Jenna exits the room, Spencer says that Jenna an unreliable narrator. However, Furey tells Spencer that the police don't have any evidence against Jenna because the bullet that pierced Spencer was not of the same caliber as the ones in Jenna's gun. A few hours afterwards, Emily spots Jenna exiting The Brew - a coffee shop owned by Ezra Fitz - accompanied by an entourage of blind individuals. Jenna pauses right by the doorway and uses her phone's digital assistant to send a text. A faint beeping is heard from across the shop and the recipient is revealed to be Addison Derringer, a local Rosewood High student with whom Emily has disciplinary issues with. She instantly suspects Addison of being in cahoots with Jenna.

Later on in the episode, Mona and Hanna are having a business meeting at The Radley's bar when Jenna suddenly walks in to meet her newest associates. Jenna is wearing a replica of the dress Hanna designed for Katherine Daly, the daughter of a senator. Mona and Hanna confront Jenna, who gleefully reveals it was a gift but refuses to identify the person who gave it to her. Hanna and Caleb decide to follow Jenna and her group of friends to the building where Hanna's cobbler works. The couple suspect Jenna is planning to steal the shoes that the senator's daughter was supposed to wear to complement the dress. Once Jenna's friends head inside the building, Caleb engages in a face-off with Jenna in order to buy Hanna enough time to sneak into the cobbler's office to get her shoes. After Jenna is cornered by Caleb, she explains to him that she's on her way to rehearse for a concert since there's a studio on the top floor. Caleb points out that her friends didn't bring any musical instruments and as Jenna suggests him to back off, he replies with the same statement before pointing out that Jenna couldn't have worn that specific dress without a helping hand. Jenna attempts to flee but Caleb takes a hold of her cane to warn her that the cops were beginning to find inconsistencies in her statement. Jenna assures Caleb they won't be able to prosecute her since Noel was the only person who could contradict her statement.

During "Hold Your Piece," Alex hands Hanna the task of wearing an offensive, Oriental-themed dress during her meeting with Japanese investors. However, Caleb tries to invade the game board and a gas is released from it, poisoning his eyes. Right before the meeting with the investors, Hanna finds out that Caleb is in the hospital and goes to see him. Ultimately, Alex calls Hanna a loser and doesn't hand her piece of the puzzle.

In the meantime, Aria and Emily team up to track down Sydney Driscoll's whereabouts in hopes of finding Jenna. After searching her name online, they discover that Sydney graduated from Berkeley College, with a double major in economics and French. Sydney currently resides in a loft in Fishtown, Philadelphia, whilst working as a bank teller at a private department that services extremely wealthy clients. The girls also learn that Sydney checked into a charity gala for the Manhattan Children's Hospital, the same ball where Katherine Daly made an appearance wearing Hanna's dress. Following this, Emily Googles the event and comes across a picture of Katherina posing on a red carpet whilst Sydney sneakily uses a phone to photograph her dress. The girls deduce that Sydney's loyalty to Jenna makes her a suspect in Spencer's shooting. They conclude Sydney most likely made adjustments for Jenna to be dressed in a replica of Hanna's dress so Jenna could omit the truth from the authorities. Aria suggests her and Emily to head over to Sydney's home address to gather more insight into the situation. Following a quick lesson from Caleb on spying and hacking techniques, Aria instructs Emily to approach Sydney and clone her phone. During a conversation with Emily at a diner, Sydney explains that she tried to distance herself from Jenna over the years. Sydney further adds that she did the coffee delivery unknowingly and that Noel and Jenna were intending to kill the Liars. Their interaction is cut short once Sydney informs Emily that she has conference calls all afternoon. However, this information is quickly proven to be false. Through access to Driscoll's phone, the girls discover that Sydney had an appointment at the Vogel Vision Institute and they eavesdrop the meeting. Turns out Sydney was paying for an operation to give Jenna her sight back and she uttered the initials "A.D." as the donor for the cost. After Sydney exits the clinic, Aria and Emily aggressively confront her. Sydney still claimed to not knowing where Jenna was, so Aria slipped a tracker in order to keep track of her whereabouts.[28]

In "Power Play," Spencer arrives at her barn only to stumble upon her father's belongings. In Peter's luggage she finds his passport and discovers that he arrived in Philadelphia at the same time as Veronica. Peter suddenly emerges and Spencer engages in a heated argument with him, questioning him as to why he chose to avoid her. Peter reveals that he was searching for Mary's whereabouts and trying to assure she wouldn't return to Rosewood to cause more damage to their family. He further explains that he wanted to find a way to redeem himself after the emotional rollercoaster he put his family through. When Spencer asks him if he was able to successfully track down Mary, Peter replies that he's working with a private investigator in order to do so. Spencer reprimands her father for attempting to chase Mary away, and storms out.

The following day, Hanna is hanging out at Spencer's house when she spots the P.I.’s business card from Peter’s briefcase. She convinces Spencer to infiltrate the investigation in order to locate Mary, and theorizes that she might be able to help point them in the direction of “A.D." Afterwards, Hanna picks up the phone and calls the P.I., pretending to be someone from Peter's office. After getting help from the P.I., Hanna and Spencer knock on several doors until they approach one house and much to their surprise, Pastor Ted Wilson (Hanna's former step-dad) opens the door. The girls show Ted a picture of Mary and ask him if he has seen her, to which Wilson informs them that he hasn’t. Hanna offers to grab coffee with Ted at The Radley later to catch up, and she also asks him to call her if he happens to spot Mary. As the Liars turn away to leave, Mary shows up in the doorway. Ted turns to Drake and questions her on what she's truly doing there.

Later, he reaches out to Hanna to talk and they meet up at Lucas' loft, where Wilson reveals to have lied about Mary's visit. Ted further confesses that Mary is an ex-girlfriend from college. Mary decided to meet up with Ted to inform him that they had a child together - Charlotte Drake. Ted reveals to Hanna that he knew Charlotte prior to her transition, but was unaware that she was his child. It turns out that Ted used to run a summer camp for troubled boys, and Charlotte was a camper there - then known as Charles. Ted then shows Hanna a picture of himself back when he worked at the camp, chaperoning Charles and Lucas Gottesman, whom he described as his son's only friend. This leaves Hanna stunned.

Later, when Spencer arrives home, she is apprehended by her father, who is mad that she spent the entire day looking for Mary. Peter claims that Mary's behavior in the past suggests she's unhinged. When Spencer demands her father to expose whatever knowledge he has on Mary, Peter finally gives in and discloses that the last time he saw Drake was after Spencer came back from rehab. Peter was in the kitchen drinking a glass of wine when he spotted whom he thought was Jessica quietly descending the staircase and making her way to the front door. Just before she exited, Peter turned the lights on and confronted her, until she explained to Peter that she needed to see their daughter, prompting him to realize that it was actually Mary. Peter further clarifies that Mary wanted revenge after Jessica told her that Charles committed suicide in order to withhold information about his transition. After Peter refused to aid Mary on her vendetta, she used Peter's heart medication pills to poison Jessica and then buried her in the Hastings' backyard. At last, Spencer understands her father's concern, seeing as Mary wanted to pin Jessica's murder on him. Spencer is then disappointed to learn that Peter knew about Charlotte's connection to their family prior to exposing herself as "A." He then assures Spencer that despite her feelings, he'll always try to protect her.

Meanwhile, Emily reveals that Sydney played them and left the tracking device on a bus to Philadelphia. Aria receives a FaceTime call from a blocked number on her iPad. Once she answers, we see "A.D." in a black hoodie on the other end. A.D. tells Aria they own a stolen file from Jessica DiLaurentis' destroyed storm cellar at Carol Ward's property containing information that could send Ezra to jail. Aria immediately disconnects the call, marches over to the board game, and throws her player piece across the room.

Later in the episode, Aria and Alison are following the game's directions for Ali's turn. Abruptly, the game phone starts making a quacking sound in Ali's purse, which confuses the two girls momentarily until Aria spots a nearby store called the Darling Duck. There, Alison discovers that Emily's donated eggs were fertilized and implanted inside her uterus. Suddenly, Aria gets another FaceTime call on her phone, so she urges Ali to go inside, assuring her that she’ll meet her in a minute. When Aria glances down at her phone, she sees a message from “A.D.” that reads: “Meet me now,” with a GPS location. She immediately turns and heads in the opposite direction of the store to her secret rendezvous with A.D.

Once Aria arrives at the location, she makes her way inside a black limo, where she's greeted by a hooded person revealed to be Sydney. She is quickly exposed as a minion of A.D.'s, seeing as Aria spots an ear piece on Sydney's ear that's being used to communicate with another person. During their ride, Sydney took credit for shooting Spencer, helping Jenna escape, and creating the board game. Sydney attempts to lure Aria into her tormentor's side, further disclosing that she's earned a piece of A.D.'s trust by agreeing to meet with her in the limo. When Aria questions Sydney's motives, she explains that working for their enemy means being a part of the "winning team." After being dropped off, Aria reunited with her friends but didn’t mention anything about her run-in with Sydney. She received a text message from A.D. asking if she had made a decision about Sydney's offer.[29]

During "In the Eye Abides the Heart," the Liars are gathered at The Brew discussing Pastor Ted's mysterious photo of Charlotte and Lucas. Together, they wonder if Lucas and Charlotte managed to stay in touch throughout the years. The girls decide to search Lucas's loft in an attempt to obtain answers, but Aria points out that the entire building could be bugged, considering his affinity for high-tech gadgets. Later, Emily and Hanna commence their search through Lucas's apartment. Hanna is quick to defend her friend, but while rummaging through a box of comic books, the two Liars come across a manila envelope tucked all the way in the back. Hanna reaches inside and pulls out a comic titled Arcturus. The author's signatures at the bottom catches their eye, which reveal that it was created by Lucas and Charlotte.

Aria soon joins Emily and Hanna, and they inspect the comic together. The content seems to be about a troubled boy who befriends a woman from outer space with magical powers. Together, they seek vengeance upon people who have hurt him. The girls can’t help but notice that there are some eerily familiar drawings that resemble the electrical switches from Charlotte's Dollhouse. After this, Aria is seen on her phone telling A.D. all about the comic. Back at the apartment, Hanna pulls out the box where she previously found Lucas's comic, only to realize that it's missing. Aria is then seen bringing the comic to Rosewood High in the middle of the night. Her mission is to place the comic in locker 214. Just as she starts to walk away, Aria appears to have a change of heart. She immediately doubles back to the locker, only to find a black hoodie hanging from the hook in its place.

Spencer visits Detective Marco Furey at the police station to bring him a box of cupcakes and talk about Archer's severed finger that A.D. sent the authorities. Furey reveals that he spoke with a nurse at Welby and learned that Mary and Archer had an argument right before he went missing. Marco deduces that Mary might have been involved in Archer's murder, but his suspicions also lean towards Spencer. When Spencer returns home later that day, she immediately realizes that someone trespassed her house. Sure enough, the front door to the barn is ajar with a wine bottle in front of it containing a note. The note is a message from Mary saying, "Need to talk." Spencer writes a response and sticks the paper back inside the bottle.

The following day, Hanna pulls out the box where she previously found Lucas and Charlotte's comic book, only to realize that it's missing. Hanna immediately dials Spencer to inform her, but she dismisses her quickly in favor of opening up the latest note from Mary, which contains a single gold key. At night, Spencer unlocks a door at the Lost Woods Resort and stumbles upon a pile of mail right at the foot of the doorway. Suddenly, she hears a noise outside, and Furey walks in. He tells her that he followed her, realizing that she was planning on meeting Mary at the motel. Furey shares that every theory he has about Dunhill's death somehow links back to Spencer and the other Liars. Furey discloses that he ordered copies of Archer's credit card receipts to see the signature. Spencer realizes that she accidentally used Archer's credit card to pay for the drinks that she and Furey shared the night of Archer's murder. Spencer then leaves. At the end of the episode, she receives one more note from Mary that says "You brought the police. I understand. Goodbye." Mary had been waiting for her at the motel but when she spotted Furey, she assumed Spencer had tipped him off.

Mona is enlisted by Hanna to investigate the board game after disclosing that Lucas pulled the plug on Hanna's fashion business due to lack of investors. Mona gets fascinated by the game's structure and starts taking photos of it. Hanna unintentionally makes Mona play the game to find out how far A.D. would go, but Mona insists she may end up getting addicted again in the process.

Outside of town, Ezra is at the airport waiting for his flight when he sees Alex - posing as Spencer - and Wren Kingston talking. She immediately gets up and walks over to Ezra to quickly introduce him to her ex-boyfriend. Alex then pulls Ezra off to the side and explains to him that she hasn't spoken to Kingston since before Charlotte's murder. She met up with Wren in order to seek for enlightenment on his behalf given that he helped her former tormentor sneak in and out of Radley.[30]

In "The Glove That Rocks the Cradle," Alex orders Aria to destroy Alison and Emily's nursery while wearing the black hoodie. She almost gets caught and is forced to flee. In Hanna's return at the game, A.D. makes her pick up something at a computer repair shop and bring it to Rosewood High. Emily realizes that A.D. has a helper who destroyed the room while they were at the school.

Spencer steals a flash drive from Marco. The item contains footage of Lucas admitting to the police that he wasn’t Hanna's alibi on the night of Charlotte's murder and that the other Liars are capable of murder. Lucas is then shown clutching the comic book that Aria handed to A.D. and later spotted by Hanna awaiting someone at The Radley. He is finally caught by all of the Liars when searching through the contents of his apartment and they confront him in an attempt to learn more about his connection to Charlotte. Lucas claims to have been unaware that Charles transitioned to Charlotte and took inspiration upon the narrative of their comic book. Lucas further reveals that he may have fed Charlotte all the information needed to torture the Liars since they stayed in touch through email. During high school, Lucas disclosed to Charlotte that Alison bullied him and the other girls did nothing to prevent her out of loyalty. An anonymous individual proceeded to return the graphic novel to Lucas, along with a note instructing him to meet them at The Radley or else his former friendship with Charlotte would be exposed. The person who gave him the ultimatum failed to show up, prompting Lucas to run back to his loft. As it turns out, Lucas was concerned about a second graphic novel that had never been completed because it continued his first comic book's revenge storyline, only this time turning the events into a game. Afterwards, Caleb and Hanna return to Lucas's loft with the hard drive Hanna picked up based on A.D.'s instructions. The audio file contains a Patsy Cline song. Hanna remembers that "A" played a different Patsy song back at the Dollhouse. At the end of the episode, A.D. is seen flipping through pages of the missing comic book and starts drawing the next chapter of the story, which includes a gravestone nearby a tree.[31]

During "Driving Miss Crazy," A.D. blackmails Aria into placing a burner phone with a pre-made audio recording to play over a sound system at the Hastings residence. The recording is a conversation between Mary and Peter, which reveals that Peter and her sister were plotting to kill her. This leaves Peter angry, who begins to frantically search for Mary around the house, thinking that she might have planted the recording. He tears the speakers off the walls, and tells Veronica and Spencer not to listen to the recording. After hearing the conversation playing on a loop, Veronica considers contacting the authorities but Spencer persuades her mother not to call the police.

Later at night, Detective Furey confronts Spencer outside her home, after learning that she is Caleb's ex-girlfriend. Furey further points out their romantic involvement gives Caleb enough motivation to protect her and cause a flood at The Radley that destroyed all of the hotel's security footage. Spencer threatens to embarrass Marco at the police station with personal details about their relationship, prompting him to drive off.

After she gets in her car, Mary, who was hiding in the backseat, covers Spencer's mouth and orders her to drive to the Lost Woods in order to explain her version of events. Mary denies planting the recorded conversation at the Hastings household, but isn't regretful Spencer had heard it. After Spencer points out how Mary committed a heinous crime, Mary tells her not to judge. Through a flashback, we learn that Mary was told by Peter she would never see Spencer again. Peter and Jessica came up with a plan to use Peter's heart medication pills to kill her. Mary thwarted the plan and killed Jessica with his pills before burying the body at the Hastings' backyard. Feeling like she was cheated out of the chance to know Spencer, Mary asks her to come live under the radar with her.

Afterwards, Spencer goes home to confront her father. When she gets there, her parents are reading the letter Mary wrote to her. Peter, once again, tries to warn Spencer that Mary is manipulating her. Spencer alludes to her dad's involvement in the murder plot against Mary, but Peter makes no apologies for his actions. He clears up that his intention was to protect his family from Mary, and he'd do it again if necessary. Peter storms out and Veronica tells Spencer that she is dropping out of the Senate due to fear of Peter's actions becoming public knowledge. Spencer meets up with Mary again, but this time to say goodbye. Mary assures Spencer she understands, and in return she implores her to forgive herself in order to move on with her life.

As a reward for having followed Alex's orders, Aria is handed one piece of the puzzle and some confidential files. Furey reveals that he has crucial evidence that could lead him to Archer Dunhill's killer, and Hanna worries. She then heads next to the board game to play, and enlists Mona's help. Mona also teams up with Emily to find more information on how Emily's fertilized eggs ended up in Alison's womb. They visit the doctor who performed the operation, not getting much information. Mona then heads to the address of the doctor's house, which she found in a magazine stolen from his office, and finds an envelope with money. She pressures the doctor, who reveals that he has never met the person who arranged the procedure and that everything was negotiated online. Hanna returns to where Archer was buried, in search of the shovels she and the others used to bury him. She then encounters a park ranger, who reveals the shovels were taken by the authorities. By the end of the episode, Mona returns home and it is revealed she took away the board game to investigate it.[32]

In "Choose Or Loose," Rosewood P.D. officers take the Liars' belongings through search warrants. Enraged, Spencer heads to the station to understand what's going on, and discovers that Lieutenant Tanner is now handling the Dunhill case. Tanner expresses her concern about the possibility of the Liars being involved in the case, and indirectly threatens Spencer, saying that she always found them guilty of something, but did not know of what exactly. After her phone was taken, Aria discovers another one hidden inside an air duct that A.D. left to communicate with her. Aria claims to meet A.D. since she is a reliable person, and the tormentor sets a date, as long as Aria wears her black hoodie. In a room at The Radley, the Liars and Caleb get together to discuss the Dunhill's murder when the board game begins a new round: "Choose or Lose." The Liars have to choose one of them to go to jail for Dunhill's murder or all of them go. Mona arrives afterwards and warns the girls that Aria might be working with A.D. The girls initially don't believe her, but Mona provides evidence and a recording of Aria and A.D., leaving them in panic. Detective Tanner finds pieces of a car windshield in the drain of Spencer's bathroom with traces of blood. Alex proceeds to impersonate Spencer again and visits Toby in his cabin, leading to a sexual encounter. [33]

During "Farewell, My Lovely," Caleb tells the Liars that Mona has the board game and they jump to the conclusion that she is Uber A. Spencer notices a message from Mary in a wine bottle while she was with the other Liars. Following the instructions on the note, Spencer heads to the Lost Woods where she finds Mary waiting for her. Preparing to leave town, Mary tells Spencer that she put the deed to the resort in her and Alison's name so they could use it for money in case they needed legal counsel. Mary further states that preventing Lieutenant Tanner from obtaining arrest warrants for her family was the least she could do.

Later that day, Hanna notices rose petals falling from the church's bell tower which prompts her to investigate. There she finds Mona dressed like she used to back when she was an outcast in high school. Hanna is puzzled over the fact that her friend keeps referring to her as Charlotte. Mona tells Hanna she killed Charlotte and through flashbacks we see the two of them engaging in a heated confrontation. After realizing that her condition hadn't improved and her intentions were to resume the game, Mona held a screwdriver to Charlotte's back. She taunted Charlotte to jump or else she'd push her. Mona suddenly grabs Hanna and attempts to throw her off the bell tower until Caleb and Spencer arrive just in time to prevent anything from happening.

Mona is then taken to the Lost Woods and discloses to Spencer she messed up killing Charlotte. Asking what she meant by that, Mona reveals that she and Charlotte began fighting. Charlotte tells Mona the Liars will never love her back, causing Mona to gain the upper hand and shove her against a wall. A metal rod impales the base of her spine, killing her instantly. Mona then threw her body from the bell tower and placed a rose on her hand before throwing rose petals. This revelation led to the final pieces of the puzzle being left for the Liars to find on Hanna's car. They place the pieces into the board game, which A.D. had moved to the Alison's house. The phone from the game bid the Liars congratulations and through augmented reality informed them the grand prize was to discover Archer's corpse buried at Carol Ward's house.

The girls rushed over there with shovels to dig the body up but Aria persuades her friends to stop playing the game and walk away. As they did, Tanner and the authorities turned up and the girls were all taken into custody. Fearing that they were about to be charged with first degree murder, the Liars are shocked to observe Mary in the interrogation room confessing to the murders of Archer and Jessica. While the Liars (minus Alison) knew she was responsible for her sister's murder, they were shocked to witness Mary take the fall for Archer's. Tanner allows the girls to walk away free but made it clear that she knew Mary wasn't responsible for Archer's death. Spencer tearfully watches Mary get taken away and whilst the two briefly make eye contact. Spencer tries to say something but Mary shushes her before she says anything. In the episode's closing sequence, Alex is seen driving off into the sunrise with the Liars' game pieces in a plastic bag.[34]

In "Till Death Do Us Part," a year has passed since A.D. went under the radar after finding out who Charlotte's killer is. Mary, now a prisoner, receives a visit from Alex posing as Spencer, who asks for a favor. Later that night, the Liars and their respective partners are gathered at the Lost Woods for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party in celebration of Aria and Ezra's wedding. An elusive figure in a black hoodie is watching them through the bushes while they're eating dinner. The anonymous figure turns around and is revealed to be Melissa. She proceeds to spy on Aria talking over the phone to her doctor about her infertility issues. A few minutes later, she walks away from the resort to unzip the hoodie. As Melissa reaches into it, she pulls off a lifelike mask to reveal that it was actually Mona. She proceeds to FaceTime A.D. and it is revealed that they sent her to the Lost Woods in the Melissa mask as a loyalty test. After successfully obeying her orders, Mona heads to Spencer's barn to knock her unconscious.

Some time later, Spencer wakes up in a cell and looks at what she believes to be a mirror. Alex, unable to keep up the ruse, quits impersonating Spencer. Spencer is visibly puzzled, and Alex startles her. She starts laughing gleefully as Drake walks up behind her and makes her way into Spencer's room, where she states they didn't think she'd wake up so early. Mary then injects Spencer with a sedative, causing her to fall asleep instantaneously. A few hours later, Spencer awakens once more, only this time attached to a holter monitor and with a foot chained to a bed. She comes face to face with Alex in disbelief, who informs Spencer that their mother is preparing a special lunch for the three of them.

Alex proceeds to share with Spencer details about the circumstances that lead to avenging their half-sister's memory. As a teenager, she obtained a job bartending at a pub in London where she met Wren Kingston, who originally mistook her for Spencer. Wren disclosed to Alex her blood relations to Spencer, Charlotte, and Mary. The two eventually fell in love and began a romantic relationship. According to Alex, Melissa had been out of the picture at the time since she was dating a composer. It is ultimately revealed that the person who Ezra ran into at the airport with Wren before almost leaving for Maine was Alex. The couple was engaging in a heated argument over whether or not Alex's true intentions were justice for Charlotte.

Sometime afterwards, Wren and Alex argued once more at his apartment in London, with Wren advising Alex to come clean about her past to the Liars in hopes they'd embrace her. The pair kiss passionately before Alex picks up a gun and instructs Wren to shoot her in order to match Spencer's gunshot wound. He initially hesitates but ends up doing so. Alex explains that the plan was to physically replace Spencer, but Wren always thought of her as Alex. This prompted Alex to murder him out of anger, before turning his ashes into a diamond necklace.

She then realizes the time and states that she has to get ready for Aria's wedding. A few hours later at Aria's dressing room, Emily's mother walks in with one of Emily and Alison's daughters. Alex takes the baby into her arms and bounces her as she walks to a mirror. She starts chatting to the baby, complementing her looks and stating that she has her "daddy's eyes," revealing that Wren is the biological father of Alison and Emily's twins.

Back at Alex's lair, Mary shows up to deliver Spencer's lunch and is met with accusations of having a helping hand in Alex's maneuvers. Mary reminds Spencer that she's a wanted convict for a murder she didn't commit and asks for her trust. This causes Spencer to ask where they are but Mary is unaware of the location, however, she mentions that Alex promised to keep both of them secure.

Spencer asks Mary why she never told her about Alex's existence, to which Mary replies being unsure whether Alex was alive or not until she visited her a few weeks earlier. According to Mary, the existence of a twin was unknown to the Hastings, since Alex was born minutes after Spencer had already been handed over to Peter and Veronica. Mary, desperate to escape Radley, allowed Dr. Cochran to arrange Alex's adoption in exchange for half a million dollars and a resignation from the psychiatric hospital. Alex was later adopted by a wealthy British couple. However, she started to develop mental illness at a young age, and the family that adopted her refused to tarnish their reputation. Alex was then stripped of her adoptive name and placed into an orphanage with her birth name. On her tenth birthday, Alex ran away from the Ambrose Home for Wayward Children, a year before Mary discovered she was there. Drake proceeds unlock Spencer's cell and the two share an emotional embrace. Spencer takes advantage of the situation to steal one of Mary's bobby pins to later pick the lock of her room.

At the wedding, Ezra is revealed to be standing up Aria, and Alex watches as Aria addresses her father about what to do. She instructs Aria to try dialing her fiancé again, however, Ezra doesn't answer the phone. It is then revealed that Alex kidnapped Ezra and is holding him prisoner in the same bunker Spencer's trapped in. The wedding is called off after Aria discloses to her friends and father that she received a text from Ezra's phone stating he couldn't commit to her. Later, Alison welcomes Aria to stay at the DiLaurentis household and informs that "Spencer" called to let them know she's bringing their friend something else to wear.

Once Alex returns to her underground bunker, Ezra says he and Spencer understand why she became A.D. and attempts to talk her out of her vengeful agenda. This angers Alex, who demands privacy, but not before reminding Fitz they met once at the airport. After Alex closes the doors to Ezra's cell, she turns to Spencer, who insists that after learning about her sister's background, she empathizes with Alex and has forgiven her. She says the other Liars will most likely forgive her, since they forgave Mona. Alex scoffs at this, aware that Mona was never truly welcomed by the Liars. Spencer asks her sister if she developed feelings for Toby, considering they slept together twice. Alex notifies Spencer that whilst he settled for Yvonne, he was now widowed and free to be "with his one true love."

Spencer declares that Alex can't keep her locked away forever, with Alex saying she can and that Spencer has their mother to thank for her safety. Alex reminds Spencer that Mary's protective nature is what kept her alive and that she rescued her from the abandoned school. This causes Spencer to jump to the conclusion that Sydney was aiding Alex whilst Jenna and Noel chased the Liars. Alex laughs hysterically at her sister's assumption and clarifies that Sydney was merely a "one-off" deal. Alex blackmailed Sydney after discovering that she was stealing from the bank she works. Sydney agreed to persuade Aria into joining the A-Team. She then explains that Jenna requested Noel to search for her whereabouts. Jenna was aware Charlotte had another sister and that she left Alex her possessions.

Although Jenna didn't know Alex's name or what she looked like, she offered to do her bidding in exchange for one last chance to regain her eye sight. Alex paid for Jenna's treatments, which proved unsuccessful, therefore becoming counterproductive to her agenda. As for Sara, Charlotte told her she hid "her greatest treasure" at The Radley. Harvey deduced it was money, when it was actually Mary's medical file that Spencer and Toby found in the underground alley beneath Sara's hotel room.

Alex further clarifies that all Charlotte asked for was a family. Alex was introduced to her half-sister prior to her death, when the latter flew from a transatlantic flight to France just to meet her. In a flashback at an airport, Charlotte is seen talking to Wren over the phone about Alex. After Wren informs Charlotte that Alex looks a lot like someone they're acquainted with, she is stunned to stumble upon a girl identical to Spencer before realizing it's her twin sister. According to Alex, the two bonded instantaneously and walked the streets of Paris until the sun came up, feeling like they'd known each other their whole lives. She then says Charlotte met Archer on the plane, and they began a romantic relationship.

Spencer questions if Archer was on the A-Team as well, but Alex quickly dismisses her doubts by explaining that his severe mistreatments towards Alison at Welby was a stunt he pulled on his own. He persuaded Mary into aiding him, believing that Alison was the mastermind who orchestrated Charlotte's murder. Wren and Alex went on several double dates with Charlotte and Archer before she returned to Rosewood to continue the "A" game.

During another flashback, at a bar, Alex attempts to convince Charlotte to stay with her in London, thinking she allowed the Liars to have power over her, Charlotte however believed herself to be the one with the power. After she suggests departing with Charlotte to meet Spencer, she warns Alex to stay away from the Hastings. Alex insinuates that Charlotte wanted Spencer all to herself, prompting her to disprove Alex's hints of jealousy. She insists on offering Charlotte a ride to the airport, but Charlotte declines, further justifying that a pre-meditated goodbye would be too hard to handle. The sisters share a final embrace and Charlotte gives Alex a vinyl record of Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits record as a goodbye gift.

Back in present time, Alex explains that Charlotte never returned to London, and the next time she saw her was when she first paid a visit to her grave. Spencer asks Alex why she believed Charlotte's depiction of her. Alex responds that whilst their interactions were brief, Charlotte seemed honest enough when she described Spencer as "toxic." She then states that she has to leave again, and opens up the door to Ezra's room before leaving.

Alex then goes to the barn walking up to her sister's rescue horse, Bashful, and tries to put a saddle on him. The horse reacts negatively, recognizing that Alex isn't Spencer. Toby runs into the pen and settles the horse and asks if she's okay. Alex responds that she is, and the best thing to do when the horse gets like this is to walk away. She then leaves, and Toby looks at her confused, as this contradicted what Spencer had said to him the day before.

A few hours later, Alex is seated on a bench outside of the *Hastings and Hastings* law firm. Jenna emerges from the building with Veronica, and the two women briefly discuss a legal situation involving Addison's behavior at school. After Veronica leaves, Jenna sniffs the air around Alex and questions "Spencer" on whether she's sporting a new perfume. Alex laughs it off, explaining that she spent the morning taking care of Bashful before heading in the opposite direction. After she walks away, Jenna pulls out her phone and calls Toby to warn him that there's an impostor posing as his ex-girlfriend.

Aria is about to send an S.O.S. to Spencer when Toby walks into the DiLaurentis household and orders her not to do it. He then unveils to the Liars and Caleb that he knows about the existence of Spencer's twin sister, as the book that Alex gave him didn't have notes in it, and Spencer was always writing notes in her copy of the book. He says that twins run in the family that it's time for Plan B and that Alex needs to tell them who she is.

Alex is then spotted angrily leaving a house with Mary in tow. Mary points out that Alex promised she wouldn't injure Spencer, and she angrily proclaims her need to dispose of "the proof" before grabbing an ax off the side of the building. Mary says that if they leave straightaway, they can arrange a mother-daughter trip to Europe. Alex insists that she's not going anywhere without Toby and claims he's in love with her. Mary responds that Toby's in love with Spencer, which causes Alex to furiously yell that she is Spencer. Mary notifies Alex that she knows what it feels like to believe in something so desperately that you start to believe it's true. Alex wisecracks that she can't fathom her mother's words and punches Mary in the nose, knocking her out.

In the meantime, Mona arrives at the DiLaurentis household and explains to the Liars that the elusive figure in a black hoodie who paid her a visit at Welby a year earlier was Wren, hellbent on killing her under Alex's orders. However, Mona persuaded him and Alex into sparing her life by helping Mary escape prison. Through Mona's assistance, the Liars, Toby and Caleb discover where Alex is after Mona divulges the coordinates of their enemy's lair. They quickly figure it out that Alex bought the house Toby built and must be holding Spencer captive there. They then rush out to find them.

In the meantime, Alex is seen stalking through the hallways of the bunker clutching the ax. She heads to Spencer's room, only to discover that both she and Ezra have escaped. She is annoyed by this and goes off to find them. Spencer and Ezra discover that what they believed was a house and lawn is in fact a fake scenario Alex built underground. At the same time, the Liars, Caleb, and Toby arrive at Toby's former house to discover that the living room is filled with replicas of Spencer's furniture. After, they find the pathway to where Spencer, Ezra, and Alex are. Ezra informs Spencer that the only way out is to go back, but Spencer refuses to go through the bunker again.

Moments later, Alex switches the lights off and sneaks up behind Spencer and Ezra and attempts to murder them. She knocks Ezra down and hits his head on a rock. Alex lifts her ax to murder him, but Spencer jumps in front of him and orders Alex to stop. Alex mockingly mimics every word Spencer says, until Spencer states that it's not too late to be family. This irritates Alex, who claims that it is before raising the ax and striking down.

Spencer knocks Alex to the ground leading them to roll around, punch and hit each other. Finally, they break apart and one twin goes for the ax, grabbing it, and the other twin grabs it and they struggle for it. However, the Liars, Caleb and Toby burst in, with Toby holding his gun up and ordering both twins to stop fighting. Alex tries to convince Toby that's she's Spencer and Spencer quickly warns him not to listen to her. Toby puts his gun away and walks up to Alex looking her in the eyes before pinning her hands behind her. He asks her to tell him her favorite quote from the book she gave him, and Alex can't answer the question. However, Spencer quotes the line in fluent French, leaving Alex furious.

A police officer runs in and Mona discloses to the Liars that she called the police. The officer says that Mary was caught a few blocks away and handcuffs Alex. Whilst the man takes her away from Toby, Alex pauses in front of Mona and says, "no one can call you Loser Mona anymore." Mona enthusiastically replies "you don't know the half of it." Alex is then taken into custody.

Sometime later, Mona is seen running a doll store in France. Once she finishes selling an item to a customer, the officer who arrested Alex and Mary walks inside to greet Mona with a kiss, revealing that they were somehow in cahoots. They make dinner plans and after he exits the shop, Mona heads to a basement. A dollhouse is set up with two dolls seated in the upper division, to which Mona voices that it's tea time before handing them a toy teapot.

Behind the dollhouse, a light goes on in a room that shows Alex and Mary, who are dressed as dolls while sipping tea together. Alex unleashes a heavy sigh, and Mary professes to her daughter that Mona can't hold them hostage forever. Alex, embracing the unavoidable, rolls her eyes and elucidates, "Of course she can, she's Mona." She glares through the glass at Mona, who is also sipping tea and looking satisfied, knowing she has finally taken control of the "A" game again and has two dolls of her own.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

It is implied during the first episode of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists that Alex and Mary escaped from Mona's dollhouse and are now on the run.[35]

Reception

The character'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.

Some television critics were welcoming towards the twist. Gavin Hetherington of SpoilerTV enjoyed Alex's reveal as "A.D." and her connection to Spencer, stating it was "actually well done."[36] 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." [37]

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?"[38] While writing for Vulture, Jessica 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."[39]

Notes

Footnotes

  1. ^ Alex's first appearance as A.D. took place in the episode "Of Late I Think of Rosewood". However, her first unmasked appearance portrayed by Troian Bellisario occurred in "Tick-Tock, Bitches".
  2. ^ pretending to be her sister.
  3. ^ The Liars, Mona, and Caleb have referred to her as an "A" in certain episodes.
  4. ^ Caleb Rivers comes up with this description for Alex due to communicating with emoticons through her text messages.
  5. ^ The Liars use the term Big Bad to refer to Alex initially when not using "A" or the Stalker.
  6. ^ Hanna refers to Alex as "Not A" after revealing that their tormentor doesn't go by any initials.
  7. ^ Caleb suggests "Waldo" as a nickname when discussing Alex's anonymity.

Sources

  • This article incorporates material derived from the "Alex Drake" article on the Pretty Little Liars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License (July 2, 2017).
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  2. ^ a b c Nojan, Aminosharei (28 June 2017). "Exclusive: Pretty Little Liars' Uber A Explains the Crazy Series Finale". Elle. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  3. ^ Swift, Andy (28 June 2017). "Pretty Little Liars Star Reflects on the 'Divisive' Series Finale Reveal, Clarifies a Popular Misconception About A.D." TVLine. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  4. ^ Chavez, Paul. "Troian Bellisario reveals she knew identity of PLL villain for years". Mail Online. Metro Media Group. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Till Death Do Us Part". Pretty Little Liars. Season 7. Episode 20.
  6. ^ "Charlotte's Web". Pretty Little Liars. Season 6. Episode 12. January 19, 2016.
  7. ^ Hetherington, Gavin (January 20, 2016). "Pretty Little Liars - Charlotte's Web - Review: "Duck, Duck, Goose"". SpoilerTV. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  8. ^ "The Gloves Are On". Pretty Little Liars. Season 6. Episode 13. January 26, 2016.
  9. ^ "New Guys, New Lies". Pretty Little Liars. Season 6. Episode 14. February 2, 2016.
  10. ^ "Where Somebody Waits For Me". Pretty Little Liars. Season 6. Episode 16. February 16, 2016.
  11. ^ Hetherington, Gavin (February 17, 2016). "Pretty Little Liars - Where Somebody Waits For Me - Review: "In Little Liar Limbo"". SpoilerTV. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
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  13. ^ Sastry, Keertana (June 21, 2016). "Pretty Little Liars season premiere recap: 'Tick Tock Bitches'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Trammell, Mark (June 29, 2016). "Pretty Little Liars "Bedlam" Review (Season 7 Episode 2)". TV Equals. Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (July 5, 2016). "Pretty Little Liars Recap: Crash Dummy". Vulture. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
  16. ^ Cleary, Kendra (July 12, 2016). "'Pretty Little Liars' 7x04 review: The ladies Macbeth". Hypable. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  17. ^ White, Caitlin (July 19, 2016). "'Pretty Little Liars' Recap, Season 7, Episode 5: Guess Who's Back?". Wetpaint. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
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