A Not So Trans-cendental Ending for Pretty Little Liars

It’s the moment Pretty Little Liars fans have been waiting for from the beginning: finding out who the fuck “A” is. And now, after roughly six seasons (the final half will premiere next year), the revelation has been something of a letdown. It’s not the fact that it’s been CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray) all along, it’s the fact that the old trans card had to be used as a means to add to the so-called shock of it.

CeCe/Charles
CeCe/Charles

Apart from this plot tactic being nothing new in the realm of throwing audiences off of a scent (Ace Ventura, anyone?), it seems like something of a lazy way to explain away all the weirdness and unanswered questions. So many pieces of the puzzle remain unsolved, like what happened in Ravenswood, really, who were all those As in the park that time in New York, where does Bethany fit in to all of this, what happened to all the mothers locked in the basement and are we really supposed to believe that some incest wasn’t committed between CeCe and Jason?

Missing the days when it was just about four people getting rando texts
Missing the days when it was just about four people getting rando texts

Rather than try to shed light on anything other than A’s not so appalling identity (though many seem outraged that it’s a trans person portrayed as a sociopathic trickster with a strange sibling obsession, but hey, I don’t really think I. Marlene King saw it that way), the show’s writers have instead employed the flash forward five years technique to conclude the mid-season finale. Ending with the four Liars running back to Rosewood High where Ali now apparently teaches as Mrs. Rollins, Spencer warns, “It’s too late. He’s already here.” Whoever the “he” is will likely be disappointing. I mean, is the next reveal going to be that CeCe’s gone back to being Charles? Nothing’s out of the realm of possibility when a trans person is your villain. Maybe that’s why the writer’s room came up with this stunt.