Pretty Little Liars Review: “Taking This One To The Grave” (Season 5, Episode 12)



Even before viewers tuned in to tonight’s summer finale of Pretty Little Liars, the network promised a tragic ending to a somewhat lackluster first half of the season. They advertised this heart pounding episode as the fatal finale, and that about sums it up. After the Liars band together, siding against Alison (Sasha Pieterse) in a valiant effort to make things right and protect themselves (err, mostly the latter), they needed some reinforcement. The ideal ally is Mona (Janel Parrish), but despite her bravado, Ali is one fear she was never able to overcome – no matter how she dressed it up – even in the end.

Hanging over the Liars head is still Melissa’s (Torrey DeVitto) confession about what really happened to the mystery girl in Ali’s grave. With Ali playing both sides, there’s a huge question mark still as to whether she’s going to actually let Spencer (Troian Bellisario) take the fall for this one – even if she is responsible in part. Ali is always playing some sort of game, and in “Taking This One To The Grave” she moves from friend to foe, but viewers find out that it may not be a new role for the recently resurrected character.

Mona was the original A, but she lost that title with the close of season two. After that, the position was filled by a mystery power player with an apparent aversion to the Liars. There have been a lot of candidates over the years, but none more likely than the queen B herself. There were a lot of reasons that the Liars ruled her out in the past, originally because she was “dead” and more recently due to her very convincing tales of woe, but they weren’t opposed to the idea when Mona offered up her theory. With so many things going sour in previous episodes, largely attributed to Ali’s return, they’ve almost been wired to accept this as the most likely scenario.

Mona hasn’t always been the most up front character, but she has always kept her word – good or bad. When the Liars approached her on this episode of Pretty Little Liars, at least they had the benefit of knowing what to expect. If this really was Mona’s last “live” appearance on the show (and even if not), Parrish definitely delivered fans a performance they’ll remember. She was true to the character the entire way through, and it was nice to see her go out on a somewhat positive note.

The writers haven’t always utilized her consistently, which has been a major bummer for fans, but they did pull her out in front more than most of the second tier characters. And, considering the life span of Ali’s enemies, she made it pretty far along in this sick, twisted game – and by the look of that house, she didn’t go down without a fight.

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