Despite the predictability of ending the episode with the Liars rescue, their re-emergence into the real world serves as the precipice for Charles’ story. In this episode alone, fans were given more than enough new information to open up Pandora’s box and keep the writers busy fleshing it out for the rest of the season. Along with uncovering the truth about Charles, and at the same time A, there’s also the shocking twist of finding Sara Harvey, the girl who disappeared around the same time as Ali, in Charles’ lair to consider.
In hindsight, it should have been clearer that nothing on Pretty Little Liars is ever a coincidence, but it seemed that this lead was a dead end when the Liars looked into it several seasons ago. This plot twist might seem disturbing on the surface (OK, disturbing is an understatement), but the new piece of the puzzle might be the connection that the Liars have been looking for this entire time. Sara has been a victim of A longer than the Liars themselves, and if anyone has some insight into his motivations, it’s likely (err, hopeful) that she’s picked something up over the years.
On a less tragic note, there was something very refreshing about seeing Ali be part of the solution instead of the problem. One of the biggest challenges since the reveal that she wasn’t actually dead has been liking her – you want to, but she never makes it easy. Not that I whole-heartedly endorse her take the law into her own hands style, yet it’s apparent that PLL often calls for that type of action. The end result probably won’t save her from a slight slap on the wrist, but considering her plan saved at least six teenage girls, it’s doubtful that anyone wouldn’t be willing the look the other way for the most part.
Although, essentially, Pretty Little Liars has been dancing around the same mystery its entire run – Who is A? – the writers have clearly found a new and interesting way to present it to fans. If tonight’s season premiere is any indication of the show’s renewed spirit, things are going to continue moving in a promising direction. Perhaps fans are finally being rewarded for being strung along this whole time with tangible answers, or at least enough to keep them tuning in every Tuesday night for the rest of the summer.