'Pretty Little Liars' Season Finale Recap: Alison's Killer Is Revealed! … But Who Is 'A?'

Mon, March 21, 2011 10:18pm EDT by 30 Comments

A car crash, a breakup & a deadly showdown! The March 21 season finale had it all… except the answers we’ve been waiting for!

I know I might catch a lot of hate for what I’m about to ask, but… was anyone else kind of disappointed by the season finale of Pretty Little Liars? Don’t get me wrong, it was a solid hour — but we were left with more questions than answers in the end, and while that may appeal to some viewers, I found it kind of frustrating. Read on to find out what happened this week, and to help me sort through my confusion.

Spencer, Ian & the ever-clueless Melissa:

To say the drama between Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Melissa (Torrey Devitto) and Ian (Ryan Merriman) came to a boil this week would be a massive understatement. With the help of a pre-paid, untraceable phone, Spencer arranged for Ian to meet her in the woods to swap Jenna’s (Tammin Sursok) flash drive for $10,000. But not everything went according to plan.

While Spencer was driving Melissa to church for her baby’s Christening, they were hit by another car, landing Melissa and her baby in the hospital. Though she obviously felt (and looked) guilty, Spencer took off to take care of more important matters.

Ian sent an internet-hired crony to meet the girls in the woods, leaving Spencer vulnerable and alone. In typical über-villain fashion, Ian chased Spencer to the top of a bell tower, where he tried to strangle her to death. Fortunately for Spencer, they weren’t alone in the church. “A” made a brief appearance — cleverly disguised in a black hoodie — and pushed Ian off the ledge, leaving him dangling (and presumably dead) from the ropes.

But when the police showed up to retrieve the body, Ian was nowhere to be found! Dum, dum, DUM!

Hanna & Caleb… and Hermie?

Everyone’s favorite faux-hermaphrodite Lucas (Brendan Robinson) made a surprise appearance on the finale, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, he decided to do something noble! When he learned that Mona (Janel Parrish) was lying to Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) to keep him away from Hanna (Ashley Benson), he hopped in the Lucas-mobile and saved the day!

Unfortunately, Lucas’ big romantic gesture may not have ended so well. He may have been driving the car that hit Spencer and Melissa! Ruh-roh…

Aria & Ezra — trouble in paradise:

Like Ian Harding told me back in February, Mr. Fitz is sticking around in Rosewood… but his and Aria’s (Lucy Hale) relationship will never be the same. Ezra resigned from his position at Rosewood High to accept a teaching job at Hollis, meaning he and Aria can finally date out in the open — assuming it’s legal for a 16-year-old to date someone over 21, which I’m pretty sure it’s not.

But just when things seemed to be going perfectly, Ezra’s ex-girlfriend showed up at Aria’s doorstep! Turns out she’s also a teacher at Hollis, and she’ll be spending LOTS of time with him in the fall. Aria left him standing creepily in her bedroom. Could “Ezria” really be over?

So… who the hell is ‘A?’

Honestly, we still don’t know. It’s safe to assume it’s not Ian, considering we saw “A” knock him off the bell tower. But aside from that, the real identity of our season-long stalker is still a big fat mystery.

The finale also revealed that Caleb wasn’t the only Rosewood resident on Jenna’s payroll. Garrett (Yani Gellman) is also in Jenna’s back pocket, which we realized when we saw them K-I-S-S-I-N-G in Jenna’s bedroom.

Call me slow, but I’m still not sure how Garrett working for Jenna fits into the larger picture. But like all things in Rosewood, we’ll probably figure it out in time…

Click to follow Andy on Twitter for more Liars scoop!

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Bunny

Posted at 11:53 AM on May 28, 2013  

Alison is not dead. Her twin sister courtney is . They why all the girls saw Alison and never told them who killed her because she was the one who killed her sister who was pretending to be alison .

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Ranic kay

Posted at 12:48 AM on January 2, 2013  

why do other peoples say that alisons not dyin? Why!

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Amisha

Posted at 6:29 AM on March 10, 2013  

Ali is not killed.Her twin sister Courtney died in place of her.
It was in the book.

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pretty little liars live episodes

Posted at 8:36 PM on June 5, 2012  

I’ll immediately snatch your rss as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

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office 2007 professionnel

Posted at 11:35 PM on May 17, 2012  

You recognize therefore significantly in relation to this subject, made me in my view believe it from a lot of varied angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be interested except it is something to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always deal with it up!

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jessica martinez

Posted at 6:17 PM on January 17, 2012  

I thank it is jayson he is A killer

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Jo:)

Posted at 11:11 PM on November 21, 2011  

What was the significance of A taking the key to Fitz’s apartment at the end of the second last ep? I was actually really disappointed that that wasn’t explained…. :S and i don’t think that the A from the book will be the same as the show :S

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Jada

Posted at 10:00 PM on September 30, 2011  

i know who ‘A’ is !

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bob

Posted at 12:04 PM on February 24, 2012  

NO YOU DONT!!!!!

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Lorena

Posted at 10:09 PM on March 29, 2011  

I don’t think Ian is really the killer. Ian said she hit her head and didn’t wake up. Spencer then reveals that Allison was suffocated to death, she did not die from hitting her head and Ian was unaware of this. This made me think that Ian was not truly Allison’s killer but just thought he was. I felt it only revealed that Ian and Allison were indeed in a relationship.

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Jessica

Posted at 12:57 PM on March 24, 2011  

it isn’t illegal for a twelve year old to date a 30 year old guys, that’s just bad parenting. what’s illegal is the SEX. if they aren’t having sex, relationships can’t be illegal at any age. the sexual age of consent in pennsylvania, ohio, and many other states in 16. a 16 year old can have sex with a 30 year old if it’s consensual.

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Evelyn

Posted at 4:05 PM on February 23, 2014  

That’s incorrect. The official age of consent in Pennsylvania, where the show is set, is 16; however that is only true if both parties are at least 16 but under 18. You have to be 18 under this law to have sex with someone older than 18.
Each state basically has different laws, but just saying the age of consent is 14 or 16 rarely covers the whole story.

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Dylan

Posted at 4:22 AM on March 24, 2011  

.

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Dylan

Posted at 3:56 AM on March 24, 2011  

Hannah -My friend told me the book thing.. hey Hannah do u think it was possible that tobby was the 1 who saved spencer i mean she told him that she was going to the church..and tobby said he wish he could come so …. -Dylan

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Hannah

Posted at 9:06 PM on March 22, 2011  

I was not able to hear very clearly as Ian was “panting” his “confession” to Spencer, but is it possible he said “we” or “she” (as in Melissa) and not “I” pushed Ali? Also, did you pick up that Spencer said that Ali died of SUFFOCATION (meaning Ali was probably NOT dead after Ian/Melissa or whoever pushed her and she hit her head). My question is WHO CAME BACK AND FINISHED THE JOB? I believe this is where Garrett/Noel and the rest of the suspects will come in to play. I think it was GARRETT making the videos of the young girls and NOT Ian (or maybe it was both of them). I don’t think the video maker meant to catch Jenna’s confession (about being the agressor in the Jenna Toby relationship) on video, but I would not put it past Jenna to blackmail the video taker into having sex with her saying that she will not tell about his peeping tom activities if he will be her bf (which is why I say I think it is Garrett). Leave it to Jenna to take advantage of an unsavory situation and get something out of it!
@dylan – If it really was Noel, Ian does know him so no mystery there. Also, they are not following the books or Toby would have been dead a long time ago.
@Linda – Who said Ian is dead? His “body” was missing when the police arrived. I think THAT is a red herring myself. Agree about the creepy adult male/teen female relationships. Yuck.

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Rachel

Posted at 12:09 PM on February 24, 2012  

In the episode The Devil You Know Ian was found by Melissa and it appeared ian had killed himself but i think it was A!

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trish

Posted at 8:58 PM on March 22, 2011  

I noticed two things that point spencer as A. One was the fact she knew so much about phones and hiding numbers. Also did anyone seem to catch that Ian never admitted to doing anything?? If anything he was blaming Spencer and I did think it would have been an interesting twist to find Spencer had her phone on during the whole struggle…seemed a little rehearsed on her part. I think Spencer is behind the mystery and Ian may have known her secret. Let’s not forget she already admitted to being in the video a few episodes back when There was a figure in the yard on the first tape. something to think about

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Hannah

Posted at 9:08 PM on March 22, 2011  

How would Spencer send “A” texts when they all get them at the same time (like at the end of the finale and in several episodes prior)? I don’t think it is her that is A. Interesting though.

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dylan

Posted at 4:10 PM on March 22, 2011  

i rewatched it like 15times if u pause it on the hoodperson its NOEL KHAN OMG But why did Ian say hey what are u doin here its like he new who it was please comment i need awnser I MISS THOES PRETTY LITTLE LIARS LOL -Dylan

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Andy

Posted at 11:55 AM on March 23, 2011  

haha i have yet to re-watch obsessively, but I’m sure I will at some point.

Noel Kahn… what a creeper.

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Linda

Posted at 3:03 PM on March 22, 2011  

It was definitely a good episode but I found myself disappointed by it, too. I think most of my disappointment is due to 1) being completely spoiled about it [i.e. I knew Spencer's life would be in trouble and guessed that Ian would die weeks/months ago] and 2) the cast and crew way, and I mean WAY, overhyped the episode. They’ve been hyping it up since before they finished shooting it two months ago. So yeah, I found it a bit underwhelming.

I’ve read in various places that it is actually legal for a 22 yr old to date a 16 yr old in PA. So, presumably, there is nothing illegal about Aria and Ezra’s relationship now that he no longer teaches at her high school.

I was legitimately surprised by Jenna and Garrett. When I heard Jenna was getting a boyfriend I thought it was either going to be Jason or Noel.

I have to ask though, what is with the Pretty Little Liars series (BOTH books and show) having older men liking underage girls? It’s a little creepy. In the show we’ve got Ezra (22) and Aria (16), Wren (22-24?) and Spencer (16), Garrett (20+) and Jenna (16?), Ian (20-23?) and Ali (14-15), and Ian (20-23?) and Spencer (15). Well, I understand Ian’s interest now after the finale. And in the books, replace Garrett and Jenna with two pairings involving Aria (one involving a 30 yr old) and you’ve got a whole lot of squickiness. Although, I actually like Ezra and Aria (in both, but I prefer the TV show).

I’m left more confused than ever as to what role, if any, Noel plays in the “A” and/or Ali mystery. Was his appearance for 5 seconds just another red herring or is really involved?

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tinamarie

Posted at 8:29 AM on March 22, 2011  

I thought it was good but a little confusing. I guess that’s how they want it til the new season comes on. I did notice the Noel thing. It was a little odd that he was there. Ok so Ian killed Allison but did Jenna and Garret have something to do with it as well. I’m not sure if I think Noel may have been the pusher or Toby. He did know that she would be at the church. Lastly I didn’t even consider that the car that hit them could have been Hermie and Caleb. I hope not and if so I hope they both made it.

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PLL FAN

Posted at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2011  

I don’t think toby did it, marlene king said that the only person in rosewood that doesn’t lie is toby, so i guess that puts him out of the ecuation..

and I thought that ian was the killer too but remember he said he pushed her she hit her head and never woke up? and spencer said ali was strangled.. so what whas that? he’s the killer and he doesnt even know how ali died? thats strange, and marlene yesterday tweeted: Remember this friends… Buckle up bitches. NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS. -A
so she wants us to know that what we think we know may not be truth.. so ian may not be the killer or he might not be dead..

also other clue is that Ian knew A.. remember before he/she killed him he said ‘what are you doing here?’ so it could be noel, cause he knows him from school and he’s on the football team.. but althoug EVERYTHING points to noel, i still can’t find a good reason WHY he would be A, I mean what did the girls ever do to him that was so bad to do this? I dont’ know guess we’ll have to wait and see

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Hannah

Posted at 9:09 PM on March 22, 2011  

Oh good point about Lucas and Caleb. I hope it was not their car either!

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bkny2011

Posted at 5:25 AM on March 22, 2011  

to claridy, i mean “hoodie” also when i say sweater. it was a slip of the tongue, and i dont know how to edit these

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bkny2011

Posted at 5:24 AM on March 22, 2011  

Im pretty sure NOEL KHAN is “a”. Spencer said all she saw was a black sweater and when the camera panned out to the audience NOEL KHAN was walking up; and he had a black hoodie under his jacket. he had no other reason to be there, and they said “a” would be revealed by the end of the season.

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Jamaica

Posted at 12:55 AM on March 22, 2011  

I have to admit…I had a mini heart attack during that epic little fight scene between Ian and Spence. I also have to admit that after the episode I was left confused and frustrated…despite feeling VERY content after Ian was reported to have died and my assumption was made that ‘A’ had saved her life, only to find out that this was not the case -_______-. My speculation however is that ‘A’…Oh drop it :/ This twist is a little cumbersome for me to take on OR come to terms with right now. It’s almost 12 am (according to my clock), I have school in the morning and i’m tired as anything.
Dear ABC, for the sake of my sanity AND my summer, bring PLL back soon, please and thanks? This never ending abyss of mazes is inflicting a massive headache here. The migraine type. Not cute.
P.S. An interesting implication came at the end…you begin to see where the girls are not just pretty little liars in an internal context (among themselves) but now they are purported to be liars among the community, as implied by the whispers among the crowd and the background music.

What can we expect for episode 23 – the new season? Intense drama. I think Ian may flee Rosewood for a while.

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PLL FAN

Posted at 12:06 AM on March 22, 2011  

oh and btw , WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH NOEL KHAN? he’s all clark kent misterious, always showing up after something really intensed happened.. I mean I know he doesnt’ really have a motive to be A but… isn’t he just really weird??

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PLL FAN

Posted at 12:02 AM on March 22, 2011  

no hate at all Andy! I’m a HUGE PLL’s fan but this episode was really disapointing (and I’ve been tweeting marlene king non stop about it) I mean I thought we were supposed to get some answers in this episode! but in the end, i’m actually really confused
and this thing might be getting a little boring, I mean I can’t keep up with the show if I’m completely lost!! they have to start giving us some REAL answers either way it’ll just get boring and people will stop watching, they can’t keep this whole EXTRA suspense thing any longer!
and I really hope ezria isn’t heading splitsville cause I love them!

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Dylan

Posted at 11:40 PM on March 21, 2011  

Pretty little liars was horible WHO SAVED SPENCER AND WERE DID Ian go and just to let u no in the books mona was -A but idk please comment IF U WANT MORE INFO ON PRETTY LITTLE LIARS -Dylan

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