We've waited six seasons, five years and over 100 episodes to meet A -- and tonight, the hoodied villain was finally unmasked.
After months of promising answers to all of our burning questions, "Pretty Little Liars" truly delivered with its midseason finale. Not only did we get the answer to our seminal question -- who is A?! -- but we also got answers to questions we honestly forgot existed -- five years is a long time to wait, OK? -- as the episode brilliantly pieced together events from the night Ali disappeared.
So, who the heck is A? Read our recap of the stellar finale, titled "Game Over, Charles," to find out:
CeCe is Charles DiLaurentis.ABC Family
"They never understood how much I loved you," CeCe told Ali after the big reveal. "From the very minute they brought you home, I never left your side. You were like me very own living doll."
Yep, CeCe is Charles. "For as long as I could remember, I asked mom to buy me dresses," she revealed. It turns out that every time Mrs. DiLaurentis would buy Ali clothes, she would buy Charles a matching set. "It was almost like we were twins." Finally! The constant twin imagery is explained!
So, CeCe ultimately "buried" Charles DiLaurentis with Mrs. D at Aunt Carol's -- but she was later readmitted as Charlotte. (Because all of those years at Radley made CeCe kinda go unhinged.) But, Mrs. DiLaurentis did find a loop hole for Charlotte to take classes at UPenn, where she eventually met her brother Jason and introduced herself as CeCe Drake. Yeah... she dated her brother. "Why do you think he was so angry all the time?" CeCe mused. "He was frustrated." (Sexually frustrated.)
And it was CeCe who hit Ali in a head with a rock that fateful night. But she didn't mean to hit Ali; she actually thought she was targeting Bethany. As it turns out, Bethany Young was the real crazy bitch of this show...
Bethany killed Toby's mom and blamed Charles.ABC Family
One night, Charles and his young friend Bethany were on the roof, so that he could show her the new dress his mom bought him, and they were interrupted by Ms. Cavanaugh. Scared that he's going to be caught in a dress, Charles hides while Bethany distracts Toby's mom... by pushing her off the damn roof. What the eff, Bethany?! And then she even blamed poor Charles! "No one believed the boy wearing a dress," CeCe explained. Mrs. DiLaurentis paid Wilden off and he ruled the entire thing a suicide. Ugh.
Mona killed Bethany.ABC Family
It was Mona who hit Bethany over the head with the shovel that night, but she didn't mean to kill Bethany -- she she thought it was Ali. Mona wanted to kill Ali because, well, Mona hated Ali and she was kinda crazy. She feels guilty now, of course.
CeCe hired Rhys Matthews as a decoy.ABC Family
LOL remember when we were supposed to think this guy was A?
Mona told CeCe about the Liars in Radley.ABC Family
Remember when Big A stole the game from Mona in Radley? Well, it was because Mona made it sound like so much fun. Apparently, when Mona was committed to Radley, for her first few weeks of treatment, they pumped her full of drugs -- and she totally thought CeCe was Ali. Mona told "Ali" all about her little game with the Liars, and the more Mona told CeCe about the Liars, the more upset she became. To CeCe, the Liars were happy Ali was dead -- and that didn't sit well with her older sister. So really, CeCe terrorized the Liars because she wanted to get revenge for her sister. Little did she know how truly terrible Ali was to them... oh, and that Ali was actually alive.
CeCe eventually figured out that Ali was alive when a girl in Red Coat started showing up everywhere, looking after the Liars. Not to be outdone, CeCe hired her own Red Coat.
Sara is the other Red Coat... and the Black Widow.ABC Family
Surprise! Sara Harvey was working with CeCe the entire time! Emily really knows how the pick 'em, doesn't she? CeCe teamed up with Sara, and hired her as Red Coat. She was the distraction that night of the cabin fire. She also was the Black Widow at Wilden's funeral. CeCe really did kill Wilden -- he knew Ali was alive -- and she sent in Sara to see the body IRL and make sure he was D-E-A-D.
Who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis?ABC Family
It wasn't CeCe! CeCe came to visit her mom that night, and she found her dead body in the yard. So was she the one who buried her? It was never really explained. But that does mean there's still a killer on the loose. We think it's pretty likely Mr. Hastings had something to do with Mrs. D's murder. After all, she was about to testify against Spencer, and he wasn't going to left that woman ruin his daughter's future.
Why didn't CeCe quit the game?ABC Family
CeCe left for Paris after the Liars thought they killed A (aka Shana) in New York City. "It was the perfect time to quit the game," she told Ali. But she didn't. She eventually came back to Rosewood. Why? Because the game was just too fun. [Insert eye roll here.]
The Liars go to college.ABC Family
After CeCe gives up the game and is arrested (we think?), the Liars can finally move on with their lives -- and they FINALLY GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL. They gather for one last goodbye before heading off to their respective schools. Spencer is going to Georgetown! Aria is going to that art school in the south. Hanna is off to New York City (with Caleb?!) and Emily, well, we don't remember where Emily is going. Maybe a gap year? As for Ali, she's staying behind in Rosewood.
5 years later...Ron Tom/ABC Family
The episode ends with a glimpse of the Liars in five years. We see Ali in a classroom, writing her name on a chalkboard -- not only is she a teacher, but she's also married?! -- when suddenly the Liars rush in and tell her "he's coming." Um, wait, who's "he?" And why does Ali look so scared?