Pretty Little Liars Season 3 Summer Finale: Toby is A and Aria is Pretty Little Lying

I've been a die hard Pretty Little Liars fan from the get go -- you know, back in the days when the show was about four best friends (Aria, Emily, Hanna, Spencer) solving one pretty little mystery. Since then there have been so many twists, turns, romances, and murders that the initial mystery is only one in a sea of intrigue. On Tuesday night, the highly-anticipated season 3 finale took the girls of Rosewood into a whole other stratosphere of terrifying television. 

Before the finale episode ("The Lady Killer) we faithful viewers were promised that one of the girls' own would betray them. By the time the episode was over I felt so personally betrayed that you would think I was part of the mighty quartet. I mean, how could Toby do that?

For those of you who aren't in the PLL know (that's Pretty Little Liars for you novices) the show is the crowning jewel in the ABC Family line up. The show centers on the aforementioend four girls and the messy aftermath that ensues after their friend Alison is murdered in the series premiere. The girls are followed, and bullied by a sinister and facelss "A" who seems to know all sorts of things that only Alison ever knew. As of last night, that "A" has a face ... and he's so far into the girl's inner circle of trust that what will happen next season is anyone's guess. 

Amid the shadowy scenes, sinister music, and designer duds, what really drives PLL is a very compelling story about female friendship. These four characters offer some of the most accurate TV depiction of teenage-girl friendship that I've ever seen. Rather than being a drama about girls who like boys, which is very often the TV case, PLL is a show about girls who prioritize their friendships above all else. They are as reckless and naive as I remember being at 16, and they treat one another with the kind of sisterly love that all teenage girls dream their friendships could be like. 

Originally based off of a book series, PLL has hit on a very real nerve of what girl-friendship means; the conversations, the fights, the drama, and above all else the care. 

Like all soap operas, PLL has lost it's footing a few times on its path to "The Lady Killer",  (ahem, Aria's stint as a potter) but Tuesday night's finale made a splash as a very credible, and truly frightening, mystery television episode. 

Body bags (a PLL staple), romance, and intrigue abounded and the finale ended on such a cliff-hangar that I'll be worrying about Caleb until next season's premiere. If there were any doubt about PLL's TV-worth, "The Lady Killer" proved it in spades. We'll just have to wait until October to see what next season brings. How will girls possibly discover that Toby is A?

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

MORE FROM

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!

‘Game of Thrones’: We breakdown everything HBO teased for next week's episode

Jon and Dany are finally going to meet.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!

‘Game of Thrones’: We breakdown everything HBO teased for next week's episode

Jon and Dany are finally going to meet.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.