We have one thing to say after Pretty Little Liars' big reveal: WHAT?!
The truth was not what we were expecting, but we ain't mad at it. We're sad, definitely, because that was more heartbreaking than we could have possibly imagined. We're also confused, because we always are, with this show.
So who has been tormenting the liars all this time? Drumroll please...
A's real name is CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray)!
But wait, you say, isn't Alison's older brother Charles supposed to be A? Turns out Charles eventually transitioned into Charlotte, who then went by CeCe, who did her damnedest to get close to her family until everything went very, very wrong.
We'll try to start from the beginning, and we say "try" because that was a heck of a lot of information to process in just an hour.
The girls were still at the prom, and still in search of Alison, who had just come "face to fAce" with A/Charles/Charlotte/CeCe. Ali woke up in a cell at Radley, with Jason and her dad seemingly dead on the floor outside the door.
Meanwhile, the girls (including Sara) ended up in a secret forest room back at the dance and met up with Mona, who for some reason appeared to be dressed as Little Red Riding Hood. Mona mumbled some mumbo jumbo about coding and tracking and determined that A/Charles' cell phone signal had something to do with the Carissimi Group, and assumed Rhys was the culprit.
The girls headed to Radley, and figured out the passcode via the date every year that Sara recieved a cupcake.
They found what definitely looked like the lair of a terrifying mastermind, complete with red glowing circles and holographic screens. Sara stayed behind as the doors closed, officially securing her place on our list of People Who Are Totally Sketchy.
The holographic screen revealed a live feed of Ali and A, right as the hooded figure turned around to reveal the familiar face of CeCe Drake as she explained that Mr. D and Jason were "not dead...yet."
CeCe proceeded to calmly and conveniently explain literally everything, starting with the fact that when she was a child named Charles and Alison was a baby, Alison was basically her doll. To stop her crying, Charles tried to give the baby a bath, but dropped her, only to be found by Mr. D.
Already not a fan of the fact that his son wanted to be his daughter instead, Mr. D saw this accident as an opportunity to stick Charles in Radley, where the poor kid became friends with Bethany.
That "friendship" ended up not working out so well when Bethany pushed Mrs. Cavanaugh off the edge of the building and blamed it on Charles. Mrs. D organized a pay off to get the death ruled a suicide.
Mrs. D continued to visit, and even bought Charles all the same clothes that she bought Alison, until eventually Charles was Charlotte. The family even hosted a funeral for Charles, so that everyone truly believed he was dead.
After Mrs. D arranged for Charlotte to take college classes, meaning she had a reason to get out of the building, Charlotte even managed to get close to her brother and sister duriby posing as Jason's girlfriend (without ever sleeping with him, because that's obviously disgusting) and becoming best friends with Alison.
ABC Family/Eric McCandless
Everything went wrong when Charlotte believed Bethany (who's a whole other bag of actual crazy) was out to hurt Alison, but she mistook Alison for Bethany and hit the wrong blonde with that rock, while Mona killed Bethany, thinking it was Ali, officially bringing us back to the beginning of the series.
Now here's where things get even more complicated.
Mona had been telling CeCe that the girls were happy that Alison was dead, which she was totally outraged about. She also thought she had seen Alison alive and watching over her friends, so she also wanted to see if she could get Alison to reveal herself by putting the girls in danger. She even got help from Sara Harvey, also known as the other red coat! Surprise!
ABC Family/Eric McCandless
After the girls thought they killed A once and for all in New York, CeCe left the country, but she had so much fun with her little game that she started it up again, just because!
She was determined, however, to convince her little sister that she's not a bad person. She may have run her car through Emily's house and nearly cut her in half, but Emily's totally fine now, and isn't that what counts?! Sure.
"I only got mad when you didn't listen!" CeCe says to Ali, before turning to the camera: "I know you won't believe me, but I love all of my dolls. That's why you're still alive."
Sara Harvey was also the Black Widow at Wilden's funeral, who was there to make sure that Wilden was dead so he couldn't keep Ali from telling her story.
After that, CeCe went home to say goodbye to her mother, only to find her dead. And that was the end of the story, because of the alarms that started going off.
Red Coat Sara was setting up a bomb to blow up Radley, and CeCe had the button. Luckily, Spencer managed to disarm the thing before CeCe pressed that button, only for nothing to happen. "Dammit!" was her dramatic response before she ran to the roof.
ABC Family/Eric McCandless
She prepared to jump while the girls begged her not to, so she didn't. "Game over," she said, and it really was, because the next shot was of the girls saying goodbye to Alison as they prepared to leave for college and Ali prepared to stay in Rosewood.
...And then the real twist of the night showed up to blow our minds.
It's five years later. Ali's standing in a classroom, writing "Mrs. Rollins" on the chalkboard, when the other girls run in.
"He's coming for you!" Aria says.
"We have to go!"
"We came back here for you, Ali, so move it!"
"It's too late. He's already here," says a newly arrived Spencer, and then everyone looks super worried. End of show.
We're going to guess Ali's married to that handsome doctor we teased back in June, but as for the "he" they're all talking about, we're at a loss. We couldn't even begin to guess who that might be right now, because our brains are spinning, and we might have to watch that finale several more times before we fully grasp it all.
The only thing we really know right now is that we did not get to see the moms get out of the basement, and it's bothering us a lot, so we're hoping for a deleted scene.