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Pretty Little Liars Wiki
Pretty Little Liars Wiki
It's all your fault.

Taking This One to the Grave is the twelfth episode of Season 5 of Pretty Little Liars. This episode is the summer finale and aired on August 26th, 2014.


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The episode opens on Thanksgiving Day. Crime scene tape surrounds the entrance to the Vanderwaal Residence. On the street in front, Emily holds a visibly upset Hanna, while Ezra holds a shaken Aria. Officer Barry Maple approaches the girls and asks for their statements, but Hanna cannot bring herself to. Aria looks towards Ezra and tells him that there was so much blood in the house that there was no way that someone could have lived through "that". The girls receive a text from A reading: "Its all your fault - A". They look on, distraught.

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Flashback thirty six hours earlier, Alison is at the police station being set up to a polygraph to take a lie detector test. While the instructor explains to Alison how the test works, Holbrook and another police officer watch from outside the room, with the latter asking the former if they should wait for Tanner first. Holbrook doesn't answer and so the test proceeds, with Alison answering the first few trivial questions. In Mona's bedroom, a French record plays, and a large collection of dolls sitting on shelves can be seen. 

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Mona's mother, Leona Vanderwaal, tells Mona that she has company. Downstairs in the lounge, the liars await Mona,wanting her help. The girls are worried because Alison is taking a polygraph test and may not tell the police the truth. Spencer says that a lie is halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Hanna states that the liars have been lying for Alison ever since she got back to Rosewood, so they need to know which story Alison is telling the cops. Mona asks why they think she can help them, to which Aria replies, "Because you're Mona".

Back at the police station, the test instructor asks Alison about the night of Bethany Young's murder. He asks her who else was in the barn that night. Alison answers that Aria, Hanna and Emily were, and confirms that when she left the barn the three of them were still sleeping. The instructor then asks Alison where she last saw Spencer Hastings that night.

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Back at the Vanderwaal house, Mona tells the liars that Alison stole her life from her when she crowned her Rosewood's biggest loser. Mona tells the liars that Alison was so convincing that even Mona was starting to believe her. Hanna asks whether this means that Mona will help the liars. Mona explains that even though she owes the four liars for everything that she has done to them in the past, she is worried to what Alison will do to her if she finds out that she has teamed up with the liars. Spencer asks Mona if she is really that scared of Alison, with Mona directing the question back at her. Spencer looks on while Hanna exchanges looks. Mona asks the liars if they have ever been so focused on one thing that it took them over and turned them into someone else. Mona apologizes for taking out her "Alison anger" on the girls. The liars acknowledge her apology and begin to leave, but Hanna stays behind to get cookies from Leona.

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As Spencer, Aria and Emily reach the door, Aria asks Spencer if she has decided what she is going to do with Melissa's recording. Spencer states that Melissa sent her the video to make sure she knew the truth, but the confession does not actually help any of them. Emily sees this as a straight up confession, but Spencer says Melissa buried Bethany alive to protect Spencer. Aria counters that Spencer didn't actually hit Bethany. Spencer says it doesn't matter, as in the best case scenario, she herself is still an accessory to murder. As Hanna receives the cookies from Leona, Mona tells Hanna that she will see her at school, and goes back to her room. Leona asks Hanna if the bullying has started again now that Alison is back. Hanna tells her that she does not know what Alison is doing, as they are not friends anymore; however, she does believe that Mona is afraid of her, and adds that they all are.

Back in her room, Mona dials someone and says, "Send out a code 'A'. She's plotting something big".

At The Brew, a worker opens the locked door for Mona. Mona tells the guy to lock the door, as she believes someone is following her. Mona is shocked that no one has turned up for her call, and asks where everybody is. Lucas arrives and tells Mona that they are not coming, as Alison has gotten to them and have gone back to calling her "crazy Mona". Mona looks on defeated before looking into the mirror and asking Lucas whether a person can be crazy and not know it. Lucas tells her that if she starts to believe this, Alison wins — however, Mona states that she is talking about Alison and that she has gone "full on socio".

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In the bathroom at school, Hanna, Emily, Aria and Spencer have gathered to meet Mona. Mona tells them that Alison volunteered to take the polygraph test. Spencer tells Mona that Alison would never put herself at risk unless she believed her own story. Mona tells her that if you believe a lie, it becomes the truth. Hanna suggests that you lie to yourself if you did something so bad, you don't want to believe you did it; however, as Mona says, in Alison's case, she's playing a game. Mona thinks Alison took the test because she is not having fun anymore — she can't play with her dolls (the liars) anymore as they are not letting her. She also believes Alison is A.

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Mona explains that Alison had assembled the perfect group of friends: smart, loyal, admiring and compassionate. Spencer says it was the perfect group for a sociopath to manipulate. Mona states that Alison would have gotten bored with any one of the liars, but all together, they are a challenge. Aria says that she never knew why Alison chose her as a friend and asks what made her so special. Mona tells Aria that when you don't feel anything, it must be really fun to mess with someone who feels a lot and that Alison picked Aria because Aria cares and Alison can't. Emily then asks if they are really saying that Alison is A out loud. They all exchange looks in agreement, Emily stating that Alison had never loved her. Aria adds that Alison had never really loved any of them.

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Spencer tells the Liars that if Alison is ending the game because the Liars had cut her off, then Alison has gone to convince the police that she is innocent and that the Liars are the guilty ones. Aria asks what are they guilty of and Mona says "everything". Mona tells them that she can find out Alison told the cops, to give them a head start on arranging their own stories. As Mona goes to leave the girls' bathroom, Hanna asks her why is she helping the Liars. Mona turns around and states that she got early acceptance letters from three colleges, but still needs to survive senior year, which she can't do alone. After they finish talking, Cindy and Mindy walk into the bathroom, and Mona greets them. The twins come back out of the stalls, exchanging mischievous smiles.

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In the corridor, Emily drops a book on the floor. Paige comes and picks it up for her. Paige asks Emily if she is ready for Thanksgiving. Emily says not really as her family usually decorates early for Christmas. Paige tells her to call if she needs help with it. Emily asks Paige how the night she got dressed up was, to which Paige explains it was a costume fling and her costume didn't really fit. Emily states that they didn't have their talk, but Paige says she is tired of talking and kisses Emily.

Leona walks out of the principal's office and upon seeing Mona, lies to her about why she is in school. As her mom leaves and Mona walks to class, she sees Alison surrounded by a new group of friends. She smiles tauntingly at Mona before she is called to the principal's office.

In Ezra's apartment, Aria and Ezra cook pies for Thanksgiving dinner at the Montgomery's, which Ezra has been invited to.

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At her house, Spencer looks through a photo album and sees a picture of the group, including Alison, with the caption "My Four besties xoxo Ali". At that moment, Toby arrives in his new police uniform and Spencer and Toby make out. Toby tells Spencer that his graduation will be at The Grille at 7. Spencer shows Toby his graduation present, a stopwatch with an engraved message from Spencer.

At the police station, Lucas approaches Officer Maple and inquires about the high school liaison program. As Barry leaves to get a form, Lucas plugs in a Bluetooth to his computer and tells Mona, who is in the precinct's bathroom, to start hacking. Mona hacks into and acquires the files related to Alison's polygraph test.

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Outside Emily's house, Emily, Paige, Hanna and Caleb are decorating the front lawn with Christmas decorations. Emily is bubbly about Christmas, as decorating is the one thing she does each year with her family, and she will not let Alison take that from her. Mona calls Hanna. As Emily puts a porcelain Jesus in a crib, Caleb asks why Emily loves Christmas and she states that it is always when her father comes home. Hanna lies to Caleb that the call she got was from her mom, but Caleb catches on quickly and says he knows that she's lying.

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The liars and Mona watch the recording of Alison's test in Spencer's kitchen. Alison says she last saw Spencer come into her house. According to her answers, Alison was unofficially the leader of the group and the Liars presumably would have done anything for her if she needed them to. As far as she knew, Spencer was a loyal friend. Spencer was at her house and it was her fault as she pushed her to that place and that Spencer was angry. Alison found out Spencer was on drugs when she dropped her pills. Spencer was emotional, and Alison had promised her that she wouldn't say anything about it. She wouldn't know what Spencer would have done in return for her silence, as they never discussed the matter again. Finally, the instructor asks if she has anything else to say. The liars look on nervously as Alison states that she did not have anything to do with Bethany Young's murder.

Holbrook visits Alison at the DiLaurentis house. He asks if she plays the piano. Alison says she did as a kid, and has since grown out of it, but does not remember why. Holbrook tells Alison something, however we can not hear what was discussed between the two.

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Back at the Hastings', Emily says that nothing Alison said was incriminating. However, Mona believes the questions Alison were asked tells more about the investigation than her answers do. Mona explains that by asking whether Spencer was a loyal friend, the police would be able to deduce if she was desperate enough to kill Bethany for Alison. Caleb enters the house and joins the girls, as Mona had asked him for his help. With Mona's hacking software, Caleb has found a statement given by Holbrook that declares that Alison is no longer a POI in the investigation of Bethany's murder. Caleb says that Spencer is now a person of interest, as the information obtained for Bethany's medical records prove a theory they have that Spencer murdered Bethany to gain favor with Alison after her drug taking habit was found out. Then, Aria asks why the police would think that Alison would want Bethany dead. Caleb confirms that the information was sent to the district court, and Spencer realizes that that is so they can issue an arrest warrant for Spencer. Spencer asks the Liars to find Toby while she goes to call her parents. Mona stops her and asks wouldn't Spencer want to know what the cops know as it was sent the day after the cops had access to Bethany's medical files. Emily suggests that maybe something in the files link Alison to Bethany and that they should go to Radley and find out. Spencer assures them she will handle it herself, but the liars say that they will all stick together, leaving Mona looking left out.

Spencer and Mona infiltrate Radley dressed as nurses while Caleb hacks into the security system and Hanna stays lookout in her car, using her phone for communication. In Radley, Spencer receives a text from Toby. Mona tells Spencer that Emily has not checked in, therefore she better make sure that the text is not from A. Spencer asks Mona whether she means Alison, and tells Mona that she is pressed to make it to Toby's graduation.

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Alison meets Emily in her bedroom. Seemingly hurt, she tells Emily that she saw the hair rise on the back of her neck when Emily heard her voice. Alison says she is surprised Emily messaged her considering the dispute they had the last time they spoke. At that moment, Emily gets a text from Hanna asking where A is. Emily lies to Alison that it's just her mom texting, and texts Hanna back saying that Alison is with her and that she hates having to keep her busy. Alison looks on suspicious and asks Emily why she was asked to come; Emily tells her that she's bothered they're not speaking. Alison says it was a surprise when Emily turned on her as opposed to the other liars as she was the one she trusted the most. Emily mutters under her breath, "the loyal one". Alison asks Emily what she said but Emily tells her nothing. Alison tells Emily that she is sorry that she disappointed her and begins to leave. Emily tells her to stop and says she doesn't want "things to be like this". Alison smirks before turning around and wearing a worried look, saying she doesn't want that either.

Back at Radley, Aria is in the day room with some patients painting. She distracts a nurse by knocking over paint to allow Spencer and Mona to pass through the day room on their way to the file room.

Outside Radley, Hanna and Caleb notice Detective Holbrook going into the building. Hanna hastily alerts Spencer and Mona.

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As Aria cleans up the paint, Holbrook approaches her, saying that she's made quite a mess of things. Holbrook tells Aria that he did not know she worked there, but Aria clarifies that she is volunteering. Holbrook questions when it all started, to which Aria asks what he means. He replies "the lies, the cover-ups, the murders". Aria looks confused, but Holbrook tells her "the volunteer program". Aria tells him that she started volunteering a few weeks ago; and Holbrook asks if this was before or after the reveal of Bethany's murder. Aria then objects, telling him that he does not sound curious anymore and wonders whether she needs to call her parents. Holbrook tells her not just yet before asking her one last question: whether the volunteer work was Spencer's idea. Aria answers with a firm no and Holbrook leaves.

Hanna calls Emily to see if she is still keeping Alison busy. Caleb realizes that Hanna has a list of admirable colleges written down, and she says that she surprisingly scored well on the SATs. Caleb smiles proudly.

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Back in Emily's bedroom, Alison tells Emily there is no way that the girls will let Emily be friends with her, if that is what she wants. Emily tells Alison that she makes her own decisions. Alison asks Emily for tea, and Emily gets up to leave, but turns around to see Alison reading the texts between her and Hanna. She inquires Emily if she's A to the girls. Emily says "I don't know. Are you?" and takes her phone back. Alison tells Emily that she actually believed her; Emily replies that it must hurt to be betrayed by the "loyal one". Alison pushes past Emily with her shoulder as she leaves the room, saying "That was quite a performance, Em. Bravo."

As Paige drops by the Fields' house to give Emily some soup, she notices Alison getting into a car with Cindy and Mindy and driving away. Paige gets into her own and heads out to follow them.

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Back at Radley, Mona and Spencer have found Bethany's records. They discuss colleges as they rifle through documents, with Spencer finding out that Mona had gotten early acceptances from four Ivy League schools before telling Mona that she hasn't heard from anyone yet. Mona offers her help before stuffing various papers into her bag, but Spencer says she think she's done enough. Spencer says to check Bethany's recording for August 8th. On the recording, Bethany claims that she thought "she really liked me but everything she really said to me was a lie, every word and every visit". Spencer clarifies that Bethany was talking about Mrs. DiLaurentis, who was having an affair with Bethany's father. Bethany questions if she can trust anyone in the DiLaurentis family and wonders if it is like mother, like daughter. Mona stops the recording and Spencer wonders if Alison had known Bethany.

Toby leaves a voice mail for Spencer saying that he can't wait for her anymore and has to go to the ceremony.

Back at Radley, as Spencer and Mona are leaving the file room, they see Holbrook blocking the way they got into Radley. Hanna tells them to use the back staircase, as Caleb can trip the emergency exit. Spencer and Mona hurry out.

Outside Radley, Aria gets into Hanna's car and tells Hanna that he's asking questions about Spencer. Spencer and Mona make it out of the back staircase as Spencer receives a call from Toby. The call has bad reception and as Toby picks up his phone, he is hit by another vehicle.

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It's Thanksgiving Day at the Brew. They girls discuss Toby's accident, and that his broken leg will be in a cast for a month. Spencer says she told Toby everything about her situation. Paige arrives and tells the girls that she had followed the twins and Alison. They had driven out to an abandoned farm where at least a dozen cars were waiting. Paige tells the Liars that Alison is building an army of her own. At that moment Holbrook enters and arrests Spencer for Bethany's murder. The Liars object and try to stop him. They shout out that they will call Spencer's parents and that they will get her out.

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At the Vanderwaal house, Mona is going through all the material they took from Radley while replaying Bethany's August 8th recording. Leona shouts for Mona to come down. As Mona leaves her room, Hanna texts her that Spencer has been arrested. Mona helps her mom load food into the car, as she and her mom will be joining a friend elsewhere for dinner, but Mona will head out after her mother. Mona watches as Leona drives away and head back towards her house, but hears ruffling in the bushes and stops to investigate. She goes into her house and locks the door while a figure in black with blond hair watches.

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At the Montgomery house, Ezra arrives with the pies and Aria tells him that Veronica has not seen Spencer yet as she is still being processed. Ezra assures Aria that they are working on her bail and they will have Spencer out of jail in no time. At that moment, Mona calls Aria and tells her that Alison lured Bethany to Rosewood, as she knew about the affair. Alison set her up because she was jealous and wanted Bethany dead. As Mona is in her room talking on the phone, the figure in black picks the lock on the front door and enters the house, creeping up to her room. Mona tells Aria that Alison is A and she can prove it. Aria hangs up the phone and tells Ezra they are going to Mona's.

In Mona's bedroom, Mona looks into the mirror and says "Game over, Alison. I win." The figure enters the bedroom and Mona, thinking it's her mom, turns around and gasps, falling back onto her dresser.

Hanna, Emily, Aria and Ezra enter the house to see blood everywhere and the place trashed. Hanna shouts for Mona. Hanna and Emily run upstairs to see if Mona is there while Aria surveys the living room full of blood. The scene cuts to outside the house as a long scream is heard.

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The police eventually arrive and have taped the house off. Leona looks concerned while the liars huddle, crying and shocked. Hidden between the news vans, Alison looks on smugly. Holbrook announces to the reporters that the investigation is ongoing and the incident has been ruled as a homicide. Although the police did not find a body, the amount of blood indicated the victim's wounds were fatal. Holbrook then declares that Mona Vanderwaal was murdered and Leona breaks down, crying. The liars are even more upset and Lucas has arrived, also shocked. Back at the vans, Alison surveys everyone's emotions before walking away.

Outside the Fields' residence, the Christmas decorations are all lit up. The figure approaches the nativity set and takes Jesus out of the crib and replaces him with a Mona doll. The figure takes the Jesus doll to their car and opens the trunk, revealing Mona's pale, dead body. The figure then places the Jesus doll on Mona's body.

The episode closes with A cutting a picture of the four Liars out and putting it into a snow globe. A seals the bottom and shakes the snow globe before putting it down near the Christmas tree.


  • Mona's mom, Leona, is introduced.
  • Alison voluntarily takes a polygraph test.
  • Paige and Emily get back together.
  • Toby, on his way to his academy graduation, is involved in a car accident and breaks his leg.
  • Caleb finds out that Hanna scored well on her SATs.
  • Alison is no longer considered a person of interest in Bethany Young's murder investigation.
  • The Liars, through Paige, discover that Alison is now building an army of her own.
  • Spencer is arrested for Bethany's murder.
  • The Liars find out that Mrs. DiLaurentis was having an affair with Bethany's dad and that Alison knew about said affair.
  • Mona Vanderwaal was allegedly murdered in her own home.

Title and Background

  • The title was released by Zap2It.
  • The title refers to the lyrics from "Secret", the show's theme song.
  • The title could be foreshadowing someone dying in this episode. It could also be a play on words.
  • The title could also refer to the proof of Alison being A that Mona's taking to the grave.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast


  • The table read was on June 26, 2014.
  • Filming began July 7, 2014, and wrapped July 15, 2014.
  • The episode was watched live by 2.29 million viewers.
  • The episode was dubbed "#FAtalFinale" by ABC Family across social media.

Featured Music

  • "The End of Romance" by Daniel Ahearn - (Opening scene: Aria, Ezra, Hanna & Emily are standing at the crime scene).
  • "Ne Me Quitte Pas" by Nina Simone - (Mona is in her bedroom reading).
  • "All Our Days" by Peter Bradley Adams & Jillian Edwards - (Emily and Paige talk in the school hallway, and then Paige kisses Emily; Mona sees her Mom at school).
  • "Nothing More" by The Alternate Routes ft. Lily Costner - (Aria and Ezra make pumpkin pies; Toby visits Spencer in his officer uniform).
  • "Sleigh Ride" by The Ronettes - (Emily, Hanna, Paige & Caleb decorate for the holiday).
  • "We Gotta Get Out Of This" by Denmark & Winter - (End scenes: Aria, Ezra, Hanna, Caleb, Emily, Paige, Lucas, Alison & Leona at the crime scene; Holbrook declares Mona's death a homicide; A replaces Jesus at Emily's house with the Mona doll; A places Jesus in a car trunk with Mona's body).


Aria: You've got pumpkin guts on your face.

Hanna: Read her boobs, the girl loves Christmas.

Mona: Game over Alison. I win.


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