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pretty little liars

The future of Pretty Little Liars has been uncertain for a while now, with rumors abound for months that the series would come to a close after Season 7. The story has been as twisty and turn-y as ever, but it was beginning to show its age, and we now have confirmation at last: Pretty Little Liars is officially ending, and the Season 7 finale will serve as the series' final episode.

The confirmation that the end is nigh for Pretty Little Liars will undoubtedly be a bummer for fans who have been watching for the better part of a decade. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic about what lies ahead for Aria, Spencer, Hannah, Emily, and Alison. For one thing, Pretty Little Liars still has more than ten episodes left. Although only the summer finale is left in 2016, the show will return in spring of 2017 for the second half of Season 7. There's still plenty of time to finish the series strong.

For another thing, the decision to end Pretty Little Liars wasn't handed down from Freeform due to bad ratings, according to TVLine. The team behind the scenes has simply decided that the time is right to finally finish what was started way back in 2010. Executive producer Marlene King hinted in December that she was ready to bring the show to a close after Season 7, and star Lucy Hale admitted that she would be leaving her character behind after Season 7 during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Nobody will have to scramble to tie up loose ends, since the plot sounds like it will come to a natural conclusion. There's just no saying at this point if that conclusion will be happy, sad, or super scary. Lucy Hale is on the record as hoping for a tragic conclusion. Judging by the way that Season 7 has gone so far, the final episodes could end up super dark.

Pretty Little Liars established itself in Season 1 as a show that revolved around a group of teenage girls who were being harassed by a mysterious antagonist known to them only as "A." The premise didn't seem particularly sustainable at first, as the show would have to reveal the identity of A eventually, and series have been known to fizzle out once the central mystery has been resolved. Pretty Little Liars managed to continue and even thrive after resolving and then re-complicating the issue of A's identity. It's possible that Pretty Little Liars could continue to tweak its premise to go on for a few more years without any drops in quality, but a natural end in 2017 beats a contrived end in 2019.

Tune in to Freeform tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET to catch the Season 7 summer finale of Pretty Little Liars, and be sure to check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch to pass the time before the second half of the season premieres in April 2017.