The Strip was positively packed with cars, so even though it was a few blocks too early General MacManus tapped his driver on the shoulder and hardly waited for the jeep to slow down before jumping out and hoofing it towards the Lucky 38. His dogrobber followed suit in a clumsier fashion, lugging a bag and briefcase.
MacManus was big and broad, and had never given a shit about people he didn’t know, if it came down to it, so despite the crowd he was inside the casino within moments, snapping his aviators off and thrusting them backwards for Corporal Smythe to grab. When his glasses disappeared MacManus waved a paw of a hand at the liveried elevator boy, who dropped into a crisp bow and held the elevator door.
MacManus was on a mission, an important one. Of the two major projects he was working on, the first had ended early and the second was starting late. With that in play, he had managed- at great expense of money and mental effort- to carve out a teeny tiny fraction of vacation time for himself, and he was not going to hesitate at achieving it.
During the brief ride up he studiously avoided the elevator boy’s attempts at pleasant conversation, dwelling instead for a moment on the difficulty at hand. The last project he’d have to put his stamp on was ludicrous- a monkey’s job. A few of the eggheads kept wanting to tinker with the M42, adding blast shields and ammo variants. Which meant that he personally had ended up in the godforsaken desert south of Las Vegas at a makeshift observation deck, listening to the junior officers ooh and ah and quote Hindu scripture like it was the second coming of goddamned Trinity. He really pitied the poor grunt down there in the valley who had to nuke some cardboard targets from a grenade’s throw away.
It was a waste of money, and he’d said so, but he put his stamp on it anyway to get the eggheads to shut up, but he’d taken his aide Colonel Tidewater aside to let him know that the budget for the project could be safely decimated. Literally.Tidewater was out doing the legwork on the next project- some relatively practical idea about setting up newly built prisons, hospitals and such so that they could be quickly converted into useful military sites in the event regular bases were targets. Otherwise, he’d be here and there would be someone interesting to talk to.
MacManus felt the elevator slow as they neared the Presidential Suites, but he lashed out with a craggy finger in the elevator boy’s face and waggled it very deliberately. The unfortunate lad blanched but made the right choice, ignoring whatver VIPs had called the elevator.
Here they were at one of the most important targets in MacManus’ sight right now- the Lucky 38 Cocktail Lounge. He pushed out of the elevator before the door was barely opened, leaving his perpetually embarrassed dogrobber to tip and console the elevator boy.
This was it. The Holy Grail. Shangri-la. There were better bars in Vegas, of course, and Robert House’s taste in decorating would never match the Ultra Luxe, for example, but… MacManus peered through rills of cigarette smoke backlit by the sun through the tower’s windows. The view. The thrice-damned view.
He made a quick circuit, taking it in. He didn’t get to come in here often enough. The genius of this view, was that unless you got right up close and peered down, you couldn’t see the filthy city of Las Vegas at all. Seated on his usual chair- which he regretfully bypassed for the moment- he looked out at the mountains, at the thin clouds as they were driven across the sunny sky. Soon enough. Unfortunately, business never ceased.
MacManus made a departure from his routine and sat down at the bar. He reached inside his jacket and removed his pipe- a scuffed, stubby Irish bulldog- and his tobacco, which he had made by Kramer’s whenever he was in LA. It was a dark English blend, and he was sure that the smell of it straight from the pouch would keep anyone from sitting next to him. Once lit, though, it would be a smoke to rival any cathedral’s incense.
The bartender limped over and discreetly handed him a shotglass full of matches. MacManus took them and began to pack and light his pipe without acknowledging the man. Once he was steadily puffing, he looked over and gave the bartender a smile.
“Thank you, Chet.”
“My pleasure, General.” He blinked a bit more than was necessary. The power of latakia. “What will it be this morning, sir?”
MacManus looked past him, behind the bar, and chuckled. The beer taps on display were a joke, the rube’s idea of good beer and whiskey. Horowitz? Dirty Fenster? Jesus wept. House made a mint by catering to the poor schmucks who didn’t know any better. But when dealing with an arrogant sonofabitch like House, of course it was a trap.
The only thing Robert House hated more than a rube was a poser. If you asked for some top shelf booze that wasn’t shown, you’d be served it and made to feel like a king. But then the quality of service would plummet and your luck at the casino would disappear. Your punishment for putting on airs.
General Roderick MacManus was an arrogant sonofabitch as well, and ten years ago he’d made a sort of friendship with Robert House by escaping the trap the only possible way. He had cheated.
“The Satrap 1851, of course, Chet.” It was his family’s whisky, brewed for a short time and raved about by serious imbibers for some time, but discontinued before the Great War and never seen outside of Scotland. His first time at the Lucky 38 he’d asked for it, knowing they wouldn’t have it. He’d endured the embarassment and apologies with a wry smile, but on his next visit there’d been a bottle of it waiting, as well as a discreet invitation up to the penthouse, to talk business.
Chet nodded and went to fetch the drink. MacManus tucked his tobacco pouch back into his jacket and almost relaxed.
His friendship with House had turned into quite the mutual arrangement, and he’d spent many a pleasant afternoon with the man, solving… well, some of the world’s problems. At least until a couple years ago. House had always been eccentric, but at some point at least one of his gears had slipped, and he’d become a recluse. He didn’t leave the penthouse and nobody was permitted in. They’d kept in touch over the defense network (a RobCo product, of course), but electronic letters were a pale substitute for the company of your peers.
“Your Satrap, sir.” Chet brought the glass over to him like it was full of plutonium. Probably as expensive.
MacManus took a contemplative puff, before grabbing his pipe and using it to point vaguely… up. “Is… he taking visitors yet?”
“He is not, sir.” It was quite a poker face. Chet’s talents were wasted in this part of the Lucky 38. MacManus nodded with what he hoped was a reasonable expression, and without looking signaled for his dogrobber. The Corporal responded by swiftly slapping the briefcase on the bar and then stepping back into helpful distance.
MacManus snapped the catches open and reached inside for the souvenir snowglobe he’d had made for his friend. A little joke between the two of them. He set it down on the bar in front of Chet.
“Give this to Robert, with my regards, Chet.”
“I will do, sir.”
“Give Corporal Smythe a drink, please, Chet. Not the good stuff.”
“Indeed, sir.” MacManus grinned and crammed his pipe back in his mouth. He picked up his glass of whisky and stood up from the bar.
I’m gonna list out all the questions I want answered - or answered better (more completely than they have been already) in the finale or by the story the finale tells us. There’s so much we’ll likely never get answers for, but I’m gonna list ‘em anyways. This is largely for me…but eh I’ll share it anyways. If we’re lucky, I’ll be able to answer them during the finale…or by simply remembering the answer - It’s likely I’ve forgotten some answers by now anyways.
I’ll add to this over the next day or so - right up until the finale. I hope that I don’t have to add more after =/
I think anything left unanswered - or seemingly unanswered - I’ll try and answer. A whole rewatch will probably be needed after TuesdAy anyways….
These are in no particular order, but it does seem to start out with the older questions first. This isn’t a comprehensive list - just the stuff I want to know or haven’t pieced together on my own. Feel free to send me more!
1. When Mona was A…was she truly the only A? Or was there always a “Big A” kicking around?
2. Why did Jenna seem to know Alison before even moving to Rosewood? She knew who she was in the costume shop…and at the memorial or whatever, Jenna said that “her whole life” she thought she knew Alison. That always seemed odd to me.
3. Who killed Garret Reynolds? I feel like it was probably Wilden. Then Melissa and Jason were meant to dispose of the body on the train - not knowing Aria was in there too. That’s why Jason had the hip wound.
4. Garret said medical records don’t lie…which records did he refer to? Was it to do with Melissa not being pregnant? Alison not being dead? Jenna not being blind? Spencer being adopted? We’ve never had a clear answer on this so we don’t really know how much Garret knew.
5. Was it actually Cece (Charles?) that drugged Emily at the start of the third season? This has never been revealed.
6. While Emily was drugged, she was found by Jenna and Noel. We get a hint later that they had some connection to Cece that night as well (the game of truth in Noel’s place). We found out this season that Noel and Jenna were working with Charlotte….so what were they up to that night? Was it actually them that drugged Emily and they weren’t so “lucky” finding Emily that night?
7. There was a short scene where Mona in her black hoodie was tailing Byron from his office at Hollis..but we never find out why she’s tailing him.
8. The whole Beach Hottie vs. Board Shorts debate needs to be settled. I’m still convinced it’s two different people. There’s several reasons, but mostly how Alison reacted to each of them. She was afraid of one but intrigued by the other. Was Wilden Hottie while Board Shorts is Ezra (Ezra being all but confirmed) ? There’s some hints to Wilden for sure - and he would definitely be enough to scare Alison if she thought she was pregnant. It would have been statutory rape…And I know it wasn’t real, but we do see Wilden in bed with Ali (it’s Dunhill in a mask..but hey, symbolism!).
9. Who did Alison fear had gotten her pregnant. I’m inclined to believe both Ian and Ezra that they never slept together, so who was she sleeping with? According to Mona, Alison wasn’t pregnant in the end, but she was damn sure she was… I’m putting my money on Wilden.
10. Once upon a time, when we were super suspicious of Jason, he was hiding someone in his house. We never found out who that was. I almost wonder, now, if it was Mary Drake? But who else could it be?
11. Around that time, they showed a dog sniffing around the house and A petting the dog. That was never explained either. Neither was the bloody tissues that Jason had…
12. We saw A rifle through a bag and pull out a bottle of pills that belonged to Maya,..but we never found out why? Especially since, according to the writers and all, Maya had NOTHING to do with A and was already dead at this point?
13. I’m still not convinced the story we were told about Maya’s death is true…but I suppose we’ll have to live with it. Bah.
14. What the hell did the NAT club have to do with anything? Was it just a really intricate red herring? Really? I find that hard to believe…
15. It seems clear that the Hastings/DiLaurentis feud is about more than just Jason, so what started it all?
16. Also, why did Mary seem the Hastings as someone who also needed to be punished?
17. Who is the father of the Emison baby? This I assume we actually will find out. Wren? Please don’t be Charles…
18. Why the hell was Sarah Harvey working for Charlotte?
19. Why was Sydney involved with this all?
20. Mona, in the woods at a picnic table, met up with Jenna and Sydney…and someone else. Who?
21. Did Mary really have more than two children? It seems that she did, based on lines delivered earlier in the season (Dr. Cochrane), but why wouldn’t she share that with Spencer now?
22. Why would Archer Dunhill shack up with Alison BEFORE Charlotte was killed…if we’re supposed to believe that his motive to torture Alison was because of Charlotte’s death? That doesn’t add up at all. Unless shacking up with Alison was the only way to get Charlotte back in on the family business?
23. Why would Archer Dunhill pretend to be Dr. Elliot Rollins in the first place? Something about getting close to Charlotte…so are we to assume that he knew her before this? I actually think this is exactly what happened. He knew her before she was discovered as A.
24. It is said that Cece taught Alison how to be..well…Alison (the Queen B we knew). But then Charlotte says that she was doing her best Ali impression - and evidently Alison was like that before Cece taught her..soo…what?
25. How could Cece have pretended to be Alison to be admitted to Radley IF SHE WAS ALREADY IN RADLEY!? We see in a flashback that Jessica was enraged by this little game…but if Cece (Charlotte) was a patient already, how could that have worked out?
26. This is super out of order here but…why was Alison crying when she left her house and went to the Hastings while Jason had a party (The scene where she goes “your family has the worst apples”)
27. Just…everything ever concerning Wren. I have questions upon questions. Why go after the 16 year old sister? Why continue to go after her? Why always show up with Spencer is upset? Why did his name have quotes around it on the police murder board? Why did Mona stop trusting him? Who did he call to “take care of their end?” Why colour that jacket in red? Why get a visitor pass for Cece Drake when she was a patient still? Why lie and say Melissa convinced him to let her in? What was he and Spencer arguing about in the airport? The questions are RELENTLESS.
28. Alison wanted masks made of her for her friends…A has them but the four girls don’t. What happened there?
29. Who was wearing the Emily mask?
30. So Jenna was scared of Cece Drake (as told by Shana) but totally okay working for/with her?
31. Who attacked Alison in “The First Halloween” !? It supposedly wasn’t Noel. I have a feeling this may have been Lucas? Maybe he was encouraged by his friend Charles to protect himself like Arcturus would. The comment of “Bitch” later may have been trying to spook her further?
32. The night Ali disappeared has had the timeline messed up a couple of times with different tellings of where Cece was during it. If the story we were told by Charlotte is to be believed, then she showed up at the end of the night and hit Alison by mistake…but before it was mentioned that she was speaking with Melissa Hastings. Jason’s eyes can’t be trusted, but who did he see Melissa talking to? Was it just Alison after all? Or maybe she was arguing with Bethany?
33. What was up with that meeting Melissa had with a hoodie in the backyard? Spencer read her lips as saying “do it” or something?
34. Why make Lesli Stone so suspicious? All the fake glasses and shit…
35. Why did the people at the Kahn party remember Cece? Noel’s brother knew her well apparently…but how? She was in Radley all that time and somehow I doubt she escaped that often?
36. Which reminds me. Cece said that Mona knew how to help her escape Radley. Mona says that she made a deal with the devil and she gave her ways in and out of Radley. Which is true?
37. Was it Charlotte that tried to kill Jenna in the DiLaurentis house?
38. Was Sarah Harvey a prisoner in the Dollhouse all those years and THEN signed up to help Charlotte? Otherwise, how had she been hiding for so long?
39. Early on we were told that A was a man and a woman with dark hair that wanted to hurt Alison? What? Was that actually Mona and Lucas? Still confused about that clue.
40. What did Maya want to show Emily the night she was killed? They found a note but that’s all that was mentioned of it…