'Pretty Little Liars': Was the 'A' reveal a let down?

mona-PLL2.jpg"Pretty Little Liars" had its big "A" reveal on Monday night's (March 19) Season 2 finale - it turned out to be Mona Vanderwaal, the dork-turned-popular-girl who always wanted to be a part of Alison's clique. Did it come as a let down to you, fans?

It was a both surprising and a bit disappointing that the show chose to stick so closely to the books in this instance. The creators of the show have said all along that the books are the basis, but that they show would not adhere strictly to the books' plotlines.

In fact, producer Lisa Cochran-Neilan told Zap2it in a pre-finale interview that the show needs to be different from the books.

"If you go just by the books, your fans are gone. We've used them as source material, we've used them for backbone, but obviously, if you only went by the books, your audience knew before you started shooting what the story was," says Cochran-Neilan.

So - then they decided to just go by the books anyway?

And star Lucy Hale said in a 2010 interview with Ryan Seacrest, "I know who 'A' is in the books. Can I say? ... I hope I don't get in trouble ... It's a girl, it's Hanna's best friend. But we're doing it completely different on the show."

Except ... not.

Was Mona always the plan? Were the comments about the show being different from the books a red herring to throw everyone off? Or did the show just not know? Was there really no "A" picked out until the show wrote the final group of episodes for Season 2?

We're not cricizing the finale as an episode. It was exciting, spooky and action-packed. Despite having a feeling about what was coming with Mona, the stuff at the Bates Motel was still very creepy. And despite having had a theory that Maya was dead, Shay Mitchell still really nailed that final scene.

But we can't help but feel a little disappointed in the outcome.

Furthermore, the Mona reveal has been telegraphed for weeks since she rather out-the-blue started receiving "A" messages and trying to insert herself into the group of Liars. We like clues, but not anvils. It's almost as if the show's producers and writers decided recently that Mona was "A" after all and then had to start laying the groundwork in a short amount of time. 

On the other hand, at the end of the episode, Mona is seen talking to a person who has been giving her instructions. In which case, if Mona is more of an "a" than "A," aren't you disappointed as a viewer to be tossed such a small bone when a big reveal was hyped?

What do you think, "Pretty Little Liars" fans?
Photo/Video credit: ABC Family