If you’d have told me this time last year that we’d still be furiously debating the identity of Pretty Little Liars’ antagonist ‘A’, I would have put my head in my hands and immediately checked out of the otherwise addictive ABC Family series. This was my main issue with season one, at the end of which we were given no answers and no clues as to the identity of our girls’ omnipotent tormentor, but season two promised to put a stop to all the conspiracy theories and pondering to make way for a new mystery.
Well, the new mystery turns out to be pretty similar to the old one, with Mona’s revelation not clearing the waters as promised, but actually managing to make them even murkier. It seems that Mona was just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a whole team of A’s just waiting to take the reins. With this turn-around, our trusty old suspects can be dusted off and speculated over again, some even becoming more interesting over the break. One of the most far-fetched theories has always been that one of the Little Liars is actually the mastermind behind the A-team, but is it really as ludicrous as that first sounds?
Let’s take Aria for example. There’s the obvious fact that her name begins with the letter A, but we’ll file that under ‘amazing coincidence’ for now. If we’re going to look at the group of four girls, too, it’s hard to imagine Emily or Hanna being capable of some of the acts A has committed thus far. Hanna lacks the smarts to pull off the more elaborate stunts, and she seems genuinely clueless about Mona’s switcheroo, and Emily is too darn nice and caring to torture her best friends like that. She’s also lost Maya, whose death may or may not have something to do with the team in question.
Spencer proves a bit trickier to rule out but, as she was the one who discovered Mona’s identity, and was almost a new recruit in the second season finale, we can safely assume she’s donning a white hat for right now. But what about Aria? Though it’s unlikely, and almost definitely not something that was planned from the beginning, the evidence has become a little more substantial of late. Here are our top 5 reasons that Aria could indeed be working with/instructing Mona and co:
- The ordeal started when Aria returned to Rosewood, and she was the first to receive a text message from ‘A’. We know from A’s cover-up job that it’s easy to fake being stalked when you know how, and Mona’s involvement with the girls’ missions at the tail-end of season 2 just proves that you can hide just as well in plain sight. The messages also pre-date the girls getting close again, cited as Mona’s main motive for torturing them.
- Allison/Courtney has appeared to all of the girls except Aria. Given how closely the series has followed the books so far (with Mona being A), it’s not unreasonable to suspect the twin scenario will be popping up soon, too. In the books, the second ‘A’ turns out to be Allison’s twin sister Courtney, whose existence has been all-but confirmed by a picture on her bedroom wall in The First Secret. That would mean that Allison, or someone who looks exactly like her, may have been visiting the girls. Hanna was the first to see her in Moments Later, when she told her she “didn’t care how dangerous it was, she had to come back.” The dialogue, and the lipstick stain on the cup, both suggest that Allison was really in the room, and is only backed up by Emily’s encounter in Over My Dead Body (“two can only keep a secret if one of them is dead”) and Spencer’s in If These Dolls Could Talk (“don’t get hung up on the details and miss what’s right in front of you”). Each visit included titbits about A, and she’s yet to visit Aria.
- She’s been given the easiest time of all four girls. While Spencer, Hanna and Emily have all had their lives torn apart by the ‘A’ team, Aria’s has merely been mildly inconvenienced. She’s received the least direct texts from ‘A’, and has never been physically harmed like Hanna or Emily. We know that Mona had a particular axe to grind with Hanna, and was most likely behind running her over in a fit of rage, but how do we explain the imbalance elsewhere? An attempt was made on Toby’s life, and Emily has recently lost Maya, but everything seems conveniently peachy with Aria and Ezra. Tasks that included getting Ezra fired and dealing with his ex-girlfriend have all benefited Aria in the end, and the only other thing to have been messed with was her parents’ divorce. There are plenty of reasons she could have wanted her mother to hear about the affair, and could easily have written the note herself.
- The toffee flavoured frozen yoghurt. We know when watching past episodes back that the PLL writers love to plant clues anywhere and everywhere. The toffee-flavoured frozen yoghurt in UnmAsked, for example, was thought to be a hint at Melissa’s true intentions, since she enjoyed the same flavour as quoted by Mona in her end monologue. While we were all looking at Melissa as the Black Swan behind everything (now confirmed and denied in the same breath), could it really have been a clue to Aria’s true identity? It was her yogurt, after all. There’s also the fact that all three girls think Aria the best liar of the group, and she was pretty convincing when ‘posing’ as ‘A’ for Hanna’s mom.
- The red Vivian Darkbloom coat. This is a far-fetched one, but we all know how far-fetched the show can be at times (fake pregnancy, anyone?). The red Vivian Darkbloom coat has been hanging around for a while, and it’s thought to be the biggest clue to the identity of the ‘A’ leader so far. Whoever has been giving Mona orders was wearing it to visit her in Radley, and the fade to red-screen made sure we noticed the colour above all else. So why does Aria seem so comfortable in it at the end of Father Knows Best? It’s not exactly normal behaviour to pick up you dead friend’s clue-ridden coat, so it might possibly be a sloppy mistake on her part?
Do you think Aria or another of the Liars could be the real A? Do you think Allison’s still alive? Tell us in the comments.