If you have been around reading my blog for awhile you might be aware of my love for a certain show called Pretty Little Liars. Yes, this is commonly a show made for teenagers, but it has managed to transcend that age in a way few things do. There are plenty of adults to watch it. I know because after five seasons of post episode discussions with my best friend I made it my business to know if anyone else over the age of twenty was a fan. I have been with it from the beginning. It started when it was heavily advertised at the start of every movie that played at Regal Cinemas. I saw the salacious adds and thought “I’m watching the shit out of that show!” And then I wrote about it here and a little here. But, to recap quickly; the show is about four girls, Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna, who were all friends and led by mean girl Alison, but when Alison disappears the group dispersed until a year later when Alison’s body is found buried in her backyard and the four remaining girls start receiving texts from a mysterious “A” who knows all their secrets, secrets they thought only Ali knew. The girls realize they need to stick together to find out who is blackmailing them and cement their friendship in the process. At least that’s what it was initially about. Since then the plot has twisted and twisted back so many time that the very act of speaking some of the plot out loud is sort of comical. From here on out I will be speaking candidly about everything and anything that has happened up until now. You’ve been warned. In other words; SPOILERS.
This season we got our biggest twist so far. The show has revealed A before. In season two the culprit was revealed to be Hanna’s best friend, ex-loser, and sometimes Liar accomplice Mona Vanderwaal. Broken by Alison’s constant ridicule, Mona tormented Ali’s friends with Ali’s secrets and her amazing intellect. She was subsequently admitted to Radley Sanitarium before being released back to the same high school as the Liars, where everyone acts like they’re the crazy ones for not instantly warming up to their reformed tormentor. Since, she has acted as both ally and foe to the Liars. She also played a role in helping Alison to fake her death, because, yes that’s right, Alison turned out to be alive and on the lam from A as well. Because while in Radley someone stole the game from Mona, though I think it’s dubious that she as ever completely in charge in the first place. Regardless, since season three there has been a new, much more hardcore, A.
The finale of season five promised to reveal “Big A”, the one behind everything. Something I never expected to happen until the very end of the series. In fact, this is something that surprises me continually throughout the series. I constantly see people complaining that we never get answers and that we’ll be waiting forever to find out who A is and it’s never the end of the mystery. But I have to wonder if those people understand what this show is about. The end of the mystery is the end of the show. The show is about four girls getting harassed by A, if we take that away I am curious what these people think they would be watching. The Romantic Lives of Rosewood Girls? No thanks. I am happy not knowing because it means I get my hardcore guilty pleasure. I will be sad when Pretty Little Liars is over. Which it will be, after seven seasons, two years from now. So, I think it’s pretty clear when we’ll get all our answers. If you can’t wait until then, then I am afraid you’re watching the wrong show.
But, back to the season five finale. After Alison is convicted on Mona’s murder, the rest of the Liars are arrested as accessories. En route of the prison they are kidnapped by A from the paddy wagon and wake up in their bedrooms. Except these exact replicas of their bedrooms are located in an underground bunker where they discover Mona alive, well, and enacting the role of Alison. Soon they discover the identity of “Big A”. It’s Charles DiLaurentis! Except… who the hell is Charles DiLaurentis? Fans felt cheated that A wasn’t a character that we know. They have a point. But, they also don’t. At first I was extremely dissatisfied with this reveal. The Dollhouse (said bunker with room replicas) and Charles creepin’ with a mask was creepy as all hell, but it wasn’t exactly the answer I craved. There are still a massive amount of questions left to be answered. But, of course there are. There’s still two seasons to go after all. But the more I think about it, the more okay I am with Charles. I haven’t read the books the show is based on but some plot points are hard to miss, so I prepared should the show go the way of the books and reveal Alison’s twin, Courtney DiLaurentis, even though I thought that was a terrible idea. So why was Charles initially so annoying? Because I wasn’t expecting it, I guess. But then it was my expectation that A was someone we knew. Should I blame the show for not living to my expectations? Also, the more I thought about Charles, the more awesome his potential became. We were given a name, Charles, and shown a video of Jason and an apparent brother looking at their baby sister at an apple farm. For appearances, we can assume that Charles is Jason’s twin, though unconfirmed and whether identical or fraternal who knows. But if it is identical my immediate thought is that there are at least a few times we’ve interacted with Jason where it was actually Charles. Charles could have made out with Aria, bonded with Spencer, and slept with Hanna’s mom! To that end, Jason could easily be dead. How about when he moved back to Rosewood, papered up the house (where there was clearly someone lurking behind that we never discovered, and did we ever find out what he was burying in the yard? Right now, this Charles thing could go anywhere and since I enjoy the show so well, I have faith it will go somewhere entertaining. Pretty Little Liars might have just hit it’s stride. We’ll see.
And because it’s my blog I will go ahead and share my theory. Which I honestly think is awesome and I hope it’s not better than what the writers come up with.
I think that Charles is Jason’s identical twin. I think that just after Alison was born something happened in the DiLaurentis family, possibly something to do with Mr. DiLaurentis and his pretty insane anger management issues (we know, certainly, that Mrs. D had an affair with Spencer’s father that resulted in Jason [and possibly Charles?]), and Charles started to display some pretty terrifying violent tendencies. Eventually he took up residence in Radley Sanitarium where he lived for the majority of his life and became attached to a girl named Bethany Young. The DiLaurentis family kept Charles a secret from the community and their brand new baby girl, Alison. Mrs. D joined the board of Radley, visiting with her son throughout his life, so that she could still be a part of it, and as an extension, formed a relationship with Bethany, who she told to refer to her as Aunt Jessie. Bethany, somehow, then started communicating with Alison, who invited Bethany over on Labor Day weekend and provided her with clothes, including a yellow top. Charles went with her. A lot of things happened that evening, as the show has revealed to us slowly, but in the end Bethany was killed by we don’t know who. In retaliation Charles hit his sister, Alison, who he blamed for Bethany being out of Radley in the first place, over the head with a rock. Mrs. D saw this but buried Alison’s body in the foundation of the gazebo they were building in order to protect her son. Mrs. Grunwald then pulled Alison out of her grave, and Ali prepared to run. Meanwhile Melissa Hastings found Bethany’s body, thought Spencer had killed her, and buried her in the hole Alison had vacated. Charles then went back to Radley and stewed in his anger at Bethany’s death for about two years until Mona Vanderwaal appeared, spouting vitriol not just for Alison but for her four minions who are just as to blame for everything Alison has ever done as Alison is. Charles then becomes A, in cahoots with whoever Red Coat is. Kills his twin, Jason, in an elevator, and takes his place, disappearing from the hospital right after the accident where he escaped a falling elevator with little more than a broken leg. Not long after Spencer sees a body in the woods which has the same, specific tattoo as her boyfriend, Toby, who turns out to be alive and well. The body was not immediately identified by police because there was severe trauma to the corpse. After we find out Toby is alive and well the body in the woods is never brought up again. I believe that was the real Jason, mangled from his elevator accident, and inked to disturb Spencer. I also think there is another, female, A who has been at it from the beginning and is probably in cahoots with Charles. I have no theory on her motivation or who she may be.
Obviously I have no idea if any of this is correct at all, and I think there’s probably a whole lot more to it than I’ve put into my theory. But, after thinking about it for weeks it was pretty impossible not to come up with some sort of idea of my own.
Whether I am right or totally wrong. Whether I like the outcome or am pissed we didn’t get a face instead of a random name the “Big A Reveal” was entirely effective because I haven’t stopped thinking about it since and I basically can not wait until the show starts up again in June.