We've been wrapped up in Pretty Little Liars' web of thinly veiled lies for six seasons now, and its madcap plotlines are only getting more unbelievable with age. Of course, to be a fan of Pretty Little Liars requires an innate ability to suspend a healthy amount of disbelief, but this season's rashly weaved mystery has been particularly overwrought with steely glances and bargain bin emojis.
PLL is always at its best when it focuses on its characters. We root for Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily because we've stuck with them since the beginning. We've walked through the fire with them. We, too, suffer from A-induced PTSD, where every clue is a red herring and every message is an obvious trap.
For the most part, the Liars have had some stunning moments of growth this season, from Hanna telling off her boss to Emily coming to terms with her father's death. Watching the Liars figure out life as reckless and ambitious twentysomethings has reinvigorated the series. Consequently, it's also made the central mystery -- the lifeblood of a show like Pretty Little Liars -- a bit mundane in comparison.
Pretty Little Liars promised a "deadly" new villain this season, but so far, the new A hasn't delivered the same level of terror and general fuckedupness as Charlotte DiLaurentis. (Aside from stealing Emily's eggs of course, which was extremely fucked up and terrible.)
So when will the new villain get [his] A-gAme together? That's just one of the many questions I have for this season of Pretty Little Liars.
Who is the new A, otherwise known as B, a.k.a Uber A?Freeform
Arguably the most important question of the show's final 25 episodes, "Who is B?" is last year's "Who is A?" While the show has already given us a few leads (Byron, Ezra, Sara, and now, Mona), we still don't know very much about this new Big Bad, other than the fact the Liars referred to someone as "he" in the closing minutes of the Season 6 mid-season finale. But here's what we do know: [he] has close ties to someone we already know, and [he] likes holding a grudge.
Sara is the easiest suspect, but there's no way she's the mastermind behind it all. (Sorry, Sara, but you're just not smart enough to pull it off.) Now, Mr. DiLaurentis has plenty of reasons to hate the Liars. They practically blew up his entire life. He lost his perfect life and his "perfect" family. Plus, back in August, King called Mr. DiLaurentis the "true villain" of the story, so isn’t it time for Mr. DiLaurentis to live up to his dubious moniker?
When will [he] up the ante?
Again, the scariest thing this new A has done is parade around Rosewood in a silicone, old-dude mask, which I'll admit is slightly unhinged, but it's nowhere near the psychological torture Charlotte put the Liars through.
Last October, Lucy Hale called the new villain "smarter and edgier and deadlier" than A. "It’s definitely life or death," she said. "The stakes are definitely a lot higher. It's not 'I'm going to expose your secrets.' It's 'I'm going to kill you if you don’t give me what I want.'"
Will the real villain please stand up? Because I'm just not convinced this new A is actually raising the stakes.
And will [he] ever up his emoji game?
A's exaggerated use of wack, off-brand emojis is simply not okay, nor is it very threatening. You're ruining your image, A. When every other word is either a red devil emoji or a police pig emoji, then what is really the point? Is A trying to prove that [he] is ~ cool ~ and can hang with a bunch of twentysomethings? Or are there clues hidden within this mess of bargain bin emojis? Doubtful. If anything, this new emoji fascination does seem to hint that A is possibly older than originally suspected. (I'm looking at you, Mr. DiLaurentis.)
Did the girls make any new friends in the last five years?Freeform
No, really. Did they? Because all they seemingly brought with them to Rosewood is relationship baggage. For a show that regularly celebrates female friendship, this seems a bit odd. Clearly, the Liars have been tremendously effected by A's mind games, so making intimate, close connections in college was probably a challenge, but to ignore these friendships frankly challenges everything PLL has stood for these last six years.
Pretty Little Liars has never patronized its viewers. In fact, the show has always relied on the insatiable appetite of its fans to drive the conversation. And for all of its eye candy and ridiculous fashions, at its core, PLL has always weaved subversively feminist narratives. Let's hope the show doesn't lose sight of that.
Why is Aria still into Ezra?Freeform
Now, THIS is truly the central mystery of the show. Aria and Ezra’s relationship is a point of contention for many PLL fans. On one hand, it was illegal. When Aria and Ezra met in Season 1, he was her 24-year-old teacher, while she was only 17. Again, the nature of their relationship was very, very illegal. (Especially when you consider that Ezra used Aria to get info on Ali in the beginning, which is just all sorts of gross.) On the other hand, in many ways, Ezria is the defining ship of Pretty Little Liars. It's hard to forget that kiss in the rain, or their adventures in key lime pie-making, and yet, that's not enough to convince that these two need to be together. It's been five years and Aria is still hung up on Ezra, even when she has a perfectly nice, exceptionally handsome, boyfriend who is not only emotionally available but also head over heels for her.
Where are these girls getting their money?Freeform
Yes, it's been five years and the Liars all have entry-level jobs now, but in what universe can a 23-year-old take off weeks of work and still afford to book an extended stay in a hotel suite at The Radley? Suspending disbelief is one thing, but this is asking me to forgo all logic.
Are Haleb and Spoby officially O-V-E-R?
When did Spencer and Caleb's romance become the hottest thing on Pretty Little Liars? The way he looks at her gives me actual butterflies, and while I'm still not 100 percent onboard with Spaleb, they're making it really hard for me to deny. That being said, it's so obvious that there are still sparks between Haleb and Spoby. Hanna and Toby may have moved on with new significant others, but one look at these lingering glances they share with Caleb and Spencer, and it's obvious to see that they still have feelings for their former flames. However, the show seems very committed to giving us Spaleb -- for now, at least.
What is Mona's motivation?Freeform
The Original A is as delightfully cryptic as ever, and we have to wonder if her run-in with Spencer has to do with more than just local politics. When drama is going down in Rosewood, Mona is almost always more involved than she lets on. Plus, we already know she's a tech whiz and master manipulator -- so that's already two strikes. But what does Mona get from torturing the Lairs other than sadistic pleasure? She wanted Charlotte gone, and now Charlotte is dead. Is she trying to frame the Liars? Or is she just being her regular, evil genius self?
Did Sara really care for Charlotte?
What exactly was the nature of Sara and Charlotte's relationship? And more importantly, what could it mean for her place in this whole tangled web? Right now, Sara is suspect numero uno. Not only has she been digging for clues in The Radley, staying in Charlotte's old room, but she also wants to team up with Ali, and that just seems shady as hell. Either Charlotte had some dirt on Sara, or the two we much closer than the Liars previously thought.
Are we 100 percent convinced Byron is innocent?ABC Family
Is his rekindled relationship with Ella really all Aria's dad was hiding? Because the message on Ezra's machine about sounded way too ominous to warrant such a lame reveal. Then again, PLL does this kind of stuff all the time, so it's not out of the realm of possibility.
My favorite part of this entire nonsense scene is the way the writers' hastily swept the entire "Byron is the new A" plot under the rug and toss it aside like it was yesterday’s trash. No, Byron isn't A. He’s just been hooking up with Ella on the DL. There’s no greater mystery. No other theories. Byron is a creep, yes, but he’s not a deranged psycho scraping the bottom of the emoji bargain bin.
Who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis?ABC Family
Well, it wasn't Charlotte. So far, this mystery has been put on the back-burner while Emily figures out what to do with her eggs. But I still think it's pretty likely Mr. Hastings had something to do with Mrs. DiLaurentis' murder. After all, she was about to testify against Spencer, and he wasn't going to let that woman ruin his daughter’s future. Then again, Mr. DiLaurentis is also a probable suspect. Nothing was how it seemed in the DiLaurentis household.
What exactly does the new stalker have planned for Emily's eggs?Freeform
Why would Emily let anything related to her DNA be released after her high school experience? Those eggs are not safe in A's hands. What sick, disgusting things does [he] have planned for those eggs? That a terribly serious violation of Emily's body, and frankly, I am not down with those kinds of gAmes.
Where is Wren?
I still have so many questions about Wren and his shady behavior. While the summer finale ruled him out as A, it’s entirely possible that he was the larger evil all along. But what's his motive? He's clearly the sketchiest dude on the show, so more importantly, does he really need a motive? Wren has to be evil; that’s the only way we could justify his life choices.