For the last seven years, Pretty Little Liars has kept us on the edge of our seats. From season to season, a new mystery adds on and unfolds piece by piece (very slowly), and the liars have been consistently tormented and troubled by the puppet master (well, one of ’em) ‘A.’
While big reveals have rolled out during some seasons — Mona and Charlotte (a.k.a. “CeCe”) unmasked as two major villains being two such reveals — we have yet to get ALL the our answers we want… at least from the last few eps.
As the show comes to an end, though, consider the following fan theories as to who’s actually behind it all — who is A.D. on PLL? Here are the Internet’s best guesses before we (hopefully) find out on the series finale (or earlier):
1. Alison DiLaurentis — The show has revolved around her from the start. What if she planned her disappearance, death and return all as some sick game to torture Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna? This wouldn’t be drastically out of character in that we’ve seen her manipulate all of them at one point or another. ADDED BONUS: Her initials are A.D., so…
2. Mona Vanderwaal — She’s a genius — the show has made that clear. She’s definitely smart enough to pull off the entire ‘A’ game — it’s been proven that she has before. What if she never stopped, and it’s been Mona this whole time? Her inability to truly fit in with the liars’ clique may indicate her motive all along.
3. Spencer’s twin — While the television series has been known to stay true to the book series in some regards, this plot twist would pay homage to the original ‘A’ ending of Ali’s twin, Courtney. The show has dropped some clues that a Spencer twin could exist: from “Spencer’s” downright strange scene with Wren at the airport, to the fact that we’ve never seen Bethany Young’s face, to how Mary Drake had two babies at Radley. Uh oh…
4. Lucas Gottesman — He’s been an outsider from Day 1. His friendship with Hanna may be sweet on the surface, but what if it’s all part of his A.D. strategy? We know Alison bullied him relentlessly, and that he had a secret friendship with Charlotte in summer camp. He could be seeking revenge on the liars after years of bullying by Ali. He has the money — and brains — to pull it off, too.
5. Wren Kingston — Speaking of money and brains, years of clues have led us to believe Dr. Wren Kingston is involved in the whole ‘A’ operation. His recent cameo out of nowhere with Spencer, to his long disappearances and random reappearances could indicate he has a larger hand in the entire game.
6. Ezra Fitz — His stalking of Aria — which the show is finally beginning to recognize through some of Aria’s dialogue — always felt… off. His excuse for it all was writing a book. But really, who needs a lair to do that? We know he has a backstory with Alison, and what if on the episode in which he goes to the airport, it’s not to fly, but to, instead, meet Wren?
One good thing about the show ending: you won’t have to see your faves in the hospital anymore!
On S1, E11: 'Moments Later'
After receiving yet another text from 'A,' the Liars attend Mona's 'glamping' birthday party in hopes of finally capturing their tormentor. Although they don't succeed, Hanna comes close when she identifies 'A.' She texts the girls to meet her in the parking lot, but by the time they arrive, Hanna was run down by a car! Needless to say, this landed her a trip to the Rosewood Community Hospital.
While heavily medicated, Hanna hallucinates that Alison has visited her bedside. Now we know that Ali was actually there keeping a watchful eye on her BFF.
Photo: ABC Family
On S2, E8: 'Save the Date'
Back on Season 2, Emily had a pretty promising swim career ahead of her. So much so, that a scout from Danby University comes to watch her big meet. As if that weren't stressful enough, her dad shows up and surprises her, too! Now, not only is she nervous about impressing her dad and the scout, but she's worried that they'll meet and discover that Emily forged a letter of intent from the Danby scout! Emily cracks under the pressure and is hospitalized with an ulcer.
Photo: ABC Family
On S2, E25: 'unmAsked'
The Season 2 finale of PLL is easily one of the most shocking of the series. With an upcoming masquerade ball, 'A' isn't the only one that'll be in disguise. Dressed in gorgeous gowns and exquisite masks, the girls are on the hunt. While Hanna, Emily and Aria discover Black Swan, Spencer pieces together that Mona is 'A.' Unfortunately she figures it out just a moment too late. Mona knocks Spencer unconscious with a flashlight and shoves her into a car. Spencer wakes up to Mona's reckless driving but manages to stop the car. The other girls show up and, before you know it, Spencer and Mona are fighting on the edge of the cliff where Mona takes a tumble. While we're sure she was hospitalized for her injuries, she was committed to Radley Sanitarium for her personality disorder and… murderous tendencies.
Photo: ABC Family
On S3, E22: 'When Will the Circle Be Broken?'
After discovering what she thinks is Toby's dead body in the woods, Spencer has a breakdown. She is found wandering by a hiker and is completely catatonic. She can't say who she is or what she was doing in the woods, so she is committed to Radley Sanitarium under the name 'Jane Doe.' After a 72-hour evaluation and discussions with some of the nurses, Spencer discovers that Radley may have hurt people more than help them.
Photo: ABC Family
On S6, E2: 'Songs of Innocence'
After spending a month trapped and tortured in 'A''s Dollhouse, the Liars are finally rescued. But surviving such a harrowing experience doesn't happen without incurring a few cuts, bruises and a whopping dose of PTSD. They all spend some much needed quality time in Rosewood Community Hospital.
On S6, E15: 'Do Not Disturb'
In one of the stranger plot lines of Season 6, Emily's beloved father has died and left her money for college. She has not only dropped out of school, but has blown all of the money on who knows what. To right this wrong, she decides to donate her eggs for a handsome fee. The procedure goes smoothly, but when she awakes in the hospital expecting to see Alison, she sees Sara Harvey instead! And even worse, Emily sees Sara placing something in her IV. Emily screams bloody murder and Alison rushes in, insisting that Emily was just hallucinating from the drugs. But, we've been down this road before… We know better.
On S6, E18: 'Burn This'
Now a tech multi-millionaire, Lucas has graciously offered to let Hanna stay in his high-tech loft while he’s out of town. During her stay, she hosts her bridal shower, which totally blows up because no one knows anything about her relationship with Jordan. Speaking of blowing up, 'A' hacks into the loft's system and makes the fireplace erupt just as Aria is inching towards it. She burns her arm pretty badly and is rushed to the hospital. Thank goodness she makes it out with her eyebrows!
On S6, E19: 'Did You Miss Me?'
Despite her questionable romantic history with older men, Alison finds no problem with eloping with her boyfriend, who also happens to be her murdered sister’s therapist. During their honeymoon at a quaint B&B, she takes a tumble down the stairs, landing her in the hospital. Then, while recovering at home, she begins to hallucinate that Wilden and her dead mother are haunting her. Unbeknownst that her precious husband is behind both her fall, and hallucinations, she commits herself to Welby State Psychiatric Hospital (a.k.a. the new Radley).