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Pretty Little Liars: We Ask "Who Is A.D.?" One Last Time

One more chance for wild speculation.

Nick Campbell

Please excuse me if I get emotional while wildly speculating who this omniscient, ruthless, crafty, bully is. Seven years of calculating the odds of particular characters also being suited for girl-torturing and then shouting those scurrilous accusations into the void has become a part of who I am. And here we are. We speculate one last time before the finale who this could possibly be. Who stole the game from Mona (Janel Parrish) again? Who can't live if living is without the Liars? Who has single-handedly kept the black hoodie and glove industry in Rosewood alive? And how many abandoned warehouses will it create once A.D. is apprehended (if A.D. is apprehended)?

So here we go. One last time. Who is A.D.?

Wren Kingston (Julian Morris)
Ever-suspect Wren made a single shaved-head appearance in this season of Pretty Little Liars at a confusing airport meet-up with "Spencer" (confusing both in who he was meeting with and just the general practice of having a sit-down with someone at an airport during these days of high security). This is also where he met Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) for the first time. While time away from the screen tends to point in the general direction of A-ness, and, man, did people at the end of 6A really want Wren to be A, this might feel forced. Narratively, if Wren showed up as the Hoodie of Hoodies, it would only serve the long-time fans who were disappointed to see CeCe (Vanessa Ray) as A. Otherwise, there's no pay-off here unless the show weaves a ret-con tapestry so bountifully thick it's basically another show within the show. Maybe that's how they get away with an eighth season. It's actually just Season 7, Episode 20, but there are thirteen parts of that episode and it's all called "How I Did It." That might actually be a pretty good show.
Likelihood to be A.D.: Low
Likelihood to be on A-Team: Medium
Likelihood to be in a future support group for grown men who are attracted to Rosewood teens: High
Number of Rosewood men in that support group: Dozens? Hundreds? They're going to have to open chapters in at least two countries.

Pretty Little Liars: Who killed Charlotte?

Paige McCullers (Lindsey Shaw)
Her vanishing act midseason is conspicuous and our subtextual theory on whether Paige was pointing out all lies Addison (Ava Allan) kept spitting or if she was trying to make Addison a better soldier certainly makes this an intriguing pick for A.D. It'd also make the Emison baby all that more vindictive, especially if it was attempting to break up Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) via life-creation. Or maybe she wasn't really trying to break them up and she was just marrying two of her dolls. People have also pointed out the prominent chin wearing the Aria mask. I struggle to see Paige as a complicit villain here, though her turn as a baddie might make the most narrative sense since she is someone that was bullied by Alison but isn't a nervous wreck all the time because of it (see Gottesman, Lucas). All in all, I want Paige to have escaped Rosewood. Hopefully she did it without so much blood on her hands.
Likelihood to be A.D.: Medium
Likelihood to be on A-Team: Medium
Likelihood to remember that she tried to drown Emily and relive it every day like an embarrassing memory: High
Likelihood Iowa will break into the top 25 in the coaches' rankings under Paige's leadership: 47%.

Lucas Gottesman (Brendan Robinson)
A member of the original crew, I have no doubts that Lucas has found himself involved in the most recent incarnation of the A-Team. But does he have the stomach for the Xenu-level Hoodie? That, I don't think so. Lucas has always had a soft spot for Hanna (Ashley Benson) and I don't think he could do anything voluntarily to hurt Miss Hopes-and-Dreams. He seems too twitchy, too anxious, too soft to actually commit the heinous crimes A.D. has had to commit in order to keep the girls in a state of frenzy. Can you imagine Lucas digging up Archer Dunhill's body? I can. And he's whining the whole time about it. The connection to Charlotte might give one pause, but I think that's mostly what keeps him at the table, not what keeps him as the hoodie of honor.
Likelihood to be A.D.: Low
Likelihood to be on A-Team: High
Likelihood to have a shrine to Hanna in a Silicon Valley closet: High
Creep factor between possibly be on the A-Team and pining for Hanna all these years: Variable.

The Liars gather to help Mona (Janel Parrish) get the help she needs.

The Twin of Spencer Hastings
An idea has been going around that Spencer (Troian Bellisario) has a twin and that is who Wren met with at the airport bar. Twin theories are a dime a dozen on Pretty Little Liars given the twin stuff from the books. Any amount of continuity weirdness results in a rising tide of twin accusations. Maybe looking at this from a meta perspective is wrong but the #Twincer idea feels about as narratively sound as Wren being A or worse. Certainly the stage is set for that. You never see Spencer being born or her in the hospital. Instead you see some 1920s adoption nonsense where Spencer is handed to Veronica (Lesley Fera) already swaddled so you don't know the terms of whether or not there's a second Spencer. On top of that, twins clearly run in the Drake family so I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm saying it might be a little silly. But then again, I also thought CeCe as A was a little silly and they gave an compelling (if incomplete) argument to make that work. I just really like the idea more of Ezra meeting Spencer in the airport bar, but being so gullible he couldn't see through the cheap latex mask of A.D. wearing a Spencer costume. Anyway, this seems improbable but not at all impossible.
Likelihood to be A.D.: If the twin exists, high. If she doesn't exist, low
Likelihood to be on A-Team: Low
Likelihood of this show to pull a fast one: High
How much I want to see a scene where Spencer has a casual conversation with herself: Very high

Can the Pretty Little Liars cast remember everyone who died on the show? (No.)

Caleb Rivers (Tyler Blackburn)
Please don't do this to me. Ezra chastised the Liars by asking who among them had not done something horrible that they have to live with forever. Surely Spencer thought about her brief time on the A-Team. Emily considered the time she killed a dude. Alison has a not insignificant portion of her life that may have, in fact, cultivated this current period of torture thanks to her cavalier attitude toward the feelings of others. I looked at Caleb and thought hard about what he had done. Unless he helped the A-Team while he was staying with Lucas or somehow counts his Hacker and the Brain relationship as a terrible thing (never apologize, never forget) or maybe the time he chased ghost booty in Ravenswood, Caleb seems to be the one without the Mark of A. Which makes me consider that he might be A.D. There's no other evidence for this other than this show might do it just to spite me and Haleb.
Likelihood to be A.D.: Low
Likelihood to be on A-Team: Low
Likelihood of Caleb finding out before everyone else because of hacking: High
How much people making this show would probably like me to forget that Caleb was destined to mate with a ghost on Ravenswood: Probably high

Mrs. Horowitz (Cathy Ladman)
I don't have to say much here. We all know this is A.D. We've known it since she showed up in that storage area in 5B. She's been present enough to remind us she's around, but absent enough to work on her dark preparations for ways to torture the Liars via board games and doll parts. There is no clearer contender for A.D.
Likelihood to be A.D.: High
Likelihood to be on A-Team: High
Likelihood of Mrs. Horowitz cursing how she would've gotten away with it if it weren't for that pesky hacker and the eidetic: High
Likelihood of regrets: High

Pretty Little Liars: Why Troian Bellisario wanted Spencer to be killed off

Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale)

The original One Who Shushes. It's not a complete "Who is A?" post without addressing the Aria is A theories. Sure, it's still possible that Aria has a split personality and she's manifested a villainous dark side to compensate for her being so twee. Her talking to the dead body in her trunk didn't help her cause very much and the fact that she seems to be the only person that's ever had direct contact with A.D. (that we know of) is also suspicious. But we'd be talking about a real Tyler Durden situation here, and would you honestly be satisfied if Aria was the Hoodie of Hoodies? Okay, maybe that would be satisfying. But it's probably not her. Probably. Maybe. Who knows.
Likelihood to be A.D.: Low
Likelihood to be on A-Team: Um, we'll say high?
Likelihood of Aria's split personality to have a fancy name like Annabelle Delores Sugarbaker: High
Likelihood of Aria being troubled even if she isn't also A.D.: High

Literally Anyone
Why limit ourselves? With how the show seemingly runs on magic sometimes, I wouldn't be surprised if Pastor Ted (Edward Kerr) turns around with the hoodie on this time. He's got a connection in all this now that it was revealed he was Charlotte's father. Maybe it's Veronica Hastings? Is Melissa (Torrey DeVitto) still in the mix? Do you remember that barista that one time got Emily some coffee and then had to bring it to her because Emily wandered away to talk to someone? That person looked suspicious. What if Jessica and Mary (Andrea Parker) had a third sister that Peter Hastings (Nolan North ) probably impregnated? Maybe it's actually Nicole (Rebecca Breeds) and she's been operating out of South America this whole time only to come out of hiding for the big reveal? What if it's Aria's twin? Or Hanna's twin? OH. I got it. It's Mrs. Horowitz's twin. There we go. Solved it. We can all go home now.

Oh. You don't think it was Mrs. Horowitz's twin? All right then, smarty pants. Who you do you think A.D. is?