Rachel Paige
March 25, 2015 10:32 am

Very simple question: Who is Charles?

Long complicated answer: I HAVE NO IDEA. DO YOU HAVE TIME TO REWATCH FIVE SEASONS OF PRETTY LITTLE LIARS WITH ME?

If that’s how you’re feeling today, don’t worry, you’re not alone. PLL teased the “Big A Reveal!!!” so hardcore that we just knew it was going to happen. We were positive we’d finally learn the true identity of the person behind the mysterious texts, and murders, and mayhem. But looks like we were just too naive. In the final moments of PLL‘s season finale, we learned A’s identity. Sort of. Maybe? UGH.

Turns out, A’s not Mona or Melissa or Wren, Paige, Toby, CeCe, Tippy the Bird, Mrs. Hastings, Jenna (where has SHE been BTW?), or The Ghost of Detective Wilden. No. A is some guy named Charles. And, coming from a self-proclaimed PLL scholar (me): What? How? Huh???

Let’s back up a sec. Spoilers ahead if you missed PLL’s finale. Also, maybe you watched the PLL finale and still have no idea what went down. Let’s speed through this.

Here’s the situation: the Liars were arrested as accessories to Mona’s murder. During their prison transport, their truck was hijacked, and the Liars were kidnapped. They’re then brought to a giant life-sized dollhouse, and Mona’s inside too — not dead, and she’s pretending to be Ali. BUT, it’s all a rouse on her part, and she’s been trying to escape. She and the Liars team up to take this Uber A down, and Spencer figures out that the person behind this all is a guy named Charles. How does she figure that out? Does it even MATTER? At the end of this legitimately creepy episode (we actually had really high hopes up until this point), Spencer then comes across an old home movie, showing a young Mrs. DiLaurentis holding a baby (presumed to be Ali) while she talks to her TWO little boys — Jason (who we’ve known all along) and a newbie who we can assume is Charles.

Basically what this means is that there’s another DiLaurentis kid out there. Ali has a brother. SPENCER HAS A HALF BROTHER. Is Charles Jason’s twin? Where has he been this ENTIRE SERIES, and why is he so adamant on tormenting Ali and the Liars? OK, this is probably when your PLL blood starts to boil, because (I repeat) WHAT? HOW? HUH?

We were expecting a big reveal and we (sort of?) got one. It just makes NO SENSE. We’ve had plenty of A suspects and A fake outs in the past, but it turns out that Uber A is someone completely different. If you somehow wagered that A would be a long lost DiLaurentis sibling, then you need to leave for Vegas immediately because you are a professional guesser.

I guess there were tiny little clues about this, but they were TINY. SO TINY it’s not even fair to call them clues. Like, OK, in the books Ali actually has a twin who turns out to be A. And it’s being assumed — by me and all my friends on the Internet — that Charles has been locked up in Radley this whole time . . . until he escaped. Presumably he first escaped the night Ali went missing and HE was the one who hit her with the rock . . .. But like seriously we don’t have 135 hours to try and piece this all together. It would make 1000% more sense if Hanna turned out to be A. It would make more sense if Queen Elsa from Frozen turned out to be A. PLL, we don’t have time for this.

ALSO, Charles was never actually revealed. We never saw his face, just his super creepy masquerade mask. He could still be anyone. So the idea that we are all A is STILL IN PLAY, you guys.

Is this another giant A reveal fake out? Like, basically. And we’ve been patiently waiting so long that it’s hard not to just feel totally strung along now. Instead of answering the one question we are all dying to understand, PLL has given us a million more. There’s also the fact that if this Charles really is Jason’s twin, that means Mr. Hastings has to have known this whole time, since he’s the father. When will the lies and questions stop?? Seriously, my brain is going to explode. Can we really deal with two more seasons of this insanity? Just tell us who A is and what is happening!! 

I guess, welcome to the world, post-PLL finale, where A is some guy named Charles who we’ve never met before, fans are turning on the lady in charge of the show (Marlene King), and the Liars are trapped in a strange and twisted dollhouse in the middle of nowhere and I’m starting to feel like I’m trapped alongside of them.

Also, thanks for ruining Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” for all of us. Like we’re ever going to be able to rock out to that song again. That’s the icing on this PLL cake of confusion.

Image: Eric McCandless/ABC Family and here.

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