Christina Wolfgram
August 23, 2015 7:50 am

Warning: spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t watched “Game On Charles.”

I can only speak for myself, but I’m still totally reeling from the moment when ‘A’ turned around two weeks ago during the Pretty Little Liars summer finale and – bam – turned out to be Ali’s blonde bestie, CeCe Drake, the alter-ego of Charlotte DiLaurentis. Since the reveal, fans have been tearing through the past three seasons, trying to find the “CeCe is A” clues that slipped by.

Some are arguing that the PLL writers originally planned on Wren being ‘A’ and re-filmed the finale after his identity was leaked on Reddit. Judging by the fact that PLL has to film multiple episodes ahead of its TV schedule (currently, the team has already filmed over half of season 6B), there’s little to no chance that the handsome Dr. Kingston was ever supposed to be behind the black hoodie.

Plus, there are tons of clues sprinkled over seasons three through six that point to CeCe Drake stealing the game from Mona and acting as ‘A.’ Here are a few that completely eluded me … until now.

1. Uh, doi. She’s been shown wearing a black hoodie.
The series could have ended right here in season four, episode 11 when CeCe had her ear to Ezra’s door, sporting A’s signature fashion statement. Seriously, the answer was literally right in front of us!2. Girlfriend looks like a DiLaurentis.
Sure, Rhys Matthews had that Jason-like smirk, but it’s no coincidence that the Liars first mistook CeCe for Ali when she first came to town – they are sisters, after all. She’s got the blonde hair, blue eyes, and dimples of a perfect firstborn DiLaurentis.

3. Nigel Wright blamed the Lodge Fire on CeCe Drake.
This shady pilot seemed to be covering for someone, so when CeCe’s name came up, it felt like he was trying to red herring us. Nope. It was really CeCe. Because CeCe is ‘A.’

4. She mourned Mrs. D’s death.
When CeCe visited Ali at the Ice Ball in 5×13, she tries to be comforting by saying, “The first Christmas is always the hardest.” Little did we know that this holiday was just as difficult for poor CeCe – she’d recently lost her mother, too.5. And speaking of the Ice Ball …
‘A’ had photos from the Ice Ball on the “Mystery Date” game board in the Dollhouse’s demented playroom. The person who took those photos had to be at the Ice Ball. Again, CeCe was flying her ‘A’ flag right in our faces!

6. Spencer found CeCe’s “Visitor Pass” in Radley.
Grieving Toby’s fake death, Spencer distracts herself in Radley by following the map laid out on Mona’s favorite board game (basically, a physical manifestation of her Game torturing the Liars). One night, she tracks a path to a star on this map, which leads her to the children’s ward and CeCe Drake’s name tag. X marks the spot to the ultimate answer: CeCe’s journey to becoming ‘A’ began in the children’s ward at Radley.

7. CeCe shares initials with Charles DiLaurentis.
C.D.! Again, Spencer had the answer in her hands: she found that toy boat labeled C.D. in the Dollhouse and assumed C.D. stood for Charles DiLaurentis. Close, but no cigar. C.D. is Charlotte DiLaurentis, a.k.a. CeCe Drake.
8. Jason figured it out back when PLL did those Halloween webisodes.
Yup, rewind to Pretty Dirty Secrets #2 when CeCe just arrived in Rosewood. Jason is surprised to see her back in town, still unaware of why she broke up with him the day after Alison went missing (uhhh, ‘cause she’s your sister, dude). When they run into each other at the costume store, he virtually spells out that CeCe stole the game from Mona. “The moment [Ali] met you, she took a step back from the rest of us,” he says. “She was a kid playing childish games, until you came along and helped take them to the next level.” Just replace “Ali” with Mona, and Jason might as well be running around screaming, “CECE IS ‘A!’”

If you’re still putting all the CeCe pieces together, you should check out this awesome fan video on YouTube. It combs through crazy specific evidence, like the multiple French songs that played to taunt the Liars that connect to CeCe’s trip to France, prom in the Dollhouse, and the clothes Mrs. D brought to CeCe in the woods right before she was murdered.

Until January, happy re-watching, Liars!

(Images via ABC Family,Phaedra Joycehere, here, and here.)