Pretty Little Liars jumping #5YearsForward in time is probably the most dramatic thing to ever happen in the series, and that includes when they found a dead pig in the trunk of a car. A few nights ago, ABC Family aired a special episode all about this time jump, where the cast got together to talk about what was ahead before the midseason premiere on January 12. While I’m as glued to the screen as everyone else when I watch the show, I’m always somewhat disrupted by the same nagging thought: Go. To. The. Police. And I don’t mean go to the police and tell the half-truth, or go to the police and talk about one small thing that’s happened. Go to the police and tell them everything because you are being stalked and four high schoolers are not capable of dealing with that, no matter how great their hair looks.
Of course, they should have gone to the police the moment the threatening messages began back in the first season, before they got neck-deep in illegal activity and an intertwining web of alliances. As my sister and I talked about this, we began to wonder just how different this #5YearsForward season would be if all of this “A” stuff had been dealt with back in season one. Here’s what we came up with:
First and foremost, Aria’s parents would still be together. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing. “A” forced them to confront Byron’s infidelity, and without that, it’s possible that Aria could still be living in resentment of her cheating father, but unable to break the news to her mother.
On the bright side, the absense of “A” would allow for much more free time for Aria to explore her art and writing, and any family stresses could be channeled into creativity. While the original series has her working in publishing in the next five years, I feel that the added time to focus on art would steer her more in the direction of a more abstract and experimental literary journal.
While I love Mrs. Marin, she would 100% be in jail. Remember way-back-when when she was stealing money from a client at the bank? Seems like child’s play compared to what’s happened since, but it was a big deal when it was going down, and the only reason she got away with it was because of a cover-up from Officer Wilden. However, Officer Wilden wouldn’t have been in the picture if there wasn’t an “A” in the picture also. So, whoops, sorry Mrs. Marin.
With her mom in prison, Hanna would have to go live with her father who, if you remember, has a stepdaughter who is bad news. Hopefully, Hanna would find a way to overcome this and still persue her carreer in fashion. She’s a tough cookie, so I’m not worried.
Spencer is the only person whose life, I think, would be pretty much the same. Melissa would still be shifty thanks to everything that went down before “A” showed up, Spencer would still smooch Wren which invokes the wrath of her sister, and even if there wasn’t “A” to ruin anything else, Spencer cannot live without stress so I’m sure she’d find something.
Oh, Emily. Her life is arguably the most messed up by the presence of “A”. Without it, she wouldn’t have tested positive for steroids and therefore maybe would have earned a swimming scholarship to the school of her dreams. Maya would also still be around, meaning, she’d still have that supporitve relationship.
Remember, “A” was tormenting Ali as well, even beyond the “grave.” With “A” out the way, Ali would be able to sneak off and start the new life that she wanted. Maybe she’d be somewhere warm, mysterious but safe. Or, with “A” gone, maybe she would come back sooner, knowing that what drove her from Rosewood is no longer a threat.
Mona, having gotten caught up in the “A” game, would have ended up in Radley a lot earlier. She also would have been cut off before most of the damage she caused, so maybe her friendship with Hanna wouldn’t have fully crumbled.
JAIL. Jail, jail, jail. I cannot emphasize enough that Ezra’s relationship with Aria was not only illegal, but only came about because he was stalking her in order to write a book. Illegal x2, and not romantic in any way. Aria would have to come forward about Ezra at some point (remember, this is a world where they’re being totally honest) when she’s giving her alibis. Aria is not old enough to give consent, so this illicit relationship is not her fault. She’d likely have some counseling, but Ezra is the real culprit, and he’d be safely behind bars.
Of course, this is all up to interpretation. It’s likely I’ve missed or forgotten certain elements, so it’s totally fine to have your own version of events. I think it’s interesting to note that their lives are still far from perfect even without “A” to make them worse, but their problems would certainly be a lot smaller without the constant threat of death. Coming forward before things got worse would be stressful for one year, tops. However, it would be over, and all the liars would move on and life a normal life.
But then, of course, it wouldn’t be a very interesting TV show. So, despite all the drama and all the somewhat stupid decisions made along the way, for the sake of my Netflix-binging, maybe “A” can stick around.
(Image via ABC Family)