If you're still trying to catch your breath from the shocking Pretty Little Liars summer finale
you're not alone. No one expected to find out the identity of 'A', or for that identity to hit so close to home.
But is Ezra (or EzrA to type like Pretty Little Liars wants me to) really 'A'? Obviously it's a bold choice for the show, but do we really know what we think we know? Let's weigh the pros and cons of Ezra turning out to be the liars main tormentor.
Ezra is 'A': We Saw Him In The Lair
As the finale winds down, Ezra shows up in 'A's lair looking pretty angry about it being disturbed. Along with the male suits found in the closet, this pretty much confirms Ezra's identity right?
He's Not 'A': Who Knows Why He Was There
It's not like Ezra came in, yelled "home sweet home" and settled on the couch for some Masterpiece Theater. All we saw was Ezra being angry about finding a creepy room full of pictures of his girlfriend and students. Maybe he just followed Aria and company to Ravenswood and was angry to discover they were being harassed again? We don't know the whole story.
Ezra is 'A': We Know He Likes Younger Girls
If Ezra is 'A' then he's obsessed with Alison and was probably the older guy she was dating at the time. It's not like Ezra has exactly shown himself to be immune to the charms of the under 18 set. Perhaps his whole relationship with Aria was a hint we should be suspicious of him.
He's Not 'A': The Timeline Doesn't Fit
Sure, Ezra is kind of a creep. I'm not arguing his tendency towards dating teenagers hasn't been established. But first, 'A' was pretty angry about the fact that Alison pretended to be 18 and given experience with Ezra, I can't be overly sure he'd care about that.
But more damning to the Ezra theory, we know quite a bit about his past. He dated Maggie in high school, dated Jackie in college, and proposed in Italy. When exactly did he fit in being obsessed with Alison? Between never ending pasta bowls?
Ezra is 'A': Everyone Is Crazy Good At Multi-Tasking in Rosewood
Sure, the timeline might be wonky but let's be honest, isn't everyone in Rosewood always doing at least 12 things no normal human could fit into a schedule? In the finale we found out Spencer was a secret magician! And don't even get me started on what Alison managed to accomplish before her "death."
The vagaries of time and space have no hold over the residents of Rosewood, so he could have still been hooking up with Ali on the sly. Most importantly, Ezra would have been in college around the time Alison hooked up with board shorts.
He's Not 'A': We've Been Faked Out Before
Toby. Mona. Ian. Everytime we think we know who 'A' is, even when we're explicitly told it's one person, we turn out to be wrong. What makes us think this is any different than the Toby situation?
Ezra is 'A': We've Been Faked Out Before
At this point the show is getting close to a fake-out event horizon in which nothing has stakes because nothing ever keeps. This was a huge, huge potential reveal with real storyline repercussions. After playing the same game with Toby, I hope the show realizes they'll lose a lot of good faith by playing the same cards all over again.
He's Not 'A': The Show's Not Over
What happens if Ezra is 'A'? Then we know a huge mystery and the show has already been renewed through season five. How do they string that out over three more half seasons (at least)?
Ezra is 'A': He Went To Alison's Funeral in The Pilot
It never really made sense why a brand new teacher at the school would go to Alison's funeral without even knowing her. Now it does.
He's Not 'A': Follow The Money
The theory is that Alison was pregnant from a mysterious older man. When little brother Wes mentions their mother paid off a pregnant girl, perhaps it was Alison and not Maggie. Except Maggie more or less confirmed to Aria that she was receiving money from Ezra's mom to keep quiet, which was why she didn't want to tell him about Malcolm.
Ezra is 'A': Follow The Money
Now that we know Ezra is rich, he is seemingly the only dude in town with the vast, Bruce Wayne-like resources to mount an operation like this. Since 'A' Incorporated was paying minions on staff and had high tech surveillance equipment, Ezra certainly could have afforded everything with his family money. Plus remember that $50,000 he said he got from "selling his car"? It probably really did come from Jason.
He's Not 'A': What About Ezria?
Throughout the whole series, the romance between Ezra and Aria has been one of the primary relationships on the show. Would Pretty Little Liars really mess that up by making Ezra 'A'?
Ezra is 'A': Aria's Storylines Would Retroactively Matter
One of Pretty Little Liars' biggest problems has been a seeming inability to put Aria in any kind of interesting storyline connected to the main mystery. Emily almost gets chopped in half by an elevator and Aria is cleaning up a wine stain. But this twist would make all of Aria's boyfriend drama retroactively tie back into the main narrative in a way that's really neat.
He's Not 'A': Why Would He Hurt Aria?
Come on though, Ezra would never really hurt Aria right? 'A' tried to throw her off a train!
Ezra is 'A': Actually Aria Has Gotten It Pretty Easy
Compared to what the other girls have gone through, Aria has had a walk in the park. That thing on the Halloween train? That was Wilden, and we don't even know if he was connected to 'A' or not. Plus remember how FAST Ezra got onto the Halloween train? Almost as if he was already on it...
Otherwise Aria's problems pale in comparison to the rest of the girls, which has actually led to a theory among some that Aria was 'A'. It never made sense that 'A' would have a big bombshell on Aria like dating her teacher and never use it. Now it does.
He's Not 'A': What's His Motive?
Where exactly is the motive for Ezra to do all these things to the girls?
Ezra is 'A': 'A's Motive Makes Sense
What if Ezra wasn't just trying to terrorize the girls, but trying to lure out Alison? Mrs. Grunwald seemed to hint that Alison's stalker knew she was alive. What if 'A' was putting the girls in danger to see if Alison would come to the rescue? It's a pretty smart plan, especially since Alison in fact does come to the rescue several times. By signing messages 'A', if the girls knew Alison's location they probably would have gone straight to her to see what was up. He also got close to Aria so he could keep tabs on what was going on.
He's Not 'A': He Broke Up With Aria
Remember that time he saw a text message from 'A' (his own?) and then broke up with Aria? That doesn't make much sense does it?
Ezra is 'A': He Dated Aria
Ok, I'll give you that one. But it never made much sense why Ezra would date Aria in the first place. They hooked up in a bar bathroom one time before he saw her in his classroom. That's not exactly the deep emotional connection most great love stories are made of. At that point, he could have just washed his hands and called it a day. But he continued to see Aria, even after he knew she was a student, to the peril of his career and with possible jail time as an outcome. This explains why for those of us less romantically-inclined.
He's Not 'A': That Would Make This A Much Darker Show
I mean, if the main romance was just some creepy older guy using a young girl to stalk another young girl, that's pretty dark.
Ezra is 'A': The Show is Already Dark
People end up murdered all the time. Snakes are bludgeoned to death with mannequin legs. Birds are forced into a life of cannibalism. It's not like the show isn't already pretty dark.
Ezra is 'A': The Typewritten Notes
'A' has sent the girls several typewritten notes and we all know his typewriter is Ezra's most prized possession.
He's Not 'A': Oh Come On
If the typewriter means he's 'A' than having a cell phone means we're all 'A'. That's a pretty tenuous hook to hang your theory.
Ezra is 'A': This Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Seriously, it's been there all along!
He's Not 'A': All We Know Is It Might Be A Man
I mean, are we sure it's not Mike? Because I think it might be Mike.
What do you think fair readers? Which part of my split personality convinced you the most? Vote in the poll and sound out in the comments with everything I might have missed!
Want to add Pretty Little Liars to your very own watch-list? Download the BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of ABC Family)