It's highly likely Pretty Little Liars' Ali has been Big Bad all along

Feb 9, 2016 at 3:28 p.m. ET
Image: Freeform/Adam Taylor

Honesty is not always the policy on Pretty Little Liars, and if there's one person that the Liars can blame for giving them that moniker in the first place, it's Alison DiLaurentis. Queen Bee Ali has certainly grown up a lot in the past five years, but while she's doing her best to make it seem like she's a brand-new, much better person, there's a chance that fans shouldn't trust Ali after all. Could Ali be the show's ultimate villain?

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I'm starting to believe that it just might be the case. First, let's recap a bit of Ali's arc. When we first met Ali (through all of those super dreamy flashbacks), she was a master manipulator who put Regina George's passive-aggressiveness to shame. You can blame her attitude problem on her parents, who themselves were disturbingly manipulative people who flat-out lied about one of their daughters' existence. When Ali was targeted by A (what's up, Mona?) she faked her own death and went on the run — only to come back a "better" person.

It took some convincing, but the Liars were eventually able to see that their former Queen Bee had grown from a cruel, calculating teen into a kinder, lost young woman. In fact, Ali herself was targeted by Big A, who was later revealed to be her secret sister, Charlotte DiLaurentis — then better known to Ali as her cool older friend CeCe Drake. When Ali heard Charlotte's story, she cried right beside her, and vowed to get her the help that their parents never gave her. Five years later, it was Ali who wanted Charlotte out of the hospital so that the siblings could be reunited. Pretty sweet, right?

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It seems that way on the surface... but that's only if you aren't a little suspicious of Ali's new leaf. Obviously, shows like Pretty Little Liars can only exist if their characters grow and change along with the show, and Ali is no exception. Except... what if Ali hasn't actually changed that much? What if, like a true sociopath, Ali has simply mimicked human emotions and pretended to change because that was what was expected of her?

If Ali is a sociopath, her "growth" might have been the biggest manipulation she has ever pulled. The Liars were no longer dolls that she could manipulate: they have been through far too much to put up with Ali's crap ever again. They also have one another — and standing up to Ali when it's four against one is a whole lot easier when they have all developed a backbone. Ali, knowing that, could have decided to appease the girls in an entirely different way: by pretending she was a good, kind person who just needed their help.

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What could Ali have needed their help with? It's simple: killing Charlotte. Ali may be Charlotte's sister, but that doesn't mean that she wasn't just as harmed by Big A's actions as the other girls. Ali may not have been put in the dollhouse alongside them, but she was thrown in prison for a murder that didn't even happen. She was lied to by someone she considered her best friend, and was forced to go on the run so long that she didn't even get to see her mother before she, too, was murdered. There are plenty of reasons for Ali to hate Charlotte — and to want Charlotte dead.

Perhaps the real villain of the show isn't the new Uber A at all. Maybe this entire time, it has been Ali who had the most sinister intentions for the girls. It's not that Ali wants the girls dead — she just wants to know that she can control them. And that includes framing them for murder if she has to.

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Right now it seems that Uber A is the one who the girls should be afraid of, but what if Uber A simply knows the truth about Ali and wants to expose her via the other Liars? There's one huge clue that this is possible. In the Season 6A finale, we see a flash-forward of the girls running into Ali's classroom, warning Ali that "he" is coming for her. If this is Uber A, then we know what Uber A wants: to expose the person who killed Charlotte. Could Uber A know that Ali is the person behind all of this?

If so, it looks like the girls are once again defending Ali's actions despite all of the awful stuff she has done to them — and that kind of control might be the most villainous thing of all.