Persons Of Non-Interest
A short list of Pretty Little Liars characters who aren’t 'A' (and why we might be wrong).
As many great scholars have noted, Pretty Little Liars is the most confusing show in all of television. An illiterate first-grader has a better chance of understanding a textbook on nuclear physics than the average PLL audience member has of following even a standard, midseason episode. At the heart of the madness is unseen villain-with-an unlimited-text-plan, “A.” Just who is (s)he? A person? Many people? Red Coat, Black Gloves, the Ghost of Alison Past, the Specter of the Liars’ Booze-and-Pill-Filled Future?
I can’t tell you that. Instead, here’s a list of people I'm pretty sure aren’t “A.” But, you know...don’t hold me to it.
No w"A"y in Hell: Alison’s mom (Andrea Parker) joined her son Jason (Parker Bagley) at the start of this season on the short but noteworthy list of DiLaurentii who have suspiciously returned to Rosewood, presumably in the hope of becoming a red herring. Congrats, Mama D: you’re so stinky a fish, we all know you couldn’t be the real deal. Of course....
Mommy Dearest: ...the “A” game began with Alison (Sasha Pieterse), right? I have to admit, I might be driven to torment a daughter who holds her breath to get what she wants, even if she’s promised to keep quiet re: one's lunchtime Chablis habit. (Sidebar -- that no breathing thing works? I need to re-do adolescence. Also, never ever have teenagers.)
Life on the “D” List: Oh for pete’s sake. You statutory rape ONE girl, and suddenly you’re the mastermind behind a years-long campaign to torture (at least) three others? Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) is a poet, not a punisher. He’s a simple man, with simple dreams: to wear a vest, tie, or lady-blazer every day. To raise a secret baby with Alex Mack. To sleep with an underage student, and to have her parents be totally okay with it. Plus, in “four” seasons (you can’t convince me it’s been any fewer than seventeen), I'm not sure I can recall an occasion when the writers even offered Fitz as a possibility -- because it’s that ludicrous. Then again....
QualificAtions: If Ezra were “A,” it would explain why last week's frog-march out of Rosewood High was imaginary and not real. Seriously, with a petty, vengeance-minded soothsayer on the prowl, how is this guy still teaching?
M.I."A": After a solid attempt at trying to be interesting in Season 2, Aria’s (Lucy Hale) depressed lacrosse-playing thief of a brother (Cody Christian) was completely absent in Season 3. Truly, not since The O.C.’s Kaitlin Cooper cried over her horse’s alopecia and found herself in boarding school has a TV sibling been so unceremoniously dispatched. I can only assume it’s because Mike is of little consequence, and will have no bearing on future escapAdes. Unless....
Big Brother: Mike is the dark horse “Dan is Gossip Girl”-style “A” suspect. I can almost imagine him peeking through a crack in Aria’s bedroom door while the girls listen to yet another horrible Ali proclamation in sun-soaked flashback. Perhaps his absence in Season 3 was due to prior “A” engagements, devious deeds he was flying back from in the fiery season finale. Or, perhaps the writers just wanted to keep him on the bench until he was old enough to figure into a romance or two. Either way, zzzzzzzz.
“A” Team Defector: It’s been established that Mona (Janel Parrish) has worked with “A” in the past and is looking to switch sides. But whether we think her change of heart is genuine is irrelevant -- Mona’s name is cleared simply because, if, after all this, we’re told she’s the once and future “A,” we might have to don a shiny Alison mask and seek some justice of our own. On the other hand....
Ender’s Game: There’s certainly precedent for series finales concluding right where you thought they couldn’t but suspected they would; I'm still haunted by six seasons of hearing the Lost island wasn’t purgatory. Mona ingratiating herself with The Liars only to unmask herself once again as “A” isn’t impossible. Just a bummer.
????? You guys, have you ever known what Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) was up to, with who, or why? No. All we can tell you is that he’s bad, he has a lake house, he may also have a brother, and he’s dated Jenna (Tammin Sursok) and Mona. Which, upon further consideration could mean....
?!?!?!: ...he’s “A”! Minus the motive, opportunity, brains, or flair.
“A” Bird Too Far: Obviously, Tippi the Parrot is not “A.” But I feel I’d be remiss if we didn’t take this opportunity to mention that The Liars are now getting clues from a parrot. Who perfectly mimics the button-tones of a phone number. Just let that sink in. And then ask yourself....
Polly Wants Revenge: ...could Tippi as “A” be so crazy that it works? It would certainly explain why she needs so many people to do her bidding. And it’s possible that in last week’s final “glimpse at 'A'” scene, we were seeing Black Gloves do Tippi’s bidding, and not the other way around. That nutty, cannibal parrot.