A (Pretty Little Liars)

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“A”
Pretty Little Liars character
First appearance Novel:
Pretty Little Liars (2006)
Television:
"Pilot" (episode 1.01)[1]
"The First Secret" (episode 2.13)
(chronologically)
Created by Sara Shepard
Information
Aliases Original A
Big A
Uber A
A-moji
A.D.
Pathology Stalker
Spy
Blackmailer
Torturer
Manipulator
M.O. Spying targets to discover secrets, taunting and threatening their victims via phone
Location Rosewood, Pennsylvania

"A" is a fictional character created in 2006 by author Sara Shepard. It is a character of both Pretty Little Liars' books and television series, and primarily appears as a stalker and the main antagonist of the stories. "A" is one of the main characters of the stories, appearing anonymously in the majority of the episodes and books.

The villain has already had many portrayals. Its basic occupation is to pursue and threaten the four protagonists of the stories. Thus, many identities have been revealed to be "A". "A" has a specific and unhealthy way of dealing with the protagonists; it often calls them as "bitches", "dolls" and "liars". Its handling and acts of terrorism caused great psychological and emotional damage to the protagonists, even leading them to be hospitalized.

After the revelation of Mona Vanderwaal as the first and original "A", she began receiving visits from someone, known as Red Coat, who offered her a partnership and together they built up the "A-Team". The team had many members but disbanded after the season three finale and Big A began working with a single ally. The identity of the second "A", Red Coat, and the leader of the "A-Team" was revealed to be CeCe Drake, while her ally that donned the Black Widow and other Red Coat disguise was revealed to be Sara Harvey. Five years later, a new mysterious entity arises and begins using Emojis to communicate but later baptizes themselves as "A.D.", while the Liars refer to the anonymous figure as Uber A. Then, in the Series Finale, "A.D." reveals themselves to be Alex Drake, the twin sister of Spencer.

Development

Characterization

"A" makes appearances as a figure with black leather gloves, a black hoodie, black pants, and black combat boots. Throughout the seasons, the story focuses on the mystery of "A". However, "Big A" also sported different disguises, including that of Red Coat, while their ally disguised themselves as The Black Widow, while also donning the Red Coat identity on certain occasions.

Uber A also dressed up as several disguises, including those of a gardener, a maid and a surgeon. They later costume themselves with the traditional look.

Novels storylines

The first "A"

  • Real identity: Mona Vanderwaal.

Three years after the disappearance of Alison DiLaurentis, her four friends, Aria Montgomery, Spencer Hastings, Emily Fields, and Hanna Marin, each receive messages from someone calling themselves "A." The girls had drifted apart over the years, so they had no idea that other people were getting texts as well. Additionally, the texts were about secrets only Ali knew about. At first, the messages were simply teasing and all of the girls wonder if their missing friend was the one who sent them. Though they knew she was most likely dead, she was still the only one who knew their darkest secrets. Once Ali's body is discovered in her old backyard, the girls are even more baffled when they continue to receive threats. At Ali's funeral, the girls are reunited and they find out that they've all been receiving weird messages. As the girls stand outside after the funeral ends, they all get a text saying, "I'm still here, bitches. And I know everything. —A".

From that point on, the messages take on a distinctly more threatening tone. Aria is given an ultimatum to tell her mother about her father's affair by midnight after the Foxy event, or A will do it for her. A continues to play life-altering games with the girls, from encouraging suspicion of Spencer's involvement in Ali's death to outing Emily's sexuality to her conservative mother. However, A makes a serious mistake in texting Hanna on the night of Mona's birthday party. Instead of using the plain Blackberry she bought just for tormenting the girls, A accidentally uses his/her own phone. Hanna, who has a new phone without all of her contacts recognizes the number, compelling A to act before Hanna can reveal A's true identity to the others. A hits Hanna with an SUV, successfully destroying Hanna's phone and putting her into a coma that eventually leads to a temporary loss of memory. Soon after that, "A" puts a drug in Emily's pain cream which causes an Ulcer in the spot where she has been putting the cream. She ends up in the hospital and might not be able to swim again.

A knew that there was a very good chance Hanna would regain her memory. Hanna's best friend, Mona Vanderwaal, informs the girls that she has also received texts from A, drawing the five closer together in trying to figure out who their tormentor is. Mona subtly encourages Spencer's fears that her sister, Melissa, might be A as well as Alison's killer. During Hanna's recovery masquerade celebration, she suddenly regains her memory, revealing that Mona is A. However, she, Emily, and Aria can't do much about it, because Spencer and Mona are on their way to the police station. After Spencer is warned about Mona by text, she tries to escape Mona's car, but Mona catches on rather quickly and diverts to a path in a more remote area of Rosewood. She tells Spencer everything, from seeing Ali launch a firework into Toby Cavanaugh's garage and blind her friend Jenna, to finding Ali's diary of secrets among a pile of old DiLaurentis junk the St. Germains left at the curb, discovering the girls' secrets that only Ali knew. Her motivation was to get revenge for her friend's blindness, even though Jenna and Ali had planned together to launch the firework. Mona didn't know this and got a scar on her stomach from the ordeal. Mona also drops the bombshell that Ian Thomas killed Ali, due to Ali's last diary entry about giving him an ultimatum to break up with Melissa. She then offers Spencer to become A with her and tell Hanna that she must not be remembering correctly, but she refuses. The two fight at Floating Man's Quarry and Spencer accidentally pushes Mona, who falls and has her neck caught between rocks.

The second "A"

  • Real identity: Alison DiLaurentis

As the girls move into the big red house they are shocked to receive messages from a new person claiming to be Alison. At first, they believe it's just a prank, especially since the first "A" got major news time. Then the girls believe it's Ian Thomas, who is the prime suspect of the investigation. Spencer is especially certain of this until finding Ian's body in the woods bordering her estate and the old DiLaurentis home. The girls all get a message from "A," saying "He had to go. -A".

However, this Alison is even more twisted than the first; Ian's body disappears and the town is largely convinced that it was a hoax. "A" even teases Spencer, stating, "Just because I said Ian had to go, it didn't mean he had to die." "A" pretends to be Ian, using an IM screenname of USCMidfielderRoxx, a testament to his alma mater and his love for field hockey. Through this new fake identity, "A" feeds Spencer some interesting information about her family, specifically her father's affair with Mrs. DiLaurentis and the possibility that Ali is her half sister. "A" proceeds to torment the girls even more: they force Spencer to focus more on her father's secret by enabling Spencer's surrogate mother to scam her and clear out her two million dollar trust fund. "A" taunts Aria with pictures of her and her mother's new love interest in compromising situations. They threaten to send these to her mother, even though Aria has tried to ward off her mother's new boyfriend. "A" lands Hanna in the Preserve at Addison-Stevens, a lush clinic for troubled patients. "A" sends Emily on a trip to the Amish community in Lancaster to dig up more dirt on Officer Wilden.

Throughout the second half of the series, the second "A" keeps up this forced information search with the girls, pushing them to find more information on Wilden and Jason DiLaurentis. "A" even plants the idea that they killed Ali. However, when Jenna is found dead in Heartless, "A" plants all of their texts, pictures, etc. on a random lecherous construction worker. This is one of the same workers who was involved in building the DiLaurentises' gazebo when "Alison" was still alive. The girls believe it is all over now, though the fact that the suspect is such a random person bothers them.

Everyone in Rosewood is shocked when the DiLaurentis's introduce the existence of a third child, Courtney DiLaurentis. She is the twin of Alison and was kept in various clinics because she was "ill". However, "Courtney" is actually Alison DiLaurentis herself. She reveals her true identity to each of the girls, hoping to gain their friendship and telling them she never died the night of the sleepover. She claims that Courtney must have gotten out of the house and ran into the construction worker, who killed her. Though the girls believe her and are glad to have their friend back, Aria is the most suspicious of her. It was recently discovered that Courtney liked to pretend to be Ali and she wasn't completely buying her story. Additionally, Wilden and Melissa are also suspicious of "Courtney". Melissa knew about the twins since high school, as their brother Jason confided in her. He told her they hated each other, but Spencer tells her about "Courtney's" statements that she and Ali shared everything together."

Ali's time is running out, for besides the few people suspicious of her, the police start to say that the construction worker has an alibi and might not be guilty. Her secret is further endangered when Aria finds and sends in a photo of a reflection of someone spying on the girls during the sleepover. The reflection is too blurry, but it is clearly a female. Ali takes Mona's idea and convinces Spencer that Melissa is the culprit. Meanwhile, she kidnaps Melissa- who has just figured out the truth- and keeps her in her family's Poconos home. She stuffs Melissa in a closet with Ian's corpse.

On the night of the school's Valentine dance, Ali convinces the girls to hang out with her at the Poconos home. They ditch the party and get wasted at her home. She asks them if she could reenact the night of the sleepover and hypnotize them. Everyone reluctantly agrees, and minutes later they wake up to find Ali gone and the door of the room locked. A letter is slid underneath, informing the girls of the horrible truth: The Alison that they had been friends with had been Courtney all along and the real Ali killed her.

Courtney was mentally unsound and wanted to be Ali so badly that she tried to drown her when they were children. One day, when she was home from the mental institute, Courtney stole Ali's ring and imitated her when she saw Spencer and the others sneaking into their backyard. Ali was sent to the new mental institute, the Preserve, in Courtney's place, and was forced to take her sister's messed up life. On the night of the sleepover, she spied on the girls, followed Courtney after her fight with Spencer, and killed her in revenge for taking her perfect life. She hates the girls for ruining her life and tries to kill them too by boarding up the entire home and setting it on fire. The girls, including Melissa, manage to escape, but no one knows whether Ali is alive. It's hinted that she might be, as Emily hears a faint giggle in the distance as she visits Courtney's grave in the evening.

The Helper, or Third "A"

By the end of Crushed, the Liars know that the Second "A", Alison, has had an accomplice the whole time, and that this accomplice is the Third "A". They believe that Alison did indeed survive the fire in the Poconos house, and thus that the Second and Third "A" are currently operating together to bring them down (and eventually kill them). The helper later is revealed to be Nick Maxwell, Alison's boyfriend when she was hospitalized. Nick was caught by the police when he and Alison planned to kill the Liars via poisoning. However, months later, the Liars visit Nick in the prison in order to discover some clues about Alison's whereabouts, and he gives them some information.

Television storylines

Original "A"

Original A was the first "A" and revealed to be Mona Vanderwaal. Mona began torturing Alison by sending her gifts, threats and soon attacking her while wearing a zombie costume. "A" continued to mess with Ali and her mother Jessica DiLaurentis, whom she believed it to be Spencer Hastings. After Alison's disappearance, "A" went away for a year but after the corpse of Bethany Young (believed to be Alison at the time) was found, she reemerged. "A" began sending the Liars messages about things only Alison knew about them and soon even began messing with their parents. Doctor Anne Sullivan had previously dealt with the person behind the hoodie and when "A" trashed her office she immediately recognized the person. She almost exposes her identity to the Liars but "A" kidnaps her and went as far as to threaten her son's life. But the Liars are still close to figuring it out and during the second half of season two they manage to get a hold of "A's" phone. They hatch a plan to catch her with this and it works. They find out that "A" had a lair at the Lost woods resort and Spencer and Mona ("A's" newest victim) head over there and find a room full of pictures of Alison and the girls along with a sketch of "A's" costume to the ball, The Black Swan. However, Spencer begins to notice other clues and soon realizes "A" is right there with her. She turns around to see Mona in a black hoodie, who reveals herself as "A". She kidnaps Spencer and gives her an opportunity to join the "A" team but Spencer declines and the two get into a fight, where Mona is pushed off of a cliff. Though Mona survives, she is sent to Radley Sanitarium for medical assistance. While in the psychiatric hospital, Mona takes up a partnership suggested by the then unknown CeCe Drake that starts off the second game. After this, Mona became another henchmen in the "A" hierarchy, obeying the orders of CeCe, whom she knew as Red Coat. Mona was kicked off of the A-Team in the season three finale. However, Mona joins the new "A.D." team in Season 7, after "A.D." sends Wren to kill her and she offers to help instead. She helps them kidnap Spencer and wears a Melissa mask, but ultimately turns on them and brings the Liars to them, as well as a cop. However, this turns out to be a ruse and the "cop" is actually Mona's French boyfriend, who helps her take Mary and Alex (the two remaining members) to France to live in her own personal Dollhouse. Mona is the final "A" of the series, being the "winner" of the game.

Big "A"

Big A was the person who took over the "A" game from Mona Vanderwaal after she was admitted to Radley Sanitarium and revealed to be CeCe Drake. She had visited Mona in Radley and used her to get information about the Liars before taking over the game herself and had used Mona, Toby and Spencer to do her dirty work and sometimes went under the Red Coat disguise. Big A often hid out at a lair situated in Room A at an apartment building at Mayflower Hill and a mobile RV which was stolen but Toby gave it back to "A" in exchange for information about his mother's death. However, the Team was disbanded in the third-season finale and CeCe acted on her own with a few minions and an ally, who is Sara Harvey. It is revealed that Charlotte had been hiding out in the basement of the DiLaurentis house and drilled holes through the floor to spy on the family in her Red Coat disguise and shared the identity with Alison. Her disguise as Red Coat was exposed in the fourth season mid finale when Emily was trapped on a saw at Ravenswood and later got into a fight with Aria who discovered her identity and Charlotte later fell off a platform and escaped. In "A is for Answers" the Liars are under attack by "A" who shoots Ezra Fitz on the rooftop. However, in the fifth-season premiere, the shooter is revealed to be Shana Fring who attempted to kill Alison but was later shoved off a stage by Aria and died from the impact. After all of this, Charlotte fled to France under the Vivian Darkbloom identity to escape custody for Wilden's death but returned. In the series's 100 episode, Charlotte placed a bomb in the Cavanaugh house which detonated, signalling her return to Rosewood. In season five, CeCe breaks into the Vanderwaal home and kidnaps Mona just as she is about to tell the Liars that Alison is "A" and covers up her kidnapping as a homicide. She then brings Mona to the Dollhouse and tortures her and forces her to dress up and act like Alison. Just as the Liars are being brought to jail, CeCe kidnaps them and tortures them inside the Dollhouse. Inside, the Liars discover that Big "A" is named Charles DiLaurentis. CeCe/Charlotte reveals herself as "A" and tells her story; saying that she is transgender, was formerly known as Charles DiLaurentis, and became 'A' because the Liars were happy that Alison was gone. She worked with Sara Harvey, who was the Black Widow and a decoy Red Coat, and was also responsible for the "death" of Alison and the death of Wilden, and after telling her story, she attempts suicide by jumping off Radley but is stopped. She is admitted to Welby State and her reign as "A" finally ends and stays in the psychiatric hospital for five years. When she is released, Charlotte is murdered by Mona Vanderwaal and her death causes the birth of "A.D.", the new Uber A. After her death, it is revealed that Noel Kahn and Jenna Marshall were also working for Charlotte. It is also revealed that her birth mother is Jessica's twin, Mary Drake, and her birth father is Ted Wilson, while Spencer is her sister. The series finale reveals that "A.D." is her sister and Spencer's twin, Alex Drake, whom Charlotte met after boarding the plane to France. She and Alex become very close after meeting, until Charlotte returned to Rosewood to play the game some more. Alex reveals that Charlotte never returned to her in London and the next time she saw her was when she visited her grave.

Uber "A"

Uber A, also known as A.D., is the third major "A" to have tormented the Liars. In the show's series finale, Uber A's identity is revealed to be Alex Drake, Spencer's twin sister who was put up for adoption at birth. She desperately craves vengeance over the tragic passing of Charlotte DiLaurentis, who was her half-sister, and is trying to seek out the person responsible. Unlike Mona or Charlotte, Alex does not use any nicknames at first but instead signs their messages with emojis, which differentiates her from the A-Team. This causes Caleb to nickname her Amoji. However, in the sixth-season finale, she begins using the alias "A.D." and kidnaps Hanna, whom she believes is accountable for her sister's homicide.[2] Hanna manages to escape Uber A's clutches and Alex goes after Alison, who the Liars suggested as guilty for her own cousin's murder. Uber A eventually finds out that Alison is innocent after searching her jacket. While Uber A does work on their own, she also works through a new "A-Team" of helpers, known to consist of Jenna Marshall, Sydney Driscoll, and Aria Montgomery, who are assisting them in completing the endgame. The series finale explains that Alex Drake was put up for adoption in exchange for a sum of money (for Mary), but then left at an orphanage by her adopted parents who were concerned for their image. She ran away from the orphanage at ten years old and eventually started working in a bar in London, where Wren Kingston mistook her for Spencer, revealing the existence of Alex's twin and Charlotte. Wren introduces Charlotte and Alex in an airport (just after Charlotte met Archer Dunhill) and they immediately connect, becoming very close in a short amount of time. After Charlotte is released from Welby, she tells Alex that she wishes to return to Rosewood and resume the game, but Alex says she shouldn't go unless she gets to come too, since she wants to meet Spencer. Charlotte says no and describes the Hastings as "toxic people" before leaving for Rosewood, where she was murdered by Mona. Alex is enraged and forces Wren to shoot her so that she looks exactly like Spencer and can successfully impersonate her. She then goes to Rosewood and picks up the game as "Uber A". Alex has made several appearances where she impersonates Spencer, including, but not limited to: The run in with Ezra at the airport where she introduced Wren, the kiss between "Spencer" and Toby just before the latter planned to leave Rosewood with Yvonne, and Hanna's "dream" where she "hallucinated" Spencer while A.D held her hostage. The latter was done so that Alex could find out whether Hanna was telling the truth about killing Charlotte.

The A-Team

The A-Team is a group of anonymous characters that worked together as "A". The team would work under the orders of the "A" in charge, who has been Mona Vanderwaal, the original leader and founder and CeCe Drake, the second leader. Five years later, Alex Drake, also known as Uber A, assembles a team of their own. This team continues using the same name, though is also referred to as the "A.D.-Team".

Members

Sara Harvey

Sara was the right-hand woman to Charlotte and also revealed as an A-Team member halfway throughout the sixth season.[3][4] Sara is revealed as a Red Coat and the Black Widow, hired to pose as a decoy whenever Charlotte couldn't sport the Red Coat disguise.[5][6] She then became Charlotte's friend and ally in the "A" game and assisted her in most of her schemes. Sara was allegedly diagnosed with Stockholm Syndrome following Charlotte's arrest, but later discloses to Alison that she lied under oath, also admitting that she and Charlotte were in fact close friends and she felt as though they were sisters. Later, Sara was possibly enlisted by Jenna Marshall and Noel Kahn (and possibly "A.D.") to work with them. However, Sara was killed by Noel after she tried to reveal more than she should to Emily.

Sydney Driscoll

Sydney is Uber A's helper for a brief while. She is first seen communicating with them through text messages, when she makes a donation under their name at the Vogel Vision Institute. When Aria and Emily confront her, Driscoll claims that she is simply representing a client who prefers to remain anonymous. However, she returns in the following episode and reveals herself to be "A.D.". She offers Aria the chance to join their team, but Aria realizes that Sydney is communicating with someone through an ear piece, revealing that she's just a minion. Aria asks her why she would join their tormentor and Driscoll replies that she wants to be part of the "winning team". However, Uber A, who reveals herself as Spencer's twin sister Alex Drake, reveals in the series finale that Sydney wasn't involved in the Blind School shooting and joined the A-Team because Alex found out she had been stealing from a bank and she fit the hoodie.[7]

Toby Cavanaugh

Toby was recruited by Mona to join the A-Team when he got a job in Bucks County. His participation in the team was revealed in the mid-season finale of the third season.[8] He worked hand in hand with Mona and did most of the dirty work for the team, like running down Lucas and attacking Hanna. However, like Mona, he didn't know the identity of Red Coat. Spencer finds out about his betrayal and goes off the deep end, especially after discovering his corpse. However, it is revealed that he is alive and well, with the corpse being a trick by Mona and Red Coat that he says he didn't know about until after. He is also revealed to be a double agent and gets kicked off the team.[9]

Spencer Hastings

Spencer joined the A-Team briefly near the ending of the third season after having been invited by Mona at the Radley while hospitalized.[10] Initially, Spencer was extremely determined to be part of the team. However, she later unfolds the truth behind the disappearance of Toby and became a double agent as well. Likewise Toby, she got kicked off from the team. She is the "A" who kidnapped Malcolm, causing a break up between Ezra and Aria.[9]

Lucas Gottesman

Lucas was the personal assistant to Mona. He was blackmailed by Mona and the A-Team into sending texts and doing their dirty work. Lucas claims his blackmail began after Mona discovered he was selling test answers, however Mona later discloses that Lucas was the "A" who gave Emily a massage back in the second season while Mona was off riding with Hanna.[11] During the seventh-season episode "Hold Your Piece", Pastor Ted Wilson reveals to Hanna that he used to run a summer camp for troubled boys, and Charlotte was a camper there prior to her sex change. Wilson is disheartened when describing that he interacted with his offspring without awareness they were related. Ted then showcases Hanna a picture of himself back when he worked at the camp, chaperoning Charles and Lucas, whom he described as his son's "only friend".

Melissa Hastings

Melissa was blackmailed by Mona into wearing the Black Swan disguise to the Masquerade Ball in order to distract Jenna. Mona threatened to reveal her fake pregnancy if she didn't obey her orders. Later, Melissa got onto the Halloween Train dressed as the Queen of Hearts and drugged Aria.[11] Wilden then attempted to push her off of the train in a box with Garrett's dead body. It is implied that she was once again blackmailed. It is implied in "A Dark Ali" that Melissa is once again working for "A", as she is seen handing a recording (presumed stolen by "A") to a man resembling Cyrus Petrillo and later implies to Spencer that "A" has something in store for Ali and the Liars.

Darren Wilden

Wilden was also part of the team as he was the Queens of Hearts responsible for trying to kill Spencer. He also murdered Garrett Reynolds fearing he'd expose him as a crooked cop and placed his corpse in a box beside a fainted Aria.[11] Wilden's reasoning for helping the team is unknown but implied to be blackmail.

Jenna Marshall

Jenna was a member of the A-Team during the reign of Big A and was also working anonymously for Uber A. She remains around Rosewood in "Along Comes Mary" and befriends Sara Harvey. Meanwhile, Aria Montgomery and Emily Fields discover that Jenna was on Archer's payroll for unknown reasons. On the episode's closing scene, Marshall and Sara are having drinks at The Radley when an unknown figure approaches the two and reveals themselves to be Noel Kahn, who proceeds to join the duo. When confronted by Emily in regards to her involvement with Archer during "Wanted: Dead or Alive", Jenna admits she befriended Charlotte DiLaurentis after reading about her stay at Welby and reached out. In a flashback, Charlotte enlists Jenna's help to track down the whereabouts of her birth mother and come up with an alias for Archer. The pseudonym "Elliott Rollins" was later created so Archer could deliberately meet Alison and take advantage of her good intentions to benefit Charlotte's eventual release from the psychiatric hospital. In "The DArkest Knight" all of the Liars get a text message, ordering them to head over to 1465, Elm Street. After being lured to an abandoned school for blind students, they're held hostage by Noel and Jenna, with Marshall tracking them down at gunpoint. During the cat-and-mouse chase, Jenna takes aim at the Liars only to backfire, until a second gunshot is heard and it injures Spencer. As Marshall prepares to finish her off, Mary Drake suddenly emerges from behind and knocks her out. While Drake attempts to help Spencer, an unknown figure drags Jenna away from the building. On the closing scene of the episode, the anonymous entity places her in the back of a van, while she questions them if they were responsible for the gunshot that hit Spencer. As the mysterious figure proceeds to rip off an old man's mask and toss it over to Jenna's side, Marshall feels it up and realizes that A.D. was the one who rescued her. At the end of "Playtime", Jenna is seated in A.D.'s lair, sipping tea. She thanks the unidentified individual for the drink and reminds them of their promise to update her on the "game". Dressed in a nurse's uniform, A.D. drops a binder on Marshall's lap with pages of information written in braille. After Jenna reads a paragraph, she mutters the word "endgame" and grins in delight. During "These Boots Were Made for Stalking", Jenna walks into the police station in order to come clean about her actions and interrupts a conversation between Spencer and detective Marco Furey. Marshall reports that she kept a low profile after the events that took place at the abandoned school for blind students to avoid being harmed by Noel. According to Jenna, Noel was accountable for Sara Harvey's homicide and she feared to be his ensuing victim. Kahn recruited Jenna with the assertion that Charlotte left enough money in her will to afford Marshall another eye surgery. Nevertheless, Jenna suspected Noel of stealthily plotting to steal the cash all to himself since his parents had financially cut him off. In an attempt to spare her life, Marshall brought a gun to the deserted sight school as an act of self-defense and pretended to hold a grudge against the Liars. After Jenna describes her side of the story, Furey orders one of his associates to escort Marshall to a conference room so she can make an official statement. As Jenna exits the room, Spencer claims that she's an unreliable narrator. However, Furey informs Spencer that the authorities don't have enough evidence against Marshall because the bullet that injured Spencer didn't match the gun found at the location. Later in the episode, Caleb confronts Jenna stating that the authorities were already detecting holes in her allegations. However, Marshall assures Caleb they won't be able to prosecute her since Noel was the only person who could contradict her statement. In the series finale, Spencer's twin, Alex Drake, is revealed to be "A.D.". She reveals that Jenna was looking for her and recruited Noel to help. However, Jenna was desperate for another chance to see and offered to help her in the game.

Noel Kahn

Noel Kahn returned to Rosewood to team up with Jenna Marshall and Sara Harvey. Kahn served as one of Charlotte's former minions and worked for her at the Dollhouse, having been responsible for placing blood all over Spencer Hastings to convince she had hurt someone. Noel became the prime suspect for Uber A, particularly after Alison reveals that he pushed a girl down a flight of stairs when he was drunk during a UPenn frat party. Hanna abducts him at the end of "The Wrath of Kahn" in an attempt to obtain a video confession that proves he's their tormentor. In the following episode "The DArkest Knight", she instead ends up slashing his leg with a knife in order to test his DNA and see if it matches Mary Drake's. The results later come back negative and Kahn ends up escaping. Noel and Jenna later lure the Liars to an abandoned school for blind students so they could be held hostage and eventually murdered. During a cat-and-mouse chase, Kahn ends up stumbling upon an axe that decapitates his head after failing to fight Emily and Hanna. In the following episode, "Playtime", Detective Marco Furey informs Spencer that Jenna and Noel frequently visited Archer Dunhill at Welby. During "These Boots Were Made for Stalking", Jenna walks into the police station in order to come clean about her actions and interrupts a conversation between Spencer and detective Marco Furey. Marshall reports that she kept a low profile after the events that took place at the abandoned school for blind students to avoid being harmed by Noel. According to Jenna, Noel was accountable for Sara Harvey's homicide and she feared to be his ensuing victim. Kahn recruited Jenna with the assertion that Charlotte left enough money in her will to afford Marshall another eye surgery. Nevertheless, Jenna suspected Noel of stealthily plotting to steal the cash all to himself since his parents had financially cut him off. In an attempt to spare her life, Marshall brought a gun to the deserted sight school as an act of self-defense and pretended to hold a grudge against the Liars. However, when Caleb later confronts Jenna about the authorities detecting holes in her allegations, she informs him that the only person who could contradict her side of the story was Noel.

Aria Montgomery

Aria is "A.D.'s" helper. Aria is given the offer to join the team in "Power Play". She accepts in the following episode and begins supplying information to Uber A. After the Liars discover Lucas' graphic novel, Aria is sent by Uber A to retrieve it. Once she delivers it, she is given an "A" hoodie in return. She breaks into Alison's house sporting the disguise and trashes the nursery for her baby. In the next episode, Aria is sent by "A.D." to deliver a "gift" to the Hastings family. She connects to their Bluetooth and leaves a burner phone there to play a video recording of Peter and Mary discussing Jessica's murder. She later gets back into her "A" disguise and breaks into Alison's house to put the puzzle piece onto the and retrieve her file. "A.D." contacts Aria again and gives her a phone to communicate on. "A.D." asks Aria to meet them and to wear the uniform to do so. Mona overhears the call and tells the Liars of Aria's involvement with the A-Team. Aria gets into her "A" hoodie and goes to meet "A.D.", only to be confronted by the Liars. She then officially defects from the team and rejoins the Liars.

Mary Drake

Mary joins the A.D.-Team after the time jump, when Mona breaks her out of prison for Alex and she then helps Alex with kidnapping Spencer and keeping her locked away in the bunker. When Alex tries to kill Spencer, Mary tries to convince her to just keep her locked up, but Alex refuses and punches her to keep her from interfering. Mary and Alex are then kidnapped by Mona and kept as her dolls in her own personal dollhouse. Mary is also Jessica DiLaurentis' killer and seemingly the "A" who buried her.

Wren Kingston

Wren was a member of the A-Team and is one of the helpers to Alex/Uber A. He helped CeCe/Charlotte sneak into Radley with a fake visitors passes to visit Mona and later informs her of Alex's existence. When Alex takes over, he shoots her so that she will have the same scar as Spencer and then later comes to Welby to kill Mona as "A.D." for Alex, only stopping once Mona says she can help get Mary out. Alex kills Wren so that she doesn't have to break up with him in order to get her endgame wishes. Despite Wren being the only person to know almost everything about Alex's game, he doesn't participate much during the actual game, only doing a few things for Alex.

Other "A's"

Caleb Rivers

Caleb used the identity of "A" to text Hanna in Season 3, in order to trick her into meeting him. He sent her the text "The Apple Rose Grille at closing time. Go alone or Caleb pays. -A" to find out this information from her about the new "A".

Shana Fring

Shana pretended to be "A" to attack the Liars in New York. She donned a black hoodie and attacked them at the coffee shop, only to end up shooting Ezra instead, who had found out her identity. In the following episode, she continued to hunt down the Liars, and sent a group of black hoodies to trick them. The black hoodies used the alias "A" during their taunting of the Liars. Shana revealed herself to the girls and revealed that she wanted justice for Jenna. The Liars falsely believed that Shana was Big A.[12]

Disguises

During the TV series, the antagonists used various disguises at parties and events, in order to watch over the girls. They are:

Red Coat

Red Coat is a disguise used by two members of the A-Team. CeCe Drake took on the disguise to lead the A-Team and go out in public, while she hired Sara Harvey to act as a decoy whenever she couldn't sport the disguise in her assignments.

The Black Widow

The Black Widow is a previously anonymous character who attended detective Darren Wilden's funeral in "'A' Is for A-l-i-v-e". The disguise is all black clothing, with her face concealed by a black veil. The Black Widow is shown to be a part of the A-Team, when she is seen inside the "A" R.V. placing a Mona doll with the rest of the "A" doll collection. She then lifts up her veil to reveal a burned Ali mask underneath, revealing that she was the Red Coat at the Lodge. In the fifth season, the disguise is seen inside one of "A"'s lairs.[13] In "Game Over, Charles", it is revealed that Sara Harvey was the Black Widow. Charlotte sent her to Wilden's funeral to make sure he was deceased.[3] In "Of Late I Think of Rosewood", Sara shows up to Charlotte's funeral in a variation of the disguise, though this time revealing her face.[14]

In a nightmare that Alison had during "How the 'A' Stole Christmas", her mom, Jessica DiLaurentis shows up as the Black Widow.

The Queen of Hearts

The Queen of Hearts is a previously anonymous character that made an appearance during the third season's Halloween special, "This Is a Dark Ride".[15] In the fourth season's premiere, it is revealed that there were actually two of them in the Halloween train, Melissa Hastings and Darren Wilden. Wilden attacked Spencer and fought Paige, while Melissa drugged Aria and took her body. Wilden also murdered Garrett Reynolds fearing he'd expose his corrupt activities and Melissa later admits to Spencer that she was blackmailed into doing his bidding. However, in Mona's footage, evidence shows that Wilden tried to abandon the train and Melissa is heard ordering him to stay. Wilden would later place a fainted Aria in a box beside Garrett's corpse and then gathered with Melissa in an attempt to push them off the train. They fled the scene once Aria regained her consciousness and stabbed Wilden.[11]

The Black Swan

The Black Swan is a previously anonymous character that made an appearance during the Masquerade Ball.[16] Melissa was revealed to be the person behind the disguise in "Birds of a Feather". She claimed that "A" (Mona) threatened her, stating that her false pregnancy would've been exposed if she did not distract Jenna during the event. The disguise is inspired by Odile from Swan Lake.

The Black Hoodie

Of course, the black hoodie has been the most significant disguise over the years and probably the most well known. Almost every single "A" has worn the signature black hoodie and it will be one of the biggest things for as long as Pretty Little Liars will be remembered. The disguise has been used by Mona, Charlotte, Toby, Spencer, Lucas, Sydney, Aria, Wren, and Alex.

References

  1. ^ "Pretty Little Liars - Pilot". ABC Family. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Swift, Andy (15 March 2016). "Pretty Little Liars Season Finale Recap: [Spoiler]'s Twin Revealed". TVLine. Retrieved 21 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Game Over, Charles". Pretty Little Liars. 2015. 
  4. ^ Weiss, Shari (11 August 2016). ""Pretty Little Liars" Finale Recap: "Game Over, Charles" (VIDEO)". Gossip Cop. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  5. ^ Sorren, Martha. "Sara Harvey Is Red Coat On 'Pretty Little Liars' & She Was In Cahoots With CeCe". Bustle. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  6. ^ Highfill, Samantha. "Pretty Little Liars boss definitively answers who was behind the show's biggest mysteries". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 
  7. ^ http://freeform.go.com/shows/pretty-little-liars/news/who-is-sydney-on-pretty-little-liars
  8. ^ "The Lady Killer". Pretty Little Liars. 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "A dAngerous gAme". Pretty Little Liars. 2013. 
  10. ^ "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted". Pretty Little Liars. 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d "'A' is for A-l-i-v-e". Pretty Little Liars. 2013. 
  12. ^ I. Marlene King [@imarleneking] (6 June 2017). "@SherrieScream4 pretending" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  13. ^ "Miss Me x 100". Pretty Little Liars. 2014. 
  14. ^ "Pretty Little Liars on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  15. ^ "This Is a Dark Ride". Pretty Little Liars. 2014. 
  16. ^ Director: Glatter, Lesli Linka. Writer: King, I. Marlene (March 19, 2012). "Unmasked". Pretty Little Liars. Season 2. Episode 25. ABC Family. 
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