All the Questions Pretty Little Liars’ Season 6 Mid-Season Finale Did (and Didn’t) Answer

Mystery solved?

By Colleen Thornhill

For six seasons, we Pretty Little Liars fans have watched four girls—Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna—struggle through high school drama like grades, boyfriends, and oh yes, a super villain only known as “A.” Once thought to be their missing friend Ali calling to them from the grave, it soon became clear that A was a deadly genius feeding on the girls’ deepest secrets to get them to bow to her/his will.

When Mona was revealed as A in the finale of Season 2, the girls thought they were in the clear. But soon, they began receiving those sinister A texts once again. With Mona locked up, who was A this time? In Season 5, we discovered this “uber A” was Charles, Alison’s brother who she had no idea existed. But who was Charles, really, why had he gone missing so long ago, and why were the girls the subject of his torment? Well, last night, after many guesses and a #plltheory Twitter hashtag that seemed to have no end in sight, PLL finally (and I do mean FINALLY) delivered some answers.

Be warned: Spoilers lie ahead!

  • Q: Who is Charles DiLaurentis?

    ABC Family

    A: Cece Drake. Yes, THAT Cece Drake! That’s right, Alison’s secret friend of long years past is actually her real-life brother and our show’s most deadly mastermind. Apparently Charles became Charlotte during his years at Radley, your friendly neighborhood mental institution, and Mrs. DiLaurentis was so supportive of the transition that she even bought Charlotte outfits to match Alison’s. (This show has always had a thing about twins.) Eventually, Charlotte shortened her name to Cece and wasted no time becoming a part of Ali’s life and then her friends’.

  • Q: Did Charles have it out for Ali from the moment she was born?

    ABC Family

    A: No, you got it all wrong, Dad. Alison’s dad told her they had to put Charles away in Radley as a child because he was dead set (excuse the pun) on hurting Alison, including the time he tried to drown her in a bathtub full of scalding hot water. But from Cece’s perspective, she was helping the baby Alison with a calming bath. Cece said no one could tell how much she loved Ali, who she thought of as one of her little dolls. (If you have a doll obsession, this is a disclaimer that you may also have mental issues.)

  • Q: Why did Mr. DiLaurentis insist on putting Charles in Radley?

    ABC Family

    A: He’s homophobic. From a young age, Charles preferred playing dress up to, say, playing a game of catch with his dad. This disturbed Mr. DiLaurentis, who decided he’d rather lock his son away in a mental institution than accept him for who he was. Mrs. DiLaurentis was more understanding and regularly visited the son who would soon become her daughter.

  • Q: Who killed Toby’s mom?

    ABC Family

    A: Bethany Young, a very shady little girl. According to his mother’s files, Toby’s mom killed herself. But a Cece flashback reveals Bethany Young pushed Marion Cavanaugh off the roof and then blamed Charles. To protect her son, Mrs. DiLaurentis paid off police officer Wilden to rule the death a suicide.

  • Q: If Charles never died, why does he have a headstone?

    ABC Family

    A: Charles died, but Charlotte didn’t. Mrs. DiLaurentis helped Charlotte (a.k.a. Cece) put Charles to rest by “burying” him at his Aunt Carol’s house. When Charles returned to Radley, he was now a she, Charlotte.

  • Q: Why did A try to kill Ali?

    ABC Family

    A: It was a totally honest mistake, guys. It was an accident! Cece thought Ali was Bethany. Bethany found out Mrs. DiLaurentis was having an affair with her father, and Cece feared Bethany would try to hurt her mother.

  • Q: Why did Mrs. DiLaurentis bury Alison without calling the cops?

    ABC Family

    A: She couldn’t lose two daughters in one night. Mrs. DiLaurentis witnessed Cece hit Ali with the rock that “killed” her. To protect Cece, Mrs. DiLaurentis took care of Ali’s body.

  • Q: Who killed Bethany Young, the body found in Ali’s grave years later?

    ABC Family

    A: Mona Vanderwaal. Here’s another Murder for Beginners 101 mistake: misidentification! Mona killed Bethany thinking she was Ali. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me. Would Mona be the overachiever she is without a little murder on her resume? Also, if Mona had hit the right person, think of how unsubstantive a show we’d have right now. It might have ended three seasons ago. Which might have not been half bad….

  • Q: Who is Rhys Matthews?

    ABC Family

    A: An easy-on-the-eyes decoy. OK, so Rhys was just a red herring hired by Cece as the face of The Carissimi Group. But what do I care? This Christian Grey look-alike can stop by Rosewood anytime.

  • Q: Mona was the original A, so when did Charles take on the role and why?

    ABC Family

    A: When Mona moved into Radley. With Mona at Radley, Cece suddenly had a new friend with a whole slew of stories to tell. However, Mona was so high on drugs that she didn’t even know who she was talking to. Mona told Cece all about being A and the girls she targeted. Mona claimed the girls were happy Alison was dead, which infuriated Cece. Becoming A was the only way to get back at them for betraying her sister.

  • Q: Did A kill Wilden? If so, why?

    ABC Family

    A: Yes, to protect Ali. Although why Ali needed protection from Wilden, I don’t remember. It’s okay to forget some things after six seasons, right?

  • Q: Who was Red Coat at the lodge, and who was the Black Widow at Wilden’s funeral?

    ABC Family

    A: Sara Blake, another shady little girl. Once again, Emily has found herself unlucky in love. Turns out Miss Innocent Sara has been an A player all along. Although, were any of us really surprised? Sara’s overly sweet voice, not to mention 80 showers a day, seemed too literal an exercise in appearing “squeaky clean.”

  • Q: Why did A keep going after the girls, even after the girls supposedly killed A in New York?

    ABC Family

    A: She can’t get enough of the game. After years of being stuck in Radley, being controlled night and day by others, it’s only fitting that Cece would find true joy in yielding that same control over others. And in her own words, “It was fun to succeed at something.” As long as she never actually really totally hurt anyone (because driving a car through Emily’s living room was totally not that bad), then she didn’t see the harm.

  • Q: Who really killed Mrs. DiLaurentis?

    ABC Family

    Last season, Spencer suspected her father may have been involved in Mrs. DiLaurentis’ death. Her low blood pressure medication had been switched with high blood pressure meds, the same type of meds she later found in her dad’s possession. But does this automatically mean her father murdered Alison’s mother?

  • Q: Was there never an A team?

    ABC Family

    When Mona entered Radley, she said to someone wearing a red coat, “I did everything I asked you to.” In Cece’s version of the story, Mona was speaking to her, but was hallucinating and didn’t know what she was saying. But prior to going to Radley, Mona told Spencer—quite lucidly in the midst of kidnapping her—there was an “A team,” and no one knew who was leading it. It seems unlikely Mona would have done everything by herself up to that point and that Cece would have joined the A train only after Mona jumped off it.

  • Q: What is the significance of September 7th, the code used to enter A’s lair?

    ABC Family

    It isn’t Charles’ birthday, which was the first number they tried. And it can’t be Alison’s or the girls would have known it. So why would A choose it as her passcode?

  • Q: Who killed Garrett and why?

    ABC Family

    Garrett’s death scarred a lot of viewers, and Aria, I’m sure, as she woke up nailed into a box with his dead body. Did Cece kill Garrett? He had promised Spencer all the answers that episode, so his death was a devastating loss to both Spencer and viewers, who finally expected some answers (it only took three more years). Did he know Cece was A?

  • Q: Was Jason’s elevator fall an accident or intentional?

    ABC Family

    Helping Emily look for a photo of Ali, Cece, and Wilden at Cape May, Jason takes her to his father’s apartment. When the elevator the two are in gets stuck, Emily is able to hop out, but Jason is sent plunging down. Later at the hospital, Jason mysteriously disappears from his room. Did A disable the elevator as a warning to Jason and did Jason realize this and flee in panic?

  • Q: Who attacked Ali in the abandoned house on Halloween?

    ABC Family

    In the season’s first Halloween episode, Ali hires Noel Kahn to disguise himself and pretend to attack her with a knife to freak out her friends. When Noel apologizes for not making it to the prank, Ali realizes she doesn’t know who attacked her, and that it may have been for real. Ali also starts receiving texts from A around this time, so it’s doubly scary. Cece was most likely in Radley at the time, so could it have been Mona? Or just another victim of Ali’s bullying who was out for revenge? Like Hanna’s friend Lucas?

  • Q: In the trailer for the next half of the season, the girls tell Ali to run because “he” is coming. Who is he?

    ABC Family

    We just determined that A is Charles, who is Cece, a girl, so who is this new threat, specifically one deemed a “he”? There’s been a five-year time jump, and it looks like Alison is a teacher at Rosewood High and even married. Living a life of such normalcy, what could possibly be the new threat on the horizon? Oh, PLL, the more you giveth, the more you taketh away.