Trust no one: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ A-Team Breakdown

Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Photo from ABC Family.

Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Photo from ABC Family.

Diehard “Pretty Little Liars” fans know that A never works alone. It takes a whole group of evil masterminds to make up this malevolent, omnipresent entity. We already know that Mona (Gasp!) and Toby (Noooooo!) are working together to take the liars down, but the list of potential suspects grows longer with every episode.

If you’re dying to know who’s on the A-Team, check out our list below. But be careful–you’ll find plenty of major spoilers for both the TV series and the books if you choose to peek. You’ve been warned.

Ezra Fitz 

Ezra may look cute, but he might just be the biggest liar of them all. Photo from Fan Pop.

Ezra may look cute, but he might just be the biggest liar of them all. Photo from Fan Pop.

Why he’s A: Where to begin? Ezra is a better liar than all of the girls combined. He even lied about his own last name. Ezra Fitzgerald is obscenely wealthy, which explains how the A-Team finances their elaborate schemes. Then there’s the issue of his typewriter. It may seem like a negligible detail at first, but think about how often A sends out those lovingly typed notes. Ezra’s also a talented writer, and A really knows how to turn a phrase. Could they be one and the same?

As crush-worthy as he seems, Ezra is a first-class creep. Normal, balanced twenty-somethings do not want to date teenage girls. They just don’t. This guy’s got a bigger “Lolita” fetish than Ali, and that’s saying something. Notice how his beloved Aria is never hurt as badly as the other girls by A’s schemes. A usually only messes with Aria as a way to test her love for Ezra. Freaky! He may have been stalking the girls long before he just happened to bump into her. Their first meeting and the timing of A’s first text is way too convenient to be an accident.

Why he’s not A: Ezra loves Aria. Why join an organization that wants to hurt her? We have no proof he knew anything about Alison prior to meeting Aria, which gives him no real motive to join the A-Team (other than straight up psychopathy).

Verdict: We’re watching you, Fitz. Your sudden appearance on the ghost train right as Ali’s body was discovered is too strange to be ignored.

Lucas Gottesman

Why he’s A: Another victim of Alison’s ruthless bullying (seriously, don’t call him Hermie), Lucas started out as a lovable loser with a huge crush on Hanna. But we’ve always known he has a dark side. It obviously took a lot of hatred to destroy Ali’s memorial, no matter how cruel she was to him. And he’s definitely smart enough to pull off some of A’s more technologically advanced plans. Ever since Hanna rejected him, the boy’s been acting super sketchy. What’s with all the lurking? Why is he suddenly BFF with Mona? And the biggest question: Why was he stalking Ali in that creepy baby costume? We need explanations, ASAP.

Why he’s not A: Deep down, Lucas is just an antisocial nerd. He truly cares for Hanna, and might be working as a mole to keep her safe. He still resents Alison and is probably thrilled she’s met her maker, but the poor kid is just a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Verdict: Lucas is hiding something big. We think he’ll be toeing the line between friend and foe for quite a while.

Maya St. Germain

Why she’s A: Maya lived in Alison’s old bedroom. Who knows what she found in there? It’s highly likely the A-Team contacted her and made her an offer to keep her quiet and join in on the fun. We all know how much Maya loves a good secret.

Why she’s not A: Out of all the liars, A seems to hate Emily the most. Because of A, Emily was outed as a lesbian to her homophobic mother, kicked off the swim team and drugged (more than once). And now the love of her life is dead. For A, tipping off Maya’s location to her stalker was probably just the icing on top of the “let’s ruin Emily’s life” cake. Maya’s love for Emily was completely genuine, and her death remains the show’s biggest tragedy.

Verdict: Maya may have been involved with the A-Team at first, but her love for Emily likely got her killed. So sad!

Byron Montgomery 

PLL knows how to drop a drama bomb, but this one sent us reeling for days. Photo from Much Music.

PLL knows how to drop a drama bomb, but this one sent us reeling for days. Photo from Much Music.

Why he’s A: Mr. Montgomery is an even bigger drama queen than his daughter. If anyone had anything to gain from Ali’s death, it’s Byron. Alison was no paragon of virtue, but she really despised infidelity, and she made it clear that if Byron didn’t own up to his affair, she’d do it for him. Is that why he felt the need to angrily confront her on the night she died? Or was something even more sinister going on? Ali was obsessed with “Lolita,” it’s not entirely beyond the realm of possibility that she’d embark on an affair with a much, much older man.

Why he’s not A: This is ABC Family, not HBO. As shocking as an Alison/Byron relationship would be, it’s not really the network’s style. Plus, we have no reason to believe that Byron wasn’t just acting out of concern for Alison’s insane behavior. Ultimately, he’s a good dad who was trying to reach out to his daughter’s axe-crazy bestie.

Verdict: Though he’s definitely looking shady, there’s probably a perfectly reasonable explanation for his actions on the night of Ali’s death. At least, we hope so.

Paige McCullers

Why she’s A: If anyone should still be holding a grudge against Alison, it’s Paige. Ali bullied her for crushing on Emily to the point where she felt suicidal, and that’s not okay. Though she’s normally a total sweetheart, Paige might be capable of some dark stuff due to her tortured past. Like when Spencer calls her a snake? Guess what shows up in her dressing room. She also seems to want Emily all to herself… Creepy.

Why she’s not A: Poor Paige. So misunderstood. Someone who’s been bullied so severely could never inflict that kind of harm on someone else. The girls proved the A-Team already tried to frame her as Maya’s murderer, so why would she join them? And even though she and Spencer aren’t on the best of terms, Paige saved her life on the ghost train. She’s completely devoted to protecting Emily, and that goes for her friends as well.

Verdict: Paige is awesome. If she’s A, it will break Emily’s heart. And ours.

Wren Kingston

Why he’s A: Wren may be super cute, but he’s also kind of a perv. (Melissa sure knows how to pick ’em.) There’s a surplus of creepers in Rosewood who just love underage girls, but Wren locked lips with both Spencer and Hanna. That’s just weird. Since they both rejected him for other (age-appropriate) guys, he definitely has a reason to wish them harm. Could he have somehow had a fling with Ali, too? There’s also the fact that he made sure Mona wasn’t transferred from Radley, keeping her and her insane antics in Rosewood.

Why he’s not A: For all of his creepiness, Wren is actually a pretty nice guy. Maybe he only kept Mona in Rosewood as a favor to Hanna. He also doesn’t have much of a reason to hate Alison, unless he’s hunting down all of Melissa’s enemies one by one.

Verdict: Wren’s A-status would be a huge shock (in a good way) and his continued presence in Rosewood is just too weird to be ignored. Keep an eye on him.

Courtney DiLaurentis 

Just your average play date. Except this one ends with murder. Photo from ABC Family.

Just your average play date. Except this one ends with murder. Photo from ABC Family.

Why she’s A: Fans of the source material probably saw this one coming, but here’s a little book spoiler for those out of the loop: Alison has a secret identical twin, Courtney, who suffers from some unspecified mental illness that caused her parents to send her off to an asylum long before the family moved to Rosewood. (“Single White Female” alert!) For a while, it seemed unlikely that she’d ever make an onscreen appearance, since the show deviates pretty drastically from the original books (and thank goodness, or else we wouldn’t have the miracle that is Haleb). That’s when the little dead twin started showing up. From Ali’s creepy Halloween story to Ashley Marin’s ghostly visitor, it’s clear that Alison is hiding a major skeleton in her closet. Still not convinced? Check out the pictures on Ali’s bedroom wall. Alison is vain, but it’s still pretty weird for her to have two pictures of herself next to Jason. Then there’s show creator Marlene King’s not-so-subtle twin tweets. King flat-out confirmed that the series will remain different from the books, which means the twin storyline will probably get a new twist. Since the ghost girl is so young, does that mean Ali murdered Courtney (or vice-versa) back when they were kids? Has Courtney been masquerading as her dead sister this whole time? We can’t wait to find out.

Why she’s not A: Seriously? There’s no way she’s innocent. Unless she’s the dead twin, and Ali’s been the evil mastermind the whole time, she’s been Big A all along.

Verdict: Oh yeah, we’ll definitely be seeing more of Courtney very, very soon.

Aria Montgomery 

Hey, Big A! You might want to watch your back. Photo from TV Fanatic.

Hey, Big A! You might want to watch your back. Photo from TV Fanatic.

Why she’s A: Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Aria is hiding the darkest secret of them all. Out of all of the liars, Aria is the best at deception. When you’re dating your former English teacher, you kind of have to be. She’s such a good liar, it’s likely that even her best friends don’t know all of her secrets. For example, why did A only start stalking the girls when Aria returned to Rosewood? She could have easily planned years worth of torture while abroad. And why has Aria never been visited by Alison’s ghost? What is her mysterious connection to Adam Lambert? The opening credits are also a major giveaway. Aria isn’t exactly the main character, so why is she the one “shhh-“ing the audience? What does she know about Alison that the other girls don’t?

A also doesn’t torment Aria like she does the other girls. The worst thing that’s happened to Aria is her relationship with Ezra went public, which only made them stronger. Plenty of subliminal hints, like when Mona calls her “Big A” and her black swan costume, were spotted by some super-sleuth fans as well. Not as sneaky as you thought, eh Aria?

Why she’s not A: A started texting the girls on the anniversary of Alison’s death. The fact that the date coincides with Aria’s return is strange, but not completely incriminating. And even though Aria hasn’t been tortured by A like the other girls, she still spent an evening locked in a coffin with Garrett’s corpse. If she did that willingly, she’s beyond hardcore.

Verdict: The supporting evidence is just too strong. Aria definitely has some sinister ties to the A-Team.

Who do you think is on the A-Team? What are your predictions for the rest of season three? Leave us a comment and let us know your theories!

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16 thoughts on “Trust no one: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ A-Team Breakdown

  1. You’re overlooking two strong “A” candidates. I still think Melissa may be the mastermind, or one of them. Her ties to Jason (stabbed and suspect), Garrett (Dead) and Ian (dead) make her a strong suspect. Alison most likely tortured her with a secret. Maybe Jason isn’t actually dead because he’s her half brother. She clearly hates Spencer, lied about her pregnancy, had a black swan costume, and is keeping lots of secrets. She has access to Spencer all of the time, and in turn, to the girls as well. The attic in the Hastings cabin was somewhere “A” had been hiding and she’d have easy access to that as well.

    Lucas could also be playing the victim, saying he’s being blackmailed by Mona. Maybe he’s really the ringleader and acting like he is being made to be “A.” to get gils to let their guard down around him.

    Lots of choices… I don’t know about Aria. She did have her parents broken up and her relationship with Ezra exposed. Mike has gone off the deep end. I don’t know about her being A. Was it a coincidence that she was the girl in the coffin with Garrett or could that have been any o ALL of the girls has the “A’s” had their way?

    • but melisssa was pregnat she could not fit in the black swan outfit beacuse hanna said she was size 1 and tall that she hated her already .

      ps. i have not seing seoson 3 so i dont know what is going on

  2. remember, Aria has now had a visit from Ali’s ghost. I think they will twist the ending from the books, but I think they will make it so the 4 girls are innocent, but they will add a real shocker.

  3. well in youtube they say that the a-team is alison ,toby,ezera,aria,mona because if you just put their first letter of there name it spells A-team

  4. here’s what i know, Ezera is keeping secrets. What was listed above and more, the ghost train was weird, and how he always has this look at his end scene of the episodes. something is up? People forget Alison was tormented too, remember how she was getting (A) messages and received creepy things and notes. we all know Melissa and Jena and Shawna are in the A-team, And Emily saw them, The weird thing is why has Emily not told the other girls? I always wonder about Spencer cuz in episode 1 she was walking in saying she was looking for Alison, still weirds me out. Plus she’s the smart one. I don’t think she’s A but i have thoughts about her being the one that killed Alison. The evil twin thing is a good idea cuz that would give thought to Wren being weird, He’s def part of A-team, He worked with mona and we know she’s a problem, he dated Melissa and she’s A-team, he likes teen girls so stalking is for sure up his alley. Plus if Alisons twin is at all part of the show, it could be that Alison killed her twin and placed her twin as her, How she did that could do with Wren, if Alisons sister was crazy Wren could have delivered her to Alison and fake Alisons death. Wren might have been dating Alison as well? plus how the corpse wasn’t pregnant. I know they said that Alison was lying about being pregnant but if she was,? the father might be part of A-team? Some weird things are that Jason had that stab mark, maybe from Aria stabbing him? but why would he go after Aria of all people? why the hell would Shawna want to fuck with any of the girls? she doesn’t know any of them. All the girls get drugged, the drugs are coming from Wren or the psychiatrist, She’s odd too, Emily thought she killed Alison after her visit and she let Mona go back to school ect..

  5. I think Ali’s mom is hiding some thing if Ali does have a twin why hasent anyone found out yet . Did 🅰 make Ali’s mom leave rosewood or were the memories really to sad because I think you could tell one of your child’s faces from the other even if Courtney and Ali are twins so shed know if Ali or Courtney died

  6. What I’ve heard is that when Courtney and Alison were young their parents sent Courtney away to a mental hospital because of ther illness. But actually they were sending Alison away by accident so Courtney pretended to be Alison. The actual Alison weren’t friends withe the pll, she had some other firends. When Courtney was being Alison she ditched those other frieds and befriended the pll. While they were firends she kept that she wasn’t actually Alison a secret but the thing is her parents didn’t realise and completely forgot aout Alison in the mental hospital. She was angry that Courtney had stolen her life and dithed her friends and I think she broke out. When Courtney was with Ian at The Kissing Rock and Ian hit her with the spade and walked off Alison buried her alive and killed her for what she had done. When Spencer, Hanna and Emily saw Alison(Courtney) after her death those times it was the real Alison. In the end of season 2 unmAsked you can see a girl with blonde hair, red dress and a golden mask that completely covers her face and I’m pretty sure that’s real Ali watching them all. In season 3 you also see a girl in a red jacket exactually like the one Vivian owned walking around some places. She has blonde hair just like Courtney but the hood on her jacket covers her fae so you can’t see but it’s Alison again still watching the pll. What I don’t understand why wouldn’t her parents mention Courtney or that Ali has a twin. And also why would Real Ali be so reckless walking around the streets of Rosewood the only thing hiding her is her hood.
    I also heard that the A-Team is this:

    A- Alison
    T-Toby
    E-Ezra
    A-Aria
    M-Mona

    I also heard the the A-Team were blackmailing Luus to do sometthing but I’m not sure what it was.

    • Oh and you know how Courtney was getting A notes aswell it was Alison sending those. How MOna found out all their secrets and were threatning to tell everyone; Maya found Cournteys diary were she wrote all the pll secrets in. She gave it to Mona thinking she was like a firend of Cournteys but really she wasn’t.

  7. Pingback: Spinoff season: Who will survive? – Speakeasy Magazine

  8. However when aria was thrown in the coffin, it wasn’t A but Melissa and wren messing with the girls that night. I think aria is A!!

  9. el gemela asesina encerrada sospechoA es mona ese alquien es reemplezo Alsion no es Alison sino su hermana gemela courthney quien sufria de una enfermedad mental el lugar Alison dejando A la en el hospital de psiquiatsria hospital mata a courthney quien era ella supestamente en el dia de la piajamada guardar a su secretos quien es A mentirosos uindos radley twin

  10. que paso el dia en el que Alison dilaurentis desparecion apariencia de vivan darkdloom janna de secretos estaban en una fiesta de piajama en casa de los dilaurentis mirando a la ventana club nat Alison va al granero tu ya esta muerta para mi

  11. Alison abandona el granero y Sepncer sique alquien toma fotos Alison que aparece la sombra Spencer salen por el jardin trasero de la casa y se encuertra de Alison jenna creo Allison esta muerta Allison y que creyo oir un grito ese grito era de janna robados entonces el asesianto de Alison tiene lugar golpe pala en la cabeza es enterrada viva

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