As the police are now on the hunt for Cece Drake, the girls are being sent gifts from "A" all alluding to the disappearance of Mona forever. The clues take them to Ravenswood, where, after being tricked and encountering another life-or-death situation, they see two Red Coats. One of them is Cece Drake, the other is unknown. Spencer follows the unknown Red Coat to a building where she is led directly to "A"s new lair, where they find the entire operation of their surveillance and timeline of each and every one of them, including Alison. They are then confronted by Mrs. Grimwald, the sorority headmistress, who gives her version of events the night Alison disappeared, saying that Alison actually had survived and is on the run from someone she is afraid of, and doesn't want to be found.
The episode ends with the girls deciding to stay in Ravenswood to find Alison and reveal "A" once and for all. And we get an interesting turn of events when we a male figure watching the girls, then heading into the lair....to find out that it's actually Ezra Fitz.
Ezra Fitzgerald: The New "A" Or Something Else?
Just when you thought you knew where everything was leading to, it takes quite a U-turn into a new kind of territory you didn't think you wanted until now.
The very thought of Ezra not being the person we thought he was certainly is an interesting twist that I'm hoping and crossing my fingers isn't just another red-herring. It kind of gives a chilling new perspective on the very notion that even when you think you know somebody, you haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what skeletons are hidden in their closet. Now, because we only got a glimpse of it in the end, there are several scenarios of where this could be leading to:
Ezra is "A". And has been "A" all this time. This one seems kind of far-fetched because it brings into question why he would be doing this to the girls and to everyone connected them. There isn't much motive behind that.
Ezra is working with/for "A". He's not the ringleader, but just another player of the "A" team. He might be of a higher level than others like Mona were, and his involvement was strictly for surveillance, keeping track of logs and possibly other things. Of course, the argument goes back to his motives, and that he's not wearing the signature black hoodie that all of "A"s minions tend to wear while on duty.
Ezra is "bored shorts"/has something else darker/mysterious going on. Perhaps he's not connected with "A", but he's actually being stalked or watched by "A" because of something deeply connected to his past that he'd rather not come back up on the surface. It's entirely possible that Ezra probably knew Alison and actually had a relationship with her (him being the older guy she was secretly seeing on the side), and he's been trying to keep it hidden but he got a message from "A" about following the girls to lead him to where his biggest, darkest secret might be revealed (a.k.a. the timeline board), and he realizes that the girls may have found out the truth.
Ezra followed the girls because of his suspicions with "A" still being around. Since none of them are telling the truth, he decided to figure it out on his own and got the shocking revelation that they are still in danger.
Thinking about the last scene with him entering the lair, looking around and his outburst, it's debatable whether it's a reaction because his stuff got discovered and tampered with by the girls or that he stumbled upon something he saw there that compromises something and/or he just found out that everything involving "A" is not yet over. Some people are in denial that he could ever have a shady past, but even if it does turn out to be a glaring red-herring to give us something to ponder about until the actual reveal in the Halloween episode, I still think it would be a fascinating twist if Ezra turned out to not be the simple quiet bookish teacher everyone thought he was. It would be interesting because he would be the last person you'd ever suspect to being involved in anything that shady, much less with anything "A" related.
Of course, knowing the show, this is just them psyching us up and the actual truth won't be as interesting and it will possibly just be Ezra wanting to know the truth about whether "A" is back or not. However, I will be pleasantly surprised if they go further with this and explore more of a darker side or secret, and if they stick with it without backpedaling I will be impressed and applaud them. Otherwise, they will be doing exactly what they did last season and really, we don't need a repeat of that. If they do, then the actual reveal of Red Coat has to be shockingly huge to make up for it.
Other Suspects of the "A" Lair
Just in case, here are some other suspects (assuming that whoever runs that particular lair is, indeed, male):
** Wren; him getting back with Melissa seems like he's trying to cover something up, and he's been shady this entire time. He is definitely involved somehow.
** The FBI guy, who hasn't been present since his first appearance in the beginning of the season. Note the organization of lair and how the timeline boards are neatly done up, similar to how the ones from the police station looked like. Also with all the computers and surveillance, it looks too complicated for a simple hacker, and note that when Emily came in with the disc of the police dashcam it was switched and changed. Who else could have done it without being suspicious in a police station? The FBI seems very interested in these girls and how things always seem to happen around them.
** Jake, although I'm hoping not because he seems like a decent guy, so it seems highly unlikely. But again, we don't really know much about him.
Keep in mind that this lair doesn't look like the ones we've been seeing all season. While it does have an Alison shrine on the wall, none of the regular "A" material is seen. It's mostly just pictures and files and computers and the detailed timeline boards. There's none of the creepy memorabilia hanging around. So it leads me to believe that there's more than one lair around, and this is just the one that's located in Ravenswood.
Things I liked about the episode:
++ Loving everything about Ravenswood. The creepy, unsettling atmosphere and its residents, the different coloring as opposed to everything else about the show in Rosewood. It's like something out of a Stephen King novel. It seems quite appropriate for "A" (or someone working for them) to set up shop there away from Rosewood, where everyone in that town just keeps to themselves. It's the perfect place to hide.
++ Loved the magic show metaphor, and with the gifts of magic eight balls to the magic box with the saw message hidden inside. And of course Spencer would know the secret and trick of it, lol.
++ But that creepy mime at the magic show. No.
++ Spencer/Toby. ♥ I know we didn't get much of a follow up on them talking about what happened last season, but I want to believe they have talked it out somewhat. And I'm glad that Spencer brought it up again, and her fear, and Toby admitting that he was wrong but he stayed because of her. Just. ♥ OTP. What's gonna happen with his investigation with his mom, if he decides to continue pursuing it, idk, but he's no longer going to be suckered into something concocted by "A", and that's a good thing.
++ I'm intrigued with how the show is going to do the Alison thing. So far, they've been alluding to her still being alive, now with some possible confirmation, but it's still iffy if they might be heading there. I want them to. I especially want them to go ahead with the twin storyline, as I've mentioned many times before. I know this show loves its endless twists and turns, and tease us with something but not really give us the entire answer, but somehow they have to have give us a fulfillment and not lead us on for very long. If they are going along with the twin thing, or just Alison being alive but in hiding, they have to make it official and not just tug us along. I love mystery and suspense as much as the next person, but if the books could reveal something and still remain an excellent mysterious twist, so can the show.
++ Caleb and Toby being good best bros together once again. Love it, love it, love it. :)
++ Caleb going to Ravenswood is definitely going to be him being part of the new spin-off, though I'm uncertain how that's gonna work. He's going there simply to try and crack the code from the highly protected and secured computers. Perhaps after they find out who "A" is in the Halloween episode he somehow finds himself taking control of those computers or becoming the new "security" of sorts? Helping the girls out in a way? Who knows. But I'm intrigued with how that will go down, and what will happen next.
++ So Mona is safe, but chatting with Shanna? Is she up to something, or is this simply about self-preservation move on her part?
Things I didn't like:
++ I get that Aria and Jake don't necessarily have the same interests like old black and white movies and book readings and such, and that's something that she and Ezra had more in common, and it doesn't necessarily bother me that she went to the book reading (despite that it already was over when she got there) and see Ezra there. It did bother me, however, that despite wanting to remain friends she kissed him and it was like no big deal. I thought she was getting over that and made it clear to him that they were to remain friends because she is seeing Jake now. Unless, of course, it was just for that "couples montage" moment of the episode and to take us from that to the reveal at the very end. Similar to when Toby came back to Rosewood last season and spent the night with Spencer only to reveal him being part of the "A" team.
Overall: Even though I'm 85% positive we're getting trolled a bit, or being intentionally misled from the ending, I'm getting a kick from some fans (mostly from Tumblr) freaking out about it and wanting to cry if Ezra is involved in anything "A" related. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh. It sounds like a good opportunity to explore more things, if it does turn out to be true, plus it would make him more interesting of a character in my eyes to have something else going on with him that we were unaware of. But that's just me, personally. Regardless, it makes me anticipate the Halloween episode and the revealing of "A"/Red Coat. It's been said that it will be real, but they've said things that weren't entirely true before in interviews, so we'll just have to see. Anyway, I approved and was totally in for what this episode was selling and implying, let's just hope that they follow through with what they're leading us in for.