Starring David Oyelowo, Daniel Craig, David Wilson Barnes, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Rachel Brosnahan, Blake DeLong, Glenn Fitzgerald, Slate Holmgren, Anthony Michael Lopez, Matthew Maher, Nikki Massoud, Kyle Vincent Terry & Finn Wittrock
The first time I ever heard “Left of Center” was live in concert at the Fitzgerald Theater on Mother’s Day, 2003. By that time, Suzanne Vega had reached 44 years of age, smashed out of the New York City folk revival scene with her self-titled debut, topped charts worldwide with “Tom’s Diner,” won a Grammy for “Luka,” married a producer, made two albums with him, divorced him, released another (much better-produced) post-divorce album, assembled a greatest-hits compilation (literally entitled Retrospective), left her label, and embarked upon single motherhood, her daughter only a handful of years younger than me. By the time that May rolled around she had already secured her place in popular music history several times over; in fact, there are probably people who would argue that as she stood alone on the dark stage, guitar in hand, the best moments of her career were already behind her.
But to me, up in the balcony and buzzing with joy, everything felt new. I was eleven years old and it was my first rock concert. I loved Suzanne Vega –– the way you love the music woven into the fabric of your life before you’re old enough to understand anything about genre, or context, or critical reception –– and had joyfully sung every lyric to every song she’d performed so far. I don’t think it occurred to me that she might play something I’ve never heard, that she had even recorded songs other than those I’d already carved into the core of my heart, but then she launched into “Left of Center” and all the breath went out of me.
If you want me You can find me Left of center Off of the strip
Suzanne Vega wrote this song in 1986 for the soundtrack to Pretty in Pink –– ostensibly, it’s written from the point of view of Andie, the pert misfit heroine played by Molly Ringwald who falls in love with Andrew McCarthy’s Blane, an 80’s heartthrob with the personality of a pair of googly eyes glued to a slice of Wonderbread. She’s poor and “quirky,” he’s rich and wears white linen, they end up together despite best efforts by their friends to keep them apart, and if I just spoiled the ending for you then for god’s sake go watch it already.
I’d certainly never heard of John Hughes (and it was still a blessed two years before the coinage of the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl) when I leaned off the edge of my velvet seat and listened hard to the lyrics of this song. The cultural baggage of the Weird Girl archetype didn’t yet exist for me –– I had no context other than my burgeoning self-awareness, a few first fumbling attempts to knit “gawky grin” with “glasses” with “likes books” into a grown-up self that seemed coherent. I didn’t know much yet about the kind of self I was trying to become. I just knew I’d never heard anything so perfectly describe the position I felt myself to occupy: in the outskirts / and in the fringes / in the corner / out of the grip.
The song came early in her career, but the perspective recurs over and over in Suzanne Vega’s work and in her public persona. She’s smart, she’s strange, she’s an outsider, she’s looking hard at everything in a way that might be just a little too intense. There’s a cool detachment in the way she situates herself and her characters –– always a flinty edge, a slight spookiness, an unnameable something that sets them apart. In this song’s music video, she breaks the fourth wall a few times to stare directly into the viewer’s eyes, brows arched in a private joke, then glances down, away, back at the band or the crumbling walls of the warehouse loft where they’re playing or, my personal favorite, at a collection of photos of herself, arranged on the ground in a curious collage.
A lot of critical articles about Suzanne Vega drop the word “groundbreaking” –– mostly to claim that she paved the way for a wave of expressive young women singer-songwriters of the 90s, that her success made it possible for people like Tracy Chapman and Tori Amos and Ani Difranco to go full mainstream. I will try not to use that word, this week –– it doesn’t quite sit right with me. It seems unreasonable to write off the great women songwriters of the decades previous, to claim that no one had ever done anything like this before. Plus, it plays too well into the standard narrative that surrounds young women who write music: a dazzle-eyed, gape-mouthed awe that any young woman could create smart songs (and so often, when the brief period of public approval vanishes, belittling the emotional vulnerability and candor that make those songs smart in the first place), and subsequent positioning of the young woman in question as a unique exception because of that talent (and it’s always talent –– something innate and magical, never something created through hard work and practice). As if to say, oh, this one, she’s different. Special. Not like the other girls.
Suffice it to say that I think Suzanne Vega is exceptional. She is exceptional to music, and she is exceptional to me, because to me she was first. She broke some ground, but she’s walked where plenty of women have walked before, and will walk again. My favorite thing about this song is how, if you listen to the words, it isn’t a not-like-the-other-girls narrative at all –– I think that somehow / somewhere inside of us / we must be similar / if not the same. Sure, maybe that’s about Andie gazing at Blane, dreaming of joining the rich kid clique, but I hear something different. There’s a gentleness to it, a measured neutrality. A reminder that every margin drawn is essentially arbitrary. An invitation to redraw the borders, or to erase them entirely. A reminder that the Weird Girl is, actually, just a girl like any other, constructing herself out of the world around her –– re-imagining her role model’s pink prom dress so it suits her better, rearranging pictures of herself on the dusty floor. Remember how Taylor Swift plays both characters in the “You Belong With Me” video? It’s like that.
The fall after I saw this concert, looking for a new pair of school shoes for seventh grade, I asked my mom if we could look for “ones like Suzanne Vega had.” She acquiesced, and that’s how I ended up with my first pair of black Converse low-tops. There’s nothing special or unique about that, of course. But I had never noticed them anywhere before I saw them on Suzanne Vega performing live, and she seemed, at the time, to carry herself in a way I thought I could too. Lacing them up made me feel just a little more myself: clear-headed, ready to look at the world, standing slightly off to one side.
Lately I have been thinking a lot about CeCe Drake. WHO IS SHE?
Is she Charles DiLaurentis? Alison’s brother/sister?
Is she Charlotte Drake? Mary’s daughter?
Is she Bethany Young? A Radley patient
Or is there another connection we don’t know about yet?
I believe she was never a patient at Radley, she is not related to the DiLaurentis family, and she has been working for Uber A since the beginning.
I decided to analyze everything we have seen and learned about CeCe throughout the series.
*All pictures from Google, Credit to owners*
In “The Kahn Game”, we see CeCe for the first time at the Brew. We learn a few main things about her:
She has a striking resemblance to Ali (personality and looks)
Tells Aria & Spencer that Ali talked about them all the time, but the 4 girls have never heard of her
She was a student at UPenn but was kicked out
She used to date Jason DiLaurentis (who she broke up with the day after Alison went missing) Wait what? She dated her brother/first cousin? No way. CeCe is not related to the DiLaurentis’.
She owns a boutique. How is that possible?
She spent the summer in Cape May with Alison before she disappeared.
Emily shows CeCe a photo from Ali’s diary of the two of them in Cape May, hoping she will know who Beach Hottie is. CeCe claims not to know. (I think BH is Darren Wilden).
We later find out MELISSA took the following picture of Widen, Ali and CeCe (notice Wilden and Ali seem to be hugging one another). One of my burning questions has always been- How the hell did CeCe become friends with all these people if she spent her life in Radley and only got out privileges to go to classes at UPenn?
Alison tells CeCe that her period is 2 weeks late. Like a million other theorists out there, I believe it is definitely possible that Ali had sex with Wilden or maybe even Ezra.
In “Crash and Burn, Girl!”, Nigel Wright admits to Toby and Caleb that he was paid by CeCe to set up a private flight to the lodge on the night of the fire. Now tell me something, How does a girl who has lived in a mental institution all her life afford to pay for a PRIVATE PLANE? She doesn’t, shes working for someone. I think the girls were supposed to die that night, but Ali showed up and pulled them out.
Hanna tells Wilden that they know he was in Cape May the summer Alison went missing. She sees Wilden forcing CeCe in his car. Does Wilden think CeCe told people about him possibly getting Alison pregnant or that he was in Cape May with them? He later threatens Ashley Marin to not let Hanna tell anyone about Cape May. Ashley panics and hits Wilden with her car. Later, she and Hanna go back to find him, but he is gone. In “A is for A-l-i-v-e” the girls see the corpse of Wilden under the sheet. He was shot multiple times. But how do we know this wasn’t just a mask? That corpse could be anyone.
In “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t”, the liars think CeCe murdered Wilden. Why would CeCe murder him? Did Wilden know something about CeCe’s true identity that would blow up the A Game? Was CeCe instructed to kill him by Uber A? It was later revealed that CeCe made huge money deposits before Wilden died. Someone paid her for killing him…
Spencer and Aria are chasing the two Red Coats, and CeCe is revealed as one of them. She falls and looks dead, but then her hand twitches and she disappears. Someone got her out of there really fast..it had to be UBER A.
In “I’m Your Puppet”, we see that Dr Wren Kingston authorized CeCe with a visitors pass to Radley. UM WHAT??? If CeCe was a patient at Radley, wouldn’t all the doctors there recognize her? How could she come in with a visitors pass? Why would she NEED a visitors pass if she was a patient there?This makes no sense at all and really makes me think that CeCe was never institutionalized there.
CeCe wanted to get into Radley to talk to Mona. I firmly believe that CeCe and Mona were working for Uber A and it was in the plan for Mona to take the fall as A. CeCe probably needed to get a message to Mona from Uber A. Later, Mona claims that she did see CeCe in Radley, but she doesn’t remember what they talked about due to the medications she was on. YEAH RIGHT.
The flashback of Jessica yelling at Ali about the prank her and CeCe played is also a huge clue.
Jessica gets a call from Radley saying that her daughter checked in. But when Jessica gets there it is CeCe dressed as Ali. “It’s not my daughter sitting in Radley, it’s CeCe Drake.“ Charlotte/CeCe was a patient there at that time. Are we really expected to believe that the staff at Radley seriously do not recognize their own patients??
I think that line specifically- “It’s not my daughter sitting in Radley, it’s CeCe Drake.” is a huge clue that CeCe is NOT Jessica’s daughter. CeCe wears Ali’s clothes and has been known to take on Ali’s personality. Obviously CeCe is deranged and very jealous of Ali, but we still do not know why. In my opinion it’s NOT because she is her sister/cousin who was institutionalized all her life. There is certainly another reason.
According to CeCe’s story, Jessica was on the board at Radley to supposedly protect and look over CeCe. CeCe later claimed that Jessica paid for her transgender surgery, and took care of her and hid it all from Kenneth. But Jessica HATED that Ali and CeCe were friends. She didn’t like her. If she really was her child, she would have recognized her and wanted her and Ali to be close. It doesn’t seem like the loving mother/daughter relationship to me that CeCe later describes.
In “She’s Come Undone”, it was revealed that CeCe witnessed a fight between Spencer and Alison on the night of Ali’s disappearance and that Jessica paid CeCe to be quiet about it. Why would Jessica have to PAY OFF her “daughter” to not talk about it, when they supposedly have this great relationship? Something is very fishy here.
In “The Mirror Has Three Faces,” Aria talks to CeCe’s old roommate. She reveals that Alison got CeCe kicked out of college after she pushed a girl down the steps at a frat party. She lived in an apartment/had a roommate/went to frat parties after being in Radley her whole life? Shady. She only had out privileges to go to classes, she couldn’t possibly live outside of Radley.
There seems to be a whole lot of stories about a person being blamed for something someone else did.
CeCe claims that Ali pushed a girl down the stairs at a frat party and CeCe got expelled from UPenn because of it.
Charles/Charlotte put Ali in a bathtub to help her relax and got sent to Radley because her parents thought she was trying to kill Ali.
CeCe claims Bethany pushed Marion off the roof but CeCe got blamed for it and diagnosed with “intermittent explosive disorder” and put on meds.
Mary Drake claims that Jessica neglected a child (Teddy Carver) while babysitting and Mary was blamed for his death and sent to Radley.
All of these stories cannot be true. I think there is one true story and everyone else bends it into their own convenient lie.
During the season four finale “A is for Answers”, CeCe is arrested by Detective Holbrook and questioned about Wilden’s murder. She confesses to knowing who murdered Bethany Young, (who has been identified as the girl buried in Alison’s grave) that it is the same person who Ali is afraid of, and that Alison is still alive. ((Side note: I DO NOT think Bethany Young is the girl in the grave. See my other theories for an in-depth analysis on this topic))
This episode is also where the girls finally sit down with Ali and hear her side of the story. She claims she gets hit in the head with a rock, Jessica think she is dead and buries her, asking someone “What did you do?” From the way Jessica seemed to feel about CeCe, there is no way she would cover up her child’s death to protect her.
Grumwald pulled Ali out, brought her to the hospital, and afterwards Mona picked up Ali and brought her to the Lost Woods Motel under the name Vivian Darkbloom, who we know as Ali’s alter ego.
At this time, Ezra believes that Jessica is A. They chase a hooded figure-who turns out to be Shauna- and Ezra gets shot in the chase. THIS WAS ALL PLANNED. It made Ezra look like an innocent boyfriend trying to catch A and protect the girls. Ezra is Uber A. ((See my theory, Pretty Little Masked Clues))
We see someone dragging a dead Jessica across the ground and burying her. I believe CeCe killed her because she knew too much.
In the first episode of Season 5, “EscApe From New York”, we find out that CeCe has escaped jail and Ezra is in the hospital. Ali brings the girls to Fitzgerald Theater, where Ezra once brought Ali when they were ‘dating’. Coincidence? NO. I hope Ezra’s A :-)
CeCe finds Ali at the theater and asks for her help. If CeCe was always being helped by Uber A before why would she need Ali’s help to get out of the country all of a sudden? Maybe because Uber A (EZRA) was hospitalized for gun shot wounds and couldn’t help her….
They meet Noel at a diner and they give her Ali’s fake passport under the name Vivian Darkbloom.
Ali comes back to the theater and tells Emily that CeCe was being paid by EZRA for information and then claims that she asked her to dress up as Red Coat only to distract “A”. No. This is not true. Why would Ezra PAY A MENTAL PATIENT for information on the girls for a book?
CeCe has to be Big A & Red Coat, and Ezra is Uber A.
Ali tells Emily that CeCe killed Wilden. Although Wilden was a corrupt cop, he got to close to the truth about the real Uber A and needed to be silenced. CeCe flees to London.
The fact that her destination is London of course makes me think of the one and only WREN KINGSTON, who I hope is tied up in all of this as well.<3
Shauna comes in with a gun to kill Ali but Aria hits her over the head, killing her. I think this attack was a side plot of the group of people that hated Ali for treating them so badly- Paige, Jenna, Mona, Lucas etc. I don’t think it has anything to do with the main A story line.
Fast forward to the episode, “Taking This One To The Grave.” Mona is nowhere to be found but the amount of blood found in her house suggests that she is dead. As we all know, Mona was never actually murdered, just kidnapped and put into the Dollhouse. I think she staged the entire thing with the help of Uber A and maybe even Big A (CeCe). We know she was saving her blood.
I think it is important to note that the whole episode before Mona’s ‘death’ was spent with her trying to get the girls trust and trying to convince the girls that Ali is A.
We then see Mona’s body in the trunk of a car, but I think it was a mask on a doll (similar to Hanna in the bell-tower).
We know that Ali eventually gets arrested and put in Jail for Mona’s murder. If we believe CeCe’s story, CeCe kidnapped Mona, faked her murder and put her in the dollhouse. If CeCe loved Alison so much WHY ON EARTH would she get her put in prison on a MURDER charge???? I do not believe the bullshit about Ali being safe in prison- because she wasn’t. If CeCe is the real A behind everything then why didn’t she just help Ali run away and stay away once and for all? Instead she continuously tortured her.
In “How the ‘A’ Stole Christmas”, CeCe shows up at the Christmas Dance to comfort Ali. Hanna is in Ali’s attic reading a letter that Ali wrote to Bethany (Ali later claims this letter is fake). Suddenly, ‘A’ shows up in the attic and knocks out Hanna and sneaks out the open window. This could NOT have been CeCe. She was with Ali at the time!!! I personally think it was a member of the A team or Uber A himself.
In “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” Mona wakes up and there is a present for her, addressed to Alison. She opens the box and finds a gas mask inside with a card that says “Because you’re my favorite. -A”
If CeCe was A why on earth would she want to save Mona out of everyone? Ali HATED Mona and vise versa. If CeCe loved Ali so much why would she save Mona- her enemy? CeCe didnt really think Mona was Ali, since she later tries to break Ali out of prison. NONE OF IT MAKES SENSE.
Spencer sees Charles written in blocks.
They are asked to organize a “Phantom of the opera” prom from 7 years ago that Ian and Melissa attended. Which reminds me of the Fitzgerald theater and A loving the arts…
Mona is crowned as “Prom Queen Alison DiLaurentis”.
A steps around the mannequins.
This is the reason I DO NOT BELIEVE AT ALL THAT CECE IS A.
If she struggled all her life wanting to be a woman WHY THE HELL WOULD SHE DRESS UP IN A TUXEDO AS A MAN AT THE PROM AND WANT HER SISTER/COUSIN ALISON AS HER DATE/THE PROM QUEEN? This just does NOT make sense. Why didn’t she just kidnap Ali and put her in the Dollhouse? What the heck is all of this?? What does it mean? We DON’T KNOW. There is a hugeeee chunk of the story still missing. This is a MAN. This is NOT CeCe. This is Uber A.
The vault is full of all of A’’s things. CeCe claims she is Charles, the transgender child of Jessica and Kenneth, and Ali’s sister. NO WAY.
3′s have reoccurred in the story line a lot. Notice the 3 different colored hand prints in the frame.
A is NOT represented in this 4 person mannequin family.
I think A is the twin brother of the little boy (Jason) and the baby is Alison. Notice that in the hand-print frame, there are 5 blue and 5 red hand-prints? And then only 3 green..
In the video Spencer watches, the boys have blue and red shoelaces and the baby is wrapped in a greenish yellow blanket.
The Cherished Memories picture frame also makes me feel like A is upset he was never a part of any of that. It seems like Ali was born and he somehow blames her for him getting exiled from the family. And that’s why he has been torturing her and her friends for so many years. I also think this frame was put in ARIA’S bedroom, because Ezra is Uber A and he wants her to see that this is his family.
There are apples in the background. Apples are known to symbolize many things, but they are mostly associated with temptation. Eve is told she can eat any fruit in Paradise, except for the fruit on one tree. She is so tempted that she eats the forbidden fruit and man is damned for eternity. This makes me think that Alison did something really really bad, and it ruined A’s life. Remember Adam never ate the fruit…It was all Eve’s fault… Apples are also associated with TEACHERS.
When A and Spencer come face-to-face, I always found it interesting that there were books in the background, and who do we know that owns a bookstore and loves to write??? EZRA.
Anyway, why didn’t A do anything to Spencer? If this was CeCe wouldn’t she have lashed out or tried to hurt Spencer??
Fast forward to “Game Over Charles,” where CeCe is ‘revealed’ as A.
I believe that her and Uber A had a set plan in place in case CeCe was ever caught. He instructed her take the fall for everything, and to make up a story that would get her sympathy.
She tells Ali she is her transgender sister Charlotte-born Charles DiLaurentis. She claims she became A because she loves Ali so much (WTF?). She tells the bathtub story, and claims her parents put her in Radley because of the incident.
I believe Uber A instructed CeCe to tell this story. It is not true. THIS IS NOT THE REASON THAT A TORTURED THE 4 LIARS AND ALISON FOR YEARS OVER. Not a chance. And we are expected to just believe her when she says, “I did this all because I loved you.” Come onnnnnnn. How were the girls so gullible? That really made me angry at the show.
She then tells the story about her and Bethany Young on the roof of Radley. Bethany pushes Marion off the roof and blames CeCe. This leads to her being wrongly diagnosed with “intermittent explosive disorder.”
CeCe is medicated for a few years and then is let out for a ‘funeral.” Mrs. D and CeCe make a fake grave for ‘Charles’ at Aunt Carol’s house, and Mrs D helps her transition into Charlotte. She then brings her back to Radley.
With Jessica being on the board, she got CeCe out-privileges to take classes at UPenn. Lets stop here for a second. According to CeCe, her and Jessica were so close. So how do you explain the years of CeCe and Ali’s friendship where Mrs. D hated her?…
She claims one day at school she made up a bomb threat to get out of classes and goes to Rosewood to take a yearbook picture, where she meets Jason.
She then starts DATING HIM. And tries to play it off like they didn’t do anything sexual, “Why do you think he was so mad all the time? He was so frustrated.”
GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!! This cannot be true. It is too disgusting. There is no way this show can have an incest story line. CeCe says this because Uber A instructed CeCe to do everything she could to make the girls believe her lie, that she is Charles.
Ali says that she cannot believe their mother would be okay with it, and CeCe claims Jessica didn’t know. “All this time you’ve been pretending to go to school, while you were running around Rosewood with my children?” Mrs. D says. COME ON. That means Mrs D didn’t know that Ali’s best friend and Jason’s girlfriend was her DAUGHTER CeCe??????
There are WAY TOO MANY plot holes and things that don’t make sense. Maybe I am just being optimistic, but the writers of this show know how obsessed the PLL fandom is. We analyze everything. There is no way they would give us an A reveal with this many plot holes. I think they did this so later when we find out who CeCe and Uber A really are, it will be that more jaw-dropping.
CeCe then claims that Bethany pretended to be Charlotte and used her out-privileges to sneak out of Radley.
So lets get this straight… The staff at Radley:
Called Jessica and told her that Alison is at Radley, and didn’t realize it was CeCe (their LONGTIME patient) sitting there in Alison’s clothes.
Let CeCe go in and out of Radley as a GUEST to visit Mona
Didn’t realize it was Bethany using CeCe’s out-privileges
CeCe was never in Radley, and didn’t have the relationship she claimed with Jessica because she is NOT CHARLES. It just doesn’t make any logical sense at ALL.
CeCe supposedly sneaks out of Radley THAT NIGHT and hits- who she thinks is- Bethany in the head with a rock, but it was actually Ali. Of course its totally logical that 3 girls were wearing the exact same clothes (eye roll). Jessica sees it happen and starts burying Ali and covering it up for CeCe.
The girls then discover how CeCe was able to afford being A. “CeCe’s the real Wolf of Wall Street,” Mona says, looking through a stock portfolio. “She never made a bad investment.” REALLY???? SO WHY DID SHE NEED TO LIVE UNDER THE DILAURENTIS BASEMENT, WHY DID SHE NEED TO ASK ALI AND NOEL FOR MONEY AND A PASSPORT? These forms were FAKE.
Continuing her story, CeCe claims she met Mona in Radley, learned everything about the girls, and stole the game from her.
Now she says that Mona helped her escape out of Radley and that’s the first time she met the girls at the Brew. But wasn’t CeCe going in as a GUEST to see Mona???? REALLY?
Wait a second CeCe, get your story straight, did you have out-privileges or did Mona help you get out? AND HOW DID YOU OWN A BOUTIQUE??? You sneak out of Radley for the FIRST TIME and have a clothing store in Rosewood? NONE of this is true. It is so full of potholes it is ridiculous. Mona has always been evil. She took the fall for Uber A and got put in Radley. CeCe would go into Radley to talk to Mona and work on the A Game. CeCe was never in Radley. Thats why she needed a guest pass.
CeCe claims she became A because she hated the girls because they were happy Ali was gone.
Really CeCe, really? That’s why you tortured them to that extent? REALLY??
Give me a BREAK.
CeCe says that she started the fire at the Lodge that night because she knew Ali would show up to save them if she was alive. She then says that Red Coat is Sara Harvey. ((I believe that the character we know as Sara Harvey is 1 million percent the real Charles/Charlotte DiLaurentis who actually did spend her life in Radley.))
Ali then asks the question on everyone’s mind. “If you really cared about me, why did you keep playing the game?”
CeCe claims she knew it was time to end the Game when Shauna was killed, so she left the country but missed the game so much she came back to play more.
No. No. No. No.
Ezra (Uber A) was hospitalized for gun shot wounds at the time and the Game needed to stop while it’s leader recovered.
Ali wants to know why CeCe attacked her in the living room. She says she was scared to lose Ali. Um what? So you tried to strangle her? Yeah that makes sense.
CeCe says, “I know you won’t believe me, but I love all of my dolls. That’s why you’re still alive. I would never let anything… really bad happen to them.”
BUT UBER A HAS TRIED TO MURDER ALL OF THEM A MILLION TIMES THROUGHOUT THE SERIES!!!!
She says she sent Sara Harvey as Black Veil to Wilden’s funeral to make sure that he was really dead because apparently Wilden knew Ali was alive. CeCe killed him to protect Ali.
CeCe says that before she flees to Paris, she goes to say goodbye to Jessica, but finds her dead in the grass. She says, “Mom was the only person who ever really loved me.” No…because from everything we have seen it seems like Jessica hated CeCe and didn’t want her near her children because she was a bad influence. CECE IS NOT A DILARENTIS.
CeCe was instructed to kill Jessica because she knew something Uber A didn’t want her to know.
The girls escape the Carissimi Group lair, Emily slaps Sara and they chase CeCe to the roof. Game over.
Can we just talk for a second how POORLY MADE this episode was. It was all over the place, and to me just seemed put together so last minute and was so ridiculous. Was that the writers trying to show us that it doesn’t make logical sense because its not true?
Now it’s five years later.
Ali is a teacher at Rosewood High and writing, Mrs. Rollins on the board. Aria says, “He’s coming for you.”
Who is HE????
The REAL Uber A of course.
I feel like this poster says it ALL.
CeCe is Red Coat
Ezra is Uber A
Sara Harvey (Charles) is Black Veil
Ezra IS THE LEADER and always has been.
CeCe’s story was a LIE, it was all to cover-up for the REAL Uber A.
Impromptu Fat Bottomed Girls by Rhett Miller and the Witnesses. The song was referenced throughout the show but no one planned on performing it. When the crowd started asking for it the theater staff sprang to the Internet to find some notes and copies were made. Rhett and the band took it from there and this old theater rocked!
Ever since we saw the video of little Charles with Jessica/Mary at Campbell Farms, I have been trying to figure out what the apple connection may represent. We have seen them many times throughout the show. I am definitely guilty of thinking everything is a clue, so of course my thought was, Is there an underlying theme here?
I go into depth on the parallels of the stories of Adam and Eve and Snow White to Pretty Little Liars.
Before I get to the super significant connections, here are a few times apples have been shown/mentioned in PLL.
The name of the restaurant in Rosewood is Apple Rose Grill:
We see Maya talking to Jason before he picks an apple:
New York City, where the liars find Ali at Fitzgerald theater, is known as the Big Apple. Is this hinting something about Ezra??
Big A / Big Apple (shut up it’s possibly a clue haha!)
Wren tells Spencer that Houdini’s hat trick chair was inspired by an apple crate:
Lucas wore a shirt that said “Nerds love apple pie.”
Emily tries to make an apple flambe
pllsherlock posted this collage of what Talia says to Emily in the kitchen of the Brew
In 6x19 Emily asks Mona:
And of course I need to mention the obvious, apples are most associated with teachers…
EDIT: @s-u-n-s-h-i-n-enshowers made a great point linking apples to Dr. Wren Kingston. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Okay on to the really interesting connections…
Apples have significant symbolism throughout religion, history, and media.
The most famous use of an apple is in the biblical story. Adam and Eve were placed in Paradise by God, and told they could eat anything in the Garden of Eden except for the fruit on one tree. The devil, in the form of a snake, taunts Eve to eat the fruit, which she does, and mankind is doomed ever after.
It’s interesting to note that it was the woman who took a bite of the apple. Could this parallel in PLL? Maybe Ali did something wrong, and Charles/A feels like Ali and the Liars need to suffer for it now. Just like God made mankind-specifically WOMEN- suffer for Eve’s indulgence.
Does Charles/A identify as Adam? Having to suffer because of something a woman did, although he did nothing wrong himself? Look at this picture….
There is an apple core on top of the newspaper article about Ali in the garbage. I believe this is significant.This suggests that Ali did something bad and got what she deserved. The eaten apple is a reference to Adam and Eve in my opinion. Ali ‘ate the apple’ and had to suffer/be punished for it.
A different possibility is that Charles was tempted by the devil, ‘bit the apple’ himself and became evil. You can see in the following picture, that Charles has taken a bite of an apple
A has also tried to tempt others to evil….
An apple has been shown on A’s desk a few times:
Who are the Adam and Eve of Rosewood?
We know that Spencer and Melissa used to go apple picking at Campbell Farm as children.
So did Jessica/Mary and this blonde child, who at this point could be anyone but I think it’s Ali.
And remember this weird scene where Spencer is creepily looking at a bowl of apples and other fruit?
As a metaphor, the phrase “Forbidden Fruit” typically refers to any indulgence or pleasure that is considered illegal or immoral, or any object of desire (especially sexual desire) whose appeal results from the knowledge that it should not be obtained.
This reminds me of a few things:
Ali & Ezra’s relationship: He fell for her, but then found out she was only 16 years old
Aria & Ezra’s relationship: They fell in love but he was her high school English teacher.
CeCe & Jason’s relationship: We still don’t know what the truth is here, but if CeCe is really Jason’s sister or cousin, it would be incest.
Jenna & Toby: Jenna was in love with her step brother
Ali bullying/threatening/blackmailing so many people
Interesting use of the apple analogy…
This fairy tale has a lot of similarities to PLL
Aria was dressed to look like Snow White at prom, she even has the red bow in her short hair cut.
The story goes….
Once upon a time a queen sat at a window sewing
and looking at the snow. She pricked her finger with the
needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. She had a little daughter, who was as
white as snow, her lips as red as blood, and her hair was as black as ebony,
and she was therefore called little Snow White. When the child was born, the
After a year had passed, the king took another wife. The new queen was a beautiful woman, but could not bear that anyone
else could surpass her in beauty.
There are a few possible connections that can be made.
Ali is Snow White and her mother Jessica died, and now her evil ‘step mother’ Mary is torturing her
The second Drake child was adopted by someone and treated very badly
I have always felt like the Queen of Hearts could possibly represent the real A, because Mona was holding that card in Radley. Is A the evil Queen who is jealous of Snow White (who could be represented as Ali as she is the one most tortured by A)?
The crown on the Queen’s head looks so similar to the Queen of Hearts costume.
The Queen had a magic looking-glass. She stood in front of it and asked…
Mirror mirror on the wall, whose the fairest one of all?
And the mirror said that she was the most beautiful in the land. But when Snow White grew up she became more and more beautiful than the Queen. One day the mirror told the Queen that Snow White was the most beautiful.
The Queen was shocked and angry. She hated Snow White. Envy and pride grew in her heart like a weed, so that she had no peace day or night.
Who is always shown looking into mirrors?
Was Aria jealous of the attention Ali and the other girls always got? She wanted to be the most beautiful, the most popular? Is she the evil queen?
Or is Mona the Queen?? Remember this scene?
Did Mona want to be the fairest of them all…?
The Queen called a huntsman, and said, “Take the child away into the forest. I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her heart as a token.“
The huntsman obeyed, and took her away but when he had drawn his knife, and was about to pierce Snow White’s innocent heart, she began to weep, and begged for her life in exchange for running away into the forest and never returning. Because she was so beautiful ,the huntsman had pity on her and let her go. He killed a pig and took its heart to the Queen as proof that the child was dead.
This has similarities to the twin story. One twin tries to kill the other because of jealousy.
It also is similar to the night Ali went missing. Someone tried to kill her, but she lived and ran away.
It is interesting that the huntsman killed a pig.
Pigs have shown up a few times in PLL
Ali used to call Paige pigskin
A sent “Hefty” Hanna pig cupcakes
There was a dead pig in Wilden’s car trunk, which is a derogatory term for a cop
And we can’t forget about Pigtunia, Aria’s favorite stuffed animal PUPPET…
A once wore a pig mask
Snow White was alone and terrified in the forest. She ran as long as her feet would go until it was almost evening, then she saw a little cottage in the woods and went in to rest.
After Grunwald brought Ali to the hospital, she ran away to the Lost Woods Resort with Mona. The LOST WOODS Resort. To me, this is a direct reference to Snow White, who was LOST in the WOODS until she came across the cottage.
Snow White entered the house and could tell that 7 people lived there. She ate some food and fell asleep. When it was quite dark the owners of the cottage came back. They were seven dwarfs and they saw that someone had been there, for everything was not in the same order in which they had left it.
They woke the sleeping girl, and once she explained that her step-mother had wished to have her killed, the dwarfs agreed that she could live with them in exchange for her doing chores around the house.
This makes me think of the various people who helped Ali stay hidden after that night when everyone thought she was dead.
This also could be a reference to the children’s ward in Radley Sanitarium because before she met the dwarfs, Snow White thought 7 children lived in the house because everything was so small.
The song the dwarfs sing when they are mining for diamonds is “Whistle While We Work.” That song was played in a PLL scene when A was cleaning a switchboard.
After watching, “The Wrath of Khan” last night and finding out that Noel was in the dollhouse and performed psychological torture on Spencer by pouring blood all over her, I wonder if this A ending was of Noel. It would relate to Snow White because Noel used to be one of the ‘dwarfs’ that helped Ali stay hidden, and now he is one of the bad guys.
Back at the castle, the Queen asked her magic looking-glass: “Mirror Mirror on the wall, whose the fairest one of all?”
To her horror, the mirror replied: "Oh, queen, thou art fairest of all I see, But over the hills, where the seven dwarfs dwell, Snow White is still alive and well, And none is so fair as she.”
This relates to A realizing that Ali is in fact alive, and not the dead girl in the grave. So A devises a plan to get her back to Rosewood and kill her once and for all, by putting the liars or ‘dwarfs’ in danger so she would reveal herself and save them. Mona could be the Huntsman in this situation. A told Mona to dispose of Ali, but in exchange for making her beautiful, Mona let Ali run away and hide. I wonder if A forced Mona to be caught and take the fall by going into Radley and then being locked in the Dollhouse.
Furious that Snow White was still alive, the Queen devised a plan.She went into a quite secret, lonely room, where no one ever came, (HER LAIR) and there she made a very poisonous apple.
When the apple was ready, the Queen disguised herself as an old lady and headed to the cottage.
The Queens disguise looks EXACTLY like the A hoodie….
The Queen goes to the cottage when Snow White is alone, and offers her one of the apples, saying that one bite will make all her wishes come true.
This obviously parallels the Adam and Eve Story. The dwarfs warned her not to let anyone in the house or talk to anyone, like God warned Adam and Eve not to eat fruit from the forbidden tree.
Was A offered something from the devil that he/she could not resist? Or is A the devil themselves?!
We have seen A do this in PLL:
At first, Snow White refused, but she could resist no longer, the apple looked so RED (red coat) and delicious, and stretched out her hand and took the poisonous apple. She hardly had a bite of it in her mouth when she fell down dead.
As Snow White falls asleep the Queen proclaims that she is now the fairest of the land. The dwarfs return as the Queen leaves the cottage and chase her by trapping her on a cliff. She tries to roll a boulder over them but before she can do so, lightning strikes the cliff, causing her to fall to her death. As the Queen falls off the cliff, the vultures fly down after her to pick at her remains.
This could parallel Charlotte being on the edge of the belltower and falling to her death.
The dwarfs return to their cottage and find Snow White seemingly dead, being kept in a deathlike slumber by the poison. Unwilling to bury her out of sight in the ground, they instead place her in a glass coffin trimmed with gold in a clearing in the forest.
The Dollhouse could be an analogy of a ‘glass coffin.’ They were constantly watched by A and held captive. This picture of the girls is very similar to Snow White in a death-like sleep.
It could also be an analogy of Ali being in jail, having zero freedom.
A year later, a prince, who had previously met and fallen in love with Snow White, learns of her eternal sleep and visits her coffin. Saddened by her apparent death, he kisses her, which breaks the spell and awakens her. The dwarfs and animals all rejoice as the Prince takes Snow White to his castle.
I will finish this post with this last apple reference:
In “Game On Charles,” Ali gets a phone call from A. She puts the call on speaker and everyone hears a song playing. Toby says, “My mom used to play that song on the piano. It’s called “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” These are the lyrics…
I wrote my mother, I wrote my father, And now I’m writing you too. I’m sure of mother, I’m sure of father, And now I want to be sure of you. Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me, Till I come marching home. Don’t go walking down lovers’ lane with anyone else but me, Till I come marching home. I just got word from a guy who heard From the guy next door to me, That a girl he met just loves to pet, And it fits you to a “T”. So don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me Till I come marching home. Then we’ll go arm in arm, and Sit down under the apple tree, Baby, just you and me, When I come marching home.
Don’t give out with those lips of yours To anyone else but me, Lots of girls on the foreign shores, You’ll have to report to me When you come marching home. Don’t hold anyone on your knee, You better be true to me, You better be true to me, you better be true to me. Don’t hold anyone on your knee, You’re getting the third degree When you come marching home. You’re on your own where there is no phone, And I can’t keep tab on you. Be fair to me, I’ll guarantee This is one thing that I’ll do: I won’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but you Till you come marching home. I know the apple tree is reserved for you and me, And I’ll be true till you come marching home.
There are some very interesting parallels in that song…
I had so much fun writing this post, I really hope you guys liked it! Thanks for taking the time to read :)
Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor are a couple of genial, apparently sane guys who will appear at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on Oct. 25 to discuss “Welcome to Night Vale” for the Talking Volumes author series.
EZRA AND BETHANY ARE TWINS!? AmAzing Follower Submission!
This is kind of far fetched but isn’t most things on pll anyway. Ok so, I think Ezra and Bethany could be twins. I got to thinking why would Eddie give Ezra that drawing instead of spencer, who was asking Eddie earlier that day for info about Bethany. One could say he wanted to give it to him for his book but I honestly think there is more to it than that. He supposedly isn’t even continuing with the book but E. Lamb probably doesn’t know that.
So trying to find a bigger connection between them, I immediately remembered how Mrs. Fitzgerald paid off Maggie to keep Malcom a secret from Ezra. Mrs. F thought that Malcolm was Ezra’s son and went to great lengths to keep him from knowing. He paid Maggie’s rent and bills (pretty sure) for however long the kid was born. That’s lot of money to keep a secret safe.
What would stop her from keeping a child of her own a secret to the public, say if she was embarrassed by the kid or something. The Fitzgeralds have a reputation to live up to and a crazy child may not be what they want to be known for so they changed her last name and kept her hush hush. Has anyone noticed how many times they have used the name Fitzgerald recently? It’s like the writers are trying to make us aware of the fitzgeralds socialite status without being over the top about it.
Ok, moving on. Bethany was 17 when she escaped radley, a couple of years older than the liars. The liars were about 15 at the time. Well, who else is a couple of years older than the liars and was probably 17 at that time? Ezra’s BROTHER (Wes).I believe she could have been pregnant with twins and Ezra does not know about Bethany. I’m sure he would remember his mom being pregnant but he might not have known his sister was crazy, his parents could have told them something terrible happened to her and he died or something when really they put her in radley bc she is so crazy. Ezra wanted to write a book about his family, I mean I get that his parents went through a divorce but that’s so common that it doesn’t sound like book material. I believe he knows something bigger took place but doesn’t know what and wanted to find out and to write the book.
Also in shadow play, Ali was hiding out at the Fitzgerald Art foundation which was supposed to be a foreshadowing of Ali hiding at the Fitzgerald theater but who is to say they don’t also have an art foundation? Idk I just think there could be a connection to Bethany’s drawing and the art foundation. Also, when it was announced on the news that the body in the grave was bethany young, the parents don’t want any photographs released. They also didn’t want their names out to the public, which could go back to the fact that they are in a very high social class and the media would go crazy if it came out the B.Y. Is actually a Fitzgerald. Scandal!! And obviously anyone who knew her as a child would recognize her picture, especially Ezra and Wes.
I know that isn’t a whole lot of evidence but I would lie for this to be the case because I really want Ezra to have a bigger connection to all of this! If you made it all the way through this looong theory, THANK YOU and I’m sorry I’m not good with shortening my thoughts!
I can say without reservation that doing @wits is the most fun I’ve ever had on the radio.
It’s not just the guests, who are spry and game and talented to the one. And it’s not just the truly miraculous versatility of the Witnesses, doing with vibes, bass, drums and pedal steel the work of an entire orchestra. It’s not just the writing of some profoundly funny and somewhat twisted writers, and not just the cool head of producer Larissa Anderson and her gang who work it like it’s air traffic control at O'Hare. Nor is it simply John Moe, who in a very short time has broken in his role as host so it’s as supple as a fielder’s mitt.
It’s all of these things, sure, but it’s nothing without you guys, the audience, sitting in the Fitz all happy with food truck food and good beer and whiskey, or those of you somewhere over the airwaves. You listen, you laugh, you sing, you stand up when told, you enjoy.
That’s really the reason for the whole thing, and I’m proud to have been a tiny part of what the show does so very well.
Happy Fiftieth Show from the Fitzgerald Theater, Wits. Take a well-earned bow.
(Photos are Copyright Minnesota Public Radio, all rights reserved.)