Okay, so this is kind of extensive, but when I found your blog it was so exciting because I have been wanting to post all my theories in one place together and get some input!
So I’m going to start with Toby. I know that Marlene has said that his intentions are not good, I simply don’t think this is true. I also saw the interview with Oliver Goldstick who said that the reason Toby slept with Spencer was to punish her. This threw me off guard originally, because I think it would be pretty sick if that’s something they went with. They spent three years building this beautiful character, with a tough past but a wonderful relationship with someone he loves, only to throw it all away because he wanted to punish her? I don’t buy it. Yes, Mona played up the best friend role too even though she had been A for years, but even while she was A, she wasn’t very nice. She got mad at pitiful things and held grudges and you could tell that although she may have cared for Hanna, she didn’t care about hurting peoples feelings. It wasn’t as shocking when she was out as A, just because Mona was already the type of person you could suspect for doing something like this. I know they want shock value, so that was probably one of the reasons Toby was chosen, and I know he could have motives, but I think it wouldn’t make any sense to have him just turn a complete 180 on the girls, especially after forming such special bonds with 2 out of the 4.
Now, my theory is fairly simple and the only one that I think would make any logical sense. However it depends when he joined the A team. Was it before he began dating Spencer? Or was it after. If it was before, he was most likely recruited because of his then-hatred for the girls. A knew he was upset with them for not sticking up for him, so using his weakness, got him to join. He was then most likely instructed to go after Spencer in order to gain her trust, so he could keep tabs on her for A (much like Mona and Hanna.) He more than likely entered the relationship angry and searching for revenge because his life was made a living hell- with their help. However, if he had been recruited after beginning a relationship with Spencer, I believe he was forced to join. If he had no knowledge of the A-team prior to them confronting him/being with Spencer, he would have no reason to want to be in a relationship with her simply out of spite. She was the one who pursued him, not the other way around. If he was truly angry and wanted revenge, he could have just denied her feelings, but instead he went with it. I think that he realized after she apologized, she meant it, and that the main reason the four girls didn’t trust him was because Alison made them that way. Ali told them the lies about him (?) to get them believing he was a pervert, so naturally once he was all over the news for killing their best friend (when it was still fresh in their minds,) they went with it because they just wanted answers. I think that he probably does understand this, at least to an extent, because Alison was basically the core of their friendship. She manipulated their minds into believing what she wanted them to. Naturally, they have all come a long way since then. So, if Toby joined the team after Spencer and him began seeing each other, he must have completed a fairly large “A job” to prove that he was “trustworthy” and wasn’t going to play both sides. Anything that would show A he wasn’t afraid to impact the girls lives in one way or another, even if he was close to them.
I hope that makes sense, basically those are the two reasons I could see why Toby would join the A team, depending on whether or not he started before or after dating Spencer. Whether he is working for A to hurt the girls, or for A to help the girls, A must have something big that they are blackmailing him with so they know he won’t step out of line. His previous involvement with Jenna just wouldn’t be enough to hold him (because that’s old news,) therefore he must either have done something even bigger, or has a dark secret from his past that he doesn’t under any circumstances want to be revealed.
I do believe, wholeheartedly, that his love for Spencer is real. Whether he joined with the intentions of hurting her, only to realize he was falling in love with something far bigger then any of his “grudges” were, or he joined because someone forced him. If anything, Mona was the one to probably recruit him (as she had tried to do previously with Spencer, and failed,) as she probably has something over him. What made me originally think this was something Keegan said in an interview right before 3x12 premiered,
"I love thinking that possibly there might be someone that she (Mona) has manipulated so well that they had to join (the A team.)
If that doesn’t tell you something then I don’t know what will. Troian and Keegan both have also mentioned in interviews that Toby and Caleb will be teaming up with the girls to help take down A. Although Troian wasn’t aware that Toby was a part of A when she said this, Keegan was.
So what it comes down to is, I feel that he began working for A to seek revenge, but after falling totally and completely in love with Spencer, and befriending Emily, he realized that he didn’t want to hurt them. If this is the case, then whatever A is blackmailing him with is enough to keep him doing the minimum amount of “A jobs,” that allow him leeway to stay on the A team yet still see Spencer. However, the A team is smart and what they do is highly illegal in most cases. They are all intelligent, clever, and not easily fooled. They are always watching the girls, so Toby knows he can’t tell Spencer about what’s going on or A will know his feelings are real. Chances are, he was on the A team when he fell off the scaffolding, which happened right after him and Spencer just started getting to a good place. However, this also could have been before Toby joined. Perhaps he had been asked, denied the offer because of his love for Spencer, but the A team’s motto is, “join us or disappear,” so, landing him in the hospital certainly would have warned him about what could possibly come if he didn’t oblige. In addition, in 2x13, when the girls get their personalized dolls each with a separate “mission,” Spencer’s says “keep Toby safe.” This was A’s warning to her that she couldn’t be with him unless she wanted to risk his safety. So did this happen before or after he joined the team? Were they warning her that they were going to recruit him? Or were they warning her that if she kept hanging around with him while he was working for the A team, she would be risking his safety. Queue break-up, until 2x25 when he comes back saying “Pretending not to love you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.” Hmmm. I think he’s caught in A’s web now, with no easy way out, and that he was forced into this. If A finds out he could be helping the girls, A would get rid of him, permanently. So whether he has thought to get rid of A from the inside or not, I definitely don’t think he’s there anymore by choice.
All in all, Toby is a good character, and up until now was known as the moral compass of Rosewood. He has proven his love for Spencer many times over, explaining he would never hurt her, he wants to protect her at all costs, and that she deserves answers. I know the writers are saying his intentions are bad, but honestly, if they aren’t just saying that and Toby actually does turn out to be “evil,” I truly think it wouldn’t make sense. Especially based upon Spencer and Toby’s conversation in 3x08, he said he would go looking for answers, where else do you go with something like that? I know people can lie, but even Mona slipped up from time to time. Toby has been someone genuine and loyal to Spencer throughout the series, even if he’s carrying around this secret. Of course it will hurt her, and the other girls, but I think that he’s doing this now to help them, and once he finds a way to let them know that, they’ll be okay again. To be quite honest, I know Marlene wanted shock factor here (which she got,) but throwing away everything Toby is, that wouldn’t be good writing.
Next, I’m going to talk about my Byron and Alison theory, and who I think killed Ian and Ali. My theory begins with Alison’s very odd tendency to be very influenced by other peoples actions. We see in a flashback that when Ali catches Spencer kissing Ian, she gets extremely snippy and threatens to tell Melissa if Spencer doesn’t. We late find out this was out of jealousy because Alison had been seeing Ian. The same situation is mirrored when we find out Byron cheated on Ella. Alison sees Meredith and Byron, and for a split second she almost looks…hurt? But then turns right to Aria to see her expression- almost as if she knew this was coming. Then, we get to see how she, again, threatened Aria that if she didn’t tell Ella about the affair, Alison would be sure to. It would only make sense that this is leading up to the same sort of situation, was Byron involved with Alison?
Ali took an interesting fascination to the book Lolita. The story is about a much older man- an English lit professor, who falls for a much younger girl who just happens to be his step daughter. We know Alison had a thing for older guys, and Byron for younger ones- specifically blondes? It had been questioned if the Lolita book was in reference to Ali’s relationship with Ian, however I feel that if that was the case the girls would have found out about Vivian Darkbloom earlier on, and that would be old news. However since it’s still looming in the dark of the show, it gives me reason to believe we aren’t done with that, and we are yet to find out who else Alison had been sneaking around with.
Now, there is a term called “bunny boiler.” This is the description online:
"A woman who follows or observes her mark persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement. A bunny boiler’s mark is a man that she has slept with at least once. Usually this man is hard working and strives to succeed professionally and in everyday life. A bunny boiler’s plan consists of Plan A and Plan B.
The ultimate goal of a bunny boiler is to fix her marks life by interfering and setting him up or blackmailing him in an effort to force him into a relationship. The bunny boiler’s goal is almost certainly a recipe for disaster. When the plan begins to fail, the bunny boiler resorts to Plan B: destruction.”
Going back to 3x02, there is a flashback of Alison and Aria in Byron’s office. After Aria finds the earring (which Alison more than likely planted herself,) Ali mentions that she’s heard break-up sex is the best. Why did she plant these earrings there herself? Was it simply to get a rise out of Aria? Or was it to hint to her that she had been involved with Byron? Was it her way of getting Aria angry so she had an excuse to destroy the office? Following this, Aria and Alison begin to vandalize and destruct Byron’s office. Ali writes on the wall in red lipstick, “You’ll never get rid of me.” Underlining the me. Sort of odd? We do know, however, from Ali’s diary that she thought Byron was cute and that he “owed” her something. Hmmm.
Now, going back to the bunny boiler situation, Alison’s shirt has bunnies on it this entire scene. Coincidence? She could have been using her own anger to destroy his office, threaten his marriage, and potentially have been blackmailing him with a past secret (or a more recent one?)
My theory in this, relates back to Lolita. In the book, Humbert (the older man) gets Lolita pregnant. She then is kidnapped by another man (Quilty,) but willingly stays with him, and they become lovers. Eventually after having the child, she calls Humbert asking for money. He goes to find her, and ends up killing Quilty.
Alison = Lolita/Vivian
Byron = Humbert
Quilty = Ian
Perhaps if Ali and Byron were involved, he ended up getting her pregnant. Although just because it’s in Lolita, that doesn’t mean it would happen, however there have been two flashbacks as well to lead me to think Alison may have been pregnant before she disappeared. The first, was when the girls are at Hanna’s and her grandma is cooking for them. She asks if anyone has a bun in the oven, and Ali sort of looks away and doesn’t say anything for a minute, only to begin talking about dis-owning your children. The second one is when Alison thought Emily had sex with Ben, she says that if she needs birth control, she knows a great doctor Emily can go to, one that won’t tell her parents if she goes on the pill. Both could have been coincidences, however I found it odd that they had brought up pregnancy at all throughout the show in flashbacks. Ali could have left Rosewood on her own terms, in fear of this getting out, and when the twin came to “replace” her, someone killed her thinking it was Alison. Who? That part I haven’t quite figured out yet.
However, the pregnancy would never have come up on the autopsy because it was the other twin. No one would have known. Except, Byron. Who I strongly believe is Ian’s killer. The first hint was his suicide note, obviously forged, made up of A messages. Could Byron be on the A team? Possibly. However, Byron’s writing is exactly the same as the writing on not only the suicide note, but also the note Jason received the night Ali disappeared. They all have the T’s capitalized. So, let’s go back to Lolita for a second. Remember how I said Humbert killed Quilty, Lolita’s other lover? Yep. So Byron could have killed Ian, not Alison, if that is the route they were going similar to. Also, keep in mind, Byron is an English lit professor! A couple more clues towards this, is in Ali’s diary you can vaguely make out the words “sleep together.” In the books of PLL, Byron and Meredith have a child together named Lola. Is this just an eerie coincidence? In the book Lolita, Lolita is also called Lola. The show also has some coincidences with Twin Peaks, which an affair with a father does happen.
Marlene confirmed that Alison will be in 3x13, and then Chad (Byron) wrote that he was in a scene with a character he never imagined to be. Mar later said that Byron is scary in the Halloween episode. Perhaps they are in a flashback together?
Now, who killed Alison? I’m sure there are many suspects who have great motives, but if I had to choose right now, I would say Aria. I am not certain if I think Aria is involved with A, however maybe the main A didn’t kill Alison. Maybe they’re just on the team in general. So. My theory is that Aria could have somehow found out that Byron slept with Ali/got her pregnant/killed Ian (or all three,) so out of anger she killed Ali/the twin. That was her motive. We saw how angry she got over Meredith. Perhaps, after this, the head A came forward and wanted to recruit her. They could have been blackmailing her to join with what is now Aria’s “big secret.” Of course, not wanting this to get out, she agreed. This could also be the reasoning for why she put the earrings in Alison’s grave (kind of a weird sentiment?), it could have been her closure.
Another hint towards this was in the Truth Up Day episode, 2x19, Caleb and Aria are in a group together with Jenna and I think possibly Noel? One of the confessions said, “I’m afraid of my dad” and the R in “afraid” is boldly and quite obviously turned into an “A.” Perhaps this was Aria’s confession.
So, just because she’s involved with A, doesn’t mean she wants to be. Or who’s to say she even is yet? The black hoodie didn’t pop up on Aria’s doll until 3x12, so perhaps they were going to recruit her, and just have yet to do so. Either way, if this theory has any chance of being true, that would be what her secret is. In my opinion, I think each of the girls have one big secret that we aren’t quite aware of yet.
Another moment that made me suspicious of Aria was when her and Hanna visited Mona at Radley and Mona was giving them the riddles. The first one was, “Miss Aria you’re a killer not Ezra’s wife.” Interesting. Was Aria already a part of A then, and Mona was trying to warn Hanna? Or was she yet to be on the A team, and Mona was telling her that she knew her secret. That translates into Maya knew. Maya knew what?
*I did at first think that it could have been Peter that Ali was involved with because in Lolita the man falls for his step-daughter and we know that Peter had an affair with Ali’s mom, so that Spencer could have been the one to kill her, but I thought it just made more sense with Byron because of the whole teacher thing and the destroying of the office and threats and what not
Alright, moving on. Small details to notice:
- The name Byron means “barn”
- The name Ezra means “helper”
- The name Vivian means “alive”
- The Mad Hatter is known as the messenger, more specifically, the White King’s messenger. Jenna’s hat seemed to be portraying a very Mad Hatter-esque look at her birthday party this season
- The Queen of Hearts “is a foul mouthed monarch and is quick to decree death sentences over the slightest offence. She is often confused with the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass. The King of Hearts quietly pardons many of his subjects when the Queen is not looking, her soldiers humour her but do not carry out orders.” (We saw Mona holding the Queen of Hearts card, this would be, however it is uncertain who the King of Hearts would be, but whoever plays that role would be a lot more lenient than Mona is)
- The Red Queen “is of fury, but a different type. Her passion must be cold and calm, formal and strict, yet not unkindly. Her status as Chess-Queen means she can move in any direction she desires”
- In Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland, “the Red Queen and the White Queen were sisters. The Red Queen banished the White Queen out of jealousy, then when the White Queen regained the crown, she banished the Red Queen. Even though it seemed that the White Queen was the nice sister, she was truly just as sadistic, if not more, as the Red Queen.” (Courtney and Alison? Hmm)
- "In chess there is a red side and a white side. The red side is the bad side, and the white is the good side. In Rosewood, it is possible the red side is the A-team, while there is a white side who is working to protect the girls." (My guess is Jason, Jenna, Noel, Cece, Caleb and possibly Toby)
- In S1, when Noel goes up with his paper to Ezra’s desk, he crosses out the “C” and replaces it with an “A.” Though this was made to look like he was just changing his mark because he was blackmailing Ezra with the information on him and Aria, he could have been talking about Courtney/Alison. A long shot, but anythings possible in Rosewood
- Marlene once tweeted, “better red than dead.” Does this mean it’s better to be on the A team than refuse and be killed? Is it possible Maya was asked and refused, but she knew too much so she had to die? Is it possibly implying that Toby joined too only because he had to?
- I think that Ezra ran Caleb’s mom off the road, and I’ll explain why. Ezra comes from a great deal of money and his real last name just happens to be Fitzgerald. He also taught his class in S1 about the book The Great Gatsby. In that book, Gatsby runs a woman off the road and then drives off. Coincidence?
- In a UK promo for PLL, there are shots of all the girls with what look to be engravings or scars on their faces of something that “describes” them such as “cheat” and “tramp.” Ignoring the four main PLL’s, there are two shots of Alison. One has “RIP” engraved into her forehead, and the other has “Liar Liar” on her eyelids. Twin theory?
- Radley Sanitarium can be made into an anagram for Maya R.Dilaurentis. Is this just an eerie coincidence? If not, what does it mean?
- 3x16, Misery Loves Company, was inspired by the movie Misery with Kathy Bates. This is also the episode one of the girls finds out Toby is on the A team. And, when Aria may be seeing Alison. Marlene’s favourite line from this episode is, “Do I look dead to you?”
- Bryan Holdman tweeted that Spoby in 3B is “spiral” and “hydrangea.” At first glance these look to be two not-so-good things, as spiral could mean downward spiral, and in the language of flowers hydrangeas can mean frigidness and hopelessness. However, looking on the other side of the spectrum, spiral can also mean balance, progress, direction, awareness, connection, and development. Blue flowers- specifically hydrangeas- are associated with devotion, hope, understanding, and lastly (and most importantly) undiluted love.
- Andy Reaser posted on twitter a while ago, “April Rose is a shop. Lonely is Emily, it’s sad. Spencer watches every elm tree over Rosewood. No ashes under golden Hanna this year.” Using the Mona code, this translates into “Aria’s lie is sweet or naughty”
- I am almost certain that the car we see in the barn in 2x12 that almost killed Emily, is the same car we see Melissa drive
- What happened the night Emily was drugged? There are still so many missing pieces. From what I remember, what we know is it went like this: Someone lured her out of Spencer’s house > she went to Paige’s > found herself at the diner with what looked to be Holden (and perhaps someone else, a female?) > then Jenna and Noel who picked her up from the side of the road > dropped off once again on the side of the road > all of a sudden she’s at Alison’s grave with a shovel in her hand
- In 3x08, when Ezra’s taking pictures of Aria, he puts a newspaper in his mouth. This shot is similar to a french movie titled “Baiser’s Voles,” translated into “Stolen Kisses,” which just happened to be the name of that particular episode. The movie is about a man who keeps losing his job, and has a relationship with a girl. The girl becomes suspicious, and later finds out he’s a private detective
- We have seen Spencer reading To Kill a Mockingbird out on her front porch with Wren, and then later gives Toby a french version. In that book, there’s a character named Boo Radley. Is Radley Sanitarium in reference to this? Is the creepy house from 2x13 in reference to Boo’s? And is it just coincidental that the house was on Mockingbird street? Boo is known to be a mysterious neighborhood figure that commits all crimes at night, when no one sees him. He is explained as a good person tainted by the evil of mankind
- When Emily’s in the diner, who is it that writes “I’m sorry I left you” on the menu sheet? The hand looked female. Is it possible she was writing the message to Holden, because she left the diner with Noel/Jenna? Or was someone else with her that left that note for Emily specifically
- In 1x08, Jenna says to Spencer, “Alison was done with you. Did you know that? We talked about it in the hospital. She told me why. She said she was afraid of you. Is that why one of you did what you did?” This is similar to when Aria is in the plane with Duncan and he mentions that Alison was afraid of one of her friends. Which girl was she afraid of, and why?
- Mona says to Hanna at Radley, “You can’t trust anyone, not even family.” Was this about Ashley? Or who’s family was she talking about?
- In 2x25 Caleb says to Hanna, “I know who you are.” In 3x12 Spencer repeats the same line to Paige, and Toby repeats it to Spencer. Was this simply a coincidence in the writing?
- In S3 when Emily begins regaining parts of her foggy flashback, she remembers being in the car with Jenna. Above Jenna’s head is a gold, thin masquerade mask. It almost looks similar to the one Ezra had been wearing, but without the detail. Who’s mask was this, and why did she have it?
- Each time Ali comes to the girls, they ask her to tell the truth, and she says, “It won’t make any difference,” “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” and “Can’t tell you.” What is it that she so badly can’t tell them?
- In the A closing in 3x08, A is taking $5,000 out of the bank. The teller seems to be friendly with A, talking about the weather and doesn’t seem alarmed that they’re wearing a hoodie with black gloves. We can’t see any of the teller except for her red nails. A takes a peppermint from a bowl on her desk. This is odd, because in any scene where we see A interacting with a person around Rosewood, we always see their face. So who is this mysterious bank teller, and why can’t we know who they were? Their voice didn’t seem familiar at all
- I strongly believe that one of the Hastings parents is working to protect Spencer, and one of them is working against Spencer
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