UPDATE 3/19: In the Season 3 finale, Red Coat was revealed to be Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse). Probably. Like, 90 percent sure it's her. Which obviously means she is alive — unless she has an identical twin.
Here's the deal. In the finale, someone sets a house containing Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), and Mona (Janel Parrish) on fire. They're eventually rescued by someone who Hanna and Mona think is Alison. Spencer, meanwhile, tries to track Red Coat down in the woods. She catches a glimpse and also thinks it's Ali.
But is it really? As we mentioned above, it could also be her twin. And Mona mentioned that Red Coat always wore a mask that made her look like Ali; it's possible that's what they saw, and in the dark and confusion thought it was really Ali's face.
However, evidence points to it really being Ali. The episode tag returned us to the scene we'd already seen at the end of the Season 3 Halloween episode, where Ali, after being buried alive, managed to dig her way out of the ground. In the extended clip of the scene, someone else grabbed her hand and pulled, theoretically rescuing her. So it definitely seems like signs are pointing to alive.
Plus, this twist hardly came out of nowhere. Here are six hints we'd found prior to this episode suggesting Ali might be alive.
1. The girl in the window. In the pilot, Spencer (Troian Bellisario) spoted a blonde in the window of the DiLaurentis house and thought it was Ali.
2. The Ali "hallucinations." All of the Liars have had vividly real hallucinations where Ali comes to them. In all cases there was physical evidence that someone was reallythere — for instance, someone must have gotten Emily (Shay Mitchell) out of the barn, and someone left the door open at Spencer's house. Maybe Ali really is coming to the Liars.
4. There's more to learn about Ali. Sasha Pieterse has teased that there's still a lot to learn about Ali, and it all ties together in a "crazy" way. Ali being alive is pretty darn crazy if you ask us.
5. Ali is a master of disguise. There has been so much emphasis put on Ali's Vivian Darkbloom alter-ego that we wonder if it's a clue to a larger mystery. We know Ali is capable of pretending to be someone else for a long period of time, so it would be easy to believe she went into hiding after her supposed murder.
6. The books. Of course, it's important to note this entire theory is inspired by the PLL book series, in which (SPOILER ALERT!) Ali's twin, Courtney, is actually the one who was murdered — by Ali! There are definitely cluesthat Ali could have a twin on the show as well, so it's possible that the series will follow the same outline, though the details would obviously have to be very different.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.