Pretty Little Liars Burning Question: Is Ali Being Manipulative or Sincere?
Credit: Richard Foreman/ABC Family Channel © 2010 Disney ABC Television Group    

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Burning Question: Is Ali Being Manipulative or Sincere?

Alison has always been one of the most complex characters on Pretty Little Liars, and now that we know she's alive she's even harder to fully understand. We finally got to see her meet with Emily in Season 4, Episode 16 (“Close Encounters”), but that encounter only left us with more questions.

Emily met with Ali after Ali asked her, through Shana, to meet her alone. In that meeting, Ali played the part of the genuinely remorseful friend. She explained that she felt terrible about the pain she'd caused Emily, and hinted that she couldn't trust the other Liars, especially Aria and Spencer. She also said she doesn't know who "A" is, and she's scared. Once she realized Spencer was listening in on the convo, she made a swift escape.

The confrontation between Emily and Spencer after that was one of the most compelling scenes the show has ever produced. We could understand both Liars' points of view, but in the end only one of them can be right. So, what's the truth — is Ali really just a scared girl on the run, or is she still playing games with her "friends"? We can see arguments in either direction.

She's genuine: For one thing, if Ali is acting, she's very good at it, though that wouldn't come as much of a surprise. That said, there is plenty of reason to believe that Ali's fear and remorse is genuine. Clearly someone was after her, and she has been in hiding. That's the kind of experience that could cause a girl like Ali to change her ways — and we can see why it would make her so paranoid that she'd even distrust some of the Liars.

She's still manipulating the girls: That said, this situation seems custom made to mess with the Liars' friendship, and for a girl who claims to want help, Ali has been very resistant to giving the Liars any actual information to work with. Maybe Ali's aims aren't exactly what she claims. Plus, we find it very interesting that she reached out to Emily just a few episodes after Emily came to the realization that Ali wasn't a good friend after all. Is singling Em out as special Ali's way of trying to get her back under her influence?

What do you think: Was Ali sincere with Emily, or is she still playing games? Vote in our reaction buttons, and sound off in the comments below!

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Pretty Little Liars, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!