Pretty Little Liars Burning Question: Is Ali Tricking the Liars?
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Family    

Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars Burning Question: Is Ali Tricking the Liars?

The miraculous return of Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) from the dead on Pretty Little Liars hasn’t heralded the enthusiastic welcome she might have expected from her friends. The Liars have wisened a bit to the ways of the world, and trust their former bestie about as far as they could throw her. Are their suspicions on base is Ali tricking the Liars?

Yes — Ali can’t be trusted

We really want to assume that Alison is innocent, but nothing she has ever done hints at being a trustworthy person or friend. Especially with an “A” on the loose who seems to know (and how has always known) everything about the Liars and their most closely-guarded secret. That certainly implies that someone spilled -- and who better than their manipulatively-talented former bestie? Why didn’t Alison come to the Liars when she faked her death, or before that for that matter? It seemed that it didn’t align with her scheme, which implies she has one. Did Alison fake her death because she feared for her life, or because she wanted to turn her part-time hobby of mean girling into a full-time one?

More questions are raised by CeCe’s involvement in the Wilden murder. We assume from CeCe’s ventures as a decoy Red Coat that she and Alison are working together. If Ali killed Wilden, what else is she up to? And who else does she have on her team? In the promo for tonight’s episode, Shana delivers a message to the Liars from Ali, implying that not only is Shana in on Ali’s plan, but Jenna, too. That quite a group Ali has assembled. You know who else has minions? “A.”

No — Ali needs their help

Of course, if anything could break Ali of her mean girl ways, it would probably be the harassment that drove her to fake her own death. This is not an action that one takes lightly. Ali’s decision not to tell the Liars could have been to keep them safe; it could be the very thing that proves that she cares about them. Sure, we have a lot of questions about how and why Ali faked her death, as well as what she’s been doing since but that doesn’t mean these questions don’t have good answers. We learned about the night of Ali’s almost-death not from Ali herself, but from Mrs. Grunwald who, despite being in cahoots with ghosts, seems a trustworthy source when it comes to Ali. She doesn’t have any reason to lie about what went down the night Ali disappeared.

Narratively, we’re inclined to believe that Ali is worthy of the Liars’ eventual trust. When it comes down to it, this is a show about the bonds of friendship between teenage girls. These girls initially came together because of Ali, and were reunited in the wake of her alleged death that has to mean something. Watching these five friends finally find their way back to one another would be a satisfying end to this series.

Do you think Ali can be trusted or do you think she is tricking the Liars again? Share your theories in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars Season 4 on Tuesday, January 21, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.

Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!