At this point, it seems pretty inarguable that Ezra (Ian Harding) is up to no good on Pretty Little Liars. The man has cameras tracking all of the Liars, for goodness sake. There's no world in which spying on a bunch of teen girls is a-OK — especially when you're dating one of them. But has Ezra's shady behavior moved from bad to irredeemable?
Pretty Little Liars has a history of taking bad characters and asking hard questions about whether or not they can change, and, if they do, if they should be forgiven. Mona, of course, is the most interesting case. There's no question that she stalked and terrorized the Liars, but after leaving Radley she's tried to prove that she's changed. But is that all an act? And if it's not, do the Liars owe her anything because of the ways she's helped them? These questions still linger, and each viewer has their own take.
Now, the show is doing the same with Alison. She was clearly a cruel, harsh, devious person in the past, and we're still not sure what to make of her in the present. Is she really just a scared girl who has realized how poorly she used to treat her closest companions, or is she still playing a game? The answer to that could change everything.
So, what about Ezra? We know he's been spying on the girls. Assuming Spencer is right about her Board Shorts theory, he had a relationship with Ali when she was even more age inappropriate than Aria. Whether or not his feelings for Aria have any truth to them, their relationship is built on lies, and in Episode 18 we saw him try to emotionally manipulate her into dropping her friends, which would be disturbing even if he weren't a creeper with a lair in his basement.
Honestly, at this point, we can't imagine any explanation of Ezra's behavior that would justify such an extensive invasion of privacy — especially when coupled with his relationship with Aria. For example, some people theorize that he's some sort of investigative agent trying to figure out the truth behind Ali's behavior and "A". Even if that does turn out to be true, and even if you think that justifies the spying, something like that would, to us, make his romance with Aria completely twisted; an abuse of power.
That said, we're big Mona fans here, and we often find ourselves sympathizing with her these days, even if we never really trust her. Could the writers pull off a similar act with Ezra? We're not entirely sure. Mona was, after all, a bullied teen brimming with pain and lashing out in a terrible way; Ezra is a grown man messing with teen girls, which makes his behavior unsettling on a whole other level.
That said, the Pretty Little Liars writers are great at making us change our minds, so you never know!
What do you think: Is Ezra redeemable, or will you hate him forever? Does the answer depend on why he's doing the things we've seen him do? Vote in our reaction buttons and sound off in the comments below!