Four episodes into Season 4, and we’re only slightly closer to discovering Wilden’s killer. According to Pretty Little Liars writer Bryan Holdman, “Did Ashley Marin kill Wilden?” is the question of the season. This means we might have to wait awhile to figure out whodunnit. In the meantime, here are our educated guesses ranging from least to most likely for who killed Wilden.
5. Tom Marin
Raise your hand if you believe Tom’s story that he doesn’t know what happened to his gun. We’ve never really been a fan of Hanna’s dad, so when he told Caleb that Ashley came to visit him the night of Wilden’s murder asking for money and then just disappeared into the night (probably with Tom’s gun) when she didn’t get it, we grew suspicious. We think there’s more to the story than Tom’s letting on. Could Tom Marin have killed Wilden in defense of his family? We certainly think it’s a possibility. It would explain Ashley’s clammy behavior when it comes to telling Hanna the truth about that night — who wants to tell their teenage daughter that her father committed murder?
4. Ashley Marin
Ashley Marin sure is looking guilty of Wilden’s murder. Tom’s gun went missing from his office after Ashley visited; she was in Rosewood the night of the crime; and Wilden has been threatening the Marin family since Day One. Where we’re from, we call that means, opportunity, and motive. PLL has been pushing the “Ashley killed Wilden” theory pretty hard since Season 4 began, which actually makes us think she didn’t do it. For a show known for its twists and OMG moments, Ashley killing Wilden wouldn’t be much of a reveal.
3. Mona Vanderwaal
Mona may be a Liar now, but that doesn’t mean we trust her. The morning Wilden was found dead, Mona slipped out to “get coffee.” We’re still not clear on the timing of his murder, but Mona easily could have moved Wilden while sipping her latte. As for motive, we’re never quite sure what’s going on in Mona’s brilliant and terrible brain, but vengeance and power seem to be common themes. Could she have killed Wilden out of some twisted and lingering loyalty to Hanna and her mom? Or perhaps Wilden had information about Mona that would have jeopardized her current plan? We’re not sure. But we are sure that Mona had the smarts and the loose moral code to whack Wilden.
2. Pastor Ted
There’s been no sighting yet of Pastor Ted in Season 4, but we couldn’t help but notice the fitting Shakespearean quotation on the sign outside the church in Season 4, Episode 3: “Cat’s Cradle.” It read: “They whose guilt within their bosoms lie imagine every eye beholds their blame.” Is this Pastor Ted’s own guilt getting the better of him? In Season 3, he and Ashley Marin were going hot and heavy — they coordinated their Halloween costumes and everything. Pastor Ted does not strike us as a killer, but he does strike us as an involved boyfriend. He noticed Wilden’s harassment of Ashley and offered to help her out. She turned him down, but we wonder if Ted somehow got mixed up in the whole business anyway. If Tom Marin really didn’t help Ashley out the night of Wilden’s murder, could it have been Ted?
1. Melissa Hastings
Melissa intrigued us in Episode 2 when she asked Spence if she had to choose between protecting Melissa and protecting someone she loved, who would she choose? Melissa always seems to be speaking in double-meanings, and we couldn’t help but see implication in the way she asked the question. We know that Melissa and Wilden went to high school together and hung out in Cape May the summer Ali died. We also found out in Episode 4 that what Mona claimed about the Halloween train was true — both Melissa and Wilden came as The Queen of Hearts. However, Melissa claims that she was terrified of Wilden — apparently the whole N.A.T. club was — and when Spencer flat-out asked her if she killed Wilden, Melissa didn't exactly deny it. From the sounds of it, if she killed Wilden, she did it to protect her sister. We'll have to wait and see, especially since Spencer told Aria that she doesn't think Melissa did it. Was Spencer protecting her sister, or does she know her well enough to know when she's lying?
Who do you think killed Wilden and why? Share your theories in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.