Credit: ABC Family

Janel Parrish has promised we will finally discover the identity of Red Coat in the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 Halloween special, and this time we think it’s for real. But Halloween is so far away, and some serious speculation is in order in the meantime. Here’s five reasons we think the person behind the mask is Mrs. DiLaurentis.

She wants to protect the Liars.

As counterintuitive as it may seem given her connection with the “A” Team, it seems that Red Coat doesn’t want to see the Liars hurt too badly. In the Season 3 finale, she pulls Hanna, Aria, Emily, and Mona out of the burning Thornhill Lodge, effectively saving their lives. Mrs. D has also shown a concern for the Liars. In fact, according to the official synopsis for Season 4, Episode 10: “The Mirror Has Three Faces,” she is going to offer Emily Ali’s old room to stay in (spooky, but sweet).

She is seen returning to the DiLaurentis house.

In Season 4, Episode 9: “Into the Deep,” we see Red Coat slip into the DiLaurentis house by unscrewing a panel under the porch. It seems strange that Mrs. D. would be sneaking into her own house, but if she wanted to keep the connection between her Red Coat person and herself a mystery, it makes sense not to use the front door (even Batman has the Batcave).

She’s kind of a mean girl.

We’ve seen Mrs. DiLaurentis exhibit class mean girl behavior in the snipes she makes about Hanna’s weight. We also imagine Ali got her own mean girl tendencies from her mom. It’s implied that Red Coat is -- or at least, at some point, was - the leader of the “A” Team. That takes some serious scheming and a flexible moral code. We think Mrs. D. might just have what it takes.

She knew Ali well.

Whoever Red Coat is, she has a serious compendium of knowledge about Ali - especially her relationship with the Liars. If Red Coat isn’t Ali herself, it makes sense that it would be someone who was close with her. Someone who could mimic the teasing way in which she spoke, and the joking cruelty with which she manipulated the people around her. Who better than Ali’s own mother?

She wants to keep Ali alive.

Mrs. D. is obviously having a tough time getting over her daughter’s death: creepily staring into Spencer’s window, setting up a shrine for her dead daughter. We wonder if Ali’s mom is honoring her daughter’s memory in another, more active way (i.e. donning a mask of her daughter’s face and her daughter’s red coat and “playing” with her friends)? Yes, this is super creepy, but it also makes a weird kind of sense.

Do you think Mrs. DiLaurentis is Red Coat? Why or why not? Share your theories in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.