Scuttlebutt is Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) has been hiding a secret from her BFFs since Day One of Pretty Little Liars, and we think we might know what that secret is: We suspect that Spencer has known Ali is alive this entire time. In fact, we think Spencer helped Alison fake her death. Here’s why…

Spencer’s Sleepover Disappearance

The night of Ali’s disappearance, the Liars were all sleeping over the Hastings house. When the girls woke up to find Ali gone, Spencer was gone, too. She wandered back in shortly after their waking up, telling them that she heard a scream and she can’t find Ali. Is it just us or does this entire set-up sound suspicious? Where was Spencer wandering in the middle of the night? If she heard the scream from the sleepover, why didn’t the other girls hear it, too? Or, if they are all heavy sleepers, why didn’t she wake them up to help her search for Ali? It’s almost as if Spencer is planting the idea that something terrible has befallen their bestie into their brains, so that people will immediately believe it.

Her Desperation to Find “A”

Spencer has always been desperate to find their masked bully — perhaps, even more so than the others, at times. She is relentless in her search for “A.” This kind of doggedness would be justified simply by “A”’s campaign of terror against the Liars and their loved ones, but what if it is also rooted in Spencer’s desire to help Ali? If Spence knows that her friend can’t come home until “A” is caught, then she is going to work that much harder to catch him out.

Remember that flashback that saw Spencer and Alison chatting about Ali’s diaries after church? Alison told Spencer that Spence was going to need her diaries after Ali was dead. Was this part of their planning process? Or, even the beginning? Did the conversation continue off-screen, with Ali explaining to Spence that she was not only serious about her (fake) death, but needed her help to plan it and pull it off?

Spencer’s Plans

We can only imagine how difficult it must be to pull off a duplicity of this magnitude. One would have to be a genius to make it happen, and Spencer more-or-less is. As good at scheming as Ali was, Spencer is better — and the two of them together? Unstoppable. We think Spencer helped plan the entire thing, and has worked as Ali’s point person in Rosewood since.

Do you think Spencer helped Alison fake her death? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter premiere, Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.