Credit: ABC Family

Alison DiLaurentis’s (Sasha Pieterse) return from “the dead” on Pretty Little Liars has been widely accepted as a good thing for the Liars, but is it? Or will Ali be the force that finally tears the Liars apart after seasons of sisterly solidarity? We speculate below.

Yes, Alison is a manipulative schemer

Though it’s easy to look at the past through rose-colored glasses, let’s remember Alison’s friendship with the Liars for what it was: an exercise in mean girl manipulation. Sure, these girls loved Alison, but did Alison really love them? Perhaps in her own way. But loving someone never stopped her from using secrets against that person. Furthermore, Alison is a jealous sort. She likes to have people to herself. Will she see the strong friendships the Liars have rebuilt in her absence as a threat and immediately try to neutralize it? Probably. That’s just how Alison DiLaurentis rolls.

No, but Alison will try

Of course, if Alison does try to turn the Liars against one another, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work. The Liars are older, wiser, and closer than they once were. They won’t fall as easily under Ali’s manipulations (and, arguably, Spencer never did). In the promo for the winter premiere, we already see the Liars questioned their returned friend’s motives. They’re not just going to take Alison’s story on faith. Too much has happened to them. They’ve played the “A” game for far too long.

No, Alison is different now

OK, so we may be softies who are totally willing to give Alison a chance. Because: we do believe that people can change and, even though Ali may have been a semi-terrible friend before she disappeared, that doesn’t mean she can’t be a good one now. Perhaps, the Liars aren’t the only ones who have learned and grown in the last few years. Perhaps, Alison’s life on the run has changed her for the better. We would love for that to be true if only for the Liars’ sakes.

Do you think Alison will come between the Liars? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter premiere on Tuesday, January 7, 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+!