Credit: ABC Family

On tonight's episode of Pretty Little Liars, Season 4, Episode 16 (“Close Encounters”), we know that Shana will return to give Emily (Shay Mitchell) a message: Alison (Sasha Pieterse) wants to meet with her, and only her. But why would Ali ask for that? Why not see all the Liars? Isn't there safety in numbers?

We'll learn more tonight, of course, but we can't wait that long, so we're going to fill the time with speculations about what Ali's motivations for this request could be. Here’s our four theories:

1. Emily really is her favorite. It's always been hard to tell if Ali had any genuine romantic feelings for Emily, or if it was all an act. If it was real, it's possible that she wants to meet with Emily and only Emily because she likes her the most.

2. She doesn't trust the other Liars. We've speculated in the past that Ali doesn't fully trust one or more of the Liars, probably either Aria (who is connected to Ezra) or Spencer (who has a secret that could be related to the night Ali went missing). If this is true, it would make sense that she'd single out one of the Liars she does trust to make contact with.

3. She wants to cause a rift between the Liars. Let's be real: Ali wasn't always the best friend in the past, and at this point there's no strong evidence that she’s changed her ways. Could it be that she’s intentionally trying to cause a rift between the friends by trying to convince Em to distrust her friends? We certainly wouldn't put it past her.

4. It's a trap! Of course, all of these theories rest on the idea that Shana's message to Emily is the real deal. Given that Shana hasn't exactly been on the up and up in the past, we can't be sure this isn't just a trap.

Why do you think Ali wants to see Emily alone? Let us know in the comments below!

Catch the episode tonight, Tuesday January 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!