We’re still not buying the latest “A” theory Pretty Little Liars is trying to sell us Ezra (Ian Harding) can’t really be “A,” can he? In exploring possible explanations for the English teacher’s sketchy, sketchy behavior, we look at the possibility that Ezra is being blackmailed by “A” or whoever else is running this game. Here’s why we think coercion might explain everything.

We know Ali has minions in Rosewood.

In Season 4, Episode 16 (“Close Encounters”), we learned that Shana was sent to Rosewood by Alison to help determine who tried to kill her at least, so Shana claims. If Ali has one minion in Rosewood, who’s to say she doesn’t have another? If Ezra is being blackmailed, it doesn’t necessarily have to be by “A.” It could be Ali who is laying on the pressure. (Not that “A” and Alison are necessarily mutually exclusive.) After all, we’ve seen her do it before with Aria’s dad. Did she make Ezra move to Rosewood to find out who tried to kill her? We wouldn’t put it past the mean girl blonde.

He was really angry at the blonde in the car.

When Jake saw Ezra screaming at a blonde woman in a car, it certainly didn’t seem like he was in control as we’ve come to expect from “A.” It seems like he was cracking under the pressure of someone else’s demands. We’ve always seen “A” as cool as a cucumber. He or she is always in control, and would never risk making a scene in the center of Rosewood. This seems more in line with the actions of someone who is under “A”’s thumb.

His “missions” are sloppy.

Speaking of Ezra’s desperation, it seems to seep into every one of the “missions” we’ve seen him conduct as the apparent “A.” The master criminal has managed to stay clandestine for so long because he or she is a consummate professional. Not the type of person who would ransack Hanna’s room while her mother knew he was there. Hasn’t this dude ever heard of sneaking in the window? We’re still surprised he didn’t get caught. Not to mention that fact that he brought Aria to his new super secret lair. It’s almost as if he wants her to find out his secret he just can’t tell her himself.

He’s had a mega-secret to be used against him.

“A” trades in secrets and the relationship between Ezra, a high school teacher, and Aria, his teenage student, is a huge one with potentially devastating consequences. It has been used against Aria too many times to count it makes sense that “A” would use it against the other half of the equation, too. Ezra starting seeing Aria as soon as he came to Rosewood, which means “A” could have been using this against him from the beginning.

He loves Aria.

No matter what else you can say about Ezra, it seems an indisputable fact that he is genuinely in love with Aria, which is why it makes absolutely no sense that he would be the one responsible for torturing she and her friends over the last few years, let alone putting them in mortal danger. Unless, the alternative to not following his blackmailer’s demands is somehow worse.

Do you think Ezra is being blackmailed? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the Pretty Little Liars episode on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 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+!