Pretty Little Liars took a bold risk in Season 4, transforming Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) from romantic leading man to prime "A" suspect and undeniable sketchball. It was a move that could have alienated many fans, but now that we're well into the winter half of the season, we can confidently say this twist was totally worth it. In fact, evil Ezra is working out so well, we'll be devastated if and when the writers decide to backpedal.
Why are we enjoying Ezra as a villain so much? Here are the top five reasons this twist has helped revitalize the show.
1. Ian Harding shines. For seasons, Ian Harding has been stuck playing a small range of emotions, mostly having to do with being various degrees of in love with Aria. He's taken this opportunity to do something different and knocked it out of the park. Super sketchy — sometimes to the point of camp, but in a good way — suits him, and he's really fantastic with moments of real darkness, like when he threatened Spencer or flipped out at the mystery person in the car. We never expected him to make us shudder, but now it's happening at least once an episode.
2. It brings Aria into the middle of things. We — and plenty of fans — have noted that Aria often felt disconnected from the main mystery in past seasons, because so much of her screen time was spent on Ezria drama. This season, those Ezria scene are suddenly the center of the story, and each is more chilling than the last. I's been a delight to feel like the supposed main character of the show actually matters, and we're sure things will only get more interesting once Aria learns the truth,
3. It justifies the time spent on Ezra. Unlike the other Liars' long term love interests, Ezra was never really brought into the Liars' confidence, and he didn't help them in their fight against "A", which often made him feel incredibly disconnected from the rest of the show. That is no longer a problem. In fact, this twist has retroactively justified the amount of time the show spent with Ezra's character.
4. It creates a whole new set of character dynamics. Now that Ezra is suddenly interacting with all sorts of characters, there are plenty of new relationships to mine and questions to ask. Are he and Mona allies? What will he do to Spencer when he figures out she's let the other Liars in on her theory? And what is his history with Ali? We can't wait to learn more, and it's nice to see Ian Harding work with actors besides Lucy Hale.
5. It sheds a light on all the sketchy men of Rosewood. We've often noted that basically every single grown man in Rosewood apparently thinks it's cool to hit on teen girls, and that's really, really weird. Taking Ezra from unquestioned romantic hero to potential enemy who spies on the Liars highlights exactly how inappropriate some of these relationships have been, and creates a whole new layer of chills on top of the normal "A" antics.
Are you liking evil Ezra? Let us know in the comments below!