How ominous was that flashback conversation between Alison (Sasha Pieterse) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario)  in this week’s episode (Season 3, Episode 22: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”) of Pretty Little Liars? In the scene of seemingly happier times, Ali tells Spencer she’s keeping diaries for Spence so that she will be able to “carry on” after she’s gone. This conversation is one of our biggest clues yet that Ali may have faked her own death.

The Confession
“You’re going to have to wait til after [to read my diaries],” Ali tells Spencer. When Spence asks for clarification on what “after” means, Ali elaborates “after I’m dead” (duh, Spence) as casually as you might ask someone to pass the peas. In the moment, Spencer doesn’t seem to take her friend’s casual reference to her upcoming death very seriously (we’re guessing Ali made this kind of dramatic, matter-of-fact statement all the time), but in retrospect it looks quite definitive: Ali was planning to fake her death.

The Money
We know that Ali blackmailed Aria’s father for a lot of money in the months leading up to her death, but what did she need the money for? Mona revealed (if we can believe her) in this week’s episode that Ali wasn’t pregnant, so it couldn’t have been related to that. We think Ali may have been saving the money as a nest egg to start a new life after her “death.”

The Posthumous Appearances
At first, we thought the Liars were seeing things when Ali started popping up in present-day Rosewood, but the newest flashback scene makes us not so sure. Ali has a habit of appearing to the girls when they are in particularly dire straits and in an altered state-of-mind (due to drugs, illness, or injury) that makes them question if they really saw her.

Let’s look at the examples: Hanna saw Alison while in a drug-induced state in the hospital in Season 1. Ali, dressed up as a candy striper, came to check on Hanna and call “A” a bitch. In Season 2, Emily saw Ali after barely escaping a gas-filled barn. She later appeared to Spence, giving her a clue in the search or “A.” Aria was the last of the Little Liars to see her supposedly deceased friend, in Season 3 when she was sick with the flu/drugged by Meredith. In the scene, Ali asks Aria “Do I look dead to you?” (She didn’t.)

The Twin
Now, even if Ali planned her death as is suggested in the flashback scene, that doesn’t mean she succeeded in implementing that plan. Part of Ali’s plan was to leave her “beyond scandalous” diaries to Spencer, and she at least failed in that as Mona has the abridged copy on her IPad. Does this mean that other parts of her plan were unsuccessful, as well? Perhaps Ali’s secret twin (Courtney, in the books) found out about Ali’s plan to fake her death and...intervened. Could Courtney be the one appearing to the Liars? Alternatively, could Courtney be “A”?

The Conclusion
We think Ali definitely planned to fake her own death, but we’re not as sure if she succeeded. After all, that’s someone’s body they keep burying, right? Ali has a 50/50 chance, at this point, and we’re not sure where to hedge our bets. But we want to believe that Ali is still alive out there and trying to take down “A,” just like her friends.

Do you think Ali planned to fake her own death? Do you think she succeeded? Let us know in the comments below!
 
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.