How Are Clark & Charles DiLaurentis Connected On 'Pretty Little Liars'? The Photographer Is Hiding Something

I rather naively thought that on Pretty Little Liars, Clark was going to be nothing more than a harmless love interest for Aria, but last week's episode "FrAmed" did its darnedest to kill that particular dream. After all, the parting shot of him climbing into a car with Jason's uncanny doppelgänger was nothing if not damning, especially when you consider the deeply disturbing shenanigans that took place mere hours before. I mean, A just staged a major coup by replacing Aria's creepy doll photographs with even creepier "doll" photographs, and Clark (who also happened to display a slightly alarming amount of interest in all of the Charles/Dollhouse business earlier in the episode) hangs around at the scene of the crime? With a man who just happens to look like a dead ringer for Jason DiLaurentis? As much as I was prepared to like him, the odds are starting to stack up and it seems that Clark is actually working with Charles in some way.

Yep, he's officially shown his cards as one of Rosewood's many suspicious citizens — but beyond that, we basically know squat about him. Who is he? How does he factor in to the whole Machiavellian web of A? Also, did Seventeen Magazine hit the nail on the head with this one, or what?

Here are some theories of what Clark could really be up to this season.

He May Be On The A Team

His less-than-kosher appearance post-gallery show (especially as combined with his sketchy behavior at said gallery show — why didn't he invite his family, again?) seemed like a confirmation of what some have been thinking for weeks: Clark is on the A Team. He's conveniently been present for a lot of Aria's A mishaps, like when she was locked in the dark room, and he even happened to "accidentally" snap a picture of A (a feat that set the girls barking up the wrong tree, I might add).

He Could Be Shana's Brother

While I would never support a theory based on the unfortunately common assumption among some fans that a character's race alone implies a familial connection to someone, there is other evidence behind Tumblr user fudgedog's theory that Clark is related to Shana and in Rosewood to avenge her. After all, which Liar was the one who killed Shana again? Aria. Oh, and which one has Clark mysteriously befriended? Um, Aria again. There's no denying the fact that his pointed interest in Aria and Charles has always seemed a tad fishy.

Then in last week's episode, he was acting very cagey when asked about his family. It should also be noted that we've never seen Clark interact with Ali, and since she was childhood friends with Shana, she'd be the only person who would potentially recognize him.

He Might Be — Drumroll, Please — ANOTHER Red Herring

Is it just me, or is Season 6 one of PLL's most frustrating to date? Whether it's the plethora of new characters (paired with the neglect of well-loved old characters), or the tantalizingly close Charles reveal, or some deadly cocktail of the two, there's been a lot of exasperated hair-ripping going on lately. So, suspicious as Clark may seem, we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that it can all be explained away in an instant — he could be an investigative journalist, for starters. Others posit that his little visit to the doll factory with Rhys could be because he's also in the running for a Carissimi Group scholarship, and some even think he and Rhys could be an item.

What do you think? Is Clark up to something sinister? Or was he, as last week's episode title would suggest, merely "FrAmed"? For even more questions and theories on their answers, check out Bustle's PLL podcast.

Images: Eric McCandless/ABC Family; Giphy (3)