Welp, this week is going to be a real struggle for Pretty Little Liars fans. We're only days away from learning the real identity of Charles DiLaurentis, aka Big A — a reveal that fans have waited to see for over three seasons. It's finally time to unmask A, and while everyone has their own ideas about who the person behind the black hoodie could be, there's absolutely no way that fans won't be shocked when the game is finally over. Whoever Charles really is, his identity will only be the first piece of the puzzle — his reason for stalking and torturing the girls will be the other. But if we're strictly talking about who could potentially be Charles, there is one suspect that we should consider, and that's a Rosewood cop. Could Detective Holbrook secretly be Charles DiLaurentis? It's certainly plausible.
When Holbrook first appeared on the scene, most people were convinced that he was up to no good simply because he was a Rosewood police officer and they rarely are up to any good. He eventually won Hanna's trust, only to break it once the liars learned that he was doing Ali's bidding. But, is that all Holbrook was to the game?
Personally, I'm not so sure. Here are some clues about Holbrook's identity that actually could make him a viable Charles suspect:
He's The Right Age
If Charles really is Big A, then there are only a handful of people who could realistically be him based on age alone. Showrunner I. Marlene King recently insisted on Twitter that Charles would not be some "random guy," which means that Dean, Noel Kahn's brother, and some other insignificant side characters probably aren't A, either. If that's the case, our suspect list officially consists of just two people: Wren Kingston, and Holbrook.
We Never Saw Him Kiss Ali
We see Ali kissing Santa Claus, and we see Holbrook in a Santa outfit afterwards — but we never see Holbrook's face when Ali's macking on the guy in the costume. Why is this important? For one thing, I'm pretty sure that the show would never have Charles be romantically attached to his own sister, so if fans assumed that Holbrook was romantically linked to Ali, it would throw us off the Holbrook-is-Charles track.
He Showed Up Right After Detective Wilden Was Killed
Wilden gets murdered, and minutes later, Holbrook shows up to slide right into his place. Coincidence? Or, could this be A's way of getting even closer to the girls?
He Wanted To Prove That Alison Was Alive
Many fans assume that it was Charles who tried to kill Ali the night he escaped from Radley, but what if his intention was never to kill her? Perhaps Charles only wanted to knock Ali out so that he could take her back with him, and was devastated when he learned that he had accidentally killed his own sister. Charles may not have known Ali was alive at all until the night at the lodge, when Ali came to make sure all of her friends were alright. Perhaps Holbrook lured Ali there to prove she was alive, but didn't get the proof he was looking for. That's why he went in search of Mrs. DiLaurentis in order to exhume the body in Ali's grave — he needed to know for sure that Ali was out there.
Speaking of Mrs. DiLaurentis, perhaps she knew that Charles was posing as Holbrook the entire time, but didn't realize just how dangerous her son was. Perhaps the e-mail that Mrs. DiLaurentis sent about not being able to protect someone was to Holbrook — once she knew Ali was alive, she was afraid that Holbrook would hurt her and had to turn him into the police.
He Loves Mysteries
Remember the episode "Shadowplay," in which Spencer's fugue state turns everyone into '40s film noir characters? We never saw Holbrook in that vision, but we did see A. Holbrook has been vocal about his adoration of mystery novels, and Charles certainly is the villain in one. Holbrook even made a comment about how the "biggest twist" in a mystery novel comes in the middle. We know that Charles is Big A, but we also know that there's someone else after the girls: the Big A twist could be the middle of the story, while uber!A could be the end.
He Blames Alison For Cutting Him Off
This entire scene is creepy as hell, and is the first time we ever get the sense that Holbrook could be a very, very bad guy. He tells Hanna that Ali cut him off, and he seems extremely worked up about it: odd, considering their romance didn't seem particularly intense. Could this be Holbrook's way of lashing out about Ali and her family leaving him in Radley? There could be more subtext behind this conversation than anyone ever realized.
The truth is out there, and we have a week before the truth bomb goes off and we find out exactly who Charles really is. Until then, I'm putting this detective up on my very own suspect board.