It all ends here. After six seasons of clues, dead ends, cryptic A messages, and a string of dead bodies, we finally know why CeCe tortured the girls on Pretty Little Liars for so long. Just like with all things Pretty Little Liars, it's no simple answer, so let's try to sort through this together, OK? The short answer is at least easy to follow: CeCe tortured the girls because she heard they were glad Ali was gone. The longer answer, though? Settle in, because I have a lot of explaining to do.
As CeCe explains to Ali, she was really good at playing the Big A game, and it felt like a drug to her. She returned to Rosewood to befriend the Liars there, but when she found out that the Liars were glad that Ali was gone, it infuriated CeCe. CeCe couldn't believe that they could feel that way, and began to torture the Liars because of this.
When the Liars thought they killed A in New York, CeCe left the country thinking that the whole game was finally in the past. But, once again, it's that adrenaline drug that CeCe was craving, so she came back to finish what she had started.
As CeCe tells Ali, CeCe only really got mad when "Ali didn't listen." That's why she did anything, and everything to the Liars. She did it to get Ali's attention. That's why she tried to (almost) kill the Liars in that barn fire — she knew Ali would come to the rescue and save her friends.
In all, everything she did was for Ali. The game, the attention, trying to hurt the Liars. Everything was for her.
For more on CeCe, the A game, and everything else PLL, check out Bustle's podcast Taking This One To The Grave below.
Image: Eric McCandless/ABC Family