Melissa Hastings is one of the most interesting characters on Pretty Little Liars : As Spencer’s older sister, Melissa has set the bar high for Hastings excellence, and Spencer really does all she can to not live in her sister’s well-manicured shadow. Of course, over the past five seasons of Pretty Little Liars, Melissa has been implicated in plenty, too. There was a time when we thought she was A. There was a time when we thought she was sabotaging her sister. There was a time when her late fiancé and possible baby daddy Ian was coming for the girls and Melissa refused to believe it. You know, normal stuff. However, in the Season 4 episode, “Face Time,” viewers were shown a softer side of Melissa Hastings.
In the ep, Aria and Spencer (who could be the only two real Liars, if you follow this crazy theory) are hot on the trail of Melissa after finding her face (along with Ali’s and Emily’s) in the studio of this crazy, creepy mask-maker named Hector. Because the Liars think that Melissa has something to do with Big A, they corner her, and Spencer learns that perhaps Melissa is not as evil as she thought – just mysterious.
With Season 6 of Pretty Little Liars premiering very, very soon (June 2, y’all!), I took a look back at this episode for hints and clues. Here’s what I found.
Melissa’s Confessions Make Charles More Real
Some background to start: Melissa, CeCe, Jason, and, as far as we know, Charles DiLaurentis, are all the same age. When Spencer confronts Melissa at the lake and asks her if she tried to kill Spencer with Wilden, Melissa confesses that no one was working with Wilden. Instead, everyone was afraid of him. When Spencer presses if this is something about the N.A.T. Club, Melissa tells Spencer that all of this is much bigger than that, and that someone was telling Wilden what to do.
We also know that Wilden and Melissa went to high school together, so if they were classmates, and Melissa and Charles could've been classmates, wouldn’t Wilden and Charles also have been in the same grade? And if, according to Melissa, someone was telling Wilden what to do, it completely makes sense that Charles has been pulling the strings for quite some time. How deep did Charles infiltrate the police force? Was Garrett Reynolds in on this, too? Melissa’s admission that she’s been protecting Spencer “since the beginning” has me thinking that all of these older siblings knew that Charles (whoever he may be) was a loose cannon and capable of some pretty crazy stuff.
Tanner & Holbrook Are Breaking The Law
Detectives Tanner and Holbrook (aka #HotCop) really get into the grind of harassing the girls in this episode, and this is like, totally illegal and unacceptable. If Ashley Marin could get her head out of her you-know-what, she and the other mothers should band together and file complaints against both detectives. You can’t just sit outside Rosewood High School and intimidate the girls. Go do some actual police work, you guys.
Bethany, Not Ali, Was The Girl Who Harassed Toby’s Mom
The b-plot of Toby going to find out what really happened to his mother while she was at Radley (he was told she jumped from the roof and killed herself, but he thinks she was pushed out of a window) also came to a head in this episode. Toby finds the doctor, Dr. Louis Palmer, MD, who treated his mother during the time she was in Radley, and visits him in Syracuse. Well, too bad that the psychiatric hospital the doctor is staying at isn’t where he’s teaching or working – it’s his new home, because he is now suffering from mental issues. Toby is pretty crestfallen as he realizes this, until Dr. Palmer tells Toby to tell his mother to “Stay away from that girl… the blonde.”
When this episode aired, everyone was dead set that the blonde in question was Ali, but since Ali’s return, I think it’s Bethany, Radley patient and dead girl extraordinaire. Why? The way Dr. Palmer phrased it – “stay away from that girl” – makes it seem as if the girl was also a patient. How could Marion Cavanaugh stay away from someone who is visiting? This language indicates to me that Marion and the blonde girl were patients at Radley at the same time, leaving only Bethany to fit in that spot. This was also supported by Bethany's drawings that Aria found at Radley, which appear to depict someone falling off a roof.
So, what have we learned? Melissa isn’t as evil as we think she is, and Bethany may be more evil than we think she was. I can’t wait until the premiere of Season 6 — I’m dying to find out more about Charles, and I think Melissa’s stories are the key to some of his secrets.
Images: ABC Family; Giphy (3)