Just a short while ago, Janel Parrish said that the Season 6 premiere Pretty Little Liars would “break Twitter,” and by golly, it seems like she was right. The twists and turns of just the first episode had me clutching my eyes and yelling at the television. The second episode of Season 6 is titled “Songs of Innocence,” and since I’m dying to know what’s going to happen next, I need to take my thinking to a whole other level and scrutinize that phrase. The result? I think this episode title is indicative of Charles and all that we learned about him in the premiere.
Just to recap if you didn’t see the premiere (in which case, what are you doing reading this? Go watch it! Spoilers are coming, and you don’t want to be left out!), here’s what happened. The Liars and Mona got out of Charles’s lair, but not before finding all of his childhood toys, revealing that he is a DiLaurentis, and torching them. Sucks to be you, Charles. We also found out that Sara Harvey, aka the girl that disappeared around the same time as Ali, has been in Charles’ bunker the whole time. So creepy. Ali is also out of jail, and all of Rosewood thinks that Andrew is Charles because he hasn’t been seen since the girls first disappeared. But that’s far too easy, isn’t it? I. Marlene King wouldn’t let that reveal go down without a fight.
Now we've reached Episode 2, which is called “Songs of Innocence,” while Episode 3 is called “Songs of Experience.” What does it all mean? Well, I’ll tell you what I think. In the premiere, the Liars stumbled upon Charles’ lair in the bunker, and they got a real dose of the heart and soul of Charles DiLaurentis: his baby toys, pictures, some home movies that are strangely on a projector even though he was born in the late 1980s like myself and they had regular handheld cameras then, etc.
Something happened to Charles in his childhood or adolescence that is
making him hold onto all of these memories — maybe a sort of arrested
development? When forced to choose between saving all of his things and
capturing Ali, who he has been plotting against for years, Charles opted to try and save the material
goods that make him who he is rather than snag Ali.
Though there’s been some speculation that Charles is the result of an affair and is not actually Ken and Jessica DiLaurentis’ child nor Jason or Ali’s sibling, but I think he definitely is. My theory is that Ali framed Charles for something as a child, and Ken and Jessica had him committed. This would cover the “innocence,” as the episode’s title suggests. Charles’ parents sent him to Radley, which is why he knew Bethany Young and why Jessica visited Bethany so frequently: So she would keep the secret and not disrupt her whole family life. Bribes are powerful things, people, especially if they come in the way of ponies.
Because Charles was basically held against his will for his whole life for something that Ali said he did, he then vowed revenge on Ali and anyone who reminded him of her. When Ali disappeared, he couldn’t run the risk of her friends finding her, so he terrorized them.
Charles missed out on a whole life, which is why he kept all
of his toys and knickknacks from his childhood, and also why he wanted to throw
a prom for himself and the Liars. Charles would have graduated with Jason, Melissa,
Cece, and Ian, and he wanted to have his moment, too, all while getting revenge
on his sister.
In the preview for the episode, Ali is questioning her father about Charles, so I think we’ll find out at least who he is to the DiLaurentis family soon. Doctor Sullivan is also back for the ride, so maybe she’ll have some ideas about Charles, too. We’ll just have to see what happens when "Songs of Innocence" picks back up on Big A's trail.
For more on "Songs of Innocence," check out Bustle's PLL podcast below.
Images: ABC Family/Eric McCandless; prettylittleliars/Tumblr (4)