You may have thought you saw the last of Charles DiLaurentis' "soul" on Pretty Little Liars, but you were wrong. In Tuesday night's new episode, fans learned that Big A has at least one more home movie besides the one seen in the dollhouse, and it revealed a lot about his childhood. At the end of the episode, after a birthday party gone terribly wrong, Jason and Alison heard a boy's voice calling, "come play with me, Jason," and followed the sound to the attic. There they found a video of themselves and someone responding to the name Freddy playing at an arcade. Ali explained that she remembered that day, as Mrs. D. had taken her and Jason out of school for "some second cousin's birthday," and made them promise not to tell their dad. Knowing what we do now, it seems that Freddy is really Charles, and not a second cousin, but Ali and Jason's secret brother, who Mrs. D. took out of Radley to celebrate his birthday. I have to admit, this is the first time I've started to actually feel some sympathy for Charles, because seeing his happy face in that home movie was utterly heartbreaking.
He just seemed so happy to be with his family, and the way he asked when he "had to go back," almost fearfully, was saddening. We know that Charles has some sort of mental illness and attacked Ali as a child, but in this video, he seemed completely stable, playing nicely with his siblings and excitedly blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. The fact that Ali said Mrs. D made them promise not to tell their dad about the party makes me wonder if Kenneth is the one who insisted that Charles stay in Radley, even if he was making progress with his condition and seemed more stable. Jessica is the only parent who visited their, and seems to have helped him fake his own death — perhaps she always wanted to see him come out of Radley and live a happy life, but her husband was stopping her. For more DiLaurentis family theories, check out Bustle's PLL podcast, and read on for more about this new home video.
The fact that Charles chose to have his birthday party at the same arcade as "Freddy" is clearly not a coincidence, and just proves that Mrs. D. was referring to Charles by a different name in front of Ali and Jason that day. Just like how Charles set up a lair at the Campbell Farm, the location of a happy family memory from his childhood, I believe he returned to this arcade for the same reason. He may have severe issues and has clearly done things to the Liars that are irredeemable, but A does have a soul, and treasures his few happy memories.
While this new home movie does give us some more insight to Charles' childhood and reveals that Ali and Jason have spent more time with their brother than they ever realized, it unfortunately doesn't reveal anything about his true identity. Though older than the first home video, Charles seems to still be under 10 years old, and so isn't recognizable as an adult character. His hair does seem to have darkened since a bit the last video and is a light reddish color, similar to young Jason's in the same video. The only PLL characters this reminds me of are Wilden and Wren, the latter of whom is already a prime A suspect, as outlined in the video below.
Does that mean Doctor Kingston and the presumed dead Officer Wilden should move to the top of our lists of Charles suspects? Maybe, but it definitely proves that Big A's past is way more complex than we realized.
Image: Eric McCandless/ABC Family