Warning: This post contains spoilers from every season of the show! If you are not completely caught up with PLL, DO NOT READ THIS!
In season four of Pretty Little Liars, after the girls found out about Ezra’s book, Emily asked what was on everyone’s mind. “If he’s been watching us, then he has to know about “A.” How could he just sit back all this time and not do anything to help you?” Aria answered, “It’s simple. He never really loved me.” After I cried my eyes dry because of the empty look on Aria’s face when she said that, I started thinking. When you look at Ezra from the subjective view of Aria and the other girls who have been in close contact with Ezra, it makes sense that Ezra was just a really sketchy writer. But if you look at it from the somewhat unattached slightly objective view of an outsider, you can see that Ezra really does love Aria and he was protecting her from “A” all along. Throughout each season, Ezra shows his feelings for Aria in different ways.
Season one shows how conflicted Ezra feels about his relationship with Aria. Sure, the beginning makes Ezra look like a perverted jerk when you look at it knowing that he knew how young Aria was and made out with her in the bathroom of a bar anyway. After watching every other Ezria scene after that, I kind of want to cut him some slack though, but only because in reality, if she was already out of high school, the age gap wouldn’t really be considered that big of a deal. Besides, there are so many scenes throughout the rest of the series in which Ezra talks about how he only talked to her for research, but as he talked to her, he felt an unexpected connection to her and couldn’t help falling for her on the spot, that I can’t help but love him.
Aria and Ezra spend the first half of season one on a roller coaster ride of emotions. It seems like every other scene with them shows one of them trying to convince the other that they shouldn’t be together. That is until episode nine when Ezra shows up after spending three and a half episodes in New York.
Here’s how I picture Ezra in New York. He was sitting in his room at his parents’ place thinking, “I can’t do this. I need to end things with Aria before things get even more complicated. But wait, how will I write my book? Never mind. Who cares about the book? I’m in love with Aria. But what about her parents, other teachers, and the school board? I can’t put her through that. What if I just leave Aria and Rosewood all together? No. I can’t leave Aria.” So, he cancels his book deal and goes back to Rosewood where he sees Aria almost kiss Noel. “Okay, I definitely need to end things with Aria. She needs a normal relationship.” But then she reads his poem and he can no longer deny his feelings for her. So he asks her to meet him and they make up and make out…again.
Then Aria found out about Ezra’s ex-fiance, Jackie and “Bam!” Everything exploded and didn’t really slow down until the end of season two. First, it was Jackie, then it was Jason, next it was Jackie again, and finally it was Aria’s parents. Ezria literally spent the entire second season fighting outside forces and trying to make things work. If that is not enough to make you believe Ezra truly loves Aria, then remember what he said in the finale. “No matter how hard I try. I can’t stay away from you.” Let me also point out that this is just one of the many scenes in which Aria was with Ezra while something huge was going down with “A.” I used to think it was kind of sketchy that Ezra was regularly able to be with Aria the moment of or immediately after an “A moment,” but not anymore. Now I find it sweet and charming. He was watching “A” so he always knew when Aria needed him and he was almost always there for her!
In the season three premiere, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer were called down to the police station and Ezra showed up to take Aria to dinner. I’m sure Ezra knew how risky it would be for him to show up where the police and one or both of Aria’s parents would be, but he didn’t care. He wanted to see for himself that Aria was okay.
Then, in the Halloween episode when Ezra had to cancel his plans with Aria, but then showed up anyway, I’ll be honest, I felt like that was really sketchy too, but now I know it was Ezra being Aria’s knight in shining armor. He knew about “A” and he knew that Aria was in trouble, so he showed up to make sure she was safe.
Finally, in the season finale, when Aria wanted to break things off with Ezra, he unhappily obliged because all he wants for her is safety and happiness.
In season four, Aria and Ezra spent most of the season acting really awkwardly around each other. Aria was dating a guy named Jake and Ezra was just acting super sketchy, but that didn’t stop them from caring for each other. They shared a secret cabin together and Ezra even set the passcode to “B-26.” Amidst the time that Ezra was acting sketchy, Aria found out why. Ezra knew and dated Alison, before knowing Aria. In fact, Alison was the reason he knew Aria. He initially only talked to Aria, because he was writing a true crime novel about Alison. Because of this, Aria assumed that Ezra never really loved her. We know that can’t be true though, because even when Aria tried to hate Ezra, he did everything he could do to protect her and win her back. First he gave her the space she asked for; then, he took a bullet for her and her friends.
More importantly to me though, is how has been acting in season five. He’s kind of like a wounded puppy who is afraid to move or make noise because he knows that he doesn’t deserve Aria’s forgiveness, but he wants it anyway. So, he just follows her moves. When she’s cautious with him, he’s cautious too. And when she throws caution to the wind, of course he does too! He wants her to know that his love for her is, was, and always will be real, but he doesn’t want to push her. That’s how you really know Ezra loves Aria. He waits for her and he’ll continue to wait if he has to.
If he knew about “A” all along and if he really does love Aria, why didn’t he do more to protect the girls from “A?” It doesn’t seem like “A” knew he was onto him/her. Well, the answer really is simple. He was afraid. He didn’t want to lose Aria and he knew that by going after “A” he would have to tell Aria how he knew about him/her. And he knew that doing so would be risking losing her.
So, even though it kind of makes him seem like a whimp because he lied to Aria, he’s really just a love sick guy who, in the end, was able to use his lie to protect Aria and her friends from being shot by “A.” Who can blame him for keeping the book a secret anyway? Not only did it reveal that his meeting with Aria was originally a lie, but it also showed that he dated one of her best friends. Would you want the love of your life to know that about you? I doubt it! So leave poor Ezra alone!
Forever Team Ezria,
P.S. Let’s talk about Ella Montgomery for a minute. In one of the season 5 episodes, Aria is talking to Emily on the phone and Ella overhears her saying, “I’m the one confusing things, Em. I can’t trust Ezra, I don’t. People don’t change just because you want them to.” Now, we all know that only one person is less of a fan of Ezra than Ella and that’s Byron, so I think it’s safe to say that if Ella is willing to talk to Aria about Ezra and even go as far as to say, “Aria, listen to me, I don’t know what exactly happened with Ezra, but Zach is not going to be the one to write the book on relationships in this family. Not if I have anything to say about it,” then I think it’s safe to assume Aria and Ezra should indeed be together. Sure, Ella doesn’t know what Ezra did, but who cares? Clearly, Ella knows how much Aria and Ezra love each other and with that look in her in eyes when she is talking to Aria, it’s clear that she thinks they belong together, whether she wants them to be together or not.