Warning: This post contains Pretty Little Liars spoilers. If you haven’t watched the whole show, then proceed with caution.
A little note: In August 2014, I started watching Pretty Little Liars. That November, I started blogging about it until it ended in 2017. I haven’t watched it since, but people are still reading my posts in 2021. So, I’ve decided to add thoughts and comments based on the feelings and opinions I have in 2021. Because you’re reading this now, I want to thank you! Tbh, after the disappointment of the series finale, I felt like I wasted time writing these posts. Because you’re reading this, it doesn’t feel like a waste anymore. So, thanks!
(Unless otherwise noted, parenthesis indicate thoughts from 2021)
**originally published November 19, 2014. Republished February 16, 2021. Yes, a Tuesday, in honor of the show originally airing on Tuesdays.**
In season four of Pretty Little Liars, the girls found out about Ezra’s book, and 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 (not really; being dramatic is sort of my thing) because of the empty look on Aria’s face when she said that, I started thinking. 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 sketchy writer. Now, 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. 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. In reality, if she was already out of high school, the age gap wouldn’t be considered that big of a deal. (I was twenty-three when I wrote this. I can’t believe I shipped 23-year-old Ezra with 16-year-old Aria so hard. Or at all. Never in a million years would I have been okay with a 23-year-old dating at 16-year-old in real life. Why was I so blinded by this show to think it was okay even in fiction? It wasn’t and it isn’t.) And honestly, there are so many scenes throughout the rest of the series in which Ezra talks about how he only talked to her for research. Then, as he talked to her, he couldn’t help falling for her on the spot. (Yes, he could. And if he couldn’t, then he should’ve moved.) I can’t help but love him. (Ugh. What was wrong with me? Ezra was and is so problematic.)
Aria and Ezra spend the first half of season one on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Almost every other scene with them has one of them trying to convince the other they shouldn’t be together. (Darn right, they shouldn’t be!) 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 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 makeup and make out…again. (I will give Ezra credit for allegedly canceling his book deal. At least he was mature enough to do that. Though, he definitely should’ve been mature enough to end things with Aria. Sure, we could reason the brain doesn’t fully mature until 27, but he should’ve known better. We all should’ve known better.)
Then Aria found out about Ezra’s ex-fiance, Jackie, and “Bam!” Everything exploded and didn’t 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 spent the entire second season fighting outside forces and trying to make things work. (Why? Why fight that hard? So inappropriate. Even Aria should’ve known better.) If that’s 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.” (Yes, yes he could have. It might have been hard, but he could’ve stayed away from her.) Let me also point out that this is 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 often 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! (I do commend him for being with her in these moments, but he was 23 and she was 16. He should’ve notified proper authorities about A, especially since he was no longer writing his book.)
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. (Okay, that is kind of sweet. Still inappropriate, but sweet.)
In the Halloween episode when Ezra had to cancel his plans with Aria but then showed up anyway, that was sketchy. 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. (Again, he should’ve called the police.)
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. (That’s sweet too, but he should’ve been the one to break things off a long time ago.)
Season four was awkward for Aria and Ezra. Aria was dating a guy named Jake and Ezra was acting super sketchy. Even that didn’t stop them from caring for each other. They shared a secret cabin and Ezra even set the passcode to “B-26” (the number of their song from the bar). While 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 only ever talked to Aria, because he was writing a true crime novel about Alison. Because of this, Aria assumed that Ezra never loved her. We know that can’t be true. Even when Aria tried to hate Ezra, he did everything he could 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. (He deserved that bullet.)
In season five, he’s kind of like a wounded puppy. He’s afraid to move or make noise because he knows that he doesn’t deserve Aria’s forgiveness, but he wants it anyway. So, he 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 know Ezra loves Aria. He waits for her and he’ll continue to wait if he has to. (If Aria was 26 and Ezra was 32, or even if Aria was 18 and Ezra was 24, this would’ve been a good example of what love looks like. Since Aria’s 16 and Ezra is 22 or something like that. It’s just wrong. That said, once he’s no longer her teacher and Ella is sort of okay with the relationship, I don’t think it’s wrong. Still weird, but not necessarily wrong.)
If he knew about “A” all along and if he 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. The answer 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. (He also knew if he went to the police, he’d have to give himself up for dating a student and stalking teenagers.)
So, even though it kind of makes him seem like a wimp because he lied to Aria, he’s just a lovesick fool. (More like just a fool.) And in the end, he was able to use his lie to protect Aria and her friends from being shot by “A.” (Yeah, that did end up being a good thing. But he was still basically stalking them.)
Who can blame him for keeping the book a secret anyway? (I can. I blame him. 23 year old me was a bit of an idiot if she didn’t blame him. He lied. And lying is wrong. He also stalked them and fully knew who Aria was when he made out with her. Creep.) Not only did it reveal that his original meeting with Aria was a lie, but it also showed that he dated one of her best friends. (Also inappropriate. Though, to be fair, Allison did trick him into thinking she was 18. Was it at all possible he thought Aria was 18 too and his shock of seeing her in class was genuine? I don’t remember if that’s addressed, but I guess it’s slightly less creepy if he did think she was 18.) Would you want the love of your life to know that about you? I doubt it! So leave poor Ezra alone! (Again. What was wrong with me? Ezra was a creep. This was written at the beginning of season 5. While I think Ezra did redeem himself some in the end, he had come nowhere close to redeeming himself when I wrote this.)
Forever Team Ezria (Wrong. Not team Ezria anymore.)
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. “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.” We all know 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. (Should they though? I mean… she’s still in high school at this point…) 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 eyes when she’s talking to Aria, it’s clear that she thinks they belong together. She may not want them to be together, but she clearly thinks they belong together.
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