Who Is Bethany Young On 'Pretty Little Liars'?
OK, so I'm pretty sure Pretty Little Liars is the most confusing show of all time.
The Freeform teen thriller has found huge success in bringing soap opera tropes usually relegated to daytime TV (secret twins, fake deaths, revolving-door psych wards) into prime time and will take its final bow tonight in a two-hour series finale.
The mysterious disappearance, apparent death, and late-in-the-game (Season 4) reintroduction of Alison DiLaurentis has always been the show's central concern, and no character has been more enigmatically involved in that ordeal than deceased 17-year-old Radley Sanitorium patient Bethany Young.
We (probably) know Bethany isn't A.D., since show creator I. Marlene King told Entertainment Tonight A.D. is a character she conceptualized in Season 7 and Bethany hasn't been super present since Season 6.
But even if she's not A.D., there are still about a million unanswered questions about Bethany and you're going to have to be familiar with her story to understand their answers, so let's go.
Bethany And Alison Had Parallel "Deaths"
While in Radley, Bethany would borrow clothes from her friend-turned-enemy CeCe Drake, Alison's cousin and adopted sister.
Jessica DiLaurentis, Alison's mother, would always buy matching clothes for Alison and CeCe, so when Bethany would borrow CeCe's clothes, she would end up wearing outfits identical to those worn by Alison.
The night that Bethany was murdered while being mistaken for Alison and Alison was almost murdered while being mistaken for Bethany, both girls were wearing the same yellow top.
Also, if you haven't noticed, they were both murdered after being mistaken for each other. Both were also buried alive by characters trying to cover up for their family members -- in the same shallow grave.
Since Alison's death/not-death is the founding point of this show, and Bethany literally died being mistaken for Alison, wearing her clothes, and buried in her grave, there's no way she isn't central to tying up all of the loose ends that still surround Alison.
We've Never Seen Bethany's Face
We've never seen Bethany's face as a teenager, only as a child. Why might that be? Could it be because she closely resembles someone we've already met?
Bethany Might Be Spencer's Twin
Considering PLL is big on twins... and Spencer's biological mother, Mary Drake, is Jessica DiLaurentis' twin... and twins can run in families, there's a big chance Bethany and Spencer may be twins.
This theory also has legs because Spencer was born in Radley with no witnesses besides her mother and a suspicious doctor, so no one would ever know if Mary kept one of her babies and raised her inside Radley.
Jessica, who frequently visited Bethany at Radley, also was very insistent Bethany call her "Aunt Jessie," which would make sense if Bethany was the daughter of her sister, Mary.
We Don't Know Who Bethany's Parents Are
All we know about Bethany's father is he was on the board of Radley and having an affair with Jessica DiLaurentis. If Bethany is Spencer's sister (but not twin sister), that would make Peter Hastings her father -- which makes sense because we already know Peter and Jessica had an affair which led to Jason, and Spencer is the child of Peter and Mary.
But the fact we don't know anything else about Bethany's father or anything about her mother is weird.
We also know Byron Montgomery and Tom Marin, the fathers of Aria and Hanna respectively, have cheated in the past so they are potential suspects here as well and it seems likely she's related to one of the Liars.
Bethany Was Killed By Melissa Hastings
Bethany was knocked unconscious by a shovel-wielding Mona but wasn't dead when Melissa Hastings found her and assumed, due to an argument she had witnessed earlier, she was Alison and that Spencer had killed her.
Melissa proceeded to bury Bethany alive leading to her suffocation and eventual death.
There's plenty of theories out there that point to Melissa as A.D., and if Bethany was the murder that first hardened her, she's essential to everything Melissa has since done since.
The teaser for the series finale also featured Melissa standing near a horse, possibly indicating the horseback riding trips Jessica used to take Bethany on are still relevant.
Luckily we don't have to wait too long to finally get some answers here! We've been promised A.D. will be revealed tonight, but I'm hoping we're going to get some closure on Bethany, too.