In 1989, Jessica and Ken DiLaurentis moved to Georgia. Jessica was pregnant with Jason, by Peter Hastings, but she told her husband Ken the baby was his. Years later, Ken and Jessica had a daughter: Ali. She had a normal childhood in Georgia: going to grandma’s house and playing with her best friend Shana. But at 5 years old, she began displaying upsetting behaviors. She would hold her breath until her mother let her get what she wanted. It was her way to have a sense of control. Outside of her devlish antics, she never felt in-control. Her brother Jason was not only beating her, but threatening her so she would never tell anyone about it. This was the beginning of Ali’s web of lies, and she took pride in her ability to keep everyone’s secrets…especially her own.
Ken and Jessica were worried about Ali’s dangerous tantrums, so they relocated to Rosewood. Ken’s favorite aunt, Mary DiLaurentis, had come out the other side of her mental health struggles after her parents founded Radley Sanitarium in Rosewood. He hoped Radley’s charms would work on Ali, too. But insanity loves company, and at Radley Ali met a very bad influence.
Her name was Courtney Drake and she was 11 years old. She was the bad seed of her family. So bad that she tried to kill her own twin, CeCe. While Courtney spent her days in Radley, CeCe excelled in all areas of her life. She got straight As and everybody loved her. Courtney’s family feared what she would do to CeCe if she got the chance, so her stay at Radley became more about CeCe’s safety than Courtney’s mental improvement (the likelihood of which was dim).
When Courtney met Ali in Radley, 5 year old Ali looked just like CeCe at that age- the year Courtney tried to kill her. She taught Ali how to wear CeCe’s personality, and she felt she was with her twin again. Ali taught Courtney how to lie, so someday her doctors and parents would believe she wasn’t a threat and would let her come home.
With Courtney’s friendship, Ali’s behavior was improving. Jessica DiLaurentis joined the board at Radley when Ali began treatment. She spent as much time as she could with Ali. Courtney was always with Ali, so she spent a lot of time with her as well. She became like a second daughter to Jessica. Sometimes the nurses were exhausted by the dynamic duo and had Ali and Courtney separated, but they always found each other. Courtney drew maps on board games that she knew Ali would also play with, so Ali could find her hiding place in the children’s ward at night. Years later, she would visit Mona in Radley and show her these maps.
As Ali improved, she spent less and less time at Radley. Soon, she only needed to visit once a week for a brief evaluation. By seventh grade, Ali was allowed to go to a standard public school: Rosewood junior high. She used Courtney’s lessons to act like CeCe and be popular. She could also take notes from CeCe herself, because CeCe was just blocks away at Rosewood high. She was obsessed with being the queen bee, and she recruited 4 pretty girls on her block to join her posse: Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer.
With Courtney’s training, Ali was able to have all her peers wrapped around her finger. She was Rosewood’s it-girl and made sure no one forgot it. It made her feel like a force to be reckoned with against Jason, who continued to abuse her. Instead of hurting Jason, she would lash out against her weaker peers. She bullied Mona, Lucas, Paige and others incessantly. She blinded rival Jenna in a prank-gone-wrong and blackmailed Toby into taking the blame. She played on Emily’s affections to manipulate her. She held secrets over her friends heads. She even did a nasty favor for Courtney: she went to a frat party and framed CeCe for pushing a girl down the stairs. This stunt got CeCe kicked out of UPenn.
Eventually, Ali’s wicked ways bit her in the ass. “Loser Mona” became obsessed with Ali in the dangerous way Courtney was obsessed with CeCe. She wanted desperately to evict queen bee Ali from her throne. And she wasn’t the only one.
Now that Ali was busy with her new friends, Courtney felt more alone than ever. When Toby’s mom Marion was treated in Radley, she made the mistake of telling curious Courtney about all the things Ali had been up to in Rosewood. One day, in a jealous rage, Courtney pushed Marion off the roof. Board member Jessica DiLaurentis saw how miserable Courtney was and took pity on her. Jessica was the only one looking out for Courtney and she promised she would protect her. She bribed officer Wilden at the crime scene, to not mention Courtney in the police report. In return for his lie, she asked lawyer and ex-lover Peter to put in a good word to his cop connections so Wilden was promoted to detective.
Courtney became enamored with the bad cop who lied for her. She snuck out of Radley at nights to visit him. They hatched a plan. For the next 2 years, Courtney would have screaming fits to the nurses, insisting that she was CeCe and that Courtney had put her there. Then, one night in 2009, Wilden ans Courtney put years of planning into action. They kidnapped CeCe and put her in Radley in Courtney’s place. Of course, no one believed CeCe now when she cried about what happened. Courtney had been saying the same things for years. The nurses were exhausted by it and learned to put her in solitary as soon as she started ranting.
That summer, Courtney pretended to be CeCe and was happier than ever. She reunited with her frenemy Ali and they were inseparable. They back into their twin act from Radley as if no time had passed, and they seemed to wear each other’s personalities. One time, Ali dared Courtney go to Radley and pretend to be CeCe claiming she was Ali. She was shocked that Courtney actually did it, when the real CeCe was locked in the same building under Courtney’s name. But Courtney did it. Jessica DiLaurentis was called to the sanitarium and it was a big scene. Jessica thought this CeCe was trouble, and was responsible for driving her twin into Radley. Ali would never tell her mom that the CeCe she hated was really her beloved Courtney.
The real CeCe had been dating Jason DiLaurentis, so Courtney continued the charade. But when she went on vacation to her family home in Cape May, she was free to be with Wilden. She also hung out with CeCe’s high school pal Melissa and her boyfriend Ian. Courtney’s partner in crime Ali was also there. Ali never dared tell her friends about her friendship with “CeCe” (really Courtney), because she couldn’t risk getting caught in this big of a lie.
In between boat rides and parties with her older crew, Ali met a cute English medical student who was at Cape May on summer holiday. His name was Wren, but Ali called him “beach hottie”. He was older than her, but by now Ali was a master at keeping secrets, so no one found out. That is, until she got pregnant. She only told Courtney, who kept her secret.
Ali didn’t know what to do, but then the Jenna thing happened. The guilt hit her like a slap in the face. She visited Jenna and confided in her about Jason’s abuse. Jenna started to forgive Ali and believed she was a strong survivor. After Ali suspected Jenna of being A, and the friendliness ended. But the guilt still affected Ali, and she knew she couldn’t handle the additional guilt of an abortion.
Ali tried desperately to save up money for the baby. She thought her parents would disown her and she’d need to fend for herself. She modeled for costume masks for cash and blackmailed her friends’ parents over their secrets. She wanted to make sure she’d inherit her grandmother’s fortune one day, not her abusive brother, so she went to Georgia and convinced her grandma to write Jason out of her will.
Before Ali left to Georgia, she promised Mona to call her and help her get popular. She never called and Mona cracked. Mona went to Radley for an evaluation and met CeCe there. CeCe told her about Courtney’s trick and Mona agreed to come back and help her escape. In exchange, CeCe would mentor Mona to become popular.
But that wasn’t enough. Mona wanted revenge on Ali. On the night Ali returned from Georgia, Mona sent Ali threatening messages, which led Ali to believe she’d be killed if she didn’t skip town. While Ali investigated her suspects, Mona helped CeCe out of Radley. As soon as the nurses realized that the girl they thought was Courtney escaped, they called Jessica, who panicked.
Meanwhile, the NAT club and their girlfriends searched everywhere for the videos Ali recently stole from them. Melissa called Courtney and Wilden, hoping they could convince Ali to turn the videos over. The NAT club had recently captured a video of Ali breaking up with Wilden for Courtney. He pulled his gun out to scare her. If the video of this confrontation was exposed, it would ruin Wilden.
CeCe wore a yellow top that night. She met up with Melissa in the Hastings backyard and told her about what Courtney did. Melissa knew Courtney was on the way to stop Ali from turning in the videos. CeCe would be in great danger if Courtney saw her. Melissa strongly advised CeCe to get out of town until Courtney was safely behind bars. She gave her directions to a boat in Philly that would take her to a good hiding place in LA.
As Courtney drove to Melissa’s house, Jessica DiLaurentis called her. She said that Courtney (really CeCe) had escaped Radley and to be careful. When she got to Melissa’s backyard, she tried calling Melissa to tell her she was there. Melissa knew she was really Courtney and ignored her calls. Then Courtney saw Jason. He was stoned and drinking water from a hose. She asked him where Melissa was and he said, “What do you mean? You were just talking to her right here. What happened to your yellow top?” She realized CeCe had just been there and was getting away. This would be the end of her freedom if she didn’t stop her.
She saw a blonde in a yellow top walking up to the DiLaurentis house. She was sure it was CeCe about to tell everything to Jessica. She grabbed a rock and slugged the blonde over the head. Then Jessica ran out of the house screaming. It wasn’t CeCe; it was Ali. She looked at Courtney, who she thought had just escaped Radley and asked, “what have you done?” over and over again. She knew it had been a mistake when she saw the devastation in Courtney’s eyes. Jessica thought Ali was dead, and turning Courtney in wouldn’t help anything. She buried Ali alive. Once again, Jessica protected Courtney. She had seen Spencer and Ali arguing that night, and would blame Spencer if the time ever came.
Courtney ran into the woods and found her real target, CeCe, who was still hiding there waiting for a chance to leave. CeCe was carrying the Hastings field hockey stick for protection, but Courtney pulled it away from her. Courtney bashed CeCe over the head. She found a note in CeCe’s pocket with directions to LA from Philly. Then Mrs. Grunwald arrived. She pulled Ali out of the dirt and drove her to the hospital. Courtney buried half-alive CeCe in the same hole Ali was just pulled out of. The next day, cement was poured over the dirt so construction could begin on a gazebo. Courtney would get back to her life as CeCe, and everyone would think that her twin in Radley was still on the run.
The morning after that fateful night, Courtney broke up with CeCe’s old boyfriend, Jason. She followed Melissa’s directions to LA and called Melissa. She pretended to be CeCe and said Jason attacked Courtney in the woods.
Ali dressed as Vivian Darkbloom and left from the Lost Woods Resort. Mona had found Ali in Grunwald’s car and brought her to the motel. She convinced Ali that she needed to run away to stay safe. Over the next year, Ali stayed in hiding. She grew increasingly pregnant and found adoptive parents for the baby in New York. They were rich and let Ali stay with them. After she gave birth and knew the baby was in safe hands, she thought it would be safe to return to Rosewood. Hanna saw Ali in her backyard one night while playing Ouija with Mona. But days later, a body presumed to be Ali’s was found under the gazebo. Now Ali was sure that whoever tried to kill her would stop at nothing, since they killed someone else they must have thought was her. She went back into hiding.
When the body was found, Jessica DiLaurentis identifids that it as Ali without looking at it. Hearing about the blonde hair and yellow top was enough for her to confirm it. Plus, ya know, she thought she buried Ali in that same spot so she was pretty sure it was Ali.
After Mona was unmasked as A (even though I suspect she was never uber A and was always a follower on the A team), she went to Radley. She started to worry that if the liars could figure out her secret, they would figure out Ali’s. If the liars realized that the body in Ali’s backyard was never Ali, they would start looking for her and she would come home. Courtney visited Mona, as CeCe, because she was also afraid that the police would exhume and re-examine the body. If they realized it was her twin, she’d be screwed.
Courtney took Mona to the cemetery to take the body out themselves. Courtney couldn’t risk being caught, so she disguised herself. She’d been in touch with Ali, and knew Ali had been wearing in a red coat. So she put on a red coat and Ali mask, helped Mona sneak out of Radley, and they removed CeCe’s body from Ali’s grave. Mona had her blackmailed minion Lucas drug Emily and photograph her alone at the dug-up grave, in case they ever needed someone to take the blame.
When Jason DiLaurentis offered $50,000 for information leading to the recovery of “Ali’s” remains, they decided to put a new body in the bag and return it. The body was of a troubled Radley runaway who Courtney knew was buried in the woods. Her name was Bethany Young. She was blonde and was a teen when she died, so it would be a perfect switch. The A-team still had Ali’s clothes and bracelet from “that night” so Bethany would look even more convincing as Ali than CeCe did. In exchange for Mona’s help, Courtney worked as a double agent. She kept her twisted friendship with Ali, while still helping Mona scare people as redcoat. Both of them, along with the rest of the A team, worked for an anonymous Uber A.
@shaym: This needs no caption. It's too easy... @ianmharding #setlife
The pressure is on for Alison to identity the man police have in custody for her kidnapping, but the Liars knnow if she does it would be sending an innocent man to the prison and possibly walking right into an "A" trap. With Emily trying to convince Ali not to play into "A's" hand, Sencer comes up with a plan B in case Ali decides to make the wrong decision.Meanwhile, fed up with all the Ali drama, Hanna tries to lead a "normal" teenage life.