PLL: Rough Thoughts on Toby's A-Team Involvement


This is my jumbled up blurb of an attempt to explain why it makes sense that Toby would have joined Mona on a member of the A Team, and why he still might be the one who tried to save Emily.

Why is Toby on the A Team?/ Is Toby the one who called Emily saying, “get out,” and if so, why?

--Mona says at the end that she wouldn’t have come out that night if she knew that Nate would get Garrett out.  She chalked it up to even the best plans going awry.  She said that she wished she and Toby got to make the phone call (to Maya’s cell phone) which would make the liars think “OMG Paige is the killer.” 

**Also: Marlene King posted a picture of the scene where Mona says "change of plans" to another person on the "A" team.  Some people think that, that person was NOT Toby, but Marlene King's caption for the photo is "Your first glimpse of @keeganallen as A."  So Mona was talking to Toby when she said that there's a change of plans.  I'm pretty sure this was when Mona realized that Nate had kidnapped Paige and therefore their plans to frame her were not going to work as planned.

Potential explanation: Toby’s reason for being on the A team could originate with the girls accusing him of killing Ali.  Maybe he was being honest when he said that being accused of murdering Ali made him a lot less quick to judge people.  So maybe he was even less quick to judge somebody like Mona.  Toby seemed extremely frustrated with the fact that Spencer was STILL quick to assume that the easy suspect was the killer.  He was really annoyed that Spencer was still convinced that Garrett killed Ali even after she, herself, found and helped turn into the police, evidence that proved otherwise.  

Maybe he joined the A team to teach the girls a lesson about being so quick to assume the worst about innocent people, while trusting the wrong people.  After all, he's "got friends in all the wrong places and misery loves company."

Read more below to see support for this idea: 




**Support for this: Mona’s conversation with Toby at the end of the episode indicates that their initial plan (which was ruined by Nate) was to frame Paige for murdering Maya.  Why would Mona or Toby, or whoever big A/the leader is, want to do this?  

**We still don’t know who big A is, but it could be somebody who the girls didn’t trust when they should have.  

**Toby’s motive seems to go hand in hand with the fact that he believes the girls trust the wrong people too easily and accuse innocent people of terrible things too easily.  He might even target each girl on different levels and for different reasons.

*Spencer:  Toby joined the A team, and all the while his own girlfriend never once suspected him, because she was too busy focusing on Rosewood’s easy suspect flavor of the week, Garrett.  Also, when Spencer didn’t trust Jason in the beginning, she expected Toby to turn down a job on Jason’s property just because of her blind distrust of Jason.  Now, Toby doesn’t trust Jason and Spencer refuses to listen to him.  When Spencer finds out about Toby’s involvement on the A team (which the girls haven’t yet), in his eyes, it will probably teach her a huge lesson.  

--Mona tried to recruit Spencer onto the A team.  Maybe this was something that both she and Toby wanted.  Looking back, Toby has tried to defend Mona to Spencer when Spencer couldn't stand Mona.  He kept trying to calm Spencer down during the fashion show when Spencer insisted that "Mona is 5 feet of insidious snark with a side ponytail."  Maybe Toby figured if he could get Spencer to stop hating Mona so much, there would be more of a chance that Spencer would join the team. 

* Hanna: For Toby, Hanna has already learned to be careful who to trust, b/c her best friend Mona wound up being A.  
--IF Toby has been involved in this for a long time, one way to think about it is this: When he and Emily became chem partners and eventually went to Homecoming together, the person with the WORST reaction was Spencer, and she was loud and obvious about it.  Mona as A probably observed that he was pissed off by this (it was pretty evident).  This could potentially explain how Toby came into the A-team picture.  
--The person with the second-worst reaction to Emily’s bringing Toby to the Homecoming Dance was Mona’s best friend, Hanna.  This gives our 2 A-team members some sort of common ground.  Hanna told Emily that she should feel comfortable bringing whoever she wants to Homecoming.  Then she made it abundantly clear that she said that when she believed that Emily was going to bring MAYA to the dance, and the same thing didn’t apply to her bringing Toby to the dance.
- Hanna assumed that Emily was going to bring Maya to the dance b/c A had sent her a picture of Em and Maya kissing.  It’s interesting that those pictures showed up in Emily’s chem book when Toby was closest to her (in proximity) b/c he was her lab partner.  Hanna got the pictures from the person closest to her too, her best friend Mona/A.
-  Hanna had been ditching Mona to hang out with these girls who were accusing Toby of murder.  Maybe Mona contributed to making Toby look more guilty, knowing that their reactions would piss Toby off enough to get him to join her on the A team.  
--Then, either Mona alone OR with Toby’s help (depending on how long he’s been on the team) started framing Spencer for Ali’s murder.  Of course, Spencer’s 3 BFFs never believe this for a second, even though they were quick to suspect Toby.  They were suspicious of Toby mostly because of the sweater evidence, yet when fibers from SPENCER’S bracelet showed up on the same sweater, they didn’t suspect her. 
--As soon as Spencer was being framed, she ran to Toby for help, which is messed up, and Emily pointed this out to her. 

*Emily: Emily didn’t really seem as if she had done much wrong to Mona.  I think those pictures of her and Maya were an easy way to show Toby that Hanna’s seemingly accepting attitude did not apply to him. 
-- For TOBY, Emily originally was the girl who trusted him the most.  Toby knew that her friends wouldn’t approve of this, and maybe he was testing the waters to see how easy it would be for her friends to influence her to stop trusting him.  He probably knew it wouldn’t be that hard, seeing as before Homecoming, Emily ditched him at the Grille b/c she didn’t want her friends to see her hanging out with him.  Then, when her friends started texting her at Homecoming when she was talking to Toby in the chem lab, Emily violently pushes him.  SHE is the one who started the physical fight.  And we’re supposed to think that Toby is just cool with this? Then, when he (very creepily so) came back to “finish what he started telling Emily at Homecoming,” we never found out how exactly he managed to just sneak into Emily’s car.  Even if it was unlocked, it is still a very creepy, A-like approach.
-We also know that when Toby explained himself to Emily, she never answered him when he asked her if she believed him.  He also went for a long time believing that Emily called the police on him.  He could have joined the A Team before finding out that Jenna actually made that call. 
-Either way, Emily stopped trusting him, and only seemed to become friendly with him again when her friends were OK with it.  This could explain why maybe she was # 3 for him.  Maybe Toby wanted to teach her a lesson, but he didn’t REALLY want to hurt her.  Maybe that’s why he and Mona chose Paige, the girl Emily was currently dating, to be the girl that they framed for Maya’s murder.  Spencer and Hanna took the bait immediately, probably just as Mona and Toby expected. Spencer suspected Paige ASAP, and Hanna was close behind her, helping Spencer distract Paige so that they could search her bag. Aria (who by the way, seems to be the last girl on the list for both Mona AND Toby), immediately believed Spencer and Hanna’s accusations and lied to Emily to get her to come to their “intervention.”  
**Emily NEVER believed that Paige was A or Maya's killer, no matter how much she was framed.  All of the other girls did.  To me, this explains why when Nate screwed up the original plan by kidnapping Paige, Toby called to warn Emily and get her the hell out of the house.  Maybe he felt bad that while all 3 other girls were so quick to suspect Paige, Emily, who I think Toby still somewhat cares about, stayed loyal to the girl that she trusted. She didn’t need to learn the lesson that the other 3 girls did, so he called and tried to save her.
--Also, when the plan went "awry" as Mona stated, Emily wound up in a lot of danger.  Maybe Toby felt bad about choosing Paige as the person to frame, seeing as Emily was the only one who maintained her trust for her.  A complete drawn out apology from an A-team member would have been out of the question; that's not the A-Team style... But a creepy "Emily, I owe you one" phone call makes sense.  The writers are trying to make the viewers think that Garrett made that phone call, but I think that it was Toby. 
--I don’t think Mona or Toby accounted for what happened with crazy Nate/Lynden. 

*Aria: it really seems as if Toby and Mona are overlooking her right now. Maybe it’s just that they’ve been impacted by the other 3 girls more, or maybe we just need to stay tuned and see what happens when and if she does piss somebody on the A team off.  Or they’re overlooking her because she’s already on the A team.  Who knows? 

**Additions based on TV guide interview with IMK:
--IMK says that they figured out Toby was going to be involved in the A team around when they decided not to kill him in the books.  When the girls thought Toby was dead, Emily was devastated, Spencer still thought that Toby was the devil, and Hanna was at a point where she didn’t trust Toby, but she felt bad that Emily was so upset.  When Toby was missing and Emily was crying, Hanna said something like,  “Spencer, she’s allowed to cry.”  This timing supports the reasons/motive stated above, because it indicates that Toby joined soon after Homecoming. 

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