In the wake of the “Pretty Little Liars” finale that was not only chock full of answers but also raised several questions, executive producer Marlene King dishes the dirt with Zap2it about everything from the flashback to the Season 5 premiere to Lucas returning to Rosewood.
Zap2it: It seemed like there were two big deaths at the end of the episode. Are you going to confirm whether either one is for sure dead?
Marlene King: I think we like to let that play out. “For sure dead” is never really — when I have to call people and tell them their character is going to die, I always say Alison’s been dead since the pilot and she’s a series regular, so you just never know.
Will the Season 5 premiere pick up right where we left off?
Very close to it, just a few moments later.
That was quite the heroism by Ezra. If he’s not dead, is Aria ready to forgive and forget? Will that be the start of their redemption?
As I have said to both of those actors, it’s not easy to redeem someone, but taking a bullet for someone is a good way to start.
The flashback to the night Alison disappeared was terrific, but we’re just curious about one part — why was there no scene with Garrett, Jenna and the field hockey stick?
I think because we’ve seen it. We know it’s part of it. We tried to only show things we haven’t seen yet, or continuations of things we haven’t seen. I think you can assume that part was true because you didn’t see it again last night, you didn’t see a different configuration of that. You ask good questions, I better get more caffeine [laughs].
Thank you. We also thought it might be a time factor because that episode was packed to the gills.
That too, you’re absolutely right. We had to be very particular about the plotting of this episode. It was probably one of the most challenging we’ve done.
Let’s talk about Melissa and what she knows. Should we think that maybe Melissa killed the girl who’s in the grave or just that she knows more than she’s been telling?
She definitely knows a very big secret, and that plays a huge factor in the next 12 episodes.
There’s a theory that the person who hit Alison with the rock has to be Jason because Mrs. DiLaurentis wouldn’t have protected anyone else.
I would say that that is definitely the go-to place, right? Who do you protect? So he goes to the top of the suspect list.
Though whoever hit Alison with the rock and who actually killed the girl in the grave don’t necessarily have to be the same person.
That’s true, that’s definitely true.
Are those two different factions perhaps going to be explored in Season 5, is that the focus?
Very much so. What we really wanted to do with the finale, and it seems like, based on the questions people have been asking me, that we achieved, which was we’re going to give a lot of answers and the questions will change, and that’s going to be the big question going into Season 5.
The current “A” and the “A” who was tormenting Alison before she disappeared, are we to think that that’s the same person?
Um, well, no. I would say no. We don’t know, the girls don’t know. And Mona is at the top of that suspect list based on the flashback that Alison recounted last night, so I think we just don’t know. The girls started that episode thinking Mrs. DiLaurentis was “A,” but when Ali tells the story, then hopefully with all their knowledge together, they all have different pieces of the puzzle and they’re going to start putting it together. I think for Ali, Mona really is the top of her suspect list, but why would her mother protect Mona? That’s the big question.
Our recap asked that very question. Mona was acting very sketchy, but why would Mrs. DiLaurentis protect her? We can’t wait to find out how Mona ties in to all this.
It’s a lot of fun.
You’ve said Season 5 is almost a reboot of the series. Can you talk a little bit more about how that will look?
The premiere really is a continuation of the finale. It’s sort of a two-part finale, it’s a lot of fun. It’s our first premiere that feels that a finale. We’re really excited to shoot it and the girls are really excited to come back and keep telling the story. But after that, it’s really the second episode that feels more like the premiere. Ali is really back in their lives in a way that’s more day-to-day, and it is like starting our show over because there are five Pretty Little Liars.
So, we unlocked the “tell all” video last night and we have to say, we’re super excited that Lucas is coming back.
I am too and he is too — he’s a great actor and we’re really excited to have him back on the show.
What side is Lucas on when he returns, can you tell us?
I can’t, because it’s a really big part of the first episode. He’s back in the premiere, he’s sort of a surprise guest and it’s really exciting. It would be a spoiler if I gave you that.
Does Lucas complicate Hanna’s life? Because honestly, we’ve kind of always secretly ‘shipped Hanna and Lucas.
[Laughs] It definitely is a big part of Hanna’s story.
In the video, you also said that one Liar and her boyfriend are spiraling together — does that have to do with Alison being back? Because it seems like her return could be a big factor in a lot of relationships.
Agreed, everybody’s going to be affected by her return. It adds a layer of character development for us that we haven’t explored before, and we’re really excited to see how that plays out next year.
Alison was such a queen bee before and we don’t think she is now.
There’s a great scene in the premiere episode that really helps to define what the season is going to be about. The girls are talking about something very light and simple and Alison can’t relate to it because it’s not the world she’s been living in. She’s an outsider in her own group and that really is thematically what Season 5 is going to be all about.
Season 5 of “Pretty Little Liars” returns Tuesday, June 10 on ABC Family.