Show runner extraordinaire I. Marlene King did not disappoint when we asked for scoop about the hit thriller, returning tonight on ABC Family.
Are Aria and Ezra dunzo? What about Caleb and Hanna? Is Emily really moving away? And why are Jenna and Officer Garrett Reynolds so worried that Jason (brother of murder victim Alison) is back in town? King reveals the answers to these mysteries, plus much more, in our exclusive interview:
Q&A With Pretty Little Liars Executive Producer I. Marlene King
We saw tonight's episode, and you are just evil.
Thank you, I'll take that as a huge compliment. Thank you.
We thought we were going to find out what happens to Ian, and now we're more more confused than ever!
I think that's kind of good actually. We're definitely on a path. You will find out definitely over the summer exactly where he is and what he is doing and that story will have a total resolution to it.
So are you saying Ian's alive then?
I'm not saying he is and I'm not saying he isn't. But it sure seems like he is.
Then again, "A" seems privy to all kinds of information, so...by the way, "A" seems meaner than ever this season!
I think "A" is meaner this season than ever. That's a throughline we're looking at. "A" really does go after the girls sort of no-holds-barred this season. And in the second half of the season, when we come back in the fall, it's gonna kind of slip, and the girls will go after "A" no-holds-barred.
What's going on with Hanna—we want her so badly to forgive Caleb, and she seems to be embracing Mona.
Because her dad is a little bit back in the picture and she has more of a history with Mona it's easier for her to forgive Mona and understand that Mona really did that because she thought she was protecting her. But really because Caleb is the love of her life, he's gonna have to earn that trust back. She's open to it—she's still madly in love with him—but he's gotta work to earn that trust back. Tyler Blackburn's pilot didn't get picked up, so we still have him as a resident of Rosewood and we're very happy about that. We were holding on with bated breath.
As far as Emily [Shay Mitchell] goes, the plotline is Emily moving with her family to Texas. She can't really leave Rosewood, right?
Emily is going to find a way to stay in Rosewood. Her mother is going to go be with her father, but Emily is going to tell a lie to stay in Rosewood and "A" is going to find out about that lie and make E's life very miserable because of it. She's gonna get it. Poor Emily. Emily really becomes a target of A's over the summer. "A" decides Emily might be the weakest link in this group and she's going to go after her—kind of in the way she went after Hanna, and was vicious toward Hanna. Emily really becomes her new target.
You said Maya [Bianca Lawson] would be coming back—will we be seeing her again?
I'm hoping she is—we're still talking about that. It just hasn't fit into the story just yet, but we still really want to see her again. Time moves really slowly in Rosewood, four months for her to go to "lockdown," and if you go back the show so far has only encompassed a few months in time. Alison's body was found on Labor Day weekend and it's still fall in in Rosewood. At some point in time we're going to have to stop with "moments later"! [Laughs.]
In addition to seeing more of Alison's brother, Jason DiLaurentis [now played by Drew Van Acker], we'll be seeing more of her mom, Jessica [Andrea Parker]?
Alison's mother comes back in a really special episode coming up—it's an annual charity fashion show that the Pretty Little Liars have always been at, and Alison's mother asks them to honor Alison in this particular one because it's the show she would've been cochair of. I don't want to give too much away, but it's a great episode, we find out Alison's mother and one of the Pretty Little Liars' parents have a secret too they've been hiding.
What role is "A" going to play in this fashion show?
"A" plays a role. "A" surprises everyone. "A" doesn't let things go without a hitch.
We're glad to see Toby and Spencer share a happy moment tonight, but we're also dreading what "A" must have in store for them...
I love my Spoby, so they're going to have a little bit of a reprieve before A makes them the target. A's going to spend a little bit of time going after Emily, and Toby [Keegan Allen] and Spencer [Troian Bellisario] will have some happiness for a while in Rosewood.
What can you tell us about the relationship between Jenna, Officer Garrett Reynolds and Ian?
There's definitely a big mystery around those three, and over the course of the summer we find out Garrett [Yani Gelmman] and Jenna [Tammin Sursok] are definitely a couple, they're together. They're very intrigued with Jason—what they term The Jason Thing. They're nervous he's back in Rosewood, they're afraid he's back in Rosewood, and they don't want him to get to know the Pretty Little Liars. We really don't find out why until the end of the summer. But it's definitely a fun new mystery ride that they're a part of.
Is Spencer's relationship with her sister going to change now that Melissa's pregnant?
They constantly sort of have a push-pull, these two, but I will say, there's an episode coming up—not over the summer but before the end of the full second season—that sheds a lot of light on these two at a time where they used to be really close and really good friends, and that changed for a very specific reason. And it doesn't involve Ian—it doesn't involve a guy.
Anything else you can tease about season two?
It's a spooky season filled with a lot of great Pretty Little Liars moments. We continue to keep all those balls in the air—what I call the schizophrenia of the show: murder in one sentence, lip gloss in the next. It's working, we're having a lot of fun. In every episode you realize there's more to the story—there's more to what this character is, there's more to what the mystery is, there's more to what happened on the night Alison disappeared, it's just sort of like opening these doors and revealing there's so much we haven't learned yet.
Pretty LIttle Liars airs tonight at 8 p.m. ABC Family. Tell us what you think of the show at our E! Online TV Party Facebook page for a chance to win a special surprise from "A" herself (himself?)!