"I didn't disappear, I was kidnapped."
Whoa, Ali! We didn't know that your very first words back in Rosewood would be a big fat lie. Ohh wait a second—yes we did! After all, this is Pretty Little Liars, isn't it?
Buckle up, thrill-seekers because we're about to embark on a wild and crazy new season. Now that the stress of A's New York attack is behind us, (and Shana lays dead in her own pool of blood!) our five liars finally returned home in tonight's all-new hour.
We know that you're just dying to discover what's coming up this summer in Rosewood, so to help curb your pretty little cravings, we chatted with executive producer—and keeper of all the secrets!—Marlene King. Read on for exclusive details on Shana's "A" attacks, Ezria's "soul mate" status, a shocking potential family connection and more!
But first… here's your lightening round recap for tonight's episode, "Whirly Girlie": Jason is back, and he's even creepier than ever! It's clear that he knows a lot more than he has been leading on, and he may have even been in NYC a few nights ago. (Dun dun duuun!) Aria's "Holy-crap-I-just-killed-someone!" paranoia began to kick in, and she shared a heart-to-heart with Emily, her friend slash fellow murderer. (How… sweet?)
Mona is still all-kinds-of crazy, and she's the one who sent the text message to Ali which caused her to freak the eff out and make up her crazy kidnapping tale. Spencer shared some steamy kisses with Toby, Hanna ate a sandwich, and Ali's randomly awesome new dog, Pepe, found Mrs. DiLaurentis' body buried in their front yard.
God we love this show so much. And now… take it away Marlene!
Okay, Marlene—spill! What is Mona up to this season with that army of disgruntled misfits?
Marlene King: We literally have coined that group as "The Mona Army," and she is now out in the open, not as A, but out in the open assembling a group of people who Alison tormented while she was living in Rosewood. I think that she is hoping to stand united with these people when Alison returns. She's convincing them that there's safety in numbers.
Does this mean that she has put her "A" antics behind her?
MK: She says early on at some point in this summer season, "I'm here! I'm out in the open, I don't need to be A anymore." So she's facing her opponent, head-on and very much out in the open.
Was Shana really "A," or was she merely another minion in the A Team's huge web?
MK: A lot of those questions are going to be answered this summer. She definitely admitted to starting that fire at the lodge, that was her truth and she admitted to getting justice for Jenna for what Alison and all of those girls did to her and how profoundly it affected the rest of Jenna'a life.
Is it safe to say that she was the same "A" that was on the roof?
MK: That will play out in the next couple of episodes. I don't want to answer or not answer but I will say that what Ezra whispered to Aria was that it was Shana on the roof. So what he said on the roof in the season four finale—"I know who you are!"—he knew that as Shauna.
Okay we've just got to get this off of our chest. Ali and Cece share such a strong—almost sisterly—bond. Could there be another branch on the DiLaurentis family tree?
MK: I love those scenes too and I feel like their connection is very much like that. They have a deeper connection than we have understood on the show and [the season five premiere] was the episode that would allow you to feel that. That was the ultimate sacrifice. Ali gave her the get out of jail free card. We cast her to look alike because we knew it would be a lot of fun to play with that theory and I will just say that there are a few other twists coming down the line with another character that we're exploring at the same time.
Assuming that Ezra makes a full recover, (fingers crossed!) what is his relationship with the liars going to be like now that they're all on the same side?
MK: It plays out very organically. He does return to Rosewood, and Ezra knows something that nobody else knows when the girls come back and that's that they were in New York, they weren't in Philadelphia. They're going to have to find their story and they need Ezra to collaborate with that story, so he becomes very organically involved in their lives again.
And how about Aria and Ezra's relationship?
MK: We know that Ezra and Aria are soul mates, whether they are romantically entwined or not, those two are, somehow, always thrown into situations together.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family!