Colleen Hayes/ABC
Sandra Gonzalez
February 29, 2012 at 10:35 PM EST

Charlotte Grayson is on a downward spiral and with her brother Daniel (Joshua Bowman) now suspected of murder, let’s just say things aren’t looking up for the 17-year-old.

“I think for the next few episodes we get into solving the mystery of what happened at the fire and ice party and Charlotte’s involvement in that becomes complicated because she was present on the beach at that time. She also had other things going on — underage drinking and popping the pills,” actress Christa B. Allen tells EW. “It all becomes this huge inner-woven mystery that we all have to solve, and Charlotte becomes really involved. I’m a key piece.” But will she ever

But in the episodes to come, Charlotte’s reliability is in question as she descends further into a serious addition. “I feel like [taking drugs] was a good, temporary relief for her. It was supposed to be a one-time thing, and it sort of spiraled into coping with her life and her whole current situation,” says Allen. “Moving into episode 16 and beyond, it will get more serious.”

As Charlotte finds herself struggling, her family, meanwhile, will come together in support of Daniel, who currently is implicated in the death of Hamptons nuisance Tyler. “[Prior to] episode 15, with the murder on the beach, everybody was torn apart by this event, and moving forward, everyone is dealing with such trauma and after effects of this situation, I think it brings everyone together in an odd way,” she says.

And “everyone” doesn’t necessarily include Emily, Allen says. With her plot for revenge still in motion despite the murder complication, Emily might eventually find herself at a crossroads, with split loyalties. “Charlotte hasn’t done anything wrong to Emily — neither has Daniel. And the way she treats both characters is ultimately going to say something about her true character,” she says.

Currently shooting episode 19, Allen says the second half of the season will find everyone in “messy” situations, but ultimately, “one of the main things that stands out to me is just how complex these character have become,” Allen says. “For the first half of the season, I feel like it’s been a lot of the same pairs of characters interacting and now we really start to switch it up, and we see them turning to each other to figure out what happened. We really start to mix it up.”

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