In Rosewood, there’s very little that we know to be fact. However, at this point, it feels like we can safely say that Mona was Original “A.” Season 1 was her doing. But for the past three seasons of Pretty Little Liars, fans have been left with the mystery of Big “A”—the person who took the game from Mona when she went to Radley. And in tonight’s season 5 finale, Big “A” will be revealed.
Yet, as fans of the show know, every answer comes paired with more questions. So will the reveal of Big “A” be any different? We talked to showrunner Marlene King all about the hour. Here are the takeaways:
Hope you’re ready for prom: When asked about the tuxedo hanging in the “A” lair at the end of the last hour, King teased that there is a formal event that is, well, “not a traditional formal event.” And when we brought up that the timing fits perfectly with prom, she continued, “Well it is time for prom but not a traditional prom.” Perhaps a prison prom?
Yes, you should read into every aspect of last week’s closer: At the end of last week’s episode, “A” decided it was time to play with some dolls, taking one of the Liars out of a prison bus and shutting her in a castle with what appeared to be another Liar—Alison?—already inside. And according to King, “That was a really well planned out closer and I think it tells us a lot of the story about what’s to come. [The finale is] one constant, ‘Oh my god, oh my god, I can’t believe they did this’ after another.”
There will be a historical moment: Pretty Little Liars is no stranger to flashbacks, and this hour won’t be any different. Well, it might be a little different. “There will be a very big [flashback],” King said, adding that it’s “in a nontraditional flashback way.” More specifically, “There will be a historical moment.”
Expect a lot of bromance: With the Liars in jail, their significant others—and exes—are left to do what they can from the outside. “Part of the fun of this finale is we get to see Ezra and Caleb and Toby working together very closely for the entire episode. It’s really a fun dynamic to see the three of them as a team,” King said. “They really are on a mission to do everything they can to bring their girls back home.”
So could this situation then lend itself to a reconciliation for Aria and Ezra? According to King, “There’s always hope for Ezria.”
This is Big “A” … but not Uber “A”: When asked about the Big “A” reveal, King clarified that “This is the person who stole the game from Mona.” However, when asked if there is also an Uber “A,” she said, “I’m not going to tell you just yet because that might ruin it down the line. I’m not going to comment on Uber ‘A.'” Translation: There could very well still be someone out there.
More answers are coming: “This Big ‘A’ reveal brings us to the final 10 episodes of this story that we have been telling for the last three seasons,” King said. “And every question you want to ask me about those three seasons will be answered in the next 11 episodes.”
The Big “A” reveal is happening because the fans asked for it: For a show that’s already signed on for two more seasons, some find it surprising that they’re choosing to reveal such a big player with so much story left. But according to King, the timing of this reveal has everything to do with the fans. “We always knew what this outcome would be. We always knew who this person would be, but we didn’t know [when]. There was a feeling toward the end of last season—it really felt like we had tested their patience for as long as we could, and this is exactly what they deserve to see and the right time to tell the story.”
This isn’t your typical PLL reveal: The last time this show teased a big reveal, Ezra was presented as a potential “A”—but only to the fans. And this time around, the fans won’t be the only ones discovering the truth. King said it’s the Liars who will give us the information. “We will find out as they find out,” she said.
The hour was inspired by The Twilight Zone: Pretty Little Liars has been known to occasionally pay homage to Hitchcock films, but this time, the show drew inspiration from somewhere else. “It has a little Twilight Zone in it I think for the first time for us. We went in sort of an interesting Twilight Zone direction,” King said. “It’s still very much PLL, but it’s definitely a transformative episode for us.”
The body-in-the-barrel mystery is still on the table: Although it might not happen in the finale, King promised that the mystery of whose body was in the barrel “will definitely be solved in the next two episodes.”
Bonus scoop: When asked for one person who’s definitely not “A,” King responded with, “Tippy the bird. ‘A’ Is not for ‘animal.'” So, there goes my theory.
Pretty Little Liars airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC Family, with the complete fifth season hitting DVD on June 2.