The Summer of Answers will finally come to an end on Tuesday as the identity of Charles will soon be unmasked. After all these years of lies, twists and torture, it’s the episode fans have been waiting for, and Sasha Pieterse promises that the Pretty Little Liars finale will deliver the answers they’ve been craving.
EW caught up with the actress to get the scoop on the finale, which reveal was the most surprising, and how Ali evolves post-time jump (spoiler alert: she’s reinvented herself once again).
The summer finale of PLL airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Last week, Ali said she wanted to find out what she did to make Charles hate her so much. Is that her biggest question? Does she get that answered?
PIETERSE: I think in the beginning it is because she’s so confused. You learn so much [in this episode], and learn about what makes this character tick that I think that question is answered but also it transforms into so many questions because of that. This is such a cool episode. It’s my favorite episode. It’s so dark and there’s such a rich storyline there – it’s not just about throwing all of these answers at you. It really ties together, but it also creates this character’s storyline. It’s a totally different perspective of what we’ve seen before.
I think we all really had a great time with this episode because we all got to do different things. And actually kind of going down memory lane because of all the answers you’re finding out, you remember all of the things that happened during all of our seasons that sometimes we forget, that now make more sense. We learn more about our characters because of this, but I think it’s also a great transition into the flash forward.
Were you more surprised by the identity of “A” or the identity of Black Widow?
Definitely “A.” I think Black Widow is also a shock, but when you find out who “A” is and everything that’s happened, it makes sense. I think the fans will be totally blindsided by all of this – but in such a good way. I know there’s been a lot of comments from the fans that they hope it’s not someone who is super close but at the same time hope it’s not someone that we’ve hardly seen before. I think that was the right feeling. They’re kind of exactly right, and I think the writers heard that. But at the same time, I think this is something that’s been in the works for a long time. The beauty of it is that our fans are so involved but they’re also on the same wavelength so as much as everything changes all the time, we still have our fans in mind, obviously. They just totally coincide with where we want the show to go as well.
What was the reaction when you all found out the secrets at the table read? The cast has been in the dark regarding most of the show’s secrets too.
It was totally shocking for me because, you know, there were all these differences in the way I looked at “A.” But also we do know certain things about our own characters, but we don’t know a lot about other characters. That’s what’s so neat about the table read is that you see what’s developing for other characters that you didn’t think was going to happen. This episode was crazy because you go through all of these timelines. It’s just cool to see other characters and other actors experience that because we all have so many differences now. Now, moving forward as well, it’s really fun to see other character’s storylines. It’s going to be interesting to see what the fans think about all of them. But you’re right, we’re in the dark pretty much as the fans are. We try to get secrets out of the writers and Marlene [King]. It pretty much fails most of the time. [Laughs]
How much this episode will be flashbacks and how many times will see you in that yellow top?
Oh my gosh. [Laughs] I think it’s a little bit of half and half which I think is important. It’s not one of those episodes that’s just like, “We’re going to just show you everything that’s happened without being in the current situation.” It’s a little bit of both and I think that’s great because you see so many different emotions of “A” back then, and “A” now. Everything that’s happened, it’s very real and raw. I think there’s a lot of fans that will cry, actually.
Will there be a cute Ali/Lorenzo [Travis Winfrey] moment in the finale? Is there hope for them post-time jump?
I’m not sure, I don’t think can say much about that. [Laughs] We’ve had to be pretty secretive about our love interests and our relationships in the flash-forward. I think that you’ll be surprised by it, honestly. We’ve seen Alison have all of these relationships, but they haven’t been current. Now, she finally has this current relationship and it seemed like a healthy one and, obviously, she messes it up. [Laughs] But that doesn’t mean there’s no hope either. I think her character is really complicated. At the same time, with the time jump, all of those years that have passed, she also has changed a lot and reinvented herself. I think she’s more of an honest person. That will also come together with her love life and the way she handles her relationships. I think the fans are honestly going to be happy with the outcome. It is what it is with her. She’s a difficult person even if she doesn’t want to be.
Do you have any lingering questions?
I have no lingering questions about everything that’s happened thus far. Now, filming, obviously, we’re filming different things. But as far as everything that the fans have seen and everything we’ve seen, I have honestly no questions. There hasn’t been anything that I thought was missed. Literally everything gets covered. It’s actually been really great because even though we have all these questions, we only have an hour to tell them. They answered everything, and tied everything together. We’ve said before that you get a lot of answers this episode, and this season, but this is really the tell-all. It doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to answers and everything that’s been said in our storylines. I think it ties all of the webs together.