Credit: ABC Family

On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charisma Carpenter’s Cordelia was the enviable queen bee. But on The Lying Game, her character’s past is far cry from the popular girl Carpenter once played.

The actress begins her six-episode stint on the freshman teen drama tonight, playing Rebecca Sewell, Char’s (Kirsten Prout) once-teased aunt, who returns years after leaving the town many years ago. And she has something to prove, says Carpenter. “I think her true intention is to come back and reinvent herself from who she used to be back in the day,” she says. “Growing up with Alec [Adrian Pasdar] and Ted [Andy Buckley], there was some very dangerous, reprehensible conduct between them and Rebecca. And it left her devastated.” Now, years later, “the woman they once knew has money,” says Carpenter, and Rebecca is back to show off her successes — and possibly stir up trouble. But Carpenter was mum on that, only adding, “I don’t think [her motive] is revenge. I really don’t…One of my favorite lines is, ‘To be honest with you, it’s really fun to be back in town and turning heads.'”

And while she’s already wrapped up her episodes — for now — Carpenter says that she hopes to return and have a revealing, Friends-style flashback. “I’m kinda hoping that I have a Friends moment, like Courteney Cox’s character, where she had to wear the fat suit,” she said with a laugh. “I’m hoping that at some point down the road that we do a retro episode or a flashback and I get to have heavy prosthetics and goofy attire.”

Viewers will learn, however, that trauma from their school years is not the only motivation for Rebecca’s return. Another connection among the trio will also be revealed, and it is sure to add drama to their already complicated lives. “What I do love about the show is that it’s not like 90210, where the show revolves around the kids and the parents are just in the background. The parents have just as much to do with the show as the kids. And the kids do things with the grown ups,” she says. “They do a good job incorporating the family and the parental drama. It’s like the drama that goes on with the teenagers, the parents have it, too.”

So what is in store for teens? “There will be twice as many secrets and lying,” star Blair Redford told EW at an ABC Family event last month. “But all the questions from the winter finale will be answered in the next ten and several of them in the first episode.” And Alexandra Chando, who pulls double duty, playing both Sutton and Emma, said Ethan and Emma will continue to be “on the path to a successful relationship.” But, she warned, “obviously it’s not going to stay solid.”