'Pretty Little Liars' boss teases 'emotionally exhausting' finale
Four seasons into Pretty Little Liars, and fans are finally about to find out what went down on the night that Alison DiLaurentis disappeared. All year, PLL showrunner Marlene King has talked about how season 4 will be the “season of answers,” and now it’s time for fans to get what they’ve been asking for. However, this finale will hold a lot more than a few answers.
We caught up with King to chat about returning characters, Uber “A”, the final five minutes of Tuesday night’s finale, and more:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I have to start by saying that season 4B might be my favorite ever.
MARLENE KING: Mine too. I feel the same way. I feel like the show has really grown up, and the girls are doing such an amazing job with their roles, and the story is so fun. It’s all coming together for us, it feels like.
And from the start, you’ve labeled it as the season of answers. The promos are teasing that we’ll find out all about the night Ali died, so are we going to get all of our questions pertaining to that evening answered?
It’s chock full of answers! The girls do find Alison, or meet up with Alison, and she literally says to them, “I’m going to tell you everything that happened that night and now that we’re all together and we have all the pieces, if we can’t figure out who ‘A’ is by the end of the night, I’m leaving for good.” So that really is the gunshot that launches the episode, and then she really takes the time to show them via flashbacks everything that happened from before those girls went to the barn, why she was late, and then what happened while they were asleep and why they were asleep. It’s just fun and fascinating. We had so much fun making it too because we go back to where we started. It felt like such a full circle moment.
Speaking of which, we’re going to see some familiar faces in this finale, including Melissa and Noel. Noel sort of intrigues me the most. What can you tease about him?
We love to call him Whac-A-Noel because he pops up in all these crazy mysterious places. I will tease that Whac-A-Noel, as we lovingly call him, may be more involved in the story than anyone ever expected.
We’ve seen the return of Ian in the promos. Will there be any new scenes with Ian that we haven’t seen before?
Ian’s in some really great juicy scenes in this show. We know that Alison had a crush on him and that they went to Hilton Head together, and some of that is going to be seen. Some things that we’ve just talked about are going to be seen in this finale episode, so it’s really exciting to validate things we’ve assumed, notions we all have, theories people have. A lot of people have been right about a few things, when I see theories online, and then some people will be very validated after this episode – they were right.
Are we going to learn the identity of another member of the “A” team?
It’s possible. I have to be cagey with that.
Fair enough. But we’re still working toward the mysterious Uber “A,” correct?
Well the girls have a theory going into the finale, and as the show plays out, they explore that theory, the theory of Mrs. D being “A.”
And we have to talk about the woman in black…
We call her the Black Widow, by the way. that’s her nickname. It doesn’t really mean that she’s a black widow, but we call her the Black Widow because we just love that costume.
I love that! Will she be in the finale?
I can’t say that because that will give away something. Because the Black Widow is definitely involved with our endgame Uber “A” plan, it narrows down your possibilities of who this could be. But you will see the Black Widow again, and the Black Widow is very involved, and you have seen the Black Widow this season without the costume on.
Moving to Jason, he obviously wasn’t in rehab like he claimed, so are we going to get a glimpse as to what he’s been up to these past few months?
You will get a glimpse of that more in season 5 than in the finale.
And what about those bones? Will we find where they came from?
“A” has so much access to human parts. It’s bizarre, isn’t it? Where is “A” getting all these bones? I think [you will find out] eventually, eventually.
I’ve seen a few comments about fans being suspicious of Travis. Should we be, or is he a good guy?
I’m suspicious of everyone in Rosewood, and these girls have been dumped on by all their boys, so I’m always suspicious of everyone, the men, the women, the boys, and the girls in Rosewood. He seems on the up and up right now. He’s very cute, very cute. But we know our Caleb is coming back to Rosewood, so I think he will give Travis a run for his money.
And while we’re talking about boys, are we going to find out what Toby said in his letter to Spencer?
We don’t learn the contents of that letter in the finale. [The finale is] sort of whirlwind. Where we left the last episode, the girls are rushing out to see Ali, obviously there’s someone there and that person surprises them, they’re like, “What are you doing here?” And so that point on, it’s really non-stop. It’s a non-stop finale. When we were making the episode, it was really amazing but at the same time, emotionally exhausting for everyone, and I think for our fans, it’s going to be an emotionally exhausting ride as well, in a good way.
Will Toby be in finale?
Toby’s kind of in the finale. Keegan Allen was in New York doing his play when we filmed the finale, so we learn about Toby in the finale, but the actor isn’t in the episode.
Switching gears to Ezra, is he going to be able to drop this and walk away or will he continue to be a part of this story?
I don’t think he can just drop it because he’s so involved and he’s so invested in Aria’s safety and happiness. I think these two, whether they like it or not, are soul mates. They find ways of always staying connected, even when they’re fighting and not together, they’re still connected in so many ways.
What’s Mona up to? Is she in the finale?
Mona’s in the finale! Loser Mona is also in the finale. She’s got some incredibly nerdy clothes on, and she definitely has on knee socks. Loser Mona always wears knee socks.
At this point, do we know for sure who killed Wilden?
You’ll get closer to the answer in the finale, and even closer in the next premiere.
I have to bring up that great moment many episodes ago with the ghost girl in Hanna’s house. Is she ever going to come up again?
I think that will play out, definitely by the time the series ends there will be an answer to that ghost girl.
This finale feels N.A.T. Club-focused? Will we get more answers there?
Yeah, I would say the N.A.T. Club was deeply invested in Alison the night she went missing and in shutting up Alison the night she went missing, so that’s very much a part of what we’re going to explore.
What can you tease about those final five minutes?
I think a lot of people are going to be standing while they’re watching. I don’t think people are going to be sitting on the couch. I think they’re going to be off the couch, they’re going to be standing up, holding hands if you’re with somebody, and mouths will be open. I’ve seen the episode now so many times and one minute you’re crying, and one minute you’re on your feet with your mouth wide open thinking, “Oh my God, I can’t believe it.”
Is this episode all about another big reveal, much like with Ezra, or is it more focused on the overall reveal of the entire evening?
I think there are many reveals in the episode and one very shocking reveal.
Pretty Little Liars‘ season 4 finale airs Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.