'Pretty Little Liars' boss dishes on season 5 finale, Charles (if that's his name)
On last night’s season 5 finale of Pretty Little Liars, the identity of Big “A” was revealed to be someone named Charles. According to some old home videos that Spencer found, it certainly seems that Charles is yet another son of Mrs. DiLaurentis, and therefore a brother to Ali and Jason—not to mention a potential half brother to Spencer. Also revealed in the hour: Mona is alive and well. That is, if you consider being trapped in a real-life dollhouse to be “well.”
Following the finale, we took our burning questions to executive producer Oliver Goldstick, who told us a little about Charles’ personality—and what comes after “A.”
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you say if Charles is a twin, or is he just related to the DiLaurentis family?
OLIVER GOLDSTICK: I would just say the latter is what’s most important right now.
Is this a character we’ve seen before?
Yes, we’ve seen this person before. Indeed we have.
I’m curious about Charles’ personality. Give me three words to describe him.
First of all, don’t settle that it’s definitely the name Charles, because an anagram is an anagram. We definitely have gotten a big clue here. But just know that this person is fiercely intelligent. I would say “devious,” and the word “wrathful.” That’s an SAT word for you. I didn’t say “vituperative,” I said “wrathful.” I could have said “vituperative,” but I’m not going to do that.
Once we hear his story, do you think fans will empathize with Charles?
I wouldn’t rule that out, because this show has been that since the beginning. Look who Alison was when we started 120 episodes ago. Would you ever have empathized with this girl on any level? I’m hoping we’ve done our job to make you go, “You know what? Things are not what they seem.” In this town, things are not what they seem. So even with Alison, I think she’s living proof on this series that you might empathize with the least likely person.
We got to see a little home video last night. Will we see Charles in flashbacks moving forward?
We’re not relying so much on the flashbacks anymore. There will be some stuff coming up in season 6 that will give you a little more insight.
Another thing a lot of people are talking about is Charles’ resources. He managed to build this dollhouse. What can you say about his resources? I don’t know if he had a lot of time on his hands, if he had help…
[Laughs] They feel infinite, don’t they? That’s where I go back to fiercely intelligent and devious, because the ability to amass this kind of—I don’t want to say “arsenal” because that’s a terrible word, but it is an arsenal in a sense because this person’s had a lot of time on their hands to figure out how to carry out such an intricate plot against all of these girls. I would say this person is very resourceful, but their intelligence is what is behind it. Their intelligence and their ability to harness what’s available to them through technology.
Let’s go back to those three words: fiercely intelligent, devious, and resourceful, because that really is a good word for who Charles is.
I know season 6 picks up right where we left off and that the Liars will escape. So how is this experience going to affect the Liars?
It has great impact. What we’ve done in the season 6 summer season is condensed it so it really takes place three weeks before their graduation, so we’ll deal with the fallout of the trauma.
So the entire summer season takes place over three weeks?
Yes it is, yeah. ‘Til the prom, ’til graduation. We’ve compressed it for very specific reasons because we wanted to deal with the fallout. You’ll be dealing with what happened in that dollhouse that we didn’t see last night when we come back. So there will be ramifications of those three weeks that they spent in there as well.
And then the four-year time jump will occur at the end of the summer season?
Marlene King has said that this is the beginning of the end of the “A” story, that you all are ready to answer all these questions. My question is: What comes after that?
This much trauma and this much suffering and the machinations over how many seasons doesn’t go away that quickly. So we believe there’s twisted—you’ll see. There’s some real fallout even after you may know the identity of “A.” There will be fallout. It will not be over for these girls.
I know that there’s another missing girl coming into the mix…
I don’t want to answer too much of that, but you’ll see. Is it somebody you know, is that what you’re asking me? There’s a familiarity, so I’m not going to say anything more than that. You won’t be totally shocked by that element.
Going forward, knowing that you’re going to get to deliver all of these answers, is there a specific mystery that you’re most excited for people to get the answer to?
Because we’re already deep into the first half of [season] 6A, it’s deeply satisfying. This is a very satisfying way to unpeel this onion. The audience has scratched their head and gone, “Why did we go down this path for so long? Why do we care about Bethany Young? Why was she in Alison’s grave?” It will be very satisfying when you find out.
Does this mean we’ll get to know more about the Campbell family?
How would you describe them?
Oh my God, they live in Rosewood, they’re freaks! Anyone who’s stayed in this town after what’s gone on to these girls, now that it’s become news—and all the parents know after last night, anyone who stays in Rosewood and doesn’t find a passport out, they’re certifiable. I would say there’s something in the water, definitely. This town has so many twisted secrets, and you’re going to be treated to more when we come back in season 6.
Pretty Little Liarsreturns for its sixth season in June.