By Samantha Highfill
Updated October 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Mathieu Young/ABC Family

Pretty Little Liars

  • TV Show
  • Freeform

The Pretty Little Liars panel at New York Comic-Con kicked off with a sneak peek at the first four minutes from the season 6B premiere, and fans got a look at what’s to come after the five-year time jump. Hint: It involves Ali in a classroom, an upcoming court hearing, and Ali writing letters to all of the Liars asking them to return to Rosewood. As for where they are, Spencer’s in D.C., Hanna’s on a plane, Aria is on a book tour — and looking longingly at the cover of Ezra’s book — and Emily is making piña coladas behind a bar.

Ali’s letter informs the girls that someone is coming back to Rosewood to speak to the court about Charlotte being abused, and as a result, Ali asks that the Liars give her five minutes to explain.

Following the clip, the panelists — consisting of Sasha Pieterse, Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Shay Mitchell, and executive producers Joseph Dougherty, Oliver Goldstick, and Marlene King — dished on where their characters will be after the time jump.

“Spencer’s an incredibly intelligent character and she hasn’t gotten to realize her full potential [in the past],” Bellisario said. “For her to be so successful in her career and be in a political world was very exciting for me.”

As for Aria, Hale revealed that she’s become a publisher. “She takes a left turn and falls in love with writing,” Hale said, adding that fans will find out exactly what was behind that longing look.

Meanwhile, Hanna has spent some time traveling the world, and has now moved to New York to get into the fashion world, “like Devil Wears Prada,” Benson said.

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On the opposite coast, Emily has attended Pepperdine University and is now bartending, at least from what we know thus far. “She moves away, too, and I think out of all the girls her time away is probably the hardest,” Mitchell said. “She goes through some things during those five years.” (And there’s a chance Paige could be a part of those things considering she, too, lives in California.)

Of course, the Liars’ separation won’t last long when Ali asks all of them to return to Rosewood. But don’t expect them to have stayed in touch over the years. “They’ll always be in each other’s lives … it’s complicated,” Hale said.

Other takeaways from the panel:

  • Pieterse says fans should expect “a totally different show — new story, new secrets, new lies.”
  • Expect a few surprise returns to Rosewood.
  • There’s more to Charlotte’s story coming after the jump
  • Speaking to the final scene in the season 6A finale, King said fans will find out who “he” is in 6B, though we won’t see that scene again — and therefore get the full story — until season 7.

Pretty Little Liars returns January 12 at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

Episode Recaps

Pretty Little Liars

Four little liars and a being named “A” (who may or may not be the fifth little liar) try to live their lives in Rosewood. It’s complicated.
  • TV Show
  • 7
  • TV-14
  • In Season
  • Freeform
stream service