Pretty Little Liars' 'A' Talks Big Reveal, Her Team of Helpers and Upcoming Time Jump

ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars unmasked “A” – or at least the public face of the Liars’ tormenter – in its Monday-night Season 2 finale, but it’s rather evident that not all is as it seems when it comes to the true puppet master behind all the chilling chicanery.

The morning after the big reveal, TVLine spoke with Janel Parrish, who plays Hanna’s onetime BFF aka the vengeful Mona – and now a series regular for next season — about bringing her “A” game to such an “intense” character.

ON FIRST LEARNING ABOUT HER FATE | “I got the official word about a week before we filmed the season finale, and it was just so surreal,” Parrish gushes. “It’s an honor, really, to play such an intense, important character to the story, so I just embraced it and loved every minute of filming it.”

ON HAVING ANY SUSPICIONS OF HER OWN | “I had a feeling it was [Mona], because obviously Mona was ‘A ‘in the books. I [previously] tried to get answers from the producers, and they basically said, ‘It could be you but things can change. We’re not following the books exactly.’ But I had hoped that’s where [the story] would go, and I’m so glad that it did!”

Pretty Little Liars Finale Recap: ‘A’ Is Unmasked!

ON DONNING A HOODIE FOR THE FIRST TIME | “It was so exciting,” Parrish says of slipping into A’s outfit of choice. “[Series creator] Marlene [King] cried when she saw me walk on the stage wearing it for the first time…. It was like watching her baby come to life.”

ON THE “A” TEAM (AKA MONA’S ACCOMPLICES) | “You guys will definitely find out in Season 3. Next season will focus more on people’s connections, finding out how Mona did things, and if people were helping her, who and why…. Allllll the pieces will come together.”

ON THE PERSON WHO VISITED “A” AT THE END | “I know who it issssss,” the actress teases. “But I can’t tell you!” (As for whether that mystery person is also whom Jenna met with at the picnic table and/or the Black Swan at the gala, “I can’t say for sure… I don’t 100-percent know everything. I’m curious, as well!”)

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ON EARNING A PROMOTION | “I am officially now a series regular for Season 3, which is a dream come true. I’m so honored to be a part of such an amazing show.”

ON THE LENGTH OF MONA’S LOONY BIN STAY | “That, I do not know. I know that when we come back [in Season 3], it’s six months after the finale has ended, so I will have been in the sanitarium for that time. But I do not know for how much longer she’ll be in there.”

ON HER HOPES FOR A MOMENT BETWEEN MONA AND HANNA | After all, it was the Liars’ appropriation of that friendship that triggered Mona’s psychotic break. “It’d be really interesting to see their interaction now that everything has happened the way that it has. Mona’s world got shattered — she lost somebody that she trusted and loved — so I’m sure were going to see the repercussions of that.”

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31 Comments
  1. adriene says:

    I honestly stopped caring about who A was ages ago when I realized that the creators were not really interested in creating a mystery where the clues in each episode add up to a logical answer at the end. Instead, they just seek to create a lot of intense or scary scenes, stringing the audience along until they make up their minds who they want to be the culprit a month before the finale. But I also realized a long time ago that I don’t really care about that. What I love about Pretty Little Liars is the characters and the smaller stories of what’s going on in their lives and how they stick together to help each other. For me THAT is the show. I think the Mona reveal is anti-climactic, especially since there is now someone else pulling Mona’s strings, but I’ll still tune in to see Hannah and Caleb, and Spencer and Melissa, and Emily and her mom, and all the rest of their smaller more satisfying mysteries.

  2. Jarrod says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Mona, but I don’t see redemption for her. She tortured these girls for almost a year and practically ruined their lives and tried to kill them on more than one occasion. No, I’m not ignorant to believe there is only one ‘A’, as Mona said to Spencer herself that she’d have to join “The ‘A’ Team” or die, but either way, Mona being “revealed” as ‘A’ was not really jaw-dropping and just pretty slack from the writers.

  3. juan says:

    I think though it was a bit disappointing Im excited for next sseason to see how she did it and what happens after

  4. Ed says:

    I think this is going to eat @ Hannah, she was the closest to Mona and saw what Alison did to her and what it drove her too. Aria, Spencer and Emily probably won’t go near her with a 10 ft pole, but I can see Hannah forgiving her.

  5. Hannah says:

    She did tell Spencer that, then at the end of the episode Mona told the other a that she did everything they asked. So will Spencer die???? What about Toby waiting…. what does he know that we don’t? Love the thrill!

  6. bec says:

    I was disappointed throughout the episode because it was obvious it was Mona and I didn’t want them to have A be the same person as in the books BUT that little twist at the end of a ‘puppet master’ was enough to have me sucked in for next season lol

  7. A says:

    I know for some it’s enough to look at the pretty clothes or who the girls are kissing this week, but this show is so frustrating for fans who are genuinely invested and interested in the mystery element. There are constantly more questions behing raised without conclusive or satisfying answers being given for old ones. I understand the show’s main mysteries – who killed Allison/who is “A” – are a great hook to get people watching every week, but boy have the writers taken advantage of that and dragged these stories on and on. This all should’ve, and could’ve, been wrapped up in one season. It’s taken two seasons for “A” to be revealed. How long until we know who the murderer is? Season 7?! Even now we know who is “A” is, it still isn’t concrete! They finale implied it wasn’t as crystal clear as that and left us asking: Is she really A? Was she working for someone? Or is she part of a group of people? More questions! Not to mention everyone who had read the books, or heard Lucy Hale tell Ryan Seacrest that it was Mona, already knew. I thought they were being clever in the finale and making us think it was Mona, a little nod to the book fans and those who knew, and then they were gonna swerve in a different direction and really suprise the fans with a final twist in the reveal. What a great opportunity wasted! I often wonder if they even have a proper game plan because the continuity on this show if awful, just poor writing I guess. Pretty Little Disappointing! I don’t think I’ll be coming back for season three. It’s a shame beceause I think there’s a great story in there and a lot of potentinal, but it’s just poorly executed. The writers should watch season one of Veronica Mars and learn a thing or too…

    • Dude says:

      Season 1 of Veronica Mars was great BUT they wrapped everything up too well. There was no real need for future seasons. Season 2 was good but less good and season 3 was trash. I completely agree that they need to pace this series better because answering zero questions in season 1 and only half answering A in season 2 is lame. That said, if they give everything away, there’s no point in continuing the series. I’m fine with finding out who killed Allison/the real A in the series finale but answer other questions in the mean time.

      • A says:

        One of the reasons Season 1 worked so well is because through Veronica fans felt a personal connection to Lily and really cared about finding out what happened to her. The bus crash in Season 2 just didn’t work as well, it was hard to care or relate in the same way and at times it was complicated following all the different threads that season. I don’t think Season 3 was “trash”, but it was certainly not up to the standard of the first season. I think that was a lot to do with the transition to college and the network messing about with the show/preventing them from doing a season long mystery. However, I have WAY more respect for the VM writers that they took on the challenge of coming up with new mysteries each year rather than taking the easier route that the Pretty Little Liars team has by dragging the same mysteries on and on and on! A bad episode of Veronica Mars is still better than a good episode of Pretty Little Liars. Least they knew how to give their fans satisfying and rewarding answers.

        • nezuko says:

          Well, dear, A.
          Maybe you weren’t aware what this show’s premise? From the beginning, the mystery is A. Who is A, or are A? What motive did A had? And how did A do it?
          So, if the writer give the answer to all that questions only in 1 or 2 season, then it just end, there’s no more PLL.
          I think the writer just learn right from VM to not to give all the answer in one season or two, that’s for sure, cause the rating talks so. VM got cancelled after 3 season, and I’m sure PLL will see its 4th season. now which show writer are brilliant, and which ones aren’t?

          • A says:

            Maybe this show just isn’t for me then. I feel bored now. I’m past the point of caring now who “A” is or who killed Allison, but when the show started I was really eager to learn both those things. Now it just feels dragged out to me. I hadn’t, and haven’t, read the books so I didn’t know if this was the case in the books too, but when the show began I genuinely thought we were going to find out at the end of the first season. I thought season 2 would be about something different, a new mystery or event that affects the girls. My mistake. I certainly agree that ending the “A” mystery would really change the show and whether it would be as entertaining without it remains to be seen. I can totally understand why the writers don’t want to wrap it up quickly, but as a viewer I feel totally frustrated by it. I don’t know that it would be the end of PLL either; what the writers wouldn’t be able to come up with ANY other ideas?! People wouldn’t still tune in for the other aspects of the show; the girls’ friendship, the romances?!

            I’m not saying Veronica Mars was perfect and its writers are absolutely “brilliant”, but they set up a lot of mysteries i.e. who raped Veronica, is her Dad her biological Dad, who killed Lily and they answered them all by the end of the season and it made for satisfying viewing. And puh-lease, ratings don’t mean everything! High ratings don’t always equal quality television. I’m sure the Kardashian’s show gets a ton of viewers and I wouldn’t say that it’s intelligent, thought provoking, quality programming. How many seasons a show has doesn’t always mean everything either. I mean One Tree Hill has been on the air for nine years and that has some of the worst continuity, storylines, and writing on TV!

            At the end of the day I think Pretty Little Liars has a great/interesting premise, but I don’t think that the writing does it justice. That’s MY opinion and I’m entitled to it.

  8. lolo says:

    If they have Hanna or anyone else forgive Mona, I’ll be pissed. She tried to KILL them on more than one occasion. Come on now. I know this is TV, but don’t be idiots about this.

  9. A says:

    Oh my word, a lot of spelling errors in my other post… ah well! Anyway, I’m also wondering what others think about why Spencer didn’t try and run or get help. Why on earth did she wait for Mona to return to the hotel room? She’d pretty much figured it out that Mona was “A”, she could have tried to get away when Mona went to get gum from the car (in actuality to change into a hoodie… I mean, how ridiculous was that?!) Unless she just suspected it at that point, but even still, she’s a smart girl, once she saw the gum wrapper she should’ve bolted.

    More to the point though, how could a tiny Mona have dragged an unconscious Spencer from the room into a car all by herself? Or are we supposed to assume she must have had help? There’s only so far one can suspend their belief!

    • nezuko says:

      Didn’t you learn from season one, dear, A??? Spencer thought A was Ian, only to found out that’s not the case. Well, put your shoes as Spencer, would you be wonder if Mona was really A? besides, she sure hopes to know all the answer from Mona, as to why did she do all that stuff, is she alone or has help from the other A?

      And for your 2nd question. in the end of the final, Mona did said that she being arrested was supposed to happened cause that was the A’s plan. So, as a good fan of the show, you should be able to assume that Mona had helped moving Spencer body, cause if not, then the plan just went poooft the moment Mona hit Spencer unconscious. It’s not a matter of one’s belief or not, it’s a matter of how smart are people watching this series. This is what I like from this series, the writer didn’t just give all the little meaningless answer for people, but let people guess or have hypotesis on some little fact like this.

      • A says:

        I’m allowed to be frustrated with Spencer as a character in that moment. As a fan you don’t always have to agree with the decisions characters make or like how they are written. I’m just suprised she didn’t run, but I also see your point that she was desperate for answers. It was very brave or her to remain in the room when she had an opportunity to try and get away.

        As for my second point, I said myself we are to assume she had help. I would just be irritated if when she show comes back it’s made out like Mona did it all herself, when it would have been impossible, as I noted, that Mona could move Spencer on her own. Surely someone as intelligent as Spencer would wonder about that.

        I’m sorry I’m not what you consider a “good” or “smart” fan of the show which appears to be someone who never critically analyzes it and blindly accepts everything that happens without question. I succumb, clearly you’re right, the show is perfect and there are no flaws in it whatsoever. My mistake. Honestly…

  10. ChrisGa says:

    Well, I have to say I thought the reveal was great and Janel was even better than usual as Mona in this episode(so glad to see she’s been upgraded to a regular; I think she adds alot to the mix). Alot seem to be disappointed that it turned out to be Mona, but in the end we all know she’s just one of many comprising the so-called “A Team”. Personally, I thought it made complete sense–looking back to the special Halloween ep, I thought then that it had to be Mona, Jenna, Lucas, or all three in tandem–so I’m cool with how it went down and look forward to June for more PLL goodness.

  11. Talha says:

    I found the season finale to be quite dissapointing for several reasons…

    . Firstly, the actors and the producers kept sating that A would be revealed. the way they made it seem felt like the A storyline was going to conclude in a satisfying way. Not drag on for ANOTHER 24 episodes.

    . It didn’t really feel like a season finale to me. I mean Maya’s death didn’t really faze me at all because she’d been absent for so many episodes i had no interest left in her character anymore. Plus it’s kinda obvious someone from The A Team killed her. The finale just felt like another episode building onto the big mystery just like every other episode in the season had.

    . Making Mona A just felt like a cop-out to me. To be invested in the mystery for two whole years to have a mediocre reveal all along. It all felt so dissapointing. i was really hoping this season would have wrapped up the A storyline so that in June the show would progress on with another mystery. Dragging this one along for 3, 4 years won’t be good enough. Plus that red blazer person at the end can’t be anyone but Vivian. it’s annoying to know that they’re following the books so closely now.

    . Finally, i just DON’T understand why Mona, all of the A team and the red blazer person are going through SO much effort to ruin the lives of the characters? i mean, get a life damnit. What’s with the endless torture and bullying for NO reason, for so long?

    Also, how the heck does someone like Mona, get hit by a car and not be injured the next day, break the mirror of a car, throw Emily down who is an atheltic girl and taller and try to stab her with shears but fail at fighting a skinny Spencer?

    Confusion and Dissapointed.

    • PappyLock says:

      I totally agree with you. why the heck do all these A’s try so hard to ruin the girls lives for all the stuff that Ally did to them. And also its obvious that Mona couldn’t possibly be able to throw Ian off the bell tower like a paper weigh or haul him back and do whatever she did to him. And why are the police so stupid. like hello, its like their not even trying. I know im being so realistic right now even though its just a tv show but they can at least make it somewhat believable. Don’t get me wrong i do love the show and that’s why im being so critical but at the same time I would like some more answers. i feel like what they showed in season two should’ve happened in season 1 and whats happening in season 3 should’ve happened in season two. i dont think they should reveal everything in season 1 but i also feel like they’re taking too long to get to the nitty gritty.

  12. S says:

    What I’m confused about were her reasons for torturing the girls in the first place. She claimed that it was because they stole Hanna away from her but the girls all got separate texts from A before re-forming their friendships again. Mona would had to have been spying on Aria as soon as she had returned to Rosewood (before any of the other girls even know she was coming back) when she met Ezra at the bar to have been able to send that text in the classroom about them. What reason would she have to do so? Was it just because she thought Aria coming back MIGHT bring the 4 friends closer again so she acted pre-emptively? It still doesn’t make any sense because the one thing that brought the girls together again in the first place were the texts from A (after the Ali’s funeral).

    • Veronica says:

      I have been wondering the exact same thing! It makes much more sense that Mona never forgave them about how they treated her when they were friends with Allison. Her claim that she’s over it and that it’s really about the fact that Hanna became less of a friend to her when Aria returned/the four girls bonded again doesn’t add up. That’s why it HAS to be a group of people that are “A” otherwise it just doesn’t work! It’s also been pointed out there are times when it was physically impossible for Mona to be “A” eg. when “A” interupts Emily’s massage, but Mona was clearly with Hanna at that time. So it must more than one person, otherwise it’s just really sloppy writing/an assumption that their audience isn’t intelligent enough to notice these things.

    • nezuko says:

      Mona obviously said that The A team work together, and there’s one person with super duper mastermind behind this. As mona being capture is a part of that plan, including Mona confess as A, so the girls will sleep well, LOL. And I like the way Mona get closer to the 4 liars, only to get the same sympatic from Hanna (when Hanna learnt that Mona also got threatened by A’s messages). Obviously the message is from another A team. And since A always one step ahead, then it’s safe to assume A is not just one person. i personally think that when emily made an appointment with A, then A lose her/his phone, but in the end of episode, obviously there’s another A.

  13. Giovanini says:

    People are forgetting that ARIA also has a red coat in her property. And that Aria is the main caracther in the intro, and that when she came back, all this things started to happen.

  14. rahama says:

    i have not read the book or watch the series from beginin but i sense mona,jenna,lucas,noel,melisa,mike,liam n toby has some sort of secret and ali will be alive bcos may b d writters want show us her character n mean while i dont understand what A team is doing are the trying to point alison murdrer or d are just torturing d girls

  15. Destiny says:

    I think Dr. Sullivan was the lady in the Black Swan outfit she had the same body and Hannah said she is a size 2…I also think the person that come to see Mona at the end was Dr. Sullivan…Just a theory

  16. Maddy says:

    I honestly loved the episode It was so well done even though it was a bit rushed I still loved it. I just wish they chose someone else for A, it was a bit of a let down being Mona, but they did create tons of new mysteries! Like the ‘a-team’ and the Black Swan and who Mona was talking to at the end of the episode!
    But some thing’s just don’t add up, why would Mona be sending A messages to Ali before she got killed, she tried so hard to fit in with them back then, I don’t think she would actually bother trying to mess with Ali… also when Aria first came back the girls were just friends, they didn’t talk and never hung with each other, it wasn’t until the messages from A started they became closer and stuck together a bit more… how the hell would Mona know that sending A messages would bring them closer when what she wanted was Hanna to herself? I think maybe the A-Team sent the first messages and maybe they approached Mona because they knew that Hanna started like becoming closer with the others? They knew Mona would do anything to get revenge on them. But like many people have pointed out A gave Emily a massage and at the same time A (Mona) was horse riding with Hanna, it just doesn’t work out, there has to be more than 1 A..
    Also I think Dr Sullivan is very shady! She is a grown women, she shouldn’t be afraid of a teenagers threats, she should of went to the police with her ‘son’ straight away. By leaving she put 4 of her patients life’s in danger!

  17. Alicia says:

    I agree with Destiny, I think Dr. Sullivan was the black Swan and the one who went to see Mona at the end. This one, I think was great it opened up even more questions. Like who are all on team A.

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  20. jonique says:

    Well,Mona was mentally challenged and Spencer is a skinny girl so I think Mona could have carried Spencer by herself to the car because I know some mentally challenged people and they have strengths we ‘normal’ people don’t have. Did you see the way Mona pushed and dragged Spencer while trying to get her to the cliff just as Hannah,Aria and Emily arrived at the scene? You guys should give that some thought. Those girls’ flashbacks of Alison really has me wondering if Alison wasn’t mentally challenged too..having to pretend to be someone hahaha..or maybe she has like a alter-ego or a twin sister who tries to be her. I wish I could read the books. I bet it would go much faster than the actual series. This sucks lol!

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