Post Mortems

Pretty Little Liars EP Talks Aria's Killer Twist, Hanna's New Crisis and More

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 Spoilers

Pretty Little Liars‘ fifth season premiere introduced an evil new army, another dead body and a little liar’s dark side — among other things. But with new developments come new questions, so TVLine hit up executive producer Marlene King for some answers.

RELATED | Pretty Little Liars Season Premiere Recap: Girlz N the Hood

Below, King discusses the premiere’s “killer” twists, as well as what we can expect from the rest of Season 5 — including which member of the PLL crew will soon spiral out of control.

TVLINE | Congratulations on getting picked up for Season 6 and 7.
Thanks! Yeah, it’s exciting and a little daunting all at the same time.

TVLINE | Does adding two more seasons affect your end game, or just the path you’ll take to get there?
Early on in Season 4, we started getting calls from the network saying, “We’d originally talked about five seasons, but you have to wrap your brains around the fact that there will be more.” So we started changing the path in Season 4, figuring out how to keep it fresh, and that’s what I love about this season. It was written knowing we’d have a sixth season, and probably a seventh, so we got fired up to keep it really fresh.

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 SpoilersTVLINE | I’d say turning Aria into a killer is one way to keep it fresh.
Absolutely, and it was a very conscious decision to shake it up with a premiere that felt like nothing we’d ever done before. Along with the news of Season 6 and 7, I think some fans got nervous that it meant we’d keep dragging things out, so we wanted to assure them that the show is going to stay really hot.

TVLINE | So now that Aria’s tasted her first kill, albeit accidentally, how will that affect her?
[Laughs] It affects her tremendously. One of the questions the girls have always asked is “Why did Ali pick us? Why were we the team she put together to be her friends?” And those answers will come. One of the reasons she picked Aria is because she’s so compassionate, and now that — as you say — she’s tasted her first kill, it will affect her dramatically. And traumatically.

TVLINE | But the police don’t know she did it, so there won’t be any criminal repercussions, right?
Well, that’s another question: Will there be, or won’t there be? It’s certainly something the girls are worried about. They’re walking away from Shana’s body hoping to never hear about it again, but hey, this is Rosewood. All secrets remain in play for further torture.

TVLINE | The girls are going to have to adjust to having Alison back in their lives. Who will struggle the most?
There’s a moment in an episode coming up where Hanna is mistaken for Alison, and that affects her in a big way. She starts to rethink how she became the person she looks like now. Was she finding her true self, or was she just mimicking Alison? Right off the bat, Hanna is faced with a lot of self-doubt.

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 SpoilersTVLINE | She just needs to get some cupcakes in her.
Or something else, maybe. [Editor’s note: I guess we know which PLL is going on a downward spiral with her boyfriend.]

TVLINE | On to Melissa, she’s still got that big secret, and Mr. Hastings is keeping her quiet. Can you even say what that secret is about?
It’s definitely a big secret, and we’ll find out what it is by the end of the summer, but that’s all I can say because I don’t want to spoil it.

TVLINE | I love the anti-Alison resistance Mona is forming. Is she a “bad guy” now?
It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out, but she’s definitely building her army. We’re having a lot of fun with that group and what they’re plotting. That definitely plays out this summer, and you’ll want to watch it unfold. She has definitely assembled a group of people who were tortured by Alison and are very worried that she’s coming back to Rosewood.

TVLINE | Including Lucas! I almost didn’t recognize him. Will we see more of this darker Lucas?
Yeah, oh my God, he came back with a total re-do. I love it! He’s had some time away from us, and this felt like the perfect time for his character to reinvent himself, like high school kids do. He was home-schooled for a while, so he made a conscious decision to be the new Lucas. He’s Lucas 2.0. And we find out a little bit more about his transformation in the 100th episode.

Pretty Little Liars Season 5 SpoilersTVLINE | Paige was very vocal about not joining Mona’s army. Does that have more to do with her feelings for Emily, or her feelings for Alison?
I think it just had to do with her own personal integrity and moral compass. She saw the anger building in the group as they started announcing their names, and it made her uncomfortable. What’s the lesser of two evils: to join an evil army or to face Alison alone?

TVLINE | Plus, giving into all that anger would just bring her back to that dark place, and she’s moved on.
I would certainly agree with that.

TVLINE | Now, let’s talk about Ezra. The girls are going back to Rosewood, but he’s still in New York, right?
Yes, he’s still in the hospital, but he survived and he’ll come back very soon.

What’s your take on the Season 5 premiere, as well as King’s new teases? Drop a comment with your thoughts — including any questions you still have — below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. JJM says:

    I know they’re different circumstances, but Emily killed Lyndon back in season three (in self-defence) and Spencer almost killed Mona in the season two (again, also in self-defence), so surely they’ll be able to relate to one another, especially seeing as Emily and Aria are the most sensitive characters out of the four that can relate to one another.

  2. Angel says:

    Where was Paige’s moral compass when she tried to drown Emily?

    • Andy Swift says:

      the drowning! #neverforget

    • Liz says:

      let it go! if that was an attempted drowning then all big brothers everywhere should be arrested for attempted murder!

    • Liz says:

      I’m guessing you’re more team “Bully kids to the point of contemplating suicide” aka Team Ali.

      • William says:

        Emily and Maya should have been endgame, but the writers sabotaged their relationship in S2 for the sake of Paige and Emily. I’ll never understand why TPTB are so adamant about the latter being serious when their relationship’s consumed with baggage.

    • xx says:

      Developing. It’s called character development, and it’s especially realistic on a show whose characters are ~16 at the time.

    • Kai says:

      The part where Paige acknowledged she did something really bad and apologized to Emily the same night it happened? While many other characters of the show (including the liars) did barely nothing of the sort for their past actions? #stillwaitingforanapologyfromanyofthegirlsforwhattheydidtoJenna

  3. S says:

    This part sticks out So we started changing the path in Season 4, figuring out how to keep it fresh

    Well you have failed because its far from fresh its Starting to Drag & has been for awhile. The Network needs to let go & let them finish it as we Need Answers Not More Questions

  4. tvfan says:

    Okay, so they now have two additional seasons. Is this turning into a murder mystery club, or just the teen angst lying club? I am hoping for the former.

  5. J says:

    Loved the premiere. Thank God the writers decided to move on with the story and refresh the series. It was definitely getting stale with the same old storyline for 4 seasons.

  6. Spindae2 says:

    The premier was a bit if a let down. I mean not Shana! Out of all characters Shana was the worst possible option to choose for “A”. The Mona army would be a great story if it wasn’t just a way to prolong the whole A mess. If it happened after it would’ve been s much better.
    The only really good thing was Noah Kahn and Ali feeling isolated and her inner struggle. She isn’t the girl she was.

    • Belen Lopez Larroy says:

      Worst possible choice? Really, would you rather like it to be Paige? Or Jenna? The Shana option was the best choice they had. And making Aria the “Killer” was even a best choice

  7. Mich says:

    So are we supposed to believe that Shana was the only A and now that part of their lives is over? The Shana reveal doesn’t seem to add up (like how she was supposedly attacked in her car and threatened by A, among other things), and I’d hate to have to sit through yet another red herring moment.

    • Carrie says:

      I don’t believe for a second that Shauna was the only A. They only did that so the girls would think they were safe temporarily and Ali could come home. They’ll discover quickly that they’re all still in danger.

  8. Miller says:

    The premiere was so boring, I wonder if Marlene King and I are watching the same Show. There’s nothing ‘fresh’ about it. Or even remotely close to interesting. Nothing makes sense anymore! I wish this was the last season, because I just want it to end now!

  9. This show became suddenly really stupid and showing no likelihood of improving all in one episode. SHAWNA IS A? Are you serious? And she just ends up dying like the killer in Scream 2(which is awful!) So stupid.

  10. Leila J says:

    One mystery still remains and that is Allison’s agenda and true nature. The girl is a menace and nightmare and I was not shocked in the least to see Mona’s army. She has hurt, betrayed, double-crossed, blackmailed, harassed, etc. just about every character on that show. It makes no difference to me that she was stalked first and was frightened so much she faked her own death. She was shown to be such a horror and terror that I can understand all the people joining together to do whatever they feel needs to be done regarding her return. I still don’t believe she is trustworthy. I am looking at her with the side eye and I still think she is up to no good and because of that I will keep watching the show. I enjoy the show for what it is worth. I would like to know what the secret is Melissa has revealed to her creepy father. One thing I noticed during the premiere was that there was no information concerning Allison’s mom? Or if there was, perhaps I missed it. Well, I will stay tuned to have that question not answered along with many others that I am sure I will have as the season progresses. Each character is interesting on the show and I cannot wait to see how each one inevitably spins out of control!

    • lk says:

      Completely agree! With Mrs d I the premiere was immediate following the lay episode so no one has even realized she is missing at this point.

  11. Dfid says:

    It was never end said that Shana was A. She was trying to kill Ali because Shana fell in love with Jenna and realized how much pain Ali had caused a lot of people in Rosewood. She was doing it out of vengeance not because she was A.

    • Tali Oziel says:

      but she came in a black hoodie she was the one who text ” its happening follow the leader “it was obvious because she wasnt being filmed while a was chasing ali and after she retured, stoll the gun from arias jaket while she was sleeping in the waiting area and threated to killall of them

      • Tali Oziel says:

        but she came in a black hoodie she was the one who text ” its happening follow the leader “it was obvious because she wasnt being filmed while a was chasing ali and after she retured, stoll the gun from arias jaket while she was sleeping in the waiting area and threated to kill all of them and coincidece ( mind the spelling ) that the texts stopped for a while probably because red coat or who ever the leader is was deciding who is going to take over shanas job.

  12. Mary says:

    Technically, Shana’s death was self-defense, but because they decided to hide it, it’s gonna come back and bite them in the butt. As much as I love this show at times, the lack of common sense on the girls’ part is really starting to drive me nuts.

    • Rachel says:

      Totally understand what you’re saying, but I think that’s one of the more authentic parts of the show, they’re teenagers so they’re bound to make bad decisions and have to deal with the repercussions. Now why teenagers have a murderous vengeance plot against them is a bit far fetched…

  13. Jessica says:

    Was shana really A cause if so then without A there really wouldn’t be a need to continue the show right?

  14. Laika says:

    Not many answers. A lot more questions…I mean Shana? I know she’s not A, so that was just extremley random. I mean if Aria hadn’t killed her first, is Marlene really pretending that she would have killed all of the girls in cold blood – I know lots of rubbish has gone on, but petty teenage wars? to a massacre? That would have been cold blood – I don’t believe she would have. The girls lack of common sense is starting to really get on my nerves, I’m 14 and I could navigate problems the liars come across 10x better than them. I know its just a show, but cummon…how stupid can teenage girls be? Apparently monumentaly stupid at times, according to this show. I know this may be nothing, but did anyone else notice at the end, when Shanas body was zoomed out on at birdseye view, the gun she was holding was nowhere to be seen? That could cause problems, if this should ever – inevitably it will – be traced back to the liars, what do you guys think? Absolutley love Monas army, I was slightly shocked to see Paige there, Melissa, not so much, although I’m intrigued by the gathering of the ‘selected’ people, and I want to know what they’re up to! The scene in the park is the stuff nightmares are made of in my opinion, I loved the first part of the scene – but again, common sense, don’t go into the creepy playground at night, when you know your being stalked by a presumed, extremley dangerous, ominous figure with only a few teenage girls as back-up, that’s smart! Especially when you know the A team is always one step ahead of you, don’t try and win – the part of the scene when the masked figure whispered “You wanna play!?” in a predatory tone was good for effect, but as soon as I realised the figure was taunting, not shooting Ally, I called shenanigans, and I was right! The orchestration of the A frenzy was far to orginized to be the work of Mona or any of her minions, in my opinion. The fact that Mona and her army have a vendeta against Alison, and only Alison, makes it unlikley they would ever taunt the liars in such a personal way as they are not the target of the endgame – or are they? – whatever that endgame may be. At this point in time it’s becoming exceedingly clear that Alison has a lot of enemies, and its not hard to believe there is more than one ‘Anti-Ali Organisation’, Monas Army and The A Team for sure, and personally I believe there may be more, but I think that Shana was neither part of Monas Army or The A Team, she had her own reasons for targeting Ali and the Liars – Jenna – I loved the part when she said “you once told me, that the only way you could trust somebody, was not to ask to many questions…and then you sent me to rosewood, to ask questions..” I admit that at such a ‘serious’ pll moment, it wasn’t appropriate, but I laughed really loud at that. Anyway there are multiple people/groups after Ally and its getting a bit old, there hasnt been much development since we found out seasons back Mona was on the A team, we haven’t learnt any more about Allys tormentors, oh, apart from Shana, who was dead within 20 minutes of us realising her intentions were sly! So really were back to square 1? The liars think – why would they even consider it as an option – A is dead, Allys already keeping secrets, Monas planning something, per usual, the police have another suspicious death on their hands, and all roads lead back to the liars…Is it just me, or does most of that sound familiar? I don’t even want to get my hopes up about the secret Melissa is keeping, a lot of the ‘secrets’ that have been revealed in previous seasons, have been extremley dissapointing, and I see no reason this one shall be any different, it would be interesting if it has to do with the girl in Alis grave, becuase no questions surrounding her have been answered, it would be about time, but they’ll probaly not answer thay question until next season, lol. Who was Ally on the phone with in the theatre? I presumed it was Shana as she turned up at the hospital supposedly per Allys instructions, but she turned up almost immediately and the fact she was trying to kill all the liars, makes me think she may have been lying…hmmmmm…some questions I do have, who attacked Shana that night in her car? Was it a member of the A team? Because the A team dont seem to care who they mess with, anybody that gets in the way of their endgame is a target, so Shana was a target that night? Loved the scene in which Cece boarded a flight to france as Vivian Darkbloom, then proceeded to take her glasses off and smirk, also the revelation that Cece actually saved Emilys life, not tried to end it was sweet. The rest of the episode was just fluff really, it was a decent start to the season, although it could have been much better in my opnion, I really hope that this season doesn’t get dragged out like the last 4, that would be a shame. For the people talking about Paigies moral compass, she didn’t actually try and kill Emily by drowning her, like some of you are implying, she held her head under the water for a few seconds, allowed her to come up for breath, and then dunked her again, there is a HUGE difference, her intention was not to hurt Emily physically, but to let out her confusing emotions, in what was, yes, a very childish way, but her intention weren’t malicious. As for her staying at the meeting, I think the only reason she did was become Melissa turned up, she was about to leave, but the older Hasting triggered intrigue, and she couldn’t leave. You could visibly see her discomfort to the situation, and part of me is hoping thay she will listen to the plan, and at least tell Emily, after all Ally is the reason they broke up in reality, and giving Emily information that is vital to Allys safety could be her perfect way back into Emilys life. A girl can dream cant she? So I’m kind of obsessed with pll, and I cant sleep at night as my brain is doing somersaults trying to fit all of the pieces of this very scrambled puzzle together. I have so many questions Marlene.

  15. Ema says:

    what about that rumor with fans, talking about a twin of alison named courtney?

    • Meg says:

      The more I watch this show the more I believe that Alison does in fact have a twin. I think her twin is who hit her over the head with a rock and that’s why Alison’s mom helped bury her and cover the whole thing up. Who else would she possibly help cover up a murder of her own child for? In the book, Melissa is one of the only people who knows about Alison being a twin, and I think that was the big secret she reveals to her dad at the end of season 4. I could be wrong, but it does make sense.

      • Tali Oziel says:

        no the girls would know if it was alisons twin i think that jason has a girl twin that looks ALMOST exactly like ali thats why the night she dissapears in one flash back she has straight hair and in another she has curly hair

  16. Shelton says:

    I think they need in the series finale to have A(the person behind it all) to be somebody they have known this whole time but never suspected. I dont really like how they keep changing who A is. And plus there had to be two A on season 5 because how did Shona shoot ezra in Philadelphia or New York or whatever and than back to rosewood and kill mrs D and than back to New York to ride on Ezra’s ambulance all in an hour?????

  17. Belen Lopez Larroy says:

    In the last episode of season three, in the cabin, before Toby got hit with the lantern. Who was the girl he has staring at?

  18. Emayafan4ever says:


  19. Belen Lopez Larroy says:

    In the halloween episode of season 4, somebody (-A) attacked Spencer, she hit this person on the hand, later in the episode Ezra Fitz had a “cast” on the hand. If Ezra claims to be only a reporter taking the chance to write a great report about Alison. Why would he attack Spencer?

  20. Kamlita goven says:

    I like the shows plot so far. Although not to sure abt aria being a killer. Think paige should find a way to redeem herself to emily and alison should find a new love interest that is linked to A

  21. Big plll fan says:

    I feel really bad for Aria. I think the most will happen to her this season because not much has happened to her in past seasons. I am scared for aria. She is my favorite and I am very weird and and I kind of like bad things happening to characters i like so I’m especially exited for this season. Can’t wait until next episode!!!!

  22. Emily Brown says:

    Hi I’m only a preeteen but I have found out a whole lot of stuff like how Spencer does but no drugs ( lol ) I was looking on Google and saw that Ezra and Cee Cee drink the same beer that probly doesn’t mean anything but just saying oh and Jason has the same handwriting as A and Jason had those pictures of Aria and in season four in some episode I saw.those same picture hanging on the wall in A’s lair I’m soooooo sad that sauna was A and that Aria out of all pepole killed her and I frggin LOVE A I am like in love wth A and I wanna be just like A when I grow up I love pll best show in All the universe’s love u Marline King I love your show and A but all I really wanna know WHO IS A ?????? Luv ya

  23. Tali Oziel says:

    what is with the new girl Sydney? is she trying to be close to Emily because of Jenna?that convosation they had was not expected!

  24. antonella says:

    ” ali eniende que fue bethany quien la pudo hacer golpeado

  25. antonella says:

    alison conto a bethany su plan para asustar a hanna y al vez bethany no quiera que le hicierian eso a hanna y decidio evltarlo ella y luca atacarion a hanna vertidos con el deisfaz de bebe