Post Mortems

Pretty Little Liars Boss Breaks Down Perfectionists Finale's Biggest Twists: 'Nobody's Off the Hook Yet'

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

Just when Alison and her fellow Perfectionists thought they’d finally solved Nolan’s murder, along came Wednesday’s Pretty Little Liars season finale to reveal that the game has only just begun.

Not only did we learn that Jeremy isn’t responsible for Nolan’s death (oops?), but the actual murderer — a mysterious individual known as “The Professor” — has footage of Taylor shooting Jeremy on the docks, complete with crystal-clear audio of everyone else agreeing to cover for her.

Below, showrunner Marlene King breaks down the finale’s biggest twists, offering some insight about what a potential second season might hold:

TVLINE | I feel like we’ve finally found a new “A” in this “Professor.”
I’m so excited. It was a real challenge figuring out what that was going to look like. When we came up with the professor, I couldn’t have been happier.

TVLINE | This might be a dumb question, but can we assume — based on that last scene — that the “Professor” is, in fact, a professor?
I’ll just say that the person lives in the world of the school, yes.

TVLINE | I also noticed that Taylor was taken to rehab by someone named Dr. Benson. Was that a little wink to Ashley Benson?
[Laughs] Yeah, we definitely did that. And there was a Hale in there, too. I think the symphony guy is Mr. Hale.

TVLINE | In general, I’ve loved all the little references to previous characters.
It’s so fun, and we’ll keep doing that. Hopefully in Season 2 we’ll get to actually see a couple of people. I really wanted this first season to focus on the new core group, but now I think we can open it up a little bit and have some of our Rosewood friends visit Beacon Heights.

TVLINE | When I spoke with Tyler Blackburn recently, he sounded very game to play Caleb again.
I love it. He’s been very encouraging — and Troian [Bellisario], Ashley [Benson], a lot of them. We’d like to get the gang back together for some big episode.

TVLINE | Any word on a Season 2 renewal?
I think it’s likely, and we’ll hear about that in the next couple of weeks. Bryan Holdman — one of our original lifetime PLL writers, who’s going to be joining us on staff — and I are going in to pitch our loose version of Season 2 to the network next week.

TVLINE | When would that premiere pick up? A new school year?
Well, it’s still fall for these guys. Time moves slowly in Beacon Heights, just like in Rosewood. It would probably pick up after Christmas vacation.

TVLINE | Alison’s transfer to the psychology department was almost too easy. Should we be worried?
I think Dr. Fielder said something like, “Alison doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in,” so there’s definitely more to the story that the audience might get a little ahead of before Alison realizes there’s an agenda happening that she’s not aware of.

TVLINE | Speaking of not being aware, I didn’t realize the actor who plays Mason was on Heroes back in the day. He’s all grown up!
[Noah Gray-Cabey] is such a nice guy. And those two have so much chemistry. I think we all felt Mona’s pain as she tried to convince him that it was just about the sex for her.

TVLINE | I also felt Dylan’s pain when he confronted his high school bully. Besides overcoming that personal obstacle, was there another reason for bringing Luke to campus?
You definitely haven’t seen the last of him, that’s for sure. Luke’s, which is the name of the food truck, is not leaving campus anytime soon.

TVLINE | I started this season really suspicious of Claire, but now I think she’s just a nice lady who wants to protect her family. Am I right?
She’s definitely a mother who’s concerned — perhaps overly concerned — about her kids, to the point where she might make some regrettable mistakes. Everybody is a suspect still. Nobody’s off the hook yet.

Your thoughts on Wednesday’s Perfectionists finale? Grade the episode via our poll below, then drop a comment with your theories. Who is “The Professor”?