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Pretty Little Liars EP on the Importance of Original Sin‘s Assault Storyline: ‘I Genuinely Hope It Can Help Someone’

PLL Original Sin Sexual Assault
Courtesy of HBO Max

Spoiler alert: We’re about to reveal a major plot point from Episode 6 of PLL: Original Sin. Haven’t watched yet? You know what to do.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin struck a tragically relatable chord in the back half of its first season, revealing that both Tabby (Chandler Kinney) and Imogen (Bailee Madison) were victims of sexual assault, the latter of which resulted in a pregnancy.

Neither Tabby nor Imogen can identify their attacker as of yet, but fans will get the answers they seek when the season’s final three episodes drop on Thursday.

“When we were developing this as a horror show, we were also creating these characters and creating a friendship between young women,” executive producer Lindsay Calhoon Bring tells TVLine. “Although the show was heightened, it was important to us that we tell some grounded horror stories. [Sexual assault] was a topic we couldn’t shy away from. It was something we wanted to talk about.”

Statistically, in a friend group of five female friends, “it’s unfortunately quite possible that two of them could be assaulted, and that they could bond over that trauma,” Bring adds. “It was very important to me and [fellow EP Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa] that we tell that story sensitively and without sensationalizing it or making it gratuitous. It’s really about these two girls unpacking their trauma.”

As for why the characters were saddled with this horrific burden on top of everything else they’re dealing with, Bring reminds us that in the real world, “the horrors don’t stop for you just because you have a lot of other things going on.”

Ultimately, Bring says this storyline is the one she’s “most proud of” from Original Sin‘s first season: “I’m proud of how we told that story, how the cast played that story, all of it. I genuinely hope it can help someone.”

Original Sin‘s 10-episode first season concludes Thursday with the arrival of three new installments; despite a previous promo’s “copy error” suggesting that the show is ending, a decision about its future has yet to be made.

What are your thoughts on this particular storyline? Drop them in a comment below, along with your predictions for the impending finale.

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