AE: Are any of those ups and downs going to revolve around Paige? Lindsey Shaw told me she was going to be back for at least one episode.
MK: Lindsey Shaw will be back. You’ll see her in a couple of episodes. Paige has had some interesting revelations in her life, and her character has made some great strides in owning up to her sexuality. I think it’s a really nice statement that we’re making for Paige.
AE: I really appreciate that about Pretty Little Liars, actually. The way that you guys are committed to the mystery, but also committed to fleshing out all of your characters authentically, even the supporting ones. I’m not sure how you manage all of those narrative components, to be honest.
MK: I think, for me, I just love this world we’ve created so much that it just comes naturally to me. Season 2B is really heavy on mystery, but we’re never going to stop telling emotional stories about these girls. Without the emotional core, I just don’t think people would be as invested in the show.
AE: When we’ve spoken in the past, I’ve remarked on how much you seem to love these characters. I get the sense that as much as the fans love them — and obviously you have a very passionate fan base — you love them even more. And also you love putting them through hell.
MK: I don’t love putting them through hell! I love seeing them come out on the other side victorious! There is actually a moment in the finale when everyone on set was in tears watching the girls in the scene. Everyone: me, the director, the electrician — we were all almost on our knees feeling for the pain of this certain character. It becomes very, very real.
AE: You’re scaring me! I’m like your son! I’m going to have to leave the room! You’re not going to tell me which character, so let me just go ahead and ask what’s in store for the other three Liars. What can we expect for Aria?
MK: Well, we left Aria and Ezra with them almost coming out to her parents. So they’re going to continue from that point of near-confession. I think Ezria fans are going to be happy with the direction that storyline takes them. It’s not an easy road for them, but, like Emily, you’re going to see Aria being a lot more proactive about her relationship with Ezra.
AE: Will Jason DiLaurentis be back in Aria’s life?
MK: Oh, he’ll definitely be back, but not as a love interest for Aria. But he’s a strong character with some really big revelations of his own.
AE: How about Hanna?
MK: You know, Hanna and Caleb are both also taking a proactive part in solving the mystery of who “A” is. Caleb sort of goes back and forth between Rosewood and California this season, but he’s definitely around.
AE: So who are you torturing, Marlene? Is it Spencer?
MK: Spencer probably is the tortured Liar this time around. She has to stay away from Toby to keep him safe. That was “A”‘s mandate. It really is torturous to watch her and Toby go through what they go through. Wren, of course, comes back around for a while. And Wren — well, he’s in some pain, I’ll say.
AE: My poor, precious Spencer. Well, what about the Pretty Little Moms. They’re my favorite. I want to see them form some kind of coalition — a MILF Army or something.
MK: Oh, they’ll be around. As the girls start honing in on who A is, the moms — and Byron — are starting to simultaneously figure out on their own that there’s a larger presence looming over their daughters. So, of course, the girls just start creating bigger and bigger lies because they don’t want what happened to Dr. Sullivan to happen to their parents.
AE: Are Emily’s parents going to be back or are they still in Texas?
MK: Emily’s dad will be around, and definitely Pam will make some appearances. In fact, by the end of the season, her parents will be back in Rosewood.
AE: Just in time for “A” to blow up the world! So what are you most excited about sharing with the fans this time around? The romance, the “A” reveal, the intrigue?
MK: It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing, but I think we’ve done a really great job this time of paying off little mysteries in each episode while linking everything to the larger mystery of “A”‘s identity. Even though the finale feels like we finally get some closure, I think people will have so much to talk about between seasons two and three. I think we’re actually opening up the show even more.
AE: I can’t wait to watch it.
MK: Well, I can’t wait to share it with you.
ABC Family will air the Pretty Little Liars winter premiere on January 2nd at 8:00 p.m. Will you be watching?