EXCLUSIVE: Marlene King on “Pretty Little Liars” season four


In only four days, Pretty Little Liars kicks off its summer season, and, like always, Rosewood boss Marlene King took time out of her crazy busy schedule to chat with us about what we can expect in the upcoming season, including what’s on tap for Emily and Paige, for Emily and Alison(!), and whether or not Ravenswood will delight gay lady fans as much as Pretty Little Liars.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty

AfterEllen: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us again. You know we’re Pretty Little Liars super fans at AfterEllen. So, what’s the over-arching theme of the upcoming season of every lesbian’s favorite TV show?

Marlene King:
Answers. Lots of answers. We get answers from so many different sources. Right away, we learn who or what was in Detective Wilden’s trunk. We learn who the Queen of Hearts was on the Halloween train. We left that finale with the girls sharing a car with Mona back to Rosewood, and we know Mona certainly has some answers she hasn’t shared with the girls in the past. She’s a wealth of opportunity for them.

AE: What kind of group dynamics are we going to see in the coming season? We’ve got Mona kind of becoming a part of the Liars, right? And Spencer has always been sort of the de facto leader of the group and she cracked big time last season. Can she resume that spot?

She did crack last season, didn’t she? That was so much fun to watch. [Troian Bellisario] is so talented. I love her. As I say that, Spencer is definitely the most distrusting of Mona from this point forward, and we know why. She made a deal with that devil at Radley. Mona really is the devil she knows. And Hanna will remain the most trusting. She and Mona were best friends for a long time. They helped each other reinvent themselves. That kind of history doesn’t just go away. Mona was a nerd in glasses with no friends and Hanna helped change that.

AE: What I love about Mona is that even though she’s an obvious psycho, she gets more and more endearing the more flashbacks we see of her.

[Laughs] She’s definitely a three-dimensional villain!

AE: So Spencer doesn’t trust Mona and Hanna does, but are we, as an audience, going to trust her? Will we question where her loyalty lies?

Constantly. Always. Whenever you think you can trust Mona, I think you’ll probably realize maybe you shouldn’t.

AE: If you’re going to start giving big answers this season, does that mean you feel like you’ve stretched the show’s mythology as far as it can go, or are you just tidying up a bit before you open it up even wider?

It feels like we’ve got a lot further to go. I think if we answer some big questions in this half of the season, we can then push the envelope as we start planning for other seasons. We’ve already been picked up for season five, which gave us some freedom to think in a bigger ways.

AE: You probably can’t tell me this, but are we drawing to a close with season five?

I don’t think we are. I think we still have a lot of stories left to tell.

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