March 19, 2012 8:30am PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars' Countdown: 'A' Suspect Offers Clues to Explosive Season Finale
[Warning: Some possible spoilers ahead.]
"A" day is finally upon us.
Pretty Little Liars wraps up its second season tonight with a reveal months in the making and as executive producer Marlene King coyly teased to The Hollywood Reporter last week, "just when you'll think it’s over, it’s not over and then it’s not over again." Just what exactly is she talking about?
When the show -- based on the teen novels by Sara Shepard -- first premiered on ABC Family in June 2010, it was established early on that the series' biggest mystery would be the unmasking of the pot-stirrer known simply as "A." King admitted as much, saying, "For me, who is 'A' has definitely been the driving mystery question of the show. Probably more than who killed Alison." Since then, the list of suspects has grown longer and longer, with every man, woman and child who has dropped by the small town of Rosewood making their way to the top at one point or another.
But for fans of the show who have read the Shepard novels, the identity of "A" was first unveiled in the fourth book Unbelievable before a "new 'A' " appeared in Wicked. There has been some speculation as to whether the TV series will align with the books with its "A" reveals, but King said the following to THR back in June: "Mona’s suspicious because in the books, she’s 'A,' but we’re not necessarily saying that here."
At the ABC Family upfronts on Monday, King confirmed that "A" is one individual, reiterating what she told THR, that this person will have a larger role in season 3.
One of the suspects on the possible "A" culprit list is Rosewood police officer Garrett Reynolds, played by Yani Gellman, who had a relationship with Jenna (Tammin Sursok). In last week's episode, it was revealed that he was intimately involved with Spencer's older sister Melissa (Torrey DeVitto), also a possible "A" suspect. (In one scene from the finale, "A" invites the gang in a game of hide-and-seek, which Spencer says was Melissa's favorite game, with a midnight deadline.)
As Gellman tells THR, there's more to Garrett than viewers have seen onscreen. Of course.
"He has relationships with the four girls (Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily). He's been in a relationship with Jenna, now he's seeing Melissa. He's in a unique position, especially being a cop, to be in a lot of different places over the course of the season and he sees things from a lot of different angles," he told THR, picking his words carefully. "The character is in a unique position because he has so many ties to all these different central characters to the show."
When asked whether the Garrett-Jenna relationship will be revisited and how that may factor into the "A" reveal, Gellman said, "Yea, I don't think you've seen the last of [them]. There's still a lot of explanation to be given as to why we split up and what kind of bearing that has on who 'A' is. There's more to come in terms of what exactly went down between the two of them."
But Gellman was aware that Garrett, who will return in the third season ("you haven't seen the last of Garrett, let's leave it at that"), would see a shift in the latter half of the year. "One of the writers pulled me aside and mentioned that my character was going to go in a bit of a different place toward the end of the season, that there were some twists and turns in store for me, so I had a head's up that something was going to happen," he said. "And then I was like, 'Woah!' Pretty awesome."
He did, however, say some interesting remarks about the final moments of the masquerade gala-set finale -- though Gellman didn't exactly dissect the content of the scenes. "I'm not really on set for all the things that are being filmed and that's what actually happens in the final scenes of the episode, I'm just as much in the dark as anyone else and I'll be tuning in Monday to find out what happens," Gellman says. Or is he just pulling our leg? (Cast member Tyler Blackburn told THR that when he discovered "A's" identity, "I just remember it like an adrenaline rush.")
"It's the best episode we've ever done, in terms of tying up storylines," said Gellman, who also appeared in the CW's 90210, of the finale. "Marlene's been saying that it's the end of a mystery and the beginning of a new one. It does a good job of ending one storyline while beginning a whole new thing in season 3."
Pretty Little Liars' season 2 finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.