'Pretty Little Liars': Janel Parrish on the Latest Death and Mona's Next Move
In a chat with THR following Tuesday's episode, the actress says of Mona and Spencer's role reversal: "Mona is almost like the new Spencer now."
[Warning: Spoilers from Tuesday's episode, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind."]
Is Toby (Keegan Allen) dead?
Sure seems that way, but on Pretty Little Liars, often things aren't always as they seem. "It sure seems like he's dead, right?" asks actress Janel Parrish, who plays Mona. "He's lying in a pool of blood, there's his tattoo and Mona says he's dead."
In the eighth installment of THR's weekly postmortem with Pretty Little Liars' cast and producers, Parrish discusses last night's bombshell reveals, what Mona's next order of business is and whether Toby really is dead.
The Hollywood Reporter: What was reception like from fans after last night's episode?
Janel Parrish: Oh, it was crazy! We had a mixed bag of emotions. We had some angry fans, we had some sad fans, we had a lot of hatred toward Mona's character and a lot of funny comments. Some people were saying, "Toby's too beautiful to die," "I will miss his abs," "My sweet baby was innocent ... he didn't do anything wrong." There were some entertaining tweets for sure, and a lot of them are mad at me.
THR: The big mystery of the episode is whether the body is really Toby's.
Parrish: It sure seems like he's dead, right? He's lying in a pool of blood, there's his tattoo and Mona says he's dead.
THR: But it's Mona, so are we to believe what she says?
Parrish: Well, you see his body there and he's not moving, so it seems as if he's dead.
THR: What does this mean going forward?
Parrish: What's interesting for me is how Mona and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) have now completely switched characters. Mona is almost like the new Spencer now. She's in charge, she's cool as a cucumber and, nothing seems to faze her. Spencer has slowly been spiraling out of control for the last few episodes and that's exactly what Mona wanted. Now Spencer is in Radley Sanitarium and in next week's episode, Mona comes and visits her with her extremely condescending smile. Mona's very, very pleased with the way things are going.
THR: How does Spencer deal with being locked up?
Parrish: She goes insane. She doesn't know anything that's happening. First she finds out her boyfriend betrayed her and is working with one of her biggest enemies, and then she finds out her boyfriend is dead, so she has no handle on who she is anymore. In the next episode, you'll see what that revelation of finding Toby's body did to her.
THR: How does Mona play into it? She's so good at psychological warfare, in regards to the four girls.
Parrish: Mona loves playing games, and she's not stopping yet. She got Spencer exactly where she wanted Spencer to wind up and next week, she'll visit her and play more of those mind games. She'll bring up the past: Basically if you didn't turn me down when I asked you join the "A" team a year ago, would you be here? She's being very manipulative.
THR: They did have that moment last season where Mona asked Spencer if she wanted to join the "A" team.
Parrish: Since Spencer turned Mona down last season, Mona has made it her mission to destroy Spencer, and she got her way.
THR: What's next on Mona's agenda?
Parrish: Ultimately, destroying the four girls. You will find out more about that, even in the next episode. As we come to the finale, the main mystery will be finding out who the mysterious red coat is and what she has to do with the "A" team, if anything.
THR: Going back to last night's episode, what was your favorite moment?
Parrish: I liked the moment where Spencer is chasing Mona through the woods, and then she just stops and realizes that her whole world has been turned upside down. Troian did such a beautiful job in that scene. That really spoke to me when I watched it. She gave a gut-wrenching performance.
THR: What can we expect in the remaining episodes of the season?
Parrish: The girls are trying to figure out what's going on with Spencer and if they can ever get her back, and if she'll be the same person again. Spencer will be dealing with that herself, with dealing with this loss with her life.