'Pretty Little Liars' Creator on the Midseason Finale: 'People Might Start Having Nightmares About Dolls'

Marlene King spoke candidly with THR about Tuesday's cliffhanger episode and gave a glimpse into Season 3 plans.
Randy Holmes/Disney Enterprises; Getty Images

When last Pretty Little Liars left off, Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hanna found themselves in a tough position -- with their trusty therapist Dr. Sullivan suddenly missing from action after they decided to spill the beans about the tortuous "A."

The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke to creator and executive producer Marlene King about Tuesday's finale (hint: a wedding takes place), a scene involving mud, the state of Dr. Sullivan -- and everyone else, for that matter -- and the scene that shocked her.

The Hollywood Reporter: The girls told someone about “A” and now Dr. Sullivan is missing. Will they tell anyone else?

Marlene King: Dr. Sullivan is missing and we certainly have reason to believe that “A” and foul play is involved. We will find out by the end of the finale a lot more about the fate of Dr. Sullivan.

THR: Is she dead or alive?

King: You have to watch. It’s very much a part of the season finale.

THR: A wedding takes place in the finale and the cast teased that there’s mud involved ..

King: The finale definitely recreates the second poster that ABC Family did for this show. It’s definitely four pretty little liars in pretty dresses covered in dirt. The finale starts with them at the police station covered in dirt and then it goes back 12 hours – it’s the first time we’ve skipped around to do time jumps. It’s literally what happened, how did these girls get here and what have they done.

THR: What can you reveal about Spencer’s dad, who has done some questionable things in relation to the DiLaurentis family?

KING: That’s an interesting new mystery that we’re starting at the finale, and it’s going to deepen that mystery. There’s a Jason-Peter scene that’s going to leave you feeling like there’s a new mystery there that we’re starting to uncover. There has to be something. It’s less of an open-ended question after the finale, but I think people who watch the show will start to figure out what it is.

THR: Is the N.A.T. Club really what Spencer thinks it is and does it have anything to do with “A’s” identity?

KING: The N.A.T. Club is going to be something that we’re going to get more involved in in the finale and also in Season 2B. It very well might.

THR: It was revealed that Jackie will still be around when the show is back. How will she play into Ezra and Aria’s relationship?

KING: Jackie is very present in the finale and there is some great Aria-Jackie showdown moments in the finale that I’m really excited to share with people.

THR: Maya is back in Emily’s life, but is she back for good?

King: She’s back in the finale and it answers that question, in terms of what’s going to be the state of their relationship and how their relationship will continue from this point on.

THR: Will Aria's brother Mike’s storyline play into the overall mystery?

King: Eventually, but not right now. It’s a character-family dynamic with Mike.

THR: Was there a scene from what’s been shown so far that surprised you in terms of reaction?

King: We were sort of expecting – but not expecting quite the interesting storm that happened after the Aria-Ezra-Jason kiss. That was interesting watching that play out. I think it shows how passionate our fans are. The finale really elevates the show to a different level. It’s the type of storytelling that we haven’t done yet. People might start having nightmares about dolls, that’s what I’ll say. There are some certain Chucky-type dolls involved.

THR: Whenever the reveal of who "A" is made, how big do you think that will be?

King: I think it’s going to be huge. I think we’ll have two huge moments -- three actually -- when we reveal who killed Alison/who is “A,” because it may or may not be the same person. Now that we have a grasp on what Season 3 is going to be, that is going to unleash a mystery that is going to be as big of a question as who is “A” – at least we hope.

THR: If the series goes on for several more seasons, will there be another mystery that you will employ?

King: At least one.

The midseason finale of Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

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