8:00am PT by Alyse Whitney
‘Pretty Little Liars’: What to Expect From Each Character After Five-Year Time Jump
Pretty Little Liars ended the era of Rosewood being terrorized by “A” after the black-hoodie-wearing figure was unmasked as Charlotte DiLaurentis (Vanessa Ray) in the season six summer finale, but that doesn’t mean the Liars are out of the woods yet.
When season 6B premieres on Jan. 12, the show will give a closer look at where the girls are five years later. Although a brief glimpse at the time jump was seen in the summer finale, the events in the classroom scene won’t happen until season seven.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with creator I. Marlene King to break down what each of the Liars is up to when the show comes back, including one in the opening credits. “We know it’s not Alison in there,” King tells THR, “and it’s not an empty coffin!”
Read on for more from King about who’s broken up, who’s a “broken man,” and what else to expect in the rest of the season’s twists and turns.
Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale)
Aria is in a great place when we meet her. She’s found a career that she is happy with as an assistant editor at a publishing house, and she’s in a relationship with a coworker [Liam]. Events transpire that will bring her into the same room with Ezra Fitz. She hasn’t seen him for quite a while, so they will reconnect and lay eyes on each other for the first time in a long time.
Aria and Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding)
There definitely has been a tragic event that occurred in his life, and when we meet him, he definitely is a broken man. He is in a very dark place. Ezra has a deal at the publishing company that Liam and Aria work at. Because of this event that’s happened, he has not been able to finish his second novel. And he and Liam are not working together yet when we first come back.
Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson)
Hanna and her fiancé Jordan are in a happy place and she is the person who is the least happy to be back in Rosewood. She’s happy outside of Rosewood. To quote her in an episode, when she’s in Rosewood she’s always spinning and twirling, but she’s not here and out in the world with Jordan, she doesn’t spin and she doesn’t twirl. She’s grounded and found some stability with Jordan and she likes that. Events occur that force the Liars to stay in Rosewood for a while, and she’s the most desperate to get out and try to find that stability and happiness she had during these last five years.
Hanna and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn)
When we last saw them, they were very much together and thinking of moving to New York together. Some of my favorite scenes in this part of the season are Hanna and Caleb flashback scenes. You will see why they broke up and their actual breakup, and it’s heart-wrenching but beautiful and so cinematic. I think it was, for both of those actors, some of their favorite work ever on the show.
Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario)
Spencer has left Washington for a bit because she’s giving up all of her vacation time to help her mom when this election for state senator happens. It’s a lot of fun for her, and it’s a natural gig.
Spencer and Toby (Keegan Allen)
Part of 6B is flashbacks, and we’re going to see both Haleb and Spoby flashbacks and find how and when they grew apart, and if it’s possible for them to get back together anytime. There is a great Spencer and Toby scene in the first episodes back. It’s one of my favorite scenes, and those two both still have great chemistry onscreen. All of our couples, whether they’re together or not, still have plenty of scenes together, and their chemistry is undeniable. What’s fun about this shakeup is we do have different friendships with people and we do try to shake it up — whether romantic or not romantic — with people they normally wouldn’t have scenes with, like with Spencer and Caleb. So it feels very fresh and new.
Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell)
The death of her father really rocked her world. He was such a solid guy and a great dad. So she’s struggling. She has more than one secret — she’s the one with the greatest secrets when we return ... [The book on Emily and Paige] is closed for now, but I never say never. She had a lot of experiences as well. She references an Italian girl quite often when we come back, so maybe we’ll get to meet the Italian girl.
Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse)
Alison is substitute teaching and just getting her teaching credentials when we first meet her. She is in the classroom at Rosewood High, which is fun and exciting to see. She’s actually a great teacher and is very passionate about teaching. Sasha Pieterse and I had long talks about why she became a teacher, and it’s because she never really had a high school experience. So she kind of found her way back there as an adult. What happens brings everyone back to Rosewood and shocks and rocks everyone’s world, including Alison’s. And that event definitely pushes her toward a closer relationship with her soon-to-be-fiancé, Dr. Rollins.
Pretty Little Liars returns on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. on Freeform.