[Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.]
It’s never a good idea to go into the woods, especially when you’re chasing after “A.”
Pretty Little Liars actress Lindsey Shaw, who returned to the ABC Family drama as Paige, found herself reacting more appropriately to the Rosewood chaos than others are willing to admit. “There was this comment on Twitter that said Paige went from drowning Emily to being the most sane girl,” Shaw recalled.
But fear not, Paige — who, mind you, has gone through her fair share of traumatic teenage experiences (see: kidnappings) — will be back in fine form sooner rather than later. In the second installment of THR’s weekly postmortems with Pretty Little Liars cast and producers, Shaw talks Paige’s momentary breakdown, what that means for Emily and Paige and an unlikely team-up on the quest to take down the “A” train.
The Hollywood Reporter: What were your thoughts on how people were reacting to last night’s episode?
Lindsey Shaw: There was a lot of good things that happened and you saw Paige acting as the voice of reason.
THR: Considering everything that’s been going down in Rosewood, everyone was calm and collected about it all — except Paige, who maybe had the most appropriate response to all the shenanigans. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Shaw: I think that’s pretty much her overall arc of the season, that has to do with that scene [of her freaking out by the woods]. It was so funny, there was this comment on Twitter that said Paige went from drowning Emily to being the most sane girl. Emily is so immersed with this foursome that they are, which used to be a five-some, and at this point she’s leapt into it. Paige, who’s sort of been on the relationship side of it, she has her incidents with “A,” but I think it was her fresh pair of eyes [that made her react that way] after being kidnapped.
THR: So this falls in line with where Paige would naturally go, having dealt life-altering moments like her kidnapping you just touched on.
Shaw: Exactly. She’s really taking it in, whereas the other girls can still be able to get through it. They’re so much closer to it than Paige is. It’s easier for Paige to detach from it a little bit and like, “This is not worth it,” because she obviously doesn’t have as much at stake.
THR: It was funny to see Emily and Paige driving on a deserted road in the middle of the night right by the woods, before Emily began chasing “A.” One of my biggest questions was: When will they learn this probably isn’t the greatest idea?
Shaw: It’s in the dialogue, “party in the woods.” It’s like, “Uhhhh.” I think for as long as there are going to be cautious people asking why you’d ever do that, whether anyone would admit it there are a lot of people who would march head-first into the woods just like Emily. That’s the logical response. Curiosity gets the best of people sometimes.
THR: What does this close call mean for Emily and Paige?
Shaw: From here on out, this is where a little bit of the tension starts to come back. Obviously Emily has one viewpoint and Paige has another, and I think that they both try to pull each other toward their point of view. We start to see that they’re each taking what happened to them very differently — and that puts a strain on their relationship.
THR: Will there be a situation that arises to cause them to be apart for a significant period of time?
Shaw: Doesn’t it always? It takes its toll, and you’ll have to wait and see as events unfold. We’ll see how they come back together from that.
THR: Does Paige have any pivotal scenes with other characters on the show?
Shaw: There is one unlikely companion who Paige teams up with. That comes in next week’s episode. They hatch their own plot to take down the “A” train. It’s someone close to the group.
THR: Is there a scene that sticks out from the last batch of season three episodes?
Shaw: The scene from last night’s episode where they’re in the woods, that was an intense and difficult scene for me. It was the first time that I could have stopped in the middle of while I was filming because I was getting frustrated trying to find the right emotion and where I needed to be. It was the first time I’ve ever shown that much frustration. That was one of the most memorable.
THR: What can you hint at in terms of where Paige ends up at the end of the season?
Shaw: We will see a strong Paige again and we will see an incredible and romantic [Emily and Paige] again, but what comes between I can’t lay down. It’s epic, though; it changes their love.
Pretty Little Liars airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC Family.