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The roads in Rosewood are paved with broken hearts this season on Pretty Little Liars, but there could be reconciliation in the future for at least one couple.
Even though the show’s main ‘ships are all broken up now — including Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Toby (Keegan Allen), Aria (Lucy Hale) and Ezra (Ian Harding), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn), and Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) — the cast tells The Hollywood Reporter that they will all undergo major changes in the back half of season six.
Below, the Liars reveal what to expect in break-up flashbacks, how the new love interests differ from the old, and how one couple has the healthiest relationship this time around.
What is it like for Aria and Ezra after they reunite for the first time?
Lucy Hale: We never see the scene where Aria and Ezra say goodbye, so in my head, they really faked it. I don’t think there was ever that closure. But they both know they weren’t necessarily the best for each other, at least where they were in their lives. The person you’re in love with isn’t always the right person for you and that’s a hard thing to accept. … Aria wanted to forget everything that happened in Rosewood and look for something new, but she’ll always be in love with him. She will deny it until the end, but maybe they needed to part ways for a while to come back and be something better and stronger. You get to see them be there for each other in a healthy way this time around.
Aria’s new boyfriend, Liam, is a co-worker. How is this relationship different than Ezra?
Hale: He actually reminds me a lot of Ezra, so clearly Aria has a type — physically and mentally. She really likes the smart ones, and he’s really grounded. … A lot of my storyline this season is the three of us. There’s a little bit of friction there, but Liam is a very smart, put-together guy, and I want to believe Aria is very in love with him.
Marlene said you got to work with some characters you didn’t work with as much in previous seasons. What’s happening with Spencer and Caleb?
Troian Bellisario: Spencer and Caleb were always incredibly close because they think alike and have a huge love for Hanna Banana. When Caleb just got back from Ravenswood and they both started drinking and not really making the healthiest decisions, she was the one who told Caleb he had to be better for Hanna. And the same thing when we came back from the dollhouse and Hanna started pushing him away — she went to Hanna and told her that she had to be better. She’s always been very close to them, so when people were like, “You’re spending a lot of time with Caleb!” I’m like, “Yeah, because I’m friends with him!”
What are the flashbacks with Toby and Spencer like? How does their relationship evolve and change?
Bellisario: The biggest trouble that Spencer and Toby have always had and the toughest thing, even when they were still in high school, was that they were growing into different people. … Toby really loves Rosewood and being in a small town, and I don’t see Spencer being contained by that. Even though it’s your first love and it might be an incredible first love, you just become different people.
Does seeing Toby again tempt her at all to go back to the familiarity?
Bellisario: It’s always fun and flirtatious to see someone that you were in love with. … I say Spencer’s single, but you don’t know if Toby’s single or not.
We know there’s a Yvonne somewhere in the picture…
Bellisario: It’s almost like Spencer can indulge in flirtation and fantasies without having to act on them because he’s taken! Spencer really likes where she is. She misses him because you always miss your first love, but would she want to give it all up for him? Nah … she’s married to her work. She’s trying to become a career woman.
Marlene said that Caleb and Hanna’s breakup is one of the most heartbreaking scenes she’s ever written. Ashley, what was it like filming that with Tyler?
Ashley Benson: That scene was super emotional, because we were saying goodbye to each other, and Tyler and I have such a strong love. … It was real for us, too. It was romantic and sad and you’ll feel everything for them. There’s that scene where we break up and one scene after with me. It was one of my favorite scenes that I ever shot, and I can’t say what it is because that will ruin it, but it was super emotional and very real.
Hanna isn’t a cheater, but is there temptation to go back to Caleb when they reunite?
Benson: There’s always going to be feelings there. That was her first boyfriend, he took her virginity, everything. There’s always going to be a deep connection … They’re sad when they see each other too, because they miss each other, but Hanna’s moved on and done better things for her life and matured. At the end of the day, he wants what’s best for her and she wants what’s best for him.
What is different about Jordan?
Benson: He’s older and more mature. They met at one of her fashion events and she was taken by him because he has his life together, he’s successful and he takes care of her. He’s more of a man than Caleb was and she likes that.
How does Alison’s relationship first bloom with Dr. Rollins?
Sasha Pieterse: She’s trying to help her sister and so is he, and it [starts with] a conversation and having a few things in common. She does find him attractive and it ends up being something forbidden that blossoms into something more.
We know Ali ends up engaged, so where does it leave Emison? Are there still unresolved feelings?
Shay Mitchell: Nothing is permanent or 100 percent.
Pieterse: The way Marlene has described it is that there will always be a very special relationship between Ali and Emily … They will always have some sort of flame there and some love for each other.
Emily mentions an Italian girl from her past. Is she someone to look out for?
Mitchell: Emily has always had a revolving door of girlfriends, in Rosewood, which is very surprising for such a small town, that radius of girls … When she was in California, she could have had a couple of relationships out there. She had a really fun time.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Freeform.
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