Exclusive: Joseph Dougherty Talks Paily, Emison, and Pretty Little Liars Season 5 (VIDEO)

Alison and Spencer in "A is for Answers" - Pretty Little Liars spring finale

Photo Credit: ABC Family

Just like everyone else who lives and breathes Rosewood drama 24/7 (#noshame), we are stoked for Pretty Little Liars Season 5. The show’s cast and crew are just as excited as their loyal viewers and have teased that this is the most exhilarating installment yet, and we can’t wait to find out what’s in store for our favorite characters. Honestly, there are so many creepy situations to fret over for the next three months: Will Ezra live? How will Alison DiLaurentis’s return affect the girls? Who in sweet Tippi’s name is buried in her grave? Is Mona Vanderwaal plotting something deliciously wicked? And is Paige McCullers about to experience the worst year of her life? So, being the PLL fanatics that we are, we dropped by the spring finale event at the Ziegfeld theater in NYC on Tuesday evening (March 19th) and bombarded writer and executive producer Joseph Dougherty with all our burning questions!

According to Joseph, although Ali’s reappearance on the scene adds a “newness” and “freshness” to the popular series, she still serves as a disruptive figure in peoples’ lives. Her best friends — Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hanna — are especially going to learn this the hard way. “I think they’re all affected for different reasons,” Joseph explained. “Really when you think about it Spencer [for sure] because of her ascendency. Hanna because she’s not the same person [anymore] or Emily for that matter or Aria. They’ve all changed. So, while Ali might want to come back to the Rosewood High School she left, it’s gone. She’s gotta find her new role as well as with the other girls.”

Watch the exclusive interview in the video below, and get your fill of savory spoilers on Paily, Emison, the series’s 100th episode, and Season 5 in general. Enjoy!

Who do you personally want Emily to end up with: Alison or Paige? Or should she avoid both the same way Toby should avoid dorags? Sound off in the comments!

Theo is a television enthusiast/digital editor at Alloy Entertainment. A conspiracy theorist at heart, this Greek gal is constantly on the look-out for horcruxes and is still trying to make sense of Lost Season 6. Follow her musings on entertainment at @theodorag13.


  1. sabrina baugher Said:

    It honk emily should be with allison because he always loved allison so why not emily be with her

  2. gabrielle Said:

    Emily should be with Alison! Paige has to go.

  3. liz Said:

    I love Emily and Paige. Their relationship has always felt so real, individually and together they have grown and supported each other. A story that truly resonates. I hope they can work things out.

  4. Daniela Said:

    She definetely should be with Alison! Tgey waited so long for each other

  5. emison Said:

    Alison! Their chemistry is off the rocks and they deserve to have a fair chance together.

  6. Alexandra Said:


  7. l Said:

    Emily should be with Paige. Over the past four years we’ve seen them grow together and overcome the obstacles the world has thrown their way. Their story feels real and authentic and it’s been amazing to watch. They give hope to the young LGBT youth of today. Paily has literally saved lives. I hope the writers know just how much Paily matters.

  8. dan Said:

    i no longer want paily theyre so boring together …give me emison

  9. Beth Said:

    I want Paige & Emily to be together. Paige is the best gf for Emily. Emily is not the same person she was back before Ali disappeared. Paily forever!

  10. katie F Said:

    Paily, always Paily! Their relationship is very real, and has helped so many people! Paige is an incredibly important character given the struggles she has been through. Both Emily and Paige have grown as characters because of their relationship.

  11. Lex Said:

    Alison. Emison all the way.

  12. Julie Said:

    I think she should avoid them both. Paige can be too controlling & Emily definitely doesn’t like it, so that’s a problem. I don’t think that she should be with Alison though because I think Ali kissed Emily to mess with her & manipulate her, not because she wants a relationship with her. She also just came back. The girls have all changed & if Emily startsa relationship with Ali, she’s undoing all if her hard work to get over her.

  13. joi smith Said:

    I think Emily should be with alison there this so much l
    left unsaid between them don’t trust paige

  14. A Said:

    Deffinatly not Allison. Allison always treated her like a joke and made fun of her. Emily should just be single.

  15. kurnia Said:

    paily all the way.and i don’t want alison to be with alisoon.when alison when emily need her ? alison is big liar , pretending dead .
    paily all the way
    paily paily

  16. Hannah Said:

    I think Emily should be with Somara (played by Claire Holt) or at least give that relationship another chance, or they should find some way to bring Maya back or make it that there’s somebody else in her grave like Ali and get Emily to be with her, because Alison teased her and led her on and was basically a bully, and Paige was controlling and selfish.

  17. Kalie Said:

    I think Alison has changed, so if Ali does like Emily as more than a friend Emily should give Alison another chance. I mean Emily gave Paige another chance after she tried to drown her. I love Lindsey Shaw, but Paige needs to go, and even if Emison does not work out Emily should still be with someone other than Paige. Maybe Paige could be with Shana or how about Samara even.

  18. Angie Said:

    PAILY is my favorite couple. Paige is true and she loves Emily. She takes care of her. She would give her life for her and vice versa.
    Definitely Paige.
    A french fan

  19. Kpoplover Said:

    Emison FTW~!!!
    If Ali and Emily were to get together I could die happy :3
    And paily is getting too boring, not that I really ever liked that ship in the first place, but emison is sure to spice things up for the show!
    So gimme EMISON :D

  20. Dylan Said:

    personally, I’m hoping that Emily will end with Allison.
    I’ve been hoping ever since the first flashback seen between the two in season 1
    Emison all the way!!!!

  21. Jay Said:

    I think alison and emily should be together… Emison is endless…. I like paily but I just feel that it has already run it’s course.

  22. Sarah Said:

    I just don’t trust Paige.

  23. Karina Said:

    Alison, definitely. Emison all the way!

  24. Thi Said:

    I actually don’t have anything against Paily or Paige, but i prefer Emison. There’s lots of potential in their story, plus i think Shay and Sasha have better chemistry, that Shay and Lindsay. And it’s always good to remember that Alison was Emily’s first love. And you know how first loves are strong..<3

  25. EMISON Said:

    Emison! Emison! Emison!

  26. Heather Said:

    Ali came back to prove shes a different person. Let her n Emily being together be her fresh start. You can tell when its just Ali n Emily that her words are sincere, u can see it in her face n the way she looks at her. To me Paily is old news its boring.. We know now that Paige is working with Mona. My opinion shes only wanting Emily back to get inside info to take back to Mona…Paige just seems tooo sketchy..Ali was Emily’s “first girl love” let them b happy together..something new and fresh.

  27. Heather Said:


  28. Rachel Said:

    EMISON ALL THE WAy!!!!!!!!

  29. emison!! Said:

    emison needs to happen, emily deserves it and now that ali has changed and accepted her feelings for emily they should be together.Also Aliy’s so sincere when shes with emily and looks at her like she likes her a lot plus paily is so boing they could spice the show a little more with emison ;)

  30. Ashley Said:

    I personally prefer Emison!

  31. Sidney Said:

    I think Emison deserves a chance to be together

  32. Marco Said:

    Alison hasn’t changed, is still a lying a-hole who’s manipulated the Morons… erm, Liars like she did before she vanished. Emily knows Alison, why is she so stupid she doesn’t notice that ALISON IS MANIPULATING HER? Paily is so much better.

  33. Jenny Said:

    Emily and Paige have zero romance scenes, why? The only one we got to see was in the episode “Shadow Play” and it wasn’t even for real. How many times have we seen Ezra and Aria, Spencer and Toby or Hanna and Caleb have sex? Many. It’s obviously a discrimination against gay people. I mean we haven’t even seen Emily and Paige’s first time. I’m not being pervert, I would just love to see them on this intimacy level, just like the other couples. Please prove me wrong and change this.

  34. Lucy Said:


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