The epic Pretty Little Liars season 2 finale is less than four days away and all fans are buzzing with questions: Will someone die? What horrors will the liars encounter? Will there be any heartbreaks? Who is A? Needless to say, everyone’s anxious to unmask the treacherous texter once and for all and to find out who’s been terrorizing the girls ever since Aria Montgomery returned to Rosewood from Iceland! Until the highly anticipated reveal though, we hope our exclusive interview with PLL creator, executive producer and mastermind Marlene King will satisfy your cravings for all things ‘A’. Uncover new clues about the finale and upcoming masquerade ball in the Q&A below!
Pretty Little Liars: What was the process of choosing ‘A’ like — did you choose a culprit right from the start or did a suspect pop up later on?
Marlene King: No, it was decided from the beginning. We knew who A was going to be when the pilot was made. We wanted to be very careful and very sure that for when it was decided to reveal ‘A.’ It felt like the only way to do it was to be committed to who A was from the get go, so we could be smart about it and not make mistakes. We wanted to make sure it all made sense and felt very truthful and real.
Pretty Little Liars: Was the show’s ‘A’ at all influenced by the books?
Marlene King: [laughs] There are books to Pretty Little Liars?! Just kidding.
Pretty Little Liars: [laughs] We know — we see your entertaining conversations with Sara Shepard on twitter! Did you consult with her at all when you were choosing ‘A’?
Marlene King: No, I didn’t. Sara watches the show and I know that she originally read the pilot. And she’s been on the show and even did a cameo. Then, we named the Kristen August Rehabilitation Center For The Blind, the school that Jenna attended, after Sara’s son. We enjoy paying homage to Sara as much as possible but I don’t know if she knows who A is. She might have found out from her friends there at Alloy though.
Pretty Little Liars: [laughs] Trust us — we’re trying really hard to stay in the dark about who ‘A’ is to avoid accidentally spilling it! On that note, got any clues as to who the culprit behind all those threatening texts is?
Marlene King: I cannot. [laughs] I wish I could. I feel like we’re all clued out. What I can say though that when the Pretty Little Liars all read the script — we didn’t give them the script ahead of time. They read it at the table read. It was just unanimous. People were just floored and extremely happy about the decision to make ‘A’ the person that it is.
Pretty Little Liars: How will viewers feel by the end of the final episode?
Marlene King: I’ve seen the finale probably twenty times now and every time I watch it I’m exhausted when it’s over. People have asked me, “How will we feel when it’s over?” and I tell them, “Exhausted.” It’s a roller coaster ride that gives you more than just who A is.
Pretty Little Liars: Will there be any noteworthy cliffhangers?
Marlene King: There is one huge cliffhanger and we’re definitely ending one chapter of PLL — to use the books as a metaphor — and starting another one on ‘A’ day as everybody is calling it right now.
Pretty Little Liars: The ‘A’ reveal is certainly an exciting part of the finale but we also just as thrilled about the masquerade set. Can you tell us a little more about the party scene?
Marlene King: Of course! Well, Rachel Kamerman, who is our production designer, really knocked it out of the park with this one. We felt, thematically, since A was going to be unmasked that a masquerade ball just felt so appropriate. So [Rachel] designed something and just completely blew us away. It’s magical but at the same time it exudes an ‘A haunting, fairy tale’ feel and Rachel really brought that to life. It’s not a ‘happy endings’ sort of magical — it has more of a Grimm’s fairy tale vibe.
Pretty Little Liars: It seems like no masquerade ball on television ever ends well. Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries and now Pretty Little Liars!
Marlene King: [laughs] This one definitely doesn’t end well for ‘A’!
Pretty Little Liars: We recently interviewed Brendan Robinson who raved about all the tributes you, Normal Buckley and the creative team make to Hitchcock. The season 1 finale, where Spencer is trapped in the bell tower with Ian Thomas, has a Vertigo vibe. Which Hitchcock film will you focus on for the season 2 finale?
Marlene King: Once we started to pound out what the story was going to be and we knew exactly what the story was going to be we started looking for our Hitchcock homage for this year’s finale. And this episode felt so ripe for a Psycho set piece. We have Rosewood’s version of the Bates motel and it plays very importantly in the finale.
Pretty Little Liars: Speaking about homages, PLL is a very book-friendly show. Do you purposely select certain novels and use them as clues?
Marlene King: Whenever we can, we like to use literary references either thematically or as clues or as just texture for the tone of what that episode or that group of episodes is going to be about.
Pretty Little Liars: Looking back at season 2, are there any episodes that deserve a re-watch? All of them deserve a re-watch of course but are there any that are especially peppered with clues?
Marlene King: The Vivian Darkbloom ones for sure! Any episode that references Vivian Darkbloom or talks about Vivian Darkbloom is probably a great episode to watch again and pick up on subtle clues you might have missed the first time around.
Pretty Little Liars: Have you and the writers struggled emotionally with any specific scenes this season?
Marlene King: Definitely! There is a scene in the finale that, when I watch it it stills makes me cry. I think that fans will get it as soon as they see the finale, and they’ll know what that scene is and why it’s so so heartbreaking.
Pretty Little Liars: Maintaining a relationship in Rosewood isn’t easy at all. However, will any of the couples on the show enjoy a little happiness?
Marlene King: There are some happy endings. I won’t say which couples get the happy endings but I will say that at least one of our couples embraces a happy ending in this finale.
Well, at least two people will be enjoying a Disney fairy tale bliss by the end of the Pretty Little Liars season 2 finale. As for the rest of them…let’s just all all hell will break loose during the masquerade ball and juicy, new mysteries will without a doubt present themselves!
So, if you could ask Marlene King a question about “unmAsked” what would it be? Post it below in the comments and remember to tune in for the mind-blowing Pretty Little Liars season 2 finale on ABC Family Monday at8/7c!