Showrunner Marlene King discusses fan response, deaths and what to expect on the ABC Family drama
ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars” set Twitter ablaze with the revelations on Wednesday’s spring finale.
Nearly 1.5 million tweets whizzed by at about 37,000 tweets per minute at its height during the episode last night titled “A Is for Answers” – making the episode TV’s most-tweeted series program of 2014 to date and the No. 4 most-tweeted series program on TV ever.
Executive producer Marlene King, fellow producers and the cast watched the spring finale with 1200 fans at a theater in New York City – all live tweeting. And the show boss believes she knows when the show broke Twitter.
Spoiler alert if you didn’t watch Tuesday’s episode, “A Is for Answers.”
“I really did hear that we broke Twitter at one point in time,” showrunner Marlene King told TheWrap.
“I think when Ali said Mrs. D buried her alive Twitter like stopped for a moment, because we crashed it,” she continued. “And then it started up again and it was just great. The fans were screaming, they were crying. At times they were just so quiet. It was just great to get all that. It was just fantastic night.”
TheWrap: So, that was Mrs. D (Andrea Parker) we saw being buried alive?
Marlene King: That was Mrs. D. It was a very karmic moment. I can say the episode can be very full circle. I saw Sara Shepard, the author of the book series, and I told her I was so happy she was there. If you think of the pilot and last night’s episode, they’re bookends. There were a lot of things that came full circle.
Will Ezra (Ian Harding) survive?
Yes. Well, he’s coming to the table read tomorrow so it’s not a big secret.
At PaleyFest, you teased a big “Ezria” moment. Do you think Ezra got some redemption?
Well, I think we took a big step in the right direction — not just for Aria but all the girls. And I think it’s not going to change things over night, but in those last moments of the finale we really saw that raw emotion of Aria and Ezra and she will remember these feelings: how she almost lost him and how bad they felt. And I think that that will help her soften a little bit toward him.
Can we whittle down the suspects for “A” from the figure on the roof?
Sometimes, it’s the actor who is “A” and sometimes it’s the stunt person. I would not get too tangled up in this physical description of the person wearing this hoodie. But, you do know for a fact that the person wearing that hoodie is capable of making that leap. I mean that we know. So, we know it’s not Mrs. D and its probably not…?
What can you say about Mona’s role in Alison’s story?
I love those moments in last night’s episode. They were so much fun to shoot. And Janel Parrish just brings it, whether she’s mad at ‘A,’ a badass, loser Mona or new Mona. She’s just such a versatile actress. And the reality is we talk about this all the time in the writers room. Had Alison just had that conversation with her two years before Mona never would have been ‘A.’ She just wanted to hear ‘See Mandy at the boutique it and tell her Vivian sent yah.’
How will the circle of intrigue surrounding the Hastings family grow as a result of last night’s events?
There is a lot going on in the house of Hastings. I think Spencer’s parents really did believe that Spencer hurt who they thought was Alison at the time. And as for what Melissa said in her father’s ear, it’s very much a part of Season 5. It’ll start to play out very quickly when we jump back into the story.
What was it like to bring all the girls back together again with Alison?
We haven’t had that scene since the pilot. It definitely is a full circle moment. It’s even scripted that I have them sitting in the same positions they were sitting in the barn. Psychologically, you feel that familiar feeling. It was hard to re-create the barn, which we had to do to fill in those gaps.
We spent two days filming those scenes where she’s telling her story and it was great for the girls. They were so engaged. Everybody was really performing on their ‘A’ game for those scenes and you can see it. They’re so engaged. And there’s just so much raw emotion there.
And the Ali we’ve seen in the flashbacks is a heightened Ali, because it’s their memory of her — I mean she was a bitch for sure. But, I think this Ali we saw last night is seemingly a changed Ali. And the questions we go into the next season with are has she really changed? Or has she not changed? Or will she switch back into the old Ali mode.
Caleb returns next season. Will he bring with him some closure on “Ravenswood”?
I think there will be an eventual end to “Ravenswood.” He wont be coming back to wrap up that story. There’s a reason he’s coming back and the time is tied to “Ravenswood” events. And eventually by the end of the summer season, we’ll find some closure to that “Ravenswood” story. We were very upset about the cancelation. But, we’re giving him an opportunity to at least let people know where we were heading with the story. And, do it much quicker.
Does “Ravenswood’s” cancelation close the door on future “Pretty Little Liars” spinoffs? Is ABC Family still open that?
Yes, they are. There’s a couple ideas floating out there that I know I would personally love to explore.
“Pretty Little Liars” returns for its fifth season on Tuesday, June 10.