It was something fans suspected would happen, but now we have confirmation. During the Pretty Little Liars "5 Years Forward" special we learned Emily's dad died in the army. No specifics were given to us on how he died (although we do know he had a heart condition), but we did learn that his death had a hugely negative impact on Emily, as one would expect. While Emily did attend school in California for a little while, she dropped out after her dad's death and took up bartending instead.
She seems relatively happy with her backup plan in the promo for the second half of Season 6, but Emily's always been good at putting up a front. As we learn in the special, having to come back to Rosewood after five years forces Emily to confront conflicting emotions. She's happy to see her mom and her friends, but it also makes her sad because she knows her dad is never coming home.
I'm sure we'll learn more about Wayne Fields' (tragic and untimely) death in 6B and exactly how Emily and her mother deal with the loss. But, for now we'll just have to speculate about what "the biggest secret" she's keeping is, and whether it has anything to do with how her father lost his life.
R.I.P Wayne Fields, one of TV's best dads.
For more on everything PLL, check out Bustle's podcast Taking This One To The Grave:
And, for a Season 6A refresher, watch Bustle's drunk recap here:
Images: Adam Taylor, Screengrab/ABC Family