Emily's Dad May Have Hinted At His 'PLL' Fate

by Kaitlin Reilly

We're finally returning to Rosewood on Jan. 12, and though we've learned the ins and outs of this town across six seasons of Pretty Little Liars, we may not recognize it when the Season 6B premieres. That's because the series will pick up after a five-year time jump, and so much has happened since we last saw the Liars. When Pretty Little Liars Season 6B premieres, Spencer is working on her mother's senatorial campaign, Hanna is sporting an engagement ring that Caleb did not give her, and Aria is working in publishing. While most of the Liars seem to have their lives pretty much figured out, one doesn't quite have it as together. As "5 Years Forward" revealed, Emily will still be grieving the devastating loss of her father when the show returns, marking her biggest tragedy since Maya's murder. So how did Emily's dad die? PLL may have dropped hints about Wayne's fate a long time ago.

According to the "5 Years Forward" special, which aired on ABC Family in November, Emily's father died sometime during her college years, though it's not clear exactly how. No specifics about the cause of Wayne's death were revealed in the special, but Pretty Little Liars itself may have given us the answer we're looking for in previous episodes. Emily's dad is in the military, though his exact role is never specified. While that does make Wayne dying in active duty possible, the more likely culprit is his heart condition.

Pretty Little Liars established Wayne's heart problem in "Bite Your Tongue." In the Season 4 episode, he goes to rescue Emily from school, where A is (naturally) stalking her. After climbing the side of the school to help Emily out of a window, Wayne collapses. He is taken to the hospital and reveals to Emily that he had some tests done, which revealed a heart condition, something that he wanted to keep secret from his daughter as not to worry her.

So while it's not confirmed that Wayne died of a complication related to his heart, it is interesting to see that PLL planted the issue a long time ago. He has not appeared in Season 5 or Season 6, so the last thing we really know about this man is that he was suffering from a medical condition. It seems like too much of a coincidence for Emily's father to have passed during the time jump due to something totally unrelated — and it suggests that maybe the writers planned his death all along.

Wayne's death may have happened offscreen, but it's still devastating to hear about. Hasn't Emily been through enough? Let's hope that Pretty Little Liars finds a way to honor Emily's awesome dad in the new season, because it definitely took him from us — and her — too soon.

For more on what's ahead in Season 6B, check out Bustle's PLL podcast, Taking This One To The Grave.

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