What's Next For 'Pretty Little Liars'?

by Christine DiStasio

The Pretty Little Liars Season 4 spring finale is Tuesday night on ABC Family, but we're already looking ahead to PLL Season 5. We need to know what happens next! Thankfully, showrunner Marlene King and the series' cast dropped some major PLL hints over the weekend during their appearance at PaleyFest about where their hit show is headed when its fifth season premieres on June 10. For those of you considering giving up on PLL out of frustration — you might want to stick around because there are some big changes ahead.

Clearly, "A"'s not the only one that can keep a secret after four seasons — but we can forgive the lack of detail on the part of the PLL cast. They revealed just enough information about where the series is headed, now that Alison will come out of hiding, that our imaginations are running wild with possibility. King also revealed when exactly Tyler Blackburn will reprise his role of Caleb Rivers and debut as a series regular. Which is more than enough to start our countdown to June.

As a diehard (and frequently frustrated) fan of the ABC drama, I've often wondered how I've stuck by the series for so long. Because after four seasons, we still don't entirely know who A is — and I have a feeling, after reading King's comments on Sunday, that we might not actually find out during Tuesday's finale either. But on the opposite side, I've also wondered what would happen if A did get revealed — what would PLL do then? The entire show is about ousting the anonymous tormentor and the mystery of Ali's death, and now that we know she's alive and she's about to spill her secrets, how could they just end A at the same time?

Well, King and the Liars themselves had a few things to say about that and now we've got a few more theories to consider:


According to King, the series is going through some drastic changes — including Alison's return to full-on public life after being on the lam for so long. And that's not going to be easy. Sasha Pieterse, who plays Alison DeLaurentis, explained that Ali's return to the group will cause a drastic change in dynamic that not everyone will be ready for. She also said:

She’s now the victim. When it was the five of them, Ali always had them under her thumb. [Now they] have to find out the pain that she has felt. Welcoming her back is going to be not as easy as it should be.

King also shared during the panel that season five is shaping up to be the most emotionally complex season to date and that "it feels like a whole new show." (Thank god for that because we were starting to get a little tired of chasing A around endlessly.) According to King, each girl will be affected individually (because Ali had a special way of tormenting each one of them) and as a group as well as their respective love interests (LEAVE TOBY ALONE, ALISON). So, it sounds like we're in store for at least half a season of the girls grappling with having their dead friend back and trying to understand and heal both their own wounds and her suffering. Hopefully we can still rely on Hanna to be brutally honest throughout the ordeal.


And that episode is coming a lot sooner than you thought — PLL's 100th episode will be the fifth episode of season five. (Has it really been that long since we started obsessively watching?) Yay, Caleb! And Ashley Benson is "super happy" about Blackburn's return, but not because they're getting back together anytime soon.

Benson and the showrunners kept seriously tight lips in regards to what's going to happen with Hanna Marin's relationship status. But they did reveal that they're excited to be giving Benson's character a lot of romantic options and that she'll eventually make a decision. Hanna's currently got sweetheart Travis and Detective Holbrook wrapped around her fashionably manicured finger and she's going to enjoy that attention for awhile. We still think she's going to go back to Caleb in the end though — they're soulmates, guys.


Well, one last time at least. Which probably means that Alison's retelling of her traumatic adventures will lead directly to Grunwald and the rest of the supernaturally creepy town residents. So fear not, Ravenswood fans, your time will come during season five. Executive producer Joe Dougherty told the audience:

We are going to in a satisfactory way, as not to leave you hanging. We knew where we were going, but they [the network] told us to get off the train.

Well, thank god — even though none of us are eager to see anyone get sucked back into that Ravenswood drama again. Ravenswood did play a huge part in Alison's time on the run, as long as they focus on that angle for their final return to the perpetually Instagram-filtered town, we won't be disappointed to drop back in.


Sorry guys, we might find out who A is tonight, but that doesn't mean that A is gone forever. This wasn't mentioned during the PaleyFest panel, but it's news just the same. (Even though we expected it.) According to IBTimes.com the season five general synopsis has been revealed and A doesn't plan to give up on Ali now that she's out in the open. Here it is, for all of your disappointment:

In the new season of the hit drama series, the PLLs must dodge their dreaded nemesis 'A,' while navigating a world with Alison back in it.

I mean, we all knew that A was never going anywhere, right? A's also a ringleader with a legion of smaller mini-As at his/her command — so there was no way a big identity reveal was going to put an end to their reign of terror. And what fun would that be?

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