If you're all about beautiful women who can't tell the truth, then presumably you're going to get some heavy Christmas morning vibes after learning the Pretty Little Liars actors' favorite episode. Because, let's be real, it's one of those things you've wanted to know forever. The stars spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the "hours that stood out in their minds," and, while showrunner I. Marlene King stressed that "everybody loves the black-and-white episode," the episode the actors opted for en-masse was another one.
They name checked the Season 3 Halloween episode “This Is A Dark Ride,” in which Adam Lambert starred, partly for the American Idol runner up's presence but also for the cool train set. However, the one the women seemed most excited about wasn’t one, but two episodes: Season 5’s finale “Welcome To The Dollhouse” and the following, Season 6’s “Game On, Charles” (which is also set in the dollhouse).
While Lucy Hale first suggested it, it was Ashley Benson, who explained. "It really felt like Hunger Games at that moment was really hot and heavy in that teen world," she said. "So, when we got to see that set, it felt like we were doing a Hunger Games movie. I just remember us being all so excited. It was a whole new set for us, we never got to do anything like that before, being locked in one place for one or two episodes.
Troian Bellisario was just as big a fan of the episode for one key reason: the set. She explained how cleverly the location had been designed, so that, "when we came out from our rooms, we were literally coming out from our bedroom on set, I’ll never forget that." She also pointed out that it was the apex of the show's dark undercurrent:
"So often I feel like we had to straddle that line of: You’re getting a really, really scary message from ‘A,’ but you’re also living your teenage life. [The dollhouse] was cool because it finally pulled us out of the rest of the world and put us into the darkness."
Of course, if you've watched the show, you're probably a huge fan of the dollhouse episodes, too. If you're into the series, that's probably because you love the goosebump-inducing scenes. Normally, we have to sit through all the character development storylines (characters fighting with their families, getting together with attractive humans, splitting up) to eventually reach the fun scary A stuff that you're all tuning in for.
But, as Bellisario observes, for two glorious episodes we got undiluted terror. There's that wonderful moment where Spencer wakes up in her jumpsuit but in her own bed, and, for a split second, we're assuming that she's made it back to freedom. Then, when we clock that it's not actually her bedroom, just a reconstruction of it, the delicious unease begins.
It's a little bit like the normal show hopped up on steroids. They've always messed with the idea of doubles, sending our beleaguered heroines doll-copies of themselves to mess with them. So this mirror-image version of Rosewood, complete with a fake prom and a tea party, is immensely appealing for all the reasons you're drawn to King's televisual baby in the first place.
Sure, the fact that these episodes usher in a sequence of events leading to the least satisfying A unveiling ever is kind of sad. But in terms of the set, the weirdness, the drama? These two installments are unbeatable. There's just under a month to go before we leave Rosewood, possibly forever. If you want to prep for the ultimate finale in the most appropriate way ever? Get set to rewatch the Season 5 finale and the Season 6 beginning to remember the show at its most powerful.