Pretty Little Liars Creator Prepares Fans for "Mona-Mania," Record Storytelling Pace
With the return of Pretty Little Liars Season 3 last week came a plethora of questions:
- What is now-bad Toby’s real motive?
- Will the girls buy that Mona is trying to reform?
- Who might we see on the A-Team next?
- And how awesome is having the Hastings hot tub back in action?
Following the show's panel at last week’s TCA press tour, TV Fanatic grabbed some time with series creator Marlene King, who answered some of our inquires and teased what is to come in this week’s “Mona Mania."
TV Fanatic: Talk to me about the parents. We’ve seen some juicy flashbacks. Should we trust any of those adults, including Byron?
Marlene King: I wouldn’t trust anybody and I think that we’ve got some great storylines for all the parents this year those are a fun. Ashley makes a mistake that she is going to regret for time to come. That is a really fun storyline coming up, in addition to this whole finding out that Alison and Byron had a past together.
TVF: And what can we expect on "Mona-Mania," which has the best title ever?
MK: I love that episode. I think we hit the ground running with the premiere, "She’s Better Now." Mona’s all better now and we quickly realized she’s really not all better, and... I think "Mona-Mania" sheds even more light on Mona’s intentions and that takes us to the third episode where we find out even more. We’re going to start seeing Mona’s involvement with Toby more and it’s really just going to ramp up at a record pace for us.
TVF: Is anybody going to start getting little whiffs that Toby’s involved with Mona?
MK: Yes. We started it with just the reveal of Toby in the black hoodie and the arc of the first three episodes…I think we can say it because I think the people do know about Spencer finding out about Toby.
TVF: Is it safe to assume that Lucas was the kid on the skateboard in the beginning of the last episode? That Toby is trying to run down?
MK: Well, you can assume, and that will be answered in the next couple episodes. I saw there were a lot of questions on Twitter about last week’s closer, which is the kid getting on the bike and like having this off-screen fall and that pays off huge in the next episode and it’s really fun like just to see.
TVF: Does A target one of the girls specifically coming up?
MK: First off, Aria is a bit of a target and then I think A shifts her focus to Spencer. A completely takes advantage of Spencer’s pain.
TVF: Talk to me about Emily and how things with Toby will unfold where they are concerned?
MK: She was Toby’s first friend in regards to the girls and she has a very special relationship with Toby and so as these revelations come out regarding Toby and his participation in the A-team next to Spencer Emily is greatly affected by that. It does affect her relationship with Paige and Paige becomes a little bit more involved with the mystery as well.
TVF: Jason is also in cahoots with Mona and he has this very interesting stab wound or something. Where is all that going?
MK: We will learn more about his story definitely in the first half of this coming season.
TVF: With Caleb being busy with his father story is it safe to assume he and Hanna are in a good place?
MK: They get off a little easy. They’re relationship is in a stable place and I think they work together toward healing Caleb and some of his father-son issues.
TVF: Are we going to find out anymore members of the A-Team in this cycle of episodes?
MK: Maybe. I think there is a huge question that is answered in the finale and then another question that is raised and those questions are A-Team-centric.
TVF: I love that the hot tub is back.
MK: Juicy. Right? Shirtless Toby. Nobody dislikes that.
TVF: Aria is holding the secret about Ezra’s child. Is that going to come out because I’m guessing he’s not going to be happy that she’s been holding this secret?
MK: A knows about it so, I mean, how long can Aria keep the secret is the question.
TVF: Another baby basket could show up when Aria’s not around...
MK: That’s like vintage A to me. Those are the fun A moments.
TVF: So can we expect some bumps in the road for that relationship because of this?
MK: Yes. It’s not hunky dory, as they say, for Ezria, but they love each other and that love continues to be very…there is a scene coming up in this season with Ezra and Aria and Ian Harding, who plays Ezra, just blew me away. When I watched the first cut I was like, ‘oh my gosh,’ the depth of that relationship really grows in this season.
TVF: They’re going to need some hot tub time.
MK: They may need some hot tub time, and they strive for that too. There are several moments where Aria says to him, I just want to go back to the good old days and so they search for those times.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.