Right now, Pretty Little Liars fans are experiencing what showrunner Marlene King describes as a “PLL finale hangover.” As she puts it, “no alcohol was involved, just a lot of high drama.” And as fans of the show know, after last night’s season 4 summer finale, that’s an understatement.
After learning that Ezra could potentially be the leader of the “A” team and Ali could potentially be alive, there were literally hundreds of questions and theories hitting the Internet like a teen-driven tidal wave. Sadly, there’s no way to answer every question (and there’s also no way PLL is going to spoil anything), but here’s what King had to say about 4B, followed by Ian Harding’s thought on Ezra’s big reveal:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First of all, this finale has launched a million fan theories, dating all the way back to the pilot.
MARLENE KING: Every frame of footage on our show — the littlest thing of drawing an A behind Ezra on the board or a letter or a map — our fans will screen grab everything, and now they’re putting all of the pieces of that puzzle together today.
Some people are already claiming that Ezra is really good, and that he’s only doing it to protect Aria. So at this point, is Ezra bad? Is he the mastermind behind this?
That I can’t answer, and I don’t want to answer. We knew coming into this because of the Toby reveal and eventually finding out that Toby was working for the greater good, as we call it, that some fans would latch onto that idea for Ezra, and others will latch onto the idea that he is Uber “A,” and that’s what 4B is about; it’s about unraveling that story and giving it more meaning, and eventual closure.
Is Uber “A,” what we should call him?
Well, there is an Uber “A,” I will say that. There is an Uber “A” and one would believe after watching last night’s episode that Ezra is a legitimate candidate for being Uber “A.”
In terms of the hierarchy, we have Uber “A” and then all the other –
Mona was Original “A,” and that is true. Mona was Original “A,” and she explained in whatever episode — I think it was the last finale — that she was Original “A” and when she was at Radley, Uber “A” so to speak offered her a deal — “I’ll help you get in and out of Radley if you let me play your game with you” — and then Uber “A” took the game away from her.
In the last finale, we saw Mona say she’d been reporting up to a person, who at the time we thought was Red Coat, but she didn’t know what that person looked like.
Mona believed that Uber “A” was Red Coat, which is why she refers to Uber “A” as a she. She says, “I don’t know who she is either.”
So Red Coat is a totally different entity from Uber “A?”
Probably. That’s going to be explored in 4B too. 4A has done a great job of launching 4B. I think the Ezra reveal was so huge that a lot of people aren’t talking about what we learned about Alison last night, that Mrs. Grunwald pulled her out of that grave and the last time she saw her, she was very much alive.
Right! And we will definitely find out Ali’s alive-or-dead status in the Halloween episode, correct?
But Ali’s experience with “A” predated her summer in Cape May, so at that time, would “A” have been Mona?
How long have you all in the writers room known that this Ezra reveal was going to happen?
We started talking about this when we were making the decision to reveal Mona as Original “A.”
So it’s been working for a while.
It’s always been in the back of our minds, even going back to the pilot, because he was such a ripe character. He has always been, interestingly enough, he shows up when the text messages start showing up. Aria was looking at that Ali poster in that bar when he introduced himself to her, and he’s been in interesting places at the right times very often. So lots of fans had the theory early on that Ezra was on the “A” team, so we’ve always been writing with it in the back of our minds.
You mentioned 4B exploring all of this. Is that where we’ll get to find out Ezra’s motivation?
Yes. I’ve seen some fans commenting that it just doesn’t make sense, what would be his motivation for this and we agree completely. The fans deserve to know that answer, and we will give it to them in 4B.
At this point, we don’t know that Ezra was in a relationship with Ali, and we don’t necessarily know that he was the one who buried her, correct?
That is correct.
Does anyone know Ezra is doing this? Because Mona didn’t know the face of the person she’s reporting to. Does anyone?
Well, the answer to that is yes. You will find out who, there’s at least one person who knows it, probably more than one, and you will find out the identity of that person in season 4B.
Uber “A” paying people added a new layer to this in terms of an incentive for people to join or help the “A” team.
We know he’s a Fitzgerald; his family has a lot of dough. People always say ,”How can ‘A’ be everywhere?” and we certainly showed how last night.
Are we going to see some more Mama Fitzgerald then?
Oh! Well, we might!
How long until the girls find out what we just found out?
We’re breaking those stories right now and filming those episodes right now, and one of the Liars will start to suspect early on, but it’s a hard thing to prove and no one wants to go to Aria and say, “The love of your life is Uber ‘A,'” so it’s going to be a journey.
That’s the other question out there: Does he really loves Aria? Did he know she was a friend of Ali? Because in the pilot, he asks her about Ali.
He’s at Ali’s funeral, which is interesting because supposedly he didn’t know Ali, but at the funeral he says to Aria, “Was she a friend of yours?” and Aria says, “my best friend.”
But can we assume that when he first met her, he wasn’t plotting?
I wouldn’t assume anything, and I think that there’s a very rich back story to Ezra that the audience hasn’t seen yet, and they will in 4B. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun for people to get to know that side of Ezra.
For you all, is his relationship with Aria genuine?
I think you have to wait and see. I think that’s going to be some of the fun of 4B is answering that question in a dramatic way as opposed for me to tell you in an interview.
NEXT: King talks Red Coat, the N.A.T. Club, and Ravenswood