Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here? And no, that's not Meredith's internal dialogue during Rosewood's marathon fundraiser. Nor am I only referring to Toby and Spencer's hot tub time. Although both of those moments contributed to the most incendiary (in every sense of the word) Pretty Little Liars ever!
To help make sense of it all, ETonline caught up with PLL executive producer for a brief chat about what fans can expect next week!
ETonline: What's up with Byron?
Oliver Goldstick: For us, the headlines were: Mona's Back, Toby's in Black and Byron may be whack. Byron [being involved with Alison's death] was something we've been alluding to since the premiere of the show. He's a huge liar and asked his daughter to keep a secret which weighed heavily on her psyche for a long time. So it's not coming out of the blue to say this man is many shades of wrong. We'll reveal his relationship with Alison, which is a game-changer. No parent has really been a suspect since we started, but it's time to pay this off and the audience is in for a ride. What role did Byron AND Meredith play in the night Allison was killed.
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ETonline: Poor Lucas! Will his role in Mona's game be revealed?
Goldstick: Indeed. You're going to find what Lucas' involvement with all of this was as well this season. If you remember, Lucas alluded to Mona getting out of Radley back in the first half of the season. He knew she was pulling the strings all along, and she's quite crafty.
ETonline: Mona: Crazy or Crazy Smart?
Goldstick: What's great about Mona is that she's kind of like the bizarro Spencer in some ways. There is no off switch to their brains, and Spencer has a match in Mona so they go toe-to-toe in 3B. It's a lot of fun.
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ETonline: What do you say to fans who think Toby is participating to keep Spencer safe?
Goldstick: Well, I'd say, people can disappoint you. The great thing about this series is that nothing should be taken at face value. People have these scorched earth histories, particularly with Alison, and we're paying those off this season. Whether it's Byron, Lucas or Toby, we know that Alison affected a lot of people, and therefore, for our girls, in part of their maturation, have to realize that people come with baggage. A lot of it. And you have to recognize those unresolved issues may come out at the wrong time.
ETonline: Paige redeemed herself in the Halloween episode. Have the PLL's fully accepted her?
Goldstick: It all comes back to Alison, and this season, for the writers, it's about connecting those dots we've been pointing out over the last three years. Paige may not have killed Alison, but she had a lot of anger towards this girl, which will still put some doubt in the PLL's minds as to whether she actually likes them. Paige still remains some of a mystery -- especially after some of the things you'll learn about her this season.
ETonline: The closing moment made Jason a suspect in Aria's attempted murder. What can you say?
Goldstick: I think he also remains such a mystery. Which side he's playing for is really going to be a question. Jason's got a big arc this season and it's a lot of whiplash for the girls. His cozying up to Mona is going to be quite an eye-opening question for the girls.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.