'Pretty Little Liars' creator: Season 5 has been planned 'for a while,' dozens of episodes are mapped out
"We're really shaking things up this season. The premiere tonally sets the bar for the entire season," says King. "We're starting in a way we normally finish a season and it's very powerful, sort of like a freight train that is running away from us, seemingly uncatchable, but we do catch it in the end."
One of the dynamics that will have to be explored in the season is the Alison-Aria relationship, which is a bit strained, to say the least.
"There's some resolve that comes fairly quickly in the premiere [between Alison and Aria], but [their history with Fitz] rears its ugly head more than once in the summer season," says King. "It's not something they can just say oh, let's get over this and forget about it. It's a sore subject."
"The entire summer season is emotionally very complicated and complex," King continues. "It feels like we're making this emotional leap of growing up. The characters are more complex, the emotions are more complex, the storylines feel like they're more evolved on an emotional level."
One part of growing up that won't be seen in the summer season is high school graduation, however. King tells Zap2it that the graduation milestone isn't something the show will get to in Season 5a.
But on the heels of being renewed for two more years, King can confirm for Zap2it that the showrunners do have the show's plot mapped out.
"[Season 5] is a season that we've been planning for a while, and we needed to wait for the right time to do what we wanted to do," says King, "to tackle this mystery arc that we're about to get into. The arc is over both the summer and winter cycles, it's a story that has a true beginning, a middle and an end, and is somewhat self-contained within this season."
"We always know sort of where we're going on this show," she continues. "Sometimes we know a lot more than would be expected, but we breathe a sigh of relief when we can map out 24 to 36 or even 48 episodes in terms of the big mystery arc."
What did you think of the "Pretty Little Liars" Season 5 premiere?