Throughout the past few years, "Pretty Little Liars" has become famous for its dark, twisted, very mask-heavy Halloween specials, which is perfect for a show about a mysterious figure stalking five teenage girls. However, this year "PLL" will boldly go where it's never gone before -- to the land of happiness and eggnog known as Christmas.
However, "PLL" is still "PLL," so "How the 'A' Stole Christmas" will feature a little less caroling, and a whole lot more, "trying to clear our friend's name after she was wrongfully accused of murder." And according to Aria Montgomery herself (Lucy Hale), the night won't end with a visit from Mr. Claus.
"At the end of the episode, we think that we finally finished this chapter, and we think that things are seemingly going well," Hale told MTV News at ABC Family's Winter Wonderland event. "And then obviously, we end the episode with a bang -- literally."
Bangs -- whether they're from gunshots, explosions, or on Paige's head -- definitely sound right up the show's alley. But Hale says that the episode will also focus on the Liars' grief after Mona's death, and include plenty of yuletide imagery to keep holiday enthusiasts happy.
"The show is different without Mona," she continued. "She was my favorite character. It's just how the girls are dealing with her death, and [figuring out] who is behind it. It's almost like a whole new mystery -- we started out the show trying to figure out who killed Alison, and now it's moved on to Mona. It's a dark episode. It's Christmas-y, and we go to a ball and it's beautiful, but it's definitely one of our darker episodes."
This darkness will continue into the second half of the fifth season, which will find the girls once again scrambling to protect that she-Devil, Alison (Sasha Pieterse).
"For the second half of the fifth season, something major happens to Alison," Hale teased. "We're trying to protect her again. I can't tell what happens, but there's a lot of mystery still about Alison, and why she does the things that she does."
... And if all of this murder, mayhem and mystery gets to be too much to handle this Christmas, at least we have Ezra (Ian Harding), Toby (Keegan Allen), and Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) in their skivvies to add a little levity (and abs).
"You get to see the guys in boxers," Hale said. "That's always exciting, right?"