After more than six seasons of drAma, we finally know the identity of the mysterious, hoodie-loving A on "Pretty Little Liars." (Spoiler alert: It's
CeCe Drake Charlotte DiLaurentis.) But that doesn't mean we still don't have questions. In fact, for every question "PLL" answered in its mid-season finale, it left us with even more questions.
So, on our noble quest to fill the holes in CeCe Drake's story, we went straight to the source. MTV News chatted with "PLL" co-creator Marlene King about last night's finale, and she helped us put the pieces together. Can we really trust CeCe's story? And how could Marion Cavanaugh have been pushed off the roof that night when we saw her with a teenaged Toby in a previous flashback? Oh, do we have Answers for you...
MTV News: What happened to Charlotte and Sara after Charlotte declared "game over" in the finale?
Marlene King: Sara, as Emily says, is getting out of the hospital, so there is something interesting there, right? The girls are like, "Hey, that wasn’t our fault." So something happened, and that’s part of the mystery moving forward.
And there was a single shot we didn’t get to put in the episode, because we just ran out of time, but I’m sure it will be on the DVD, where Allison and Jason and Dr. Sullivan are visiting Charlotte in the sanitarium -- so that’s where she went afterwards.
MTV: Sasha Pieterse said that Ali is a changed person five years into the future -- she’s much more compassionate. Does she have that same compassion for Charlotte in five years’ time?
King: Yes. That's why she stays behind. She said, "I’ve always wanted to get out of Rosewood, but now it's the only place I want to be." And it’s because she wants to take care of Charlotte and be the family to Charlotte that she never had. And I do think Ali has probably changed the most when we come back in five years.
MTV: When you go back and watch old episodes, it's kinda frightening how mean and manipulative Ali was.
King: Ali, and even Charlotte, are the product of their mother, their crazy mother. Mrs. DiLaurentis taught them very bad behavior.
MTV: Speaking of their mother, the one question that was not definitively answered in the finale was, who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis? Is that going to be a driving mystery next season?
King: Yes, yes, yes. You will find out who killed Mrs. D and that's a part of the larger mystery that we have to tell.
MTV: Is that a continuation of the A saga or is it something new entirely?
King: It is not A. This A story is done. There is a new big bad, but this A, Charlotte, is done. There is a new Big Bad.
MTV: That being said, we did see a glimpse of Ali in the future. She wrote her name down on a chalkboard -- Mrs. Rollins. We know she’s married, and surprisingly, we were more shocked to see that she was a teacher! Where did that come from?
King: She's just this varied person. She likes her life in Rosewood. I think she's sort of on a mission to give back so it's very organic. A girl who didn’t get to go to high school is spending her adult time back in that classroom.
MTV: Can we assume she got her degree at Hollis?
King: Yes, we can.
MTV: How did Jason react to everything when he finally woke up? On one hand, he has this sister that he never really knew -- and on the other hand, he kind of dated her.
King: Everything is very complicated in Rosewood, but I think he’s happy to have some closure that he isn’t crazy. Crazy is in the family, but his parents told him that Charles was an imaginary friend, and because of that, Jason grew up to be this tortured soul that always felt that something was missing because his brother was gone. So, he wants to be there for Charlotte now and help to become the family she never had. But thank god they never had sex.
MTV: There's also that scene where Jason recalls having seen CeCe in that yellow tank top, talking to Melissa, the night Ali went missing. Did he maybe see Bethany instead?
King: Most likely, he was seeing Bethany, but the show might explain one tiny bit of that story, so we'll just keep it a mystery for now. But, we believe CeCe when she says, "He was seeing nobody or he was seeing Bethany, but it wasn’t me." She is telling the truth.
MTV: Now, there's a certain flashback scene we need to talk about, where Toby recalls having this conversation with his mother, and Ali is there and they're both teenagers. However, as we see in the finale, both Charlotte and Bethany were very young when Toby's mother died. Is this telling us that Charlotte is an unreliable narrator?
King: Flashbacks are always interpretive. It's like, there was a flashback of Toby, and he looks like he's 30 [laughs]. It's assumed that they were teenagers in that flashback because our actors were playing them and that's how your mind might see a flashback when you are the character thinking back -- but they weren’t teenagers. What you saw on the roof was real.
MTV: Lesli Stone was such an awesome foil for the Liars. Since she spent some time in Radley, did she know Charlotte?
King: Did she know? I don’t think she did. The girls assume that she did, that maybe she had heard the name, but no, she is not connected to Charlotte.
MTV: We know A stole the game from Mona in season 3. Is that when you knew that Charlotte was A?
King: We knew when we decided that it was time to reveal Mona as original A, that a character would need to steal the game from her, and that's why we brought CeCe to the show.
MTV: What came first, that you knew CeCe was going to be A or that CeCe was Charles DiLaurentis?
King: It all happened at the same time.
MTV: CeCe had to endure years of emotional abuse from her father and him not accepting her true self. Is it fair to say that the true villain of "Pretty Little Liars" is Kenneth DiLaurentis?
King: Yes, I think definitely, and when we told the network about this storyline that the villain, the person we understand as the villain, is Mr. D. It's heartbreaking to watch the bathtub scene, when Charlotte puts Ali in bath -- and then the father's reaction.
MTV: Do you think that is where it started to unravel for Charlotte? When Kenneth had her committed, did something snap?
King: I think Charlotte just happens to be transgender, and I think Charlotte has mental disorders completely aside from that because she comes from a crazy family. She was left at Radley for her whole entire life. So, I think everybody in that family is a little bit crazy to begin with.
MTV: GLAAD has always praised the show for its portrayal of LGBT characters. Did you talk to anyone at GLAAD or other transgender advocates when you were writing this story line?
King: There are people who are in our writers' room who have personal connections to trans people, and so we did as much homework as we could and educated ourselves on hopefully being as sensitive as possible to the way we told the story.
I’ve gotten some tweets from transgender fans, and everybody so far seems to be very happy with the episode and how we told the story.