Spoiler alert: This post contains plot from the season 1 finale of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.
Although it will be a while before we can put a face to the name, the Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists finale finally gave us the first piece of that puzzle: The name. It seems the person who killed Nolan and who is spearheading “the experiment” goes by The Professor. But what will phase 2 of The Professor’s experiment mean for the Perfectionists if the series is given a second season? EW spoke with showrunner I. Marlene King about the finale twists and a potential season 2.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: If the show gets a second season, we’re heading into phase 2 of the experiment. What would that mean in terms of how season 2 might differ from season 1?
I. MARLENE KING: In phase 2, The Professor has taken ownership of the experiment and it can be much more interactive with our characters. Because he or she has that footage to use over the Perfectionists and the PLLs, they have to participate, they have no choice. The next part of the experiment is going to be much more interactive.
Will the mystery of “who is The Professor” last all season? Is it a series-long mystery?
I don’t think it’s a series-long mystery, but it will definitely to be tied in with solving the mystery of who killed Nolan, so those two mysteries will come together.
Is he or she definitely a professor?
I will not say that it’s definitely a professor and I’m glad you asked because I love that final tag scene. But it is living in the world of the professor. And the person is the professor of this experiment for sure.
I loved Mona’s reaction to the “what’s your biggest fear” question. She is ready to fight back.
She’s doing it for love. She loves to play the game but she wants to find a path back to Mason so she wants this game over.
Does that mean we’ll be seeing a bit more of old Mona if we get a season 2?
It’s kind of inevitable, right? She has to find her balance. That’s going to be her ultimate goal: Can I win this game and not get lost down the rabbit hole? Because she’s sort of aware now of the fact that that happens to her. She has some awareness of it.
All season long, both on the show and on social media, you’ve given fans updates on some of the original PLL characters. Are you the person writing those?
I wrote them with another writer on the show but then I’d turn them in. It’s been so much fun to keep those characters alive and give our audience information about them. It’s the most joyful part of my job. I’m hoping we get to keep doing it. It’s like I’m sitting in my old PLL office crafting a scene. Nobody likes them more than I do.
Now that you’ve established the world of this show as its own thing, does a potential season 2 lend itself to cameos of PLL stars? Alison was looking at that Emily photo rather longingly…
Oh, I think so! The original PLLs have been so supportive of this show, not just the ladies but the men. Tyler’s [Blackburn] been so supportive and Ian [Harding] and hopefully we’ll find a way to bring them in. Because they can come and visit our world and it will still feel like our world. Because it is the same universe.
What’s something you’re hoping to get to explore if you get a season 2?
Unlike our Pretty Little Liars, the Perfectionists weren’t friends coming into this show, so we really had to spend the season crafting that friendship. Now we really get to explore the idea, which was the same on PLL, that ultimately this is a show about unconditional friendship and what that looks like. We’re going to get to see more of what an unconditional friendship looks like when it’s really tested because they will be tested this next season. And hopefully, we’ll get more into Alison and all of their personal journeys. I want to get to know more about these characters now that we’ve gotten to know them a little bit. There’s still so much more to learn about them. And more about Nolan too!
I loved that Luke-Dylan moment. Is Luke someone we’d see more of in a season 2?
I love the character, I love the actor, and I love the idea of the character. We often forget that we live in a bubble in Los Angeles where you can be free to express who you are and your sexuality and not feel judged, but in small-town America, not everybody is that lucky. I think this character is a great reminder of how people are still struggling with their sexuality and I hope his character will continue to inform people about that and then see that ultimately, he’s redeemed when he is able to be his true self. So yes he’s going to stick around.
What was your favorite episode of season 1?
The pilot is beautiful. Pilots are always special to me because you’re birthing the show. But I love this finale too. It really comes full circle from the pilot and once we meet The Professor, it really cements the first 10 episodes of The Perfectionists.