All aboard the crazy train! Pretty Little Liars rises from its midseason-break graveyard with a tricky Halloween episode set on the Rosewood Ghost Train. And according to executive producer Marlene King, it's the end of the line for one Rosewood resident. "We are killing someone," she reveals. "Someone is not getting off the train alive." Fittingly, the Hitchcockian-tinged episode is filled with killer twists as well as costumes to die for. "I [wanted] Joe Dougherty to write it because he's such a great film-noir kind of guy and an awesome writer," continues King, adding that costume designer Mandi Line "did an incredible job...having the girls dress as classic glamorous movie stars was so fun."
While A's master plan for the evening is too gruesome to spoil — "to quote the network, we didn't want creepy, we wanted scary," teases King — we did dig up some interesting deets during an exclusive visit to the set on the Warner Bros lot, where the cast was shooting aboard two massive train cars (previously used on Chuck) that were being raised up on ropes and rocked to achieve the back-and-forth railway effect. So here's an itinerary of what to expect once our favorite characters embark on Tuesday's dark ride.
Decked out as Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby, Rosewood's resident teacher's pet might endure the most harrowing Halloween after she falls prey to A and winds up in some very close quarters with, well, you'll see. "I am so excited because Aria is usually off with Ezra and never really gets to do anything adventurous, so this is very exciting," admits Lucy Hale of Aria's abduction. "She's freaked out because she is [trapped] in this box and then they cut to...something else is in there with her." But where's Ezra?
"I'm waiting to surprise her on this beautiful date that we'll have at the end [of the train ride], because I had this thing to do in Philadelphia," offers Ian Harding. "Ezra has a job interview to possibly ghostwrite someone's autobiography." Or does he? The actor says "the episode does a great job of casting some shadows on various people in Rosewood, especially when too many convenient things happen at the same time." Seconds a suspicious Hale, "What is Ezra really up to?"
In all her Marilyn Monroe-costumed glory, the blonde faces a few bombshells of her own as the night "gets weirder," says Ashley Benson. "I keep getting attacked by this Phantom of the Opera guy who is freaking me out, we find out that Aria has been kidnapped, and then we realize that A is on the train...we're all in danger because we're locked on this train and can't get off. We don't know who to trust, everyone is in costumes...it's really scary." It's also really romantic...until Hanna unmasks the wrong person.
"I like to think it's a metaphor," jokes Brant Daugherty of the Kahn man's circus ringmaster costume. "I am gonna play with people." Boy does he. Not only is Noel the catalyst for an unsettling shocker in the hour's final moments, he's also brought a date who could clear a café car. "It is the illustrious Jenna! And the people of Rosewood are none too pleased...some are even a little terrified." Wouldn't you be? To borrow a Spencerism, Bitch crazy.
Hanna's beau spends much of the hour "hiding, surprising people...I'm a lingerer up to a certain point and then when [stuff] hits the fan and everything goes crazy, he is there for his woman," declares Tyler Blackburn, who spent much of his downtime on set goofing around with Harding. Shockingly, Blackburn's bad boy keeps his cool after things turn violent near the end of the episode. "I don't throw any punches." That sort of action is left for...
"It's very interesting to see him in a different light, and stand up in front of all his peers to stop this [person]," says Keegan Allen of the dimpled wonder's unexpected show of force. Maybe it's the Humphrey Bogart outfit he's rocking, or the secret about his A Team status that he's hiding, but Toby is definitely a new man these days. "He even goes up to Jenna and is very aggressive in stating that he liked her more when she was blind!"
To match Toby's Bogey costume, the town brainiac is va-va-va-voomtastic as a Lauren Bacall-esque femme fatale. "This is a very good episode for Spencer and Toby," raves Troian Bellisario. "You know, Aria and Ezra always get to do the most romantic date things, Hanna and Caleb are always cooking or kissing in her kitchen, and Paige and Emily are swimming...there are always candles. Now we get to do the couples costume thing!" However, it's a surprise savior and not her duplicitous date who comes to the rescue after a costumed maniac tries to throw this hot mama off the train. "We don't even know if it is A," says Bellisario during rehearsal for the nail-biting battle in between the train cars. "It's really hard to be Spencer. Everybody is out to kill her!"
"It's a slightly more relaxed episode for Emily only because the mid-season finale was so intense," confesses Shay Mitchell, still bearing the bruises from Em's lighthouse fight sequence with the now-late Nate. "I got a little break, but it's still intense with Aria going missing and knowing that A — or a team of As — are on the train." Honestly, aside from a mind-blowing reveal regarding someone from Ali's past, the most jaw-dropping thing Em may have to deal with tonight is her space age and super sexy costume. "When they told me I was gonna be Barbarella for Halloween, I was like 'I get to wear heels?'" she recalls with a giant smile, kicking up her thigh-high boots in between takes. "People say that I look more comfortable in this outfit than in Emily's [normal] clothes."
Twitchy kid seems to have pulled it together since the last time we saw him scurrying through the streets of Rosewood. "I do have a haircut and I'm clean-shaven," says Brendan Robinson, looking positively boyish as he waits for "action!" to be called. "I am possibly back to normal [and] I think people are happy to see me again. There is a little moment with me and Hanna where it's just a little glimpse of what we used to be." Whether or not he's there on Mona's orders remains to be seen, but Robinson hints that his Jimmy Olsen attire could be a clue we should pay attention to. "I'm taking pictures with an old camera...and I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but it is very similar to the one Ezra gave Aria." Hmmm...
Yes, that Adam Lambert. As the Ghost Train's surprise musical guest, the American Idol runner-up gets to glam it up in gothic vampire drag for two numbers and share screen time with Hale's dateless Aria. "Even though I'm playing myself, doing that scene was interesting," says Lambert after shooting a performance of his song "Cuckoo" for the crowd on board. "I have to make it seem real." And we have to make it known that he's also the last one to see Miss Montgomery before she goes missing. Just sayin'.
So are you excited for the PLL Halloween ride? And who do you think A is gonna off before the night is over?