The first season of Pretty Little Liars ended months ago, but when the show returns Tuesday (8/7c on ABC Family) it'll resume mere moments after last season's finale. We last saw Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Aria (Lucy Hale), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Emily (Shay Mitchell) wondering where on Earth Ian's body had gone — and how, without it, police would believe that he was Alison's killer. TVGuide.com spoke with executive producer Marlene King who says that the mystery behind Ian's disappearance — and whether he's dead or alive — will be answered in the first half of the summer episodes. Plus: King addresses our other burning questions.
Where's Ian? Just as Ian (Ryan Merriman) was threatening to hurt Spencer in the season finale, a mysterious, hooded figure saved her and pushed him down the bell tower. Of course when police showed up, the body was gone, making the girls look even more suspicious. King says we'll soon find out if Ian is dead or alive and we'll definitely see him (or maybe just his body) in the first half of the summer cycle.
Are Aria and Ezra going to stay together? They seemed like the perfect couple — except for the whole student-teacher aspect — but with the introduction of Ezra's ex and the fact that she works where Ezra (Ian Harding) just accepted a new job, Aria backed away. This season the two will be hit with even more speedbumps. "Aria and Ezra thought it was going to be easier for them to be together once Ezra left Rosewood, but it's actually even harder," King says. "It's pushing them to [question] if [their relationship] is worth it or not." Not to mention, a new love interest for Aria comes into the mix. "It's someone that you really don't expect it to be, someone you've met, but you're going to re-meet. She starts out as friends with this person and realizes they have a lot more in common than she ever thought they did." Who do you think it is?
Will Spencer's family get in the way of her seeing Toby? When Spencer and Toby (Keegan Allen) got together it was an unlikely surprise that we loved, but the Hastings family strongly disapproves of the pair. King says there's an interesting twist coming up in their relationship that will actually lead to Toby winning the trust and respect of Spencer's family. But will Spencer earn that trust and respect from her parents who, as of late, haven't been on her side? King says, "She ultimately will and they will feel very bad about not believing her."
Will Caleb and Hanna get back together? So Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) didn't exactly use the best method — lying — to get close to Hanna, so while he has to earn back Hannah's trust, King says they're definitely moving in that direction. And speaking of Caleb, his mysterious past will be unraveled a bit further. "We find out more about why he came to Rosewood, what he left behind and more about his birth mother." Caleb's foster mother (Janet Borrus) is also introduced — and she is not so nice.
Will we learn more about the girls through their new therapist? "Annabeth Gish plays Ann Sullivan and she really helps the girls," King says. "She brings a lot of subtext to the show and the girls begin to understand why they became friends with Alison." And it's not only the foursome that ends up in Dr. Sullivan's office. King says there's a scene in the fourth episode where Hanna has a conversation with Alison in the office. It's not exactly a flashback, but King says it's reminiscent of when Hannah got the visit/dream from Alison in the hospital last year.
What's "the Jason thing"? Season 1 referenced "the Jenna thing," and Season 2 now has "the Jason thing." In the premiere, creepy couple Jenna (Tammin Sursok) and Garret (Yanni Gellman) mention Jason, who we later learn is Alison's brother. "A lot of the summer season is built around what is the Jason thing, how are Jenna and Garrett involved and how does it involve the PLLs? Viewers will also meet Jason, played by Drew Van Acker. King says he's a prominent player this season.
Any other new characters we'll meet? "Lucas sets his eyes on someone, and it's not Hanna, so that's a new person coming into Rosewood," King says. "There's also a great storyline with Hanna's mom and dad. Hanna's dad comes back because he's concerned that she's winding up on the front page of the Rosewood Observer and he comes back to stay for awhile and we play out the storyline of Hanna's mom and dad. It's a 'What if dad wouldn't have left?'"