‘Pretty Little Liars’ Stars Promise Dark and Twisted Halloween Episode

Troian Bellisario in the "Pretty Little Liars" Halloween Special (ABC FAMILY/ERIC MCCANDLESS)

Last year’s “Pretty Little Liars” Halloween special was a flashback that shed light on the deceased Ali. This year’s Halloween special (Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8/7c on ABC Family) is full steam ahead — literally. The epic, cinematic event takes place on a train where everyone in Rosewood has gathered for a swanky Halloween party featuring a performance by Adam Lambert. Of course, this being PLL, everything quickly goes terribly wrong. ABC Family has revealed that one character will die and other will turn out to have a surprising connection to Ali, but everything else has been kept secret. So XfinityTV.com traveled to an exclusive red carpet event at a cemetery to see what we could find out. Below, some juicy secrets:

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The Episode is Filled with Classic Film Homages: “It really is a dark ride,” teases showrunner Marlene King. ” You need your popcorn and you need your candy and you need your friends.” Previous episodes of PLL have paid tribute to Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and “Psycho.” The Halloween episode is a true film buff’s delight referencing “Strangers on a Train,” “Murder on the Orient Express” and more according to the episode’s writer Joe Dougherty. “It’s ‘Lady Vanishes,’ and it’s ‘North by Northwest,’ and [we include reference to] an obscure little film called “Narrow Margin,”  Dougherty says. The train ride will also set up a longterm arc for the upcoming season. “There is someone on the train who needs to be identified,” says showrunner Marlene King. “At least one person.”

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The Costumes Reveal the Characters: The show’s writers and costume designer Mandy Lane put a lot of thought into each character’s costume. “Aria is Daisy from ‘The Great Gatsby’ because of Fitz,” says Dougherty. “Hanna is in her full Marilyn Monroe mode. But it’s a twenty-first century Marilyn. Mandy Lane basically reinvented these images. Emily gets to be Barbarella because that’s what Shay wants to be when she grows up. We wanted to make Spencer and Toby this definitive film noir detective couple because their relationship is like the movies where the good guys weren’t that good and the dames liked it that way.” Lindsay Shaw reveals, “Paige wears a tuxedo. Marlene Dietrich with a classic top hat.” Troublemaking couple Noel and Jenna’s looks are equally appropriate. “She’s a sexy pirate which is very fitting with her eye patch and I’m a ringleader,” says Brant Daugherty.

A Few Clues About the Death: Though nobody would give away any hints about who died, a couple of cast members were willing to share spoilers about the death scene. “I can tell you that the dead body comes face to face with one of the Liars in a very uncomfortable and dark and twisted way,” says Keegan Allen (Toby).  “There’s one [memorable scene] that involves a body bag,” reveals Tyler Blackburn (Caleb).

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Evil Toby Works Spencer: Last season ended with the shocking revelation that Toby was part of the A Team. The Halloween episode will be the first tie the audience gets to see the dark side of his relationship with Spencer. “As you watch it you know what the truth is and she doesn’t.  It will definitely make your stomach turn a little bit because it’s so hard to watch,” says Allen. Toby will also get violent. “I really liked in the end when Toby had an altercation with someone, an open altercation. Toby’s usually very calm and cool. Everybody who is reading this interview and/or in season 1 you see him beat someone up to protect Emily . we see a little more of that intensity that he brings to protect someone.”

Mona is in Control: Crazy Mona (Janell Parrish)  sauntered out of the mental hospital clad in a nurse’s uniform in last season’s finale. This Halloween, she gets even creepier. “Mona is singing a creepy little nursery rhyme to herself and talking about how much she loves Halloween because she’s crazy. It is revealed that she is talking to another A,” shares Parrish. “Mona may or may not be pulling some strings from Bradley Sanitarium. ”

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Season 3B Hints:

The cast and writers also previewed the show’s upcoming winter season.

  • "Mona will be released from the Bradley sanitarium. She'll be going back to high school in the second half of season three. The biggest question is is she actually cured or is she really still crazy?" teases Parrish.
  • "You see Emily sort of having to pick the pieces of Paige off the ground. She sort of has a breakdown after the [season 3a] finale. But you see Emily really being there for her," shares Shaw.
  • “You find out a lot more about [Jenna] as the season goes on and some of its not a good thing and something really big happens to her in the finale,” says Tammin Sursok.
  • A relative of [Caleb's] comes into the picture which for him is a big deal because he;s been an orphan his whole life. "This is a game changer for him," says Blackburn.

The “Pretty Little Liars” Halloween episode airs on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 8/7c on ABC Family.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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