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Pretty Little Liars

The story behind Maddie Ziegler's creepy Pretty Little Liars dance number

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On Tuesday, Pretty Little Liars’ opening scene was unlike anything the show had done before: The viewer was taken inside Spencer’s mind as she watched a young girl – played by Maddie Ziegler – dance around a creepy room in what appeared to be Charles’ dollhouse. 

It certainly wasn’t what fans of the show were used to, but it did get them talking. And as it turns out, it’s actually been in the works since last season. 

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'She's No Angel'

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Sometimes you get rewarded when you forget to check social media for a few days. Case in point: I was totally shocked when the creepy, ghoulish, dancing girl at the beginning of the episode turned out to be none other than Sia video staple Maddie Ziegler. Her nightgowned demonry seemed like it came straight out of The Ring or The Grudge—meaning some of us can probably expect a chilling encore in our dreams tonight…

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'Don't Look Now'

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After a couple weeks of almost normal episodes, I am shocked—SHOCKED!—at how much I missed crazy, nonsensical, terror-around-every-corner PLL. Spencer might have killed someone or something in the dollhouse? Bring it on! (Though it will probably end up being just as fake as the “torture.”) Aria is locked inside the darkroom at Hollis? Home sweet home!

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'Songs of Experience'

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This week’s episode starts off with last Tuesday’s closing thought: Andrew might not be as guilty as the Liars want him to be. If Sara was trapped for two years, they wonder, how could Andrew have been with her in the dollhouse when they saw him at school every day?

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'Songs of Innocence'

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Well, Liars, tonight’s episode had its share of tired, familiar elements—a too-easy arrest, the ghost of Spencer’s “drug problem,” new characters I just don’t have the energy to care about yet—and some new ones, like actual torture, and perhaps a budding romance for Ali? Look, I was happier when she was mean, too, but she’s so boring as the saintly survivor. I’m ready for her to seduce Toby’s hot new cop friend, Lorenzo, whether her intentions are good or evil.

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Pretty Little Liars anniversary: All of the lies we heard in the pilot, 5 years later

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Five years ago, Pretty Little Liars first hit the air with the story of four girls, their missing best friend, and the cyber stalker who wouldn’t leave them alone. It was during that hour that Original “A” sent her first text. It was also during that hour that every character told his or her first, second, and probably third lie. 

So, in honor of the pilot’s anniversary, we looked back at the hour that started it all to see just how many lies were told. Let’s just say that “A” would be proud of the result:

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'Game On, Charles'

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Welcome back, Liars! It’s our first episode in the apparent “#SummerofAnswers,” and I just want to say off the bat that I’m so glad we spent almost the whole hour still in Charles’ dollhouse. As much as I obviously wanted the Liars and Mona to escape, I’m glad we didn’t start the season months later with a cursory explanation of what happened. Still, our “answers” didn’t really come this week—just a loooot more questions.

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Pretty Little Liars: Sasha Pieterse previews 'darkest season yet'

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In its five years on the air, Pretty Little Liars has transformed from a fairly simple mystery—Who is “A”?—to a ridiculously complex web of lies, enigmas, and all-around confusion. People we thought were dead suddenly weren’t. People we thought were good suddenly weren’t. People we thought were bad suddenly weren’t. You get the picture. 

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Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish talks Mona's return, Charles' 'brutal' punishments

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Mona Vanderwaal has been many things on Pretty Little Liars: First, she was Hanna’s nerdy best friend. Then, she was Original “A.” And most recently, she was dead. That is, until she reappeared in the season 5 finale, only to reveal that she wasn’t murdered. Instead, she was kidnapped and put in Charles’ dollhouse. 

We talked to Janel Parrish about her return to the show and what’s next for Mona:

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Pretty Little Liars boss dishes on season 5's finale and Charles (if that's his name)

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On last night’s season 5 finale of Pretty Little Liars, the identity of Big “A” was revealed to be someone named Charles. According to some old home videos that Spencer found, it certainly seems that Charles is yet another son of Mrs. DiLaurentis, and therefore a brother to Ali and Jason—not to mention a potential half brother to Spencer. Also revealed in the hour: Mona is alive and well. That is, if you consider being trapped in a real-life dollhouse to be “well.” 

Following the finale, we took our burning questions to executive producer Oliver Goldstick, who told us a little about Charles’ personality—and what comes after “A.”

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