For months, Pretty Little Liars fans were waiting to see when the show would catch up with the flash forward scene that it showed at the end of the season 6a finale. We finally saw Alison (Sasha Pieterse) return to her classroom in Tuesday's episode "Farewell My Lovely" — only for the moment to be revealed as a gas-fueled dream. If you were a little confused why the show built up a dream sequence in such a way, Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King has an explanation.
Speaking to TVLine, the writer revealed that the scene wasn't always supposed to be a dream — but that, in order to plan the rest of the season the way they wanted to, it had to go that route.
"I’ll be super honest with you — that was one of those things we didn’t have a well thought-out plan for,” King admitted to TVLine. "We did know that we wanted to leave that 6a finale giving the fans a sense of urgency and a little bit of a jumpstart into the time jump. And we really struggled, because we didn’t know what that was at the time. We really struggled as a writers room to fit it into the post-time jump world. Ultimately, in an homage to the horror aspect of Pretty Little Liars, we decided that we could just have fun with it as a dream sequence."
This wasn't the first time that PLL has brought some extra horror and suspense into the series: The Freeform show has often tipped its hat to classic films like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and Vertigo. In fact, the dream sequence from "Farewell My Lovely" even had Alison writing the name "Emma Thorwald" on her chalkboard, a reference to a character from Hitchcock's thriller Rear Window.
That's not to say that A.D. wouldn't be able to break through a wall in Alison's classroom, like he (or she?) does in the dream sequence.
"This is suspended reality," King told Refinery29 in a recent interview. "We always say: A has unlimited resources! A has all the money in the world to do whatever A wants to do! And we have fun with that fact, like when we revealed that Charlotte was A, the Liars found her bank accounts and one of the characters says, ‘Well, she's never made a bad financial decision.’ This is Pretty Little Liars, people. Our audience loves to be surprised, and you can’t take everything literally."
You heard it right from Queen King: Sometimes a dream is just a dream.