ABC Family released a deleted scene this week from the Pretty Little Liars Season 6A finale, which seemingly just offered an explanation for how CeCe (aka Charlotte) escaped police custody earlier in the season.
But something about this bugged me. Why release this deleted scene now? What good does it really serve, considering CeCe is now officially locked up and unlikely to make another break for it? So I started thinking about timing.
The clip was originally referenced this past Sunday during PLL‘s panel at PaleyFest in New York. During that panel, cast and producers — Troian Bellisario (Spencer), Lucy Hale (Aria), Ashley Benson (Hanna), Sasha Pieterse (Alison), executive producers Joe Dougherty and Oliver Goldstick, and creator I. Marlene King — spilled a ton of juicy insider info and some surprising revelations.
Toward the end of the panel, a fan stood up and reiterated what we’ve been seeing on social media for months: that the 6A finale left everyone with a lot of questions. Specifically, the fan referenced who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis, which was definitely glossed over by season’s end.
To which King replied, “We’re not avoiding the questions still left unanswered. They’re unanswered for a reason, because we’ll be weaving them into the story moving forward.”
And this brings us to the deleted scene. In the clip, CeCe is shown in the back of a police cruiser. She asks the driver, whom we haven’t seen yet, “What’s going on?” Then, Officer Barry Maple is shown, telling CeCe to “hit me hard, then take the car.”
At first glance, this may seem to be little more than the reveal of yet another one of the many accomplices CeCe had drawn into those tangled webs she weaves. However, the clip jumps forward in time a bit, showing CeCe explaining to the Liars of her escape, “I guess Mom made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
The implication here is that Mrs. D somehow convinced, coerced or blackmailed Officer Maple into helping CeCe escape. You see where I’m going with this? Perhaps CeCe isn’t the focus of this clip at all — perhaps it is Officer Maple.
Fans are dying (yep, I went there) to know who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis. During the panel, King promised that question will be answered. Isn’t it entirely possible ABC Family is foreshadowing that Officer Maple was the one who killed Mrs. D? She clearly had something on Maple that was incriminating enough to compel him to break the law.
Or perhaps Mrs. D was in over her head. Perhaps she thought she was working Officer Maple over, when really he was the bigger threat all along. After all, what do we really know about him? We first met him in Season 1’s “The Homecoming Hangover,” when he informs Emily’s mom about her daughter’s attack and how Emily hadn’t told Mrs. Fields she’d gone to the dance to begin with. When Mrs. Fields responds that her daughter doesn’t lie, Maple ominously tells her everyone lies.
In other interactions, it’s clear he is close to the Liars’ parents, whom he’s on a first-name basis with. I think we’ve all seen enough crime shows (or this show, for that matter) to know that usually the bad guys are people you trust. People who know your patterns and the goings-on of your daily life.
Or how about the fact that he was the officer in “For Whom the Bell Tolls” who leads the girls to the bottom of the bell tower, revealing Ian’s body is not there. He was the main officer on the scene to question the Liars.
He was also the cop who first informs and handles Hanna when she has to have a blood sample tested (the same blood sample that would lead to her being accused of murder).