Over the course of its first season, “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” has made numerous references to the original series, “Pretty Little Liars,” which wrapped up five years ago. The biggest tribute, however, came in the season finale.
In the last episode, titled “Final Girls,” Imogen (Bailee Madison) revealed that she decided to place her baby for adoption, as she found a couple who have been trying to have a baby for a long time. Then she shared their names: Ezra and Aria. Longtime “PLL” fans know that the pair, portrayed by Ian Harding and Lucy Hale, got married during the 2017 finale on Freeform. Two years later, while “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” was airing, the official Twitter account revealed that Ezra and Aria had adopted a daughter and named her Katherine Ella, the middle name being a tribute to Aria’s mom.
Still, the “Original Sin” adoption wasn’t always in the cards for co-showrunners Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Lindsay Calhoon.
“That was late in the game as well. It was even a question of, is Imogen giving the baby up for adoption?” Aguirre-Sacasa tells Variety. “That was something that we talked about a lot. It felt like Bailee had done such a heroic job of being pregnant the entire season that, in success, if there were a Season 2, we wouldn’t necessarily Bailee babysitting a baby while all the other girls have fun going out and clubbing and things like that. It felt like the right choice for that character so was late in the season.”
Katie Avery, one of the show’s writers and a super fan of the “PLL” universe, “pointed out that not in the show canonically but in the social media around the show, Aria and Ezra, who had been struggling to have a baby, had adopted a baby. And so it docked perfectly with Imogen’s story.”
Calhoon added, “She’d read every book, she’d seen the show as many times as we did, and I loved that — and I wasn’t as well-versed in the deep social media canon following the show. So I loved that we could dock with the canon of the original show and those characters. It felt like a really beautiful end of that story.”
While “Original Sin” also lives in the same universe as “Riverdale,” that means if Lucy Hale popped up in future seasons, she could play Aria or Katy Keene. However, Aguirre-Sacasa has already thought about that, telling us, “She’d be Aria, for sure!”