'Pretty Little Liars': Killing Off Maya Was Possibly the Show's Biggest Mistake

BEWARE BINGEWATCHERS … SPOILER ALERT!

Pretty Little Liars was a popular Freeform television series that ran from 2010 to 2017. The teen-centric mystery drama focused on a group of teens from the fictional town of Rosewood.

A year after the disappearance of Alison (Sasha Pieterse), the girls started to receive cryptic messages from “A.” The show captivated audiences with intrigue, strong character development, and shocking plot twists.

One of the biggest shocks came during the Season 2 finale when a fan-favorite character met her demise. It was perhaps one of the show’s biggest mistakes, and here’s why.

Who was Maya?

There were plenty of unexpected deaths throughout the seven-season run of Pretty Little Liars. MTV points out that one of the most “questionable are-they-or-aren’t-they disappearances” was the story arc for Maya St. Germain. According to Insider, Bianca Lawson was 31 when she played the role of 16-year-old Maya.

The drama unfolded when Lyndon James (Sterling Sulieman) pretended to be Nate, Maya’s cousin. Fans were taken aback in the Season 2 finale to discover Lyndon “apparently murdered” Maya. It turns out he was really her stalker, who was killed off in Season 3 when Emily (Shay Mitchell)  stabs him in a lighthouse battle.

In the episode “unmAsked,” Maya’s body is found in Emily’s backyard, and her untimely death is ruled a homicide.

Maya was the new girl in town who tried to break into the clique of popular girls at Rosewood Day School. She was a recurring character for the first two seasons of Pretty Little Liars. The confident teen was Emily’s first girlfriend, and together they explored their sexuality becoming lesbian lovers. 

Fans think Maya’s death was ‘1000% unnecessary’

In an interview with Vulture, Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King explained fans were furious about Maya’s death. Saying that “Fans are still very passionate about that storyline,” she revealed, “People sent us pens to write her back into the story.”

BuzzFeed recently asked their community which television character should never have been killed off. Maya from Pretty Little Liars was at the top of the list. One user (Kelly Martinez) suggested, “Maya’s death was horrible and 1000% unnecessary. She was Emily’s best girlfriend by far, and I’m still so bitter the writers killed her off, especially so early on in the show. What was even the point of her death?!”

What Bianca Lawson had to say about Maya’s untimely death

Teen Vogue reported that Lawson was unaware of Maya’s fate in 2013, saying, “I didn’t know she was gonna die.” She explained a fellow cast member said to her, “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry,” before she had a chance to read the script.

As the only openly bisexual person on the show, the character of Maya played a paramount role for LGBTQ viewers. Lawson expressed to Vulture, “I think it’s always a great thing when you can do something that maybe goes against the stereotype, and is freeing for people, and you’re allowed to do it in a way that’s honest and thoughtful.”

Lawson was flattered to find fans reacted so strongly to her portrayal of Maya. She said, “When we do things, we don’t think about the real-world effects it’s having, and then people tell you these stories, and it’s like, Oh, my God. That’s the highest kind of compliment.”

Surprised by being written off the show early on, Lawson said, “That’s just the nature of life in the business. I do feel that there was something really lovely about what she was able to facilitate during her life before she disappears.”

Fans couldn’t agree more and wanted to see more of her multi-faceted character develop. It is perhaps one of the biggest plot fails in the show’s lengthy run.

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