|This article is about Byron Montgomery, a TV series character. You may be looking for Byron Montgomery (Book Character).|
|“||Sometimes the truth does more harm than good.||”|
— Byron to Aria
Byron Montgomery is the father of Aria and Mike Montgomery and is the husband of Ella Montgomery. Byron is a professor and a department chair at Hollis College who was a main character (1-3) and a special guest character from (4-present). He is portrayed by Chad Lowe.
Aria and Alison became aware of Byron's infidelity after seeing him and Meredith in the back of his car, but Ella was not. In an awful parenting move, Byron persuaded Aria to keep his extramarital affair a secret from the rest of the family.
After Alison's disappearance, Byron and his family left for Iceland on sabbatical. When they return, Aria becomes suspicious that he is seeing Meredith again. Things are made worse when Meredith befriends an unsuspecting Ella. Ella eventually finds out about Byron's affair through a letter from "A". Byron and Ella have a big fight about who should move out of the house, as both need some space. In the end, Ella moves out into an apartment above her art studio. Byron pursues a relationship with Meredith before her mental state gets the best of her and she leaves to receive treatment.
Byron manages the finances and kids' schedules with some difficulty. Many episodes show him ordering take-out or seemingly handling all the bills of the house. Many times, he asks Aria to take Mike to lacrosse practice or other school activities.
Byron is first seen asking Mike Montgomery if he's going to lacrosse practice. After Ella Montgomery and Mike go into the basement he asks Aria Montgomery how's she's holding up. Aria tells him that she is still keeping his secret but Byron counters saying he was talking about Alison and that coming back must bring up a lot of bad memories.
Byron drops Aria and Mike to their first day back at school. Mike leaves and he tells Aria to wait. He tells Aria how he loves Ella and made one mistake that shall not be repeated. A flashback shows him kissing Meredith
At the Montgomery house, Ella and Byron are making progress on unpacking. They discuss their adjustment back to Rosewood, and Byron reveals how nervous he is to lose the closeness he had with her in Iceland. Ella tells him that they were forced to bond because they didn't know anyone else there. He tells her that he misses it because things can get in the way. Ella questions this and he tries to avoid the question but she is persistent. He lies and says how he can get obsessed with work not completely revealing what he is actually afraid of. Oblivious to the nuance, Ella agrees that the adjustment is hard, considering that they once again live near the DiLaurentis' house, and driving past it evokes bad memories. They declare their commitment to one another and the two embrace over a glass of wine.
Byron comes downstairs and tells Aria and Ella that he'll be working late that night. When Ella asks why he tells her he has a lot of catching up to do after being gone a year. Aria tells him that his family should come first then she leaves. When Ella questions him about Aria's behavior he says she's just being a teenager.
He remains at home when Ella and Mike go to bring takeout for dinner. Aria arrives home and he tells her that Ella is starting to get suspicious. Aria asks him if he loved Meredith and he tells her he had very strong feelings for her which he acted upon. He tells her she's too young to understand. Ella and Mike come home and Byron acts normally.
Byron, Ella, and Aria are out having breakfast. Aria talks about the book she's reading at school "To Kill a Mockingbird." Byron tells her she should read the author's biography next and that he has a copy in his office. He asks Aria if she likes her new English Teacher and she says he's okay. Ella goes inside to order more food. While he's talking with Aria Meredith shows up seeking "a recommendation." Byron introduces her to Aria and she asks Byron if he received her message. After chatting with Byron she tries to make conversation with Aria but Aria coldly cuts her short. She smiles intensely at Byron and he smiles back.
Later at the opening, Ella and Byron are seen talking and laughing with the people present.
After Ella finds out about his affair, they argue about the possibility of him moving out. Ella says she doesn't want to be the bad mother who puts out the kids' father and forced to deal with their confusion alone. When Aria makes her presence known Byron wishes her good luck in her test then leaves.
He later comes clean to Ella about the affair with Meredith and him asking Aria to keep it a secret from her. Ella becomes very angry even breaking a family picture.
He becomes chummy with Ashley and comes over to use her toaster when his electricity fails. He also comes to use her fax in order to send out Mike's permission slip, which is due that day. There, he unloads his difficulty with meeting the challenges of being a single parent, and Ashley empathizes. Their relationship could have romantic potential, but it seems mostly friendly.
After Ashley takes money from Mrs. Potter's safe deposit box, Byron approaches her in her car asking her for a ride home. She curtly turns him down, claiming that she is in a rush, but the real reason becomes apparent when her open purse stuffed with cash comes into view.
Later, when Ella's car breaks down, thanks to Caleb's messing with it, Ella is frustrated and calls Byron, since she cannot call AAA, as all their points are used up. The encounter threatens to lead to a fight until Byron offers her a ride. He drives her all the way to the gallery, but by the time they arrive, their relationship has been so much improved that Ella opts for a date with her husband instead.
Ella shares with Byron her positive opinion of Mr. Fitz, given his professional response to the Mr. McCullers fiasco. As a result, despite that things are starting to pick up with the two, Byron begins to jealously suspects Mr. Fitz of wooing his wife. He, therefore, misinterprets Ella's plans to attend a book event with Ezra, not realizing that the invitation is not exclusive; it includes the other English teachers as well.
At his parent-teacher meeting for Aria, he is judgmental and cold towards a confused Ezra, a fact that Aria is even more bewildered about. In an attempt to have her father appreciate her secret boyfriend, she argues with her father about his opinion. It is only when Aria fills him in on the fact that Ella's date with Ezra is not exclusive to her that he stops suspecting that Ella has a crush on Ezra. He softens, and feeling regret, calls Mr. Fitz to go out for drinks and talk. There, they discuss Aria again, and Byron is so nice he even encourages Ezra to spend more time on his work and less time on teaching by considering a position as a college professor.
With the Ezra jealousy component no longer a concern, Ella and Byron's relationship starts repairing itself, but Ella is reluctant to share the good news with her children, for fear of letting them think that everything is completely better, when she is not sure how she feels exactly. So, one night Byron sneaks out of the house to meet Ella without telling the children, having agreed to keep things under wraps for now. Aria, terrified that her father is having an extramarital affair again, follows him, only to find her parents having an intra marital affair!
When Byron learns that Aria has a secret relationship with a boy, he becomes insecure, leading him to pry in Aria's room, almost outing the truth, but Ella stops him in an argument, overheard by Mike, their son. They disagree as to whether it's ever okay to search your children's room behind their backs. Aria and Mike had agreed to make dinner for the parents as a way to a family date night, but due to the argument, Ella cancels, leaving the three to eat dinner alone.
Byron hosts a faculty mixer at his home for his fellow Hollis faculty. Jackie attends, much to Aria's chagrin.
Byron was with the other parents as they tell the Liars that they believe that the girls need to see a therapist. He later talks to Aria along with Ella about the girls' visit with Dr. Sullivan He and Ella tell Aria that she needs to stop seeing her friends temporarily.
Ella moves back in with Byron, and Byron is relieved of some of the recent parenting stress. He is somewhat concerned about his son's, Mike, recent behavior, but doesn't make much of it when Aria falsely denies noticing it.
After Mike's arrest, Ella and Byron have two different approaches to dealing with their son. Ella wants to give Mike space until he is open to talking, but Byron calls for a tougher approach, wanting to force him to return to school. After seeing Mike sleeping in his room with the door locked, Byron privately reveals to Ella later that Mike had reminded him of his brother Scott when he was younger before his life fell apart. Ella rejects the comparison, but Byron seems shaken.
Byron is keen on medication as a treatment for his son's depression, but Ella insists on verbal therapy, leaving the two at an impasse.
In the prequel episode, Aria visits her father's office at Hollis College. She is about to leave a note for her father, when she sees Meredith lying on the couch of her father's office, lazily reading a book. When Byron returns to his office, he expresses his surprise at seeing Meredith there but acts coolly. Aria attributes Meredith's presence in his office to her father being so cool in the eyes of his students, and Byron plays along.
Later, Aria and Alison discover Byron and Meredith making out in his car, showing that the discovery had been made just before Halloween. Byron is happy until he spots his daughter and her crestfallen face. When Aria returns home, Byron tells her that he tried to call her all day, though she hadn't picked up for obvious reasons. Ella and Mike are not home, probably because Byron had wanted to prevent Aria from informing her mother before he could convince her not to. He announces that Meredith is dropping his class, implying that their relationship is ending. He then asks Aria to lie about it to her mother, because it’s over now, and telling her would make it worse. “I don’t think I can ever forgive you,” Aria squeaks. In turn, Byron has the decency to tell Aria that he respects whatever decision she ultimately make, though he obviously doesn't want her to tell Ella. Aria starts crying in her room, and Byron stands in the doorway, crying silent tears himself.
Byron visits Ezra in his office. He suggests they combine their English classes one day to view a film. Ezra likes the idea. Byron also says they should finish the dinner they started (in Surface Tension) and also the bottle of scotch Ezra brought. He gets a text and mentions how he has had to deal with so many lawyers lately, referring to Aria's arrest. Ezra is sympathetic and asks how things have been. He says he knows Aria well enough to know that Aria would never hurt Ella or Byron on purpose. Byron says no one ever starts out intending to hurt anyone.
The next day, Ezra Fitz stands in the Montgomery's living room and confesses to being in love with his daughter. Byron and Ella are shocked and angry. Byron orders Ezra to leave. Mike, who is standing nearby, steps in and hits Ezra, in an effort to prevent Byron from doing it first.
Ella and Byron discuss what just transpired. Byron accuses Ella of knowing about this. She explains she thought she knew about Ezra and Spencer Hastings, but never gave him the chance to deny it. Byron declares the man is finished and Ella supposes he is right, but they have to consider what Aria may have been thinking when she got involved with Ezra, at a confusing time when she was still keeping the secret of her father's affair. Aria comes downstairs and asks them not to make a decision tonight, to consider for a moment that their relationship is real. They don't seem to accept this possibility and send her back upstairs.
Byron sees Aria in the hall and insists she changes her clothes. He says they are inappropriate for school. Incredulous, Aria asks since when has she had a dress code. Byron responds since they have learned who she may be dressing for. Ella steps in before a full-blown argument can erupt.
Byron knocks on Ezra's door that evening. He enters and remarks that he and Ella went to a party in this building years ago. He tells Ezra he knows navigating certain student-teacher relationships can be tricky and admits to making his own bad choices, pointing out that they were not with a minor. He asks for Ezra's word that he will not see Aria again, but Ezra doesn't give it to him. Instead, he thanks him for helping him get the job at Hollis which enabled him to continue his relationship with Aria. Byron spies the rumpled sheets on Ezra's bed behind him and asks if he and Aria spend time at his apartment. Byron's demeanor changes from business-like to angry. Before Ezra can answer, Byron, threatens him about going to the police and leaves.
Ella and Byron argue over what to do about the situation with Aria and Ezra. She wishes he hadn't gone to speak with him without her. She tells Byron that they cannot go to the police, much as they would like to because it would ruin Aria's reputation. She is already considered a liar by many in town after the bell-tower incident and the recent arrest. They have to do whatever they can to protect their daughter. Byron can't argue with that.
Byron walks with Ella and Aria toward a restaurant in town for dinner, but stop short when they see Ezra through the window dining alone. Byron insists they go somewhere else, calling out to Aria that they are leaving, then bickers with Ella about their earlier conversation. They make plans for them all to have dinner one day soon so Holden and Aria can catch up.
Aria and Bryon go to the father-daughter dance. It is obvious that it has been a
reoccurring event for the two for a long time but due to the tense relationship between them (since Byron learned about Aria's secret affair with Ezra) the mood is dim. Aria is clearly still frustrated with her father but Byron tries to lighten the atmosphere by reminiscing about when Aria was a little girl. After dancing and getting drinks, Byron gets in line for a Father-Daughter picture and is very obviously hurt and disappointed when Aria tells him that she is going to leave early and that she doesn't want to take a picture. He reminds her of how they'd taken a picture every year but Aria tells him that she isn't a little girl anymore and leaves in this heartbreaking scene.
Byron and Ella have separated sometime over the 5 months between the end of Season 2 and beginning of Season 3, partially due to his inability to accept Ezra as Aria's boyfriend. He (Byron) starts dating his former student Meredith again.
The Liars discover that Byron was with Alison the Night she was killed because Alison was blackmailing him about the affair he had with Meredith. That night, he got Ella to drink wine and pass out, and he went to meet with Ali.
It is further revealed in a flashback that when he left, Ali was supposedly unharmed, so he did not kill her.
Byron is briefly mentioned by Mike and Aria during their heated argument once Aria comes home. Later in the episode, Aria comes home to Byron working diligently on something at his desk where they begin a conversation about the wellbeing of Ella and Aria turns the conversation into her persuading Byron to convince Ella to go to Europe with Zack. Aria ends up in tears as she tells Byron that Ella still values his opinion. Later, Ella and Byron are seen having coffee together where he begins discussing that she doesn't look bad considering her condition and ends up convincing her to go to Europe with Zack. The entire Montgomery family is seen in the living room together towards the end of the episode where Ella and Byron talk to Mike and he softens up to the idea of Ella leaving though it is evident that he is reluctant to say bye to his mother.
Byron is seen pacing his house as he hangs up with somebody on the phone. Aria walks in and sets down her coat as he questions her of her brother's whereabouts and the issue with Connor and his car. Aria informs him of when she rejected Connor and the rumor that he (Connor) had started. Byron questions why Connor would have started this rumor and Aria tells him that it was most likely brought upon by her and Ezra's relationship. Byron then grabs his coat and goes to find Mike. Byron walks out of Vice Principal Hackett's office and sees Aria and Ezra immersed in a conversation that they both break and put their attention on him. Aria and Ezra both leave upon Byron's request and he then proceeds to go back into the office.
Byron is briefly mentioned by Alison as she recaps the night she disappeared.
Byron walks into the Montgomery home, and seeing Ella, he says that he thought everyone would be at the party by now. As Byron starts asking “do you need me to…”, Ella cuts in off, telling him that it is his house and that he was nice enough to let them use it while he was gone. When Ella asks him how the conference was, Byron tells her it was fine before asking why she’s not at the party. Ella tells him that it was canceled and it seemed kind of silly to have an engagement party when you are no longer engaged. Taking a few steps closer, Byron asks if Ella wants to talk about it, but Ella tells him not really and that Aria can fill him in on everything. Ella wonders why she took all her clothes out when she’s never going to get them all back in her suitcase, and Byron tells her that she’ll do it, “you were always really good at that. Figuring out how to make a small space work”. Sitting down, Byron mentions that sometimes he still thinks about their first place together, “you remember that dump on East 6th?” Going on, Byron asks if she remembers what the ad called the place, “it wasn’t a studio, it was something smaller”, and when Ella tells him it was listed as a bachelor, Byron says yes of course and “as if that explained why the bathtub was in the kitchen”. Saying that he felt so bad he couldn’t find them something better, Byron says that Ella was already pregnant with Aria and yet she figured out a way to make it seem big, “the skinny lamp that fit in the sliver of space between the window and the radiator. Hiding the fact that you could get a soda while washing your hair”, before Ella mentions that it was all about a well-placed drink. Standing up when Ella gets emotional, Byron comments that he doesn’t really know “this guy”, but whoever doesn’t realize “you make this small world seem so much bigger”, doesn’t deserve her. As Ella turns around to face him, Byron envelopes her in a hug and holds her as she cries into his shoulder.
Knocking on Aria’s bedroom door, Byron asks if she needs anything. When Aria tells him that she’s okay, Byron explains that Mike took Mona home. As he starts to leave, Aria calls out to him and comments that Mike and Mona is a very bad idea. As he steps back into Aria’s bedroom, Byron says that “he likes her and she seems to like him”, to which Aria questions seem to. Byron says that he understands that Aria and Mona have more than the usual amount of history, “but you know what will happen if either one of us tries to talk to Mike”, and Aria says she does, and Mike will just double down. Byron suggests that they keep an eye on the situation, “but keep our distance”, and Aria tells him that she’ll try. As Byron turns to walk out, he mentions that Ella is coming back from Scranton in the morning and they have “those” tickets for tomorrow night, “I had my fedora re-blocked for the occasion”. When Byron comments that it will be just the four of them and it’s been a long time since they’ve done that, Aria says that it’s been too long.
In the movie theater, Byron explains to a newly arrived Aria that Ella had to cancel and therefore Mike gave Mona the extra ticket. After Aria has sat down, she looks over to Byron and two shares a look.
Sitting in the Montgomery living room, Byron is reading over a paper when Aria asks him if Mike is back from dropping off Mona. Byron tells her “not yet” before asking what happened, and Aria says that they had a pretty long talk with the ladies. When Byron asks if anything got resolved, Aria tells him that what’s said in the powder room stays in the powder room and that she thinks will be okay with Mike but they just have to keep an eye on her. As Byron tells Aria “good”, there is a knock on the front door. Aria asks who that is and Byron tells her that it is probably Lieutenant Tanner. When Aria wonders what she is doing at their house, Byron explains that she left a voice mail, “she wanted to talk to me”. Aria questions about what and Byron says that’s what he’s going to find out now.
Byron asks Lieutenant Tanner what she wanted to ask him, and Tanner says that she not so much wanted to ask him anything, she just wanted to talk. As Tanner explains that she’s been talking with all the parents of Alison’s friends, Byron comments that she’s also been talking to her friends, “sometimes without any adults around”. Tanner says that she knows the rules and that no one is trying to trick the girls, but they just need to know how serious this is. Byron mentions that it seems to him that she should be putting her energy in finding the kidnapper that they released, to which Tanner says that a man confesses to a crime and then disappears the moment he is released, before asking Byron what he thinks changed the kidnappers mind. Byron tells her that he has no idea, and when Tanner says that this town ranks surprisingly low on curiosity, Byron comments that they may not have a lot of imagination “but we expect the police to do their job”. Tanner tells Byron that homicide investigations tend to get less complicated as you work them, not more, and if they start getting more complicated you can be sure that someone is doing that on purpose, someone smart and there are so many smart people involved in this case and it makes her job very interesting. Byron mentions that he’s only interested in where her job affects his daughter and Tanner questions if Byron wants to know if the police are interesting in Aria. Tanner says that the police are in fact interested in Aria as she may or may not be involved in a homicide, but she is certain that Aria is part of the complication. Byron questions if Tanner is so sure, why hasn’t she done something about it, “instead of harassing these girls”. Tanner says that she wouldn’t call it harassing, she’s just been waiting for one of them to step up and say that they’re willing to tell her the truth, and now one of them has. Tanner goes on to say that she expects to have a very enlightening conversation with her tomorrow and that she just thought Byron would want to know. When Byron wonders which one wants to talk with her, Tanner, instead of answering, tells him goodnight and starts to walk out.
He is mentioned by Ella to be dealing with the police concerning Aria's privacy.
Byron enters Aria's room in the morning. He attempts to talk to her about what happened in the dollhouse. Byron reminds her that while he understands that Aria may not want to speak to a professional about the trauma she endured, he is still there for her.
However, Aria rebuffs his attempts to make her open up to him. She firmly states that she never wants to talk about her time in captivity.
Byron then tries again to spend time with Aria by suggesting that they go for a movie or play mini golf. Aria refuses again, stating that she already booked time at Hollis's photo studio.
Byron is reluctant to let her go, saying that he doesn't want her going out alone. Aria reassures him that there's plenty of other people around. He then agrees but still tells her to text him as soon as she's there.
Presumably, that same day, Byron is upset that he didn't know where Aria was earlier. When Aria returns home, he tells her that he visited the photo studio that Aria had said she was going to but they told him that Aria hadn't gone there. Byron says that when he couldn't find Aria when he came back home, he panicked especially when she didn't pick up her phone.
Aria lies that her phone died and that she mixed up the dates for her photography session at Hollis.
Byron then affirms that it's his job to keep her safe and that if Aria is going to Hollis tomorrow, he will send her there. Aria says she already apologized for what happened. But, Byron cuts in saying that it's not punishment but rather it's a way for him to know where she is at all times.
Later in the episode, Byron walks in on Aria who is sitting in the living room, looking at various photos. He asks her if she's hungry and she replies "A little,".
He leaves to get dinner started before Aria changes her mind and calls him back. Aria questions if she can show him something. Byron, happy that finally, his daughter is opening up to him about what happened to her replies simply, "Please".
Aria shows him a photo of her bedroom, saying that her room in the dollhouse looked exactly like this one. The differences were that firstly, behind her windows was a huge dirt wall, there was no closet behind the door and that her room was locked at all times. She tearfully ends saying that there was no way for her to get out of that place.
Byron says nothing. He sits down on the sofa next to Aria and pulls her close to him. Byron holds her while she cries, too overcome with emotion to say anything more to his daughter.
Season 4 (3/24)
Season 7 (1/20)
Season 5 (2/25)
Season 6 (5/20)
- In the books, Byron marries Meredith and gets her pregnant. Later, they have a daughter named Lola. In the show, Byron just dates Meredith and breaks up with her because she is psychotic and drugged Aria.
- In the books, Ali and Byron never saw each other the night she went missing and she never blackmailed Byron.
- Alison and Aria never trashed his office after finding out about his affair with Meredith.
- Byron separates from Ella and married Meredith in the book, in the show, he and Ella got back together until they finally divorced a year later.
- In the books, Byron is an Art History professor, while in the show he's an English professor.
Byron [about Ezra]: He does that little boyish smile thing a little too much, but I figure it must work for him.
Aria: This place is out-of-control.
Byron: Yeah, well, I guess we’re all going to have to just pitch in a little bit more around here. Maybe we could take turns — we could each choose a night to, uh, cook, and then do the laundry, and then pay the bills, and then help your brother with his homework, and then find time to grade papers and write lectures and go to PTA meetings and...
Aria: Dad! How much coffee have you had?
Byron [to Ezra]: You're never seeing Aria again. Ever. And I will make sure the police see to that.
Byron: I don't want to leave.
Ella: I don't want you to stay.
Ella: Second guessing her every move is starting to feel a little extreme.
Byron: No, Dating your English teacher is extreme.
Byron [to Ezra]: I have been teaching for 17 years. I know how tricky it can be to navigate some teacher/student relationships.
Byron [to Ezra]: I have made some bad choices, that I later regretted
Byron: She asked me for space.
Aria: She moved out. How much more space does she need?