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This article is about Darren Wilden, a TV show character. You may be looking for Darren Wilden (Book Character).

Either you shut Hanna up, or I will!
— Detective Wilden to Ashley

Darren Wilden was a major supporting antagonistic character in the television series Pretty Little Liars on Freeform. He was portrayed by Bryce Johnson.

He was a detective who arrested Hanna for shoplifting, and also later began investigating Ali's murder. He was involved with Ashley Marin. Wilden would often harass Hanna, Aria, Spencer, and Emily in the process of the investigation. He was the first Queen of Hearts and was following orders from somebody else, according to Melissa Hastings. He was also "Beach Hottie" and had sex with Alison, leading the latter to have a pregnancy scare. Wilden was killed by two gunshot wounds soon after the lodge fire by Charlotte DiLaurentis.


Darren was a former student of Rosewood High and became a police officer and detective after graduation. He was assigned to investigate Alison's murder. Wilden was a partier and at one point went on a boat trip to Cape May with Alison DiLaurentis, "CeCe Drake", and Melissa Hastings. Darren is the main suspect of being the Beach Hottie because of the time he spent with Alison in Cape May the summer she disappeared.


Physical Appearance


Season 1

Detective Darren Wilden goes to Hanna's house and arrests her for shoplifting. He talks to Ashley when they go to the station. He rushes out with the other officers when Alison's body is found.


Darren loudly enters the Marin house...with Ashley. The two kiss wildly. He then climbs the stairs with her, being led to her bedroom, thus making Hanna stare at them, shocked.

He approaches the Liars after Alison's funeral telling them that he'll have to go over all of their statements because he is now dealing with a murder investigation. He tells them that he will find out what happened that summer.

The Jenna Thing
He is first seen on television talking about Alison's death.


Darren goes to the girl's school in order to question them. He interrogates the girls about Alison DiLaurentis' disappearance, reviewing their stories with great skepticism that he makes sure to show. The girl's answer unanimously, but he is sure that they are lying all the same, claiming that their story sounds rehearsed.

He later arrives at the Marin home with takeout for dinner while Hanna and Sean are studying. Ashley tells Hanna it's time for Sean to leave.

Darren is seen watching Hanna as she goes shopping in Rosewood Mall with Mona. Hanna walks over to him to tell him to back off; she will pay off her debt for the sunglasses if he will only leave her mother alone. Hanna is speechless and resentful. He uses evidence that he finds in the Marin household against Hanna. Hanna calls him out on the invalidity of such investigative techniques. But Darren is following Hanna for reasons other than her shoplifting; he admits that he is stalking her because he believes that she is hiding who killed Alison DiLaurentis.

To Kill a Mocking Girl


Darren is seen in the kitchen of the Marin's home. He tells Hanna good morning but she ignores him. Ashley sends him upstairs to put on some clothes while she makes breakfast. He stops to listen to Ashley and Hanna's conversation.

He later appears in Rosewood High School to talk to Hanna. She tries to protest that she has class, but he has already taken care of that. In the office, Darren brings up Hanna's ugly duckling past and the fact that Hanna started to dress more like Alison. Hanna argues that Alison helped her make those changes, but Darren is trying to portray her as the jealous fat girl who bumped off Alison to get ahead. Darren says he needs information about the past, so Hanna brings up his party boy drinking past as a comeback. She then accuses Darren of getting his information from her living room while he was half-naked and walks out.

Later when Hanna is getting ready to go out, Darren asks her if she would like a drop and jokes that he won't use the handcuffs. When Ashley asks him if he's heard whether or not the store is going to press charges he tells her he hasn't heard anything yet. He spots Hanna's friendship bracelet from Alison in her purse and picks it up. He questions Ashley about it. He lets it slip that he interrogated Hanna again that day. Ashley snatches the bracelet and zips up Hanna's purse. She tells him that he'll be having dinner and breakfast somewhere else from now on.

Please, Do Talk About Me When I'm Gone
He makes an appearance at Alison's memorial dedication.

The Perfect Storm
Eventually, even Emily is accused of murdering Alison. The last we see of Officer Wilden is when he goes so far as to take Emily's purse without a search warrant, endanger the girls lives by separating them from their classmates amidst a hurricane, and interrogate the minors without an adult present. Veronica Hastings blasts Darren for being unprofessional and breaking the law. (Agent Cooper replaces Darren on the case.)

Season 2

Over My Dead Body
We learn from Veronica that Wilden was suspended, but has been reinstated as head investigator. He catches the girls with the murder weapon (a shovel) and arrests them on suspicion of murder. He seems to be friendly with Garrett because they are on the force together.

The First Secret
Darren gives Ashley a ride home from The Grille after she has one too many martinis there. He seems flirty with her and returns the next day to offer "his assistance." Ashley flatly refuses, and he ominously warns her to watch herself. When Hanna questions his presence, Ashley writes him off as a "horny cop."

When the Liars spot Darren talking to Jenna at the Halloween party, they think that he is dressing up as a cop, but Hanna lets them know that the uniform is real. When they ask her how she knows, she lies that she saw him directing traffic.


Screen Shot 2012-10-10 at 5.06

Wilden is next seen when he confiscates Caleb's computer, shows Garrett a photo of Hanna, Spencer and Emily breaking into the morgue office, and later brings Hanna and Ashley in to question them about it. He becomes extremely frustrated when the incriminating files mysteriously disappear from Caleb's laptop.

Screen Shot 2012-10-10 at 5.02

Ashley secretly meeting Darren.

Father Knows Best
Later, he appears in where he is clearly worried about discovering his "deal" with Hanna's mom, Ashley Marin. He meets Ashley in his car to tell her that she has to take Hanna's phone to figure out who gave Hanna the police report. Ashley rejects the possibility but considers it when she is reminded of the issue at hand. Hanna spots the two while walking with Mona and questions her mom about it when they return home.

Season 3

Hot Water
Wilden is seen talking to the girls. Hanna reveals that they know he was in Cape May the summer Alison went missing. Later in the episode, Hanna and her mom watch as Wilden forces CeCe to get into his car. That evening, he meets Ashley at a restaurant out of town and asks her to keep Hanna's mouth shut. He then follows Ashley's car as she leaves. Wilden threatens her, but Ashley doesn't let herself get intimidated. She goes back to her car and, panicked, she hits Wilden with her car and leaves. Later, she and  Hanna go back to find him, but he is gone.

PLL-Beach Hottie with Alison and Charlotte

Darren Wilden with Alison and "CeCe"

Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
Wilden reappears after being missing, indicating that Ashley did indeed see him in the previous episode.  When Hanna confronts him about following her, Wilden indicates he will leave her and Ashley alone if she gives him back his car.

A DAngerous GAme


Shana and Jenna help Officer Wilden up after he is hit.

The girls come upon his police cruiser which Hanna and Aria had pushed into the lake.  The laptop is playing the video of Ashley hitting Wilden with her car, only this time we see that Jenna and Shana helped him get up and walk away.  The girls notice something is strange with the trunk, open it up and gasp, but the viewer does not see inside the trunk.

Season 4

'A' is for A-l-i-v-e


Dead Wilden

In, a dead pig is found in the trunk. Ironically, pig is slang for cop/police. The next day, the girls drive by and the winds blows - revealing the now dead corpse of Darren Wilden under the sheet.  He was shot multiple times and his body was moved from the original crime scene.


Mona shows the girls video footage, trying to convince Aria that she didn't try to kill her, of two Queen of Hearts. Wilden is shown to be one, while the other is Melissa, presumably, however before she takes her mask off the video ends - due to being hacked.

Turn of the Shoe
Mona overhears the police talking about Torch Lake being cordoned off as a crime scene.  They found two sets of footprints, one belonging to Wilden and one belonging to a woman in high heels. Ashley Marin is looking guilty since she is hiding a pair of muddy heels under their kitchen sink.  Another piece of information is that Ali was hosting older kids at her parents beach rental in Cape May the summer before she disappeared.  The liars eliminate Wilden as having stayed there since he had a boat and wouldn't have needed a place to crash.

Face Time
Melissa reveals that Wilden is the one who started the fire at The Thornhill Lodge and that he was apparently taking orders from someone to do these things such as almost killing Aria and Spencer. Garrett showed up and it became more important to kill him first.

The Guilty Girl's Handbook
Wilden appeared in this episode in Hanna's imagination, as she tried to create a story in her mind about how she killed Wilden in self-defense, with the help of Mona. She needs to make it as believable as possible that she killed Wilden in self-defense. Wilden finds his muddy car and sees Hanna.

He says Hanna's mom won't be able to get her out of this, and that she's in serious trouble. Hanna whips out the gun, but Wilden doesn't look afraid. He gets angry and kicks the car, saying this is Hanna's fault. Hanna shoots him and he falls to the ground. She shoots him again. Hanna looks up and sees her mother staring at her. Before Hanna can tell her lie to the police, Caleb stops her, and Mona "confesses" she is the one who murdered Detective Wilden to the police.

Eddie Lamb also mentions to Spencer that Wilden was paid off to lie about the nature of Marion's death in the police report.

Bring Down the Hoe
A guy named Travis tells Hanna his father and him were at the lake the night Wilden was shot. He said he saw her mother there, but heard the gunshots after she drove away. He said he saw a female running in the woods after the shots. He's scared to tell the cops, but eventually does.

Now You See Me, Now You Don't
Ashley is declared innocent of Wilden's murder, thanks to Travis. The girls watch the news, and it shows the newest murder suspect, which is CeCe Drake.

Season 6

Game Over, Charles
Charlotte DiLaurentis (AKA Cece Drake) confirmed she really was the person who killed Wilden. She explained that she killed Wilden because he found out Alison was alive, but he was never going to let her come back and tell her story. She also had The Black Widow (AKA Sara Harvey) go to his funeral to make sure he was dead.


Pretty Little Liars (23/160)

Season 1 (5/22)

Season 2 (5/25)

Season 3 (9/24)

Season 4 (2/24)

Season 6 (2/20)


  • According to Marlene King, on the Halloween train, Wilden was acting on his own when he killed Garrett. Garrett found out he was a dirty cop and Wilden was afraid he'd expose him. Source
  • Actor Bryce Johnson appears as Wilden in Season 7A in a few fantasy sequences.


Wilden [about Alison's murder case]: Your mom may be hot, Hanna, but she’s not hot enough to make that go away.

Wilden: The evidence doesn't lie.

Wilden [to Spencer]: You used to be a much better liar.

Wilden [to Ashley]: We need to talk about Hanna. Can you keep Hanna quiet or not?

Wilden [to Ashley]: I'm not the only one with secrets. You talk I talk. You could lose a lot more than your boyfriend.

Wilden [to Ashley]: Either you shut Hanna up, or I will!



Characters (Pretty Little Liars)