|This article centers around Darren Wilden, a TV show character. For another version check out Darren Wilden (Book Character).|
|“||Either you shut Hanna up, or I will!||”|
— Detective Wilden (to Ashley)
|Early to mid 30s|
|1977 or 1978|
|Police Officer (in flashbacks)|
| Ashley Marin (brief affair) |
Alison DiLaurentis (possibly)
| Shana Fring |
| Detective Breyer (formerly) |
| Aria Montgomery |
| - Had an affair with Ashley Marin to drop Hanna's shoplifting charges (exposed) |
- Was at Cape May with Alison, Melissa, and CeCe (exposed)
- Is the Queen of Hearts (exposed)
- Tried to kill Aria and Spencer
- Was doing things (possibly 'A'-related) on someone else's orders (exposed to Spencer and Aria by Melissa)
- Was paid not to reveal the real nature of Marion Cavanaugh's death (exposed)
- Killed Garrett Reynolds (Source)
| Pilot |
The First Secret (chronologically)
|Game Over, Charles (flashback)|
Darren Wilden 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. Wilden was killed by two gun shot wounds soon after the lodge fire by Charlotte DiLaurentis. He was portrayed by Bryce Johnson.
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.
Darren is the main suspect of being the Beach Hottie because of the time he spent will Alison in Cape May the summer she disappeared. However, it is not confirmed.
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.
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.
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.
He makes an appearance at Alison's memorial dedication.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wilden's body 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ashley is declared innocent of Wilden's murder, thanks to Travis. The girls watch the news, and it shows the newest murder suspect: CeCe Drake.
Season 1 (5/22)
Season 2 (5/25)
Season 3 (9/24)
Season 4 (2/24)
Season 6 (1/20)
- 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
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]: Either you shut Hanna up, or I will!