“Welcome to Beacon Heights University, where excellence is not an option…it’s a requirement.” After watching Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists season 1 episode 1, I remembered why I fell in love with Pretty Little Liars in the first place. It’s hard for a spin-off to gives fans that sense of nostalgia, while still creating a unique voice of its own, but I have already been hooked after the first episode and I can’t wait to see the new mystery unfold. Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch yet. In last night’s “Pilot” episode, Alison DiLaurentis gets a fresh start and takes on a TA position at Beacon Heights University, but is quickly reunited with our favorite troublemaker, Mona Vanderwaal. Meanwhile, we meet several of Alison’s new students who may wind up being the prime suspects in a new murder and Alison’s presence here reminds us that nothing is ever a coincidence for a Pretty Little Liar alum. My top 5 moments from Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists season 1 episode 1 are:
“We are and then we’re not.”
After Alison comes to town and is reunited with Mona, it looks like both of our favorite characters from Pretty Little Liars are in desperate need of a fresh start. We learn the fate of Alison and Emily’s relationship, as Alison explains that Emily had trouble getting over the past. Does that mean that Alison and Emily will never get back together? Not necessarily, as they are tied together by a family, but it looks like this relationship has been put on pause for now. Alison wants to leave the mean girl behind her and truly wants to help her students and make a difference, but wherever Alison goes, drama is never too far behind.
“Is it OK to murder a murderer?”
An interesting question for sure and I have to say that I was actually really digging Alison’s lecture. Can I sign up for her class? As Alison gets to know her new students, she asks them to participate in a discussion on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which is actually quite fitting if you think about it. We are introduced to several new characters and quickly learn that everyone is a suspect and that appearances can be very deceiving. No one really stood out to me just yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing their characters explored further as the series continues.
“Try and stay away from him.”
Perhaps the most disliked new character is Nolan Hotchkiss, who seems to be the resident bad boy on campus. Alison notices that Nolan is a lot like how she used to be, using manipulation and blackmail to get what he wants, but there also seems to be a lot of complicated drama with his family as well. We learn that his sister, Taylor, apparently committed suicide about a year ago and that Nolan’s mother, Claire, played by the amazing Kelly Rutherford, seems interested in Alison because she reminds her of her daughter. Mona says that by her calculations, Nolan could be dangerous, but can we really trust Mona here? What other connections does Alison have to the Hotchkiss family? I’m not sure, but I’m already intrigued enough to find out more. I’m loving this setup so far!
“I know a little bit about manipulation.”
Maybe way more than a little bit, Alison, but it appears that you have truly changed, but the past has a way of dragging you backwards sometimes. We soon learn that Taylor is actually alive, as Nolan goes to visit her secretly. So why did she fake her own death and what is the bigger play here? There seems to be quite an emphasis on the advanced security system on campus, so have the Hotchkiss siblings uncovered something behind that or is there another mystery yet to be revealed? Alison also finds a picture of Taylor and the resemblance is striking, so is it possible that Alison could be related to Taylor? Toward the end of the episode, Alison uncovers a message behind the wallpaper in Taylor’s old room that says, “They’re Watching,” which furthers my theory on the security issue, but there is still a lot to uncover here.
“There are no coincidences.”
Alison recognizes that there are definitely no coincidences. After all, she comes from Rosewood. Alison asks Mona why she is here, but it looks like this all needs to be put on hold, as we find out that Nolan has been brutally murdered at the end of the episode. Nolan is found impaled on a fence, as everyone gathers around in horror. All of his friends quickly become suspects and so our murder mystery begins. However, we are left with another cliffhanger at the end, as Mona starts talking to herself and asking if this was her fault and has someone in her ear piece. Is Mona actually working for the FBI or some kind of secret agency? I mean, we know that Mona is extremely intelligent and qualified so perhaps her recruiter position is just a cover.
Either way, I am already completely hooked and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. The spin-off series premiere really gave Pretty Little Liar fans exactly what they needed, but I am really enjoying the college campus change of scenery and I think this will give Alison and Mona the chance to shine, while introducing us to some new faces who may surprise us. Stay tuned!
I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!
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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl
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