Someone cue up Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again because here I go again, hopping back on the Pretty Little Liars train to be once again tormented by a new, much more disturbing version of A.
The spinoff series Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is a spirited and unhinged version of the originAl. Rosewood has nothing on Millwood, a town haunted by a dark secret that dates back all the way to a Y2K New Year’s Eve party in 1999.
While the shows may share a name, there’s not much connecting the reboot to the original. The new version almost feels like a continuation of the Scream TV series if it had a baby with I Know What You Did Last Summer (and it’s already better than that spinoff), while the villain has zero A-like qualities and presents more like a cheaper Michael Myers, though, equally as terrifying. And since Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa serves as showrunner, a bit of Riverdale’s style has bled in like Greg’s Archie hair or Karen’s dad’s dated patrol car in 2022. The mesh of past and present always makes for an eerie atmosphere.
But don’t worry, A still has eyes everywhere (and it almost feels like there are multiple A’s at one point, which I know original fans understand all too well) and he/she/they are still using text messages for stalking purposes. Some things never change.
The PLL moms ended up having their own fan base in the 2010 version, so this series is leaning fully into that. The PLL moms on this show are the original sin.
When the pilot kicks off, we see a distraught young woman begging for help. She’s turned away by nearly everyone at the party, including her own best friends, so she climbs up to the top and asks the crowd if they can see her now before plunging to her death.
Naturally, there’s a lot of trauma there for the now-adult women who just so happen to be the mothers of the high school seniors being targeted by the masked stalker. The girls may all be classmates, but none of them have any actual connection to each other aside from Imogen and Tabby. And based on the fact that they had no idea their moms were close in high school, after Angela’s death, none of the now-moms kept in touch in hopes of forgetting about what happened.
Except A doesn’t want them to forget. And his first kill, Imogen’s mother, is proof of that.
While PLL had its anxiety-inducing moments, it paled in comparison to the grisly scenes that Original Sin serves up right off the bat.
Imogen, who is 6-months pregnant, bares witness to her mother’s bloody suicide along with Karen, who is teed up as the show’s more humanized yet sometimes much more dangerous villain—a blonde mean girl.
Karen’s behavior is pretty one-dimensional at first, but as we peel back the pieces of her life, it’s revealed that perfect is just another word for dysfunctional. Imogen owns up to the fact that she’s a walking teenage tragedy (losing your mother is definitely a tragedy, but not in the way they imply, and being pregnant in a school full of hormonal teens who are having sex isn’t exactly tragic), but Karen puts on a front instead. In reality, she lives in a preachy house and is insecure because her father (who is also caught having an inappropriate relationship with a classmate) is a perfectionist who pushes her to be “the best,” and she pity’s her mother who just puts up with all of it and doesn’t say a word. It’s a lot to digest, but my point is, that we have plenty of reasons to feel sorry for Karen, even if she doesn’t make it easy. It’s unclear how Karen is connected to the daughters who are being targeted by A, but it does seem like A wanted them to turn against her because when they all land smack dab in detention for “crimes” they did not commit, the common denominator is Karen.
As they bond over their mutual hatred — in a really clever politically-charged dialogue bashing our society’s definition of a “Karen” — they vow to get revenge on the rampaging bitch. Their words, not mine.
Imogen declares the need to “kill Karen,” which seems to be intensified for dramatic effect, though, my guess is she just meant “ruin her.” At least, I hope. The town truly doesn’t need any more psychopaths running around.
I also hope it’s the case because, as of now, Imogen seems to be the heart of the show that’s desperate to live up to the energy of every past, present, and modern-day slasher. That poor janitor never saw it coming, but he should have! Imogen’s pregnancy is a clever plot device to hone in on the emotional toll of these deaths that sometimes feel so empty in slasher-horror films because we don’t actually have any emotional connection to the people being murdered.
We can all relate to the grief and heartache of losing a mother, but it hits a lot harder when the loss happens to a young woman on the cusp of a life-changing event who is now forced to navigate motherhood all on her own. Imogen has been thrown into an unthinkable situation, but despite a few panic attacks, she steps up to the plate. She doesn’t just show up, she puts Karen in her place publicly as she vows to become prom queen.
It’s only a matter of time before they piece together that they are being targeted as punishment for their mother’s sins, and their moms will likely figure it out too when they start getting threatening, cryptic text messages. Even if they were mean girls in high school, no one should have to pay the price for immature decisions years later, especially not innocent children who are already navigating a mean and cruel world, to begin with. What’s up with the ballet teacher? I know the world of dance is cutthroat, but girl, chill.
But it all begs the question that’s old as time — who is A?
It has to be someone with access to the school. For now, after a first impression, my money is on Karen’s dad Sheriff Beasley. He did say he was the best, and that’s something a psycho killer would say.
Other Moments Worth Mentioning
- Wes and Tabby are the equivalent of Aria and Ezra but like so much weirder. There were definitely issues with Aria and Ezra, but there’s no romanticizing Wes and Tabby. He’s trying to groom her and get in her pants by flexing his NYU connections and its grade-A douche. I really thought he was going to get killed on that deserted road, and he should be thanking Tabby from up above that she told him to drive faster than he’s ever driven before.
- Karen and Greg’s relationship is so toxic.
- Can everyone talk about how they’ve seen a masked peeping tom creeping on them? I feel like we need to get that out in the open.
- I know Ash just wants to help Mouse come out, but I don’t trust him!
- I thought Tabby was cool, but why does she have a secret camera from the boy’s locker room? Now, that’s some stalker behavior!
PLL was creepy, but PLL Original Sin takes it up ten notches, and it doesn’t seem like it’s stopping there.
The pilot episode was promising, even if I’m missing my OG liars, and I’m hoping that the series will find a way not to burn out fans with a guessing game about the killer’s identity that drags for several seasons until it no longer makes any sense.
What did you think of the series premiere? Should it even be compared to PLL since it’s like the show’s much darker older sister? Will you continue to watch? Was it as chilling as you thought it would be?
We’re giving the premiere a B-!
All of A’s Victims on ‘Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin’
Pretty Litle Liars captivated a whole generation when it premiered in 2010 on Freeform, but HBO Max is kicking things up a notch with its latest spinoff, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.
“A” torments a new set of little liars living in Millwood as he aims to avenge the deadly events of a Y2k party a decade later.
Leaning heavily into the teen slasher genre, the new series is a gorier and more intense look at a masked stalker who uses all forms of manipulation to get threaten his subjects.
As new episodes hit the streaming service weekly, we’re keeping a running list of his victims in season 1:
In the series premiere episode, the writers set the tone with “A’s” first and most significant kill. Imogen, a pregnant high schooler, finds her mother, Davie, dead in the tub with her wrists slashed. Blood is pouring out of the tub and down the *terrifying * hallway.
While the scene was made to look like a suicide, Imogen recalled her mother getting a flyer from “A” right before her death, so she’s inclined to believe that everything is connected to the murder of Angela Waters at a New Year’s Eve Party in 1999. Davie’s death is the kick-off to the whole series, leaving Imogen quite befuddled as she always knew her mom to be a really great and loving person. As she begins to uncover the past, she comes to realize that it might not be entirely true.
— TheA-GrAy (@vhmk9542) August 7, 2022
Every psycho killer has to have a random kill that shows how completely deranged he is. And that usually happens to be the person who crosses their path at the wrong place/wrong time. In this case, it was the school janitor who mistakenly found “A’s” lair…. oddly located on school property. The weirdest part is that no one ever brought up the janitor’s disappearance. Did they just assume he quit and never came back to work?
Karen or Kelly Beasley
The original PLL had a soft spot for twin tropes, so when Karen’s killed at the school dance Carrie style—and in the same way Angela died— fans immediately jumped to the theory that it was actually Kelly who died. Kelly behavior following her sister’s death doesn’t do her any favors, prompting Faran to also dig into the theory that Kelly is actually Karen. But when “A” gets wind of it, he corners Kelly while she’s practicing her Swan Lake solo. As she pleads to be left alone, she assures him that she’s actually Kelly. I’m not entirely convinced, but “A” backed off, so he seems to be pleased with the answer.
Tyler, the school jock and jerk, lost his battle with “A” in Imogen’s bathroom during the fundraiser Halloween party. The whole scenario was pretty brutal, even if he was just a complete ass to Tabby and the girls moments prior to his death. “A” has made it clear that his mission is to punish the bullies, and by taking out Tyler, who was still dressed in his Smurf outfit, he sure made his point. At present, the town sheriff is investigating Tyler’s disappearance and questioning Tabby, who got into a physical altercation with him (see: she punched him) at the party, but the girls just got a menacing picture message from “A” that confirms Tyler’s demise at the hands of their stalker.
PLL Original Sin Review – This Used to be a Fun Town
If there’s anything I’ve learned from teen dramas/slashers is that a small town carnival is never a good thing.
That couldn’t be more true on Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 Episode 7 as the annual carnival proved to be a place of trauma, not to mention the perfect breeding ground for “A” to unleash his havoc on the little liars.
The episode kicked off with yet another PLL mom getting a package from “A” to underscore that “he knows what she did in 1999.” And Elodie’s connection to Angela is quite surprising as we see her deem the hall of mirrors a safe place for her and Angela to lock lips. That is until Davie walks in on them and Elodie pushes Angela away before claiming she “attacked her.” While I can understand that Elodie wasn’t ready to come out, it’s yet another troubling indication of how the moms mistreated Angela and essentially bullied her. As we peel back the layers of the past to see how it’s influencing the present, there’s no mom that I actually feel sorry for; they all deserve to be reminded of the horrors they made this poor girl endure.
In the present day, Elodie’s storyline is focused more on another lie she’s keeping from her daughter, Mouse, about a man who tried to kidnap her at the carnival. Mouse has alluded to her mom’s being super strict before, but now we know where Elodie’s fears stem from. Of course, there’s much more than meets the eye here, and Mouse is determined to get to the bottom of it at all costs, especially when she gets a note from “A” that her mom is not being completely honest about the “stranger” that tried to abduct her.
Mouse utilizes a burner phone to send her mom a menacing text — she’s clearly taking tips and tricks from “A” at this point — and finally gets the clarity she’s always wanted: her mother was a surrogate for a couple who wanted and a baby and kept the child. The man from the carnival who wanted to “take her” was her father. Now, I have a lot of follow-up questions here that didn’t get answered; how was she able to keep Mouse? Where did the couple go? Is the man still around? Is he the one seeking vengeance? Does this mean Mouse has siblings? There are so many possibilities here, it’s insane. It could flip the whole “who is ‘A'” mystery upside down!
Mouse also has a subplot with Steve, who is obsessive and continues to stalk her. It gets even weirder when he reveals that he knows her mother because they go to the same support group where she’s opened up about Mouse’s “abduction.” The whole thing is next-level creepy, and sort of made me feel like Steve might actually be “A.” Did anyone pick up on the fact that they seem to have the same build/walk? Maybe he was Angela’s brother that simply disappeared, and his obsession with Mouse is much larger than grieving a missing daughter.
Faran’s mother is discharged from the hospital after her crash, and yet she shows zero remorse for everything she’s forced Faran to endure. She scarred her literally and figuratively, and she continues to gaslight her and even blames her “diva stunt” for the accident. It’s clear that Corey has never taken responsibility for her actions. When Faran finally opens up to Henry about the pain from her scoliosis surgery, he informs Madame Giry, who sets Faran up to see a professional. This is where her dancing dreams come to a bit of a halt. Not only does she find out that the surgery wasn’t necessary when she was a child, but now she must undergo months of therapy while she takes a break from dancing. Though it’s not ideal, it does seem like a weight has been lifted off of Faran’s shoulders as she’s finally able to stop being so perfect and pursue something other than dance.
Noa starts training again, but when she realizes she’s not keeping up with the other girls, she sees a specialist who gives her an inhaler. She’s hesitant about using it to give herself a little “boost” as it’s the equivalent of doping, but Shawn doesn’t see a problem with it, which is concerning considering how crude he was about Noa’s mother being an addict. If she does use the inhaler, you bet “A” is going to use it against her.
Tabby attempts to work through her sexual assault by going back to where it happened. The scene has an unnecessary jumpscare with “A” that doesn’t really fit in with what the writers are trying to accomplish, but I guess it may also be a hint that “A” and the person responsible for the assault could be the same person. There are a handful of moments where Tabby tries to talk to an adult about her trauma, including when she goes to see the school nurse, when she attempts to tell her mom about the movie she’s making, and when she goes to see the female sheriff at the precinct, but each time, she finds herself struggling to get the words out. It’s a process that can only happen when she’s ready.
If it wasn’t for Sheriff Beasley calling her for questioning, it’s possible she would’ve been able to ask for help, but once again, he proves that he’s the absolute worst.
And honestly, he’s on my top list of suspects. As Tabby and Imogen ponder if they were assaulted by the same man, I’m wondering if it’s possible that it was the same person who assaulted Angela right before her death, too. After all, Beasley was her fellow classmate. He has animalistic and manipulative tendencies, we see him engage in sexual acts with minors, and he has absolutely no respect for his wife and any other female for that matter.
It would be a disgusting twist, but not entirely out of the realm of possibility. A man with power with a dark secret. Even Tabby suggests that “men like him” protect other misogynistic men like half of the football team at Millwood.
The other option is that its Chip, which kind of breaks my heart because I’m actually falling for his good guy act. It could be a total red herring as he gets closer to Imogen in what may be a plan to stay close to his victims as he feels like he’s losing his grip on Tabby. The scene where Tabby rips into Wes and Chip for picking two double features with incredibly graphic rape scenes might also be a hint that Chip has normalized this behavior to the point of not even realizing it’s problematic.
It’s possible Chip was just trying to be supportive when he went with Imogen to the doctor’s appointment, and if that’s the case, I’m sorry I misjudged you, dude. But in the rare event that he isn’t and he said he “supports her” because he’s actually the father, well, at least we won’t be entirely blindsided.
I even found myself shipping him and Imogen; she deserves something nice and innocent, so I truly hope I’m wrong about him.
The mystery of the assaulter, however, is separate from the mystery of “A’s” identity as they likely aren’t the same person.
Though, admittedly, I am a bit confused on A’s motive as it’s getting murky.
He seems to want to push the liars towards honesty, eliminate secrets, and punish the bullies, but then he simultaneously torments them with texts of Tyler’s corpse and chases them through carnivals without any desire to attack or hurt them. It doesn’t make any sense.
The only good thing about these liars is that they are being proactive. Unlike Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hannah, they are looking at everyone as a potential suspect, they are seeking answers, and they are heading right into the line of fire.
The episode was jam-packed with really great moments both big and small, so I’ll break them down in bullet form below:
- Kelly also thinks the masked attacker was Henry. She tells Faran to back off after dropping out of dance class, but this just proves to Faran that someone was after Karen. And Henry, well, we can’t rule him out just yet for going the extra mile for his girl.
- Imogen struggling with a baby at 16 is the first time the series has addressed that she’s about to give birth! Whatever she decides, I’m just happy she has a supportive adult who wants her to understand her options and encourages her to do what’s best for her.
- Tabby somehow thinks she can use the blood drive to figure out who assaulted them, and while it’s a good idea, in theory, it’s not practical at all! How are they going to test all the blood?!
- Why did the Rosewood jocks come to the carnival to start trouble with the Millwood team? Is there a real beef here or was it just to throw in a connection to the original?
- Why did Ash not see “A” in the fun house mirrors? The masked killer was everywhere and yet Ash was confused as to why Mouse was freaking out.
What did you think of the episode? Who do you think “A” is after this episode? And who assaulted Tabby/Imogen?
PLL Original Sin Review – The Rosewood and Riverdale Connection
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is starting to feel more and more like the OG PLL, but maybe that’s because some of the new liars took a trip to Rosewood on Season 1 Episode 6 in search of some much-desired answers. More specifically, The Radley Hotel, once known as Radley Sanitorium.
PLL fans have plenty of worrisome memories at Radley, but thankfully, Imogen and Tabby’s trip fared slightly better. Turns out, Radley is actually a place of relaxation and serenity these days.
It was also a productive trip because one meeting with Eddie Lamb (who has truly seen it all!) later gave the duo a lot more to work with, in addition to a handful of new questions. This is still PLL after all.
The only thing missing from the mini-crossover was a guest appearance from one of PLL’s finest, though, Tabby’s trip to Ezra’s bookstore filled the void while also being a natural fit for the character.
During the brunch meeting, Lamb revealed that five young girls would visit Rose Waters, Angela’s mother, who was committed at Radley after spiraling and attempting to attack a group of teen boys in the high school following her daughter’s tragic death. Imogen knew exactly who the five women were, with Lamb confirming it was the moms, who clearly have a load of secrets and aren’t exactly forthcoming with any intel about Angela.
In fact, Imogen and Tabby, who are doing much of the heavy lifting when it comes to the research, had to go meet with a man named Crazy Joe living at the abandoned train tracks in order to get any insight into Angela’s past.
Joe confirmed Imogen’s theory that their mothers were somehow connected to Angela’s tragic death, which pretty much proves that it is also why “A” is targeting them. However, Joe also underscored that the moms were the mean girls who “adopted” Angela and turned her into someone completely different.
After her death, Rose couldn’t deal with the loss and came to school yielding a weapon and trying to attack a group of teen boys. While the attack initially seemed random—like someone who just snapped from the stress— it all made a bit more sense when Lamb filled in the missing piece: Angela was raped before she plunged to her death, which explains the messy look and the fact that she was begging her “friends” for help.
Honestly, the more we find out, the more I despise the moms. I know that they are good people now who have learned from their mistakes, but they never actually owned up to their part in Angela’s death. Actually, Noa and Faran’s moms don’t seem to have changed their ways at all, So, they don’t deserve any slack.
Lamb’s reveal that Angela was raped right before her death negates the theory that she has a secret child out there getting revenge, but it does make Rose a prime suspect as Lamb added that she was released and bussed out of town when Radley underwent a bit of a makeover.
He also said some patients were turned over to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy in Riverdale, which now brings all three shows into each other’s orbit. I don’t know how that works considering Lucy Hale was both Aria Montgomery and Katy Keene, but I guess we’ll just live in this informal crossover bliss for a bit and enjoy that all these worlds exist simultaneously.
Rose has now skyrocketed to the top of the suspect’s list when it comes to “A” as she would definitely have it out for the girls who hurt her daughter. And it would make sense that she would try to protect their daughters in a way that no one protected her daughter (“A” has never tried to hurt the liars physically, he only comes after those who hurt them), while also making any bully pay the ultimate price.
Crazy Joe can’t be ruled out as a suspect since he was in love with Anglea, but now we also have to add Steve to the list simply because he’s an actual creep who has become obsessed with Mouse.
There was something fundamentally wrong with him pretending that Mouse was his kidnapped daughter, but I could turn the other cheek and ignore it in that one instance because everyone experiences grief in their own way.
But stalking Mouse at bowling and Swan Lake, while also introducing himself as Mouse’s dad to Ash, is crossing the line. Losing his daughter has clearly taken a toll on his mental health, and Mouse needs to tell someone before it gets too serious.
Tabby and Imogen, who enjoyed their mini-getaway, also realized they have a lot more in common with Angela than they ever knew as they both opened up about their respective sexual assaults.
Tabby has minimal memories from the night of the bonfire where she was basically drugged and assaulted, while Imogen has no recollection of it happening aside from the intense pain the next morning. She underscores it’s the night that she got pregnant, which is even more heartbreaking.
It’s important to address sexual assault, but it’s even more important to highlight and showcase how strong and badass these women are. They aren’t letting what happened to them define them; they are opening up about it on their own terms, working through it, and trying to prevent it from happening to others in the future.
And they are most definitely considering the possibility that it was the same person who assaulted them both.
At this point, Chip tops my list of suspects. He’s trying so hard to be the good guy that it’s almost like he’s covering for a dark side and trying to convince himself. It’s not lost on me that Tabby mentioned that she asked him to take her shift while she went to the bonfire, which he judged her for with a comment about “hanging out with the meatheads.”I wouldn’t be surprised if his feelings are borderline obsessive and he took advantage of the situation as she kept dismissing the “nice dude” to pursue the jocks that he clearly has some feelings about.
However, all of the male students in Millwood seem to have a hard time grasping consent in general. It’s not hard not to be an ass, but they just keep making crude and misogynistic jokes while believing that “non means no” is just a suggestion they can ignore if they feel like it.
Take Greg, for example. Kelly bashes Tyler for being a pig, he laughs, and then he proceeds to try to force himself onto Kelly, suggesting that the “Beasly girls like it rough.” Kelly and Karen may have been walking nightmares, but no one deserves to be treated that way.
Kelly also made it a point to underscore that she’s not pretending to be her sister in this scene and in the following one where she’s attacked by “A” in the theater — when he pulls a move straight from the OG A playbook and ditches the pigskin mask for a theater one, so maybe we should just ditch the twin switch trope.
The whole theater moment was peak PLL! “A” is taking those big swings as he chases Kelly/Karen before finally cornering her. It’s the perfect opportunity to strike, but when she exclaims that she’s really Kelly (a declaration I’m still hard pressed to believe as it feels like a final Hail Mary), he slinkers off proving that he’s only interested in making the bullies pay.
And maybe he just likes seeing people in total fear.
Of course, the moment immediately raises a red flag on Henry as Kelly drops out of the show shortly after, leaving an opening for Faran to be the star, which is what he calls her.
Basically, I’m saying that none of the boys can be trusted. Period. Question all the boyfriends because every single one of them is shady, including Shawn.
Shawn seemed to have good intentions when he confronted Noa’s mom about being a roadblock for her daughter, but not only was it out of place, but his approach was terrible.
He didn’t understand or respect where Noa was coming from about taking hit after hit for her mother and protecting her. Noa fully acknowledges that her mother is an addict who needs help. Shawn, however, came in there playing the blame game and making her feel guilty to the point where she shut down. I don’t think Noa’s mom was using — and the drugs that they found belonged to A — but this set her over the edge and right back down a dangerous spiral.
Noa deserves to step out from under her mom’s shadow and live her own life; she deserves not to be the adult the whole time, but the conversation could’ve been so different had she not trusted Shawn with the information he wasn’t ready to handle.
As for Faran, well, you have to applaud when a woman takes her power back. In her case, A provided her with the information that proved to her that her mother purposefully put her through an unnecessary surgery for the sake of vanity, which also confirmed all of her biggest fears about her mother.
And even now, after everything that Faran has accomplished, her mother is still only seeing the surface level and is ready to put her through more pain to make her “prettier.” It’s a huge blow to a young woman’s self-esteem, so I’m glad Faran can see it for what it really is. She’s much stronger and braver than her mom ever was. She’s no longer hiding; she’s owning scoliosis and the scar so that no one — looking at you Kelly/Karen — can ever use it against her again.
Of course, when her mother saw that Faran aired her family drama publicly, she broke down. It likely all triggers a memory of when she forced Angela to get a tattoo and then ghosted her, but in general, Corey doesn’t seem to do well with anyone calling her out.
She was pretty distraught after leaving the play, so it’s possible that the crash was really an “accident,” but if I’ve learned anything over the years, “A” probably had something to do with it.
And considering how vain Corey is, I wouldn’t be surprised if “A” made sure that her looks took a hit.
Either way, the mystery trudges on as we narrow down the possible suspects in hopes of getting some clarity in the near future. Who is “A”? Who assaulted Tabby and Imogen? Sound off in the comments below!
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