My excitement for this spin-off was through the roof and let me tell you, the series did not disappoint.
Beacon Heights adopts a lot from Rosewood, however, Pretty Little Liars: Perfectionists is more mature, sophisticated, and features way darker undertones.
It feels like your watching your watching both a familiar show and something brand new.
There are elements that evoke nostalgia alongside brand new characters and settings that you’re eager to unpack,
Heck, even the old characters — Alison and Mona — feel the same but different.
Alison is pretty straightforward with her reason for accepting the job at Beacon Heights — it’s a big step for her career, and home life with Emily and the twins isn’t ideal! Ugh, it makes me so sad to know that they are having problems, but realistically, Emily and Alison were a codependent relationship with children that were forced onto them by A. What did we really expect?
Mona is the enigma as she isn’t forthcoming with her reasons for bringing Alison to the school though she wants us, and Alison, to believe everything is as it seems.
Considering our history with Mona, we know there’s more than meets the eye. But how deeply is she involved with the school and the faculty. What does Mona really know?
I’m sure this was the writer’s intention, but I found myself questioning Mona’s sanity throughout much of the episode.
Alas, by the end, we sort of got our answer. Mona wasn’t just talking to herself or patting herself on the back for doing a good job, she was actually talking to the folks behind Beacon Guard, the school’s safety system put in place after Taylor’s suicide.
In fact, Beacon Guard is the like the new ‘A’ on campus; the camera system sees all at all times.
As of now, here’s what we know: Alison got the job offer is because she’s a good teacher, Mona thought she could help the students many of whom are bullies and bitches like Alison once was, and Alison is a dead ringer for Taylor.
If you’re new here, I’ll give you the quick tutorial: nothing is a coincidence.
The fact that Ali bears a striking resemblance to the Dean’s late daughter is not a coincidence.
It becomes evident that Alison’s uncanny resemblance to Taylor played a role in her hiring, but again, why? And why is she living in Taylor’s old house?
It doesn’t take long for Alison to pick up on the oddities of the school and her position.
She sniffs out that Nolan, Taylor’s hotshot and cocky brother, Dylan Lewis, Katelyn Walker, and Ava are all harboring a major secret.
What? Did you think that Ali, the queen of secrets, was going to be off her game because she’s ‘reformed?’
Nolan was on her radar immediately because he’s basically the male version of Alison’s high school self.
He manipulates Dylan into doing his schoolwork by threatening to tell his boyfriend that they’d hooked up, he manipulates his ex-girlfriend Katelyn by threatening to expose her mother’s affair which would hinder her chances at running for Mayor, and he manipulates Avaemotionally.
But under all that prep boy swag, Nolan is scared and running from something himself.
Initially, it’s unclear what’s fueling his fears, but it does seem like the Beacon Guard plays a major role in it.
He sneaks off to call someone out of range of the Beacon Guard and when he realizes his mother, who hates Ava, is onto their relationship, he sleeps with one of Ava’s fashion models to push her away in hopes of protecting her.
Alright, maybe there’s more than meets the eye to Nolan? Maybe his bad boy/jerk appeal is a facade to protect himself?
As with most of Marlene King’s shows, there’s a big twist at the end of the episode that will fuel the mystery for the remainder of the season, or possibly, the series.
But this twist, all of us PLL fans should have seen coming.
Taylor FAKED HER OWN DEATH AND IS REALLY ALIVE.
You know, you’d think that it wouldn’t be that easy for Marlene King and friends to get me again, but damn, they did it.
From the looks of it, Taylor and Nolan faked her death to stop their mother and this whole Beacon Guard surveillance technology which is kind of infiltrating the lives of these students without their permission.
Anyways, that’s not the only narrative that draws inspiration for Pretty Little Liars.
Towards the end, someone dressed in all black — hello? A? Is that you? — rushes towards Nolan while he’s on the rooftop sending him plunging down a few stories.
He’s impaled on a black fence in a pretty loud statement moment.
As the townsfolk gather to take in the gruesome scene much like they did many times in Rosewood, all of his friends, the same friends who just met in that part of the forest where the Beacon Guard can’t reach to joke about how they would kill Nolan, are exchanging those “oh shit” glances.
I’m zeroing in on Katelyn specifically because Nolan’s death happened in the exact way that she imagined.
Does that mean the Beacon Guard was spying on them? Did it allow someone to copy her death idea in an attempt to frame her?
But that’s not all you guys!
Right before Alison rushes to her umpteenth murder scene, she does some research because this whole Taylor story simply isn’t adding up.
She peels off the wallpaper and finds the ominous warning ‘They’re Watching’ written on the wall in bright red ink. It could also be blood. It wouldn’t be the first time she’s been a recipient of something so dire.
If it seems like Alison is kind of unfazed, let me remind you that she dealt with a villain who wore black, killed her friends, and left messages on the liars’ walls in blood.
This isn’t anything new.
However, this who-dun-it-mystery is starting over from scratch. Much like with PLL we have to dig into backstories, motives, secrets, lies and everything in between.
If you’re suffering from some PTSD now, I don’t blame you.
After all these years, we finally figured out who A was and now it feels like we’re back at square one asking the same questions we did in Rosewood for all these years.
Who killed Nolan? How is Taylor alive? Who is behind the Beacon Guard? What does Mona know?
How does Mona always know more than the average person?
Given Mona’s also lived through A terrorizing them, and even played A’s hand herself on a few occasions, part of me wants to immediately crucify her as the mastermind behind all of this.
How is Ali going to handle this new murder mystery? If I was her, I’d hail it back to Rosewood.
Who knew there was a town more messed up than Rosewood?
And who knew that after it seemed PLL overstayed its welcome, the writers and show creators would be able to return with the same premise, the same mystery, the same eerie opening song (revamped to be slightly creepier), and we’d buy into every moment even asking for seconds.
What did you think of the pilot of Pretty Little Liars: Perfectionists?
Will you stay the course?
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists – The Patchwork Girl (1×05)
A, er, the killer takes another one.
All signs are pointing to Mason being the killer that took out Nolan and now, attempted to kill Caitlin by hitting her with a car.
Mason’s desire to take over Nolan’s lifestyle, assume his friends, and manipulate them with their secrets made him shoot up to the top of our suspect list.
Ava, Dylan and Caitlin also assumed Mason was Nolan 2.0 so they devised a rather poorly constructed plan to make him tell the truth.
There were a lot of flaws in Ava’s plan starting with the fact that their only option to defeat this bully was to drug him with anti-depressants that would create a sort of truth serum.
Their camera positioning wasn’t all that stealth and don’t even get me started on the fact that they didn’t think through Mason possibly not drinking, which is exactly what happened.
I wasn’t sure how she was going to find her way out of spending the night with Mason in the cabin, but yeah, hitting him over the head and knocking him out seemed to do the trick.
She successfully took his phone so that they could check his location the night of the murder, but before she could even deliver it to Dylan and Ava, she was plowed by a car.
The moment I saw those headlights barreling down the road, I knew it wasn’t Ava behind the car and that someone was going to end up injured.
Seriously, whoever this mysterious killer is, he/she has taken plenty of cues from A.
Will Caitlin survive? I’m leaning towards yes because otherwise, there isn’t much of a show.
She’ll likely remain hospitalized for a few episodes where she’ll undoubtedly have some hallucinations like our PLL liars did previously.
Being run over by a car is a heck of a reminder not to cross a killer who may or may not be Mason in the future.
It’s a reminder that this murderer isn’t playing around and won’t hesitate to run them over at any minute.
As predicted, Ava’s father wasn’t attempting to reach out to her, but Dana was trying to catch Ava with her guard down and a ton of money in hand.
Thankfully, Ava isn’t a complete fool though she did almost believe her father would risk everything to come back for her.
I don’t think Dana should even be wasting her time trying to get anything out of Ava about her family because she’s no longer working for the FBI. Her purpose is to solve Nolan’s murder, which doesn’t have anything to do with Ava’s bag of cash.
Dana overstepped on multiple occasions. When she tried to make it seem like Alison was forming a clique around her of minions who were indebted to her, I almost laughed.
She’s protecting students who seem like suspects, which is maternal and not at all the same as her relationships with the liars.
Ava, Dylan and Caitlin may deny their friendship, but the extent to which they all went for each other proves that it’s more real than any of them have been letting on.
Caitlin agreed to Ava’s faulty plan simply to prove to her how sorry she was.
Ava eventually forgave Dylan for his affair with Nolan because she remembered how intoxicatingly passionate he was.
And she was beyond worried about Caitlin when she saw her get hit by a car.
Their friendship, much like the friendship of Ali, Emily, Aria, Hanna, and Spencer, is going to be the glue that gets them through this.
Now that all of their secrets are out in the open, they can all move on and be open and honest with each other.
Alison needs no introduction — Taylor already knew who she was which means that she’s still pretty looped into what’s happening at Beacon Heights for a dead girl.
Taylor and Alison’s first meeting may have been a little rocky, but when Taylor realized Alison was the person Nolan trusted and planned to meet with before his death, she too decided to trust her.
Taylor told her all about how she thought someone was trying to kill her, the same person that killed Nolan, so she faked her own death.
She even believed that it was her mother who wanted her dead, which is why she refused to return to the school.
Alison tried to convince her otherwise lamenting about motherly love, but I seriously think she’s forgetting that she was once a target for A and that not all mothers are good mothers.
For someone who has faked her own death, she really should have understood Taylor’s desire to remain away from the school more.
Taylor also revealed that her mother brought Alison to the school because they think alike and she thought Alison might be able to lead her to her daughter.
Apparently, the Beacon Heights system is able to predict which students think the same and it’s no coincidence that the three women that Claire Hotchkiss is involved with are all linked.
Still, despite all of that, Alison decided to bring back Taylor to her old apartment.
Wouldn’t the Beacon Guard pick up on it?
Aren’t there eyes everywhere?
What happened to Taylor once she disappeared from where Alison “left her.”
And why would Alison go anywhere with a dying phone so she couldn’t get texts from Mona who warned her not to bring Taylor back to campus?
Mona finally found the other person recommended by her “crystal ball.”
Ray, the creepy janitor, has worked there so long, he’s basically invisible which allows him to overhear a lot about the occurrences at school.
He was also close with Taylor and said he warned her that “they are watching” but it was too late.
Ray also mentioned he was a student at the school year’s prior and lost his love, Angela, to suicide.
My theory is that Ray is Nolan and Taylor’s father who has stuck around the school to protect them from Claire.
I’m a sucker for all of the Pretty Little Liars references. Mona talking about shoplifting with Hanna at the age of 15 put a smile on my face.
And I definitely wish Dana pressed Mona more about Paris and Mary and Alex Drake.
Since she asked Mona if she wasn’t afraid that the mother-daughter duo would find her, it means that they are no longer prisoners.
Does that mean they could be the murderous masterminds once again terrorizing a whole new lot of teenagers?
We never thought there’d be a small town more dysfunctional and dangerous than Rosewood, but it seems like Alison and Mona found it.
So, what did you think of tonight’s PLL: Perfectionists, Cravers?
Will Caitlin survive? Who ran her over?
Who was Mona’s chess partner? Was it Jeremy? Or Mason? Or was in the janitor this whole time?
And does Claire really want Alison to find her daughter? Did Taylor run away or was she found?
When will we meet Ava’s father?! Leave your comments below!
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists – The Ghost Sonata (1×04)
The Perfectionists are so eerily similar to Pretty Little Liars, the series is backfiring and instead of delivering a show with potential for nostalgia and a fresh take on a familiar mystery, delivering something very uneventful.
The core mystery surrounding Nolan’s death isn’t as enticing as Alison’s death was once.
And instead of focusing on Nolan and what led to his death, the series is focusing on so many various variables that are causing it to lose the momentum it had in the pilot episode.
While I do appreciate a nod or two in the predecessor’s direction, having Caitlin receive a text from someone labeled as ‘A’ and having someone hack into the network to change the athletic screens almost made me roll my eyes.
Even Alison telling the trio to share their secrets because “secrets keep you close” was overkill.
Last I checked, secrets got the liars in a whole lot of trouble.
If we wanted to rehash PLL, we would have just watched re-runs.
It’s time the series got a few new tricks up their sleeves.
And don’t get me started about the red herring that is Mason.
Mason is basically walking around with a sign that says ‘I’m guilty,’ yet it’s about 99.5% certain that he isn’t behind Nolan’s murder and won’t play into the core mystery at all.
In fact, all Mason really is is a nuisance to everyone around him by attempting to exert the same control over Dylan, Ava and Caitlin as Nolan had over them.
Where has Mason been all this time? And how was he able to get his hands on their box of secrets?
The trio took Alison up on her advice and decided to own their secrets so that no one would be able to manipulate them ever again.
Dylan came clean about his tryst with Nolan which pushed Andrew away. He encouraged honesty but regretted it the moment he found out about his boyfriend’s indiscretions.
Similarly, Ava couldn’t handle the truth that Caitlin exposed her and her family’s secrets to BHU making her a target for bullying.
I’d say the only thing honesty did for them was isolate them when they should be working together.
Even for a girl who once faked her own death, Alison found Taylor Hotchkins way too quickly and easily.
Either Taylor didn’t try too hard to stay buried or Dana Booker is a really terrible officer.
I’ll never understand this show and the characters for simply entering random trailer homes and abandoned buildings.
What makes you think that’s a good idea? Has Alison not learned anything for A?
Knowing that Taylor isn’t actually dead will hopefully help the show pick up the pace as we learn why she faked her death, what she was working on with Nolan, and who killed him.
We’re knee deep into the fourth episode yet we don’t have any more information about the Beacon Guard or the folks Mona was communicating with.
All we do know is that someone hacked into her code to reset the criteria to pinpoint a specific type of person.
The system only found three matches: Caitlin, Alison, and Ray Hogadorn.
Turns out, the last person on the list is actually the maintenance guy with his very own ‘A-like’ lair.
Truthfully, Ray’s lair didn’t hold a candle to Mona’s back in Rosewood, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.
Why would a middle-aged maintenance dude has such a vested interest in Taylor and Nolan’s deaths?
Unless, he’s their real father, the one Claire Hotchkiss claimed to be dead. Plot-twist, ya know what I’m saying?
My biggest gripe with Mona’s storyline is that the writers seem to have forgotten who the hell they are dealing with.
Mona. Mona’s brilliant.
She trapped Alex Drake and Mary Drake in some hidden basement in Paris. Are they still there? That’s unknown, but the point is, she did that.
She wrote an algorithm to identify brilliant students at BHU.
We’ve always known that despite her oddities, Mona had brains, but it seems like the series and writers need a bit of a reminder.
Mona is way too smart to be catfished by someone named ‘Bad Bishop.’ I mean, what is that, a bad DJ name?
It’s probably best that Mona never made it to a meeting with ‘Bad Bishop’ because it smelled like a trap.
There’s an inclination that Mona may have romantic feelings for her digital chess partner, but she does realize this could potentially be anybody, right?
She could be chatting it up with Dana Booker for all she knows!
My guess is that the person is either Nolan — if he’s still alive — or Taylor.
Alison’s storyline was connected in Rosewood not just because of the similarities of the situation, but because she finally accepted that things between her and Emily were finally over.
The divorce papers were slightly shocking, but there’s no other way that the writers could explain Alison leaving her family and moving to a different city if things were going good.
Alison and Emily’s relationship has always been complex, oftentimes one-sided, and filled with jealousy. Even their children were a product of A’s evil plans, so it’s no surprise that these two found themselves at odds and calling it quits.
I do, however, wish that the series would either bring Emily for a guest-appearance to end the relationship with dignity or at least give us some insight as to what went wrong between them.
Mona even mentioned that she believed Alison got over the relationship, so what really went down?
Without the other character around, it’s almost like telling a one-sided story. And from experience, Alison’s side of the story was never the good one regardless if she has changed and grown as a person.
Sadly, BHU isn’t going to be the ‘clean slate’ Ali has been hoping for.
I really wish we could see her tell her old friends that she’s wrapped up in yet another A-like murder mystery.
- Who gave Ava the musical box? I doubt it was her father.
- Dana Booker needs a life instead of looking into Ava’s finances.
- What’s Claire Hotchkiss’s goal? Does she want to frame the Dylan, Ava and Caitlin for Nolan’s death? Why is she working with Dana?
- Claire meeting Jeremy means that he’s real and not just a figment of Caitlin’s imagination!
- Will Dylan permanently ruin his career by playing with a pinched nerve?
- Why was there blood in Taylor’s trailer?
- Alison and Mona’s friendship is unexpected but a nice reminder that even the worst type of people are capable of change.
Beacon Heights isn’t Rosewood, but it’s eerily familiar with undertones reminiscent of a town that couldn’t shake its stalkers.
Whoever is behind Nolan’s murder and framing his friends, they’ve clearly studied up about A’s manipulation tactics on Alison and Mona.
What did you think of the episode?
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists – Sex, Lies and Alibis (1×02)
Does anyone feel like they’ve seen this episode before?
Oh, I don’t know, maybe because it’s the pilot episode for Pretty Little Liars which aired back in 2010.
Throughout the episode, I kept turning to my husband and going “I can’t believe they are using the same exact formula on me.”
But what I was really upset about is that the same formula was working on me again.
Here I was, the second episode of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, and I was engulfed in another murder mystery where I, once again, believe that Mona is a suspect.
People change but not Mona.
I wouldn’t put it past her to leave France, hop over to a different city and restart her A madness all over again.
The episode picked up with everyone coping with Nolan’s death.
Initially, Dylan and Cait were releaved that Nolan was dead; they were finally free from his blackmail and to live their own lives.
Their relief was shortlived the moment Nolan’s death was categorized as a homicide investigation instead of a suicide attempt.
Though they all hoped that their secrets would have died with Nolan, a murder investigation called for suspects and for now, they were all very high up on the list considering their relationship with him.
The only person that genuinely mourned Nolan as Ava, his girlfriend whom he broke up with earlier that morning to protect her from whatever he was afraid of.
It did seem like Ava was upset about losing him, but truthfully, I think she was just more afraid of not having anyone — no family, no boyfriend — than she was about Nolan’s death.
Ava, Cait, and Dylan put up a facade and attended the wake and the funeral together to keep up appearances.
However, someone at the school knows exactly what they did and overheard them talking about how they wished Nolan would die.
Cait’s suggestion seemed to be the winner, and thus, now it seems like they are all being framed for murder.
Thankfully, they have Alison in their corner.
She offered them an alibi the night of the murder when Dana, the new head of BHU security, confronted them.
It’s unclear why Alison is risking everything for these students, but maybe it’s a “help me help you” mentality.
Alison is also being framed for murder after receiving a text message from Nolan shortly before his death which came through late because of a server blackout.
While Alison seems freaked out by the whole situation, it does seem like fitting punishment for her. It’s almost like she’s getting a taste of her own medicine.
Mona went off the wagon again blaming herself for a failed algorithm that let Nolan stay in the school. Her apartment looked just like one of her previous lairs.
Ah, the good old days.
Mona and Alison’s new friendship is really adorable, especially because Alison seems to care about Mona’s well-being and even brings her pie.
There were a few little Pretty Little Liar’s Easter Eggs scattered throughout the episode.
There were A references, Rosewood references, a comment about Alison and Emily’s beautiful daughters, and alas, a brief phone call between Mona and Hannah that revealed that the two are still friends, that Hannah and Caleb have a baby girl together, and that Spencer and Toby eloped.
Those two couples were left kind of in a question mark when Pretty Little Liars came to a close so it’s nice to know that all is well with them.
There wasn’t much mention about Taylor being alive, who killed Nolan, or anything about the Beacon Guard spying on students, which made are all the reasons why this series stuck out to me in the first episode.
While I loved PLL, I don’t want to watch a recycled plotline.
Hopefully, things pick up the pace next week and we can get down to the specifics.
- Is it possible that Nolan is really alive and someone else fell off the building?
- Alison had enough experience with messages on the wall and windows left open. How is she staying so calm about all of this?
- Why did Principal Hotckiss encourage Alison to be herself after sneaking into her apartment without permission?
- Mason was introduced as the grieving childhood friend of Nolan and Cait’s ex-boyfriend, but something just didn’t sit well with me. What’s his story? And why did he offer to back Cait up with an alibi if she needed one? What does he know?
- If I had to guess, the killer is either Mona or Dylan’s boyfriend. My third guess is Cait’s boyfriend!
How did you like the second episode of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists?
Who do you think overheard them in the forest?
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