Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists arrives, as expected, with a surplus of soapy teen drama and one potentially lethal mystery stacked atop another.
This recap of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists Episode 1 contains spoilers.
If there’s more of a surefire bet in television than a spin-off of Pretty Little Liars, I’m certainly not aware of it. The teen-drama-mystery… thing was such a fixture in my house for so long that my daughter, three years old at the time, would sing to herself about how two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. So, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists is sure to be a hit regardless, and much more so since it’s already a twisty-turny whodunit with as much bitchiness, bullying and bullshit as one might ever require. This can only be a good thing.
There’s a certain soapy pleasure to be found in The Perfectionists‘ Season 1 premiere, where Alison Dilaurentis (Sasha Pieterse) is trying to leave her high-school mean streak behind by working as an English teacher at Beacon Heights University. She has left Emily (Shay Mitchell) and their daughters behind for now, which is probably just as well, since her new gig quickly proves itself to be as ridiculous and dangerous as you might expect.
BHU, for instance, is run by some kind of ludicrous old-money family and is under constant, high-tech surveillance from a bustling control room where people with earpieces and clipboards communicate with students through mirrors. Oh, and Alison looks suspiciously like the daughter of the founding-family, Taylor (Hayley Erin), who apparently killed herself but has really been hiding out all this time in a cabin. See what I mean about this being popular?
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists devoted most of its premiere time to Taylor’s brother, Nolan (Chris Mason), a phenomenal arsehole whose extensive list of dick moves included but weren’t limited to blackmailing Dylan (Eli Brown) into doing his homework because they once slept together, blackmailing Caitlin (Sydney Park) because he had evidence that her mother was cheating on her other mother (“I guess two moms don’t make a right”), and cheating on his white-collar girlfriend, Ava (Sofia Carson). By the end of the episode, Nolan is seen arguing with some unseen assailant on the roof, before promptly being found impaled on a spiky fence several stories below.
So, to recap: Caitlin, Dylan, and Ava were all sick of Nolan and had reason to kill him, his supposedly dead sister is still alive, BHU is being spied on for as yet unknown reasons, Mona (Janel Parrish) has a direct line of communication with those doing the spying, and Alison rips off the wallpaper in her office to reveal the ominous message, “They’re watching.” Phew.
Predictably, then, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists ends with many questions and almost no answers, as any soapy teen-mystery premiere should. I’m sure it’ll be fascinating and ridiculous to uncover more of these mysteries as the weeks go by, and I’ll be here every step of the way.