Pretty Little Liar: Summer School Review – Sweet Sixteen (203)


Pretty Little Liars: Summer School hit Max earlier this week (it took me a minute to binge-watch without screener access, okay?), but I’m here and ready to discuss the first two episodes of season 2.

The series takes us back right to Millwood, Pennsylvania, picking up with the horrors of A–Archie Waters. What you thought the town would just forget about him? That the girls wouldn’t experience a lifetime of trauma? That being “final girls” would just be a blip on their radar? Absolutely not.

Archie Waters took something from them, forcing them to constantly look over their shoulder, anticipating the next attack. In a way, he did them a favor for what’s to come next, but living in constant fear also wreaks havoc on your mental and emotional state.

With A on trial, the saga was far from over, especially as the girls feared he would get off by reason of insanity. They’ve seen him escape police custody once, so they knew a mental asylum would never be able to keep him locked up. And, as film buff Tabby pointed out, he was tying up loose ends, which also meant the five survivors and Imogen’s baby, Estelle. 

The baby’s safety was a huge concern for Imogen, rightfully so, but Dr. Sullivan (yes, that Dr. Sullivan for OG PLL fans) suggested that she should probably stop paying the gay couple who adopted the little girl (she pulled back on the Ezria adoption as Ezra gave her “weird vibes”) so many visits as she was a beacon leading A right to her. The good part is that the girls seem to really trust their therapist and heed her advice, which is a huge step in recovery—the bad news is that Sullivan doesn’t understand the extent of what they went through, or how capable A, and now, Bloody Rose Waters, truly are. And as we’ve seen, the dangers are very much still out there—and still as real as ever.

Imogen may believe she’s experiencing hallucinations, but the Bloody Rose Waters she saw at the bus stop—and the one Mouse’s Lola saw standing outside the window while she was “sleepwalking”—pose a very real threat.

The girls seem very transparent about their struggle to move forward from what they endured under A’s reign, which is a welcome change of pace for slasher dramas. The self-awareness is very much appreciated at first, but then it’s washed away with moments where they brush off moments they should be bringing up: the random red roses, the unknown callers, etc. Of course, these all seem innocuous right, but would it hurt them to just bring it up as a temperature gauge? 

The frame of thought seems to be “don’t make something out of nothing,” with most of them just assuming that they are exaggerating as a result of the past trauma when they should be making the most of their hot girl summer—even if summer school is their biggest concern right now… for now.

Summer school and the hunt for a summer job are nothing in comparison to another deranged serial killer on the loose claiming victims left and right. 

The tales on Mouse’s obsession, Spookyspaghetti, aren’t just fables—Bloody Rose Waters is out there claiming victims, including the two students missing from summer school who decided to hook up in her shack and Sandy, who set her eyes on Greg, Kelly’s sex-obsessed boyfriend who has “needs.”

Archie and Rose’s body count combined clocks in at about 10 in the premiere, so it’s a bloody massacre in Millwood. The girls were right to be terrified it seems, and Mouse seems to get that hint when Bloody Rose Waters sends her a direct message on SpookySpaghetti. There’s no denying that she and her friend group are the target now…even if the means of communication is a little silly.

And this sparks the question—who is Bloody Rose Waters. Is it actually Archie’s mother? Is it someone trying to get vengeance on the girls? Because if anyone comes to mind, it’s Chip’s grieving mother who refuses to admit that her son was a rapist.

Who Is Bloody Rose Waters on PLL: Summer School?

Of course, the messages all come on the heels of the girls giving their number out to a slew of new people in town—all of whom seem nice, but you never know the true intentions lurking in the shadows. 

Is it Christian, Chip’s replacement at the Orpheum who takes an immediate interest in Tabby? Is it Pastor Malachi, who has turned Kelly into some kind of revirginized Mary? Is it Faran’s swim coach (and I know the series is bashing Ezra and Aria’s relationship, but is anyone picking up on any chemistry between these two?), Is it Noa’s juvie lover Jen? Is it Kelly? Her whereabouts were seemingly accounted for, but you can never be too sure as the first victims were all people who were hooking up/looking to cheat. 

Could it just be Rose Waters? Seems kind of on the nose, but A was Archie, so it’s possible. 

Other options also include Mrs. Beasley, Kelly’s mom who has given herself to the church in light of her losses, or even Dr. Sullivan herself, which would be quite the delicious twist. 

For now, it’s hard to pin one person down as the season’s assailant, but there are plenty of newcomers who may have nefarious intentions.

Other Major Moments in the premiere:

  •  Faran becomes captain at the lifeguard gig, even after punching Greg in the face, and seems to be really growing into her own.
  • She also tells Henry she won’t be pursuing ballet, to which he replies by professing his love for her and giving up his dreams and staying in town to be with her. 
  • Imogen applies for a job at the local ice cream shop, Millwood Creamery, where a hot hunk named Johnny also works. 
  • Ash and Mouse are still going strong, but they are definitely concerned about her SpookySpaghetti obsession 
  • Noa’s mom remains in rehab, but her relationship with Shawn gets rocky when Jen comes back into town. She’ll have to tell him about the fling eventually. 
  • I love that they chose to play the throwback game of Bloody Mary in the mirror we all did in middle school. Ah, nostalgia. 

What did you think of the premiere? Are you excited for this season?

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