Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Final Exam

Spoilers

Don’t call it a slow burn, but compared to the rest of the season, Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 8 made good on it’s promise of a bloody killer season.

Up until now, the season had been inconsistent with its killings, with no rhyme or reason behind the chosen victims, and many of the episodes featured no blood other than that of the red on Bloody Rose’s gauzed face.

That all ended abruptly in this finale of twisty turns and revelations that frankly lean pretty closely to the same plot as Scream 2 in some rather blatant ways that we will call “heavily inspired.”

As many viewers may have suspected, Kelly was thankfully not dead in the water as was suspected at the end of the previous episode.

Related: Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season Premiere Review: This Season, Summer is Here to Slay

And as far as Kelly’s story is concerned, it’s wrapped up nicely in a pretty little bow, with her coming to terms with how far she had gotten with the church.

She even managed to put things right with her mom and take steps in the right direction, even though audiences probably mirrored the looks of suspicion on the PLL’s faces at the news.

Kelly is a great and usually sweet character.

Still, the girl is clearly looking for a place where she belongs, which has been her life’s mission long before Karen was killed in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 Episode 2.

And though it’s unclear if she’s aware of Faran and Greg’s newly sparked romance, it was nice to see Kelly and Faran finally put the drama to rest and bring their friendship back to life, ironically in the same episode that so many characters lose their lives.

Faran: I had the chance to take Bloody Rose down again, but…
Kelly: If I get an opinion here, you did the right thing, saving me instead.
Faran: It wasn’t even a question. Despite the shit you pulled at Hell House.
Kelly: I am so sorry about that.

Faran somehow fully managed to avoid any direct hits against her, save for the psychotic proxies, but she did manage to get a hit in when she knocked Mrs. Langsberry out with one swift kick to the face, knocking her out cold.

Faran - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S01E08 Season 1 Episode 8

It’s like they say, “Strong thighs save lives.” And they’re likely stronger than ever after her test in Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 4.

And speaking of Mrs. Langsberry, the show maintained her presence throughout Pretty Little Liars: Summer School enough to keep her relevant without making her an obvious suspect for Bloody Rose.

However, her final reveal as Bloody Rose was way too similar to Mrs. Loomis’s, but considering that the movie is twenty-six years old, it may have been something that didn’t occur to younger audiences.

Related: Pretty Little Liars Season 1 Episode 4 Review: When a Stranger Calls Back

Trying to avenge the reputation of her rapist son after Tabby and Imogen revealed his actions to the world was a level of willful blindness that goes much further than that of a mother’s love.

Although Mrs. Langsberry wasn’t the only mother to snap as Imogen went from zero to sixty with how she handled Johnny, with everything that’s happened, it’s probably a good thing she didn’t take any chances.

What even is the proper response to finding a bunch of dead bodies in the freezer at the ice cream shop you work at almost exclusively with the man who’s recently come into your life?

Imogen - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S01E08 Season 1 Episode 8

It’s unclear if Johnny will return for the next season, but if he has any sense, he’ll pack up shop and head to a less murder-prone town because he turned out to be a genuinely good guy.

Look, Imogen, I know you have been through a lot. But please, believe me, when I say that I would never do anything to hurt you.

Johnny

Don’t you hate it when you’re completely wrong about your boyfriend being a psychopath?

This brings us to Christian, who really felt like a strong possibility as the killer, considering his sudden appearance and, coincidentally, the same level of film love as Tabby.

How well do you know Tabby and Imogen’s new boyfriends? They just kind of showed up outta nowhere. I mean, doesn’t that Christian guy make horror masks?

Jen

In retrospect, it’s now clear the series was spoon-feeding misdirection to viewers.

Everyone was fair game at this point, but even the girls couldn’t bring themselves to suspect Mouse’s boyfriend, Ash, much to Mouse’s relief.

Mouse: Tabby, Christian does make horror masks. I mean, you did find a Bloody Rose one in his basement.
Tabby: Thank you for that, Mouse. It must be nice to have a perfect boyfriend who no one thinks is a murderer.
Mouse: It really is.

How in the world did no one connect the dots that Mouse’s grandmother would likely have known Rose Water, considering how everyone in that town seems to know each other on top of the generational connections?

Mouse's Lola - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S0108 Season 1 Episode 8

To be fair, the girls have had a lot on their plate since Archie Waters massacred their bullies in Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 1.

Lola: This is my friend, Mouse. Rose waters. She was Angela’s mom. And Angela was friends with…
Mouse: With Mom.

Now, we get to the meat of the episode with the most shocking killer reveal of Wes, the most annoying wannabe horror filmmaker since Scream 6.

It goes without saying, but the ending felt ripped straight from Scream 2.

Related: Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Sweet Sixteen

Like me, viewers may have completely overlooked Wes as a possible killer, considering he did a great job hiding his true nature in this season and in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

And while the character has always rubbed viewers the wrong way, the writers truly doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on his douchebag agenda.

It’s like I told you, Tabs. It’s hard for young white guys trying to break in right now. The doors just don’t fly open like they used to ’cause they are too busy opening up for people like you.

Wes

Maybe if he had invested as much time into his films as he did in this elaborate murder plot, he could’ve made something worth watching without the risk of homicide and imprisonment.

Killer Wes - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S0108 Season 1 Episode 8

Goodbye, Wes. Your welcome was overstayed and practically non-existent.

Conversely, Tabby fully embraced her final girl persona by delivering a monologue that likely gave audiences goosebumps.

Just stop talking, Wes. You’re a hack. I know it. Everyone knows it. And when you get arrested for all this, no one will be talking about how you’re a great filmmaker. Just some other small, pathetic, loser monster with a grudge against the world who wants to feel like a big man.

Tabby

Hopefully, everything that has happened won’t lead to more trauma-induced hallucinations, especially since she no longer has a therapist.

Not that she knows that yet.

The doctor has left the building along with life itself. Honestly, the news report felt like a hamhanded way to misdirect, which made it more apparent that “A” was definitely on the way back.

Dr. Sullivan - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S01E08 Season 1 Episode 8

And back he came because he made sure Dr. Sullivan would not be making any more appearances of the therapist unless through flashbacks and hallucinations/dreams.

Related: Pretty Little Liars: Summer School: Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Hell House

Since Archie Waters is already back at his favorite game of “stab and run,” the next season may start as this one did, with the killer tying up loose ends. Dr. Sullivan certainly was one.

But it’s not all bad news. The girls passed their Keystone exams and can finally have the “hot girl summer” they so vehemently need after dealing with two different cults in Spooky Spaghetti and Kelly’s church and a close call with the Keystone exam.

Good morning. Nice to see you here so early. You’re going to need that extra discipline, considering you all failed your keystone practice exam.

Principal Smithee

Seriously, that Hell House scene in Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 6 was so messed up.

Archie - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - S01E08 Season 1 Episode 8

Let’s all enjoy this brief moment of peace because, as seen in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, Archie Waters does not wait to get the ball rolling or the knife sharpened.

The series hasn’t yet announced a third season, but the second any news comes our way, you know TV Fanatic will have all the details ready and waiting like a beautiful set of red roses.

Related: Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Bogeyman

What did you think of the finale? Were you surprised by Wes and Mrs. Langsberry being the killers?

Drop a comment below to let us know, and join us again when we review your next favorite series!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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