Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Review: Punish the Guilty

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Millwood is shaping up to be the most corrupt town in the entire Pretty Little Liars universe, and it’s making for a nice change of pace from the other shows.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 Episode 4 and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 Episode 5 increased the stakes and gave us some answers to some of the most burning questions.

We’ll start with Noa because that visual of her on the roof as she betrayed her mother was heartbreaking.

A’s message about punishing the guilty is another clue that the mothers in 1999 were awful to Angela to the point that she killed herself.

Noa has been so fiercely devoted to her mother that she never stopped to think about the ramifications of lying and the effect it could have on her future.

Marjorie should be ashamed that she forced her daughter to lie for her. I know their connection runs deep, but knowing her actions from the past, it seems she hasn’t really changed.

Maybe I’ll be surprised in the future if she turns over a new leaf, but for now, the mother-daughter relationship is more fraught than ever, something I’m sure A will continue to pick away at.

I can’t even begin to imagine what Noa felt when A stalked her through the building and onto the rooftop.

Even if she called the cops, would Sheriff Beasley have believed a word that came out of her mouth?

The Sheriff is as corrupt as you’d expect on this show, and you could tell he wanted to assert his power when he showed up for a random drug search.

The problem is that Marjorie doesn’t understand the physical and emotional implications of her daughter taking the blame, so I couldn’t help but feel a sense of satisfaction when Noa called her mom’s work to expose her lies.

Marjorie: Oh shit, Angela. Hold this.
Janitor: You girls smokin’ back here?
Marjorie: Not me. Just her. Right, Angela?
Janitor: Marjorie, get the hell outta here. You, come with me.

Marjorie’s relationship with Angela seems to have been built on lies, too, with her using Angela to get away with smoking at school, among other things.

It’s easy to say that people change, but Marjorie hasn’t, and unless she starts to face up to who she is, we should probably expect A’s reign of terror to continue.

The event undoubtedly gave Noa food for thought about the entire situation, and I hope she realizes that telling more truths could be the key to unmasking A once and for all.

Minnie has been one of the most complicated characters to read since the series premiere, and honestly, I’m still struggling to wrap my head around what would compel her to meet up with some dude and roleplay as his missing daughter.

The man was creepy as hell, and Minnie didn’t even seem fazed by it, which might be an even bigger problem. 

Understandably, Minnie wants to rebel in some aspects. Her mothers are overbearing, but this only further fuels the fire that more happened in the past than what we’re being led to believe.

There’s obviously a story there about Minnie’s father, and I hope that becomes a more prominent arc as we head towards the end of the season.

Tabby wanting to shake up the shower scene from Psycho with a female gaze is definitely something a movie buff would be interested in doing, but did anyone expect A to strike when she took a breather?

Mrs. Murray: No phones in detention.
Imogen: I’m sorry, Mrs. Murray, but… it’s my doctor. I have to take this. Mr. Thompson, thanks so much for calling me back.
Mr. Thompson: Happy to chat, though I’m not sure I can be much help. I wasn’t really in your mother’s friend group.
Imogen: What about… Angela Waters? She was also a classmate of yours.
Mr. Thompson: What would I know about Angela Waters?
Imogen: I’m trying to talk to as many people from your graduating class as possible… for a school project. Were my mom and Angela friends?
Mr. Thompson: Look, I don’t know anything about Angela. No…
Mr. Thompson: So sorry. I can’t help you.

This show is subverting expectations in the way it’s constructed, but the guys remain some of the ickiest characters on TV.

Greg has been utterly inappropriate since the beginning, but showing up entirely nude for the scene was one of his worst moments to date.

Tabby’s reaction was perfect, but I wish there were more of a comeuppance for Greg. Did anyone else want A to show up and scare the living daylights out of him?

Chip proceeding and filming the scene without Tabby was completely uncool, and I’m glad Tabby called him out.

The purpose of the scene was that it was shot from the female gaze, so Chip went against the vision Tabby had for it, even if he followed the shot list.

The Halloween party was fun and all, but I wish the reason for it happening were a bit more believable.

There seems to be a disparity between how many students are at the school and how many people live in the town.

The series portrays the town as small, whereas the school and, by extension, the parties are bustling.

Sidney: So, I heard from my buyers. Why would you say those things, Imogen?
Imogen: I just told them the truth… that my mom died there.
Sidny: No. You said that a woman had been murdered there, which is not the truth.
Imogen: It’s my house. I hate the idea of strangers living there.
Sidney: Well, congratulations. They’re pulling their offer.
Imogen: Guess it wasn’t meant to be.
Sidney: I wanted to spare you from this, but your mother was in a lot of debt, Imogen. I was hoping a sale would cover what she owed. Also, I heard from one of my old classmates, Don Thompson, that you’ve been calling around, and asking questions about Angela Waters. Why would you be doing that?
Imogen: Because… There is a connection between what happened to Angela and what happened to my mom, and because you won’t tell us what it is.
Sidney: Imogen, are you maybe wanting to see something that isn’t there?
Imogen: Or are you trying to cover up something that actually is there?
Sidney: I want you to move on from all this.
Imogen: It’s a little harder for me to move on, Ms. Hayworth. My mom is dead.
Sidney: I meant move on from Angela Waters.
Imogen: What are you all hiding? Why does no one want to talk about Angela Waters?
Sidney: You do need to move on, Imogen. And your house needs to be sold, so however else you want to spend your time, I’d finish picking out what you want to save… and say goodbye.

Granted, there could be people from other schools in attendance or, you know, a masked killer.

A wearing the costume from the flashback of Angela being, once again, tormented by her bullies made for a fun change of pace.

The series is doing a great job of playing with expectations for the slasher genre, and I hope it keeps it up for the entire season.

Tyler’s death wasn’t a surprise. The moment A noticed Tabby clocking him, well, it was evident his number was up.

However, it raises some more questions than answers.

It’s easy to say that A killed Tyler because of the way he treated Tabby, but it’s also easy to say that he killed Tyler because people could point the finger at Tabby.

There will undoubtedly be a search for him, and the investigation could lead to Tabby as one of the last people to see him alive.

The debate over whether Kelly is Karen has been on my mind since the latter’s supposed death.

This universe loves a twin twist, as evidenced by its predecessors, but something tells me we’re seeing Kelly here.

Kelly has spent so much of her life in Karen’s shadow that the infinitely better storyline is seeing how she breaks out of that shadow.

All eyes were always on Karen, so it must have been tough for Kelly to merely exist next to her identical sister.

But that also gives Kelly quite the motive to be working with the killer because how did Karen fit into A’s plan in the first place?

Tabby: Girl stops at a motel, takes a shower, guy comes in, kills her, but I’m flipping it, and I need a guy who’s not shy, confident in his own skin.
Greg: Who else is in the movie?
Tabby: Faran Bryant.
Greg: And I kill her?
Tabby: No… She kills you. But basically, it…
Greg: it’s a shower scene with a hot girl, right?
Tabby: Mm-hm. Sweet. I’m in.
Tabby: Excellent.

We know the moms are being targeted, and by extension, their daughters, but still, there’s so much we don’t know.

I can’t blame Faran for thinking Karen was alive, but she needs to master the art of trusting the right people.

The episode-ending revelation that both Imogen and Tabby were attacked on the night of the bonfire was a shocker, and I hope the series handles this storyline well.

I’m thankful they both have each other because trying to piece together what happened while knowing something did happen must be a harrowing thought process.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is exceeding expectations, giving the franchise a new lease of life.

The mystery is exciting, the A scenes are terrifying, and these young women are going through things that plague young women in today’s world.

The original series spoke to its audience through its storylines, and Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin couldn’t be more timely.

New episodes air Thursdays on HBO Max.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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