Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode 1 recap: School's out and Bloody Rose is in

The sequel is here and it's time to catch up with our five final girls as they face a new threat.
Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Cr: WBTV
Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Cr: WBTV /

It might be a season all about the summer months, but Pretty Little Liars: Summer School actually begins with Christmas. Following up on the loose ends established by the Original Sin finale, the beginning of Summer School quickly establishes that Archie Waters succeeded in killing Sheriff Tom Beasley (Eric Johnson) and Chip Langsberry (Carson Rowland) before going on the run.

In an episode all about clearing up the first season's loose ends and establishing a new era, we also see Archie kill off all the "villains" in the girls' lives, including Steve Bowers (Alexander Chaplin), the creepy guy obsessed with Mouse, Noa's mother's drug dealer, and Faran's ballet instructor Madame Giry (Kate Jennings Grant).

Jump to our other recaps:

Come New Year's Eve, Tabby (Chandler Kinney) uses her Randy Meeks-style horror rules to conclude Archie will visit Angela's grave on the anniversary of her death, thus leading the cops straight to him.

With Archie now under arrest, we skip ahead six months to the last week of school. All five girls are now in therapy and having group sessions with original Pretty Little Liars returnee Dr. Anne Sullivan (Annabeth Gish). Since Christmas, Archie has had his trial, and now the girls are just waiting to find out the verdict. Will he get sent to a low-security mental institution where he inevitably escapes à la Michael Myers, or will he be sentenced to death row?

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School on Max /

While they await the verdict, we check in with each of the girls and their individual storylines. Imogen (Bailee Madison) is having a tough time after giving her baby up for adoption to a nice gay couple. What happened to Aria and Ezra? As Imogen tells Dr. Sullivan, that Ezra dude gave her a weird job, finally giving voice to all of us #Ezria haters. I'm sure long-time PLL fans will appreciate the jab.

Her daughter, Estelle, has a nice new home but Imogen can't stop visiting the couple to bring her presents. Afraid Archie will escape and target her daughter, Imogen is persistent in making sure the new dads know the risks, to the point that they have to ask her to stop coming around. Dr. Sullivan finally gets through to Imogen by pointing out that if Archie did escape, wouldn't she be leading him straight to Estelle? That makes Imogen realize she needs to back off.

Elsewhere, Tabby's newly reshot feminist rape-revenge horror film starring Imogen gets rejected from every film festival, resulting in her friends encouraging her to share it online. But while many people appreciate her movie, one person doesn't—Chip's mother, Mrs. Langsberry (Carey Van Driest). She calls Tabby a liar and demands she pull down the video or face a defamation lawsuit. That, coupled with nasty victim-blamey comments all over her video, makes Tabby put it on private.

During her own 1x1 session with Dr. Sullivan, Tabby vents about how angry she is Chip never got justice. Mrs. Langsberry even published an essay in the paper detailing her grief over losing her son. And sure, she has a right to grieve, but Tabby also has a right to be furious at the injustice of it all. Because Chip was murdered, he's seen as one of Archie's victims and garnering a lot of pity from people. No one wants to believe he's a rapist. Dr. Sullivan encourages Tabby to channel her anger into writing. She's a filmmaker, yes, but she's also a writer. Journaling might help.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Cr: WBTV /

As for Faran (Zaria), she's received an all-clear from her doctor to return to dancing, but she's not ready to do that. Since quitting, Faran has discovered new facets of herself and enjoyed doing things like pull-ups and strength training, upstaging all the boys in the gym. Her boyfriend, Henry (Ben Cook), wants Faran to attend a prestigious dance academy with her, but Faran ultimately tells him he should go without her.

Then there's Mouse (Malia Pyles) and Noa (Maia Reficco). Noa moved in with Shawn (Alex Aiono) and his family until her mother finishes rehab. But there is noticeable tension in the house between Shawn's mother and Noa. Shawn's mom clearly doesn't want her there, to the point Noa becomes so uncomfortable she lies about when her mom is returning home just so she can leave Shawn's, even if it means living alone for a few months.

Mouse has been obsessively poring over the online horror/true crime website Spooky Spaghetti, which is sort of a fictionalized version of creepypasta. People on Spooky Spaghetti have been posting all kinds of stuff about Archie Waters, including fanart, theories, and even information about all five girls (the police never released this information as they're minors, but someone posted it anyway).

They've also created lore and rumors about Angela Waters' mother, Rose Waters, who they've dubbed "Bloody Rose Waters." If you recall, the real Rose Waters was a patient at Radley Sanitarium until she escaped and disappeared. People think Archie killed her and skinned her as revenge for keeping him locked in a cage, then channeled Leatherface and used her skin to make his mask.

An anonymous user uploaded photos of Bloody Rose in places that share a special connection to each girl, like the theater where Tabby works and the gravesite of Imogen's mom. Another post claims that if you find a mirror Angela once used and say "Bloody Rose Waters" into it five times, she'll appear, just like Bloody Mary. The girls try it themselves to disprove the urban legend (and because Mouse is morbidly fascinated).

Yet another poster writes that Bloody Rose has been staying in a creepy cabin in the Millwood woods. She and Ash (Jordan Gonzalez) had planned a date night, but Mouse can't resist investigating the cabin. After lying to Ash to cancel their date, Mouse invites Noa and Faran to check it out. But Ash is smart enough to realize what Mouse is up to and cuts her off before she can go inside the cabin. They make up over pizza and confess their love for one another as Mouse agrees to try to cut down on the Spooky Spaghetti stuff.

Pivoting to the Beasley household, we check in on Kelly (Mallory Bechtel) and her mother Martha Beasley (Jennifer Ferrin). In the aftermath of Tom's death, mother and daughter have joined a new church, a place that looks like it popped straight out of a southern gothic novel with a pastor named "Malachai," of all things. When Faran and her mom run into Mrs. Beasley at the grocery store, she's eerily calm, praising the church for being so welcoming to her and her daughter. Cult alert!

Love how this season is carefully weaving in some new female characters, all of whom could be potential suspects for Bloody Rose's real identity aside from the obvious answer (Mrs. Beasley, Mrs. Langsbury, or maybe even Shawn's mom).

The trial verdict finally arrives during the girls' last group session with Dr. Sullivan. Archie has received the death penalty. There's no chance he'll get out this time. As for therapy, the girls admit they'd like to continue having sessions with Dr. Sullivan to work through unresolved trauma and what comes next for each of them. Really appreciate the positive representation this episode has for therapy, something that was often sloppily handled in the OG series.

Tabby, in particular, thanks Dr. Sullivan for her advice about "writing things down." Between close-ups of Tabby's face, the camera cuts to Chip's gravesite, Mrs. Langsbury gasps in horror upon seeing someone has spray-painted her son's tombstone with the word "rapist," implying Tabby is the culprit.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Cr: WBTV /

Post-therapy session, the girls relax together on a rooftop while suntanning and discussing their favorite summer movies. For the first time in a long time, things appear to be looking up for them. But then they find out one final twist. Due to their low grades this past year and all five of them failing their keystone exams, they cannot move forward to junior year, not unless they take one month of summer school. The good news is it's only for one month and classes are in the mornings only. Of course, I think we all know that summer school won't go as planned.

Finally, the premiere episode ends with a return to supposed Bloody Rose cabin in the woods. We see an unnamed couple snooping around and making out just as the real Bloody Rose appears in the doorway and brutally murders them both. Let's start the Bloody Rose kill count at 2!

To stay up to date on thrillers, sci-fi, and horror, bookmark 1428 Elm and follow our Facebook page and Twitter account!

PLL: Summer School episode 2 recap. dark. Next. PLL: Summer School episode 2 recap