A new killer is on the loose! What happened in the Pretty Little Liars: Summer School premiere (Recap)

The second season dropped on May 9, 2024. Here's everything that happened in the first episode.
Courtesy: Max
Courtesy: Max /

Imogen, Tabby, and the rest of the Liars from Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin are back with a second season. The long-awaited premiere of Pretty Little Liars: Summer School debuted on May 9, 2024, and there is a lot going on already. Episode 1, titled "Chapter Eleven: Spookyspaghetti.com," takes audiences back to Millwood to see the aftermath of the Waters murders.

The first season was densely packed with plot, and this episode suggests that season 2 will be no different. The beginning of the episode shows the aftermath of last season, with the rest of it showing us where each character is, six months later. There is a lot of ground to cover from the Pretty Little Liars: Summer School premiere, so we'll dive right in!

Warning: This episode included frequent discussion of sexual assault

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School on Max /

What happened after Archie escaped on Christmas Day?

Season 2 episode 1 opens on Christmas, just after the last season ended. It's time for present swaps at the Haworthe house, and the emphasis is on new beginnings. Tabby got Imogen a fresh diary, while Imogen got Tabby an official director's slate.

But there's clearly no end in sight for the Liars' torment, as the happy holiday is interrupted by a call from Kelly revealing that A escaped and killed her dad and Chip. Terrifying, to be sure, but we can't be too upset in his choice of victims.

Despite police assurances that A won't be able to get to any of the girls, Tabby goes full Scream by explaining the horror sequel rules for the audience. The killer always starts off by cutting off loose ends— including the girls' surviving bullies. In less than 10 minutes of screen time, A adds three new names to his body count.

One week later, Tabby's horror knowledge earns them a victory. The killer always pays tribute to the original victim on the anniversary, so the police catch A visiting Angela's grave.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School on Max /

How do the Liars pick up the pieces after Archie's arrest?

After the families learn that Archie is back in custody, the episode jumps forward six months. The five main girls have been going to therapy (with PLL's OG therapist Dr. Sullivan) and taking self-defense classes, neither of which sufficiently calms their paranoia that Archie will break free again. The therapy session is essentially just an opportunity for a good old-fashioned exposition dump. In the gap months, Archie went on trial for his actions, and the jury is deciding his fate now. Will he go to a mental institution or will he get the death penalty?

While both would seem to bring some degree of safety, nobody can quite accept that it's over. This is most obvious in Mouse, who is obsessed with reading all things Waters on the website SpookySpaghetti (a spoof on the creepypasta genre). Meanwhile, Tabby is trying to cope with not getting closure from what Chip did to her. She created a revenge film based on her experience, but it was rejected by every film festival she submitted it to. The rest of the girls encourage her to post it online, so she can share her art and her story without gate keeping.

While Imogen was likewise hurt by Chip, she is far more focused on her daughter. After having a nightmare where Archie got his hands on her baby, she went by the adoptive parents' house to drop off supplies. This is apparently a regular occurrence, and Rob and Blake Winters are tired of how frequently she tries to contact baby Estelle. And yes by the way. Imogen changed her mind about Aria and Ezra from the original Pretty Little Liars series, and her baby has been adopted by a gay couple closer to where she lives instead.

Courtesy: Max /

The major couples from season 1 are still going together, but there are clear signs that a breakup or two might be on the horizon. Noa has been living with Shawn while her mother is in rehab, and his mom has become less than welcoming due to her constant presence. In addition, Faran has been lying to Henry, claiming that she wasn't cleared to return to dance because she's no longer sure it's the path she wants to go down.

Mouse's SpookySpaghetti obsession is also testing her relationship with Ash, because it is consuming her every decision. While she's clearly taking it too far, there is real reason for concern, because the website posted pictures and personal information about all five of them, despite the records being sealed due to their age. An increasing number of rumors emerge about "Bloody Rose Waters," which has them all on edge.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premieres July 28 on HBO Max, Photograph by Barbara Nitke/HBO Max /

While working at the Orpheum, Chip's mother storms in to yell at Tabby and deliver a cease and desist notice. If the movie (which clearly indicates that Chip sexually assaulted her) isn't removed from the Internet in 24 hours, Mrs. Langsbury will sue her for defamation.

When Tabby looks at her movie—which is heavily based on how A pushed Tabby to torture Chip—she sees a ton of comments calling her a liar. Despite the fact that there is proof that what Chip did is true, he has been portrayed as a victim of both A and false rumors.

Meanwhile, Tabby's mom is trying to talk to Imogen about how attached she is to Estelle. She recommends that Imogen go see Dr. Sullivan on her own to work through her inability to move forward. She agrees to go for a private session. Before that, all five of the Liars break into the school that night to test the Bloody Rose Waters summoning ritual. Nothing happens, other than a brief jump scare from the new school janitor.

This doesn't really help to convince the girls that the killings are over. During her therapy session, Imogen admits that she might be a bit paranoid, but with good reason. She isn't taking the anxiety medication she was prescribed because she has to be ready for a fight, and she won't stop checking in on Estelle because the Winters family doesn't take the potential threat of A seriously.

While the season 1 finale gave Imogen plenty of reason to not trust that she or her baby will be safe, Dr. Sullivan tries a few different strategies to help her move forward. First, she mentions that Imogen had pulled out of the original adoption at the last minute (because she got bad vibes off of Ezra Fitz. And honestly, who can blame her?).

What finally gets through to Imogen is that the adoption records were sealed. If Archie escaped, or if Rose Waters came after them, there would be no way to find Estelle unless Imogen leads them to her. That argument works, and Imogen delivers a quilt her mom had made for the baby to the Winters family, promising to stop her unsolicited visits.

Ash and Mouse are still together, but it's clear that her obsession with the SpookySpaghetti site is getting between them. He practically begs her to take a night off, which she agrees to. They make a plan to go out on a normal date (which is clearly destined to fail).

Tabby goes back to the Orpheum, where she finds Wes reading an article in the paper about the attacks. The article is titled "A Mother's Grief," and it details how much Mrs. Langsbury has suffered since the loss of her son. Tabby takes it personally, but Wes tells her she should have some compassion. It's very clearly not the right thing to say in that moment.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. Cr: WBTV /

Faran and her mom are at the store when they bump into Mrs. Beasley—the first time Kelly has been brought up since the time jump. According to Mrs. Beasley, Kelly is doing well with online learning, which has been a needed reprieve from the chaos of the last school year. They also have both found comfort in their new church, Our Mother of Holy Grace, which Faran immediately sees as a cult.

Naturally, she decides to check on Kelly at the church, where Kelly is part of the choir. Kelly explains that the church helped her and her mother feel less alone. While Faran seems insulted by that idea, since Kelly had been ignoring calls from her and Imogen attempting to offer support, she accepts that it's not a necessary fight right now.

Instead, Faran tells Kelly that she should go to a summer ballet program in her place, admitting that she was cleared to dance but was choosing not to. That honesty is not extended to Henry, however, who considers skipping the ballet program as well to stay with her.

Tabby goes for a solo therapy session, where she reads the newspaper article about Chip and vents. While Dr. Sullivan urges Tabby to understand how hard it must be for Mrs. Langsbury to have lost her child, Tabby finally acknowledges her anger in one of the show's most powerful speeches so far.

Cr: WBTV /

She's angry that Chip hurt her, angry that she never got to properly confront him, angry that everybody has called her a liar, and angry that she is being blamed for the death of the best friend who betrayed her the worst. Dr. Sullivan suggests that she channel that anger into writing.

Back in the world of relationship drama, Mouse found an article claiming that Rose Waters was living in a cabin in the woods and immediately cancels her date with Ash, lying to him about the reason. Noa is playing Monopoly with Shawn's family when his mother sends more jabs her way, prompting her to lie and say her mother was getting out of rehab so she can get away from Mrs. Noble's judgment.

Tabby and Imogen talk about the article in the newspaper, the first time this episode where the girls get to connect one-on-one. Tabby admits that she wishes she had carved a mark into Chip that night, and they discuss ways that Dr. Sullivan's writing suggestion could be more cathartic. It's revealed shortly thereafter that one or both of them spray painted the word "rapist" on Chip's gravestone.

Cutting back to Kelly, we learn that she and Greg are still together, despite some major changes in their mindsets. In the middle of a make-out session, Kelly drops to her knees and prays for the strength to resist temptation. While Greg would much rather they continue on, she says that she wants him to come to church with her.

Mouse calls Noa and Faran to come with her to investigate the cabin where Rose Waters was supposedly seen. They do find the cabin, but the trio is then caught by Ash, who saw the post and turned up to see if Mouse was lying to him. While he promises not to break up with her, the cracks in their relationship are growing more apparent.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School on Max /

Foreshadowing the season 2 plotlines

After plenty of time spent on how each Liar responded to the previous year, the episode ends with a few teasers for the coming season. During a therapy session, Imogen, Tabby, Mouse, Noa, and Faran learn that Archie has received the death penalty, which finally gives them a chance to feel safe. Even so, they all agree that it's worth continuing therapy, whether individually or as a group.

Kelly, on the other hand, is focused on bringing Greg into her new life at Our Mother of Holy Grace. While he's clearly uncomfortable, she urges him to listen to Pastor Malachai. He discusses reinstating a church tradition known as "Redemption House," a program intended to purge the town of its sins.

The other five finally seem to relax, enjoying the summer weather on Noa's roof. Imogen declares that it will be the best summer ever—a statement which is itching to be proven wrong. On the last day of school, they are called into the Principal's office, where they learn that they have all failed their Keystone Exams and will need to complete summer school in order to move on to their junior year.

While this new development is frustrating, they celebrate being alive and done with crazy killers, yet another jinxed sentiment. The final scene cuts back to the creepy cabin, where two teens are hoping to find evidence of Bloody Rose Waters. Finding nothing, they decide to hook up, just in time for Bloody Rose to appear and stab them to death.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School streams new episodes Thursdays on Max.

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