Pretty Little Liars: Summer School sets up slasher scene classics in episode 4 to keep fans guessing (Recap)

Now that Bloody Rose has made her presence known, the fourth episode shows that every call is a possible trap, and every romantic dalliance a potential death scene.
Courtesy: Max
Courtesy: Max /

Another week, another episode of Pretty Little Liars: Summer School. We're up to episode 4review here), titled "Chapter Fourteen: When a Stranger Calls Back." In the aftermath of Mouse's traumatic birthday test (see the episode 3 recap here), the Liars have to acknowledge that there is a new threat coming for them.

In the midst of work and romance, they try to make a plan for how to stop Bloody Rose before she can come for them again. This episode returns to the plot-filled structure of season 1, so there is a lot to cover, with plenty of jumping between scenes. Let's jump right in!

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Figuring out how to move forward

The Pretty Little Liars: Summer School episode starts with yet another SpookySpaghetti video of Archie torturing his mother, but it quickly cuts to the Liars at Pinball Pizza. Mouse's ominous warning that another killer was after them means they need to make a plan for moving forward.

Imogen suggests that they all ignore the unknown calls, but Faran is eager for a fight. Given her fitness glow-up, she's sure she could beat Bloody Rose in a fight. They agree to call Dr. Sullivan, but there's no answer. Imogen leaves a message, requesting an emergency therapy session.

Mouse asks her grandmother who called and told her to take Mouse to the abandoned Rose E. Ricotta, and she explains that it was someone named Rose who claimed to be calling from "the other side." That idea sticks with Mouse, who worries that their summoning ritual in episode one actually worked.

While the others are quick to brush aside that theory, it's hard to deny that someone is after them. Dr. Sullivan's office calls, saying that she can't schedule a session because she had an accident. They take that to mean that, like with A last season, they aren't allowed to tell anybody what they know.

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Meanwhile, Kelly is working on the Redemption House project at church. She made some changes to the script, which involved a teenage pregnancy, admitting that she has doubts about the whole project. It's too judgmental, and she worries that some of the scenes might hurt her friends. That doesn't go over well, with Pastor Malachai and her mother getting upset and demanding she come to confession.

Imogen managed to manipulate the hospital staff into letting her see Dr. Sullivan, claiming that she is her daughter. Despite the invasion of privacy, Dr. Sullivan admits what happened to her. Someone pushed her down the stairs at work. While she quickly switches topic, asking about the urgent call, Imogen says that nothing is wrong, unwilling to put Dr. Sullivan in anymore danger.

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Everyday horrors

As they return to the activities of their normal lives, everything is charged with paranoia. Every phone call could be from Bloody Rose, and every getaway could be the set-up for a new slasher scenario.

While at the Orpheum, Tabby gets a call from an unknown number. Ignoring Imogen's suggestion, she answers. The caller claims to be a chairwoman for the Pittsburgh International Festival of Terror. She explains that someone had to drop out. And while they still don't want to show her revenge film, they would be interested in new work. The only problem is that she needs to submit a new entry within two days. Tabby tells Christian about the opportunity, and he encourages her to do it. It'll be hard, but it's not impossible.

She meets up with the rest of the Liars at the ice cream shop. Imogen shares what she learned from Dr. Sullivan, admitting that she plans to stalk her to keep her safe. Mouse is upset, admitting that she might be responsible for creating the Bloody Rose myth. During Archie's trial, she posted on SpookySpaghetti about Archie's mask. That was what inspired people to believe that he had skinned his mother's face, the core story behind Bloody Rose Waters. The others assure her that it wasn't her fault that people ran with the idea, and it certainly isn't her fault that someone is using it to attack them.

The new information does suggest that the new villain is not actually Rose Waters. They want proof that the real woman is alive and not the person attacking them, so Mouse decides to crowd source information about Rose Waters' possible whereabouts using the SpookySpaghetti forums.

While they wait for updates, Tabby sets to work on her new short film. Unable to think of any new ideas, she turns to a box of ideas she and Chip had come up with. The one she picks ("basically Jaws in a movie theater") impresses Christian, but she won't admit its complicated origins. Not realizing how personal it might be, he pushes Tabby to star, as well as direct.

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Back at the hospital, Imogen is working on crossword puzzles with Dr. Sullivan. That sends her into flashbacks of her own, remembering when she and her mom had worked on crossword puzzles after she broke her arm cheerleading. Dr. Sullivan can tell something happened, which prompts them to talk about how complicated grief can be.

Despite all of the guilt and grief, they all have fun filming Tabby's movie, with Ash and Christian helping out. It's a good bonding moment for all of them, and it provides a brief reprieve from the paranoia they all feel. But that can only last s long. When Noa is at work, the phone rings. Her manager picks up, complaining that nobody was on the other end. That freaks her out, as it might have been Bloody Rose, so she runs off to hide behind the restaurant. Jen convinces her that it will be helpful to blow off work, and they plan to go to Jen's dad's house, in the middle of nowhere.

Mouse and Ash talk about the plan to use SpookySpaghetti as a way to find Rose, and he's skeptical. The site has not been good for her, and it seems like she's just looking for trouble. There's enough danger without her poking around, searching for more. But for now, he's willing to go along with it.

Meanwhile, Faran is working at the pool when Henry shows up to apologize. He says that he accepts that it's her choice if she wants to dance or not, but it hurt that she lied to him. Even so, he feels bad about how he responded and mentions that he signed up for swimming lessons to get closer to her. She suggests that he cancel them - she can give him private lessons after hours.

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Danger seems to lurk around every corner

As they move from work to adventure, it seems like any one of the Liars might be the next to get attacked. Most go to isolated locations, where the new people in their lives may very well turn on them.

At Jen's father's house, she and Noa decide to go wild. They drink, have a dress-up montage, and end up in the pool. While there, Noa suggests that they steal one of the expensive watches on display at the house to pay for Jen's mom's rehab. While Imogen was at the hospital, continuing to watch over Dr. Sullivan, she gets a call. It turns out to be from Mr. Winters, one of the men who adopted her daughter. Due to a family emergency, they need Imogen to babysit.

Kelly shows up at church to attend confession when she sees what looks like her mom hooking up with Pastor Malachai. Furious at their hypocrisy, she reaches out to Greg to invite him to go skinny dipping.

Tabby continues having flashbacks of when she and Chip had come up with the idea for her movie. Although it was her idea, it was something they were meant to do together. She struggles while editing it, trying to come to terms with the many layers of grief and betrayal that now engulfs her projects.

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Everything is going well while Imogen is babysitting until she gets a call that the security system was set off. It says that one of the windows is open, but it might be a false alarm. The idea that someone could be coming for her child sends Imogen into a panic, asking Johnny to come over and grabbing a knife, just in case. She finds that the window is open in Estelle's room. She starts spiraling even more than before, when Johnny arrives and offers to take Estelle and the knife.

Johnny asks Imogen is she's okay. She immediately shares everything that has been happening, expecting him to run away from all of the insanity surrounding her. He swears he won't, promising that he'll be there for her. They nearly kiss when Mr. Winters calls, mentioning that he saw a young man enter the house from their security cameras. Not wanting to cause problems, Johnny agrees to leave the house and wait in his car to help her feel safer.

Meanwhile, Faran and Henry are making out at the pool after hours. This could be the start of a horror scene, but it turns into an awkward comedy when Greg and Kelly show up too. Faran tells them to stay, despite it ruining her plans with Henry. Kelly mentions to Faran that Henry had shared their relationship problems at church during group shares called "Kairos sessions." Faran is upset that Henry was basically sharing their dirty laundry everywhere, and while Kelly tries to make it seem better, she just makes things worse.

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Trust is rewarded

As the most dangerous moments pass, the episode returns to Mouse, who is surprised to find a long list of Rose Waters sightings, all over town. She talks Ash into helping her search, believing that the truth will help to calm her paranoia.

Kelly comes home to find her mother upset that she has been impure. There are some major Carrie homages in their relationship, as Mrs. Beasley locks her in a shrine. When Kelly is let out in the morning, she has a broken expression, implying that she is about to either fully accept the church or rebel against it.

Things are going much better for Imogen and Tabby, both of whom have positive aftermaths from their adventures. Johnny did stay the night, which leads to him and Imogen making out in his car. Similarly, Tabby tells Christian about her confusion with regard to the movie and Chip, which gives him the chance to encourage her. With more faith in him, Tabby kisses him too. And encouraged by her conversation with Christian, Tabby submits her movie to the film festival.

Noa's love life is much more complicated. She gets a call from an unknown number, which turns out to be jail. Jen was arrested for stealing from her dad, and Noa feels awful. She goes to Shawn, lying about what happened, and asks him for the $2,000 needed for Jen's bail. Noa gets Jen out of bail, telling her that she isn't alone. This show of support, like Johnny and Christian's, ends in a kiss.

Back at the pool, Faran gets a visit from the mother of the child she saved last episode. She praises Faran for being the kind of person to run toward danger, implicitly encouraging her to fight back against Bloody Rose. And that's going to come into play shortly.

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Hello again, Rose Waters

With a few loose ends tied up, the final ten minutes of the episode return to the mystery of Rose Waters. Mouse and Ash go looking for her, based on the list of locations from SpookySpaghetti. After checking a few spots, they split up.

Faran is back at home, making a protein shake, when she gets a call from Henry on her cell phone. She rejects it, but a call on her home phone makes her pick up, frustrated by Henry's persistence. But it isn't Henry. The caller is Bloody Rose, and she tells Faran, "Time for your test. If you're strong enough. Or are you the same weak, little, broken, scarred Faran?"

Unwilling to feel weak again, Faran decides to fight, going to a construction site with a box cutter. There, she finds a letter that reads: "A final girl can never lose her strength. Lift the girder. If it touches the ground before time runs out, someone you love dies." A countdown of two hours starts up, and she accepts the challenge.

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Mouse calls Imogen, thinking that she might have the right location for Rose Waters. She is currently at "Tent City," under the assumption that Rose might still be unhoused. Imogen confirms that it's a good idea, but tells her to wait until all the girls can get there. When she calls Faran, it's 40 minutes into the strength test.

Everyone but Faran gathers outside the encampment, where they begin asking if anybody has seen Rose. Someone confirms that she lives under a bridge, and they find her. When they mention that Archie is still alive, Rose runs and jumps off a bridge. They go through her things and find a picture of Angela and her file from Radley. According to the file, she was a patient of Dr. Sullivan.

With that bombshell for audiences to theorize about, the episode cuts back to Faran in the last 15 seconds of the test. She makes it, but then Bloody Rose emerges to attack her at her weakest. They fight, and while Faran bashes the killer's legs with a rock, Bloody Rose manages to cut her arm. Faran runs away, finding that the fence is now locked. She manages to climb up the fence and over the barbed wire. She and Bloody Rose are face-to-face for a moment before she runs away screaming.

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

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