Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin has been one of the most successful teen-thriller shows of recent times. The world of Rosewood High and the mystery surrounding the residents kept us hooked for years. While the show’s spinoffs did not work well, Pretty Little Liars – Original Sin will change that. It has already gained a fan following on social media and has kept people hooked since the very first episode. This time, the mystery and murders are set in a neighboring town from Rosewood, named Millwood.
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (Season 1) Recap:
We are introduced to a pregnant teenager Imogen (Bailee Madison), who attends Millwood High and lives with her mother Davie (Carly Pope), a former mean girl and high school sweetheart of Millwood High. 20 years ago, at a rave party in Millwood High, a young girl named Angela Waters (Gabriella Pizzolo), who is in a lot of distress is ignored by people at the rave. With her eyeliner and mascara running down her face, it seemed obvious that the girl had gone through some trauma, but her pleas went unanswered. She finally climbs on top of the ceiling and jumps to her death.
Back in 2022, Imogen gets a visit from mean girl Kelly Beasley (Mallory Bechtel) who hands her mother Davie a letter. Davey opens it and finds a pamphlet of the same rave party that she and her friend attended where Angela Waters had committed suicide. Imogen and Karen are in Imogen’s room where Karen demands she return back the things she had borrowed. When they get out of the room they are shocked out of their wits seeing Davie slash her wrists and lying in the bathtub unresponsive. However, someone has written the letter ‘A’ on the bathroom tiles.
Imogen is now alone and moves in with her friend Tabby Hayworth (Chandler Kinney) and her mum Sidney Hayworth (Sharon Leal) who was Davie’s best friend from high school. We are then introduced to Karen and Kelly, the bully twins of Millwood High who are also on the ballet team. Faran Bryant (Zaria), a ballerina is tormented by Karen and Kelly and their ballet teacher Madame Giry (Kate Jennings Grant) and is out to expose their racism in the ballet team.
Minnie ‘Mouse’ Honrada (Malia Pyles) is an internet addict and a socially anxious teen raised by her two mothers. She is adopted and is secretly meeting a man who seems to be her biological father. Noa Oliver (Maia Reficco) is a troubled former track team athlete who is out of juvie and has to do community service after she was found in possession of drugs. Tabby Hayworth, Imogen’s best friend, an aspiring filmmaker has a secret of her own and is determined to get to the bottom of it. These girls find themselves in detention hall with pieces of evidence planted against them. They start talking and strike up a friendship as they realize they all have a common enemy.
As the season progresses, we realize that nothing is what it seems. The girls start getting anonymous texts blackmailing them and threatening to expose their secrets. Each of them as we see is dealing with a secret of their own. Their mothers, however, were friends in Millwood High, and the unknown assailant who might have murdered Davie wants the girls to pay for what their mothers did to Angela.
The girls feel that the mysterious blackmailer could be Karen Beasley, who as the daughter of the town sheriff is misusing her family’s power and wealth to control their lives. So, they hatch a plan to expose her. They find a compromising video of her taken by a guy and they screen it at the local theatre where Tabby works. The plan goes awry when Karen also plans revenge against Imogen who is announced Spirit Queen. On the day of the crowning ceremony, Imogen sees Karen on the ceiling trying to throw a bucket of paint on her. But there is a masked figure behind her who throws her from the ceiling and she falls to her death.
The teens soon discover that they are being hunted by a masked figure who will stop at nothing to exact revenge for what their mothers did. But they want to solve the mystery behind the death of Angela Waters.
Who is the Father of Imogen’s baby?
In the show, one of the main mysteries is related to Imogen’s pregnancy and the father of her baby. Initially, when we are introduced to the storyline where Imogen and her mother Davey want to raise the baby together, it seemed as if the pregnancy was a desired one. Later on, it is revealed that Imogen’s pregnancy is the cause of a sexual assault.
On the day of a party at Karen and Kelly Beasley’s house, it is revealed that Imogen and Karen get into a fight over Tyler forcibly kissing Imogen. Kelly sees this and tells this to Karen who asks her to leave.
Imogen goes to the beach and the next thing she remembers is waking up in a daze with injury marks and blood in her underwear, which means she was raped. She shares this incident with Tabby, who tells her that at the same party, she was also raped by an unknown assailant and she has no idea who it was. Tabby even places a hidden camera in the boys locker room so as to identify the guy who raped her.
The girls share it with the rest of their group and the girls decide to solve the mystery. They run a blood donation camp with a view to catching the rapist. The football team, however, refuses to go ahead with it as they fear that their using performance enhancement drugs might show up on the blood records. The girls then sneak into the boys locker room and take some of their belongings for swabs.
Tabby, who is clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder starts recollecting the events that took place on the day of the party at the Beasley house and the day when she was assaulted in the woods. She realizes that the assaulter is none other than her best friend Chip, her coworker from the movie theatre, who has also taken a fancy to Imogen.
Both Imogen and Tabby go to Chip’s house and check for any incriminating evidence. They find some tapes of horror rape films. They decide to confront him directly. They meet Chip in the movie theatre and tell him that they are ready to forgive him if he confesses to his crimes. He tells them that there was no way Tabby would ever agree to date him and that he like Imogen too and wanted to be close to her. They tell him now that he has confessed they are going to press charges and ensure he is punished for raping both of them. They are all interrupted when A shows up in a mask and follows Chip as he runs from the attacker.
Who Is ‘A’?
Like the original Pretty Little Liars, this season too focuses on twin theory. Karen and Kelly are the two bullies in Millwood High. Kelly, however, is much somber than Karen who, like her father, has sinister ways of getting back at people she doesn’t like. Karen is killed by ‘A’ as she is a bully. Tyler, who is not only a bully but a jock who is toxic and forces himself on girls, videotapes Karen when she is drunk and is killed by ‘A’. So it seems that ‘A’ is out to hunt everyone and anyone who bullies people.
The girls try to find the identity of ‘A’ when they come across an abandoned house and find an altar someone made of Angela Waters. Tabby and Imogen run into Sidney at the altar who says she feels sorry for what happened to Angela Waters. Angela Waters, a girl who was bullied by the mothers of the girls, was raped by Tom Beasley, who the girl discover was dating Davie in high school. Davie doesn’t believe her and instead asks everyone in the school to ignore her and make her a ‘ghost’.
This affects Angela deeply, but Davie doesn’t stop at that. She later pretends to extend an olive branch to her and invites her to the rave party. But Angela’s mother tries to stop her and she leaves her house in distress only to be ignored and finally commits suicide. Unknown to the world, Angela has a twin brother Archie who was kept hidden by her mother because he had a deformed face.
Angela’s parents were teenagers in Millwood High who found out about Angela’s mother’s pregnancy when they were dating. Angela’s mother is sent to another town to deliver the babies. She also wants Angela to study at Millwood High while keeping Archie at home. It is revealed that Angela’s father is Principal Clapton who has been keeping a tab on the young girls and ensuring they pay for their mothers’ sins.
In a shocking turn of events, the girls are led to separate rooms where they face each of their tormentors and bullies and ask them to kill them. However, the liars refuse, and then they are brought to a room where they see their mothers being tied to chairs and Principal Clapton with Archie coming face to face with them.
Principal Clapton sets Archie after Imogen who he believes must pay for Davie’s sins. In a chase between Imogen and Archie, Imogen goes back to her old house and gets into a fight with Archie. Here the girls overpower Principal Clapton and release their mothers. Imogen stabs Archie but collapses as her water breaks.
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (Season 1) Ending, Explained:
Kelly stands up to her father and tells him that she knows how he has abusing young men from the community service he oversees and tells him that she knows it was he who raped Angela Waters and that Karen was killed by someone who wanted revenge from her father. Her father tells her that he wanted all three of them, but is stabbed by Karen and Kelly’s mother.
Sheriff Beasley, Archie, and Principal Clapton are all admitted to the hospital.
Imogen delivers a baby girl and gives it up for adoption to a couple from Rosewood namely – Aria Montgomery and Ezra Fitz.
Noa’s mother agrees to check herself in rehab and Imogen and Tabby decide to press charges against Chip, who was arrested yet released a day before Christmas Day on parole.
In the ending scene, it is revealed that Chip has broken free and has stabbed Sheriff Beasley. He reaches Chip’s house and tries to stab him.
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (Season 1) Review:
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is a rare old-fashioned slasher thriller. While the previous outings indulged too much in technological stalking, this outing seems a bit too humble in the mystery part. It is a small-time mystery thriller where everyone knows everyone’s secrets and people are connected to each other through familial connections.
It has to be mentioned how the characters in this outing feel more real and relatable than in the original show, who used to sashay in the school in their designer outfits, bags, and shoes. The liars in this version are more sympathetic, grounded, humble, and supportive of each other. A lot of issues are discussed in this outing that are relevant; such as sexual assault, drug abuse, toxic parenting, bullying, and mental health trauma. Original Sin sees far too many people falling dead than all the seasons of the original series.
The show has also taken care to ensure diversity in characters. In the final episode, the cinematography, the writing, and the direction are absolutely brilliant. They have used shades of red to denote the danger that the liars and their mothers are in. The music is somber at times and suspenseful when needed. Since this is a slasher thriller lots of shades of black are being used.
The only problem with the ending is that Angela having a twin was a dead giveaway in the pilot episode itself. Also, kidnapping the mothers of the liars and their tormentors was a bit too far-fetched. It seemed ridiculously melodramatic when compared to the rest of the series put together. Bailee Madison as the lead liar Imogen has done a fantastic job playing an assault victim, teenage mother, and as someone who’s seeking answers for her mother’s death. This outing revealed the identity of the masked attacker in the first season itself.