‘Pretty Little Liars: Summer School’ Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Rose Waters Here?


Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin managed to successfully subvert the terrible reboot sentiment thanks to bringing in a completely new cast with an unrelated story that has the minutest Easter eggs related to the first season. Though far from perfect, the show is what you could call a classic thriller teen drama callback because it manages to bring in the nostalgia of its predecessor while still bringing the vibes for the young people of today. In all honesty, I feel like I might be closer in age to the writers of this show than the kids in it, but hey, I think that’s what allows me to have an unbiased look at it. Anyway, enough about me. What’s different about Original Sin is that we already know who A is. However, he’s just escaped police custody at the hospital and gone after the first two sinners he could find. What I don’t understand is whether Archie is on the girls’ side or against them. Because tell me why he’s gone after Chip immediately after escaping. With that said, we can jump straight into summertime for the girlies of Millwood, where we get to meet a new villainess and another new version of the soundtrack.

Spoiler Alert

How do the Millwood Police catch Archie? 

Episode 1 of Summer School begins on Christmas Day, right after the scandalous evening when everything went down in season 1. After exchanging their perfect gifts for each other, Imogen and Tabby learn from Kelly that Archie’s escaped and killed both Tom and Chip. Within 5 minutes of the first episode, all the “bad guys” that tried to hurt our leading ladies are dead in classic slasher style. A week later, Imogen is a paranoid mother, and Tabby realizes with her film brain that a revenge serial killer will always pay tribute to the person they’re avenging on the anniversary of death. Since it’s New Year’s Day, the teenager is able to identify that the killer on the loose is going to end up at his sister’s grave on her death anniversary, but the police themselves can’t. Huh, guess I can be a film-buff paranormal detective too! Her plan works (magic), and Archie’s caught for real this time, giving all the girls some relief. 

Six months have passed, and with their skirts hiked up at least six inches, Millwood’s famous five are doing much better than before. They’re even kickboxing in school, just the five of them in choreography, but hey, they can surely throw a punch if another A comes after them with a knife and a mask stitched from human skin. More importantly, though, they’re doing therapy with Dr. Sullivan (yeah, the same one from Rosewood), and she offers them advice on how to deal with their feelings towards the people who tormented them for all of the previous year because of their mothers’ sins. Sullivan reminds the girls that Archie can’t hurt them anymore, and the trials are already underway, which means he’ll either be on death row in no time or in a psychiatric hospital (reassuring for the horror movie buff, no?). 

While the girls are lunching, Mouse tells them about a site called “Spooky Spaghetti” (well, now I’m going to spend the rest of my day on creepypasta), where “fans” of Archie are coming up with theories about how the guy really looks because nobody really knows how he looks and he’s meant to be so mutated that only a mother could love him or something. Tabby then gets word from a movie festival that her movie has not been selected for their spookfest, and she’s quite disheartened. She finally made that rape-revenge film with Imogen as the lead, but nobody wants to showcase it, so the girls decide they can post it online, and Mouse even promises to share it on Spooky Spaghetti. 

Then we see that Imogen’s baby is not with Arya and Ezra but with a gay couple called the Winters (What’s with the cold surnames, first Waters and now Winters?). It seems every few days, Imogen shows up at their doorstep in the most mod 70s outfit she can find and checks up on the baby, but the Winters have grown tired of her intrusions, obviously (I’m sorry, her outfits in season 1 were giving baby, and now she’s giving Norman Bates trying to be Norma!). On the other hand, Faran is fitter than ever and can beat the jocks easily in a challenge of pull-ups, but he doesn’t want to go to summer ballet school. Noa can’t wait to leave Shawn’s house because his mother is tired of her being around “distracting” her son, and Mouse spends most of her time on the creepy website like an obsessed geek, and Ash hates it. I guess it’s a good thing Mouse is on the site all the time, though, because she also finds out that they’ve been doxxed by someone there, and the site won’t take down their names and pictures (yikes). 

Along with that, they find pictures of Rose Waters (Angela’s mother) lurking in places associated with all of them, and learn that if they say “bloody Rose Waters” five times in front of a mirror that Angela used, then she’ll appear (so much for Bloody Mary callbacks). Despite Tabby quoting Jordan Peele (I mean, “Nope” is one of my favorite movies, so this was fine) and Faran agreeing, Imogen decides they could give it a try (is she a paranoid mother or a stupid teenager? Choose already!) 

What’s Happening With Tabby? 

With Tabby’s movie online, Chip’s mother is furious and promises to file a lawsuit against her for defamation. Tabby has to take down her movie because the mother of a sexual assaulter called her a liar. In the meantime, Sullivan explains to Imogen that if she really wants her baby safe, it would make sense for her to not bring A knocking on the Winters’ door by going there ever so often. This actually works, and Imogen leaves the Winters the blanket her mother made for the baby as her parting gift. 

If you were wondering what happened to Kelly, she’s now a church girl like her mother, and it definitely looks shady. She’s also trying to convince Greg to become a churchgoer like herself. Faran finds Kelly and opens up to her about how ballet was super traumatizing for her, and she might want to move on from it, which is why she’s not taking the spot at the summer school. She asks Kelly if she wants to do it, but the girl’s too happy where she is (never a good sign). 

I guess it’s common knowledge that in teen dramas, the kids always like to take matters into their own hands and, 90% of the time, succeed at whatever mucked-up business they’re tending to. Tabby completely misreads Sullivan’s advice to write to let out her anger by painting “rapist” on Chip’s gravestone. Noa decides to move out of Shawn’s home and live alone until her mother returns (yikes, along with a serial killer’s mom on the loose?). And Moose decides to call upon the Powerpuff girls, sorry, Noa and Faran, to go look for Rose Waters’ cabin, as shared on Spooky Spaghetti. Ash follows them out because Mouse canceled their date at the last minute. He’s, of course, just concerned for her and doesn’t want her to lie to him in this dangerous world because he loves her. But why does this kid talk like he’s trying to be Flynn Ryder’s smolder?

What’s the verdict? 

Finally, the girls learn in Sullivan’s office that A’s getting the death penalty, but they decide they want to keep therapy going (yeah! Get some help.) The girls then bring out their bathing suits to start the best summer ever, discuss their favorite summer movies, and talk about how it’s going to be the “best summer ever.” (pfft, you wish). 

Summer School episode 1 ends with Principal Smithee telling the girls that they have to do summer school because they’ve all failed their exams thanks to everything that’s happened in the last six months. Then we cut to the cabin, where a couple is there because they’re explorers of the wild inspired by Spooky Spaghetti stories. When they don’t find Rose, they decide to have a raunchy time at the dirty cabin in the woods, only for Rose to find them (of course, it’s always the promiscuous couple that die first, even if they’ve got nothing to do with anyone or anything in the actual plot).

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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