Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin's First Episode Is The Stuff of Gore, Glory, and Getting Even

Try calling this a typical petty high school drama series when it’s infused with blood and a violent thirst for revenge.
IMAGE HBO GO

Pretty Little Liars, a mid-2000s teen thriller TV series, is back with a much more macabre reboot. But watching the original show won’t be necessary to grasp Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Viewers are introduced to a new town, a new set of liars, and a new “A,”  only with a far more sinister story. You’re in for a fresh and chilling experience as you immerse yourself in eerie blue-collar Millwood. 

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin follows a group of five high schoolers who each have their own secrets to unravel—Imogen, an expecting teen mom; Noa, who’s just gotten out of juvie; Faran, a ballerina whose success is hampered by racial profiling; Tabby, a misunderstood film aficionado; and Mouse, an internet geek with overbearing parents. 

The episode opens with a flashback to a high school party in the ’90s, where Angela, a distressed girl in a long white dress frantically approaches a clique of five popular girls for help. When they ignore her, she jumps off the balcony as the clique just stares in absolute horror… and so do we. It’s a pivotal moment of the show that proves it’s far from the typical teen show tropes. We don’t know about you, but seeing a bloody, lifeless body with a snapped neck up close isn’t exactly what we’d expect from a teen series. 

As the scene cuts to the present day, the five girls from the party are later identified as the new liars’ mothers, who all appear to still be haunted by the infamous incident over a decade later. While this detail was pretty predictable, it’s still odd that the whole clique somehow managed to all get pregnant at the same time. Talk about sisterhood. Nonetheless, the mothers’ abrupt, occasional flashbacks to the incident do a fantastic job at keeping viewers hooked until the end to find out what truly happened back then that led to Angela’s violent death. And most importantly, what role the mothers played in her demise. 

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Photo by HBO GO/HBO Max.

One of the mothers, Elodie, is played by none other than Broadway star and Filipino legend Lea Salonga, who auditioned for the role despite previously being almost exclusively accustomed to theater roles. 

“There always just seemed such a big gap of time in between film/television projects that I would always feel like I would be starting again from the bottom every time I was on a new project,” Lea told Esquire. “But with [Original Sin], just because there are many hours of filming in a day over a consistent amount of time over many months, I feel like I kind of know what I'm doing. And I feel like I have enough of a technique to call upon when I need to do this.” 

Lucky for us, the first episode isn’t going to be the last time we’ll see Lea play Elodie. So long as their past sins continue to haunt the decaying town of Millwood, Elodie and her friends aren’t going to be allowed to live in peace any time soon. If the dead don’t get closure for what happened that night, Elodie and her friends aren’t going to be let off the hook so quickly. 

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Instead of sporting a black hoodie as they did in the original, A dons a scarecrow-looking outfit instead—a little more distinct but entirely more capable of violence and torment. We’re not limited to creepy texts in this incarnation of Pretty Little Liars. We can’t even be fully sure if A in Original Sin is just one person. 

The liars are eventually brought together by a string of brutal events that were orchestrated by an unknown culprit to make it seem like they deliberately attacked the school bully, who happens to be white, blonde, and, er… named Karen. A not-so-subtle move to play into the “Karen” stereotype of a mean, nagging woman who always wants to speak to your manager.

Photo by HBO GO/HBO Max.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin definitely isn’t your typical petty high school revenge series. The stakes are much, much higher at Millwood High. It isn’t a matter of paying for your actions by giving up your popularity or embarrassing yourself in front of the entire school—none of that cliché crap. It’s a matter of life and death. 

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The liars’ solution to seeking victory and stopping these weird events from occurring is as extreme as you’d expect it to be once you see all of the bloodshed that occurred in the first episode alone. However, we’re left with one burning question: Should Karen really be the liars’ principal target, or have they got their eyes set on the wrong sinner? 

The first episode of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin already succeeded at cleverly weaving significant details into the episodes with no explanation whatsoever to keep you on your toes. You’d think that you’ve finally figured out who A is, what happened to the liars’ mothers, and who’s been causing all of this ruckus in the small town of Millwood, but another scene suddenly cuts in to tell you otherwise. Watch this first episode to see if you can handle the gore and teen screams, but stay until the end of the series to get answers to the whirlwind of heinous deeds the liars have gotten caught in and have had no choice but to deal with. 

After all, hell hath no fury like suburban moms and their equally spoiled teens.

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin is now streaming on HBO Go in the Philippines.


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