Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Wraps Things Up Neatly in “Aftermath” (S1E3)

Episode 3 “Aftermath” starts off right after the tragic death of Karen. One of my biggest complaints with this episode is how quickly it wraps up. Rather than letting the drama of the fate of the girls brew through Episode 4, this episode has quite the fancy bow on it. This is fine and all, but based on my preconceived notion of the show, I would have assumed that to be a through-line of drama to build and build to a harsh climactic moment. Anyways, let’s talk about Episode 3.

Episode 3 “Aftermath”

We start off right after the death of Karen, which (mostly) everyone thinks was a suicide. Tabby rushes Imogen out of the dance and back to the house. Ms. Hayworthe asks the girls if they are sure it was Karen, which leads to her having flashbacks of the Y2K party. Sheriff Beasley drunkenly questions Kelly at home as to why Karen would have done this, Kelly doesn’t give the most helpful response. Imogen asks Tabby if she can sleep in her bed tonight, and Tabby says yes. This is when Imogen brings up, for the first time, the bloody A that was written on the bathroom wall next to her mother’s body. The dots start to connect for them.

The girls sit at their table in the pizza place, after being cleared of wrongdoing for Karen's death

Monday: tension is high. The whole school sits on bleachers in the gym for a schoolwide meeting to honor Karen, Sheriff Beasley is in town, and probably wasted. A stands under the bleachers and attempts to grab Imogen’s ankles, but she gets up to go to the bathroom. This is really one of the first really clear images we get of the mask A is wearing. It looks like a really faded/torn leather material with twine stitching going up the sides of it. This doesn’t really give too many context clues, I think. Once in the bathroom, and after a hefty puke, Imogen runs into “Kelly” and it’s just as intense as you think it would be.

The five girls get called to the Principal’s office. At this point, the girls are illegally questioned by the Sheriff regarding the video they had shown of Karen. Keep in mind that the Sheriff better watch his step because Noa still has all of that ammo on him. Upon finding out the trouble the girls are in, Faran’s mom Corey Bryant (Zakiya Young) comes back from Pittsburgh, knowing, since she works in law, she will have to do damage control. Mouse’s parents take away all of her electronics, which for her is basically a prison sentence. For some reason, Sheriff Beasley still hasn’t put Noa’s ankle monitor back on, and it will stay that way for at least the rest of this episode. Tabby’s mom goes as far as to make her quit the Orpheum, which is, also, the worst thing that could happen to her.

The next day Imogen hands over Tyler’s phone to Ms. Hayworthe, who then meets up with the other moms in the kitchen of Imogen’s house. This is one of the first times they have all been together since the death of Angela. Back at school Imogen goes to the library and asks the librarian, who is reading a porn novel, for a copy of the ’00 yearbook. After looking through the yearbook she notices all the moms were a part of a group called the Y2K Survivors Club, and this also leads to a dope microfiche scene! I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a microform in a film or show. Also at school, Faran gets kicked out of ballet class for good. All of this happens while Faran and Tabby’s moms go to the Sheriff to turn over the original video, where he threatens to not only get the girls expelled, but also to have them pushed to the fullest extent of the law. The two moms also go on to chastise the Sheriff and the Principal for, basically, interrogating the girls with such extreme accusations without the parents or lawyers present.

The five girls sit in the bathroom after Imogen is told she is going to be Spirit Queen

Tabby realizes the last piece of evidence regarding the video, is on a flash drive at the theatre, though Chip told her he couldn’t find the flash drive. Doing one of the dumbest things a pregnant teenager could do, Imogen goes over to the location of the Y2K party where Angela died to investigate. The building is completely abandoned, though there is a shrine for Angela there that has fresh flowers on it; also on the memorial is a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter. This revelation is accompanied by A showing up, causing Imogen to quickly hide in a van, just narrowly escaping the wrath of A.

At community service that day Sheriff Beasley tries to talk Noa into getting Mouse and Faran to turn on Tabby and Imogen, in exchange for complete immunity…what’s sad is Noa falls for it. Back at the theatre Tabby asks Wes about the flash drive, he tells her that he took it, but it’s at home. If she wants it that bad, she will have to come over and get it. Noa calls a meeting with Faran and Mouse to turn on the other two, but Mouse is very much against it, saying that, even though A killed Karen, this was all of their doings. Later on that day Imogen talks Tabby into going back to the Angela memorial, where they find…Ms. Hayworthe? Over a slice of pizza, Ms. Hayworthe tells Imogen and Tabby an alternate-fact version of the Angela story, and how she was “troubled.” This leads to Imogen showing Ms. Hayworthe the Y2K poster and the note on the back.

Tabby makes her way over to Wes’ house for the flash drive, and he plans on giving it to her…after they eat dinner and watch a horror movie. Based on Tabby’s reaction when she takes a sip of the wine it’s not really clear if he drugged her drink, or if she was having a panic attack. But she poured her wine herself, so maybe the glass rim was drugged? Moving on. Tabby bounces, knowing that something is really off, and sees the flash drive, grabbing it on her way out. Conversely, Sheriff Beasley is drunk as a skunk while he tells “Kelly” he plans on pursuing charges against the girls, which for some reason makes “Kelly” really angry; she squeezes a piece of glass from the cup her mom dropped earlier.

Faran, Noa, and Mouse meet in the bathroom when Noa tries to turn on Imogen and Tabby

It’s Friday, the day of the hearing. The five girls sit with the moms in a separate room, nervously waiting for whatever verdict might be thrown their way. That’s when the Principal walks in, telling them the meeting has been postponed. He says “Kelly” came to him in the morning and said “Karen” was up in the rafters for the sole purpose of dumping a bucket of paint on Imogen, and that in no way did she go up there to kill herself. The girls rejoice! Mouse gets her electronics back, Faran gets her role in Swan Lake back, and it seems like things might just work out! As the girls visit “Karen’s” grave, they say their goodbyes, but not without a stinger. They go to leave only to see A sitting in a van across the street from them…watching.

Final thoughts

This was definitely the least horror-forward episode of the series so far, but it wraps up a few of the rising actions. As I stated, it would have been more effective to have the verdict of the girls at least wait until the beginning of episode 4, but that just, hopefully, means the creators have some more intense and life-threatening plans for the girls. What still baffles me is how into the show I continue to be. It really feels like what Scream the TV series tried, and failed, to do.

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Written by Brendan Jesus

I am an award-winning horror screenwriter, rotting away in New Jersey.

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