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Ever since the new PLL spin-off was announced, fans have wondered: What are the Pretty Little Liars connections in The Perfectionists? ICYMI, the liars are back—well, two of them, anyway—and they’re involved in a new murder mystery in the town of Beacon Heights. The show follows fan-favorites Mona Vanderwaal and Alison DiLaurentis as they investigate a mysterious murder after a Beacon Heights University student is pushed off a building and impaled by the fence below. Who murdered Nolan Hotchkiss? In typical PLL fashion, it won’t be a while until we find out. But that doesn’t mean that the show isn’t worth a watch, especially for longtime PLL fans.
What happened to Emison? Where are Hanna and Caleb now? And are Spencer and Toby still together? These questions and more were answered in the first few episodes of The Perfectionists. Even star Janel Parrish, who plays Mona (the OG A), has said that there several Easter eggs scattered throughout The Perfectionists for PLL fans. We’ve already spotted 10 so far. Some of them are out-right details about where our favorite liars are now, while others are parallels to the original series. Either way, as the characters keep their eyes peeled for Nolan’s murderer, we’ll watch out for the PLL references.
Alex and Mary Drake May Have Escaped Mona’s Dollhouse
In the first episode, Mona explains to Alison why she’s in Beacon Heights and not in Paris, where we last saw her at the end of PLL. “Yeah, that was great for a while,” Mona tells Alison. “But eventually the reasons I was there…escaped me. So I came back to the States to devote my time to something that suited my talents and my passions—game design for Hotchkiss.” Pay attention to the word escaped. The last time we saw Mona was when she locked Alex and Mary Drake in her dollhouse. In their final words, the characters considered an escape. But did they actually do it? If Mona’s “reasons” to stay in Paris (Alex and Mary” actually “escaped” her, perhaps she moved back to the U.S. to Beacon Heights to stay safe. Either way, we’re confident this quote was an Easter egg for PLL fans.
Alison and Emily Have Relationship Problems
Last we saw Emison, the couple had two babies, Grace and Lily. But at the start of The Perfectionists, it looks like the couple may be on a break or broken up (a la Ross and Rachel.) In her conversation with Mona, Alison tells her why she’s in Beacon Heights and not back in Rosewood with Emily. “Emily loves me. She just can’t get past the past, Alison says. When Mona says that she thought the couple was OK, Alison responds, “We are. And then we’re not. It always comes back to trust. Creator I. Marlene King told TV Line that the show the show will explore Alison and Emily’s fallout more. So sorry, Emison shippers. It doesn’t look good for the couple.
Hanna and Caleb Are Still Raising Their Baby
It was revealed in the PLL series finale that Hanna and Caleb had a baby, and according to The Perfectionists, not much has changed since then. In the second episode of the spin-off, Mona calls Hanna (we can’t hear her, but Mona provides enough context clues.) During the conversation, Mona asks, “How are you? How’s Caleb? How’s the baby?” We don’t hear Hanna’s response, but it sounds like things are A-OK for the couple. The conversation is also a sweet moment for Hanna and Mona fans. “It’s so good to hear your voice too. I really miss you,” Mona tells Hanna.
Spencer and Toby Eloped
Mona’s phone call to Hanna also revealed that Spencer and Toby are married. In fact, they eloped in secret. “Wait, Hanna, back up. What do you mean Spencer and Toby eloped?” Mona says. The marriage was apparently such a secret that even Hanna, one of the core liars, didn’t know. “Even you didn’t know? Mona asks. Mona then asks Hanna where the couple is registered, so she can get them a wedding gift.
The Mona Look-Alike Easter Egg
In the first episode, Mona shoos away a student who’s using the mirror in a bathroom, so she can talk to what we assume is the Beacon Guard. PLL superfans will notice that the student in the bathroom is dressed exactly like Mona from the first season of PLL, with her big glasses and conservative clothes. Parrish later revealed to TV Line that the cameo was an on-purpose Easter egg for fans. “That was a little Easter egg for our fans,” she said. “We dressed [the actress] to look like a young Mona, a little nerdy Mona. I’m so glad you noticed that! We’ll have a couple of those Easter eggs here and there throughout the season.”
Ava and the Red Coat
The Perfectionists trailer shows Ava Jalali, one of the new characters, stroking a red coat. As PLL fans remember, a red coat was worn by many villains in the show. Alison wore it when she dressed as her alter-ego, Vivian Darkbloom, and the same-color jacket was also worn by Cece Drake/Charlotte DiLaurentis and Sara Harvey. Was Ava stroking a red coat simply an Easter egg or is it a clue that she may be more involved in Nolan’s murder than we thought? Who knows, but it was a cute nod for PLL fans.
In PLL‘s season-5 time jump, it’s revealed that Ezra wrote a book titled Ostinato, which made its way to The Perfectionists. Along with Ava in a red coat, the teaser also shows Ezra’s book falling into frame, which seems like only an Easter egg PLL super-fans will spot. Good to know that Ezra’s writing career is still going strong.
Mona’s Paris Trinkets
In an interview with TV Line, Parrish revealed that another PLL Easter egg The Perfectionists included was Mona’s apartment decor. Specifically, she told fans to look for doll parts and Paris references, which nod to Mona’s time in Paris at the end of PLL, where she locked Alex and Mary in a doll house. “There are hints of weirdness all over the place,” she told TV Line. “There are some doll parts around, lots of Paris references. You know, kooky Mona!”
The Funeral Text
One of the most iconic scenes of the first episode of PLL is when Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna receive the same text from -A outside of Alison’s funeral. Their phones buzz one after another as they reach into their bags to read the menacing text. There was a reference to that in the second episode of The Perfectionists, where Ava, Dylan and Caitlin are at Nolan’s funeral and receive a mysterious text one after another. It isn’t -A though. The text is from Alison who tells them that she’s around if they want to talk or need comfort after Nolan’s death. Though the text wasn’t as intimidating as the one from -A in PLL, it was still a cool Easter egg.
The Updated Theme Song
As fans remember, the theme song for PLL was the oh-so-creepy “Secret” by The Pierces. For The Perfectionists, the creators recruited the same artist for the spin-off’s theme song, except with some small tweaks. The lyrics are pretty much the same, though the theme song of The Perfectionists is shorter than that of PLL, but the major change is how it sounds. IMO, it’s a lot more creepy than PLL.