Warning: this interview spoils episode 2 of the new Pretty Little Liars, now broadcast on HBO Max.
History repeats itself in the second hour of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, while another Millwood High School student dies prematurely. This time, however, we already know the backstory.
Allow me to set the scene: By retiring from running for Spirit Queen, Karen intends to shoot a classic Carrie by dropping a bucket of “pig’s blood” on Imogen during her coronation. Only Karen never sees her plan come to fruition, as “A” chokes her in the rafters and drops her corpse onto the dance floor below. Talk about school spirit, huh? … What, too soon?
It’s a gruesome sight, made all the more gruesome when Karen’s twin, Kelly, falls on top of the body. It’s also a moment that seems destined to become iconic for fans of this new series, which was evident for actress Mallory Bechtel, who plays both the victim and her much kinder sister.
“It was the first thing we did, and it was the second day of filming,” Bechtel told TVLine of filming her character’s big death scene. “I was terrified, because I knew I had to run as Kelly. That’s why I was really nervous. It was so early in the process. The characters hadn’t been inhabited. But I was honestly happy. It was like ripping off the bandage with that crazy, chaotic moment. Everything else after that felt like a breeze.
While Bechtel was filming as Kelly, “they had a background person and they put a wig on her, and I’m just holding this girl’s body,” she recalled. “I wanted to be nice and talk to him, but I also had to really stay in the moment. So it was totally weird, so weird. But once it was my turn to lay on the floor [as Karen], covered in blood and just holding my eyes open, it was pretty fun. Everyone was there watching. You feel extra special when you’re the one on the floor.
Now, let’s quickly recap what brings Karen to this horrible conclusion: For starters, we learn that Kelly is responsible for relaying misinformation about Imogen and Greg’s kiss to her sister. So… thank you very much, Kelly. We also learn that a guy took an unflattering video of Karen at that same party, and Imogen has had the guy’s phone ever since. As revenge on Karen for allegedly mocking them after taking them into custody, the Liars project the embarrassing images in front of a good portion of the student body. Now Karen’s reputation is tarnished, Tabby’s sexy boss is furious, and everyone knows Greg has a small penis.
A guilty Imogen tries to pick up the pieces with Karen during an evening meeting at the cemetery (completely normal!), but it doesn’t go as planned. Imogen then tries to apologize when she sees Karen at prom…but we all know how. this goes.
But if you’re real Pretty little Liars fan, or if you just paid close attention to this episode, chances are you’re wondering which twin really fell from these rafters. After all, Kelly impersonated Karen when she met the manager, so who’s to say they didn’t do another switcheroo at prom? That’s a lot to consider, but given this franchise’s obsession with twins, it’s worth doing.
If you fancy detective, Bechtel says there are many ways to tell Karen and Kelly apart: “There are so many things that people may or may not notice. The little things add up to make them feel like two separate distinguished people. Karen always wears heels and she shows more skin than Kelly, who dresses more conservatively, which affects the way I stand. Their voices are also a bit different. It’s those little things that remind me of who I am in every scene.
What do you think about this series of unfortunate events? Leave a comment with your thoughts on Episode 2 below.