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Spoilers ahead for the series premiere of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists."
The Pretty Little Liars spinoff finally premiered on Freeform, and it gave viewers a look at the Pretty Little Liars universe without most of the characters who made that show so compelling. Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists doesn't even take place in Rosewood, but rather at Beacon Heights University. Alison and Mona are the two major PLL characters on board, and the premiere of the spinoff was quite different than what fans generally got in the original.
Still, Pretty Little Liars and The Perfectionists showrunner Marlene King promised that there will be one big similarity: an "A" character. Here's how King put it:
By the end of the first 10 episodes, a new ‘A’-ish being comes to light. I feel like you can’t have ‘Pretty Little Liars’ in your title without having some sort of Big Bad that has this all-knowing presence. There’s an element of Beacon Guard that’s tied to the Big Bad of this show, which is all I’ll say for now.
Marlene King referred to the new Big Bad as "'A'-ish" in her comments to TVLine, so we can probably rule out another reveal that the the central villain was actually a character's transgender sibling. Or an evil twin. Honestly, considering how wild the "A" and "AD" reveals were, The Perfectionists' version of "A" might have to be less bonkers. I mean, can you really outdo what Pretty Little Liars did with its first and then subsequent Big Bad?
That said, the series premiere set up a villainous presence that is certainly different from anything "A" or "AD" delivered with the Beacon Guard. The episode didn't reveal a ton about the security presence that seems to have way too much access for comfort, and Mona is clearly tied to the Guard somehow, but I think most of the characters would be more than a little skeeved out by the twist at the end of the hour.
Unfortunately, fans can't count on learning much about the new "A" character right off the bat. Marlene King, who has also revealed a big challenge in making the spinoff, stated that the character will come to light by the end of the first 10 episodes. That doesn't necessarily mean "A" 2.0 -- or 3.0, if we count "AD" -- more info will be held back until the last moments of that tenth episode, but we may only get small pieces of the puzzle scattered through the first episodes.
On top of a plot that is bound to be twisty, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists has some wildly complicated relationships left over from the parent show to deal with, not to mention whatever is going on with the new characters. This midseason, you can catch new episodes of The Perfectionists on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.