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Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 4 Review: When a Stranger Calls Back


I’ll say one thing for the show’s writers: They picked the perfect title for Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 4.

The deaths have just about slowed to a complete stop in the latest episode, with Bloody Rose seemingly intent on tormenting and torturing the girls with the subtle tactic of spamming their phones.

With the moms’ complete and total absence, it’s safe to say that Pretty Little Liars: Summer School will revolve solely around the girls and their misdeeds.

Main - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

If that is the case, it would appear that the killer this season may not have any ties to the girls or the Waters family.

Mere hours after Mouse got attacked by a homicidal maniac, we left word for Sullivan, and then she got into an accident. No, not suspicious at all.


It almost seems like the real killer this time around in Spooky Spaghetti.

Ever since Mouse started interacting with the site, things have only gotten worse with all their information cycling through the posts.

Mouse herself even suspects everything that has happened so far is connected to the forum.

Guys, I think I may be responsible for creating Bloody Rose. In the early days of Spooky Spaghetti, when the trial was still happening, I went online and I posted things about Archie’s mask. Details only someone who had seen the mask firsthand would know like that it was stitched together from pieces of leather


Out of everything, the weirdest aspect of this season is that despite its title, the girls seem to be spending less and less time in summer school.

Granted, it’s still only a few hours out of their day, but if nothing was going to happen at the school, why even write the girls as going?

Group - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

If anything, this season should’ve been called “Summer Jobs” because that seems to be the main focus so far.

Viewers can probably tell more about the liars’ job performance than they can about their grades.

Speaking of summer jobs, Tabby’s is just her regular job during the hotter months of the year.

And it seems to be working out well for her.

Besides the classic trope of answering a phone call thinking it’s a killer only to find out, it’s a perfectly innocent call, watching her get excited about the chance to enter her short at a film festival was fun.

While we’re on the topic of Tabby’s movie, it should be stated that regardless of what Christian and the girls told Tabby, her short film idea was fine but far from genius.

Tabby - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

She utilized so many horror movie cliches about a masked killer in a theater.

It could’ve been great if she had leaned more into the cliches and called her short film “Trope Theater.”

At least she turned it in on time and even shared her first kiss with Christian in this episode.

Tabby: I don’t know. I think I am more of a behind-the-camera kind of person.
Christian: I mean, sure, but you could totally be in front of the camera person, too, if you wanted. I mean, you are movie star beautiful. Plus it’s always cool when the final girl is black, don’t you think?
Tabby: I do.

I’m really hoping Christian is as innocent as he seems, but as I’ve said in previous reviews, “Never trust the love interest.”

Now that we’re on the topic let’s discuss who gets the prize for the shadiest girlfriend in this episode.

And the prize goes to Noa! Seriously, though, what does she think will eventually happen with Jen?

Noa and Jen - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

Sure, they’ve been playing it safe since Jen appeared in Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 2, but things have taken a steamy turn.

First, they dip out of work to break into Jen’s dad’s big house for sunning and thieving.

Then, when Jen’s dad calls the cops on her, Noa enlists her boyfriend’s help to post Jen’s bail.

And how does Noa show her thanks? By kissing Jen! Oh, Noa. This will end very badly for the pretty little liar.

Then there’s Kelly’s whole church thing, which feels too disconnected from the main story to matter, but the writers are leading viewers down the Christian path for some reason.

Pastor Malachi, Mama, I have doubts about Redemption House. Some of the themes we’re exploring might be hurtful to people. People I care about.


While Kelly’s mom has certainly been through her fair share of tragedy, including killing her husband in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin Season 1 Episode 10, the cracks in her psyche are starting to show.

Martha - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

She went full “Carrie’s mom” on Kelly by locking the girl away with her bible until morning for the teen’s sinful ways.

Did no one tell her “sins” was last season’s theme?

Something seems off with Miss Beasley, and she is getting filed away as a possible killer with deranged religious motivations.

We must be strong, Kelly. Strong for each other, and strong for the souls of this town.

Martha Beasley

Imogen’s journey in this episode has been a little more even-tiered, with equal parts good and bad.

On the one hand, she got to spend time with her daughter for a night while the adoptive parents were away.

Imogen: Mr. WInters, hi.
Mr. Winters: Listen, not to alarm you but I was calling because we got a security alert one of the windows in the house is open. I’m sure it’s just the wind.
Imogen: I’ll check them all right now and I’ll call you back if there is a problem.

On the other hand, she briefly lived out the plot of “When a Stranger Calls” before having the hot coworker show up to keep her company.

Imogen - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

Imogen needed a win after having so many breakdowns.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but are you in the middle of a full-on spiral?


After Mouse’s attack in Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 3, it became clear that this new killer is not waiting for the girls to catch a clue. Literally.

Mouse: Lola, I need you to tell me about that phone call you got. The one that asked you to take me to that surprise party. Who was it? Lola, please. This is so, so important.
Lola: She said her name was Rose and that she was calling from the other side.

Faran was on the chopping block this time, and we had to give it to the girl. She didn’t even blink when she got that call from Bloody Rose.

Initially, her test was a little confusing as it wasn’t clear what Faran was supposed to do with the metal beam.

However, once the timer reached zero and Faran dropped the beam, viewers knew what was happening and could practically feel it in their legs.

Faran - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4 - When a Stranger Calls Back

Hopefully, Faran will call in to work the next day because those legs will be useless after that two-hour strength training test.

The real question is, how did Bloody Rose know what Faran said at the beginning of the episode in the pizza parlor when she mentioned being in the best shape of her life?

As far as this episode goes, it seems like whoever is hunting the girls is only using the Waters family as a mascot and targeting the liars in the same fashion as Scream V. No spoilers here. Watch the movie.

Or rewatch Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Season 1 Episode 1 because I have a suspicion that the real clues are hidden in plain sight.

Bloody Rose Waters - 2 - Pretty Little Liars: Summer School - Season 1 Episode 4

Summer school isn’t the only place the girls have to worry about tests this season.

That’s two down with three, possibly four, to go. Is Kelly considered one of the liars? You’d think it would be evident after a season and a half.

Tabby: Technically speaking, we’re all final girls.
Imogen: Which means one of us could be next.

Who do you think Bloody Rose will target next? And more importantly, who’s on your list of suspects?

Comment below to let us know, and join us again when we review the next episode!

Joshua Pleming is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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