[Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Perfectionists Season 1 finale. Read at your own risk!]
The Perfectionists survived their first season — and their bond is tighter than ever — but the trio are only just getting started on the Pretty Little Liars spin-off. The Season 1 finale introduced the Professor, the person who actually killed Nolan (Chris Mason), and the person who has been tormenting the clique. He's got surveillance on the three students as well as Mona (Janel Parrish) and Alison (Sasha Pieterse). He also has footage of them on the dock, proving that Taylor (Hayley Erin) didn't shoot Jeremy (Graeme Thomas King) in self-defense. If that video falls into the wrong hands, all of them could be serving some serious jail time.
With a new foe in play, TV Guide spoke to The Perfectionists boss, I. Marlene King, about what this means for the group going forward, who is most at risk, and what we can expect from Season 2 (if Freeform renews the show) — including more potential Pretty Little Liars crossover.
Is the Professor someone that we've met before?
I. Marlene King: I'm not willing to reveal that yet. Sorry.
Why did The Perfectionists decide to be honest with their worst fears? Because if I were them, I would lie.
King: That's interesting. Well, we don't know [which] of them might not have lied, but I want to say it's fair to say that these are true [confessions]. They're currently their truest fears, and I think they know that the Professor probably already knows enough about them, that the Professor will know if they're lying and the stakes are too high. ... None of them want to go to prison for the rest of their lives.
Mona and Alison have played at least a version of this game before. How will that help them and how are they going to be challenged in a new way by this new player?
King: Mona and Alison definitely have awesome sleuthing skills that they're still teaching to the Perfectionists. Their sleuthing mentorships will continue and they'll have a little insight into — I mean, Alison is sort of trying to get two steps ahead of the Professor already by joining the psychology department.
Who is the most at risk for psychological damage in playing the Professor's game?
King: That's such a good question. ... Maybe Alison. I think Alison is probably the most at risk 'cause she right now feels the most broken to me.
Should we be focusing on the people that Beacon Guard was spying on before Taylor disappeared? Or is that something that's not really relevant at this particular point in time?
King: It's relevant. It's still very relevant.
One person we were introduced to earlier in the season but we haven't seen a lot from since is Ray Hogadorn. Can you sort of tease how he might play into this?
King: I think we'll find out early on ... in Season 2 more about Ray Hogadorn. I don't want to give too much away, but that question will be answered very quickly.
Someone else that's been a pretty big foe for our group this season has been Dana Booker. As far as she's concerned, Nolan's murder has been solved. So is there any way we could see her actually team up with the Perfectionists or is she going to continue to be a thorn in their sides moving forward?
King: I love that character, and she's a great on-screen villain. I don't think she's going to walk away from our world without getting more of what she wants, which is her own personal gain. Although she does have a couple $100,000s in the bag. She might just walk away and buy herself new shoes.
One thing I was very excited to see this season was that Mona finally got a romantic interest. What is it about Mason that makes him a good fit for her? Or should we be dubious about that pairing?
King: I'm sincerely shipping them and I think that she met her match, right? He's a brilliant guy because he taught and plays the piano like a prodigy, for just for fun, to blow off some steam. Before she even met him, she knew they were soulmates just by the way they played chess together. ... I think she has the strongest motivation of anyone to unmask the identity of the Professor because it's for love — she doesn't want to walk away from Mason. She's truly doing it to protect him.
Now that we've established this world and these characters, would you like to see some more Pretty Little Liars crossover in Season 2?
King: Absolutely. It was so much fun to keep the PLL world alive through our Beacon Heights friends. I think that now that we've established a show and it's up and running on its own two feet that I'll be definitely more open to bringing some of the original cast to come and visit Beacon Heights.
If you get a Season 2, what are you most excited about exploring with these characters?
King: The show, not unlike Pretty Little Liars, is really about friendship. The Perfectionists had to earn their friendship this season, unlike PLL, where the girls started as friends and they just came back together. So I'm really, in addition to the twists and the turns and the romance, I'm really excited to just now get to move forward knowing that that friendship is solid and continue with our, I call it, friend porn.
Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists is now available to stream on the Freeform app or Hulu.