PLL: The Perfectionists Season 1 finale recap: Who is the Professor?


The Perfectionists finally unveils its new Big Bad in the Season 1 finale. Who is the mysterious Professor, and what do they have planned?

Even though there still hasn’t been any word yet from Freeform about whether or not The Perfectionists will get renewed for a second season, it doesn’t mean we can’t start theorizing about Season 2 early! The finale was one of the season’s best episodes as it set up the series for many more seasons to come. While we didn’t get many answers, we did see the introduction of the series new major villain, the Professor.

Each character also found out a way to stay at BHU for another semester. Dylan gets a second chance from the ethics committee from a repentant Claire, Mona uses a little blackmail to keep her teaching job, Ava finagled her stolen finances to keep herself (and Zach) afloat, and Caitlin manages to convince her mother she deserves to stay on campus instead of moving to DC.

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But plenty of questions are raised too. Here are five of our most burning questions for Season 2.

1. Who is the Professor?

We may as well begin with the most crucial question raised by the season finale, who is the Professor? Introduced as the new ‘A’-like Big Bad, the Professor is the one who murdered Nolan and has been spying on Alison, Mona, and the Perfectionists all season long. Whoever they are, they also have damning footage of the group shooting Jeremy and attempting to cover up the murder investigation.

Even though it didn’t end up being a murder, the video could still put all of them behind bars if it were to leak. The only way they can keep it under wraps is by playing along with the Professor’s twisted game. They claim their goal is a social experiment, and phase one, surveillance, has been completed.

We don’t get many hints as to the Professor’s identity until the final seconds of the episode when Zach is serving them in the coffee house. It’s a move pulled straight out of the Pretty Little Liars handbook. He says, “Hi Professor,” to a mysterious person with their back to the audience. Does that mean the Professor is a teacher at BHU?

Is it someone Zach knows? Maybe they just looked like a teacher. Could it be Ray Hogadorn? We haven’t seen him in a while. The finale gives us plenty of fodder to theorize about over the hiatus.

Other potential suspects include Ava’s dad, he never had scenes with anyone else so it’s feasible someone wouldn’t recognize him/he could be in disguise (he even mentions growing a beard to hide his identity, obviously because he’s a fugitive but it could be for other reasons). Gabriel, the Spanish professor Alison hooked up with, or maybe even Claire herself.

2. What is Luke’s plan?

The finale is a strange place to introduce a brand new character, especially when you’re also introducing your new villain. Could Luke be the Professor? He used to be Dylan’s high school bully back in their high school days. Turns out, the reason he bullied Dylan is because he was jealous of the fact he could be out and proud while Luke never managed to do so.

He claims he wants to stay in Beacon Heights until he can prove to Dylan he’s changed. The old homophobe-is-secretly-gay-the-whole-time is one of my least favorite tropes, but his timing is certainly suspect. Is Luke in love with Dylan? Could there be a Luke-Dylan-Andrew love triangle next season?

The Perfectionists

3. What will happen to Jeremy?

Jeremy’s name is clear, to the Perfectionists and co. anyways. But what about the police and everyone else? Will the Professor protect Jeremy since it appears they enlisted his help? What exactly did Jeremy do for the Professor? Will he even be allowed to live knowing as much as he does?

At one point the Professor implied Jeremy would be “taken care of,” but as far as we know, he’s still stable in a hospital bed. That could change next season. If it does, I’m not sure Caitlin will recover from the guilt she already feels. It’ll be even worse if Jeremy dies.

4. What’s next for Taylor?

Thanks to a bonus scene that aired during a commercial break, we know Taylor is doing okay at the retreat her mother shipped her off to. While relaxing poolside she even zones out and fantasizes about saying a final good-bye to Nolan.

It was a sweet moment of closure for the Hotchkiss siblings. She wakes up just in time for her massage appointment. I’d say Taylor will be alright, for now anyway. But will she return to BHU afterward? I’d imagine so since Hayley Erin is a series regular, I’d like to see her story continued moving forward.

The Perfectionists

5. Who were those two extra chairs for?

Is the Crimson Society just a cover for the Professor or is a legitimate secret society? Either way, it is weird that there were two empty chairs at the meeting. The characters called attention to these absences, so it is likely it will become important at a later date.

What characters could have been missing? Andrew, perhaps? We still don’t know anything about him, which makes him suspicious in my book.

What about Zoey? The girl we’ve seen a few times spread out in the season? She’s sort of the Mona of The Perfectionists, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she returns in the future. I love the idea of a secret society being introduced on campus, so I’m hoping the Crimson Society will have a role to play in the next season.

Next. Will The Perfectionists be renewed for a Season 2?. dark

Odds & Ends

  • The season finale sets up Caitlin’s moms to move out of the picture. Does that mean the whole cheating sub-plot will never be resolved?
  • Claire and Mason hooking up? Ick.
  • What did that psychologist mean at the end when she said, “she doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in.”

You can watch Season 1 of PLL: The Perfectionists on Hulu.