The premiere of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists alluded to Mona being quite busy since we last saw her in the Pretty Little Liars series finale. In addition to possibly letting the Drakes escape from under her nose, Mona may be hiding an even bigger secret about her actual role at Beacon Heights University. We have tons of questions about her involvement with Beacon Guard and what it means for Alison, but before the show delves into her future, this Mona Easter egg in The Perfectionists was a subtly perfect nod to her past. Did you catch this epic throwback?
In March 20's premiere episode, the sight of Nolan's (Chris Mason) impaled body sent a panicked recruitment and admissions staffer Mona (Janel Parrish) into a public bathroom. Throughout the episode, she had made remarks toward her reflection in mirrors, so viewers could surmise by then that she was destined for another mirror talk. But a student was already hogging all of the mirror space, and Mona snapped at her to leave. She then proceeded to ask the team of people (Beacon Guard employees? Hotchkiss Technologies workers?) watching her through the mirror's security portal if Nolan's death was their fault.
Mona's rush into the bathroom was so quick that viewers might not have noticed the greater meaning of the student's appearance. Wearing glasses and a prim sweater, the student purposely reflected the Pretty Little Liars flashbacks of nerdy Mona. When the original series wrapped in 2017, Parrish spoke about how Mona's past self feels the most fitting to her, telling Entertainment Weekly, "I always really like nerdy Mona because I just feel like that’s the reason why Mona is the way that she is. That’s the heart of Mona, really. She’s just this nerdy little girl who wants to be loved!"
In a calmer state of mind, I think Mona would definitely appreciate this girl's taste in style.
Of course, Mona was a little too distracted to relate to the girl's fashion choices, but according to Parrish, showrunner I. Marlene King decided on the use of this specific clothing. "We dressed [the actress] to look like a young Mona, a little nerdy Mona," she told TVLine. "We’ll have a couple of those Easter eggs here and there throughout the season.”
The references to both Mona and Alison's (Sasha Pieterse) Pretty Little Liars lives aren't over. While more obvious throwbacks are probably inevitable, Parrish hinted that fans should also keep an eye on the interior design of her apartment. "There are hints of weirdness all over the place,” she said. “There are some doll parts around, lots of Paris references.”
Despite the show's nods to Mona's sketchy past, viewers can deem her a trustworthy character for now. Her intentions with talking to people in mirrors are yet to be determined, but Parrish is confident that Mona will prove to be a strong ally for Alison on The Perfectionists.
"Will she still be Mona?” the actress told Teen Vogue. “Will she still have secrets? Yes, absolutely, 'cause that's what makes her Mona. She doesn't always share the whole truth of things that she knows. But can you trust her in this series? I think the answer is yes."
Season 1 of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists continues on Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.