It's just like you imagined it.

Sex, Lies and Alibis
Season 1, Episode 2
All Eyes on Them-Promo
Air Date March 27th, 2019
Written by I. Marlene King
Directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum[1]
Episode Guide
...If One of Them is Dead

Sex, Lies and Alibis is the second episode of the first season of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.


In the wake of Nolan’s murder, Ava, Caitlin and Dylan join forces to give themselves a credible alibi on the night in question. Alison goes toe to toe with Dana Booker, BHU’s new head of security, who is suspicious of Nolan’s “perfect” posse. And Mona starts slipping into old habits while wrestling with a guilty conscience.[2]


THURSDAY: The large screen in the mysterious room focuses on Nolan's body, just as its being covered. Caitlin, noticing a devastated Ava on the floor, calls to her but Ava puts her hand up, accusingly saying it's her she imagined it. Caitlin insists on leaving and talking more about it but a speaker startles Ava, announcing all students return back to their dorms. Alison watches Ava back away from them as the crowd disperses.

SUNDAY: 3 days later, Ava continues to mourn over Nolan's death, reminiscing of her memories with him. In Dylan's apartment, Dylan is haunted by the nightmare of him and Nolan's hookup. Andrew, noticing his discomfort, hands him a cup, wishing classes would resume so they can go back to a normal. "Leave it to Nolan to haunt us in life or death," Dylan says. Andrew asks why in life, as he thought Dylan did his work because they were friends. Dylan retreats and blames a lack of sleep for the comment. Andrew says that after the funeral tomorrow they can move on. Dylan announces he doesn't want to talk about Nolan anymore, and Andrew, slyly announcing they don't have anything else to do but stay in bed, they both proceed to make out.

Parked beside the river, Jeremy offers a bite of his food to a conflicted Caitlin. Jeremy notes the "npc bread" thing won't work but Caitlin is as determined as ever to be in shape for track. After ducking down from a passing cup, Caitlin rejects another food offer. Jeremy states that her sudden focus into fitness is about the elephant in the room but Caitlin tries to distract him. Caitlin relents as they need to talk about Nolan. Jeremy reassures her that it's fine to say she's relieved he's dead but Caitlin feels terrible and guilty. Jeremy reminds her he tried to blow up her family and blackmailed her and he doesn't feel bad about not worrying about him anymore. Caitlin reasons that that is why she's focused on getting into shape but Jeremy states she can be distracted by other means. Caitlin worries that someone might see them. "Not Nolan," jokes Jeremy, much to Caitlin's amusement as they begin to kiss.

Alison angrily rants to a repairman that someone came to fix a tear in her wallpaper without her permission and asks whose department handles that. The caller replies it's his jurisdiction and doesn't have a record of any fixes in her house. After asking if there's anything else he can help for, Alison retorts he hasn't helped her but needs a repair, just as she receives a notification. Checking her phone, she's shocked to see a text from Nolan, asking to meet her on the roof of Thorne Hall.

Caitlin and Dylan inadvertently meet at a cafe, where he offers her milk but she wants sugar. Explaining why she chooses three real sugars and one pink packet, Dylan notes that she's quirky and, as much time as they spent as Nolan's fake friends, they don't really know much about each other other than their bios. Caitlin says that's what Nolan wanted, with Dylan adding it'll put them in a position of power. A group of students suddenly rush to a TV mentor, where the news announce Nolan's death, initially believed to be a suicide, is now a homicide. Caitlin asks Dylan in a whisper if they're going to pretend their conversation in the woods didn't happen. Dylan says that it was just a conversation, and tries to call Ava to no avail. Dylan says the funeral is tomorrow and it can't look like - "he wasn't your best friend and my perfect boyfriend," finishes Caitlin. That they're relieved he's gone. "Not gone, murdered," says Dylan.

Barging in Mona's apartment, Alison demands if the text was from her. Receiving no answer as Mona continues to scribble on the mirror, Alison looks around at the amount of papers, drawings, and notes stuck in the wall, and incredulously asks if she's been holed up in here since his death. Mona whispers that she's the reason he's dead, and Alison, scared, asks in a stutter if Mona is the reason she's dead. Mona turns around, questioning Alison on what kind of person she thinks she is, something Alison can't answer. Mona asks why she's here but Alison shows her the text. Mona is confused if Nolan was meeting her, but Alison clarifies that she just got that text, by the dead guy, whose body they saw while he was dead. Mona sees she got the text before he died last night, so it must have been a network malfunction. Alison tells her she knows what this look like. "Like you killed him," Mona says.

In her dorm, Ava continues to drown in her sorrows with alcohol, remembering when Nolan cheated on her. She deletes the phone calls from Caitlin and Dylan and looks at herself in the mirror, smelling Nolan's shirt. She closes the window and closes the blinds now numb to her pain.

Arriving to his apartment, Andrew asks Dylan who he's calling. Dylan wants to make sure Ava is okay, as Andrew quizzes his boyfriend on who else knew he was doing Nolan's work, after hearing he was murdered. He tells Dylan the paper he wrote seems to justify the act of murder if it's the only way to end someone's torment of you. He asks if Nolan had anything on him that he didn't want to tell him. Dylan lies - it isn't about Nolan but his small town bullies who made him think there was something wrong with him being gay. Andrew asks if that's why he needs to feel perfect while playing the cello to prove them wrong. "Maybe," he responds.

Driving back, a worried Caitlin insists that Jeremy read her paper on capital punishment. He thinks it's for the sake of judging a good assignment but Caitlin tells him her teacher, Alison, was intuitive enough to guess it was about Nolan. Jeremy tries to assure her she didn't do anything wrong and why she's so upset. Caitlin tells him he was murdered and her life has been a lie - sneaking around with him, covering for Nolan. She thought it'll be over with Nolan but she can't - they still can't go public. She confesses that Jeremy needs a better girlfriend who can do the things they can't. Jeremy tells her to pull to the right, and when she stops, he gets out of the car. She does the same as Jeremy pulls a blanket out of the back of the car. Playing their song, she follows their lead as they begin to dance.

Arriving back to Mona's apartment with food, Mona admits she believes she's the reason Nolan died because he never belonged here. Her algorithm red-flagged his personality traits as someone who could push another to snap. "By looking the other way and not telling Mrs. Hotchkiss the truth about her son, I created a killer," she confesses. Alison states she's now using her code to find the person who snapped, and as brave as Mona is for being responsible for his death, Alison wants to focus on herself. She feels she's back in the A-cycle, back in Rosewood. She mentions she brought pie, Mona's favorite from the bakery. Mona continues to mutter nonsense until Alison slaps her. Alison apologizes but a now happier Mona notices the pie. Alison doesn't know how much time Mona has until she slips back in her mental abyss but she feels she needs to call the police and clarify her situation. Mona asks when did she becomes such a wuss - for a second she reminded her of the old Ali. "The one who ruled her world because she played by her own rules," Mona says. Alison reminds her this is her fresh start but Mona still believes her good two-shoes persona is a facade and her old mean girl ways are who she truly is. She asks if she wants a slice of pie.

In Ava's dark room, Caitlin and Dylan slip in while she sleeps. Hearing a creak, Ava wakes up as the two's intrusion scared her. Caitlin says she intends to convince Ava they didn't kill Nolan as she demands on they got in. Dylan remarks it wasn't hard to pose as her concerned friends to convince her RA to let them in. Ava tells them they aren't friends coldly, as she finishes a pyramid of red drinking cups. Dylan offers to make her some coffee but Ava asks why they're here. Caitlin tells her after their conversation in the woods they were walking home until they heard the sirens at the crime scene. Dylan adds that they might no trust each other but they need each other. Caitlin says they need to act like his perfect posse again in his funeral. Ava is incredulous that Caitlin is asking her to support her grieving girlfriend role. Dylan says it's a lot to ask, but everyone at BHU is a suspect and they can't risk the cops digging around their business when they got secrets to hide.

MONDAY: The trio arrive to his funeral, with Claire greeting Caitlin as she walks through the door. She tells her she should sit up front, as that's what Nolan would have wanted. She nods as Dylan and Ava follow her. Reaching Nolan's casket, Caitlin gets teary-eyed but is comforted by Dylan, who rubs her shoulders they set as Ava arrives, who begins to cry. Caitlin reaches out to hold her hand, as Ava reminds her of her role. Alison sitting rows back, is joined by Mona, who asks her if she shared the text with the cops. Alison didn't, as Mona informs her there was a partial Beacon Guard blackout that night around the time of Nolan's death, including those around her house, cell phone service included. So, Mona affirms, no one can prove she wasn't at her house. "So I don't have an alibi but I don't not have an alibi," Alison clarifies. Mona says anyone who says they were at her house is safe. The trio's phones begin to buzz as they receive notifications from Alison, learning she's called them multiple times. They look back as Alison waves back and Jeremy, sitting in front of her, locks eyes with Caitlin.

In the back, Mason arrives, apologizing to Claire. She gives him an understanding hug, as she knows that despite not being that close this past year, childhood friends are lifelong friends. A man announces that everyone take their seats, and the two walk up the aisle until Claire departs. Mason stares at Nolan's casket and sheds a tear when he leaves. Dylan, looking at Mason's sorrow, thinks he's faking it. As the service goes on, Caitlin reaches out to hold the other two's hands, unifying them as the signature three Perfectionists.

When the service ends, Ava confronts Dana Booker, angry she's here to take advantage of her vulnerable state to grill her once again. Dana gives her condolences to her, but informs Ava she's no longer with the FBI. Dylan and Caitlin come to Ava's aid and asks if everything is okay. Dana responds that things are far from okay - a student was murdered. As BHU's head of security, she's here to investigate and will bring whoever is responsible to justice. She leaves, leaving the trio stunned.

At the student union, Ava can't believe Dana is in Beacon Heights. Dylan asks who she is, to which Ava replies that she was one of the FBI agents who covered her father's case. She thinks Ava knows where he is, but she doesn't. Caitlin wonders why she'd leave the FBI to become a school cop, but Ava says "If Mrs. Hotchkiss empowered her to do everything it takes to find Nolan's killer, she's going to get off on bending the rules." None of them are safe - she'll use whatever she finds against them. Caitlin's scared that their secrets can get out, as Dana has access to his electronics. Dylan believes Nolan wouldn't store his blackmail on his devices as his mother would have found out. Ava knows where he stashed his weed - perhaps that's where he stashed his secrets. Dylan suggests they could break away from Nolan's wake tonight as Ava reveals it's the greenhouse where she grew roses with Taylor. Caitlin asks if Ava's not coming, but it's not Ava's secrets.

At Mona's apartment, Alison wonders why Nolan would trust her of all people. Mona tells her Alison herself said she wanted to help these kids - perhaps he believed her. "Or someone is trying to frame me his murder," Alison states, to which Mona agrees that it's a possibility. Mona offers her a lice of pie but Alison wants to prepare for tomorrow's classes. Ali asks if she's going to be ok - Mona replies yes. Curious, Mona asks if Alison's trying to say she cares about her. "Sort of," she answers. She's knows how easy Mona can go down the mental rabbit hole, so she wants her to stay connected to reality and with people. Mona reports that she has a life - every night she plays chess with the most brilliant opponent. Alison asks who, but Mona doesn't know - it's an anonymous game through the school's online chess club. Alison would offer to play her in person but Mona tells her she'd lose. She bids her goodbye.

At the Hotchkiss estate, Dylan comments how heavy the air was and he felt he was being buried alive. Caitlin asks if he tried the buffet and goes on a funeral food tangent. Dylan stops her, wanting to look for Nolan's stash, until they hear Mason, who turns out to be Caitlin's ex. They greet each other, and Mason asks how she's doing. She answers that everyday is a challenge, and Mason adds that he can't stop thinking about him. Dylan asks him to try the shrimp, earning a hit from Caitlin. Mason wants to hang up with her, as friends. Caitlin turns to Dylan and says she'll catch up, as she sits down with Mason. He says he can't imagine a future without Nolan, as he found a way to push the limits. Caitlin notes that wasn't a good thing, as he was always number two at everything Nolan was number one. Mason says he learned to accept it, something Caitlin could never as she's too competitive. Mason jokes he would have never guessed.

Inside the duty greenhouse, Dylan finds Nolan's secret spot as Mason tells Caitlin he knows she loves to win but also had a big heart. He tells her if she needs anything, even an alibi on where she was, he'll help. Caitlin questions why he thinks she needs an alibi, where Mason vaguely states they all need one until his killer is caught. Dylan finds an anonymous note instead of a stash box, revealing someone has found their secrets.

Ava joins Caitlin and Dylan at the wake, marveling how good they're keeping up the grief show. Dylan tells her the stash is gone and someone knew they were coming for it. Ava comments how they've go no more secrets and mutters until Caitlin accuses her of being intoxicated. "I don't know. Have you been plotting any murders lately?" she retorts. Caitlin tells her that she better pray Nolan didn't have any additional dirt on Ava in that stash as then she's just as screwed as they are. Suddenly they hear a male voice say "It's just like you imagined it" and the trio look around in shock.

Going back to the spot of their conversation, the Perfectionists confirm someone heard them that night about how much they wanted Nolan dead, as that person killed Nolan. Hearing a twig snap and several crunching sound, the terrified trio see a deer and breathe sighs of relief. Dylan finds a gum wrapper. Ava sarcastically states they can rule out students with braces and thanks him. Dylan asks if she was always this negative and Ava taunts him to color her dark. She declares she doesn't care about him, or her, or on anything. She doesn't know why she's here, and tries to leave but is topped by Dylan. He tells her he's sorry and that they know it's bene harder on her than on them. Ava replies that he has Andrew, Caitlin has her family but Ava has no one but herself, and walks away.

Alison is in the union pouring herself some coffee when she notices Dana looking at a picture of her daughters. Coming to take the tablet away while trying to introduce herself, Dana makes it clear she knows who she is. Alison asks if she's a friend of the Hotchkiss family but Dana says she's BHU's new head of security. Alison notes she picked the wrong week to start a new job but Dana corrects her that it might be the right. Alison excuses Dana so she can continue to prepare for tomorrow's class but Dana, saying she was distracted by her daughters, wanted to tell her something. Clarifying that her class read a book justifying murder, she requests to read the papers. Alison asks if she has a search warrant but she doesn't need one, as stated in Alison's faculty handbook, which Dana adds that she signed. Alison says she has the files on her desktop, and Dana ominously states she knows where to find her as she bids her good night.

Ava arrives to her dorm, slumping onto her bed as she sets up her phone to read her voicemail. Pouring a glass of alcohol into a red cup, she hears Dylan saying he's here for her. Caitlin's message is next with the same message of support. Ava lies on her bed, beginning to cry herself too sleep.

Alison arrives home and hangs up her coat, feeling the breeze of a window she did not leave open. Investigating further, she's startled by a lamp switching on, revealing Claire drinking in the dark. "I hope this isn't a bad time," she tells her. Claire says this was her daughter's house before she went missing, before she took her life. Alison apologizes for not speaking to her at the funeral but Claire says she's getting drunk in her living room, she can call her by her first name. Offering her some, Claire gives Alison a drink. She says Taylor loved the house, and she came here to feel closer to her. She notes they should have had "THEY'RE WATCHING" painted over despite having new wallpaper. Alison asks if Taylor wrote that and in a hesitant answer, Claire states that everything came easy to Taylor when she was young but when she started teaching, she became paranoid and even delusional. Claire thought she didn't like the job and tried to get her help, but she didn't trust her or Nolan. Alison asks if she and Nolan were close, to which Claire replies they were even when they were young. Alison questions if there's anything she can do for Claire. Claire requests that she doesn't waste her time being something she's not - if she's really here to help the students, she be herself.

Mona, reviewing the papers stuck to her walls and with Alison's advice in mind, she calls Hanna. She asks her how she and Caleb are, and finds out Spencer and Toby eloped!

TUESDAY: As Alison's students begin to quietly gather for lecture, Ava comes in and sits down as Caitlin and Dylan try to get her attention. She sends them a text message, thanking them for the messages last night. Alison begins classes by saying her door is always open until she's interrupted by a loud sneeze by Dana, wanting to say something. Alison interjects as they're now in session but Dana insists on talking with some students - specifically Ava, Dylan and Caitlin. Alisons asks if there's a better time but Dana says she's investigating a murder. The three slowly walk out as Alison stares in their trail.

Outside Thorne Hall, Dana tells the Perfectionists she knows they were close to Nolan and asks for their alibis. The three struggle to form one until Alison appears, thanking them for coming to her house last night to talk about the novel. Dana clarifies that they ere with her the night fo the murder, and Alison replies with a yes as the author's crime was too much for one to comprehend on their own. Dana says she might need read the book again as she missed a few things the first time around, but vows she won't do so again as she walks away. "Bring it on, bitch," she whispers at Dana's retreating figure, much to the Perfectionists' awe.

Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Nods to Pretty Little Liars

  • Alison slapping Mona to get her back to reality is a nod to the slapping match they had when Alison returns to Rosewood High in Miss Me x 100.
  • Mona calls Hanna Marin and talks with her. This is the first time Hanna has been mentioned in the series. Hanna tells Mona that Spencer and Toby eloped, and Hanna and Caleb's baby is mentioned.
  • Dylan's line, "it felt like I was being buried alive one shovel full of dirt at a time" is a reference to how Alison was buried alive.
  • At Nolan Hotchkiss' funeral, Caitlin reaches out to Ava and takes her hand, similar to how Hanna reached out to Aria at Alison's funeral.
  • All three Perfectionists received a text message while attending Alison's funeral, which parallels how the Liars received their first text messages from "A". However, the Perfs texts were from Alison telling them they should talk and not from an anonymous stalker.
  • Alison mentions "A" and Rosewood.


  • Filming for the episode began in October 2018.[3]
    • Norman Buckley confirmed that filming would start on October 17, 2018, via Instagram.[4]
  • The table read took place on October 6, 2018.
  • A production meeting for the episode took place on October 16, 2018.
  • Filming for the episode wrapped on October 26, 2018.[5]
  • I. Marlene King and the rest of the writers arrived in Portland on September 12th, 2018 to commence production, including finishing the script of the second episode, more location scouting, and visiting the stage sets.[6][7][8]
  • Editing for the episode took place on November 4, 2018.[9]
  • The title was revealed by Marlene on September 21, 2018.[10]
  • The cast and major crew members all arrived in Portland starting October 12th and they were all in the city as of October 16th.
  • The first scene shot was the funeral of the murdered Perfectionist.[11]
  • The final scene of this episode took place in Alison's classroom.[12]
  • I. Marlene King revealed a line from the second episode that said, "Bring it on, bitch.".[13]
  • A small time jump occurs between "Pilot" and "Sex, Lies and Alibis".[14]



Behind the Scenes




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