Summer is always in full swing with ABC Family, and it’s no surprise that their new drama/thriller, Twisted, pulled in 1.61 viewers for the premiere night. But was that enough to prove that the show will have future success? I would assume no. The show is up against the likes of Pretty Little Liars, which almost 3 million viewers tuned into this week. But I do see some potential in "Twisted" and it’s enough to guarantee a whole season.
The show begins with a flashback at what the story is centered on, a murder. If you ask me, a great opener to keep the audience engaged. 11-year-old Danny (Avan Jogia) has just murdered his aunt with a red jump rope, an item that I assume will be important in the future. She was at his home to babysit him and his two best friends, Jo Masterson (Maddie Hasson) and Lacey Porter (Kylie Bunbury.) The scene, which turns out to not be a flashback but a nightmare of Jo’s, brings the audience back to present day.
To his dislike as well as the community, Danny is forced by his mother Karen (Denise Richards) to move back home after completing five years at a juvenile detention center. While he was there, Danny lost his father to a boating accident and Jo and Lacey grew apart. The day of Danny’s return, Lacey does an interview in which she refers to him as a socio. The nickname sticks and allows his classmates to either be afraid of him or approach him in a bullying way. Danny, not too worried about others, spends his time at school trying to reconnect with Jo and Lacey. Jo, holding a grudge against him, tries her best to stay out of his way but can’t shake him when he ends up in her psychology class. After class, Danny tries to approach Lacey but is cornered by her friend Regina (Karynn Moore.) She finds Danny to be mysterious and invites him to her house party. In the moment, he isn’t too worried about the invite and more focused on the necklace Regina is wearing. Looking a bit frightened, Danny says he will think about coming to her party and walks off. Lacey, trying to find peace in the situation, also invites Jo to the party.
Later, Danny runs into Jo and her friend Rico (Ashton Moio) at a pie restaurant, where Danny approaches her and asks for her to understand his situation. Jo lashes out at him but later regrets it and apologizes. Thus, Danny invites Jo to accompany him to Regina’s party and she accepts, hoping to have a crazy story to tell her grandchildren someday.
Three events to remember happen at the party, the first one being the ongoing chase of Regina after Danny. Second, Jo finds herself let loose when she starts to drink for the first time. This is a shocker to many seeing as Jo is the safe outsider. She then provokes attention which leads to a situation in which a boy harasses her. The third event is when Danny comes to her rescue and whispers something in the boy’s ear. Lacey gives both Danny and Jo a ride home after they attract the negative attention.
Jo’s parents are home when Danny drops Jo at her door. They find it peculiar that Jo allowed Danny to bring her home, as well as shocking that she had been drinking. Lacey then drops Danny home where he invites her in and she accepts. In what could have been the first sign of romance between the characters, Danny and Lacey almost kiss but stop themselves. After hours of talking, Lacey falls asleep before Danny, who spends some time refusing to Regina’s texts to come over. In the morning, Lacey wakes up surprised that she stayed over and tries to sneak out. Karen is already up and catches her walking out of the door.
When it seems like Danny is finding his place right back into Jo and Lacey’s heart, another murder happens. Regina’s housekeeper finds her dead at the scene of the party mess. Danny becomes the suspect on account of three things. First, everyone assumes that a murderer can kill again. Second, the words he whispered into the boy’s ear, the night before, were that he could kill him. And last, the texts to Regina were obtained by the police, leading them to assume Danny accepted her invitation to come over.
The police come to arrest Danny at a remembrance meeting dedicated to Regina. Danny, Lacey and Jo all know that Lacey was in Danny’s presence all night, but Lacey holds the truth back. Jo tries to defend him, which ends up being a failed attempt because she can’t reveal the truth of his whereabouts without permission from Lacey. The police push Jo’s thoughts aside and arrest Danny in front of all the students. Because the police don’t have any hard evidence on him, Karen comes to retrieve her son. The show ends with Danny holding the necklace he caught Regina wearing and an album that holds a picture of his aunt wearing the same necklace. So, did her kill Regina?
So, what do I think?
After watching the episode, my assumption is that Danny didn’t murder anyone at all. I secretly think his mom did it and he is keeping the secret to protect her. Carefully view her in the next episode.
Like me, I’m thinking that everyone has their own assumptions to the show, post-viewing. That mystery, to see if we are right or wrong about the story, is what will keep us coming back for more. But we won’t come back if the future episodes are as slow as this pilot was. The viewer needs to be at the edge of the seat in order to stay engaged for a thriller. That only happened in the first and last five minutes of this pilot. In order for me to become a fan, the future episodes will need to be more edgy and exciting. Thus, I give this episode a C-. The rating is in the middle because the show has potential to swing either way. Only time will tell what’s in store for "Twisted."