Rosewood had the The Radley that was super shady on Pretty Little Liars. The Perfectionists has Hotchkiss Industries as its own shady business. It's run by Claire Hotchkiss, who also founded Beacon Heights University. It's no wonder the Hotchkiss family was deemed "American Royalty" by a fictional Perfectionists magazine. They're loaded and high-powered and very influential in their town. But there is way way more than meets the eye with Claire — and therefore Hotchkiss Industries too.
On the surface, the company is focused on surveillance and security, according to what Kelly Rutherford, who plays Claire, said in a press video. Viewers saw as much in the show's first episode where the university had recently installed Beacon Guard — a security system designed to keep students safe. It appeared to be a new addition after the supposed suicide of Claire's daughter Taylor.
But viewers later learned that Taylor is actually still alive. She faked her death to investigate her family's company undetected. And she's found something pretty alarming — Beacon Guard is spying on a select group of students for reasons that aren't yet clear. The deception seems to be Hotchkiss Industries-approved because Taylor's hacking into their security system to uncover a motive. "Hotchkiss began changing their security protocol every half hour," Taylor informed her brother, emphasizing that they needed to find out why Hotchkiss Industries was doing this in order to bring them down.
The company certainly seems invested in more than just your traditional surveillance and security operations, though. For one, they're tracking select students and Claire ordered extra surveillance on her son. That's some abuse of power right there. But Hotchkiss also employs people that don't seem to fit with what the company is allegedly focused on. Mona is a game designer, so what is she really doing at a security company?
Meanwhile, Jeremy works there as a scientist, which is an odd employee choice for what Hotchkiss says they're doing there. Even the actor who plays Jeremy, Graeme Thomas King, doesn't know for sure what he's doing there. "What he does is anyone’s guess — I mean, I have my theories," he told Bustle, adding that his job comes with a high salary. "I think he loves his job. He’s got a great apartment; he’s obviously getting paid really well."
Perhaps he's getting paid so much to keep quiet about what's really going on at the company? Rutherford did say in that press video that Claire is "really into technology," so who knows what else she's got up her sleeve at Hotchkiss Industries.
Like King, Rutherford also doesn't know the full extent of her character's story yet. "I don’t know if I'm a villain or not," she told Bustle. "It’s really smart the way [the showrunner's] written it because everyone has a secret and everyone could be capable of things, so nobody is all good or all bad ... I don’t really know where it’s really headed."
It's definitely headed somewhere big, though. Hayley Erin, who plays Taylor Hotchkiss hinted to Teen Vogue that Hotchkiss Industries and the secret surveillance piece of The Perfectionists puzzle is a huge part of the series. "It's a big thing," Erin said. "It's bigger than her and it's bigger ... than everyone that's working towards solving this mystery." And King added to Bustle, "The Hotchkiss part of the show is the most interesting part of it."
So expect more hints and shady business to come as the Hotchkiss Industries puzzle intensifies throughout the series. The company may say it's one thing, but it's almost certainly something else entirely.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
Original reporting by Karen Fratti.