Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists (The Ghost Sonata Recap + Thoughts)

11:42 PM

Lies, blackmailing, catfishing and creepy janitors, oh my! 

If anyone can see beyond what we're told, it's Alison DiLaurentis and Mona Vanderwaal. The dream team. The dynamic duo we've all been waiting for. This weeks episode opens up simply and as usual. The two are discussing the theory that Taylor Hotchkiss may be alive. Alison, citing her own past and the fact that no body had ever been found, is pretty keen on believing Taylor is still alive. Mona is much more skeptical on the matter.

Their brand of snark is always a great place to start the episode. What could possibly go wrong with these two on the case? *wink emoji HERE*

Faux Nolan Hotchkiss, aka Mason, is doing the most in an attempt to take over his place as Snake King of BHU. This includes the faux friendship with our trio: Ava, Caitlin and Dylan, as well as the term paper deal Nolan had with Dylan. He seems to know an awful lot about the arrangement that Nolan had with the trio, and is not afraid to blackmail to have it for himself.

Which is probably not all that surprising. We knew straightaway that Mason was going to be a thorn in the side when he was introduced and, really, in such a few short episodes he's become one of the top suspects in Nolan's murder. Can the trio survive whatever Mason throws at them? Did Nolan?

In a true Rosewood move, this episode feels like it has tricks for days. Persuasion can be a talent and in the PLL world it's a necessity. We've got a few throwbacks to the original series, which is honestly starting to lose its novelty pretty quickly, including the line about secrets and friends.

Meanwhile, Emison fans are delivered another blow this week when Emily sends over some divorce papers to Alison. Ouch! It is unfortunate that their relationship is already at this point so quickly after getting back on track. There's something unfair about their endgame status being revoked entirely when they could have just had Alison and Emily pulling the long distance run--or having the twins and Emily be in Beacon Heights, just not in our view if anything.

The only good thing about this is it seems that it's gotten Alison truly back in form. We've seen our beloved Queen Bee back in the game since the end of episode two, but each week it becomes more and more apparent: Alison DiLaurentis is truly back and well probably never fully understand her, but we'll always admire her sharp tongue and determination.

See: her scenes with Booker. I'm not sure who handled the investigator's questions and appearance best, Ava or Alison? Both were pretty fast in shutting down the topic in a no-nonsense, snarkalicious (no, that's not a word) way.

Which leads me to say that, of the trio, my favourite is once again Ava. And boy, does Ava have some of the best lines of the evening, once again. Plus, I feel like we get much more of an emotional punch from her character's backstory and in the present. I love all three of the mains, but Ava is by far the most intriguing one right now.

Overall, the episode was fun and stylish. It was definitely not a filler episode like last weeks episode, thankfully. I feel like the shows getting into a pretty good groove here.

Let's break down some stuff.

Revelations this week: 

  • Obviously, Emily and Alison's marriage is over. What does this mean for Alison, and for the twins? What happens next? 
  • Caitlin decides to dodge any potential bullets from all ends by confessing to Ava that she was the one who exposed who Ava really is, when she started dating Nolan and all the drama was beginning to happen. She also breaks up with her delicious boyfriend to protect him from any fallout that may come should Mason or, er, anyone, start spilling her secrets. 
  • Andrew officially learns about Dylan and Nolan having slept together at some point before Nolan was killed. This, obviously, doesn't go well, cheating never does and the aftermath of it is often irreparable. 
  • Ava's been paying for her tuition in cashier checks, possibly from the money that her father had embezzled pre-show. Booker is onto this secret most of all and will almost definitely use it against Ava in the future. It makes Ava look even more suspicious, considering who her father is. 
  • Claire Hotchkiss is 100% onto everyone. 
  • Tucked away in RV is the very much so NOT DEAD Taylor Hotchkiss. Alison is the woman for the job--she knows where all the missing fake dead girls go, apparently. Alas, her showing up and inviting herself into Taylor's hideout doesn't do her any favors. In-fact, Taylor locks her in and bolts. I can't say that I blame her. 
  • Mona might be getting catfished but I FIND THIS IMPOSSIBLE??? Like, how does MONA VANDERWAAL get CATFISHED? On what planet???? Well, clearly, the same one that Emison gets a divorce. And, okay, fine, she might not be getting catfished--but isn't it a little weird that she has this online pal, who she can't see, who has no name but Bad Bishop, and who wants to meet up with her in person? It's either a catfish or something even more dangerous. Ideas on who it could be: Taylor, Mason or the Janitor/BHU maintenance worker.
  • Speaking of maintenance worker, this guy is... not looking very trustworthy. So, either, he's about to be an all right guy, who just has a fixation on the Hotchkiss family, or he's going to be an issue. Maybe the reason Taylor felt like faking her own death? Look, all we know is this guy is now always around and he's got a bit of a lair. I mean, hello? Not looking good, my dude, not looking good. 
  • Claire Hotchkiss proves exactly what I've known all along in terms of sneakiness. After seeing Caitlin, she calls Booker to suggest she turn up the heat on the trio. I'm willing to put money on her being one of the series' big bads. I never trust a pretty face with a ton of secrets and a need to spy and control on her kids--something's not right with her. 
What I liked: 

  • Ava's reaction to Caitlin's revelation. Again, it felt very genuine. Ava was visibly heartbroken by this and the poor girl's already got a lot on her mind. You can literally see the weight just... drop on her shoulders in terms of the emotional impact of it all. While it sounds weird that I think this is one of the better scenes of the series so far, because it's rather gutting and seeing characters hurting is never fun, there's just something very well-down in the scene in general. Emotions can appear irrational even when they're not, but like I said, this scene felt genuine. 
  • The scenes where Mona and Alison are working together. I knew I'd love them teaming up more frequently and starting this friendship from the groundup, but I didn't know how much. Like, if I was watching this as a teenager, I'd probably be writing Veronica Mars-esque FF about the two of them solving crime and bantering in Gucci. 
  • The text from Ava to Caitlin, which had -A at the end of it. Sure, sure, it's cheesy to have a nod to the original like this but... I don't know? It wasn't bad. 
What I didn't like: 

  • The way we're handling the Alison and Emily divorce is a little sloppy. Look, I get why they are doing this in theory, but if we're really going there we might as well do so coherently and on screen. I don't know, I'm not keen. 
  • Where the episode ends. Pretty Little Liars has always had cliffhangers, but this one felt a bit more frustrating than usual. Alison found Taylor and got locked in an RV! Mona is with the creepy janitor! The trio are not in a great place! WHAT. IS. HAPPENING? Okay, fine, maybe this is just me being impatient but there were just too many cliffhangers and I'M ADDICTED. 
  • Not enough flashbacks featuring Nolan in the series as a whole so far. I thought they'd have done a little more flashbacks periodically, like how they did with Alison in Pretty Little Liars. It just feels like there needs to be more.

  • Not a lot on this front for this week, but I think that the janitor is definitely someone we should watch out for in the coming weeks. He knows a lot and not in a good way. It's in a Mason way. You know? I don't know for sure that he'll be a villain in the series, but I definitely think he is going to cause some problems for everyone. In particular? Mona. I'm not sure if he's her online buddy, but I think he's something. Or, like I said earlier, with his fixation on the Hotchkiss family, it wouldn't fully surprise me if he'd been stalking Taylor and is one of the reasons she faked her death. He could very well be tied into the surveillance plotline that was teased. 
  • Ava is going to struggle a bit more before letting the trio too close. I don't think her and Caitlin will be estranged for long, but I think she is going to be in an even worse place mentally and that Caitlin will have to work for her to forgive what she did. 

Have you been watching the spin-off? Do you have any theories about it? 

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