Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists (Hook, Line and Booker Recap)

12:50 AM

Back into the groove a bit this week! With the season winding down, more questions arise and leave us wondering who the Big Bad actually is at BHU. My only concern is the series getting renewed for a second season with such abyssmal ratings.

I went into this episode much like I did last weeks: Ready for Mona Vanderwaal to destroy Booker and anyone else who screws with her, Alison and the trio. So ready for this dynamic to take over. I was also prepared for more Mason, the repercussions of Dylan's choices last week and more of Taylor and Booker being generally shady. 

As always, the episode had a lot of gray area. Plenty of dishy twists and turns as well as a frustrating amount of callbacks to the original series, which lost its novelty so long ago it's not even funny. I will say that a lot of this episode was so high paced, I barely looked away--which definitely says a lot for the fact that it's gotten into its groove again after losing its way briefly. 

Deals being mad, tricks tangling themselves into a foe, more possible betrayals, flashbacks and a little romance sprinkled in for a good time. Mostly, this episode was a great balance of plot driven vs. character driven. We got a little of everything. 

Let's talk The Perfectionists:

The spotlight was pretty evenly shared this week but the standout was Dylan. This is partly because Dylan is so real. He screwed up. He knows it, we know it. There’s so much regret from his irrational choices. His choices in the past have always come around to bite him in the ass but this week, so much is at stake for him. 

Because of his decision to swap out his music for someone else's, Booker has set her sights on exploiting what she views as vulnerability and lack of a backbone. Harsh, but not thoroughly untrue. Dylan's actions screamed Spencer Hastings in season one, but he's seemingly been ousted as the weak link in the trio. Like Emily, Booker's biggest mistake is thinking that he could be so easily swayed.

I think he would really shine as a flawed, wonderful character if we weren’t going down the Spencer-copied-Melissa’s-paper route. Still, I was very impressed with the way his storyline played out and very proud of him for owning up to his mistakes and not making excuses for them. Also, we love when characters protect their friends.

Through flashbacks, we see a softer side of Nolan Hotchkiss and his relationship with Ava. It is a very potent scene--the chemistry was there and it gave viewers a rare glimpse at who Nolan might have been, had his life not been cut short. It also gives us an idea of what Ava might have seen in him. We already knew that he actually cared for her, but this proves that there was a lot to Nolan we didn't know.

As for Ava herself, she gets to be all over the place plotline wise this week. And not in a messy way. We see her flex her intelligence and humor, as well as struggle with the memories of Nolan and her taste for alcohol. I will say this: Ava talking computers is such a look. We love intelligence and style. We love flawed women. Again, she is the fiercest and most sympathetic character of the trio.

Also, Zava for the win. They were very cute this week and I think they've got a very special bond that is brewing. I called this relationship when Zach first popped up and was hesitant to like them, but he's making our girl laugh and helping her out of a very dark place and it's just... nice

Meanwhile, Caitlin's plot primarily centers around her growing suspicion over Jeremy's increasingly odd behavior. Nothing says suspicious like destroying your “personal” laptop, after being asked about it by your girlfriend. It makes you wonder if her decision to be back on with Jeremy is really wants best for her--especially after all she's gone through.

If ever there was a boy hiding something, it is him. Needless to say, Jeremy may be more than just a sexy face and delicious accent. Quelle surprise. While we see instantly that he has secrets of his own, it may be a built up into nothing. For now, these secrets go against him and pretty boy is definitely acting shady. 

So, what is he hiding? Is he merely just someone apart of the mysterious Beacon Guard and acting out of fear? Or is it possible he killed Nolan?

Move aside, kiddies, the adults are here:

Rebound, ahoy! Alison’s got her first big catch when it comes to moving on from Emily. The thing is, I am still mourning Emison so la la la, I can’t hear you! Also, the object of her possible affection was off-putting from the start--namely because he looked like a sleaze ball. While there is nothing wrong with open relationships, he could have, I don't know, not blindsided Alison with the wife drop.

I still feel like there may be something between Alison and Taylor while I am still skeptical of Taylor. There's just something off about her and I still feel as though she may be a composite character of a few characters from the book series, with a new name. I'm thinking, of course, of Parker and Julie. 

On that note, nothing incredibly productive happens with Alison Lite, aka Taylor Hotchkiss. Well, that's not true, she recycles a vintage Ali line. All this does is prove that the writer’s haven’t learned how to allow this show to stand on its own. 

Which leads to more cringe moments. 

Unfortunately, my suspicions seem to only get more and more confirmed with every episode when it comes to Taylor's general sketchiness. Especially with the line about her snapping at one point, as well as her behavior about giving the information to her mom about Booker. 

Mona and Booker have a bit of a showdown this week. Something we've all been waiting for. It was a little anticlimactic but still worth it. Something about Mona being on the trail of something, anything, is a slow-burn I'm more than happy to indulge in. 

Alison's love life isn't the only one that gets revitalized this week. After last episode's revelation that Mason was the mysterious man Mona had been gaming with online, things start to heat up offline and may lead us into some dangerous waters. 

After-all, Mason may be of legal age and in university but Mona is still an authority figure--and that final scene makes me nervous about who might be watching them and what this could mean for Mona's career. I was somewhere between yelling YES MONA GET IT and also BUT THE BEACON GUARD COULD BE WATCHING AND YOU'RE PLAYING WITH FIRE.


  • Zach being generally soft and caring about Ava. 
  • Taylor giving Mona a “truth detector” for when she talks to Booker. It gave me some red flags considering Mona still had it on her, last I saw.
  • Ava and Caitlin having an honest discussion with each other. I love the trios friendship, but this one had me feeling all kinds of warm and fuzzies.
  •  Alison smiling AND laughing.
  • The SQUAD tricking Booker and laying down the traps for real.  
  • I know I already mentioned it, but the Nolan/Ava flashback. 
  • The respect between Alison and Gabriel. I still think he should have told her about his wife and their open relationship before making a move on Alison. But, I really appreciated the fact that she didn't insult him for the open relationship and that he didn't go all homophobic at her mention of an ex-wife. This is how sexuality should be portrayed and I'm happy with it. 

  • I like Zach but it's entirely plausible that he is out to seek revenge for Ava. He was so hostile to her and it changed a little too quickly. Is he falling for her and respecting her more and more vs. what he perceived her to be, or is he toying with her? I think it's possible. While I wouldn't go so far to say he is the one who killed Nolan, I do think his family's connection to Ava's family will come out to bite them both in one way or another. 
  • We might see more of Gabriel. Or his wife. Or both. I hope not, but you never know. There was a weird vibe between him and Taylor that made me believe they know each other. Was Taylor seeing him last year, before her "suicide" or was she envious of him for one reason or another? Assuming she isn't the villain, it's entirely possible that he is the man who tried to kill her.
  • Taylor will likely back-stab Alison and Mona, and the trio by association. The eagerness she had to deliver the recording to her mom for some brownie points struck me as odd. Either, she is about to take all the credit, or she's going to betray them and lose the recording.
  • When I looked at the final two episode titles for this season, I noticed one was Enter Professor or something of that variety. Listen, the titles always mean something massive is happening. It could be Mr. Granger from the books--a known creep who took advantage of a lot of young girls. What if this is who Taylor was running from? 
  • It seems likely that Jeremy's got some big secrets he'd do a lot to protect. I have to wonder if he has only gotten in over his head. Is he the one who killed Nolan, to keep something from coming out?  
  • We know that Mason is a big fan of blackmailing or emulating Nolan. Is he really done playing games? Or is he out to blackmail Mona over their affair. Anything is possible, but I'm not sure if I'd buy that even as a theory. He seemed pretty remorseful. Honestly, it's like Chuck on Riverdale--come in strong like a sleazy dudebro only to learn and grow a bit.  
This episode was well-rounded in terms of plotlines and mixing the genres. It had all the makings of a great episode and show how capable The Perfectionists is to evolve and grow.

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