Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists - Hook, Line and Booker - Review: "Act normal, bitches" By Nikos Manesis (May 9, 2019, 9:30 pm)
Pretty Little Liars The Perfectionists
Previously on PLLTP:
Another show, another A, another time the liars are going after someone who is so clearly not the one blackmailing them (well in our case, not the one they should be worrying about because there's a lot of blackmailing going around in general).
The liars and perfectionists have their meeting to devise a plan to stop Dana and Caitlin channels her inner Spencer Hastings to instruct them on how to identify a psychopath while Mona and Alison grin at each other. With the convenient excuse of something called "Staff and Faculty appreciation day" there's no better way for our gang to get to know Dana better.
Dylan comes clean about his latest screw-up with the plagiarised cello piece and the liars are not impressed. Ava offers to help delete the piece by hacking into the system using Jeremy's computer, to Mona's surprise. She's definitely the Caleb of this show. She stumbles upon some suspiciously encrypted files on Jeremy's computer that are definitely not work related. He's supposed to be a data scientist although no one on this show understands what that is and refer to him as a rocket scientist.
Back in her dorm, Zach pays a visit to Ava to congratulate her on their team getting the highest grade in their art class (for finding a painting from a puzzle piece) #Zeva. So apparently they're gonna be a thing for real and they laugh over their differing stance on cats right before Ava is triggered and we get a Nolan flashback. It's been so long! Now that she's feeling close with someone she starts missing him. She falls back into her messy patterns of getting day drunk out of whiskey in red cups while she wears his t-shirt.
It's too late for Dylan because his professor has somehow already heard his cello piece and was so enthralled he put his name down on a high profile competition. Dana, who was definitely behind it, ambushes him in his own apartment and she doesn't seem to even care about breaking and entering. She questions how he could create a piece so good it was submitted to a competition with an injury that prevents him from playing and just like she tried to do with Ava, Dana offers him a deal to name Nolan's killer in exchange for a clean record and anonymity. She feels connected to Dylan and in the heat of the moment, it seems like he's so in over his head that he actually considers it. Don't betray your girls Dylan.
Alison walks by and overhears Dylan and Ava arguing in public... with Dana standing right behind them. Dylan is mad at Ava for not managing to erase his submission. He takes up Dana's offer of a fake alibi for the time of the murder. Will he sell his friends to save himself? Dana's nice enough to let him sleep on it and just in time for Mona and Ava to come out of hiding and get their recording of Dana admitting to manufacturing evidence to fake an alibi for him. OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS this was a classic fake PLL fight. The perfectionists deserve an Emmy for this.
While Caitlin grapples with what Jeremy is hiding as a rocket scientist she jokes about his computer having secrets. The British boy is acting suspicious, and if there's one cardinal PLL rule is never trust the slimy charming Brits. She confides in Ava about him, revealing one of her last best-kept secrets but at this point who cares, they have bigger shady bitches to fry. They reminisce about Nolan and how Ava brought out the best in him. Jeremy continues being shady and tells Caitlin he loves her before storming out and of course, our girl follows his car in the dead of night. Caitlin trails him to find out as he gets something out of his trunk (boot in UK English). Dressed in complete "A" attire, he burrows holes into his laptop with a drill before yeeting it into a lake. What could he possibly be hiding that would warrant such drastic measures.
With Dana's deal being off, Dylan is facing the consequences of his actions and for the first time, he feels okay with leaving this all behind if he gets expelled because at least he'll be free from "the hamster wheel". And we get an adorable yet completely unnecessary flashback of the perfectionists becoming friends. Remember the packing peanuts! I'm kinda worried he's gonna die or something. In the last few minutes of the episode, Jeremy finds Caitlin outside his car and tells her to get her inside ominously and they drive away.
Ali is happy to announce Taylor is joining Liars & Perfectionists Investigations but Mona still holds her reservations. The Staff and Faculty day turns out to be Taylor's coming out of the grave party, hosted by Claire Hotchkiss where Taylor greets Ali after moving out of her house with her own signature line: "did you miss me?". In this bizarre event, an even more bizarre speed dating round is scheduled during which Mona's crafted a quiz to get to the bottom of Dana and profile her, see if the glove fits.
Mona finally introduces herself to Taylor as the girl who stole her RV and Taylor plays her Alison reality perfectly, sizing down Mona and saying she was surprised at how small she is while at the same time recognising a worthy opponent when she sees one. They agree to play nice now that they've joined forces but Mona reminds her that being in the circle doesn't mean she's IN the circle while crushing her hand. Damn right bitch, you don't just come back from the dead in your spin-off ready to become a liar you have to earn it, like Mona did.
The speed Q&A round is filled with hilarious one-liners like "it's pronounced Vanderwaal the second A is silent" and Alison meets a Spanish hottie and tries to impress him with her Spanish but ends up talking about cakes with condoms. He offers to be her tutor, we and while we stan a bi queen, MONA is your real soulmate. Meanwhile, Taylor continues to prove her worth to Mona by giving her a hand made truth detector so that she can question Dana on record.
"Let the games begin" Dana announces when it's time for their round. Dana shares her story about her sister being a victim of bullying that drove her to suicide and Mona empathises until she bites back with something Alison once told her "Isn't it funny how sometimes we become the thing that we hate", much like Mona going from the victim of incessant bullying at the hands of teenage bitch Alison to the omniscient "A" tormenter.
All the liars are getting some this episode as Mona decides to take up Mason's begging to go on a real date and Alison invites hot Spanish guy over for some salsa lessons and we learn that throughout all this Alison has also been getting her masters! In what? The mojitos were strong enough for Alison to start making out with her Spanish daddy but she's preoccupied with her babies. Surprise, the Spanish guy is married in an open relationship.
During her first face-to-face chess date, Mona is totally letting Mason win and she looks gorgeous. She tells him they can't be together while Alison walks by and overhears the perfectionists argue in time to break it off quickly. They attend Claire's speech where she promises to change things up at the university and reform the curriculum to foster a more safe environment that doesn't lead students to fake their death. Taylor very cleverly reminds us all that Dana is nothing more than a distraction from Nolan's killer and she's not totally buying her mother using her resurrection to clean the university's image.
The liars are hopeful they can trap Dana and rat her out to Claire and move on with their lives too... and it's heartbreaking because as long as the show exists we know these characters don't get to be happy. Taylor visits Ali to ask her permission to be the one who turns Dana in and prove her indispensability to her mother but without Mona's approval, Ali's not sure she can do it.
Lingering mysteries: Jeremy has finally started acting suspicious, which means he's definitely not the killer. With only one episode left before the finale can we expect a reveal to tie everything together? If solving Nolan's murder also means uncovering all the Beacon Guard spying, will Claire really let Taylor go through with it?
Seeing Nolan shirtless with a Santa beard gave me bad flashbacks to the infamous orgy scene from PLL season 5, something I never wanted to relive.
Rating: 4/5 angry Emison shippers who had to endure the polyamourous Spanish hottie
There may have been a version of the show that wasn't delightfully self-aware, breaking the fourth wall at every opportunity to acknowledge how the perfectionists are basically the liars 2.0 and ring back to moments from the original show and transport us back to those golden years. I am so grateful we got the fun version instead.
What did you think of "Hook, Line and Booker" my pretty little perfectionist lying dolls? Let us know in the comments below: