9:01 pm EDT, April 24, 2019

‘The Perfectionists’ season 1, episode 6 review: Scheduling their mischief

The Perfectionists 1x06 is the perfect example of how this show could survive and thrive with more filler episodes

On Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists season 1 episode 6, Ava and Dylan struggle to put the pieces together while Caitlin is in the hospital. Meanwhile, Alison brings Mona in on the Taylor investigation to request help.

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists 1×06 slowed down the mystery a bit, opening up the characters to the world they are living in and showcased what kind of show this could be if, in the future, it is given more episodes per season and has to slow down the mystery (as the original did so very often).

While upping the ante with the mystery and the stakes on the show, which seem to be much higher than those on Pretty Little Liars, The Perfectionists season 1, episode 6 also, hopefully, created a bond between Caitlin, Ava, and Dylan that cannot so easily be undone (and likewise with Mona and Alison, whose former frenemy status seems like a distant memory from how they are interacting).

The Perfectionists season 1 episode 6

Alison and Taylor

Alison and Taylor, we’re repeatedly told, are like two peas in a pod. They’re so similar that they could be mistaken as twins. They think alike, act alike, and it’s like Taylor is a miniature version of Alison. And, as often as we’re told this is a fact, I don’t see it. Taylor and Alison may have done one thing that’s unusual (faking their death), but so did Mona, and there’s no constant comparison between Mona and these girls.

Taylor doesn’t come across as the same type of person as Alison; Taylor has her own personality, she’s rougher around the edges, and she’s clearly more of an intellectual than Alison (what, with her giant computer in her trailer that is stalking all of BHU through BeaconGuard). It’s quite possible that Taylor used to act more like Alison, but which Alison did she act like?

The Alison that tormented her fellow students at Rosewood High School (and everyone in Rosewood, for that matter) so often that it was impossible to figure out which person hated her just a tiny bit more than everyone else and snapped? The Alison that returned from jail and tried to reform because she realized what a terrible bitch she had been over her life? Was it the Alison that gave up everything to help Charlotte and was completely blind to how she was being manipulated? Or, finally, the Alison who stifled every part of her personality, including the good parts, to be the perfect girlfriend to Emily?

There’s been so many different versions of Alison over the course of Pretty Little Liars (and now another on The Perfectionists) that these comparisons between Taylor and Alison mean absolutely nothing, and it’s unnecessary to mention it whenever Taylor is around or mentioned to Alison. Plus, while they might have looked similar in the pilot episode (and that’s even pushing it), Sasha Pieterse and Hayley Erin look nothing alike now. So, can we please stop with these comparisons and find another way to bring Taylor and Alison together?

Anyway, Alison was smart enough to find Taylor in the graveyard and convince her to come home and see her mother, but what does that mean for her future? Will Taylor be the dead girl who isn’t dead anymore already? I thought that would have dragged out a little more and Taylor could have helped Alison and Mona to figure out what’s truly going on at Beacon Heights, particularly with BeaconGuard.

I’m excited to see Taylor interacting with her mother again, but Claire is still shady as hell, so could she try to get Taylor taken care of before the public figures out she’s alive? I still highly suspect Claire of playing a role in Nolan’s demise, particularly because she showed absolutely no emotion after Nolan died. After losing one child, you’d think losing your second child would be even more devastating, wouldn’t you?

Taylor and Claire have an interesting dynamic, and it’ll be intriguing to see this mother/daughter duo have the reunion that Alison was never granted with her own mother when she returned from the dead. What is that dynamic like, especially considering that Claire, like Jessica, didn’t believe her daughter was truly gone?

The Perfectionists 1x06

Mona’s discovery

As for Mona, her intelligence was (finally) put on display as she used Taylor’s supercomputer to dig around for secrets.

I’m so excited to see Mona being a larger part of The Perfectionists and having scenes with Ava, Dylan, and Caitlin that get her tied into the overarching mystery of the series. While Alison and Mona’s friendship is the most interesting part of the series, the Perfectionists are each unique and Mona and Alison have a lot to offer them as they grow up and embark on this terrible journey. The Perfectionists season 1 episode 6 is a perfect example of that.

Mona is incredibly intelligent and she certainly has a lot to offer the show. I would love to see some flashbacks of Mona’s life during the five-year flash-forward that we were never able to see, as well as her time in Paris, giving us some background and insight into what’s happened to change Mona so dramatically since high school (and even since the Pretty Little Liars finale).

Mona and Alison have become friends rather quickly, so it’s clear that something happened between the time they were in Rosewood and Beacon Heights that made it easier for the two to grow close, especially considering Mona killed Charlotte and we know Alison isn’t one to not hold a grudge. Even if we can’t see the other girls on the show, we could get some good flashback material in the future of the series showing us what happened with Alison and Mona. I want it now.

Also, who is the mystery person Mona discovered AKA BH4? My guess is there’s another Hotchkiss sibling at Beacon Heights University, they just may not know they are related to the family, right? My bet is that Zach, who Ava got in an argument with, is somehow related to the Hotchkiss family, even though it seems we’re going to learn more about his family in the coming episodes (seeing as Ava’s father completely screwed them over).

But, honestly, it could be anyone. Could Taylor or Nolan have a twin that the world doesn’t know about?

Though it wasn’t outwardly mentioned, we know that in the pilot episode when Claire says to watch a specific person, she was referring to Nolan. Claire told someone to watch Nolan AKA BH5 in the pilot, which could have led to his death. We know that Taylor is BH3, so BH4 must be another Hotchkiss relative, considering the entire family would be the first five.

Thus, that person would be younger than Taylor, but older than Nolan, making them the middle child (which doesn’t make sense if you take a look at this tweet with an article from the show depicting Nolan and Taylor’s ages, which doesn’t add up with what we’ve been told).

The Perfectionists 1x06

Ava and Dylan

After Caitlin’s accident, Ava and Dylan teaming up to take down Mason, once and for all, was heartwarming and proves that no matter what, these three are tied together and they truly care for one another.

Ava and Dylan’s alliance in the episode was exciting and intriguing (though I wish it had been Caitlin and Ava, honestly). It was also refreshing to see Dylan focus on someone other than Andrew for about five minutes during the episode, even though it inevitably just led back to Dylan’s sadness over his and Andrew’s situation.

Dylan truly does have a lot to offer as a character, and it’s a shame that this is how he’s being used. Dylan and Andrew’s relationship is probably the most unnecessary aspect of the show, and their relationship could not be any less interesting than it already is. This is clearly the relationship being pushed as the “heart” of the show, like Aria and Ezra were for Pretty Little Liars, but it’s not going to work.

Honestly, I could not even put my finger on one aspect of the relationship that makes it so unlikable; the whole relationship just feels forced, has too much focus on it, and Dylan’s character is being held back by this relationship and he’s not being permitted to grow.

Even with Caitlin in the hospital, Dylan’s focus was about Andrew not being there, rather than being 100% concerned with his friend’s potentially fatal injuries. And, with Ava’s fashion show, Dylan was more concerned that Andrew didn’t show up to see him play than truly supporting his other friend with this very important step in his career. It’s surprising he was even able to play the violin with his boyfriend absent from the crowd; that’s how pathetic Dylan seems right now.

Ava, on the other hand, took a few steps forward, in my opinion, and became a much more likable character. Apologizing to Caitlin, forgiving Caitlin, and trying to further her future while digging into Mason was exactly what I wanted to see from her.

I’d say Ava is the most unexplored of the three Perfectionists, even though it has sometimes felt that we’ve seen too much of her. Her grief over Nolan consumed much of her in The Perfectionists 102 and 1×03, but The Perfectionists 1×06 felt like Ava was finally shining through and not letting the darkness of her past control her every thought and feeling.

If she continues to progress at this rate, Ava could quickly become worth the hype she’s gotten since the series was announced.

Ava’s relationship with her father is not something that is really going to put anyone on her side at the moment, and should be saved for further explanation later in the series, especially as tensions inevitably rise with Dana (assuming she isn’t struck dead at some point, but I suspect she’ll be the Linda Tanner of Beacon Heights).

However, her new enemy, Zach, seems to be propelling that entire story forward as his family was screwed over by Ava’s, which means she will have some contemplating to do about her father’s role in the events that led to the FBI searching for him. How disappointing.

Caitlin and her surprise visitors

In an unexpected turn of events, Caitlin being hit by the car led to her Senator mommy making an appearance at her bedside (probably to give off the illusion of Mother of the Year to her constituents).

Caitlin has proven herself a strong character, and she’s definitely the one with the most to lose from how their lives are being dragged down after Nolan’s death (just as Spencer Hastings was always the one with the most to lose after being the one who didn’t do much of anything).

The Perfectionists season 1 episode 6

With her mother in town, Caitlin’s character development is only strengthened as she confronts her mother about her potential cheating scandal, which is, in fact, true. So, how did Nolan get this photo of her mother in this compromising situation? Who has it now? Does Dana believe Caitlin’s words about it being a doctored photo? Those are all questions that will have to wait.

Caitlin’s family was made to seem very loving, which is why the photo was such a shock to her, but it seems like her mom has always called the shots and has not really listened to Caitlin or her other mom over the years. And, of all the times to be so terrible to your daughter, why is it when they’re laying on a hospital bed after almost being flattened and killed? I’m already not a fan of this woman and I would not consider it a loss if she goes off on her own to run to be Governor and leaves Caitlin’s life.

It takes a lot of courage to stand up to your parents in the way Caitlin did here, so I applaud her, and I’m thrilled to see how wonderfully Caitlin’s character is coming along this season. Where others may be lacking, Caitlin is coming in for the top slot of best new character and it’s well-deserved.

In other news, Mason is innocent… as if we all couldn’t have predicted that. A red herring meant to lead us down a stray path, Mason was definitely a creepy dick, but he didn’t really have it in him to be a murderer. His Nolan 2.0 attitude is still relatively unexplained and I will never forgive him for that, regardless of how long he’s on the show.

What I dislike most about Pretty Little Liars and now The Perfectionists is how when someone becomes a new suspect, they suddenly start acting shady and nothing like the character they were before. Going forward, I’d like to see every character doing shady things throughout the show until it’s proven that they are not the tormentor, which is already happening a little more on this new series.

After this episode, I’m sure Mason will go back to being the boy-next-door and it’ll leave him open to being Bad Bishop, AKA Mona’s potential love interest, which seems like the path that The Perfectionists is interested in pursuing. It’s no coincidence that Mona has referred to Mason as “model cute” twice now when she’s never officially had a scene with him. The timeline also matches up well, so unfortunately it seems like the couple the writers want.

Anyway, I want more of Caitlin because she’s the best new character and she has the potential to be just as strong of a character as Alison and Mona are, and I would like to see it.

What did you think of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists season 1, episode 6? Are you surprised Mason isn’t guilty?

Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform!

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