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This article is about The Perfectionists in the show. You may be looking for The Perfectionists (Book Group).


Until now, I've never had friends like you guys. Friends who feel like family.
Ava about The Perfectionists


The Perfectionists, also called The Perfs or Pretty Little Perfectionists, is a nickname for Beacon Heights University students Caitlin Park-Lewis, Ava Jalali, Dylan Walker, and formerly Nolan Hotchkiss.

The group was originally formed by their manipulative leader, Nolan Hotchkiss, one-year prior to "Pilot". All strived for perfection and success in their endeavors until one of them is murdered, causing the remaining trio with nothing in common to come together and investigate his death. Behind each Perfectionist are a secret, a lie, and a much-needed alibi.

History

The group was formed by Nolan Hotchkiss during his Freshman year at BHU. as a means to maintain his reputation as the golden boy of Beacon Heights. Caitlin was presumably the first Perfectionist recruited, with her being the seemingly "perfect" girl. Their relationship was originally genuine but it soon crumbled and she ended things. He then blackmailed her into being his perfect girlfriend, or he would release photos of her Senator mother's infidelity, which he obtained through unknown means. Nolan was also best-friends with openly gay BHU student, Dylan Walker. Since Caitlin and Nolan were free to see whomever they wanted in private, Caitlin continued to date Jeremy Beckett, while Nolan began dating Ava Jalali. Ava was struggling to fit in after the fallout of her family, which led Nolan to make her a member of his friend circle.

Since both Ava and Nolan were busy in their extracurricular activities, Nolan blackmailed his best-friend Dylan into writing their papers, using the threat of telling his boyfriend, Andrew Villareal about their brief affair. Dylan was later forced to play the role of his perfect best friend in public. All three Perfectionists were considered acquaintances, or 'fake friends' per Dylan. Nolan did not want them to be genuine friends as they could forma position of power over him, so they did not much about each other than basic descriptions.

Members

Allies

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  • Alison DiLaurentis - BHU's newest TA, Alison has a complex history with lies, murder, and manipulation. Initially intrigued by the group after witnessing their interaction in her classroom, she was surprised when the brazen leader of the group, Nolan Hotchkiss, gave her an ominous message. After Nolan's shocking murder, Alison took the remaining trio under her wing. Joined by her long-time frenemy Mona Vanderwaal, Alison gradually earned the Perfectionists trust while Mona helped her track down BHU's very own gone girl. She helps the group navigate the complicated world of college, accompanied by a new world of lies, manipulation, murder, and secrets.
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  • Mona Vanderwaal - A brilliant mastermind working in BHU's faculty selection program, Mona has an all-too-personal relationship with darkness and lies. Her advanced hacking skills prove to be a valuable asset to Alison DiLaurentis, who enlists her help shortly after her arrival. Mona helps Alison untangle the web of lies behind Nolan Hotchkiss' murder and the all-seeing Beacon Guard. Introduced to the group through Alison, Mona purposely keeps herself on the outside of the circle so she can remain an unbiased observer. She became an official ally to the Perfectionists shortly after the diabolical Head of Security, Dana Booker, began playing Mona's old game.
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  • Taylor Hotchkiss - The talented and believed-to-be-dead heiress of the Hotchkiss empire, Taylor is the older sister of Nolan and the daughter of Claire. Taylor faked her death and went into hiding to escape her attempted killer, but remained a valuable asset to Nolan in dismantling Beacon Guard. After her brothers' murder, Taylor was guided back into her old life by Alison DiLaurentis. While her allegiances are complicated, her drive to solve her brothers murder makes her a valuable asset to the group. She is noted as being the Perfectionists "inside source" to the Hotchkiss empire.

Storylines

  • Ava Jalali: A stylish trendsetter with a big personality, Ava hopes to have her own clothing line someday. But she has an edge over her fellow fashionistas: a brilliant technological mind, which she uses to blog and code. Just don’t ask her why her parents recently fled the country — it’s her one big secret.
  • Caitlin Park-Lewis[1] [2]: The intelligent, motivated and easy-on-the-eyes daughter of two over-achieving mothers, one of whom is a United States senator, Caitlin is an expert at hiding secrets. She hopes to follow in her mother’s political footsteps — that is, if the weight of her own secrets doesn’t crush her first.
  • Dylan Walker[3]: A prodigious cellist who used his passion for music to escape his small-minded hometown, Dylan loves his music almost as much as he loves his boyfriend, Andrew. (And even that’s up for debate.)
  • Nolan Hotchkiss[4][5]: A natural born leader, Nolan is the heir to his family’s empire. Though he puts forth the image of a golden boy, Nolan is actually a manipulator who uses his friends and family to maintain his image. Not a big fan of authority figures or the word “no,” Nolan isn’t used to losing. Nolan was later murdered after being pushed off the roof of Thorne Hall and impaled by the stakes below. His murder forced the remaining Perfectionists together in order to trick the public into thinking they were all his "perfect" friends.

Series

Pilot

The Perfs are first seen in Alison DiLaurentis' classroom in Beacon Heights University. Caitlin Park-Lewis is introduced as the perfect, popular, athletic girlfriend of Nolan Hotchkiss, who is best-friends with cello prodigy, Dylan Walker. The trio is also best-friends with Ava Jalali. After class, Nolan makes it clear to Dylan that the arrangement they formed last year stills stand - Dylan will do English papers for Nolan and Ava. Dylan originally says that he can't this year due to him trying out for a symphony chair, which Ava congratulates him on. Nolan coldly reminds him of their agreement and Dylan changes his mind quickly, saying that he will do them after all before leaving to get started on the papers. Nolan leaves next and kisses Caitlin which causes Ava to look away, as she is secretly dating him since Caitlin is only Nolan's fake girlfriend.

Later, Nolan causes friction between the group when he crosses lines with each of them. He interferes with Dylan's relationship with Andrew, cheats on Ava with one of her vogue models, and gets into a heated public fight with Caitlin in which he grabs her arm.

The three Perfectionists meet in the woods that night after Ava gathers them. She states that she's done with Nolan and wants out of his facade, which the other two agree with. Caitlin states that Alison DiLaurentis offered to help her, and they're surprised to learn that she offered help to each of them. With a time limit on Dylan coming forward, due to Alison threatening to expel him for writing Ava and Nolan's papers, the group decides that they have to break free of Nolan within the days to come. They jokingly talk about getting rid of their manipulative leader - and how they would do it.

They return to BHU, where they stand in front of Thorne Hall to say their goodbyes. Dylan remarks that if there wasn't a Nolan maybe they could have been friends, which the girls find interesting. They bid each other goodnight and walk off in three different directions, each one pausing to look over their shoulders at the others. On the roof of Thorne Hall stand Nolan, witnessing the gathering of his group unfold beneath him.

Later in that same night, the Perfectionists hear the sounds of sirens on campus and rush to the crime scene. They arrive in front of Thorne Hall and are shocked to see Nolan impaled by the stakes below. Ava breaks down in tears, collapsing on the ground in heartbreak, while Caitlin and Dylan stand together. Dylan tells Caitlin that it's just how she imagined Nolan dying.

Sex, Lies and Alibis

While standing at Nolan's crime scene, Ava continues to sob uncontrollably while on the ground. Caitlin notices and attempts to get her up saying that they have to go, but Ava abruptly stands to hold her arm stopping the girl. She iterates that Nolan's death is exactly how Caitlin planned it, but before Caitlin can defend herself the intercom announces that all students must return their dormitories. Dylan offers to walk Ava back to her dorm while Caitlin offers to go somewhere and talk, but Ava refuses before leaving the scene.

...If One of Them is Dead

The Perfs gather in Alison's living room to discuss their recently discovered alibi. Alison dismantled and unplugged her Beacon Guard security system, which she technically isn't supposed to do according to the emails the school sent her. She then stated that the night of the murder they communed at her house where they had coffee and pie - but then redacts the pie as it is too specific. Caitlin questioned her as to why she was helping them, to which Alison explained that there was a Beacon Guard blackout the night Nolan's death, so they're all safe for now. Ava called her out by saying that it solved their alibi problem but she didn't answer why Alison did it. Alison explained that she has terrible impulse control and that authority figures who abuse the system are a trigger for her before asking the group where they really were the night of the murder. The group claimed that they were just walking home and no one saw anything that would have counteracted their alibi. She then tells them to act normal as if is everything is fine, which Caitlin doesn't believe she can do - but Alison assures her that they all can. When asked by Ava what she was going to do, Alison stated nothing she hadn't done before.

Across campus, Dana Booker is showing Claire Hotchkiss a video of Caitlin, Ava, and Dylan gathered in front of Thorne Hall twelve minutes before the murder. Dana believed that the group, or at least one of the group members, was responsible for Nolan's death since they look suspicious. Claire is less inclined to believe that and especially doesn't think Caitlin did it. Dana pointed out the holes in their alibi, but Claire assured her that the group could have gone to Alison's after the video was taken. However, she does think that Caitlin will eventually confide in her since she's different than small town Dylan and felony-related Ava.

The next morning, the Perfs are walking together on campus and talk about Alison saving them and whether or not they can trust her. Dylan believes they can, while the girls disagree.

Book Comparisons

  • In the books, there are five Perfectionists. Consisting of Caitlin Martell-Lewis, Ava Jalali, Mackenzie Wright, Julie Redding, and Parker Duvall, all five girls have nothing in common but the need to be perfect and their hatred of Nolan Hotchkiss, the golden boy of Beacon Heights whose done things to hurt each of them and are later implicated in his murder.
    • Ava and Caitlin were transitioned in the television adaption, but with different personalities and a changed surname on the latter.
      • Ava was formerly a carefree party girl who, after her mother died, decided to do better in school to prove her mother's statements that she was brighter than what meets the eye. She held no major interest in fashion or technology.
      • Caitlin was the athletic girl who yearned for a soccer scholarship but was still reeling from the suicide of her younger brother. Neither of her mothers was a Senator nor did she strive for a future in politics, though she is noted to be the athletic one of the group.
    • Dylan is a genderbent version of Mackenzie, sharing her distinct personality as a talented cellist.
    • Due to the twist in the final book, Julie and Parker were excluded from the television adaption. Their roles, however, as the perfectly popular and the emotionally troubled girls were somewhat represented by Alison and Mona.

Quotes

Dylan [to Caitlin]: We're just fake friends, alright. We just hand out to make it look like he has the perfect posse.

Dylan [to the Perfectionists]: Murder can be justified.

Dylan: Well yeah, but that-that's my point. All we know about each other is what's in our bios.
Caitlin: That's how Nolan wanted it, you know? It wasn't really our choice, because it was always about him. He never wanted us to be real friends.
Dylan: I guess it would have put us in a position of power... we could have stood up to him.

Alison: If you can't tell the world your secrets, consider telling each other. Secrets have a way of keeping you close. And you need each other.

Dylan [to the Perfectionists]: You know, it's funny. I think if maybe, if there wasn't a Nolan, we could have been friends.

Ava: We're here to support our friend.
Dylan: No matter what.

Ava, Caitlin and Dylan: Whatever it takes.

Ava: It does look like we've lost everything. Like we've failed. But until now, I've never had friends like you guys. Friends who feel like family.
Dylan: Ava's right. We will get through this. Together.
Caitlin: I love you guys.

Gallery

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Characters (The Perfectionists)

References

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