01x03 - ...If One of Them is Dead

Previously on "Pretty Little Liars
- The Perfectionists"

Nolan Hotchkiss, what do you think of the book?

Characters got what they deserved.

Oh, Dylan, same arrangement as last year you'll do the papers for Ava and me.

Uh, I can..

I can cover yours but I can't do Ava's work.

You are the smartest guy I know.

Figure it out.

(Dylan) Until they find out who really killed Nolan

everybody at BHU's a suspect.

(Caitlin) And even though we didn't do it, we all have

secrets that make us look guilty.

If there was someone here with us that night..

(Dylan) They heard us talking about him.

About how we wished he was dead.

And they killed him just like we imagined it.

Turns out there was partial Beacon Guard blackout about the time of Nolan's murder.

Anyone who says they were at your house that night is safe for now.

I never thanked you guys for staying late at my house last Thursday.

They were with you the night of the murder.

(Alison) I mean, you can ask the three of them.

I can talk for hours.

[instrumental music]

Bring it on, bitch.

[instrumental music]

(Dylan) 'Is it cool to do that?'

Not according to the emails that the university keeps sending me.

But that's not your problem.

So we drank coffee and we ate pie.

Pie's a little too specific, uh, stick with coffee.

- Ms. DiLaurentis..
- Alison.

You all call me Alison.

I'm a TA, not a professor.

Little bit of informality will help.

[clears throat] Ms. Di.. Alison.

Why did you say we were here with you that night Nolan was killed?

Why did you lie for us?

The Beacon Guard cameras in this area were down when Nolan was killed.

So for now, this is a solid alibi.

Well, that's the answer to how we might get away with it.

It's not why you did it.

Because I have terrible impulse control.

And authority figures who are prone to abusing the system are a trigger for me.

Well, that's Dana Booker for sure.

Just so that this doesn't all blow up in our faces..

Where were you really when Nolan was killed?

Walking home.

- Yeah. Me too.
- Yeah.

So, you didn't do anything?

No one saw you, that could prove that this was a lie.




Got any questions?

- So what do you want us to do?
- Nothing.

I want you to act like nothing is out of the ordinary.

I don't know if I can do that.

Oh, I think you can do anything you set your mind to.

And when the stakes are this high you have to stick together.

And what are you gonna do?

Nothing I haven't done before.

This was recorded minutes before Nolan's murder.

As you can see, they're gathered together at Thorn Hall.

Well, it doesn't prove that they did it.

Is it proof? No. But they look and are acting suspicious.

Why would they want my son dead?

You know Nolan wasn't perfect, right?

He had a way of getting them to do what he wanted and it wasn't always pretty.

Well, it wasn't, Caitlin.

With all due respect, Mrs. Hotchkiss she lied about where they were that night.

She said she was with the others at Alison DiLaurentis' house. She wasn't.

Well, is it possible they went there after they separated and they were at Alison's when Nolan was killed?

It's possible but I know a liar when I see one.

And they're all covering for each other.

Well, you better find out why.

'Use what you have to get them to talk.'

And when Caitlin comes to me for help I'll be the person that she turns to the person that she trusts.

You really think she'll tell you the truth?

Well, she's not gonna risk her family's future to protect Dylan or Ava.

It's not in her DNA.

♪ If I show you then I know you ♪

♪ Won't tell what I said ♪

♪ 'Cause two can keep a secret ♪

♪ If one of them is dead ♪♪


(Ava) How do you act normal when nothing in your life is normal?

When you're forced to trust people you hardly know

and just hope they don't let you down

because if they do

everything you've ever worked for falls apart.

Hey, she threw us a lifeline when she didn't have to.

- I think we should trust her.
- Forget Alison.

We barely know each other.

I mean, how do we know we can trust us?

It's not like Nolan's death made us instant best friends.

Hey, do you guys just want to sit for a second?

I've got a few minutes.


So how're you two holdin' up?

- It sucks.
- Yeah.

It's, like, there's so much going on

I need to make a list to prioritize my anxiety.

Well, is priority number one on your list Nolan's stash?

Because that's number one on mine.

Yeah, if what he was holding over me gets out it doesn't just ruin me, it ruins my entire family.

Guys, our secrets are out there..

- And they make us look guilty.
- What do we do?

Till we figure out who has them just get back to business as usual.

Speaking of which, you guys are meeting me at the student union at : , right?

To kick off the care package drive?

Number two on my list of things to worry about today getting care packages out to service people for a volunteer day.

You guys both agreed to help me.

Yeah, because Nolan forced me to.

Yeah, I kind of assumed those drills were off now.

No, no, no, if I don't get these boxes out tonight, they won't make it to the ship.

I'm sorry, I have my Vogue application video that's due and..


What time is it?

This is so personal for me.

My mom's retired military.

I'm sorry, alright, I got the... art history paper in designing to start and..

[sighs] I have something more important than school to do too.

Like what?

Andrew's out of town for the week, he's in Seattle, and..

Our anniversary is coming up so I'm composing a piece for him.

That's very sweet, but are we still supposed to be Nolan's perfect posse?

[sighs] Caitlin, one pass.

Alright, plus, we gotta get to class.

- You're kidding.
- Well..

I wish you would've reminded us.

- Ava!
- I'm sorry.

I just can't squeeze it in.

What the hell are you talking about, Ali? God!

I said that alibi was good for you, not half your class.

Didn't we decide you were gonna drop the whole role model routine and go back to being the old Ali that we know and love?

What? Lying, conniving, duplicitous..

Your words, not mine.

I told you. I'm trying to do what's right for these guys.

I need your help, Mona.


Alright, what do you need from me?

I have to imagine that Dana Booker is doing a deep dive on Ava, Caitlin and Dylan, and me too.

Why not? I mean, she's got all of Beacon Guard at her fingertips.

Well, I was hoping that you have some tricks so that we can see what she's up to.

Under normal circumstances, good idea.

- Today? No can do.
- _

I'm locked out of BHU's network.

All of my records and my code..

- Everything's been walled off.
- What? Why?

Suspicious activity on my account.

They must know I've been trying to figure out who killed Nolan.

But we need to do our own suspicious activity.

Well, right now, there's only one database

I still have access to.

[mellow music]

BHU's yearbook?

Dana Booker's gonna throw all of Beacon Guard that she's got at this.

And she's gonna find out that you lied for your Ali buddies.

The only question is when.

Good morning.

I know this isn't an easy time for any of us to return to classwork, but it could also be the best thing for all of us.

Get out of his seat.

- W-what're you talking about?
- Get out of his seat.

The-the seat is up for grabs now, right?

- I mean..
- Mason.

Get out of his seat, Mason!

[indistinct chatter]

Calm down. Calm down.

Excuse me.

[door closes]

[indistinct chatter]

Let's get started.

[intense music]



Shouldn't you be in class? Is something wrong?

N-no, I just, uh, I forgot a book.

Well, you might be checking on your friend Ava she seems upset about something.

There are a lot of people here who could have had issues with Nolan, okay?

So why are you so focused on us?

'Cause I've been watching you, and thanks to Beacon Guard

I can see all the way back to when you first came to BHU.

You know what's interesting?

You three never spent any time together unless you were around Nolan.

[scoffs] Alright.

I gotta go to class.

Was he holding something on you?


Are you sure?

Because something that would destroy your family got out.

Nothing stays secret forever.

What is this?

It looks like your mom, the senator and an unidentified male doing something your other...

I know. I know. I know what it is. I've seen it before.

I'm asking you why you're showing it to me.

I thought it was worth discussing.

Well, it's not. Where did you get it?

Off your boyfriend, Nolan's phone.

Is he the one who showed it to you?

I mean, we both knew it was fake and he wanted to warn me.

Some people will believe anything they see.

That's what interests me, the fact that some people would believe this is what makes it dangerous.

'If Nolan showed it to you' how many other people did he show it to?

Nolan wouldn't.

I imagine you'd be willing to do anything to make sure that was true.

You know where I was that night, so stop harassing me.

Now, I really have to go.

[intense music]

I know why you asked to see me.

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.

Do you think that I should, uh, report Ava's behavior?

Now, I-I don't wanna get her into trouble.

But, uh, she seemed a little aggressive, don't you think?

While I know that Ava's actions have no place in the classroom

I think you sitting in Nolan's seat was a little insensitive.

Well, that's exactly what he would've done.

You and Nolan were friends?

Seemed like you did everything together.

Sports, classes, clubs..

He was always number one, and you were right behind him.

Guess you'd called it a good-natured rivalry.

- You're happy with that?
- Oh, yeah. Yeah. Sure.

Membership in, uh, Nolan's circle came with benefits.

Parties were great.

- And then what happened?
- He came here.

- So thing's changed.
- He changed.

I guess having your name on half the buildings on campus will do that to you.

You know, pretty soon all those benefits..

Well, he took 'em away.

Along with Caitlin.

He took her too.

So today in class... was what?

Tryin' to get back at him?

I told you, it's what Nolan would've expected.

Hell, it's what he would want me to do.

And that's not a secret.

[instrumental music]




[instrumental music]

(Zoey) 'Ava? It's Zoey. Can I come in?'

You're not gonna record your Vogue interview now, are you?

- It's due tomorrow.
- Yeah, but..

But what?

Nolan died?

Well, life goes on.


So your day-drinking which is something

I've never seen you do before this week.

And you're wearing my coat.

Which is something I've seen you do a lot of before this week.

Oh, wow. How did that happen?


Keep it. It looks good on you.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

Didn't your dad give this to you?

If you're being serious, you must be wasted.

Well, I won't tell him if you won't.

Isn't it like sorority rush or something tonight?

BHU doesn't have sororities.

And it's volunteer day, remember?


So go do that.

And leave me alone.

Ava, I'm worried about you.

[instrumental music]

How am I the perfect choice for Vogue?


How am I the perfect choice for Vogue?

The perfect choice for Vogue. Choice for Vogue.

I feel like I used to know the answer to that one.

Who am I?

[scoffs] Who am I?

I am a person..

Who am I not?

I am not someone who'll ask myself to be defined by what other people think of me.

By what other people think of me.


No, sir. Mm-mm.

Hmm. I know that.

That was good.

♪ I open up my arms and find ♪

♪ This kind of systematic hive ooh.. ♪♪

Hey, fearless leader.

You're breaking your cardinal rule.

- Caitlyn, what's up with you?
- What?

You just put three tubes of toothpaste into one bag.

Is there some dental emergency in Afghanistan

I don't know about?

Yeah, uh, Zoey, I actually gotta go.

I gotta go take care of something.

No, this is your thing and we're short two people already.

I know. I'm sorry. I won't be gone long, I promise.

Just please keep stuffing. We got to get these out tonight.

What is wrong with everybody around here?

Great. Ah!

There you are.

There we go.


Sorry for the short notice.

Thank you for seeing me. Really.

[sighs] How are you.. How are you doing?

Oh, I'm keeping it together. Heh!

The, uh, plans for the renovations of the old campus are keeping me occupied, thankfully.


Oh, um, I was gonna call you because

I was looking through Nolan's room and I found this and clearly, it was for you.

I know your birthday's coming up.

Oh. Um, thank you.

You seem worried.


Your new head of security, Dana Booker came to see me today.

She showed me some photos from Nolan's phone.

Some... embarrassing ones of my mom...

- Yeah, I've seen them.
- You.. What?

What can I do to help?

Um.. Eh.. You..

You can make sure that no one else sees them.

I mean, as one of the largest donors of my mother's campaign in my...

Consider it done.

- Really?
- Well, I..

I've watched you grow up, Caitlin.

You're, you're like family.

And your secret's safe with me.

Thank you, Claire.

Really, if there's anything

that I can do for you. Anything.

Actually, there is.

Dana Booker said that she's looking into three people in the investigation of Nolan's murder.

Um, Claire..

I know you had nothing to do with it.

But Dylan is a small town boy and Ava is a felon's daughter.

[sighs] The stakes aren't as high for them.

Do you understand?

Yeah, I think so.

Did he have something on them?

Uh, I don't know. I mean, you have to ask Dylan and Ava.

No, I..

I want you to find out.

Uh-uh, yeah. No, I'll try.

Well, when have you ever tried, and not succeeded?

- Thank you.
- Thanks, Claire.

[instrumental music]

[door closes]

[gasps] What the hell, Ali?

What do you know about Mason Gregory?

Uh, he's... super smart used to be besties with Nolan, and that probably ended when Nolan started dating his girlfriend.

- Plus he's model cute. Why?
- Just following a hunch.

He was all weepy at the funeral and Nolan . in class today.

People grieve in different ways.

Yeah, and guilt looks a lot like grief

if you're covering something up.

- We back on the network?
- Nope.

But I did learn from campus IT that the suspicious activity came from a single source.


Someone who doesn't want me to find out who killed Nolan.

At least that means you're on the right track, right?

It does, which is good because if I don't find out

I'm gonna spend the rest of my life knowing that

I'm the one who got him killed.

None of us got him killed, Mona.

Maybe. But whoever did this is smart, Ali.

Smart enough to pin this murder on anyone they want.

[knocking on door]



(Ava) "From the time I was a little girl

"I always heard, "You're so much like your father."

I love my mom, but my dad was my best friend."

[gasps] No, I'm not doing this.

- Hey!
- Hey!

Uh, door was unlocked.
Is that your lunch?

I thought you'd be in the student union.

This is from Nolan.

Claire thought it was for me but he totally forgot about my birthday last year.
So, it has to be for you.

[instrumental music]


It means a lot that you took the time to bring this to me.

Thank you.

I better get back to the student union.

I've got about more bags to stuff.

Hey, hold up.

I'm coming with you.

What about your Vogue video?

You went outta your way to do something nice for me..

And I did make you a promise. So..


Thank you.

Plus, I let Zoey take my coat and..

I want it back.

[instrumental music]

[instrumental music]

[dramatic music]

(Dana) Got a minute?

How bad a secret was it?

I don't..

Bad enough to want to

kill Nolan to keep it hidden?



I don't know what you're talking about.

I read over your BHU application.

You and I have some things in common.


I'm guessing not as much as we don't have in common.

You'd be surprised.

We both come from small towns where we didn't conform to approved norms.

We didn't come from money, but we achieved our goals through hard work and determination.

You know, it sounds like a great essay, but..

My point is..

You're not like Caitlin and Ava.

- That should worry you.
- And why is that?

You all have secrets. That's clear.

You need to ask yourself if your secret is safe with the others.

You know, I just remembered that, um..

I've to be somewhere.

[intense music]

♪ I'm over your face I'm over your clothes ♪

♪ I'm over your friends I'm over your bros ♪

♪ I'm over your car don't know who you are ♪

♪ I'm sick of your voice I'm over it all ♪

♪ Don't want to be with you I want to be free ♪

♪ Do bad by myself it ain't nothing to me.. ♪♪

Hey, uh, I thought you were too busy to help.

Well, I am, but..

Felt bad about ditching you.

Yeah. I had the guilts too.

Like Alison said, we gotta be business as usual.

If Nolan were alive, this is where he'd be.

- Yeah.
- Tell me what to do.


[keys clacking]



[instrumental music]

♪ You breathe me in and now we're more than friends.. ♪♪

Who ate all the candy corn?

[clears throat]

I'm sorry. I needed the energy.

Yeah, and you also ate most of the licorice

and don't deny it, because for about a half hour your lips were black.

And you didn't tell me?

Well, I wanted to tell you but you were too busy stuffing your face with my candy corn..

Uh, hey, hey. Hey, guys.

Focus. We're almost done.

On three.




- That's so not funny.
- I think it's pretty funny.

I don't know, I think it's pretty funny too.

[all laughing]

Glad to see the kids are having fun while the adults are doing all the work.


Uh, yeah, she's actually kinda right.

Okay, let's get back to work. Let's finish up.

No, I-I meant about the fun part.

I know, I kinda like hanging out with you guys.

I need to tell you guys something, alright, I..

[sighs] I didn't come here tonight because I felt guilty.

Tonight I came because I let

Dana Booker in my head.


I didn't know if you guys were gonna turn on me.

Dana cornered me too..

And she's got Nolan's phone.

Oh, great, so we have to worry about Nolan's phone and his stash of secrets?

She's just trying to divide and conquer us.

Well, now that the two of you started it there is actually something that I need to tell you.

[engine revving]

'So I wasn't completely honest with you guys'

'about what happened the night that Nolan died.'

I followed him..

Out here to this cabin.

What was he doing?

Some blonde.

I know.

I was so humiliated.

But now I'm thinking that maybe it wasn't what I thought it was.

- It was the gift.
- What gift?

Um, Claire Hotchkiss found a present that was meant for me from Nolan.

- It was a broken camera lens.
- Mm.

Does that mean something to you?

Do you guys remember, um, last year when that jerk found out about my dad and..

Outted me to the whole school?

(Dylan) 'Mm-hmm.'

Yeah, well, it was the worst day of my life.

And o-on top of feeling so ashamed the paparazzi found out where I was and..

They started taking photos, and Nolan tried to stop him

'but this one guy, he was just getting aggressive'

'and Nolan ended up smashing his camera.'

Yeah, that sounds like Nolan.

Of course, he-he bought him a new one but..

Nolan kept the broken lens.

'He was worried about me and..' he said that it was a symbol of how much he wanted to protect me..

And how much he loved me.

[sighs] 'I know it's a reach'

but is it possible that..

Maybe he was still trying to protect me..

Even the night he was killed?

Maybe. But it's a theory, you know?

It gives us something to do, which is better than nothing.

[scoffs] That Dana woman..

She isn't gonna stop coming after us until one of us breaks.

Look, I know Alison told us to do nothing..

But we have to find out who killed Nolan before Dana finds a way to destroy us all.

[dramatic music]

[engine revving]

[door opens]

[door creaking]

(Ava) Hello?

(Ava) 'Hello?'

(Dylan) 'When has a cabin ever not been spooky?'

[Ava scoffs] When the person that was last in them wasn't murdered.

- Fair point.
- Yeah.

(Dylan) Alright, so how do we wanna do this?

- Quickly.
- 'Why?'

- Because someone's coming.
- What?

- Someone must've followed us.
- S-s-shit.

- What do we.. What do we do?
- Hide.

What! What..

(Caitlin) Oh, my God!


What part about "Don't do anything out of the ordinary" did you miss?

Hey, we're in this just as much as you are.

Even more so if you think about it.

Why are you here?

Nolan came here the night that he died..

And I followed him.

- Did he meet anyone?
- Yeah.

Some blonde woman.

Who kinda looked like you.

Well, it, it wasn't me.

Hey, did Mason ever say anything about coming out here?

Mason? No. Not to me.

Why did he do that?

That thing earlier today in class.

I think he's got a pretty big chip on his shoulder.

Did he mention this place to you?

Is that why you're here?

He said a lot.

And so did last year's yearbook.

I just had to connect the dots to find this place.

So what are you looking for?

- Secrets.
- 'Okay.'

Well, let's all take a look around and see if we find something.

Worth a shot.

[instrumental music]

[music continues]

Find something?

(Dylan) 'No.'

I thought so, but... no.

[switch clicks]

[door opens]

So did you find anything?

It's hard to tell when you don't know what you're looking for.

Do you need a ride?

No thanks. I parked down the road.

When you don't know what you're gonna run into it's best not to announce your presence.

[engine revving]

[Dylan sniffing]

What's that smell?

- I don't smell anything.
- Mm. Me neither.

I guess it's confined to the back seat.

Alright. Moving on.

This wrapper is the same as the one we saw in the woods.

So whoever heard us that night was also in the cabin.

Or two different people like the same kind of gum.

I mean, three is a pattern. Two is just a coincidence.

And why didn't you show that to Allison?

I mean, you're the one who said that we could trust her.

Uh, I don't know. I guess I should've.

Best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.

Yeah, I guess I just thought that maybe she was the same blonde that you saw that night in the cabin with Nolan.

No, I don't think so.

It seemed like this was her first time in that cabin.

- Yeah, you're probably right.
- 'Why?'

Are you sure that you don't smell that?

- Yes.
- No.

Stop the car, please.

'It's gotta be coming from the trunk.'

I think I would know if there were something in my..

Guys, guys, what is that?

That's Nolan's stash..

Hey. Don't. Wait.

Are you sure you wanna open it?

None of our secrets smell that bad.

[Dylan coughs]

Mm. Mm-hm.

- There's...
- There's a note.

- Of course there is.
- This is gonna be fun.

"One of you is a rat you tell or I will."


So what?

One of us is a snitch?

Yeah, if our secret stealer's that literal.

And they're trying to turn us against each other.

I got no rats riding in my car.

- Bold move.
- Yeah.

Totally impressed me with that one.

Does anybody have some Purell?

[door closes]

[suspenseful music]

[music continues]

(Caitlin) Okay, so, w-we're supposed to be scared, right?

Is that why they sent the rat?

No, the rat is the cherry on the sundae. Alright?

The note is what we're supposed to be paying attention to.

And it wasn't a poke.

That was a threat.

[gasps] Guys, how are we supposed to be business as usual when this is happening to us?

Like, Alison just said, we don't.. We don't have a choice.

Until we get out secrets back we have to find a way to do it all.

No.. I.. It's-it's too much to take on.

Kate, you of all people can handle this.

Look, I know I joke about you being good at everything all the time..

But, somehow you make it seem effortless.

[gasps] It's not.

I know.

I'm just glad that... we're not alone, right?

That we're in this together.

Yeah, I mean, are we together?

We did make a good team out there.

Well, I've got my Vogue application video to..

Suck less on.. So..

Yeah, I've got my congressional interview to prep for and moms have been bugging me for days.

I've got everything.

So, goodnight.


- Guys?
- Yeah?

Can I borrow you for, like, ten minutes?

[violin music]

[music continues]

Let's get something straight..

[violin music]

I am not a perfect choice for the Vogue internship.

Actually, I'm not a perfect choice for anything, really but... that's kinda my point.

Spending your whole life chasing perfection and surrounded by people with that same impossible goal..

It makes it seem as if every setback is a defeat.

And every roadblock is a sign that you've chosen the wrong path..

That you're inadequate..

A failure.

But sometimes we overcome

and we realize that we're not alone

that you can rely on others to lift you up

and that it's okay to ask for help

because even in our darkest moments of grief

and loss, we persevere, and we make connections.

Look, I'm a work in progress.

But I'm realizing that success isn't about

never making mistakes

it's about learning from your mistakes.

So, no...

I am not a perfect choice for anything

but I am the right choice for this

because my mission statement is in line with yours..

To lead and inspire.


Come in.

[door closes]

Do you know why I faked my own death?

Because everyone in Rosewood wanted to kill you?

Not everyone.

But that's not the point.

This campus, this town..

Something's wrong here.

Something worse than we've been thinking.


I think Taylor Hotchkiss might be alive.


[indistinct chattering]

- At the end of the day..
- Hey.

You want us to walk you home?

I mean, there's a killer on the loose after all.

Ugh. No, I'm-I'm good.

Alright, suit yourself.

[instrumental music]

[indistinct chatter]

[phone beeps]

Hey, I think I know who was in the woods that night.

It was Mason.

[instrumental music]