This Spencer & Caleb Timeline Highlights A 'Pretty Little Liars' Friendship That Should Stay That Way
I can't believe I am typing these words, but here it goes: we really need to talk about Spaleb on Pretty Little Liars . Yes, Spaleb, aka the couple name for Spencer and Caleb, a sentence I never thought that I would utter. Alas, Pretty Little Liars Season 6B is hellbent on making the audience accept the idea of this new couple, as well as all of their flirty banter, lovey-dovey side glances, and, most recently, steamy kisses. Considering that Spencer was once head over heels in love with Caleb's friend Toby, and Caleb was in a seriously committed relationship with Spencer's BFF Hanna, it used to seem completely ludicrous that these two would ever be more than friends. Then Spencer and Caleb's hot (but oh so tragic to Haleb 'shippers) hookup in "The Gloves Are On" proved that this pairing was on a fast train to couple town. That is seriously unfortunate, considering that first on Pretty Little Liars, Caleb and Spencer made great pals — and definitely should have stayed that way.
How do I know this? Well, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Spaleb is no where near as close to being endgame as Haleb is, but let's look at the evidence found in PLL seasons past. Here's a timeline of Caleb and Spencer's dynamic that should remind any fan how much better these two work as friends. And for more on Spaleb and everything else PLL, check out Bustle's podcast Taking This One To The Grave.
Spencer and Caleb don't spend much time together in Season 1, though he is connected to the overall group by giving Emily a phone to call Maya with. Caleb later befriends (and then starts dating) Hanna. However, the couple soon dissolves when Spencer sees that the "gift" Hanna believed that Caleb was going to get her was a flash drive that Jenna was using to hold information about the girls.
Spencer and Caleb are with their prospective love interests for the majority of Season 2, and don't interact much. However, Spencer does help Hanna keep A (then Mona) away from Caleb by keeping him in the dark about the texts and torture. Caleb also helps the girls by doing some cyber sleuthing, though he has no idea what he is really looking for. Caleb confronts both Spencer and Emily about what Hanna is keeping from him, but they stay mum.
Season 3 is initially all about Spoby and Haleb. However, midway through the season, Caleb breaks up with Hanna because she won't tell him about the new A. It's only after this breakup that Spencer and Caleb bonded over the thing that connected them most: their desire to protect Hanna. Caleb helped Spencer hack into Maya's computer in order to find evidence about her murder, at which point the pair realized the obvious: they were the smartest people in most rooms.
Season 4 solidified the bromance between Toby and Caleb. The two sleuthed together in order to find out who was flying the plane at the end of Season 3. Since Spencer was the real connection between Toby and Caleb, she spent a considerable amount of time picking Caleb's brain. Later, Caleb confided in Spencer about Hanna ignoring his calls after Ashley went to jail for Wilden's murder, and Spencer reassured him that Hanna was just going through something difficult.
Hanging out and hacking certainly brings people together, but nothing solidified Spencer's (platonic) love for Caleb like when she decided to help him get sober in Season 5. Hanna was spiraling alongside Caleb at the time, so Spencer took it upon herself to get him to talk about his problems. Spencer's meddling ultimately leads to Caleb revealing all of that Ravenswood-related ghost stuff to Hanna, and allows him to get his first real night's sleep in a while. So, yeah: thank you, Hanna, but also thank you Spence. After Caleb put down the bottle, he was back to doing what he does best: trying to take down A and protect the girls' from her wrath. He helped Spencer get rid of the murder weapon that the cops thought was used on Mona, not only to protect his girlfriend, but to protect all of her friends — and, yes, that included Spencer.
Season 6A opened with the girls getting freed from the dollhouse after weeks in lockdown. Hanna started pushing Caleb away, not loving the smothery behavior from her overprotective boyfriend. It's Spencer who reminds Hanna that she shouldn't push Caleb away just because she's hurting.
So what can we make of Caleb and Spencer's timeline together? Ultimately, Caleb has always had Spencer's back — but usually it's been in a way that relates to Hanna. Could these two be transferring their feelings for their exes onto one another? Though I love these two as pals, the idea of them being anything more than friends is still upsetting, and I hope they can go back to being platonic co-investigators before PLL Season 6 comes to an end.
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