'PLL' Theory: Caleb's Return Can Help Hanna Combat Alison's Emotional Hold
We'll be seeing yet another familiar face in the halls of Rosewood High. Caleb is returning to Pretty Little Liars in the series' 100th episode "Miss Me x 100" and, naturally, our first question is what that might mean for Hanna. Will Caleb and Hanna get back together now that Ravenswood is cancelled? As much as I adore both Caleb and Hanna, I hope that these two aren't planning on rekindling their old flame — but that doesn't mean that I want them out of one another's lives for good. In fact, I think that Caleb's return might actually be really great for Hanna — despite all of the messy complications that it could potentially bring along.
In the most recent episode of Pretty Little Liars "Thrown From the Ride," we saw Hanna getting back into an old bad habit — namely, shoplifting. We haven't seen Hanna with a case of the sticky fingers since the pilot, when she was caught shoplifting by sketchball cop, Detective Wilden. (RIP... or not.) Mona, Hanna's then-BFF/stalker, encouraged her to shoplift clothes and other high-end items to keep up with trends and remain on top of the social pyramid. But once Hanna got back in with her old crew — whom she bonded with over Mona's torturous texting, ironically enough — Hanna didn't feel compelled to shoplift any longer. Now that Ali's back and is throwing her friend dynamic way out of whack, Hanna's back to shoplifting to gain a sense of control — not exactly the healthiest way to go about that.
It's really Ali's return that's thrown Hanna for the biggest loop. Prior to Ali's "death," Hanna was an insecure teenager who never felt like she measured up to her friends. After Ali was gone — and Mona handpicked Hanna to fill the slot — Hanna had to build up her confidence in artificial ways. She started dressing trendier and acting like, well, a watered-down version of Alison. Hanna wasn't truly herself with anyone except the three other "little liars" — not only did they know what she was going through with A, but they also knew the real her before her big "transformation" after Ali's disappearance. But now that Alison is back, Hanna's not sure who she is anymore. Is she still a mini-Ali, or has she changed? Who is she now that she's standing in Ali's shadow once again?
There is one person outside of Emily, Aria, and Spencer who really "gets" Hanna, and that's Caleb. He may have met Hanna when she was still a popular girl, but he fell in love with her when she was her most vulnerable. Hanna and Caleb always shared a special bond; she confided in him about her parents, her insecurities, even her "Hefty Hanna" phase. At the end of the day, they were more than just a couple — they were best friends.
Hanna could use a best friend who isn't directly connected to Ali and all of her drama, and Hanna needs someone to remind her of who she is. Caleb and Hanna don't need to get back together in order to support one another, and Caleb might be the friend that Hanna needs right now. Caleb might be the guy to snap Hanna out of her whole five-finger-discount situation, simply by reminding her of the person that she truly is. (A good one, for starters.)
Though Caleb and Hanna had a tough breakup, there's no reason why these two can't find a way back to one another in some way. Hanna needs Caleb back in Rosewood more than ever... boyfriend or not.