Hanna Marin has always been one of my favorite Pretty Little Liars characters. She’s sassy, vulnerable, but strong. She’s the most loyal to her friends and is always there for them: even Mona, who hit her with a car. But the one thing that has just never worked for me was her relationship with long-time boyfriend, Caleb Rivers.
From season one, I just couldn’t get onboard Haleb. From his first episode, the sketchy boy facade he put on was underwhelming. He never stood out. There wasn’t anything special about him, which to be with Hanna Marin, you needed to be special. I got a creepy vibe from him when he moved into Hanna’s basement and my suspicions were proved right when he was revealed to be Jenna’s spy, after sleeping with her.
As season one progressed, I cheered when they broke up, I cheered when Mona threw away his letter before he left for Arizona, and when he returned in season two (thanks a lot, Lucas!) I cried. To me, he never earned his way back into Hanna’s trust. Granted, that girl has been through some messed up stuff, so she’s probably a little more lenient than I am, but Caleb’s flirting and sly smiles weren’t enough for me to forgive him.
Hanna and Caleb’s relationship got deeper and deeper and the issue of him being Jenna’s spy was thrown into the trash with his letter. Suddenly, Caleb became aware of -A and joined the search for this criminal mastermind. And then he left. The writers wrote him off of the show for Ravenswood, Marlene King’s short-lived spin-off. He left Hanna with another broken heart, and in order to rid him of Rosewood, made it seem like he was cheating on Hanna with Miranda. (Which, if you saw the show, he kind of was.)
He broke Hanna’s heart again and got on the bus to Bastardville to live among the cheating fathers and incestuous brothers of Rosewood.
I will give Caleb this: he never joined the A team (looking at you, Toby). He was dedicated to Hanna, hated Mona and Alison for what they did to the girls and never forgave his enemies. He had a strong sense of loyalty to whoever had his best interests at heart.
But now, in season six, Caleb relationship has drastically changed: he’s shacking up with Spencer now. Hanna is with her perfect fiancé, Jordan, but her feelings for Caleb obviously never faded. She gave them her permission. In my opinion, Spencer and Caleb have more in common than Hanna and Caleb ever did. They’re both very intelligent in the classical sense while Hanna is street smart and unusually intelligent.
That was always my biggest problem with their relationship. What do an aspiring fashion designer and a hacktivist have in common? They never shared an interest in anything other than spending time together. It was a high school relationship. In 6×16, “Where Somebody Waits For Me,” we saw where Hanna and Caleb’s relationship failed. They didn’t have anything in common. Both were focused on their careers, which were drastically different than the other.
Did they make each other happy? Yes. Were they each other’s first love? Yes. But hardly ever do you end up with your first love. I never saw anything that could make Hanna and Caleb’s relationship last out of high school, other than their love. But that doesn’t save your relationship. I’m not surprised they broke up.
Jordan and Hanna have more in common than her and Caleb ever did. They work in similar fields and understand each other’s schedules and dreams, which work together. Hanna seemed genuinely happy and in love with Jordan and bringing her back to Rosewood and showing all of these “unresolved” feelings for her high school boyfriend shouldn’t have been an issue. She should’ve moved on. She was getting married. Now, who knows. She’s reconnecting with Caleb, now that she’s lost her job, and he’s dating her best friend. Now he’s lost the one thing I appreciated in their relationship: loyalty.