"Party of One" is not only a big episode in regard to many of the Coterie members' relationship drama, but it is also the directorial debut of Cierra Ramirez, who has led Good Trouble, and The Fosters, as Mariana Adams Foster for ten years.
But, before "Party of One" could get into the more solid story arcs, it begins with a fake-out opening that allows the show to poke fun at itself. Dennis' restaurant review is less of a review of the food, and more of a review of the Coterie members themselves, calling out things such as Davia keeping secrets from Dennis, Mariana and Joaquin's tension, Luca's inability to see what is right in front of him, and Gael questioning the sexual orientation of his latest crush. Of course, all of these storylines play a role in the events that unfolded afterward.
Davia and Dennis continue to face relationship hurdles, but this one has been overdue for a while. Brayden had attempted to kiss Davia, and while she had made it clear that she was with Dennis, Davia never actually told Dennis about what happened. Instead, she kept it to herself until other people started making incorrect guesses about what has gone on, forcing Davia to be honest.
Dennis and Davia's relationship has hit many hurdles over time, and while they have discussed most of them, the idea that Dennis believes that all of Davia's co-workers think she is cheating on him is not necessarily a positive thing. Still, Dennis refuses to leave Davia alone after their fight, knowing their history of calling out how Dennis had abandoned her in the past.
Still, it did not help when Davia allowed her jealousy to take the wheel when Dennis invited his ex-girlfriend Ryan to give Haven a practice review.
Mariana's love triangle continues to build as well, as while the previous episode had seen Mariana and Evan's connection at work, "Party of One," shows Mariana and Joaquin back to work as a detective duo. Mariana and Joaquin's teamwork has been successful in the past, but this time may have pushed them over the edge, at least temporarily.
Joaquin is not quick to sit back and relax at hearing that Silas' visit to Mariana's loft may or may not have been real. Instead, he tries to get to the bottom of it by trying to find out if Silas had left fingerprints behind, only to be frustrated by the results that claim that Silas was never there.
Luckily, Mariana may have had her own breakthrough by the episode's end, even if it was after telling Joaquin that they both need to take a step back from obsessing over Silas. Finally, Mariana realizes that her Callie doll is missing, and since Malika had not been aware of it being moved either, that leaves one dangerous explanation.
The cult storyline is not necessarily the most exciting part of the season, and it has been going on a bit too long. There is not much that really justifies needing to spend so much time devoted to the cult plot. But, Mariana and Joaquin's dynamic is interesting to watch as they try to uncover truths together.
Luca's obliviousness to his friend and co-worker Mabel having feelings for him as he works toward a relationship with Riley is predictable and fairly bland at best. There is not a lot of excitement from either end that really makes this love triangle thrilling.
Gael's new love interest, Jay, has some potential to give Gael a stronger love story. Jay does not appear thrown off by Gael having a daughter, Lyric, and instead seems happy to spend time with her at the art studio. While Gael and Jay are not dating, they do share a connection, and allowing that to fester rather than jumping right in to a romantic relationship allows thew viewers the chance to get to know who Jay is as a person a bit more and create the opportunity to root for the couple to get together, rather than just having them get together right away.
One of the biggest concluding plot twists reveals that Jenna is back working with Silas. But, in what way? Is she there because she has been tricked by him once again? Has the brainwashing gone that far? Or, is she there with the secret hopes of putting an end to his behavior and actions?