Pretty Little Liars Seasons 3-5: From Mediocre to Psychological Thriller

This post looks at season 3-5 of Pretty Little Liars, SPOILER free.

I took a very long break from PLL because I found there was just too much drama. I had enough drama from Suits that I didn’t need to add to it, I can only handle so much sometimes. However, ever since I moved into my new place, I found that I burned through seasons 3-5 in three months. So this post is going to be about three seasons worth of PLL.

Season 3:

So season three started out as the first two seasons had. It was a mixture of suspense with some bad writing to bad directing (in a few places). The plot was in the right place, but there were times that I found it to be too predictable. I don’t want to mention any particulars in case you haven’t watched this season yet, but it involves Toby mostly. There were a few OMG moments where at first, I gasped in horror, then realized: It’s PLL, it’s meant to be misleading. The other time was a really stupid thing that made me want to scream and pull out my hair. It’s your typical “omg-why-are-you-so-stupid” moment on screen when said character thinks everything is dandy and puts down the damn object somewhere dumb. That’s all I’ll say about that. I just thought it was horribly done and they could have found a different way to do that scene. The other thing that got to me was the dramatic “I’m-just-going-to-place-this-here” scene. I was so mad at the directing here over that scene that I almost wanted to stop watching PLL. However, the next episode was the Halloween episode, and while I skipped over the first two Halloween specials the first two seasons, I decided to watch this one. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I was already comfortable on my futon, oh no…

The Halloween episode

It was fantastic! It’s part of the reason why I continued watching the series. I was on the edge of my seat, I nearly had a heart-attack when I thought something was seriously going to happen to one of the girls. It was well directed and well written. As for the rest of the season, the writing and the directing picked up from there and got better, especially the season finale with finding out who red coat is. To be honest, I had my suspicions, but because we were misled so many times I thought to myself “it’s probably not…it can’t be…” So when the person turned around, of course, I was floored. I had convinced myself that it wasn’t going to be that person!


Season 4

This season started out with lots of emotion because of what we had discovered in the season finale. It finally seemed like there was a happy ending, except more drama ensued. They still aren’t safe from A and their games. The girls are trying to protect someone and themselves from A, but of course, A is always one step ahead of them. This season is full of betrayal and for a while, I also believed it to be true. All the evidence pointed to this person so when said person is confronted and they look guilty, I felt so betrayed by everything that we had been led to believe. This was on character that I felt was decent, but turned out they had a dark side…further into the series we discover that A is still running around and it isn’t actually who we were led to believe it was-again. Big surprise there. However, we are left with a huge cliff-hanger as yet another person gets shot. Was is it with people getting shot? When I saw the gun I KNEW someone was going to get shot, and there was this one moment when they were looking out with that far-away look in their eyes and I knew it. “Yup, totally shot.” Then they showed the blood. I almost cried because there was so much emotion at the end of the show, and I couldn’t stop myself from watching the first episode of season 5 just to see what happened to said person.

Overall Impression

The writing and directing was good. There was a lot of suspense, but what I did notice is that season 3 and season 4 leave a lot of unanswered questions. There’s a lot of finger pointing and maybe it’s just me, but I seem to go back and think about everything we have learned so far and I’m still left with unanswered questions! I thought season 5 would explain those things eventually, but they never touched on it because other drama happens to overshadow the events in the previous seasons. I still want to know the answers, but maybe everything will all make sense whenever the series finale happens.


Season 5

This is the darkest season yet and the most intense. I think so far this is probably my favorite season because there’s so much uncertainty going on with the girls now that their world has changed. They worked hard last season but now they aren’t sure what they did was really the right thing. More drama, of course, but this time it’s much darker. We get a look into high school life and bullying. How the victims decide to stick together but have a scheme of their own. Then, things start to fall apart with the girls and their relationships with each other. It looks like A is trying hard to get them to fight with each other. A few of them grow distant for a while, but the biggest challenge is what they brought back from New York. Things change drastically because of this and it doesn’t seem to get better. They thought that A was dead, but A is still writing them messages and taunting them. All signs point to one person, and the girls work hard to uncover the truth leading to jail-time. However, A is always one step ahead and this was just part of his/her? plot to get them. One falls, another falls, then all of them fall together.

Things Just Get Worse for the Girls

If that wasn’t bad enough, one person from the outside is killed leaving the girls with a lot of darkness and insecurity. Who is A? Why is A still taunting them even though they sent “A” to prison? Big surprise, turns out we were actually “wrong” about A-again, and it looks like A is not who we thought. The part that terrified me the most was the van hijack when the girls are taken into A’s “custody” and treated like any psychological thriller I have ever read about women that are kidnapped. It gave me chills and goosebumps and I have to admit, there were a few times that I really wanted to cry with frustration. I couldn’t believe that the girls were going through this. It amazes me how this happens in real life. How could anyone do such things to people? That’s part of why I like psychology so much, especially abnormal psychology. Trying to piece together who we believe to be A in this season is difficult because we are led to believe so many things because of the directing and camera shots, but that’s what makes this season so intense!

Overall Ratings

I’d say season 3 is a 4/10, season 4 is 6/10 and I give season 6 a big 8.5/10. Enjoy watching! It’s definitely a roller coaster ride! Season 6 review coming soon, after I finish catching up! I’ll be ready for season 7 when it comes out!

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