Pretty Little Liars (season 5)

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Pretty Little Liars (season 5)
Pretty Little Liars Season 5 DVD Cover.jpg
Season 5 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 25
Release
Original network ABC Family
Original release June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10) – March 24, 2015 (2015-03-24)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 4
Next →
Season 6
List of Pretty Little Liars episodes

The fifth season of the American mystery drama television series Pretty Little Liars began airing on ABC Family on June 10, 2014. Shooting for the season began on March 24, 2014,[1] and ended on November 20, 2014.[2] The season aired from June 10, 2014 to March 24, 2015.

Like the second season, the season consisted of 25 episodes, including a special holiday-themed episode, instead of a Halloween episode which was written by I. Marlene King and her assistant Kyle Bown and was directed by King.[3][4] It also contained the 100th episode and the episode was written by showrunner I. Marlene King. The promotional poster was released on May 28, 2014.[5] A second promotional poster was released after the hundredth episode was aired, on July 9, 2014.[6] A third promotional poster was released on January 5, 2015, as a promotion for the second half of the fifth season, which began the day after the release of the poster.[7]

It was announced on June 10, 2014 that Pretty Little Liars was renewed for two additional seasons, making the show ABC Family's longest running original series.[8]

The fifth season garnered positive reviews from critics and averaged 2.01 million viewers an episode, down from the previous season, and a 0.9 demo rating, also down from the previous season.[9] The premiere was watched by 2.72 million viewers, while the finale was watched by 2.65 million viewers.[10][11]

Overview

The girls try to adjust to the new world in which Alison is very much alive, while still trying to keep up with Ali's new lie about her whereabouts over the last two years. They try to live their lives free from 'A' after Aria manages to save them from Shana, the rooftop shooter, in New York. The girls think Shana was 'A', and with her gone, they no longer worry about 'A'. However, 'A' returns, blowing up the Cavanaugh house and leaving the liars more afraid than ever. With Alison back, Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer notice how their friendship has changed since Ali's disappearance. The other residents in Rosewood also deal with Alison coming home, and it leads to Mona making an army against her, consisting of residents whom Ali bullied back in the day. The liars try to figure out who killed Mrs. DiLaurentis, and if there is a connection between her and the girl who was buried in Alison's grave, Bethany Young.

With Alison back, Hanna starts to have an identity crisis, and it progresses when Caleb comes back from Ravenswood and Alison moves into the Marin house. Aria struggles with guilt after the incident in New York when she killed Shana to save the girls. She gets help from Ezra, and slowly starts to reconcile with him. Aria also begins to volunteer at Radley in order to find out information about Bethany Young, who was a patient there. Tension begins to swarm between her and Hanna when Hanna almost reveals what happened in New York to the new girl at school, Sydney. Emily tries to deal with her breakup with Paige, while struggling with her feelings toward Alison. She also helps the new girl, Sydney, with her swimming, until she finds out that Sydney knows Jenna. Meanwhile, Spencer deals with her parents splitting up and finding out what Melissa knows about the night Alison disappeared. Following several leads to find out more about Bethany, she learns that Mrs. DiLaurentis had spent some time with her. Furthermore, Melissa reveals that she was the one who buried Bethany because she was trying to protect Spencer, believing that Spencer killed the girl.

As the season progresses, the four girls begin to feel uncertain about Alison and whether she is telling them the truth, and Alison begins to lose their trust. The friendship hits a breaking point when Ali has to identify her so-called "kidnapper", and the girls realize that Alison has lied to them the entire time she has been back. They ultimately decide that she can't be trusted anymore. They then set up a plan to confess everything to the police. However, 'A' stops them before they can go through with the plan, and the liars find out that Alison has gone rogue. Teaming up with Mona, they discover that the police suspect Spencer of killing Bethany Young, and that Mrs. DiLaurentis had an affair with Bethany Young's father. Mona then tells the girls she thinks that Alison is 'A'. Subsequently, Mona is "killed", and Spencer is arrested for Bethany Young's murder.

The Liars team up with their significant others to prove Alison killed Mona. Through the clues Mona left for them, they were able to prove that not only she was responsible for Mona's murder, but for Bethany's murder as well, clearing Spencer of the charges in the process. However, the girls realize someone is still helping Alison, who they now believe was trying to drag them down with her in jail. Their initial suspect was Detective Holbrook, but Holbrook reveals to Hanna that Alison cut him off. They later discover that Mike, Aria's brother, has been secretly visiting Alison in jail, leading the girls to suspect that he was helping Ali. Subsequently, they learn that Mona was working with 'A' to have Alison arrested by faking her death, although the actual possibility that Mona may be dead remains unknown.

Furthermore, after realizing that Alison can't be 'A', the girls decided to work on proving Ali's innocence without incriminating Mike. However, 'A' has plans also for the liars. Hanna becomes a suspect in Mona's murder, and is arrested after her blood is found on Mona's clothes. Aria, Spencer, and Emily, along with Ezra and Caleb, try to get any evidence that could help Alison and Hanna, though 'A' keeps on getting one step ahead of them. Mike considers taking the stand on Alison's trial; while Caleb agrees with Mike, Aria and Ezra convinces him otherwise. Alison's trial ends with her being found guilty on Mona's murder, and subsequently, Aria, Spencer, and Emily are arrested as accessories. After being kidnapped by 'A' on their way to the prison, Hanna, Aria, Spencer and Emily awaken in a dollhouse lair, with rooms designed to look like their bedrooms with surveillance. They discover that Mona is alive; however she is going under the name Alison in the presence of 'A'. They attempt to leave during the "prom" 'A' forces them to create. Spencer then learns A's name: Charles, who is the oldest child of Kenneth and Jessica DiLaurentis. Upon managing to escape the dollhouse, they learn that they are surrounded by an electric fence and therefore trapped.

Cast

Episodes

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
96 1 "Escape from New York" Norman Buckley I. Marlene King June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10) 2.72[10]
In New York City, while Ezra's life is in jeopardy after being shot by "A", Alison, Hanna, Emily, and Spencer separate from Aria in order to trick 'A' and hold him away from Ezra in the hospital, however, their plan backfires. In the Hastings residence, Melissa has difficult time as a secret from the past haunts her. Ali shows the others an empty theater, owned by Ezra's family. Shana has a vendetta of her own, as she pays a visit to Ezra in the hospital. After CeCe left Rosewood, she goes to New York where Ali helps her leave for France. In Rosewood, Mona, after learning that Alison is back, gathers a group of people tormented by her, including Lucas, Melissa and Paige. Alison reveals to Emily that CeCe was never Red Coat — Alison told Cece to dress up as Red Coat to distract 'A' from sawing Emily. As Ezra wakes up, he whispers the shooters identity to Aria and she immediately leaves the hospital to go to the theater where she sees Shana, dressed as "A", with a gun threatening to kill Ali. Shana reveals that she wanted to kill her as revenge for blinding Jenna, whom she loves. Aria sneaks in in time to save the girls and knocks Shana off of the stage where she is killed instantly after hitting her head. The Liars believe the "A" game is now finally over. Meanwhile, CeCe gets on a plane and leaves for France, using Ali's "Vivian Darkbloom" identity.
97 2 "Whirly Girlie" Joanna Kerns Oliver Goldstick June 17, 2014 (2014-06-17) 2.16[12]
The girls return to Rosewood after a handful of events in New York, finding themselves in a world full of secrets. Aria struggles with Shana's death, while Emily, Hanna and Spencer try to begin navigating a world with Alison in it. Toby returns from London and reveals that Melissa was not there at the time he searched for her. Hanna and Emily are suspicious about Jason and his relationship with his mother so they follow him to Philadelphia to find answers. Ali's new dog later finds out a body buried in front of Ali's house, later revealed to be her mother — Jessica DiLaurentis.
98 3 "Surfing the Aftershocks" Chad Lowe Joseph Dougherty June 24, 2014 (2014-06-24) 2.28[13]
After learning about her mother's death, the girls try to comfort Alison, but to no use. At first, Aria refuses to talk to Ezra, but she later agrees and he says that he will keep quiet. However, Ezra doesn't seem to know about Shana's death, but later Aria tells him the truth about what happened. Emily and Paige connect over helping the new girl on the swimming team, Sydney, with her swimming technique, and in the end they agree to be friends. Hanna begins to go through an identity crisis after a man mistakes her for Alison. Hanna remembers back when Mona made her popular, to be a copy of Alison. Meanwhile, Spencer tries to figure out Jason's involvement in Mrs. DiLaurentis's death, but both Melissa and her father don't seem so positive to Spencer's suspicion.
99 4 "Thrown from the Ride" Janice Cooke Maya Goldsmith July 1, 2014 (2014-07-01) 2.13[14]
Ali attempts to regain the role of leader of the group, but she finds out Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer are not as going to blindly follow her as they once were. While most kids are curious about what happened to Ali, Mona and her army are more focused on planning for Ali's return to school. After seeing Shana's funeral online, Aria goes for Ezra's comfort, meanwhile Ali lies to the doctor about an injury. Veronica confesses to Spencer that after Ali went missing, Jessica would go to the police to accuse Spencer from doing something to Ali, and when Peter threatened her, Veronica became suspicious to him. Spencer arrives at Ali's who tells her that Jessica had Losartan in her system which was for high blood pressure, since she had low blood pressure, was what made her heart stop working. Hanna starts to steal again. Spencer discovers Losartan belonging to her father. After Paige's warning about Mona's army, Emily tells Ali that she should leave, but Ali says she wants to go back to school, even if there are people who wants revenge on her, and finishes saying that if they stick together they would be safe.
100 5 "Miss Me x 100" Norman Buckley I. Marlene King July 8, 2014 (2014-07-08) 2.25[15]

The day has finally arrived for Alison's first day back at Rosewood High, however, neither the girls nor Alison are ready for it. Determined to put on a brave face, Alison returns to also help heal the damage she did years ago. While Spencer's family thought that Mrs. Hastings was at a spa, really she was having a private investigator finding out that Mr. Hastings and Melissa weren't at a dinner as they said. Mrs. Hastings is leaving town alone after a failed attempt to bring Spencer. Aria still suffers from the accident in New York and meets the returning Jenna, who is still grieving for her beloved's death. Mona prepares her "army of losers", in which Sydney and Jenna are revealed to be a part of, for the upcoming war against Ali, which escalated with a meeting between the two that ends in favor of Mona. Meanwhile, Caleb returns to Rosewood and leaves Hanna confused for the reason of his homecoming. Emily and Alison share a kiss and Aria and Ezra have sex. In the end, while the police are giving an interview about the dead girl in Ali's grave, who is revealed to be Bethany Young, 'A' makes their triumphant return to Rosewood by putting a bomb in Toby's house and making the entire house explode.


'A' ending: 'A' is seen texting the girls while moving their belongings into a new 'A' lair.
101 6 "Run, Ali, Run" Norman Buckley Jonell Lennon July 15, 2014 (2014-07-15) 2.13[16]

With "A" back with a vengeance, it leads the Liars to the conclusion that Shana was not the real "A". With the town of Rosewood trying to get back to normal, the Liars — especially Ali — are far from okay after the latest "accident". Alison starts to reconsider her decision about coming home and the possibility of leaving for good, but Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer are determined to keep her safe and to figure out who and what is behind this latest incident. Meanwhile, Caleb also starts second-guessing his return, and Ezra dives into his research about Bethany Young — the girl in Ali's grave — to help find answers that will help the Liars. The issues between Spencer's parents finally end when one of them is forced to leave home for good, leaving Spencer in a uncomfortable situation. A connection between Bethany and Mrs. DiLaurentis links to Radley so the Liars begin their next plan as Aria volunteers to work there in order to get further information. 'A' sends Alison a text message, saying "I buried your mom the same way I watched her bury you". Towards the climax of the episode, 'A' attacks Alison in her house and chokes her, almost killing her. They fight until Emily comes and saves Alison. After 'A's attempt to strangle Alison, she gets a text message, "See how easy it is for me to kill you? If you leave Rosewood, I will. -A".


'A' ending: The Black Widow sends flowers and a condolences card to Bethany Young's parents.
102 7 "The Silence of E. Lamb" Joshua Butler Bryan M. Holdman July 22, 2014 (2014-07-22) 2.06[17]

Aria begins her volunteer work at Radley and quickly gets down to business finding answers about a patient of interest to the Liars, but she quickly hits a snag when she comes across an aggressive patient – Big Rhonda, who may be the key to what the Liars are looking for. Emily tries to find a distraught Paige after the latest "prank" on her with a rat. Also searching for answers, Spencer takes a note from Ezra's play book by borrowing some of his spy equipment to keep a closer eye on the home front, mainly on Melissa. Meanwhile, Hanna is caught at odds when Ali and Caleb butt heads, and Emily seeks help from her friends when her mom invites Ali over for dinner. Hanna is the only one that is able to join Emily and Ali when Aria gets stuck in Radley and Spencer continues her mission by following Melissa's moves. Hanna, however, begins drinking and Emily is forced to kick her out. Aria, Spencer, and Emily are all caught off guard when 'A' sends them a message but not Hanna, involving Ali and her recent actions.


'A' ending: 'A' opens up Ella's engagement party letter and taking a picture of the letter, then gluing it back together like it was never opened.
103 8 "Scream for Me" Bethany Rooney Oliver Goldstick & Maya Goldsmith July 29, 2014 (2014-07-29) 1.80[18]

Alison receives a message from 'A' at school: "Glad to hear you singing. Last time you were all choked up." -'A' The rest of the Liars sing in a choir as Alison is interrogated at school by Detective Tanner. Emily and Spencer take a trip to the stables where they uncover some evidence that Bethany and Jessica DiLaurentis are connected. Bethany used to call her 'Aunt Jessie' as Jessica used to send expensive gifts to Bethany. While at the stables, 'A' locks Spencer and Emily inside the barn while an agitated horse becomes erratic. The horse ends up attacking Spencer and injuring her eye. Meanwhile, Hanna is distraught after Zack made a sexual advance on her. Zack gives Hanna his number but she throws it out. Hanna goes to Aria and tells her that Zack made moves on her, but Aria doesn't believe Hanna and kicks her out of the house, saying she was drunk. Ashley Marin and Ali discuss dinner plans for the two of them because Hanna was again planning to be absent. She walks downstairs while making dinner reservations on the telephone when she sees the window open. She spins around to see that the front door is ajar as well. There was a man in the house with a knife. Ali and Ashley were frightened, and he bolted once Hanna's mom rang 911. Detective Tanner shows up at the Marin house and questions Alison and Ashley. While Tanner is giving Ali the third degree, Ashley interrupts and tells her to stop treating Alison like a criminal instead of a victim. Alison reveals that Noel Kahn was the intruder who broke into the Marin house so that everyone would stop questioning Alison's story.


'A' ending: 'A' walks through Spencer's room, flipping up a hidden panel under a couch cushion ultimately opening up a secret compartment in Spencer's house.
104 9 "March of Crimes" Chad Lowe Oliver Goldstick & Maya Goldsmith August 5, 2014 (2014-08-05) 2.05[19]

Spencer goes to the eye doctor and sees Sydney holding Jenna's hand. Spencer calls Emily and says that they look like twins because both were wearing glasses and same clothes. Emily is confused by Spencer's statement while Spencer is adamant that she is not hallucinating. At the doctor's office, Spencer sees something peculiar on the eye chart. The board with alphabets hung in the check up room had a message from 'A' The letters "C A N U C M E Y E T -A" were highlighted. Meanwhile, Emily comes to Spencer's help and demands to know the truth about Sydney and Jenna. Caleb punches Zach after Zach tries to make Hanna look like the guilty party. Despite Zach's allegations, Caleb believes Hanna did not initiate the hookup. Emily cuts ties with Sydney after Sydney tells her that she knew Jenna for several years. Sydney tries to explain her actions but Emily abandons her friendship with her. Alison and Jenna have an altercation at school. Meanwhile, Aria apologizes to Hanna after Aria tells her that Zach has been unfaithful to Ella even when they were in Europe. Ella cancels her engagement party after Aria tells her that Zach put the moves on Hanna. Spencer attacks Noel with a fire poker after he tries to hurt Spencer at Spencer's lake house. Spencer blackmails Noel with incriminating photos. Alison is called to the police station to answer questions about her "kidnapper".


'A' ending: 'A' is at Spencer's eye doctor's office, listening to the tape Alison gave the girls to memorize.
105 10 "A Dark Ali" Arlene Sanford Lijah J. Barasz August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12) 2.05[20]

Alison is apprehensive to identify Cyrus as her kidnapper. Detective Tanner brings Alison to an abandoned house so she can retrieve her memories. Tanner tells Alison if she cannot remember physical evidence, she will allow Cyrus to walk out of jail as a free man. Meanwhile, Emily tells Alison that she is done with her, after Alison continues to show indiscretion towards the four girls and the rest of the Liars also turn their backs on Alison. Caleb and Hanna rekindle their romance and Hanna tries to get Caleb to stop drinking. Spencer kept the recording Alison gave all the girls in a compartment inside her armchair but Spencer starts to panic when she finds it missing. Spencer attempts to decipher Melissa's secret and during a heated confrontation, Melissa offers to get Spencer to leave with her because they are both not safe. Later, Melissa is seen on a video recorder revealing her secret in case something bad happens to her. Furthermore, Alison has a flashback of Cyrus attacking her in the basement and using a knife to cut her thigh, which explains Ali's scar. Towards the end of the episode, Alison is seen dressed as Vivian Darkbloom while talking to an on-the-run Cyrus. It is revealed that Alison is the one who paid Cyrus to pretend to have kidnapped her. Alison threatens Cyrus that she is capable of finding him again and making his life hell.


'A' ending: 'A' folds laundry, including a striped candy pinafore.
106 11 "No One Here Can Love or Understand Me" Larry Reibman Joseph Dougherty August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19) 1.80[21]
Emily visits Ezra and asks him if he knows anything about Cyrus to which he responds no. On the other hand, Hanna, Spencer, and Toby stage an intervention for Caleb after expressing concern about him. Detective Tanner interrogates the Liars and asks them who they think killed Bethany Young. Aria goes on a movie date with Mona and Mike. Meanwhile, Spencer watches the recording that Melissa gave her. Melissa explains that she was there the night Alison disappeared and saw Spencer with a shovel, then saw a "dead Alison." Melissa thought that Spencer had killed Alison, and buried her thinking that she was protecting Spencer, when she was actually burying an alive Bethany. At the movie theater, Mona tells Aria that maybe it would have been better if Mona died that night when she fell over the cliff. Mona is depressed and delivers an ominous warning to Aria. Detective Tanner pays a visit to Aria's household and tells Byron that she has been talking to all of the parents of Alison's friends. Aria hears all of the conversation and meets up with Spencer and Emily who all deduce that the girl Tanner will talk to is Alison. Hanna catches Caleb in an attempt to leave the cabin after the intervention backfires, she confronts him and he finally explains that his erratic behavior and alcohol dependence were because of black magic and such.
107 12 "Taking This One to the Grave" Ron Lagomarsino I. Marlene King August 26, 2014 (2014-08-26) 2.29[22]

The girls gets a text on Thanksgiving Day from 'A' blaming them for an incident. 36 hours before, Spencer, Hanna, Emily and Aria ask Mona for help pertaining to the information that Alison confessed at the police station. Their new theory is that Alison is 'A'. With the help of Lucas, Mona hacks into the Rosewood P.D. servers and downloads a video of Ali taking a lie detector test. The girls discover that Alison did not reveal much, but pointed the suspicion towards Spencer about Bethany Young's murder. Holbrook's theory is that Spencer was so desperate that to make Alison keep her amphetamine abuse a secret, she had to kill Bethany Young. Spencer and Mona implement a plan to get answers as they go undercover at Radley Sanitarium while Hanna and Caleb act as spies monitoring every surveillance to help the girls. Spencer and Mona uncover tapes of Bethany Young and learn that Jessica Dilaurentis and Bethany's father had an affair and that Alison knew about it. As they leave Radley, Toby gets into a car accident, but only breaks his leg. Next morning Spencer is arrested for Bethany Young's murder and is taken into custody. Mona looks through the Radley files and discovers that Alison knew about the affair and lured Bethany to Rosewood. Mona calls Aria and tells her the information, and that Alison must be 'A'. However, before the girls arrive to Mona's house, "A", with blonde hair cascading out from their hoodie, attacks Mona. When the girls arrive, they notice signs of a struggle, with blood on the walls. Officer Holbrook tells the press that they have ruled it a homicide, but they haven't found Mona's body. The girls and Mona's mom are devastated by the news.


'A' ending: 'A' replaces the baby Jesus ornament with a Mona doll, opens up the trunk of their car - revealing Mona's body, and makes a snow globe with the picture of the Liars.
108 13 "How the 'A' Stole Christmas" I. Marlene King I. Marlene King & Kyle Bown December 9, 2014 (2014-12-09) 2.09[23]

As Spencer, Hanna, Emily, and Aria do Christmas shopping, they receive a snow globe from 'A', saying "A takes a holiday, you should too." They then receive a letter and a map showing the inside of Ali's house, given to them by Mona. It flashes to Ali being visited by The Ghost of Christmas Past (Mona). The Liars then arrive at the Dilaurentis' ice ball, where Ali makes a grand entrance, along with four unknown girls in masks. It is later revealed the four masked girls are Cindy, Mindy, Jenna, and Sydney, who have only joined Ali in hopes of finding proof that Ali is 'A' and that she murdered Mona. As Hanna and Spencer leave the ice ball to find evidence, Aria spots Ali kissing a man in a Santa suit, who she believes is Officer Holbrook. Ali also receives a secret visit from CeCe. As Hanna and Spencer look around Ali's house, Hanna finds another of Ali's fake passports for if she needs to leave town quickly along with a letter that Bethany wrote to Ali, proving Ali lured Bethany to Rosewood the weekend she was killed. Spencer also finds out that Ali was communicating with someone through the newspaper's personal ads. Toby, who has been keeping lookout for Spencer and Hanna from a window, gets a call from Caleb who says Ali left the party early. 'A' then shows up at Ali's house with a knife, looking for the girls. Hanna is then knocked out by 'A'. Meanwhile, Ali is visited by the last two ghosts- the ghost of the present, and the ghost of the future, but Ali soon wakes up from the nightmare. As the Liars celebrate Christmas, Ali is seen looking at them, alone, through a window.


'A' ending: 'A' lights up a Christmas tree outside in the snow "Merry Christmas, Bitches."
109 14 "Through a Glass, Darkly" Chad Lowe Joseph Dougherty & Lijah J. Barasz January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06) 2.01[24]

Three months later, the police are nowhere close to arresting Alison. Spencer and Emily attempt to frame her by placing her hair at the crime scene, but in the process discover cameras that filmed the murder. After being shown the tape, Jason recants himself as Alison's alibi. Alison is then arrested. Meanwhile, Aria enlists Ezra's help to get Mike to open up about his feelings surrounding Mona's death. When all her college applications are rejected, she enlists Caleb's help to hack into the colleges' databases to see if the reason she was rejected was because of her or A. Emily struggles with the fact that Paige is leaving Rosewood, and attempts to get Paige to stay after Alison is arrested, but Paige leaves anyway. The police connect the death of Bethany Young with Mona's and the district attorney drops the charges against Spencer. Hanna helps Mona's mother out in any way she can, while they both grieve over Mona.


'A' ending: 'A' sets off fireworks that transform into an "A" message in the sky.
110 15 "Fresh Meat" Zetna Fuentes Oliver Goldstick & Maya Goldsmith January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13) 2.02[25]
Toby spots Alison at the Chester County Women's Correctional Facility. Toby tells the girls at school about Ali. Later, Toby finds a knife that belonged to his family in Mona's backyard while surveying the area with the police. He tells Spencer and Caleb who agree to pretend that they know nothing about it. Unbeknownst to Toby, Spencer and Caleb go back for the knife. They burn it in a kiln at school. Jason refuses to accept a call from Ali at work, putting Ashley in an uncomfortable position. Emily persuades Ezra, whose caterer quit last-minute, to let her help him. After her culinary skills prove insufficient, Ezra hires a cook named Talia and lets Emily stay on payroll as a barista. Ezra tells Aria she may have been wait-listed at Talmadge due to his ex, Jackie Molina, serving as an admissions officer there. At the Brew's re-opening event, Spencer meets Jonny Raymond to whom her mother has rented out their guest house. Hanna's in pursuit of Holbrook who told Toby he went on leave to tend to his sick father. She discovers Holbrook's dad is unaware of his whereabouts and he mistakes her for Ali. After, Hanna visits Ali and encourages her to give up trying to scare them. Ali tells her she has given up but Hanna isn't convinced and tells Ali not to count on the Liars.
111 16 "Over a Barrel" Michael Grossman Bryan M. Holdman January 20, 2015 (2015-01-20) 1.72[26]

Spencer tells the girls about the bloody knife she and Caleb destroyed. Talia continues to get on Emily's nerves with the changes around their workplace, and suggests they should wear a uniform. Aria gets a text from Holbrook to meet him, but instead runs into Jason. They get coffee and talk about Alison. Jonny comes over to give Spencer the deposit money for the barn. Later he takes leftovers from Spencer's trash can in order to make paint. She goes to give him an egg, when she receives an alert message that Mona's computer has been activated, and it is in a storage unit. Meanwhile, Aria is sent by Holbrook to pick up flowers and carry them to Hanna's mum. Pastor Ted asks Hanna if she's okay with him proposing to Ashley. Hanna then confronts her about Jason, but Ashley refuses to talk about it. Spencer and Caleb finally sneak into the storage facility and find everything wrapped up in plastic bags, and Spencer assumes those are evidence planned to frame them for Mona's murder. They also find a barrel in which they suspect Mona's body is in. Aria brings flowers for Hanna's mum with a "thank you" note from Jason. Hanna admits her she visited Ali in jail. Pastor Ted proposes to Ashley, but she tells him she has to think about it. While Toby and Spencer play Scrabble, he finds out that what she and Caleb have been doing, and is not happy about it. Caleb tells Hanna that he found out the name of the person who rented the storage unit is Hanna Marin.


'A' ending: 'A' sneaks into Hoolbrook's office and hacks into the Rosewood P. D. site on his computer.
112 17 "The Bin of Sin" Tripp Reed Jonell Lennon January 27, 2015 (2015-01-27) 2.00[27]

Caleb corrupts the data files so that Hanna's name is no longer associated with the storage unit containing the barrel. Toby tells Tanner he's suspicious that someone tampered with the results of Alison's polygraph. When he suggests it may be Holbrook, Tanner scolds him. After coming clean to Ezra about the fabricated story to get into Talmadge, Aria is surprised when Ezra is not upset but questions their relationship for fear of Aria growing to resent him later if she misses out on life experiences during college. Later, Talia confesses to Emily that her strange behavior is just nerves about her interest in Emily not Ezra. While continuing to bristle over Ted's marriage proposal, Ashley quits working for Jason DiLaurentis and tells him she's in a serious relationship with a pastor. Jason kisses her again but Ashley pushes him off immediately and tells him it cannot happen again. When Spencer tracks Mona's laptop moving away from the storage unit, she enlists the help of Aria and Emily to retrieve it. The girls come to discover it was a trap by "A" as Aria and Spencer find themselves locked in a freezer until Emily rescues them. Despite their friends' warning, Hanna insists that she and Caleb go back to the storage unit to clear any physical evidence that "A" could use to continue building a case against her;— only to find that the unit has been cleared out except for the barrel. Tanner and Toby investigate the storage unit and uncover drops of blood next to the barrel. Tanner warns Toby that if the blood matches Mona's DNA, his friends will be brought in for questioning.


'A' ending: 'A' shines UV light on the door which leads to an ice cream factory containing Mona's clothes, looking at the fingerprints for the Liars
113 18 "Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me" Joseph Dougherty Joseph Dougherty February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03) 1.80[28]

Veronica consults with Ali's defense team to find out who may be called to testify in Ali's trial. The Liars meet a girl named Leslie, claiming to know Mona. Spencer snoops through Veronica's briefcase and is unpleasantly surprised when she sees who's been visiting Ali on the prison's visitor log: Mike. Holbrook returns to Rosewood and is suspended from work, accused of tampering with Ali's lie detector test. Mike freaks out when he bumps into Hanna and Leslie at the Brew and realizes the book Leslie is holding belonged to Mona. Emily confides in Caleb about her confused emotions for Talia. Hanna returns the book Leslie took from Mona's room and, as she's putting it back, discovers a tape hidden in the binding. Hanna swipes the tape and leaves. Aria becomes suspicious of Mike when he leaves the house late at night. Hanna and Caleb listen to the tape. It turns out to be a recording of one of Bethany Young's therapy sessions at Radley. Aria follows Mike to a pier in the woods where he leaves a bag of gummy bears. Mike catches her, reluctant to explain himself. Veronica gets a call about a leak from the prosecutor's office: Ali's blood is a match for the blood spots found near the barrel. Hanna is signalled to pull over by Holbrook. Hanna tells him off after he confesses that he wasn't away to help Ali but working with the internal affairs unit on another assignment. Emily confesses her feelings to Talia utilizing the machine designed to "catch whispers" that Spencer helped Jonny build at The Brew.


'A' ending: 'A' is frantic when the tape is missing from the binding in Mona's book.
114 19 "Out, Damned Spot" Nzingha Stewart Lijah J. Barasz February 10, 2015 (2015-02-10) 1.77[29]

At the school blood drive run by Ashley, an incident with Mike worries Aria into believing that he is helping Alison, but refuses to listen to Spencer's allegations that he could be A. Emily is shocked to discover that Talia is married. Ezra and Aria face difficult decisions when Aria gets into a college in the South and doesn't tell him, making him question the reliability of their relationship. Hanna discovers that a financial agreement between her parents means that she won't be able to pay for college after Ashley quits her job, but when her father reveals he is already paying for his step-daughter Kate's college and can't afford to pay for Hanna's as well,.Ashley tells Pastor Ted that his marriage proposal is one she wants to accept, but at the same time, decides to reveal to him her fling with Jason, the reason she quit her job at the DiLaurentis Real Estate Agency. Johnny enlists Spencer's help to create a mural at Hollis College and at the same time lets loose Spencer's inner artist. Spencer retrieves the paper the next morning only to discover that the mural was unplanned by the staff at Hollis and has been marked as vandalism. After cheating on her math test by copying Andrew Campbell's answers down to ensure her marks will be enough to get into college, Andrew offers to tutor Aria. Meanwhile, Aria, Spencer, and Emily follow Mike to a diner where they discover him giving a package containing their blood from the blood drive to Cyrus, Alison's "kidnapper." Too scared to stay the night at home with Mike down the hall, Aria sleeps over at Spencer's, but as Spencer ventures downstairs to grab an extra blanket, Mike is seen watching her through the door.


'A' ending: 'A' drops Hanna's blood onto the clothes Mona wore when she died.
115 20 "Pretty Isn't the Point" Melanie Mayron Oliver Goldstick & Francesca Rollins February 17, 2015 (2015-02-17) 2.05[30]

Determined to go to college and earn the tuition money her father won't give her, Hanna enters a beauty pageant to win the $20,000 prize and she recruits Emily as her dance coach. Spencer has since forgiven Johnny for tricking her into painting the mural at Hollis, but when they discover that their "vandalism" has been put on display in a gallery without their permission, she assists him with some illegal work in order to get back their rightful artwork. Emily and Talia struggle to keep their relationship afloat, but Emily is hurt when she discovers that Talia has told her husband Eric that she's just 'experimenting' and Emily is a 'one time thing.' Aria worries about Mike and begins to believe he might have a connection to Mona's death. When she discovers that he's hiding things in a tree behind Mona's house, she is shocked to he's hiding Mona's blood. Mike tells her that Mona attempted to fake her death to have Alison arrested and was working with 'A' to do so, though he now believes Mona to be actually dead.


'A' ending: 'A' walks into Mike's room and starts lifting the gym equipment as exercises.
116 21 "Bloody Hell" Arlene Sanford Maya Goldsmith February 24, 2015 (2015-02-24) 1.58[31]

Aria, Emily, and Spencer finally visit Alison and promise her that they will find a way to get her out of jail. Alison tells Aria that she has to tell her lawyers about Mike as his testimony is the only thing that can save her. Veronica is furious with Spencer for visiting Alison and informs her that Wren got her an interview with Oxford. A guard comes and escorts Alison to the waiting room where she finds Veronica, who wants to know why the girls have been visiting her. Ali tells her they realized that she is telling the truth and that she wants to finally tell the truth. Spencer arrives in London at Melissa's apartment and is greeted by Colin, Melissa and Wren's roommate. Talia tells Emily that she and Eric are now separated, so Emily invites her to stay at her house. The next day, Aria and Hanna arrive at the hospital to meet Cyrus and are surprised to learn that Cyrus is in the burn unit. Meanwhile in London, Spencer is at her college interview and her bag starts to leak. Spencer digs through her bag and finds a broken blood vial. In the hospital, Cyrus mumbles that what happened to him was not an accident, he writes "Varjack" on a piece of paper. Ashley reveals that Ted forgave her and now she and Ted are engaged. Aria looks for Mike, and realizes 'A' tried to kill her brother, leaving her distraught. Andrew tries to comfort her and the two end up kissing. Meanwhile, Veronica realizes something on Alison's case file and tells Spencer to cancel her flight back home.


'A' ending: 'A' places a $20 bill in each of the bibles at Chester Women's Correctional Facility.
117 22 "To Plea or Not to Plea" Arthur Anderson Jonell Lennon March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03) 1.49[32]
Alison is offered a plea bargain that involves naming her accomplice, the Liars begin to doubt the faith they have in Alison and Emily and Aria merge forces with Ezra to find out who the mysterious Varjack is by questioning Mona's lawyer, James Nielan, who they believe Mona confided in on her plan previous to her faking her death. The three follow Nielan to a large guarded house in the woods where they find a receipt that could help them discover who Varjack is. Meanwhile, Melissa convinces Spencer to stay in London. Spencer later realizes that Melissa and her mother lied to her about the interview at St. Andrews to get her to stay in London because they feared Alison was going to name Spencer as her accomplice. Aria and Ezra realize that she needs to be single when she leaves for college and break up momentarily. Hanna tells her mother about the barrel and about how somebody is setting them up, and Veronica advises Ashley to see a good criminal lawyer. The clothes Mona was wearing when she 'died' are discovered and they have Hanna's blood on them. Hanna is arrested and taken to jail where Alison watches her as she passes past her cell in the hallway. At the end of the episode, Alison tells her lawyer that she won't be taking the plea.
118 23 "The Melody Lingers On" Roger Kumble Joseph Dougherty March 10, 2015 (2015-03-10) 1.74[33]

Alison's trial begins and the prosecutor exposes her kidnapping story as a lie to the court, making the Liars fear what else will be revealed. When Jason is called to testify, his affair with Ashley is revealed and the prosecutor theorizes that Ashley convinced Jason to change his identification of Alison in the video of Mona being attacked in exchange for "personal inducements" to help Hanna. Spencer discovers that Varjak's phone number is the same as the one in the personal ads in Alison's house. When Hanna asks Alison about this she reveals that the messages started after her mother's body was found and she believed it was Mona because they stopped when she was murdered. Aria gets a call from the phone number and a French song is played over the phone, which Hanna tells them was one of Mona's favourite songs. Spencer, Emily and Aria go to Mona's house and discover her room has been searched by 'A', but find a cryptic clue hidden in a mirror. Jason visits Alison in jail and she tells him to get out of Rosewood before he is dragged down with her. At a forensic lab, an analyst examines an ice pick that was found in Mona's house, with the company logo "Boo Boo's Ice Cream" printed on it.


'A' ending: 'A' shreds Paul Varjak's documents and using the shredded paper to line Tippi's cage.
119 24 "I'm a Good Girl, I Am" Oliver Goldstick Oliver Goldstick & Maya Goldsmith March 17, 2015 (2015-03-17) 1.70[34]

Aria tries to keep Mike away from the jury, so she turns to Ezra for help. Ezra takes Mike to his cabin but Caleb is there waiting for them and tries to take Mike back to Rosewood to testify in court. However 'A' manages to trick them, and attacks all of them in the woods. Spencer and Emily find someone who can help Alison, but Alison's lawyer refuses to put her on the stand. Lesli is called as a surprise witness, and testifies in court against Alison. She produces a letter that Mona wrote before she was killed saying that Alison was threatening her, but Lesli did not take the letter seriously. Toby and Spencer reconnect, when Toby states that if Tanner doesn't like the fact he's with Spencer, then she can kick him off the force. In the final verdict the judge declares Alison guilty, and Emily, Spencer, and Aria are also arrested.


'A' ending: 'A' plays with dolls in a jail car, placing the dolls in the prison.
120 25 "Welcome to the Dollhouse" Ron Lagomarsino I. Marlene King March 24, 2015 (2015-03-24) 2.65[11]
The Liars have all been arrested and are in a police van on the way to prison, when the van comes to a stop. The door opens to reveal a masked 'A' with a gun who gasses the van. When all the Liars have woken and are startled, and Emily quickly notices a camera in a corner of her room. Hanna tries opening her room's door, but it's locked. Spencer grabs a rocking chair and throws it against her window, but is soon discovers the concrete wall inches from the smashed window. The Liars soon re-unite, and find themselves in a living room, with a girl playing the piano that turns out to be Mona who is alive and was manipulated by "A" into being Alison. Mona walks off to the game room, and the Liars follow her. They sit down in front of a table with a single board game on it. They open some of the board games cards, to find photos of their own prom dates from the ice ball. Hanna loses it, and turns towards the camera, yelling at 'A'. Loud sirens go off, making them all retreat to their rooms. Mona wakes the Liars up during the night and she tells them how the generator shuts down for 3 minutes and also tells them she knows she's Mona, and is playing an act for 'A'. In bed, Spencer figures out 'A's name is Charles. Next morning, 'A' shows them the basement, where the Liars are to recreate the prom. Playing 'A', they trick them into giving materials to make a camera that will temporarily shut down the generator, giving them time to escape. At the prom, Charles joins them and the Liars then use the camera and escape. Once outside, they found that an electric fence and the woods surround them as music started playing.

Specials

Special
no.
Title Narrator(s) Aired between Original air date U.S viewers
(million)
1 "We Love You to Death" The Cast of Pretty Little Liars "Taking This One to the Grave"
"How the 'A' Stole Christmas"
October 21, 2014 (2014-10-21) 1.30[35]
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse sit down to answer fans burning questions about the show, while Tyler Blackburn, Ian Harding, Janel Parrish, Keegan Allen and "Pretty Little Liars" crew members sit down to give insiders a glimpse at the behind the scenes workings of the show. It wouldn’t be Halloween, or "Pretty Little Liars," if it didn’t include some of "A's" victims in a "Dearly Departed"-themed segment with interviews from those who met a deadly end, such as Bianca Lawson ("Maya St. Germain"), Ryan Merriman ("Ian Thomas") and Bryce Johnson ("Det. Darren Wilden"). Also "Pretty Little Liars" super fans weigh in on their favorite OMG moments and what the show has meant to them. And everyone has a theory on who they think is "A!"

Production

Development

The show was renewed for a fifth season on March 26, 2013, while in its third season.[36] I. Marlene King announced on Twitter that the fifth season would contain 25 episodes, including a Christmas special instead of a halloween episode, which the last three seasons have had.[4][37] Right before the season five premiere aired, on June 10, 2014, the series was renewed for two additional seasons through season 6 and 7, making the show ABC Family's longest running original series.[8]

On October 13, 2014, it was announced that the special Christmas episode would air as part of ABC Family's "25 Days of Christmas" programming event on December 9, 2014.[38] ABC Family announced that they would air a special behind-the-scenes halloween episode where the cast of Pretty Little Liars would be interviewed and answering questions from fans.[39] It was announced that the show would return with its winter premiere and remaining 12 episodes, which began airing on January 6, 2015.[40]

Casting

Chloe Brigdes smiling at Griffon Film Festival in 2010.
Chloe Bridges was cast as Sydney for the fifth season.

The fifth season had nine roles receiving star billing, with all of them returning from the previous season, seven of which was part of the original cast from the first season. The season saw the four protagonists of the series continue the roles. Troian Bellisario played Spencer Hastings, who struggles with family drama. Ashley Benson continued her role as Hanna Marin, whom finds herself in an identity crisis as a result of Alison's return. Lucy Hale played Aria Montgomery who volunteers to work at Radley Sanitarium in addition to build up her relationship with Ezra. Shay Mitchell portrayed Emily Fields who is affected the most of Alison's return, which makes her confront her feelings towards Ali. Sasha Pieterse returned as Alison DiLaurentis, who moves back home after being presumably dead the last two years, which makes her the attention of the town. Janel Parrish played Mona Vanderwaal, who starts a group against Alison. Tyler Blackburn returned to the series as Caleb Rivers after playing the same character on Ravenswood, while Ian Harding continued his role as Ezra Fitz who is almost killed after being shot in the abdomen by Shana. In addition, Laura Leighton played Ashley Marin, Hanna's mom.

On March 12, 2014, it was announced that Tyler Blackburn would be returning as a series regular on the show after leaving halfway through the fourth season for the sister show; Ravenswood, and would return in the 100th episode.[41][42] It was reported that in the season premiere, a beloved character would be in great danger as of the casting of a paramedic and two surgeons for the first episode.[43] It was reported that Kenneth DiLaurentis would be returning, King said "Her father comes home and wants to take her with him".[44] On April 3, 2014, it was reported that Chloe Bridges was cast as Sydney, the newest member on the swim team who would befriend Shay Mitchell's character Emily. She appeared in multiple episodes, the first being the third episode.[45]

Tammin Sursok was reported to return to the show in the 100th episode. Her character hadn't been seen since the ninth episode of season four.[46] TV Line reported on June 26, 2014, that Mona's mother, Leona, was going to be introduced in the summer finale,[47] and was going to be played by Sydney Penny.[48] On August 5, 2014, it was announced that Will Bradley was cast as Johnny Raymond, a new painter who would be spending some time with the character Spencer Hastings. He first appeared in the 15th episode.[49] Author of the book series creator, Sara Shepard was announced to appear the show as the news reporter in the 24th episode,[50] following her appearance in the first season episode "The Homecoming Hangover" as the Rosewood High School substitute teacher.

Broadcast

In Australia, the season premiered on Fox8 on June 13, 2014.[51] The second part premiered on January 9, 2015.[52] In the United Kingdom, the first part was released on Netflix on January 1, 2015, with new episodes streaming from the day after it airs in the US.[53]

Reception

Critical reception

The season premiere was down from the previous premiere, and down from the season four finale "A is for Answers", with a 1.1 at the target 18–49 demographic and 2.72 total viewers.[10] On Rotten Tomatoes the fifth season got a rating of 80% fresh based on 5 reviews.[54]

Live + SD ratings

No. in
series
No. in
season
Episode Air date Time slot (EST) Rating/Share (18–49) Viewers (m) Rank (18-49)
96 1 "Escape from New York" June 10, 2014 (2014-06-10) Tuesdays
8:00 p.m.
1.1[10] 2.72[10] 1[10]
97 2 "Whirly Girlie" June 17, 2014 (2014-06-17) 0.9[12] 2.16[12] 15[12]
98 3 "Surfing the Aftershocks" June 24, 2014 (2014-06-24) 1.0[13] 2.28[13] 4[13]
99 4 "Thrown from the Ride" July 1, 2014 (2014-07-01) 0.9[14] 2.13[14] 14[14]
100 5 "Miss Me x 100" July 8, 2014 (2014-07-08) 1.0[15] 2.25[15] 10[15]
101 6 "Run, Ali, Run" July 15, 2014 (2014-07-15) 1.0[16] 2.13[16] 8[16]
102 7 "The Silence of E. Lamb" July 22, 2014 (2014-07-22) 1.0[17] 2.06[17] 8[17]
103 8 "Scream for Me" July 29, 2014 (2014-07-29) 0.8[18] 1.80[18] 16[18]
104 9 "March of Crimes" August 5, 2014 (2014-08-05) 0.9[19] 2.05[19] 7[19]
105 10 "A Dark Ali" August 12, 2014 (2014-08-12) 0.9[20] 2.05[20] 13[20]
106 11 "No One Here Can Love or Understand Me" August 19, 2014 (2014-08-19) 0.8[21] 1.80[21] 11[21]
107 12 "Taking This One to the Grave" August 26, 2014 (2014-08-26) 1.0[22] 2.29[22] 4[22]
108 13 "How the 'A' Stole Christmas" December 9, 2014 (2014-12-09) 0.9[23] 2.09[23] 11[23]
109 14 "Through a Glass, Darkly" January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06) 1.0[24] 2.01[24] 7[24]
110 15 "Fresh Meat" January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13) 0.9[25] 2.02[25] 7[25]
111 16 "Over a Barrel" January 20, 2015 (2015-01-20) 0.7[26] 1.72[26] 14[26]
112 17 "The Bin of Sin" January 27, 2015 (2015-01-27) 0.9[27] 2.00[27] 7[27]
113 18 "Oh, What Hard Luck Stories They All Hand Me" February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03) 0.8[28] 1.80[28] 11[28]
114 19 "Out, Damned Spot" February 10, 2015 (2015-02-10) 0.8[29] 1.77[29] 10[29]
115 20 "Pretty Isn't the Point" February 17, 2015 (2015-02-17) 0.9[30] 2.05[30] 11[30]
116 21 "Bloody Hell" February 24, 2015 (2015-02-24) 0.7[31] 1.58[31] 12[31]
117 22 "To Plea or Not to Plea" March 3, 2015 (2015-03-03) 0.7[32] 1.49[32] 18[32]
118 23 "The Melody Lingers On" March 10, 2015 (2015-03-10) 0.9[33] 1.74[33] 8[33]
119 24 "I'm a Good Girl, I Am" March 17, 2015 (2015-03-17) 0.9[34] 1.70[34] 8[34]
120 25 "Welcome to the Dollhouse" March 24, 2015 (2015-03-24) 1.3[11] 2.65[11] 1[11]

DVD release

The Complete Fifth Season
Set details[55] Special features[55]
  • 25 episodes
  • 1100 minutes (Region 1); 1070 minutes (Region 2); 1050 minutes (Region 4)
  • 6-disc set
  • 1.85:1 aspect ratio
  • Languages:
    • English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles:
    • English, French and Spanish (Region 1)
    • English, Spanish, Danish, French, Arabic, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, English for the Hearing Impaired (Regions 2 and 4)
  • Deleted scenes
  • "Good Girls, Bad Lies: The Stronger PLLs"
  • "Pretty Little Liars: The Guys Are Back!"
  • "Celebrating a Pretty 100th"
  • "Christmas in Rosewood: Designing the Ice Ball"
  • We Love You to Death - Fan Appreciation Episode
Release dates
 United States  United Kingdom  Australia
June 2, 2015 (2015-06-02)[55] July 15, 2015 (2015-07-15)[56] N/A

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