Shonda Rhimes’s new series How to Get Away With Murder, starring Viola Davis rounds out the Thursday ABC lineup with a full, adrenaline-pumping murder mystery sprinkled with marital woes and young love and one bloody nightmare.
By Cheryl S. Grant–
Full disclosure: I love Viola Davis. I believe she is an awesome actress that hasn’t garnered the commercial success that someone of her caliber should. So when I heard that she was going to be only a quick click away on my TV weekly in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, I was thrilled.
Now, while this show is packed with lots of goings-on, I will try to keep this brief and not give too much away. First let me say whomever is styling Viola is doing an awesome job! Love the wardrobe. Now on to the action–in the first few minutes of the first episode we are introduced to snarky and sneaky law students who worship at the feet of practicing lawyer and professor Annalise Keating aka Viola Davis (The Help). She is teaching a criminal law class of the same name as the show. Much like the other Shonda Rhimes shows there are many quick-witted one-liners to be had.
Annalise announces that each year she chooses four lucky students to assist her with the bonus that they could get one of the four internships at her practice. This year, though, she has decided to have five in the running: Connor, (Jack Fahlahee, Twisted), Laurel, (Karla Souza), Michaela, (Aja Naomi King), Asher (Matt McGorry, Orange is the New Black), and Wesley, (Alfred Enoch, Harry Potter).
First case up, the client is a mistress who was accused (no surprise) of attempted murder. The fab five have to all come up with a possible plan for what defense Annalise’s should argue. Whoever comes up with the best idea wins a statue called Lady Justice which acts as an immunity idol/get out of one exam free pass. SPOILER ALERT: The statue is important.
Each of the students gets to shine a little by providing different pieces of the puzzle but it is naïve little Wesley that catches Annalise in the midst of a tryst that really scores him big with her.
As we go back and forth in this episode from the present to the past we meet her husband Sam and get a glimpse of their relationship while being entreated to a preview of the missing student case that could involve him.
With the classroom, the courtroom and the affair you wouldn’t think there would be time for more drama; oh but there is. Seems as if her chosen students have gotten themselves involved in what appears to be a homicide. As we fade to black on this episode viewers are left with an image of…Oh yes…Sam!
Episode two is just as crazy except we are more familiar with the characters. What’s different though is we realize that husbands aren’t all they seem. Beware there are spoilers all throughout this post!!!!
It appears that Sam obviously had some fishy dealings with Lila, the missing student from last week. Annalise happens upon an email exchange between them that he later deletes. But it’s hard to say what that’s about because so far he has been painted as a patient and loving husband. But you know it’s always the quiet ones. Being the true suspicious wife (he’s cheated before) and skeptical lawyer Annalise is, she’s giving him the side eye. As she spins out of control with mistrust she seeks out her lover and begs him for his help in proving or disproving that her hubby is somehow involved. What? Yeah this woman has gall!!!
The police, on the other hand, seem to believe that Wesley’s neighbor Rebecca is somehow involved in the death of Lila. Poor Wesley, because prior to her arrest she paid him a visit, gave him a striptease and left behind…a clue?
There are many flashbacks of the fab five trying to figure out what to do with Sam’s body. Plus, we are also entreated to see Wes in a convenience store buying lighter fluid, using a disposable phone and getting caught on the store’s surveillance camera. Not smart! Not the actions of a future lawyer.
The client this week is a tad creepy. He shows up looking very upper-class with a cardigan and attitude in tow. His current wife has been killed and while he claims innocence, we soon find out his previous wife was also murdered; in similar fashion. As with this case, he was also a suspect in that one but was found not guilty.
Sadly, the students’ mess and Sam’s possible involvement is far more riveting than the fact this white sweater wearing murderer got off with the first murder just to piss his daughter off enough to drive her to commit a copycat crime. This is a handful but what else did you expect from Rhimes? If you have ever watched Grey’s Anatomy or Scandal you know there will always be drama!!!!!!
Oh Episode 3 your storyline is just insanely juicy. First let’s talk about uptight Michaela; she has a fiancé. Who knew that little Miss perfect would allow anyone into her scheduled life? But wait a minute her fiancé Aiden knows Connor and in the conjugal way. He swears he isn’t gay and his fling with Connor was just a onetime thing. But that’s not the only focus of this week’s show but Lila’s phone, Frank’s Job, Sam’s fake alibi, Nate’s lie about the alibi, and the dinner party are also featured.
So Rebecca seemingly has left Lila’s phone in Wes’ apartment. It rings Wes answers and a male voice claims that Rebecca could hook him up. Are we talking about drugs? But more importantly why did Rebecca have Lila’s phone and why did she dump it in Wes’ bathroom?
Which now leads us to the boyfriend/lead suspect in Lila’s murder Griffin; Annalise is asked to defend him. Well he decides that he is going to send Rebecca up the river. Wes hears that and runs to see Rebecca in prison to warn her and she turns on him. (Almost didn’t recognize her without the corn rows). She then confesses to the murder as we find out that due to urging from Wes Annalise is going to defend her instead of Griffin. WHAT?
Continuing from last week Nate checks out Sam’s alibi which is shaky at best. Not sure why but Nate lies to Annalise and says that Sam’s story is true. Seems Sam was meant to meet with a Yale dean but hadn’t and that pissed the Dean off. Two issues there: first that means he has no alibi and second he blew his opportunity to get the Yale job. At the dinner party Sam casually mentions that he didn’t get the job at Yale but of course doesn’t say why. Is Nate setting Annalise up for failure through her husband because of what she did to him?
Back at the coin toss scene we see the after math of the burning of the body. After they have loaded up their black trash bags Michaela notices that she has lost her engagement ring. OUCH! Oh goodness where could it be? Hopefully nowhere near the barbeque pit!
This week the trophy goes to Wes for standing up for his principles with Annalise. Who really wants that thing? It’s more of a curse than a blessing.
This week’s case is a total mess also. Talk about betrayal in a marriage. Last week’s trial led Annalise to tears because it seemed to speak to issues in her marriage. This week was a direct shot at Michaela’s already fractured relationship with Aiden. Let’s just say it leads Annalise to offer Michaela this advice “Choose your husband carefully, Miss Pratt. You’ll only have yourself to blame if it ends badly.” Was that introspection or advice? Who knows with that woman!
Even though I was already taken aback by all the revelations in this show the fact that Frank isn’t a lawyer but just another whipping boy for Annalise was quite shocking. Why would he take such a demoralizing position? What does she have on him? Because you know she is the Queen of the manipulation and can drum up tears on a moment’s notice. Next week should be another mad ride so buckle up ‘til then.