Talk about a comeback.
No, not that this episode made a comeback from last week’s mess; I’m talking about the final scene which almost saved this episode itself, an episode which I can describe in one word: ridiculous.
But before we journey back to how lame everything was, let’s take a moment and discuss the amazing performance, the witty tone and the visually stunning look on Viola Davis’ face in the closing minutes of the episode as she took off her wig (what?!!), removed her makeup and asked her husband what his penis was doing on a dead girl’s phone. That deserves an award—and not just a crappy trophy that gets you out of exams—no, this is Emmy-worthy material. Kudos, Davis, for being the best thing that’s happened on television this year. Truly phenomenal.
Now if only the show was doing just half as good as Davis’ performance. I may be in the minority here, but this week’s episode was so extreme and so ridiculous I might have missed a few scenes while I was rolling my eyes in frustration.
Mystery shows have come a long way since CSI, Law & Order and other classics. The idea is to reveal a suspect early on in the episode, disclose them as being innocent, introduce a bunch of other characters and then go back to that first suspect—he’s been our guy all along. But that formula is so contrived and stale now, it just doesn’t work in 2014 anymore. The audience is much smarter now, so you can’t expect us to believe that any character you’re throwing in our face won’t turn out to be involved somehow.
That’s what I felt when watching the case-of-the-week unfold. There’s no way you’d believe that the employees the students interviewed weren’t the suspects. In addition, the courtroom stuff is usually amusing and twisty, so the fact that those scenes were kept to a very minimum didn’t appeal to me.
Other ridiculous things that happened: are we supposed to believe that Frank loves Laurel now? How quick was that? Why isn’t the show building up its characters, developing them more, and most importantly, why do I still hate everyone?
One character I am surprisingly warming up to is Bonnie. Yes, she’s probably had about five lines in the show so far, but her storyline got good this week. The fact that she now knows Nate is sneaking into Sam’s car, and how she used that information to bribe the police sergeant was some good material, especially since she didn’t tell Sam or Annalise about what she saw. And if I’m correct about my assumptions of a possible Sam/Bonnie affair, then the information she now possesses makes her that much more interesting.
Sadly, and again, the flashforwards bore me to death. Not a single scene was interesting enough, and I just kept asking myself “haven’t we seen this already?” which is really disappointing. When the show premiered four weeks ago, I thought it was groundbreaking television. I loved that the students were going to use the skills and knowledge their law professor was teaching them to get away with a murder of their own (for some logical reasons, of course). With every passing episode, though, it’s becoming more apparent that this might be more Rebecca’s murder than the students’, and as I’ve made my hateful feelings towards Rebecca’s character obvious in previous reviews, this just frustrates me.
So far, it just looks like Sam killed Lila and tried to frame Rebecca for it, so Rebecca got all revenge-y and killed him in the flashforward. Or maybe the show will steer away from the CSI-like formula I discussed earlier and make everything that much more complex. I do hope I’m wrong and that the show surprises me the way they did with the final scene. But as for now, I’m still expecting much more from HTGAWM.
Sneaky Courtroom Bits
– Seriously, what’s with the repetitive flashforward scenes? Oh my god, we get it, writers! There will be a bonfire, and that cheerleader making jumps and twirls in the air, she’s the real murderer isn’t she?
– The gay sex scene is what everyone’s talking about online. I admit it was quite shocking actually to see that amount of man-on-man sex on a network television. ABC: breaking homophobic barriers since…2014?
– I can’t stress how much I hated the case of the week, especially when it was introduced in the beginning. Major snooze fest.
– It was quite corny how Connor eavesdropped on his sex buddy’s phone conversation. Where did all the good writing go?
– A part of me felt like Sam knew who Nate was. I was expecting something along the line of “you done sleeping with my wife?” Maybe that’s even cornier than Connor’s eavesdropping.
– It does seem like we’ll be dealing with character-centric episodes. Which one did you prefer more: this week’s Connor or last week’s Michaela episode?
– That suicide was also ridiculous. Is it bad that I actually laughed at that scene? I just couldn’t believe what I was watching. What the hell?
– Why is it that every time Annalise gets really close to Wes, I feel like she’s about to rip his clothes off and rape him? Please don’t, Annalise. Ever.
– It’s worth mentioning again that Viola Davis is a badass. Totally rocked that final scene.
Amusing Keating One-Liners
Connor: Everyone say hello to the police. Hii!
Wes: If you want the trophy that bad, Michaela, take it.
Michaela: It doesn’t work that way, dumbass. You have to win it; otherwise, it means nothing.
Frank: Now you know what a shooting star looks like.
Annalise: Getting a witness to confess is perhaps the most challenging yet fun parts about being an attorney.
A ridiculous episode by all means, but there’s no denying that Davis’ performance, particularly in that final scene, was haunting and perfect.