I think at this point I am hate-watching this show. It brings up a very dark and angry side of me that I never want to see—but before we get to that, credit where credit is due: I was very impressed by that shocking twist in the end.
It wasn’t that the twist itself was so great, but the execution of it that I’m baffled by. Viola Davis, sitting at her desk blandly, staring at her dead husband on the floor, in complete and utter silence, and telling Wes that he shouldn’t be sorry for the murder: PHENOMENAL. She deserves the kind of slow-clapping applause that is never-ending, just for that scene itself, and I probably say this kind of thing every time Davis shocks our very existence with insane performances like this—but this episode was her very best yet.
She played all the sides of her that I’ve come to enjoy: strong, weak and mysterious. I am so happy to find out that her apology phone-call to Sam was a fake (I can’t believe I didn’t see that coming) because while that was an exceptionally produced montage (finally the flashbacks are all put together in one single episode), Annalise had the kind of character development that is cheer-worthy. Sure, Sam had absolutely zero depth but I can’t say I’ll miss him. And surprisingly, it seemed like we discovered Wes wasn’t the mastermind behind this whole cover-up. Annalise was the one helping him get rid of the body (again, so it seems so far). That, I loved.
Now that the good stuff is all laid out, let’s get to the bad stuff: everything and everyone else. It was expected that the winter midseason finale would deliver a shocking #WhoKilledSam reveal, but I still didn’t feel much invested in the idea that it was Wes. The scene of the actual murder (done twice thanks to a resurrected Sam) was not good, guys. I didn’t feel the kind of tension and suspense I should have felt about a moment we’ve waited months for. All I kept thinking was, why are these people so freaking stupid?
If you let yourself go down that road, you will consume yourself with more hate towards this show than entertainment. But I can’t wrap myself around the idiotic things that the Keating Five did here, the first of them being why in the world they would be protecting Rebecca (even just writing about her makes me angry). And for once, I was actually loving Michaela but that’s a feeling none of the other “murderers” shared. Instead, she was scorned at for being the only rational person here and asking why they were doing this, and that she had nothing to do with it. I’m trying to find a “human” aspect behind this and let myself believe that when a man as villainous as Sam is choking someone in front of you, you would want to help. But there are other ways to help, no? And then you realize that the entire episode was basically just a collection of repetitive scenes that we’d already seen before—did we really need to see them fighting over what to do with the body? Don’t we know that already?
The only reason I wanted to love this show in the first place is because I wanted this murder reveal to be more than just about self-defense. I needed the characters to be smart and not kill someone for the very predictable reason that he was trying to kill one of them first. I’m expecting too much, I guess, from a show that is very poorly written, with characters still extremely unlikable, and instead relies on shock value to lure audiences in week after week. I just don’t know how long people are going to fall for that.
Sneaky Courtroom Bits
– What’s the deal with Bonnie? This character has gone on such a weird rollercoaster, at times being interesting then other times being just creepy.
– Michaela should have called the police instead of Wes when Sam was running after Rebecca (ugh) in the house. But then if that happened, the show would have relied on actual logic and realism.
– The gang sure had a heck lot of time on their hands after they killed Sam. Taking a shower, making out after the shower, going out to the woods for a little walk then returning again for the body, etc.
– Annalise and Nate had sex again. One of them has a cheater possibly-murderer husband; the other, a sick wife. The characters on this show make very good decisions, huh?
– I felt bad for Laurel and Connor who really had NOTHING to do with the murder.
– Sam’s speech to Annalise in the beginning about why he’s with her and why he even slept with her the first time was kinda epic. The guy is amazing at saying shitty things to his wife.
– The writers should take note from The Affair. This episode should have been a psychological study of these characters and what they’re going through having committed this crime. Instead, it relied on shocking viewers with a cliffhanger after a 40-minute ride of exhaustion.
– The show returns January 29th! Hopefully with more likable characters.
Amusing Keating One-Liners
Sam: I’m not a violent man, Annie.
Annalise: Everyone’s violent, given the chance.
Wes: Sam killed Lila, and Rebecca’s trying to prove it.
Michaela: Wait, what?!
Connor: I’d pay to see her face right now.
Wes: He [Asher] wasn’t a part of this.
Connor: You think I wanted to be a part of this?
Annalise: The police are gonna ask you a lot of questions about my husband. He was having an affair with Lila Stangard, and I confronted him about it last night. We had a terrible fight and now…now he’s not answering his phone, and I think he might’ve fled.
Viola proves again that she’s the only thing worth watching on this show.