Call me crazy but I actually loved this.
I have been hating on this show for a while now, calling it overrated and messy and unlikable—and while it’s still all of those things, the tenth installment of the series definitely left me entertained and thrilled. It was a very solid midseason premiere.
It’s no wonder Viola Davis went home with a People’s Choice award and a Screen Actors Guild award this year; she has been phenomenal in her role as Annalise Keating (yes, it bears repeating) and this episode used Davis’ incredible performance to display several different sets of emotions perfectly. The intro was pulse-pounding and an amazing means of starting the episode in such a fast-paced matter, but it was the bathroom scene that truly wowed me. I’ve always been on the fence regarding Annalise’s soft side because I prefer to see her strappy and a bit seductive and evil, but I loved how vulnerable she seemed there for a moment, taking slow deep breaths while her team celebrated another win outside. And it all culminated in a perfect little moment as she stepped out and slowly went to wash up, leaving those big-mouthed gossipers in a state of utter shock. Perfect.
What I also (very surprisingly) loved about the show’s return is that it was finally heading somewhere better. For once, I feel like I can love Michaela, Connor and Laurel. Their bonding moments here were so exciting to watch. It might just be my hatred of everything Wes and Rebecca, but I was really rooting for those three to team up and actually be smart for a change. Of course it wasn’t going to work because Annalise (very unsurprisingly) is always one step ahead of everything and everyone. I was amused by Laurel ratting them out because it led to a very chilling scene outside the police station where all hell broke loose: Annalise, Frank and the Keating Five all looking at each other, all realizing that at one point or another each of them has betrayed the other—and where the hell do we go on from here?
It’s that feeling of being unable to trust anyone that’s suddenly driving the show into a better place. While I could have easily become distracted and annoyed with the constant flashbacks to things we’ve already seen before, I seemed to find those scenes (including the interrogations) quite amusing. That kind of editing is just simply the show’s signature, I kept telling myself, and I’m starting to warm up to it a little. How long until we see that spinning cheerleader again, do you think?
Developing Michaela, Connor and Laurel’s budding relationship further (although that last one seems unlikely now) definitely did the show a favor, and hopefully so will the addition of the lovely Marcia Gay Harden as Sam’s sister, giving Annalise a strong woman to butt heads with. Now that the murder has come and gone, I can only hope that the next 4 (and final) episodes of the season produce episodes as great as this and bring more thrills, twists and turns—something I had been expecting from this show since the Pilot.
Sneaky Courtroom Bits
– I almost forgot how creepy every Annalise/Wes scene has to be. I get so uncomfortable watching their scenes, it’s really disturbing.
– The Keating Five leaving the courtroom with a win and the reporters attacking them with questions and pictures—all taking place in slow motion—was kind of amazing.
– I still can’t stand Rebecca, or Wes & Rebecca. I’m just immediately annoyed every time the girl is on-screen.
– So, could Sam really be Lila’s killer? So far, that’s too predictable to be true. And ShondaLand does not do predictable.
– The funniest thing about watching the surveillance tape of Sam and Lila in the clinic is that I had no recollection of what Lila looked like until I saw that scene.
– Something is still not right about Bonnie. This show is giving me severe trust issues.
Amusing Keating One-Liners
Connor: Do you want to be married, or go to jail?
Annalise: What you did tonight had to be done. He killed that girl and for that he deserved to die. Trust me. I got you into this and it’s my job to get you out of it. Now go and do what you’ve been told.
Connor: Look, if Aiden doesn’t wanna marry you, it just means there’s someone better around the corner.
Connor: You’re quiet. What’s the matter, not in the mood to confess to murder?
A powerful return for a show that was very unlikable for a while. Definitely one of its best episodes so far.