Now that’s more like it.
I wasn’t so impressed with last week’s premiere, but She Hates Us is definitely a vast improvement in terms of moving the story forward while simultaneously trying to make us care about the characters.
And the characters have definitely been this show’s weakest link, mostly because every single one of them has been portrayed for the past year as some kind of selfish, unlovable murderer or hard-to-root-for anti-hero, so I was glad we got to spend a little more time with these people so we can finally get to know their possibly-existing good side. Scenes like the car ride near the end with all the Keating Five discussing their shared hatred for Annalise works and comes highly needed since the show has often regressed from portraying the students’ psychological state post-murder and instead relied on shocking twists. It’s very small character development that’s weird and random to watch, but also effective exactly for that same reason: we haven’t seen them interacting like normal humans before – but that’s the show’s fault not the characters.
Elsewhere, Annalise works on a case that’s surprisingly touching, but to me still borders on unnecessary as the show is already overstuffed with tons of storylines. I’d much rather spend more time in the flashbacks where a pregnant Annalise is still getting to know Frank and Bonnie while also being all lovey-dovey with Sam (remember Sam?). These flashbacks weren’t as fascinating as the show wanted them to be, but it was definitely intriguing to watch this toxic couple interact like little lovebirds, knowing in advance that their relationship will come crumbling down 10 years later. It does seem like they started to have problems when Annalise lost the baby because I don’t ever remember Sam being this nice or sympathetic in season one.
The Annalise/Wes mystery gets a load of new information as well this week, but the writers at this point are certainly treading water with this storyline. We’re getting breadcrumbs and it’s a little frustrating to watch, to be honest. I don’t know what that newspaper headline means (hedge fund heir Charles Mahoney on trial for murder), but it’s probably pretty important seeing as how this episode kept throwing it in our faces quite a few number of times. What we do know is that Wes’s mother had something to do with it and clearly ends up killed for it (and Annalise covers it up with “suicide”, right?).
Finally, I thought the last few minutes were exhilarating. Even though I do not care about Frank and Laurel, it was undoubtedly exciting to see him finally confess to murdering Lyla. It will be interesting to see where things go from here and whether Laurel trusts Frank enough to cover up for him. I do hope this episode marks a new phase in the Keating Five dynamic because I wouldn’t mind Laurel snitching to the rest of the team about Frank’s slip-up.
Sneaky Courtroom Bits
– Loved the teaser with Annalise walking down the stairs and meeting her students before it’s revealed that she’s pregnant and this is a flashback from 10 years earlier.
– Fart noises? Seriously, guys?
– The weekly case started so abruptly, I was confused whether it was something we’d seen before or not. Plus, the fact that it actually began in court made it weirder.
– Laurel and Wes pretending to be a couple was actually quite amusing. But everything about Wes being stuck at the psychiatric ward was not.
– Annalise fires Laurel as her Bonnie 2.0! Damn, that had to hurt.
– 10 years ago Bonnie giving Annalise pregnancy advice really made it sound like Bonnie’s had a kid before. Or am I overthinking this?
– I loved seeing some of the flashbacks from the past season and a half, particularly Annalise and Bonnie’s epic screaming match, but they made absolutely no sense in context. Sometimes, the show was trying to make it sound like these characters from 10 years ago were having premonitions about the future. Very weirdly edited.
– Asher overhearing the team talking about him behind his back was such a soapy turn. Yawn about pretty much everything Asher-related.
– I could have lived without Annalise turning this case into an issue of racism. This show has sent across so many messages in that regard in the past, only it was executed much better and had a more powerful payoff.
– Epic moment: Michaela snapping at Annalise and refusing to work for her.
– I really find Nate absolutely useless at this point.
– Does anyone really find Philip threatening at all? I wasn’t so impressed with that cliffhanger.
Amusing Keating One-Liners
Michaela: She hates us.
Connor: Good. The feeling is mutual.
Annalise [to Frank]: Just think with your big head instead of your little one.
Annalise: You just told us the truth. Don’t you ever tell that to anyone again. Understood?
Michaela: I’m allowed to be weirded out by this conversation.
A solid episode that’s an improvement over last week’s underwhelming premiere.