Guest Review How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder 3×03 – Always Bet Black

“You hit on her and I’ll cut off your balls.”

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So that was boring.

After two strong hours, How To Get Away With Murder relapses with a procedural-heavy episode that hardly mentions its serialized mystery and instead focuses on a gross, emotionless case. We’re used to Annalise representing guilty people, but there was something especially nauseating about Toby who murdered two women, one of whom he admitted killing because she called him fat and ugly. It was an extremely dull case that lacked depth and could hardly keep my interest, maybe because it was also short on the twists that usually keep the weekly cases fresh and exciting.

Sadly, Laurel’s subplot with her evil father wasn’t much better. She uses him to get information on Frank, which she then hides from Annalise (obviously a terrible move), by simultaneously making herself tied to her father for life. While we learn a lot of backstory here, including the reveal that she was kidnapped and her mother had a mental illness, the execution is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s not done for the purpose of character development, but instead the information dump comes across about as random and pointless as Wes’ entire existence in this episode. Can we not go back to the Wes/Laurel thing please?

Finally, the show even fails to pull off a thrilling cliffhanger. Of course, the flashforwards can’t always parallel the events happening in present-time like last week, but this episode treats the final reveal (another body is found alive inside the Keating house) as this big, explosive twist while it’s really hardly that important. The show will undoubtedly keep teasing viewers about the body #UnderTheSheets for another five episodes, and for the first time since the show’s inception I’m getting a little weary of this tired format.

Murderous Bits

– Loved the title credits fading over Annalise’s prison headshot in the opening. Very cool.

– Case in point: never make Annalise a smoothie.

– It’s a miracle that Nate is still on this show. He’s been useless for over two years now!

– Michaela finds out that Aiden, her and Connor’s ex, got engaged. That pushes her to go gambling with someone else’s money then she gives a thousand dollars to a homeless man. Why did this subplot even exist?

– ADA Rene Atwood makes a fantastic adversary to Annalise. She is sassy, resilient and smart. I really wanted her to win the case!

– Agree with Laurel and her evil daddy: tres leches are delicious!

– Laurel’s voicemail message is so irritating. People don’t talk that way, honey.

– Bonnie and Annalise discussing what to do with the body was the highlight of the hour. What an incredibly performed and emotionally devastating scene. It’s a shame Viola Davis and Liza Weil don’t share the screen every single week.

– Someone forgot to invite Wes to Atlantic City so he spent the night literally sticking his tongue down Meggy’s throat. Is the show purposely making Wes disposable this season so they can kill him off in the midseason finale?

– I can’t stand the Oliver/Connor drama anymore – it’s too cheesy!

– Annalise slapping her client was so confusing while obviously shocking. Apparently that was a REAL slap, at least according to creator Pete Nowalk who thanked the actors for their dedication on Twitter. Can’t say Toby didn’t deserve it though.

– The university president Soraya Hargrove (I was surprised too) is awfully suspicious. We can’t spend this much time on a supporting character if she’s not getting murdered soon, right?

– I’m relieved Bonnie is alive in the flashforward! She’s been underutilized this season – and every season!

Courtroom Exchanges

Michaela: I’d like to appeal for recusal as first chair as this case offends my sensibilities as a woman.
Simon: I’m okay with being offended.

Bonnie: So, he’s living here now?
Annalise: You don’t approve?
Bonnie: No, Nate’s great.
Annalise: Tell your face that.

Bonnie: No one will blame you for cutting a deal on this one, and it will help keep the president out of our hair.
Annalise: The president can suck it.

Oliver: It’s all fake, Michaela. If she were really happy, she wouldn’t have to post photos of herself looking happy.

Annalise: Go home. You’re off the case.
Michaela: But I’m first chair!
Annalise: No, you just stood up first. Now go. Your sensibilities as a woman should be relieved.

Annalise: We haven’t even seen the body yet. For all we know, it doesn’t even exist.
Bonnie: Then just say you were compelled. For moral and ethical reasons.
Annalise: (chuckles) Like they’ll believe that. It’s-it’s cute though.

Conclusion
A tedious case takes center stage in an underwhelming episode of Murder.

Chris Rating
C+

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