Guest Review How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder 3×04 – Don’t Tell Annalise

“Be on your A-game because my brain is steeped in vodka.”

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Even though ABC will probably keep this show on the air for as long as Shonda Rhimes and Viola Davis want, I think it’s time the writers start planning their endgame right now.

There’s just a lot of negative energy on this show, and that’s expected when your main character is a self-destructive maniac, but it’s becoming awfully tiring to watch. The Annalise/Nate fight is probably the fastest any fight on television history has gone from calm and quiet to cancerous and disgusting. What reaction were we supposed to have to Annalise repeatedly screaming “hit me” other than fascination in Viola Davis’ top-notch performance? It’s exhausting just writing about it, and I would have much preferred to spend more time with Eve (the always-incredible Famke Janssen), who sadly won’t be returning anytime soon (but let’s hope I’m wrong).

With Annalise suspended from university (a move about two years too late), Bonnie takes the lead on a case even though it’s practically illegal for her to do so. Her conversations with Asher are about as negative and damaging as Annalise and Nate’s, especially when Bonnie reminds us about Asher’s gang rape story. Good lord, is there ANY character worth rooting for here?

Finally, it’s worth noting that there are two bombshells at the end of the hour. Frank murders Bonnie’s pedophile father (for reasons unknown), something Bonnie tells Laurel not to tell Annalise about, then we find out that Laurel is the survivor of the Keating fire in the flashforward before it’s revealed that she’s also pregnant. It’s an interesting cliffhanger, but I sure hope the writers treat it with proper consideration and without any convoluted twists (such as having Wes be the father).

Murderous Bits

– How hilarious and amusing were Annalise and Eve at the bar? It’s a shame the show couldn’t keep Janssen as a regular. This season could seriously benefit from her presence.

– Connor uses Humper (seriously?) this week. Then, he hands out condoms to the two guys he brings back to his apartment. Slutty Connor is back?

– Did we know Frank’s dad was on a wheelchair?

– The university president Soraya is still not having it with Annalise’s bullshit, and I’m personally still expecting her to show up dead in the next couple of episodes.

– Nate sleeping with the ADA is a very soapy, eye-rolling twist. Why are you still on this show, dude?

– Wes’ pointless subplot this week: it was his birthday.

– Mary J Blige guest-stars next time. That should be interesting.

Courtroom Exchanges

Eve: You definitely want to avoid a formal hearing. They’ll enjoy punishing you in public too much. Better to just make a statement in private, promise to go to anger-management classes.
Annalise: I’ll probably hit people there too.

Annalise: He killed my son. Maybe not with his own hands, but in what world do I not make him pay for that?

Nate: You’re an alcoholic.
Annalise: Of course I am, and that’s not just the vodka thing. That’s the me I’ve always been. And unfortunately, you’re the same you. So patient, so accommodating.
Nate: Not used to that in a man? That’s a problem for you?
Annalise: No, the problem is you’re a little bitch! That surprise you, huh? You want to hit me? Go ahead, hit me. Hit me! Hit me!
Nate: You’re a cancer. That’s why Sam cheated. Even Frank ran off.
Annalise: You’re cowards, all of you.
Nate: Who are you gonna ruin next? Eve?
Annalise: Eve’s got more balls than all of you!

Conclusion
A slightly disappointing yet highly destructive hour of television. As much as I love anti-heroes, it’s time this show gives us someone to root for.

Chris Rating
B-

7 comments

  1. You're right about the need for a planned endgame. There is a limit to how long this cycle of murder, secrets, and lies between Annalise and her group can go on before it all turns into a process of going through the motions. Breaking Bad realized that with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. So did Damages with Patty Hewes and Ellen Parsons. I hope How To Get Away with Murder and Scandal have the same realization.

    To be clear, I'm not invested in HTGAWM. I just watch it once in a while out of curiosity. But it still frustrates me when a show threatens to waste its potential.

  2. Agreed. I'm far more invested in Scandal, however, because over there at least I'm still rooting for Olivia (despite all the despicable things she's done, especially last season). Here, I happen to strongly hate every single character.

  3. I agree with HTGAWM needing an endgame, but I think its something the writers are more conscious of on this show than other Shondaland work like Scandal. I think Davis is also on board with an endgame too because I heard a part of her contract was a limited amount of episodes per season which means I doubt she'd be willing to go on a long time.

    Funny that you guys mention Scandal because i'm more invested than this show than Scandal because the Olivia/Fitz/Jake triangle as well as her father being the big bad has been beaten to death and going in circles for 4 seasons now and its like thy don't know any other story to tell other than that one.The people in HTGAWM may have a cold quality to them, but I think the thrills are still there and hopefully at lest 2 more seasons will come out of it.

    As far as the specifics though, I'm just curious what you meant by the show wastes its potential. What hasn't it done in the past that you wish it did?

  4. I feel there is some interesting drama to explore if the show stops its habit of getting Annalise and his group in and out of jams, often of their own creation. Breaking Bad unleashed that kind of drama in its final season when Walter White was faced with his impending downfall.

  5. For me personally, I think this show is becoming way too convoluted. But that's what happens when you rely so much on twists and turns instead of making us care about the characters. This is something WIDELY apparent in last night's episode.

    And I think it's definitely wasting the cast's potential. Can we give the amazing Viola Davis something other than walk around the house drunk all the time?

    Interesting to hear your thoughts about Scandal, though! I think I might just miss that show so much because it's been off the air for a while, and the Olivia/Fitz/Jake triangle is definitely the weakest thing about that show. But the general tone of Scandal just isn't as negative as it is here – and that's a plus for me. Thanks for commenting!

  6. I think part of the problem with a show that has a shorter episode count is that you have to rely moreso on the plot movement than character development because you have a limited amount of time to allow the characters to breathe. In Murder's case this is especially true because at the end of every episode there’s a piece at the end that leads up to a big event for the mid season finale so there’s always a need to push forward. That isn’t to say that HTGAWM doesn’t have development, because last night felt more like a breather episode, but there’s a limited amount of time and so compared to something like Scandal you have more time to take a break.

    Still, I do agree that the show does feel convoluted or at the very least stuffed with a lot going on at times. I have more comments but I think I’ll save them for when the next episode is posted.

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