It’s no secret I wasn’t a big fan of How To Get Away With Murder last year. In fact, I gave up on reviewing the final few episodes of the season as I’d completely lost interest in the horrible characters and their unrealistic murder shenanigans. That being said, I don’t think I’m Going Away is a complete disaster.
The one good thing this season has going for it is its quietness and unpredictability. The writers are finally dialing down the crazy and giving the characters room to be human for the first time since the show’s inception. While Annalise and her students are far from ever being redeemable, the premiere does a good enough job in painting them as people who have gone through hell and are genuinely trying to get their lives back together.
Viola Davis continues to be doing God’s work on this show. Every line, every scene, and every facial expression from the Oscar-winning actress is simply phenomenal. Whether she’s comforting her sick mother (another outstanding performance by Cicely Tyson) or letting go of the Keating Five (a la Last Supper), Davis owns HTGAWM. Frankly, she’s the only reason I’m still watching.
Also impressive is how the premiere, while a bit slow-paced, also wastes no time in letting us know that Laurel is aware that her father killed Wes. The manner in which this development is revealed is beyond soapy (was she really going to send that text?), but I must commend the writers for not dragging this secret over for a few weeks. It’s going to be interesting to explore how Laurel found out and what she’s going to do about it in the next few episodes. In addition, it must be mentioned that Karla Souza has grown on me a lot since the pilot four years ago. Her freak-out at the end as she wakes up in what appears to be a mental hospital (with no bun in the oven) is both fantastic and terrifying.
Let’s hope the show can sustain this pace for the remainder of the season.
– What’s worse: Bonnie’s bangs or Connor’s new haircut?
– Loved Michaela going full-on “beast mode”, although she’s starting to scare me a little.
– Desmond, the man Annalise meets on the plane, is played by Viola Davis’ real-life husband Julius Tennon.
– There was a time when I thought Frank was a fascinating character. That time is long gone. Frank needs to die #SorryNotSorry.
– All those mentions of Hannah Keating…is Marcia Gay Harden returning for an episode or two? Because YES PLEASE!
Celestine: Oh, right on time. I guess TSA wasn’t screening for ex-cons.
Annalise: Kiss my ass.
Annalise: Look at us. We’re here, at this restaurant. We’ve been given a second chance. We don’t need each other anymore. So it’s time we went our separate ways. Remember who you were before you met me, why you went to law school.
Michaela: I came here to be you.
Annalise: And look how that turned out.
Seeing as how I had the lowest expectations possible for this show’s return, I’m Going Away ended up being a solid premiere that relied on good character drama for once.