I haven’t watched How To Get Away With Murder since I last wrote about it in September, so naturally I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy the second half of the crossover. While it isn’t nearly as interesting or compelling as the Scandal hour, Lahey v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does have a few good moments.
Like I mentioned in my review of the first hour, How To Get Away With Scandal relies solely on Viola Davis and Kerry Washington’s top-notch performances. As expected, Washington doesn’t get to do as much in Annalise’s world as she does in her own turf, but Davis more than makes up for it with a riveting, goosebumps-worthy courtroom scene. While one could argue it’s really Michaela and Marcus who truly “win the case” with their quick research skills, there’s no denying that Annalise’s speech to the Supreme Court is bone-chilling and awards-worthy as she uses the judge’s own words to prove her point about racism in the judicial system. Her on-screen presence truly never ceases to amaze me.
Unlike the first half, this hour seems less focused and doesn’t bode well for Scandal fans who are unfamiliar with How To Get Away With Murder. It seems that Wes’ murder mystery is still ongoing since the last time I checked on this show, and the writers jumble up the show’s overarching storylines with the crossover. However, that’s not nearly as distracting as the needless Michaela/Marcus drama. Whether Cornelius Smith Jr. plans on joining Murder full-time next season or not, it’s just completely random how the writers forced these two characters together in a bizarre and unwelcome C-subplot. If this is their idea of a crossover, then let’s never do this again, shall we?
In addition, the way Olivia and Annalise leave things seems rather abrupt. I’m less satisfied with the Supreme Court not returning with a verdict as I am with these two ladies simply saying goodbye to each other on the streets. What an underwhelming ending.
– In other news, Simon woke up from his coma, which I think, judging by the dramatic music upon the reveal, is bad news for the Keating students?
– Also, seriously, why are they still following Annalise around everywhere?
– It’s worth noting that Cicely Tyson, who plays Annalise’s mother, is just as brilliant here as she was the last time I watched this show. But how convoluted was her dropping coffee on Olivia’s suit moments before they were entering the court?
– It would have helped if the class action case was just as personal to Olivia as it was to Annalise (the prisoner is Nate’s dad after all, apparently) because halfway through this hour, it seems as though Liv’s presence is almost unnecessary.
– Olivia Pope is not the friend you want, as evidenced by her shoving the vodka bottle in Annalise’s face even though she knew she was a recovering alcoholic!
Bonnie: Did you invite your mom?
Annalise: Bonnie, she’d pee herself right in the middle of the Supreme Court. You think that’s what I want to be worrying about at the podium?
Ophelia: Women, women everywhere. The grocery stores, doctor’s office, church, everywhere. It’s because cops keep sending the men off to jail. No wonder Anna-Mae ran off and married a white man.
The two-hour crossover event culminates with a less successful episode that ends on a slightly disappointing note. Let’s hope the next Shondaverse crossover proves to be a more exciting affair.