‘How to Get Away With Murder’: Murder She Suspects [Review]

How to Get Away With Murder
How to Get Away With Murder kicked it up a notch in its second episode, which aired on October 2. The episode entitled “It’s All Her Fault” gives the audience more cause to believe that the murder of Annalise’s hubby, Sam Keating (Tom Verica), which occurred three months into the future, and the murder of Sam’s student, Lila Stangard (Megan West), which occurred one week in the past, are intimately intertwined. Moreover, Annalise (Viola Davis) herself has begun to suspect her own husband of committing Lila’s murder or at least having some involvement in the crime. However, the question has now been raised: Is Annalise truly suspicious of her husband or is it part of her elaborate plan for How to Get Away With Murder?

The action in this episode of the series picked up again via the flash-forward of the fearsome foursome–Wes (Alfred Enoch), Connor, who is played by Jack Falahee, Michaela, who is portrayed by Aja Naomi King, and Laurel (Karla Souza)–who are back in the woods. The beleaguered group of law students, who have promptly been dubbed Murder, Inc. in the aftermath of the hugely successfully pilot, continued to debate over how to dispose of Sam’s corpse. However, Wes is nowhere to be found. He has kept his friends waiting and “it’s all her fault,” Michaela proclaimed. Who exactly does she mean by “her”? Who does she think might convince Wes to spill the beans to the cops and pin the murder on his trio of co-conspirators? Could it be Wes’ drug-dealing neighbor, Rebecca (Katie Findlay), or perhaps, Michaela could be worried it is Annalise who might sell them out? After Wes returns to the group and they pick up lighter fluid to burn Sam’s body, he makes a call from a burner phone and tells the person on the other end of the line that “we’re gonna protect you.” Later, after Sam’s body is burned beyond recognition, Wes beelines to a seedy motel and finds Rebecca waiting (with baited breath?) for reassurances that all is well and the deed has been done. However, the question remains was Wes in fact dialing his morally ambiguous law professor and not his drug-dealing love interest?

Other points of interest addressed during this episode of How to Get Away With Murder included Laurel seeking out advice from Bonnie Winterbottom, who is played by Liza Weil of Gilmore Girls fame. As an aside, how hilarious is that name? It would be worth accepting the part for the character’s name alone. It conjures so many vivid images, especially in a series as sexually charged as this Shondaland delight. Turns out, Laurel is concerned she only made Annalise’s elite team because Frank Delfino (Charlie Weber) has a crush on her. Laurel quickly learned that Bonnie is not one to gossip and dish office dirt. Instead, she encouraged Laurel not to waste her time on personal concerns, but use her energy to get Annalise to actually learn her name. Following the sage advice, Laurel later helped provide her sly law professor with a key strategy to prove their client’s innocence.

As the action of How to Get Away With Murder returned to present day, Rebecca gets arrested as a co-conspirator (along with Lila’s football player boyfriend) in Lila’s murder, and Wes gave her some sage advice–Keep her mouth shut! Meanwhile, Annalise dealt with the fallout from the pilot episode of How to Get Away With Murder, where the wily attorney blackmailed her detective boyfriend, Nate Leahy (Billy Brown), on the witness stand in order to win her case. Nate issued Annalise an ultimatum to either leave him alone or he would tell her husband every dirty detail about their relationship. Later, as How to Get Away With Murder moved to the Keatings’ home front, Annalise checked Sam’s cell phone and found an email from Lila (who was spending the weekend volunteering at a homeless shelter), and her suspicions continued to grow over his possible liaisons and murderous actions.

Not satisfied to let sleeping dogs lie or suspicions fester, Annalise confronted Tom about his involvement with the deceased Lila. “Were you screwing her?” Annalise asked Tom bluntly. “I said no — absolutely not,” he responded. “Good eye contact,” she said, as she treated her spouse like she was prepping him as a witness for court. Then, Annalise proclaimed that it has happened before. Therefore, Sam may not have had a sexual liaison with Lila, however, he has engaged in extramarital affairs in the past. This tantalizing detail certainly added a new twist to How to Get Away With Murder, as well as an additional motive for Sam’s murder and Annalise’s possible guilt in both crimes.

The second episode of How to Get Away With Murder centered around Annalise suspecting her husband of involvement in the murder of Lila Stangard. The episode concluded with Sam preparing a romantic dinner for Annalise, who checked Sam’s cell phone for a second time and discovered he had deleted any contact information related to Lila. After this discovery, the increasingly suspicious law professor headed to the home of her lover, who has a very ill wife, and proceeded to press the issue of Sam’s alibi the night Lila was killed. With Davis’ layered and deceptive performance, it makes the audience wonder if she really suspects her husband of foul play, or is it possible the wily attorney herself is in fact the murderer? Could Annalise be the one who took Lila’s life and is now using her knowledge of the law to frame her questionable spouse? The question has now been raised: Is Annalise truly suspicious of her husband or is it part of her elaborate plan for How to Get Away With Murder? Davis’ portrayal of the morally ambiguous character makes it impossible to tell. Like Annalise says at the top of the episode, people are “unknowable.” This also explains why she does not care if her clients profess to be guilty or innocent because they cannot be completely trusted, and apparently, neither can Annalise nor her husband.

Opinion and Review By Leigh Haugh

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