Finally some development on Rebecca, Annalise's all-knowing lie-detecting ways, another case win for Team Annalise, and all that Flaurel goodness!
We'd like a bit more from Laurel. Thrilled to have gotten this much on her in this ep. but compared to the episodes exploring Michaela and Connor, this fell just a tad short in comparison.
Sexting, Hook-ups, and Laurel Gets Her ‘Bad Girl’ On
Tonight’s How To Get Away With Murder serves up plenty of juiciness to follow last week’s nine-word-bomb-drop. Annalise’s new case has her representing the son of an abusive police officer who murdered his father to protect his mother. Laurel finally has a client she feels she can route for but what lines will she cross to help him? Annalise is still reeling from finding her husband’s penis on a dead girl’s phone and finds herself down one ally when her boyfriend Nate gets fired for illegally snooping through Sam’s car. Annalise looks to uncover whether or not Rebecca knows of Sam’s involvement but her approach in doing so further exacerbates the problem. By the end of the night, another person will learn the truth about that photo. Who could it be? Then in the future arc, we finally get an answer as to why Frank is calling Laurel mid-murder-coverup and Laurel makes a surprising choice regarding how to deal with Sam’s murder weapon. So many questions and so much to discuss!
Rebecca’s Sneaking Just Got Interesting
We’ll be the first to admit we’ve been critical of Rebecca thus far on the show. But finally we were treated to some interesting character developments that have made us curious to learn more about her. When Rebecca stops by Annalise’s place, she’s been told she’s there to undergo a psych eval by Annalise’s husband, Sam. In a battle of wits, Sam must determine whether Rebecca knows that Sam was the one from the photos. One thing we learn is that Rebecca has been evaluated before in Juvie, but without any further elaboration, we can only presume this is something that will be addressed later. The score in the scene is subtle and soft, almost to the point that you don’t realize it’s there at all, though it does enhance the mystery at hand. The music intensifies to match the increasing suspense till it’s pounding like a racing heartbeat, while we’re waiting on baited breath to see if Rebecca will jump up and begin hollering at Sam for his penis photo. But we breath out a sigh of relief as she stays calm, seemingly none the wiser. This is why it’s so surprising later on when she calls Wes about Annalise and Sam being in on it together. The fact that she was clever enough to strategise on the fly like that made her so much more appealing of a character. We had been ready to dismiss Rebecca as a smart-mouthed hothead but Katie Findlay excelled in playing these new layers of Rebecca and held her own in acting opposite Tom Verica. With Rebecca having pushed Wes towards the truth about the wallpaper and Sam being “Mr. Darcy,” Annalise will have even more damage control to do.
“Wes, you can’t trust Annalise.” ~ Rebecca Sutter
“What happened?” ~ Wes Gibbins
“The wallpaper, Wes. Look at the wallpaper.” ~ Rebecca Sutter
Annalise Keating: Human Lie Detector
“Why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?” It was a long week of waiting to get the answer to this question and director Michael Listo presented the rest of that scene in-between shots of Annalise speaking privately with Wes in her classroom. This back and forth showed a stark contrast between Annalise at her lowest emotional moment and when she has put her mask and walls back up. Viola Davis displays a remarkable duality in Annalise here that left us awestruck at the strength of this character that is able to conceal such profound pain from the world. We were shocked to learn that Annalise had formerly been Sam’s mistress when he was married to his first wife. This gave so much clarity to Annalise’s attitude towards Sam’s multiple infidelities. She may not like it but she’s not surprised in the least. Now we know what she meant about “only having yourself to blame” when giving Michael advice about her fiancé drama.
Also impressive was the display of Annalise’s skills in the courtroom and her sharpness of mind. Writer Tracey A. Bellomo composed a solid closing statement for Annalise in the case, and Viola Davis made it so moving that we could hardly believe that any of the jury members wouldn’t have been swayed to vote in her client’s favour. But it was Annalise’s berating of Bonnie that we found particularly memorable. After Annalise had yet another falling out with her (now ex-) boyfriend Nate since he was fired after his chief was made aware of his illegally searching Sam’s car. Bonnie was the one who revealed this information to the chief and Annalise laid an ice cold verbal smack down on her for it. Not only is Annalise intelligent enough to have put those pieces together, she makes it quite clear that she knows that Bonnie’s intentions stem from her also having an affair with Sam. The addition of the sardonic ‘thank you’ to Bonnie for “helping her husband” had us laughing out loud. We pity the fool that tries to pull one over on Annalise Keating.
“I know how you got Rebecca’s confession tape.” ~ Annalise Keating
“I didn’t tell you because…” ~ Bonnie Winterbottom
“Why? Because you know I’d never let you air my dirty laundry to the police?” ~ Annalise Keating
“I thought you had enough on your plate.” ~ Bonnie Winterbottom
“Don’t you dare say that you were doing this for me, cause we both know what person in this house you did it for and it wasn’t me.” ~ Annalise Keating
Laurel Introduces Herself and Inducts Frank Into The Murder Crew
It was finally Laurel’s turn to get the hefty character-developing story and we’re quite pleased with what we saw. From the first scene of her tonight in Annalise’s classroom, it was evident that this is not the same Laurel we were introduced to in Week 1. On her first day of class, Annalise had scolded Laurel for apparently showing off and Laurel simply shrunk back into her seat. This time around, she stood up for herself and though her peers were shocked and likely assuming she’d be torn to shreds for doing so, Annalise gave a small smile and looked every bit the proud mama seeing her baby girl blossom into a strong woman. We were just as pleased as Annalise to see Laurel coming up in the ranks.
“I wasn’t showing off. I was answering your question, ‘How do defence attorneys get screwed by juries’? Mentioning ‘stealth jurors’ was me giving an example. I wasn’t showing off.” ~ Laurel Castillo
“Somebody woke up in a mood to fight this morning.” ~ Annalise Keating
Laurel has been the ‘Good Girl’ of the team but we had a feeling she’d have to get her hands dirty soon enough (besides the literal dirty hands of hers dealing with a bloody trophy and a dead body in the future portion of the show’s arc). This came to fruition as Laurel made the decision to engage in a bit of jury-tampering to try to help Annalise’s client. It is worth noting that the first person to suggest this was Laurel’s now-boyfriend Kan. Some have been quick to judge Frank as being bad news but here we see that Kan’s no saint, either. Karla Souza is beginning to shine as Laurel has begun misbehaving. The tension between her and Frank hit a breaking point. In the future arc, we learn that her and Frank have slept together but even more fun to watch was the banter and bickering between the pair in the present arc. Following a (hot!) make out with Frank, Laurel declares she has a boyfriend and leaves to go see Kan, whom she promptly attacks (don’t worry, he has no complaints about it). It’s blatantly obvious that she’s just unleashing her sexual frustrations with Frank onto Kan and sure, it’s not the most ethical thing to do, but that’s why we love it. Laurel is not simply the ‘Good Girl,’ just as Frank is not simply the ‘Bad Boy.’ Writer Tracey A. Bellomo gave both characters ample material to demonstrate their multi-facetedness and Karla Souza and Charlie Weber played those facets skilfully.
“I want to feel like we’re doing something good for once. Why is that so hard for everyone to understand?” ~ Laurel Castillo
“It’s not.” Frank Delfino
Frank’s moments of goodness tend to be of the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ variety. He implies that he understands Laurel’s desire to do something good for once and then later appears to be truly moved by seeing Annalise’s client get off with a mistrial instead of a harsh conviction. Then in the future arc, in seeing and hearing him plead to Laurel to make things right with her, there’s a heartfelt emotion we’ve never heard from Frank before. Charlie Weber masterfully navigates the flow from snark to heart in Frank Delfino. It’s so important for both Laurel and Frank to develop as characters in their own right because it would get tiring real fast if their only interesting material was with one another, despite the fact that Souza and Weber have sizzling chemistry. From Laurel’s growing strength as a lawyer and a person, to Frank’s relationship (not like that) with Annalise, there is plenty more for us to enjoy in the other parts of Laurel and Frank’s stories. We’re also intrigued as to why Laurel would bring Frank the murder weapon and can’t wait to see how that plays out.
“I messed up. I know that, real bad, I just… I’ll do whatever I can to make this right. Anything, just don’t shut me out like this I can’t just… I’ll do anything, please.” ~ Frank Delfino
Another thing that’s great about How To Get Away With Murder is how even characters who have less material within an episode can still manage to make an impact. Writer Tracey A. Bellomo wrote so much terrific comedy for Asher and we struggle to recall a single instance in which Matt McGorry spoke (or pulled a face) that didn’t make us laugh. He is a tremendously skilled comedic performer. Connor’s use of a dating app to discredit one of the jurors was so cunning and a nice treat for Connor fans who would have otherwise been sad to not have more from the character tonight. His verbal sparring with Michaela over boy troubles had excellent energy and made us wonder if we’d rather Connor and Michael stay frenemies so we may have more tension-filled interactions such as these to look forward to. Director Michael Listo maintained the high quality of the future arc in the bits where shots of the Murder Crew are cut with the ongoing bonfire. The clash between youthful merriment and murder coverup creates a dissonance for us that enhances the fast-paced chaos felt by the Murder Crew. Each episode seems to end strong with a juicy new snippet to make us hunger for the next and tonight was no different. We’re so keen to know how Annalise will handle Wes’ confronting her about Sam being “Mr. Darcy”; bring it on!
Comments, Concerns, Reactions…
- LAUREL SLEPT WITH FRANK Yes girl, yes you did, girl I’m about to bake a #Flaurel cake #IShipIt
- Sam! “I don’t know” is not the right answer! And learn how to say no, you weak fool.
- Annalise was a mistress?! No wonder she struggles with Sam’s infidelities this way; she knows she should have known better!
- Ugh! I wanted Annalise to scratch Sam’s face off for putting his hands on her trying to shush her like that. You should’ve kept it in your pants, you naaasty. -_-
- Yeah Frank’s thinking about a sandwich… thinking about giving you his sandwich #IAmTerrible
- I just fist-pumped in victory at Annalise and Laurel getting that blog back into the case HELL YES #TeamAnnalise
- Oh snap, Bonnie got Nate fired and now he’s blaming Annalise. Seriously, Bonnie? It wasn’t enough to tap Annalise’s husband, you had to go piss off her side-piece? The hell is your issue?
- I laugh every time I see that pic of Frank on Laurel’s phone. What’s going on with your visage, mate?
- Future-Frank has got it BAAAAAD and now I’m emotional. What did you do, dumb-dumb? You didn’t know that lying is for your professional life, not your personal one? *buries face in hands*
- Bonnie, you are BUSTED! Drag her, Annalise!
- I’m calling it, Connor trolling for hotness on his phone is relevant to the case, just wait.
- Asher, Connor, you two are not even talking about Annalise’s boobs right now, stahhhhp it! xD
- CALLED IT! WHAT DID I JUST SAY! Sexting is relevant to the case!
- Come on Wes, that rock was impressive so Michaela would know if she was wearing it.
- Annalise is killing it with that closing statement. I’m ready to vote guilty; too bad I’m not on that jury.
- Oooooh, Laurel what are you up to??? OH MAN and now Frank just caught you!
- Asher how are you honestly crying right now? *falls off bed laughing*
- Annalise would know if Sam had done it because she is an epic human lie detector.
- Puh-lease. Sam Keating is NO Mr. Darcy.
- Laurel, why are you bringing the trophy to Frank??? What’s he gonna do, hide it in a hoagie?!
- THE SNOGGING THE SNOGGING IT’S HAPPENING ALERT ALERT THIS IS NOT A DRILL
- Oh Laurel you are sooooo bad right now taking out your sexual frustrations on poor, unsuspecting Kan. xD
- Blimey, that wallpaper just made a mess of everything. *_*
How To Get Away With Murder Review: 1×05 – “We’re Not Friends”
Jenevia Kagawa Darcy