I know the Keating Five are supposed to be the smartest kids in the class at How To Get Away With Murder‘s fictional Middleton University, but sometimes — like a juror immune to Annalise Keating’s gravitas — I have my doubts.
I mean, honestly, when I sit and think deeply about their ratio of student-loan debt to future earning potential — and how it might be affected by a prison stint for felony conspiracy to commit murder — these students’ undying loyalty to stern taskmaster/educator/bosslady Annalise Keating strikes me as more than a little cray-cray.
Couldn’t Connor or Laurel or Wes or Michaela simply dial 9-1-1 and start the conversation with an Arrested Development-esque callback: “I’ve made a huge mistake“?
The good news is, though, every single one of our core characters is clinging to secrets of his or her own. If Annalise, for example, pins Rebecca’s murder on Bonnie (spoiler alert: Lurky McChurchmouse did the deed — and took her damn time doing it via electrical tape/plastic bag over the head, too), then her ferociously loyal minion possesses enough ugly intel to drag Prof. Keating down into the sane prison-bound whirlpool, too. (That said, Bonbon’s pretty much all heart-emojis for her employer, yes?)
Speaking of whirlpools, though, there’s not one series regular who’s not being drown in an eddy of guilt and bad acts by the end of the hour – titled, rather cheekily, “It’s Time to Move On.”
Let’s recap the action in four juicy bullet points:
CASE OF THE WEEK/SEASON | Annalise, bored by the ongoing investigation into her hubby’s death, spends half the episode seeking to undermine a rival firm in their defense of a pair of twenthysomethings in the death of their adoptive parents. Once Annalise lands the case, however, we get a creepy scene of girl twin cooking up an oil painting of her late parents, and then, two months later, gunfire from their estate — leading into a shot of a fleeing/panicked Wes and a followup of Annalise, bleeding out on the floor, gasping for her life. Unless you’ve never watched anything more complex than Scooby Doo, you know the first impression isn’t necessarily the most accurate — but kudos to showrunner Pete Nowalk & Co. for cooking up the kind of “Whoa-Em-Gee” imagery that’ll keep us hooked for the next 15 weeks. Annalise isn’t going to die — SHE’S THE SHOW, DAMMIT! (along with Connor’s naked-torsoed hijinks) — but whoever tried to off her may not survive the season, is my guess.
WHO KILLED REBECCA? | After Annalise and Frank set a trap to see if Wes was the one who killed Rebecca, it becomes clear he’s as innocent as Annalise had hoped. Annalise figures out it was Bonnie who offed the girl — declaring her right-hand woman a monster in the process — but Bonnie is less sniveling/repentant than we’ve come to expect, despite having ended Rebecca’s life with electrical tape over her mouth and a clear plastic bag over her head. (Rated C… for Collllld!) “You were in trouble more than you ever knew,” Bonnie hisses later to Annalise, and it’s clear that she’s developing keen powers of standing silently in doorways and soaking up intel like a Bounty paper towel to an overturned cereal bowl.
THE EVE OF SOMETHING STARTLING | Annalise’s “rip my law-students to shreds” monologue is interrupted by the arrival of her college “pal” Eve (Famke Janssen). But their past tension isn’t case-related, it’s more about the fact that they were law-school lovers (!!!) — and that Annalise left Eve for Sam. Eve returns to Annalise’s orbit because hers is the defense-attorney number Annalise gave to Nate, but before long, Annalise is (euphemism alert) taking a bite of Eve’s apple, and Eve is agreeing to represent the dude Annalise set up to take the fall for Sam’s death/is secretly hoping to exonerate. If Eve has a therapist, that therapist is not very good, because a chick as accomplished and sexy as she is does not need to be dragged into the bloodied wallpaper of Annalise’s orbit. Still, slow clap here for Annalise’s prowess in converting simple nookie to a lifetime of sometimes felony-level false testimony!
BOOGIE, OOGIE, OOGIE | At the end of the hour – no doubt prompted by Eve’s memory that her ex-girlfriend used to be fun — Annalise takes her core four out to an underground nightclub, and as per usual, I can’t tell if she’s trying to pull down Wes’ (legal) briefs or provide him with the mother figure he so clearly craves. La Keating’s got moves, though, and they prompt her students to forget their troubles and come on get happy (and for Michaela to ignore texts from the Eggs 911 contact Rebecca was texting with). Whatever the case, Wes now believes Rebecca is alive and well and just choosing not to get back in touch. Connor has moved in with Oliver. And Lauren is proving to Frank that her critical mind is both sexy and threatening. It’s not cleat what, though, Michaela has done with her recovered engagement ring. Meanwhile, it becomes clear Asher is working with the prosecutors looking to take down Ms. Keating. (You know Annalise is going to give him a crisp slap across the face when she discovers his treachery, yes?)
OK, your turn. What did you think of HTGAWM‘s Season 2 premiere? And who gunned down Annalise? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments!