How to Get Away with Murder: “He Deserved to Die”— Nov. 6, 2014
The timelines start to meld this week, which means we don’t get so much extraneous subplot. That doesn’t mean the whole episode is gripping. In place of the standard case of the week, the Keating Five get a lot of attention. That’s why God made fast forward buttons.
- Let’s start by getting this foolishness out of the way. Michaela gets summoned to a law firm and thinks it’s an interview. Nope. Her fiancé’s parents want a prenup. Don’t they know she bought a bespoke Vera Wang? She’s not one of those gold-digging David’s Bridal types…. Connor has sex in a bathroom stall with some dude because Connor needs a freaking hobby….. Laurel allegedly considers leaving the firm and taking a job with her boyfriend Kan. She wants to know what Frank thinks — about her lady parts. I don’t think sex is the best way to demonstrate character development, but okay, Show.
- Present Day Presumed Murder: At the motel, Wes wipes blood from Rebecca’s face. She says that it was self-defense; she did it to save her life and “he deserved to die.” Once Wes leaves to take care of her mess, Rebecca calls 911, which seems stupid, but then claims it’s a prank call and hangs up. Well, that won’t arouse suspicion. Using the burner from the convenience store where he bought the accelerant, Wes assures Rebecca he’s persuaded the others to go along with it.
- The Flashback Case of the week aka Flashback Presumed Murder: This episode focuses on the late Lila Stangard. While telling her side of the story to Annalise and the Scooby gang, Rebecca claims that on the night in question, she and Griffin, were loaded on booze and dope and started kissing (I thought it was stated in another episode that they actually had sex, but I don’t care enough to find out). Lila arrived and attacked her “friend.” Rebecca confesses that she followed Lila to the roof and strangled her. Psych! She’s just kidding because Rebecca is a jackass. Nobody thinks she’s funny, especially Annalise, who explains in graphic detail how she’ll come across on trial and the horrors she’ll experience in prison. She better stay out of the clink, she might run into unscrupulous prison guard Asher. I will not let that joke go, so just get used to it.
- There is a timely news report because on TV shows, you only see stories specific to the case at hand. You’ll never see characters randomly watching The Weather Channel or an episode of “House Hunters International.” According to an anonymous tip, Rebecca pushed sex on Griffin despite his virginity pact with Lila. Stone the witch! The judge bars the defendants from going to the press. Despite the gag order, Rebecca tries garnering sympathy by telling a newspaper that Griffin raped her. A false rape accusation makes me root for Rebecca. Side-eye…. Trouble for Team Defense, the prosecution wants to exhume Lila’s body to prove the killer left girly fingernail puncture wounds. At Laurel’s urging, Mrs. Stangard pleads that the exhumation be halted, but the judge rules in favor of a second autopsy.
- Despite all of Wes’s efforts to help her, Rebecca belittles him. Then she remembers what show she’s on so they boink. She runs hot and cold, that one. Afterward the Exposition Fairy visits to make Wes seem nuanced by having him rattle off factoids about his life: He was born in a plaid-shirt factory and a failed Botox injection rendered him unable to change facial expressions.
- As usual, Annalise slinks off for a meeting with Mr. Sexy Cop, who tells her that he knows her firm planted evidence in Griffin’s car. He suggests that she still thinks her husband’s guilty…. Mr. Sexy Cop later approaches Rebecca in the ice cream aisle and says that he knows she didn’t kill Lila and they can work together to prove who did.
- Sam attempts to get lovey-dovey with his wife by fetching a martini and offering to make dinner. Son, it’s going to take more than an aperitif and Stouffer’s French Bread pizza. Personally, when I find my husband’s penis pic on a dead girl’s phone, I turn him into a eunuch and take every penny in the divorce. When he’s living in a a cardboard box, I make sure he sees me getting out of the limo with my new husband: Mr. Sexy Cop…. Maybe Sam also tossed in some Milano cookies because the Keatings seem cozy as they sit on the bed later. Bonnie picks that moment to to knock on the door with information about Lila’s autopsy: she was six-weeks pregnant. There are not enough Milano cookies in the world for that BS.
The Verdict: Here’s the thing, Viola Davis’s performance is brilliant, but she needs backup. Too bad Sam has to die because Davis and Tom Verica share chemistry. The Keating Five aren’t solid supporting characters and it doesn’t help that they aren’t all that likable. Just imagine how riveting this show could be with better backup players.