Written by Matt Taylor
Last week’s How to Get Away with Murder was somewhat disappointing, with the much hyped surprises being mildly disappointing and predictable, a rarity for this wild series. But tonight’s episode, aptly titled “Two Birds, One Millstone”, delivered everything we’ve come to expect from primetime’s most addictive drama: sex, dark humor and some shocking twists.
Tonight’s episode found the Keating Five trying to find a new suspect in the Hastings murder case, with tension growing between the group and no answers in sight. While Wes’ seemingly endless quest to find out what happened to Rebecca is starting to get old, the other subplots are starting to become interesting. Michaela’s growing interest in Caleb is shockingly believable and compelling, namely because the two actors have great chemistry, and, in true HTGAWM fashion, there is an understated, twisted element to their relationship (after all, he may have murdered his parents!).
The episode also finally revealed what mysterious crime Asher committed so many years ago that made it easy for Emily Sinclair to blackmail him. While we still haven’t received all the information, the revelation that Asher is connected to the gang rape of a college aged girl was certainly a surprise and made the only innocent member of the Keating Five suddenly complicated and unlikable. It will be interesting to see how this development impacts the plot over the next few weeks. Of course, rape is a very tricky plot device that many shows have implemented into their series in a problematic or offensive way (i.e. Game of Thrones). But, in the past, How to Get Away with Murder has tackled controversial topics in a fair and sensitive way. Hopefully this new twist will be handled in a similar fashion.
If there was a weak point in the episode, it was the “case-of-the-week” which found Annalise defending a trans woman accused of murdering her abusive husband. While it’s great to see yet another underrepresented minority on this series, the court case was relatively bland and distracted from the more interesting subplots. While the story became vaguely connected to the main narrative by the end of the night, it was definitely one of the weaker storylines.
All the episode’s problems were forgiven, however, thanks to the fabulous last ten minutes, which proved to be one of the most suspenseful sequences of the season so far. Annalise and Wes had a heated exchange, which developed both characters and, once again, hinted that their relationship is Oedipal in nature. Unsurprisingly, Viola Davis and Alfred Enoch absolutely dominated the scene. We also finally met Frank’s family, in a surprisingly sweet moment that was immediately juxtaposed with him burying a dead body in the woods. But the most interesting development of the night is that Oliver discovered a new suspect in the Hastings case, but may have made himself a target in the process. Oliver is one of the few likable characters left on this show, and his relationship with Connor is unbelievably adorable, so the stakes are higher than ever as we approach the fall finale.
Watching How to Get Away with Murder is an exhausting task. By the end of the hour, so much information has been thrown at you and countless theories are running through your mind. But, at the same time, you can’t help but look forward to next week. Despite a dull case-of-the-week, this week of How to Get Away with Murder lived up to the high bar set by this terrific series. Next Thursday can’t get here soon enough.
Overall rating: 9 out of 10.