TV Recap: How to Get Away with Murder, ‘Something Bad Happened’

Written by Matt Taylor

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There were at least three different moments in this week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder where I thought we had reached the ending. Instead, when I looked at my watch, I realized that we still had long stretches of the episode to go. “Something Bad Happened” was that kind of episode: one with so much information being thrown at the audience, and plenty of questions finally being answered. And, in true How to Get Away with Murder fashion, it was hugely entertaining to watch unfold. But, it was also one of their most disturbing episodes to date, making this a real roller coaster ride.

Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth

Part of the episode focused on the Keating Five, once again, trying to deal with the blackmail their facing at the hands of Phillip and, once again, this was the weak point of the night. This subplot is being drawn out for far too long, and Phillip remains an underdeveloped villain on a show filled with complicated characters. On the bright side, we had some nice, character driven moments in the episode, including a surprisingly hilarious exchange between Connor and Michaela about their class ranks. (Is anyone else impressed that they still manage to get great grades in between murder cover-ups?)

The real highlight of the episode was, yet again, the flashbacks, especially since we finally figured out the answers to some of the series biggest questions. We finally found out what happened between Annalise and Eve. We finally gained some insight into the mysterious case that Annalise had taken ten years ago. And, in the most exciting revelation of the night, we finally found out who killed Wes’ mom. And it would truly be a crime to spoil any of it. But, rest assured, the episode answered all of these questions in a satisfying manner. There is one scene shared between Viola Davis and Famke Janssen that is one of the most emotional moments in the season, and both actresses played their parts beautifully. The sequence was one of the calmer moments in the episode, and really made their bond all the more interesting and tragic.

Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth
Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth

The last ten minutes, however, were unbelievably suspenseful, ending on one of the most surprising cliffhangers in the series’ history. It was also a shockingly violent moment, but one that earned its onscreen gore thanks to how much it also relied on the emotional distress of the characters involved. Perfectly blending heart-breaking plot developments with game changing twists and the show’s signature flashback structure, the conclusion to the episode wrapped all the subplots together, undoubtedly in an effort to prepare fans for the season finale in two weeks. In fact, this episode was packed with so much information, I don’t know how much more ground they can cover over the next two weeks. But I’m definitely excited to find out.

It’s a good week to be a How to Get Away with Murder fan. Not only has the series been renewed for a third season, but it delivered one hell of an episode. With the finale just around the corner, let’s see how long this series can keep up its winning streak.

Overall rating: 9 out of 10