How to Get Away With Murder’s much-touted “9 Words” teaser from last week was nearly eclipsed at the end of Thursday night’s episode by the wig drop heard the world over: the scene where Annalise Keating bared all by taking off the mixed-reviewed, chestnut-hued wig, along with her faux eyelashes. The move was quickly followed by a frustrated face-scrubbing of every last smidgen of makeup. And if I’m not mistaken, some drawn-on eyebrows, too. The undoing was yet another keep-it-real, keep-it-trill moment sparked by a photo on a dead girl’s phone (more on that later).
First, the makeup. For Annalise, makeup and hair serve as something of her everyday veneer or armor. Hell, the same holds true for many women. And I can’t think of too many actresses who would have the courage to bare all, completely naked-faced. You would think she might need all of her armor for the battle she’s about to go into with her husband, but taking it all off is the highbrow equivalent of the proverbial taking off one’s earrings and busting out the Vaseline.
Now, the wig. While legions of people support and are thrilled about Viola Davis’ new role and will readily admit that she is killing it with all of her thespian gravitas, there’s been an undercurrent of chatter since the show’s beginning about why show execs don’t just let her wear her natural hair. She received all kinds of cool points for lying in bed with her head wrap last week, especially contrasted with Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope lying in bed in last week’s Scandal with her hair draped across her pillow sans scarf like Snow White, or a black version of Snow White … maybe Caramel Brown, as it were.
Still, some have said that Davis’ wig is so distracting that they can’t even watch the show. Even though I’m 18 years into the natural-hair game and have a deep appreciation for it, I didn’t think it’s that big a deal, considering that Annalise Keating is a character and her whole look, down to the wig, is calculated. And I have no doubt that those who passed on watching the show will be low-key catching up online once they hear how things came to a head (or off a head, if we’re being completely factual) Thursday night.
“9 Words”: Why Is Your Penis on a Dead Girl’s Phone?
Not the nine words you were thinking. Me either. Don’t know what the nine words could have been, but none of them, in my head, involved “penis,” “dead” or “phone.”
Annalise is long past wary when it comes to her husband, and now she has the cellphone proof to back up her suspicions. After Wes hands over the unlocked cellphone to Annalise, she momentarily moonwalks into the same creepy vibe from the premiere when she implored Wes to keep a secret. I totally thought something was going to happen here. I just knew they were going to make out, but Annalise is nothing if not difficult to pin down. She snapped back into lawyer mode fast and sent Wes on his way.
Blond, Blunt-Bobbed Bonnie
From the beginning of the series, the Twitters and word on the social media street have been that Bonnie has a thing for Annalise’s husband. I was skeptical at first, but just as more and more is revealed about the cover-up for the murder that opens every episode, it’s becoming apparent that Bonnie’s affinity for Sam is more than a passing crush.
Not to mention that she sold out already-on-probation “Officer Chocolate Thunder” to his bosses at the police department for breaking into Sam’s car, all without batting an eyelash, in exchange for some evidence (and lied to Annalise about her methods of obtaining it), which leads to all sorts of questions bubbling up: Where do her loyalties truly lie? Was there ever anything between Bonnie and Sam? Why didn’t she tell Annalise about Nate breaking into her hubby’s car? Never mind why did Nate lie to Annalise last week about Sam’s whereabouts?
I’m sure all will be revealed by season’s end, but I can’t help but wonder, as perceptive as Annalise is, whether she picks up on Bonnie’s regressing to a schoolgirl-crush state as she wantonly gazes at her husband. In much the same way that Annalise looks like someone Tootsie Roll-ed all over her feelings whenever Officer Chocolate Thunder shuts her down, Bonnie was super open once again as she looked at Sam in the kitchen as if she wouldn’t mind getting her hand caught in the “nookie” jar with him.
The EEOC of Gay Sex
Of all the students, it’s Connor that we take a closer look at this episode, along with his sex life, which thus far has unfolded like something of a perennial, same-sex American Apparel ad, save for his near-maniacal moments of unraveling in Thursday night’s episode. As usual, he’s not averse to having a quick romp to get some info that will advance the legal case. This time he takes down an assistant at an insider trading company who’s trying to frame his bawdy boss, who clearly is the female Jordan Belfort and aspires to be the next Wolf of Wall Street (minus the myriad criminal issues, of course).
The show’s creator, Peter Norwalk, is determined to make viewers comfortable with same-sex sex scenes and is championing the cause like the leader of a reparations movement for gay sex on television.
“Writing the gay characterization and writing some real gay sex into a network show is to right the wrong of all of the straight sex that you see on TV,” said Norwalk in an interview with E! Online. “Because I didn’t see that growing up, and I feel like the more people get used to two men kissing, the less weird it will be for people.”
So just know that as much as you can expect to see Annalise each episode stomping around like she’s been standing in the courtroom in those heels one hour too many, don’t be surprised if you see Connor and his hacker boo, or the fill-in-the-blank beau of the moment, getting it in.
Keep the cameos coming! I loved seeing Charmaine from A Different World and The Cosby Show working at the insider trading firm, sporting much more hair and cleavage. We can still hear her calling her boo thang, “Laaaaance!”
Akeya Dickson is a writer and social media lover who blogs at Dopalicious District. Follow her on Twitter.