With How to Get Away With Murder audiences still collecting themselves from last week’s wig-snatching episode, this week’s was relatively tame by comparison. There was no sex aplenty, for perhaps the first time since the show debuted, and no new dead bodies turned up. All in all, we got a breather from a show that has set the bar high with one dropped bomb after another.
We see a wigless but much more composed Annalise Keating this episode. We also see a way-more-regular-black-woman look from her toward the end of the episode, when she is lotioning up and her natural locks are neatly styled. The endearing part about these scenes—which shouldn’t even be a story, since black women and bedtime aren’t new to regular TV—is how the HTGAWM team has decided to pull the curtain all the way back, revealing not only the secrets inside the show but also black women’s secrets outside the show. Yes, we take a while to get ready for bed—it is a process. I have yet to thoroughly inspect Annalise’s pillowcases, but I have to believe that she lays her coif on nothing but the finest Egyptian satin.
Which is why her flaws are becoming a major theme on the show, and this development is better for all of us. The deconstruction of a powerful black woman makes for riveting television. The first episode gave viewers a black woman who was effortlessly in control of everything, and every episode since has been a slight chipping away at that veneer. The underneath, wigless, makeup-free, natural-unkempt-hair Annalise is who we are left with, and although last night’s episode was really a bridge episode to get us to next week, the power of Viola Davis and the command she has of the role was just enough to hold us there.
Maybe the “murder” we are watching the team “get away with” is really the subtle death of the overly done-up black woman on TV. Didn’t mean to get all existential on you, but it is a thought.
Speaking of thoughts, I have a few this episode, and I want answers: Why is Annalise holding the cellphone so close? Is she protecting Sam? I mean, look: Sam is nothing if not a serial cheater, but I don’t think he is out there killing women. And if she is protecting him, then does that mean she takes him back? And if she does, then what does all this mean for her and Officer Chocolate Thunder?
Is she trying to figure out first if her husband did kill Lila Stangard before she tells everyone about the phone, or is she trying to cover it up in case her hubby is, indeed, guilty? Or is she going to stand by her man no matter what? I don’t know what the legalese for all of this is, but I have no doubt that this goes wayyy past the boundaries of conflict of interest.
I’m also quite sure that Annalise could spring for a downstairs bathroom. It seems like quite the stretch that the only bathroom in her law office/personal home is in her upstairs bathroom through her bedroom. I guess the writers were trying to figure out any way they could to get Rebecca in the bedroom to recognize the wallpaper.
We also learn in the first few minutes of last night’s episode that Annalise was once Sam’s mistress and lured him away from his first wife, and we give up trying to keep track of how many part-time lovers Sam has actually had. He tries to soothe her with a pimpish “No, baby, you’re different” sweet nothing that Bishop Don Juan would be proud of. And let’s not forget that stare he shot Bonnie on his way out the door.
Shout-out: Let’s give it up for Arjun Gupta. Yep, Homeland this ain’t.
Random observation: At the end, how realistic is it that Wes would be able to roll up in an unlocked house in Philly of all places?