This week’s How to Get Away with Murder is the Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) Emmy Reel, chock full of lazy writing and character “development.”
Real talk: I’m still reeling at just how awful this week’s episode of How to Get Away with Murder was. I get that this show is supposed to be a nighttime soap and that batshit bonkers is a prerequisite for a Shonda Rhimes joint, but jeezy creezy this was over the top by every measure. Let’s break it down:
Case of the Week
Top level investment broker Marin Trudeau (Elizabeth Perkins) has been indicted for insider trading. Further compounding her position: showing off a video with her in confounding positions with the CEO of the company at the center of the investigation. Annalise suspects an underling set up Trudeau because everybody hates their boss.1 The interns interview various people in the company to get some dirt, but the most successful at this is Connor, who gets flirty with Marin’s assistant Paxton. After a dalliance in the copy room, Connor manages to record Paxton’s side of a phone conversation implicating him and someone else in the firm with setting up Trudeau. How do we know it was someone in the firm? Connor’s boytoy Oliver was able to hack into the record to trace the phone call to a number from INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Sidebar: Pennsylvania is a two-party state, which means that both sides of a phone conversation have to consent to that conversation being recorded. Couldn’t it be argued that the person on the other end of the call (we do not hear them in the recording) did not give consent, thereby making the evidence inadmissible? Never mind that Oliver also acknowledges that his hacking is legally dubious at best.
Anyway, the truth comes out with Marin shouting down Paxton, whose motive for betrayal was being a disgruntled personal assistant for eight years.2 Rather than face prosecution, Paxton jumps out the window. That’s one less boytoy for Connor. Actually, make that two: Oliver listens to the hacked recording and realizes his maybe-boyfriend is not treating their relationship as exclusive. Did whoever write this must have the second season of Queer as Folk playing in the background while writing this? The interns figure out which of their shifty interviewees must have been accomplices (because they were shifty) and they are brought to justice. Whatever.
This week’s action took place seven weeks before the bonfire. We rejoin the action in Keating’s office, where Michaela is huddled in the corner, Wes is holding Rebecca, Laurel scowls, and Connor is doing some sort of Tarantino/Pacino Hepped-up Hybrid. We finally learn where Asher is in all of this: banging on the front door looking for his classmates. He knows either Michaela or Connor ganked the idol from him3 and wants it back.
Later, we see Connor freaking out about the evidence trail they have created, despite their best efforts to cover their tracks. After the bonfire, he almost gleefully swings an ax to dismember the corpse and gets annoyed when Michaela refuses to stuff garbage bags with Mr. Keatings remains. This particular story arc ends with Connor returning to Oliver’s and having a nervous breakdown.
Here’s the thing: these histrionics are nothing but homophobia and it makes me 100% bazoo. If you are a gay character on television, it is almost guaranteed you will be some combination of villain (Thomas from Downton Abbey), a sexaholic (Jack McFarland from Will & Grace), or someone with an ax to grind (the oeuvre of Ryan Murphy). This does not represent me or most of the gay people I know and I’m sick of seeing this portrayal on television. It doesn’t give the character nuance: it’s lazy and offensive. I would go one step farther and call it dated: Connor is basically Brian Kinney encased in the amber of 2004. You should be better than this, show.
The Lila Case
Rebecca’s bail gets set at $1 million, mainly because she confessed to the crime. However, when Keating and Company tries to get the video of the confession, the DA will not release it. Bonnie is deadset on getting this evidence, particularly after she catches Detective Leahy rummaging through Sam’s car after hours. It seems the alibi that Sam had reported a while back may not be air tight. Bonnie asks the police why they are still investigating suspects if they have a person in custody who confessed. This gets the team the video and it becomes immediately apparent that Rebecca’s confession was coerced. Her bail gets reduced to $100,000, allowing Rebecca to go home on $10,000 bond.
Wes, who landed on Annalise’s bad side for getting too close to Rebecca, welcomes the client back to the apartment building. He shows her the phone and asks her for the code, since whatever is on there must be important. Later, Wes gives the phone to Annalise and confirms that Rebecca, Annalise, and he are the only people who know about it. That is until the end of the episode. Annalise, fresh from removing all her makeup, asks Sam one simple question: “why is your penis on a dead girl’s phone?”4
- Michaela might not pass her torts exam!
- Laurel and her guy from the law review party are getting closer. Frank is not a fan.
- There is very little instruction in how to get away with murder. Boo-urns.