Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
How to Get Away with Murder continues to turn up the heat on the Keating Four and Annalise (Viola Davis). With only three new episodes left until the presumably jaw-dropping, emotional season finale, How to Get Away with Murder continues to throw fans twists and turns in the latest episode, “Best Christmas Ever.”
This episode picked up with Keating and Associates trying to get back into a “normal” work routine. This is the first episode in a while where the murder team worked on a case not related to Lila Stangard’s murder. When Jackie (Jackie Geary), a woman claiming to have been busted for a DUI, shows up at Keating and Associates, Annalise is excited to have some fun and get back to work, however, clients who walk through those doors are never who they appear to be. In an insane turn of events, Jackie admits to the team that her husband has been holding two teenage girls in their basement, raping them, and one of them is pregnant. Talk about an insane situation. Out of all the clients showcased on How to Get Away with Murder thus far, this one may have been the most terrifying but delivered some incredible performances.
Annalise decides to take the case and help Jackie get the girls out from her husbands grasp. Of course, Jackie isn’t who she seems. In court, it comes out that Jackie was drugging the two girls so her husband could rape them (gives us chills just thinking about it). Through tear filled eyes Jackie says, “The memory of that [rape] is worse than what happens to you.” This case showcased some of the incredible writing that happens each week on How to Get Away with Murder. Some of the lines that are conjured up are poignant and leave fans with a pit in their stomach and that’s how you know the writing for this drama is superb. In the end Jackie ends up admitting that she kept one of the teenagers daughters for herself and has left her all alone in a cabin. In order to get the little girl back safe and sound Annalise tells Jackie she has a plea deal so she will give up her location. In an amazingly acted final sequence, Annalise resigns as her lawyer and hisses, “You’re not the only good liar in this room.” This case was an emotional one to watch and Davis does an amazing job acting in these sequences.
Meanwhile, the flashback scenes in this episode show what each of the Keating Five– Connor (Jack Falahee), Michaela (Aja Naomi King), Laurel (Karla Souza), Wes (Alfred Enoch) and Asher (Matt McGorry) were doing over their Christmas breaks. Laurel is spending a horrendous Christmas with her entire family in Palm Beach FL, Asher is hanging out with Frank (Charlie Weber) in a bar and still dreaming about his night with Bonnie (Liza Weil) and Michaela and her fiancé break up after Michaela accused him of sleeping with a man. Rough Christmas breaks all around. Although all of these characters were riding the struggle bus, it was Annalise, Wes and Connor who were having the most interesting, heartbreaking and dramatic Christmas breaks.
The flashback sequences open with Annalise during this period. Besides showing Annalise stripping down her makeup and taking off her wig a few episodes earlier, this was the most vulnerable fans have seen her in a long time. She spent her Christmas in a hotel drinking, eating and sleeping. The cycle repeats and fans watch as Annalise continues to get drunk on cheap hotel Vodka, eat some chocolate and sleep. This was a short scene in the overall episode, however; it was one of the most poignant. Fans got to see Annalise finally deal with the after effects of Sam’s (Tom Verica) death. She is human too. Davis continues to excel in this role and further prove there is nothing she can’t accomplish.
Next up on the flashback track are Wes and Rebecca (Katie Findlay). What would you be like after you viciously bludgeoned your professor/bosses husband to death? You probably wouldn’t be sleeping either. The flashbacks show Wes screaming during the middle of the night and for once, Rebecca is taking care of him. One interesting detail about this flashback is that Wes receives a Christmas card in the mail meant for the previous owner, Rudy, and begins obsessing over the claw marks left by him. Does this mean Rudy will play a bigger part in the upcoming story? One would hope this subtle hint dropped by the writers will play a crazy role in the upcoming episodes or even season.
Jack Falahee is the breakout star of How to Get Away with Murder. His sultry persona and sometimes-heartbreaking storylines are always intriguing and amazing. This week Connor and Oliver’s (Conrad Ricamora) relationship was explored much more when Connor goes home for Christmas and tells his sister that he has a boyfriend. Back in present day, everyone’s favorite couple is still working through some issues when Connor admits he loves Oliver and wants to spend time with him however, Oliver is still not over Connor cheating and his supposed drug problem. By episode’s end, Oliver can’t resist Connor’s charm (who can, really?) and they make-out in his kitchen. In the best scenes of the night, Oliver tells Connor, “I more than like you. Like, you know the way you can’t do drugs? That’s how you are for me.” Connor replies with a resounding, “I don’t trust anyone in my life right now, except you.” Is everyone’s favorite couple back together? One would hope so! Falahee shines and audiences can’t get enough of his provocative, cunning and charismatic persona.
And of course, this episode also saw Sam’s sister Hannah (Marcia Gay Harden), snooping around Keating and Associates trying to get some answers on her brother’s disappearance. She still doesn’t know he’s dead however that won’t stay quiet for long. In a crazy turn of events the last scene of the episode shows Rebecca and Wes watching the news and discovering Sam’s body has been found in a landfill and correctly identified as Sam. How will Hannah take the news? And will the Keating Four be able to lie their way out of this one? Hold onto your hats folks because these next three episodes are sure to be the craziest yet (if that’s even possible).
How to Get Away with Murder airs on Thursday’s at 10/9c on ABC
Overall Episode Grade: A-