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‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Review/Recap: “Mama’s Here Now”

Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Mageina Tovah and Liza Weil in the How to Get Away With Murder episode "Mama's Here Now." Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.
Mageina Tovah and Liza Weil in the How to Get Away With Murder episode “Mama’s Here Now.” Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.

After a heart-stopping episode last week where the police arrested Nate (Billy Brown) for the murder of Sam Keating (Tom Verica), there is no slowing this murder train down. How to Get Away with Murder picks up with Mama (Cicely Tyson) showing up to comfort a heartbroken and distraught Annalise (Viola Davis) in the latest episode titled “Mama’s Here Now.”

“Don’t you know a VIP when you see one?” Cicely Tyson makes her grand entrance into Keating and Associates and it couldn’t have been better. After Annalise breaks down after throwing her boy-toy under the bus for Sam’s murder, she calls her mama for help. Fans could not have been happier to hear that Tyson would be playing Davis’ mother on the hit drama and Tyson delivered. Her quick quips and wit are unbelievable as she storms into Keating and Associates and takes command. No one on How to Get Away with Murder ever rivals Davis and her star power but that all changed with Tyson in this episode. Her ability to reduce Annalise to a quivering shell of her powerful self is spectacular. Tyson’s best scenes showcase her incredible range of acting as she goes head-to-head with Davis.

With Mama trying to make things better using some tough love, Annalise wants to face their problems head-on. Tyson and Davis are flawless as they act out some of the best dialogue of the entire season. The mother-daughter relationship was amazingly portrayed and showcased that powerful women could come from a fractured, complicated, and unstable upbringing. One of the best lines of the night is delivered by Tyson when she says, “Men take things. They’ve been taking things from women since the beginning of time.” The writing on this show has escalated to new and exciting heights and it was great to see such a cultural icon deliver that.

Cicely Tyson in the How to Get Away With Murder episode "Mama's Here Now." Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.
Cicely Tyson in the How to Get Away With Murder episode “Mama’s Here Now.” Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.

Since the beginning of How to Get Away with Murder, fans knew that Annalise had come from a broken, abusive, and self-destructive home and this week fans got more background on her home life. With Davis portraying the vulnerable side of Annalise this episode, it was Tyson who took on the role of the strong female figure. Through their conversations, viewers learn that Annalise’s Uncle Clyde was abusive to her and she believes Mama had no idea. In a heartbreaking, Emmy-worthy scene Mama reveals that one night she saw what Uncle Clyde was doing to Annalise. The next night she got all the children out of the house and let Uncle Clyde’s cigarette burn down the house and consume the lying, mongrel. Tyson is a force to be recognized with and all viewers can say is, when will she get that Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actress?

Although Tyson and Davis are the clear frontrunners in this episode, it’s Bonnie (Liza Weil) who continues to be one of the standout supporting characters. With Annalise distraught and lying in bed, Bonnie must take the lead on a difficult case involving a female nurse allegedly raping a male patient. Weil has proven to be a standout on How to Get Away with Murder and she continues that phenomenal run in this episode. Bonnie is thrust into the high stakes job of replacing Annalise in the courtroom and it appears to be harder than it looks. Throughout the trial, Bonnie appears to be sinking with each step she takes. Weil does an impeccable job of taking Bonnie from moments of pure bliss to moments of utter defeat. Not many actresses can make that leap as effortlessly as Weil does. By the episode’s end, Bonnie has proven herself and wins the case (we never doubted her) and decides to celebrate with her favorite law student. That’s right folks, Asher (Matt McGorry) and Bonnie are back and sexier than ever. They celebrate the win with a steamy make-out session on the hood of a car. Sounds like a typical Shondaland moment to us. Team Basher is back on and fans are not disappointed.

The other big relationship that continues to blossom in this episode is between Connor (Jack Falahee) and Oliver (Conrad Ricamora). The duo have become the somewhat stable couple on How to Get Away with Murder and this week they took a huge step: Connor introduces his boy-toy to his friends. This was a tender moment in the bar where fans got to see the law students actually acting like young adults. Falahee and Ricamora have undeniable chemistry on screen. Every time they’re on screen they light up the room and fans cannot help but swoon. The duo end this amazing episode with a drunk Oliver pinning after Connor and saying those three simple words: I love you. Talk about adorable.

Matt McGorry in the How to Get Away With Murder episode "Mama's Here Now." Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.
Matt McGorry in the How to Get Away With Murder episode “Mama’s Here Now.” Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC.

The last important piece of information from this episode involves Wes (Alfred Enoch), Laurel (Karla Souza), Rebecca (Katie Findlay), and the mysterious Rudy Walters. From the beginning, fans have been wondering about Rudy and the mysterious claw marks he left on Wes’s apartment wall. This week the mystery got closer to being solved when Wes becomes increasingly suspicious of Rebecca and her involvement with Rudy. By the episode’s end, Wes and Laurel take a trip to a psychiatric ward to visit a partially comatose Rudy, who recognizes Rebecca immediately and is able to mutter one simple word: wet. Does this mean Rebecca killed Lila and dumped her in the water tank? This storyline has perfectly set up the finale and fans are already on the edge of their seats.

How to Get Away with Murder ends its heart-stopping, murderous, and dramatic first season next week with a two hour finale that is sure to have fans on the floor gasping for air. Did Rebecca kill Lila? Will Nate go to jail for Sam’s murder? And when will Cicely Tyson return? Hopefully most of these questions will be answered. Until then, sit back, attempt to relax, and get ready for a wild and crazy roller coaster of a finale.

How to Get Away with Murder airs on Thursday’s at 10/9c on ABC.

Overall Episode Grade: A

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