Fall TV 2014RecapReviewTV

‘How to Get Away with Murder’ Review/Recap: “Smile or Go to Jail”

Nora Dominick ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Viola Davis in the How To Get Away With Murder episode "Smile or Go to Jail." Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.
Viola Davis in the How To Get Away with Murder episode “Smile or Go to Jail.” Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.

Just hours before episode three of How to Get Away with Murder aired on ABC, the network announced that it was giving the show a full season order. This gives the freshman drama a full 22 episodes. This came as no surprise considering the show is raking in close to 15 million viewers a week. Now viewers will be wrapped in the murder game for a full year.

Episode three entitled “Smile or Go to Jail,” provided even more information during the flash forward sequence as well as the present day. During the flash forwards, viewers learn more about the groups intentions for burning Sam Keating’s (Tom Verica) body and how they landed in the precarious situation. These flash forwards focused on Michaela’s (Aja Naomi King) involvement that night and her thought on burning the body. Viewers also learned that the students went to the bonfire happening on campus right after the murder. They snapped some selfies together just so they would have an alibi. Pretty clever.

Charlie Weber, Liza Weil, Karla Souza, Matt McGorry, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee and Aja Naomi King in the How To Get Away With Murder episode "Smile or Go to Jail." Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.
Charlie Weber, Liza Weil, Karla Souza, Matt McGorry, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee and Aja Naomi King in the How To Get Away with Murder episode “Smile or Go to Jail.” Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.

In present day, the inexplicable death of Lila Vanguard continues to infiltrate the lives of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) and her entire law firm. The college has just informed her that they would like her to represent Lila’s boyfriend, Griffin O’Reilly (Lenny Platt). Of course, Wes (Alfred Enoch) is less than pleased by this news considering his connection to Rebecca (Katie Findlay), who is now being charged with first degree murder. Remember that phone Wes found after Rebecca showered at his place? Well this episode, viewers learned it was non other than Lila’s phone. That’s right. Rebecca and Lila were clearly close friends. Wes decides to get to the bottom of this by sneaking into jail to visit Rebecca, who is less than pleased to see him. By the episodes close, Wes has convinced Professor Keating to take on Rebecca’s case instead of Griffin’s, which might be difficult considering Rebecca just confessed.

Lastly, there is the whole issue of Annalise believing her husband, Sam, is responsible for Lila’s murder. Luckily, she has her boyfriend Nate (Billy Brown) hot on the trail. Nate traces Sam’s whereabouts on the night of Lila’s disappearance in hopes of finding an alibi. Unfortunately, he finds far from that. It turns out Sam was not teaching a class at Yale and his car mysteriously disappeared one night. Not looking good for Sam. Nate, being the good boyfriend that he is, tells Annalise that Sam was at Yale and she has nothing to worry about.

Liza Weil, Viola Davis, Charlie Weber, Jack Falahee, Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King and Karla Souza in the How To Get Away With Murder episode "Smile or Go to Jail." Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.
Liza Weil, Viola Davis, Charlie Weber, Jack Falahee, Alfred Enoch, Aja Naomi King and Karla Souza in the How To Get Away with Murder episode “Smile or Go to Jail.” Photo Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.

Of course, the big murder case of the week involved Paula Murphy (Ana Ortiz), a seemingly harmless hooker soccer mom until the FBI show up saying she is a renowned wanted fugitive for a 1994 bomb explosion. Matt McGorry’s character, Asher Millstone, has the greatest quote of the night when he said “Hooker Mom turned out to be Bomb Mom. ” This case was by far the most interesting and open ended. By the episode’s close, Paula has run away with her old boyfriend, Gabriel, who convinced her to plant the bomb in the first place. Looks like this isn’t the last time viewers will see Paula.

The entire episode was a perfect follow up to the first two episodes. How to Get Away with Murder continues to flourish in the 10/11c time slot. The growing fan base can’t get enough of the juicy, sexy, and down right intriguing drama on screen. This episode was much better than episode two in that it had more drama and the characters stories intertwined far more easily. The writing and narrative structure continues to get stronger with each episode. Annalise and the gang clearly has everyone hooked and viewers can’t wait to stay with them for 22 episodes.

Overall Grade: A-

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