Hello, How to Get Away With Murder fans! Nick really wanted to be here to chat about the show's fall finale, but he's on vacation, presumably far away from bloody trophies, trash bags, and never-ending bonfires. But enough about that, let's just get right into it.
Sam is dead! You knew that already. But as promised, "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" finally revealed what happened on that fated night, and I can't imagine too many of you were surprised by the sequence of events. After an extremely intense conversation between Annalise and Sam, one in which he spewed some truly hateful stuff in her face—including calling her a "just a piece of ass," "dirty," and a "slut,"—Michaela, Rebecca, and then Wes, Laurel, and Connor all descended on the house/law office (the show is really getting mileage out of that set). Rebecca's crusade to prove Sam's guilt in Lila's death didn't sit well with the already on-edge Mr. Darcy, forcing the rest of the goofballs to jump in, and then BOOM, Michaela tossed Sam over the stairwell. There you go, Prom Queen killed Sam. Your hashtag questions are solved, goodnight.
Oh right, not quite. Sam didn't die in his tumble, and instead rose from near death to attempt to choke the life out of Rebecca, leading to the real event—Wes bashing Mr. Darcy over the head with that damn trophy to save his empty shell of a love interest from death. So yeah, huge promotional push notwithstanding, How to Get Away With Murder mostly took the predictable route here, but that's okay! The suspect pool was relatively shallow, and rightfully so. Wes's "arc" (if you want to call it that) has been all about falling further and further into corruption, either with Annalise or with his surely stupid relationship with Rebecca, so what better way to put a button the last nine episodes?! Some of you might be disappointed that the big reveal was actually quite conventional, and I can't totally blame you. That's what happens with shows that rely on big mysteries to keep us hooked. We're hooked, and we want the answers to be cool and shocking, not something we could have guessed in Episode 1. But I'd much rather have something more conventional, especially given that the show is only on Episode 9. If things had gotten stupid—or perhaps more stupid—so early, it might've been RED ALERT.
If anything, the frustrating part of "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" came not with the reveal of who murdered Sam, but with the subsequent 20-plus minutes of the episode's running time. We've seen so many of the post-murder scenes more than once; putting them together in (mostly) chronological fashion to construct the coherent story was helpful, but relatively repetitive. I don't know about you guys, but I've been pretty much bonfire'd out for three or four weeks now, and the less debate about what to do with the body, the better. Again, that's the danger of telling the story in this fashion—eventually, you have to bring the pieces together, and How to Get Away With Murder certainly bet that we would actually care about the students' various manias in the aftermath and want to see this stuff again. I'm not sure how true that is. Asher and Laurel are still non-entities, and Wes and Rebecca aren't destined for True Love, or anything close to it. I will say that Michaela's hysteria worked better once we'd seen the scope of her involvement in the actual event, and Connor's increasing level of insanity also played more effectively once we were able to see it unfold over the course of the evening. But still, a lot of repetitive filler.
That's okay though, because How to Get Away With Murder had one more trick up its sleeve, one that smartly recontextualized the entire sequence of events again and should send the show into murkier territory come January. Annalise finding Sam's body—and then presumably instructing Wes to wrangle everyone else to clean up the mess before making the call to Sam's phone to cover her tracks—was a very nice, relatively logical twist to send the show off into 2015. Not only does it make Annalise more complicit in the central crime, further dirtying up a group of already very amoral pricks, but it creates a slew of additional obstacles for the show to play with in its final six episodes. It means that Annalise, Wes, and the rest of the gang will need to work to prevent themselves from being caught for Sam's murder while also trying to prove that someone other than Rebecca killed Lila, which in itself could strip away the procedural cases that have, in my mind, dragged down certain parts of this fall run.
How to Get Away With Murder is a supremely silly show most of the time, with a cast of ciphers who we're apparently supposed to not hate on every level. However, the seris made it through the fall on the back of two central mysteries ("Who killed Sam?" and "Who killed Lila?") and one heck of a performance from Viola Davis. "Kill Me, Kill Me, Kill Me" gave us one big answer, added another mystery, and allowed Davis to deliver a couple of big scenes (the early one with Sam, in which Tom Verica was great too, and her emotional voicemail to Sam later on). For me, that's enough to tune in after the holiday break. What about you?
– So, who killed Lila? It surely wasn't Sam, right? That's been kind of a secondary mystery given all the bluster over Sam, but I'm excited to see where that goes in 2015. Let's hear your most likely candidates. in the comments.
– Dumping the body parts in a dumpster isn't going to come back to haunt them at all. Nope.
– Michaela didn't find the engagement ring, but kowtowed to the prenup request. Cool?
– Asher and Bonnie's sex scene was... awkward. How to Get Away With Murder could do better by both of them.
– Okay, let's get to the important stuff: power ranking the students. My list is Connor, Michaela, Wes, Laurel, about 400 yards of distance, and then Asher. But we're dealing with shades of terrible here.
So, was that worth the wait? How about that final twist?