How to Get Away With Murder has gotten a lot of hype in the past few weeks making it the pilot to look out for this fall, but did it live up to its preseason reputation?
Our verdict: Yes, and then some.
So far, it’s hands down the best new show on television this year, and I’m not really sure how any other show could compete at this point. Though, now that that statement is out, I’ll be sure to keep an open mind.
Still, it’s been a while since I felt like it was impossible to tear my eyes away from my television screen. In fact, I didn’t even want to pause to jot down notes to write this review, which means I pretty much re-watched the episode as soon as it finished. And I’m not complaining.
The character of law professor Annalise Keating seems to have been written specifically for Viola Davis. When the show starts we enter the first day of school and feel just as overwhelmed by Professor Keating’s presence as all those law students. She is taking no prisoners as she plows through a rigorous lecture on the first day and involves the students in a case she is tackling. The student who can come up with the best strategy to win the case wins a trophy and the good graces of the professor who picks four students to work for her law firm each year.
Pair that initial setting with flash forwards of four students carting a body from Keating’s office into the woods and we’re wondering if the professor taught her students too much and that they decided to apply the lessons to her dead body. Though Keating’s name is never mentioned by anyone as the victim, at this point in the show we assume she is the one wrapped in the rug and being tossed around as the students make their frantic escape.
Wes Gibbins rises as our main student of the season. He spends most of the episode with this frazzled look in his eyes, constantly unprepared and maybe just adequate. Yet, he pulls it off enough to rise from the wait list to one of the top students in the class all in one episode.
But don’t forget about that pesky flash forward filtered throughout the entire episode as the students, Wes included, get rid of a body. The last scene of the show finally shows the four unraveling the rug to unveil the body. And it isn’t Professor Keating. It’s her husband, Sam.
Based on what we know so far, which is very little, we can hardly even wrap our minds around a potential theory. Judging by the scene between Keating and her husband at the end of the episode, Keating isn’t the only one having affairs. We think Sam was getting cozy with Lila, the girl who’s found dead. No doubt this has something to do with the end of Sam’s life. But how do the law school students get involved? Is Professor Keating so good at getting her clients off the hook that she decided to put her skills to use in her personal life?
It’s always a clear sign of a new fall obsession when the seven days between a new episode feel like an eternity, and that’s how I felt with How to Get Away With Murder. It’s brilliantly written and cleverly executed. This show is, hands down, a must-watch for fall.