JACK FALAHEE, MATT MCGORRY, AJA NAOMI KING, KARLA SOUZA

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER – “She Hates Us” – Tensions in the Keating household run high, as each student struggles in their own way trying to return to normalcy. In a flashback, we’ll learn new details about Annalise’s past on “How to Get Away with Murder,” THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Michael Desmond) JACK FALAHEE, MATT MCGORRY, AJA NAOMI KING, KARLA SOUZA

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I am so glad we’re getting these flashbacks, because they are so weird to watch. It seems like a whole different world used to exist. Sam and Annalise were happy and expecting a child. Bonnie was shy and sweet and Annalise’s prize pupil. Frank was awkward and not a great assistant. Whatever eventually happens will lead all of them to a really dark path that we saw them on when the show started. This is a warmer group of characters, so what trauma could possibly get them to be the vicious dark knights they are now? I guess we’ll have to find out. Previously on How To Get Away With Murder (HTGAWM), Wes shot Annalise and heard her say his original name Christophe while bleeding out. It’s really thrown him off, and he’s avoided the others since. Laurel’s the only one consistently checking on him, and she’s taken the blame for nearly killing Annalise. Asher’s staying with Connor and Oliver while he has his own mental breakdown. Annalise is recovering from being shot, Catherine agreed to take blame for the shooting if they blame it all on Philip. Annalise is hallucinating babies and remembering whatever ties her to Wes and his mother. Where’s Eve? Bring Eve back!

The case of the week is an interesting one, and I like what it brings up for the group. Annalise’s client shot and killed another boy, and both sides have agreed to a compromise that he’ll serve some time and then get parole. It seems like it’s about to be over, but the victim’s mother speaks out. It’s not that she wants them to push for more time, it’s the opposite: she wants to forgive the killer and let him off the hook. It’s kind of silly just in the sense that even if she does want him free, that doesn’t mean that the state can’t charge him. He still broke the law, he still killed someone. She just wants a less harsh punishment. The young man admits that he intentionally killed her son, it was a heat of the moment thing but it was still his choice. She forgives him regardless. The prosecution however tries to use this as a way to ask for the death penalty, which everyone fights against. Eventually he says he has to suffer for what he does and wants to be in jail for a life sentence. The prosecution agrees to take death penalty off the table as a compromise. There is some terrific acting in this episode, I can’t really do it justice, but they all knock it out of the park. This also leads Murder Club to start realizing that they could forgive each other if they wanted to, and maybe remember they’re a team and don’t have to hate each other. I always do like when they bond, so I’m good with that.

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Annalise decides to give Wes the files about his mother. We see in the flashback she goes and meets with his mother, and it’s about her client named Charles Mahoney. A hedge fund heir wanted for murder. We don’t know more than that right now, but Rose is involved with it somehow, and Annalise wants to use her. This will no doubt lead in some way to her death, which is starting to look more like a murder than a suicide, isn’t it? I mean getting involved with rich evil people will do that. Wes spends the episode in a psych ward because he “joked” about committing suicide when he was trying to get sleeping pills. The shrink thinks it’s because of seeing Annalise lying in a pool of blood not unlike how his mother was found. Little does she know that he caused that! I’ve accepted that even though Wes is my least favorite character, he is the main one in a lot of ways, so I just have to accept it and go with his story. It seems like a pretty interesting one, honestly!

This episode had some very strong performances. I mean it’s always excellent, this cast is strong and likable despite their characters having many unlikable traits. Oh I almost forgot, Frank admits he killed Lila. AHHHHHH. To Laurel! Oh man. Can’t wait to see where that one is headed. I never expected him to do that. He also seems like less of a murderous hit man ten years ago, so what’s up with that? I always pictured him  as always in shady dealings. I guess we’ll see. I’m just so glad this freaking show is back. I spend the entire episode on the edge of my seat!

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