How To Get Away With Murder: He Deserved to Die Review

There are many questions to be answered in our spoiler-filled review of How to Get Away With Murder...

Why did Sam deserve to die? Countless men have affairs, and some unfortunately don’t practice safe sex, and impregnate their mistress. Was his death based on a religious or moral code? Look left, right, straight ahead, and just behind the possible suspects, no one is without sin. David, keep that rock and slingshot out of view for now. 

There hasn’t been enough evidence to support Sam murdering Lila because of their affair. Next week’s preview of How to Get Away With Murder shows an angry Lila threatening to expose Sam to Annalise. The timeline is still confusing. How did Sam’s body end up in the middle of the room with three of the students pacing the floor and crying in the corner?

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The worst outcome, a public shaming, divorce, and job loss from such a scandal at a moderate-sized university, might drive some men over the edge to murder. I might be wrong, but I don’t or can’t see mild-mannered Sam as a murderer. He has yet to show his backbone or raise his voice. There hasn’t been any foreshadowing of his possible guilt apart from the affair. It would be unfair to cobble together a few scenes over the final two episodes before revealing his killer. 

The easiest culprit would be Rebecca as Sam’s killer. She arrived at Annalise’s house splattered in blood and carried undetected upstairs by Wes to wash up and settle her nerves. I accept Rebecca’s confession that she’s guilty of murder as false and arbitrary, yet another red herring. She’s no Hannibal Lecter to gloat about victims after the fact. She manipulates the low-hanging fruit of the Keating Five, but I don’t think she’s crafty or intelligent enough to fool Annalise.

Let’s play devil’s advocate and say she killed Sam. Why? Did she murder him because he’d separated her from Lila? She hinted at her affinity for flirting with women as easily as men. If she was involved with Lila, Griffin and Sam would have been her natural competitors. Sam would be a bigger trophy because of his perceived power and stature at the university. Rebecca probably meets and dispenses with rich spoiled brats like Griffin who think they’re slumming with girls like her. He’d present no real threat to her, hence their getting high and hooking up. In this scenario, Rebecca’s seduction of Griffin was two-fold: (a) proof that he was a religious purity hypocrite, and (b) proof that he was unworthy of Lila’s affection. 

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Is this the beginning of the end for Wes after having finally slept with Rebecca? He has been tireless prior to sex, a veritable lovestruck Boy Scout, but let’s see if the puppy matures into a vicious pit bull. 

Wes shouldn’t have sway over Annalise, but I’ve oftentimes stated this, yet he continues to disrupt her flow. I’m all for writers having opportunities in the spotlight, but a possible downside is a mishmash of character voices, intentions and consistency. I’d rather one or two writers work in tandem over the course of the first season to build a solid foundation before handing the baby over to various nannies. Each caretaker imprints on the impressionable, absorbent newborn. I hope the showrunner and writing team revisits their original motivation for the show and its characters over the upcoming winter break.

Not wanting to wade into the angry black woman landmines of the recent NY Times article, but I do have a few concerns with Annalise on the written page that might have gotten lost in transition to the screen. Annalise has a hardened exterior, and a less than firm inner life or inner monologue she repeats to herself. The writing, directing and performance haven’t yet gelled. Perhaps the desired recalibration will happen in early 2015, or with the start of season two, should it remain popular and be renewed.

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What type of woman is grateful for miscarriages? What type of woman free of her own misgivings and sins, rebuffs her cheating husband’s embrace and comfort? A woman who is thankful for miscarriages and not feel saddened by the loss, doesn’t know who she is and what type of mother she’d be. To be thankful for not having a child with her husband, given the circumstances of how they met and married, might speak more to a dark place inside of her that she feels the child would grow and fester during the pregnancy.

Why does Annalise need more time to behave as Sam’s wife? Is it all about Lila and Rebecca? Or is this seasoned stage actress going deeper than the others, television actors, and performing on levels not written in the weekly scripts?

Back to the why and how Rebecca could have killed Sam. He felt threatened by Rebecca’s presence in their home because she knew his secret. Unable to control his nerves, he confronted her and it plays out as she stated. She clobbered him with the statue. Red flag for me: how did Connor, Michaela and Laurel end up at the house if Rebecca and Sam were previously alone? Why would they get involved? Rebecca’s killing Sam doesn’t add up. The students would just as soon slam the door in her face than to have their shiny academic records bloodied, and land in jail. Michaela’s prenuptial agreement is one thing, but a life behind bars wouldn’t come with designer dresses and silk sheets. 

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There has to be another killer. My money’s on Nate, but again, same question. Why? If the jilted ex-lover is the killer, why would the students get involved? They have no previous connection and relationship.

The one person the bleating sheep would follow to the edge of a cliff is their professor. It gives credence to the show’s title, and who better to teach a class on getting away with murder other than the mastermind herself? That wouldn’t work because of the reverse timeline of the show.

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3 out of 5