Rewind to the homecoming celebration at the bonfire, but just as quickly, we’re down the rabbit’s hole with the co-conspirators in Annalise’s office.
How To Get Away With Murder‘s fourth episode, “Let’s Get to Snooping,” inches us one step closer to the before of Sam’s death as each student shows shades of their survival skills or lack thereof. Competitors are forced to become allies in a dangerous game none have played before, and are ignorant of the rules and consequences. A crisis brings out the best and worst in most people, and this group is no exception. Four episodes later, I’m still unsure of what lies just beneath Annalise’s expressions when not in court.
Connor tries to hold it together as the smooth operator, but the mounting pressure as the unofficial lieutenant appears to be crumbling his Less Than Zero meets Breakfast Club bad boy confidence. Michaela has unraveled into a heap of snot and tears as the possibility of her signature Vera Wang wedding dress disintegrates in her mind’s eye. Wes remains a central figure of the four musketeers physically and mentally, and Laurel does her best supportive surrogate mother to calm Michaela.
Why hasn’t Asher been included in the cover-up? Was it because the others thought he was immature and unable to handle it? He feels left out, but doesn’t realize that this party is best uninvited. Connor’s still up to his usual behavior of using Oliver for anything he needs to stay relevant in Annalise’s eyes. I imagine using sex as a weapon, reward and release might eventually run its course with lovestruck Oliver.
How did new client, Rebecca, come to possess Lila Stangard’s cell phone containing frontal nude pictures of Sam Keating?
Why did Nate break into Sam’s car and flip through his GPS history if in the previous episode he cleared him of any wrongdoing? Why is Bonnie conveniently lurking outside of Annalise’s house while the aforementioned Nate just happened to have been inside the car?
The musketeers, plus Asher, prove they’re still mostly wet behind the ears as they try to investigate employees of accused insider trader Marren Trudeau. Well, except for Connor, who once again uses his sexual wiles and uncovers pivotal case information from an unsuspecting Paxton. I’m bored with stereotypical Connor as a cock-and-ass undercover investigator. I’m all for equal rights and access, but is the gay sex meant to expand viewership? The overreliance of sex would be just as awkward if one of the other interns used it as a weapon.
While on the topic of stereotypes and archetypes, Paxton is a blatant example of what conservatives think of gay men. He engages in random sex at the office, celebrates the conquest, gets caught for wrongdoing, confesses and withers into a blubbering mess. Marren, as his one-time accepting substitute mother, publicly demeans him, and out he goes through the highrise window to his death below. How many highrise buildings in 2014 have windows that open above the first floor?
I’m still baffled by Annalise trying to be seductive with the wrong person, Wes, and not Nate or Sam. Is it a wink to The Graduate, Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin? The writing and direction in their homage scenes doesn’t work, and sticks out like sore thumb.
Later, the homage to the Marquise Merteuil and her makeup scene, played brilliantly by Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, works. It has taken four episodes to experience a fuller range of Viola Davis’s acting skills, but it was worth the wait. Sam’s nude photos have put her in a compromising position. The grand unmasking and bigger reveal is powerful. She systemically removes her wedding ring, wig, and scrubs her face clean of makeup. The kids gloves are off.
Next week’s episode teases that we’re about to have a championship boxing match. We know who survives. Hopefully, the journey back in time that’ll take us to Sam’s corpse will be memorable.