Wow. Just wow. Trust me you guys, this week’s episode of HTGAWM definitely did not disappoint. The secrets are more scandalous than ever. Open scene as usual on the night of Sam Keating’s death with Asher banging on the door of Keating’s home. Michaela, Connor, Wes, and Laurel are huddled inside her office over Sam’s body. No one wants to let Asher in. Why you might ask? Who knows.
Flashback to five weeks earlier – Annalise’s criminal law class. What’s today’s lesson? Habeas Corpus or a summons with the force of court order. Interestingly, this episode does not make use of cross-cutting. The lesson does not exactly correspond to the Case of the Week.
And now, the Case of the Week. David Allen, a man who was convicted of murdering a young woman two decades ago. Why is this case being brought back up, you might wonder? Because it is being appealed. Allen is on death row for this woman’s murder, but Annalise believes he is innocent. And naturally, Keating loves a good challenge. And yes, while the overarching case in this series is that of Lila Stanguard, the college student who was brutally murdered. However, this episode takes a step back from Lila and focuses on Allen. Viola Davis gives a beautiful performance in Allen’s appeal case, bringing in racial and personal beliefs. Seriously, if you don’t even want to watch this episode, just watch that one scene. It’s beautiful. Allen is ruled innocent and is a free man. He was wrongfully convicted due to false testimony from witnesses. The real murderer was the owner of an apartment building charging high rent. Those who falsely testified to seeing Allen kill this woman would receive some “help” in that department.
Now, the character focus for this week’s episode: Asher. It’s about time this egoist got some lime light. But the reason for his involvement in this week’s episode is peculiar, to say the least. His father was the presiding judge of Allen’s trial 20 years ago. Keating’s team accuses him of ignoring evidence. When Asher confronts his father about this (even though he defended his father to the whole team), his father explodes and kicks Asher out.
Asher then goes back to the team to reveal the information he has received about his father, but only if his father’s name stays out of it. And this leads to Allen’s release.
So, in other news. Annalise knows that her husband had an affair with Lila, and believes he might be connected to her murder. If you recall, we recently found pictures of Sam’s penis on Lila’s phone. So what does the cunning, devilish Annalise Keating do? She gets Frank to plant the phone in Griffin O’Reily’s car. Griffin was Lila’s boyfriend, and is one of the prime suspects in his murder (in addition to Rebecca, Wes’s current romantic interest).
But, jump to the end of the episode, and Nate (Annalise’s former fling) has photos of Frank very close to Griffin’s car, with a sealed manilla envelope. Fishy.
But HERE’S the shocker. In the present day, we see Asher on the phone with a girl but we don’t know who. He wants to see her, go to the bonfire with her, and meet her later. And at the end of the episode we finally find out who she is. BONNIE. That’s right BONNIE. Annalise’s trusty sidekick. I cannot wait to see how their relationship begins and how it pans out.
– The use of light is pivotal to developing the intensity of every episode. Specifically, the flashbacks make use of kind, medium-toned light while the present day shots are very dark and filled with shadows. The ominous tone accentuates the murder of Sam Keating and has the audience begging for more.
– Every time there is a cut from present day to flashback, the same sequence of shots plays. First, a cheerleader being thrown up in the air and coming back down (at the bonfire) from a bird’s eye shot. Then, a coin flip – also from a bird’s eye shot. And then, a slow pan of the flashback with the time written across the screen. The cheerleader is most likely used to develop the setting, a bonfire for school pride. The coin is referring to when the students flipped a coin to decide whether or not to burn Sam’s body. This sequence is very intense.
– Viola Davis is always able to channel any emotion she pleases and it is seriously fantastical. Yes, I had to make up a word for how great it is. The range of emotions mirrors the plot every time. For example, when Annalise is using her strong, powerful female voice to defend her clients, the moments are in fire mode. They are pounding with drama. But, when she is talking to Sam or somebody that she has an emotional connection to, the scene is calmer.