HTGAWM S2xE02 Recap: “She’s Dying”

I power watched season 1 of HTGAWM so that I could enjoy the second season live and, after discovering that I have a really disturbing obsession with the topic, I’ve decided to pen weekly reviews of this ground-breaking show. If you’re not caught up with the current season, visit Netflix and watch Season 1, then go to ABC.com to watch season 2 with me. Enjoy!

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

S2xE02: “She’s Dying”

The Case

The Keating Five are still working on the brother/sister murder trial, and there’s been another death added to their case. Apparently, their aunt died, but Annalise doesn’t seem too concerned–she’s more interested in Nate, Eve and that particular case. Between the trial she’s working and Nate’s hearing (that Eve’s working), Annalise and her crew have their hands full. Michaela is becoming obsessed with Nate’s innocence, she’s also been in contact with Eggs911 but not told her fellow killers, and again, secrets abound. Michaela also met the adorable Levi, who Oliver convinced her to go out with after she explained how she met him at the courthouse. Anyone else think that Levi (played by young John Winchester, Matt Cohen) getting his hands on Michaela’s phone is suspect? Also–Wes saw Levi in a picture with Rebecca, but Wes hasn’t met Levi yet. Oh, the irony. It is nice to see Michaela getting more of a storyline, even if it is centered in the age-old “girl is deceived by a hot guy and accidentally sleeps with her would-be murderer” plot twist.

This episode also gave us an interesting peek into the history of Bonnie and Annalise. I worry about Bonnie–her relationship with Annalise, Frank and Sam seems to have seriously fucked her up, because murdering Rebecca doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal for her. She’s not having nearly as hard a time psychologically as the Keating Five did killing Sam; she pretty much takes Frank’s teasing in stride and continues to flirt shamelessly with Asher. Still, the conversation she shares with Annalise and the unknown factors of their shared past is intriguing and I can’t wait to find out more information as to why Bonnie is so loyal to the Annalise, that she would commit murder. What’s even more interesting is that Annalise admits that Bonnie should not be protecting Annalise but protected from her. It’s another shining moment for a character who remains cold and calculating in every way, only to break down her own walls at the most surprising moments.

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Another sweet surprise for Annalise was her time on the stand as a character witness in Nate’s trial. The prosecuting lawyer is not a nice person–she basically slut shames (thank you for the acknowledgment, Connor) Annalise for sleeping with Nate, causing Annalise to coldly (and validly) rebut the accusations, falling right into the “angry husband killer” trope. Questions are raised about Annalise’s involvement and, after Nate refuses to lie on the stand per Annalise and Eve’s instruction, Eve is forced to come up with another way to prove Nate’s innocence. She goes about it by grilling Annalise on the stand, echoing the prosecutor’s inappropriate line of questioning, outing Annalise as Sam’s true killer and getting way too close to the truth. While Eve’s tactics do get Nate’s preliminary case dropped, Annalise is hurt, scared and saddened by the way Eve went about it, even though, we all know that Annalise would have done the same thing (and worse). The sexual tension is high between Eve and Annalise, but so is the emotional connection. Annalise admits that with Eve is was “real” and the two fall into bed, connecting on a level we haven’t seen Annalise connect with anyone. Unfortunately, Eve is gone, but she did invite Annalise to move with her to New York, which would be a fun spin-off, ABC, I’m just saying.

We also get a bit more of the defendants’ mansion, and we see Connor, Wes and Michaela dealing with a bleeding Annalise, a scene which seems to be a lot like the “cheerleader in the air” bit–big implications to a seasonal arc that viewers don’t quite understand yet. Why is Annalise bleeding on the floor? Why is Connor so pissed? Why is she in her client’s home? All these answers and more as the season goes on, I suppose.

The Verdict

As I mentioned last week, Annalise is at her most powerful when she’s admitting her vulnerability. Like many women, Annalise gives herself a moment–whether it is to cry, drink, dance or have sex–and then she’s back, stronger than ever, having evaluated her situation and come up with a way to cope. This isn’t a character flaw, this is who Annalise is, and it’s so refreshing to see these nuances that so many women carry, acted out on the screen by the award winning Viola Davis. As I said during my episode live tweet…notice the one favorite *squee*.

How to Get Away With Murder is on ABC, Thursdays at 10pm.

xoxo C. Diva

Find me over on Twitter and Tumblr rambling, per usual.

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