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…
S2xE06: “Two Birds, One Millstone”
Per usual, HTGAWM shocks me with the very lengths the writers and producers will go to in order to address meaningful issues and current events. The case of the week revolves around Jill Hartford, a fellow professor at Middleton University who has accidentally killed her abusive husband in self-defense. The trope gets turned on its head when the woman in question is actually trans, and has been hiding the abuse for years from friends and coworkers. The complex issues of telling the truth and knowing when to lie in order to obtain justice relates, of course, to the Annalise and her relationship with Sam, but also mirrors Asher’s lies to Sinclair on Bonnie’s behalf. What is so touching about the Hartford case, is that Annalise does feel a connection and camaraderie to Jill Hartford, who lies to police and Annalise (initially) because she knows that trans victims of crimes are less likely to be believed by law enforcement; the same goes for victims of abuse. The fact that Jill exaggerates the crime scene (lies) in order to highlight the abuse and the cops still don’t believe is a sad truth that the show brings light to in an organic and clear way. In terms of storytelling, this feels honest and open, which is why it doesn’t make sense to connect it to such an uninteresting narrative such as Millstones.
I’ve said it before, Asher’s story isn’t all that compelling and I’m still not emotionally invested in his relationship with his father, Judge Millstone. So, when Annalise sells out daddy Millstone in order to keep Jill Hartford, her abused, trans friend, out of jail, it seems like a more than an even trade. I actually felt more emotions toward Hartford in the one hour she was on the screen than I have for either Millstone all season long. Asher is still so much of an outsider in the Keating Five; he isn’t privy to all the murdering, he’s being lied to constantly, and the side plot having to do with his dad and the D.A. is super boring. Also–was it hinted in this episode that Asher was involved in a gang rape?? That makes me like him even less, honestly. Sorry, Asher, you’re definitely expendable in my (and probably Annalise’s) eyes.
In other news, Oliver is bugging Connor about the crime he admitted to committing by creating a list of possible crimes, hopefully murder not being one of them. Oliver is a snoop, and not only has he been snooping around in Connor’s life, but he also looks into the Hapstall case and finds a SECRET BABY!! Yes, there is finally a break in the story, but in a chilling twist, Secret Baby is watching Connor and Oliver argue about his existence via the webcam, which can’t be good. I have a bad feeling that this might have something to do with Connor in the Hapstall foyer (everything does!!), which doesn’t bode well for adorable Ollie.
Speaking of the flash forward foyer scene, Frank is a new face in the scenario, and since we know of his strong connection to Annalise, it isn’t a surprise that he’s running alongside her unconscious body as the nurses and doctors take her into the operating room from the ambulance. What is a surprise is that he seems to be faking his concern for the KTTV cameras and he has what looks like a dead Catherine in his backseat.
This Hapstall foyer thing is seriously confusing, especially since we see, towards the end of the episode that Catherine isn’t actually dead. Frank apparently dumps her in the woods and she wakes up, and also the cops are looking for her. I am confused, but then again, that’s what I love about this show. It keeps me guessing about the larger plot narrative up until the very end.
I’m also guessing about what’s going on with Nate and Annalise, now that Nia has passed. In a not-shocking-but-really-sad turn of events, Nia succumbs to cancer and Nate is grieving/angry/getting copious amounts of peach cobbler from Annalise, whom he wants nothing to do with. She spots Wes at Nate’s apartment building, and finally confronts him (sort of) about his side plot with Nate regarding Rebecca. The relationship between Wes and Annalise remains weird–teetering between motherly and sexually charged–a little Oedipal and a lot *icky*. I’m still not sure what’s going on with them or with Wes, in general. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s going to play out in the Hapstall foyer.
You’re all garbage. No, not really, but wasn’t that a great Annalise line? My favorite parts of this show revolve around Annalise showing her multifaceted personality. So many television shows only have a one-sided image of the main character, especially if she is a woman. It’s nice to see Annalise protective, joking, angry, mournful and manipulative. She is such an amazing representation, I am constantly in awe of what Viola Davis does with her.
Until next time, friends.
How to Get Away With Murder is on ABC, Thursdays at 10pm.
xoxo C. Diva