COLD OPEN: At first, I thought I was watching a repeat of the pilot, but I like where the show’s taking us. At least for the first 40 minutes. But I’ll get to that. The episode was not as strong as its pilot, but I’ll be fair that not every episode should top a pilot-bang like this show did.
ACT ONE (Plot Explanation): They defend a millionaire who[‘s accused of stabbing his wife to death. Doesn’t help that the husband comes out to be a weird guy, cuddling up with a student for a reenactment and getting way too into it. They succeed in discrediting the prosecution’s witnesses in court, because of course, it’s the show’s first 15 minutes. Story B: Wes’s neighbor Rebecca takes a shower in his room due to shower issues next door. I was like, finally, she’s beginning to warm up to Wes, and will hopefully link him to the SAG. The SAG, you ask? Story C: Annalise thinks her husband is behind the murder of a girl who went missing months before the show begins (I’m going to refer to her as the SAG, or the Season-Arc Girl) and tries to find evidence on his phone, unsuccessfully. Sadly, Story C is the most boring part of the episode.
The Flash-forwards are the same scenes from the pilot episode, but extended versions. We actually see the coin flip result (heads: they move the body, tails: they don’t). It lands on tails, and Wes (being the only one to see) says they’re moving the body. Ohhhh, Wes got some leadership skills!
ACT TWO (The Twist): Class time reveals that people lie and that people aren’t who they say they are (it takes a class to learn that?). Thus why character witnesses are the most important component of the law, played in this open case by the defender’s college daughter. And of course, she passes with flying colors on the stand…until the prosecution reveals that the defendant killed his first wife. I know, he had a FIRST wife? Good, believable twist. Daughter’s destroyed and Keating’s upset that the defendant lied to her about it. So, new plan: make sure there’s doubt he committed the 2nd murder. It was kind of fun to watch this all at once. Story B: Wes realizes that the guy visiting Rebecca was the ex-boyfriend of the SAG. I mean, we all knew-Wes was behind…like he is usually on everything. Story C: We find out that Ms. Keating’s husband did sleep with students before, but did not sleep with the SAG girl…so he says.
Flash-forwards: while everyone’s in the car with the body in the rug, Wes is getting ingredients for the fire. He makes a call on his cell and says everything’s going according to plan.
ACT THREE (Finale): The team ponders any possible strategy to prove the defendant didn’t kill his 2nd wife. The students are grasping at straws when after two episodes of trying to say something at all in this series, Laurel notices there are animals in the room, concluding that the defendant knows how to kill, which is inconsistent with the sloppy way his 2nd wife was killed. And boom! The defendant admits how he killed his first wife (efficiently), and it was proven the 2nd wife couldn’t have been killed by the same person (who was sloppy). Case closed. Defendant wins. So who killed the wife? Surprise! It was the daughter, who found out what happened to her birth mother in college and wanted to get revenge on her dad. Unfortunately, she was the only other character not involved with the show, so it had to be her. But it was still a surprise reveal. Story B: Rebecca is arrested, but Wes realizes that she left something in his bathroom. Finds a cell phone….Wait for it. Story C: I can only describe this as Mrs. Keating goes crazy assuming her husband killed the SAG. So she enlists the help of her former lover, and recently-probationed detective Nate. Desperately.
Flash-forward: Wait…the phone Wes found in the bathroom is the same he uses when he’s in the store in the future. Surprise! He was talking to Rebecca. Well. It’s Shondaland. So it’ll get worse, right?
What I disliked: Annalise Keating has become less scary. I understand it’s probably a front for her vulnerability. But I was excited for a stone-cold lawyer, and it’s not as much fun without that edge. I also felt revealing Rebecca in the end sort of showed their hand too early. I still know nothing concrete about Michaela or Asher. Still upset no one has a life outside the law world. Lastly, Keating crying. Give me more Keating dead-pan looks.
What I liked: A very solid 2nd episode with an intriguing case of the day. I like how they’re slowly bringing today’s events with the future ones. I’m excited to see how everyone breaks. I’m noticing that Asher isn’t in the flashs. We knew Rebecca was going to involved, but I like how so far. Great series so far through 2 episodes.