Mark Twain once said: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” These words may be also Annalise Keating’s – the main character – as she is a fabulous master manipulator of truth.
The episode is available free on iTunes in case you missed it on Thursday night. If you did, you may well be the few ones who did as the episode drew over 14 million viewers, making it one of the most successful opening nights of the last years. I bet the folks at ABC must be jumping up with joy for such a triumph: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and now How to Get Away With Murder. A triptych impossible to miss.
So …what is the show about then?
It is not easy to summarize, and yet at the same time it is. It is a procedural, it is a mystery drama, it’s a legal drama. The multilayered pilot combines three stories ( that of the case – an attempted murder, of a different murder, and that of Annalise Keating). These stories don’t overstep each other and are unified only at the end revealing thus the premise and some major questions that are to be answered during the following episodes. And there are going to be twist and turns at each corner, I’m sure.
The creator of the show is Peter Nowalk with executive producer Shonda Rhimes. Nevertheless, like in other TV shows produced by Shondaland, Shonda’s touch is visible and recognizable. Annalise Keating (superb Viola Davis) is a Law Professor at a University of Philadelphia. She tough and bossy, she’s in control. Pretty much like Olivia Pope ( in the politically-fueled drama Scandal) or the precise and rigid Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy. But underneath the surface, there’s a lot more both in her life and also in the court: she’s got secrets and lies are part of her life. However, each secret and lie has a justification which is convincing enough, yet the same justification leaves you in the doubt about who Professor Keating is.
Connected to Annalise’s personal story, it’s the story of a missing student Lisa Stangard. How? Professor Keating (Tom Verica) is Annalise’s husband and the professor of the missing girl. We are intentionally left to believe that he is hiding some more, and that Annalise suspects. Off the record… both Tony Goldwyn, Eric Stolz and Tom Verica directed several episods of Grey’s Anatomy. Tony has Scandal, Tom now appears in How to Get Away with Murder…does that mean that Eric Stolz will be in the next show? NOT that I would be complaining…I just found it curious.
The part that I enjoyed the most ( apart from Viola Davis) is the interaction between the students in Professor Keating’s class and how they compete each other in reaching the good graces of their Professor. What left me a bit perplexed, and not very convinced by it is that they seem to be too right on the spot and they are the super students finding out the right clues at the right time to save the day. Well…be it this time.
The group is as diverse as can be: There’s Connor Walsh (Jack Falahee) a gay man who uses sex to get what he wants, Wes Gibbins (Alfred Enoch) an Afro-American student who got transferred from another University, shy and rather reserved, Laurel Castillo, Latin student who might be have a few secrets of her own, Michaela Pratt – who “wants to be Annalise Keating”, and Asher Millstone (Matt McGorry) who is just too ordinary for his own good. The biggest turn- which is paradoxically given at the beginning of the episode – lies in the fact that this group of students will commit a murder in three months’ time. and their victim is no other than….
Well..this is too good to be so easily spoiled….go and check out. The following episode promises already more entanglements and surprises and it would be a shame to miss it. Just for the good ol’ question’s sake: “Who did it?”