Night Of The Hunter
This week's creepy client outshone the directionless cast of How To Get Away With Murder regulars.
We find Professor Keating and her gang of law-school Scoobies just running in place this week. There's a new client on the stand and the no-nonsense lawyer once again mines her young, impressionable students for ideas to hide the fact that she has none of her own. "Prove to me why I hired you!" she barks. And these go-getters once again fumble (or sleep) around until…voila! Some last-minute evidence falls into their laps. Not much here to distinguish it from the pilot. The stand-out in this place-holder of an episode is the possibly homicidal big-game-hunting husband, played by Steven Weber of Wings fame.
Max St. Vincent
This eccentric, wealthy bon vivant's accused of slicing and dicing the wife he claims to have loved. But instead of grieving, he quips, "The room needed some color anyway!" as he shows the legal team the blood-soaked murder scene. He energetically reenacts the prosecutor's version of the stabbing murder and even tries to fix his daughter up with extra-cute Wes ("Think of the beautiful babies you would make!"). Through it all, he sports an unsettling smirk and crazy-eyed gaze, giving off "freaky jack-in-the-box clown" more than "potentially lethal defendant." He's no Hannibal, but his is the only performance keeping this ship afloat.
"Why are any of you here? That's the question I keep asking myself." You gotta love the lone tactless character who just "doesn't have time for this." Bonnie's so over everything. She just wants to be left alone to perfect her glaring and lip-pursing. But that doesn't stop the slightly younger students from approaching her like she's a peer. "I look nice, I know," she tells Mopey Girl. "It's just my face." You'd think she'd be nicer to the upstarts, considering they essentially do her job for her, thereby freeing up her time to pine over the professor's afterthought of a husband. Instead, she cuts them off with a succinct "I'm done talking to you." Ah, if only non-Shondaland people (myself, specifically) could get away with saying stuff like that.
The professor started things off with a sartorial bang: A dope black asymmetric dress with an equally covetable jacket to match. Is it a bit too much for a day of educating? Perhaps. But not when you're presenting kids with a slideshow depicting a gruesome crime scene and a lifeless body, with nary a trigger warning to prepare them. She kept the perfectly tailored looks, flawless makeup, and great accessories coming throughout the episode (the sole reason she's so high on this list). If only her wig game were on-point, too. Shonda needs to spring for a wig-continuity consultant because that thing was on permanent pivot. It never rested atop her head at the same angle from one scene to the next.
Underneath the hair, there doesn't seem to be the kind of brilliant mind we were promised with this character. At home, she's falling apart, willingly sleeping with a husband she suspects is a murderer. And at work, she's either generically monologuing in class, or passing off other folks' ideas as her own in the courtroom. It would be nice to discuss more than just the fierceness of her wardrobe and the faultiness of her wig game, but that's all there seems to be at present.
This kid's all confusion, all the time. Not to keep bringing up the actor's CV, but he seems to have taken one too many acting cues from Daniel Radcliffe's stupefied Harry Potter. It's tempting to want to slap that "deer in the headlights" look off Wes's face, save for the fact that his face is so freakin' adorable. He stops being bewildered just long enough to deduce (guess, really) the biggest break in the murder case. So, there'll be no beautiful biracial babies for that cold-hearted killer of a daughter (but wait, why didn't she get arrested?!?).
Going forward, he really needs to wise up, or else adopt a "fake it 'til you make it" stance. We see him get a semblance of a clue as he takes charge of the students' dizzying subplot -- remember that dead body in the carpet and the dead girl in the water tank? Wes's troubled neighbor's now embroiled somehow, and he's keen on being her savior. If anything's gonna help this gorgeous goof get his head in the game, it's the possibility of getting laid.
"You don't do this to your husband, sell him out to your boyfriend. Go home." For a cop with breached work ethics and questionable personal morals, he makes a lot of sense. Annalise is standing in front of his family home and she's blubbering feverishly while his wife is somewhere inside. And this, after Nick showed up at her work earlier to dump her.
He's dubbed "Doucheface" in this episode, and they're the truest words ever spoken. Salmon polos under blazers? Bro grunts and chest-puffing when he finds a clue? This guy's pretty fun to mock. The show needs more of him.
You know how we know she's meant to be the sensitive, introspective one? The scarves. She buries herself in scarves in every scene. Scarves are clearly emblematic of depth. While everyone else is spinning their wheels and flapping their yaps, she retreats into her scarf and emerges with helpful info for the case. The professor cautions the other teacher's pets to watch out for "quiet one" Laurel. Don't be surprised if we see eager-to-please Michaela rocking a snood or keffiyeh next week.
He shouts, "Stop acting like a little bitch baby!" at Michaela and he's instantly dead to me. Is that the kind of privilege you get to enjoy when you're a gay man? You get to call women "bitch" and not get chin-checked? Huh. Aside from that and the odd catty underhanded remark here and there, he's only good for the "gay sexy times" scenes, which are seemingly shaping up to be a weekly thing. Connor once again gives up the goods in exchange for ill-begotten evidence. There's no way that's ever gonna backfire on him, right?
Her only contribution to this episode is whining its title, "It's all her fault!" This week, she has zero good ideas and is reduced to a pouting, eyebrow-furrowing, pissy little tween. (I hate to admit it, but Connor's not really wrong.)