Season 2, Episode 3 – ‘It’s Called the Octopus’
After two weeks of leaning heavily on the ripple effects caused by Rebecca’s death, How to Get Away with Murder shifts gears, focusing almost exclusively on the topic of sex; who’s having it, who isn’t, who’s ashamed about having it, who’s proud of having it.
This week finds Annalise and Co. defending Ana, a sexually liberal woman on trial for murdering her married lover after some overly vigorous sex at a swingers party causes him to have a heart attack. The Keating Five are sent out to investigate the world of tantric sex in the hope that they can find at least one witness from the anonymous sex society “Utopia Circle” to testify in the case against their client. Annalise advises a lecture full of students, “Sex drives most criminal behaviour”, and if you’ve watched literally any TV series about law ever, you’d agree that Annalise is spot on in her assessment – and this case is no different.
Sex is certainly what is driving the motivations of virtually the entire cast this week. Newly single Michaela is fretting about sleeping with Levi on their third date like it’s 1995 and not 2015. Levi is the same guy who charmed Michaela at the court house in the previous episode, and the person Wes saw in an old photograph with Rebecca. Meanwhile Frank is still maintaining his ‘wounded soul’ shtick with Laurel, claiming he wants her really know him, even “the bad things”. Connor, on the other hand, is simply ecstatic that he’s hit day twenty of his HIV prep and can finally bang his sweet, adorable boyfriend again.
The fate of siblings Katherine and Caleb is looking dire again this week when rumours of an incestuous affair between the two come to light. I have to admit that I did yell at my TV, “I fucking called it!” Although it would be a little too convenient for the prosecution if the rumours of incest are proven to actually be true.
After the previous two plot-heavy episodes, it was a real treat to scale the dramatics back this week and allow some of the series’ trademark snarky humour to shine through again. It’s also become quite rare to see Wes, Connor, Michaela and Laurel hang out without a dead body somehow being involved, or behave like real law students or real twenty somethings, for that matter. Goofy and lovably dim Asher has been forced to carry that weight by himself for far too long – not that I can complain with choice statements like this, “That’s how I wanna go out, yo. Underneath a hot woman, my Johnson all snug as a bug in a rug”. The scene where all five are “gabbing about their pathetic sex lives” (Annalise’s words of course) was a great addition to the episode, as was the brief scene of Bonnie and Laurel getting drunk together. Liza Weil is far too underused for my liking and these two could end up having an interesting comradery if they talked less about Frank and Asher.
Unsurprisingly, Viola Davis continues to bring her A-game. Annalise has so clearly run out of fucks to give and I just find it utterly delightful to watch. There are a few twists at the conclusion of the episode that I won’t spoil but I’m excited to see the formation of new alliances and just exactly what kind of role they will play in Annalise’s attempted murder.