New Show Recap: How to Get Away with Murder, 1×03 “Smile or Go to Jail”

This week’s episode starts out like the last two, opening with the night of the bonfire and the night of (SPOILER ALERT) Mr. Professor Keating’s murder. The gang is in the house with the body, Wes is comforting Rebecca, and Connor is yelling at Michaela who is freaking the eff out, curled into a fetal position in a corner. Camera zooms in on her and we see this giant rock on her finger. Oooh, Michaela is engaged!

Speaking of the night of the murder, Matt McGorry just answered a question that I’d been pondering…

Flashback time! It’s now two months earlier and here’s a whole lot of naked happening. Her fiance is capital-F Fine! Of course, their post-coital bliss is interrupted by a text summoning her to the office. They have a new case.

Wes shows up at the jail, trying to visit his girl, Rebecca. Cop tells him he’s gonna need to see some ID but, of course, Wes doesn’t have any. He ducks into a hallway to avoid Mr. Football Player, the dude who was also arrested for Lila’s murder. Now we jump over to the university President’s office where they’re on their knees, begging Prof. Keating to represent Griffin, who is now out on bail. (Ok, they’re not literally on their knees begging, but this is Viola Davis we’re talking about. They should be.)

Mr. Football Player is “a great kid” who “lives a clean life” blah blah blah. And, be tee dubs, the victim’s family has donated $8 million just in the past year to the University. And now their star quarterback is accused of murdering her? Ouch.

So Prof. Keating tells them she has to think about it but of course she can’t take on the case until she knows for sure if Mr. Prof. Keating is involved.

Jump to Nate a/k/a Mr. Cunning Linguist, he’s checking up on Mr. Professor Keating’s alibi. Then we jump back to the Gold Star Gang as they all meet up to get started on the new case. Michaela introduces Mr. Fine to Prof. Keating who just glares back and tells Michaela, “Don’t be late again.” This woman has ice water running through her veins, y’all. Who hurt you, Professor Keating? Oh, that’s right. Your philandering husband. Don’t worry, love, he’ll get his.

Anyway, Michaela introduces Mr. Fine, whose name is actually Aiden, to the rest of the gang. I’m sensing some tension between her and the pretty brunette but it doesn’t help that she introduces her as Lauren when her name is Laurel. Whoa, hey, Aiden and Connor know each other! Bro hugs ensue and Aiden tells Michaela they went to boarding school together. Before Connor walks away, he leans in and whispers to Michaela “I guess we have more in common than I thought.” Uh oh. What’s that supposed to mean?

Now the gang is at the jail and Wes is scheming, avoiding the desk cop and asking Connor if his IT friend could help him. The gang finds out who their new client is — “Some hooker in a park”— who is apparently a friend of a friend. The client looks more like a soccer mom than a streetwalker and Prof. Keating informs her that everything will be cleared up and nobody, not even her husband, will know. Simple as that, right? Wrong.

All of a sudden they’re surrounded by big black SUVs and Soccer Mom is arrested. Turns out she’s been using an alias and her real identity is that of a bombing suspect. Well now. This is going to get interesting.

“Hooker mom turned out to be bomb mom. I love this job!” Oh Bennet… sorry….Asher. You’re earning that Douche Face nickname hard, aren’t you? You might have to fight Connor for that title though. He is just determined to get under Michaela’s skin with this mystery about how he and Aiden know each other. “Makes you wonder what secrets Aiden may be keeping from you, right?” Oh shut up, Connor. Then he digs himself in even deeper to the King of the Douche hole by doubting Prof. Keating’s ability to win this Bomb Mom case. No Truthie trophy for you, sir! She’ll win it, though. She’s taking the whole Stockholm Syndrome approach, the mind control defense like the one used for Patty Hearst. Bomb Mom and her buddies were all under the control of their “charismatic leader,” the guy from Iron Eagle.

Ok, Douche Face is getting on my nerves. He’s such a suck up. And just… ugh. Why does he have such a desperate need to be the center of attention. Like when Connor says something about how it’s nice to have Frank, Prof. Keating’s associate, around as “eye candy,” Asher’s all like “What about me? I’m not eye candy?” Sit down, son.

There is a WHOLE lot of tension within this group. Michaela gets all snobby about how Frank couldn’t possibly be a lawyer because of his accent and Laurel snaps at her about how not everybody who is smart can afford to go to an Ivy League school and Connor is going on about meat loaf… what?

Wes answers the phone that he found in his bathroom cabinet. Somebody is asking for Lila who promised to hook him up. Wait… it’s Lila’s phone?

Remember how the first two episodes were so confusing because of all of the flashing back and forth? They’ve really eased up on that. This is the first time in this episode that they’ve flashed forward. So now we’re at the night of the murder and the argument about what to do with the body. Laurel then realizes that the bonfire gives them all a perfect alibi. So they head over to the party to drink and take selfies, setting up that alibi. Michaela is a terrible actress and Connor has had enough of her crap. “Smile, or go to jail!” Hey, look, there’s our title!

Now we’re back to the Bomb Mom case. I’m sorry, y’all, but this was all pretty boring to me. Basically they took Bomb Mom to the prison to try to convince Iron Eagle to testify in her trial. He’s locked away forever anyway, so what does he have to lose by getting on the stand and saying it was his idea? But it gets all creepy when Bomb Mom and Iron Eagle start holding hands and, on the way home, Bomb Mom is all schoolgirl giddy. It’s icky.

The Keatings are now at dinner with another couple, talking about whether or not she’s going to take the football player on as a client. After dinner, they’re in bed, and she’s texting Nate to see if he’s got anything about that alibi yet. By the way, Prof. Keating’s hair is wrapped which is pretty huge. That’s some realism right there.

So she takes the case. The gang is waiting for “a new client” to show up. Douche Face says he heard rumors that “Annalise” was asked to represent the football player. Hold up. Did he just call her “Annalise”? Sit down and hush, boy. Listen to this football player tell his lies. He’s making it sound like Rebecca set him up, seduced him and tricked Lila to walk in on them. Lila scratched his face when she slapped him so that’s why his DNA was under her nails.

Now Wes is making himself a fake ID to get to the jail to see his sweetie. Except she doesn’t look to happy to see him. And neither do the cops when they realize he tricked them.

After a little bit of flirtation with Frank, Laurel heads to a party. Frank shows up later and gets jealous when he sees her talking to another guy. And drunk Connor is running his mouth. Now Aiden has to tell Michaela the truth about just how close he and Connor really were. Apparently they had a fling back at boarding school. Well then.

Okay, now we’ve jumped over to Prof. Keating and Wes. She’s pissed at him for not mentioning that Rebecca is his neighbor. He’s trying to tell her that the football player is so not a nice guy. They head back to court where we see Connor trying his damndest to get on Michaela’s nerves, talking about how he still remembers what Aiden’s penis look like. UGH! Connor! Go over there by Douche Face and have yourself a seat too, boy!

We’re at Bomb Mom’s trial and — surprise! — Iron Eagle is there to testify… against her! Dude got himself a plea deal, early release if he calls her out. So now they’ve got 3 hours to rebuild the case which means the Gold Star Gang gets 3 hours to earn some brownie points.

10 points to Gryffindor! Michaela is finding out that Bomb Mom and Iron Eagle have been in contact all along. Meanwhile, Frank’s done screwed up and let Bomb Mom get away during a potty break. Prof. Keating now has to tell the judge that she doesn’t know where her client is. But we do! She’s on a bus with Iron Eagle. They planned the whole thing!

Court is adjourned and everyone is leaving. Michaela walks by and Prof. Keating has a few words for her. “Choose your husband carefully, Ms. Pratt. You’ll only have yourself to blame if it ends badly.” Ok, that’s some horrible advice right there. Well, the second part is at least. I think Prof. Keating is doing a little bit of projection.

Speaking of choosing husbands carefully, Keating is now meeting with Nate to find out if her husband’s alibi checks out. Solid alibi, he tells her. Except he’s lying. Mr. Prof. Keating canceled his appointment and he wasn’t at his hotel. Hmmmm. What kind of game is Nate playing here? It’s certainly not Annalise’s game. “Go home,” he says. “Be with your husband.”

Oh, here we go! It’s the last few minutes so let’s cram a bunch of cliffhangers in! Ready for this? Michaela lost her ring! She lost the damn ring back where they disposed of the body! Damn it, Michaela. You had one job! Flashback to her confronting the fiance. He assures her that he’s “not some guy on the down-low” and she reminds him that her wedding gown costs a fortune so he better be sure. So they’re going to live happily ever after. Maybe.

Jump over to the classroom and Prof. Keating is handing out the Truthie trophy. It goes to….Wes! And, by the way, there will be no more discussion of the murder case now that she’s representing one of the accused murderers, Rebecca. Wha…? She totally flipped the switch! Unfortunately, her client just confessed.

So what did you think of the episode? Did it seem like there was less jumping around this week to you?

By the way, this just got announced…

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April

If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.

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