Let’s talk about How To Get Away With Murder. When we were introduced to a show with a talented Black female lead, a plot that showed nothing but potential and a cast of characters with seemingly nuanced personalities, the Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy audiences quickly prepared to, once again, pledge allegiance to the United States of Shondaland.
As the season progressed, however, viewers quickly became irritated with the repetitive imagery via an endless bonfire, one-dimensional portrayals of the law students and the budding romance between Wes and Rebecca, which played out more like servitude to the helpless white woman, and less like a relationship (if this sounds familiar, chances are you’re thinking of the storyline surrounding Katrina, the Useless Witch of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow). We needed to see who killed Sam, and fast, because the fire was dying.
The Twitterati came to a consensus as the winter finale opened that Sam pretty much deserved what he got. Between his deplorable treatment of Annalise, which included a very racially charged argument hours before his demise – an unmasking that accurately displayed the mentalities of those in the “I Don’t See Race, and Other Stories From the Socially Unconscious” fan club – and his affair with and possible murder of Lyla, we were done with seeing his sorry mug on our screens every week.
So we finally discovered who killed Sam and, more importantly, how everyone involved reacted. Connor’s hysteria, Laurel’s tears and Michaela’s shock were nothing new. Truthfully they became redundant through the constant flashbacks. But Wes’ non-reaction to committing murder primed him for further scrutiny.
What is Wes’ story? Why did he react to a traumatic, life-altering experience as if he threw away old furniture and not an entire human being? For the record, I’ve been suspicious of him ever since we watched him deflect Rebecca’s questions about his background when she first spent the night with him.
Now we’re also asking ourselves what role Annalise played in the murder. In true Shondaland fashion we thought we had the game all figured out up until the last few minutes. An airtight alibi made from a quick visit to Officer Side Piece and a heartfelt voicemail sent to Sam’s phone left most of us certain that she had become a widow unexpectedly. But alas, Shonda’s team of pen-wielding titans reminded us who dominates in plot twists and cliffhangers.
Just when many of us were ready to tap out, the winter finale gave us a murderous gift that keeps on giving, and now January 29th seems light years away. Keep reading, and if you find any edges on the way, please be so kind to gather and throw them in the collection plate. We’ll be on a praise break for a while.